☆☆☆ I N S P I R E - The Project ☆☆☆
Every week, I will share people's dreams, projects, passions, because I believe we can all inspire and encourage each other to create the life we really believe in. This project is called INSPIRE.
Sharing is Caring
If you are a passionate entrepreneur and you think you are making an impact in this world by living and sharing your dreams and ideas, get in touch with me so I can promote your work to inspire others to live their life their way.
contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
☆☆☆ Zoé Topiro ☆☆☆
Zoé Topiro, co-founder of Les Allumettes, which organise different kinds of events related to the quest for happiness.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Zoé. I’m 32. I’m French. And I’m a dreamer and a life lover.
What happened for you the last couple years?
I realised that everything was possible and that our natural state of being was joy and happiness. So I decided to be happy. I've just quit a job that I never really liked to follow my heart, my inner voice and my dreams, instead of my fears. To trust myself above all and to trust life. I’m about to leave Brussels - where I’ve been living for 7 years now - to move to Lisbon and change my life.
When did things fall into place? When did you suddenly get it?
One day, in April 2015, 2 years ago, I went for a run into the woods. I had learnt all about those concepts of present moment, happiness, gratefulness etc … that everybody was talking about. At that time, I had read all these books about how to be happier, how to find oneself, how to set oneself free … I had followed a mindfulness training. I used to meditate everyday. But I think I had not really got it. That day, while I was running with my best friend Hannah, something happened. Something that I can’t really explain. I suddenly got it. I suddenly understood the wonder of life, saw the beauty of what surrounded me, felt the magic of being in the present moment, released my fears and set myself free. That day changed my life. I love to say that EVERYTHING can change in one day. Because everything can change in ONE DAY.
How did you experience this life changing experience personally?
Step by step, day after day, I left behind my fears to get closer to who I really was, to what I really liked and eventually to find what I was dreaming about. The first step is to slow down, make space and take time to listen. Just listen to this voice, the inner voice that we all have but that we don't listen to anymore. 2 years ago I had absolutely no idea about what I wanted to do or what I was dreaming about. It takes time. It’s a path. A long path. “Le chemin est long, mais la voie est libre”. So you've gotta go ! :)
What is your daily life now?
As I got closer to myself, reconnected to myself, I learned how to love myself unconditionally. People often ask : “But what does this concept of self-love mean ? How do we do ?" I understood that self-love was the secret to happiness. It just means to be kind and sweet with oneself. And to listen to oneself. So what is my daily life ? I still have a full-time job until October now but the rest of the time I just listen to myself as much as I can. Everyday is different but I am a routine person. I wake up very early every morning - at about 5 or 6 am. I take some quality time for me in the morning. I practice Yoga everyday. When I am inspired, I can spend entire weeks alone with myself, without socializing or seeing anyone, writing, meditating, walking in nature, running, reading, listening to the piano.
And then suddenly when I feel like meeting people and doing something crazy, I take a flight and I move to new worlds to have fun and to enjoy life. I used to be a control freak (big time), so now I learn how to be more spontaneous.
How did you come with the idea of Les Allumettes?
I had this idea about organizing retreats. I always loved organizing events or any kind of reunions. And I had a very clear idea about what kind of retreats I wanted to set up. When I told my sister Eugénie about my concept, she said to me : « Oh my god, I just met this girl, Stéphanie, she is amazing and she has exactly the same idea as you ». So we decided to meet the 3 of us in Marseille, in August 2015. 15 minutes and an ice cream later, we said : « Ok, let’s do this together ». 2 days later Les Allumettes were born.
Today, almost 2 years later, we organize different kinds of events related to the quest for happiness as well as professional training, in France and Belgium.
We have created the concept of Inspiring Morning, a very early morning before-work, to show that waking up early before the sun rises holds something magical. It means choosing to dedicate some time to the person you would like to become, and to the realization of your dreams.
Every week, we write articles that we share on our happiness blog to inspire people. And we also have created a channel on YouTube dedicated to our guided meditations.
Which values do you want to share through what you do?
We have discovered that changing the way you look at life has the power to transform your own life and make it really prettier. Our mission is to lighten up people’s paths, create sparkles, re-kindle people’s inner-flame. We try to show that with just one spark, you can start believing in yourself and go chase your dreams. Far from wanting to impose any method or line of conduct, we just want to share what we learn about ourselves and about life. We are aware that changing the world implies and starts with changing yourself and getting to know yourself. And we believe there is not one way but so many different ways to do so, to find your own path and get to hear your own voice. Each event is conceived so that everyone can start hearing that peculiar voice.
How do you feed your creativity?
By writing. It's where I'm the most creative.
By being in silence. In nature. In big open spaces.
And by waking up early in the morning to enjoy some quiet and alone time at the dawn.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Most of it from my inside. My emotions. What I feel. My intuitions. I am open to what's happening inside of me.
Also, listening piano music has a big influence, same as reading poetry.
Being in nature is essential to reconnect with myself, being close to trees and mountains, and spending time alone.
The philosophy of yoga plays also an important part in my life and brings me a lot.
And I feel really inspired when I'm going beyond my fears. And last but not least, meeting new people and make nice encounters.
What do you think makes your Difference ? What is your purpose - Your big Why?
I don’t know. I think we are all different but at the same time we all are in the same boat. And we all inspire each other. For the last 2 years, I’ve been meeting so many beautiful and inspiring people that I would not be who I am today without having met them. I love this quote : "You go faster alone. You go further together.” We are all different and at the same time, we all are one.
What’s next for you in the coming months?
I’m moving to Lisbon in October. I have so many plans, ideas, projects and opportunities that I don’t really know what is going to happen.
To quote only a few of them :
- Help a friend who is working on a conscious consumption website.
- Devote my time to Les Allumettes. Create an app and nourish Les Allumettes's world.
- Focus on the writing of my book. An accessible and sparkling novel inspired by what I experience(d).
- Travel in Asia. Nepal, India, Bali to do a yoga teacher training and write.
- Develop my collaboration with Les Antisèches du Bonheur. Coaching in companies and developing tools to be happier and more productive at work.
But for the first time of my life, I feel like I’m ready for it. Ready to jump, to embrace the unknown, to go with the flow of life and to trust life more than anything in the world. I’m not scared anymore and I truly and deeply feel free.
Any advice for people who want to create the life of their dreams?
I have so much to tell.
But I would say that it is ok to wait for the right moment, there is no rush (I’ve been waiting for it for 7 years). In the end, it is never the right moment, but one day you will know that you’re ready …
Also, you have to be prepared to lose things and people - because you are going to feel like losing and letting go of a lot - and it is absolutely fine. Someone told me one day : “you are not losing, you are regenerating”. And it is so true. There is no rebirth without death.
My friend Jonathan says : "For every this, there is a that”.
And I would add that when you are about to make the jump, surround yourself with people who see life the same way as you do, who have the same dreams as you. People who support you, who understand you and who give you wings. It changed everything for me.
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Thanks for sharing your story Zoé!
I strongly believe you are making a difference by doing what you believe in.