As I sit and write this, I’m on a plane heading back home to the Colorado Rockies after a 2-week rendezvous in Paris. The City of Lights feels like my home-away-from-home, and after this trip, I am more inspired than ever about the School of Self-image. And, while I know that not everyone who reads my blog is a Francophile, I believe there is something to be learned from any culture.
One my of my life’s goals is to inspire women with more ease, elegance and style. For inspiration, studying the French lifestyle is always beyond helpful.
They constantly show me what a life lived well looks like and how how to achieve and cultivate it in my own life, from daily chores to throwing dinner parties.
And, as you probably know by now, I am entirely passionate about L’art de Vivre (the Art of Living.)
I do understand that the French aren’t perfect and, while I do try to avoid overly-sensationalizing them, I have been reminded of their passion for life over the last two weeks.
And, as with most things, I tend to take the parts that I enjoy and leave the rest behind.
What do I enjoy about the French lifestyle? Well, it’s:
Quiet, yet bold.
Simple, yet rich.
Elegant, yet not extravagant.
During my time here, I have recorded and taken notes on what I truly appreciate and admire about the French culture. I will share my top 40 with you in hopes that maybe one, if not all, will inspire you to practice L’art de Vivre.
- Time is more valuable than money. You can make more money, but once a moment has passed, it’s gone. (Sidenote: Never ask a Frenchman how much money he makes.)
- It’s not quantity, but quality that matters. A beautiful life has more to do with what you let go of than what you add.
- Life is about connection. Without relationships, what really is there? Treasure your family and friends.
- Food is to be celebrated and not obsessed over with calorie counting, shame-infliction or guilt.
- Solitude is to be enjoyed, not avoided.
- A woman has sacred information buried in her soul. Rather than share with the entire world, create your own Secret Garden.
- A meal is just as much about the conversation as it is the food.
- Beauty is simplistic and is found everywhere. One simply must look for it!
- The non-essentials of life are important and add sparkle and glamour to a rather ordinary day (i.e. candles, perfume, linens, etc.)
- Vintage is tres chic.
- Bigger is not always better. In fact, it’s rarely better.
- A Sub-zero and Viking oven is not necessary to cook a glorious meal.
- Aging is not to be avoided. but revered.
- Fresh flowers are a must in every home. Flowers are nature’s Chanel.
- Walking is good for both physical and mental health. Look for reasons to take more steps in your day.
- Wine is a way of life and an art form. Plus, it’s good for digestion.
- Every woman should have one great pair of shoes, a beloved handbag, a pair of chic shades, and several scarves.
- Bread is like water and wine: a necessity at every French meal.
- Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.
- Every meal should have a defining beginning and an end, not an all day grazing event.
- There is an art to conversation. Listen more than you speak. And, be present.
- Self-care is a non-negotiable.
- Modern day conveniences are not always convenient in the long-term.
- A woman needs rituals and tradition to keep her grounded.
- Savor each and every moment. Memories are what we should hold most dear.
- Life is full of small pleasures. Appreciate the small and big things.
- Civility goes a long way. Treat people with respect and kindness.
- Eat by the seasons and choose fruit and vegetables that belong in each.
- Read books that expand your intellectual capital.
- Beauty is love and love is beauty. The two are synonymous.
- Life cannot be enjoyed if you’re going too fast. Slow down. Breathe.
- How you live is far more important than where you live.
- Work to live; don’t live to work.
- Drink lots of water. Perrier with lime is a fancy option.
- Going to a spa should be ranked up there with a yearly mammogram or dental visit.
- How you present yourself to the world is important. It’s one of the ways you tell others who you are without saying a word.
- Make your home life a priority. Keep things neat and simple.
- Eat slowly and sit down to eat.
- Drink slowly and not in excess. Use wine to complement your meal, not to zone out from your life.
- Live slowly. And, you just may discover that you will accelerate the path to your dreams.
Anything you care to add?
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