Taking each moment as it comes and living each moment as it is.
For many people, a life in Paris is the dream, but for a woman like me with an innate gypsy spirit and a love of being in nature, it took some getting used to… 3 years to be exact! I spent my first few years in Paris never really living here! Don’t get me wrong, I got myself a job, I made loads of lovely friends, I socialised, I explored, I travelled, and I ate every French cheese known to man… but the gypsy in me was looking for the next adventure and thus I never really moved in to my Paris apartment… I always had possessions tucked away, ready in boxes and bags just in case. As a child we never really went on holiday, we just moved house to another state or city or seaside town and so for me, new lands to see and places to explore are always on my mind. Just under a year ago now I was on a trip by myself in New York and to cut a long story short, I found myself feeling extremely homesick and longing to sit on a terrace with a coffee in the Parisian sunshine… (Who would of thought that Terraces do not really exist in New York City) This fact still blows my mind!
When I returned home to Paris, I made a conscious decision that I would finally allow myself to fall in love with the city of love and light. And so I tried, and indeed I did. Paris is now my home and although I shall not rule out being somewhere else in the future (potentially in a beautiful French country house, with a vegetable patch and a herb garden), allowing myself to be in love with Paris and live in this beautiful city, allowed me to really understand and begin to practice the art of living in the present moment.
I am a self-confessed dreamer and a number one fan of nostalgia, so for a woman like me, living in the present is an interesting pursuit. For me to truly get my head around being in the present moment, I had to consider what it meant to not be present at all. You see when we spend our lives thinking of times past and or projecting ourselves into the future we stop living in the now and thus we are no longer in the present moment.
When we are no longer present and find ourselves thinking of moments past or of those to come, we become an object of time… your mind is manoeuvred to the future; what you want, where you wish to be, or pulled back into the past; what you had or could have been and although it is healthy to reflect and it is beautiful to dream, we must find a peaceful way to bring ourselves back to the now so we can truly begin to appreciate the ride that is life.
I am no expert and I am definitely not a master at being present, but I do always aim to ‘show up’ to my life as it unfolds. There is so much beauty in the living of daily life and sometimes I still get so caught up in all the things I am trying to achieve for my future, that I sometimes forget to take a step back and smell the roses! To really enjoy the small pleasures, notice the little things, be present with myself, spend beautiful moments with family and friends, take time to be in nature, amongst the elements and always make time to see the sunset.
Two things I practice on a regular basis that help me to be more mindful and that bring me back to the present moment.
Journaling: Every morning I try to write 3 pages of whatever comes to my mind in the moment in my journal; normally my morning bleeerrrrr consists of wants, desires, goals, troubles, worries etc etc and so the practice of writing it all down helps to relieve the pressure. It gets it out of the mind and onto the page and therefore I do not need to spend my day mulling it all over again and again.
Yoga: I am still very new to Yoga but I already love how it makes me feel. I find myself moving through postures, focussing on my breath, sometimes repeating mantras, sometimes clearing my thoughts and sometimes trying to convince myself that I can hold that pose for another 25 seconds!!! The postures, coupled with the focus on ones breath are such a beautiful combination that you can’t help but feel present to what your body is experiencing. It is a sort of physical meditation that brings you back to where you are in that very moment.
When you get caught up in all that life is, how do you bring yourself back into the present moment?
All photos by me and The Travelling Light
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