An American in Switzerland
- a weekly reflection about change
This is the first of a series of weekly reflections on how to navigate both the smooth and the choppy waters of change from my experience moving to and living in Switzerland. I hope you see a bit of your own challenges in mine and gain ideas and insights to help you navigate or create the change you desire in your own life. My story starts last fall with a job my wife was offered based in Geneva, Switzerland that included a visa for me. What a dream for a skier and outdoor guy like me! Yet it also meant pushing pause on time with two grandkids in Seattle, a thriving ski instructor career in Telluride, and a growing coaching practice. My cherished backyard garden would be left behind and the logistics of moving were long and complex. Managing and overcoming resistance to change is the core of what I help clients navigate as their coach, so the resistance that came raging up in me caught me a bit off guard. These reflections are based on what I’m learning being a player on the field instead of a coach on the sidelines. At first, I got grumpy. Even a little pissed. Everything was going along great! Now I had to choose between feeling like a chump for passing up a chance to live in Switzerland or going to Switzerland and leaving behind all these things I’ve grown and nurtured? I didn’t ask for this! And so on. As it became clear this was a tad immature and getting me nowhere, I switched to listing pros and cons, asking friends what I should do, researching online, and anything else I could do to avoid listening to myself. Exhausted and spinning in circles, I finally slowed down and took the step back I needed to be compassionate and curious with myself. That made it easier to recognize and accept the conflicting feelings I had been caught up in. I was able to take some deep breathes and check in with my gut. It was excited and nervous, even a bit scared, about going. But when I checked in about not going, my gut shriveled up like a tender root that had been pruned and left to die in the open air. It was a long trip from there to arriving in Switzerland last November, but the journey started by dis-identifying with overwhelm. In other words, I was feeling overwhelmed, but I was not overwhelmed. Then I got curious about what my dis-ease was all about and spent time with that. From there, I could bring some clarity and action to sorting out what it was going to take to move and if I wanted to. Once I decided to move to Switzerland, I spun my wheels in the swamp of wanting to before getting traction by committing to, but that’s next week story. If you’d like to explore working with me as your coach to face or create change in your life, or know someone else who might be interested, please contact me here. Enjoy! Steve Hindman firstname.lastname@example.org +41 (0)79 796 08 97 Expand Your Experience! Au revoir for now!