In Ca La Somara, while enjoying every last second of Joanna and Emma’s writing retreat, I’ve also learned some extremely important lessons. Some from the people I’ve shared the experience with, some from people who we’ve share the agriturismo with, some from reconnecting with myself, each of them meant to help me live a better life, be happier, smile more and generally remember what’s really worthwhile. I keep thinking of everything that’s happened, trying to pick the best of it and share it with you, hoping it will bring you the calm, happiness and freedom it has brought me. So here are a few ideas 🙂

People are indeed unique, but…

We are not defined by class, religion, nationality, interests, education, or job alone. None of these aspects is more important than the others and what makes us unique is their specific mix. Plus our dreams, favorite songs, favorite food, friends, family, pets, our take on having fun and any other apparently insignificant detail you can think of.

No one can save you from your current self

If you hate your job, hate your life, hate your industry or hate your friends, if any of these make you unhappy, you need to change it! No one else will do it for you. Don’t wait to be rescued, take responsibility and change your life. You’ll be happier afterwards!

Angry and resentful people are not that bad, really

They might offend you at a certain point; they might ruin part of your evening, but in the end you’ll just appreciate those you love and feel comfortable with more. You’ll appreciate the fact you’re no longer angry and resentful. You’ll appreciate the full live you’re living.

Fear is indeed the mind killer!

For the rest of your Dune groupies, yes, that’s a Bene Gesserit mantra! I couldn’t wait to get to Sardinia, meet Joanna, Emma and see who else would join us. But I took my fear with me. The fear I could no longer write. The fear I was a fool to write in a language to write in without being a native speaker. It made me doubt myself, my novel and a lot of other things about me.

The moment I faced my fears, everything changed! I felt liberated, happier, empowered and stronger. Yes, the positive feedback would do that to you! But even if it would have been awfully negative feedback, it would have been a lot better than a life in doubt and fear.

Stress is the modern plague!

I have some health issues caused by some bile functionality problems. I’m on a more or less constant diet, I can’t drink alcohol and my food choices are limited. I also gain weight when stress surpasses certain limits. So I want to Sardinia, ate everything you could think (to the horror of some Italian women thinking we were eating too much) of and drank a lot of red wine (as I don’t usually drink alcohol at all, please don’t imagine lots of bottles of wine lined up under my table 😛 ). My health was impeccable, I didn’t gain any weight and I generally felt awesome.

There’s pressure in finding yourself in the best conditions to yield inspiration!

Everything might be perfect, and you still might not feel inspired. The most important thing you can do is write. Write about how uninspired you are, how annoyed you are by it, what you would want to write about, what prevents you from actually doing it. It works! Ask Joanna, she wrote an incredibly inspired poem about being uninspired.

More to come soon!

Caveat! If my stories on Sardinia seem to lack structure, feel a bit unprocessed, it’s because our week there was extremely intense and full 🙂 . But I’ll make sure you get a clear picture of it all!

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