Duchess Digest: Between Us

womenwhisperingOn a recent trip through Anthropologie I happened to peruse their eclectic and fun collection of books. I love this about Anthropologie; they have the greatest little treasures for the home and my book shelves. I stumbled across a great little read called Entres Nous: A Woman’s Guide to Finding her Inner French Girl.

And while all things French in cuisine, body, fashion, home, culture, et al. were discussed, the part I found particularly interesting was the idea that, as the author Debra Ollivier said in one section of the book, “The French girl is an exclusive party of one.” Now I will admit to you that while I find the French culture wonderful and fascinating, I very much love American culture, ideas and life too. I think Ms. Ollivier does a great job of balancing the great things about both cultures. But this idea, that the French woman is in an exclusive relationship with herself first and foremost, seems a foreign concept indeed in American culture.

When nearly every movie, book and television series seems to stress the importance of a relationship in defining who we are as American women, I wonder how much time we put into our most important relationship; the one with the self of course. The voices in our heads (unless, unlike me you are finally taking medication for the many voices in your own head!) are the ones we carry around for a lifetime. No matter who we date, move-in with or marry, no matter who our friends are, no matter our parents, birth order, sibling situation or any other relationship in our entire lives, the person we will always be going to bed with, every night, is our self.

Are you taking the time to cultivate your exclusive party of one? How many times in the last twenty-four hours have you given up a bit of yourself (be it your intuition, your time, your money, your effort or your voice) to please someone else? Are you taking time for exercise? What about eating right? Are you running from commitment to obligation to commitment and back again with no time for yourself? What about time for reading? Meditation? Or any activity you truly enjoy?

Take it from me, and if you’d like from Ms. Ollivier by picking up a copy of Entre Nous; cultivating your exclusive party of one is a sound investment with fabulous returns in any economy. Take a tip from our French sisters and put your energy into yourself first. That’s a message that never need by lost in translation.

–Jill Brown

Jill Brown is a Los Angeles, California-based life coach and writer. She earned her Bachelors in Humanities and Sociology from USU and is a member of the National Association for Conflict Resolution and the Ladies Who Launch Network. She is the founder of “The Duchess Guide” a website dedicated to helping women become their most fabulous and unique selves. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, traveler and health nut. When she isn’t writing or working on Duchess, Jill loves spending all her free time with her Labrador – Betty. For more on The Duchess Guide or Jill visit: www.theduchessguide.com


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