Trouble in Paradise

This photo is what I am experiencing as I type this.  For me, it is pure paradise.

Of course, you, the reader, are only getting a one dimensional impression of how beautiful it is here right now. Your experience lacks the incredible birdsong, the gentle thrum of dozens of pollinators which I have lured into the garden, the dog barking in the distance, the church bells in the local village chiming across the valley at 7pm, the first cuckoo of spring, and the woodpecker in the surrounding forest.  You also can’t smell the gentle fragrance of narcissi, tulips, freshly cut grass, or the first wisteria blossoms which have dared to reveal themselves today.  Nor can you feel the warm evening sun on your skin and the ancient wisdom and stillness of this beautiful part of the Dordogne valley.   

Social media is a bit like that though – we only show each other what we want to show. 

What you haven’t on my social feed in the last 2 weeks is … 

  • us losing both our beloved chickens to some kind of illness.
  • our septic tank going on the blink and raw sewage bubbling up into our downstairs shower and WC.
  • me having to use all my body weight to anchor our brand new shed back down to earth after it took off in a gale and got badly damaged before we even managed to fix it into its new position.
  • the stress of having to make an official complaint in my far-from-perfect French and then having the person I was complaining about show up on the doorstep. 

Of course, I know that these are all first world, white girl issues but why didn’t I share them via my social feed?  Quite frankly, I didn’t think anyone would really want to see photos of us scooping shit and toilet paper out of the shower basin or me disposing of the chicken’s bodies! 

Also, because, over the years, I have learned how to use the contrast of what I DON’T want to inform my decisions and my choices.  Quite simply what I mean is that when you know what you don’t want, you know what you do want.  All you have to do is to practice consciously exploring what you don’t like about your life and ask yourself most of us the question…


For me, it is now automatic that when I experience something unpleasant, I notice the reaction to it in my body, I inquire into what it is that I don’t like about the situation, I ask myself “WHAT DO I WANT INSTEAD OF THIS?” and then I let my imagination get obsessed about whatever fabulous inspiration or new vision arises.  Rather than focus my precious time and energy on what I DON’T want, I experience it, get curious about what I want instead, and then take any positive, inspired action which comes to me. 

So, for example, from experiencing the situations I listed above, I now know that I want or have learned …

  • To create a healthy and loving environment for 3 new laying hens in the next month and to enjoy fresh, organic eggs every day again. 
  • For our ancient plumbing and sewage systems to also be healthy and working properly without any more expense. 
  • Actually, the shed episode propelled us to get the project finished and we now have a beautiful new gardening shed for me to hang out in and create even more beauty. 
  • I will never allow there to be any lack of clarity in any professional agreements in future 

And my actions steps include – 

  • Building an extension for the hen coop to give our new arrivals more space and doing more research on the optimal location for them to be all year round.   
  • We have taken quite a lot of action on the sewage front and, fingers crossed, things have been settled for the last 24 hours. 
  • Put my feet up and enjoy a cup of tea of fresh lemon balm, mint, rosemary in the garden shed once a day. 

Of course, the best thing to come out of all this trouble in paradise is the realization that despite all these unexpected events, I have not been knocked off my sense of inner peace too often and I have, on the whole, slowed down and taken inspired action when prompted to rather than getting in a flap like I used to! It is so important to reconize and affirm our own progress and evolution.

Perhaps you are reading this and realizing that you spend a lot of your time focusing on what you don’t want rather than creating a future which you really love? Maybe you feel that you would like some support in learning how to use the contrast in your life to help you gain clarity about what you really want and/or taking actions steps in that direction? If so, then please email me so that we can set up a free exploratory session to see whether some life coaching with me might be a good step forward for you. 

Jenny xo

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