Inspired by my walks with my Scottish friend, and just because I do live in a beautiful place, and because I needed to do something with my thought-swirling, early-rising self, I set out for a long walk along the dirt paths at the edge of the Rhône, right beside my house. I walked slowly, savouring the mist on the water, the awakening world. As I progressed, many a morning jogger crossed my path -- a commonplace sight now in Avignon, and in France in general, compared to when I came to France at the age of sixteen. Filou and I met many dogs, most of whom were un-leashed like Filou. They did their moments of sniffing and getting to know each other, and then Filou trotted after me.
The only awkward moments are when Filou gets it in his head to bark at and follow a jogger. As one might imagine, no one enjoys this, and though he wouldn't hurt a flea, I do need to call him back and reprimand him. Hoping also, that the more he sees these people, the more accustomed he'll get, and then I hope, he'll stop this most anti-social behavior.
I tried to do some centering exercises that my Scottish friend showed me, holding my hands on my belly and back, feeling my body walk, sensing the shock under my feet, reaching up through my stomach and lower back. I straightened my shoulders, took in deep breaths, occasionally closed me eyes. I'm taking each day as it comes, and doing what I can for my wiggy brain and aching heart. Appreciating the beauty right beside me, contemplating what I have here, what is good in my life, is all part of it.
This summer, and much of this year, I've been wavering, and wondering. Where do I belong? Certainly, being out of my coupledom is unrooting me. But, then, why would I flee? And where to? I'm not a deeply rooted person. But I have some very dear friends, two in particular, to whom I can turn. My kids are doing well. This is a mantra I repeat often. And in their school, they've friends who are marvelous, from families I respect, who have outward-looking philosophies. Would I do better for them in the US? They will always have the choice of continuing their studies in the US, if they feel adventuresome.
I am seeking inside myself, what do I truly and veritably want? To write, to raise my boys, and yes, to love. Financially, I'm not there yet, but that could come and I think will. Amongst my moves this week is to receive most of Arles' real estate agents at the b&b to push the sale of said building. Yes, it won't sell at a top price due to the current economy, but, it's insane for me to be struggling so when there are funds there that are mine and which could help me get over this hump.
I've many pots on the burners: hiking and biking programs in Provence for next year, the two books (Provence teen cook book and my foodie memoir), potential collaborations with organic wine importers to the States, teaching English, I hope future translations. I'm getting good feedback from numerous directions, which has not yet translated into income, but I think with time it will.
I remember how it was building the original business with Erick. I would distribute flyers to the hotels, and we'd hear nothing, but the next year, a dozen people would come because they'd picked them up and brought them home. I'd go to the International Associaition of Culinary Professionals' conference, and there, I'd speak, chat, meet, and exchange and in the immediate future, I'd have new friends, but over the long period, many colleagues came and brought clients to us. Each and every effort bore fruit, if not immediately.
Even for JP's wine, Domaine Cabanis (see the website on the side bar). I've gotten it into the hands of Canadian importers, and it looks like things will come through there. And though it is not yet being imported to the States, I've increased his name recognition, shown his style and skills through my posts on this blog, shared the virtues of organic wine in general, and just possibly, all this "soft" marketing will pay off this year. Who knows?
Each act is a step in the right direction, and it all takes time and patience. So, if I can only get that b&b sold this year, recoup much of what I put into it, and thus have the flexibility and funds to go forth less stressfully... in any case, this is what I'm working to put into motion, one step at a time.
Back at my house, I sat down to meditate. I sat down to say thank you and to connect. I found the Anyusara mantra in my copy of Yoga Journal, and then, continued with Ahs, sitting before my window facing East, slowly teaching myself to seek calm and balance. It will be a long haul, but, at least this morning, I felt it.