#33 Weeks Pregnant in Palestine
I blew it.
I meant to record a video of when we passed through the Israeli checkpoint into Palestine. I really meant to do it.
But the problem was that I had a brand new camera and hit the wrong RED button.
By the time I could get it to record we had whizzed through the checkpoint without stopping or even as much of a glimpse from the Israeli Soldiers, and were officially in Palestine.
Here we all were: a #33 week pregnant American, a German-Brit and an Israeli-Arab, driving through the rolling mountains and villages of Palestine, listening to a mix of Justin Bieber and 80s music.
For the next week, me and my rather large belly worked on a corporate engagement with over 100+ employees, led 7 stakeholder groups, had 1:1 interviews with their top GMs and held a final presentation for Bashar Masri, the Founder of Rawabi City (which is the first planned city in Palestine in the last 1,400 years).
It was an intense and rewarding week. We were exploring new terrain in human development, training, conflict resolution and change management in one of the most recognized conflict zones in the world.
Our goal was to identify the gaps and needs in human resources (the challenges, skills-gaps, management needs, cultural challenges, systems/structures breakdowns) in order to improve the group's productivity and increase the performance and satisfaction of it's employees.
I worked 10-12 hour days coaching and facilitating groups of people who were so similar to me, yet so vastly diverse -- and I remember looking out from the Penthouse Suite of the city before our final presentation thinking -- how did I even get here?
How can someone like me be doing this work? Do I have 'guts' for traveling to Palestine pregnant? Is there an invisible hand over me?
To anyone on the outside, the whole project looked surreal. And maybe it was.
But all I know is that "I got here" because I followed my inner compass.
I've followed my own compass for many years now and in business, whether it's running a business of one or Bashar building a city in Palestine -- there's a necessity to listen to our own compass over the voices of others.
Of course, it's remarkably easy to not follow the inner compass and get drowned out by other people's opinions. Or to read the news. Or to believe things that have been passed down for generations.
As Jean Jacques Rousseau write in the First and Second Discourses, "always asking others who we are, and never daring to question ourselves on the subject."
It can be easy to believe the fears and opinions of others: especially if we're touching on a taboo such as being pregnant, traveling and working long hours.
But for me, I know who I am and I'm more than ever connected to my purpose. I choose to limit who's opinion and advice really matters. I quiet my mind and I let my inner compass do the guiding.
And you should try the same as well.
Remember, Your wisdom is ALWAYS within you, not outside of you.
I'm curious about you...
What choices and actions are calling you right now? What do you need to say YES to in your life? What choices are you making based on other people's opinions?? What's your dream?
We've got one life to live. Go after it Ignore other people's beliefs. Make your own. And choose wisely so that more of your choices take you on a journey to the Holy Land.
Lots of love.