Rock bottom, why there’s nothin’ to fear!

What do you mean there’s nothing to FEAR? Who in their right mind wants to go there?!!! Well, usually, in time, we all end up there for hopefully a short stay, did I write short? No, it’s never short, quite lengthy & you never climb out as you fell in. 14495399_180595942383577_4754047562079935923_n

It’s a place where you shut down, life has opened up all those painful tabs in one go & all those feelings that were denied a “hearing,” protest! because they are so tired & worn out & you collapse under the weight of all those tears that just wanna cry! You can’t fight it anymore! life is asking for some “catch up” time & when you deny it, it will demand it & then, just take it = Welcome to ROCK BOTTOM.

Are you there now? Are you heading there? I’ll try to take the fear out of the place for you. Rock bottom is a “core” experience, there’s nothing fake or phoney about spending time there, it’s a  place you grieve over whats been lost IN YOU. You’ve been filling that hollow space with “whatever” it takes to stop you drowning in what I call a “true sadness;” loss of some special place within yourself. Your need for approval may have led you there, an abusive relationship grabbed you by the throat & threatened you to STAY… ‘Just a little longer’ & false promises whispered ‘All will change soon, stay…’ & you did & change didn’t happen. Or, Loss, a significant one may have occurred & there was no time for YOU to grieve because you were too busy being the strong one. Rock bottom wrote your name down & waited patiently for you to check in.

You don’t just sort through everything quickly at rock bottom & then pick yourself up & off you go galloping along life’s highway. There is no energy, not at first & not until you listen to those tears that want to cry & you ACTUALLY let THEM! Fear will rush over you like huge gargantuan waves & you’ll wanna stay in bed with the blankets over your head, for a while anyway. But then, something starts to slowly take place, you wake up one morning & a little bit of strength is felt, just a little but it’s a different strength & it’s a stable strength & you know that you can trust it. It’s what I call “the climb.” You see you climb out of rock bottom, each bar you grab & hold with your new “different” strength exercises the new found trust & confidence gained by spending time & rock bottom, grieving, sorting & finally accepting & after you do that, you start “the climb.”

You never climb out as you fell in. You are not denying yourself your right to be heard anymore & if you are attentive to you, you won’t again. If you’re there now, remember, it’s not a permanent place, there is so much hope at rock bottom, you just can’t see it now as you haven’t entered ” The Big Sort!” but, you’ll get there, you’re on your way. We usually all spend a little time at Rock Bottom Lodge & we learn so much about ourselves while there.  How to never ever allow anyone, especially ourselves, to shove what we value under a dirty carpet.

You matter. That’s the beautiful goodbye message rock bottom leaves you with, just as you’re about to finish “the climb.”

Cheers x

Change & why it’s a good thing!

Without change, you don’t grow. Without change, you don’t know…know anything new about yourself, change ruffles up the inner feathers & you get to see yourself react & respond, it might be negatively or positively & the result from either reaction, will be a move forward or a step back.

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Change is for our good. It might seem unwelcome at times & certainly unwanted but there is a lesson in the shift & you grow, growth is all part of the life experience & really, how safe are we if we choose stagnation instead of taking another turn & finding out more about ourselves & what life has to offer in another place or meeting new people who will no doubt bring a much-needed freshness into a space that has grown a little stale.

My life has been one of constant change. I shudder to think of what my life would have been like if I had stayed all my life in one place. I love the fact that yesterday, on a whim, off we went to visit a castle & then just drive through the countryside breathing in its freshness, scents & sights so intoxicating to the soul. It was a spur of the moment thing, a “Let’s do it!” Life breathes well when spontaneity is a regular dose in your life.

Change is always a bonus if it makes you simplify your life & free it up for more of what truly makes rich &, I’m not talking about money, it’s not things but experiences with those you love that bring an abundance of woohoo moments!

Change means you’re not standing still but moving forward in some way. So, don’t be scared when change comes a-knockin’, open that door & grow.

Cheers x

 

The BEST Beauty Ingredient…Focus on What YOU!!! ENJOY DOING!

It doesn’t matter what age you are, true beauty is a soul & heart thing! The soul is ageless. It’s where you will find your fountain of youth. & when you do things YOU enjoy & ditch things you’re only doing to make others happy, you will start to feel that oh, so feel-good state of well-being.

The first thing you will notice is that you will start to smile again! An honest to goodness smile that comes up all the way from your soul to your face & hey! doesn’t joy look beautiful on a woman?! Yup! It sure does x

 

 

One thing I’m thinking of doing that is totally new to me, is to join the local kayaking club. My neighbour, in her late sixties, asked me a few weeks ago if I’d like to come along to the club! As I’m doing an arm work-out at the moment, I thought, now there’s just the thing to keep my arms nice & taut! I’ll give it a try & if I enjoy doing it, bonus! then I’ll keep on kayaking!I like the fact, too, that kayaking will be a new challenge for me & thus, I’ll be stepping out of my comfort zone &, that’s always a good thing!

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What goals, new interests are you going to take up? I’ve come up with some ideas I like & some I won’t pursue but maybe you will!

  1. Join a book club. Or, better yet, create your own book club meet-up. You’ll make new gal pals of all ages &, sharing an in-depth discussion about a book you’ve all read will increase your appreciation about the way other people think as you probe deep into the story plot, much like mining for gems!
  2. Do you like to paint or draw? or write poetry? Join a class or create one. Put an ad in the local paper inviting other people for tea & cake or a glass of red, once a month, while you all paint, write or draw, together. It doesn’t have to be a solitary thing but it can be, it’s up to YOU x
  3. Grab the sax, pull out the old guitar, take up the flute or maybe the harp? So many of you are musical, if its been a long time, go play!
  4. Hiking is great, so good for your health & emotional well-being, too! Prepare a little backpack picnic & don’t forget the wine!
  5.  Dance! Just put the music on that makes your feet tap & grab your man or a group of friends & rock & roll!
  6. Like to sing? Be brave & go street perform!
  7. Start a prayer group. Pray for each other & think of ways you can help others.
  8. Gather. Gather. GATHER together, you & your tribe. Prepare a meal together & share your hearts.

Or, you can fall in love & have regular date nights x

 

 

Remember…focus on something YOU enjoy doing! Invite like-minded ones along, too, if you like!

When you wear that heady scent of satisfaction & find fulfilment in what you like & enjoy doing, you’ll have stirred the waters in that fountain of youth which is found in your soul.

Go do interesting things & then ‘nourish your flourish!’

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‘Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.’ -Shakespeare’s Cleopatra.

Know any older women midlife & beyond, like that? Helen Mirren, 96-year-old, fashion icon, Iris Apfel, comes to mind and let’s, not forget Twiggy, at 65, she became L’oreal’s Ambassador for 2015! &, one of my absolute favs! The ever elegant & astonishingly beautiful, Carmen Dell’Orefice, at 87, she is a statement of hope & belief that ‘age cannot wither a woman.’ As you can see below. (images c/o Getty Images & Pinterest)

A woman of truly great poise. I see a deep fragility beautifully combined with a resolute strength, I hear it whisper…’Age cannot wither me!’

At 52, I can’t help but feel stirred on to greater things, productivity,  a certain bold ‘carpe diem’ takes hold of me & I am strongly touched & motivated by their examples. It means I don’t have to be a model, actress or fashion icon but it gives me a greater incentive to ‘Go for it GIRL!’ & keep moving forward with my projects.

‘Older women,’ will be a term of the past one day, we will simply be women. Thanks to these amazing ‘pioneers’ of hope & bold courage, for they are extracting that word ‘old’ & saying: ‘be done with it!’

Go THEM! Go YOU! Go US!

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What’s on me, in Spring!

I’m about to Spring clean my wardrobe. Not an easy task, by any means! Last year, while away in Tasmania, Australia, I bought lots of fab clothes & shoes! It was Spring in Tasmania but a cold, cloudy one.

As I live in the SW of France, I know I’m  guaranteed a lovely, warm Spring season, & I had that in mind when I went shopping “down under.” Well, Spring is nearly upon us, here, in France, and, it’s time to pack my Winter clothes away!

Firstly, I’ll start preparing my shoe robe. In Spring, I like to wear flats with cigarette pants (trousers) & a nice breezy top. I like casual elegance & am a huge fan of leopard print flats, they never fail to add a hint of sophisticated oomph! to any outfit. I like, too, funky shoes for faded pale blue jeans & a white shirt, not a stiff & starchy one but again, I’m always going for a “comfy” elegance. after all, Spring can get quite hot in France!

 

 

Next… Spring invites white dresses,  light frocks & skirts! It’s a fun season & you can go nuts!!! on throwing things together to make gorgeous, eclectic ensembles! Jeans, shabby chic with white always looks amazing & such a timeless look, too! Add some fab accessories, a big lemon bangle & large hoops earrings or something I love; a huge turquoise necklace & “voila!” you’re def rockin’ & a-rollin’ to the beat of Spring!

 

 

 

I’m 52. I encourage you if you are an older woman to throw your two digit number out the window & simply BE! if you like it, wear it. You’re an original. It’s a fact. Love it.

Get ready to welcome in the cheery season of Spring with a “spring” in your step & your wardrobe x

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Spring is in the air! (even if it’s raining!)

 

I’m doin’ the countdown to Spring big time this year! Hubby & I spent 3 months in Tasmania, Australia, last year. Tasmania is an astonishingly picturesque island, truly beautiful  &, even though it was Spring when we were there, it actually felt like Winter. Cold, blustery days & lots of moody grey cloud. Of course, NOW, in France, we are only days away to Spring & it seems a weepy & sulky French sky is bidding Winter good-bye!

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Cherry trees are plentiful here, so much so that we pick copious amounts of them and Rob makes cherry liquor which we give as away as gifts at the end of the year. We have a cherry tree, too, it’s about to bud! The things in life that give us such remarkable joy are usually the most beautiful & delightful.  The French would say, “Extraordinaire!”

 

 

 

Our garden, too, is about to burst into a beautiful bouquet of colour. We prepared it well.  You see, Rob & I had a plan! When we were in Tasmania, we spent a lot of time at the botanical gardens, we took our books on days when the sun actually came out & STAYED! & we read, ate lunch there & then did our tour of the gardens & it was while we were admiring a particular section of garden (can’t quite remember exactly which one as we find all the gardens exceptional!) that we decided to turn our little patch of France into a beautiful one & so we rolled up our sleeves when we came back & got stuck into it! daffs, ranunculus, poppies, cosmos, heaps of lavender & hydrangea & many other colourful flowers are about to peel their Winter garb off & welcome Spring IN, as only a garden can!

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14 days to go! Whoohoo! In the meantime, we console ourselves by picking bunches of daffs in the countryside & so far, our kitchen table hasn’t missed a bunch!

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Rob’s making lunch. We both have colds. & even if it is a rainy day & the sun is teasing us by ducking in & out of a bad-tempered cloud, we have each other.

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Tomorrow I’m going to chat about what to wear in Spring. I guess, it’s an individual thing, so, it’s really about what I’m going to wear in Spring & if you need some tips…help yourself!

Cheers! Oh, that’s not very French!

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A bientôt!

My “Little Italy” in France

I’m back! It seems an age since I’ve last written & in truth, I’ve had at least a 6-month pause…

I got married! how fabulous is that?! I married my Italian man, in Australia &, am now back home, in France, where we live, in a little village by the river, in the French countryside. It sounds nice & quaint &, it IS!

My man is quite a bit older than me & he’s Italian, too, what a bonus! Not only is he devoted to me BUT he can cook! He’s a great cook, too! Each morning he rises say, about 6 am & he heads straight to the kitchen. I kid you not! (told you he was devoted & not just to me, to EVERYONE & EVERYTHING he values! nice, huh?) So… my nose is aroused by around 7 am to absolutely scrumptious &”deelish” aromas wafting up from the kitchen,  my mouth is salivating, it’s almost a beautiful torment because I wanna stay cosy as toast in bed but my tummy is doing a drum solo & by 9 I’m there! there!!! at the table, fork in hand, ready to end the day’s morning ritual of “delicious agony!” Rob watches me as I eat as if he’s listening to his favourite opera! devoted people like to see the people they care about…HAPPY! “It’s a real pleasure, Cara, to watch you eat!” Rob says to me. You see, he not only is devoted but he’s ITALIAN & DEVOTED! & so, he LOVES to see me HAPPY & what’s more…he loves knowing that he is the source of that happiness!

And that’s why I have been away, not writing… I’ve been enjoying the pleasures of a French life with very Italian overtones!

 

 

Now that I’m back, I’d like to share some of our French/Italian adventures with you.  I promise you! our life together… is never boring! Oh, btw…I nearly forgot the unforgettable… Cognac, our dog! did I say dog?!!! Cognac wouldn’t agree with that at all! Noses-up! he whines “dog! ” well, he’s almost human, wink x