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Whilst this blog is generally about insights and reflections gained from my coaching practice, I occasionally post something of a personal nature and share my lessons with you. In February of this year I wrote about how the process of relocation felt. And today, it felt like the right time for an update. If that was my Semester One report, then read on for Semester Two’s progress.

One of the things I love about living in Singapore is the multi-culturalism and absolute acceptance and celebration of different religions. So far this year, we have celebrated Chinese New Year, Easter, Buddha’s Birthday (Vesak), Hari Raya Puasa (the Muslim festival marking the end of Ramadan), and today is the Hindu Festival of Diwali (Deepavali). The festival gets its name from the lights that are lit during the Festival which symbolize the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness. It is also a time where Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, bestows blessings and abundance on her faithful.

So with light all around us at the moment, I got to thinking and reflecting on the last 8 months. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll be familiar with the term ‘meta-program’. When I am coaching, one of the first things I do is check the person’s motivation for change – because the function of a coach is to facilitate change. No desire for change = no coaching. And the desire or motivation to change is either away from what we don’t want, or towards what we do want.

And I think it’s fair to say that for the last 8 months my motivation has been one of ‘away from’. And this thinking pattern has kept me away from the light. It has been a time of trying to come to terms with all that is new – a new country, a new place to live, new cultures, new ways of doing business, new friends, a new school, new sports groups …

Some of the newness has been easy to embrace, but some aspects have been particularly difficult. It’s great making new friends and being welcomed into a social circle – it’s hard when those whom you love drift away because of geographical excuses. It’s exciting starting a new business, but so frustrating to realise that it’s about starting all over again. It’s amazing living in the land of efficiency, but sad to witness the effects of superficiality, transient relationships and conspicuous consumerism.

Whilst I could go on about how it feels to keep looking at what you don’t, I am instead going to share a core insight that has crept into my awareness over the last couple of days. And that is that the spiritual me has become a shadow of who it was. I seem to have lost touch with my depth, peace and calm. I’m finding it hard to meditate. My energy and health have been unsettled. I realise now how important solidity, stability, a sense of community and deep roots are to me. And that one day, somewhere, I will recreate the external stuff. The first step is to realise that focusing on the ‘but’, the ‘away from’, and the ‘difference’ has taken me away from my internal roots.

One of my closest friends who relocated to Australia keeps reminding me that the difference is the motivation, and that moving literally means that it cannot be the same. But it’s a bit like having a baby. I didn’t really understand it until I went through it.

So with that awareness now on paper, what I ask for today on this Festival of Lights is for the mental strength to cultivate a deep sense of inner peace, acceptance of what is – and the discipline to cultivate living in the present. And to look forward instead of back. I also ask for enormous patience to keep putting one small step in front at a time, not worrying about the outcome, but knowing that I am doing all I can to move forward. To celebrate each victory.

So what do I have to look forward to?

I have some great potential work projects and associations in the pipeline for next year. I am thinking of starting another division with LEAD (my coaching practice), called Leading Ladies – focussing on Leadership skills and empowerment for women. And to run a few public workshops for women who have wings they have not yet discovered.

In 10 days time, my husband and I will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary in Pangkor Laut – a bucket list item for a long time. And in 6 weeks time, we will be winging our way home to celebrate the holidays with our beloved friends and family.

Travel to Vietnam and Cambodia with my amazing family are on the list for next year, as well as a little trip to Australia with a new friend (and to see an old friend).

I intend doing my PCC certification (an International Coach Federation accreditation), and bring Meta-Coach training to Singapore during 2012.

But mostly, I am looking forward to turning the corner and being at peace. Yes, there are lots of special people and communities that I miss. But it’s time to look forward – time to move towards what I want to create. I’m off to go light my flame again.

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  1. Thank You for sharing this…..certainly food for thought :)

  2. Thanks you for your beautiful honesty J, and inspiration in sharing your journey of this year. Wow, the future shines bright and amazing things to look forward to!

  3. Kate Rafter says:

    Yes, I hear you. Two years ago I moved with my young family to a place where I quickly realised is not a place where I want to stay forever. It is where we will live for the next 9 years. I am now thankful for the things I do love and appreciate about this location. And, I am learning to accept the things I don’t like. So many areas of life are effected by a move, some of which we have in common, and some of which suprised me . For me, identity is something I ponder regularly. I’ve learned that I am still myself and can remain myself no matter where I live and how out-of-my-skin I feel at times. This discomfort is teaching me many things. For that I am grateful.

  4. Elisabeth says:

    Dearest Janine, I can so understand how difficult it is at times to feel deep inside ‘Who’ you are especially when you feel you have lost Your roots on the outside. Trust me, your heartfelt connections with people will remain true and will not be affected by your location – because you chose to welcome them info your life. Years and mileage doesn’t make a difference. Thank you for being on my path – my heart will always find a shortcut to our shared memories. Love E

  5. Having lived in Singapore between 1997-2002 and then relocated to Sydney 2002-2012 and since 7 months back ‘home’ in Switzerland I can relate to your words. Even ‘home’ has a different meaning after 15 years abroad…

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