When self-love changes your life !

ARTICLE EN FRANÇAIS/ARTICLE IN FRENCH

How many of us have had a very low opinion of ourselves and believed we were not enough to accomplish certain things. How many of us believed we were not thin enough to wear a bikini and enjoy a beautiful day at the beach ? Way too much ! I was even one of these people !

To dare is sometimes a survival act but it can also represent an act of love we bring to ourself. It is an act, a decision we make to experience this love that we lack way too often. And you know what ? You can give it to yourself, it is not forbidden !

What is self-love and how did I find out about it ?

Self-love means to love one self. I love definitions but I am woman who likes to keep it real, so I have experienced it myself.

So, I would hear about self-love in a theoretical way, but in practice, what the heck was this all about ?

Well, I started to experience self-love one day at the beach, I was completely at peace with my whole self: my body, my soul and my spirit. That’s where the journey began.

According to your cultural background, it can be more or less challenging to assume positive or negative aspects of our personalities. For example, I am an extraverted person, very curious and I can DIE for new experiences ! Yet, there is a situation ! I am a lady and in my culture (Madagascar and Mayotte), ladies are not supposed or expected to have such traits.

Problematic right ?! I know. So, what do you do in such situations ?

Well stop hiding ! It will take too much energy out of you to act like someone you are not. At least, I believe it is very suffocating to me. This is why I decided to travel, it was the beginning of liberation and a path of acceptation has started.

Alright DJEMS, you still haven’t told us how it works in real life ?

Based on my experience and you will make yours as well. You juste have to be yourself but in a world that does not praise or teach you that, how do you do ?

Well, you will have to learn to do something very important: listen to yourself without judging. 5 years ago, If I would have judged my own voice which was telling me to stop eating meat and live on my own terms, I would have never been able to listen to this article.

It has been a work of confidence in oneself and find strength not to listen to other people’s voices. The reality is that our surroundings will always talk to us from a space of imagination or what should be. And it is completely normal, since we have never shown who we truly are because we wanted to be loved or liked.

Yet, the love will never be real if it does not come from within, from you. Especially if you are looking to create honest and sincere relationships with others. Be careful though, sincerity and honesty implies that some people will not agree with who you are on a completely irrational basis. Be ready for that too !

Tips on your self-love journey

There is no magic recipe, it is a journey and it lasts during your whole life. However, you will have to listen to your real needs along the way and not what other people expect from you, trust me there can be many demands !

You can start by doing this:

  • Everyday, learn to appreciate something you did for someone or something you have accomplished. You can also be grateful for the day
  • Practice as much meditation as you can. Be careful, meditation is not always someone sitting on couch that looks peaceful, it can be anything that brings you in the present moment. It can be a walk in the forest, dancing, drawing or anything. It’s totally up to you !
  • Practice the art of touch. To love implies to also feel good in your body. It is not a matter of weight but rather a feeling. Feel free to receive a hug from a person you love (animals as well), a massage or self-massage is welcomed or you can give one ! 🙂
  • Eat food that fits you ! Yes, it matters. I am not saying that everybody has to become vegetarian, but stay in tune with what your body needs. Sometimes I feel like eating a very fresh salad and it is usually because I haven’t had fresh food in a long time ! What a surprise ! 🙂 What I mean is that do not pressure yourself, be more connected to your body needs, even chocolate 🙂
  • Surround yourself with people who truly love you for who you are and will see the benefit of having you around them !
  • This one is the most important, take time to appreciate yourself. Look at yourself and cherish your hair, your eyes, you stretch marks and any other body parts you do not always show. Express a profound appreciation for your body. You only have one and it is perfect to help you accomplish the best things for you !

The last word

I really hope this article will help you love yourself more each day, I know it can be challenging at times to hear the negative voice inside your head, please remember that they do not belong to you and they are not yours. They usually are the result of other people’s belief about you or from past experiences. Today and tomorrow are opportunities to change and to start celebrating yourself NOW !

WITH LOVE ❤

D.H

ARTICLE EN FRANÇAIS/ARTICLE IN FRENCH

My kenyan pearl : LAMU !

ARTICLE IN FRENCH/ARTICLE EN FRANÇAIS

This article was very difficult for me to write as this place is very difficult to report. I believe Lamu is really and experience that has to be felt individually. So, I decided to tell you about the 3 things that made my experience unforgettable !

1- Umra’s House

I did not know that I had booked a house of a very well know person for her philantropic work in the region and also the best suite of the house ! We can say that my trip has started pretty well indeed !

I was looking for a quite remote space and Umra’s House was offering that need. It is located in the dunes of Shela and there reigns a majestic silence. The house is composed of one main house (Umra’s family house), huts and a school for kids.

There are pets in the house (1 dog and 2 cats) which are adorable ! The breakfast in included and lunch/dinner can be organized by the house helpers.

I have spent a lot of my time with the house owner who made me visit the area and we introduced me to wonderful people. Sometimes at night, I would go for a walk and felt completely safe. It is the most positive aspect of Shela, it is so safe !

2- Sumeia’s organic farm

Airbnb experiences during this trip really helped me out ! That is how I found out about Sumeia’s organic farm !

It is a farm located next to Shela in the midst of coconut trees and white sand.

The farm’s main objective is to highlight local products such as moringa, loofah, medicinal plants and spices. Sundays are visiting days, it is better to wake up early to the most out of it !

I loved my visit to this farm, it was an opportunity to discover a project held by mostly local women and see how products were made. On top of that, the project is able to sustain 23 jobs to create handmade products : I find that absolutely wonderful !

At the end of the visit, they offer you a tomato pesto with sautéed garlic moringa leaves. In addition to the food, you get to try a « tapakizi »beverage (local medicinal plant).

That day was the most delightful and rich day as I learned more about medicinal plants and spices.

3- Let yourself being carried away by Lamu’s energy

When you are in Lamu, the most important thing to me is to let yourself being carried away, it helps to connect the energy of the island.

Taking time to feel the almost cosmic energy of the area is already an activity in itself. You can walk for hours around the beach and look at the dunes to listen to its stories.

Also, you can go for an early meditation day to be thankful for what you are experiencing. You can take your time to talk to people. Since there is no cars in Lamu, you have to cross people’s look and after a couple of days, there must be a bond that is created, so talking to people becomes an activity too. We are not always aware of it but we tend to forget to talk to people, to share a moment, it makes us feel anchored and good !

Then, you can take a boat to see the mangrove at sunset : it is an unbelievable experience.

What needs to be remembered from Lamu ?

Apprendre à apprécier le moment et vivre sur un rythme plus lent. Pour la boule d’énergie que je suis, il n’y a pas de meilleure leçon 😉

Learning to appreciate each moment and live on a slower mode. For a person who is as energetic as me, there no better lesson to be remembered 😉

WITH LOVE

D.H

ARTICLE IN FRENCH/ARTICLE EN FRANÇAIS

When a street food tour changes your vision of Mombasa !

ARTICLE IN FRENCH/ARTICLE EN FRANÇAIS

I have already said it in my last youtube video, Mombasa was the last city I liked during my trip to Kenya. It is mostly due to a bad airbnb and taxi experience I had.

Yet ! Yet ! Food has saved my life again from that bad experience thanks to a street food tour experience in the colorful streets of mombasa !

I really recommend you to try this street food tour with Waniala on Airbnb ! I did it on Christmas day, it was an atypical way to celebrate and I do not regret at all !

The tour starts from Mombasa centre at Tusks monument and ends up at the Mama Ngina waterfront !

What did I eat during this street food tour ?

A lot of good things ! 🙂

First things first ! If you are a vegetarian like myself (lacto-ovo vegetarian), this tours is going to be very pleasant for you. However for vegans, you may not enjoy it that much even if you are going to have a few things to eat.

Also, as it was Christmas, most shops/stalls were closed but we were still able to enjoy a lot of good food !

We started with a small snack called « Viazi Karai » which is close to Irish potatoes but with a lot of spices and lemon : it was delicious !

Then, we had Bhajiya which are inspired from the indian cuisine (small salty donuts). We also had more sweet food such as a corn soup and « Kaimati ». Kaimati is a small sweet donut, it is very sweet but so good ! I think it was one of my favorite thing !

Viazi Karai

As we walked along the streets, I realized that food in Mombasa has a lot of influence from Oman and India. It actually make sense when you learn a little bit about Kenyan history, but it was still very impressive to me as I would not imagine it in a such a strong way. Also, there are a lot of cafés and kebab places as we walked.

Waniala walked me through many streets and stalls and we passed by the busiest street of Mombasa: Bishara Street. Unfortunately, the street was not as busy as usual but you could still find a few shops opened. After visiting that street, Waniala stopped us at a coconut water stall to enjoy a fresh coconut water ! I LOVED IT ! 🙂

As I was sipping my coconut water, I observed the « Matatus » (local buses) and I realized that in Mombasa and Kenya, everything is about signs. For example, as soon as a matatu driver meets your look, it stops because they believe you would like to get in with them. I found that very odd and funny ! ^^ I shared my observation with Waniala and he explained to me that we should not look at them in the eye indeed if we do not want to get in with them !

After that coconut stop, we went to a parc not too far from the city and stopped to sip a sugar cane juice ! Finally, we took a tuk tuk ride to Mama Ngina waterfront and enjoyd some hot cassava crips with spices.

Mama Ngina waterfront is a very alive and restful place, there are many spots to seat and enjoy the fresh breeze from the Indian Ocean.

Why I loved this street food tour ?

  • I loved it because I was able to both experience the city and food !
  • It is a good way to contribute to the local economy. Waniala pays people directly during the tour.
  • It is the opportunity to talk with a local and ask questions nobody can answer 😉

If you also want to experience this street food tour with Waniala in Mombasa, you can find it HERE. 🙂

WITH LOVE

D.H

ARTICLE IN FRENCH/ARTICLE EN FRANÇAIS

The day I traveled to Nairobi !

First of all, this trip was just a « gut calling » trip. I have transited a few times in Nairobi and this place has always been very intriguing to me… So I said why not giving it a try !

What to say ? What to do ? Where to go ?

J’ai commencé ce voyage par la capitale : N-A-I-R-O-B-I !

Je pourrais vous donner les liste des choses à faire etc.. Sauf que je ne trouve pas ça très intéressant et il y a des millions de sites qui le feront bien mieux que moi. Alors, comment on découvre Nairobi version The Patchwork Life ? Ben je vais vous mettre en lumière mon expérience et ce que j’ai beaucoup beaucoup beaucoup genre BEAUCOUP aimé !

LES GENS

Au départ, j’avais un peu l’impression d’être prise pour une folle. Les gens avaient un peu de mal à comprendre mon voyage et à me situer je pense (je ressemble à une Kenyane qui parle anglais avec un accent français, c’est très WTF !). Après de nombreuses explications, les gens se sont ouverts et les kenyan que j’ai rencontré étaient incroyables !

Ce sont des personnes très directes et c’est une chose que j’ai apprécié, au moins on ne perd pas son temps. C’est un peu déconcertant si vous venez d’un espace plus consensuel, mais ici c’est plutôt cool et dans les échanges que j’ai pu avoir, les gens attendent la même chose. C’est très agréable et ils deviennent souvent assez familier rapidement !

Pendant ce voyage, j’ai pu apprendre quelques mots en swahili et vous pourrez les utiliser si vous le voulez:

  • « Asante » qui veut dire merci
  • « Hakuna Matata »/ « Hakuna shida » qui veut dire pas de problème
  • « Sawa sawa » qui veut dire ok, d’accord
  • Mon préféré « Kidogo » qui veut dire « un peu ».

MES LIEUX FAVORIS

1- Kuona Art Center

L’adresse du Kuona Art Centre : Dennis Pritt Road, Nairobi Kenya

Un dimanche après-midi sur la recommandation de mon hôte, je me rends dans ce collectif d’artistes. Je n’étais pas sûre de trouver un artiste…Et pourtant si ! J’ai rencontré Longinos Nagila avec qui j’ai parlé longuement sur sa vision de l’Afrique, son art et Mayotte surtout ! C’était assez marrant, car il trouvait Mayotte très surprenante. Je crois que j’ai réalisé en échangeant avec lui à quel point Mayotte pouvait être perçu comme un ovni et c’était plutôt cool !

J’ai adoré ce lieu, car je le trouve très reposant et c’est un bon moyen de découvrir des artistes locaux !

2- National Museum

C’est un lieu phare et un point touristique, c’est vrai. Cependant, c’est toujours un début surtout lorsque c’est la première fois que l’on se rend au Kenya. Je trouve d’ailleurs que pour un musée ouvert au grand public, il y a quelques éléments provocateurs, notamment par rapport à l’histoire du Kenya. J’ai eu la chance d’être accompagnée d’un guide qui a pu me donner des détails concernant les différentes « tribus » kenyanes. Il m’a également raconté sa rencontre avec le président Obama, il paraît qu’il est aussi charismatique qu’à la télé ! C’est toujours bon à savoir ! ^^

3- Le Parc National

Des rhinocéros ! Des zèbres ! Des autruches ! Voilà ce qui nous attends dans le parc national ! J’ai volontairement refusé de faire un grand safari, car ce n’était pas vraiment le but de ce voyage… Mais j’ai visité le parc national dans sa version courte et c’est un bon moyen de voir des hyènes et d’autres animaux. C’était quand même assez impressionnant de les voir en vrai et ça m’a beaucoup plus, donc je recommande ce lieu surtout si on ne passe pas beaucoup de temps à Nairobi. Le parc est d’ailleurs à côté du quartier de Karen qui vaut le coup d’être visité pour mieux comprendre la construction sociale et spatiale de Nairobi.


Manger Veggie à Nairobi

Manger en étant végétarien pourrait sembler être une contrainte surtout en Afrique, sauf que ce n’était pas du tout le cas, bien au contraire !

J’ai trouvé des fruits et des légumes de saison frais ! HALLELUJAH et comme j’étais en Airbnb, j’ai pu cuisiner pour moi-même. Concernant les restaurants, c’était tout aussi simple. Nairobi est une ville cosmopolite et elle propose une cuisine internationale, donc j’ai pu me restaurer dans des lieux divers et variés. Comme l’Alchemist Bar au Mama Rocks qui font un très bon burger végétarien à l’avocat ou encore à l’Aga Khan Market où j’ai pu déguster un très bon Ugali, un plat traditionnel kenyan et répandu en Afrique de l’Est. Pour les non-végétariens, vous pouvez manger ce plat accompagné de « Nyama Choma » (viande grillée). Enfin, il est possible de trouver des jus frais et fait maison quasiment partout, je me suis régalée !

Où dormir ? Comment se déplacer ?

C’était un solo travel, j’ai préféré opté pour un Airbnb chez l’habitant. J’ai habité dans un bloc d’appartement qui s’appelait « Kugeria Flats » situé à Ndong Avenue. Mon hôte, Robert et Mutheu étaient très sympathique. J’ai partagé de nombreux diner avec Robert qui m’a raconté comment Nairobi s’était développé et les changements qui ont eu lieu dans la ville. L’appartement était très agréable, car il avait de nombreuses oeuvres d’un artiste reconnu à Nairobi, Michael Soi.

Pendant ce voyage, j’ai utilisé 3 façons de me déplacer :

  • Marcher : c’est l’option qui permet de voir le plus de choses, c’est la plus éco-friendly et le plus économique (c’est gratuit) cependant à partir de certaines heures et par rapport à certains quartiers, ce n’est pas ce qu’il y a de plus « safe ». Avant de vous déplacer à pied, prenez soin de demander l’avis à des locaux et des personnes en qui vous avez confiance.
  • Matatu : les « Matatus » sont des bus hyper méga colorés de Nairobi, ils permettent de se rendre dans différents endroits de la ville, sauf qu’il vaut mieux y aller avec un un local pour éviter de se faire avoir au niveau des prix et surtout être sûr(e) de prendre la bonne direction ! Cette option ne vous coûtera normalement jamais plus de 50 KES soit 0,50€.
  • Uber : Cette option est la plus safe surtout pour se déplacer le soir, cependant, elle est contraignante, car vous pourrez être bloqué(e)s dans les embouteillages et ne pas voir la ville. J’ai dû l’utiliser de nombreuses fois, car c’était plus pratique surtout le soir ! Le coût des Uber est bas par rapport à d’autres villes, mais les prix restent tout de même élevés par rapport à l’offre des transports de la capitale ! Le coût est en général compris entre 200 KES et 1000 KES soit 1,80€ et 9€.

En Bref… C’était comment Nairobi ?

J’ai beaucoup aimé cette ville pour l’offre cosmopolite (nourriture, personnes, activités etc.) qu’elle propose et la facilité de déplacement que propose la ville. Cependant, c’est une ville très polluée et il y fait froid quand même ! Ce sont les deux éléments qui m’ont un peu fait grincé des dents, sinon dans l’ensemble c’était Sawa Sawa !

J’ai quelques contacts (guide notamment) que je pourrais vous recommander, pour des raisons de confidentialité, je ne les ai pas mis en ligne, mais vous pouvez me contacter et je vous les enverrai avec beaucoup de plaisir !

KISS KISS !

D.H

Keep up with your 2020 resolutions !

This year is THE year, you will keep up with your new resolutions !

I know that each year, we throw ourselves into new resolutions and we end up not keeping up with them after 2 weeks…Y’all know what I am talking about ! 😉

Each year, we persuade ourself that this time is gonna be the right time, we are not giving up, yet we end up giving in !

POUR UNE VERSION EN FRANÇAIS => ICI

Stop resolutions, choose tangible intentions !

Actually, the massive problem around resolutions is that we want them without even asking ourselves why we need them in the first place. It becomes something fashionable and we feel as if we had to make new resolutions. I am still convinced that we do not always need them. Sometimes they can be necessary, other times, they may feel uncomfortable.

For example, last year I did not have any as it did not feel right. It was a « live and let live » type of year. Was this your case too ?

Yet, the real problem beneath new year resolutions are that they lack tangible intention. What the heck does that mean ?

Let’s suppose that in 2020 you wish to be more active. You may have to figure out what active means to you ? Is it physically active ? Socially active ? It’s only from that space that you may be able to keep up with your resolutions !

This way of implementing your resolutions will allow you to have tangible objectives to accomplish. You will see daily immediate results which are very encouraging to keep up with your resolutions ! I have tried it, here is an example of tangible resolution sheet you can also use !

Reflect on the past to better live the present

A new decade is starting and before getting right into it, one should reflect on what happened 10 years before, that brings us back to 2010. Where were we ? What were we feeling ? Is it nice to think about these moments ? Do feel joy or sadness ? Which experiences we would like to be repeated for the next decade ?

If there are things we regret, maybe we should take some little time for love and empathy for ourself. If the memories are great , then being grateful is an amazing gift we can offer to life for letting us enjoy things in such a meaningful way.

Once you have that figured out, you may be ready now to set your tangible intentions for this new year !

Wishing you the best and I wish you a very happy new year 2020 !

WITH LOVE

D.H

POUR UNE VERSION EN FRANÇAIS => ICI

A Patchwork therapy : the wall of ideas !

A wall for an active meditation

I remember that day as if it was yesterday. I was in my flat back to Spain. I woke up one morning after a vivid dream and I received the following information from my intuition: “go get a waxed cloth, pens and you’ll paste it on your wall to throw your thoughts on it !”

Back in the day, I was not very aware of what was going on, I was hardly touching what I so called today « the invisible world, the internal world ».

As soon as I woke up, I ran through the city looking up for a white waxed cloth, pens to write down my ideas. I was so enthusiastic and passionate about this adventure, people in the shops must have thought that I was a bit out there, they were all telling me things like “Nena ! Pero que esta pasando?” I would not even indulge in a conversation, I just kept on with what I had in mind and ran to my place to install my future wall.

After pasting this huge white cloth, I was invaded by this strong internal emotion that I could not describe. If my memory serves me right, the first word I wrote was “Pandora”. For a very long time, that word was alone on the immense ocean of white color. The truth is that I was frightened to express what was burning inside me, yet I felt I had to do it, it was going to heal me.

Discovering intensity and learn the art of loving

I accepted my fear and said to myself “I let everything go and I want to create”

I became obsessed with this experience! I could not stop writing, connecting ideas, they were coming at a frenetic pace, my thoughts were moving at such a fast pace until dawn and exhaustion.I would not go out anymore, I would cry, laugh, get angry in front of this wall, I was facing my emotions, my resentments, my fears everything was mixed. I LOVED IT ! Yes, I loved it !

It was INTENSE and I was living the moment, now!

When I finished my œuvre, I remember of the last words coming very slowly, like when you try to grasp the last drops of your favorite drink out of its bottle.

I enjoyed the last drops of thoughts and words, I smelled the ink for the last time, I listened to the sound of the pen caressing the cloth and as a subtle breath I wrote down the lesson that this wall wanted to teach me: I was afraid to give, so it taught me something very meaningful that’s guiding me through my life:

“Do not only* give to people who deserve it*, just give and see what happens”

What I did after this experience was not easy, as we could think that giving only means offering something to someone. It’s more complex.

It also means, giving something to yourself which also means giving love to yourself before taking care of others.

To give is also learning to “know thyself” in order to offer what we do best to others, to be at service, without force, but only using the strength of our character, our soul and offering what we have.

That year 2015, I started the process of coming back to myself, to who I truly was. I found out that I had enough love in my heart to embrace this great gift that life is!

Djem you funny…but what does it mean practically

In practice, these notions seem quite abstract, but it is possible to bring them into our daily life by discovering our authenticity as explained in my last blog article.

Into practice, it means that we start observing who we are to notice when we are not being very loving towards not only ourselves but others. So, we could offer a nice sweet to our coworker that’s having a bad day, offer something to a homeless person we meet, become less demanding with ourselves and more loving… there are thousands of ways we can love and give. Most importantly we need to remember to give honestly, without expecting anything in return. Just do and let time transform your actions, that’s how we work with the universe.

I discovered this wall today by accident. I realized it was very therapeutic to me and I could not realize it before. I thought this could be really cool for you too, if you would like to try it from wherever you are.

It’s a very intense process but very liberating.

I recommend it to:

  • Very creative individuals !
  • Individuals that have a hard time expressing their emotions and are controlling them
  • Individuals that want to liberate from something they have a hard time verbalizing
  • Individuals who tend to be in their own head a lot and want to get a picture of what’s going on in their mind
  • Individuals that want to understand how they create links between different ideas

What to buy ? :

  • A large white cloth (about 1m, 1m50)
  • Tape or nails to stick the cloth
  • Pens of your choice

You need to get in touch with yourself and let the magic happen! J

Have a great exploration !

D.H

How incenses have changed my life in Orléans, France ?

I know, you must be wondering what kind of Hippy/hipster/something out there have helped me change my experience in France and learn more about myself ? Well… I was able to discover this wonderful experience thanks to Régine Richy’s store in Orléans, France : Le Comptoir Esotérique.

I remember the first time I found out about the store, it was before my yoga class, I smelled incense in the streets and I decided to follow it. At first, it brought me in front of a Viking bar (too anachronic). How could that even be possible ? No ! It was the cute store next to it and there was this dark hair lady inviting me to come in. She started telling me about the story of the store, her story.

She made me try a few incense and I was literally transported to my organs, I started to feel them and felt my feelings again. It is a weird experience and new to me. Unfortunately, I do have to leave her for my yoga class and I promise to come back.

On the next week, I was back again to the store, I then discovered the world of incenses. It was a very deep and moving moment as they have tapped into something new and profound inside myself, something I have ignored for a very long time. I have shared my experiences with Régine, the owner and she puts a word, a meaning to my experience and possible pain. Suddenly, I am understanding why I was back to Orléans, France : to heal. Incense will be the door to my heart that I love so much.

The first incenses chosen for me that day were storax and the heart of venus.

  • The storax helps me for the quality of my sleep and reduces my anxiety/sadness
  • The heart of venus is a very feminine incense and helped me connect to my feminine side. It is a very feminine incense so if that’s what you are looking for that experience, go for it ! Also, it is a creation from the store, you will never be able to find it elsewhere, it a creation from Régine and it is 100% natural.

The first effects using incenses

Actually, until today I am still wondering if incenses were the only factor that changed my experience in Orléans or Régine added her soul to the process. I would say that they are two sides of the same coin. In fact, Régine helps to put a meaning on any pain we may have thanks to her alternative therapist background. She is able to guide you to the right incense at a specific time according to your soul’s need. For instance, she is the one who recommended me to do the Linden Tree Sapwood fall detox (video here).

So, the first effect were a clear improvement in the quality of my sleep and a very strong connection to my heart needs and to my feelings. Even more than before ? YES !

Then, I have become more receptive to listen to my body, I know now that a pain on a specific part of my body is linked to an emotion, event etc. It has helped me to become more aware and to meditate as soon as I feel something in order to adjust. I definitely made some improvement on the path of knowing myself better, I feel a new creativity born inside me and I am hoping to use it to serve you better through The Patchwork.

How to work with incense and how to find La Boutique Esotérique ?

The store is located at 22 rue Etienne Dolet, 45000 Orléans, France. The store organizes shipping as well through their Facebook page here. If you wish to have more and deeper information you can contact the owner directly at the 06 72 44 16 28, Régine Richy.

All incenses are 100% natural and homemade, there are 2 types :

  • The ones that requires coal to burn
  • The ones that do not require coal to burn ( my favorite is sage & lavender)

My advices before we leave each other:

  • I recommend you to buy your incense directly at the store as it is a very personal experience. What has worked for me may not necessarily be fine for you.
  • If you would like to have a more complete information, I recommend you to contact Régine directly.
  • Keep an open mind and stay in tune with what you are feeling during this experience

In the meanwhile, I keep on working with different type of incenses, my incense library has become bigger now. Leave me a small comment if you have any questions and I wish you a Merry Christmas !

Naples, the European Mumbai

This year, my wish to the universe was to visit one country in Asia. I guess it was not the right timing yet, so I was driven to another direction. I visited Naples, the European Mumbai.

The city was a surprise to me because I had no idea that Europe could be as chaotic and diverse as Mumbai. As the Indian city did, Naples has created a certain awkwardness inside my heart. Have I been embarrassed? I think so, at least that is how I felt.

Why the European Mumbai ?

The Chaos

The European Mumbai is the title that has inspired me to write this article today. Naples is very vivid and lively, just like Mumbai, there is a lot of mix : Baroque churches are dancing with hippies and party animals of the Piazza Bellini, restaurants know how to play with raw products, they are able to bring a bit of novelty mixed with serenity and cozy flavors to your tastebuds. Yet, you could meet a crazy theatrical chef who will drive his restaurant like a conductor.

The atmosphere in the streets where vespas keep on showing off and remind you a near death experience. The Spagnolo quarter that reminds you of how sketchy a place can be but you can still feel a party atmosphere. I have found all these contradictions in Mumbai as well, the play was the same but actors were different this time : they were approaching madness and human nonchalance.

No social code. Codes are almost forbidden

I would even say that social norms almost do not exist, at least, they are not as strong as in France. I think it has helped the city to develop an alternative scene. There is a lot of small studios, shops of natural products, recycled jewelries, bags etc.

In my opinion, one of the main reason you can find such offer is due to the massive influence of the mafia which contributed a lot to the development of alternative option as it has created an economic, political and social imbalance. It clearly showed self-defense mechanism to find solutions in order to continue to live a full human life.

Oh my dear creativity !

In terms of fashion, Naples was very inspiring. We could find a lot of vintage/thrift shop stores managed by amazing people who were truly passionate. However, fashion does not stop only in shops but it keeps going in the streets as well, the style is provocative for women and men were quite casual. I was inspired by certain colors and cuts. A pleasure for the eyes.

How was the Patchwork experience?

To be honest with you, for once, I am not able to perfectly describe what I felt and what happened during this short trip in the European Mumbai. I was sure shocked by the absence of link between things, yet something that’s linking them together. So, It’s not a surprise I have visited this city as my daily life involves linking things that do not seem to have a link together.

I actually believe that it is how life works as well, certain events today may not make sense but in the long run, it will make sense in the future and we will only understand it by the joy or pleasure we will experience.

This experience is felt in Naples by observing the big theatre of the world and sometimes we even accept to trick ourselves into the play to experience life.

Places I have loved and are Patchwork:

  • Piazza Bellini
  • Cap’Alice restaurant : Via Giovanni Bausan 2880121, Naples, for a theatrical napoletan atmosphere
  • Procida Island and the view

Special, Special for the restaurant Ecomesara, via Santa Chiara 49, 80134, Naples

I am madly in love with “solace” moments and Ecomesara brought it to me thanks to a very original risotto of red cabbage, apples and burrata. It was comforting and generous.

A delicious dish that I really recommend and the menu as well that is very creative and fresh. I have felt and remembered a lot of memories : it is what the Patchwork life is about after all.

I hope to write another article very soon and please ask me questions if you are also planning to go to Naples soon.

See you soon !

😉

40 mornings and 40 me: an experience, not a challenge

After a couple of days spent inside myself, I have come to realize that this was not a challenge but an experience. If I wanted to be even more precise, it is an experience filled with challenges.

I have chosen to do this 40 days experience in order to gain balance, find myself etc. BUT I have not taken into account external elements that would make the experience challenging.

For example, I have not taken into account my family coming to visit without notice, I have not imagined that I would meet a hyper kid that will make me sleep very late, I have not thought about the fact that I would like to spend time with my family, and I have not taken into account the stress that could be generated by my job.

You know what ?

IT IS ABSOLUTELY FINE ! 🙂

I have come to learn that life is actually defined that way, it is unstable and we cannot control everything. The only thing we can do is make plans, choices and sometimes it does not go as expected and it is absolutely fine.

What matters is which choice I decided to make when I faced these stormy challenges ?

Well, I have accepted them and here is what I learned :

  • My cousin is convinced that my mom did not create me and god made me because I bought her an ice cream. I came to understand that we needed very little to live divine moments.
  • I learned that I could obviously not control certain situations, flexibility is key and it does not mean that we are forgetting our convictions.
  • I learned forgiveness, it is a feeling of relief as you let it go, please try it, it is a rather enjoyable feeling and act.
  • I learned to give even more value to people that are important to me as we cannot take neither time nor moments back. I think they are very precious.
  • Waking up at 5 :30 am  can be tiring but It’s worth it, especially when it is to love yourself.
  • It is important to accept a problem before handling it.

Here are a few things that came from this conversation I had inside myself and the challenges I faced so far during this experience.

I hope you will soon go enjoy a small tea or coffee inside yourself, I hope you will, listen, look, touch and feel the purest and deepest part of yourself.

40 mornings and 40 me: make love, make peace

“ I make love when I am cooking, I make peace when I eat with people I love

I make love when I listen to someone, I make peace when I hear him or her

I make love when I listen to my heart, I make peace when I accept what it tells me

I make love when I say yes to what sounds right, I make peace when I say no when needed”

Djémilah Hassani

Make love, make peace

To make love and peace are not easy and I believe it is a choice we make. If these two words were not preceded by the word make, we could see them as idealistic. Thankfully, I have found out it is possible to bring these two words into our daily lives.

I remember the day I decided to choose love and peace, it was a little weird, we are not used to make love and peace with ourselves, we let it go.

It all started with my mirror, I started to look at myself with kindness and love, I have accepted that I was beautiful person and I have apologized to each cell of my human body for each pressure I have indulged on it.

I absolutely fell in love with my hair and I have forgotten how thankful I was to have them on my head, they are very useful and beautiful just the way they are. I absolutely fell in love with my body and accepted each scar that was on it, it reminded me how adventurous I was, I loved it and still do !

Unfortunately, many men and women are still struggling with the relationship with themselves and we often times prevent ourselves from love and peace in order to  live to our fullest potential and be authentic.

The power of our heart

How are you feeling when reading this article ? The answer does not really matter, what matters is what you are feeling, is it making sense to you ? If the answer is yes, then you may let it express itself.

We have the tendency to believe that being positive is waking up every morning and feeling like dancing with the sun and being madly in love every single day. It does not really work like that, we should not forget that we are humans before and after all. It is absolutely fine to feel like we are not going to rock the day, we should acknowledge that and respect this aspect.

The most essential part is how we decide to handle things, It requires a lot of patience, love to welcome those days. It is not about changing ourselves but understanding how we work in order to handle things better.

I am the first one to be drawn by my thoughts as I have a tendency to overthink and it does not always help. It is more than necessary to go back to our heart and listen to it. I call it the internal GPS, it is the one and only that can guide us when the road is too foggy. By engaging in this process, without even noticing, we will get exactly the situation, the people, the life that is fitting us. It helps us to judge less and love more as we understand more deeply.

It is crucial to know what we are letting inside our bodies : what do we want to eat ? Who we choose to enter our lives ? What do we truly need ? Do we need time for ourselves ?

By asking ourselves these questions, we prevent our bodies from toxicity. If positivity comes in, our thoughts, actions will go towards that direction. However, we should find our own positivity, some people will find it through a sport, others through walking, it is up to you;

The only thing that matters is finding your harmony.

Letter of peace and love :

Dear you,

I remember the day I started The Patchwork, I was terrified but I felt I had to do it. Here I am today, addressing this letter to you.

What I would like to tell you is to stop being afraid of loving yourself and being yourself, it is absolutely fine even required not to correspond to what the external world is expecting from you. Don’t you think it is weird to ask you to be something other than you ?

Today, I’d like you to look at yourself in the mirror and not being ashamed to madly fell in love with your nose, eyes, smile, intelligence, kindness, armpits, eyebrows and anything that people have told you could not.

You are what you are, if once you need a change, life experiences will let you know about it. For now, wear the best clothes for you and get out there, life is waiting for you to bring what you have to offer.