I recently got back from another training weekend in Singapore. When people heard that I lived in Brunei Darussalam, in the Borneo jungle, this is the reaction I got:
“It’s so boring”
“What do you do with yourself there?”
“There’s nothing to do over there.”
“I couldn’t live there.”
“I went there once, but I didn’t know what to do with myself.”
My response: “I found myself in Brunei”.
Living in Brunei has two of the biggest gifts anyone could use in life – time and space. I used to be the big city girl, the person who was always busy being busy, always complaining about lack of time, lack of quality of life, lack of quality time with my family and loved ones…I was the big career woman, the “fake” super mum, pretending that I could do anything and everything at once, whilst deep inside I was always wondering what living a rich and satisfying life would feel like.
And then we moved to Brunei, and I was forced very quickly to adapt to a whole new way of living, a new rhythm, a whole new culture and a new environment. The fact that I was 4 weeks short of giving birth to my second child didn’t help either!
I transitioned from utter shock onto a phase of reflection and adventure, one that forced me to look at myself from the inside out, to question my beliefs, my passions, my ideas about living life….and that’s when everything changed.
Having time and space allowed me to discover my passions and purpose in life. I knew I wanted to help others and I wanted to make a difference in this world, I just didn’t know how. Then I found coaching and everything just clicked. Having the advantage of time and space, I embarked into a full career change and I invested in the assistance of a coach to challenge and guide me through my big transformation.
Not only did I find my purpose, but I allowed myself to pursue other passions I never thought I would enjoy, like hiking in the jungle, long distance running, nutrition, health and wellness, yoga, natural living, learning about the environment and how to make a difference at home… it is just too many to list!
Now, the way I spend my time is very different. I don’t need to be constantly stimulated and entertained by external influences. I have come to enjoy the simple things in life, like a good walk in nature, watching my kids play outside in the garden, reading a good book, learning about subjects that I am passionate about, taking time to exercise, eat well, sleep and relax, and practise those things that I never had time for before, taking time to reflect about things that really matter and investing the time to transform into who I am meant to become and enjoying the journey.
I may not have as many shows, activities, games, parties, produce, shops or facilities as I did before, but what I have now I wouldn’t change it for the world. Not having to have an active external life has given me the opportunity to look inside and find myself. It is not better or worse, it is just different, and I believe in making the best of every opportunity a great one, and my glass is almost always half full (although that rarely used to be the case).
And if you would like to start filling your glass up, so to speak, then stop looking for answers outside, and start finding answers within you, as you have all the answers inside yourself, and have been there all along, waiting to be discovered.
So get comfortable with being uncomfortable in your own skin. We are so used to living in the outside world that we’re out of touch with ourselves. Set time to “do nothing”. If you do, the environment and external factors in which you operate will have very little bearing on you, as knowing yourself from the inside out will assist you in always making the best out of life, wherever you are.
If you continue to heavily rely on external stimulus and outside influences to fill your day, you won’t know how to spend time with yourself, enjoying the simple and beautiful things that life has to offer.
Nowadays I enjoy my own company, and I love investing time in learning about myself, spending quality time with my family and friends, and having the time to finally take care of myself.
And I’ll tell you a secret, now that I have found myself, I know I am in good company. I found my best friend, the person who believes that I can reach for the stars if I truly want to, the person who never judges me, no matter what I say or do. I have found a type of love I only ever thought was possible towards my husband and children, but I’ve come to understand that the more love I have for myself, the more love I am able to share with others.
One of the best things you could do today is to invest some time figuring out who you really are, through coaching like I did or any other way that allows you to find that time and space to discover your true self. It will be one of the most well spent exercises you’ll ever make. Because you deserve to have a rich and fulfilling life, so don’t settle for any less than that!
Oh… and no need to say most of the people that I met at the Singapore training are planning to come to Borneo in the near future.
So is your glass half full or half empty? In other words, are you spending your time engaged in negative or positive thinking?
How are you spending your time?
Are you wishing for things you don’t currently have? Or are you seizing every opportunity that comes your way?
How could you shift your perspective from focusing on what you don’t have, to learning to enjoy what you have plenty of?
I am so grateful to be living in a peaceful country, enjoying serenity and surrounded by nature… a rare gift in today’s complex times!
What are you grateful for?
Isabel Valle ACC ACTP
Global Coach, mentor and facilitator
Founder of Global Room
“Coaching for Leadership, for Growth, for Success”
Ph: +673 897 8825