Living on the Light Side
As an expat living light becomes a necessity and an art. You have roots and wings all at the same time. Roots that keep you anchored and connected with your home there and your home here. Then wings that allow you to lift up and move to the next place of assignment. Remembering that you have wings for flying, is a safeguard from becoming enmeshed in the place you are and being unable to lift up and fly forward.
There is an art to this type of living. I do not feel like I am an expert at this yet, and at the same time, I draw from the experience of others and the experiences I have had so far.
So some have asked..."How do you do it?"...meaning...how does someone unload their belongings to the degree necessary to make such a drastic move to live in another nation? Especially after living life and accumulating so many things for so many years in your home nation. Well, I thought I would share a few nuggets along this line...Learning to Live on the Light Side. AND remember...you may never leave your home nation and at the same time Living on the Light Side can be a freeing experience.
As I dive into this list of nuggets I think of one of my favorite movies, The National Treasure. For me, it offers a great metaphor for insight into the idea of a change of vision that is needed to move into this life of "Living on the Light Side". Take a look... (click on "READ MORE")
Nuggets For Readiness
"Be Ready" are words that ring in my ears. With living in another nation, these words have rung even louder in my ears.
This is an all encompassing type of thought...carrying an attitude of readiness in life. I think of John's background with the Boy Scouts and growing up with the idea of "Be Prepared". I remember being raised with this same type of idea and then years later reading the REA (my family) motto on the coat of arms..."Ready for Everything"
So how in the world can a person be "ready for everything". Short from being a "super hero" (hahaha)...there are some things I have found that help me.
I think of the Charles Swindoll quote on attitude..."I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it." So as I think of being ready for everything...I think first about my attitude and how I am armed with right thinking for situations...situations I don't even know that I will face before they happen.
With this truth in mind, there have been some wise nuggets that I have caught and carried with me especially in my journey as an expat. And at the same time...these nuggets are great nuggets for life anywhere!
I carry these nuggets with me and when I face something hard, something frustrating, something hurtful, something scary, something unexpected....I pull them out and use them to help re-calibrate my focus and attitude...
1. I am Flexible: This is a choice I make. I choose to be the rubber ball and not the cement block.
2. I am not Shocked: This is a choice I make. I act like I have been here before and stay calm, cool, & patient.
3. I walk in Love: This is a choice I make. I respond out of a place of love no matter what the other person chooses.
4. Different is just Different: Different does NOT equal wrong or bad...it is just different. This reframes my thoughts.
5. This too shall Pass: This gives me hope beyond the problem & it helps me savor each moment. Life is short &
should not be squandered on worries.
6. I AM NOT ALONE: What comfort, strength, & encouragement I continually gain from this.
7. I CAN DO THIS: I choose to have a vote of confidence for this season or situation in my life. I think of my mother's
words..."Where there is a will there is a way".
Oh I do have my list of items to always take with me when I travel in another nation, and other things I do to try to be prepared for everything and anything. And through it all, one of the things I have learned, there will usually be something happen I just didn't expect or know to prepare for. In these times, I have a choice. I can feel like life is out of my control or I can pull out my "nuggets". I realize that attitude is 90% of my success to get through the issue! Attitude!! That is something that I can control & prepare...My Attitude.
Happy Expat Living!!
Cindy writes about her adventures, observations, and other nuggets from living in another nation. She and John live in SE Asia. She will also share nuggets from her 58 plus years of life.