• Hi there, new mum in the block!

    Welcome! This is a place for expat mums to find the inspiration and drive they need to follow their dreams! If you’re now joggling the motherhood, the romantics and THE language and feel like there must be more to it, then this is the place for you.

    I am Cristina Guraliuc, Romanian mum and writer living in the UK with my family. Over the years of writing bilingual stories for children out of my adoptive country’s home, I have come to understand at a very deep level the struggles a newcomer mum faces when moving overseas. I know that change is a real setback and it gets sooo easy to lose track of our true selves when we need to constantly adapt and be there for our families.

    But I believe we can have it all.

    We can THRIVE in a foreign country – fit in, make the friends we so desperately need, be better parents and lovers AND still reach for our dream business.

    You see, I believe you can’t have one without the other. They are like pieces of a puzzle – take one piece and you’ll miss the whole picture.

    I am here to guide you towards finding THAT missing piece – the one you have a calling for. That business you were meant to build and rise to reach for the sky.

    If there is something tugging at your heart, even though everything seems right (but especially if it doesn’t), then you’re meant to be greater!

    Every woman can do it.

    Every woman can follow her heart without the fear of missing out on her children growing up.

    Every woman can build her own empire – even if it’s in between kids’ naps and doing laundry – YES, you don’t have to wait until your pile of laundry points out through the roof. You can do it both (I know this is something sooo many women struggle with lol).

    And all it takes is that FIRST STEP.

    The rest will follow. You’ve probably seen it on your own child(ren). That first step was all it took for them to gain the confidence they needed.

    Then everything came so, so natural.

    It will happen to you too!

    Are you ready to take that first step towards building your business abroad?

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  • How I’ve learned to celebrate Halloween! About settling into a new country successfully

    Settling into a new country can be a tricky thing. There are so many ideas on how to successfully adapt to your new environment, but I believe it’s more of a personal choice.

    We moved from Romania to the UK three years ago and what struck me the most was the way time seemed to have a different value. It’s like England was trapped in a different time and space dimension because people were incredibly calm and slow.

    Everything, from queueing (which sometimes takes forever!), to having a conversation with a stranger, goes too slowly (in my opinion, obviously).

    And you know what? I LOVE it!

    I come from a country where everything is speeding up. Things are happening fast. Act NOW or else something bad will happen. I, as an individual, am impatient too, so I guess it’s fair to say that I have it in my blood.

    So, when I moved to the UK and I noticed how slow-paced things were moving around and how still people were, almost as if nothing could trouble their thoughts, I had a shock.

    At first, I was losing my patience badly. I could barely stay in line at the groceries shop without checking my phone or calling a friend because I was getting anxious quite fast.

    In time, though, I learned to be patient.

    I learned to take things slowly, be mindful and stop stressing about time.

    I’ve learned to be more like thembecause I cared enough about my new community and environment. These people were living by these rules for God-knows how much time now, who was I to say that they were doing it wrong?

    Just because I was used to a different rhythm didn’t mean that the new one was “broken” or “bad” in any way whatsoever.

    So, I embraced the change.

    And I still love it. I can’t remember when was the last time I checked my Social Media while driving the bus or queueing at Lidl.

    The same happened with celebrating Halloween.

    As a kid, I don’t remember celebrating Halloween at all. I do remember my grandad carving pumpkins once they were ripe. I and my brother used to light candles and watch the shadows in delight. It was a special event – but that’s because our grandparents made it so.

    .

    So, the differences were huge.

    We only saw how Halloween “works” in movies and, quite frankly, we didn’t like it as much. We couldn’t see a point to wearing scary costumes and wandering around asking for treats, except for next-morning-stomach-aches and cavities.

    It wasn’t until we moved to the UK that we actually embraced the holiday.

    Actually, last year, in the Autumn of 2019, was the first time we engaged in the whole idea of trick-or-treating. Ilinca, my 4-year-old little girl, was thrilled.

    The picture is a bit blurry, but that’s Ilinca wearing her Halloween costume in 2019

    She looked so funny with her firefighter helmet way too big on her head, covering her eyes, stumbling every two steps, her costume looking huge on her – but she was incredibly excited to be a part of the whole. I can’t tell you how happy it made me!

    You should have seen the light in her eyes when I said: “yes, let’s grab our costumes and go trick-or-treat”!

    That is truly priceless, really.

    And I believe that is the secret to settling into a new country successfully: It’s all about embracing the new, the change and the strange and truly make an effort to belong.

    Keep your authenticity, but really be part of the community.

    Of course, there are still lots of customs I miss about my home country and I can’t actually reproduce them. But the beauty of “not being from around here” is that you can keep THE OLD AND BEAUTIFUL and soak in THE NEW AND INTRIGUING.

    How about you?

    What are the things that surprised you most when you moved into a new country?

  • “Sorry, I am multiligual!”

    I believe one of the biggest setbacks I had when I was thinking of starting a business in a foreign country was that… I wasn’t speaking the language. Well, at least not to perfection. I always had this inside of me, I wanted to speak the “music” within a foreign language, not just mimic it. Apparently, this phenomenon is called “the chameleon effect” and it happens to people who are good at empathising with others.

    According to a 2010 study lead by a research group at the University in California, Riverside, this “chameleon effect” is actually in our nature. It describes the human’s instinct to belong and relate.

    All we want is to belong somewhere and meet like-minded people

    Knowing this didn’t make me feel better, to be honest, because I still felt it as being a stumbling block.

    “What if I say something stupid?”

    “What if people won’t get me?”

    “What if I forget certain words?”

    “What if they’d think I am not ready?”

    “What if I make a fool of myself?”

    “What if I won’t look professional?”

    These were all thoughts that ran through my head every single day. And because I was only injecting these limiting beliefs into my brain, I just couldn’t think outside the box. I couldn’t see the high ground.

    The biggest challenge was that I needed to launch my business on a market where you HAD to speak and write impeccable English. There was no other way.

    You see, I write personalised books for kids and families and while my business worked like clockwork in my home country’s industry, I was still nervous at the thought of starting it all over again in the UK.

    So, it wasn’t an easy choice.

    Starting my business was actually one of the most difficult decisions I ever had to make

    BUT these were just limiting beliefs, nothing more. Because I knew I can handle my English – I had a degree, I have been an editor for all sorts of online magazines, I have even graduated my Master’s degree in English – yet I still didn’t consider myself as being well prepared.

    And then, one day I met this lovely lady, a foreigner herself, from Poland. She had such a beautiful accent – you could immediately tell she wasn’t from around here, yet it was something so pleasant and authentic in her voice, that it made me completely fall in love with her inflexion. She has been living in the UK for nearly 20 years and you could still tell that she wasn’t native AND that gave me hope.

    Because you see, I had this voice inside my head that was constantly reminding me that I am not from around here, that people will notice and they will back out.

    Absolute nonsense, I know, because actually native people usually appreciate when somebody tries to learn their language. I read about it and I even had endless conversations with people from all over the world on this topic and this is a general belief. It might be slightly different with English, though, since it’s an international language, but still.

    And so, I challenged that voice of mine. I kindly asked it what it was afraid of. I asked for the REAL reason, the skin-deep one. And when I finally deeply listened to that voice of mine, I kindly asked it to be silent.

    The next day I did this, I applied for a grant, got accepted and met my business mentor soon afterwards. That ONE question set me free and I invite you to do the same.

    If not speaking the language like a native is your number 1 hurdle, please allow this time for yourself. Go ahead and write down this question

    “What am I actually afraid of?”

    And go deep, remove those internal layers like peeling an onion, see what’s at the core of everything.

    And then ask yourself:

    “What’s the worst that could happen if I follow my dreams and get visible?”

    And if that worst-case scenario is actually not that frightening (I mean, moving to a new country was the real deal, right?), go ahead and do it!

    It makes me laugh now, but at the first networking event I ever attended (where I was the only foreigner btw), I started my speech by saying “Sorry, I am multilingual and I might just say something silly.

    Do you know what happened? Everybody was super supportive and I made some amazing connections that I would have never made in different circumstances.

    The best part?

    I got to face my biggest fear!

    And that felt so liberating!

    So, tell me about your own experience with being multilingual, how did it all start?

    Until next time,

  • Limiting Beliefs That are Holding You Back from Reaching Your Potential

    We all have them: thoughts, beliefs that are holding us back. That, instead of helping us evolve and improve, they are a hindrance.

    They are not helpful at all, yet we do believe in them, and, as far as I’ve noticed in all these years of being both a mum and an entrepreneur, most of the time they’re the only obstacle standing in our way. The only thing that’s helping mums take that leap of faith and start their own business.

    I really believe we MUST have a debate on limiting beliefs because they are basically shaping our reality.

    Do you think your life is a chaos? It most probably is.

    Do you believe you’re super-capable of achieving even the impossible? Yes, that is also true.

    Are you a good mum? Of course you are.

    Are you a bad mum? Most definitely yes.

    My point is this: everything you believe about yourself and your life becomes your reality.

    Tell yourself the same thing over and over again and it will become your mantra. It’ll be like your personal bubble which you can’t escape from.

    For instance, for a very long time, I used to tell myself “Oh, look at me, I am a walking chaos!” Just like that! Whenever I would hit a challenge or had more than two tasks in a day, I would repeat the same, old record “I am so chaotic, I can’t handle this.” At some point, I even ended up rescheduling my orders and letting my customers down because, indeed, my schedule & my life, in general, were topsy-turvy.  

    But, yes, as you might have guessed – it was just an old, limiting belief.

    In fact, I had the same 24 hours/day as you do – it just hasn’t crossed my mind that I might as well organise my time in a much more effective way. That way, I could have squeezed in all my priorities and I wouldn’t have disappointed others and, most importantly, myself.

    The limiting beliefs are drawing a version of you that doesn’t exist

    I need to constantly do the inner-work and rewire my brain. I changed the wording, so now the voice in my head only tells me that “I can do everything!

    Free woman holding her hands to the sky
    It’s all about how you envision your life to be

    So, why am I saying that these beliefs are holding you back from reaching your potential? Because they draw a version of you that doesn’t exist. It’s a version you’ve become so used to see, a role you played so many times, that it does look like… YOU.

    But I bet these beliefs come from others! Most of the times, they’re inherited from our parents.

    Look, for my birthday this year, when I turned 30, I bought the book “Millionaire Success Habits” by Dean Graziosi as a gift for myself. And I couldn’t have made a better choice! I needed to know that there is nothing wrong with me, that it’s actually a story that’s oftentimes inherited. And we need to dig deep inside ourselves to see where they’re coming from.

    Let’s carry on with the example of the chaotic version of myself.

    I have such a messy mind, I can’t function otherwise” – this is something I used to tell myself ALL the time. And, of course, part of it is true, because it’s just my personality. But, doing the work and rummaging through memories from my old, old past, I realised it was also a belief I took over from my mum. My mum is an incredible human being and she is the best mum in the Universe – as I’m sure each and every one of us says about their own mums.

    But, God, was she disorganised! She was all over the place. Now, I know for sure that she must have had a plan, but, being a kid, I only saw the chaos from the surface. She was either ironing, cooking, running to work, arguing with dad, attending parent meetings at my brother’s school, taking me to school and so on. Her days were a big whirl.  

    I have turned this into my defence mechanism

    And, somehow, I have turned this into my defence mechanism. I just kept on telling myself that I am chaotic, so I have an excuse. I carried on like this.

    Of course, my twenties were full of ups and downs and I had many success stories to tell, but, I swear, entrepreneurship is a whole different kettle of fish. There is no boss to tell you what to do – you’re wearing all the hats in the beginning and, if you’re not organised, you risk on becoming overwhelmed quite rapidly. It has happened to me too, that’s how I knew I needed to change something.

    Now going back to the limiting beliefs, here are some of the most recurring beliefs mumpreneurs keep on having:

    • I am not good enough for this!
    • I still need another qualification.
    • Oh, there are already 1000 entrepreneurs out there doing the same thing. I will never be successful (talking about comparisonitis! We’ll debate this topic later on, I promise).
    • I don’t have time to deal with a business, my kids are already demanding enough!
    • I am so disorganised, I couldn’t handle a business.
    • I am not good at finances, I think I’ll go bankrupt in my first month.
    • I don’t speak (insert language here) to perfection, so I can’t do this.
    • Nobody supports my ideas!

    And we can go on and on. This list is endless.

    What I would want you to really understand is that you can change your beliefs anytime. You can start NOW if you want. You can step out of the negative thinking and into positive thinking. I mean, let’s get creative for a bit: imagine it’s 1 or even 5 years from now. How would your life look like if you continue to linger on these thoughts and beliefs that don’t do you any service?

    Now imagine how it would look like if you made that switch – from negative to positive? If, instead of telling yourself “I am not good enough”, you say “I am extraordinarily good at…”?

    Isn’t it a great shift in the way you see your life?

    You’ll find more strategies on mastering your mindset in my mini-course on creativity, the link to join in is here:

    MASTER YOUR MINDSET MINI-COURSE

    I truly want you to be part of the change and register, this mini-course will completely change the way you see yourself and your own dreams and desires. It has been designed to help you make that first step and the ones that follow.  

    So, what are the limiting beliefs that are holding YOU back?

    Until next time,