January 10, 2018

Le Bien Être: Noticing What Brings You Joy

Today on the blog I launch a new series: Le Bien Être. This will be a collection of posts surrounding all things wellness (and often times there will be a little French flair, bien sûr!).

I recently enjoyed an episode of the Simple Sophisticate podcast featuring francophile author Jamie Cat Callan and her latest book, Parisian Charm School. Though I have not read any of Jamie's books, I am familiar with her first book, Bonjour HappinessAfter hearing Jamie's interview, I look forward diving in! 

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As I listened, I was particularly struck by Shannon and Jamie's conversation about happiness. They discussed the American idea that happiness is something to be pursued, a context that makes happiness seem just out of reach, something we must chase. Jamie explained that the French use another expression: chercher le bonheur. This means to seek happiness, suggesting that happiness already exists as long as you take the opportunities to notice it. I am always so fascinated by how these nuances in language can completely shift the way one sees the world. These are such similar concepts, yet expressed in different ways that demonstrate quite different mindsets. 

In the episode, Jamie shared some beautiful advice. She explained that we must release guilt when it comes to enjoying what we love, what makes us truly happy. Often we can have the sense that there is something "more important" we should be attending to, but Jamie reminds us that the things which bring us joy are not trivial, and we should pay close attention to these things. She talked about noticing activities and visual images in our every days that cause "a thrum in our hearts". I decided to spend this week taking extra notice of that which makes my heart thrum. Here are a few of my discoveries: 

*Clean, bright spaces
I am so inspired by Rebecca of Every Day Parisian's apartment. Click here for images. I have a hope of being free of clutter in 2018 (more to come on this in a future post) and spaces like these have me inspired to breathe new life into our space. 

*Reading my favorite blogs 
You can find a list of my favorite blogs here. This week I discovered Mode and the City and am loving the opportunity to read about things I am passionate about en français.

*Coffee shop time to read, write, and think

*Getting lost in a wonderful fiction story. Currently reading:

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*Surrounding myself with the French language 
I just started a 7-day free trial of the French bouquet through Sling. I watched a cooking show and already felt my vocabulary expanding!

*Le Yoga
After far too long away from the mat, I'm starting to get back into a regular yoga routine. The mental and physical benefits leave me feeling more equipped to bring my best to each day. 

What brings you true joy and makes your heart thrum? Try taking a week to pay these things a little extra attention, and then remember that nothing that brings you happiness is too trivial. Making space for these things in our every days is an important part of living lives we truly love. 

I would love to know about what makes your heart thrum in the comments below! 

Tomorrow I will be preparing for a trip to Chicago with Tony. This is an early celebration of mon anniversaire (January 19) and the weekend we have planned is packed with French flair. I will definitely share more here on the blog. :)

Have a wonderful rest of your week noticing that which brings you joy.
Warm wishes from me to you,

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