Transitions are never easy but they have a purpose and a definite end
Updated: Oct 9, 2018
It is August 2013 and I am sitting in Penang writing this, and very happy to be here given I didn't think I would ever arrive. Phase 1 of my transition out of Hong Kong, and away from everything that I have known for 17 years was worse than I ever thought it would be. Doing it as a single parent, with a child and 7 animals depending on me also added a lot of pressure. I am not ready to write about the finer details of my ordeal yet, I am still processing it all, but through the vast grey darkness emerged a couple of things that I thought I would share with you in case you are about to go through a big move:
Over the last few months, I have found out who my support network is. I didn't identify them, they popped into my life, showed up when I least expected it, and closed ranks around me to offer support and protection. I have always been ridiculously independent (in part, a result of my upbringing, and also being let down so much by people in my earlier life, thereby resulting in me making a vow that I would do it all myself and never have to be dependent on anyone - I have since learned that is not the right way to be by the way so I wouldn't recommend it!).
We all have friends and acquaintances in our lives and strangely enough, those who we spend the most time with aren't necessarily the ones who, when the chips are down, are there for us unconditionally. That was true for me, and I thank my lucky stars that I have wonderful friends (angels in disguise I call them!) who helped me and my daughter through our transition. I trusted and learned to accept help......I had no choice at one point and amazingly it was good....and my fears did not come true!
I tried to keep focusing on the end goal. It wasn't easy, believe me. As well as sorting through 17 years worth of belongings from my ex husband, ten days before I was due to fly out, the helper who had been part of my family for 9 years decided to file a complaint with immigration saying that she hadn't been paid for 9 years. Although ridiculous, it was still something I had to build a case around and deal with, as well as everything else. As is the case with anyone who lies, it doesn't end well for them and thank goodness the HK authorities applied common sense and the problem was resolved. However, as well as being draining, it was a betrayal that affected me deeply, at a time when I was low emotionally.
But I had to stay focused on my move too, so despite being so tired that my bones ached (my Goldman Sachs days had prepared me well for this!), I still had to keep moving forward.
It's easy to get side-tracked and get pulled into other things so find what works for you, and either keep lists, or have a trusted friend who can remind you when you are veering off track and will be able to pull you back.
3) STAY CENTERED
Know that when you are moving to what will be a better life for you, there will be things/people around that will try to hold you back. There were many times when I felt like I was in a washing machine on fast spin and I tried to just let it all pass and wash over me. Moving to a different country is always going to be stressful, doing it as a single mother with a child and 7 animals is something else entirely.....but I tried really hard to not react to all of the things that didn't go according to plan, and tried to be as flexible as possible.
I always thought I was pretty good at prioritizing and cutting through superficial vs critical. However, I learned to be even more ruthless while cutting attachments through this process.
Only do what is really important to do at that time. I ended up splitting my move into 2 phases. It was too huge to do it all in one go, and instead of feeling like I was a failure for making that decision, I felt good that I had made a constructive choice to do what made sense given the set of circumstances that I was in.
I am a perfectionist and tend to do everything myself.....I learned over the last 3 months in particular that I needed to accept help from others and not expect everything to be perfect. I wrote several lists, and then threw them out as I ended up prioritizing based on time. The things that could wait, I brought to Malaysia with me and am doing them each day at a much better pace.
5) ASK FOR GUIDANCE / BE RECEPTIVE TO HELP
Ask for help from the Universe. You don't have to be religious or spiritual to know and believe that there are angels and guides all over your life. Every human being is born with at least one guardian angel. Believe me, even though most can't see their angels, they can ask for help and guidance to get you through whatever transition you need to get through. Without putting too fine a point on it, I wouldn't be here without the help of my angels, guides, and best close friends/family.
6) ELIMINATE ATTACHMENTS TO YOUR OLD LIFE
Ruthlessly cull items from your life that you no longer need. This was a big one for me. I donated or threw out clothes, shoes, furniture, books, pictures, anything that had a negative connotation to HK/failed relationships/negative people etc. It wasn't upsetting at all, it felt really good and empowering to leave all those memories in HK and not take them as emotional baggage with me. Photos are a big one - most of those went. I kept sentimental tokens of happy memories and I am focusing on the future now. I will build new memories and take new photos.
7) TRUST YOUR INTUITION
It is leading you to a better life for YOU. Don't think for one minute that if the going gets tough, that "it isn't meant to be". The path to a new life is always tough, but when you get there it will just FEEL right. Others may not be able to make sense of it, but make sure that you surround yourself with those who want the best for YOU, and will not impose their own fears around the huge step that you are taking. Also, if you start planning a move, and then it doesn't feel right to continue with it, then it is ok to reverse your decision. There are ways that you can test your own intuition.
In my move, I think I triggered a lot of fear in those around me who thought I was literally mad. But they didn't know what I knew and I didn't share those personal reasons for moving, so I had to see it from where they were at in their lives, and I was ok with that. I frequently heard "you're really brave, I couldn't do it". That actually provided little comfort, as what I could have done with is someone to make a meal while I packed, or give me a hug on the really bad days, or help with my daughter or my pets. I would encourage you to reach out to anyone you know who is doing a move, and just do something to help them. I guarantee they will need it.
Look after your health, and try to keep strong throughout. In order for your mind and body to get through what you want it to do, you need to keep it strong. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water, and sleep.
My saving grace was using my essential oils and vitamins - they kept me going and held me together.....I honestly don't want to think about the alternative if I hadn't have taken them. I was extremely sick from circumstances I won't go into here, and I had no one to lean on, so it was a difficult time. I passed out on the aeroplane when we left, and my 6 year old daughter was put in the back of the plane, scared out of her mind. She said afterwards that she thought I was dead and asked her angels to not take her Mummy away. Of course it was exhaustion at the root of that episode, but to a 6 year old it was like her world was ending. If you're the driver of the bus, you have to keep fuel in the bus, so it's important to keep yourself healthy and take time to do that, which is what I changed about each of my moves after this one.
9) STAY FLEXIBLE
A move is a transition in your life. Any transition is going to have twists and turns that you perhaps hadn't thought of / predicted / planned for. Be open to those changes and know that if you keep asking for guidance and help from the Universe, you WILL get through it in one piece. If you struggle against the flow, the transition will be more difficult and you will stress yourself out in the process.
10) KEEP HOPING AND BELIEVING
This is a big one and one that is often forgotten. There were times over the last month in particular whereby I was tested to my absolute limits. Given I have almost died twice before, that is not something I say lightly. I could have easily given up hope and cancelled the whole thing because it was too difficult. I didn't do that. I had my mother and two of my best friends help me keep looking forward. I knew in my bones, in my whole being, that I needed to do this move. I had to take that leap of faith first, and trust and believe that I would be given whatever I needed in life, and then the Universe would take care and protect me. I had some very strong forces trying to hold me back, but with help from my nearest and dearest, I moved forward and we all survived.
Going through any transition is not easy. It is very uncomfortable, often upsetting, emotional, painful etc. However, you will get through it, because a transition has an END to it. Time does not stand still, there are 24 hours in a day, and the sun needs to set and rise again. Keep hoping, talk to the Universe and visualize yourself with your new life laughing and being happy. Ask for help from your support network, eat and drink water, and trust your own intuition.
This I know for sure - YOU WILL GET THERE! Sending you love, angels and strength for whatever transition you are going through.