Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Element

Mardi 19 Mars in The Element
Yesterday Sue said the ice cream boxes look like
Pans of watercolor. It must be why I love ice cream so much - a well known essential element to joie de vivre.
Today I got my 3-month Paris swim pass.
Water is an element I can't live without (well who can?).
Certainly the chefs at the Omnivore Festival are IN their element, painting creatively with flavors and mysterious syrups.
Ken Robinson in The Element says:
The Element is the meeting point between natural aptitude and personal passion. When people are in their Element, they connect with something fundamental to their sense of identity, purpose, and well-being. Being there provides a sense of self-revelation, of defining who they really are and what they’re really meant to be doing with their lives. This is why many of the people in the book describe finding their Element as an epiphany.
How do we find the Element in ourselves and in others? There isn’t a rigid formula. The Element is different for everyone.
I just discovered Ken's The Element and bells went off. I understood that coming to Paris has put me in my Element. I'm surrounded by so much visual inspiration I can hardly keep up.
Funnily enough it wasn't even my idea. Max Rivers said I should move to Paris well over a year ago and I laughed at him.
Often we need other people to help us recognize our real talents. Often we can help other people to discover theirs.
I finally rationalized to myself that I would be saving hugely on all the airfare I was throwing at AirFrance.
Many people set aside their passions to pursue things they don't care about for the sake of financial security.
Paris is so where I belong.
...in this book people have identified the sweet spot for themselves. They have discovered their Element - the place where the things you love to do  and the things you are good at come together.
We need to make sure that all people have the chance to do what they should be doing, to discover the Element in themselves and in their own way.

I know this post is all over the map and I've just put a toe into The Element but it touches so many chords I wanted to share it with you. You can read a sample on Amazon. Enjoy!


rosemary said...

Wow this is great !!! How long are you planning to stay Carol - well done !!

Merisi in Vienna said...

Love, love, love this post, for each and every element you show us!
I am so thoroughly happy that you found the one place on earth where everything falls in place for you. Brave, brave soul you are.

Merisi said...

Love your profile location, Paris, France!
Yes, that's where you belong. x

French Heart said...

FANTASTIC post!! Absolutely true for me too. I'm either enhanced and flowing with my element, or feel spiritually drained by whatever is not a fit; though often regard that as a growth phase.

I think it is critical to one's eternal soul to become what one feels destined, born to do. This to me is what makes life well lived, creates the soul that lives in eternity, and hopefully pays the bills!

Brava Carol!!

Stef said...

so beautiful colors


La Table De Nana said...

Love the brush in water:) You are excellent at that!
I painted a wee bit today since it was a snow day..
(You can't believe how much snow we have..)
I would go out ..but I would need Red Riding's hood to differentiate me..from all the white!
How true about the pans.. the pans look like Gelato in Italy for me..
You have found your spot..

Good for you~

Barbara Lilian in France said...

Sometimes it takes someone from the outside looking into our lives to show us where we belong, & it seems you have now found where you belong & that's Paris. Being in our element can a simple thing or for you that big step you needed to take to find yourself in YOUR element. Love this post.

Parisbreakfasts said...

So much better than Astoria, France isn't it? :)

Parisbreakfasts said...

Timing is everything. Things just seem to have fallen into place making adjustment so easy...almost non-existent.

Anonymous said...

Your blog yesterday showed a painting with a short handled paint brush in it. Can you tell me where I could get one? Thank you for your blog. I really enjoy it. Karen

Parisbreakfasts said...

I think I cut them off myself. That's quite an old brush..

Louise said...

How wonderful to find and then hit your element. Inspiring post Carol, thank you. And with especially gorgeous pictures today.

Jane said...

I just read your latest post and it spoke to me (in 2 languages). Paris has been such a fantasy for me, and now I am about to embark upon my 3rd trip in 8 months! Peut-etre, as they say. I am at the age where "someday" is running out and needs to be replaced with "aujourd'hui." When I was younger I thought carpe diem was all about shallow hedonism.
No more!
I leave JFK on Air France a week from demain!
Bonne printemps,

Alison said...

True and inspiring thughts.
Thank you. Luvya,

Debra said...

Carol,I'm not sure how you made it happen (moving to Paris), {sorry, hope I didn't miss that post} - but, clearly when things just happen and the pieces fit together, it is so divinely sweet.
Thank you for this post, after raising five children I am trying so damn hard to find my element. Got it narrowed down to art & all things French which lead me to Paris last fall. God, it just felt right being there. Too old to find a job there. No extra $$ to just come to a long sojourn. So, I will keep on looking and keeping my eye out to find my way. Maybe, this book will help me.

Jeanie said...

This looks very much like the kind of book I would enjoy -- and your element sounds grand! Oh, when I see all the beautiful food presentation, it makes me smile!

Jerie Artz said...

the Element is a book I'll need to get - just read the Amazon pages...how fascinating. I'm so glad you are sharing your "element" experiences...we've just moved to a new state and it is amazing to me to see how beautifully things are unfolding and I am "bien dans mon assiette!"

Parisbreakfasts said...

Bonne chance
Thanks Debra
I didn't say boo about coming on PB for fear it wouldn't happen
And there was a lot of fear and panic.
But none once I got here fortunately

Janice C. Cartier said...

Oh I must read this book!!!!! Many hugs...so very there with you virtually..multipassionant people are so allowed to be " all over the place" the cohesive element is you. This is gorgeous. Much love. Janice

Anonymous said...

"You have no obligation under the sun than to discover your real needs, to fulfil them, and rejoice in doing so." Rabelais


~Suzanne~ said...

It is so apparent that you are absolutely in "your element". Thanks for this post and the book recommendation (all your book suggestions are great!)
Am counting the days until we leave for Paris. Like many of your other PB friends...Paris "speaks" to me ~it feels like home.
Merci PB~

Jill @ MadAboutMacarons said...

I always love how you have the artistic eye when spotting ice cream cartons and then juxtaposing with a paint palette. Wonderful - and that watercolour of yours with the glass of water and paintbrush is beautiful, Carol.

Cris, Oregon Artist said...

So happy you got your dream of moving to Paris. Something new is always scary even just moving to another state as we did... Happy its working out for you as it did for us. I too think your watercolors remind me of ice cream boxes. Luscious colors. Your painting is wonderful. That brush so real. I am always learning something interesting on your blog posts.

Anonymous said...

I remember when you were hesitating about moving to Paris and I wondered why the hesitation. But things are right for a time; maybe forever and maybe not. I lived in Rome for 6 years where I was absolutely in my element. But when I found that I was driving around the colosseum without even looking at it, as I was so shocked to know that my Roman friends did, I realized that I had come to see the problems of that city more than its advantages and I eventually went home to have my children...so much easier in this country. (Australia). Expats have always got one foot in 2 places. Anyway I would live in France...in a castle in a wood somewhere......maybe one day.. You inspire so many people with your constant posts, and everyone has benefited from your move in some way. I adored the one on the Mont Blancs...how clever of you. Gwendoline. Australia.

Nikon said...

I love that watercolor of the paint brush in the bowl - it's perfect.
The pool shot is great - I love the distortion you got with that edge shot.
Love the food, too!
The book sounds interesting - it worked for you pretty well :)

Anonymous said...

Carol, please tell me what the luscious strawberry/cheese(?), chocolate (?) dish is called and where to get it. Merci!
Mary I.

Parisbreakfasts said...

That was a chef demo plate sitting around to admire but not taste so I've no idea Mary.

Anonymous said...

What a magnificent post. There has been such a change in your posts since you moved - you are most assuredly in the right place for you.
I come to Paris at least once a year and am always looking for things to do. Have you ever considered writing a Paris Breakfasts Guide? I would buy it in a minute...

Parisbreakfasts said...

Mary, the pastry chefs name is Jean-Thomas Schneider
and he works at Louisfrancois.com an ingredient supplier.

ellie said...


Anonymous said...

I am so, so glad you have moved to Paris!! You are absolutely in your Element!
Ever since you posed it as an idea to your readers, I felt strongly that you should take this step. And I remember emailing you and mentioning that you would save a lot of airfare $$. Are you there permanently? No more NY apartment? I read Paris Breakfast every day, and look forward to seeing some photos of where you live, what the neighborhood is like, how you are decorating it........what it is really like to really live in fabulous Paris. I have been there many times, and hope there will be more trips in the future. Good for you, Carol! You did it!!!!! If I didn't have all my family responsibility, I would be there too. No place in the world is better. It really is the center of the universe. The most refined and beautiful place. You are just where you should be. Absolutely. In your Element.

Keep those wonderful Paris Breakfasts coming! With best wishes for a most creative life in Paris. Sincerely, Susan