top of page

The Light Within

Whenever I go to France, I light up like the Eiffel Tower. Something inside of me starts to twinkle and I feel like I’m the most myself I know how to be. My recent trip to Paris was no exception. It was everything I needed it to be and so much more.

I started each day at Café de Flore enjoying my morning ritual of café crême and pain au chocolat. I rediscovered some of my favorite spots: Le Bon Marché, the flea market at Porte de Vanves, Musée d’Orsay, Musée du Louvre, and the Marais. I found style inspiration everywhere I looked, from the chic street style of Parisian women to the beautifully curated home collection at Merci (where I bought my beloved linen apron years ago). I returned to my neighborhood restaurant, Le Bistrot de Paris, where my favorite waiters greeted me with a warm hug and a glass of champagne. I ate a lemon tart that changed my life. I wore red lipstick everyday. I taught yoga in Franglais at Be Yoga Paris — “Mette ton pied gauche entre tes mains et tournez your ribcage towards le ciel.” I consumed nothing but bread, cheese, butter, and wine and I’ll be perfectly honest with you: I’ve never felt happier or healthier.

It was a soul-full trip.

Touring Versailles. Suede Ankle Boots, J.Crew; Camel Sweater, vintage Madewell (this one from Madewell would look great); Black Skirt, Reformation (to create the same look as my skirt, I love this dress, or this one, from Reformation); Saddle Bag in Oxblood, Cuyana.

Holiday decorations at Le Bon Marché.

My favorite sculpture, Victoire de Samothrace, at the Louvre.

Since my return home, I’ve been meditating on what, exactly, is the je ne sais quoi about France that makes me feel at h(om)e. I’ve run through several theories in my mind, including the possibility that my soul is actually French. It’s always surprising to me how difficult it is to put my finger on what I know—to articulate something that feels intrinsic to my soul. (This phenomenon, by the way, is exactly why it’s often harder for a teacher to explain that which they can easily do, and why the process of struggling with a posture or a concept can give a teacher the vocabulary to explain what they’ve worked hard to understand.)

Shopping at the Porte de Vanves flea market.

Yes, I love the food, the language, and the style, but my love for France and all things French is so much more than that. I find their entire approach to life deeply inspiring. The French treat daily life with genuine reverence. Everything is important. Everything is a ritual, from their morning coffee to how they wear their clothes to setting the table for dinner. Rituals lift our spirits and connect us to the heart of our experience. Anything can become a ritual—a meal, a conversation, a walk. You can make the unceremonious act of taking out your trash a spiritual act by paying attention. It’s not so much about what you’re doing as how you’re doing it.

Grey Turtleneck Sweater, And Other Stories.