One of the most transformative experiences of my life was traveling to Paris a few years ago. It was the ideal trip for me because I was 'open' to a new experience and ready to transform my life. I fell in love in Paris almost instantly because of it's charm, the amazing food and treats and also because I felt the most comfortable in my own skin. It didn't take me long to want to be and channel everything 'Parisian'. I visited the 'House of Chanel', where I purchased one of my favourite red lipsticks 'Gabrielle'. I got a hair cut in Paris (something I've always wanted to do) - the great Coco Chanel said that "a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life". I was definitely ready for that. Today, I'm back to my long locks, but at that time, getting the short gamine cut and wearing a classic red lip was exactly what my soul needed.
One of the great things about traveling (no matter to what destination) is that you unlock a part of yourself that you always 'knew' was there, but you needed to be 'away from home' in order to realize it. My most recent trip was to Spain and it was life transforming as well (and deserves it's own post). Yet, there was something about being in Paris at a certain 'moment of time' in my life that was necessary for my own personal growth. It was sort of a 'Hero's Journey' milestone for me. I think I truly started to understand just how 'transformative' this trip was when my cousin took this photo of me (on the right) while sitting in a cafe. I had just purchased my new 'French Summer Hat' and was enjoying people watching. I decided that during that moment in time, I wanted to lean my hand up against my cheek for the photo. A few nights after that, we went to a restaurant that had photos of many actresses from the 40's and 50's, old Hollywood Glam era. I was mesmerized by the photo of this woman (the left of the side by side photo). To this day, I don't know who she is, but I couldn't help notice the similarity in our pose. I often think - what was running through her mind in that photo? Was she in a place of inner-transformation?
I think that one of the reasons that I created a side by side photo of us is to remind myself of how I loved the person I was becoming in Paris. It brought out a certain energy in me that was 'timeless'. Seeing this woman in the photo made me realize that her moment in time (in Paris) was just as 'timeless'. There is something very reassuring knowing that we're all on a journey and at some level, our stories are all connected, even if they happen in different eras and times. The human experience is just another 'moment in time' for each person, yet the lessons are often the same.
Since my trip to Paris 3 years ago, I've had many new experiences, some great and some not so great, but the person I discovered in Paris (that inner 'true self' of everything I am and ever could be) has remained with me and I look forward to reconnecting her with each new day :)