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Be Inspired…

It is already the first Tuesday of a new month and this is the day I join a group of bloggers and write about a given subject. Today’s topic is, ‘inspiration’.

I am inspired every day by love, by friendship, by beauty… by the small and the big things… I am inspired by my children… their creativity, their lust for life and their desire to forge their way in this increasingly complex world… I am inspired by my husband who is forever understanding and encouraging…  and who knows a thing or two about life and how to live it. I am inspired by my friends… their achievements, their kindness and generosity of spirit… and I am inspired by France.

Thinking about this subject had me going around and around in circles… I can see that I seek out inspiration constantly and I realised, very quickly, that my, ‘inspiration’ originates from the same place… my love of France… Falling in love with France has changed me… it’s the point where the before and after meet… France colours my thoughts and drives my actions. Perhaps it is the falling in love that is the inspiration, but I can see that in whatever I do… there is that link back to France. If I am thinking about fashion… I am usually focusing on a French designer… If I am looking for beauty I am inevitably drawn to a French interior… or a French landscape… When it comes to food… my palette thinks in a French way and when we are having our chats about stylish women, I am always inspired by the Parisians…

When I am at home in Provence my mind is full of ideas… inspirations… just looking out the window can ignite a million sparks… My head is full of what I want to do and what I could do… ideas for French Essence and personal projects… a never ending stream of creativity, only limited by the hours in a lifetime. This must surely be the definition of ‘inspiration’, for to be inspired there must be energy, creativity, passion and a feeling of self fulfilment… there must also be a channel for inspiration, a way to express this passion… Inspiration is infectious and motivating… and that is the reward, being ‘inspired’ enables others to inspire… to share… Inspiration is as necessary as the air we breath… without inspiration life would be dull and unfocussed. Where you find inspiration is unimportant… for some, like me, it is in their surroundings… for others it could be in numbers, it may be a joy of cooking… or it could be the love for adventure… To be inspired is what counts… to open the eyes and explore our interests… to understand the moments that ‘ring the bells’… that give a lift in spirits or awaken those broad smiles…

I am so grateful for France for she truly has, ‘inspired’ me… in more ways than I can ever count. My life has evolved dramatically both in a physical sense and an emotional one… A short drive down a plane tree drive altered everything… I was inspired, so inspired … to change my world, to change our lives… and from that point on.. everything has been different…

France, in all her perfection and imperfection, has crept into my subconscious and whether I am there or not, she continues to be my inspiration… xv

More ‘Inspiration’ from fellow bloggers… here

images by Carla Coulson from French Essence… here

*****

Provence on Pinterest… here

 To read more from French Essence click here

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32 Responses to Be Inspired…

  1. Catherine says:

    A fabulous post, as always Vicki…I love your definition of inspiration…creativity, passion, self fulfilment…your words inspire me!
    Have a wonderful week.
    Catherine
    xx

  2. Colette Nel says:

    You write so beautiful Vicki, in all you share, inspires me. Thank you for sharing EVERY DAY!!!
    Bisous Colette – Afrique du Sud

  3. Oh hooray! Reading this made me so happy. It is true! Talk about “ringing the bells” or being lifted up… And how I agree that inspiration comes in so many different forms…so sneaky it can be.

    I have a hard time imagining who you were before your life in France as it seems to permeate and percolate your every day that you share with us so generously here…
    Bisous,
    Heather

  4. Anita Rivera says:

    Oh how I wish I would have been here yesterday! My teaching assignment yesterday required I get there early.

    If awards were issued out to countries and cultures, languages and fashions, it appears to me that France would be the top winner every time. My experience is similar, having started from childhood when I didn’t even know what FRANCE was. My first book that I checked out from the school library in first grade was, MADELINE. I FELL IN LOVE. I don’t know what it was, but I had to go to Paris, I wanted to be independent like Madeline, and SURTOUT, go to Catholic school where there was ORDER! teehee

    Yesterday, I substitute taught at my former French immersion school. It was lovely. I ran into a dear French intern from Paris with whom I briefly worked last week at the “collège” and we spoke. His kindness, vibrant FRENCH character reminded ME why I love the French. Years younger than me, he treats me with so much respect yet there is an exciting edge as we speak passionately about artistic ideas for working together in teaching in the following weeks.

    Call it JOIE DE VIVRE, L’AMOUR, whatever, but the French have it, always have, always will. And I AM HOOKED.

    Have a splendid day, Vicki!
    Anita

  5. Hello Vicki

    You have not only adopted France, you have embraced it for all it is.
    Beautiful

  6. Lovely post, Vicki. You are so in love with your life and it is evident in everything you do and say. I wish that same happiness for everyone. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Jacqueline says:

    My sentiments entirely Vicki ….. and such beautiful images of your beautiful home in your beloved France which must be a constant inspiration. XXXX

  8. Sophia Home says:

    Put so well Vicki! I too am constantly inspired by my daily surroundings at home as well as out in the world, in simple everyday beauty. It is an interesting thought though that others are inspired by so many different things……it’s what keeps life and so people interesting!

    Sophia

  9. Lisa says:

    How lovely to have such strong feelings for the place you live. Almost as though France were a person, a good friend, a lover.

  10. La Contessa says:

    Boy, I so understand what your talking about I too found inspiration those few years back when we lived outside of Florence,Italy.I have been inspired ever sense.Iam a different person too.I think a lot of people donot have a passion or donot know how to be inspired these days.They just exist and are not real happy people.Just my oberservation over here in the States.

  11. Penelope says:

    Beautiful post! You speak for many of us! I love life, my amazing children, my adoring husband, grandchildren and friends! Everyday is a gift!!!! We should share ours with others!

  12. Oh how lovely you put your thoughts into words + As Sophia said it is what keeps life & people so interesting. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

  13. Lissy Parker says:

    Vicki, Your post today is beautiful. It made me stop and think of all the things that have inspired me. I feel the same way about my little home in the mountains–all I have to do is think of it and I am transported there.
    Thank you for all of the inspiration you provide to us everyday.

    xo, lissy

  14. Well said and I totally agree – there is inspiration in everyday life and in the simplest things. As a lifelong Francophile, my love for France and living here has indeed altered my core being – to discover and enjoy “la vie en rose” that exists here is a dream come true. I wish everyone the same sense of belonging and happiness that you expressed so well.

  15. Hallie says:

    You just inspired me and infused me with happy energy.
    I too fell in love with France but I didn’t move there – not yet – but it is always on the horizon for me and my husband. Our daughters are college age so it would be different from putting them into French schools yet I dream and continue to be inspired by all things French. It is their magnificent aesthetic which touches everything and may they not change. Not the farming, not the attention to detail and to high craftsmanship.
    May they always inspire the world, and let us not forget the Italian contribution toward the same end.

  16. Maryanne says:

    At the suggestion of Marsha from Splenderosa, I am stopping by to introduce myself as well as to say “Thank You” for “Inspiring” me. You have Razzled and Dazzled and Wowed me with your creativity, talent, thoughts and ideas this past year.
    Please stop by, say hello and leave a comment, they are always welcome. I hope not to disappoint, but rather compliment your work and inspire you, as you have inspired me me.

  17. lisa thomson says:

    What a beautiful post Vicki! It sounds like when you discovered France you came ‘home’. To be inspired everyday by your surroundings is really special. For me, I’m inspired by my experiences both good and bad. I wish my surroundings were a bit more inspiring but I guess I look forward to the day I have that.

  18. Tish Jett says:

    Dear, dear Vicki,

    In a word, YOU, are inspiration. The World Wide Web is a more beautiful place because you are in it.

    xoxo,
    Tish

  19. Yaya says:

    Thank you, for sending such magical inspiration out into the world. It’s a beautiful thing.

    Yaya

  20. Hello,dear Vicki!

    I road your post for the first time…..and want to say: thank you so very much for your great story here,inspired,touched and amazed!

    Your writing style makes me dreams abput France,amazing land,full of wonderful nature and absolutely magnificent,adorable daily life there( I mean,….those ”little things”),wich makes girl happy!:-)))*

    I am so happy,I came here via Marsha-totally wonderful person,talented designer and absolutely amazing woman!

    I Wish you creative,wonderful week ahead:-)*

    ***Violetta***

  21. This is the most beautiful tribute to France, loving, honest, from the heart. I think that i am also falling in love with France again…

  22. You have inspired me Vicky.
    I can tell you my first visit to Paris,
    I came home so inspired, by the Art, the shop windows,
    flower markets and fruit stands. It opened my world
    of vision and thoughts to create.
    Lucky you..
    yvonne

  23. I am very tardy today in visiting all the ladies of “By Invitation Only,” our precious group. No one could possibly write of inspiration as you have. You are so beautiful to all of us, Vicki Archer. I applaud you.

  24. So beautifully written V you most definitely embrace the French life and all it offers, brings out the best in you :) Love this blog collaboration great women and some wonderful posts on inspiration I have been reading
    xx Carla

  25. Claudia says:

    thanks for this very personal and inspiring post and your declaration of love to France.
    It has reminded me what is important to me, especially for my artistic work. You wrote “To be inspired is what counts”, I think this is a beautiful life motto.
    C.

  26. Can’t argue with that…France is about as inspirational as it can get in its natural beauty, architecture, food, fashion sense and style, even the native language sounds like a symphony. You are a lucky lady Vicki to call it home and are a great “poster child” for a living a wonderful French life.

  27. Coty says:

    Vicki, Vicki, Vick,
    You have such a wonderful way with words,

    and you bring so much inspiration into our lives, xx Coty

  28. Veronica says:

    Hi Vicki

    After Cape Town my next love would also be France, since I am from French stock (one part), I guess it was a natural throw back. It is possibly the only other place I could live apart from Africa and Cape Town. You have so beautifully painted the picture of French inspiration that I found myself nodding along. I must visit again and it would be amazing to be able to stay in France and further explore my heritage…some day…

    Veronica
    xx

  29. M.Claude says:

    MERCI Vicki, pour ce post où votre inspiration est communicative, c’est un plaisir de voir que la vie en France fait rêver…(même si ce n’est pas toujours le cas!), merci de votre commentaire sur mon blog, et de vos posts personnalisés et colorés.
    Belle journée.

  30. Beautifully written and created post, Vicky! We certainly share our love and inspiration for France. Well, in my case for the Périgord. The countryside, the old history and culture – an endless source to be inspired daily.
    Amicalement, karin

    Sorry for late comment but we’re cut off from electricity and internet every so often during the last days due to heavy winds and hale storms…rural countryside!

  31. Beautiful Vicky – your passion and inspiration are electric and contagious – thank you for all of it – you make my days smile. F x

  32. cathy says:

    What an absolutely gorgeous post Vicki….I must say when I traveled to europe I felt changed forever and can’t wait to be back there again this year…It just makes me smile just thinking about it….from your other home with love c xo

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