'Nature's intelligence functions with effortless ease........with carefreeness, harmony and love.
And when we harness the forces of harmony, joy and love, we create success and good fortune with effortless ease'
~ Deepak Chopra
I have spent 3 weeks with friends I love in Africa for the Christmas and New Year holiday. I cannot think of a better way to start the new year of 2014! We were staying with the Zwager family (see my Serendipity blog) for some of the time in the timeless paradise of the Djinn Palace by Lake Naivasha - a white morocan palace with gardens and an animal sanctuary to match - living a life in partnership with nature. From early morning to early evening game drives to swimming and reading by the pool. The sun shone most days but because of the altitude, mornings and evenings were cool, so wonderful log fires were crackling away by 6pm in the palace.
It truly is a paradise on earth. Spiritually enriching where you float with the slow dreamy rhythms of an African day. It reminded me of a mindful quote by Deepak Chopra who says, "If you observe nature at work, you will see that least effort is expended. Grass doesn't try to grow, it just grows. Fish don't try to swim, they just swim. Flowers don't try to bloom, they bloom. Birds don't try to fly, they fly. This is their intrinsic nature.................It is the nature of the sun to shine. It is the nature of the stars to glitter and sparkle. And it is human nature to make our dreams manifest into physical form, easily and effortlessly." This is how I manifested my dream to be in Kenya again.
I've always believed that holidays are an essential part of making life great; they allow you to feel inspired, heighten your senses, sleep better, be more productive, put your values into perspective and appreciate the wonderful life you have back in London! Never underestimate the power of smart, positive thinking - a great holiday enhances this!
We flew to Manda Island for the Christmas and New Year celebrations - living another sort of paradise with nature by the sea. Manda Island is an island opposite Lamu in the Indian Ocean - the next islands along are the Seychelles. The Zwager family own a large part of the island that is just so private and beautiful. You go to sleep with the sounds of the Indian Ocean lapping on the shore. The dawn chorus that awakens you is quite exceptional and to have breakfast on the terrace amongst the birds and monkeys flying through the trees is just heavenly. From Dottie the Jack Russell waking me up with a large pot of tea to having a swim in Juni's beautiful pool - it is sheer paradise. The great golden sun rises in a cloudless sky at 6am and by 7pm - there is no twilight in the tropics - it would be completely dark apart from the twinkling stars. However the early morning light is exceptional - mother nature is the best dop (director of photography) - the light is as beautiful as found in Provence, France, but different.
I believe buildings only exist because of humans, so they should be nurturing, emotional places - Juni Zwager manages to evoke that feeling in all her houses which she personally designs and builds with her team of crafts people. Her staff are wonderful, loyal people who have been with the family for many years and trained to a very high standard. This has to be one of the best places in the world!!
Thank you Juni - we love you and we had a ball!
PS By the way, everywhere we went from meeting old friends to new friends - they all said the same when I said I lived in London. Everyone, but everyone, including Sandro Rosell - the chairman of the FC Barcelona - all said how London is the most exciting city in the world and beats New York many times over and how lucky we were to live there!!! From the culture, to property powerhouse, to financial clout to food to comedy to liveability - they all agreed London has it all!! Yes.........I've been saying this for years.........finally it's filtered through - it is the best city to live by far and isn't it great most nationalities finally agree!!!!
'Joy is not in things; it is in us' ~ Richard Wagner