That’s impossible! I can’t do it. I just can’t.
How many times have you uttered those words and declined or turned down opportunities in your life? How many times have those words stormed into your mind and limited the possibilities in your personal and professional life? If I may dare ask you, what is the meaning of impossible?
Three years ago I left Egypt and moved to the UK with my precious family. My first year was the hardest one, my biggest concern was how we would adapt in a western culture that hold such different beliefs and values? The first few months were my honeymoon: I was over the moon. Then the curve started to drop and I fell into depression and loneliness. At this point, I realized how transitioning from east to west was impacting me negatively: I was missing my friends, colleagues and longed to make new Arabic friendships. My husband was wrapped up in his new job and my children quickly and happily settled in to their new schools. Suddenly, I found myself with a lot of spare time on my hands with no clear idea of where to go or what to do next. For a while I felt a little lost. However, gradually I began to realize that this time I’d been given a blessing, it would be a priceless opprtunity to redraw and design my new life.
My Islamic identity was visible to everyone as I wore the Hijab. The little voices in my head began to make up many stories about how others perceived me. I started to pay attention to those tiny but yet powerful voices, asking myself “What options and choices do I have?” My first little voice was so loud and it begged me to stay safe in my comfort zone, my bubble. However, my second voice whispered and encouraged me to put on my boldness gown and to become involved in my new community.
I decided to walk into the unknown…
When we first enter a dark room, we are blinded by its darkness, but after spending sometime there, our eyes begin to adjust and we can observe what was invisible before.
I took English lessons to break down barriers, made new friends from all over the world, volunteered at my kids’ school, attended history lectures, joined both international and Arabic book clubs as well as creative writing groups. I even went to the edge by inviting my body to practice new sports such as rock climbing and ice skating. Those were all areas that challenged my assumptions, pushed me out of my comfort zone and enabled me to develop an enormous capacity for compassion and empathy which changed my way of being. I learned to look at mistakes as an opportunity for personal development and self-growth and I turned off the little voice of guilt and regret. So, the voice of wisdom could rise and shine on my horizon.
Now, it was time to design my future. My driving passion was to understand intercultural communication so I would be able to support others who were making the same journey. Helping them to adapt and integrate into a new country, a new business environment and a different culture.
Therefore, my first step was studying Ontological coaching. Ontology is the study of being; what it means to be human. I work with my clients on the three main domains; The Linguistic-Self (what is said and what is not said), The Emotional-Self (how our emotions and feelings steer our actions), and The Somatic-Self (how we show up in the world and how others perceive us). Producing an ontogical shift by allowing them to acknowledge the narrowness and limitation of the self and expand that self beyond its boundaries, beyond its own horizon of possibilities.
So, what’s next? My dream list is far too long to fit in to a few lines. All I can say is that I’ve started drawing my route map to meet up with my dreams.
Now, back to our main question, what is the meaning of impossible? Can it be interpreted as a Temporary Blindness?