At the individual level there can be different areas, both work related and private, that need attention. The themes mentioned below are some of the areas in which I can support people to work through changes and their implications.
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Transition as a pivotal point
In our lives we are constantly undergoing changes, both in our work and private life. Think of a reorganization, a move – whether or not across national borders – giving birth to your child, or a serious illness. A major event that may turn your life upside down. It is not so much the event itself, as what it does to you. I call this inner process ‘transition’: a change that is so drastic and perhaps complex for you that it is difficult to grasp.
How have both the beautiful and painful experiences shaped your life? Are you living your life without resentment, regret about missed opportunities, and crippling pain about what was lost? Do you manage to connect the past, the present and the future on your way to sustainable results, success and joy? If you don’t know where you come from, you can’t determine your future course. Not everything in your life can be made and controlled. Except for one thing: the choice you make in how you want to respond to what is happening within yourself and around you.
Migration, like other transitions, is a process of loss and enrichment. The situation of refugees and migrants, of newcomers to the Netherlands, is characterized in the first place by the large number of changes in which they, and their possible family members, find themselves. Migration involves an above-average amount and complexity of choices. If you could use some help in bridging the gap to a new phase, I’d love to assist you.
A life without losses is impossible. Loss and parting belong to our life, as soon as we are born. Nevertheless, dealing with losses is far from easy, as we tend to hang on to what we have. Some losses have a strong impact: loss of work and financial certainty, our relationship, our confidence in significant others. Also parting from one’s home country may entail loss and grief. The empowering possibilities of leading an itinerant lifestyle often go hand in hand with less positive feelings of loneliness and loss of family, support structures, roots, identity, language, status, cultural affiliation and so on. Transnational mobility involves both continuities and discontinuities, being able to embrace some sort of freedom while retaining certain social connections. Some endings trouble us greatly often because we misunderstand them. We confuse them with finality, with ‘the end’, and we are blinded to the fact that these endings are merely the first phase of transition to a new beginning.
Today more and more people are on the move – for a job, for the love of their life as a trailing spouse, or because they had to flee their country and are looking for a safe haven. It is not easy to give up your familiar surroundings and to get around in a new country, with different norms and values. Such a transitional phase creates new opportunities, but can also be challenging at times. Integration is only possible if you are allowed to be yourself, if you are valued for who you are, and if you can find a job or an activity that meets your talents, dreams and ambitions. I coach people that run into professional or personal issues that have to do with their migratory background – or their parents’ – or with their prolonged stay as ‘expat’ outside the Netherlands. People with a ‘hybrid identity’, who live and work between two cultures, who feel a little at home everywhere and nowhere really, who are searching their roots. The challenge is to discover, to acknowledge and to take advantage of the cultural differences. I will invite you to use your ‘otherness’ as a source of power.