Hi, I’m Dr. Tiffany Shelton Mariolle, neuropsychologist, published author and founder of modambition.
✈️ Intentional Living in the South of France 🇫🇷 The truth about a soft life and slow living
Intentional living is a journey not a destination. In my latest video vlog, I shared revelations that came to me in the South of France that changed me for the better.
Revelations in the South of France - Allowing Happiness
My Dove Journey
Upon setting my goal to prioritize my joy this year, it felt like a cop out. Like a goal that was pointless and I should be more focused on finding freedom from making more money. Limiting beliefs of not being enough sat in the background mocking this cop out goal.
But a little voice told me to stick with it.
Because that isn’t freedom, certainly if I don’t have the full capacity to fully experience joy, without tension, without hypervigilance, without bracing myself for the other foot to drop.
Slowly losing my grandmother has been this beautifully painful reminder to let myself truly enjoy the journey. I talk about it so much to you and to my clients, but going beyond the superficial and truly facing my fear of happiness is an omen that God is still getting me to embrace.
I remember the first palpable moment that I was conscious of my fear of happiness. It was the infancy of my relationship with husband, and it all just felt too good to be true. My trauma was calling me to be hypervigilant, my OCD was calling me to try to be perfect in my relationship, but God was calling me to let go, accept, and enjoy. And this is a constant growth area for me, a constant journey among many other mental journeys God is leading me on.
When I went to visit my grandmother in hospice, she gave me a bottle of dove body wash, and told me to remember her every time I use it. Tears instantly came to my eyes, but a knowing that a dove would always symbolize my dear grandma instantly came to me.
A quick google search of the meaning and symbolism of a dove revealed to me that doves symbolize love, freedom, and peace. I kept searching, looking for the meaning of her name Lois Faye. Lois means most beautiful, Faye means Faith.
Again I knew God was talking directly to me to hold onto the beautiful faith that my Grandmother boistfully possessed. The most beautiful faith in God’s plan would fully allow me to embrace the love, freedom, and peace He has for me. Letting go is a practice of faith. Allowing my happiness is a practice of faith.
And here I am in France, with my husband, and two beautiful children, allowing myself to be lean fully into the happiness of this moment. And I’m reminded of God’s sense of humor as a scene from sex and the city comes to mind. When Charlotte was terrified of something bad happening to her and Harry since all her friends relationships were going to trash. And Carie tells her, Charlotte you shit your pants this year, haven’t you been through enough. And I ask myself the same, “Don’t I deserve to enjoy this moment? Haven’t I been through enough in my life?”
On this beautiful family trip the challenge for me was to lean fully into happiness. To allow myself to enjoy this trip even with the grief of my ailing grandmother in the background. Allowing myself to shift from mental masochist to conscious self-compassion. The ultimate challenge was to not let my type A personality and anxiety get in the way of the relaxation and fun I so desperately needed.
Then while walking to the spa, I saw two white doves fly in the parking lot. Now they could very easily just been two white birds I mistook for doves, but I allowed myself to take as a sign from my grandmother. A reminder to lean into love, freedom, and peace. And to do so with beautiful faith that everything will work out the way it is supposed to.
The next day I got the call that my grandmother had died
Even though I knew it was coming, sorrow overcame me. Even though she lived a long beautiful life, I still didn’t feel ready for her to be gone.
A couple days passed and as moms know all too well, I had to push on. I had to keep going.
And I had a beautiful dream of my grandmother telling me to “enjoy those beautiful kids”.When I awoke it was like she granted me freedom to let go of guilt and to use mindful awareness of the present moment to hold my grief and joy in the same experience. Once again God had granted me a sign to allow myself to be happy, even if life is lifing in the background.
That evening when the children were with the sitter, this came to me:
My tears swell behind my eyes
Because I’m awed at how God always pulls me back in
Brings me back to Him
Reigniting everything that makes me, me
Creativity, wellness, thought, compassion, mind-body connection, love, and beauty
After each trauma, each birth, each loss
He breathes life back into me
Reminds me of who I Am
But importantly reminds me who He is
The Great I Am
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