By the time you witness a volcano spewing lava on the outside, it likely rumbled for weeks, months, maybe even years on the inside. Sure, it looks like business as usual to the average passerby — a peaceful mountain doing mountain things. However, there’s so much going on within, deep behind the scenes.
Same with sizzling popcorn kernels, eggs hatching life, or that cocooning caterpillar I frequently reference. The colossal changes first happen internally — quietly and unseen. Then, eventually, the external transformation catches up, and KA-BOOM!
Are you ready for the next big thing? I’ve teased about it in the last few podcasts; starting now and throughout the rest of January, I’ll tell you everything. With scaredcitement, I welcome you to a new three-part series where I disclose a business evolution that’s been brewing for months.
It’s simply too much to explain in one swoop, so this week, I’ll reveal the “why.” Plus, I’ll tie in timely advice into each episode. Because I know that many of you are also experiencing transitions and setting fresh goals during this popular phase of annual change.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- Fearing the impact of change
- Beware of the promise of microwavable results
- From an accidental leader to an intentional one
- Doubling down on values & centering on equity
- Sympathy for the impatient
Listen to the Full Episode
Featured on the Show:
Yep, it’s true. I’ve launched two BRAND-SPANKING-NEW ways you can work with me in 2022, but spots are limited and expected to fill up fast. I’m making this super easy, so just tell me right here if you want to learn more about the 90-Minute Power Session, VIP Day, or both!
- Sundae’s Website
- Sundae’s Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Expats on Purpose
- Trudi LeBron
- Year of Transformation
- Wisdom Fusion
Catch These Podcasts / Articles:
- EP181: Linking Arms with Naomi Hattaway
- EP158: Growth Zone Goodness
- EP240: Learn or Grow?
- EP210: Rethink Resolutions
- EP206: A Value-Led Life
We’re delighted by our nomination to the global Top 25 Expat Podcasts!
Full Episode Transcript:
Hello. It is 7:00 am in New York, 2:00 pm in Johannesburg, and 7:00 pm in Bangkok. Welcome to the Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com. I am a solution-orientated coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations. I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition.
I jokingly warn couples and say, they should always pay attention when one partner changes their hair. Why? Because that person is getting him or herself to have their outside match their inside. So if you don’t already know what’s been going on on the inside, watch out because here it comes. Changes are on their way and those changes have already been in place for a while. I see this all the time when I work with people and transformation. I know there have been internal changes happening and suddenly you’ll start seeing it happen on the outside. Even had this guy come in, one of my favorite clients, he started dressing differently, wearing cologne, like spiking his hair up. Something was going on on the inside and all of a sudden you saw it happen on the outside, right?
It’s like we’ve got the outside, it has to catch up with the changes that have been happening inside of you. And if you are the partner with the person who has the new do, you might be thinking, “Hey, I liked your hair the way it was before. You were fine before.” Or you might be thinking, “What does that mean? Are you unhappy? Are you unhappy with your life? Are you unhappy with me?” Right? It’s like we have this resistance to change. It makes us nervous because we don’t know what it means. And that cliché of people are resistant to change. The only constant is change. All of that. But there’s another way to look at it.
One of my former bosses from my days in corporate said to me, “It isn’t the change that people fear. It’s the impact of change.” He gave the example, if he added ten thousand dollars to my bank account, would I be worried about that change? No, I would look forward to the impact. If your partner told you that you were moving, it would be the impact that was on your mind.
So this episode is one of three where I am going to give you some insight into an evolution that has been happening behind the scenes for me in my business, with the hope that it will shed light on changes, maybe that you’re currently feeling tugged by. And I also want to help you look forward to what is ahead because you’re going to see some things on the surface that are changing by the end of January, like the equivalent of a new hairstyle. So some of those things that will manifest in that way will be an unveiling of an updated website. I’m so excited! That will be happening by the end of January, already in advance thanks to my team who’s working tirelessly behind the scenes to make that happen. A change of the name of the podcast is going to be revealed on the podcast’s 5th birthday. And a name change for my Facebook community. Right? There’ll also be one or two new ways you’re going to discover that you can work with me in 2022.
So my heart is beating with excitement just thinking about that. I’m curious, when you hear about those new haircut styles, the new unveiling of the name changes, whether it’s like, “Okay, no big deal,” or if it makes you go, “Well, what’s going on?” Notice your response to that. What is your default response to change with things that you feel comfortable with? Are you so excited because you’re bored of things that stay the same and want more? or are you like, “Whoa, hold the brakes. I don’t know. I kind of like it the way it is.”
Rest assured, from the perspective of working with me, of the podcast, being in my communities and being my client, the bits that have made the biggest and best impact on my listeners and my clients are going to show up even more. So in terms of loss, that is going to be the opposite, you’re going to get more of that. So all that will be revealed in the coming weeks, really, really excited. But it’s important for me to pause for a moment and share the context of some of these changes. And I hope that it actually inspires you as you seek that resonation between your internal shifts and your external life, right? That resonance.
So think about it for you, is there something going on Inside? Are you noticing a shift? What on the outside are you yearning to change when you’re honest with yourself, is actually about a shift that’s happening on the inside? Is there something? Did you do something over the holidays like declutter your space, change your hair, throw out some clothes, buy something new? Did you change what you were reading? What you were listening to? Change, maybe your makeup, or want to spend time with different people? What is going on? What is changing externally for you? And what does that mean about the internal shifts?
Okay. I’ll share with you about what sparked my shift and this shift has been going on for a while. I have to say this evolution has been in the works for at least a year and a half, two years. Right? So I am one of those people that listens to the nudges that are happening inside but I allow them time to build and shift and move until I’m ready to take action, until I’m ready to match the inside to the outside and then pragmatically, especially with my business, those things take time to come into into the world.
All right, so I will share more in some upcoming episodes about how transformations get triggered in very specific ways. But for me, I’ll just for now share that my own shift has been layered. So, if you are familiar with my podcast and anything I’ve done, you know that values are really important to me, and I hope I’ve been transparent with my values. They are growth, connection, and playfulness.
So, if you’ve never heard me state my values before I hope when I say them, you’re like, “Duh,” because I wouldn’t be in the personal development space if growth wasn’t a value of mine. Connection, you know me about loving the crap out of my people, that is tied deeply to connection. And playfulness is just kind of part of who I am, and it makes growth lighter. Growth is often, they call them, “Growing Pains.” So when you are growing, not just learning but growing, I find that playfulness is really important in the process to keep the lightness and keep moving forward and to pause for a moment and not take ourselves so seriously. So if you want to do more work on values, I’m going to make sure that we put some of our most popular episodes on values in the show notes because this is the perfect time to be doing that at the beginning of the year, is a great time to relook at your values and see, if your values are in alignment with your goals and your actions. So I’ll make sure that we post those in the show notes for you, right?
So here’s what happened with me: I don’t know. It’s been and if you’ve been following me for years, you know this but it’s been building. I have been, I’m really clear in my values of growth, connection and playfulness, but I’ve been feeling nudged that I wasn’t living one of my core values, right? You might have heard me say that I have a social justice heart. I was the type of person when I was in high school. I started the recycling committee, and we recycled at school. I adopted a whale. I wrote about environmental racism in 1995 in the University of North Dakota where not a lot of people around me were talking about that. I’ve always had that, but there’s always been this side of having a social justice heart isn’t the same thing as actually taking action, right?
I think it’s kind of like I got away with that because I was already progressive among my community members. I was already the one who is the edgiest and most outspoken, but time changed and my communities expanded and my own growth and learning has expanded and there was this misalignment in, “Am I really showing up in a way that isn’t line with my values?” So I’ve been working on centering equity in my practices.
This is a journey that has been a long one and I knew that I wanted to bring that alignment of my values, goals and actions more closely together. And obviously this is the topic like equity, it’s not one that I wanted to tackle on my own and knew it was best expert-led and in community. And about a year and a half ago, I started working with Trudi LeBron in a group program. And then I started working with her more intensely one-to-one.
And so, just a shout out to Trudi for her wisdom, insight, and brilliance in supporting me on that journey. There was a lot that I learned and hopefully that will come out in many, many ways. But one very pragmatic change, you might have noticed, is a real transparent articulation and integration of my values in the community assumptions, whether it’s a free community or paid community to make my values transparent and establish a shared rules of engagement among the community.
I also had another aha moment when I was doing a podcast with Naomi Hattaway about Linking Arms and we can put that in the show notes as well. And in the podcast, you even hear it. I had this moment where I realized that I didn’t see myself as a community leader. I just saw myself as having a community, if that makes any sense. And it was kind of like, “Hey, doors are open,” like when you have an open house, you’re like, “Hey, got pizza and beer, come on in.” But she really helped me take the shift of, “Did I open the doors and set the table in the way that the people that came through the door knew I created this space with them in mind.” And she helped me see how I wasn’t being as intentional as a leader. I was like a leader by accident. Like, “Hey, here’s my megaphone. If anybody wants to hang out and listen, go ahead,” rather than intentionally looking at how I want to invite people into community and then helped shape the culture of that community.
Huge, huge learning. I actually just have chills up my arms as I’m talking about it. So, these are things, I don’t know if you know, have been happening behind the scenes. I’m making them transparent now, and they’re very much tied to this idea of our values and are we living them? Right? There are values that we espouse that we say we value and there are ones that we actually live. And thankfully to leaders who are ahead of me in this journey, I’ve been able to go deeper from that perspective. And I know I have a long way to go, but I’m grateful for being alongside some amazing, amazing individuals every step of the way.
So those were some of the huge teaching moments for me in some things that are very pragmatic that I have implemented, but they all started from looking at my values. Just looking at a word on a page and having that honest conversation with myself, “Am I living this? Am I living this?” And, my background, my education is in Intercultural communication and the academic background that I have, it’s very tied to power and identity and history and context. So, equity is actually the center of my studies. And to realize that I discovered there was a gap in what I believe and how I’m embedding that in my practices was an aha moment for me. And that I just want to share with you transparently, because maybe you’ll look at your values and you’ll realize there’s something that in your heart you value. Maybe in your heart, one of my clients says she values honesty, but she realized she wasn’t being honest with herself, right? And the more she betrayed herself from the truth, the more that rippled to other people in her life.
So if you do the work on your values and you discover something like my client did or like I did. And you’re you don’t know what to do with that and you might even feel shame because you’re like, “Wait a minute. That is something I value. Why am I not living it?” I just want to say, deep breath, that’s normal. And now, you know what they say, “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago and the second best time is now.” Okay. Now, you know that is a value, you are not living as deeply as you want to but it starts today, right? It starts today.
So that’s just sort of something I want to leave you with. In terms of that discovery process, your word, your value might be very different but it is inevitable because we’re all human and we’re all just fumbling through this life together. There’s going to be something you really value or you want to value but aren’t living, right? And that’s the moment to just dive in. What a beautiful moment to dive in and to say, “Hey now, I have a chance to play here and to grow here and to create more connection with myself and others around this.”
So there’s a taste there behind the scenes. I would love to hear from you. So please, if you’re listening to this and you get this podcast through my newsletter and you just hit reply and email me and tell me if you’ve had a similar moment like that, or let me know on social media when I post about this episode. I really want to hear from you. I’m curious.
There are so many other moments in the last year or two doing this deep work that were teaching moments for me. And one that I’m so grateful for is by learning from other people in other ways, I finally understood in my body at it embodied understanding of what integration means in lived practice. I remember in one of the group programs I did, I was feeling impatient. I wanted to read the next chapter and do the work and pass the test. It’s a metaphor here, but do it. I wanted to go fast, and I was telling myself the story, I’m not learning enough or I’m not doing enough, and I had to trust my guide. I had to trust the leader of this community and I realized that it was the cellular level of change. One molecule would change, one proton would change. And through that process. I understood something with my whole body in a way that was beyond just cognitive.
So that has been massive. And I’ve taken that with me, as I work with my clients, inviting my own clients and their own practice of integrating their learning and giving them self permission to do that and trust that this will make sense in deeper ways when you make space for it. So that’s been really, really beautiful. I have this sort of aversion anytime I see something online where people talk about instant results and quick, easy, fast changes. I’m like, “Really? Really? You’re going to reverse decades of cultural and familial patterns, quick and easy? Really? Go ahead. I do not believe you.” Growth is a deep integrated process. I always say to my clients from Year of Transformation, this isn’t the year of tweak, we’re not making small– we make tweaks in our lives, but the year is about deeply changing things for you so that they don’t spring back to the old way. So this is something that we want fast answers and we want quick changes. And I also know there’s deep, deep value in lived, embodied learning and integration, and I’m so grateful to have been on the receiving end of that.
So when I asked you In my community, or as a client to trust me, it’s because I’ve tested it myself, because I know it with my whole body, and I also used to be on the other side of impatient, so I get it. All right, so that’s another little bit behind the scenes. So as I went deeper in this journey, looking at my values, my goals, and my practices and asking if everything was an alignment, I had to close the gaps. And I was so grateful to be able to do that. So I was left with two questions.
Who has to be in my community, in my communities so everyone benefits? Who has to be in my community so everyone benefits? And that means in alignment with my values of connection and of growth, and of playfulness. And I did a lot of thinking about that on my leading the community, building in a way that everyone benefits. And I found another layer of that answer when I did Wisdom Fusion in summer of 2021, if you haven’t listened to my podcasts about intergenerational learning or you haven’t seen the Wisdom Fusion Town Hall. Check it out on my website under Wisdom Fusion.
I know this is an Intercultural list, I know that when people come together with equal intention of shared power, and have a shared project and bring diverse lived experiences, that absolute deep growth and connection is possible. And I got to see that happen in Wisdom Fusion, where we had 1000 Years represented from women, who were aged 20 to mid 70s from almost every continent on the planet. Hailing from big cities like in Lagos to small town middle America, right? That was a gorgeous experience and I got to witness in my body, in front of my eyes, what happens when I bring that level of diversity and range of experience in the community together, everybody has extended growth and connection. So it helped answer that question and help me think about, what kinds of communities do I want to build in the future so everyone benefits?
And that led to my second question of, who am I creating community and my business for? Who am I creating community for? Who am I creating my business for? And those are big questions. So if I pull back and I want to make this about you, I want you to think about, for you, similar questions. Who has to be in community with you so everyone benefits? Which spaces are you in? Is everybody benefiting? How can you show up in a space so others benefit? Which spaces do you want to be in so that you benefit, right? Are you in some communities that they’re the ones benefiting and you’re the ones giving with nothing in return? Are you in communities where people are looking to take and not give? Are you in communities where courageous conversations are happening and people are learning or is it spaces of polarization? Ask yourself that same question, who can you be in community with where everyone benefits? Who doesn’t want to be in that kind of space?
What are you creating and for whom? What are you creating and for whom? Whether that is in your family, in your work and your art and your business? What are you creating and for whom? And make sure that it ties back to your values or maybe not yet. Maybe that’s a step too far too fast. Maybe just check, are those answers in alignment with your values?
So those are some big questions I ask myself. These are all going on behind the scenes for me in 2021 and in 2020, and now I’m sharing more of that with you now in 2022. And I have had the pleasure of working with Trudi LeBron and she has this saying about, “You must be exclusive to prioritize inclusion.” And I’m like, what does that mean, “You must be exclusive to prioritize inclusion,” and she says, “Creating inclusive space requires you to be selective and intentional about the community that you create so it remains healthy, safe, and achieves the goals that its members are seeking.” Achieves the goals its members are seeking. And that really made me think, am I centering or creating a community in the safest way possible for everyone. And is it focused on the goals that the members are seeking and I realized that, who has always been at the top of my messaging around expats, Expat Happy Hour, Expats on Purpose. So the community that I had in focus was “the who,” expats. And because of our goals, how do we adapt as quickly as possible? How do we maintain connection? How do we expedite their success? How do we enjoy the experience? Right? And that was Sundae 2016 who formulated those goals and named “the who.”
And then what happened along the way is that didn’t change but I started focusing more on “the why?” For “the who,” right? So “the why?” was like about finding more purpose and meaning. This is about loving the crap out of your people. This is about fast-tracking your business or your coaching or whatever you’re doing. This about transformation. So I realized my why was getting bigger and prioritized over even “the who” and so people were writing to me and calling me and saying, “Sundae, I listen to your podcast even though I’m not an expat. I just want to say how valuable it is.” Or they would write to me and say, “Hey, I’d really love to work with you but I’m not an expat. Do you work with people who aren’t expats?” And I realized that on the outside, the outside was really so much about “the who”, but inside, and when you got in my communities, you figured this out, was about “the why?” It’s about “the why?” I’m doing this. It’s about finding your purpose and meaning about loving the crap out of your people.
And from a business perspective, I was actually pushing people away who were living Olympic-level lives like many, many, many expats do, many people who live rotational lives, many, many bicultural people, we’re living Olympic-level lives. I was pushing away people who were in massive transitions like us, but maybe just a different flavor of them and they were truly committed to growth. But the only little detail is they didn’t live abroad. And I thought, “Wow,” somewhere along the way “the why?” had much more precedents over “the who” and I needed to realign the inside to the outside and what really connects us. And I mean you who are listening. What I know in my heart, what connects us, I don’t care about where you live or if you ever leave your geographic location. I know what connects us is we have transition in our lives and we have a desire for purpose and transformation. I will put my hand in the fire for that. That is what we are about.
And, you know, if you’ve been listening to my podcast, that’s what I’ve been focusing on, right? You can see that in my Manifesto where I look about making you a priority, taking the leading role of your life, about making time for first class self-care like that regardless of your rotational status. That’s about being human, someone who is committed to growth and to connection. And just make a little time for play, while they go through whatever transition, or whatever transformation is coming from the inside or the outside, right?
So that was something I kept thinking about and I kept thinking about how I’ve been leading with expat, expat life and how at times it felt like it was just limited to one layer of my identity, one layer of your identity. And even the word expat, we know it resonates with some, for others, it’s tolerated and by others it’s wholeheartedly and for good reason, rejected. So again, it was like, “What am I doing on the outside that’s pushing maybe people that are made to be in community together away?” And what can we do to go deeper in our community for people who want to go in even further. So I know with my whole body, I’ve just wanted to center on a deeper “who” and “the why” while not losing focus on those very issues that unite us, those of us who are living outside of our passport cultures, who are making global rotational changes. All of those things and deeper.
So I go back to the words from Trudi LeBron, “Creating inclusive space requires you to be selective and intentional about the community you create so that it remains healthy, safe and achieves the goals that it’s members are seeking.” So I want you to know, I’ve been working on creating community in which growth, connection and playfulness are centered. Not necessarily, yes, we talked about geographic transitions, but maybe more about other transitions and geographic transitions. That meaty juicy stuff where purpose is centered, where transformation is centered and where us getting what we want in alignment with our values is centered. And a community, which welcomes and feels at home, being in a diverse and equitable space.
So all of that being said gives you a little heads up to some changes that are coming, changes that you’ll see on the surface, but what’s going on deeper. And more important than that, I want you to think about how this applies to you. How are you really living your values? Can you name them? And do these values account for your recent growth? Are these like your 2016 values or do they really match the 2022 version of you? When you look at how you spend your time, your money and your energy, do you see alignment or departure from your values?
And then I invite you to go further and ask what has to be centered or decentered to live your values? What has to be excluded or what, or who needs to be included? And in the spirit of Simon Sinek, “What is your why?”
These are really big questions. So, you just heard them, I encourage you to pause and rewind or go to my website and grab the PDF or scroll through the transcript, print it out and journal on these things, right? Because this will change the trajectory of 2022 for you. And if you don’t have clarity on these or, you know you want someone by your side, I’m here for you. Carve some time out to answer these because again, it will set the tone on how you spend your time, your money and your energy. And if you want me there with you, go ahead and contact me. Go to my contact page, email me or contact me on my social media, because I’ve got very few VIP spots open just for this in January 2022 and maybe one of them has your name on it.
There’s two ways in which we can work together in a brand new way. And that’s in a 90-minute power session or a VIP day, which is split between two half-days so you have time to reflect in between and really go for it. So if you’re interested, let me know and I’ll send you the details.
Whoo, I feel like I’ve shared so much with you, but this is really what’s been happening behind the scenes. I want you to know what’s going on behind the scenes and to understand what you see on the outside that’s changing is actually a reflection of what’s been changing on the inside all along. But I still don’t want to spoil the surprises and the new things I have in store for you. So I’ve had to keep a few things behind but there’s more ahead. I look forward to sharing more behind the scenes on the next two episodes with you. And I just want to say thank you for being on this journey with me.
All right, everyone. You’ve been listening to Expat Happy Hour with Sundae Bean. Thank you for listening. I’m going to leave you with this delicious anonymous quote, “You are being presented with two choices, evolve or repeat.”
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