Armchair BEA – My Paris Story: An Easy Read for Daydreamin’ Big

Today’s Armchair BEA Topic is: Beyond the Borders

My Paris StoryI just finished reading My Paris Story, a moving and inspirational collection of women’s stories about living in Paris. It’s publication came at a great time for me. I just moved to France three weeks ago…not Paris, though. The Poitou-Charentes, to be exact. Still, like many of the women in this book, I gave up a lot (okay, everything!) to come here. In my case, I fell in love.

No matter where in the world we live, we can all hear the call of our heart if we listen. But even if we listen, how many of us ever respond? So many are driven by their fear, by logic, by old constructs. They would rather stay in the safe and familiar than risk any of it for a dream. My Paris Story offers 22 very different, very personal accounts of women who heard the call and answered. And that’s what makes them different. Each of the women who share their experience of life in Paris convey how the city challenged, supported, and inspired them to live an authentic, fulfilled, creative life. Paris has brought out the best in each of them, and often through hardship which had to be overcome. The fact that they all did leaves the reader feeling uplifted and encouraged.

It reminds me of a line from the romantic classic, Sabrina, in which Audrey Hepburn (and then in the later remake, Juliet Binoche) says, “I found myself in Paris.” If 22 women of success are to be believed, that’s apparently what the city is for.

I admit, I too have a secret longing for Paris. I know I will get there soon; it’s my husband’s promise. Years ago, before the idea of living in France was even conceivable to me, I had a dream that I was riding in the back seat of a cab looking out the window and up at the buildings of Paris crying with joy, “I’m home! I’m finally home.” Until then, I will take the beautiful lessons learned from these extraordinary women and live my “7 hours from Paris” life (at least I’m 4000 miles closer!) with all the gusto I can muster, reinventing myself every day, embracing my gifts and all that brings me joy, learning the easy and not so easy lessons with gratitude, and always, always answering the call of my heart.

The book is available for purchase now HERE!

Day 20: Judging and Comparing

An ongoing personal exploration of Divine Guidance and distinguishing between the voice of fear and the voice of love reflecting on the article, How to Distinguish Between Divine Guidance and Fear/Ego/Imagination, on Sir Froggie’s PositiveNews Network .

Today’s pairing is:

Divine Guidance doesn’t judge or compare… yourself, others or God.  It shows you people as inspiration.
Ego is always judging, always comparing.

This seems a rather obvious and well-stated pairing to me. While the ego is forever at work interpreting stimulus in order to place me and others on the continuum of better or worse (see competition), Divine guidance uses the exact same stimulus to inspire new ideas and approaches.

What else needs to be said except maybe how to stop paying attention to the ego’s games? There are articles (1, 2) already written about that, but I suggest a Four Agreements approach.

The Four Agreements, written by don Miguel Ruiz, reminds us:

1. Don’t Make Assumptions
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
3. Always Do Your Best
4. Be Impeccable with Your Word

The more these principles are incorporated into my own life, the less likely I am to fall asleep and under the influence of a judging and comparing mind. Perhaps the third is the most important in regards to today’s pairing. If we’ve done our best, that’s that. When we accept that about ourselves, we are more generous with others. They’ve likely done their best as well.