Italy is a stellar place to take on all kinds of personal development. I notice that when people arrive here, they'll dive into conversations about ten times deeper than the ones they might have elsewhere. There's something about here that helps people let go. It's such a great thing to watch people let the worries of everyday life fall off their shoulders for a few days as they breathe in the air in the hills and let themselves relax, maybe for the first time in months, or even years. It's quite a lovely thing to be the facilitator of relaxation, and to be able to give people that space.
I know that the sense of deep relaxation is something that comes from Italian energy, the Italian way of life. I once read that Italy is the land of old souls - that reincarnated souls come back here again and again to work in the vineyards, the connection with nature bringing the soul's development further each time. Life led us here to do this kind of work for a reason. The longing for Italy and its beautiful energy is something we see reflected in our guests' comments - and hearts - year after year.
At some point, I decided it was divine destiny that brought me here to cultivate this particular way of life. For years, all I could see that we needed to work like dogs for years to get established and centered, and I couldn't even fathom why we needed to go through all of this - ahem- learning. But I've learned to view our work here as something greater than just having an inn and making breakfast. It's really about the conversations, the interactions, the richness of what has been brought to us through having opened our home.
What a garden we've cultivated for ourselves. I'm a very lucky girl.
We're guided toward a purpose. That purpose is to develop and take on change. This week has been one of going inside of myself and looking around a bit, at the same time reaching out to see where I want to go. My garden's growing and growing - both my vegetable garden (full of baby tomatoes and basil and dill) and my soul-garden, where I take all the goodness that's bestowed on me by everyone I meet and try to understand what the guidance is behind the words I share with others.
We're receiving guidance all the time , as my friend Amy Oscar points out, we only have to look around and have an open mind and heart. We are led spiritually into new ways of thinking, new ideas and new possibilities constantly. There's nothing wrong and there's everything right with reaching out and pulling the guidance close to you so that you can come closer to yourself and what you are truly meant to do.
Guidance isn't based upon where you are professionally, or financially, but rather spiritually. You don't need to build up walls of things around you and have your whole life in perfect order before you even start. You just need one thing - a vision of where you want go. And to get that vision, all you have to do is trust the guidance that you get, every moment of every day. You know about listening to your gut, right? It won't fail you. You can get from here to wherever it is you want to be if you ask, listen, and do. If you listen, you'll automatically be more connected to your guidance.
So, what I want to tell you this week, what I really want you to do, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, is I want you to listen to me and to go F yourself. Really. I do.
Go Free Yourself. Make at least two pockets of time this week, a half hour each at least, to walk by yourself and free your mind from the tension that you carry around with you. During your walk, keep your shoulders down and breathe from your stomach. Don't think about anything but relaxing your neck, keeping your stomach in, your back straight and your shoulders down. And walk. Alone. Free your mind. Free yourself up to recognize guidance as it happens.
Go Flaunt Yourself. Write down in your journal (you have one of those, don't you?) ten things you do really really well. And expand on them - go into detail. Write what you like about each of those things. Because if you do things well, it's because you love to do those things. Take a look at your accomplishments, right there, in hard print, for you to look back to. Flaunt yourself so that you can be guided by your strengths rather than your fears.
Go Floralize Yourself. It's the time of year when flowers are the least expensive. Buy a bunch of posies and put them in a place where YOU can see them (I like to keep mine on my desk next to my computer). If you want, go into a field and pick flowers instead. Get some floral love going in your life.
Go Fragrance Yourself. Wear your favorite scent every day, a little luxury that will make you feel lovely.
Go Fantasize Yourself. Time to get out the journal again. Draw either a verbal or decorative picture of how you would have your most perfect room. Get specific: color, furnishings, lighting, views from the windows. Understand your own space desires. Guidance works hard through our fantasies, and if we wake up to what we would love to have in our lives, we'll be guided on how to get the ideal space for ourselves.
Go Fortify Yourself. With good food that works for your body and not against it. With knowledge about the things you want to improve yourself in. With the words of supportive friends who exist in your life for the purpose of mutual enrichment. It's when you're rested and healthy that you are best able to put guidance into action.
Go Flourish Yourself. Give your garden what it needs to grow and thrive. Listen for guidance, stay open, and trust your gut.
I wish you a beautiful, healthy, prosperous week cultivating your garden from Bella Piemonte.