In the beginning there was … Love & Beauty & Life & Light & Spark & Prosperity & Style & Soul & Bliss & Happiness & Wonder & Joy & Courage & Vision & Solidarity & Childhood & Freedom & Dream & Faith.
And then their step-brothers and step-sisters – hatred, lust, death, darkness, poverty, plague, immorality, scandal, despair, expectation, sorrow, envy, blindness, ego, greed, cynicism, grievance, hunger, terror, fear, bullies – made room and started messing things up … all for a reason, a very basic reason: to make our life more worth treasuring, every single day, every single moment.
I started this blog from a purely egocentric need: a need to remind myself of beauty and love.
In the beginning there was … Love & Beauty & …whatever we wish for!
“A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.” Eric Hoffer
for an immersion into pure warm Summer and Sun filled days with feet spoiled by the freshness of the sea
Yoga on sunrise on my balcony
the fun of feeding birds on the beach
the hilarous coffee drinking pidgeons, when waiters and customers were not looking. They were quick- managed no picture :). No prints. No proof 😉
letting us discover the other you up the mountain
the gorgeous Japanese garden, where all has a meaning of itsown and the city noise resigns in front of the serene spirit of stone lamps
a little trip to Africa in the Le Jardin de la Petite Afrique
a special vanille monegasque-framboise macaron.
snacks at Costa, the royal supplier; and its unforgetful pecan cookies
the walks on your old city narrow streets
the cuteness of fish at the Oceanographic museum. And for getting to know a bit more about our impact on oceans and your turtles saving project.
a special cafe gourmand
getting lost in multiple passages and the joy of finding our way just around the corner
the generosity of plant growers, offering baby-plants to anyone wanting one
Le Meridien Hotel, where we felt at home and treated royally.
for the superb view over the Alsacian plain, colored by Autumn in all of its splendor,
an unique artefact, a sundial built in the 18th century,
The 3 legendary limetrees – a favourite picture place for visitors, some taking time to meditate inside its trunk
A walk in the forest dressed in Autumn colours
A travel in time to the taste of my grandmother’s bread
A moment of gratitude prayer
An out-door lunch in great strangers company
“Remember that unjust criticism is often a disguised compliment” Dale Carnegie.
Enjoy the compliments!
One morning, couple of weeks ago I was about to enter a coffee shop next to my hotel for a dose of ristretto. The door opened suddenly and an angry woman pushed a girl out. A paper cup was on the floor. Coffee was spilled around. A taxi was in front. The lady was in a hurry. The girl looked ashamed, eyes on her hand. The door of the taxi slammed and the scene disappeared around the corner. All this – in 30 seconds.
I thought to my self : 30 seconds to start a day. To spend with your child ahead of a busy day for both… The coffee was definitely not for the child. Although she seemed to have been put in charge of it.
There is no judgement here. It was a reminder to self that as parents we need to maintain our awareness that children mirror our behaviour. Studies and research show it extensively for the still skeptical ones.
If we are in a hurry and angry and things start falling, it’s us, the adults.
If we prioritise the concern over a spilled coffee instead of a burned finger, we, adults, set an example.
If we start the day with a smile and a belief that we have time for everything, it’s us, the adults.
If we show concern over the child’s concerns, we set an example as a grown-up human to a growing up human.
A clean mirror gives a clear image. Up to us, adults, to keep it clean.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet “There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so”.
I have a confession to make. I feel and I see more than others usually do. And it’s not easy staying grounded and open to others. I learned that key is to be discerning, so that my empathy does not attract people who drain my energy.
Empathy, etymologically, comes from the Greek word pathos, “passion” or “suffering”. I learned from Wikipedia that the term was adapted by Hermann Lotze and Robert Vischer to create the German word Einfühlung (“feeling into”), which was translated by Edward B. Titchener into the English term empathy.
Everytime I feel into someone’s feelings, I pay an emotional price. Empathy can cause emotional overwhelm, research shows. I also learned that the empathy-receiver might not be on the net benefits side either. Here is a story:
Some time ago, a colleague struggling at work, rebuffed with “you have to be more empathetic towards me!”. What she did not realise was the energy I was already giving her and that she was responsible for the situation she was in. By being empathetic towards her situation, i was doing her a huge disfavour. She would continue to be in a victim’s role she assumed herself. The moment I stopped acting like a “golden fish” of understanding and giving and she stopped asking for more, she learned to take things into her hands and move on, as a responsible adult.
So I learned to give empathy with moderation, set and be clear about boundaries and encourage others to take responsibility for their own situation. So that we all benefit from a healthy and meaningful dose of empathy for harmonious relations.