15 May 2018

The Best-Kept Beauty Secrets #19

The Best Kept Beauty Secret #19 : Generosity on vickiarcher.com

Generosity is one of the most powerful beauty secrets.
Generous is not confined to the obvious; it is about so much more.

A generous mind, a generous heart and a generous nature set us up for life. Life can exist without generosity but it is a far different one from the world I am thinking of. To be generous requires thought, dedication, observation and caring.

Generosity begins with us; it must start there.

Most of us are not particularly generous when it comes to us. How often do we criticize ourselves, feeling despondent with our achievements or get lost down the rabbit hole of, “not good enough”. I know I am guilty of this. I am not suggesting we don’t deserve some criticism from time to time but I believe we confuse criticism for what is natural.

Generosity towards ourselves allows us to be more generous to others and have a greater understanding. What goes around comes around, or so the saying goes and this is never truer than in the case of generosity.

Generosity, forgiveness and understanding go hand in hand – they thrive with each other. Generosity works. It’s a very simple equation where more equals more time and again. Don’t we gravitate towards people who have a “generous spirit” and want to be around those who give of themselves?

Generosity does not mean we have to be over the top and indulge others or ourselves with material goods. Think about the one perfect flower in the bedside table where the gesture of scent and nature is what counts. Being generous with our time is another example – lacking the rush, the impatience and the boredom with others is an act of the greatest generosity.

As is to be made feel welcome.

Welcoming is a grand act of generosity and this is something on my mind as I make the final preparations at La Maison du Village. Our little boutique hotel is just open and I am here to add the finishing details. Although, it is a work in progress and one I think will never be done. I’m working on the small bits  – what’s in the bedrooms and bathrooms – but I have come to realize they are also the “big things”. I want our guests to feel not only is it their home away from home but that they are spoilt in the right way. We are working here this week, sleeping in all the rooms and trying everything out. I look around and see my selections are impractical – old linens, lots of light colours and porcelain that is fragile but I don’t care – it does feel generous. For me to feel happy; La Maison du Village must feel generous. Perhaps it is not the perfect business decision but I do believe in the long term it will be.

Provence is about the senses; the scents, the sounds, the tastes and feels and so should a stay at La Maison du Village and Le Petit Bijou.

Generosity, when shown, puts us in the brightest of moods and it opens our hearts. Witnessing generosity has the same outcome. When we feel something is less than generous or there is a hidden cost associated with the so-called “generosity” our hackles rise up and we withdraw – we don’t give of ourselves in the same way. It’s not about feeling entitled or being greedy it is about being made to feel wanted. Generosity illuminates value.

Beauty is not a one-stop shop – but generosity goes a long way to enhancing our appearance. xv

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Vicki Ford

Comgratulations on the results of all your hard work! I am always inspired by your endeavours, never more so when you pour out your HEART towards people. I LOVE the idea of being cossetted in French linens and giving the same experiemce to others. WHY NOT?!! I am now going to do the same in my home as you are doing dear Mrs Archer.

Caren Rankin

I would absolutely love to hear about your retreats!
I am living in London now and it would make it easier to do.
Kind regards,

Taste of France

This is such a warm-hearted post. Thank you for it. Yes, generosity. Whether it’s a smile, or letting somebody harried (or elderly or with a young child) go ahead of us in line–it doesn’t have to be about giving things or money. If anything, time is far more valuable.

Beverly (Canada)

Vicki, this I resonate with so completely! Your thoughts expressed here are well articulated and timely. For my husband and me, the coming summer season brings a steady stream of visitors to our guest cottage. Be it friends or family, my desire is that each will come away with fond memories of having been welcomed with attention to the details and it having been done generously. Be it fresh flowers (from our garden) or the scent of freshly washed linens, as well as a host of other “small” enhancements, hopefully each will contribute to the overall “retreat” experience. Thank you for the reminder to be diligent and thoughtful in these endeavours. Like you, I see the value of trying out guest spaces myself to help me “get it right”.


well said, ….. having almost finished the decor of our beach place, it will go on the rental market the end of May. I know some of the pieces I used were not practical, but it made my heart sing and I hope the same for my visitors. Congratulations on your endeavors.


So well said!! Making someone feel wanted and welcome is a wonderful gift. Sometimes it seems all too rare.
I am very interested in your retreats.
Thanks for the blog.


Vicki, So looking forward to seeing pictures of your new venture. If it’s anything like the spirit of LPJ, I know it will be heavenly.
What you say about generosity is so true. I tried to implement those principles in my working life. If I could possibly help someone at work I’d always try. Because I usually developed a fair amount of expertise in my work areas people often asked me for advice and assistance so I always tried to help them as much as I could. Sometimes it could eat into my own work time and mean that I had to work later and longer. But it also meant that down the track they appreciated what I’d done and were ready to be helpful to me in return if I called for assistance, maybe even a year or two later. When I was attending international conferences it’s how I built up a solid support network of people from different countries, people I could call on for advice and support for our delegation. Being always ready to lend a helping hand to those from other countries who were new, introduce them around to other helpful people, show them the ropes etc and give them a bit of inside gen on people and relationships within these forums. Sometimes it might mean being able to persuade a delegate from a likeminded country to join a committee we were on when we might need support for our position. I once persuaded another country’s delegate at a conference in Beijing to give up a visit to the Great Wall, something he’d been looking forward to, to join our delegate on a difficult but key committee. I didn’t have to pressure, I just said X, we need you. And explained why. He understood and agreed in good humour and really helped make a difference. Although he missed having gone to the Wall he was happy because he felt he’d done good worthwhile work that day. Generosity is a two way street. With best wishes, Pamela


I also agree with generosity which is wonderful gift and it matches so much with kindness. We are in St Remy in a few weeks, will La Maison du Village be fully open then for my husband and I to pop in for coffee?
I love your idea of scents of Provence as when I am back home that is what I love around my own home to take me back to Provence. I also love the colours as well – the clear brilliant blue sky in summer which just is stunning to gaze up at; along with wonderful colours of the shutters on houses with that warm blue/green/turquoise colour which is around Provence. I’m looking forward to visiting Vicki and wish you well in your new venture.

Nancy McKenzie

Never thought about beauty and generosity going hand in hand but you defined it beautifully and meaningfully…with much insight. Everyone wants to feel wanted and valued and generosity accomplishes that! Hope you are so very pleased with all your accomplishments and that many will enjoy your generosity through out the years.

Susan Sherman-Wanstreet

I love your style and your posts! I would like to enter your drawing for your lovely inn. I need some place to rest and absorb the wonderful surroundings.

Lesley Home

Isn’t that just the greatest challenge to be generous with our time ..to not be rushed …especially for a working older gal!!


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