It’s true that it’s very grand. That there are those swanky hotels like Four seasons Hotel St Georges, Hotel de Crillon and Hotel Plaza Athenee. That most of us will only ever fantasize about staying in such places. That the so-called Golden Triangle of Avenues with the high-end designer stores the ilk of Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Chanel cross it. That the Champs Elysees the most famous avenue in the world is now overrun with tourists taking selfies against a backdrop of chain stores and the Arc de Triumph. But to focus on that would be to miss out on an essential part of the Paris story.
One of my early stays in Paris was in this area. It was in an apartment filled with family antiques that sat above the galleries of prestigious art dealers. The tall lounge windows looked across the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore. I was privy to a view directly into the rooms of Le Bristol Hotel. A place so lush it is officially classified as a palace. Every day I watched the coming and goings of its privileged guests. The deliveries of endless bundles of fresh flowers and foods. It was a world far from mine.
I was intrigued. Felt envy and disdain in equal measure. Yet even though it was a chilly drenching wet April and walking the rues was curtailed I never once ventured in. Even though I’d read how heavenly the Bar du Bristol was. That it was perfectly ok to do so.
Truth is I felt intimidated by such opulence. Couldn’t push myself past the doorman into this place dripping with chandeliers and silver and roses and red velvet. I needed to have spent half the day getting myself all poshed up. Even then I felt I’d feel a bit shoddy. Out of place. This wasn’t a world I had any business in. I am more boho by nature and style. At least this is how I thought. I was judgemental about such wealth. Still can be. But something else was going on.
I didn’t feel deserving. It was because I had a poverty mindset. I didn’t know yet that abundance was a way of thinking and being. When I started to change my inner world all the good stuff that I needed started to flow into my life.
I’m telling you this because I know a lot of woman are just like I was. Because to take good care of your inner needs you need to feel deeply worthy. If you weren’t fortunate enough to originally receive this wealth as a child you will need to learn it for yourself. To articulate your real needs. Expect them to be met. You need to give yourself permission to give to yourself.
Yet this not about grasping for more all the time. It’s not permission to keep shopping or indulging yourself when you feel crap to feel better. It’s about allowing those things into your life that nurture you. Deeply nurture you. About truly knowing. At a cellular level. That you are worthy of everything you need. That when you have this mindset things change.
Ladies this is the work. At midlife and beyond we get a second chance. So take it. Make the choices you need to make. Be accountable for your own life and time. If you want to go to Paris make it happen.
And when you are there don’t let those old patterns and beliefs deprive you of the pleasures of the Eighth. They are available to everyone. What I realised is that there are oodles of roses. More than enough for everyone. So have some if you want.
Along the way soak up the sunshine beside the wealthy locals in Parc Monceau. Maybe read some Proust because he hung out here. Skip the queues and opt for afternoon tea at a really posh place because it’s nice to indulge once in a while. Buy a truffle from La Maison de la Truffe to take back to your apartment and grate as much as you desire over organic soft eggs for tea. Allow the divine inspiration of an evening concert in L’eglise de la Madeleine. Rest your weary feet on beautiful mosaics along the terrace inside the Petit Palace. Don’t miss out on the elegance of the Musee Jacquemart-Andre and its cafe. Dare to go inside the exclusive private art galleries. Linger over the works even if all you can actually afford is the postcard. If you are really advanced take on Dior. Or the haughty doormen at Chanel.Try on a frock. Refuse to be rushed.
So now even with my more modest preferences I always plan something elegant and gorgeous in Paris. Like a slurge on cocktails at Bar du Bristol to idle away a wet afternoon. I wear my boho hand stitched linen clothes with pride. Because they are beautiful. And worthy. Like I am. I don’t feel so intimidated these days. I cultivate my inner state of plenty.
Thats how you become the Rose.