MA-losophy in France: A gal’s gotta eat, but does she have to shower?

I will have a dozen or so blogs about my trip to France in the Summer of 2013.  Expect the MA-losophy style while also getting tips that you may be able to use when traveling with family in Europe (in my case with 11 people total) and my ability to maintain my sanity (most of the time).  While I receive compliments on my ability to speak French, I am far from perfect and it is a continuously humbling experience.  The following are some of my adventures as the only family member that spoke the language and was most exposed to the culture.  Wow, did I learn many lessons.  Read on…

My husband and kids at lunch in Roumillan, France

Food Glorious Food:
Having breakfast and a light dinner in our apartments as a general rule, this meant that we could splurge for lunch and we did just that.

A beautiful French entre (which is the beginning of the meal, not the main course as we might call it in the U.S.).

We made it to the next town — Roumillan which is near Pont du Gard — but it was a bit late for lunch.  Being a small town English was not spoken, but my French confidence was higher and the staff was willing to seat our family of 11 on their back patio (rather than muffle their white table cloth dining room which was a win:win).

Surrounded by four walls but open air (no roof), the ambiance was perfect, we were one of only two tables being served, and the servers were good humored even with our late arrival.  A perfect example of French hospitality.

Hunting and Gathering:
Bellies full, it was time to hunt and gather (i.e. find the local grocery store that would close by about 7pm, and where we can get our fresh bread and sweets).  Oh, wait, we weren’t even sure on the location of our next apartment (this is why we were late for lunch)!

So, after finding our apartments (just minutes away), taking stock of cooking and eating equipment, and refrigerator space we zeroed in on our food sources and loaded up our pantry shelves.  Top non-food items on our list were toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning sponges, dish and clothes washing soap, and did I mention “Just One Drop” that we brought from the States?

I mentioned this in another blog, but wow does that make a difference when you have 7 people that poop, at least once, everyday.  You add one drop to the toilet water, do your business, flush and the smell is (mostly) eliminated.  When the toilet closet sits next to the kitchen table (like it did in our first apartment) it’s a real sniffer saver. I think I digressed again.

Brrrrrrrr-Environmentally Thrifty:
The French (and much of Europe) have laws that require them to be thrifty when it comes to energy usage.  In our first apartment we had plenty of hot water, but we had to (literally) flip a switch every morning on the breaker panel to warm our water.  When we made it to apartment #2 we had a very cold dose of reality — limited hot water — so for the next 5 days we all took military showers (wet ourselves down, turn off the water, lather up, rinse quickly).  I congratulated the 7 members of our platoon for doing their parts (right down to using cold water when washing the dishes) and we all were sure to remind ourselves that we weren’t roughing it after all.  We were in France for Goddess sakes!

The MA-losophic message is to give the amazing life experiences more power than the skid marks.
I have arranged many family gatherings in my 31 years with my husband/life partner.  There have been times that I have subtly (and sometimes not too subtly) coached certain family members to be grateful for the experiences we have when we’re together, because bringing other family members down or not being gracious simply isn’t acceptable.  Sounds a little rose colored glasses and maybe tough, I know, but how do you feel when negativity douses your light? Your amazement? Your gratitude?  And, we do this to ourselves, at times, too.

Similarly, when clients say “I am failing” they no longer view this as acceptable so we look to their successful experiences (we have all had them in some shape or form, at some age), remember how they moved through life when they achieved them, and re-apply those movements to re-create more amazing life experiences today.  It all connects.

To learn more about my mind over matter practice, my self-help books, workshops, and techniques to create comfort for yourself and others, go to  Speak to you soon.

1 Comment Posted in Family, Neuro-linguistic Programming, Walking your path
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One Comment

  1. Great entry. Thanks for sharing!

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