Should-ing Ourselves

Should-ing Ourselves

Should-ing Ourselves

Recognizing the lies and jumping off the rabbit trail to nowhere.

How’s your week? Mine feels like a bit of whiplash.

You see this week in Texas, the wheels on the bus came off the bus. They came off the bus for many reasons, the least of which is we were not prepared for this.
Any of it.

And yet, most of us believed we should know what to do. You can see it in the interviews and the shock many Texans have walked.

Each day, really each hour had the potential for disaster or hesitant relief. After living in Minnesota for so many years, they amount of snow we got wasn’t much, perhaps 5 to 10 inches. The temperatures were 30 degrees higher than the worst Minnesota gave us…and yet, that snow, a bit of ice and 4 days of temps between 0 and 15 destroyed so much.

The fact of the matter was, we couldn’t not know what to do.

These Texas houses are not built for this type of winter event, not for a week. With waterlines and gas lines running in outside walls and in the attic, with limited insultation…well it broke.

Resourceful or Incapable

When things like this happen in life, believing we are resourceful and adventurous, we turn on ourselves and then question ourselves and really everything.

Where did we go wrong?

In some ways, it is productive. Because of the storm we will most likely be investing in additional insulation, especially around the pipes, and perhaps a whole house back up generator. Adding not only to the house’s integrity but to our peace of mind, which is one of the worst things I gave up during the week.

Losing our peace of mind and diving into asking questions like where did we go wrong, sends many of us in to distracted and unproductive place. A place full of should.

For me the shoulds included, I should have put foam insulation in this house already. I should have had the special plug I needed for the generator installed last summer. I should have gotten milk.

I should have known this was coming and prepared better.

The fact of the matter is, in Texas we really do not know what the weather will be until it arrives. In Minnesota, we could see it march from Seattle to the Minnesota state line, fairly predictable and stable. Here though, that is not the case. Think tornados and baseball size hail from a few years back punching holes in roofs. That is a scary thought.

Today these shoulds surround the weather here and preparations that should or should not have taken place.

Should-ing Please

In relocation, should-ing ourselves is almost like a new hobby we take up in the process.

“I’d like to sign up for the Should-ing hobby please.”

Last week I was talking to yet another EXPAT. Again we landed at questions like “Why is this so hard?” And statements like “I should know how to do this.”

For those of you who have relocated before this thought will not be new, and yet we all think it in our first relocation, our second relocation, our third relocation and every one after. I was talking to Robert Fletcher from Heart Relocation out of London this week and he said that their surveys showed that relocating families typically say that their 3rd relocation is just as hard if not harder than their 1st.

Doesn’t this seem hard to believe? That with 2 relocations under their belts that the third one is even more difficult? It seem like it would be easier…not harder.

After 15 relocation throughout my life…I know that each one is just a bit different and there is plenty I do not know…and still there is so much of life to be transferred and replanted…hopefully in fertile soil, but even with that experience, nothing is guaranteed.

Should-ing arrives when people/processes/products DO NOT meet our expectations are sneeky and may only flash in our brains. We may not see the flash, but if we pay attention, direct results will follow.

Be on the Lookout

One of the early concepts I teach my clients is to record and watch what is going on up there. Up there in that brain of ours. All of the thoughts that march through strongly or flash almost unseen…

Watch for them when something that you actually do know how to do, goes wrong. The shoulds most common are a form of self judgement.

I shouldn’t be thinking that, I know better.

When we see an ugly or unproductive thoughts, many of us push them down inside. Deep …. Deep…down inside. We think we are pushing them out or getting rid of them but they do not go. As a matter of fact, when we push them down rather than processing them, they grow in the basement of our minds, fed by every push, every bit of fight and ignoring we can give them. Eventually they escape in unusual and destructive ways as an ugly monster.

For me that looks like irritability and frustration, and unchecked lands square in Overwhelm.

And overwhelm, as we discussed a few weeks ago gets us nowhere.

They Mean Well…

It sounds like truth.

Those should that are causing trouble in our relocations are told to us by our family, our friends and even our employers. People we trust are saying these things in encouragement but actually, these shoulds are detrimental and set us up for potential failure.

Because these shoulds, tell us that we are less than and incapable.

The first should thought causing trouble is that “this should be easier”.

It sounds like truth. I leads though to questioning ourselves…asking what am I missing. That sets up the failure because it assumes that I am missing something. And that assumes that I am incapable to getting it the first time. One false truth leads to another to support the original assumption, I am missing something.

Every missed expectation, every tear after school, every thing wrong provides proof of that.

“This should be easier” belief leads down a path to frustration and potentially overwhelm is. Initially, it may be only a flash thought pushed aside.

Flash ~ Long Blink ~ Solid Neon Sign

However, after it has flashed in time after time, it can start to wear us down. That flash of “This should be easier” becomes a long blink, and before you know it the brain has created a solid rock foundation of information and “proof” and that flash has turned into a bright neon light shining in the window as we try to get some sleep. Now that I miss things is believed as truth, practical things of life truly starts to fail.

Because…If I miss things, then I shouldn’t make decisions. I can’t make decisions. When we truly believe this about ourselves, can you imagine what happens next? How does life change?

For those of you who may be new to the podcast I want to help you understand why we are talking about what we are thinking as opposed to strategies or the how to get out of whatever challenge we have landed in.

The reason is because how we think about something determines how we walk through, how we experience it & where we end up.

So, if we really lean into “This should be easier.” Where does that go? Many times for me it morphs into ~ this is difficult. This is a direction for the brain.

The brain LOVES direction and if it is driving after proof, especially to get us to run away and be safe it finds it, all of it. This means that rather than seeking to solve the problem, our brains go full throttle to find the proof and distracts everything with “This is hard”.

Distractions Multiply

How does thinking this is hard help? It doesn’t. It only distracts. It consumes our brain power and prevents us from thinking as clearly as possible. All of it keeps solutions out of sight and none of it get us any closer to the solution.

The bonus is that this distraction turns to negative self-judgement,
a debilitating set of thought that dig this pit even deeper.

And there is a second “should” that drips of self-judgement and loathing that takes all of this to yet another level, another deep pit that goes nowhere.

It is more insidious because it is personal and this lie presents as truth. “I should know how to do this”

Personal Destructive Should

I mean really! We are grown adults. We are intelligent and resourceful. We have this life thing down. And yet, during relocation and the months or even years after, when the littlest thing goes sideways, we believe and apply it.

From “I should know how to do this” to chaos and letting everyone down.

On repeat this gets loud. It is like we are searching for something we used to know, but have forgotten(driving Self-Judgement). And now because we have forgotten this “valuable piece of information”, we cause chaos and let ourselves down, our families and potentially impacting the career that brought us here.

That is quite a rabbit trail isn’t it.

From “I should know how to do this” to chaos and letting everyone down.

Road NOT Taken

The problem with these thoughts? They do not lead to solutions. They do not motivate us to “Do Better”, they only drag us down trails to nowhere.

So how do we JUMP OFF this road?

In the moment, both of these seem very real… like truth. However, these “shoulds”, both of them are thoughts. Thought the brain is playing to keep us safe! Safe from all this danger…which in this case is our own emotions.

“Jump Off” is a Question

Pause when these should statements get rolling around and ask these questions.

        – “How else can I see this situation?”

        – “If I knew how to solve this, what would I do?”

        – “If (name of trusted person here) was in this situation what would they do?”

These questions redirect our brains. Instead of continuing to a place of overwhelm or hopelessness, these types of questions help our brains realize there may be another way to think about this.

Believing there could be another way, slows the hamster wheel to nowhere. That wheel does take effort to slow and eventually stop and even though it will take effort, but this is not impossible.

Jumping off just takes a bit practice.

Like Breathing Meditation

Have you ever tried a breathing meditation? At first it is quite a challenge. Starting with just listening to the breath, in – out , in – out, In – out….after 12 or 15 breathes…listening intently…my brain wanders off to the grocery list. When I realize I forgot to listen, I bring my thoughts back to the breath.

Redirecting the brain takes training and practice.

Think again about thought “I should know how to do this”, remember in the beginning of the podcast, what the Heart relocation survey said, the relocation got progressively more difficult not easier. In the light of that is this statement true? No.

In the case of protecting my house from a once in a decade winter storm…No, I shouldn’t know how to do this. And with each relocation, it changes. You have changed. The situation is different. They new community is vastly different.

From “I should know how to do this” to “No, I do not know how to do this, but I will figure this out.” This demonstrates the power of our thoughts and how impermanent they really are. The second one feels so much more powerful and will produce those kinds of results because of that.

Though some of the things we think seem impregnable, will never change or improve… this does not mean how we see it, is true.

And that my friend is the good news.

Relocation is wonderful journey, let me help you live your best life throughout.

Let’s Chat

If you would like to ask question about how to redirect your brain, to SEE a circumstance differently OR you would like guidance on living your best life, I encourage you to book a Consult today.  We will talk about where you are and where you want to be and how to live you best life in all stages.  Book your Consult by clicking on the Let’s Chat Button at the top of the ReloWomen webpage.  Choose a day and time that works for you.

I look forward to our chat.

Annette

Want to relocate well?
I can help.

Download  “a Sense of Home” guide

The journey is easy.  Begin here.

Podcast Links:

 

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

Categories

Not Broken

Not Broken

Not Broken

Releasing the “broken” lie we tell ourselves

How is that New Years resolution going? As we know and have probably walked ourselves, most people have given up and re-started life as it was before the “resolution”
I just looked at that word resolution. Have you ever realized that if you break it down into two parts it is RE and then Solution? Just putting this podcast together and looking at the word… I finally see that. Funny.

Perhaps that is what we should be doing at the first of the year…       re–solutioning our lives. Most resolutions though well intended,  come from a place of “I am Broken”, so that answer is any activity rather than a solution. This is then more of a dart at a wall that falls off shortly after it hits the wall… like most new years resolutions.

These have an iron grip that bring our relocation tumbling down…
all because we believe them to be truth.

Those of us ReloWomen, we will tell you that this process, the ones we have done in the past and without much of a plan, have ended in error.

Most loosy goosy processes come with errors. Errors we take on as personal fails.

Next Week’s podcast is all about “relocation shoulds”. Have you notices how often our “shoulds” get all of us into trouble? These have an iron grip that bring our relocation tumbling down…all because we believe them to be truth.

“This should be easier”
“I should know how to do this”

With these two sentences wandering unsupervised in our minds, we assign personal blame and responsibility, when
              – Our kids come home from school in tears
              – Someone doesn’t do what they should
              – Our plan falls
              – Others ReloWomen and their kids aren’t struggling
Crying in the showing is where I land, so no one sees.  And as I evaluate where I went wrong, the next conclusion is…I am broken.
Everyone is kicking it except us.  
Life from Broken
We must be less than or flawed in some way.

“Feeling incapable, everything beginning to slide,
I mean seriously…why try? I can’t make a difference. I am broken.”

WOW…that is a place. Have you ever been there? Boy I have. Questioning everything.
Remember the story about corporate relo family who “tried” their new home for 5 months, and by month 6 they had sold their house and moved back to where they came from? This extreme response to relocation comes from believing they couldn’t do it. Believing they are broken in the new place.

Are you in this place? You, my friend are why I started ReloWomen.
It doesn’t have to be so hard, but no one ever told or taught you how to navigate this any other way.

If you believe you are broken or flawed, incapable of moving forward, I am sending you a great, BIG HUG. I understand this place. I assure you, like me, you can walk out.
To start that walk, let’s really SEE this place and why it leads to feeling broken.

Automatic Programming

All of humans, our brains are designed to keep us from danger. Even those women who seem to have it all together…even their brains are designed to perceive and avoid danger.

This feeling broken is part of this self-preservation mode.
Back in the day, saber tooth tigers and marauders could come and attack. Therefore, our brains were constantly on alert for the unfamiliar – something new. When we relocate, we are wading through a whole lot of new. This jump to broken is most likely from our brains and is most likely being triggered by all of the NEW.

New is Dangerous

With our brains are obsessed with safety and preservation of life, the primitive or automatic part of our brains is wired to see new things as dangerous. It sends chemicals to create emotions that are designed to make us evacuate, shut down and be safe.

It is a warning that “this” may mean danger. However, in our modern world new things are typically not dangerous…they are just unknown.

When this happens, I want to assure everyone that nothing has gone wrong. The brain is not malfunctioning. It is only working with old programing to protect and preserve life.
And the thing is, we all want to be safe.

Safe and Confident

The good news is that all of us have two parts to our brains and the other side, the pre-frontal cortex, can control much of this. When we learn how to engage this side, we are able to see the new as just the unknown and keep the flight tendency at bay.

The pre-frontal cortex, the decision-making side, is our powerhouse. As we learn to access it we can see the new with curiosity. We can also use this decision-making power to gain control and even direct the primitive, automatic brain as well.

This allows us to be safe and explore the new with openness and confidence as we integrate our new community and our lives.

So how do we access it?

The best part of this that you already have everything you need to do this, even the key to unlocking it. You use it every time to create something new… a solution never seen or learn a new skill like an engineer.

This ability to create something new or live life differently all comes from a question like…

“How else could I think about this?”

As simple as that question appears, it is a powerful tool in all of the next steps. Our ability to navigate challenges and the success of our efforts, is dependent on how we see a situation and the problem.

Thinking that “I Am Broken” hinders, our ability to navigate. The waters are muddied by the thought of that not good enough, I will never get this right, someone else is better qualified to do this, and so on.

THAT is a lot of distraction, when we so desperately want to fix everything.

This distraction is easier to put down than you may think.

Put down the Broken

Consider this…

If in the middle of an “I am broken” party, the kids come charging in the door wanting a snack, the mind and energies are most likely redirected and focused to meet their needs. If there were something truly broken, nothing would break the spell.

I really want you to see this. You are not broken.

You see, when they bound in the door our brains redirect. Either by their requests or simply their presence, we direct our brains to understand the situation and what they need. Even if for a moment, this shows the power of the human brain instantly climb out of that pit. When we jump out is determined by what redirection we lean into.

I really want you to see this. You are not broken. You have the ability within you to redirect and create a new experience…even in the midst of an “I am broken” thought hanging around.

When we realize we can redirect our brains with our pre-frontal cortex, we see the challenges from a less judgmental place. And we can literally ask the automatic primitive brain to stand down.

“I am broken”, Please Stand Down

My one-on-one coaching clients practice this by seeing, allowing and redirecting our thoughts.

“Oh I see you “I am broken” thought. It’s OK. I have got this. You can go sit down in the kindergarten chair on the side and watch me figure this out.”

This shows respect and care for yourself. It is much like we would tell one of our kids. It’s OK. I will figure it out, so you don’t have to worry.

This process brings calm and hope. Here is where space can be found to see or create options and choose a workable solution from a clear and undistracted mind.

With an undistracted mind we can re-solution our lives. We direct our brains with thoughts we choose to see that spark of inspiration. To feel newfound energy comes and see that we are not broken.

We never were broken.

We have within us that place to re-solution, move out of where we stumbled into, and crate a life we want to live.

Want to practice with me?

If it is time to live your best life through this relocation journey, I encourage you to book a Consult today. Let’s chat about the life you want to live and the challenges along this relocation journey. You can live your best life and you can help you family do the same. Book your Consult by clicking on the Let’s Chat Button at the top of the ReloWomen webpage. Choose a day and time that works for you.

Relocation is wonderful journey, let me help you live your best life throughout.

Want to relocate well?
I can help.

Download  “a Sense of Home” guide

The journey is easy.  Begin here.

Podcast Links:

Episode 28 – “Not Broken” https://ReloWomen.com/podcasts
 

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

 

Categories

Mentors You NEED

Mentors You NEED

Mentors You NEED

Learning from others and allowing them to mentor through the written word

One of the most wonderful things I learned a few years back: Mentors are not necessarily, people we know.  Mentors are simply people who share their wisdom with others.

Brian Buffini, author of the fourth book here, The Emigrant Edge taught me this.  He always talks about his mentors Jim Rohn, Zig Zigler and Lou Holtz. Brian considered each one of these men mentors, through their books and tapes, even though in the beginning, he hadn’t met any of them…yet.

How many of us have read Brené Brown or Tony Robbins and had our lives directly impacted and changed?  I have, and I did not realize it back in the nineties as I wore out those Tony Robbins tapes.

Today, I am bringing to you FOUR MENTORS that continue to impact my relocations and my life in relationships, the practicalities of moving, traversing different cultures and one of my favorites talks about the advantages we have for choosing to walk this relocation journey.

These books of mine are full of highlights, scribbled notes, a few water stains and many, many post-it notes sticking out from the edges.  See the picture above.  Friendships Don’t just Happen…may need to be replaced soon.

Friendships Don’t Just Happen

By Shasta Nelson is book born of pain.  She followed her then husband to San Francisco and though she was an outgoing person who welcomed new friends she still struggled.

“It hit me how very hard the friendship process is.  I’m an outgoing, socially comfortable woman with a long line of good friendships behind me.  And yet I stood there feeling very lonely.  And insecure. And exhausted at just the idea of how far I was from that reality for which I was yearning.”
(
Friendships Don’t Just Happen page 5, paragraph 3)

This passage shows a real part of the relocation journey.  Not only does this path to connection begin with loneliness…in Shasta’s case it walked through insecurity, exhaustion and the flashing reality of how far she really was between where she was and the close connections she so desperately needed.

She connects to us in the 3rd paragraph with a statement that resonates with all of us that have walked this journey.

From here she begins to de-mystify the friendship process and five types of friendships.  These five have specific purposes or roles. What’s interesting and something I experienced myself, is that without even just one missing, we tend to feel a hole or loss that needs to be resolved.

These five friendships types are more static than linear, though I can see a person moving from one spot to another.

If you are struggling with connection and looking for a path and reasoning behind it all, you will find it in Friendships Don’t Just Happen by Shasta Nelson.

Smart Moves

Smart Moves is the most practical of the 4 books here today.  Caroline Carter, founder of Done in a Day (a Washington DC based home transition company) compiled her most valuable processes, checklists and strategies for relocating across the city or around the world.

Caroline Carter is who taught me about the importance of truly preparing a home for sale.

What I like about her book is that she leads the reader through in such a way that they feel well informed rather than being told what to do.  She does have plenty of checklists and recommendations, but she talks about everything from a place of choice and potential implications.

 In addition, Caroline also addresses the emotional nature of sorting, packing and relocating the life itself.  Including that perspective in the middle of a functional process makes this book both relatable and practical.

I appreciate her focus on cleanliness in chapter seven – The Devil is in the Details

“Your home must go through a deep, deep, deep clean…smell fresh. 
No real odor.  No Clutter. No dust bunnies. No footprint of you…

 

I realize no one actually “lives” this clean,
but you must try to exist in deep clean mode in order to sell.”
(Smart Moves page 98 paragraphs 1 and 2)

One of the surprises is all that we can do to prepare to move way before we deep clean and stage the home.  Listing the home is not discussed until Chapter Eight.

Caroline Carter is a master of moving and transition details.  If selling a home for top dollar in the least amount of time is the goal, her process leads the way.

The Silent Language

By Edward T. Hall, a 1940s anthropologist, Edward was a student of peoples and their culture.  After the second World War, he was asked to work on a project for both the Indians of the southwest pacific(meaning California – Arizona – New Mexico). 

Many times we think of culture as a set of rules that govern a community, but what Edward learned was that culture is so much more than that.  Consider…

“If this rich experience taught us one thing it was that culture is more than a mere custom that can be shed or changed like a suit of clothes…. [This was] a completely different way of organizing life, of thinking and conceiving the underlying assumptions about the family and the state, the economic system and even mankind.”

(The Silent Language page 23)

Is it any wonder we struggle when we move someplace.  We move in with a set of rules we live life by.  A set of values and a believe of how life should be organized, lived and protected.  AND YET, when we move to a new place, it has its own way of living and organizing life.

Some are similar to what we already do, but others are so very foreign.  Edward T. Hall calls this an invisible barrier.  After one relocation, that is something we all recognize to one extent or another, but we can’t quite put our finger on what the difference is.

Pull out a highlighter and multi-colored pens to read a Silent Language.  It is like a college course about culture in 209 pages…and worth every page.

The Emigrant Edge

I learned about Brian Buffini when I began in real estate many years ago.  He is a self-made man.  He arrived in the US from Ireland with $70 in his pocket.  Three months later he is in a severe motorcycle accident.  With no health insurance, there were huge bills to pay when he got out.  A financial debt he chose to dig himself out of.

Not a great start to emigrating to America.  But from here he built a great fortune and blessed many people.

Brian Buffini, through his book, brings to light the all aspects of this journey we are on and shows the benefits we gain from saying yes to the relocation opportunity.

In the Emigrant Edge Brain shows the disadvantages as well as the advantages of living in a new country.  From here he adds discusses the seven immigrant traits we can realize through relocation and this EXPAT life.

Part Three: The Immigrant Traits

  • A Voracious Openess to Learn
  • A Do-Whatever-It-Takes Mind-Set
  • A Willingness to Outwork Others
  • A Heartfelt Spirit of Gratitude
  • A Boldness to Invest
  • A Commitment to Delay Gratification
  • An Appreciation of Where They Came From

These lessons learned as we relocate are our superpowers going forward.  They change the way we look at the world.  It changes our hearts and it changes how we see opportunity in the world and that which we create.

When we choose relocation, we are choosing to expand how we see the world, all of its differences and abundance.  Brian Buffini through “The Emigrant Edge” truly taps in and directs the mind to intently pursue and encourage each of us to explore what we are capable of.

Pursue Knowledge

Consider what has provided the greatest impact in your life.  Has it been a book, a speech or a conversation?

Throughout this life, remember there have been many who have gone before us.  Both those living and now gone have a treasure trove of wisdom for us when we look for it and pursue it.

Pursuing knowledge, what others have already learned through their experiences, greatly accelerates our ability to build a grand life.  It allows us to become so much more than we are now, earlier in our lives.

I encourage you to post your favorite and most impactful books on the ReloWomen Facebook page.

If it is time to live your best life through this relocation journey, I encourage you to book a Consult today.  Let’s chat about the life you want to live and overcoming the challenges along this relocation journey.  

You can live your best life all along this relocation journey

Book your Consult by clicking on the Let’s Chat Button at the top of the ReloWomen webpage.  Choose a day and time that works for you.  I look forward to connecting.

Want to relocate well?
I can help.

Download  “a Sense of Home” guide

The journey is easy.  Begin here.

Podcast Links:

Connecting: The Power of Female Friendships by Sandy Sheehy

Friendships Don’t Just Happen by Shasta Nelson

After the Boxes are Unpacked by Susan Miller

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

Other books mentioned: Together by former US Surgeon General Vi… Murthy, Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg, Essentialism by Greg McKeown, Quiet: the power of the introvert by Susan Cain, This is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick, Happier by Gretchen Rubin. 

 

Categories

Navigating with Difficult People

Navigating with Difficult People

Navigating with Difficult People

Do I  Stay or do I  Go now…

In Relocation we work with people who jive with us and many who do not.  And yet others who do not “get” what we want …at all.  Whether relocation partners, like real estate agents or HR managers, new co-workers or neighbors we meet a number of people who we need for this thing and that as we relocate and begin to set up life.

Along the way we are going to find those that we choose to keep but at the same time create havoc if not a huge slice of frustration along the way.

Should I stay or should I go now?

If I go there will be trouble

And if I stay it will be double
~The Clash – Do I Stay or Do I Go Now…Lyrics

When we work with some people, difficult people these lyrics provide regular theme music to the interaction.

The Trouble they Create

In talking with other people, I am sure you will find no limit to the discussion about difficult people and the trouble they create.  There is that sibling who always brings a strange partner to family events.  There is the boss who micromanages every aspect of a project.  There is the PTA mom who is always in someone else’s business and tell everyone on that family should manage their child.

The trouble difficult people create is both personal and public and that is why I think we struggle with them so.

All we want is for them to stop.   And in this our only choice is to avoid them or put up with them.

Our Limited options

Dealing with a difficult person is not something we are trained to deal with.  As kids we have been encouraged to be peacemakers and turn the other cheek.

As adults, when we think about doing these, many of us end up powerless…at the effect of them.  When we are experiencing the pain that comes with a difficult person, many of us choose to back away to avoid more interaction or confrontation.

The challenge is, that they or another version of them, will pop up again.  If we don’t know any better, we still only have 2 options.  Stay or Go.

But what if there was another option?

Seeing a Difficult Person

We spend a great deal of energy building walls to protect ourselves and strategizing what we will say or do “the NEXT TIME”.

What if there was another option where they were not so difficult?  One in which you could be in the same room without shrinking or attacking.  One in which their behavior, their words, their work was no longer a problem.

When we are faced with a difficult person.  The main problem is that we see them as a difficult person.  Their tone, their work ethic, their decisions, their attitude is all wrong.  Seeing a person as a difficult person immediately puts us at a disadvantage.  We see them as an adversary that must be managed, overcome or avoided. We spend a great deal of energy building walls to protect ourselves and strategizing what we will say or do “the NEXT TIME”.

When we view them in this way, we create a playbook.  We spend our time and energy.  When we enter a room with them, we focus on them to keep them at bay and we focus on ourselves for protection.

Then, we miss out on so much that is important to us.  Seeing our child kick a goal in soccer.  Being present and attentive at mom’s birthday party.  Getting all the details down for an important project at a staff meeting.

Seeing a difficult person distracts us, even from that which is important.

Rethinking “Difficult”

What if we just observed these people without judgement?  What if we allowed them to be them?

Try on this mind twister….

What if…these people (their actions, tone, work) were neutral?
Observed, perhaps interacted with, without judging good or bad?

I can hear it now, “That wouldn’t be right!”  But what if it was?  What if this was the path to doing your own great work.

So let’s check the upside.  What would happen if you did not judge them?

  • Less conversations about them
  • See them for who they are(capabilities/limitations/values/etc.)
  • Easier to be present without distraction
  • Time, energy and emotions spent on positive emotion creating pursuits
  • Less wall building
  • More time being YOU

Being ME is the greatest benefit to me that I have found through doing this work.  When I have been around difficult people in the past I am not me…at least not the best version of me.  So much of my life and even daily decisions are contorted or shifted in order to:

  • Avoid that person
  • Stay off their radar
  • Please them
  • Pacify them
  • Protect myself

In this space, I am not creative.  I am not engaging and I am certainly not present.  Preparing to be attacked or accosted takes time and energy away from the way I actually want to live. 

Co-existing vs. Breaking Ties

It is crazy how much our “difficult person”

changes who we are and what we do.

Through coaching, I have discovered how to co-exist easily rather than choosing to break ties. The secret allows me to choose life is on my terms.  I live my life based on my values and dream.  I no longer choose what I do to avoid, circumvent, or manage them or their chaos.

It is crazy how much our “difficult person” changes who we are and what we do.  On the other side without the distraction of fighting or resisting them, I have woken up to seeing the decisions I made to mitigate my pain. And in seeing them realized, I did not like them.

Through coaching with my coach, I know I could have done this so much better had I knows I had options.  Living in anger, grief and frustration made for strange decisions.  At the time, I did not know I had choice to see each situation differently.  Now I do.

Reframe the difficulty and Exercise your Power

When we believe we have options, we can show up and be good at our jobs or enjoy the bunko and wine party.  We are not distracted by them or their chaos.

One of the things I talk about this week in the podcast is that when we view these people as difficult, we kneel and give over our power to others.  Through it we bend to their demands or we change our lives to keep from experiencing their difficult-ness. 

The personal choice to seem them as difficult leads us to make decisions and show up in ways we would never have done without them there.  When we believe we have options, beyond just staying and cowering or going and missing out,  we stop using our energy and time to plan for the next attack.

When we believe we have options, we can show up and be good at our jobs or enjoy the bunko and wine party.  We are not distracted by them or their chaos.

It is a hard process to start, especially since most of us have a certain way to deal with people like this. Rules connected to who we are and what we value.  It’s OK to question this…and perhaps consider this could work.

That is the first step to SEEING Your Options with difficult people, and the first step to eliminating them.

WANT TO KNOW MORE??

If it is time to figure out how to manage your “difficult person” set up a Coaching Consult today.  Click the “Let’s Chat” button in the upper right hand corner of the webpage.  Choose a day and time that works for you. 

You don’t have to manage that difficult person anymore.  AND the bonus is, it is possible for them to stay in your life without changing, and without being difficult to you.

Want to relocate well?
I can help.

Download  “a Sense of Home” guide

The journey is easy.  Begin here.

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

Categories

Don’t Miss What’s possible

Don’t Miss What’s possible

Don’t Miss What’s possible

When the world is your oyster

With Relocation can do anything!  You can create a new life and redesign it to whatever you would like…however you would like to live.

Doesn’t that sound AMAZING? Like a glorious wonderful life designed by a fairy godmother or genie.

Like winning the lottery.  All financial problems solved and so is life?

Whatever exists before, most likely continues on.

The ironic thing about winning the lottery is that many of the winners, even with all that money and all the possibility that comes with it, these winners still lived life by the same rules and in the same way as before receiving the money.  Sure, many pay off debt, but they also continue to make financial decisions using the pre-winning rules.  Statics show that within 5 years it is all gone and many are back in debt.

Why because life is typically lived one way.  A cash windfall or a relocation to a new community doesn’t change personal values, how money is managed or what we choose to do.  It doesn’t change our attitudes politically or our charitable passions.  Whatever exists before, most likely continues on.

A lack of significant change in life follows many assignees and their families as they relocate across the country or around the world.  Whatever life looked like before, it is most comfortable to reset life as close to what it was as possible.

Stay the Course!

Naturally, this leads us back to more of the same understand different flag.

This is what we do as humans.  Our brains naturally seek what is known in the midst of chaos.  This is because it is known.  Even when the life may have been painful or unfulfilling it is known and that provides a level of comfort and draws even the most adventurous of us in.

Because of this we do not see the possibilities.  We do not see those things that are different, not in a way that they become options for us.  When we relocate it is like we are starting back down on the lowest level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  Our primitive brains do not want to try anything new until we are safe, have housing and are sustained.

Naturally, this leads us back to more of the same understand different flag.

Breaking Free

It takes effort to break free of the comfortable.  It takes a choice.

Choice is something we humans tend to avoid, because of the lack of comfort and the perception of risk.  The good thing about this is that most choices only have a perception of risk and if we really play it out, the risk is much less risky than our brains have told us it is.

In normal life, one without relocation, that risk seems enormous.  We could lose our friends.  We could be isolated.  We might have to try new activities or groups.  We could lose our job.

Ironically, relocation has cause all of this by arriving in a new location. A clean slate if you will…free of or simple without.  In the new community it is literally a place from which everything must be chosen.  So more of the same of something new.

So Now What?

Uncomfortable in some measure greets every day until we re-establish our life…our normal.

So again, now what?

This is the opportunity.  We are uncomfortable either way. Once we have uprooted all and are working to settle in the new location, this is the time to remember this as an opportunity.  Pausing long enough see this with open eyes, we will begin to see now only our options but the ones in the place where we have landed.

It is normal to automatically seek out the known in order to create calm.  Putting the kids in soccer teams.  Weekend trips to the beach.  Date nights every Thursday.  Whatever was done before, just the thought of that can bring a substantial level of comfort.  Comfort brings peace, peace in relocation days that are filled with more chaos than peace.

However, what if, instead of seeking what was known, what posed a question…

What could I do here that I have never done before? 

Ask and Receive

The brain loves direction.  Asking it a direct question is the best way to receive answers. 

  • What else is here?
  • What am I not seeing?
  • How could this benefit my family?

Want to challenge this?  What happened the last time someone you know thought, “Why can’t I do that?”  I guarantee their brain went to town and provide many, many reasons why it couldn’t.  And ultimately decided it can’t be done.

Asking the brain, “What could I do?” earnestly, and with curiosity, this question sends the brain seeking options. 

With the brain directed, all sorts of options begin to pop up.  The funny thing is that these options were always there. However, because the brain was not looking for anything beyond what was known…these new options could not be seen.

Expectation pulls the curtain back

It makes sense, doesn’t it?  When we are focused on something, it appears everywhere.  Like buying a new car and now seen at every intersection it appears that everyone had the same idea.

When we see all the options we can make choices rather than simply missing out.

When we pull back the curtain, the curtain/belief that binds us to seeing only one or perhaps just a few options, when that is pulled back, we all begin seeing.

We look again, this time believing that we will find something new, something that will entertaining us or useful to us.  Options flood forward.  Perhaps the kids enroll in a local school with an amazing STEM program.  You join a local trekking club joined while in Europe.  Traveling weekends are planned to see the area pueblos and Indian reservations in the American Southwest.  The entire house or flat is covered in Spanish words on post it notes so that the whole family learns the local language, together.

When we pull back the curtain and really see what is possible that is when our own minds open up to even more.

When we see all the options, we can make choices rather than simply, missing out.                                                                                                                 

One step further

On Thursday’s podcast I talk about Dr. Ute Limacher-Reibold, an international language consultant and  trainer, and how she helps her clients open up to really see the world in front of us.  Many times we marvel at the ease in which children change and adapt to new environments and circumstances.

Want to relocate well?
I can help.

Download  “a Sense of Home” guide

The journey is easy.  Begin here.

Categories

Overwhelm…out of my control

Overwhelm Out of My Control

Overwhelm ~ Out of My Control

What it is…What it isn’t…and How to step out of it!

Overwhelm seems to sneak up on us, catching us by surprise.

 “Overwhelm  – don’t you just feel exhausted hearing the word.  I do.  When I say it with the expectation that it is right here I feel it in my bones.”

Overwhelm is an emotion that gets all of us nowhere.  My coach calls it an indulgent emotions, meaning that it creates in action that looks like rumination, questioning and even self-judgement. 

Overwhelm in my life has shown up almost silently.  It isn’t until it is upon me that I even recognize the fact that overwhelm is here.  Recognition begins with, “I have watched a lot of Netflix this week.”  With that observation I look around a bit to see what is going on.  In the midst of overwhelm…not much.

I might “Keep up appearances” but beyond that there is little going on for me.

Beset by Intense Emotion

Emotional overwhelm is a state of being beset by intense emotion that is difficult to manage. It can affect your ability to think and act rationally,…{preventing} you from performing daily tasks.
~ Good Therapy paragraph 1.

Beset by intense emotion, when I read that I thought, YES! That’s it.

An intense emotion that I do not seem to have any power over.  I am stuck on the couch.  My tone of voice is flat.  I am uninterested in anything.  I am not moving.  I am beset by emotion

If you have walked this like me, you know how trapped you feel.  Why?  Because there is nothing to do and if there were something to do, it would not make a difference anyway.  Pretty despairing.

And yet, in the midst of the  awful and in the midst of the despair we have no interest in stepping away from it.  We believe we cannot.

Belief = True?

Belief is true.  That is what we have been taught.  If we believe something, it is true.  I mean why would we believe it, if it were not true?  Right?

…are all our beliefs true?

On the surface we may say yes, but when we look a little deeper at ALL of our beliefs, perhaps not.  You see beliefs, like every other sentence in our brain is a thought.  It is changeable and we all change them as we gather new information.

An original childhood belief is Santa clause.  As we got older our parents let us into their secret and we learned that Santa was not real and our belief was changed.  While we believed, for many of us, that belief dictated what we did and how we acted.  It spurred on fantasy and perhaps creativity as we colored in the reindeer in our coloring books.

You see beliefs are those guiding thought impacting who we are, what we do and how we make decisions.

Some beliefs – like Santa –we walked away from over time because we decided we did not believe.

We cannot put beliefs down, until we see them.

Putting Down Overwhelm

Putting down overwhelm begins with recognition.  In the past you may have experienced this with a thought like,

”Well that’s enough of that.”

This thought shifts us out of overwhelm and into an emotion like resolve.  From a place of resolve is how we get up off the couch and begin our move.

But what happened between Overwhelm and Resolve? 
Why did it shift, especially when the overwhelm it seems so constrictive and dire?

Overwhelm shifted to resolve because we chose to shift it.

Sometimes we indulge in overwhelm for a long while.  But as we sit there in overwhelm, not moving, we will be shifted out of it for a couple of reasons.  Either there is an emergency or shock to our current circumstance or environment OR we the limited pleasure we get from sitting on the couch with Netflix and a glass of wine wanes.  We become bored eventually and we choose to shift. 

In the podcast on Thursday, I talk about the effects of a house fire on overwhelm.  The instant shift that takes place pulls us out of overwhelm.

No Fire Needed

Though many of us sit until there is an emergency to shake us from overwhelm. There are other ways to walk out of overwhelm.

The first step is to look at our overwhelm, honestly.  Seeing how we are and accepting it without judgement actually provides space to consider we may have options. 

The second step is to ask ourselves, “If I did have options what would they be?” 

Again, it is important to consider everything no matter how mundane or fanciful, but to consider and list.

The third step is to look at all of the options and realize, “I have options”.

This shift in belief to I have options changes what we see here and in our wider life.

From here is where we begin to step out of overwhelm.  When options are seen, action is seen as a possibility and action is taken. 

The first step is the hardest of them all and yet the most impactful.  When we can look at our overwhelm as it is and look at ourselves as we are with compassion, that is when we find the energy to move forward.

“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive” ~ Brene Brown

When WE are that someone, who responds with empathy and understanding, we can change our beliefs and we can move out of overwhelm…without a fire.

Remembering and Choosing

When overwhelm comes remember it does not have absolute power over you.  It is not an absolute truth that must run its course.

Overwhelm is an emotion and not a fact.  It is driven by thoughts. Thoughts the brain is sending creating to keep us safe. 

Though in the moment it seems unescapable and something within us has gone wrong, let me assure you nothing has gone wrong.  

In order to redirect and step out of overwhelm though we must remember and choose to change those thought/belief that created the overwhelm in the first place. 

Want to learn more about this tool? I encourage you to choose at day and time to chat with me.  Include the word “options” in the question area.  Click the blue “Let’s Chat” button at the top of every ReloWomen page.

Want to relocate well?
I can help.

Download  “a Sense of Home” guide

The journey is easy.  Begin here.

Podcast Links:

Relocation ~ What You Must Know worksheet

Good Therapy Emotional Overwhelm

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

 

Categories

Power of Purpose…lost without

Power of purpose...unless lost

Power of Purpose…unless lost

Finding within ourselves what we may not know is there.

What is your purpose?  For many of us, we think of it as…

Who do I want to be when I grow up?

However, purpose…your personal purpose is bigger than that.

It is bigger than a profession or an occupation.  Because purpose weaves through all of those.  It may change along the way, but purpose is not something that is bound by a single aspect of life.

Whether you believe that purpose is divinely given or born out of passion, our innate personal purpose drives what we do and who we are.  It comes from within and shines a light on the external that aligns with us.  It is like a beacon in the night “come here” or “this is for you”.

The funny thing about purpose is that some people are keenly aware of their purpose while others can’t quite define it.  I believe it is always part of us and our lives reflect it, however some of us like me, did not seek it out.  I thought purpose was for other people.  I was busy building a life.  I was busy doing what I “should” do.

I know now, I had purpose and it centered on many of my values and passions.  But I did not see my purpose and that led to a disjointed and haphazard life..

But here as an adult with no one to tell me the way things were done around here, it was all up to me and I had no idea.

My life centered on others and the community shoulds.  I was a cog in my own life, bending to what the “others” needed, asked or expected.  It was a good life and some of it aligned with my purpose.  However, my life was full of more trial and more error because I did not direct my life aligned with my purpose.

And then relocation as an adult happened.

Once I relocated for the first time as an adult, that sense of purpose was no longer determined by my family, friends and location.  When I was a kid it was just laid out for me.

But here as an adult with no one to tell me the way things were done around here, it was all up to me and I had no idea.

Relocation lays bare Your Purpose

Relocation brings personal purpose, front and center.

On the other end of relocation, when boxes are mostly emptied, the kids have a routine and the weekend family is set, I looked at what I had created and realized my life still lacked…well, life.  I began to meet people and do things but there was something missing. 

Bringing in similar things and creating a similar daily wasn’t enough.  Yes, I was feeling good after 45 minutes of cardio, but I did not get out of that class that I always did back in Chanhassen.

So, lets take out the starvation and find fastest way to fill our purpose by discovering and defining it.

The misconception is that people, activities and a place are what causes a lack of purpose.  We do grieve each of these in their absence, however it is the elimination of these things that expose our unfed personal purpose. 

Personal purpose is fed by what we do, who we bring in and where we live.  But it is more than than a person, an activity and a place.  This is because what and who we brought in before fed our personal purpose.  When we don’t know what our personal purpose is…it take trial error and a bit of starvation to put life back on track.

So, lets take out the starvation and find fastest way to fill our purpose by discovering and defining it.

Channeling “Indiana Jones”

Discovering and defining personal purpose begins where we “feel” it.

Try on this belief. “I know my purpose instinctually.”

 How will you prove this? Think about the last time you through “this isn’t right or easy”. Think about a time when you were stuck and couldn’t quite get everything to make sense.  Those signify non-alignments in our lives. We catch a glimpse of why it doesn’t align, but it is fleeting because they come with uncomfortable emotions that many of us push away.

The questions and the unease though demonstrate the existence of purpose.  Use those feelings to lead you to your purpose.

These feelings may be:

  • Uncomfortable
  • Isolated
  • Frustration
  • Overwhelm

Get creative and be brave about seeing these feelings and allowing them to stay for a bit. They are there to show you a misalignment between what you are doing and your purpose.  Seeing the misalignment alerts you where to look to find what is most important to you.

Ask yourself:

  • What is it about that “thing” that doesn’t work?
  • What doesn’t it provide you?
  • What were you expecting it to do or provide?
  • How were you expecting to contribute and create?
  • What was it about her beyond what we did that created connection?

For example, when I am isolated I know that I am not interacting with enough people.  Now that might seem obvious, but it isn’t as straight forward as seeing people or having a quick chat.

For me I am fulfilled when I have interesting conversations where I learn something or perhaps, I uniquely contribute to someone else.  Seeing the drive through barista Starbuck only helps for a moment.  What I want to do is connect.

Through many iterations of this, I defined my purpose: To create love, joy and connection.

I use this now to evaluate the communities, people I am hiring or considering as friends, and activities.  I know the “right” group for me will include an opportunity to do these three things.  When supporting KickStart Kids (one of my favorite charities) I participate not only because it dramatically impacts what is important to me, but alongside that my participation provides an opportunity for me to create love, joy and connection.

When I marry the two I have more energy, creativity and drive.

Purpose and Grounding

Grounding is the most significant benefit in knowing our personal purpose.

This makes every decision easier.

When we actively live within our personal purpose, it provides a solid place to step off from.  We use our purpose to determine where to go next.  With it we can more easily determine if this person is a good potential friend.  We also confident when chose to not move forward with an activity community or a person.

Grounding in our purpose gives us the place where we rarely second guess ourselves or our decisions.  We exist in a place where we believe that the decision we made, was the best we could make at that time.  Through experience we may choose differently the next time, but that decision was purpose based and provided a learning from which we adjust going forward.

This makes every decision easier.

When is the last time you felt truly grounded?

If it has been a while… it may be time to search and see those mis-alignments and find those breadcrumbs that lead to your individual purpose.

Help finding my purpose

If this sounds interesting but you’d like deeper conversation, I am available.

Click the “Let’s Chat” button in the upper right hand corner and choose a time that works for you.  We will explore your mis-alignments bravely to begin defining Your Personal Purpose.  The best part is trying out WholeLife Relocation Coaching, is on me.

Have a wonderful week!
Annette

Want to learn more about relocating well?
I can help.

Download  “a Sense of Home” guide

The journey is easy.  Begin here.

Links from Podcast:
ReloWomen Live: An Interview with Juanita Brown Ingram

Juanita Ingram LinkedIN 
The Expats: International Ingrams on Facebook

STREAM The Expats: International Ingrams on Prime Video Click Here

Watch the Interview with Juanita Ingram Click Here

Lynn Greenberg, Pivt and LinkedIN

Lindy Chapman, CEO DOSS Social and LinkedIN

Categories

I did not know I needed help…until I did

I didn't know I needed help...until I did

I didn’t know I needed help…until I did.

Recognizing our need for help in relocation, before we end up on the floor.

One of the most challenging things about relocation is realizing, “I didn’t know I needed help.”

A few years ago I had a friend who was the “Welcome lady” in my local area.  She would stop by shortly after someone would move in with a basket of goodies and coupons from the local businesses as well community information.

One day she rang the doorbell and when she joyfully announced she was the welcome lady,

the woman crumpled to the floor in tears,
crushed by the weight of her move. 

Carolyn was overwhelmed and distraught by her move to the area.  She had no one, no support system, no one to call even for a cup of coffee.  Her husband was at work and putting in 60 hours a week on the road and in the office to get his new position going.

She told my friend that there was so much to do.  It wasn’t what she expected.  Truly in that moment the overwhelm had taken over.

Sometimes, it isn’t until we are collapsing to the floor in the foyer in tears that we realize, we need help.  And by then we REALLY need help.

We think we know

In relocation, we believe that we know how to do this and everyone around us assures us that we can.

However, none of us are trained to move whole lives across the country or around the world.  The responsibility we feel for those in the family to survive and thrive  in the new place double or triples the pressure. 

Every miss step, every child’s tear is our fault.  No wonder many of us end up here.

…“Trailing Spouse syndrome” is a real thing.

I talked to Juanita Ingram last week, a Lawyer/Actor/Docuseries Producer of The Expat: International Ingrams show, she said that she lived in London for 4 years before she learned that the “Trailing Spouse syndrome” is a real thing.  Depression, despondency, isolation.  She had gone through the whole gamut without realizing it wasn’t just her.

If you want to see a real relocation in action, check out her new Prime Video series “The Expat International Ingrams” it with your Prime Video subscription. 

This series follows the Ingrams’ 3rd relocation, this time from Indianapolis to Taiwan.  It is one of the best depictions of the EXPAT/Relocation journey I have seen.  It is an entertaining docuseries that shows both the benefits and the very real challenges of relocation and being an EXPAT.

By the 3rd episode you start to see the excitement wain as the realities of moving whole lives sets in.  And when the moving trucks arrive with the wrong things and the broken things…it gets real.

“What we don’t expect”, Juanita says in Episode 3, “is that though we expect things to go wrong, we don’t’ expect all of them to go wrong at the same time.” 

Those blown out of the water expectations, this is what really causes the problems.

Once here, isolated and alone we scrounge and muddle through…though not well.  Definitely not at the top of our game.

As I tell my clients, there are far too many hands in the cookie jar
 for a cookie… or twelve not to get broken.

NOT ENDING UP ON THE FLOOR

Ultimately, when we relocate, we are looking for an adventure.  We are there to support a spouse or expand our careers.  We look to learn something and how to really live in a new city or country.

We look ONLY at the upside, not realizing that everything we carefully plan, will not go according to our plans.  As I tell my clients, there are far too many hands in the cookie jar for a cookie or twelve not to get broken.

Truly accepting and expect the possibility, even making the unexpected part of the plan, this keeps us from ending up on the floor in tears.

Acceptance without fight or resistance, is the secret sauce that allows us to “handle” unexpecting situations in the most efficient manner.

Think about it.  When a contractor fails to follow through or a project fails or a person is offensive, what happened?  I imagine there is a period of time, at least for me when I stew and ruminate and even go to second guess myself on THIS and anything else I may be responsible for.

That self-judgement, those accusations, the fight and even avoiding looking at the situation until we “gather ourselves”, how much time is lost?  If we make a decision or take an action how is that clouded and not as precise in this state?

Acceptance is not Condoning

The reason we fight with ourselves and others is because most of us have an old rule that says if I accept this situation, I accept that this is “OK” to happen.

That is most certainly not the case.

When we stand in judgement of others and the situation,
that keeps us from seeing our options…all of them.

Acceptance here is about acknowledging the situation and being brave enough to see it as it is.  See the implications and consequences as they are.  Not judge it right or wrong…just see it and accept it as is.

This is the strongest place to stand when something goes wrong.

Working to see it as it is, without judgement of the situation, ourselves or others, allows us not only to see what has happened but what options are available.

In times of trouble, we need options!

Acceptance without energy spent fighting or fussing, leads us to seeing them. 

Expecting we need help

Expectations are what help us to thrive or
…knock us to the ground.

Setting good expectations is the key to keeping this relocation train moving.

The challenge lies in the fact that we do not really know what kind of help we need.  In addition, the employer and the relocation management company only provides a small part of the solution typically.

Focusing in on the big ticket items like homes and moving household goods, they do not provide assistance in the areas that count the most in relocating whole lives.

So when we expect we need help, where do we turn.

Where to Turn….

Who and where to find help has been the greatest challenge in relocation historically because when we land in a new town, chances are we will not meet someone who has walked the path we have.

In addition, calling “home” also put us in front of people who have not walked this path…and now our call home, perhaps in despair could mean that they are now worried for us.  Their worry just adds to our pain.

So where do we turn?

We seek out other relocated women.  Whether they are just new to town or have been there for years, both know the path we are walking.  It is like running into someone who graduated from your same school.

An immediate knowing.
An understanding and far less to explain.

There is such comfort in being in front of someone who just…knows.

And now in 2021 and well ever since the advent of the internet, we can connect with people all over the world who have relocated.

One of the most vibrant communities I have found on Facebook is Two Fat Expats.  Groups like this one talk about real issues and real life.  From the posts and the answers to questions, you know you are in a community who not only understands but cares about the path you walk today.

You’ve got this

I know the path is not smooth and a number of balls will drop unexpectedly.  Even this part of the journey leads us to be more of who we can be in this life.

Asking for help and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable helps us to become all we can be in this life and show the way for others.  I love Marianne Williamson’s quote from her book A Return to Love,

“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give to other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others!”

Isn’t that amazing?  As we show who we are at any given moment, we give others permission to be themselves as well…needing help and all.

Have a wonderful week and remember to ask for help early.  Find those who have walked the path and do not be afraid to be without all the answers.  You will find them or create them

….my courageous ReloWomen friends!

Want to learn more about relocating well?
I can help.

Download  “a Sense of Home” guide

The journey is easy.  Begin here.

Categories

Using Creativity to Connect

Using Creativity to Connect

Using Creativity to Connect

Exploring what we may not have considered…

How connected do you feel this year….right now?  If like me, limiting contact is the norm along with a whole slew of “things” none of us have done for 10 months.  Strongly connected is probably not one of your personal descriptors.

And even if we thought we may have lacked connection with others back in the spring, I think we could all agree that that was 1000% more connected than we are now.  We just didn’t know any better.

So that’s right?!?! We have no option but to wait. 
Check…and MATE!

We casually connected, with whom we wanted and when, almost at a whim at times.  But now the rules have changed.  People and activities, the one we identify with, are no longer available.  Frankly they are not right here with us.  And the activities are not quite the same either by structure or by who is there.

Strangely, many who have relocated and those who have never moved out of the area are in the same boat.  All of us one way or the other disconnected from many we know.

“Feeling connected” is challenging to say the least.  So that’s right?!?! We have no option but to wait.  Check…and MATE!

Or is it?

My busy has sifted away…
leaving me with what is important, important to me.

Over the past few weeks and really months, My busy has sifted away
leaving me with what is important.  And what is important to me I have neglected off and on over my life, those I love and cherish.  This is a bonus to this isolation.

With this revelation I realized I had both time and focus to correct that neglect.  So, I am currently working to find creative ways to connect with them.  Perhaps these will work for you too!

More than Zooming

Zooming seems to be the current norm.  We use it for work, for school and even church.  I have been networking with it and attending training classes.  Over the last year, most of us have learned to use it and even depend on it.  My folks manage it every week.

…yes a bunch of 70 and 80 year olds meeting at a bar…

Zooming allows them to see their friends.  They then take it to the next level.  Their happy hour group, on COVID lockdown, teed up trivia night.  They play trivia now on Thursday nights.  Rather than random conversations at a bar, yes a bunch of 70 and 80 year olds meeting at a bar, they are having game night. Through this focused activity they are learning more about each other.  The game gets the whole group talking about one thing and that drives the connection. 

My parent’s experience has led our three families to regularly play dice or Rummycube over zoom.

Shared experiences, deepen connection

Getting Creative

Going forward we are organizing more zooming activities beyond games.  The ides is to all do the same thing at the same time like art projects, who done it mysteries and maybe language learning.

Some of the ones I found are:

  • Origami Money Rings – Instruction from Pinterest
  • Tissue Paper Flowers – Instruction from Pinterest and supplies from me
    (My sister and I used to get a new one at Six Flags every summer. They are HUGE)
  • Paint and Sip – with Outside the Box Creation
  • Hunt a Killer – Mystery Subscription Box
  • Learn Spanish – or other languages with TalkBox.mom, interactive language learning for the whole family.

When we share an experience no matter in person or virtually, we connect.  When we are actively doing they same thing ~ creating or learning ~ we connect even deeper.

Shared experienced deepen connection.

Going Old School

Back in the olden days, people used to use a pen and paper to communicate with each other.  Yes, I know that is a foreign concept to many, but it is making a resurgence.

The extra time and effort then conveys
care and even love to those who receive them…

According to the New York Times, “the greeting card industry, which has slumped for decades, [is experiencing] a significant turnaround. This, I am sure, is due to our collective feeling of disconnection, which is amplified this year. 

Sending a handwritten note these days is significant, because few of us send or receive real handwritten notes.  The extra time and care then conveys care and even love to those who receive them, especially to our seniors.

Handwriting a note or sending a card takes time and effort. And in my case figuring out where the stamps are.  This is why going old school means so much to those who receive them.

So beyond the holiday cards this year, consider a weekly or at least monthly note to someone you love or would like to reconnect with.  That time and effort will not be lost on the one receiving it, because they probably cannot remember sending one out themselves.

Setting up Correspondence

I love receiving anything with my mother’s handwriting on it.

To really have an impact consider sending, a note card with a pre-addressed and stamped envelope.  Request a return note at their convenience.  This will create an intimate experience for both of you that will increase connection.

I love receiving anything with my mother’s handwriting on it.  The stories and the writing itself, her writing will be with me all my years.

Though there are many links here, I receive NO affiliate money or commissions from these.  These sites are what I have found to entertain and inspire me as I seek to connect better with those I love.

Get Creative and Get Connecting!

These ideas may or may not be your cup of tea, but hopefully these ideas help you explore all the options and even create your own ideas to connect to your most treasured people.

Have a wonderful week!

Want to learn more about creating home?
I can help.

Download  “a Sense of Home” guide

The journey is easy.  Begin here.

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What are my options…NOW?

what are my options...now?

What are my options…NOW?

With so much of life suspended or gone…what is left to do?

It’s been a L-O-N-G year.  Yes I know I am preaching to the choir, as they say.

So many things are no longer available to us.  Businesses have shut down.  Schools are virtual.  And those employee clambering to work at home every Thursday, are now home all the time.

With all of the things I can’t do, I am constantly looking on the internet, social media and asking those I know for ideas or even permission to do something…anything.

I peeled myself from the conversation and slowly dragged my feet, and me, out the door and into the backyard, convinced that it would be more of the same.

It reminds me of when I was a little girl in the summer. I would bound up to my mom, and lethargically declare, “I…am…so…bored.”  Almost melting to the floor at the same time to demonstrate my level of boredom.  I just knew she would solve my problem.  Instead, she would send me outside to play.  “Find something to do outside.  There’s lots of fun out there.  Just try.”

I peeled myself from the conversation and slowly dragged my feet, and me, out the door and into the backyard, convinced that it would be more of the same.  Once there with the change of scenery, some sunshine and my mother’s assurances that I could solve my “boredom”, I typically found something to entertain myself.

At this point, you may be thinking this is another one of those “Just Think Happy Thoughts” article.  I assure you it is not.

Like every subject I tackle, you will find something practical to use today.

The Options are Close By

How close by?  I assure you, you live with this person.  It is YOU!

Before you groan and put down this article stick with me, because this one is actionable and you will feel so much better.  Perhaps even gain control.

These options have to do with the roles you play in your life.  Some of these role we inherited by being born.  Other role we chose along the way to get married or in accepting a job.

The ones I want you to explore in this context, are those roles that are most important to you.  Those interdependent roles that mutually support who you those on the other side.

  • Daughter/son
  • Mother/Father
  • Sister/Brother
  • Aunt/Uncle
  • Niece/Nephew
  • Friends
  • Co-conspirator
  • Employee
  • Supervisor/Team Lead
  • Mentor
  • Evangelist/Encourager

Which ones do you treasure most?  Which ones are of most value?

If like in my family, you have rarely seen those outside your four walls in the last 10 months, you have potential opportunity here.  With everyone struggling, each and everyone of us wants to feel needed, wanted and included.

And really, no matter the state of any valuable relationship, they can all use a bit of care and feeding.

Because of proximity, I have a family member that is both isolated and literally alone…except for the cat.  Life is full of delivery groceries and TV.  Not a whole lot life.  We love each other but have never been regularly close. 

What can I do?  I can reach out.  Phone calls and notes.  Calls and notes will demonstrate care,  interest and love.

Busy stripped away

Now that we are no longer busy with all of the pre-COVID life stripped away, consider which of your roles may have been neglected or just not cultivated over the past few years?

And really, no matter the state of any valuable relationship, they can all use a bit of care and feeding. 

Moving a little closer to…You!

With so much gone even temporarily, the current state of life is a little disconcerting.  I used a drive across town to ignore what was going on inside of me.  I have even been known to use cleaning the kitchen as a distraction to being mad (one of my least favorite tasks).

However, I find that ignoring what is bothering me harder to ignore.

What would you like to change?
Who would you like to be on the other side of all of this?

With all of the busyness removed from our lives, the spotlight on the sore spots of life is harder to ignore. We can see them, front and center. 

  • Procrastination
  • Perfectionism
  • Neat freak
  • People pleasing
  • Or “I’m just always late”
    (like we are born this way)

The attributes we may call quirks or innate traits are in the light.  So now what?

Would you like to change them?  Did you know they could change?

If you did change these quirks…who would you  be on the other side of all of this?

Showing up just for ME

Change like this is all about showing up for yourself.  Showing up for yourself in by way of conscious decisions  as to what you will do and how.  And best of all creating a plan that you want to walk.

“Girl, YOU set me up!  Thanks!!!” ~ Brooke Castillo

The practice of meal planning and getting everything in the house when dieting means that the decisions are made.  Following through is made easier because everything needed is already in the kitchen/pantry.  The only thing then that we need to do is follow the plan.

What this program does not address for me was how to set myself up for success.  Sometimes, I would look at those meals in the evening and think,

“Seriously, this is it?!?!?” 

The problem here is that the disappointment of a meal was more than hunger. The plan that was was created was a miss on multiple levels and therefore cannot be sustained.

One of the things that helps us make lasting changes is that we create a plan that takes care of us every step of the way.  Not just the beginning and reaching say a weight goal, but every step of the way.  Think about it.  If you need to do hard things, you need to talk care of yourself every step of the way to stick to it. 

Planning meals that you like and perhaps stepping it down a little slower may be good ways to create a plan that takes care of you and has you saying…

“Girl, YOU set me up!  Thanks!!!” ~ Brooke Castillo

Set up for success

Do you know what happens when you begin to believe success is possible? That is when the options begin to appear.

One of the biggest obstacles to change, is our minds.  Like Henry Ford said,

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t,
you’re right.”
~ Henry Ford

Once we crack open the door to the “possibility of another way”, we begin to see options we did not see before. We begin to create options. 

It’s crazy.  Intellectually, we understand that these options might have always been there.  But now with the door cracked open, we can make a difference in our life, in our relationships and even see how we set traps for ourselves.

  • A predictable phone call every week to grandpa makes a huge impact.
  • I felt uncomfortable in that meeting, so I always made myself late.
  • I love that meal and it fits in my protocol. I will plan it once a week.

Not without options

The pandemic has beat us down and has many of us thinking that we do not have many options.  We even move that narrow thinking into other areas of life.

  I don’t have the option of going to the gym, of course I’ve gained 20 pounds during the pandemic.  As if we can sweat to the oldies at home, use resistance bands, plank or go for a run.

We have options, perhaps not the ones we had before, but we still have options. 

When we believe we may have them, we begin to see them.  We begin to create them.

Looking for a sense of home? 
I can help.

Download  “a Sense of Home” guide

The journey is easy.  Begin here.

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