Thursday, June 14, 2012

My First French Red

Paris, the City of Light, is where I began my latest French adventure. Three full days before boarding the high-speed TGV train to the south of France for seven more.

The trip was the fulfillment of months of envisioning. More than a year ago, Kimberly Wilson, Julia Coney, Catherine Depret and I dreamed of retreating to Paris and then to the quiet of Provence for days upon days of yoga and art journaling
Voila, our spark became a reality this May. 
I live mindfully on a low budget at the moment, freelancing and teaching yoga. So, the focus of this retreat would be on Experiences. Plus one old school item. 
All About the Pretty beauty blogger Julia and I sauntered boulevards with a purpose: To find the perfect, brilliant shade of red lipstick for me to celebrate this creative adventure.
Julia brought me to the cosmetics section of Monoprix, the French department store most like our cheap chic Target, for Rouge Baiser Paris
Rouge Baiser is legendary. Founded in 1927 in France, the line of long wearing lipstick is not sold in the States. A tube and the experience would become my favorite souvenir.
We tried a dozen shades on the back of my hand before settling on The One -- #421, L’Authentic Freesia. It’s a remarkably BRIGHT shade and I’ve worn it loud and proud every day. Grown up lips. Unlike the lovely Revlon shade my beloved mother wore, #421 is the one pour moi.

This lovely tissue, marking the experience of many colors, now resides tucked into my art journal.

Kimberly has announced plans to return to Provence and Paris in 2013.  Dites moi, SVP, are you tempted? Mais oui!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Back in the Saddle

Bless me Father for I have 'sinned.' It has been __ weeks since my last confession.
I feel guilty* for not posting here since April. {After all, blogs need fresh content to engage readers and keep them coming back. For those who’ve stuck around, a heart-felt thanks!}. Confession is one way to receive absolution, yes? 
And, the reasons for my absence? Suffice it to say, life’s uncertainties of late have given me pause. Change - even considered change - has sprouted some ups and downs. Completely natural, I know.

Also, I’ve been wrestling with some resistance about putting myself out there ... here. Have you ever felt that way? If so, how do/did you handle it?

I looked for an anchor and found Pema Chodron’s book, Comfortable With Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion. Simply tucking it into my bag and carrying it around soothes me. 
Pema encourages us to practice the four limitless qualities of: 
    • Loving-kindness 
    • Compassion
    • Joy
    • Equanimity. 
And, we start where we are.
Pema says, “The best way to serve ourselves is to love and care for others.” Hence, this prayer:
May all sentient beings enjoy happiness
and the root of happiness.
May we all be free from suffering
and the root of suffering.
May we not be separated from the great
happiness devoid of suffering.
May we dwell in the great equanimity free from
passion, aggression, and prejudice.
 . . . with gratitude.

Whew! Now I can tell you all about my trip to Paris + Provence and much more!

* btw guilt turns the world. do yourself a big favor and release it.