I live in a very suburban neighbourhood and it's not fancy, but in my mind I am a citizen of the world, borrowing and creating inspiration from our global community. This is what helps me feel buoyant and grateful every day.
Positive thinking helps me to feel inspired too. If I'm sour and unappreciative on a given day, nothing good happens! The days when I'm actively looking for all the ways my life is wonderful, those are the magical days. It sounds hokey but it works.
I loved visiting Sydney but I equally loved coming home again. Something I love to do is bring the essence of that place to you, whether it’s Sydney, London, Paris or the countryside.
I’ll let you know something Tonya Leigh shared with us. Whenever you want something, whether it’s a possession or being in a certain place, it’s the feeling it gives you that you crave, not the actual thing or place.
So if it’s London and big-city living that you miss, write down all the things you love and miss about London. Try to make a big number, like coming up with fifty things. Then, look at how, one-by-one you can bring the essence of that list to your life right now.
If you miss cosy English pubs (I know I would), find a cool English-style local you can pop into from time to time. Maybe subscribe to UK Vogue. Find a public park and take a picnic blanket, book and sunglasses (I would imagine doing that in Hyde Park if I lived in London). Those are just three ideas that I might do for my London list.
It also works if you haven’t lived in a particular place but merely daydream about how cool it would be. For me, I love the thought of both Paris and Provence. Paris for the chicness, elegance and beauty, and Provence for the balmy summer days (let’s forget about the cold winters just for now) and laid-back living. I share with you below my Essence of Paris and Provence list.
Essence of Paris and Provence
-Being out amongst people - walking, seeing
- Dressing with care each day, no matter what I’m doing
- French cafes – sitting outside on bistro chairs sipping coffee
- Having an omelette and a café crème at a café on the Champs Elysee
- Reading a classic book in park, sunglasses on
- Me, chic and slim with tousled hair, walking along a Paris street – capri pants, jacket, ballet flats, sunglasses
- The stylish décor of a boutique hotel in Paris such as Edouard 7
- French girls enjoying an after dinner drink in a bar, no nibbles and not caring about that
- Little neighbourhood bistros with set menus of rustic food – natural ingredients
- Flowers in tin buckets
- French accordion music
- Citroen 2CV car
- Red-orange geraniums
- Lovers walking along the Seine
- The thought of a small stone apartment with external stairs
- Minimal living in a Paris apartment
- French café music – Edith Piaf
- Pretty and lacy underthings
- Feminine and flattering clothing
- Women of a certain age being happy, youthful, sexy, feminine and fashionable
- French-style apartments
- Annick Goutal perfume
- Pink and gold cosmetic boutiques
- Small, chic boutiques on Paris side streets
- Wide stone footpaths
- Gilt mirrors
- Sexiness, insouciance
- Fresh and minimal makeup where your skin tone shines through
- Pencil skirts
- Crunchy white shell paths outside your country home
- Olive trees
- Lunch outside served on a big wooden chopping board – cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and capsicum, baguette, wine in a carafe or sparkling water
- Bubbling casserole in the Le Crueset
Some items on this list I can’t easily recreate at home but many I can. I can plant red-orange geraniums, make a Provencal casserole or country-style tomato salad and play Edith Piaf around the house. Even if I’m not about to lay white shell paths or stone walkways, I can dress up and take myself for a stroll around an older part of the city I live in.
By combining an Essence List with your real life, you enjoy your real life more too. I think it’s because you are bringing those magical elements into the everyday and this really elevates your experience.
Where would your Essence List focus on? Can you list five items off the top of your head? I’d love to hear them in the comments.