YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE IS YOUR SUPERPOWER
Reinventing Yourself With Joy in a New Country
An exclusive reading of the Introductory Chapter of my book
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Somewhere along the course of your life, you moved to a new country with a new culture and a new language.
WOW! That is really something.
What a life-changing decision, whether it was a lifetime ago, or only very recently. By taking this step, you walked through a dorr that has led you not only into a different physical world, but also into an extraordinary world of reinvention. Perhpas without realising it, you have, or will, gradually become a new version of yourself.
Of course, we all evolve over time, whether we change countries or reamian where we were born. Life has that effect!
BUT . . .
Your evolution is a special one.
HERE'S WHY . . .
You leave behind all you have known and loved - your family, your friends, your childhood, your memories, your language, your . . . everything, and set out to start afresh.
Depending on your reason for this momentous move, the experience may feel anything from thrilling to terrifying. Maybe you’re changing countries because of a work opportunity for yourself or your partner, or due to feeling restless or unfulfilled in your current situation. Perhaps you have a desire to escape unwanted experiences and create new ones. Or maybe you love adventure and/or you feel an innate pull towards a particular culture.
Whatever your reason, feelings of excitement and anticipation may be vying for a place among the nerves and fear that are sneaking in. Overwhelm might make an appearance too. Sadness at farewells, and even guilt about leaving those who love you. You might experience some insecurity about your ability to put a new life together. But here you are, decision made, journey about to begin.
You arrive — luggage, passport, visa and a full array of emotions at hand.
And BAM! There’s soooo much stuff going on that you have to process in your new environment: new ambiance, new vistas, new home, new streets, new food, new attitudes, new rules, new side of the road to drive on, new perspectives, new climate, new smells in the air, new TV shows, new shops.
Even the small things are different. As an Aussie, when I was living in London in my twenties, it was funny the random differences that struck me: the feel of the supermarkets, the width of the roads, the styles and makes of cars, even the runway distance at the beginning of the escalators!
All of which is a fun adventure when you’re on holidays, but can feel a little intimidating with the prospect of it being your new life. Waking up to these differences every . . . single . . . day. The delicious comfort of familiarity out of reach.
Of course, there are bigger hurdles too. How about all the fuss and bother involved in becoming an official name in the ‘system’ of the country? The pages of forms, online or otherwise, for extended visa applications, for permanent resident or citizenship applications; the check-ups, the proof, the waiting and waiting and waiting . . . Having your diplomas recognised (or not). New driving tests and licences. Talk about taking the spark out of this adventure!
And then there’s the all-consuming, quintessential means by which you express yourself... YOUR LANGUAGE.
If you already confidently speak the community language, either through studies at home or because it’s the same as your first language, you will have one less thing tugging at the strings of overwhelm. Phew! But having a shared language can occasionally be deceiving. Unexpected differences in the cultural use of the language, communication etiquette and expectations might jump out and surprise you at any moment, which can be very disorienting and at times upsetting.
But it pales in comparison to the disorientation you will likely feel if the community language is brand-new to you. Now that’s an experience that only those who have been through it can understand! Take away the very means by which your experience of life operates and your whole world will likely feel tumbled upside-down and inside-out.
Attempting to express yourself in a new language with words and sounds that don’t come easily is in a class of its own. Even when you have a basic understanding, there are times when everything you hear sounds like utter gobbledygook, and when you try to speak, you seem to say everything wrong. You struggle to be understood. You think you’re saying one thing and it turns out that you’re saying something else entirely . . . and sometimes what you’ve said is offensive!
As for your accent, let’s not even get started on how hard you try to erase your accent and speak like a local.
In this process of adapting and “trying to fit in” to your new community, often something really important gets lost.
A vital bit of you.
Your sense of self.
It kinda gets squashed down, all squishy and squashy and messy. And it leaves you feeling bleh! Flat, uninspired, lost...
While there are certainly things that you love about your adopted country, your very essence can feel challenged. Who are you in this new environment? What about all the customs, attitudes, perspectives and mindsets that you were raised in and that you thought were simply “how it is”?
On the outside, things are kind of the same; people have families, they wake up, go to work, eat meals, come home, go to activities, enjoy friends.
It’s just . . . different. What lies beneath day-to-day life can emerge as powerful elements in the way people behave and relate to each other. You start noticing that, as a culture, there are very different ways of viewing the world. Different attitudes towards work and family. Different habits and relationships with money. Different humour that doesn’t even make you laugh! There are moments when it all feels just so weird, right?
You wouldn’t be the first to ask yourself, “What am I missing? What the heck is funny about this?”
Or, “But why is this thing such a big deal to you?”
Or “Why is this thing NOT a big deal to you? This makes no sense to me.”
It's as if . . . well, as if it’s just all wrong!
Maybe you experienced some of this when you first moved. Maybe all of it. Maybe after many years of building a happy life in your chosen country, you still sometimes feel . . . well, not quite you.
How do you find your place in it all?
How do you meld the person you have been up until now with the person who will fit confidently into this new culture, and still feel like YOU?
If you can relate to any of these feelings, then you are the reason I am writing this book.
Because I see you.
I see you through the eyes of my own version of this experience.
Through the eyes of my French Swiss husband and my parents-in-law living in Australia.
Through the eyes of the women from many and varied backgrounds to whom I’ve eagerly listened and who I’ve coached.
I am writing this book because despite your sometimes feeling lost amongst all the emotion and contrast of different cultures, somewhere deep inside is a magnificent version of you who has beautifully bridged the delights of both your heritage and your adopted country and culture. A version of you who adores all you are becoming, and who is just bursting to get out and charm the world with that enchanting mélange. Heck, she’s just bursting to charm herself!
And that’s what we’re going to focus on during our journey together in these pages.
Your newest adventure, your biggest and most profound adventure... to enchant yourself. To be fascinated with your own evolution, to feel magnificent with who you are in your own evolving story. To ooze a self-confidence that makes you tingle with happiness, even if you’re still in the process of finding your place amongst all the contrast of this newest phase of your life. No matter how long you’ve been in your adopted country, your constant evolution is assured, so let’s start right now to make it the most fascinating, exciting, and colourful adventure we can!
HOW ARE WE GOING TO DO THAT?
We’re going to cast you as the Heroine of Your Own Story.
We’re going to take your experiences and reframe anything you didn’t or don’t like about your story into something that feels better. That feels amazing!
We’re going to build a bridge that links your heritage with your present, that takes the best of both worlds and transforms it into a dazzling, fascinating, confident version of YOU.
We’re going to delight in your evolution, and we’re going to play together to choose exactly how you want to feel and how you want to show up in your life from now on.
You will discover the joys of a new perspective about your own story and who you are, who you are becoming, and how much you just LOVE the whole kit and kaboodle. (Isn’t that such a fun term, kit and kaboodle?! If this is the first time you’ve heard it, it’s a cute way of saying package.)
Step by step, you’ll acquire some special skills and enjoy some uplifting transformational processes so that you master the ability to reconnect with the essence of you, reignite your confidence and feel fab wherever you are!
My desire is that you will have a big smile on your face as you turn the final pages of this little book.
That you will feel proud of yourself and your journey so far, and be filled with delightful anticipation and purpose as you create your own brand of confidence, style and joy in your adopted country.
The next evolution of YOU will be all the more satisfying because it will be of your own deliberate creation.
In admiration of you all, I have written this book.
If you'd like to purchase my book for yourself or for someone special, you can do that HERE.
This book is a celebration of YOU and is OUT NOW!
See all about it HERE.
Here's what readers are saying . . .
"Unputdownable! The material really hit home for me in an entertaining and genuine way that made me want to make changes."
"A heart-warming, soul-searching, uplifting book with many laugh-out-loud moments. A clear 5/5 rating that presented itself right when I needed it."
"Thank you for writing this awesome book about our journey as an immigrant. Even just reading the intro, I feel important, as if it was written just for me."