Community//

The Gift of Travel: My road to self-discovery, authentic joy and a blessed homecoming

The Humming chorus from Puccini's Madame Butterfly and Thrive

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Dear Arianna
In the midst of a humid Sunday afternoon on Australia’s Gold Coast and the sublime oratorio that is Puccini’s Madame Butterfly in the background, I have just turned the final page of Thrive. You’ve brought it all together so beautifully in the Epilogue … ‘So find your place to stand—your place of wisdom and peace and strength. And from that place, remake the world in you own image, according to your own definition of success, so that all of us—women and men—can thrive and live our lives with more grace, more joy, more compassion, more gratitude, and yes, more love’.
Like countless others, I too have been searching almost daily for my place; here, there, everywhere; a place where I can be authentic without judgement and ridicule of my sensitivity and my dreams, by those who purport to care for and love me, yet feel it their life’s mission to ‘help me be realistic’. It took my departure from an 32 year marriage, a ‘repayable sponsorship’ courtesy of my AMEX card and a flight to France to participate in a marathon in Bordeaux, to stumble upon the meaning of my life, the joyful experience of a blessed homecoming for literally the first time in my life, the knowingness that I have found ‘my place to stand, my place of wisdom and peace and strength’, the freedom, frightening though it was, of knowing that I am reliant on only myself for my future financial and general well-being. It is such a joy to respectfully borrow your delicate words to finally give my life changing epiphany the glory it deserves. Thank you Arianna.
A few synchronicities lead me to France, a country which, at the time, I had never previously visited. I am still endeavouring to find my way there on a more permanent basis but I know it will come. I am 62, completing university this semester, still working full time and doing my best to get my own travel writing platforms up and running. I am currently working through The Huffington Post complete guide to Blogging. I also have an idea for a unique Journal for both men and women but it is still at the ‘formulating all my ideas’ stage though I do see the end result so clearly in my mind’s eye and feel somewhat of an urgency to get it done, with creative assistance, and having it published. Creating an independent income doing what I love and enjoy has become a priority.
Thank you for you and your enlightened soul. Thank you for sharing it all and your mum’s wisdom too, with the world and with me. Off course I am in this world like everyone else but while reading Thrive, it was just you and I in conversation.
Blessings to you and yours, to all who support you and the great work you do for our wonderful world and its people.
Best Regards

Hilda Olivier

Gold Coast, Australia

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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