9 Years In Shanghai Continued

In Shanghai

Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell not stuff to show-Unknown

Of course, I said yes to Shanghai! It was a no-brainer—and it was what I’d been wishing for the last year… I was so excited! This would be a brand new beginning for me…a chance to leave my old life and problems behind and start afresh in a new, unchartered country.

Within a month of being asked to move to Shanghai, I was on a flight, carrying two suitcases and the rest of my things, the things I would need for the next year following behind me on a boat.

Just as Sebastian had predicted, I arrived in Shanghai before April of that year.

It was March 2005.

I was given a year’s contract on an expat package with a month in a 5-star hotel thrown in…I would need to find myself a place to stay before my month ran out.

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9 Years In Shanghai

“I,m not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world” Mary Anne Radmacher

That pivotal trip to China in January 2004 would be the beginning of a huge life changing transformational shift for me, but it would take many more years to fully manifest.

So coming back to the story…

That initial visit to China was exciting for so many reasons. Although, in all honesty, it had never been a dream of mine to go to China… the moment I stepped onto the shores of Shanghai, I knew my future lay somewhere between its nostalgic old lanes and its sparkling modern skyscrapers.

At that moment in time, I can truly say I had the most amazing job—a dream job really. Travelling the world and going to vast factories to select what I deemed to be the most beautiful, cost-effective fabrics that could be translated into stunning designs for our garment ranges.

What a job! I loved it.

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My First Trip To China

 

Chinese scene in Beijing

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Your destiny lies overseas, only when you get there, will you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel” Sebastian

After my meeting with Sebastian things didn’t improve at work, in fact, they worsened. It took all I had to stay motivated, but Sebastian’s words kept coming back to me “ You can walk away from good things as well as bad”

It felt like Sebastian knew something was about to change for me, but what?

As the week’s progressed working became torturous, I had little or no energy and found it harder and harder to get myself out of bed every morning. I soon started arriving late, then progressed to having days off sick—I just didn’t want to be there.

A few months later something happened, which really tested my resolve.

I was scheduled to be in our usual Monday afternoon buying meetings in the office. But that afternoon, I was asked by one of our designers to accompany her to a meeting with our customer.

I thought I would have enough time to go and come back before my internal meeting, but unfortunately, I returned about 15 minutes late.

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Sebastian

Sparkling Jacqueline

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Astrology is a language. If you understand this language, the sky speaks to you” Dane Rudhyar

I’ve briefly mentioned living and working in Shanghai in previous blog posts, but as this was the most important phase in my life for so many reasons, I think I wouldn’t be doing Shanghai justice if I didn’t dedicate more time to this period of my life

But before I get into the story allow me to go back a little in time, to the events that led me to Shanghai.

I’ve already described the period in my life where I went in and out of deep depression in the Visions and Depressions post…. Well, during this period, I was also made redundant from my work as a fabric-sourcing manager.

It took me a whole year to get another job in the fashion industry, naturally adding to my depression.

Finally, in 2001, I found a job as fabric sourcing manager for a garment manufacturer and dedicated supplier to Marks and Spencer—a well-known brand in the UK.

This would be my comeback job and I felt so excited about getting back into the industry I loved.

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Meditation and Synchronicities

Meditation by the sea

“When you confront yourself you will know who you are” Sri Bhagavan.

As I said in the previous post, Inner World Outer World, the book The Secret opened me up to a completely new world. The world of self-help and spirituality, which eventually led me to meditation.

But when I started this journey back in around 2007/2008 I had no idea what meditation was. I didn’t have any friends who meditated and although I had heard of it, it wasn’t something that was a part of my life.that all changed in 2010.

That all changed in 2010.

Once I’d connected with The Secret website, it lead me to many other spiritual, self-help websites….I started to come into contact with profound teachings taught by many inspirational teachers, each of whom coached me in something new and amazing.

I started to notice synchronicities with these teachers. It felt like a guiding hand was leading me to the right information—I mean exactly what I needed at the time I needed it, would be miraculously manifest for me. It was so exciting and like this, step-by-step I progressed.

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Visions and Depressions

Sun and cloud in Uddevalla

I think I can say that I’ve felt depressed—I mean really depressed, 3 times in my life. And depressed to the point of feeling suicidal once in my life—No, you don’t need to worry…I never got to the point of planning or taking steps to do anything.

I was fortunate, as help always came to me before I hit rock bottom.

Different things triggered the second and third bouts of depression, but the underlying causes were either to do with my relationships, my work or both.

My first spell of depression, however, was different and it was the worst. It began around 1996 or was it 1997? I remember being 30 or roundabout. This first period lasted about 3 years and during this time I went in and out of suicidal depression.

I think it was in early 1997 when a series of devastating events rocked my world and sent me spinning. First, my flat got burgled twice in one week, so I had to move in with a friend. A few months later my, my stepdad died, then Lady Diana died, then a few weeks after Diana’s death and most traumatic of all—my cat died

Looking back now, I think this was the most difficult period in my life.

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Inner World Outer World

Uddevalla Cloud Formation

“Your outer world is a reflection of your inner world” T. Harv Eker

I remember walking into the office that day—It was 2008 and I had been living and working in Shanghai for over 3 years. I was in a bad way again, bemoaning and crying over yet another failed relationship.

One of the colleagues I worked with back then, I’ll call her Grace for the purpose of this article, opened up something in me that struck a chord. A chord, which profoundly embedded itself in my mind ever since.

Eyeing me sympathetically, she casually said

“But Jacqueline, you know your outer world is a reflection of your inner world don’t you?”

No, I didn’t know—I knew nothing of the sort.

“What? What was that you said”? I asked

“Well, everything that’s happening to you is because of something inside of you,” She said gesturing to and feeling around her heart…

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Call of The Inner Voice (continued)

 

My four years at Polytechnic were amazing! It was a whirl of parties, boyfriends, LOTS of fun and of course some studying. In my third year after working about 5 months in the UK on a work placement, I got the opportunity for another placement in Germany for a little under a year.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience—but it didn’t start that way. It was also very lonely in the beginning.

In retrospect, it was my time in Germany that firmly sowed the seeds for travel in me, fuelling my dreams to live abroad.

I lived in a tiny, picture postcard village called Beyernburg. It was by far the prettiest place I’d ever been to and looked like it had been carefully constructed with the left overs from a scene from Hansel and Gretel. Pretty, neat little houses nestled in lush forests; a grand church overlooked a shimmering lake.

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What Is A Spiritual Person?

Jacqueline In Stockholm

 

“To be spiritual is to be happy—Spirituality is the science of happiness.” Sri Bhagavan

What does it mean to be a spiritual person? This is a question I’ve thought about quite a lot over the years, and I’m sure everyone reading this will also have their own views about what it means for them.

When I started this journey around 2007, I had no idea what being spiritual meant, but I also didn’t think of myself as a spiritual person either. I knew that I was seeking something—I was looking for happiness and a change to my life circumstances, but that’s as much as I could say at that time.

As I got further and further into my journey and started thinking of myself as “spiritual” that’s when my problems started…

When I say problems, I don’t mean difficulties in my life or anything like that and I’m not talking about any particular challenge I had to face. The problems I’m talking about, were more around how I perceived myself, once I’d labelled myself “A spiritual person”

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Call of The Inner Voice

Sunset with boat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can perhaps say that I’ve been hearing the calls of an inner voice throughout my life. Of course, in the beginning, this call was not very clear….or maybe I just didn’t have the ears to hear it.

I think the first time I really recognised what I could loosely describe as an inner voice, I was around 20 years old—it wasn’t something I heard but was more something I felt.

(This first experience would unravel many years later to become clear inner guidance.)

I was heading to Polytechnic for the first time and my two elder brothers were taking me.

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