Top 10 Things To See and Do in Paris

Your guide to the city of lights

A seamless blend of classic and cutting edge, the French capital is a favorite destination for many a seasoned traveler. It’s also one of those rare places where the tourist destinations are just as satisfying as mixing with the locals. So, whether you’re a Parisian pro or someone simply aspiring to visit one day, consider this as your must-do list when in the city of lights…
 
Le Marais

One of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, Le Marais is the Paris you’ve imagined. With narrow, crooked cobblestone streets and more pre-revolution buildings than any other arrondissement, it’s rich with history and home to some of today’s hippest art galleries and fashion houses.
 
Eiffel Tower

It sounds obvious, but don’t let that fool you. Some iconic landmarks earn their status and this is definitely one of them. Go just before dusk to experience daylight, sunset and the lights that make it famous.
 
Notre Dame

Yes, it’s a cathedral. But you’ve never seen one like it. Building started in 1163 and a trip up 387 steps will give you a view of some of the city’s other most famous attractions including the Arc de Triomphe and The Pantheon.
 
The Latin Quarter

Known for its bistros, music and universities, many consider the Latin Quarter the liveliest arrondissement in the city. An intellectual epicenter it was also home to bohemian Paris at its height.
 
The Seine

Okay, so the river that bisects the city into left and right is hard to miss. But you’d be the one missing out should you choose to skip a cruise from Pont Neuf, which is the oldest, and many would argue, prettiest bridge in the city.
 
The Louvre

The largest museum in the western world, the Louvre is many an art lover’s first stop in Paris. As if its unending collection isn’t enough reason to go, visitors enter through a glass pyramid in the Cour Napoleon.
 
The Champs-Elysées

Something like New York’s Fifth Avenue, but even more grand and glamorous, no woman with even the slightest appreciation for clothing, cosmetics or luxury goods of any kind can miss this destination. While it’s been commercialized in recent years, you’ll still feel the spirit of cosmopolitan chic.
 
Musee d’Orsay

Located in a Belle Époque era train station, this is where you’ll find all the famed French Impressionist paintings of Monet, Degas, Cezanne and Van Gogh. You’ll also get a breathtaking view of our next can’t miss attraction.
 
Sacre Coeur

The Sacred Heart Basilica dates back to the 19th century and towers over a neighborhood known as the Montemartre. Inside, you’ll find glittering gold ceilings with red and blue mosaics depicting notable figures like Joan of Arc. And if you’re feeling adventurous, a crypt!
 
Bois de Boulogne

Located on the city’s western edge, the Bois de Boulogne is two and a half times the size of Central Park. Inside its borders you’ll find lakes, botanical gardens, a zoo, an amusement park, two  horseracing tracks and the tennis stadium that houses the French Open.
 
Luxembourg Gardens

Is this number 11? Paris is simply that fabulous! And the famed Jardin du Luxembourg just couldn’t be left off any list. Described by some as taking a stroll through a French Film, you’ll find sailboat and pony rides, a puppet theater and merry go round in addition to the colorful paths and some of the best people watching in the city.  

The Entrepreneur Stress Hack: Meditation

How business leaders stop, breathe, and focus

We all know that successful entrepreneurs have loads of energy, ambition and, unfortunately, stress, yet it may be a bit of a surprise to hear what many of these go-getter businesspeople are doing for fun these days. They’re doing nothing. Yep, nothing. Full disclosure: the nothing has a name – it’s meditation, also known as the ultimate de-stresser.

Entrepreneurs are following in the footsteps of business giants such as Google, where Chade-Meng Tan holds the official title Jolly Good Fellow and teaches employees to meditate. Even business schools are getting in on the action. Claremont Graduate School and Harvard Business School teach meditation techniques to their students.

Researchers say meditation thickens the brain's cortex, lowers blood pressure and helps people relax and focus. Which is why business people all over the world are using meditation for better mental and physical health, team-building and even capturing a competitive edge (if you watched the HBO series Billions both the district attorney and the self-made tycoon meditated!).

Meditation can be as simple as closing your eyes and noticing your breath for a few minutes. But who wants to do that when you can download cool apps that make it a bit more fun? Headspace or Buddhify2 offer guided meditations and an easy route to incorporate them into a busy day. And then there are the drop-in meditation centers popping up in many cities. In Los Angeles, it’s Shambhala Meditation or Unplug. In NYC, a self-made woman who needs a recharge might hit Ziva Meditation. But the ultimate entrepreneur unwind includes doing a couple of days – or perhaps a week – at the growing number of meditation retreats nationwide. A few of our faves are Miraval in Tucson, Travaasa in Hawaii, The Raj in Fairfield, Iowa, and Esalen in Big Sur, California. They’re not cheap, yet they offer plenty of guided meditations and classes. Oh, and a promise tailor-made for the entrepreneur: once you master meditation, you’ll be able to do less and get more done – stress-free.

What Your Body Language Says About You

It’s a “Secret” confidence game-changer

We only get one chance at making a good first impression and we all want to be perceived positively by a potential new employer, client, family member or even a blind date. Most of us know how to make our first interactions an intelligent discourse. We may even stop and look at the mirror for last minute adjustments to our clothes, hair and makeup—accepting that looks are all part of that all-important equation. But social science tells us that there’s one more thing to be aware of –and it can be a game changer—and that’s posture. Did you know that the way we carry ourselves, the way we walk across a room, stand, sit and use our hands influences how others perceive us?
 
Body language speaks for you and instantly conveys how confident or powerless you feel about yourself at that moment. People who are unsure of themselves during stressful, uncomfortable events, may slide into a room, eyes down, shoulders hunched forward. They are generally unaware that they are ‘hiding in plain sight’ as they cave into a chair, with one leg twisted over and around the other, covering their neck or face with one hand, or fidgeting nervously. If you’ve ever caught yourself in any of these unattractive moves, you know all of the effort being used to go unnoticed makes you feel emotionally lousy, too.
 
To get our bodies to tell others that we are competent, confident and we really do want others to get to know us better, Harvard psychologist and author of Presence, Bringing Your Boldest Self To your Biggest Challenges (Little Brown) has researched all the right moves for success.
 
For starters, Cuddy reveals it’s important to know that it’s a fact that our body speaks to the mind and has the ability to change what’s going on inside of our heads. So with a change of positions -- head up, shoulders back, walking with a wider stance and taking up more space as you sit, keeping hands comfortably at your sides, for instance-- we immediately send a message to the brain, that we have energy and we’re feeling up to the occasion. It also helps us make immediate connections with others by visually showing them that we are open and interested in the goings on around us.
 
So make an effort to assess your moves and posture every now and then, and tweak and adjust subtly them to up your chances of success during those important situations when first impressions count.

Detox Your Relationships

Take the poison out once and for all

Whether it’s a partner, friend, coworker, parent or even a fellow member of the PTA, just about everybody has experienced a relationship they just can’t seem to navigate properly. The relationship might even feel, well, downright toxic. Go searching for advice on toxic relationships and you’ll find plenty, most of it involving ridding toxic people from your life, though.

But what if ridding toxic people from your life isn't so simple? Like, for example, what if the toxic vibes are coming from your boss, your spouse or your relatives? Those people are not so easy to ditch. Los Angeles psychotherapists Barry Michels and Phil Stutz, authors of  The Tools, say you don’t necessarily have to get rid of the person. But you do have to do a little work on yourself. The New York Times best-selling authors have come up with this three step anti-poison approach:  
 
Stop the judgements now
 
Think your boss is a total idiot despite a fancy degree? Hate how your partner chews? Each and every time you allow yourself these (usually silent) judgments, you’re poisoning the relationship. If you have a negative judgement on a person, the psychotherapists say it’s like you’re telegraphing negativity. So keep this in mind: everybody knows you’re thinking bad things about them, even if you plaster a smile on your face. You have to stop the judgements by literally mentally tagging them as poison as they come up. Then – and this is crucial—intentionally create positive appraisals of the person. It will take effort, but focus as much energy as you can muster on the positive appraisals.
 
Validate
 
Michels and Stutz says that a relationship winner is the person who gives –not gets—the most validation. This might sound cheesy, but it works. Tell your boss how much you like how he runs the weekly staff meeting, tell your partner how grateful you are that he helps around the house, tell your kid how wonderful it is that she practices piano without being asked or whatever you can find to use as a validation. It’s hard to spew poison when you’re being validated. Simple as that.
 
Get a life
 
That is, make sure you engage in plenty of fulfilling activities beyond the relationship at hand. No relationship will meet all of your needs. By intentionally cultivating a full life you take the pressure off of your key relationships. Pressure is sure-fire poison, warn Michels and Stutz.
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