July has always been the most summery month of all summer. The weather is hot, and I've been living at a slower, more relaxed rhythm. And there recently was the Euro 2016, which came with its fair share of excitement (even if it is nothing here compared to Lebanon or France during international football* season). Despite not being a football fan, I love the ambiance around that time of the year, cheering for my favourite national team (#Fiersdetrebleus), whether it is at home with family or friends, at a sports bar with a cold beer, or at the French embassy, where I watched Germany get defeated by France last week.

And yes, we did get a little too cocky afterwards and underestimate Portugal, but in the end, it's just a game!

So the first half of 2016 is officially over. And when I think of it, it has gone extremely fast. Something for which I'm not ungrateful, given that the last six months have been a bit trying at certain times. Still, I've made it out unscathed, and have mastered the art of seeing the bright side of things.

Lately, I've been feeling incredibly happy and productive, much more than I've ever been in the last six months. I've realised what a huge difference positive thinking does to you. It truly lifts a weight off your shoulders, and makes you see your life from a much different perspective.

And when you shift your perspective, good things happen. For example, I've been finding it easier and easier to eat healthy and exercise, which has gotten me closer to my ideal weight and silhouette. I'm also one step closer to becoming a US citizen, and my relationship with certain family members is improving. It comes with becoming older, and letting go of things that we finally realise are trivial.

And while four friends have made their way out of my life, I made my peace with that, and welcomed new people who share the same values than me, and who bring in nothing but positivity. Because otherwise what's the point? Life is too short to spend time with people around whom you don't feel positive.

My Facebook friends list isn't the only thing that got a thorough clean-up. My little crimson PT Cruiser did as well. One late afternoon, I felt the urge to empty all its content (it has been quite packed since I had moved so many times in 2014-2015) on our front yard, which somewhat amused the neighbours. After sorting through all this content, I dragged three huge bags to the trash bins (and two more in the recycling buckets). By the time it was dark, I had finally cleaned out everything, and decided to vacuum the car (using a very long extension cord, and my iPhone's flashlight, to get all the nooks and crannies).

It is so liberating to get rid of things that weren't bringing you any happiness, but you still held on. Thanks to my wonderful friend L., I've discovered the amazing Louise Hay, and always listen to her meditations before sleeping. In this video (which I strongly recommend watching), she advises cleaning out our homes, our closets, our cars, to make room for the better things that the universe has in store for us. And this is some of the best advice I've ever heard. I have not yet finished (or rather started) cleaning out my wardrobe, but I look forward to the feeling of relief when I can actually walk in my walk-in closet!

Oh, and one last little thing: I'm publishing a book series! I will be telling you more this week, so stay tuned for more info, details, freebies, contests and giveaways!




*Don't say soccer, it sounds too much like sucker!

PS: The photo above has been taken by my dear friend Aliki Zabelis!

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