Connections and Contradictions

If you have been following our posts on Facebook, you know this year’s Expansion Experience in Morocco has been amazing, enlightening, beautiful, thought-provoking…and so much more.

It’s why I’m so insistent on taking my clients traveling.

There’s a fundamental shift of perspective when you immerse yourself in another culture.

Of course there are differences, and they’re important to notice and understand.

But when you delve beyond the differences something wonderful happens.

We begin to experience others as the same.

Differences become less pronounced and matter less, the more we connect.

Connection

While touring Bhalil village, a 1600 year old village that includes over 500 caves, 100 of which are still occupied as family residences, we were invited to join an impromptu morning tea party.

The entire extended family’s women were gathered around a table laden with snacks and tea, surrounded by babies, toddlers and elementary aged kids running around at their feet.

They were catching up, hanging out, gossiping, nursing etc.

(Sarah and I were invited in WITHOUT the men because of the nursing.)

We joined in, just as we both have so many times at home with groups of friends when our kids were young.

We managed to get to know one another with absolutely no common language other than a few words here and there.

Ten of them, two of us…

And we could have been anywhere at any time…

Mothers gathered together.

We joked about the men, our children, the food (so yummy), sex (believe it or not) and a variety of other topics that mothers chat about the world over.

So much the same!

The differences were in our clothes, the kinds of food, the language, but the similarities were much greater (once we stopped to experience them).

One of the highlights for sure!

Contradiction

It’s amazing how much the landscape here in Morocco looks like California and Mexico.

Yet, everything else is so different: women in birkas, donkeys laden with groaning wares, minarets and fantastical geometric design.

This is contradiction on a grand scale.

Sarah put this so eloquently by saying:

“For me, it was a mix of the familiar and the unknown. The landscape looks like parts of central/southern California and we drove by apple, peach and olive orchards, but the clothing and the many languages swirling around me were all completely foreign. At first, I wondered if we would be welcomed or shunned – obviously a tourist with hair uncovered…but the reception was warm and friendly. We were the only Americans and the curiosity, greeted with smiles from men and women alike. Thank you, Morocco, for a beautiful day.”

Each of us is full of contradictory parts we can’t acknowledge because of our personal blinders.

Sometimes, a little perspective shift (international or a little closer to home) is all you need to shift that perspective.

To see your life and business more clearly.

To understand things on a deeper level.

What contradictions and connections are you missing every day?

Until then…stay passionate!

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