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The Road to Le Papillon: Daily Meditations on True Contentment by Shannon Ables. The road to true contentment is a chosen journey. Our enjoyment of life expands and deepens based on being courageously open to possibility and tenaciously becoming fully human. Living mindfully in the present steadies us as we pursue true contentment and live peacefully in our everydays, engaging with love, openness, presence, and kindness. With the story of how she arrived at her cottage home, which she calls Le Papillon (The Butterfly), Shannon Ables focuses on understanding ourselves and the world, and on living everyday with true contentment. Each person’s journey and discoveries will determine their unique destination, whether a place or something intangible.
Living a life of contentment in our everydays opens us to vast possibilities, grounding our lives, relationships, and engagement with the world in peace, starting from within and elevating the quality of our lives. We cultivate contentment by:
Trusting our journey and engaging fully as our true selves.
Learning to understand our minds and emotions, and to interact well with others.
Letting go of expectations and remaining open to the unknown.
We become able to savor daily moments — sipping a hot cuppa as the sun rises; sharing loving exchanges with a partner, child, friend, colleague, or neighbor; the evanescent gems Mother Nature bestows. If we insist on knowing how our life journey will unfold, we disrupt the potential for magic to occur. And rather than wait for something “better,” something “more,” we invest in the present moment. We participate rather than demand, celebrate rather than control. We become love rather than wait for love.
In The Road to Le Papillon, Shannon tells intimate, never-before-shared, pivotal life stories that brought her to Le Papillon. With nods to the inspiration she finds in the French and British cultures, she lays out an array of skills and ahas, many new, others shared in her first two books, Choosing the Simply Luxurious Life and Living the Simply Luxurious Life, and on her blog The Simply Luxurious Life and her podcast The Simple Sophisticate.
The book is organized by theme. Each daily entry concludes with a call to action and a petit plaisir (a simple everyday luxury). Readers are urged to explore further with suggestions for reading or listening, or tips for the amateur gardener and chef.
Internationally recognized blogger, author, and podcaster Shannon Ables founded the blog The Simply Luxurious Life in 2009 and debuted the podcast The Simple Sophisticate in 2014. She writes and teaches about true contentment and how shifting the focus to quality rather than quantity in every area of our lives elevates the everyday, regardless of one’s age, income, gender, or relationship status. Her first book, Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life: A Modern Woman’s Guide, describes the foundation of the simply luxurious life — one that prioritizes quality over quantity in each of our endeavors: curating our passions and talents; building healthy, strong relationships; being sensible about our finances; curating a signature personal style; maintaining fitness in mind and body; traveling well; creating an inviting sanctuary; and entertaining with ease. An entire chapter explains how to indulge your inner Francophile. Shannon’s second book, Living The Simply Luxurious Life: Making Your Everydays Extraordinary and Discovering Your Best Self, offers the tools to tailor your everydays so that you can live your best life, utilizing your strengths to reach your full potential — a truly singular and individual journey.
Shannon is a retired public education teacher. After earning a Masters of Education degree in Language Arts Secondary Education, she taught AP Language and Composition for the final ten years of her twenty-year teaching tenure. During her undergraduate studies to earn a bachelor’s degree in English, with a minor in history, she sought out courses in British literature and history, and studied for a time in Angers, France. The French and British cultures inspire much of the content on The Simply Luxurious Life blog and continue to pique her curiosity.