On being passport-less, reconnecting your engine, and having a persona make-over.

Welcome to the next wave of *Fika for Your Soul*!

The summer is coming to an end here in the UK. That said, the weather has been and continues to be stellar. Living by the sea is such a treat.

Reflecting on the summer months, I’m made aware of a bigger pattern that’s up.

…The pattern of IDENTITY.

Yep. Why go for the small stuff, eh?! 🙂

Whether our focus is personal, local, regional, or global, it seems that the collective pot that contains our identity – who we are and how we show up – is being royally stirred at present. With some of our leaders challenging our understanding of what leadership is…it provokes an intimate look at what we consider decent behaviour and, in extension, who we want to be. For some this is a welcome nudge, for others not so much.

Back in May, I had to send my passport to the Home Office in connection with my EU Settlement Status application.

As an expat, I take my passport *everywhere* as it’s my only means of identification. Being passport-less…crikey, massive DISCOMFORT!

Having said a temporary good-bye to my burgundy friend I felt vulnerable.

I felt trapped because I couldn’t travel, but I discovered…

…being without my passport was also exciting. Sending it off meant I had to “let go” of my passport, and metaphorically speaking, my persona. (Truth be told, only upon reflection did I see this deeper meaning.) 🙂

To give some context: I think of “persona” as the amalgamation of the roles I inhabit in different parts of my life. It’s filled with conditioning and beliefs. It’s made up of stories that I’ve told myself about me, or that others have told me about me. It’s built upon my knowledge and experiences, my education in life.

I’m sharing all this here today because a good few years ago I realised that my version of ME (my persona) wasn’t my own. I woke up one day not recognising who I was. I felt disconnected from my own life. It felt like my soul had fallen silent.

Back then, on the surface, my life was a brilliant one. But, on looking under the proverbial hood, I saw many cables and connectors were loose, detached from the engine’s components. How could the vehicle that is my life run (anywhere!) unless everything was fully connected?

So, I made the decision to re-connect with myself. To figure out who I was at that time. Who I wanted to be, how I wanted to show up in life.

Fast-forward quite a few years…

As an extension of this exploration, I’ve reoriented my work to have soul-leadership be my focus, to guide people to rediscover their soul’s voice, and to help them align their inner and outer worlds (no need to choose one over the other). To help them create freedom and wholeness. Just as I did for myself. 

That isn’t to say that I’m all done. No. It’s a continuous journey. But now, my engine is connected and my vehicle is taking me to places that are meaningful to me.

I’ll close by circling back to identity.

…Not surprisingly, our everyday situations and circumstances give clear pointers to our identity, and how we identify ourselves.

If it’s been a while since you thought about the words and language you use to describe yourself, or you’ve recently felt a desire, nudge, or even a yearning to revisit how you describe today’s version of you, here are a few tips to get you started.

Ask a few of your closest and most trusted friends or connections to share:

  • Three characteristics that would describe you.
  • Your top three strengths.
  • Three words that would signify how you show up.
  • How you make them feel.
  • What’s your special sauce.
  • What colour and shape they would ascribe to you, if they were to describe you this way.

These are just examples; I’m sure this will spark alternative versions that are perfect for you. No matter which questions or characteristics you use, you’ll be surprised at what others see in you that you may not see in yourself. I did this a few years ago myself. At first it was terrifying, so I started with a small circle, then expanded it a bit the feedback took me by surprise. I found out that the way I described myself was seriously out of date. We would benefit from doing this exercise regularly as we change and evolve with every interaction. (Not leave it for 20 years like I did!) 

I’m happy to report that my passport was safely returned from the Home Office, and the application for settled status was approved. I’m no longer in no man’s land. I can travel again. And, in terms of the right to live and work in the UK…I’m prepped for Brexit. 🙂

..from my soul to yours,

Maria

If someone has forwarded this email to you and you’d like to receive your own copy in the future, let me know here.

*Fika for Your Soul* is about connecting with inspiration from everyday situations and conversations. It’s about discovery, reflection, leaning into, and stretching beyond…how we may see, understand, and express freedom, exploration, and leadership (among other things), all in the context of our daily lives.

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