I was sitting in my car when the confetti fell in my lap. My first reaction was annoyance. CONFETTI?!?! but then… i noticed the confetti where in the shape of tiny little Eiffel Towers. How can you be upset when five thousand little Eiffel Towers fall in your lap?!
The card read “you’re invited to sparkle in Paris”
My truly ethereal friend, Hayley Hines, whom i met on my trip to Nicaragua, had invited me to join her to Paris. It was surreal and a complete dream. I picked up the confetti, smiled, and went about my errands. I wanted to go. My heart fluttered at the idea of it. I spoke about it. Dreamt about it. Declared it, even. But i never really believed that i would make it there.
“It is your job to set the intention. It is the universe’s job to work out the details”
Fast forward to a couple of weeks before my trip. I’m sick. My child needed something close to $20 million in dental work. (slight exaggeration) The country is going nuts because it’s election month. I can’t figure out childcare details. I was behind on working. I hadn’t learned a lick of French. I was unprepared. I hadn’t lost that weight. I didn’t want to be photographed and not have lost that weight! I had just traveled to NYC twice. I couldn’t afford it. Someone like me would never really make it to Paris. I had a hangnail. I hadn’t packed. or shopped. I had split ends. I mean… whatever excuse i could come up with as a reason to not go to Paris… i had it. Because the voices in my head told me that Paris was only a dream. Paris is not something a single mom gets to experience. but… then one day, i was listening to Hayley’s podcast, Soul Sparkle Radio and she was telling a story and said something that stuck with me.
“Everything always works out for me. All things in all ways.”
Fast forward to the day i am supposed to catch a flight from NYC to Paris. I’m having breakfast with a friend in Central Park at a waffle stand. And i realize, i’ve lost my debit card. My heart sinks. And there, at the front of Central Park, i’m almost in tears and my inner voice is telling me… “you made it to NYC and that’s as far as you get in the story about how you were invited to Paris.” I was heart broken. My friend (and even the waffle stand lady) is pouring out affirmations that we can retrace our steps through the Apple Store, and Tiffany’s and NYC streets and the Trump Tower (where we had briefly ducked in to warm up)… and that we would find my card. But i had my doubts. I just knew that it was a sign that i wasn’t going to get there.
But then i remembered that everything always works out for me.
And then my card was found! We went back to the waffle stand. ordered the most amazing waffles ever and then ate them on a bench while overlooking the most magical colors of Central Park. I caught my flight late that afternoon and landed in Paris.
What happened in Paris transformed me. Hayley carefully selected women who taught master classes on learning how to unleash your dreams and passions and soul so that you can be a light in this world. so that you can sparkle. I have never ever ever had this deep of a connection with my own being. It was on the floor of our hotel room, surrounded by seven other women, that i met myself. That i had finally told my soul that i would trust her, comfort her, take care of her, and that i … i would LOVE HER.
After our masterclasses, we shopped, explored, ate; oh goodness we ate! We had champagne toasts at the top of the Eiffel Tower. We took a train to Epernay and had the most exquisite dinner ever at Moet and Chandon. We flirted with French men. We danced and sang with strangers in the street. We ate crepes and coffee and cheese and bread and more bread and more cheese. We had champagne for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We laughed. And cried. and hugged each other. We got lost in Paris. And stayed out until 5am because we just had to have the experience of a Paris nightclub. We learned that “is there an IHOP we can eat at?” does not translate well to French.
We were all so different. In different walks and stages of life. With different responsibilities. And life patterns. We were different ages. We had just met. But everyone that came into contact with us thought we had all known each other for years. Because that’s what happens when you drop your inhibitions. and your walls. and your protective boundaries.
Paris is gorgeous. It’s dreamy. And romantic. You walk the streets thinking “i’m in Paris!” And you’ll float on your cloud. But nothing… nothing can ever compare to the freedom that comes from experiencing a place like this by first giving your SOUL the freedom to full indulge in the magic that life has to offer!
Here’s how you can get in on our next trip this fall! Please ladies… come join! You will not regret that you did! Hayley makes it very easy to join and sign up. Click HERE for more details.
The morning we visited the Sacre Coeur, Natalie lead us in a truly magical experience of revisiting our childhood self and prompted us to find freedom from the limitations we put on ourselves in every aspect of life. When we arrived to the sacred spot, my roomate and new best friend, Maggie came running up to me while i was shopping for souvenirs. “I got you a ticket for the carousel!!!” She was jumping up and down. I look over and the other women are running in excitement toward the carousel. They hop on and there we found ourselves… eight adult women who, hours earlier, had just encountered their 6 year old selves… smiling out of sheer delight and childlike joy to be on a carousel. the best part? we took those lists of limitations. and we burned them. We were all huddled up together. It was cold outside. We tried to light our papers over and over again. And then it happened…. this beautifully symbolic moment.
We ALL had to come together and around each other’s lists. We had to light it from below. underneath. We all stood there as the flame from one woman’s list engulfed the next. a domino effect, if you will. and as our papers were consumed in flame, we let them fall to the ground. and we kept huddling around. it was quiet. and tears were flowing. the flame from eight lists. produced a most beautiful light. and… it made us feel warm. some day i’ll tell you the story about how i went to the Louvre, bought my ticket… but then didn’t go inside. Because i had my own Paris experience in lieu of seeing the Mona Lisa. But for now… i will end with a photo of me standing in front of the Louvre. completely ecstatic, and a little bit sad that i would be leaving the next day, that i had… in fact, made it to Paris.
Hayley, JoAnna, Melissa, Natalie, Denise, Cristy, and my dearest Mags…. you are my dream come true. not Paris. not France. not a vintage bottle of champagne in a historic cave. not snowflakes falling on our faces at the top of the Eiffel. not Chez Papa. not the sketchy massage spa. not the heavenly cheeses. or warm breads. or chocolate croissants. not the Champs-Elysse. or the famous museums. none of that will ever matter as much to me as each of you do. I am so thankful to have made connections with you. and hope that we are all reunited again under magical stars and sparkling lights and feathers. i love you dearly and carry you with me always!
be infinitely blessed