by Melinda Gallo

Florence is my inspiration and my guide

When I woke up this morning, I decided to take the day off from work. I had a lot planned to do, but I wasnít feeling very optimistic. Itís odd for me to be in Florence and not feel connected to it. Iíve been here for almost a week and just havenít had a chance to commune with Florence alone. My beau spent the weekend with me and we were able to enjoy the sunny days in Florence over the weekend, but it wasnít enough for me. When I am away from Florence, I feel my connection to weaken just a little bit so when I return I always feel the need to rekindle the flame I have for my beloved city.

Itís not like I need to do anything extravagant to feel connected to Florence. I basically just need to walk around, let my heart lead me in whichever direction it wants to take me, and just allow Florence to guide and inspire me.

Lately Iíve been feeling a lot of stress piling up on top of me. I have been feeling pulled in so many directions. Life is definitely a balancing act and I suddenly felt too much at once between the demands of my job, the book Iím currently writing, the desire to share more on my blog, searching for an apartment to buy in Florence, traveling between France and Italy, and just the day-to-day of life.

I know that when things get too demanding, I just need to take a break. With stress comes confusion, which I feel leads me into the wrong direction. I take solace in the fact that the culmination of my stress occurred now while Iím in Florence because this is the only place where I can truly reflect, reach my center, and reassess everything.

Florenceís energy allows me to quiet everything around me and listen to my heart. My heart is always knows what is right for me. All the questions that go around and around in my head (Am I focusing too much on my job? Is my book conveying the message I desire? Is the last apartment I saw the one for me?) fade away so that my heart can lead me once again.

Florence allows me to see through the fog, focus on how I truly feel, and dedicate myself wholeheartedly to what is right for me. Itís not just about my physically being here that helps, but truly connecting with my beloved city by opening myself up to her energy and letting her guide me.

Itís 9am and even though I woke up a bit stressed out and confused, I am already feeling optimistic about the day ahead of me. I am hoping that Florence will instill in me its powerful, creative, loving, and passionate energy so that I can clear the fog, line myself back up with my heart, and walk boldly down my path.

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