Les Cévennes: A Lost Paradise of France

My love tells me he dreams of this place every night. I thought that was bizarre until I saw it. This land where he grew up is like a garden of Eden. I felt like a fairytale character wandering the forests with a straw basket and provincial dress. I climbed cherry trees to pick and eat the juiciest fruits. We find wild mushrooms to eat with dinner. The stones in the forest are silver and sparkle in the sunlight that creeps through the canopy of leaves. Chestnut trees, some 2,000 years old stand watch over the place, and will long after we are gone. Little creatures peek through the trees and stones. Neighbors of this very sparsely inhabited land peek out of their stone homes to say hello and offer fresh grape juice. Everything feels ethereal, like a place to rest from earth, yet a place filled with more earth than I have ever seen. My hair feels softer, my skin feels smoother, and I am filled with peace spending my days reading in front of the waves of green trees, or napping in front of the stars so clearly defined a meteor seems to pass every five minutes.

Here are some lessons I have learned here:

5 Ways to Create a More Beautiful Life

 

“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. this is my symphony.” – William Channing

 

 

1. Let meditation become the beautiful bookends to each day. Practice 10-15 minutes when you wake up and each evening before dinner. You can try YouTube meditations at first if it is too difficult to sit in silence at first. Binaural beats with headphones are great for putting your brainwaves to exact emotional experiences you want. Search binaural beats for: joy, beauty, love, etc.

2. Read and work in elevated spaces. If you want to read for pleasure, or if you have to work on something that you dread, find somewhere inspiring to do so. It could be a luxurious hotel’s cafe, a museum cafe, a university, a garden, or a little park. Make it fun for you, and make it beautiful for you. We subconsciously absorb our environments, so let it be beautiful.

3. If you are not feeling openhearted it is difficult to create and allow beauty into your life. One of the best ways to open up again is through animals. Take a trip to your local zoo, or spend extra time with your pet. Like being in nature, being around such elevated and open animals is very healing and inspiring.

4. Create a personal uniform for days when you aren’t inspired. Mine is black jeans, a white shirt, black boots, and a leather jacket. When I don’t feel great I know I can put this easy set on and become more confident and focus on my day.

5. Collect inspiration everywhere. You can buy magazines and cut the things you love and keep them in a journal. When you flip through you will have an instant wave of inspiration of who you are and what you want. Blogs and Pinterest have a lot to be inspired by, but it’s important to write what inspires you and create and observe tactile images so your brain processes them and manifests them even more.

I wish you beautiful days.

Top by Zara.

Butterfly Effect

“When I suddenly see myself in the depths of the mirror, I take fright. I can scarcely believe that I have limits, that I am outlined and defined. I feel myself to be dispersed in the atmosphere, thinking inside other creatures, living inside things beyond myself. When I suddenly see myself in the mirror, I am not startled because I find myself ugly or beautiful. I discover, in fact, that I possess another quality. When I haven’t looked at myself for some time, I almost forget that I am human, I tend to forget my past, and I find myself with the same deliverance from purpose and conscience as something that is barely alive. I am also surprised to find as I gaze into the pale mirror with open eyes that there is so much in me beyond what is known, so much that remains ever silent.”

Clarice Lispector

I found this completely intact butterfly while walking on my way to class. I also found myself appreciating this beautiful cycle of life and death and beauty we all share.