Eat, Pray, Love

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Imagine that the universe is a great spinning engine. You want to stay near the core of the thing – right in the hub of the wheel – not out at the edges where all the wild whirling takes place, where you can get frayed and crazy. The hub of calmness – that’s your heart. That’s where God lives within you. So stop looking for answers in the world. Just keep coming back to that center and you’ll always find peace. —Elizabeth Gilbert

Do you ever feel like your life resembles a movie? That you honestly relate to a particular character or story line? Eat, Pray, Love – I feel that this is how to describe my life in the last 15 years. I read Elizabeth’s Gilbert’s novel in 2008 and have watched the movie countless times. It is such an inspiring story about a woman rediscovering herself and creating her unique story. One thing for certain, the author kept on moving forward, she was determined to find answers but truly lived her life every step of the way. I recognize that my life has mirrored the novel–Eat, Pray, Love and here is my story!

Let us move straight to the topic of travelling and Italy = EAT! Truthfully, I must have been Italian in a past life. I’m actually Indian, however feel a deep connection to the culture, art and history of Italy. Rome has my heart and I have been to every Geleteria in that country. Similar to the author I savored every café, croissant and let’s not forget pizza, as if it was a piece of art. I could write a book on just experiencing the sensations of the food. Italians make their food with passion and eat each meal with such love and devotion. They don’t rush this process as preparing a meal is likes sharing your heart. The true essence of Italy is love–for the fashion, food, and Italian dialect. Every time I visit Italy it’s like the divine is talking to my spirit whispering be grateful, honor the soul and live. Similar to the author, I feel such a pull to Italy and truly feel that deep healing has happened while being in such a historic country.

Moving along to PRAY! Prayer is my lifeline. Every morning when I arise, I do my best to start the day with reflection and connect to the divine, universe and angels. The moment I wake up, prayers start flowing. I feel peaceful and comforted when I start the day this way. Prayer is communion with the higher power, it can be a simple request as “Please guide my day for my highest good and healing”. I truly sense that someone is listening. Connecting with silence on a daily basis can be life changing as stillness provides the answers to our questions. How I connect to PRAY like the author, is that this year I will be embarking on a journey to India with my family. It will be a trip of a lifetime and one that my soul is being guided towards. India is the key which will unlock the door to my soul. There is such an inner calling as if ancestral energy is propelling me there. The allure of sacred temples, the mystic Ganges River, ashrams, and yoga are the heart of India. There is no doubt in my mind that my soul is being compelled there for a higher purpose.

LOVE, can be a challenging topic. I have yet to unite with that soul who ignites a twin flame union. Similar to Elizabeth Gilbert, I have had valuable life experiences with relationships in order to evolve. Some relationships have been downright heartaches while others have been valuable lessons. I have entered relationships to fill a void, and this pattern has changed. It is essential to reflect on self-love daily, is the essence of our being. When you are in alignment and in love with yourself you will begin to radiate. You may not see this at first but the life force you omit is vibrant, it’s almost as if you exude a ray of light.

I was recently at an appointment with my Aestheticism Sara H, a young woman who is wise beyond her years. While at the appointment we were discussing relationships and love. It dawned upon that we may be years apart but have similar experiences as women. It was such an enriching exchange of stories and emotion. Love is special, I was reminded that one should never settle or give in when comes to matters of the heart. For every human being there is a sacred union for you. Please remember your worth and know that there is magic occurring on your behalf.

The path to healing, is never easy there is no express line for this! The author had to patiently walk through each experience with utmost faith, and face darkness in order to find the solace she was seeking. What I want to convey is that everyone has a story, and that all the puzzle pieces will fall together. You have to let go of the life you desired to create space for all that is coming your way. The hurdles you face are going to make your personal legend so meaningful. Relax, breathe and let go! Stop putting limits on yourself and be grateful for everything that has happened to you good or bad. We have to trust that our destiny is in the making, and when in doubt remember to Eat, Pray, and Love its the simplest remedy to life.

We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the buy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.
Elizabeth Gilbert

Broken Open

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You have the power to heal your life, and you need to know that. We think so often that we are helpless, but we’re not. We always have the power of our minds…Claim and consciously use your power.
Louise L. Hay

It was at the age of 21 when the foundations beneath her started shaking. Nothing like this ever happened before. Within the last year of University is when life got very real. The month was December; her grandmother had just passed away. She was in the midst of writing mid-terms, and on her way to a family wedding In Europe. She did not understand the implications of everything that was happening to her internally, until her body began to send her signs. All those events caused this soul to evaluate her life as she became broken open.

From the experiences in December, it caused upheavals to her mind, body and spirit. Things fell apart and needed to at that point in life. She was shattered into a million pieces. Fear and anxiety got a hold of her, and it felt like a lifelong sentence. This soul had to confront her past and make peace with it. She was quite good at pretending everything was fine and that nothing bothered her internally. It was now time to confront everything that she had avoided. It was essentially time to let go and walk forward.

What is anxiety? It is living in the past and not being centred in the totality of the present moment. Everything that happened to you is over now. I will not go into medical terms, physiological effects, or statistics; however there are many of us who have experienced these symptoms. You will rise from this and see the light, this I promise you. She had to stop carrying things inside her that were weighing her spirit down. Looking back she was holding onto experiences that were not serving her anymore. She had to set herself free like a bird, spread your wings and fly.

It is our birthright to uncover the soul—to remove the layers of fear or shame or apathy or cynicism that conceal it. —Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open

She labelled herself and within the mid-twenties decided to go on medication. It worked for a bit but that even took a toll on her body as she felt the side effects internally. It affected her stomach, sleeping patterns and things just didn’t feel right. By her thirties she went down in dosages, exercised regularly, began to mediate and take control. She began to rise after the storm and shine like the exuberant sun. Coming off medication was the best thing she did for her soul. She was wide awake, and felt every emotion that she needed to feel.

How did I stay grounded and centered during this shift? I dedicated my time to spiritual growth – this encompassed prayer, reading material on inspiration which directed me towards yoga. I became a certified yoga teacher in 2014 and knew that my purpose was to help others heal. Yoga elevated my spirit and I wanted to share this gift. I had to confront parts of myself that I did not want to. It was terrifying , however I felt the veil had been lifted. This was my life and I needed to find peace and surrender to the circumstances. Faith, family, friends and having a clean diet are elements that assisted to healing.

This is my personal story, and what I want to reiterate is that you will rise. You are not alone; everyone faces challenges at some point in their life. Understand your emotions, they are here to guide you and help you foster internal growth. Uncover the layers of yourself, reclaim your soul and never lose faith. Do not see any setback as a limitation, you are braver then you know and stronger for everything that has happen to you, bless you.

I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day

Oh, yes I can make it now the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is that rainbow I’ve been praying for
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day

–Jimmy Cliff

Life Lessons from the Masters

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I love to read, and have always felt like I’m a student of life, studying and absorbing as much as I can. As the seasons change throughout the year so does our psyche. I equate winter as “hibernation period the pace of life slows down and I want to absorb as much as I can.  Spring arrives with a new sense of hope, rebirth and transformation.  Flowers begin to bloom, trees start to bud and we feel an inner awakening taking place as well. The echoes of the spring are like messages from Mother Nature telling a us that we are ready to shine bright and move forward with life.  It is now time of reflection for the soul, contemplating of what we desire in the up coming months.

The “student of life” mantra has directed me towards the teachings of many inspiring authors. What I have realized is that in order to be at the place of peace and contentment I need to practice what I have been taught, and assist others in their journey. We are all essentially are all students and teachers to one another. What I value most is sharing what I have read and learned.

From the teachings of the Masters, I now understand that it is the necessary to fully feel our emotions and thoughts. Our thoughts for instance have an impact on our feelings. They carry a vibration and are felt instantly by the energy of the universe. We must choose our thoughts wisely as they carry a frequency outside of ourselves.

Why I call these admired authors “Masters” is because they have taught me many valuable life lessons. They have made me look within, to see where healing needs to take place when facing any sort of dilemmas. What stands out through the echoes of the Masters is “Love” for ourselves and humanity as a whole.

Here are ten inspiring quotes from authors who have touched my soul:

  1. In love lies the seed of our growth. The more we love, the closer we are to the spiritual experience . Paulo Coelho
  2. An authentically powered person lives in love. Love is the energy of the soul. Love is what healsthe personality. There is nothing that cannot be healed by love. There is nothing but love. —Gary Zukav
  3. The present moment is a conspiracy of the total universe.
    To resist it is to resist the universe.
    Let go and flow. — Deepak Chopra
  4. When you appreciate what you have, then you will receive more. When you are in this moment feeling gratitude for this moment you actually up your vibrational signal to attract more things to be grateful for. —Joe Vitale 
  5. Come from the heart, the true heart, not the head. When in doubt, choose the heart. This does not mean to deny your own experiences and that which you have empirically learned through the years. It means to trust yourself to integrate intuition and experience. There is a balance, a harmony to be nurtured, between the head and the heart. When the intuition rings clear and true, loving impulses are favoured.
    Brian L. Weiss, Messages from the Masters   
  6. Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you. — Wayne Dyer
  7. I cannot tell you any spiritual truth that deep within you don’t know already. All I can do is remind you of what you have forgotten. –Eckhart Tolle
  8. Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.
    Marianne Williamson
  9. You have the power to heal your life, and you need to know that. We think so often that we are helpless, but we’re not. We always have the power of our minds…Claim and consciously use your power      .--Louise L. Hay
  10. Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. —Anthony Robbins

The messages that arise from my spirit when reading these quotes are: follow your heart, serve humanity, always be grateful, love conquers all, trust the universe, mediate, pray, be mindful, go within for answers, be free, laugh and live your authentic self. We are all a part of the universe and the universe is inside of us to. This cosmic force cannot be seen or heard but lies deep within our spirit. We must learn to tap into this force for direction. As the Masters say, knowledge lies within us. At any point in life we can change our circumstances, take a leap of faith and dive into the life of your wildest dreams!

The Beauty of Traveling

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We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.–Anais Nin

Wanderlust, traveler and free spirit! These are all words that I call myself as an avid traveler!!! Traveling started at the age of 3 months; my very first trip was with my mother in India. Although I have no recollection of this holy adventure, I do know that it was monumental for my life. Up until today my mother always tells me how as an infant I was cleansed in the holy water in Golden Temple of Amritsar, Punjab.

Growing up my second home was the United Kingdom. There are so many memories of visiting family and creating new experiences. By my 20’s that’s when the traveling bug hit! It started with Cuba, and then I fell in love with Europe. I have been to Italy four times and love all things European. My dream is to live in Europe one day! The moment my feet hit the ground of each country it feels as if I’m walking on ancient terrain. Almost like I have traveled to certain places before.

In June 2016,  I had the opportunity of to travel to Europe with my best friend! We had wanted to do this for years and finally were able to make this trip happen. It was a journey of lifetime and memories we will share forever. Prior to this trip the last time I was in Europe was in 2013, I went with a tour organization called Contiki Tours! With the tour group we explored the Mediterranean — Spain, France, Monaco and Italy. I was apprehensive about going on the tour alone, as I would be with a group of complete strangers and traveling with them for a lengthy period of time. There was something inside me was saying step out of your comfort zone and embrace this opportunity. This truly was a time of growth. Little did I know that these unfamiliar individuals would become my new group of family and lifelong friends.

The beauty of traveling is life experience! This past summer especially, while being in Europe I had no concept of days or time, I was so consumed in the moment – it was exhilarating. I was never concerned of where I was heading next or fear of being alone. This experience taught me to go with the flow. While on the Contiki trip to the Mediterranean, new faces became familiar friends. I met people from all over the world and connected on such a beautiful level. It was as if there was an invisible thread that connected each and every one of us together on the Contiki tour. Something extraordinary was happening, stories were exchanged new memories were created and lives were changed. Each individual had a special gift; something to share that made them shine their own light.

Find life experiences and swallow them whole. travel. meet many people. go down some dead ends and explore dark alleys. try everything. exhaust yourself in the glorious pursuit of life. –Lawrence K. Fish

There were two significant events that I will always carry in my heart. I have always felt connected to the country of Italy. As the Contiki group arrived to Italy I had the pleasure of walking through the terrain of Cinque Terre also known as the fisherman’s islands. At the Cinque Terre, while breathing in the ocean air, many of us hiked from the city of Vernazza to Monterosso. While on the mountains I felt so close to the sky, limitless, free and so engrossed in the feeling of peace. The Vatican City was another holy experience. When I was at St. Peter’s Basilica last summer, I felt oneness and connected to something far deeper then I can imagine. It was a spiritual awakening. Time stood still and all I could think was how blessed I was to be alive living a dream of traveling in Italy, with new and old friends.

Why does one travel? Traveling open’s the spirit and the soul. It allows us to find clarity, reflect on our own lives and embrace conscious living. We gain perspective while being away from the comfort of our city and home. We encounter souls who we share our stories with and ultimately we are on the same journey. So that being said, where will you be heading next? I’m off to France for the next adventure, hope to see you there!

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

The Spiritual Path

"The further down my spiritual path I go, the less I am able to define.  When I turn inward, I find no words.  Only Light; only Love." ~Laura Jaworski

One thing: you have to walk, and create the way by your walking; you will not find a ready-made path. It is not so cheap, to reach to the ultimate realization of truth. You will have to create the path by walking yourself; the path is not ready-made, lying there and waiting for you. It is just like the sky: the birds fly, but they don’t leave any footprints. You cannot follow them; there are no footprints left behind. —Osho

Walking the spiritual path is within each soul if they chose to follow. It is a deep understanding and appreciation of all religious faiths and ideologies. The emphasis is on love, peace and non-judgment. You begin to realize that there is something greater then yourself. An inner awakening occurs; you are being led by your soul. Spirituality is a calling; once you are aligned to living this way you become awake. Your faith will be tested, challenges will come and you may face adversities. This is all happening to show you how incredibly resilient you are. The trials and turbulent time are there to facilitate your ultimate growth and healing.

I once read that the first 40 years of our life, we are trying to get over the first five years. What does this mean? We all have baggage, past grief, or had a childhood that may have not been the most encouraging. Always remember with each experience you have had in life it shapes your destiny. Observe each experience whether being positive or negative as valuable lesson. Try to always see everything as a blessing as everything is happening for your highest good. You always have a choice and each chapter of your life has significance. You are creating your story each day you are here.

Spirituality is like climbing a steep mountain. You start at the bottom of the hill, as you grow through each lesson and experience you get closer and closer to reaching your potential or even enlightenment. The goal is not to reach the mountain top but to bring awareness of everything that you have learned along the climb. You will learn every day of your life and continue to for as long as you are on the earth realm.

Faith does not need to push the river because faith is able to trust that there is a river. The river is flowing. We are in it.– Richard Rohr

How did I embark on the path to spirituality? I was born into the Sikh religion, and as a family unit we would attend church each Sunday. Prayers, mantras and religious hymns were always played throughout our home. The virtues of faith, compassion, charity and love are aspects of our culture that my parents have passed along. Spirituality has been within me since I was a child not until I was in my teenage years did I really start to question life and its meaning.

It was the summer just before high school was to begin; we had family visiting from Montreal. After having a family brunch each of my siblings and I were presented a narrative from my uncle. It was called Unlimited Power, by Anthony Robbins. I remember reading it and felt so inspired. It was at the pivotal moment of my life I understood that the universe was working for me. I felt protected by angels, assisted by the higher power and a deep connection to my soul.

By my twenties I started to question more about life and its meaning. A dear friend of mine gifted me with the Holy Bible and another part of my soul awakened. Teachings of Master Christ resonated with my soul deeply and I had a deep appreciation for his teachings. I read anything spiritual I could get my hands on from past-lives, angels, and self-development. I wanted to absorb all the material I could and now realize it was all here to foster my growth. Yoga came into my life and changed my spirit in so many ways. It allowed me to feel so alive and fostered inner healing.

The Spiritual path has many twists and turns and bends in the road. There are many times when I question the higher power to why I face challenges. When the obstacles arise, I have learned to become silent and sit with meditation. I listen to the divine messages that come within. I chose this path for a reason, not only for myself but to guide others along the way. We all hold the miracle of the holy greatness within us. The path was chosen for all of us, cherish it and always know that you are a blessing to everyone you meet.

Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives. —Brené Brown

 

 

Self-Love & February

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The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That’s what I hope to give you forever.–Nicholas Sparks

It’s February and we all know what happens on February 14th, Valentine’s Day! I’m a romantic at heart, I adore love songs, have watched every romantic comedy movie, and like all things love inspired. I cannot get enough of this topic. I often think what if Valentine’s Day was celebrated every day of the year? Wouldn’t it be so nice if we appreciated our significant other, family, friends, co-workers on a daily basis? The feeling of love would be shared everywhere and felt instantaneously. In essence, Valentine’s Day should be celebrated each day of our lives. This being said, let us not forgot the sacred relationship with ourselves. This is the most important relationship you will ever have.

Why do we need one day as a reminder to love others? This needs to be done every day throughout the year. Send anonymous notes, give hugs, smile, really listen to others when they talk to you and say thank you! These are all acts of love which will make your day and someone else feel appreciated. The objective is to be kind – to express love in any way or form. It is about giving love freely and not expecting anything in return. By practicing giving we allow love to flow within us and this creates those euphoric feelings of happiness and gratitude is felt. Do not let one day go by without expressing your love for someone else.

What is self-love? In my opinion, self-love is, unconditionally loving yourself just the way you are. Your personality, spirit, body, mind are all perfect. We are all here as a reflection of the divine. Love is spiritual energy it can transform lives and has a healing effect. When you love, value, and honor yourself, life really does change. It may sound cliche even selfish to be this way however, I cannot express enough how much you deserve your own love and light. No one else can support, complement, cherish and give you what you need but YOU. We are not taught the value of self-love in a formal classroom, however can learn ways to enhance this practice. It may take some time but I promise you that once you begin the journey inwards, you gain the strength to spread your wings and fly.

Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. — Anna Taylor

It was 2008 and after hearing so much about Louise Hay I finally read her profound book: You Can Heal Your Life. Reading this affected my life dramatically. I started to recite affirmations, really took the time to know myself and began a journey of self-acceptance. There was an exercise in particular in which you are to look in a mirror and say “ I love you”. I had never done this before and really felt awkward doing it. As soon as I started this practice, tears began to fall like rain drops on my face. I felt my soul was awakening and the process of self-love and healing began.

A few years ago I hit a plateau in life. Dating and relationships were unfulfilled, and l needed to make a change. After reading publications by authors Iyanla Vanzant and Gabrielle Bernstein I felt inspired to participate in a self-love project. I began a Self-Love project on myself!  For one month, I wrote love letters from the heart. I expressed how much I had evolved as woman, dreams that I had fulfilled and experiences that caused growth. I know it sounds a bit outlandish but it made me appreciate absolutely everything about “me”. Once a year, I pick a month and write letters to myself. This allows time for reflection, and gives that extra dose of self-acknowledgement.

When we fulfill our function, which is to truly love ourselves and share love with others, then true happiness sets in. — Gabrielle Bernstein

Valentine’s Day is a reminder to spread love outwards, but also remember to love yourself too!  Always treat yourself with kindness, admiration and respect.  You are the love of your life, the love you are seeking. Give yourself the love you deserve every day of your precious life!

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Following the Heart

Image result for paulo coelho listen to your heart it knows all things it came from the soul of the world

When I think of the word HEART, right away I feel at peace, become relaxed and a wave of love fills my entire spirit. It makes me smile from the inside out. My girlfriends and I often call ourselves the group of “Pure Hearts” for we feel so inclined to help others who need a dose of motivation and encouragement. When my heart is happy, so are other circumstances in life. The vibration of love literally takes over my whole spirit as if I’m in a deep meditation. Nothing makes me more content then serving others and giving them hope when needed. My cultural background is Indian and I’m of the Sikh origin. In the language of Punjabi we call charity Seva. Charity in my heart means to give; a smile, your time, energy, compliments and practice kindness. Giving does not necessarily have to be in monetary forms. All we need is to make someone’s day and allow them to feel loved.

Giving is the highest expression of potency. In the very act of giving, I experience my strength, my wealth, my power. This experience of heightened vitality and potency fills me with joy. I experience myself as overflowing, spending, alive, hence as joyous. Giving is more joyous than receiving, not because it is a deprivation, but because in the act of giving lies the expression of my aliveness. — Erich Fromm

But why do we follow our hearts? What makes listening to our heart’s so rewarding and meaningful? How do we know that our heart will steer us in the right direction? My answer is simple, why not! The heart is connected to the divine, when we truly are at a crossroads along our way the heart intuitively speaks to us. As we lift others, we lift ourselves and humanity. This is the act of Seva, spread kindness whenever possible. When the heart is content so are we. During those moments we do not follow our heart, we sit in fear and at times do not take steps that could change our destiny forever.

Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.
Marvin J. Ashton

On a personal note earlier  last year I had an encounter with a stranger who I sensed needed a friend. As I was coming home from work and approaching my driveway I noticed an older man, walking by himself with grocery bags in his hand. Something inside was saying talk to him and ask how his day was going. The elderly man proceeded to tell me he had lost his wife over the winter and began to cry. At that moment in life all I wanted to do was hold his hand and tell him he is going to be ok. This stranger kept on walking but this story will always remain with me. I was forever grateful to just listen and let this soul express his heart.

The heart is a magnetic force that cannot be reckoned with. I truly feel that the energy of an individual who is governed by their heart emits a vibration which can be felt instantaneously. I have once heard that if you hug someone for more than 30 seconds it causes a healing effect on the receiving end. Hugs are the soul’s remedy and can lift anyone’s day! Spirituality speaking our heart chakra is of the most important out of the seven chakra systems. It knows what we truly desire in all aspects of our life. When we are in complete silence answers come forward.

There have been times in my life when I have revived criticism, judgment even looked down upon for being fiercely heart governed. For anyone who is similar to myself, embrace it. If you are an individual who wear’s there heart on their sleeve, this is truly your gift in life. Not many people are like this so accept your uniqueness and shine bright. See this as a tool to help not only yourself but others along their journey.

Why I follow my heart for almost every decision in life is because it’s connected to my soul, the presence of the divine is within me. When the mind is quiet and noise of the ego is shut down, the vibration of love is felt. Seva makes me recognize that my purpose in life, which is to guide others in their journey. The heart offers peace, stillness and being in sync within my own guidance system. The heart is the governing force that fills me with love!

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry