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Perfect harmony
in slow motion

Sport, personal development, yoga, meditation… Achieving the best version of oneself today requires constant investment. How does one make a well-considered decision between outside social demands and one’s deepest desires and needs, working out how to find authentic fulfilment? Without confusing perfection(ism) and excellence?

We live in amazing times! Technologies never cease to dazzle us and simplify our lives, science is progressing and the great plagues are gradually receding. But we also live in a scary era… Faced with the acceleration of the world, individuals sometimes experience a sense of bewilderment and the painful feeling of not being able to keep up. Finding and maintaining one’s place in a world where competition is the norm requires an insane level of energy. To deal with this fascinating but demanding challenge, one needs to be at the peak of one’s skills as well as one’s physical and mental form to develop creativity, leadership, charisma, optimum stress management, empathy… The success of personal development techniques is built on these unspoken new rules of self-achievement.


How does one quite simply have a happy life? All the research demonstrates that at the end of the day, the pathways to happiness are founded on very simple things. Today, the need to slow down is becoming all the more pressing in that digital hyper-connection, all-pervasive multitasking and the frenetic daily rhythm increase the need to stop and find oneself. Taking care of oneself is becoming a must in order to maintain personal equilibrium, keep in optimal shape and feel good about oneself. But by the same token, it would be a waste of time to give into fashionable demands just because everyone is doing it! Sure enough, yoga and meditation are very in and there is a constant stream of people starting to do them. They have demonstrated their effectiveness, which has been scientifically measured, in reducing stress levels, decreasing depression, improving immunity, increasing one’s resistance to pressure… But everything must start with a personal desire rather than a need to conform to a model.


The art of breathing, yoga, shiatsu, boxing, meditation… In both Geneva and Ramatuelle, the spas at La Réserve have incorporated this caring aspect of wellness by inviting respected exponents of these disciplines who offer every individual the opportunity to find the one that suits them best through an approach that is unfailingly personalized. In the same vein, reconnecting with nature by taking a walk in the park, on a seaside path or in the vineyards with nothing to do other than enjoy the moment is another way of enhancing one’s personal capital of positive vibes.


To quote Fabrice Midal, the French meditation specialist in his latest book Foutez-vous la paix ! et commencez à vivre* (Give yourself a break! And start living). In other terms, be gentle with yourself and don’t make daily stolen moments yet another measure of performance. One can be very happy without meditating every morning. One can be perfectly comfortable with oneself without conforming to the latest often very inaccessible behavioral model promoted by advertising and marketing. Inclusive and tolerant, the body positive phenomenon brings an encouraging perspective to this subject. The quest for excellence that is both respectable and admirable shouldn’t be confused with futile perfectionism that is by definition frustrating. There is a nuance between being kind to oneself and becoming the best. True excellence depends more on balanced, harmonious fulfillment than on a faultless career. Somewhat subtler but so much more stimulating.


* Foutez-vous la paix ! et commencez à vivre - Fabrice Midal - Flammarion-Versilio Publishing - January 2017.

By Anne-Marie Clerc

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