Arrival up north

We made it, yay! We have picked an especially challenging and crazy time for our house move and there were some difficult moments in the past two weeks for sure. Being on such a massive personal change project in an environment where you cannot really plan ahead nor rely on that what you have foreseen weeks ago will still work out – this is a massive learning experience, to say the least. You can read the first part incl. our “escape” from Switzerland here.

Despite all the hurdles, we arrived here in northern Germany on a very sunny Sunday. We are now not too far away from Flensburg, and set up camp in a temporary accomodation as our new house is still a building site.

Our cat Phoebe travelled a lot easier this time around and mastered the 700km drive with grace and ease, even taking a nap along the way. She was much more relaxed compared to when we had to rush to get out of Switzerland. I reckon that the mood in which you set out does make a difference. We’re lucky to stay at a place quite close to the sea so that we can go for walks. Phoebe seems to enjoy the new envirnoment. I sometimes go out together with her in the morning. Today she was eager to get to know the tomcat who lives on the premises but this sentiment doesn’t seem to be mutual at the moment.

The new house does not have any bathrooms as of yet, the walls are looking better and better each day but still need some paint and care. Floors still have to be installed and the heating isn’t functioning either yet. The good news is that many of the items we ordered have arrived already: bathroom tiles ordered from a Berlin-based online store, bathroom equipment etc. is all piling up in the shed (so glad we have this).

Our dining and living room are taking on a new look slowly but surely. The walls have a new plastering, we tried different colors (as you can see underneath the windows) and the roundish shape on top of the windows was re-created after it had been hidden behind a wall cladding, giving the room a more open, airy feel already.

Most of the time we’re running errands which is not so easy as the country is pretty much in shut-down mode so it’s a stuggle to get hold of people who can help us with stuff.

These are the tiles for our bathroom floor. We actually wanted plain gray but the delivery times were too long, so I chose this pattern. It is derived from a Spanish turn-of-the-century design which fits the time at which our house was built
This is the beach nearby where we go for walks occasionally. We have been blessed with sunny and cold weather the past couple of days and due to the “tourist ban” in this federal state the beaches here are mostly empty.

The house – as you can imagine – looks a bit messy because so many things still need doing. We’re glad that we got hold of a builder who can help with sanitary installations now because the three guys who started working on these have had to go into quarantine late last week. The replacement is a somewhat grumpy bloke who told me straight away that he’s not doing this for me but only for his friend who called him in. He wasn’t overly keen on talking to me either and said he knows full well what needs doing so he’d appreciate if I just leave him to it. Ok, fair enough then. 🙂

We have beautiful old doors that are getting a new layer of paint at the moment. These are more than 100 years old and I sometimes wonder if these doors could talk, which stories would they be able to tell.

Yesterday we got the colours for the walls sorted with the painter who is a really friendly chap. The doors got a new lick of paint. There is lots of work still to be done: The floor of the ground floor bathroom is not safe enough to put new tiles on so that will need reinforcement. I am confident that it’s all coming together despite the hurdles and the precautionary measures these days.

On the learning side of things, I am enjoying three different education experiences right now:

  1. I’ve started a course to become a colour mirrors practitioner with the wonderful Kate Griffiths, co-author of “Colourful Boardrooms” whom I met at #HumansFirst. This course will run over several months and is all about working with colour on a psychological but also spiritual level to discern yourself and others, and foster compassion. I think this will come in handy in the coaching I am providing going forward.
  2. I am on a seven week program for coaches called “Postive Intelligence” which is tied to the much acclaimed neuoscience/self-leadership book of the same title. The author, Shirzad Chamine, introduces a simple concept that has been designed to help individuals recognize patterns that are not serving them and gain control over how they react to certain triggers, enriching the options on how to deal with challenges and becoming more effective and happy along the way. I am intending to use these insights and the concept to support my future coachees.
  3. As we were not able to have the ultimate module (5) of the “Les Enfants Terribles” education for good new work in Berlin due to the travel / social distancing restrictions, we got an unexpected “extension” of the program. This means I benefit from monthly virtual get-togethers with my classmates and regular buddy talks in a group of three. We also support each other in these volatile times as best we can with insights, tips and just being there for each other.
From the first session of our colour course. The bottles contain different coloured liquids that reflect different emotions, needs or states of being, not too dissimilar from spiral dynamics.

And then of course there is work. 🙂 Many freelancers like me who work in the areas of facilitation and running workshops are currently struggeling quite a bit as in-person events have been cancelled or indefinitely postponed which decreases their income. In my case, luckily, the consulting firm I work for has managed – together with their client – to re-design at least the first part of the program from in-person to remote. This means that I will not have to worry too much about putting bread on the table in the next 2-3 months. Plus, I am enhancing my digital faciliation skills at the same time which is a great asset to have in any case.

So, in a nutshell: There is lots to be grateful for these days despite (or because of) the challenging circumstances we’re in. I feel more and more confirmed in my perception that this crisis is also an opportunity to…

  • (re-)consider what really matters in life and appreciate the small things
  • abandon habits that are not serving you or your envirnoment
  • learn how to deal with unpredictable circumstances and remain flexible yet rooted
  • use what you have to the benefit of others without expecting anything in return and watch the magic of “karma at work” unfold

Stay safe and well, dear ones, and to the last point on the list above: Do let me know how your world looks like right now. What gives you hope? What’s giving you a hard time? What do you need? I can’t promise you that I can help but I might be able to connect you to someone who can.

I was meaning to add a short video to this post but sadly it was not possible to upload the file due to the low bandwidth of the internet connection here. Rural parts of Germany are still lagging behind in what nowadays is critically important infrastructure. For our village, broadband is supposed to be coming in June; fingers crossed…

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