exploration journal

Love-fuelling stopover in Paris

(A My Little Paris picture)
I am back in Paris for 3 days. Now, I have been here for 2 days and I see it as a « love-fuelling stopover » in my journey. A « love-fuelling stopover » – I will explain what it means ! – and a moment that helps me figure out what I want for my future.
I  will be starting a professional coaching training in San Francisco next week and I had to fly from Chennai in India to Paris. At first, when I told this to my parents, my father told me : « Oh, so you will stop in Paris on the way, and we will see you ! ». And I said : « Hummm, no, sorry, I don’t think so. »

Paris seemed so far away, and more than geographically.

I said that I was in a particular energy and mindset, I said that I wanted to remain in this way of being, feeling, and living. I said that I was afraid that coming back to Paris I would loose this.

I was afraid of coming back to a place I had left months ago.

I had experienced a deep journey, a wonderful self-transformation and I was afraid of coming back. Of course, I was missing my family and friends. But I did not feel ready to come back to the world I left, the life I left, the Julia I was.
I knew it would be a shock.
How would I react ? How would I feel ?

I did not feel ready.

I was in Ubud in Bali. I waited for a few days before looking at the flight tickets. From Ubud I would first fly to Chennai to spend a week in Auroville with my friend Caroline.
I had to buy my flight tickets and I was still wondering : « Should I come back to Paris for a few days ? Or should I go directly to San Francisco ? »
I will be very honest with you.

I decided to come back to Paris first for… logistic reasons.

I realized that I really did not have in my luggage the appropriate clothes for SF ! And I was thinking about staying a month or two.
A parenthesis to tell you more about the coaching training : it lasts 1 year but it is not full-time. I only need to be there physically a few weeks during the year. And the rest of the time we can be anywhere where we can coach people and have an internet connexion so as to do the follow-up work with the other students and mentors.
I thought : OK, you don’t have the appropriate clothes.

But do you really want to come back to Paris for a few days ?

And then, letting the idea decant within myself, not thinking too much about it, I soon knew : yes, I really want to. I want to see my family and friends. And it is very good that I can leave my Asia clothes and take new SF clothes.
I booked my flight. Chennai – Abu Dhabi – Paris.

2pm. The plane lands at Charles de Gaule.

My mother came to pick me up at the airport.
My father, who is an awesome coach/organizer had written a whatsapp text to me before I left India : « 10 degrees in Paris. Much more in the arms of your mummy ».
It was so good to be welcome by her.
It was cold outside.
I took out of my luggage the big pullover I had bought in Baguio in the Philippines – it was the mountain there and I had to buy winter clothes !
« Ok, Julia, you are in Paris » – I have taken the habit to say that to me when I land in a new place – as I moved a lot, at the beginning it was usually hard to fully integrate that I was in a new place and what was this place.

« It is so strange to be here. »

We took a taxi. In the car, my mother very naturally talked to me about Paris. About the atmosphere, what had happened over the last months. Political, economical, social issues.

« Back to reality » – I thought.

I was happy to see my mother but I was not sure that I was happy to be in Paris.
It was as if I had left a place where I felt that everything was possible, and had arrived in another place where things appear to be much more complicated.
I was coming back with self-confidence and great dreams for what I wanted to do in the future and I thought : « Wahou, it won’t be easy. I have to take care of not letting the negative mindset I feel here contaminate my faith, positive energy and optimism. I need to protect my dreams, positive energy and optimism. »
I arrived at my parents’ place – where I will stay while I am here.

I thought about the day I left, 7 months ago.

« It has been such a path I have travelled. »
My mother and I prepared tea.
I went back to my room – I am lucky to still have my room at my parents’ place, where I grew up.
Almost nothing had changed.

It was hard to be back.

It was hard to be back because a part of me was feeling that I was back to the person I was before leaving, while I had grown up and changed so much to become more free, more me, far away from all the conditionings and habits and norms.

«  Am I going to forget what I have learnt and experienced ? Am I going to go back to the smaller inner word I was living in ? »

I felt afraid. It was an uncomfortable moment.
And in the same time, I knew that the change was deep and that the transformation had happened in my mind, heart and body.
I know that all the cells of my body carry this new free and responsible and more mindful person I am – wherever I am. I chose to actively believe this. I chose to simply observe the readaptation process.

I was feeling cold and very tired. 

My mother told me : « I will put the heating on ».
And I felt so lucky to have her taking care of me, to be back in a place where I had all the things I left 7 months ago, that had been taken care of. My clothes. My books. The objects that inhabit the room where I grew up. The perfume bottles. The memories of this « past life ». Which is also so much me.

And I started enjoying being back for so many small reasons and details. 

I enjoyed having a warm bath in a clean bathroom I know by heart – while I had spent the last months changing bathrooms all the time and having cold showers – sometimes with a bucket – with insects all around.
I thought : « Ohhh, there won’t be mosquitos here anymore ! Ohhh, and I don’t need to put sunblock anymore ! »
And I felt very happy about that !
My father came back from work and we had dinner. He opened a bottle of white wine. I had not drunk white wine for 7 months !
My mother had cooked soup, a pizza and a spinach dish. She cooks very well and it was delicious. And I was so happy to eat this food.

The next day I had an appointment with my managers in my company.

It was a very important and symbolic moment : we officialized that I was leaving the company.
The timing was meaningful to me.

One part of my journey was over.

First, I had been through what I call « the journey before the journey », which was the transformation I experienced during the year of preparation of my project.
Then the « journey » had started the day I left my company to begin my sabbatical year. And that morning, while I was officially leaving my company, I felt it was the end of this « journey ».


And now it is the beginning of a new adventure.

I am starting my coaching training in San Francisco next week and I will create my own company. This new adventure is full of unknown and uncertainties, which is a little frightening, and in the same time I feel serene and at peace thanks to the path I have travelled.
Now, I now more about who I am.

I feel free and responsible.

I have a global vision of where I am going, what I want to achieve, and why I am doing it.
I am joyful, faithful. The details will settle little by little. I experiment the « leap of faith ».
I am creating the life I want for myself, a life in which I feel totally aligned, and this is really exciting.
After the meeting at my company I had an appointment with my bank counsellor.
I wanted to see her for 2 reasons. First, to thank her for her help while I was away and regularly asking urgent things – like « Dear V…, I hope that you are doing well. I am in the Philippines right now and my credit card does not work anymore (I have tried in 8 ATMs). I do not have money and I am alone, which is really not comfortable, could you please have a look at what is wrong and how we can solve the problem ? As soon as possible ? Thanks a lot, Julia ».
And then I wanted to share with her about my new projects and explain to her how I would now spend more money to invest on the future – empty my bank account – financing my coaching training and starting my own business.
It was a great conversation, she was again very helpful, and even connected me to one of her colleague who is an expert in entreprise creation.

In the afternoon, I went to one of my favorite café in Paris in the 6th arrondissement.

In this place there is a small garden and good wifi. I worked on my laptop and saw close friends and mentors – I am realizing while I am writing this that it is really « friend&mentor » in the same time, and I feel that I am probably also a form of « friend&mentor » for them. First they were my friend and then they are becoming my mentor, or first they were my mentor and they are becoming my friend.
These friends&mentors were the perfect protecting people I needed to smoothly land on planet Paris and still preserve the magic Eastern energy inside of me. And I shared it with them.

In the evening I saw my sister Flora.

She is so sweet, she was a little angel with me. She is concerned about my readaptation to Paris. I can feel that she is a bit afraid of me having become a hippie peace and love crazy girl (which is a bit true, but I am so much more than that !) who will never want to come back to Paris reality.
She wants to make sure things are smooth for me. So she booked in many different restaurants and sent me a text giving me all the names so that I could choose, tell her my choice and then she would cancel the other bookings (parisian girl !).
It was a totally new situation ! My younger sister taking care of me as my mother, and acting as if it was the first time I was in Paris. I felt so protected by her, it was very heartwarming !
We went to Grand Hôtel Amour. I chose it because there was the word Amour in it. It sounded right.
And actually, it was indeed a shock to be back in such a sophisticated and parisian place.
I thought : « Everybody is so beautiful and well-dressed here. » Ladies wearing make-up and with perfect hair, people wearing elegant and expensive clothes, sipping cocktails.
Big contrast with the spiritual people of Auroville – the utopian community aimed at developing human consciousness, realizing unity and peace on Earth, where I was just before.
We ordered cocktails – a Spritz for me, I love it and it had been such a long time ! – forgot about all that was around us and I dived into my conversation with my sister. It was infinite happiness to be with her and talk with her.
When I told her about my plans for the future, she seemed to be reassured. I was still grounded and she was convinced by what I was telling her. « Ok Julia, sister reconnection – check ! »
She told me about her life, her plans, her dreams.
When we left the restaurant, she asked me : « So being here, do you imagine to stay, to come back here for a long time, to live here ? »
For now, I could say it was good to be in Paris. I still felt like a baby learning to walk on a new kind of ground. Yes, as if I was on another planet.

The next day, I had a brunch with my close friends. 

I had dreamt of seeing them for so long. I had imagined this moment many times.
It was good to be in the middle of all of them, just watching them preparing tea, having conversations, laughing. In a way, I felt as if I had never left them. I still felt so close to them.
I had to tell them about my adventures and plans because, as I lived a lot in the present moment, I did not give them a lot of news.

I felt that I was eager to start again « living life » with them.

Not telling about our lives, but just experiencing life with them, going through life with them, creating life with them. Doing simple things, like making an apple pie or going to the seaside side for a weekend. Laugh. I have missed a lot laughing with my friends. I felt that I wanted to be close to them.
And then we went to the cinema, with some of my friends. I missed so much going to the cinema while I was in Asia.

It felt incredibly good to be back to my Paris life.

When I came back home, I felt that I wanted to re-create my life here. As I travelled, I learnt to create a feeling of being « home » and feeling good wherever I chose to be.
But now I know.

This home is really home.

Home is where my family and friends are. My « loved ones ».
This is why I expressed earlier that this ephemeral moment in Paris is a « love-fuelling stoppover ». I am getting plenty of love from them. I have missed that love. And as I go away again to SF, I will keep this precious love with me.

I took love shots.

Travelling for months, I have understood that I wanted to be a « digital nomad ». I want to be able to work from wherever I want to be in the world. So I want to develop a « business-model » for my life that allows me to live in abundance, to continue travelling, exploring, learning, experimenting and sharing.
Yesterday evening, I thought : « I want to start being a digital nomad in Paris. And then we’ll see. »
I am flying to SF tomorrow. I do not know how much time I will spend there. At least 3 weeks.
Maybe I will change my mind while I am there ? I have no clue.
I have learnt about impermanence. I live in the present moment, and we will see what happens.

2 réflexions au sujet de « Love-fuelling stopover in Paris »

  1. Bravo Julia, ça fait très plaisir de te lire et de sentir ton inspiration dans cette quête de soi-même et de bonheur. Très belle continuation à ton aventure a SF! Keep in touch. Yulia (tu te rappelle La DIT? 🙂

  2. Chère Julia. Quel bonheur de voir tout le chemin que tu as fait. Il semble que tu sois sur le point de réunir en toi l’Orient et l’Occident et que cette synthèse sera utile à tous ceux dont tu t’occuperas. Je te souhaite une très belle continuation de ce parcours. Bises amicales

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