Half a year ago I really wasn’t doing good. I thought I was completely stuck in a system that didn’t make any sense - the Covid regulations at the kids school were absurd, my strong willed kid refused to comply with the expectations of mandatory schooling and showed us in every painful way possible that doing things that are in complete contradiction to your true self is absurd, I felt misunderstood, lonely and desperate trying „to make things work somehow“ in a system of requirements and regulations. Of course I also shamed myself with the „you should know better, you should be able to deal with this better“ self talk… And then my wife Joanna asked me the magical questions: „Joy, what would you actually like to be doing? Instead of ‚making things work‘, what would you rather do?“ I was hesitant to face it - because how could I dare to imagine beauty and ease, while I am stuck in a global pandemic? How could I dare to imagine change, when it was so hard to keep things together in the presumed safety of the last remaining routines? It is a self-protection mechanism, to block yourself of from your true feelings and desires, and it requires trust and a sense of security to allow yourself to listen to what you really want. Joanna offered me the trust that I was lacking in my anxiety. She managed to hold that space for both of us and I dared to admit that this is what I would rather be doing: I want to be in a warm and sunny place, I want to do things on my own terms, I want to feel safe, I want to have space and I want to homeschool the kids. Joanna was clear about this way before me and as soon as I was able to overcome the fear and join her in the clarity of this desire - we knew how to turn our thoughts into action. Two months later we left for Portugal and I can’t describe with words how excited and grateful I am about this turning point.
My current reality looks like this: We live in a rooftop penthouse apartment, with a huge terrace and a 220° view of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a 7 minute walk to the beach - not just any beach but Nazaré North Spot, the place of the worlds largest waves, with dramatic and beautiful costal lines. The town is not just incredibly picturesque, it is also empty. We can freely walk in the streets, nothing feels crammed, I feel safe and spacious. We homeschool our kids, I feel like they have learned more in the past months than in the past two years and I am so excited and grateful to accompany them in this learning journey. We found some great online classes for them to feel connected with the outside world and as a family we are getting along. We structure our days on our own terms.
We are still in a Pandemic. We are actually in full lockdown, with stores and restaurants and anything cultural being closed, we are not allowed to leave town. We wear masks anytime we leave the house. There are travel restrictions everywhere in Europe and friends can not come and visit.
Yet we move through this pandemic in the most beautiful spot I can imagine being in right now.
I don’t need to idealise things. I still have my ups and downs, I can still get anxious or feel stuck in the pandemic - yet when I take a walk outside and see where I am and how I am living my life - I also know this is an incredible moment in my life. All of my feelings are valid and welcomed.
The pandemic forced us as a family to become crystal clear again about what we want, what we are willing to put up with, where we are willing to make compromises and where we have an intense desire for self-determination and creating opportunities.
Living by the beach and homeschooling our kids didn’t just happen - we chose this. And while six months ago I thought this wasn’t possibly an option, Joanna reminded me it is.
My job is to coach people to live their individual version of a great life. I coach people to trust in themselves, to let go of the limiting believes that no longer serve them, to learn how to fully embrace their emotions and turn their ideas into actions. I don't pretend it is always easy, fluffy and anything is available at your fingertips. Yet I encourage you to allow yourself to imagine and admit what you truly want, even if you have no clue yet how that can be possible for you.
I know on a personal level that life will keep on presenting me and challenging opportunities for change and growth. I don’t have things all figured out and from time to time I also need someone to hold the space for me to trust and allow. I continuously practice being true to myself, I practice asking „how do I want to feel about this?“, I practice being brave and taking the steps to move in the direction that I want. And it wonderful to be able to pass this on to my clients and accompany them in their journey.
If you are interested in personal support - I offer coaching sessions over the phone and through video calls. You can learn more about coaching here on the website and you can directly book your introductory session.