Posts Tagged With: teaching overseas

Think BIGGER


Dear Self,

I get that your desire is to locate a second job for supplemental income. However, I need for you to think BIGGER. Maybe you’re not able to find the job you seek because it has yet to be created. Use this time to tap into your passion inorder to create a purposeful yet lucrative second income for yourself. Think bigger! Be bolder! And do NOT let money cloud your judgment. If you settle for less than you deserve, you’ll get even less than what you settled for. Hard was never easy and easy will never be hard. Hiya! So exercise your creative juices and believe that this to shall come. And so it freakin is! This is myTRUTHmyCLARITY. 

From,

Self 

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My Life in Abu Dhabi 


Please feel free to visit my other personal blog at Anthony’s Abu Dhabi Journey

This is a 2-year account of my teaching/living experience in Abu Dhabi.

Enjoy! :0)

Anthony’s Abu Dhabi Journey

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Home Sweet Home….and so it is!

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I’m in disbelief! Because home is five hours away and it feels so damn good. I completed my two year contract and man oh man……I prevailed. I don’t need to say much because my actions alone speak loudly. If you didn’t catch on….let me spell it out for you,

“Step outside of your comfort zone and let life lead the way. Furthermore, walk confidently into the direction of the unknown and serve. A person who serves is a person who is truly living life on purpose.”

I have completed my two year contract while living and teaching in a foreign country. Hell a Muslim country….located in the Middle East…..and I’m here to let you all know that I have received an abundance of blessings that have made me even better than I was upon my arrival on August 10, 2012.

The three BIGGEST EYE OPENERS I will take with me back to New York City are:

1. Serve….serve….serve! Are you seeking your purpose in life? Well? Serve…serve…serve… And it shall find you.

2. A person who is lonely no longer enjoys the company of him or herself. Get to know you……because if you don’t love yourself….then how in the hell you gonna love anybody else. And A….LONE….NESS….affords you the time needed to connect with your SOURCE. So get quiet and get alone.

3. Step outside of your comfort zone and be willing to grow. Growth affords you the opportunity to move with life. And life is always moving/changing…..be fluid…..and move with your purpose. The moment you step outside of your comfort zone is the moment you are truly LIVING on PURPOSE.

This is myTRUTHmyCLARITY.

And so the next chapter begins……NYC HERE I COME! Home sweet home….and so it is!

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SURRENDER on PURPOSE

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Surrender

What does this word truly mean? Well, I’m living it because I have NO choice. Although at times I feel uncomfortable beyond measure, I recognize that it’s just me EGO attempting to take control of the situation.

The situation? Well, I’m currently living and teaching overseas in the Middle East and my two-year contract is coming to a close. The school year is over, my accommodation has been emptied, and I’m waiting around in a hotel for my money! Lol.

It’s interesting because I have been eagerly waiting for this moment for about the last six months. However, these final days, and weeks have felt longer than the past six months. I’m currently going through the EXIT process. This consists of my company canceling my visa and paying a brotha the money he’s worked for.

Sounds easy enough right? Well, anybody who has lived in the middle eastern part of the world already knows how complex the simplest tasks are made out to be. I’d go into detail but that would mean I’d have to relive the last grueling four weeks of my life and my current emotional state is fragile. Lol.

Which brings me back to surrendering. So I’ve done all that I need to do and at this point I’m just waiting…..and waiting…and more waiting….and waiting. It has literally been torture on every level because I’m so ready to go home. I have a job waiting for me, a new apartment that needs to be moved into, and family/friends I need to receive love from. I need a hug so bad. I need my normal back. I need an emotional vacation. I need my mamas cooking. I need a good shoulder to cry on. Lol.

However…….I know……that……I……need…to…surrender! Otherwise, I’ll go crazy out here in this hot desert. ;0)

It’s funny because I’ll catch myself sitting around the hotel room in deep thought. I’m usually thinking about relocating back to New York City……..thinking about all the stuff I need to do and then suddenly I’ll get EXTREMELY anxious, sad, angry, or irritated. Ugh….it’s the worst. But I’m smart enough to know what’s happening inside my head. Emotions are simply thoughts in motion. Therefore, I’m trying to change the way I look at things….so that the things I look at change (Wayne Dyer). BUT that damn EGO of mine is always trying to take control. Lol.

I’ve had to accept that I have no control over this exit process. On top of that, RAMADAN will take effect on June 28. Folks who are living in this part of the world already know what that means! You got it….EVERYTHING slows down or is shut down. So with Ramadan fast approaching…..I truly have no choice but to surrender and maybe even participate in the fast. I think it’ll do me some good. :0)

This is myTRUTHmyCLARITY! Consider these thoughts organized…. :8)

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My GREATEST accomplishment while living overseas

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It’s still blows my mind anytime I say, “I’ve been living overseas for two years!” I can’t believe I’m actually living a small thought that danced around in my head back in February 2012. It’s now June 2014 and here I am. As you think, so shall you be.

I have accomplished so much upon my arrival here in Abu Dhabi. However, when ever I’m asked about my greatest accomplishment the first thing that comes to mind is completing the two year commitment. With just two week remaining, I stand tall with my head held high…..embracing my newfound confidence. I can do whatever I put my mind to and this I now know to be my TRUTH and my CLARITY.

Folks, I’m going to be honest with you. Living overseas ain’t all peaches and creme, the HIGHS can be really HIGH and the LOWS can be really LOW. Once the honey moon period passes and it hits you that this foreign space is now your home…..boy oh boy……the stages of culture shock are REAL my followers!

I’m so thankful for my job. The time spent with my students was one of the few moments I felt at home. As an educator, I am fortunate enough to have a platform (classroom) to do what I love which is inspiring youth to achieve their BIG dreams. Furthermore, providing them with the resources needed to experience SUCCESS so that they now know what it LOOKS like, FEELS like, and SOUNDS like. Once a child experiences success…I mean truly lives it in my classroom……..the world of infinite possibilities is in their hands….thereby motivating them to shoot for the stars!

My biggest challenge always began the moment I’d leave my job because I was stepping back into a strict Muslim culture. Initially, I was curious and immersed myself into the Arabic ways but after a year….I just got tired. Lol. Year two was much more challenging than year one. By year two things became clearer (as far as the cultural/religious ways) and they challenged my western ways beyond measure. I thought about going home at least once a day. Not because of any type of negative experience, I just missed my home…I missed my normalcy. I missed the luxury of blending in. My company gives us teachers many opportunities to resign but I had to finish what I started. I was AWARE of the idea that every obstacle posed an opportunity for emotional, physical and spiritual growth. Furthermore, this experience was exactly what I asked for. So often times, I simply invited my EGO to take it’s weak ass out of my head……..I (SPIRIT) was prepared to surrender to the experience and see this journey all the way to the end.

I still don’t know how I’ve managed to get through these past to years which is why I must attribute my greatest accomplishment to my SOURCE. I have discovered a new level of strength, patience, flexibility, tolerance, humility, gratitude, love and peace. I am a new man! More importantly, I have left my footprint within the sand dunes of the Middle East. Although I may never see the results of my hard work while serving here in Abu Dhabi, it is the JOURNEY that has been filled with life changing experiences and opportunities to SERVE…..and for that I am thankful. This is myTRUTHmyCLARITY….. Encouraging all of you to step outside of your comfort zone into the direction of the unknown…… Live on purpose!

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Sneaky EGO

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I often wonder how I can maintain peace of mind on a regular basis. I mean for the most part, while I am studying and/or doing the ‘work’ I am at peace. But I must admit that I have my moments where LIFE happens without notice.
In this current moment, I am not at peace. I recognize that my feelings are my thoughts in motion. I get that! But the reality is I feel… what I feel. And the thoughts that are running around in my head consist of the following; I want to go home. I miss my family. I miss my friends. I feel so alone. I’m sick of being in this hot ass desert. I’m very bored with living in this remote region.

Now because I know that these thoughts are negative, they speak to why I feel what I feel. As I think, so shall I be. But you know……I have come to accept that these feelings are valid because of what I am going through right now. Living Overseas is not easy. The highs are really high….and lows can be really low. On top of that, the anticipation of heading home in three weeks is unbearable.

However, when I am in a funk I recognize that I am not aligned with my SOURCE. And what’s interesting is how easily I fall out of alignment without even knowing. It usually comes to light when I start feeling like crap and my first thought is how the heck did I let my mind get into this negative space.

I love the quote I posted above by Lao Tzu because it reminds me to be grateful for what IS. It reminds me to be present because it’s the only moment I’m ever going to have. This moment right now! That is all. Furthermore, I actually okay right now in this moment. This justifies the idea that there really is nothing lacking right now and I need to accept that as my truth and my clarity. Sooooo….I tell myself to STOP IT! Stop entertaining the negative thoughts. ;o)

Wayne Dyer often says, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” I believe this to be true but I must also acknowledge my human ways….well EGO driven habits. I am a spiritual being trying to master these human thoughts and it is no easy task my friends. However, through gratitude….I shall overcome this funky moment!

-I am thankful for having a home and a job to go back to in the USA.
-I am thankful for the unconditional love and support I receive from my friends and family.
-I am thankful for this time I have to spend WITH myself. It has allowed me to fine tune my relationship with the ONE ABOVE.
-I am thankful for this remote experience in the hot desert because it affords me the opportunity to explore new interest/hobbies.

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Overcoming Anxiety

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It’s June and I go home in three weeks. I have been living and teaching in a foreign country for just about two years. There have been many days where I have pondered this very moment. I miss my family and friends beyond words. I miss normalcy. I miss home. I just want to go home. Sigh….

Although I am grateful for this experience, my patience, flexibility and tolerance is reaching empty. When one exists is a foreign space that goes way beyond their comfort zone they become vulnerable. It’s been a very difficult few weeks because the anticipation of going home is so close…….yet…….so…….far……a.w.a.y!

I have enough knowledge to know that my EGO is taking over. As I Edge God Out (EGO) I feel even more lost. I have been doing my affirmations, and attempting to meditate. However, meditation has always been a challenge. I still catch myself thinking about not thinking. Lol. And then I’m thinking about not thinking about what to think about. It’s a mess! Thank goodness for YouTube! I’ve been doing better with guided meditations. Don’t mind me……..and my human ways.

I’ve been doing my best to manage my anxiety in healthy ways. I’m spending more time in the gym, learning from my spiritual teachers, writing, eating healthy foods, and embracing each present moment. However, I ain’t gonna lie…….sometimes a nice glass of wine takes the edge off! Ok maybe two glasses.

I know this to be true: There’s much to take away from this experience. However, the lessons may not be revealed right now. It may not make any sense, until I’ve walked away from the experience. And that’s okay. :8)

I must stay connected to my source because then all things are possible. My anxiety is real and I must sit with it……be with it…..allow myself to feel it…….surrender to it……and then let it go.

Dear EGO: I give you permission to get off this ride. You do not meet the height requirements. I (awareness) stand tall enough for the both of us. Your services are no longer needed. Oh….and do me a favor…..stay in your lane. This is myTRUHmyCLARITY!

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Crossroads!?!!? :0/

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Ways to determine which path to take in life:

1. Life is all about expanding into our zones of discomfort. It is only when one steps into unfamiliar territory will they really begin to EVOLVE mentally, physically and spiritually. To grow is to live on purpose.

2. Leaders embody the COURAGE needed to not only walk the unconventional path but EXPLORE and CONQUER unchartered territory.

3. Change your FEAR into CURIOSITY ………!

4. Ask the following question, “How may I SERVE?” Now recognize which path aligns with your purpose. To serve is to live on purpose.

5. Be still, be quiet, and listen to the SILENCE. Embedded in the silence is the voice of your source. Listen closely……your internal GPS system has been configured to speak to your best interest. Trust it!

6. Remember this: as you ponder the future, life is happening all around you. All you simply have is this moment. Be present, live your life right NOW and allow your source to lead the dance! Close your eyes and feel the PULL of life.

7. Be GRATEFUL! Recognize each opportunity (path) as a blessing and walk confidently into the direction of the unknown. :0)

As one door closes in July and another one opens in August, I catch myself sometimes pondering about what’s next to come. My EGO just loves pushing life out of the driver’s seat and taking control. Thankfully, I’ve become more aware of when this happens and recognize that I am still a work in progress. However, life has never let me down. These moments of weakness require me to ‘WALK my TALK’ and trust in my SOURCE.

I affirm the above statements to be my TRUTH my CLARITY and so it is! Now consider these thoughts organized!

 

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Embracing the UNKNOWN

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What is this feeling of uncertainty that continues to come and go. I find myself contemplating my future knowing that my life is already mapped out for me. All I need to do is simply enjoy the ride. Yet, I still ponder the future.

Lately, I’ve been trying to decide whether or not I want to continue my journey overseas. The alternative is to go back to the states. There are a number of reasons I want to stay overseas and many reasons why I’d like to go home. However, I want to focus my attention on the bigger influences.

Remaining overseas continues to be an option because I recognize I’m doing something most people only dream about. They fear taking that first step and ultimately miss out on their opportunity. I’ve taken that first step and overcame the fear by turning it into curiosity. I’m here now and life is pretty simple without the hassle of bills and quite exciting now that I have the resources to travel the world……literally. I’m able to save a little money and I’m continuously being exposed to something new which makes me feel so alive. Additionally, I’m doing what I love and impacting the global community. I’m so grateful and truly humbled by this entire experience.

Returning home brings about a comfort, safety and peace of mind because there’s a familiarity that exists. Additionally, I’d be surrounded by my closest friends and family. The distance is the biggest challenge I face since I’ve moved overseas. There’s an “alone ness” that shows face at the most random moments. However, I’ve also recognized how much I needed this time WITH myself….it truly has brought me closer to my SOURCE. Going home feels easy, predictable, safe and quite honestly it lacks any real genuine excitement. Don’t get me wrong….reconnecting with the people I love most will clearly be worth it but I wonder where my head will be after the reunions. Will those old feelings I felt prior to moving overseas return after a few months? Will I fall back into debt? Will I feel like I cut my overseas experience to short? Sigh……….and this is a perfect example of…..MIND CHATTER!

I read somewhere that when you don’t know what to do…..just be STILL and LISTEN. It’s interesting because I’ve ALWAYS taken the road less traveled. Hell, I’m infamous for going off the path and creating my own lane. It’s always been the reaction of friends and family that let me know that I’m aligned with my PURPOSE. So when people don’t understand my choices, or question the why, or wrinkle their forehead out of curiosity and confusion……THAT’S when I know I’m aligned with doing what feels right. Because what feels right to me has always been difficult for many people to understand.

I know exactly what I want to do….but I continuously am battling with my EGO. It’s telling me to go home, settle down, work on my retirement, develop a routine, and save money for a rainy day. Be close to family and friends and acquire success by moving up the ladder of hierarchy that has been instituted across the spectrum of all fields. Why? Because EGOs recognize happiness as being connected to what you HAVE, what you DO, and how you LOOK (ECT….)……in COMPARISON to the people around you.

I love my country despise the systems of norms that are in place but if one deviates from these systems they simply will get ‘left behind’. Often referred to as the rat race…..working extra hard just to keep your head above the water. The rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Paying taxes, expensive healthcare, debts, bills, and the constant reminder of what you don’t have. It’s a lifestyle I have no desire of returning to right now.

Then why do I battle with the decision of returning home or staying overseas? Well…like I said I will focus on the big influences. When you have nobody to share your greatest moments with, living overseas can be a very LONELY life. I’m thankful for each and every moment I’ve experienced overseas but when I look to my left and then my right and no one is there…(that I love)…it can be a very difficult moment to truly embrace.

However, I’m killing my curiosity and living out my dreams. I could leave this earth tomorrow and truly rest in PEACE because I am so grateful. I truly believe we are put on this earth to evolve and serve. I continuously ask myself…..how can you be better than you were on yesterday? And are you passionate about the service you are doing right NOW? And my answer is YES!……

Love and happiness come as a result of you doing what you were put on earth to do. And I think it’s important to recognize that love and happiness comes in many forms. A person just needs to be open to receiving it……..so SELF do yourself a favor and continue to just let life lead this dance. Follow your heart fearlessly because ultimately you know you are going to be okay. You were put on this earth to do a service. More importantly upon your departure your legacy will live on. Your legacy will continue to be one that speaks to people changing their fears into curiosity and living out their greatest dreams.

Consider these thoughts organized….now LET…..THEM…..GO!

 

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International Teaching Advice

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I have been teaching and living in a foreign country for just about two years and the end of my contract is near. Therefore, I feel compelled to give future international teachers some much-needed advice. Where do I begin? Where do I end? There’s so much I can reflect on as a ‘veteran teacher’ in a middle eastern country. Yeap, that’s right! Lol. You are considered a veteran teacher if you made it through a year of teaching and return to do additional years. You become the ‘go to’ person for many of the new teachers. I believe they have hired over 500 additional teachers……probably more than that for the upcoming school year! Naturally, these teachers have many questions and seek veteran teachers via Facebook.

 

I figured I’d post a few of the most popular questions I have received from teachers who are planning to relocate overseas and teach in The Middle East.

 

1) Do you have any regrets?

– Absolutely not! This experience has afforded me opportunities I never would have experienced had I not taken this leap of faith. I have grown on so many levels; spiritually, emotionally, physically, intellectually, professionally. More importantly, I now view the world through a global lens. This shift (in how I view the world) has motivated me to continue living and serving on purpose.

 

2) What was your biggest challenge?

– I had two really big challenges that I had to deal with on a daily basis. The first challenge was surrendering to the culture of this country. Culture shock is very real and there are stages you will go through over a period of time. Get familiar with these stages so that you are prepared to respond appropriately to the roller-coaster of emotions. Over time you will gain a better understanding of the cultural norms and how things work, but you must be patient with the process and simply let go and surrender to the way things are!

 

The second challenge was my biggest challenge. The challenge of being so far away from everything and everyone that I know and love. I genuinely missed my family and friends to death. As a result, I have and still experience a whole new type of loneliness. But I’m grateful for it because it has forced me to really appreciate the company of myself. This new and enriching relationship I have with myself has afforded me a newfound spiritual connection with my source. I needed this time alone to really get to know me and the one above. Point to ponder: They say a person begins to feel lonely when they no longer enjoy the company of themselves. Ways I dealt with this challenge included Facebook, Skype, Magic Jack, Voxer, and Text Now which all kept me in constant communication with everyone. Additionally, I made an effort to create new friendships. However, be VERY careful about who you surround yourself with. It’ll make or break your experience. Needless to say, it helps to chat and hang out with people who can relate to what you are feeling. Also, I have come to realize that our thoughts are just thoughts. And when you are feeling a particularly way it is simply a thought in motion. If you change the way you think, you change the way you feel. I have found a few ways to dismiss the negative thoughts. However, sometimes I simply allow for them to just pass. It takes a lot of practice, but after 2 years I’m managing my negative thoughts a lot better than I used to in the past. Lastly, I constantly remind myself that I am serving for a purpose greater than myself. I am living a dream that is dreamt by many. I tell myself to be in the moment and embrace it……why? Because this too shall pass…so live on purpose!

 

3) What is your best advice for an incoming teacher?

– Expect nothing and everything all at once. Lol. It doesn’t make sense right? Lol. Welcome to life overseas! A person who can keep an open mind and exercise infinite patience, flexibility, and tolerance will be able to embrace the foreign experience.

 

4) What’s your most memorable moment over this past year?

A) My mom taking her first trip overseas to visit my new normal.
B) When the plane landed in this foreign country, it symbolized the start of my journey.
C) The first day I met my students and they looked at me like I had five heads.
D) Being able to afford trips to places like Sri Lanka, Paris, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Qatar, ect….
E) The first payday. No taxes taken out of my check! Incredible!
F) The day I met Abdullah (Emirate) and he introduced me to his family.
G) The day I walked into my free two bedroom, 2 bathroom villa.
H) The day I realized I was making an impact globally.
I) The moment when I realized how blessed I am to be an American.
J) Immersing myself in the many cultural activities in the this foreign country.

There are so many memorable moments! I could go on forever but I think you get the picture. :0)

 

5) What was your teaching experience like?

– I felt like a first year teacher all over again. Why? Because my students didn’t understand much of what I was saying. I had never taught English as a second language and was shocked that the school didn’t provide me with an Arabic translator. I had to exercise humility and be willing to ask for ideas, strategies and resources. A teacher who is truly reflective and open to stepping outside of their comfort zone will exhibit success in the classroom. Point to ponder: your number one priority is to find some way to develop a relationship with your students. Without that, you will fail. You do whatever it takes to win the kids over and then keep doing it! Trust me, it’s the only reason I had a successful 2 years in the classroom. The kids liked and respected me as their teacher and friend. More importantly, they knew I cared.
6) Do you think I’m making the right choice by going to a middle eastern country? I’m so scared!

-Relax! Your feelings are normal. We all were feeling what you’re feeling and it’s okay. You’re making a big move in your life so naturally you will begin to experience every possible emotion. I will leave you with this thought; they say a person doesn’t truly start living on purpose until they begin stepping outside of their comfort zone. The choice is ultimately yours and I invite you to change your fears into curiosity. Only then will you afford yourself life changing experiences.

This is myTRUTHmyClarity…. ;8)

Categories: Life Lesson, School Teacher | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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