Being ok with where we are

Hello gorgeous,

I first want to apologize for having let you down and not writing for so long. I have been struggling with time for a while and adapting my schedule a few times…And I think it’s finally time I make peace with myself… I got this email in my inbox this week and I decided to keep it, as it was very timely…

“We encourage you to make peace with yourself and where you are in this lifetime. Your level of evolvement has nothing to do with the physical aspects of your life, your level of achievement, your relationships, your money or your health. Your evolvement is in your ability to shift from the lower frequencies you may find yourself in from day to day, to the higher realms you are coming to know.”

I have the feeling that I am always fighting and pushing through. I justify it to myself by saying that I want more (whatever it is that I want more of!), but the truth is that I am never (ok, I am, but very seldom) really taking the time to rest and look at my progress. And my gut tells me I am far from being the only one like that… Can you relate?

So what now? How do I make peace with myself, and how can you too?

  1. Accepting where we are doesn’t mean that we can’t want more, or that it’s as good as it’s ever gonna get. No, it’s more about stopping the negative self talk that we entertain with ourselves, stopping the blame (the “why aren’t you yet further than this?” type blame). That’s accepting ourselves fully, even though we might not always like what we see. Stop what you are doing and take a minute or two to feel it inside. If you can, use this opportunity to meditate on it for a few minutes.
  2. It’s recognizing how far we came. Recognizing the long road, the obstacles, the lessons we learned, the friends we made, the ones we had to part with, as they did not “match” the person we became, the learning and the growth we went through, our progress. That’s where having a journal (even if you are not writing everyday in it) helps, because we can look back easily and remember how it was, how we were before, and it makes the difference much clearer. But we can still do it without journal J. We can still look at our life, a year ago, and look at the difference in how we fill our agenda, in who we see regularly, in our activities, even in our bank account ;-).
  3. Time to be grateful (isn’t it always time to be grateful?). This time, write it down even if you don’t have a journal. Write it on a note in your phone, on a piece of paper, somewhere, but get it out! I’ll start then…

I am grateful for everybody who’s supporting me on my journey. I am grateful for my friends and my husband challenging my views (and agenda). I am grateful for all the learning opportunities that abound. I am grateful for the job opportunities, the ones I said yes to and the ones I said no to. I am grateful for my ambition to want more. I am grateful for never giving up on my dreams.

Your turn now!

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

Much love, Madeleine

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.

My gratitude list for 2016

Hello gorgeous,

I first want to thank you for your understanding, for still being here with me, and for asking me when the blog posts would be back ;-).

I had to take a break, because I just could not handle everything at once (Remember, we can do everything, but just not everything at the same time ;-)). While I still can’t, I felt the urge today to send you a quick note and to feel into how grateful I am for 2016 and what it brought to me, and I hope to you as well.

I am grateful for having (in no particular order!):

  • New relationships forming and developing
  • Run a few women circles and enjoyed it thoroughly
  • A lot of work and new clients
  • Gone back on the motorcycle and enjoying it!
  • Been able to go to Barcelona for a long week-end to celebrate our friend’s 50th birthday
  • Adopted a 2nd Golden Retriever
  • A happy and healthy family
  • The opportunity to learn constantly
  • Learning new things, on circles, intuition, drumming and kinesiology
  • A beautiful house in a beautiful and sunny region
  • Expressed my creativity in many ways
  • And probably forgetting a lot of things on this list 😉

So, while we are at it, why not start the new year with a gratitude jar (instead of a gratitude journal), by taking a big one (or even a vase), decorating it, and using small pieces of colored paper to write the things we are grateful for when we feel it (and so that we can review and feel even better when we are feeling a bit down, or at the end of the year for a good review)?

I want to end today by wishing you a blissful, wonderful and delicious 2017.

roadrunner

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

Much love, Madeleine

Permission granted!

Hello gorgeous,

I gave myself permission to take a holiday from blogging for a few weeks, so I am thereby giving you the authorization to do the same (just in case you needed it ;-))

You may_ - Take a rest - Do nothing

I wish you a wonderful summer!

Much love, Madeleine

5 key tips to be more assertive

Hello gorgeous,

I have noticed, many many times, women who had a hard time trying to assert themselves and who finally ended their current relationship as the last possible option… Well, luckily, this is not necessary; you can also be assertive and stay in your current relationship ;-). I want you to know that there are clues, tips that can help you get there more easily, and here are some:

  1. People can’t read your mind. As much as I would like that to be true myself, more often than not, it is not! Telepaths are the exception, not the norm. People sometimes even have a hard time reading their own mind and not getting overwhelmed… ;-). What this implies, though, is that if you want something, you have to ask for it. Be it time, attention, a massage, kindness, respect…
  1. You can’t read their mind. Even though you would like it as much, forget it! So you have to trust that they will ask, if they need or want something from you, and believe that if they don’t ask, it just means they are happy with the way things are. (The alternative here is that they are not assertive enough themselves ;-), in which case they should read this too!)
  1. Lead by example. If you want your partner to respect your time and for instance your need for me-time, show him (or her) that you respect yourself by taking that time. If you want more kindness, be kind. If you want attention, give it. If you want time to share, suggest it. Don’t wait for the other to initiate something but do it yourself, and do it with kindness.
  1. Go for a smooth transition. In many cases, smooth is better than a big bang. Smooth gives time to people to get used to the changes you are bringing.
  1. Anchor yourself first. If you expect a difficult conversation, if you are chickening out when it comes to talking about money for instance, my last tip is that you prepare yourself by taking a power pose for 2’ upfront (I talked about this in my first day video of my 7-day feel good instantly e-course, watch it here)

We haven’t even touched on the topic of beliefs here. But I just want to address one. You might be afraid that people (your friends, your partner) are not going to like you or love you anymore if you change the way things are by showing more assertiveness. Well, you could be wrong, they might appreciate more you standing up for yourself and thinking, finally… And if it came to that, people not liking you being more assertive, well, to me that means those people are not your friends for the right reasons… If they love you for you, then they only want to see you happy and fulfilled…

Copy of Donner l'exemple n'est pas le principal moyen d'influencer les autres, c'est le seul moyen

I wish you a wonderful week!

Much love, Madeleine

On competition…

Hello gorgeous,

I am always amazed by how much our kids have such distinct personalities, right from the start, and how sometimes those personalities seem to be so far away from our own…

Take 2 kids playing for instance. Often, they are really competitive and hate to loose. At school, they play team sports and have to compete in teams. If they happen to be quite good at a specific sport, they will be pushed to go even further and to compete. Plus, there can only be one first in class, and a second and a third…

I personally have an issue with competition. I don’t feel competitive and I don’t like that. It just doesn’t fit with me. Maybe I could explore my block with that but not just now ;-). And then, the funny thing is that there is one thing that I hate, and it’s being “average”. That word makes my hair stand on end… I don’t care about being the first in class. I just don’t want to be “average”. I want to be “different”, I want to be “unique”, I want to be “special”…

So how do I reconcile those? First of all, I believe there is space for everybody to excel in what they like. I don’t see life as limited, with only one winner. I think we can all exist and that there is enough for all of us. Enough partners, enough clients, enough money etc… Me getting something does not mean somebody else is not getting his share. Because we are all different and unique and our individuality is simply beautiful. People will be attracted to us because of who we are and because of our uniqueness.

Secondly, I still believe in competing… with ourselves. I believe we are here to learn, grow, develop, become a better version of ourselves, day in, day out. I also think we don’t take enough time (and not regularly enough) to look at how much we grow and develop. I remember a time, about 8-10 years ago, when I was wondering about the meaning of life. I was thinking, so now I have a partner, 2 kids, a good job, and nice house, so what does it mean for the other half of my life? Will it be about keeping what I now have, or is there something else to it? Well, I definitely wasn’t prepared for the bumpy ride I got since…But I am happy I went through it, because I feel I have grown a lot, and have become a lot wiser too!

So, the only person you have to compete to… is yourself!

The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday

I am curious to know how you feel about competition… Let me know on the blog!!!

I wish you a wonderful week!

Much love, Madeleine

Happiness is an inside job…

Hello gorgeous,

I was watching a Ted talk yesterday from Mathieu Ricard (who is a French writer and Buddhist monk) and was reminded (in case I needed to!) that happiness was an inside job. His advice is to go inside (for instance by meditating) and concentrate on positive feelings like gratitude, compassion and love, which are the antidote feelings for anger, hatred etc. He was also saying that happiness should not depend on how much (stuff, money etc.) you have, but should be a state of being instead.

So I had to think about own quest for happiness and those last 2-3 years since I came back to the South of France. I am no Buddhist monk and not an intense meditator either (although I do meditate, alone and in a group), but I completely resonated with what he said. I feel that I now have a stable core, and that, although I can still be suddenly thrown out of balance by an external event, but at least I know it won’t last very long before I am my normal self again.

Here are my conclusions on what helped me, let me know if it’s the same for you!

  • I tried to make the most of what I had, and be grateful for it. Even though I put it aside for a while as a journaling habit, writing down everyday a few things I was grateful for helped me a lot. To realize how much we already have and how blessed we are. And that it’s not about how much money is there.
  • I consciously thought of self-care, even if I am not the best example in that area, I know how important it is!
  • I gathered my tribe, and it is still expanding. It is so important to be with like-minded people, and people who will lift you up. (It also means letting go of relationships that do not serve you anymore…). My friends are all very different and I am grateful for each one of them to be who they are and for our relationship!
  • I follow my heart whenever possible. It might not always seem logical to others, but I am following my desires and adjusting my course when needed.
  • I accept people and events as they are. If I don’t get what I want immediately, there must be a reason, and it means I will get something even better. People are the way they are, I don’t try to change them, it’s either accepting them as they are or letting them go.

Carpe

I wish you a wonderful week!

Much love, Madeleine

To live is to choose…

Hello gorgeous,

Oftentimes we forget how many choices we make in a single day.

Some very insignificant, and some much bigger.

Some out of habit, and some out of willingness to try something new for once.

Some dictated by conditioning, and some dictated by passion.

Some out of fear, some out of love.

I just wanted to sit still for a minute to remind you of those choices. Yesterday I was again suffering from headaches, so the choices I made were dictated by my physical state. Which is important, as it seems that I am not listening to myself enough, so the headaches are my body’s way of saying stop!!! Yesterday I listened, and stopped. But I also know from myself that, had I not had such a strong signal I would have just gone on forever… Because of my own conditioning, always doing more, more, more, and always in the “doing”… instead of relaxing and not feeling guilty for relaxing…. I know I still have a lot to learn! Don’t we all have? 😉

The first thing I noticed is that I am now more aware of those moments when I make choices.

Then, when I make them, I ask myself questions like: What is really important here and now? Can that wait? Will I miss it if I don’t do it?

But also questions like: Why am I choosing for this?

And: What would my higher self do?

I believe those last 2 are really important ones, which can help you especially when you find those choices difficult to make. Because those questions can also help you detect what’s left of your conditioning, what it is that you haven’t let go off yet, what it is that you still do because you always did it like that, or because you mum did it that way etc. Isn’t it nice from time to time to do something different than usual? (and to get a different result ;-))

So my advice for this week would be to become more aware of the choices you have in your everyday life, and of the choices you make and why J.

Let me know how this is going for you!

No matter what the situation, remind yourself %22I have a choice%22. Deepak Chopra

I wish you a wonderful week!

Much love, Madeleine

Why control is an illusion…

Hello gorgeous,

I feel I am forced to continue on my new favorite topic: letting go…. My test results are in and all is normal (which is very good news of course!), I am doing my best to relax and not fill my agenda like I used to, and still the headache is keeping me company… Maybe the issue here is that I am trying too hard…

On Tuesday I was having my singing lesson, I was for once not recording my lesson (trying to preserve my battery!), and my scales were better than normal. I thought, maybe I removed the pressure of recording myself? Then my teacher asked me to let go of the control when singing the songs, and what came out after that was better than before… So that was a good lesson, that I’d better not control what comes out of my mouth 😉

On Friday, in a conversation, we came to talk about control freak people, and how by trying to control everything and everybody around them, they end up with the contrary of what they want (rebellion, abandon, loneliness…).

And yet, while looking for a quote of control I came across so many of them preaching self control… I think we really need to be really careful with that. I agree that we have the power to control our thoughts, our mind, although realizing at the same time how difficult that is. But I don’t believe we need to be self-controlling all the time, otherwise we loose all the fun ;-)! Do small children control themselves? Don’t they have (a lot) more fun than we do?

So, as the quote says, the only thing we can control is the present moment. So I would say, let’s make the most of it. Let’s ask our inner child what she would want, at this minute, and how she would like to feel. Let’s listen to her, as she is a part of us that we tend to forget about, and she needs us to provide nourishment and to respect her needs, because they are our needs too.

we only have control, over two moments in our lives_ here and now.Randi G Fine

I wish you a wonderful week!

Much love, Madeleine

How to let go…

Hello gorgeous,

I felt yesterday that I had finally let go of some pressure (meaning I did not feel like a pressure cooker anymore ;-)) and I started wondering how and what exactly happened for me to get there. I already wrote on this topic (click here), but here are my new insights on this topic:

  • I review priorities constantly (that is, when something happens that disturbs my current schedule!). At the time of writing, I should have been tasting wine with our wine club, but my younger daughter was sick yesterday evening so we got her back home and decided to keep her here (she was at my mum’s). So, while I miss a nice tasting, I am home and relaxing, and happy I can just be here (and have the time to write this without stressing)!
  • I try to be less in control, still pretty much organized, but at least more welcoming of the unplanned. We organized this week-end, for our friends from our Dutch wine club, a wine tour, packed (probably a bit too much!) with visits to wine estates… We were already late for lunch and tasting number one because of flight delays, so we called to suggest we could pre-order our dishes to facilitate the chef’s schedule, but it was fine anyway. On day 2 the same happened, when we were still busy with our first tasting and realizing we were going to be late for the next one… But, at the end of the day, none of that is a big deal, right? People are very understanding when you tell them, and I f we had missed one completely, then so be it! I am just learning to pack our schedule less for the next wine tour! (Gosh that sounds familiar too!!!)
  • I took myself (and things) less seriously; I attach less importance to what happens around me. It doesn’t mean I come last though! (Especially when today is Mother’s day in France!). It just means I let things slide without getting attached to them, and I trust more that everything is going to be ok. This weekend, it’s 10 of us at home. There is no way I can take care of everything or everyone, but I trust it’s all going to work out, with the tastings and the rest!

So, could you also help yourself by taking things with a bit more lightness too? And find your own healthy dose of letting go (without abandoning all responsibilities on the way!)? Sometimes, just by asking yourself questions like: So what is most important to me right now? Can I do something about this or not? (If not : let go please!!!)

Let me know what your experience is!

If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember that we are talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe.Joe Rogan

I wish you a wonderful week!

Much love, Madeleine

The universe has a sense of humor…

Hello gorgeous,

My headaches finally seemed to disappear this week, after a month, and I also tried to take better care of myself and of my agenda. But something happened of Friday that threw me off again, and then I had it back for the night… I followed the GPS to go to an appointment, but it made me go into the heart of a small village. Unfortunately, Small village = Narrow streets (which was not indicated on any sign in the village itself…). So I found myself blocked while trying to make a turn to end my trip in this maze of streets. And I scratched the car. And I recognized I was not going to make it on my own, so I called a guy working outside for help. He came and guided me until I was safe and could go out of this place. Safe, but seriously annoyed. I was proud of not having done any damage to any car for the last 15 years, and here I was with a big scratch…

But ok, I can only accept it and move on now. This morning, I finally got the message… Thinking back of the car, I was trying to fit something too big (our big car) in something too small (the narrow streets of Malemort), and I could see the relationship between that and my life as it stands now, trying to fit too much in an already busy schedule. I always believed that the more you did, the more you could do. I now admit that there’s a limit to that, which is when my head explodes… Even though it should be before it explodes 😉

So, my personal lesson, once again, is one of self-care. I seem to get reminders and not take them into consideration, so then I get a big one, or even 2, big enough so that I have to stop and look at them (and get some help!).

You always preach (or teach) what you need to learn, and yes I do advocate self-care, but now I need to apply it to myself too… So, ladies, can you promise me not to make the same mistakes as I do, and take good care of you, or ask for help before it gets unmanageable? Remember, it’s not a weakness to ask for help, and none of us is supposed to be a superwoman (even though it would be really fabulous!). So, to honor this, start with taking a 5 minutes break now!

I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent.Caring for myself is an act of survival.Audre Lorde

I wish you a wonderful week!

Much love, Madeleine