Welcome to 2020!
Every year I take this moment, as we step into the new year, to offer my reflections for the year past, what I’m thinking about for the year ahead and above all else, to share a few questions that I’m thinking about in hopes that they will help you as you transition into the New Year.
As you well know, in my own life, this has been a year of transition. I guess in many ways, expat life is always one of transition. This year has felt like every passing day was another layer in the move from Tokyo to Brussels. Even when certain moments aren’t directly related to our move, they feel like they are.
On the Professional Front
From a work perspective, this year has been full of lots of ups. It has included my rebranding and new website that happened with the amazing support of the Amsterdam-based iGina team, major shifts with my online course offerings, and the launch of what will be my signature program for 2020 – Take Your Leap. I’ve had the wonderful privilege and honor to continue to work with remarkable men and women around the globe as they access their inner strengths and wisdom to create the expat life they most want to be leading.
There have been challenges too. Moving to Belgium has brought all sorts of confusion about what World Tree Coaching looks like from here. Moreover, I continue to take time to develop new professional contacts here in Europe. Despite having done this now with each move for the last 6 years, it never really gets any easier. As any expat partner will tell you, running a portable business means doing tons of leg work in-person in your new home.
On the personal front, I find I’m making new friends here in Brussels, but missing my Tokyo friends a lot. We had become so comfortable there, with only 4 months under our belts here, it still feels like we’re settling in. The kids are loving it here, but of course have had their own experiences with creating home. My husband’s job is more demanding of his time here than his past positions. We knew it would be that way, but facing that in real time has been an adjustment for all of us.
We’re very happy to have a few weeks off right now to reconnect as a family. After four long months and an unexpected major construction project, we are finally fully moved in to our house. Overall, though, we are really loving our new home and looking forward to what 2020 brings as we continue to settle in.
As I write all of this I see how much these things are the typical expat experience. I love the transition to the New Year because it reminds me how much life is never one smooth, uninterrupted path, but rather a series of twists and turns that, at our very best, we navigate with as much grace and humor as we can muster.
I’m looking forward to 2020 and what’s ahead for World Tree Coaching. In January, I’ll be starting an intensive mindfulness teacher training which will provide me with the opportunity to deepen my skillset and begin offering additional programming in 2021 and beyond. I’m excited to support more expats in finding a sense of home through the Take Your Leap Program. And, I’m feeling creative and inspired to provide more programming in Personal Leadership and to supporting more organizations in bringing the skills of mindful leadership and communication to their work spaces.
Finally, I cannot wait to continue to explore Europe with my family and to visit our many friends who are living throughout the region. I’m hopeful for the opportunity to deepen my own personal mindfulness practice and to create community with others who are hoping to cultivate a sense of presence and compassion in their globally mobile lives.
Questions to Consider for the Year Ahead
Year after year, I’ve taken the New Year to share with you all the questions that I’m considering as I transition into another year (check out these favorites from 2018). This New Year’s, I’m drawn to questions that can easily be used from the simplest moments to the most profound. I feel the pull to keep things short and sweet. I’m inspired by questions that get to the heart of mindfulness practice – the connection between attention and intention.
As we arrive at 2020, I want to create the space in my life and work to first ask a question that requires a moment of attention – “Who do I want to be right now?”
From those flashes of impatience when my kids forget to do what I’ve asked them to those bigger questions about what’s next with World Tree and for our life as an expat family – I want to cultivate moments of stillness where the answer to this question can come alive inside me. I want to offer myself the space to take in a breath, to still the inner spinning of my mind and to hear the answers that are based in values, vision and mission.
I also want to connect with intention – to be able to take steps to live out who I most want to be when I’m at my highest and best self. Therefore, the question that most comes to mind next is – “What needs to happen for me to be that person?”
Maybe the answer in that moment will be to do or say nothing. The answer might remind me to make a major shift, or none at all. Perhaps the answer comes through writing, or talking or contemplation. My hope for 2020, is to be able to foster a daily life that creates space for setting and following through with intentions.
What does that look like for you?
So – the questions I encourage you to offer yourself at this period of transition are two:
To bring attention to the moment by asking, “Who do I want to be right now?”
And to connect with intention by then asking, “What needs to happen for me to be that person?”
I’d love to hear how you might create space for these questions in your own life. Where are you headed in 2020? How will you take time to be both attentive and intentional? If you’d like to talk more about that in person – let’s chat. If you think you might like to join my Take Your Leap Program – it’s not too late to join for January.
And finally, from my home to yours – no matter where our feet are planted – I want to offer you love, grace, gratitude and compassion as you head into 2020. Remember – you have everything you need, to be exactly the person you want to be, no matter where life takes you.
Happy New Year!