Over the last week or so we have been blessed with the most glorious warm sunny days and cloudless skies which, according to the neighbours, is not normal. Certainly our memory of last February while we were renting in the area was of wet, wet, wet and more wet. So the phrase of the moment between everyone we meet is “Il faut en profiter!” which basically means “make the most of it!” So we are.
Eoin has been hard at work cleaning our roof, chopping down old trees and doing lots of other outdoors jobs. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you will know that I am a passionate organic gardener and that our aim is to grow as much of our own veg as possible here at La Girouette. This beautiful weather has started my green fingers itching as we rapidly approach the start of another growing year and yesterday I completed Phase 2 of Operation GIY (Grow It Yourself) which was to clean out and reorganise the potting shed. As I was taking everything out, cleaning tools, disposing of rubbish, organising my pots and generally seeing what was there, I realised how therapeutic I found this job and how much it mirrored how I approach life. Continue reading “Spring Clean Your Life”
One of the things which we noticed when we first moved to the Dordogne was that, in general, the locals are much less fixated on their mobile phones than has become so normalised in other parts of the world. In restaurants here families actually talk to each other when they are out together! When walking around the local towns and villages, people are looking up and making eye contact with other people. Most upcoming events are promoted through posters and flyers. Rural France and the people who live here are much less ‘on-line’ than we had become used to and when we go back to Ireland or the UK now we really notice the difference. In general, we observe that people there are much more stressed and that their energy is more fragmented. Waiting for a plane home in Stansted airport a few weeks ago I noticed that about 95% of those in the queue were staring at digital devices instead of looking up and interacting with the world around them.
As someone who works on-line about 25 hours a week, living in the Dordogne has made me more aware of how negatively that had been affecting me. When I have been on-line too much I notice my mind being very busy and distracted. I watch how often during the day I check it for social media updates or messages. I witness myself reacting to those messages and often being pulled away from the present moment. I observe how much stress I can experience from words on a screen or when technology does not work for me. On days when I am switched on for too many hours I feel my mental energy being over-stimulated and my physical and emotional energy being un-grounded. If I am online after 9pm I notice that my sleep pattern is disrupted and it is much more difficult for me to sink into deep sleep. Continue reading “Disconnect to Reconnect”
As a Life Coach I know that the first steps to change are to get clear about WHAT we want instead of the current reality, WHY we want it and how it will make us FEEL. So why I am experiencing so much procrastination, avoidance and self-sabotage at the moment?
I have been supporting people on their journey of personal and spiritual growth for 13 years now. I have observed that it is all very well having a dream but what separates the dreamers from the those who actually manifest the dream?
One simple thing…….COURAGE.
For any positive change to manifest in either our inner or our outer worlds, we must accept that life as we know it must be altered somehow. It can be challenging when we move from one way of being to another and we humans tend to make it even more difficult by thinking we have some control over how it all plays out!
For example, last week I asked the Universe for clear guidance about how to handle an addiction which I have lived with for 35 years. As a Life Coach I know that the first steps to change are to get clear about WHAT we want instead of the current reality, WHY we want it and how it will make us FEEL.
What I WANT is to feel really alive in my healthy, energetic body.
Great, that is 100% clear.
WHY I want this is because I want to FEEL more vibrant physically and to age well.
Fantastic, that is also clear.
But do all my habits NOW reflect vibrant health and vitality? Am I doing the same old thing the same old way and expecting a different outcome?
Uh oh! Fail! Mismatch! Unclear signal!! Continue reading “The Courage to Change”
9 years together and still deepening in love each day.
Journal extract from Thursday 4 June 2009……
Sitting in Belfast City Airport waiting for a plane to take me to the Hill That Breathes in Italy. What an adventure! I have such a BIG feeling about what this week’s retreat will bring. I am open to positive adventures, new, wonderful relationships and an amazing lover……Bring it on!”
When I read back over my words it is almost as if a part of me new that a few hours later, on top of a hill in Italy, I would be introduced to my new best pal, my lover, my soul mate, my fellow adventurer and life partner.
Today, 4 June 2018, we are celebrating the 3287 days that we have been in each other’s lives and it feels right for me to reflect on the incredible journey which we have been on together since this photo was taken 9 years ago. My love for Eoin Scolard continues to deepen day after day and I simply cannot imagine what my life would be like today without his presence over that period of time. Continue reading “The Healing Power of Conscious Relationships”
It has been just over a month since I last wrote a blog and it has flown past in a blur of buying a new car, planning our move, packing, loading, cleaning, moving, unloading, unpacking and settling in to our beautiful new home here at La Girouette. We have now been here for 2 weeks and I am SOOOOO happy as I sit here in the heart of this sweet house writing these words.
The house was built in 1845 and was beautifully renovated in more recent times and, so far, she is offering us a very different life to the one we had before. We are both starting to feel the impact of our decision to downsize and to simplify our lives. Continue reading “Nous sommes arrivés chez nous!”
I have never been very good at doing things in moderation. I am an all-or-nothing-kind-of-gal! If there are chocolates in the house, they get eaten. If the bottle of wine is opened, it gets drunk. If I fall in love, I jump in with both feet. You get the picture! I have a pretty addictive personality and, up until recently, the only way I could really manage my addictions was with abstinence. When I quit my 30-a-day nicotine habit in my late 30s, I had to just quit completely and I will NEVER touch another cigarette. A few years ago I quit the booze for a couple of years and was sugar-free for a similar length of time. I felt great….super-healthy, clear-headed, vibrant, energised, glowing.
However, since moving to France 4 months ago, I have faced a bit of a challenge and my old ways of managing these addictions doesn’t really work for me anymore. There is a beautiful patisserie in nearly each village, we are surrounded by some of the best vineyards in the world and our local wine shop (chateau) is only 5 mins away from our front door and looks like this –
Personally I just don’t see the point in living here and not allowing myself to enjoy these simple pleasures. They are so much a part of the way of life and I really want to enjoy ALL aspects of my new life here in a healthy, balanced way. Continue reading “In Search of Balance”
A large part of the reason that we decided to leave Ireland was because we are outdoors people and we found the weather there to be changing for the worse over recent years. Having spent a lot of money and time creating a beautiful patio area outside our house there, we noticed that in 2016 we were actually only able to spend about 10 days throughout the whole year sitting in it because of the poor weather conditions. The part of Co. Down where we lived also seemed to be getting wetter and wetter and the seasons were becoming less defined every year. Despite Mr Trump’s assertion that climate change doesn’t exist, the long hot Irish summers of my childhood are definitely a thing of the past.
We were both craving more daylight, more sunshine and more vitamin D, especially during the long winter months which were always a bit of a struggle for me. So before we made our decision to move, Eoin did extensive research of weather patterns in different parts of SW France. Even within the Dordogne there are quite different conditions in various areas. We finally settled on a specific area which we loved and which also has great weather and we have been living nearby since the start of October.
Locals told us stories of eating Christmas dinner out in the garden some years. They also told us that February and May are usually the wettest months but that the seasons are well defined and that we will be able to spend most of our time outdoors for about 8 months of the year. It sounded like heaven to us!
And yet, in recent weeks all the locals are talking about is “le temps exceptionnel” (the exceptional weather) and they don’t mean exceptionally good! It honestly feels as if it has hardly stopped raining here since the start of November. Our daily walks with the dogs across the vineyards and through the forests find us all returning covered in mud and often soaking. Yesterday was so wet and wild that the dogs didn’t even want to go out to the toilet! So, for the first day since we left Ireland, we didn’t get any exercise or fresh air. The Dordogne river is higher than people have seen it for nearly two decades and the land is completely saturated. This photo looks lovely until you realise that is actually an image of the picnic area and car park by the river in Limeuil which has been under water for the last few weeks. A friend here told me on Monday that 10 of their 12 acres of riverside land are now under water. We haven’t been able to sit outside once in nearly two months now and whilst it is milder than Ireland, the damp conditions mean that we are lighting a fire every day. This was not what I had visualised for my new life in France! I hope that we didn’t bring the Irish weather with us.
When I woke up this morning to the sound of more rain, more muddy dog paw prints to mop up and the prospect of another wet walk, I have to say that my spirit was struggling. My mood was low and I was aware of feeling frustration, disappointment and a tinge of despondency. But one of the great things about our two dogs is that they love their exercise and Delilah especially gets very jittery if she doesn’t get at least 4 kilometres a day (plus her daily deer chase which she loves in the Dordogne!). So, with great reluctance, I hauled myself out of bed, put on my walking gear and we headed out. Continue reading “A Shift in Perspective”