As my glorious Australian summer break rapidly comes to a close, a rather deep question plagues me – ‘where exactly is home?’
During my first year living as an expat in Hong Kong I desperately wanted to feel like I belonged.
Everything was so foreign to me – from the crazy Cantonese language, the highly built up environment and the frantic pace of life.
Many people told me that it would take at least six months for me to feel settled and to accept that I wasn’t on some weird extended holiday in this dynamic city.
And pretty much, as the six-month mark rolled around I started to feel more connected to my new home.
There were a number of reasons in addition to ‘time’ that helped me feel more at home including:
- Friends – I made the concerted effort to push myself outside my comfort zone and connect with as many people as I could. As a result I have beautiful friendships with like-minded people, which I will treasure forever.
- Exploration – I made a vow that I was going to explore my new home and really get to know it and fully embrace it, which included solo day trips, hikes with friends, devouring the local food and constantly trying new things.
- Independence – as my first year abroad progressed I became fiercely independent. I realised that the only person I could count on was me and that I was in control of my beliefs, emotions and actions. I took it upon myself to create my own life (separate to my husband’s….but not completely separate!) and to back myself in everything that I do.
BUT the most profound reason as to why I started to feel more at home in Hong Kong was because I was doing the hard stuff – I was doing the INNER WORK.
Yes, I was making friends, going on adventures, travelling around solo, but I was taking the time to get to know ‘me’ better.
This may seem self-indulgent or a bit ‘woo-woo’ but taking the time to meditate everyday, reflect in my journal and work out what I truly wanted out of life, learning about the power of our chakras, investing in myself and working with a coach, listening to my heart rather than my head and following my intuition are just a few keys aspects of my inner work.
I discovered that doing the inside work helped me to become an ‘insider’ regardless of where I lived.
And the all-important answer to the burning question of ‘where the hell is home?’ became apparent.
Home isn’t just bricks and mortar, full to the brim with your worldly possessions – home is inside you.
Once you realise that YOU hold all the answers and that you have to do the work to uncover what you desire, that niggling thing that is bothering you, whether it’s a location, a job, or a relationship becomes irrelevant.
For me this quote from my friend Sally Claridge Teixeira sums up the importance of your inner home perfectly:
“Going within to the home of the soul, your inner castle awaits you to open the door to new gifts of being. Wherever your soul feels at rest and at peace, this is your physical home on this earth. Let your heart guide you home to you.”
You must remember that YOU have the power and the potential to create a magical home within, and when you do this transformational work, the joy and peace you feel on the inside will radiate outwards!
(I’ll be reminding myself of this all week as I prepare to get back into Hong Kong life and the next chapter that will unfold!)
So what are your thoughts? Does this make sense and can you see the benefits of stepping up and doing the inner work so you can create a magical home within?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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