• Audrey

Wine & nature: experimenting a disconnection for your well-being? #mentalhealth

"Passion is about aligning your acts with your values."

For French version, click here - No time to read, then listen to the podcast here

Let me share my recent experience in a vineyard in the Loire valley in France. I left home by train for a coverage in communication to support a lady who recently acquired a castle along its winery and 28 hectares of vines: Château Piéguë.

First of all, I accepted this amazing opportunity in communication and marketing support because I was convinced by the project: there is a story behind. This is the “WHY”. Laëtitia, the lady, had a clear sense of purpose… It’s been years she dreamed of becoming a winemaker! She left a comfortable position in Canada after 12 years’ experience as a cellar master. She enjoyed her Canadian life, loving the landscapes surrounding her family, affectioning her colleagues who cared a lot for people, having a lot of nice people and friends around her… But, something deep inside her was missing: running her own winery! She took a big decision, the ONE we often say is a kind of a “life-risk”. But, also the ONE that can change your life forever… She looked for a wine property for sale in Canada and France. Finally, she got one in the region she originates from, the Loire valley. Laëtitia was determined. She knew what she was doing: simply pursuing her dream! You know, this very deep thing inside you that can make you work hours and hours without paying attention to time. Why? Because it is not work, it is devotion to your passion. Passion is about aligning your acts with your values. Long time it did not happen to you? Have you recently listened to your body? Really listened to the deep values inside you? What makes you thrilled every morning and up to a crazy amount of energy expenditure? This is what I experiment for one week during my coverage at the castle!

Indeed, I accepted this role because of simply one thing: I believed in the story! I was living Laëtitia’s story from the first time I met her at a wine event. Every word she was using to tell her story was so emotional and impactful! I decided to join her during the harvest kick-off. And there, magic happened! From my first day, I was under the impression I’ve always been there… like in a family! Tight lies between Laëtitia, her family, employees and myself developed quickly and moreover, naturally. That is the second point: it is about TRUST! People and trust! Once you have these two ingredients, everything flows smoothly and naturally… it creates a feeling of “well-being” and mental peace! I simply disconnected in the middle of these 28 hectares of vines. The sky was blue, I got up every morning, paying attention to the songs of the birds getting up… I opened my windows admiring the view and the beautiful landscapes surrounding us. I was excited to get up, even if it was early… for one simple thing: having breakfast with the rest of the team! Sharing a coffee and our first words on the day to come.

We met up at the winery entrance for a briefing on harvest instructions. We were all FOCUSED on each rule: how to cut, when, how to fill in the basket with grapes and the delicacy of our gesture… We were all excited by the idea of kicking off the season harvest! We jumped into the car all together: let’s head for the vineyards! We stayed hours and hours in each vines row. We were progressing slowly, vine by vine. Our brain was simply disconnected. Your FOCUS is on the delicacy of your gesture when cutting the grapes. You have to pay attention to the way the grape is set amongst the leaves, not crushing them and also think safety first. A moment of inattention is enough to cut yourself. Sometimes, it is not easy catch the grape and you need to remove some leaves to access the fruit of the harvest. Throughout the hours, our gesture became automatic. Our brain was off, leaving space to develop our body senses: feeling the contact with the grapes and the leaves, feeling the sun rising minute by minute and warming up your skin, listening to the birds around you, observing the nature, admiring the little water drops from the morning dew… Sometimes, we were talking in the group, everyone hidden behind a vine, sharing our life stories or simply singing. Life is beautiful, isn’t it? We are standing there in front of a small tree called a “vine”. Or sometimes, due to back pain, we stayed on our knees while cutting the grapes… But, we were together, in harmony with nature. Suddenly, Laëtitia’s voice raised: “a ladybug!”. We stopped, came along and simply admire the beauty of nature. A ladybug, a praying mantis, a dragonfly… I surprised myself smiling in the middle of the vineyard. I felt in peace. In peace with myself. No more anxiety. No more worries. Just present here, enjoying the moment. This is “self-awareness”!

Back to the winery with the grapes, we were all excited at the next steps around winemaking. We were following each gesture from Laëtitia, asking many questions to understand each production operation. This was the learning phase. Human is by nature, CURIOUS. Human being needs to learn in order to feel growing!

"You can’t talk about something if you don’t practice it!"

That was a real mental escape experience… And today, when I talk about wine, I use my emotions, I use my senses memory from such experience.

This rule is valid for everything in life:

You can’t talk about something if you don’t practice it!

You want to develop your self-awareness? Be more focused? Boost your curiosity and creativity?

Contact me, Audrey for your business seminars, team building and so on at +33 (0) 6 81 92 01 55 or at audrey@lapetitenenette.com

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