Feels REALLY good to see your eyeballs here reading the soul-full ButterflyMoms blog. I offer you today the gift of a reminder… the reminder of your breath as one of your most precious and magnificent gifts. 😉 To celebrate RIGHT NOW let’s all take a really deeeeeeeeeep breath…..ahhhhhhhh! 🙂 It’s free and feels great. It’s our automatic re-charge switch that helps us automatically ground. It is the most neglected “tool” you have in your HAPPINESS TOOLBOX. Use yours today and remind others to do the same, especially your kids, partners, friends and co-workers. Imagine the power of all of us on planet earth taking even more deep breaths……AHHHHHHHHHH indeed! 😉
Another way to automatically recharge is to connect to COMMUNITY. Wherever you are, chances are, the more you connect with the people and small businesses around you, the HAPPIER you will be. Why is that? For energy, it is all about connection… we are energetic beings. Connection is life! Being mindful of that fact helps us lead more purposeful lives. Many of us have disconnected because we are oversaturated with filling our lives with STUFF and EVENTS and OBLIGATIONS that come from the LAND OF SHOULD… and not from our hearts… or for you more cerebral people, not from what re-energizes us, our life’s missions, our joys. This is very simple to see in the world. When you, yourself do something you can’t stand, time drags, your breathing slows… Chances are there may even be a lot of eye rolling, head rolling back and heavy sighing 😉 Sound familiar to anyone? Does it feel good when this happens?
How about when you do something you love? If you think about something you love to do…if you really let yourself go there…you smile, you take a deep breath, your eyes light up. It is a totally different state of mind, different state of being.
In the beautiful community of Paço de Arcos, Portugal, where I live, I have gone out of my way to connect with local people and businesses. There are amazing treasures all around us and many times right under our noses but we are too DISTRACTED to see the magnificent gifts. Ohhhhh don’t do that! S-L-O-W DOWN and see what kind of love you find in your community. Plus, I think it’s very important to contribute my skills, talents, connections and energy to wherever I live in whatever way my intuition suggests…. Maybe it’s simply saying GOOD MORNING to someone or picking up some trash or collecting books for the local school or adopting an abandoned pet or feeding homeless kitties. There are a million and forty-seven ways to help and each thing you do ignites someone else! Eventually this affects the entire community! I do this in my communities of Holliston and Hudson, even though I’m not living there right now and I do it in my current community here in beautiful Portugal!
People who live in beautiful Portugal embrace the café-culture life. There is a café every other block. Cafés are amazing places where all community members are welcome to come see and be with each other. It is where neighborhoods weave their tapestry of love and connection. It is where the heart of many European countries lives!
In Paço de Arcos there is a café/restaurant that is out-of-this world called A TENDA! It was started by Graça and Teresa, two friends who had the dream of starting a business together. Part of why so many people immigrated in the past to other countries like the US was because it is a “bit” of a challenge to start a business here but these two women are rock stars.
I pass by every morning on the way back from dropping off the girls at school. Inside you find multiple generations of people enjoying each other. I have met and made many amazing friends there! There are sooo many magical things about this one in particular! Some of it I can describe, some you can see from the photos and some you have to just BE THERE to feel.
One of the most amazing things that happens is that at around 10am you can hear the incredible military band playing through the thick fortress walls of the citadel next door. When my beautiful husband Doug was here visiting us last month, we would sit outside in the palm-tree-lined esplanade, listening as we sipped our hot tea and ate our decadent pastries. Here is a story of magic that I can share…. see how the universe works… Here we are in the middle of Portugal, listening to a military band and of course the very first song they played is a song by Frank Sinatra that Doug’s mom, beautiful June, considered one of her favorites! Any time we are out and hear a Frank Sinatra song, but to hear it here and her favorite song to boot was a real sign that she was with us! 🙂 We miss her a lot! 🙂 Even though my girls never “met” their paternal grandmother, it is important that they and our son Christopher always remember her and hear her stories. This little reminder was her little way of giving us a great big cosmic hug! LOVE YOU GRANDMA MOON JUNE!!!!!!!!
When lunchtime arrives this café magically turns into one of THE BEST places to eat in Portugal. All the food is heavenly homemade with large chunks of L-O-V-E! They do as much locally-grown food as they can. Graça, who is the chef, spent many years working in the food industry in London. She shared a story of three friends from different countries who came to visit Portugal and found this little hole in the wall. They loved the food so much that they literally planned their day around the ability to be back for mealtimes here. Sounds silly… until you taste the food! EVERYTHING is homemade (“caseiro”) including the desserts! Mmmmmmmmmm….(I salivate more than Pavlov’s dogs when I think about it!!!) The second the food hits your nose you know it’s going to be scrumptious… then when it touches your tongue…. MERCY!!!!!!!! Needless to say there are a lot of smiles all over the place!
So even though you are sitting somewhere else in the world, now you know of yet another very cool place that feeds your heart and your soul! So whenever you find yourself hungry in beautiful Portugal, come sit in a hidden jem of a restaurant that is a block from the Atlantic Ocean, three blocks from the train station and has the most AMAZING and AFFORDABLE food! Write down the name somewhere because I promise no one ever goes there just once and if you lose the address you cannot find it anywhere online… it’s that kind of place! You have to know someone to really find it… it thrives by word of mouth! Ooooooh and when you go there, there is a VERY GOOD CHANCE you will find me there too! 🙂
A TENDA – Rua Cândido dos Reis, 2715-311 Paço de Arcos, Portugal
Alternative if you cannot find A TENDA in your community… maybe it is time for you to create one or support a friend whose passion is to create one! 🙂
Great big hugs,
PS When we were traveling in Italy a few years back we were told that the term HOLE IN THE WALL came about when the wealthier class who had wildly, decadent parties with plenty of food started worrying about their souls burning in hell. Because outside their wall people were literally starving in the streets in front of them. So they created a compromise to settle their conscience… after these parties the peasants that were lined up outside would food get the left-overs sliped through a mailslot-sized hole until there was none left… So when you hear the expression “a great hole in the wall” you can share this little bit of history. 🙂
Hey! After such an intense blog I’m glad you are still reading! 😉
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