Get me OFF this Emotional Rollercoaster

Get me OFF this Emotional Rollercoaster

Get me OFF this Emotional Rollercoaster

What to expect and how to change how we ride change

I think most of us will agree that this rollercoaster that comes with relocation is unlike many other emotional rides.  Just when we think we get a handle on something, something else comes along to prove we do not have a handle on this relocation at all.

It is like going to a theme part of roller coasters.  Our ticket to ride comes up faster than we expect and each one has a new surprise or intensity to get used and walk through.  

For the longest time, I looked to the Kubler-Ross Grief or Change curve where Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross established the 5 stages of grief which many of us have seen or studies.  This however, only explained part of the rollercoaster we ride during relocation.  

We definitely have the Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance…
but there is more to this ride.

We grieve our old lives and what we left behind but we also have to learn and acclimate.  And this is not done all at once there is a going back and forth that happens.

BACK AND FORTH

The back and forth is what surprises me the most.  I figured, especially after the first relocation that I had this down.  I knew what to do and I would make it happen.  However, the grief came in waves.  What I learned could only be brought in a small bit at a time and all the time who I was, was being impacted and so who I thought I was changes in tandem.  Getting a handle on it all was difficult.  

For a long time I couldn’t see much more than what was right in front of me.  Today’s tasks and trying to remember the name of whoever was right in front of me.

When the waves of grief came, I would push it back with thoughts like, “but I like it here, why am I sad” OR “I should be grateful for all that we get to do now.”  

When I got overloaded with information ( like remembering all the new names….), I would beat myself up.  “They were so nice to me why can’t I remember their name.” OR “Which neighborhood was that?  I like the feel of it and I can’t remember.  What is wrong with me?”

Being excited and loving the vibe and then sad that my friends were not here to help me,
it was like being two different people at the same time.

Up and down, back and forth.  It is exhausting, and the judgement is real.

THE JUDGEMENT IS REAL

Sometimes from us and sometimes from others, it seems that relocation is filled with a fog of perpetual judgement.  We call back home to vent a frustration to people who are doe-eyed not comprehending why this is a problem.  Or we get our relocation partners staring at us in disbelief or talking down to us for not understanding such a simple concept.

I want to let you know, those things are only simple, to THEM!!

Just because it seems like a lingering thick fog that won’t clear, doesn’t mean WE have to take it on as ours to own.  Much of that judgement is simply quick unthought out opinions.  When cast upon us it does not take into account where we are, what we know, the other 20 things we are responsible or even how much energy we may have in that moment. 

What ironic is that…

Ultimately, their judgement and accusations
will only slow us down.

PAUSING THE EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER

In Coaching at ReloWomen, we talk a lot about pausing.  What we don’t realize we can do the next 150 foot drop appears.

We rarely see the bright red PAUSE BUTTON 
directly in front of us, waiting to be pushed.

This isn’t about walking away from our responsibilities or a bottle of wine to ease the pain.  This is about remembering who we are and where our power is. 

When we pause the emotional rollercoaster we are able to see everything with more clarity.  With the pause we can tamp down the emotion, or even eliminate it during the time we need to. 

Think about angrily confronting a the bank about a mistake and having a Mom SOS appear on the phone.   What happens?

That confrontation comes to an immediate end and the emergency is addressed.  WHY?  Because the emotional confrontation that was so important, now takes second or fifth place, far after the emergency.  

Immediate change or pause is possible and it does not have to be initiated by an external event.

Most of us think that once this rollercoaster get going we CANNOT GET OFF until the ride comes to a stop all on its own.  However, the bright red PAUSE BUTTON is right in front of us.  

We don’t need an emergency to Press Pause.

What if we pressed it as necessary to gain our footing.  See with more clarity.  Find additional resources.  Regroup and create a new more effective plan.  

OUR REASONS ARE ENOUGH

So many times, we feel we must have an external reason to press the pause button and jump off.  But in reality, we can press the pause button at any time.  If this ride is not productive or taking us where we DO NOT want to go, we have a responsibility to ourselves, to press the pause button.

Yes we will be confronted by judgement, others and perhaps our own.  But that does not mean our reasons, for pressing pause and jumping off, are not responsible or justified.  That is for each of us to decide.

PAUSING OPTIONS

Pressing the Pause Button can look many different ways depending on the circumstances in front of us.  

  • The pause itself will last as long as we determine necessary.
  • It will be pressed by us
  • It will be pause for our reasons
  • It does not require an explanation (except possibly to other core family members)

Pausing can last a few minutes, days or longer. It can be pausing a project , it can be re-evaluating the value of a relationship or contract, catch our breath and it can be to establish rules or new guide rails.

Every pause has a purpose.

Pausing is active and purposeful in realigning or redirecting an existing thing or process.

Let’s say there is trouble with the new school.  Perhaps the pause includes unenrolling and home schooling temporarily while negotiations take place with the school or a new education options is chosen.

What if the real estate broker chosen to sell the home becomes unresponsive and needs to be fired.  Cancelling the listing per the contract requires the house to be off the market for 90 day or the original agent/broker still gets paid.  Perhaps the pause includes taking the house off the market, consulting with an attorney to progress an earlier cancellation, or perhaps waiting out the 90 day contract period.

SEE THE OPTIONS

The purpose of the pause is to assess and see ALL THE OPTIONS.

Remember that the BIG RED PAUSE BUTTON ~  Like an Easy Button ~ is already right in front of you.  There are consequences to hitting it, but if a negative situation wasn’t present, the options wouldn’t have to be considered in the first place.

Knowing it is there helps all of us see more options.

This is so important especially when people tell us don’t do that and threaten us with consequences.

SIDE NOTE: Threats activate the pause button in my world.  Immediately my brain goes to “What are they hiding and why with this so important to them that I do this now?”

IT WILL BE EMOTIONAL

Relocation is emotional.  We have loss and joy, fight and acceptance among many other until we acclimate.  

We will ride an emotional rollercoaster, but it doesn’t have to be out of control.   
We get to choose how we ride it all. 

Life in the end is 50% positive and 50% negative or at least not what we wanted. We will grieve what we loved and no longer have, and we will find joy is what we find.

Taking control of our rollercoaster determines how we walk each of these emotions and circumstances.  By doing this, we live life more closely to who we are, and in a way we want to.

EXPLORE MORE

Want to figure out why settling hasn’t happened or simply explore the relocation tools, sign up for a discovery coaching call by clicking the Let’s Chat button on the top right hand side of this page.  

I look forward to meeting you.

Want more?  I can help.

Let’s Chat about how this can work for you.  Click the button in the top right hand corner.  Choose a day and time that works for you.  By the end you will know more about turning around a bad day and if One on One coaching is for you.

John Fisher | Psychologist, Coach, Writer, Graphic Artist: https://www.linkedin.com/in/c2dlimited/ 
 
Podcast Links Ep 38: https://relowomen.com/podcasts/
 

Categories

Four Steps to Making “Normal”

Four Steps to Making “Normal”

Four Steps to Making “Normal”

When we can’t go back to the way things were

It’s like an extended vacation.  That’s what our brains think.  We will “figure” things out for a while and then things will go back to the way they were.  When we get to the new place everything is a fun puzzle.  It’s like having the Highlights Magazine arrive when I was 6 and going right to the Hidden Pictures page.  

What are we looking for now?  Peanut Butter.  Isle 3, third shelf. 
DONE! Cross it off the list.

 

The problem is that, like children, I got tired of the Hidden Pictures page and moved on to another game or interest.  When relocating, the puzzle stares at me waiting to be solved.  Even when I ignore it, it taps on my shoulder.

“You should really get that done.”

This primal process is what has kept us human beings safe from the beginning of time.  Once something has been evaluated and is deemed safe, our brains downshift the “high alert” energy and go into autopilot. This saves brain energy for eliminating any danger that may come our way later.

During the first year of relocation there is little that is routine and normal.

That natural downshift, where the brain relaxes, doesn’t occur typically during the first 3 to 6 months of relocation.  And sometimes, especially when we actively avoid acclimating, the process can be over year to occur.  

It is like we have that puzzle book in front of us demanding to be completed…all the way through to page 199.  Only then will it release us from the process.

Why does our brain demand that we get this wrapped up?  Because up until this relocation, it had most of life on autopilot.  No extra projects.  Most everything was known and anything that might need to be figured out would be built on what we already knew. 

But NOW…we don’t know.  There are no “standard operating procedures”.  We are literally learning or making up each day and hopefully managing each situation correctly as we go.  

That for the brain is EXHAUSTING!

It doesn’t like chaos ~ it wants a predictive repetitive life.  Remember it likes to conserve energy. So when a lot happens, its natural tendency will be to start shutting down things and stop expelling energy. 

When the habit brain gets exhausted, it starts sending up warning flares most of the time as thoughts designed to shut down activity. You will experience the end results of this as frustration and overwhelm.

If the brain can get you to these emotional states, it has effectively shut down all energies except those like rumination and second guessing.  

Which of course it uses to keep us shut down and safe.

These are exhausting for us…but for the brain it is much easier than dealing with all this new stuff.

So what do we do?  We use a system that the brain can attach to, predictable and consistent that the new information can simply plug into.  By having a predictable path, the brain will not use as much energy and will not resist with such vigor.

Observe ~ Try ~ Choose ~ Acclimate

Though simple, these four steps may need to be walked through a few times to get to a predictable routine or a normal in all areas of life.

Work to Observe

As we enter any new community watch for the many layers. 

Think about how intersections function.  What is initially seen, perhaps traffic lights and a cross walk? What about the rules, can you turn right on red? How are the light triggered, by sensors or by time? Do the vehicles and pedestrian abide by the lights or are they likely to cross any time they like.

When I was in Puerto Rico with a driver it was harrowing because the rules and flow of traffic I expected was not what was represented here.  Many times we charged through a stop sign or even a red light.  

When I asked what was going on he said, “I just watch the traffic. 
The signs and lights are just suggestions.”

Before we can make a life feel normal, we must understand where we are and how it functions.  This can only do this through observation.  Sometimes cultural training is provided when we relocate, however, the bulk of what we need to know is typically learned through experience.

When EXPECTING to learn as we enter a new community, a feeling of curiosity bubbles up.  

Curiosity is driven from a belief that we are going to acquire new information that may be interesting or helpful.

From a place of curiosity, we are likely to seem more of the little details and even begin to see the interpersonal rules that dictate local behavior and actions.  This type of information translate into understanding where we have landed both how things work and how locals communicate and relate to each other.

This will ultimately help us to communicate and relate to them.

Don’t forget to OBSERVE You

As we leave our last home for this new adventure, we change.  How do I know? Because each of my life changes little and big have changed my attitudes, beliefs and even some of what I value.  This is because each time we choose something new, we have change in a way that leads us to choose something new.  

Remember the last time you started a new school or a new job.  Just to step into the new place we have to take on new beliefs about ourselves and the opportunity.  That is change.

During this step be sure to chronical different attitudes, what is seen and how openness and hard nos appear and regress.  In someplace new, we are all likely to be more protective and cautious as we learn more and about it.  Make note of when the brain gets tired and shuts down.  Why is it happening?

Remember again, our brains are trying to get to “normal”.  When they do shutdown, know that nothing has gone wrong.  It is just searching for a quieter place and time to conserve energy.  During these times ask:

Why did I do that?  What would I normally do, before?

Whether a permanent change or just a temporary shift, the more we learn about ourselves and how we work, the better we navigate all of this.

Time to Try

Once the community has been explored and options have been found, both people and things to do, it is time to try on different parts of the community.

One of the best things about relocation is that there is no routine.  There are no established activities or relationships that dictate who we spend time with or what we do.  This clean slate, especially in terms of time, is the perfect opportunity to experiment with everything here.

During this step try on the feeling of openness.

Choosing to feel “open” when engaging with people and trying out different activities and organizations provides a safe space to see if this serves or supports the life desired.  To maintain openness remind yourself that this is only a try.  If it doesn’t serve or support the dream life it will not be continued. 

When trying we are only they to experience, not commit.

Decide Easy

Once observing and trying have been completed, deciding becomes easy.  Like trying all the food at a buffet, once experienced we are able to point to the ones we love and ones we do not ever want taste again.  

My latest relocation to the Dallas area was a long game version of this.  By the time this decision came about, I had lived many different places in the United States, overseas and traveled extensively.  This time, we had the opportunity to live wherever we wanted to live. My choice was the Dallas – Ft. Worth Metroplex area.  After living in many places including here, I knew that this place was one of the easiest for me to live. It met many of my wants and supported the way I and my family wanted to live.

The Observation and Try phases create a cornucopia of options seen and experienced.  

This makes knowing what and who fits and doesn’t fit obvious
and the subsequent decisions clear.

From here we easily build the framework for our lives and daily routine.  This takes us to the doorstep of “normal”.

Acclimate: The Final Change

Acclimation is more than adapting, though it is defined as adapting.  Adapting feels like something I have to do in order to fit in or be accepted.  This potentially means I am not living an authentic life.

Acclimating on the other hand is actively
choosing who we are in the new community,
choosing what to bring into our lives, as well as what we leave on the sidelines…and…choosing how we live as part of the new community.

Acclimation is about creating an interdependent relationship with the people and community as a whole, one where both we and the community benefit and even grow.

It may take a little bit of time. We are replanting and growing whole lives here.

Our brains will naturally resist, even as it is inevitable.

However, when we provide a known process to plug all of this “newness” into our brains can settling into a known process by which all of the newness becomes less threatening and perhaps even an easy process to walk.

I like to imagine sitting my habit brain down in a chair to the side and saying, “Don’t worry, I’ve got this.  You can watch me.”

Observe ~ Try ~ Decide ~ Acclimate

 

Remember to tell your brain.  “I’ve got this.”

 

Relocation Life Coaching

If this resonates with you, know that “I get you” and ReloWomen is here to support you through your relocation journey…no matter your stage.

For a deeper dive consider a coaching consultation.  Let’s look at where you have come from, what you imagined this relocation would be and the gap that remains.  By the end of our call you will have a good idea about the bridge that will connect the two.

Click on the Let’s Chat button above.  Choose a day and time that works for you and you will heard and understood by someone who gets you…and the path you have chosen to walk.

It doesn’t have to be this hard.  I can help.

Want more?  I can help.

Let’s Chat about how this can work for you.  Click the button in the top right hand corner.  Choose a day and time that works for you.  By the end you will know more about turning around a bad day and if One on One coaching is for you.

Podcast Links Ep 36: https://relowomen.com/podcasts/
 

Categories

So you had a bad day…

So you had a bad day

So you had a BAD Day…

Why don’t they teach us how to walk these relocation days?

Thank you Daniel Powter for a theme song to these days…

That song…remember the one they always played on American Idol when a contestant was asked to leave.  It was kind of sad and yet an acknowledgement of the hard work put in.  At least that was the way I took it.

In hearing it I running with a video montage of those contestants in my head.  Sometimes, when things I don’t want to happen occur, this is the song that plays in my head, this time with my own montage of what has gone wrong.

We have an uncanny ability to keep track of those things…those things we don’t want to remember.  Each time these unwanted memories brings a special pain along with every reason and proving that –

See!  You can’t do that.

Why even try.

You might as well give up.

Nothing ever works out.

When we chose this relocation in the beginning none of us ever thought we would think this.  This would be ridiculous.

But now…

A few weeks or months into this relocation, when things have not come together.  Failures happened little and big, and now even the smallest missed expectation or hardship gets blown up like a hot air balloon. 

I remember not finding the Daisy brand sour cream
and being reduced to tears in the dairy isle.

Seriously? WHY????  Because I had a bad day.  Was it really the sour cream?  Probably not, but maybe.  Most likely it was really one thing that went wrong and then another thing and yet another that wasn’t what I planned.

One of the things they don’t tell us when we relocate is how to walk these days.  These are the days where we consider packing it all up, spending whatever it takes and going back.  We’d do almost anything at this point, to eliminate this pain.

But what if we didn’t have to do all that?  What if we could get through this?

Simple Self-Coaching

Because, most of us face this, teaching my coaching client how to coach themselves is important.  The simple process I teach can be done any where and in any situation.  In four steps anyone can move away from a bad day.

Pause – List – Ask – Choose

Pause to see what is really going on here or what has happened.  Step outside of the situation like a friend coming to help and truly see all of the pieces.  From this perspective we side step the emotions for a moment.

List the facts, the parts of what happened that can be proved in a court of law.  No opinions, guesses or judgement allowed here.  Removing these cleans up our ability to see everything especially what we can control and what we cannot.

Ask what are all the options here, even out of the box?  Even in a situation of loss this question lifts us out of rumination and frustration to a place where we can consider there are options and it is up to me to see them.  If you have a hard time seeing the options, shift the question to “How would (person you respect) solve this?” to open up your mind.

Choose the best state of mind to solve this.  Curious, optimistic, open, determined, confident, etc.  Which state of mind would lead to finding a solution, the best solution?

In Action

So let’s say during the day the promotion was given to someone else, Curtis came home from school in tears and the neighbor left a note saying the dog pooped again in the yard.  Exasperated the first thought might be to grab a bottle of wine, sit on the front porch silently grumbling about the neighbor and your boss until bedtime scrolling social media.

But what if, work and the neighbor was left outside and focusing was easy as you became present for Curtis and the evening activities.

Start with the Pause.  Think about showing up like that friend arriving to assess and help.  She doesn’t talk about the neighbors previous infractions or the boss’s bias.  She isn’t thinking about storming over the Petersons to angrily accuse their child of bullying.  She is assessing and willing to help.

Remove the emotion and judgement. In simplest terms what happened?

Jerry got the promotion. Curtis cried. The dog pooped and the neighbor shared that.

Ask what are the options?  From that 3rd party view point of view these will range from the practical to the absurd.  Do not hold back.  Perhaps Jerry gets congratulated, and you start looking for a new job or you double down on training.  Perhaps, without the judgement and emotion, you are truly present with Curtis and he feels heard.

And finally, the poop in the neighbor’s yard?…
perhaps that causes you to giggle and think, “take that”.

You never liked them anyway, but you will find the hole Roxy is using to escape.

Then Choose how you want to experience what ever you to do.  This choice will also help lead to solution as well as turning around how the day is perceived and judged.

With bad day there are not options.  It must just be tolerated.

Seeing each day as just a day, each situation, seen individually and without distraction, creates space to consider what is best to do without judgement.  Especially of ourselves.

Want more?  I can help.

Let’s Chat about how this can work for you.  Click the button in the top right hand corner.  Choose a day and time that works for you.  By the end you will know more about turning around a bad day and if One on One coaching is for you.

Podcast Links:
 
Coming…

Categories

Massive Change is HERE

Massive Change is HERE

Massive Change is HERE

The world is changing…has Changed.

Can you feel it? Have you experienced it?

 

The interesting thing to me is that it isn’t just the world that has changed but me included.  I am just as much changed as the people and the community around me.  This is so surprising.

As a child of relocation, I typically view myself as being separated from most everything, especially the world as a whole.  Not too many people really get me or my life experience, so it was surprising a few weeks ago when that intimate connection popped up in an unexpected emotional moment.

Like many of you, I have chosen to stay pretty well away from humankind over the past 14 months.  However, the numbers in Texas being low and presented with a beautiful spring day, it was the spark of inspiration I needed to leave the house.  We had our masks, and we were going to be outside getting some sunshine.

That simple trip to the Dallas Arboretum with my husband, to see the tulips in final glory, evoked a surprising and guttural response.  

I couldn’t believe my reaction to being out of the house…in the middle of people.

That simple Sunday turned into a day of hesitation and even a bit of panic.  As I entered the Arboretum, I noticed that it was busier than we expected, especially since we had arrived an hour and a half before closing.  My body began to slowly tense up. I felt like I was scanning my surrounding, much like a computer, looking for the open pathways.  That scanning led me to choose a path around to the left instead of the right, my typical choice.

That day the pathways seemed narrow especially as people approached, I almost held my breath until we passed each other.  

What a strange experience and so unlike my pre-pandemic self.  I love people and being around people.  I am typically curious and want to talk to everyone, but not that day.  My attention focused intently when 10 to 12 people in a group came upon me in a narrow passage. 

I strongly remember thinking “Too many people…too many people!”

That is the moment I decided the choice to be at the arboretum, was not the right decision for me.

The Rules Shifted

The crazy thing for me and what I am still wrapping my head around is that ALL THE RULES SHIFTED…not just for me but for society as a whole.

Everyone I came across was harder to read and predict.  I, myself was harder to read and predict.  In that moment I surprised myself, something that may have never happened before.

What I realize as I reflect on this experience and the idea of emerging from this pandemic is that we are all trying desperately to understand the new rules.  

The problem is that the rules are no longer known, and
in most cases, the rules haven’t even been conceived of yet.

Rules TBD

Those unspoken rules that we use, collectively, to walk through the grocery store or plan a gathering are gone.  The ones that we relied upon and existed before February 2020, no longer exist for most of us.

These social norms are part of the cultural fabric that we depend on to live our lives.  Without them everything is up in the air.  And without existing and long tested data about COVID and efficacy of preventative measures as well as the vaccines, we are all living lives that are in a constant state of flux.

Adding to the challenges, most of us are still shifting our own rules as we learn, experience, and witness others’ decisions.

These rules will most likely not be set for a year or two.  So then what?  Do we all walk around on eggshells for the next two years?

Shifting Rules – Judgment not Required

There is some solace in the belief that these unspoken rules will change.  Expecting that we don’t know what others believe or want help us to maintain our cool in many situations.

Before the pandemic a behavior or decision outside of these unspoken rules would likely surprise if not grate against someone who knew the rules.

Before February 2020, if you walked up to someone and they took 3 steps back, the response would likely be “Whoa, what’s your problem??”

But now, we expect that we don’t know what people will do. Now, we observe and adjust in stride without judging them for their decision.  Today, when someone backs up as I approach, I work to maintain that distance and demonstrate respect.

What has really shifted here is that we are more likely to see the need and their concerns rather than making a negative  judgement about them, us or the intentions.  Perhaps not reading into situations is a good lesson to learn for the long term.

Unspoken Rules and Culture

Bringing this back around to relocation, let talk about the cultural aspects of this.  When we talk about unspoken rules we are really talking about culture.  Culture as in the set of rules and understanding that any group or community may have.  Typically, these things are unspoken and through experience “understood” by the members of the community.

Each community has these things that are “understood.”  This understanding directs the decision making, what is right and wrong as well as the “proper” way to do things and conduct yourself.

When I moved to Minnesota, my southern smile and strong desire to chat was actually off putting to the locals.  Whereas it was the key to gaining friends and connections in the South.

Have you been confused by this and want to learn more?

More about Cultural speed bumps on Thursday’s ReloWomen Podcast 

On Thursday, I am talking to Efrot Weiss about cultural differences.  She has spent years as an EXPAT in Japan and she joins me to talk about some of the lesser known differences and the dramatic impact they can have within communities when you don’t know the rules.

Want to relocate well?
I can help.

Download  “a Sense of Home” guide

The journey is easy.  Begin here.

Podcast Links:
 
Efrot Weiss
Cross Cultural Trainer and Coach, Linguist, Speaker & Japanese Specialist
 
 
Families in Global Transition www.figt.org
 
 

ReloWomen Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ReloWomen

Categories

A New Hope…in Relocation –

A New Hope…in Relocation –

A New Hope…in Relocation –

Where is that life I thought I was moving to?

“What’s up with this relocation!?!?  I have worked SOOOO HARD, everything is put in place and YET…I feel awful. I don’t know what happened?  I thought this would be so good for us.   I don’t know what to do.  I have no friends and I sooooo miss my life, back there!”

I know I am not alone in this.  Let me assure you this is normal. I have walked it enough times to believe this.  And thought it is not fun, It is typical and I am proof can be navigated.  This season happens…

anywhere between 6 months and 2 years, many of us wake up one day and think ~

“WAIT!  This isn’t what I signed up for!”

How did we get here?  One of the main reasons is all of the work we just walked through, all of the problems we solved and all of the stuff we put in place.  Most of us get so wrapped the minutiae of relocation that we forget where we are going…the life and lives we are creating. 

And for me I think, I believed that if I put all of these things in place a wonderful life would just appear.

I don’t know about you, but I woke up one day and wondered ~ what happened??

Every hiccup and disappointment was no longer just something that happened but PROOF that all this was wrong.  The relocation, the community, the house, the job and especially me.  It became proof to me at least, that I was not capable of doing this.

That is such a sad and lonely place.

The funny thing about that place was that it was not a constant, which made me begin to question it.  If it was truth, if I had made a mistake, if I wasn’t capable then that would be all the time.  And frankly it wasn’t always true.  In the months after we decided to relocate, I did more than I had done in years.  I had done things like negotiate contracts and resolved issues that in normal life I would have left to others.  I knew more about my son and what he needed to succeed in school and I volunteered at his school so that I would know what was going on there.  All things I hadn’t done before.

When I remember these, I realized that I was capable.

In these moments of clarity and confidence, I could see the life I wanted to build as well as the currently life (without judgement)…but I had no way, no bridge between the two.  How do I take 2 seemingly different things and create the life I imagined in the beginning? 

First I had to put down the things that were getting in my way.

Undone and done

Like most relocation activities achieving that life requires both releasing and creation.

Releasing in this stage is all about releasing judgement.  The judgement we cast on the where we are, the situation and ourselves must be released in order to move forward in any way.  I can hear some of you now, “But you don’t know how hard this was.  You aren’t acknowledging how hopeless this situation is.  This will never work.”

Frankly, that is true. Every word of it, as long as it is believed.  As humans the actions we take are directly related to what we believe is true.  Through that we exert control over what we can and cannot see.  Through these judgements we determine if we are or are not capable. 

And while “this will never work” is in control, this relocation will remain hard, hopeless, and have no possibility of improvement.

How do we put these things down?  We entertain the possibility that there is another way to think about this.  We ask ourselves:

  • How else can I see this?
  • How would (name of a respected person) figure this out?
  • What are other ways to fix this?
  • What if I wasn’t (mad/frustrated/overwhelmed), what options would I see?

When we begin to ask questions like this, we drop the judgement or non productive emotions and take on things like curiosity and one of my favorite made up emotions, feeling that it is “figure-out-able”.

IF you decided that this was figure-out-able, how would that change the thoughts and the possibilities about this?  Once we move into a place where we have removed the obstacles, then we can get on to creating that life we want.

Remembering & Creating

What is being created?  The life you imagined this relocation would bring about.

Why relocation was a good idea? What made it a good choice, for each of you? 

One of the best ways to create a clear picture of life.  Not life a whole but life in its part.  Most of us have seen “life wheels”.  These pie charts typically include 6 parts of life like: relationships, money, health, education, love, fun.  The idea is to label each section with the most important aspects of life and then rate them from 1 to 10.

Here I encourage you to use this not in a present time from but future.  Choose the top six for each person. Then have everyone describe what each section would need to make it a 10.  This becomes a goals list for each person.  The interesting thing that comes of this is that when shared amongst the group each one can become a group project or at the very least a way for everyone to know more about the others.  This is so important especially with siblings.

Once in the community, as everyone learns what is available, as new opportunities present themselves everyone will be able to easily decide what fits and those things or even people who do not.  Whether it is an opportunity for one of the kids to be in the school play or perhaps joining a club or creating a business with one of the neighbors when you know what a “10 out of 10” life is, it is easy to determine what stays or is passed by.

That’s the Life I want to Live

Now that the self-judgement has been asked to stand down and we see all the other ways about life around us, we can find new truths and options all around. These shifts in our thinking help us to see the things we need to build our dream life.

This space that we create, allows us truly merge who we are and what we want with what is here in our new community.  When we do this well, we live more of who we are.  We create and live a life of intention, our intention.

This dream may shift and grow as each of you shift and grow as you walk this relocation.  This is not a problem. This is the way life works.  It can seem dramatic and jarring at the time.  This is just because so much happens so quickly during this season. Keep reminding yourself that this is figure-out-able.

 “OK, I see that…now what?”

Anytime we contemplate and decide rather than react, we make decisions aligned with the life we want to create and live.

If you would like more tactical advice on living that life you want, sign up for a 45 minute call with me and we will talk about where you are, what you want and how to get there.

You want to live that life imagined, I can help.

Go out to the ReloWomen.com website and click the “Let’s Chat” Button in the top right corner of every page.  I look forward to walking through relocation with you.

 

Want to relocate well?
I can help.

Download  “a Sense of Home” guide

The journey is easy.  Begin here.

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Intentional Transformation

Intentional Transformation

Intentional Transformation

Moving from wondering…”How did I get here?” to “This is where I am going and who I will be”

One of the biggest transformation for me took place when I transferred from Southwest Texas State University to College of St. Thomas(MN) in 1986.  At my first university it was all about exploring the world, especially the world of college life.  I found friends for fun and kind of went to school.  I was paying for it myself from the 2 or 3 jobs I had worked each summer.  I felt independent and free to do as I wished.  Then my dad got transferred to  Minnesota.

When they offered to pay for a college of high caliber in Minnesota, I took them up on that.  I was tired of the fun and was ready to get to work anyway.  And that I what I found at this new college.  One Thursday I asked my roommate where everyone was going she said “To the library”?  Perplexed I asked why and she told me rather flatly, “To study”.  For real?  To study?  I wasn’t in Kansas anymore.

“I abdicated much of how that life was lived to others in the community or the community itself.”

But like at the first college, I fell inline with the acceptable activities of this community.  I must say that academically, this was a superior choice for me. My willingness to do as the locals did was strong and it served me.

And this is how I lived most of my life, via my roles.  First I was a daughter and a sister.  Then I was a dancer, student, flutist, high school senior and then college student.  Each of my role determined the transformation that took place in my life.  Each role dictated how I would act, what I would do and the life that I would live.

On some level I did choose my life…but I abdicated much of how that life was lived to others in the community or the community itself. 

It was kind of a “Oh that look like a good choice” or “I want to be part of that community” choice as opposed to choosing who I am becoming through it.

In my conversation with Rob Fenlon on Thursday’s Podcast, we talk about how most of us go into relocation wondering what this will be, rather than directing how we would like this to go.

Knowing that the transformation is coming is the first step.  Directing what the transformation is and includes in the second step.

“I blame it on the K through 12 years, but that was just a distraction to deciding to live a life I want to live.”

Intentional transformation is the process of executing a planned personal change or evolvement.  It takes us from being dragged along on a raft by the current, to building a boat and sailing it in the direction we wish to go.

As a mom I have experience crafting intentional transformation for my son and perhaps by husband when he lets me, but until the last few years I have not created and intentional transformation for myself.  There have been the exercise kicks and pursuing a degree or certification.  However, taking time to craft a vision for myself and putting together a plan to get there never happened.

I blame it on the K through 12 years, but that was just a distraction to deciding to live a life I want to live.

More than the where and do

Usually, when we talk about who we are, we talk in terms of roles.  I am a mom.  I am an HR Director.  I mentor high schoolers.

We identify ourselves with where we are from.  I am a Texan. I am British.

When we talk about transformation, we talk about gaining knowledge or experience: certifications, group membership, reading the latest Economist or parenting book.

These attribute though are only a subsection of a whole.  They are rather static and are all singularly focused.  They may cause indirect transformation, but they are typically not part of a whole personal transformation. 

Who I am today vs. Who I want to be tomorrow.

Intentional Transformation is about our “Who”

 Consistently in ReloWomen, you will find that I reference your “who”.  This is not where you live or what you do, though that can influence your who.  Your who is the wholeness of you where you make the decision for all of life.

“Evolving our current “who” allows us to realize our potential and become more of who we already are.”

This “Who” is the driving and directing part of us that embodies what we believe, what we value and what we want to accomplish in our lives.  You might see it in want statements.

  • I want to be a great mom.
  • I want to create a company to support my family and families in the community.
  • I want to help everyone understand how important this is
  • I want to be a good steward of what I have.

When we strive to do anything bigger than what we are doing now we have to tap into our “who”.  Because it is in growing our self image, our knowledge and our experience that we can go into our community, big or small and create the impact we have on our hearts to create.

So to do any of these things above we need to define and expand who we will need to be to accomplish this.  Perhaps we need to be brave or flexible or skilled or observant.

Evolving our current “who” allows us to realize our potential and become more of who we already are.

How to Intentionally Transform

 Intentional transformation begins with the idea that it is possible to direct the transformation that is taking place on a daily basis.  We all have experience choosing transformation, like when we went to college or chose to marry or take a new job. 

Seeing transformation as daily rather than big life changes puts the power in our hands to direct our transformation.  With this we still see the external people and cultures that have led us to transform in the past, but we see it in an active way not with passive acceptance.

Be careful not to judge any past “going along” as bad.  It is not bad.  Those passive choices were just not chosen with personal intention.

When we chose to intentionally transform in the moment and over months or years, we are continually evaluating this incoming information against who we know ourselves to be, what we want to accomplish in our lives/world, and ultimately who we want to be.

The NOW

Start with who you are now.  That gives you a solid place to step off from.  If you haven’t defined it recently, check out the first part of my 3 Step Relocation Guide.  It is all about knowing and defining your current “Who”.

The FUTURE

Intentional transformation is about knowing on some level, about the destination.  Many times during our lives we talk about not knowing what we want to be when we grow up.

 The Future in terms of intentional transformation is the act of choosing one.  Choosing something you want and who you must be to accomplish that.  A great speaker, a lover of learning, someone who keeps their word, someone who shows up for themselves just because they decided to do it.

This idea of our future selves is what provides the guidance to know if the path we choose is the right path.

The JOURNEY

“If you don’t know where you are going, any path will get you there.”
~ a paraphrase of the exchange between the Cheshire Cat and Alice,
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

All of us are on a journey.  How do I know?  Because I am here, as I am, in this place and with these people doing these things.  I got here because of my journey.

At this age I know that much of the past journey was dictated by others.  But now that I know, the current journey is more often one of personal choice. 

So which path do you choose?  It depends on the future self you are going after and this will dictate the path or journey.  No journey is a straight line or without potholes, but the active choosing of a path and a journey does mean you will get there more quickly than no choice at all.

It begins with where you are, then choosing a future and finally choosing the path or paths on the journey between the two.

Passive transformation becomes
Intentional Transformation
when chose a fuller destination. 

Every Relocation

 Passive Transformation takes place in every relocation.  It is the relocation decision puts passive transformation in motion. 

Passive transformation becomes Intentional Transformation when chose a fuller destination.  When we choose, and put into the plan every piece of our lives beyond simply a community, schools and a job…THIS is when we step into our power to direct our lives. 

This is when we create intentional transformation.

    • So, who do you want to become and be?
    • Who do you want your children to become and be?
    • Who will the family become and be?

Knowing we can use this relocation, this clean slate of life to intentionally transform, means that we utilize our innate power and truly live a life we want to live…no matter where we land.

On Thursday, we will continue the Intentional Transformation discussion with Rob Fenlon, the CEO of Global Educational Consulting Services ,on the ReloWomen Podcast, available on Spotify, Apple and your favorite podcast players.

Missing a sense of home? 
I can help.

Download  “a Sense of Home” guide

The journey is easy.  Begin here.

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Holidays…All or nothing?

Holidays...All or Nothing

Holidays.  All or nothing… in 2020

The 2020 American Holiday season.  We were briefly introduced to the holiday changes on Halloween. 

There was so much talk about whether or not we should let the kids trick or treat.  Was it a risk for them?  For us as parents?  Would every house have a candy shoot…would the be required to.

It was a flash test for what was coming.  For those of us beyond the trick or  treating years, this was a mere blip.  It didn’t really affect us.  Our only concern was, do we turn on the lights this year or not.

Halloween was flash test for what was coming.

But now, here we are at the beginning of the BIG Holidays, beginning on Thursday with Thanksgiving, continuing through Christmas and then New years. 

What will this look like? What can it look like?

The news is full of warnings.  I just heard that for a Cowboys home game only 25,000 fans were in attendance and it became a super spreader event.  I believe the roof was open and groups were placed far from the others.  Less than 25% of capacity and still a spread.  So now what?  What is responsible?  ….And do we just cash in the 2020 holiday season all together?

Do we CANCEL the holidays????

It is what the news media and the CDC seem to be selling.

On my calendar Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and all of the other holidays are still on my calendar between now and January tenth, two thousand and twenty.

Whether we choose to acknowledge them or not, these holidays still exist.  These holidays from Thanksgiving to after New Years are part of our past. And IF WE CHOOSE… they are part of our present and our future.

These holidays from Thanksgiving to after New Years are part of our past. And IF WE CHOOSE… they are part of our present and our future.

Both groups act like we only have two options, all or nothing.

However, there are many ways to celebrate a holiday.  We may not immediately see it. Most of us have been celebrating the same way for years. 

When we look around though, to our friends and neighbors, it is then we see that everyone does not celebrate the same way. 

All or Nothing…

The reason cancelling the holiday creates such drama, is that it assumes that holidays are an all or nothing ordeal.  We either, …celebrate the way we have, with all of “these people”, at “this place” and in “this way”, OR we cannot celebrate.  Black and white. 

This is a well meaning trap.

Having not experienced or considered alternatives, we may think there IS only one way.  This is well meaning trap.  A preferred way of thinking our brains prefer to  keep us safe from the unknown.

Our brains like it.  When life is steady and predictable, our brains are happy.  They do not have to work so hard.  See “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg.

This practiced predictable way of working though, does not serve us in a time or a year like pandemic 2020.

This black and white thinking only leads us to fighting what is.  There is no changing it, the facts are the facts.  We may choose to argue, fight or even try to avoid it, but we will lose the argument with the circumstances…100% of the time.

Option Zed

What IF there is another options…on that does not try to change the circumstances. What can we do what options are there if we accept the pandemic and the limitiations it dictates?

We change the only thing we can control. We change is ourselves.  I am sure you have heard the saying, all we can control is our response to it.

I learned the secret.

This was a curiosity and an impossibility to me for so many years, until I learned the secret.  Until I learn, I could control what I thought was uncontrollable.  No the circumstance by how I saw the circumstances.

In the past I would work to change the circumstances…what was going on or try to change the people.  This rarely if…well  it never worked. So, after a while, I gave up trying. 

There it was again, that word ~ belief

What I did not know was that there was an option Zed and all those along the way.  The way people control their responses to their circumstances was that they were able to do it because of options Zed.  They believed they had another option, even multiple options and they were willing to pursue all of them.

There it is again, that word belief.

Belief and pursuit

Belief is what keeps us pursuing the celebration of the holiday with and around our family and friends even at a distance in a yard or through a screen.  Belief that we can have a holiday celebration drives us. We take hold of a belief in option Zed.

…driven by a feeling of being “figureoutable”.

With this in mind the Celebration can and will happen…just as it has for hundreds of years.  It may appear different but it will occur and can occur with joy and connection just as it appears on the calendar.

This belief in option Zed moves us into a place of curiosity.  The active pursuit is driven by a feeling of being “figureaoutable”.  Yes a made up word but still relevant, and understandable.

If you are feeling this holiday season is figureoutable, what then?  What are the options and the possibilities ~ you can now see.   

The battle of what we want, is generally hindered by our own minds, by what we believe.  When we believe we can figure it out, and we tap into the energy to pursue it…we no longer cling to what and how it was, we create what can be.

Seek and be Inspired!!

Open up your mind and see what others have done already to overcome the challenges of pandemic 2020 and be inspired. Look how these people have overcome.

People all over the world are getting creative, solving their own challenges, choosing to live in the midst of this and coming together to support their community.  People help people, ourselves and others. 

It is in coming to the aid of others, that we make this place better.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if the pandemic actually brought all of us together? 

Through creativity and innovation, a whole new way to celebrate, deeper, more connected and meaningful is created for all of us. 

Let’s hit the social and traditional media airwaves with that!

Create Meaningful and Joyous Holidays

The holidays bring people together… the ones we love and care most about.  It is the time where we enjoy the company.  We do for one another and we express what they mean to us through both acts of service and through what we say.

Our acts of service and our voice are not silenced during this pandemic.

If anything, I have spent more time with those I love.  I have reached out to more people to check in, and extend help or even just a kind word of love and appreciation.

The precautions we are taking between now and the beginning of next year do not dampen who we are or our ability to connect with others.

Our Joyous Holidays will just look a little different… 
different bows and window dressing.

We may be throwing a quick celebration in a front yard or taking the kids over to grandmas to build a snowman.  We may back our favorite treats and drop them off at neighbors and friends who are alone this year. 

We may even drop off a tiny Christmas tree at each friend and family member with instructions to send a selfie and write a holiday wish note…like that “flat Stanley” so many of us had as kids coming with us to school, on each trip and to the holiday dinners. 

Perhaps assembling a book of everyone’s tiny tree pictures and holiday wishes printed out for everyone.  A remembrance that even in a time such as this, we still live.  We connect and continue to celebrate, on that day….as it comes on the calendar. 

You can do it

Get creative and make a difference.  Connect and reach out. 

I always like to think about the kids in war torn countries, because not matter how chaotic or dangerous, those kids still play.  They are kids and kids play.

but do not let it push out the joy

We are alive and we will continue to live.  Take this unique holiday season a truly make it your own.  Allow the grief of what cannot be…but do not let it push out the joy that is a part of life and a real part of this and every holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving 2020!

I cannot wait to see how you inspire me!!

Want to feel a sense of home…here…now? 
I can help.

Download my free resource guide “a Sense of Home”. 

The journey is easy to begin, right here.

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