PARIS & YOUTUBE

As a photographer & art appreciator, my heart swells every time I revisit my photos from Paris. As a woman with a long standing dream of visiting Paris, my heart swells every time I remember how the trip to Paris manifested itself. 

You see, I didn’t plan this Paris trip.  That sentence sounds a bit untrue, because of course I’ve planned a trip to Paris, several of them, over and over again theoretically in my head, and in various ways.  But this trip, I never saw coming, and yet it came — and my heart swells. 

I have a thousand plus images from my week in Paris, and just as many memories. Also, while I was there, I even managed to snag a few videos with my phone. 

And, seeing how I am now new to YouTube, I thought what better way to share some of these clips, than there. I took what limited video footage I captured and created a Parisian street scene mashup that you can watch here.

Ok, so admittedly, I’m a newb to YouTube & editing videos.  My edit is notably simple and slightly rough, and that’s okay with me.  Because now, my Paris clips are no longer lost or scattered about within the abyss of my phone’s memory.  They are instead neatly woven together, overlaid with music, and placed on YouTube permanently, for the foreseeable future. 

My Paris video is just the beginning. 

My plans for YouTube are simple, — curate beautiful videos, create inspiring content, and cultivate a meaning space to evolve with.  I can say this for certain, the beauty of life resides in the mystery of the unknown.  It’s not in the history of my past, nor in the predictability of my future — but in the mystery of the unknown, that is where the beauty of life resides.

I would love for you to join me in this new YouTube endeavor — subscribe & like.  It’s super simple, anyone with a Google account can follow along, maybe even with a Yahoo account, but that I can’t say for sure. 😏 Cheers to the unknown! 🍾🥂

Romancing Resistance — Part Deux

I have officially completed two thirds of my 100 day challenge, and I have a few takeaways to share. To start, I’m still in it, still pushing through the resistance, and I am still keeping my eye on the prize of completing all 100 days. 

It’s interesting, this challenge — I mean, I knew it would push me. I knew it would teach me new things. I even knew it would ultimately change parts of me. I just didn’t know to what extent or to the immediateness of change. 

The mind is a funny thing.  Let me quickly breakdown some of how the mind works — a caveat, this is a high level, non-sciencey breakdown, and is only a very tiny interpreted portion of what the brain functions are capable of. 

To start, we have the prefrontal cortex that provides judgment, thinking, reasoning, problem-solving, and learning.  Then there’s the primitive mind which provides us with our evolved responsive instincts of fight, flight, or freeze — as well as our habitual responses.  There is also the basal ganglia that provides us with our emotional processing abilities.  

Here is where I decided, with my prefrontal cortex, to challenge myself with a repeated action (movement) for 100 days. The purpose is to take said action from the prefrontal to then move it to the habit portion of the primitive, over the span of 100 days.  All while recognizing and allowing for the emotions, (resistance) provided to me from my basal ganglia. This is called the process of progression. 

  1. First — the activity I have required of myself has gotten a lot easier to perform.  This comes naturally as a side effect of the compound effect. And on some days, when I have time and feel so inclined, I’ll even increase either intensity or speed.
  2. Second — the intensity of the resistance has eased a bit, in both vibrational frequency and occurrence. 
  3. Third — when the new action (challenge) is committed to, and intentions are fixed, giving into resistance is frankly NOT EVEN AN OPTION.  
  4. Finally — I have followed through every day for the last 65 days.  I have had to modify on some days what I did that day, and/or the timing of which it was done in. BUT STILL, I moved intentionally every single day, without fail.  

Was it hard? Some days, absolutely! On other days it felt easy-peasy.  The epiphany I had was that moving up to the edge of resistance before easing into allowance, was harder than the action itself. THE takeaway of the 100 day challenge was the awareness of an either push or pull energy. A push back, against performing the action, which shows up as resistance — or a pull, being pulled to move assuredly forward by inspiration and/or clarity.

Let me rewind just a bit, on day 25 I decided to add another challenge to the already existing challenge — thinking I would level up every 25 days.  I added my morning routine, everyday to my already existent movement challenge. 

Ok, reality check time.  25 days was too soon.  I have zero regrets, and I have followed through for the last 41 days, I just wouldn’t do it again that soon. Nor would I recommend it, unless you really want to challenge yourself with resistance, and prove to yourself just how much of a badass you are, then DO IT!!  However, what I would recommend is to wait 33 day or even 50 days before adding anything on top of the challenge.  

NOT THAT ANYONE NEEDS TO ADD ANYTHING ELSE TO A 100 DAY CHALLENGE, trust me, the challenge is honestly enough.  I’m only adding because I am currently dancing with resistance.

NOW, here I am two thirds done and I am adding one more challenge to the two challenges I currently have going. Bring on the resistance!  For the next 33 days I will honor my calendar. Here are those parameters:

  • I will plan the calendar out weekly.
  • I will perform the tasks and results planned on my calendar.
  • Keeping to the timeline I scheduled them for, not before, not after. 

Learning to get from here (our beginning) to there (our goal) is the practice of us becoming. Setting intentions 100 days at a time gives our minds focus, and allows our intentions to be top of mind and ever present. When we are present, especially with our intentions, life pulls us to the future we are cultivating. And that my friends, is how to ultimately get from here to there, successfully.

WELL, IT’S OFFICIAL

So it’s finally happened.  I am now officially a certified Life Coach. According to the hubs, I’m bonafide. Yup, I am a lot excited, a tad nervous, but ready, so very ready for the next chapter to unfold.

So, what is a Life Coach?

Some of you may be wondering what exactly is a life coach?  If you happen to know already, feel free to skip on ahead. 

  • For starters, people should know that life coaching is actually an unregulated field, as opposed to traditional therapy & psychiatry. Typical counseling topics are not what you would actually seek a life coach for. So understandably, life coaches do not diagnose clinical conditions of any kind.
  • Life coaches generally help with most other challenges.
    • A life coach tends to be future-focused, and they help clients work towards their goals.  
    • It is my job, as a life coach, to work alongside my clients to help bring awareness to their unconscious mindsets – typically the unintentional thoughts, feelings, and/or actions that they may not be cognizant of.
    • A life coach is considered an equal.  A thought I love to use when coaching is essentially, I am not right and my client is not wrong.  I know that my clients have the answers, and know what’s best for themselves.
    • Most notably is that I don’t solve my clients problems, as a coach, I will however, empower my client to uncover & create their own solutions.
So, what’s next for me?

Of course I’ve been thinking a lot about how to transition into this new phase of my career.  What’s interesting is I have none of the HOW worked out, at all.  I have a few ideas on some of the next steps, but that’s about it. Somehow, I am still super excited for what’s to come.

I have a very clear vision of my future, the future I want to cultivate for myself. However, that particular vision didn’t necessarily come with a play by play, or a how-to guide. 

I plan to keep blogging, I genuinely love this platform.  That being said, I am also starting a Life Coaching business where I am currently offering my coaching services in a few different forms. I will eventually create a separate page for those terms of services on this site soon.  And, on a fun note, I also plan to start a YouTube channel.  Yup, you heard it here folks — YouTube.  I’ll definitely keep all of you in that loop. 

Nevertheless, I do anticipate a good amount of fails, some losses, and definitely some hiccups all along the way of my journey. This is where my life coach certification should come in handy, wouldn’t you say.  

Here is what I know for sure, (for me at least).
  • Life’s a journey — it’s beautiful, it’s messy, & it is completely unpredictable — and I absolutely love it — the good, the bad, and the incredibly sad. 
  • I know that I wouldn’t be here today, or be who I am, had I not experienced all that has led me to this point.  
  • I am unapologetically an optimist — and I believe anything is possible — for anyone.
  • Beauty is everywhere and in everything, and I seek to find it always! 
  • I am a romantic — n. characterized by, or suggestive of an idealized view of reality – that’s me.
  • Finally, I love helping & cheering others on as they go after the life of their dreams. 

Like I said, I am excited for what’s to come. Feel free to reach out with any questions. And if anyone would like to work with me in a professional capacity, please don’t hesitate to contact me, or click the link here.

Cheers. 🥂
Xo, Suzette

Romancing Resistance

So I decided to do a thing, a 100 day challenge thing. 

Here are the the simple parameters of the challenge that I set for myself — the challenge is to move for 100 days.  Seriously, nothing major, 3 days of walking (20 — 45 minutes), 2 days of yoga (again, 20 — 45 minutes), and then 2 days of a HIIT (8 — 15 minutes). Like I said, nothing major

So, before I explain what this challenge is, let me quickly tell you what the challenge isn’t.  Surprisingly, it isn’t a weight loss challenge, although that would be nice.  It’s not about going down a size, or a number on a scale, or any other number for that matter.

What it is — is RESISTANCE.  Yup, you read that right, resistance. According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, resistance n. 1. generally, any action in opposition to, defying, or withstanding something or someone.

In short, this 100 day challenge is all about me romancing resistance.

Here’s the over and under, I am not actually a lazy person, nor am I a procrastinator — I can, and I do, hard & uncomfortable things all the time.  I just tend to run up against resistance when those hard & uncomfortable things are for my own benefit, for my future, or on my calendar. (The calendar thing — well, that is a different post & challenge all together.)

For me, I needed a way to separate myself, from those unproductive descriptors, like lazy or procrastinator, and also ditch that old story about me not finishing things. I realized that I am not the problem. However, my relationship with resistance is a problem.

So, I decided to challenge resistance, maybe even seduce it, at the very least, build a working relationship with resistance.  This is the challenge!  

I chose movement for 100 days. Why?  Because I run up against resistance 100% of the time whenever movement is involved.  This means everyday, for 100 days, I am now guaranteed an opportunity to engage with resistance,  and I get to see how resistance appears in my life.  So far, resistance has shown up as distraction, procrastination, diversion, unpreparedness, tiredness, and transference of emotions (you know, when you lack confidence in one area and your mind wants to transfer that emotion to other areas, yeah, that) — just to name a few. 

And this was just within the first 12 days.  

One might be wondering what I’ve learned so far?

What I have learned is that none of those things have actually stopped me from moving forward.  I simply recognize how resistance shows up that day, and then I follow through with the previously scheduled program, all in spite of the many ways resistance appears.

This is the interesting thing, when resistance appears, and it does, it doesn’t actually stop me in my tracks, nor does it derail me. The day doesn’t turn into a complete wash, and get this, the day also doesn’t spiral out of control. I simply recognize the resistance, feel it, and take action, regardless. Fascinating how the simple act of awareness can bring such clarity.

I’m not done. I’ve actually just started, day 14 out of 100 to be exact — only 86 days to go — or the rest of my life, depending on how you want to look at it. However, this is where I get to dabble in consistency & discipline. Definitely, more posts on the topic to come.

This is my 100 day challenge, this is how I plan on romancing resistance. 

A Francophile in Paris

Are you a francophile? Are you familiar with the term francophile? According to Google, a francophile is a person who is fond of or greatly admires France or the French.  

For me, my francophilia stems from books like French Women Don’t Get Fat, Forever Chic, Entre Nous, and All You Need to Be Impossibly French.  Also from movies like Aristocats, A Good Year, French Kiss, Midnight in Paris, and For Lovers Only.  These stories beckoned me to the city, and ultimately landed this francophile smack-dab in Paris this summer.

Now, I understand that these books and movies come from a romanticize, idealized, and generalized narrative of France and its people. I also understand that France and its people are just as layered and nuanced as anywhere else throughout the world.  Nevertheless, I am unapologetically a romantic, so I am okay with weeding through these generalizations and easily putting them in their appropriate place. 

All this to say, after a couple of decades of devouring all things “French”, this not-so-closeted francophile finally got to go to Paris. And of course, I experienced my week in Paris through the lenses of rose colored glasses. 

I won’t exhaust anyone with a minute by minute, or day by day retelling of my experience.  Instead I will share a few key takeaways from my week long Parisian adventure.  Will those takeaways be generalized or romanticized? Maybe. But it was my experience, so I guess I get to see it the way I want to see it. 

First, let’s talk architecture.  

Paris is breathtakingly beautiful. And it is no doubt that the backdrop of Paris is its architecture, which is a huge part of its beauty.  Just to be clear, the areas of Paris I visited were the “historical” & “touristy” areas. I basically stayed within the parameters of the 20 arrondissements of Paris, and no, I did not hit up all 20.  

The creamy, intricately ornate stone architecture with their quintessential wrought iron balconies took my breath away — constantly.  I essentially walked around the city in complete awe! Just when I established one building facadę to be my favorite, a new one rose up around the corner and three blocks over.  All of it truly is ridiculously beautiful.  

The museums, government buildings, castles, apartments, & cathedrals — every erected edifice that flooded the city was site to behold. The layering of styles were a complimentary amalgamation of genius and beauty — from the Gothic style, Art Nouveau, French Renaissance, Belle Époque, and Art Deco — the city was any art historians fantasy.

I tried to capture the beauty with my camera, and as beautiful as the images are, they still pale in comparison to the real Paris. 

Second, culture & history.

The history of Paris is incredibly rich.  I forget how young the US is and therefore how lacking US history feels, comparatively.  So the history found within the city walls of Paris, in so many words, WOW.  All the historical sites, buildings, parks, castles, cathedrals, fountains, and endless historical accounts just seem to flow like the Seine as an endless stream of Parisian culture & history, from one arrondissement to the next.

The historical & cultural scene of Paris is some of the best in the world.  From the countless exhibits, museums, monuments, and parks, the city never left you feeling bored, instead, only wanting more.  Did I see it all? Not even close. Most of my experience of Paris felt as though I was on the outside looking in.  There’s an interesting thought I could unpack later, not just yet though. 

Needless to say, I cannot wait to return and dive in a bit deeper into all the beauty, history, and opportunity Paris has to offer. 

Third, the cafés.

OMG the cafe’s! Seriously

The food, incredible.  The Aperol spritz, perfection. The pastries, to die for.  The coffee, meh, I’ve had better.  The patio cafés, S H U T . U P ! ! !  

I would go back to Paris just to sit all day at a cafê — N O T . E V E N . K I D D I N G !  While I was there, I sat at at least one a day, if not two — I think one day I even got to sit at three, that was a good day.  Did I sit at enough cafés? Nope. Do I need to sit at more parisian café patios? One million times YES! 

The Parisian café, brasserie, bistro, & patio scene is next level, and its own thing altogether. They are utterly worth going back to Paris for! And if given the chance to enjoy the café for lunch or drinks after lunch, don’t miss out on experiencing a gourmand.  It is an espresso with 3 or 4 small accompanying desserts. BEST THING EVER! You can thank me later.

Lastly, the essence of Paris.

The city of lights, or the city of love, whatever you call it, there is this undeniable feeling that embodies this city.

Paris has a feel to her, a mood, an essence about her.  The city pulls you in and kisses you lightly on both cheeks. She then ties herself to you in a way I can’t quite put my finger on. 

The city vibe is elegant, sensual, mysterious, & a little bit mischievous all at once.  In the daylight, she charms you with her beauty, her history, and her lingering promises.  While at night, she sings a sirens song that lures you through her streets as if drunk on love.  It’s beautiful, it’s inviting, and it keeps you on the edge wanting more. 

THIS IS PARIS.