How a well-planned project turns into an intuition guided adventure.
Two months in and France, Belgium, Ukraine, and Georgia have been ticked off the list. Going through such contrasting cultures in such a short period is a bit like zapping furiously through TV channels from your couch. Each programme piques your interest, but every flick of the remote promises something just as engrossing ahead. The worst of it is that you wish you could watch all of them simultaneously. That’s how it was for me!
I realised that while spending one or two weeks in every country brings so many experiences and tons of learning, it also means always being in "adaptation mode." And this actually goes much further than just adjusting to cultural settings, like for example, how to behave respectfully.
For me, it has now become the principal way of thinking, as opposed to "the control freak" that I was for the past several years. I could, for example, tell you precisely what would be my lunch and dinner on any day of the week and exactly when I will have time for reading or exercising. That was my way of life. In fact, it was the only sort of life that I knew.
But now, following my guts and being flexible is not just about getting the most out my encounters. It is the only way to survive and stay sane. ;)
If I were to strictly follow the plans set up way back in France, many exciting things might have passed under my nose undetected. I would have been more focused on following the program than enjoying these precious moments and... great surprises! I would have missed unplanned trips, many enriching conversations with strangers, authentic lifestyle experiences and much more. I am focused on the "here and now" at every moment. I enjoy curiously simple things like the smell of a tree, the taste of unfamiliar food, nice conversation and an unexpected smile from a stranger on the street.
One of biggest surprises lately was to find a partner in crime. By coincidence, I met the right person at the right time. I discovered an organisation that could support an initiative like mine. I had not envisaged such a scenario at the beginning :)
I was focused on finding space to set up a new Cherish & Share center, when I … (adding a word about how you found the organization seems, to me, a more natural completion of the thought) …..I had overlooked the fact that there might be organizations, in that small city, with which I could pair up to make a more significant impact. So instead of setting up the new center in France, I became a partner of Foresco. It’s pretty cool to know that we can help each other on this journey moving forward.
If this is the consequence of stopping to plan meticulously and letting things be, then I love it! My ears are perked up, my eyes scan incessantly for little details (just in case some of them serve useful one day ;) ), all my senses feel alive and I am thirsty for more of whatever comes my way :)