meta name="p:domain_verify" content="8b08da541f8a920e6 Marie Z Johnston: Flourishing Right Where We Are

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Flourishing Right Where We Are

It is fair to say everyone has experienced transition in one form or another: from sleeping to waking, school graduations, returning to reality at the end of an engrossing movie, pregnancy and childbirth, weight loss or gain, a good (or bad) hair day... it's an endless list. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Transition as “a change from one state or condition to another”.  It’s origin is Latin: transire meaning to ‘go across’, and clearly, some transitions are far easier to navigate than others.

For me a transition ‘unease’ began the year before my youngest daughter graduated from high school. We were living in Paris at the time and the only thing I could do that made me feel better was explore the city, cook, take photographs and write about it.  Turns out that was something I’d deeply wanted to do since graduating from high school and It felt good to scratch a nearly 40 year itch, but the relief was only temporary. 

The view from my daughter's bedroom
My kids chalked up this roller coaster of emotions to looming Empty Nest Syndrome which I of course poo-pooed since the idea of being "free" after 32 years of parenting seemed quite liberating.  Truth is, they were on to something albeit much deeper and bigger than the swirling feelings around my youngest child leaving for college. There was much more going on inside than I could have imagined at the time.

Our own personal Tsunami of feelings are nearly impossible to talk about. How do you explain to the people you love that something is ‘missing’ or ‘emerging’  in your life without sounding as though you are somehow blaming them or are dissatisfied with the rich life you actually have?  

This mysterious, suddenly cracked open window to an unexplored piece of my interior life was, at best, confusing. Initially, those feelings were experienced as a distraction, restlessness or anxiety. I was flooded with curiosity and strong desires to explore places and things I’d never considered before. There was a nostalgia for a greater "something" I felt I'd somehow lost. 

Divorce, death of a loved one, job loss, moving; these are some of the inescapable, heart wrenching transitions of life we eventually experience either directly or indirectly.  How we manage ourselves in these circumstances determines the ease, or grace, with which we negotiate our lives.

These moments are actually an invitation to a far more powerful transition:  The sort that begins as deep unrest you reluctantly become aware of and can not easily avoid.  It was right about then (three years ago) that life called upon me to return to my family home  in California.

Now, don't get me wrong. Carmel is certainly a beautiful town but it's just not where I wanted to be living. Fortunately, right about that time life also put an incredible tribe of people  in my path. Their unflinching support and encouragement made it possible to do a deep dive into discovering what truly matters for me going forward.  What emerged surprised me because there seemed to be a significant change of course from the life I thought I wanted to live - though moving back to France is still very much in the cards.

I'm excited to be sharing these changes with you in a series of upcoming posts about Flourishing Right Where We Are (yes, there will be bits about food, France and some recipes).

Now, I can't help but wonder about you... the transitions and changes of your life.  Your dreams for the future, the dreams of the past you've recently brought back to life or put to rest or somehow forgotten.  I hope you will share them with me in the comments below. 

It is so exciting to be sharing these big life changes with you.  
I hope you are well and thriving.   
A bientot mes amis,


If you have recently paid a visit to my personal Facebook page or the French Market Maven Facebook page  you may have noticed information about a 7 day retreat I've organized with a couple of incredible ladies for this fall.  It's about women in midlife. It's about reconnecting with our amazing selves. It's about making like minded friends and creating supportive community.  Besides massage, conversation, three workshops (and the salt water pool) I've planned an outing to Saumur  to shop at their incredible farmer's market.  We'll have lunch in town (the enticing 3 course type including regional wine at a totally "locals" cafe) with plenty of time for some personal shopping and yes, a cooking lesson that evening led by yours truly. You can check it out here:  Your Best Next Life

Mention that you found out about the retreat from French Market Maven and I'll take $350 off your bill via Paypal.  Sign up with a friend and I'll take an extra $50 off for each of you as my personal thanks (that's an $800 total savings!!).

Click right here if you want to sign up now

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