Most summer mornings start out with getting my Airbnb rooms ready for their evening guests. These include Happy Lolita, the adorable 1979 Airstream that came to live with us following nine years living in the bushes, last summer.
Every day, as I get “her” all spruced up, I take a peek at her guest book and read the love notes left the night before.
Day after day, they amaze me:
“Lolita, I barely know you and what an impact you’ve had. I will always remember you.”
“Lolita, I don’t know where I am going these days, but your warm embrace was the perfect hug."
Lolita is beautiful, sweet, comforting, safe - and very affordable.
At under $30 a night, I love, love, love offering her shelter to travelers who just need a place to rest their heads before catching the ferry to their next adventure. Or to super budget conscious people who may not otherwise have launched on a mini vacation. Single moms, young lovers, older people … Lolita charms them all. Inexpensively.
A few days ago, a friend was telling me that I could almost double the nightly price and still be consistently booked. Given the island’s summer appeal, he is probably right. Given that she is a rare vintage camper with a growing following, I probably could.
As I place a couple of wrapped chocolates in a small Mexican bowl on the bed, fill a vase with a few sprigs of flowers from my yard, or spray a bit of rosewater in the air before walking out, I know exactly what it is that lights me up so much in the process. I know because I remember.
As a single mom with three young kids, finding a place to sleep that would still allow us to buy ice cream the next day (“ice cream every day” was one of the rules of our extreme-budget road trips) was a huge blessing. Finding one as welcoming as Lolita would have been a reminder of so many things I needed to hear.
Thing we may all still need to hear.
So, I stay close to me and to the reason why I am doing this. The Essences of it all: generosity, hospitality, inspiration, ease.
We can always make more money. We can always squeeze more __________ out of any situation.
But what I invite you / us to ponder today is this: where is The Sweet Spot? The place where our true values meet other people’s needs? The place where we can give from our hearts without hurting ourselves? The place where the goodness is so good and so easy that it just swirls right back towards us?
That spot is where the magic happens.
If it can be done with an old camper, however cute she is, I think we may be able to do it with bigger things.
Maybe even things as big as countries.
Essential Happiness Retreat
January 10 to 20, 2019
Guadeloupe, French Caribbean
"Thank you for sharing your wonderful, heartbreaking, exhilarating experience with the world."
"Thank You Laura for sharing, for teaching and spreading loving kindness. "
"I think I love you. You bring good things into my life, or remind me of things I love and know, but have let go of."
"Laura, you are so good for me. I laugh and sniffle and get the shivers when I read your essays. Thanks so much for letting all your wonderfulness run around loose."
"Heart-achingly beautiful, your words and how you reveal your truth."
"Thank you so much for who you are and what you share with the world. Your mere being transforms lives as it has transformed mine. This particular post did to my heart what water does to parched soil."
"Thank you for your gentle words that are packed full of wisdom. I have been struggling with the concept of what words can do to another person when they are negative words. Your words are the flip side of our word power, and shows how delightfully powerful kind words can be. Thank you."
"Once again Laura Lavigne takes you on an adventure of the heart. She has a way of pulling you right in the car with her. Asking you to consider changing a fear to taking thoughtful action. Whether she's teaching a class, leading a retreat or heading for a happiness sprinkling, Laura will invite you to shed old ways of thinking and be completely authentic. Join in!"
"Essentially pure love.
I enjoy how Laura is kind to herself and to us other humans who dance in and out of each other's lives. "
"Don't miss a post!
You can count on Laura for warmth, humor, charm, and a lift to your day and your heart. She inspires me to be braver than I am, and to love the world out loud. She's a gem, and a generous one at that!"
I write because this is the way I am able to taste life more deeply.