New year has always puzzled me. What is new year? When does it start and when does it end? Is it just that moment when we reflect on what we achieved so we can reevaluate and start again trying to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves?
Can we just step from the old into the new overnight? Or is new year just the summon of our attempts to grow through life’s’ transition stages?
Celebrating new year is a joyful moment where we make time to reflect on what we have been doing and make plans for the coming year. We start the next round, the next phase, we get ready for the new challenges or we once again tackle old challenges. The rest of the coming year we will have our goals to work through.
In my head it looks something like this:
On paper it all seems so easy and logical while in reality it can be quite messy. In reality it looks more like this:
It is not so much your starting point nor reaching the end goal that matters most, it is that bit in between! That is exactly where the magic happens.
Making the most out of the ‘in between’ will make you grow, increase your consciousness, build up your resilience, expand powerfully and transform across all levels.
How you deal with that space in between and how you use this adventure to nurture you, will make the difference.
It can learn you how to absorb life’s ups and downs, heal yourself, integrate everything that happens on a deeper, more profound level.
In the end overcoming the difficulties on your path will give you gifts you can treasure for the rest of your life. These gifts are called experiences!
Making a clear roadplan to achieve your goals will increase the likelyhood of obtaining your goals.
Beeing clear and realistic about what your goals are, will keep your focus. One powerful tool to do just that is the outcome model.
Contact me to find out more or join me on the outcome model workshop.
See you soon,
How liberating to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then?
The one who sees that. – Eckhart Tolle
I have always loved the sea and I am still hoping one day I will live near the sea and walk along the seaside watching the ebb and flow of the tides.
What I like so much about the sea is that its natural way is change. Every day the sea and the beach are different. It is like the sea clears of the beach when it is ebb washing away shells and other treasures left there at the shore and adding new treasures in its flow. To me it stands for the natural rhythm of change.
The sea is a bit like our mind, the waves being an ever-shifting bundle of thoughts, feelings and memories. Be aware of the shifts in your thoughts and be open for new thoughts to replace the old.
If we see the self as the essence of who we are, we also need to take into account that we believe certain thing about our self. What we need to realize is that these thoughts, feelings and memories can hold us back or stimulate our personal growth.
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. -- Lao Tzu
We believe certain things about ourselves. The art of change is not to get stuck in these thoughts but let them come and go and just be aware of what we feel, sense, hear and understand at the moment, let it run through you like a river flowing to the sea. Some of the assumptions can be liberating and some can be keeping us from growing and changing. For change and personal growth to take place it is important to let go of some of the beliefs we have about ourselves and add new beliefs so we can grow and change. This rhythm of change is so vital to us humans and is key to personal growth.
If you keep believing that “you are the way you are” change and growth cannot take place. The same if we hold on to the belief we have about others we do not allow them the growth and change. Like in nature change is an essential part of growth. Do not deny other persons’ path to growth, let go of your fixed set of thoughts about them and keep an open mind or growth mindset, so they also have the opportunity to change and grow.
The funny thing about change is that we suffer and resist it when change happens where we don’t really want change or doesn’t happen where we really want it to occur.
It is like the contest between the river and the rock, the river always wins.
Be like a river and follow your natural call and destiny, which is to merge with the ocean.
Do not be like the rock in the river, stuck in one place, resisting the natural flow of the river. Every morning when you get up you can decide to be the river or to be the rock? Which one shall it be?
Grief is in two parts. The first is loss.
The second is the remaking of life.
- Anne Roiphe
I have always loved graveyards as they have a peaceful atmosphere. This week I dropped off my son at the diving school, just around the corner is the graveyard where my grandparents were buried.
It was a sunny day and I was so surprised that the grave of my grandparents felt so familiar, although since I am back in Belgium, I did not have the chance to go visit. While I cleaned the grave, watered the flowers, I sat there for some time feeling really lonely and content at the same time.
While sitting there, looking at their grave, I felt grief for the loss of two beautiful souls and at the same time I felt so grateful for the time we had together. And I felt the pain and grief over so many things I lost or left behind. I realized that we are just here temporally and I felt a deep sense of gratefulness for all those lovely moments in my life.
When talking to fellow repats and TCK’s I often hear the complaint about how they are not able to adjust to the seasons in Europe while being used to more tropical climates. And off course the outside world has an influence on us.
The connection with your environment is of vital importance in your feeling of belonging. We do have a connection with people but also with nature, the sun, the moon, they all have an influence on us and vice versa.
The changes we see around us affect us, that is for sure. We are dealing with change every single day. Every day is different. This is my second spring back in Europe and still I am getting used to the seasonal changes. After a soft winter we enter spring. I have been used to different seasons. This rhythm of the seasons influences our daily life, in winter people stay indoors more, wear different clothing, and wear socks and closed shoes, but also people tend to look more inwards in wintertime, as if it is a good time to let go of some old stuff that we do no longer want to carry. I was used to different seasons where the rain would wash away the dust from the dry season and water the gardens so things would grow again and again.
I remember when my kids experienced autumn in Europe for the first time, we saw the falling leaves, and then in winter trees completely leaf free. The next thing they asked me: “mum are the trees also going to lose their branches?” Although they did learn about the 4 different seasons in their international school, they had never really experienced it. And that is the difference, we can learn and read a lot about how it is but if we did not experience it we do not really understand it.
And of course there are also seasons in tropical countries, yet they are different from the seasons in Europe. Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? But not always so easy. The demands, distractions and needs of the external world we share are not always aligned with inner desires and knowing. And both are always changing so what worked in wonderful harmony in one place will require inner shifts and outer changes in another. It is the great dance of the human life, to integrate our inner and outer worlds so we can live in integrity, receiving what we need, offering what we bring. Like many things in life they follow a cycle, a never ending cycle of change.
"Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace"
Many of us have seen changes and have gone through transition periods in their lives. These are periods that leave a bitter-sweet taste with us. These are the phases in our lives where we suddenly progress and literary move on. They are hard but gosh, so rewarding. These are the times we feel like giving up a thousand times but find the courage to keep on walking. These are the times we feel alive.
When we move from one continent to another, this transition period is filled with practical issues which can overwhelm us. And apart from that, there are the emotional aspects to moving places. Saying goodbye and saying hello. A new life style, a new place, for the kids a new school, new customs and new perspectives on life. And sometimes old beliefs and values do no longer suit with this new way of life. These can cause inner conflicts and stress. When going through a transition it is good to look at the beliefs you have and also look at those beliefs that are holding us back to live the life we truly want to live.
Look at this period as a great opportunity to take a beautiful journey inside and look at yourself. Maybe it is time to throw away some of the emotional baggage that no longer serves you. To make the most out of a transition you can take time to get to know yourself better and feed that part of you that wants to bloom.
Take a look at the opportunities and picture the life you want to live, a life where you can be the person you truly inspire to be and live a life that nurtures you so you can bloom.
Take a deep breath and dare to take action towards your goals, so you can start to create the life you want to live. Be open to new opportunities.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new” -Socrates
Letting go of my expat life and embracing my new life, is not an easy one. I realise now that it was more easy to move from one place to the next that resettling in my ‘ home country’. In my latest post I describe that my home country as changed and so did I. Coping with this change and with changes in general, is not straight forward, we all deal with change in our own way. With every transition, be it changing jobs, changing countries, a part is about letting go of the old, known and the
other part is about embracing change, the new.
Before we can embrace change we go through several stages. Understanding our process can help us deal better with change. The Kubler-Ross research team came up with S.A.R.A.H. This model acknowledging that as people meet with change they generally have the following reactions:
Sometimes one change in your life can lead to different changes, also on the personal level. If you like some guidance in the transition you are going through or you want to make the most out of the changes you are dealing with, feel free to contact us.
The nomadic life of expats brings with it a never ending cycle of
expectations and also disappointments. As you move from one place to another you always have expectations about that place.
I always liked this part most of my expat life: a new country with new hopes, new aspirations and expectations. Dreaming about how it will be and having expectations of a place or a person is not a bad thing it makes you fall in love a bit with the place or person but dealing with the disappointment when expectations are not met is a much greater challenge and maybe the real challenge in life. I quite like having expectation about my own life, and I am very much trying to deal with disappointment when these are not met.
I try to have realistic expectations but as life goes they are not always met. I don’t think I will want to give up having expectation on life in general and more particular on the expectation I have set for myself. Why would I? For me there is a link between motivation and having expectations… If I cannot have any expectation towards my life why would I even bother to do anything to live up to these expectations? They define the life I want to live and what I want to achieve. To prevent disappointment or fear , we may deny anything we secretly hope for. We presume if we don’t have any expectations, we can’t be disappointed. The truth is we all have expectations, some too high some too low.
The key question is: how do you deal with disappointment?
Are expectations not just your beliefs projected in the future?
If your expectations are not met you probably needed that reality check. And this is where
the shoe fits. When returning back to your ‘home country’ the people around you and you upon returning expect ‘a sameness’. When returning to our ‘home country’ the people around us expect us to behave, think and share the same ideas. And that is when the stress comes in, we cannot live up to that expectation. We have lived a totally different lifestyle in comparison to most of the people in our ‘home country’.
Our international experience has made us who we are. For all those years abroad expats were
excused to be ‘different’. When I was living our international life nobody was surprised to see differences because I was not from that place. Now back home we expect to feel sameness with the people around us while reality tells us, you have changed and the people in your home country have changed.
source: Matt Wisniewski
Third Culture Coach
your inner purpose
to outer goals
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