By this time in February in the UK the snowdrops are out. The daffodils are showing signs of making an appearance. It feels like spring is on its way, even though it’s at least a month away! I am also mindful of the fact that when we were in Kyrgyzstan, there might have been another couple of weeks of -15ºC at this point in the year, and spring didn’t really start until April. Whether you can see signs of spring emerging or if they’re still covered by snow, this time of year is good for thinking about the new. Imagining new adventures to follow your re-entry.
It’s very easy to look at re-entry as the end of the road. The finishing of an adventure. The end of a dream. It certainly is an ending. But what if re-entry was actually the start? A new beginning? A redefining? A new adventure?
William Bridges, in his book “The way of transition,” talks about transition as having three overlapping parts: an ending, a neutral zone and a new beginning. When you leave an overseas assignment and go “home,” that is your ending. Of course there is much more to the ending than just the moving part – there is a leaving behind of friendships, status and identity, just for starters.
As you move towards your home country, you enter the neutral zone, where you don’t belong, don’t have a distinct role, know who you are or where you’re going. It’s an uncomfortable place to be. Yet if you don’t engage with the neutral zone, you will never be ready for the new beginning that emerges in it’s own good time. The neutral zone is the time to be looking out for those signs of spring. Thinking about what might be. Imagining new adventures or a new calling. They could be far away, but they may also be close to or in your new home.
Which signs of new life can you currently see? What has been secretly budding under the surface while you’ve been in the neutral zone? Allow yourself hopes and dreams now you are back in your home country, creating a new home. What calls next? Imagine what might be waiting in the wings of your life. Allow yourself to hope and dream of the next adventure – and work out how you can move towards it!
Re-entry is a great time to redefine yourself, work out what you want next and how you can get there. You can find it yourself or with a friend / partner. If you would like help in imagining your next adventure, get in touch for a free consultation to see how I can help you get there. Whichever way, don’t let the opportunity slip by – re-imagine your re-entry as a new adventure, not just an ending.
12th February 2018
See how coaching can help you during re-entry here.
Still preparing to go back to your home country? Access my online re-entry course here.