Engage in thought provoking discussions with Dr. Paulette Bethel around issues of identity, transition, cultural fusion and repatriation to the place we call “home.”
Enjoy this guest post from one of my favorite bloggers, Christine Kane:
One of the fun assignments in my Uplevel Your Life Mastery Program is what I call "Mental Dress Up."
Then, she remembered Mental Dress Up.
Instead of getting nervous and reacting to her dog's bad behavior, she focused on how calm she felt and how much she loved her dog. She also played Mental Dress Up on Bruno, feeling that he was always very loving and peaceful around other dogs.
It worked! Bruno was fine. He followed her energy, and they both headed home without incident. To Isabella, this was a nice little miracle.
At this same time, Isabella was beginning a new business. She had experienced a whole range of emotions from enthusiasm to fear to excitement to disappointment during the process. At one point, she met with her accountant. The accountant was skeptical, issuing warnings to Isabella about the numbers and telling her the reasons why the business wouldn't work.
During our coaching call, she shared these stories - about the triumph with her dog, and about the discouragement from her accountant. She wanted to know how to deal with her emotions after this deflating meeting.
Here's what I told her:
I said, "Your accountant is your dog."
People follow your energy. It doesn't matter if they are mentors, accountants, lawyers, audience members, listeners, friends, or customers. People follow your energy, just like dogs. You always have a choice to step up and lead them. Just like Cesar Millan has been telling dog owners for years. And just like Bruno showed Isabella in that one situation.
I told her that the success of her business would always be up to her. I told her that every business owner, artist or entrepreneur experiences bad news, good news, depression, loss, gain and insecurity. The decision to quit, fail, or succeed is always hers.
In that moment, her accountant might have sensed her fear and found all the negative stuff he could muster up to dissuade her. He became her dog and followed her energy.
You don't have to be a Jedi master to tap into someone's emotional state of being. You just have to be human. Had Isabella been feeling confident, most likely the accountant would have presented his views in a different light.
Ultimately, during our coaching call, I told Isabella this:
"The Universe is your dog."
Everything and everyone follows the energy and emotional state you bring to it. Decide that you can do something, and the Universe follows that decision. Choose to radiate love and wisdom, and the Universe follows that radiance. This is not always an easy place to go. But it almost always teaches us about our own power to create or transform any situation.
Performer, songwriter, and www.christinekane.com.publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at
I hope that you are enjoying the TCK Academy Expert Interview Teleseminar Series, so far. It has been my absolute pleasure to pick the brains of some of the leading TCK/CCK experts and exciting new upcomers on a variety of topics to learn more about successfully navigating the internationally mobile lifestyle, as TCAs, ATCKs/ACCKs, teachers, parents, and counselors. As you read the feedback and testimonials you will begin to see the benefits of attending these interviews. More importantly, you will know that being there with us is time well spent!
For example, Lori , a teacher in Tokyo praises, saying “worth waking up for at 5 AM!” The best part about attending these TCK Academy Teleseminars is that you not only actually get to hear our guests talk about their passions regarding this field and the work that they do to support this global community, you get to ask them your questions, discuss concerns and share stories - “Thank you so very much for making the surreal, real!"
…. And, if you have been on the calls or listened to the MP3 recordings, then you know that I have attempted to ask thought provoking questions, so that everyone can learn from these experts, and be able to take action with the answers that all the experts have provided. I believe that he questions that have been asked by our listeners clearly show the value and quality of these interviews.
In this "Free" series, we have covered (will cover) topics, such as:
· How maneuver the parenting of TCKs and other global nomads to in an on-demand world
· The power of finding language to describe and better articulate your nomadic experiences to those that do not understand
· Secrets of attracting and finding relationships that work with your TCKness
· Learning about the grief and trauma associated with this lifestyle and discovering that you are not alone in your grief
· The stages of grief and what can be done at each stage for your wellbeing and growth
· Keys to releasing the past and embracing “the here and now”
· “Barrier Beliefs” to mastery over the challenges of being a TCK/CCK: Do you have any?
· Developing an understanding of how to best cope and find comfort in these experiences.
· Generating ideas and support for establishing a plan to move forward from these losses
· Celebrating the richness of the TCK experiences even as we name and offer language for understanding the challenges.
· How sharing stories of our sadness and loss, can benefit others and lessen our own pain.
My partner Brice Royer and I are excited about the opportunity to provide this programming through our founding of the TCK Academy. We have a lot in the planning stages and look forward to future offerings. If you have not already done so, please consider this my personal invitation to join us for this ongoing summer series. If you have participated in one or more of this series already, we would love to have you join us again!!
You will hear (and be able to ask questions) from experts, such as:
Ruth Van Reken – Highly sought TCK consultant, and author of Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds and Letters Never Sent
Robin Pascoe – The Expat Expert and author of Homeward Bound and the Moveable Marriage.
Donna Musil – Army Brat/ATCK, writer, director and producer of Brats: Our Journey Home
Tom Query is the Executive Director of the Foothills Counseling Center in northern Georgia, and a highly skilled licensed professional counselor/psychotherapist. His expertise includes and grief and loss issues, relationships, and individuation. Tom served as one of the Rescue Mental Health Professionals with the Red Cross in New York Oct/Nov 2001, working with survivors and families of this tragic event.
Nancy Ruth – ATCK and Senior Global Coordinator and Facilitator of Cultural Awareness International
Kellie Pullin and Terry Kinnard – the Emergent Coach™ and the creators of the Path to Choice Teleseminar
Barbara F. Schaetti, Ph.D. is Principal Consultant of Transition Dynamics, a faculty member of the Intercultural Communication Institute and is a founding partner of Personal Leadership Seminars (PLSeminars).
… and others ( more details soon).
This week, I am honored to bring Margie Ulsh, editor of Among Worlds Magazine: Encouraging and Empowering Adult Third Culture Kids (ATCKs) for our Expert Series Interviews. Not only is Margie humorous and fun-loving, she will leave you with a footprint of thoughtful and soul provoking ideas.
I hope to see you there!!
Please join me for the next interview in my ongoing series of the TCK Academy teleconferences. I will be interviewing Donna Musil, Army Brat/ATCK, writer, director and producer of Brats: Our Journey Home. Some of you may recall a previous post where I talked about this film
I am really excited about this teleconference interview. I had some time to meet with Donna in person this week while in Denver on business. What a blast!! Especially since she introduced me to a great restaurant that served the most wonderful Creole/Cajun cuisine!!! Actually, I am thinking about making Donna my newest BFF, especially if she can find one or two more restaurants that remind me of my "home culture" and its distinctive food!! The one thing that I took away from my meeting with Donna was that she is clearly passionate and knowledgeable about the needs of global nomads, TCKs and brats from all sectors, cultures and backgrounds. You don’t have to be a military brat to find your story in Brats: Our Journey Home. Donna’s work offers a universal message of belonging, coming to understanding and acceptance of the gifts and challenges of living a global nomad lifestyle.
I am really excited about this teleconference interview. I had some time to meet with Donna in person this week while in Denver on business. What a blast!! Especially since she introduced me to a great restaurant that served the most wonderful Creole/Cajun cuisine!!! Actually, I am thinking about making Donna my newest BFF, especially if she can find one or two more restaurants that remind me of my "home culture" and its distinctive food!!
The one thing that I took away from my meeting with Donna was that she is clearly passionate and knowledgeable about the needs of global nomads, TCKs and brats from all sectors, cultures and backgrounds. You don’t have to be a military brat to find your story in Brats: Our Journey Home. Donna’s work offers a universal message of belonging, coming to understanding and acceptance of the gifts and challenges of living a global nomad lifestyle.
To get the full story click here:
Donna was raised an Army brat and has lived and worked in Germany, Korea, Ireland, Copenhagen, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, and Paris. As a child, she moved 12 times in 16 years. Her father was a JAG officer and military judge. When she was 16, her father died, and two weeks later, her family moved to Columbus, Georgia, where she finished high school.
For the next 20 years, Donna moved 19 times, graduated college, and worked in a variety of jobs, but always felt “different” from her fellow Americans. In 1997, she learned that she was not alone. While surfing the Internet, Donna discovered a Web site for her Taegu, Korea high school. A few weeks later, she attended an impromptu reunion in Washington, DC. It was revelatory. For the first time, Donna felt like she “belonged” somewhere, and thus began her journey “home.
According to Musil, “It’s really about reconnecting and finding a home…. Finding a home not in a place but with a group of people.”
During our conversation, Donna will discuss the making of her seven-year passion, Brats: Our Journey Home, finding that place of belonging, being comfortable with who you are in the mix of paradoxes, the positive and the challenging legacies that “third culture kids” experience around the globe, and how BRATs/TCKs can develop an ability to “fully employ your strengths and have compassion for your weaknesses."
Join me on Tuesday, June 24 for my teleconference interview with Robin Pascoe on raising Third Culture Kids, author of A Moveable Marriage: Relocate Your Marriage Without Breaking It, Raising Global Nomads: Parenting Abroad in an On-Demand World and others.
Join me on Tuesday, June 24 for my teleconference interview with Robin Pascoe on raising Third Culture Kids, author of A Moveable Marriage: Relocate Your Marriage Without Breaking It, Raising Global Nomads: Parenting Abroad in an On-Demand World and others.
In this interview, sponsored by The TCK Academy, you will learn how to:
About Robin Pascoe
Robin’s reputation as a funny, engaging and inspirational speaker was earned as a former diplomatic spouse (in postings to Bangkok, Taipei, Beijing and Seoul); raising two third culture kids, and by traveling globally for more than a decade from her home base in Vancouver, Canada. Robin has now spoken in over twenty-five countries, invited by corporate groups from Shanghai to Johannesburg to educate business about the needs of the expatriate family. Robin has become the go-to expert for corporations interested in understanding the needs of expats and their families and making recommendations for family-friendly relocation policies. Traveling spouses, international school communities, global mobility and Human Resource practitioners, and relocation specialists worldwide applaud her pragmatic but sensitive approach to the joys and challenges of families and global relocation. She is deeply committed to helping families make the most of the sometimes challenging privilege of living, working, and raising a family abroad.
Robin’s profession as a journalist makes her ideally suited to reporting on the trends in expatriate experience. She writes regularly for expatriate newspapers, magazines and web sites and has been interviewed by numerous international publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Working Mother Magazine, Utne Reader, CNN, and others.
Robin’s reputation as a funny, engaging and inspirational speaker was earned as a former diplomatic spouse (in postings to Bangkok, Taipei, Beijing and Seoul); raising two third culture kids, and by traveling globally for more than a decade from her home base in Vancouver, Canada. Robin has now spoken in over twenty-five countries, invited by corporate groups from Shanghai to Johannesburg to educate business about the needs of the expatriate family. Robin has become the go-to expert for corporations interested in understanding the needs of expats and their families and making recommendations for family-friendly relocation policies.
Traveling spouses, international school communities, global mobility and Human Resource practitioners, and relocation specialists worldwide applaud her pragmatic but sensitive approach to the joys and challenges of families and global relocation. She is deeply committed to helping families make the most of the sometimes challenging privilege of living, working, and raising a family abroad.
Sign up here to join my TCK Academy's interview with Robin Pascoe.
Date and Time:
Tuesday June 24, 2008. Time: 1:00 PM (Pacific) / 4:00 PM (Eastern) / 9:00PM (London, England) / 5:00 AM (Tokyo, Japan). Click here for the Time Converter.
Ever feel like you want to learn more about this Third Culture way of life? Or, do you long to be around others who have experienced and/or understand what it means to be an internationally mobile, global nomad? So let me ask … If you really could find a place where these questions and more are answered in just 3 days, would you be interested?
What if I told you that such a place exists … a place where you could go to soak up valuable information, gain professional insights and experience ah-ha moments that would leave you thinking about what happened long beyond? And… in the process, you would walk away feeling as though you had participated in a life changing experience that has significantly improved the quality of your personal and professional life?
Well, I may have the perfect solution for these yearnings …. because, this is exactly what happened to me several years ago, when I encountered my first the Families in Global Transition Conference. I haven’t looked back since!
FIGT is the premier “grass roots, think tank” conference for those involved in an internationally mobile lifestyle, and offers something for just about everyone -- TCAs, TCKs, parents, educators, military family services, school counselors, marriage and family therapists, cross-cultural coaches, corporate, missions, relocation specialists and more. Besides the many benefits that can be derived from attending this conference, FIGT provides a great opportunity to meet a pretty amazing group of like-minded people who understand the struggles and successes of expatriate families and individuals and are deeply interested in promoting and growing understanding.
This year, I will be there as one of the conference speakers, and I am excited about having the opportunity to speak about third culture lifestyle topics that are near and dear to my heart. While in attendance, I definitely plan to soak up as much knowledge as I can from many internationally known experts that will be presenting cutting edge research and thinking during this 3 day conference, and I am looking forward to quality time spent engaged in Espirit DeCorps and “knowing” camaraderie. As with my experiences, if you decide to attend, you may discover that many of the people that you will meet at this conference may become life-long friends.
At any rate, the conference is March 6-8 at the Omni Houston Hotel, and also includes pre-conference workshops. I have included the contents of the FIGT Press Release for your information:
10th Anniversary ‘Families in Global Transition’ International Conference
March 6 -8, Omni Houston Hotel
HOUSTON, TX, January 16, 2008 – It’s not always easy being a family expatriated by a corporate relocation, a military transfer, a missionary assignment, a diplomatic move or an overseas educational opportunity. In fact – more often than not – it’s a huge challenge for parents and children alike which requires support from many fronts.
That’s the topic of the 10th Annual Families in Global Transition International Conference at Houston’s Omni Hotel, March 6-8. The conference theme is: Supporting the Family: Accomplishing the Assignment.
The conference is a grass-roots “think tank” for internationally mobile families. “Expatriate families and their needs are often overlooked. This is the only conference in the world that brings together representatives of the corporate, military, missionary, diplomatic and educational sectors,” said Joyce Blake, executive of the nonprofit organization that sponsors it.
Blake said this will be the third year the conference has met in Houston because of the overwhelming number of families moved around the world by oil and gas companies whose corporate headquarters are in the city. “There is a need for expatriate support wherever families relocate, but the need is particularly striking in Houston,” she said.
Human resources personnel, relocation experts, educators and counselors attend to discuss the challenges and benefits of living abroad and returning home. FIGT is proud to announce that the outstanding 2008 program is again recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) / Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) as an excellent resource and opportunity to earn from 6.5 to 12.5 credits for your PHR, SPHR, GPHR professional certification!
Five pre-conference, skill-building workshops are offered, which include:
• “Welcome Aboard YOUR Cultural Transition Journey: A Family Resiliency-Building Program
• Navigation Tools for Successful Expatriate Transitions
• Could You be an Expat Entrepreneur?
• International Marriage Mentoring: 12 Conversations
• Wise as Doves and Innocent as Serpents: Promoting Organizational Health in International settings
Concurrent sessions focus on:
• Third Culture Kids (TCK’s)
• Family and organizational transitions
• Repatriation, HR, ROI and educational transition
• Cross-sector best practices
• Concerns of expatriate teenagers and spouses
Space is limited for the 3-hour, pre-conference workshops. Visit www.figt.org to register and learn more about the sessions and presenters. Early Bird discounts available through January 31, 2008. For information about conference fees, registration and schedules, visit www.figt.org or call +1.317.888.9678.
This past week, I unexpectedly met 3 ATCKs -- two over dinner and one in a doctor’s office. The two young ladies, whom I met over dinner, and whom did not know one another prior to this evening. I could not help but notice how the two of them began to click as they increased their conversation, each sharing that they had difficulties with having people understand them, their interests or their world views. On the surface, they appeared to come from totally disparate walks of life, yet on some core level, there they were, having an intimate conversation about interests and getting together to “hang out.”
As the evening moved along, I discovered through conversation that they were both TCKs – a term wholly unfamiliar to them. As I explained the term, they leaned forward, as if I was speaking language that they had yearned to speak, but did not know existed.
The other young lady from the doctor’s office became extremely excited as she recognized that I had seemed to connect with what she was sharing with her coworkers about her lived experiences. I must admit, they seemed to be drawing blanks as she spoke. She turned towards me to continue her conversation, once she detected that I seemed to possess some understanding of the intricacies of her world and that of her TCK children. I cannot begin to describe the smile that went across her face, as I shared with her that there was now language for her experiences and resources available to support her and her children.
Is it that my skills at detecting who might be TCKs are improving, or is the TCK population growing?
Over the past few years, Ruth Van Reken and I have been working on a concept that we call hidden diversity. I would like to invite my readers to check out a blog that Ruth and I have started to provide a forum to discuss thoughts and ideas about this concept.
Ruth highlights in her January 4, 2008 post, as those who have grown up ourselves, raised our children, and lived our professional and personal lives among many different cross-cultural worlds both in the US and internationally, and we believe this discussion is so vital to describing and finding language for the "new normals" a cross-cultural lifestyle creates for so many in today's globalizing world. For example, I have discovered while traveling the globe to speak on issues related to Third Culture Kids (TCKs) that many in my audience will come up and say "I relate completely to the profile you describe for TCKs, but I never grew up the way my [child, student, employee] is (or did). Am I allowed to apply some of these things to my own life?"
If you would like to read more about our thoughts on this concept, please visit, Hidden Diversity in a Globalizing World.
Also, while shamelessly plugging my "HIdden Diversity"" blog, I would also encourage you to check out A Home for Third Culture Kids. I recently discovered this popular blog, was created by a young TCK. It is loaded with lots of information and discussions about being a TCK/CCK. Check it out -- http://www.tckid.com.
In the bookThe Culture Code: An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Buy and Live the Way that They Do, cultural anthropologist, Dr. Clotaire Rapaille describes is process for decoding the most powerful symbols within a culture to better understand why we do the things we do. He believes that this “code” represents a silent system of archetypes that we unconsciously acquire as we grow up within our culture. According to Rapaille, these codes vary around the world and invisibly shape how we behave in our personal lives; as consumers, and as nations.
The first time that I became aware of Dr. Rapaille and his work was while watching him on a PBS FRONTLINE special, where he discussed how he became involved in this work and his discovery that there is a different imprint for different cultures and that that the code for each culture was different. Accordingly, Rapaille asserts that this imprinting has to take place in early in childhood in order to create the mental connections.
For example, he described how the smell of “coffee” can evoke visualizations and memories of “coffee" upon waking in the morning. As an example of cultural imprinting, Rapialle cites a story from about 30 years ago, when the US tried launched a campaign to get the Japanese to switch from drinking tea to coffee. Rapaille stated that “when you know that there's a very strong imprint of tea in Japan -- it's almost a religious dimension there -- you cannot really have a strategy to get them switch from tea to coffee.”
My immediate thought was, “It make sense to me,” because the mere mention of coffee during this program almost instantaneously led to childhood memories of waking up to robust aroma of drip roast coffee and chicory in my home. Especially memorable is the scent of coffee at the home of my maternal grandmother, as well as remembering wonderful little demitasse cups of café au lait that both of my great grandmothers “dotingly” allowed me to drink when visiting them at their houses.
To this day, I still love the being awakened by the scent of coffee. Even more so, I love discovering wonderful coffee blends from around the world. I have been known to brew a fresh pot of coffee as a comfort food and pull the covers over my head to cocoon on a rainy day or after a particularly stressful week. For my kids, who spent their formative years in Asia, I might be their reaction to the smell of rice being cooked in our home.
After years of living in Asia and Turkey, I have grown very fond of drinking tea, but I do not recall any strong messages or memories being evoked at the mere smell of tea being brewed.
This started me wondering about TCKs, cultures codes and their cultural imprinting given their trans-cultural upbringing, especially for those whom have lived in several countries during their formative years. After all, Rapaille asserts that the imprinting of the culture code has to take place in our childhoods while the reptilian brain is still forming.
I posed this question to Ruth Van Reken, and she responded with “That's a good question. There must be something there because why is it we feel so at home at during our ‘reunion of strangers’… what is the connection? I've talked about it in terms of what we share in the [TCK lived] experience that then makes us connect because of what it does for us a persons in the emotional part of us… but maybe through this discussion, you can put a better name on it?"
Is there a dominant “culture code” or reference system that influences the ways in which TCKs do things in their personal and professional lives? Or, perhaps, is it a confluence of culture codes and imprinting? Are there culture codes that are specific to the TCK/ATCK experiences? Is a key culture code for TCKs airplanes? Moving Boxes? Smells? Sounds? Can a set of culture codes for TCKs be named, and if so, can they be used to help others better understand TCKs and the unique complexities that are part fo the everyday fabric of their lives?
So I ask: Can you identify any specific culture codes that might be universal to the TCK experience, and if so, what can they reveal about this shared experience that seems to so inexplicably connect TCKs from all backgrounds and walks of life?