The Art of Flowing with ChangeAug 31, 2022
When change hits, we tend to dig our hills in and resist with all our force. We fear that losing a reality or an identity equals inner death. Even when we’re convinced it’s for the best, we often go through change reluctantly and bitterly. But what if there was another way? What if we could simply flow with it?
Over the years I experienced many sudden changes in life. At times it felt as if I was starting to live a different incarnation. At first, they were scary but eventually, I learned to welcome these abrupt changes. To not question them and to not fear them. And as I started treating them with curiosity, they rewarded me with joy.
This fragment from my book “Personal Power” tells the story of how I went from a management consultant working in London to reinventing myself as a writer in Mallorca. Eventually, I moved on from that incarnation but that’s another story.
I have always known that working a nine-to-five job locked in an office was not for me. I have done it for years and all these years I knew it was not for me. I have taken breaks from it and then come back to it. I have found jobs that required me to travel a lot and those proved to be a little bit more bearable since they were taking me out of the dreaded office. This helped, for a while. But inevitably they brought me back to an office and to the same nine-to-five routine.
As I started working on my energy, the flexibility of the jobs I attracted started to increase. I worked four-day-a-week projects that paid as much as my previous five-day-a-week ones. I had projects where it was perfectly acceptable to work from home for a couple of days every week if I felt like it and I did not need to ask for anyone’s permission to do so. These were a lot better. I was feeling the pressure of the nine to five slowly but steadily decreasing.
And then, one day, it just went away. I was delivering another project for another top company, managing a cross-functional international initiative where most of the people I interacted with were based in a different country, in another time zone. I was still going to an office occasionally, although it started becoming more and more obvious that the only way I could deliver that project was if I was flexible enough to work late in the evenings to suit the time zone of my co-workers. I could do this, but not from the office.
I did not expect it to come so swiftly, so decisively and so clearly. But it did.
“I don’t care where you are,” my top client told me in the middle of a conference call in front of everyone who needed to hear it. “I really don’t care where you are. As long as the job gets done, you can be anywhere. Work from home or from anywhere you like.”
“From home – you mean from any home? Can I be anywhere in Europe?” I asked, still not believing how easily it had come to me.
“From anywhere in the world,” he said.
I had not struggled to get this. I had not pushed, nor forced it through. I had not spent countless hours awake at night thinking about how to make this happen. It simply came to me, and I took it. I said thank you. And I asked for it to be added as a clause in our contract.
For the remainder of that project, I left London and worked from Spain. I moved there on an impulse, without a clear motive, just because I felt like it. I rented a flat in Mallorca and continued to do my conference calls, my emails and everything I had to do for the project. The work went well. And while I was there, I realised there was another reason I was there. I met a writer. We became friends and started touring the island together. She reminded me of my own passion for writing.
And then, after a few more dips in the sea and cups of coffee on my sunny terrace, the next step came to me. I was here to write a book, a book that was bubbling in me, asking to come out, and whose voice I had been ignoring for a while. I put one word after the other and started writing the first chapter.
This book was born here, in Mallorca. The title came to me while swimming. And then the chapters poured out one by one, in between conference calls and work emails. This book came to me helped by the constant feedback and encouragement of my new friend, the writer. And when the business project came to an end so did the book, because that project and this book had been mysteriously but strongly interconnected: one made the other possible and the other made the first one meaningful. They came together and then they both went away together, making space for something new.
And while working on both of them, I learned that when life comes to you, you live it, and when it pours out of you, you express it.
In the following years, three more books were born here. And now, exactly 6 years later, I am still on this island living with my husband whom I met after moving here. I would not have been able to imagine all these wonders when I first came to Mallorca and listened to that deep call to write “Personal Power”. But they came because I did not resist the change. And so I learned, once again, that life is full of unexpected turns. They are all for the best even if you can’t see it yet.
And when they decide to come the best you can do is simply flow with them.
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