Audrey Hepburn once said, “Paris is always a good idea,” and as New Year’s Eve was fast approaching, I found myself in Paris without any tangible plans. To be fair, I was on a #Medallion Run with Delta Airlines with just over 36 hours left in 2022 to qualify for Diamond Medallion status, where one gets a number of travel benefits. So, I booked my last flight of 2022 and away I went to Paris for a 36-hour adventure.
Like most of us during the holidays, I didn’t have much time to plan anything outside of booking my flight and my hotel and I didn’t have any reservations for dinner either. I figured I would spend the little time I had in Paris basking in the beauty of this stunning city, including the lights, the storefronts decked to the nines in holiday glitz, visiting the Christmas market and then I would grab a bite somewhere, anywhere really, that had an opening for a solo traveler with no reservations. Then, I would enjoy the flight home back to Atlanta as I pondered what I wanted to accomplish in 2023 and what I wanted to change. Funny how things play out when we are receptive to the journey and whatever life throws our way. As it turns out, everything was magical from the moment I arrived in Paris.
Listening to Your Inner Voice:
I stayed at the InterContinental Paris Champs Elysées Etoile, the smallest Intercontinental Hotel in the world, that was just a stone’s throw from the Champs-Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe. I got a wonderful room upgrade with a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower thanks to their wonderful rewards program. While I was there, I did a beautiful makeup tutorial that I will be posting to Genuist Beauty’s Instagram page in the coming days. Once I was ready, I headed to the Ritz to grab a glass of champagne, while I looked into places to grab dinner. Again, I did not have high expectations of getting a table anywhere because I was a solo traveler with no reservations. So, there I was sitting at the Ritz and a little voice in my head said reach out to Chadwick Boyd. Chadwick is a food media and lifestyle entrepreneur and a TV host, executive producer, author, magazine contributor, speaker, and executive brand strategist, that I connected with on social media, and I was instantly hooked by his thoughtful, authentic, and generous posts. His social media is incredible, and I recalled that his posts mentioned a sibling living in Paris. So, I messaged him and told him I needed a place to eat in Paris.
A Food Paradise in Paris:
He suggested Twenty-Two Club Paris, a unique, intimate, and nearly impossible to book dining and supper club experience, where 22 people get to eat at a 17th century apartment in Paris overlooking the gardens of the Palais Royal and they dine at a communal table that the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, raved about on her Instagram page here. I had nothing to lose, so I reached out to Twenty-Two Club Paris, and would you believe, they had one space left at 7:30 pm. I booked my reservations at 2:30 p.m. and a few hours later, I found myself in this magical setting where I met the most gorgeous humans from around the world. The food was unreal, and the experience was an unforgettable one and such a highlight to end 2022.
The next day, on my flight back to Atlanta, I thought about the power of listening to the inner voice we sometimes hear, yet that we are often too busy to hear and at times too afraid to follow. Instead of thinking about all the things I would not be able to see on such a short visit in Paris, I counted every second in Paris as a magical gift and I was blown away by the things that transpired on such a short, spontaneous adventure. I also marveled at the thought that when I got home, I would have 365 new days to treat as a masterpiece too.
My New Year’s Resolutions:
As the New Year was fast approaching and our plane was comfortably at cruising altitude, I engaged in my New Year’s Eve ritual that I have been practicing for over 30 years now. I grabbed my journal, and I started jotting down all the things that happened in the previous year that I was grateful for, lessons I learned and things I needed to release and not bring into the new year with me. This is also a time where I ponder what practices I want to put into place in my life to allow for more magical moments, like the ones I had in Paris, and this trip taught me that if you go into a situation, adventure, or trip with an attitude that everything is perfect as it is and that things will work out, they generally will. This is a much harder practice to put into place when things in life are not going well, but it is also in those hard moments of life when our patience is worn thin that we can grow this positive attitude even more.
Trading Expectations for Appreciation:
As my journaling progressed, I found my attention wavering towards negative experiences and things I had failed at and needed to change. I realized I was not focused on the blessings yet one of the things Tony Robbins says is “trade your expectations for appreciation. Where focus goes, energy flows. If you decide to focus on the negative, that is what you will experience. If you focus on the positive, you will bring more positivity into your life. It’s the law of attraction at work, and it applies to your career, personal life and your interactions with your family.” Read more from Tony Robbins here.
When I went back to writing about all the blessings I experienced in 2022 including all the amazing people I met, experiences and trips I got to take, time with my friends, mentors, family and husband, the business opportunities, like starting Genuist Beauty, launching our new products in 2023, getting to study with Keith Cunningham and meeting with Sonia Roselli for inspiration, attending new courses with Tony Robbins, and the gratitude I feel for the incredible Authentic Beauty Makeup Salon and Brow Studio staff and our clients, my heart was once again brimming with so much love and gratitude.
Why settle for living in anything other than a beautiful state?
As I reflected upon the fact that we are responsible for our own emotional state, I wrote these words down and this sentiment comes from Loren Lahav. “Why settle for living in anything other than a beautiful state?” when we come against challenges with a beautiful state of mind and with an open attitude, we can see conflicts as opportunities, and we can wake up each and every day with a gorgeous state of mind that trades expectations in for appreciation.
As my inner glow returned after writing down all the things I was grateful for, I chatted with the flight attendant and thanked her for doing such a wonderful job. A short time later, the flight staff made an on-board announcement that I was now Diamond status with Delta. Wow.
I want to end this post with my gratitude to all of my clients and I want to encourage you wherever you are that you are Diamond status to me too. Each and every one of you has a light to share with the world. Bring your light into this new year. In a world filled with conflict and strife, turn that light on, Authentic Beauties, and shine brighter, better and bigger than ever before. Bring your light wherever you go and let’s live in appreciation of all the good surrounding us, no matter the circumstance. There is beauty surrounding all of us if we are willing to see it, recognize it, and own it.
Happy New Year and here’s to a beautiful 2023!
With Love and Gratitude,
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See this video of a New Year’s Message from Alyson at Authentic Beauty