Usually, when something as disrupting as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, or before that covid, my automatic is to take a step back, to retreat in my (over)thinking, my feelings, my experience, not knowing what to do, what to say, just observing. Then, when I have processed, I come back to the surface.
This post is me coming back to the surface and my intention is to bring it through the lens of sharing my thought process, with the hope that it may resonate one way or another with some of you, not through the lens of this is what to do.
When Russia invaded Ukraine and started a war, my first reaction was to question everything I was doing in my work as a coach, which is primarily to invite myself and my clients in a world of possibilities, to create the life they truly desire, the leadership that would have a bigger impact, the relationship that would fulfill them, and anything more than the status-quo. But suddenly, this became meaningless : what’s the point when a country is being destroyed next door?
Many questions were going (and are still going) on my mind: should I continue to post as usual, as if nothing is happening ? How come we are more concerned now than with what’s been happening elsewhere in the world for years (on this one, I guess the proximity makes sense, we get more affected when close (geographically, culturally, etc…) people are impacted than when more distant people are impacted, and there is probably the fear of being more directly impacted if we are honest), should I speak up, should I support, what’s the right thing to say, what’s the right thing to do ?
I started to consider the idea of accommodating refugees but although I felt the desire to do so, I noticed some resistance to make the final leap. It’s not a bog deal to just have people at your home right? But my automatics came into play, the fear of the unknown and of not being in control (how is it going to go, for how long, in which state will these people be, etc…).
I brought that to my coach to explore, without trying to fix, just to be able to distinguish and choose.
I distinguished that all these thoughts were inside a right / wrong context (is it right to speak-up and wrong not to, is it right or wrong to continue one’s life/business as usual? ) and an either / or context (either it’s right, either it’s wrong).
I noticed my usual overthinking pattern that is showing up everywhere, trying to imagine how everything can go, trying to manage and control, wanting to know how everything will go before deciding, etc… Nothing wrong with this pattern, it had me become successful in my life so far… and it is also getting in my way to grow to the next level, to bring more possibilities to life.
Reflecting on that, I felt drawn to move forward with accommodating refugees, I saw in this a breakthrough in trust and in relationships, stepping into the unknown. So I chose, not from guilt but from empowering what I was feeling, to just take action, and see from there, rather than spend more time trying to imagine and predict. My wife was already ready, so we signed-up and welcomed a mum and her 3 daughters into our home. Not because it is right and you are wrong if you don’t do it, just because it felt like the next step for me/us in this place, in this moment.
In the 2 weeks they have been with us, I (re)learned to communicate with a mix of gestures, mimes, tone of voice and google translate, with the sometimes awkward, sometimes funny moments of not understanding each other (only the teenage girls speak a little English). I witnessed my 3 boys being so graceful in this experience, being surprisingly at ease with this despite the fact that 2 of them let their room and the 3 of them are packed on some mattresses in the same room, playing ping-pong, doing magic tricks and sharing Instagram contact info 😊. Different from the usual brothers fights/arguments that were running most of their days. And I witnessed this brave family just moving forward however they can with what they have, not knowing how the future will unfold for them.
What I get from all this is to BE, BE WITH and BE IN ACTION.
BE in my essence, coming from compassion, curiosity and harmony, rather than fear, judgments, survival mechanism, right/wrong, etc…
BE WITH “BOTH AND” rather than “EITHER/OR”. BE WITH the sadness, anger, unfairness that come from that war AND the energy and momentum I am feeling in my life and business, the possibilities that still exist for me, my clients, and the world. Embracing the complexity of the world and its humanity, outside of Black or White. Like on the picture I took this week, the sun goes down leaving us at dark for a while AND in the meantime, the buds are about to blossom at the front.
BEING IN ACTION, aligned with who I am, who I want to be, not from judgment and guilt, but from possibilities and essence.
The Ukrainian family is likely to leave next week into a place they found to rent. How will I/we move forward from there, I don’t know. The same questions and thoughts will probably show-up again. And it’s OK.
SELF-AWARENESS and doing my own work is where I choose to start, trusting that with it the next step will unfold naturally, aligned with who I am and who I want to be in the world.
With Compassion and Faith,