(First, let me confess a blunder. Today’s blog was supposed to be written about, and discuss the Musee D’Orsay, the 10th most popular museum in the world……….. and in my humble opinion, the most beautiful (sorry Louvre). But, a word of advice from my experiences today, always check the schedule first! So, because there is a plethora of things to write about in this city, I moved on…….. we will have the D’Orsay next week, I promise!)
I live in Paris, yes, tough life, I know.
Whenever I mention this to people who don’t know this I get a variety of expected comments, like, “wow, really?” “gee, that must be nice.” “you lucky girl.” I could go on, but you get the gist (of course you may have had some of those same thoughts yourself).
And you know what? I am a lucky girl…..
But two years ago, this was all just a dream. Almost three years ago I shattered my knee, as many of you know. For four months I was confined to the house except for impromptu excursions courtesy of friends and family. The day I came home from the hospital with a brace from ankle to hip, preset at the precise angle necessary for healing, I was greeted with a potty chair in my living room. Talk about the life…………not.
I spent four months sleeping on my back (sleeping a lot actually) with my leg elevated under five pillows to keep it above my heart and reduce swelling. I am told I snore, sometimes loudly. But we will save that for another story, maybe.
You know what happened because of that little foray into immobility? I was no longer able to perform either of the things I did to produce an income. Realizing that being completely dependent on my body for revenue was probably not the best way to play, I began to dream again, and write.
I wrote about my feelings, my fears, my dreams, the things I had been postponing until
“someday” (which I heard defined in a movie as just another way of saying never. I liked that definition, so I am borrowing it.)
My career as a Life Coach was in its infant stages. I had put two novels aside, treating them like a hobby, and had only blogged randomly for fun (mostly to share stories about the fascinating world of online dating.)
But, big but here, my “someday” had come with a vengeance. The accident proved to be the catalyst I needed to launch it. So, I spent almost a year preparing, planning, and yes, writing.
What I discovered by picking up pen and paper again, is that our dreams never die. Sure, they go into hiding, or we convince ourselves we never really wanted to write that book, or travel, or live overseas or sky dive, or learn to be a gourmet chef, or take up belly dancing… or…… or.. But it is all just a story we tell ourselves because we don’t really believe we can have what we dream about.
Fast forward to the present.
I now live in an incredible apartment four blocks from one of the most beautiful parcs in Paris, a 15 minute walk from the Arch de Triomphe one way and a 10 minute walk from one of the best outdoor markets in the city the other. Oh, and I am 25 minutes from the famed Montmartre, home to artists renowned.
Was it as simple as getting up 30 minutes earlier to write?
But, in a word,
Writing has a way of unlocking all that we have buried. Writing uncovers the truth of who we are, who we were meant to be and keeps us from hiding.
To quote Picasso, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
What are your dreams? How much dust have you let settle on your soul? Want to wash the everyday away and truly live? Write.
Today is the beginning of NaNoWriMo, give it a go. Or pick up one of hundreds of books about writing (my all-time fav author on the subject is Julia Cameron). And just write.
Write that you have absolutely nothing to write about over
until it comes.
Because it will
And just for the fun of it, every Tuesday I will give you a fun writing prompt to begin to chip away the layers. They will be all about Paris of course.
So, here goes………..
When you hear Paris, what is the very first thing that pops into your head? Don’t think, just let it bubble forth.
Now, take that thought, come up with two emotions it evokes. It doesn’t matter if they are happy thoughts or, like too many who watch a lot of news, fearful thoughts.
Write down two colors that you associate with those emotions.
Two thoughts that accompany the original idea that popped into your head.
Take that first impulse/image/reaction; the two emotions; two colors and two thoughts associated and write a short five sentence paragraph. It doesn’t have to be true, or even accurate…….
Eiffel Tower (yes, I picked this one because it was the most obvious.)
Emotions: awe, fear
Colors: gold, black
Thoughts: I was always a little afraid of going up on the Eiffel Tower.
I loved seeing it light up like a beacon from my balcony on Montmartre.
When I read about the construction of the Eiffel tower, how each point it touches the ground puts a minimum amount of pressure, how it was constructed with an elevator that did not go straight up, but rose at an angle, I was afraid to go to the top. But then, I had dinner there one night, as a dare, really, and surrounded by the gold glow from the millions of lights on her beautiful body, standing so tall in the blackness, my fear became awe, and I was not the same person when I descended in that elevator.
I wrote that paragraph in a form of free writing. Focused on the image, colors, emotions and thoughts they created, the words began to just flow. It took me less than five minutes.
That was just a quick, fun way to help you move past the blocks you see, into the wonder that you are.
It can be done with anything, anywhere, anytime. I chose Paris, well, because Tuesday blogs are about Paris,
But try this exercise with the very next thing you see, whether it is your own face in the mirror, a chair, a book, a co-worker, a dog, whatever.
After you get the hang of it, turn it around and pick the very next emotion you feel, give it a color, a name, an image, and then just jot down three or four sentences about it.
If you take just 5 or 10 minutes a day to do this. You know, that time you are walking mindlessly through the grocery debating on frozen dinner or the deli. As soon as you get home write down the first thing you remember about the grocery.
After doing this for a short period of time, you will begin to feel a little differently; to see the ordinary with a new sense of wonder; to hear sounds or retain thoughts you never noticed before. In other words, you will begin to wake up. And that my sweet friend, is when you will begin to dream again.
Just to keep the party going, I am going to include some images of, well, Paris of course. Take five minutes with one (or all, if you feel like it) and do this game.
Oh, and remember, I am here if you have questions about how to truly transform your life with writing……….
But I am also a girl who believes you can be just as lucky. So, I want to show you how you too can be just as