Standing in front of the quarries in Carrara, I imagine Michelangelo choosing stones worthy of his masterpieces. In my mind’s eye, I see him surveying these very mountains as he travelled around paying labourers here and scrutinising a rock wall there.
Our ancestors accomplished some amazing feats, without our modern transport systems. But of course, it goes without saying that Michelangelo did not mass produce his David! And he only painted one Sistine Chapel.
And what if that is the secret? Only do things once and give it your all to do your best? That’s what the 4 Toltec agreements teach us.
What about you? What is the project closest to your heart that would be worth you spending a month, a year, or even 25 years on?
The spider sits on my bedroom wall, motionless and threatening. I catch sight of it and scream. It’s enormous with long, hairy legs.
My friend is barely braver than I am. She holds out the vacuum cleaner tube and I watch with horror, and growing relief, as the monster disappears.
Will I have to leave the vacuum cleaner on all night?
This isn’t a dream, and there was a time when my reaction was much worse. In the past, I used to feel an uncontrollable urge to call the fire brigade out or to move out of the house entirely and only come back a long time after the crime scene had been cleaned up.
Since then, a hypnotherapist who specialises in such cases has helped me to get rid of most of my uncontrollable reactions.
I wonder why I didn’t seek help sooner, given the discomfort I systematically felt.
What about you? What unhealthy situation are you experiencing that would be worth taking steps to resolve?
I think I’m lucky. Disney’s Gladstone Gander, the female version, without the goose feathers.
It’s not because I win the lottery every day or because I find diamonds on the pavement.
It’s because I have the gift of feeling delight.
Feeling delight because of a well-presented meal. Feeling delight that someone has recommended a good place to eat. Savouring the view of a majestic mountain. Experiencing the pleasure of laughing for no apparent reason. Taking a minute and saying to myself: how wonderful!
So yes, Gladstone and I have the same initial. And nothing or no one can stand between me and my happiness. That is what I choose!
What about you, who won’t you allow to stand between you and your happiness?
My road trip through Italy taught me an important thing: when something needs to happen, it happens. And effortlessly!
The day before I arrived in Siena, I booked a guided tour that I found rather randomly on the Internet. The next day, in front of the cathedral, I realised I was the only person waiting for the guide. I had hit the jackpot: two hours for 20 euros!
That night, I tried to repeat the exercise. I looked for a guided tour of Assisi for the next day. It was impossible: not on a Sunday, not in a group, not in the morning – so I gave up and went for dinner.
During my meal, I was chatting on WhatsApp with some friends and realised I could meet up with them for lunch the next day! If I had insisted on a guided tour – if I had persisted in my efforts to find a guide – I would have missed out on the pleasure of that lunch.
Have you noticed that things happen effortlessly when they are just meant to be? The universe always points you in the right direction.
My host at the B&B in Aosta was an exceptional tourist guide. Cesare listened to what I wanted to do and then organised a customised tour for me.
Thanks to him, I went for a high-altitude hike in the mountains (which reminded me of the Way of St. James) and I found myself having lunch in a Michelin-starred restaurant in the middle of nowhere “because it’s so reasonably priced at lunchtime, you’ll see”.
I let myself be carried along by this enthusiastic local and ended up – it has to be said – with massive aches and pains and a very full stomach…but it was good to be guided by a satnav. Because you always have the choice: follow it. Or not.
What about you? What kind of satnav would you trust to take you to places?