Une vie qui a du sens

Comment vivre avec un objectif et
se donner les moyens de le réaliser.

Making the New Year mindful

Making the New Year mindful

Making the New Year mindful New Year’s resolutions might give you the chills, but there are lots of other practices and rituals you can use to ensure you step into the new year mindfully and with intention. It has been said that April is the cruellest month. However,...

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I’ve started so let me finish

I’ve started so let me finish

I’m a stickler for good table manners. I can’t bear it when people don’t pick up their feet. And finger drumming really gets my goat. I have, I am aware, multiple bêtes noires; but by far the most unpleasant “bad habit” in my book is interrupting. As bad behaviour goes, it’s one of the most common and also the most damaging to interpersonal relationships, but luckily, it’s also one that’s relatively easy to correct.

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The big spring stock-take

The big spring stock-take

The benefit of regular clear-outs is a fact universally acknowledged. Or at least it is in my house. My husband was stunned by the joy I felt when they installed massive clothing donation bins at the entrance to the metro nearest our flat; and I challenge anyone not to feel freer, lighter and more in control after taking a bag load of I’ll-never-read-these-again books to Oxfam.

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GAGging the voice of overwhelm

GAGging the voice of overwhelm

I have of late—but wherefore I know not—lost all my mirth. Well, not quite; I’m certainly nowhere near Hamlet’s level of sadness and introspection, but I have found myself somewhat on the grumpy side recently. You know, that state where everything seems like a big...

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Choose your words carefully

Choose your words carefully

To resolve or not to resolve, that is the question. It’s the one we ask ourselves each January as the annual invitation to start over rolls around. In the media, there’s the usual flurry of “How to make resolutions that last”-type articles (the kind of stuff I love to...

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Appreciating all the saints

Appreciating all the saints

It’s 31st October, Halloween; and pitch black outside. As I type, a single candle glows on the coffee table and the street lamps are starting to flicker to life. All spooky stuff, of course, if you’re in the mood to get into it, which sadly we in Europe don’t tend to...

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The Motherhood Diaries : Take Care of Yourself Like You Take Care of Them

The Motherhood Diaries : Take Care of Yourself Like You Take Care of Them

A recent incident involving, of all things, footwear, got me thinking about all the ways in which I take excellent care of my family, particularly my daughter, but not myself. I book appointments around nap times so she gets enough rest, keep her carnet de santé up to date, and am religious about hat-wearing for warmth in the winter and for sun protection in the summer. But when it comes to myself, I am often a sloppy caretaker.

The other day, as my two-year-old daughter and I were walking home from the nounou, she lifted her foot and cried, “Mummy, feet, sore, shoes fait mal!” The next day, we were in the shoe shop, measuring my child’s feet, and getting comfortable new footwear the next size up. As my eyes watered at the exorbitant prices that seem to be the norm for little shoes, I looked down and realised that my own feet were actually rather sore too, and that my flimsy, old and now rather unfashionable ballerines were not actually comfortable at all.

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Every time we say goodbye

Every time we say goodbye

Saying goodbye to friends is never easy, but the end of an era can be the perfect reminder to live in the moment. Living abroad is an immensely rewarding experience: the constant sense of adventure; opportunities for language learning; a greater respect and tolerance...

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Dear diary

Dear diary

How keeping a one-line diary has changed the way I look at, describe and recall my day… and my life. On this day in 2013, I was having my first wedding dress fitting. And it’ll be a year ago this weekend that I saw a fantastic production of Sunday in the Park with...

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When giving up makes you the winner

When giving up makes you the winner

Seeing things through. Honouring your commitments. Giving your all. Noble thoughts, and laudable goals indeed, but are they always the best route to peace and happiness? Stop pushing yourself This week, as I was leaving the office after a hectic day, I faced a...

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Finding time

Finding time

We all get just 24 hours in our day, so how come some people seem to manage to find time for everything and others are permanently rushing? When it comes to time management, some are definitely more equal than others. The most common complaint I hear from friends,...

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The three-step guide to a glossier life

The three-step guide to a glossier life

We all know a woman who seems to have it all, the kind that truly can run in heels and not break an ankle. She makes us all feel our lives are just a little shabby in comparison. But what if, instead of hating her, you could become her? We all know one. You know,...

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Lucky burdens

Lucky burdens

When you’re feeling weighed down by duties and chores, look past the to-do list to the blessing behind the burdens and you’ll soon find they’re light as a feather. As everyone I’ve spoken to since last May knows (I’m just a little excited), the Beloved and I are...

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Fatigue Fighting

Fatigue Fighting

The long nights and chilly air this time of the year can make us all want to take a duvet day or indeed a duvet month, but when it comes to fighting fatigue, attitude is half the battle. Maybe it’s because of the winter weather, maybe it’s the general economic slump,...

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Lighten your load

Lighten your load

January is traditionally a time when we start expecting more from ourselves, imposing diets and exercise regimes on our bodies, beginning new projects and giving up vices. But what if, this year, you chose to lose a different kind of weight? Happy New Year, readers! A...

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Choosing Christmas Cheer

Choosing Christmas Cheer

The season is upon us – it’s an annual inevitability. But how will you choose to embrace the festive season this year? Will you be Scrooge? The Grinch? Or a zen Christmas fairy? Believe it or not, the choice is yours. Christmas comes but once a year, but boy, each...

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Breaking the mould

Breaking the mould

Whether you conform to society’s current physical ideal or not, you can only gain from opting out of the rush to look like the latest image of perfection and taking the time to find your own beauty – whatever it looks like. Hungry but chic. What does that mean to you?...

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Seeking inner strengths

Seeking inner strengths

We may not always see the qualities other people value in us, but our strengths are there – we just need to see ourselves from the right angle. If you had asked me what a manga was nine years ago, before I had lived in France, I probably would have guessed it was some...

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Make it easy on yourself

Make it easy on yourself

Acquiring just a few good organisational habits will help your day go with a swing rather than a bang – because life doesn’t have to be so hard. It’s a commonly held misconception that life is hard. That it’s a struggle, a war, and that, even in the comfort of...

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Bloom where you’re planted

Bloom where you’re planted

Faced with difficult circumstances, you can choose to struggle and wilt or make the most of where you find yourself and bloom, right there where you’re planted. I recently found myself at a party making small talk with a woman who had just moved to Germany. Following...

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Tales of the unexpected

Tales of the unexpected

If life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans, it’s wise to keep a few gaps in your diary… I am definitely one of life’s planners. I like making a list, checking it twice, then typing it up and keeping it on file. I enjoy feeling organised and like...

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Reasons to be cheerful, 1, 2, 3…

Reasons to be cheerful, 1, 2, 3…

Get happy: give thanks now to shore up your soul for days when reasons to be cheerful seem few and far between. My beloved, who’s a lofty and well-built 6ft1, often ribs me about my somewhat more dinky stature – I’m a whole foot shorter than him (if you’re reading...

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The lesson of the leaves

The lesson of the leaves

As the trees let go of what they no longer need this autumn, carpeting the ground in their golden foliage, take a look at what you’d be better off without… I love the autumn. I always have. It’s a time when I’ve always felt hopeful, optimistic and energetic. I have...

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Days of our Lives

Days of our Lives

It’s easy to let the days go by, unchecked, unnoticed. But the days become years, and the years become your life. Take a moment to consider what you want to look back on in a week, a year, a decade and start living that life today. For one month during the autumn of...

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Turn over a new leaf in 2011

Turn over a new leaf in 2011

A new year, a new chapter of life to be written. Choose your words wisely and make your new year’s resolutions work for you. I am, and always have been, a notebook junkie. A handbag-friendly size, a pretty cover, and all those clean white sheets waiting to be filled...

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Using your not-so-basic instinct

Using your not-so-basic instinct

Leading with your heart is a sure-fire way to banish hesitation and make regret-free choices. Learning to listen to yourself and trust your gut can stop a decision from turning into a dilemma. Despite being an only child, I’m a twin – a Gemini, that is. I’ve always...

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Note to self: be positive!

Note to self: be positive!

On bright days when our cup runneth over, it’s easy to be optimistic and roll with the punches – positive thinking is second nature to us. However, not every day is a bright day. Sometimes, we wake up to find that, overnight, while nothing has actually changed in our...

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