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.

Categories

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.

Categories

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.

Categories

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.

Categories

Life on Purpose

Life on Purpose

Life on Purpose

As adults we all think we live our life on purpose. 

We make conscious decisions as to what is in and what doesn’t make the cut.  We do this for ourselves, our kids and our families…sometimes across multiple families.

But this is just the problem.  Are we actually making choices OR are we going along with the crowd?

Going along with the crowd is not necessarily a bad thing.  Sometimes agreement “buys” us access into a group.  We buy into a belief or perhaps we buy into an activity that is “great for the kids”.  What we are getting in return is membership into that group.

And that is what leads us to living someone else’s life and values.

Our primitive brains(as opposed to the decision making part of our brains) are designed to desire this. It believes that when we have our tribe around us, we are safe.  Safety is the key to our survival.

And as far as our brains are concerned, going along with established norms or other “trusted” peoples decisions saves time and energy.  I mean why wouldn’t we go along with what our good friend recommended to us?  They know us and we like their values.  The challenge is that we do this more than we think we do, almost unconsciously.

And that is what leads us to living someone else’s life and values.

The “clean slate” of relocation
is a unique benefit.

All is Swept Away in Relocation

The unique thing about relocation is that all of these external influences are swept away in relocation.  Many times you will hear me talk about the “clean slate” of relocation.  This clean slate is the result of moving away from all that is known ~ the people, the culture and the rhythm of life.

The Clean Slate of Relocation is one of those unique benefits that is available in the first few months after the boxes have arrived.

When you do not know anyone and there is no normal to life, life in the new place becomes a blank canvas for you and everyone in the family to sketch out and create a vivid life that truly suits each one of you.  Sometimes the shift includes trying new activities or perhaps pursuing a different kind of friend.  It isn’t that anything in the past was bad, but rather this go round the ability to truly choose is available.

…the ability to truly choose is available.

Start with Who You Are

Starting with who you are can be a challenge, especially if you have kids at home.  We, as parents are so trained to be attentive to what our kids need or what our partner needs, we can lose track of ourselves. So, if the words do not flow when trying this part do not fret.  It is difficult for most of us during these years.

An easy place to start is with personal assessments like StrengthFinders 2.0, PersonalityHacker.com, I Said this You Heard That app or a Birkman assessment. From strengths to personality and temperament to stress responses learning these things about ourselves spurs on conversations within our families.  There are Ah Ha moments, “Oh that’s why I do that!”

“OH!  That’s why I do that!!

The effective direct result of taking these assessments is that we all think more about ourselves and what makes us tick.  We begin to associate those things that help us and those things/people/activities that suck every last piece of energy from us.

Teeing up this conversation within our heads helps us to see our wants…perhaps for the first time.

The Transformation Desired

One of the most brilliant questions I heard this week came from my friend Rob Fenlon, a StrengthFinders2.0 coach from the UK.  He has this question now that he asks himself and his relocating friends before relocation:

“What is the transformation you would like to see in yourself as a result of this relocation?”

Isn’t that brilliant?  What transformation would you like to see in you?!?!

How often do you think about your transformation?  We may have thought about it when in school and associated it with the kind of life we would have as adults.  But rarely do we pause long enough during these years to think about our own transformation in any context.

Transformation in the context of relocation comes down to who we will become. 

  • What will we learn?
  • What will we assimilate?
  • What will we choose to keep out?
  • How will be change?
  • Will our values be tested or changed?
  • How is our bravery, compassion and ability to connect changed?

When we think about potential transformations, ahead of time, we can truly craft how we walk through this relocation.

Life on Purpose is about Intention

What I like best about the transformation question is that in asking it, we become more intentional about all aspects of our relocation. 

Filling that clean slate of life now with intention is not hurried.

In relocation we make hundreds of decision, sometimes on a daily basis for months. The thought of making it even more decision laden can be a bit daunting.  To make every decision with intention?  Doesn’t that cause more work?

I argue that living with known intention actually makes all of that decision making easier.  When we know where we are going and what we want out of this relocation, we have the ability to look at all of those option and decide more easily…more quickly.

Filling that clean slate of life now with intention is not hurried. We are no long frienzied with “getting this done” and “getting the family settled”. 

…we are now seeking out those things that fit us.

With intention in view, we are now seeking out those things that fit us.  We only allow in those thing that lead us toward that transformation we are seeking.  Sure we may try on new things to test them and see if they fit.  But ultimately those people, things and activities we bring in are now aligned with where we are going as individuals and as a family.

Start Here

One of my free resources gets you down the path to living life on purpose.

The “3 Step Relocation Guide” provides you with links to the personal assessments I listed above as well as worksheets and resources to get you through every step of your relocation journey.

Remember if you have not connected, your relocation is not complete.  I can help.

If you would like to know exactly how this works choose a time to meet with me in the next week.  I will give you an overview of what is here on the website, you will receive real WholeLife Relocation coaching and tool or two you can use today.

I can help.

Ready to learn more?

ReloWomen WholeLife coaching can help you.
Click the button and choose your time.

Categories

Educational Continuity and the Right School

Educational Continuity... and the "Right School"

All the Same??

Across the US, K through 12 curriculums are relatively the same, right?  No. No they are not.  You can move from one school district into the one next door and the curriculum used can be vastly different.

So, if they can be different how is is possible to trust that a child is receiving an education without gaps relocating from one school/district to another, let alone one country to another. 

Have you considered it?  How would you know?

Relocation can create educational gaps.

Can you trust the system? Each system?  AND How would a parent find those gaps – Academic, social and environmental?

Because I only had one child to navigate through the US educational system, he was always a Guinea pig.  I didn’t know what to do and other than the Montessori school option.. All I knew was public education.

As we moved across the country, my parents never placement tested me.  I was never evaluated for reading, though I should have been.  My grades were good, so I went from one grade to the next grade, eventually graduating at 17 from high school.

They trusted the system, so I trusted the system.  Until I didn’t.

No More Blind Trust

As a mom, you just know.  You know when something is up with your child – seeing it on their face, in their mood or in what they do and do not do. You know when they are short of  their potential.  You know when they are struggling.  I’ve talked about our Dyslexia journey a few times in the last few weeks. 

The thing is, I recognized the issue way back in 3rd grade. I asked for testing and received it.  I was told he would be fine and catch up, trust us. Retested in 4th grade and  6th grade and flagged by a science teacher in 7th grade.  Each time “Don’t worry, trust us.” 

He was an A, B, C student at the time and not a behavioral problem.  Other than struggling with reading they kept saying “He’s doing fine, trust us.”  But, he was struggling.  I could see it.  I kept asking questions but couldn’t get anyone to tell me what that gap was.  We moms, we can see the gaps.  Gaps that are really there.

It wasn’t until I stopped trusting the experts, that I finally decided to have my child tested.  Through private educational testing, we finally learned what that gap. The gap I had seen for 8 years. 

Those experts, told us to trust them and even dismissed the gap I was seeing..   But the truth is, though most often they are well intentioned, even the best experts do not know everything.  I feel the same way about doctors.  There is so much to know, and so many medical advances taking place that any one doctor cannot know everything and be able to help every person.  At this point, I joke, anything more than strep we are getting a second opinion.

“Liisten to the experts and seek further understanding and resources when it’s not quite right” should be our manifesto for educating our children.  Children are not all cut from the same cloth.  They do not all learn well from the same strategies or environments. 

Take for instance a few years where 1st and 2nd grade classrooms brought in exercise balls to sit on for the fidgety kids.  Being able to move during instruction allowed them to learn more each day.

Last School to Right School

Intellectually, we expect that the new school will be different from the last.   Emotionally though, we truly want it to be all the same, especially if the last school served our children well. Being able to plug them in and then watch them make friends, learn and thrive is what we want. Conversely we worry about choosing the “not right” school where we could watch our children whither.

So, what do you need to know? 

You need to know your child: Academically, Socially and in which Environment they best thrive in. These are the educational continuity areas that matter. A significant deficit in any of them can cause a child to stop learning or shut down.

The new school will most likely not be an exact match.  However, by knowing where your children are at in these three area the closest match can be identified.  AND now that the gaps are visible any deficits can be shored up and addressed by outside resources or you the parents.

Academics

Sometimes the academic standing is easy to understand. The records are complete and understandable to the parents and the new school/district.  Many times though parents, children and the new administrators are kind of guessing.  This guess leads to “let’s try this out”.  Which may be find for the school but if IT doesn’t work out that means that the child and the family face another transition or a decision to go along with less than needed situation/academics/challenges/accommodations/etc.

Accredited Academic test can help fill in the gaps. The private educational testing we receive was from an accredited academic testing individual, provided testing results that were recognized by our local schools.  This was important because we expected he was going to need accommodations at school and for the college entrance exams.

The point of academic testing is determined by what you want for your children and what you believe they can achieve.  Perhaps you want to know where they rank in all 8th grade students.  Perhaps you think they should be in a more advanced math class.  OR because of the past school curriculum, nothing seems to be a direct match for the new schools.

Around the Country
No Capitals – No Presidents

As we move around the country and around the world, the curriculum continuity is disrupted. To this day I do not know all the presidents or the state capitals due to a mid-year relocation.  This is because, the state I moved from were going to cover that in the spring semester, and the new school had already covered them in the fall semester.

If my mother would have known, I am sure she would have quizzed me until I remembered. But, she trusted the system.

Academic testing, placement testing and assessment testing can provide that bridge between the schools.  Helping the new school understand and appropriately place students in classes. The private school our son attended used the academic testing in just this manner, making sure he was in an appropriate and doable class for him.

Complete Educational Testing

The educational testing, some of which is available on a sliding scale, goes beyond placement and grade level ranking.  Private academic helps both parents and students understand how they learn as well as assess intelligence and academic capabilities as well as be able to define the best environmental and social setting that will encourage and support a child..

The point being, to understand HOW THE STUDENT LEARNS.

Recent educational studies show that there are many different ways to learn.  Dyslexia in my opinion is one of many learning differences not a disability that can be mitigated with the right teaching tools.  Some of us are auditory learners and others are visual. 

When you know all of the  educational pieces for your child, choosing the “right school”, the best match out of the available community school is obvious.  This knowledge also allows the known gaps to be filled more easily either by the school or privately.  Educational Continuity can be achieved.

Searching for Educational Testing

When looking for educational testing, search PSYCHO EDUCATIONAL TESTING for testing that provides results in all three areas.  A NeuroPsych can provide additional information.  When evaluating the Assessment Specialists (the one/groups giving the testing) let them know why you want the testing and ask if they can provide you with that type of information. 

I talked to one Assessment Specialist that was willing to fly out to another district to assess whether the environments at the 4 school in contention, would match what that child needed and provide an environment where they might thrive.

As relocating parents we have the opportunity to do a school match.  Knowing who your child is, what they are capable of and which environment serves them means you do not have to guess.

You can know the “right school” when you see it!

Educational Continuity…
and the School Search

If you know,

      • How your child learns
      • What environment they excel in
      • Where they are EXACTLY academically
      • What they are capable of
      • What their innate talents are
      • What helps them excel

Then what?  How does that change your search for the “right school”?

Decide.  And write it down into your plan.

Delegate do not Abdicate

To a certain point we can trust the system, but not to the place of abdication.  By placing our children in any school or school system we are delegating the activities and responsibility of their education.  Delegation is not abdication.

Abdication is a washing our hands of the whole thing and accepting,  “JUST TRUST US”.

We do know our kids and we know what they are capable of.  If the experts do not provide the answers to the gaps, take heart and…keep looking.

ReloMoms do not accept that the expert know better, just because they tell us so.  We ReloMoms, we who relocate, are some of the toughest and best problem solvers in the world.  We can figure this out and choose the “right school” and provide educational continuity for our kids.

ReloMoms…You’ve got this!!


For more information about relocation and education look to the blogs and podcasts of August 31st and September 6th 2020 on the www.ReloMoms.com website.

It’s time for someone to come along side you and help you work through the relocation challenges sign up for your FREE 1 hour ReloMoms Coaching and Consult

You will walk away with useful tools and strategies! 

Related Blog: Vital Tips to Choosing the Right School
Link to podcast: Going Beyond the BIG 6 School Stats Podcast #5