So, I am back in New York after spending three months in “quietude” in Paris.

I have enclosed the word, quietude, in quotation marks because the intention of my trip was to finish writing Fit for Joy.

When I remove the quotation marks, I clearly see that, although my mind was highly active with thoughts about the next chapter, or story, or paragraph (and of course, the next raw cheese croissant meal), I was at peace with “myself.”

At peace with a body that loves carbs and sweets, and a mind that manifests thoughts that can then be expressed as sadness, anger, lust, and separation, among others.

I realized that by recognizing the nature of mind and body, we can rest in the space in-between.

Isn’t it amazing?

We can become the space for action without losing serenity.

Although I was still loaded with thoughts about my book, and I was physically active, the feeling of peace remained. I was not lost in being “Valeria,” as I knew it.

This might sound complicated at first, but I will try to explain it better…

It became clear to me that, in the past, I was trapped in feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression because my mind could only see and be “Valeria,” the person and personality. It could not yet recognize through experience, the serene space (I am), which “Valeria” simply manifests in form through her body, thoughts, actions, ideas, past events, and so…

The “Valeria” in New York was concerned about being the personal trainer working with clients who didn’t understand the true meaning of health. The disappointed winning fitness competitor who abused her body for months preparing for the show. The twice-divorced woman with a traumatic past who was struggling to forget the pain. The person and professional who lived to teach others that exercising and eating clean should be a top priority in life, although her heart lived for compassion and peace.

The “Valeria” in France was mentally and physically busy, too, but she was like a tree that remains calm and still throughout every season.

Even though the leaves of a tree change colors and fall, the tree’s essence always remains the same. The same is true for humans when we recognize ourselves as the center of serenity, which is who we really are.

It amazed me to realize that I could live my life from that day on just like that. I could simply be the essence of my human life.

I am not suggesting that you should disassociate yourself from your physical body and your psychological reality; rather, you should recognize them as manifestations of your human life in this moment in time, which doesn’t affect the essence of who you are.

If this is making sense to you, you are clearly on the path to freeing yourself from unnecessary suffering.☺

It’s also important to understand that the question about how it all came to be and what will happen when we die doesn’t need an answer if you recognize your true essence.

It’s something like this: you don’t know that you know, but you do!

Once you have established yourself in the center of serenity, you will be surprised to see yourself living as a joyful and mysterious being that is having an experience in a body without any attachment.

What a joy it must be! 

I do think that meditation and being alone somewhere close to nature can help you experience this feeling, but I strongly believe that in order to strengthen your faith about who you are, you need open-heartedness, compassion, and the pure intention to stay on the path by deepening your spiritual knowledge.

While I was in Paris, in addition to spending hours writing about the connection between fitness and spirituality, I meditated a few hours every day, and I visited the Tibetan Kagyu-Dzong Temple.

I spent most of my time alone in a small cottage by a river, in contemplation. Although the idea of visiting touristy places, making new friends, and savoring fancy French foods excited me, I felt much more joy in practicing spirituality through these experiences, than in delighting in pleasure itself.

In conclusion, the goal of my trip to Paris was to finish writing the book, which I did; but, it seems to me now that my unconscious mind brought me there to start the progress of "ending Valeria”—which I believe also happened.

To end my journey as “Valeria,” as I know it, means to live consciously in the center of serenity. I can feel the transformation taking place every day.

So, the manuscript was completed. It is now being prepared for private fulfillment in May. Then, it will be presented to publishers.

As you can see, this could become another trap where I believe I am the author of Fit for Joy, when the truth is: I am the blank page before and after the words. :)