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

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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.

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