Transitions aren’t for sissies.
Yours truly, founder and president of SeeChange since 2000, took the plunge into the waters of my own change back in August 2010 and joined the Peace Corps. Recruited to serve as a sustainability specialist for SEMARNAT (the Mexican EPA), I had a chance to put my SeeChange collaboration tools (and my Spanish) to the test in a completely different environment.
From the *marble halls* of Washington to the *ejido halls* of rural Mexico and back again, it was the experience and education of a lifetime.
Now home in DC, I’m navigating the waters of change once again. The Peace Corps Office of Returning Volunteers says RE-integration is often more challenging that arriving in and adapting to your host country. They are right - it’s not easy being a stranger in your own hometown.
AND transitions are always tough: it’s the mushy middle ground between emotional endings and bright new beginnings. We want to leave the sadness of the ending behind and get on with life.
Even a seasoned *change agent* must resist the temptation. Because Transitions are fertile ground for cultivating ideas - embracing and applying all you learned to the next chapter.
So I’ve been taking my time to re-integrate, re-orient, re-establish myself in Washington, and observe my Self in the process.
Instead of diving right in to the new next thing - scrambling for clients, attending career fairs, blasting out resumes, reconnecting with everyone in my contacts database - I’ve been trying to take it slow, apply some of my Mexico lessons on patience and persistence to my renewed life here, allowing the time and space for a *mindful transition.*
Checkout my blog at http://annes-eye.blogspot.com/ for a series of posts on Making Mindful Transitions, including:
Anne is writing a book!
In the space of the Transition, magical things can happen. With some sincere reflection, patience and persistence, and a little help from a skillful coach (thanks, Leslie!), the next thing arrives on your doorstep life a gift.
For me it’s my book, Sustainability & the Human Element - Lessons from the Field, the Boardroom and Within. (Note that this is the 'working title'; the real one will emerge organically as the writing progresses.)
I joined the Peace Corps in mid-career, with years of business and life experience under my belt and a backpack full of organization development tools and methodologies ready to be applied. I was eager to have an impact. As it turns out, I had a lot to learn from the people - those who face, on a daily basis, the realities of climate change - drought, deforestation, erosion, and contamination - those most dependent on the land for their survival.
So I kept a daily journal. It was a ritual. At the end of a long day in the fields with the women of Zamachihue, or an evening of English practice with my Rioverde class, or a Saturday workshop on sustainability at the Universidad Polytechnic, I always took time to write. Putting words to the page, musing about an accomplishment, working through a problem when there was no one to talk to or process with… frankly, it was a survival strategy.
After two-and-a-half years on the ground, serving rural and indigenous communities of Central Mexico, I have a story to tell.
Kickstarter book campaign launching.
Mexico taught me many things. One difficult lesson was this: Put in the effort and let go of the result.
Like the women of Zamachihue tending to their trees, unsure of the outcome of our Viva Viveros cooperative nursery project.
I’m putting the effort into write this book, unsure exactly what it will look like when it’s finished, and unclear who might buy it. That’s the creative process.
But one thing is clear: I will complete this book and publish it. And I will do so by the middle of next year.
The book’s fully outlined and already half-written.
And I’m in the process of launching a Kickstarter campaign to complete my project and self-publish my book.
I’ve taken the traditional publishing road before. It’s full of isolation, frustration, lots of waiting… and rejection.
This time, with Kickstarter, I’m making it collaborative, reaching out and involving supporters in the creative process - those who will pledge to the campaign and get tangible rewards in return - thus keeping me accountable to my goal.
In fact, with one of the campaign rewards, backers can be part of the real-time creative process by receiving and reviewing monthly chapter installments!
Find out more and get involved by visiting my Kickstarter site.