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The Art of Evolution

We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come. If we fix on the old, we get stuck. When we hang onto any form, we are in danger of putrefaction. Hell is life drying up.—Joseph Campbell

Although it’s not yet December, I find myself in full-on contemplation mode wanting to reflect on 2018 and get clear on 2019. Clarity, always seeking clarity. As if there’s some right answer. {Hint, there’s not}.

I’ve reviewed nearly 100 responses to my recent survey and am blown away by your ideas and requests for support in topics ranging from style to mindfulness to building a business. Thank you for your time and thoughtfulness!

Through this process I’m recognizing that I need to go back to the basics and define for myself what Tranquility du Jour is. Yes, it’s a resource for finding more tranquility in the every day. And yet what are the underlying values? Things like creativity, style, dreams, self-care, giving back, eating and living well, etc.

Over the next many weeks I’ll work on clarifying this for myself and, ultimately, to help shape what’s next for the blog, podcast, and events of Tranquility du Jour.

Never fear, I don’t envision a massive shake up, but more of a deepening and streamlining into its next phase.

When searching for a quote to go with today’s post, I came across the one above by Joseph Campbell. It speaks to the importance of growing, stretching, and evolving. As we head into the winter months of hibernation and death in the natural world, I find it helpful to use this time to do the same for ourselves.

Step back, slow down, get quiet, reflect.

I’m wondering, what can we shed to make room for what 2019 has waiting for us? How do we want to evolve in the new year? Rather than a massive overhaul, let’s consider an energetic shift. Exhale. Bisous. x

Happy Thanksgiving Eve {+ Resources}

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.—John F. Kennedy

Today was my final day in Paris. The pastel-colored homes shown above are found on Rue Cremieux. Pink facades mixed with cobblestones and greenery sent my heart aflutter. I wandered, snapped photos, picked up gifts, and wrote.

After vegan nosh at Comptoir Veggie and a ginger lemon tonic at Merci, I headed home to pack  for tomorrow’s flight back to DC. I’ll arrive just in time to savor a plant-based Thanksgiving with Tim and our four furry rescues.

I hope those of you stateside are gearing up for a relaxing Thanksgiving complete with all the trimmings. If you’re looking for some healthy vegan options, here are ton of recipes.

Despite this celebratory time of the year, holidays can be hard for many. These tips from Thrive Global may come in handy. A gentle reminder to check expectations, prepare for and get curious about those triggers, and take good care of yourself in the process. Remember, compassion, compassion, compassion. And a dose of gratitude. Try this 10-minute meditation to connect with it.

As I prepare to crawl into bed, I want to say a BIG thank you for joining me on this journey. I’ve been blogging for 14 years here and I so appreciate each of you. Truly, Tranquility du Jour would just be a monologue without you. Your support means so much and, truthfully, it feels good to know I’m not alone on this quirky path called life.

I wanted to close with a poem I shared regularly when teaching a Thanksgiving charity class at Tranquil Space, “Be Thankful.” You’ll find it below. May we find ways to live our gratitude today and every day. Bisous. x

Be Thankful
Poet Unknown

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

A Peek into Paris

I guess it goes to show that you just never know where life will take you. You search for answers. You wonder what it all means. You stumble, and you soar. And, if you’re lucky, you make it to Paris for a while.—Amy Thomas from Paris, My Sweet

Bonjour from the City of Light. It’s hard to believe I’ve had three full days here already and have three remaining.

So far I’ve hit my staples such as Le Grenier de Notre-Dame, Merci, Shakespeare and Company, and countless sidewalk cafes for thé vert à la menthe (mint green tea).

There’s also been new stops like the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz (the 30 euro drinks come with pink roses), Wild & the Moon, The Abbey Bookshop, The Brooklyn Pizzeria ($4 margherita pizza, they have a vegan option but I got the margherita sans fromage), and Le Myrha into the mix.

My practice of flânerie has resulted in 15-18k steps each day and allowed me to take in various parts of the city.

I’m writing and reading about writing. I’m reflecting. I’m wandering. And I’m in love with a pink drink called la vie en rose (see last photo).

I also find myself often going in the wrong direction (despite google maps’ detailed directions), lost a sweater coat that’s been a staple in my wardrobe for 18 years, and still haven’t adjusted from jet lag.

Travel isn’t easy and is quite wonky for our systems—mentally, physically, and emotionally. And yet it also provides a beautiful balm to our creative souls. I experience Paris as one big, juicy Artist Date.

On my way home tonight I picked up a pink hyacinth for my desk. Its sweet fragrance is intoxicating and there’s so much beauty in this 3 euro delight. Ah, those simple pleasures. To me, that’s what Paris does effortlessly.

I’ll continue to share the journey over on Instagram and appreciate you following along. May the start of your week be filled with experiences that nurture your senses. Bisous. x