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paris manifesto


by Kayce Stevens Hughlett

origianlly posted February 20, 2008


As I prepare for the November 1, 2018 release of my memoir, SoulStroller: experiencing the weight, whispers, & wings of the world, I thought it might be fun to take a "stroll" down memory lane and see where I've been in the past fourteen years since I began this blog. What follows is an original post from the back pages. I considered editing or rewriting, but decided to keep the piece in tact (scary as that can be). 

Since I began writing, my vision of the world and what God/Universe/Spirit looks like has expanded. My craft and I have grown stronger. My belief in the magic of life has become grounded in experience. Bottom line: I had to go there to get here.


One week from today I will be on my flight to Paris! Wow!! Here aretoday's thoughts and (soft) rules of engagement...

I give myself permission to:

  • look like a fool in Paris
  • take as many silly pictures as I desire
  • sit in one spot all day
  • write & write & write
  • OR not write at all

I give myself permission to:

  • wear clunky shoes if my feet hurt
  • sip champagne in the afternoon
  • climb the Eiffel tower at night
  • fall in love with everything OR nothing (ha!)
  • spend 5 minutes or 5 hours or 5 days in the Louvre

I give myself permission to:

  • walk into fancy stores knowing that I will not appear chic
  • pet haughty French poodles when they look my way
  • ride a bike through the streets of Paris
  • walk when I want to walk
  • take a taxi at least one time
  • ride on the boats along the Seine

I give myself permission:

  • to eat ice cream every day
  • to have croissants for breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • to drink red wine & smoke a cigarette at an outdoor café
  • to sit and write wherever whenever
  • to watch people unabashedly
  • to stare into the eyes of a French woman & not blink first

I give myself permission to:

  • smile & laugh or even dance when the mood strikes
  • touch the gold ring at Notre Dame
  • stand in the light of Saint Chappelle
  • take a train to Versailles or Chartres
  • OR never leave my neighborhood

I give myself permission to:

  • live each day as it comes with no regrets.
  • if I am tired I will sit.
  • if I am really tired, I will sleep.
  • I will stay up all night if the mood strikes.
  • I will follow my heart’s desire.

I give myself permission to:

  • post page after page of blog entries OR
  • not touch my computer until I return home.

I give myself permssion to:

  • be selfish
  • only read MY blog and save others until I get home
  • allow time to stand still
  • live in the moment
  • notice the diamonds around me

I even give myself permission to:

  • be disappointed if it rains
  • or the Mona Lisa is too small
  • or my apartment too dark.

I give myself this gift of eight days in Paris!! Yipppeeeee!!!!!


Merci beaucoup!!



Releasing November 1, 2018

Want the scoop on the before, during, and after story of how and why that manifesto was created? SoulStroller delivers it all!

"Seductive, sincere, and at times hysterical and heartbreaking, SoulStroller: experiencing the weight, whispers, & wings of the world follows author and good girl, Kayce Stevens Hughlett out of her carefully constructed comfort zone into the world of international travel, healers, wise winged mentors, and inspiring versions of humankind. 

Labeled shy and rendered virtually silent by age six, Kayce had been raised to fit the role of perfect wife, doting mom, and accomplished woman. She fulfilled her mission by her mid-forties when society said she had it all. Society was wrong. 

When her eldest child disappears into the haze of addicition, her perfect world changes faster than you can say, Get it right!"

Available for pre-order here!

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Reader Comments (19)

Oooh, now, them's good things! Isn't the whole giving yourself permission thang fun?

February 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSue

I love your manifesto's absolutely perfect!

C'est bon, c'est bon!

February 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKate I

Best vacation "rules" I've ever read. You are ready for Paris.

February 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterelaine

Lucy, I love your permissions list! Wonderful -


Could you get me at least one french poodle photo on your camera. I know, I know, there are no "have to/have to not on your list but an authentic poodle shot would be a great feature on my site:) Oh, yeah, I know, always thinking of myself!
Love, Riley RFF

February 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSUNRISE SISTER

sue--now that i think about it, i may have borrowed the permission thang from you :) i love it!

merci beaucoup, kate

elaine--ready or not, here i go!!

SS--glad you approve :) and tell riley i will do my best to send him an "authentic" french poodle!

February 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlucy

This sounds really great, and I'm so glad to be joining you for a few days of it. Can't wait!

February 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTess

try a segway instead of a bicycle
you can tour any cities streets by bicycle, but only Paris by Segway

go on.....

I won't be blogging while on my trip

it's time out for me
and I don't want to dilute things by having to process them that quickly

February 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKel

tess--see you soon!!!

kel--actually you can tour the streets of seattle by segway and i have to admit i think the tourists look pretty dorky...i'm not sure i could get over my own discomfort and enjoy paris on a segway, but who knows...i am open for the moment :-)

same way for blogging...if the mood strikes i will do it, if not it will have to wait!

kay--we shall go together one day. i just feel it!!!

February 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlucy

I hope you have a marvelous time.

February 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterYolanda

What a wonderful manifesto!

I have to put in a plug for the little tiny museum, off the beaten track, that is in the home of a fan of Edith Piaf...there's a website somewhere with info., but I think it's one of those things you'd have to look up for times and all that if you're interested. It would be one of those quirky things that no one does.

I wish you all the best on your trip!

February 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Giving yourself permission to take things as they come, feel whatever it is you feel, and completely accept it all?


How about we all do this, all the time?!

February 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

That sounds pretty damn good advice to me, Karen :)

February 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSue

Beware of the poodles though. My brother once got bitten by one on his paper round. Vicious little critters!

Enjoy Paris, Lucy!

February 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLins Honeyman

Bonne vacances!

February 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

I will try and follow your Paris manifesto also, as much as possible.
Sounds so freeing! I would smoke a cigarette with you if i was there,
by the way.
thanks for the fun blog today.

February 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

This last post is perfect … especially on the heels of the previous one from Tuesday!!! I love the things you’ve listed (though will you really smoke a cigarette?) Yes … “live each day as it comes with no regrets” … that’s what I’ll carry with me this afternoon, but I suspect I'll return to this post periodically and maybe create a manifesto of my own.

I’m soooooo happy for you and I know you’re going to have a marvelous time. I’ll be eager to hear your stories.
Hugs and blessings,

February 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterstoryteller

Definitely don't blink first, Lucy! You are a riot!!!

February 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Dream

Incidentally, I believe the rules on public smoking have changed recently in Paris. It is probably just indoors, but check it out before you light up. ;)

February 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

I'm so happy for you, and love your manifesto. Don't forget the Left Bank! Bon voyage, ma belle!

February 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGabrielle

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