Last weekend….. we spent three days in the fabulous city of Den Hague, Holland. Three days spent with approximately 200 open-hearted individuals from 29 different countries who appreciate and are skilled in juggling life, languages and liminal living around the globe and are connected by this multi-cultural community called Families In Global Transition.
Three days….. of stimulating conversations delivered by 60 different presenters each with something inspiring and useful to offer the tribe. The program was laced with stories that spoke to a wide variety of subjects all designed to encourage and support us in finding our real tribe – yes, you know the one, that person that you connect with at such a wonderful heart level that you completely bypass the superficial stories and go deep, go intentional and create something beautiful together.
One global heart….. always seems to blossom in the presence of fellow journeyers on the international path. I felt like all the boxes were checked, my TCK-self, global soul-self, expat-self, trailing-spouse self, empty-nester self, TCK-mum-self, expat-mum-self and expat/repat-coach-self were all welcomed and all fed. Experts in coaching, teaching, transitions and international living formed a meaningful tribe for a few brief days to have a lasting impression.
Fifty-two brilliant ideas….. I left with a list of 52! Yes, that’s correct 52 comments or subjects to consider, ponder and think about in future. Several comments made my heart pause, mind pay rapt attention and immediately invited me to consider the application. Here’s a short list of subjects that I am taking home to develop.
a) “was my previous identity invalid?”,
b) “to bury your past or raise it up to scrutiny?”
c) “comfortable between worlds”,
d) “the kaleidoscope of life”,
e) “understand your aching heart”,
f) “lean in to lean out of your comfort zone”,
g) “we adapt everywhere – we belong nowhere”,
h) “TCKs have more loss than most adults will experience in a lifetime”.
“Inspiration without action is merely entertainment” ….. there were so many ah ha moments at FIGT. Hugs were frequent and life was somehow made welcome in a way that we don’t always find on a day to day basis. It’s now our responsibility to share this liminal living with the world, to do our best to knit our tribes together with joy and thanksgiving. Thanks to everyone who came, who participated and delivered your brilliance, too many to list here…. know that you made a difference just by showing up. The question we need to ask ourselves is “how do we create a sunnier life that shines upon everyone we connect with?” What in fact are we carrying home and how will we apply it?
The journey home…..finds me back in Scotland, one of my passport countries, my natal-soul-satisfying-land and a place I need to live in for a few weeks every single year in order to create “balance”. I have been tending to my 95 year old Dad, and tomorrow I leave for Dublin to visit my ATCK daughter who first flew at exactly three weeks old. The international family beat goes on, mixed with aviation fuel, logistics and vision.
Where will FIGT 2017 take us? The mission is to move on, to leave Holland behind yet carry the lessons, questions and feelings within us. Each of us has a task to amplify the learnings, create our next adventure and serve the global tribe. There will be gold nuggets that arise to the surface for each of us, and I look forward to seeing what we come up with.
I am grateful for FIGT 2017 and everyone who participated. I have discovered that coaching expats and repatriating expats fills my heart with joy. I am grateful for having purpose, for a new adventure in living and so many beautiful people to share this passion with. I.Love.My.International.Life