If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.
The saying goes: “Spend time with people whose lives you admire.” I love this motto and think that if we follow it, we will only be surrounded by an uplifting and inspirational community . But, a few years ago, I was doing just the opposite in a stuffy conference room learning about being a successful entrepreneur. I adored the women who I shared the room with, but certainly not their lives. They had become overwhelmed, exhausted, frustrated, and discouraged all in the name of business. In essence, their lives were nothing short of 50+ hour work week, without the leisurely joy of actually living.
These highly intelligent and successful MBAs did not need another business course. What they did need, however, was…. PARIS.
That day, I committed to sharing with women the beauty and mystique of the “City of Lights” in an effort to teach others how to prioritize their desires, bring art and life into their work, and learn sensually savvy ways to live while earning an income and experiencing joy.
My goal became all about mastering the art of luxurious living.
From feeling comfortable in our own skin and embracing who we are, to envisioning ourselves as powerful, feminine, and creative forces, luxurious living encompasses it all.
So, why Paris?
I’m so glad you asked. In case you haven’t noticed, I have a bit of a love affair with the city.
1. Taught me the power of femininity and sensuality.
Like lingerie, fine chocolate, wrapping a simple, silk scarf around myself, and feeling sensual and at home in my body. Before Paris, I would have never had the confidence to post this pic (taken during an underpinnings session during the French Kiss the World’s Society Paris Celebration Retreat.) But now? Well, many trips to Paris changes a girl.
2. Encouraged me to slow down, notice my surroundings, and appreciate all of the beauty around me.
In a busy world– frantically buzzing by– Paris spoke to me and said, “Non, merci” to a life void of pleasure, without the time to look your best, savor delicious meals, and indulge.
3. Inspired me to care about how I present myself to the world.
Regardless of whether you are a diplomat’s wife or a cashier at the local Carrefour, the streets of Paris become a runway to saunter, sashay, and express our femininity. Parisians pride themselves on self-care, expression, and an outward display of beauty– as we all should.
4. Helped me embrace a divine relationship with food.
Many modern women have developed insane relationships with what’s on their plate– I used to be one of them– but Paris teaches you how to savor, choose quality ingredients, slow down, and enjoy your food to elegant satisfaction, and to never — ever– feel guilty about enjoying a quality piece of chocolate. The result? A Slim, Chic and Savvy lifestyle – full of vitality, health and pleasure.
5. Inspired me to make my life art.
In a city that is home to the Rodin, Musee d’Orsay, and the Louvre, it’s clear that art is extremely important to the French lifestyle. A woman’s life is also a fine piece of art and being in a city that places value on aesthetics, there is constant inspiration and infusion of creativity that can be found everywhere– in everything. The French femme wants to be a masterpiece, not a replica.
6. Encouraged me to embrace elegant simplicity.
I was left shocked and confused after encountering my first Parisian home. Where I expected an apartment full of old antiques, huge kitchens to cook coq a vin, and closets that housed massive wardrobes, I found simplistic designs and raw elegance. The Parisian woman understands the art of simplicity and chooses to allow in her life what adds value and lasting pleasure.
7. Taught me that one should work to live, not live to work.
Being raised in a typical American household where value was placed on work ethic, I’ve always believed that I had to work, work, work in order to prove my worth. Paris taught me the alternative: To understand when enough is enough and to use work as a tool to enjoy life, not the other way around.
8. Allowed me to see leisure as a necessity for a great life, not as a source of guilt.
From women sitting on a park bench reading a book, to lawn chairs spread throughout Paris’s jardins, the Parisians have mastered the art of leisure. In fact, American “busyness” is viewed as an excuse to run from one thing to the next without slowing down and enjoying life. In Paris, leisure is not just for a once a year vacation but an everyday way of life.
9. Taught me that seduction is a way of life that makes the human experience fun and exciting.
From courting to buying cheese at the local fromagerie, you learn the subtle gestures and words that create a seductive aura of fun and romance where flirting is encouraged in every conversation and embrace.
10. Encouraged me to eat well, travel well, and live well.
Paris– in food, wine, art, culture, history, and fashion– taught me the glorious power in traveling. There is no way to connect and experience a culture outside of our own without getting into it, and allowing it to change us. I have witnessed brilliant ideas being hatched in gardens; beliefs changed within days when a woman experiences a new relationship with food; self-romance being declared along the Seine; and sparks of inspiration being lit underneath the Eiffel tower.
In a nutshell, Paris taught me how to fall in love with my life, as it is right now. And, as a result, I’ve attracted more than I ever dreamed possible.
And, on this Valentine’s Day, I want nothing more than for you to have that same experience — to fill your every day with love, passion, romance and joie de vivre.
That’s why I created this very special playsheet to inspire you to have a love affair with life!
Are you ready to experience the magic of an evolved self-image?
I would love to give you that opportunity to grow, learn, and fall in love with yourself and to see the world as a playground of self-expression, play, and opportunities.
I encourage you– if your mouth is salivating over rich delicacies, your mind has been awakened for new exploration, and if you are craving more to join the School of Self-Image.
With all my love,
The Self-Image Manifesto
You’re Invited To Live An Extraordinary Life!
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