Traveling, changing and openness

When someone leans in to receive your story, to listen to your heart, they make room for richness and blessings. 

How often do we keep silent because there is nobody willing to slow down and look at us openly?

I am reminded lately of the power of vulnerability. The seeds planted over time, the people who inspired me, the books I’ve read, they surface now in spades. And I have a front row seat of their blessing. 

I know what I believe, but most importantly I know what I love, and I know (The One) Who loves me. 

Often times we forge ahead through the potential foolishness of transparency, but somehow it comes on the other side graceful and powerful. Not by our strength but by the grace of the One who fills us with His spirit. 

I’ve been invited to give a talk about management techniques to a team of managers. My heart skipped a beat at the memory of leadership inspiration, exposure and experience as a lead at Apple. No trade secrets. Just the personal stories of growth and development under the umbrella of intentional developments and, in a specific area, the tools of Lominger. The way I’ve been shaped by the 67 competencies and how I’ve forged my own way in implementing them in an open servant leadership style. 

Stories are powerful. I make a conscious effort to keep it simple, concise, transparent. Trying to be purposeful, gliding through details, guided by intuition.  And lately, being at ease with the details I miss, as they didn’t feel subconsciously relevant. I am learning to trust my gut while staying present, with all my senses awake. 


These thoughts emerged after I spent the evening with a foreign couple, talking about family dynamics, professional identity and the struggle of youth to establish oneself in the economy of the last decade, history, friendship, moving away and moving back to owns old country. 

When you go to a new place, there is excitement and novelty, new people and a genuine interest in your different background. 

When you move back, you look the same, but you have changed. You are bigger than your old life used to be, for better or worse, uncomfortable, painful even. 

The most painful part is the friction between the expectations of others to fall back in line, and your continuous struggle to reconcile your new found self with the expectations of your old life. 

In some cultures, I’d say there is even resentment about you having changed. And there is either pressure to come and apply all you have learned, change old mentalities, or if you are moving back to a prouder by nature community, to struggle to keep quiet and fit back in. 

I think I under appreciated the humility of teachable Romanians. I lost count how many times people have invited me to share my thoughts, my experience, or whatever I learned here or there, in a professional setting or a social context. 

I have often felt welcomed and when I invited people to follow, to join me, to listen, they did. I wonder if the introvert in me feels like I received more attention than I sought. One thing is certain. At the beginning of the summer, a friend and pastor we admire and love, said he could never be really effective is he had to prepare his own stage, He has always needed someone to lead the way, prepare the stage. I am so glad he shared that with us. It helps me sort though decisions regarding sharing my mind or mu heart, with confidence and clarity.