And my biggest regret
I'm sure there have been times in your life when you've made a decision that surprised your friends and family, or that people close to you just didn't understand.
How did you react? Did you stand your ground, break free from expectations and keep your vision clear and strong knowing you were doing what was best for you? Or did you listen to the opinions of those around you who may have had your best interests at heart, but couldn't understand it from your point of view?
You've probably had a few of each, as we all have - this is the story that ignited, in part, my spiritual journey (another story for another day!).
My biggest regret in life is that I left Avignon when I was 19, after a year as an au pair. I'd fallen in love with the language, the way of life, my friends and the bar where we practically lived.
The town captured my heart the first time I laid eyes on it and I just didn't want to leave.
Before you ask, yes, there was a man involved when I left, but I'd made plans with my friend Fredy to stay with her until I got a job and found my own place long before he came along!
I'll never forget the day I told my parents I wasn't coming home - Mum with her trademark "Don't be ridiculous!" and telling me "You're far too young to make a decision like that on your own. Come home and we'll discuss it".
Mum ended up playing the emotional blackmail card - telling me that my four grandparents were getting old and wouldn't be around much longer, that it wasn't fair on them and I fell for it. We lost the first of them 12 years later, I think!
I knew with every ounce of my being that I'd be stuck there if I went home, but I went anyway. And it broke my heart.
My Grandma went to the airport with my parents to pick me up. I couldn't stop crying – she said that I was crying because I was so happy to be home, I looked at my Dad and I knew that he understood how far from the truth that was.
It took me a few more years, once I started on my spiritual journey, to decide that I wasn't going to live my life according to other people's expectations anymore, that the visions they had for me weren't necessarily the same as those I had for myself - this was my life to live, not theirs.
I learnt to put my values and my needs first, even if it meant disappointing others or having people look at me like I was crazy.
It can definitely be challenging to stay true to ourselves, especially when faced with external pressures or expectations and I'm pretty sure you have similar experiences to share from your past - times when you allowed other people's opinions to influence your actions instead of doing what you knew was best for you.
There came a time when it became impossible to live that way any longer and when I learned through my spiritual reading that everyone sees the world through their own experiences and fears, it was a breakthrough moment that set me free in so many ways, but most of all it reignited my dream of moving to France.
The whole process also helped me to understand my parents' point of view, and although I had blamed them for a long time, I realised that it was always my choice whether or not to stand up to them and fight for what I really wanted.
Understanding that people see the world through their own experiences and fears can encourage empathy and compassion. Recognising that others have their own perspectives and struggles can help you become more understanding, tolerant and open-minded - which leads to a far more peaceful state of mind and being, it did for me and it's also a perspective that can help forgive those who've caused you pain.
None of this happens overnight, or maybe now with the ascension process accelerated for so many people, it just might - with help from a trusted energy worker of course!
It takes courage, strength and determination to look inside yourself and really see where you're compromising your own true values because of other people's expectations of you and what your life 'should' look like.
Choose to follow your heart, to do whatever it is that fills you with joy and passion - some people will get it, some people won't - they may call you crazy and that's absolutely fine, they're entitled to their opinion. And that's all it is - another person's opinion, to be taken into account if you so wish, but always remember -
We're all on our own journey and the only person who has to make sense of anything is you.
I eventually moved back to Avignon to live after 8 years of long weekends and holidays - it took Fredy's death in 2002 at the age of 34 for me to really understand that life is just too short not to do what really makes you happy, no matter what anyone else thinks.
If this resonates with you in any way, if your own fears or past experiences are holding you back from living your dreams, we can work together to release any limiting beliefs and residual energetic imprints from past experiences, leaving you free to live your life fully and authentically - book your FREE consultation today and start living the life you've always dreamed of: