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  • Brigit Law 11:18 pm on March 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cultural differences, , horse riding   

    Everytime a different ride 

    My life not only requires me to find my bearings in different countries and places, but also riding different horses at different stables.

    Different horses have different ways of listening and communicating and every time I sit in the saddle fustrated that i cant find the right mode to connect. my hands a little lower? My posture a bit more straigtened up? It reminds me of the difficult moments to figure out a culture and nationality. Exactly what are the do’s and don’t-s? How do I and my children make friends? Can my children just ring at neighbor door bels asking to play like they got used to in the previous countries they lived? At my riding lessons I have at least a riding instructor at hand, but in my day to day American life, I have not.

    What I have found so far is the eminent importance of making expectations match reality. How?
    1 Read books about your host country
    2 Form or join weekly coffee morning or book clubs where you can ask questions
    3 volunteer and/or work in your area of interest to get a learning & giving experience as well as to give structure to your days
    4 Try – and this is the most difficult part – to turn dissapointments into inspiring lessons you want to learn from.
    5 Keep strong and tight family bonds, they will never let you stand alone no matter how much you change. (And change you will!)

    So, if you get into the saddle, be ready for the ride. And whilst you will never be ready as to know what to expect, you should be ready to go!

    Good luck on your different rides & have a great Easter!


  • Brigit Law 4:57 pm on November 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bullying, , ISUBD,   

    Bullying: It’s a world wide challenge! 

    In the lead up to the International Stand-up to Bullying Day (ISUBD), the 5th graders of Mrs Zychal’s class at Scotland Elementary in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, did a great job in identifying the powers one needs to combat bullying. Laser vision, super hearing and transforming were some of them. (More …)

  • Brigit Law 11:42 pm on September 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Autism, , Freedom, Horese riding therapy, Paralympics, Special Needs   

    Going for a Ride … to Freedom! 

    Horses, kids and people with special needs are ‘my thing’. It took me a while to find it. In fact it took a whole move from the Low Lands (Europe) to America and 20 years of professional limboing between PR, Advertising, Trade Promotion work and Independent Communications Coaching , but I am glad I found it.

    Finding a golden medalist in the Paralympics somewhere tucked away in the corner of a Dutch newspaper (De Telegraaf) and without picture gives me the absolute creeps. After the ‘normal’ Olympics with Dutch medalists on the front page for days on end, a full page picture of the Paralypics medalist is an absolute must. These people should be respected for their achievements more than anyone.

    Can you imagine a person in a wheelchair, giving it 200% to stand up and get on a horse to enjoy riding like you and me? I can. A very special student I am helping at the therapeutic riding lessons does it.

    With a bit of help of all of us, children, people with special needs and others around us who need a little extra support, can do what we do.

    I say, that is the REAL ride to freedom. And it is the ONLY ride to democracy!

  • Brigit Law 9:57 pm on August 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , observer, relocation, , storyteller   

    Meet Me, Meet The Observer 

    What would you be if you had moved home and country every three years for the last 20 years? When you lived longer abroad than home? You would be like me:  a community Observer.

    (More …)

  • Brigit Law 2:06 pm on May 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    How to make sense of the second half of once life 

    I was warned about the challenges of moving internationally while being pregnant and the advice was ‘Don’t move if you are pregnant’. But advice is there to be ignored, so I ended up moving internationally with every single pregnancy, which was four times round. However, there is one other challenge beside begin pregnant, which I did not know about and should never be ignored.

    (More …)

    • theridingwriter 3:35 pm on May 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t think it’s just moving to a new country. I wonder the same things myself. What did I accomplish in the first half of my life. Is that it? What do I do now? I think a lot of us struggle with these same questions. So take comfort in the feeling that you are not alone!

    • themysticmom 4:12 pm on May 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      That’s the spirit, Brigit! You are a talented and amazing woman, with much to show for your hard work. You’ve earned a good night’s sleep and then some! Enjoy it!

    • by Quipa | Maris (@greatID) 5:25 am on May 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wat een eerlijke blog! Elke keer is het dus weer anders.. Ik merkte zelf dat verhuizen als je jezelf redelijk gevestigd hebt je confronteert met zaken waar je nooit over nadacht. Het impact van (het missen van) je netwerk bijvoorbeeld. Het verhuizen is niet moeilijk, maar het vestigen is de ware kunst.

      • Brigit Law 11:49 am on May 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Je hebt absoluut gelijk. Verhuizen is een ware kunst en een kunde!

  • Brigit Law 2:29 pm on April 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: noaberschop, , TCTubantia, Twente   

    Noabershop geeft Revlon gevoel 

    Afgelopen week rapporteerde de Twentsche Courant Tubantia met een blog van Laura Smit over de gevaren achter het uitsterven van het noaberschop.

    Noaberschop is het Twentse woord voor nabuurschap: de gezamenlijke noabers (buren) in een kleine sociale gemeenschap. Een belangrijk fenomeen, in het verleden maar ook in de toekomst (denk Sociale Media!).

    Het verhaal van Laura raakte mij. Vooral omdat ik, sinds ik 20 jaar geleden Twente heb verlaten voor stad en buitenland, overal gevraagd of ongevraagd het noabershop invoer. De noaberplicht zit blijkbaar diep geworteld in mij. Eerst onbewust maar nu bewust, gebruik ik bij elke verhuizing voor het werk van mijn man – die voor een groot internationaal bedrijf werkt – de Twentse kunde van het oprichten van een noabeschop. Het geeft mij de broodnodige veerkracht om als persoon en gezin internationaal te kunnen opereren en overleven. Het noaberschop is voor mij een overlevingsdrang.

    Deze investering in noaberschop levert veel op. Het noaberschop geeft mij namelijk: …

    (More …)

  • Brigit Law 10:55 pm on January 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    The Real Meaning of Nike’s ‘Just Do It!’ 

    Since my recent move to America (I am dutifully following my husband on his career path), so many famous slogans from world leading American films and product brands have become much clearer to me. In fact, most have a much deeper meaning than I could figure out from sole marketing when i was living in Europe. For example, I thought that the ‘Just Do It’-slogan from Nike was something like a sport related yell, but I know now that it is part of the American way of living. Or at least that is my perception of it.

    Cultural differences do go deep, I know from previous moves to different countries. So deeply that it stirs up ones emotions completely. Through better and worse I have learned that the best way to overcome these is to plunge yourself into the way of life of the people surrounding you as soon as possible after you set foot on the soil that is your new, temporary, home.

    That’s why, since moving to Pennsylvania last summer, I have stepped into volunteering at several local organizations. Mainly to get settled into live here quickly, partly to keep my professional skills alive and kicking while not working. As a Dutch woman, I am amazed about the easygoingness of ‘getting things done’ here. The only thing is that you have to do it yourself! Just Do It seems to me a real emotional and cultural representation of the American people and I admire Nike for this. As former advertising and communication professional, I normally see lots of shallow creativity.

    The first time I had to ‘deal’ with Nike’s ‘Just Do It!’ was with my first side job as personal assistant of the President of the Standards and Certification Committee of the EBA (European Business Association) in Moscow. To get around the new legislation that all English text and slogans on products in Russia should be in Russian language, Nike opted for just dropping the ‘Just Do It!’ and let their symbol, the “swoosh”, speak for itself. It’s a great example of creative leadership in business.

    Now, when I sit in committee meetings in local Pennsylvania, the first reaction I get from my new American friends and colleagues on my ideas for doing something different is: “That sounds great Brigit. Do you want to Do It?”

    And you know what, after three years of working as an independent consultant in the complex and hierarchical Brussels networks, this ‘Just Do It’ American attitude gives me a real sense of empowerment – the one that is embedded truly and deeply into human society as opposed to the politically driven one – , inspiration, commitment and creative freedom, professionally as well as personally. Nike’s new ‘Just Do It’ Beijing campaign, The Courage Within, is so true to human nature. I will still not buy more Nike, but I respect the brand more now I know more about its home country.

    It’s great that after only six months here, I have found something American and meaningful that I will treasure and take with me on my next adventure when we will move back to Europe in a couple of years – or anywhere else.

    So, if you have lots of ideas and want to see them materialize, then do like me the following:

    1. Get (the courage to get) off your bottom

    2. Get ready for action

    3. Don’t stay floating on the surface of cultural differences, let yourself drown into it – real deep

    4. Be resilient every minute of the day (keep on smiling and ‘keep the glass half full’, no matter what)

    5. Join or create networks where people challenge you to ‘Just Do It!’

    Thank you Nike, thank you America!

    • Mariska 8:56 am on January 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Very recognizable story! I remember my 4 months studying in Budapest in the 90’s where I met Lilly. In the middle of the turning times in Eastern Europe there was a profound sense of ‘Stay where you are and don’t move’ amongst the young people that were stuck in their old communist habits. Lilly, coming from the US with only a basic course in design, applied for a art director job at a major international advertising agency and got the job! How’s that for a first entry on your CV!
      So there I got it. Just do it. It takes you places you can’t imagine…

    • themysticmom 8:14 pm on April 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Love it, Brigit! True represenation of both you and the American culture! 🙂

    • themysticmom 8:15 pm on April 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Very nice, Brigit! Very accurate representations of both you and the American culture! The rest of it probably should be…”if you don’t Do It, someone else will!” 🙂

  • Brigit Law 4:46 pm on December 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2012, behavior, , , trends   

    New Trend for 2012: Social: Yes! Media: No! 

    According to new Dutch trend predictions for 2012 anything and everyone media savvy like Foursquare is out of fashion and anonymity is the new ‘cool’.

    Here follows a very telling selection of what is popular in 2012 as listed today in Vrouw, an insert in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf:



    AZ (as opposed to media savvy Ajax)

    To love each other (rather than getting married)

    Radio (as opposed to TV)

    Serving Leadership build on thrust and achievements


    Old fashion (made) pictures

    Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (as opposed to self enrichment)

    Say yes to moving


    Pure Nature

    Depth (as opposed to superficiality)

    Crowdfunding (as opposed to Good Cause)

    Full sentences (as opposed to abbreviations)

    I love this human skill of true resilience: making whatever economic situation hot and trendy and 2012 it is depression, slump and malaise that will bring us together in a more simple and less pretentious fashion.

    Despite what all marketing agencies say, when I read this list, I conclude that for 2012 there will be more Social but less Media. And that is probably a good thing.

    Happy 2012!

  • Brigit Law 3:02 am on December 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Ook fouten maken is perceptie 

    Vandaag sprak ik met een jonge Nederlandse student en goede vriend van mij over het maken van fouten. Nu heb ik het hier niet over het maken van fouten in de wereld van feiten, maar in de wereld van opinie. Tenenkrommend was het voor mij te horen hoe het maken van fouten in het geven van een oordeel hem onzeker en moedeloos maken. En dat in een land als Nederland waar studenten geproduceerd worden die hun mening kunnen en durven  geven. Dat wil dus niet zeggen dat Nederlandse studenten en afgestudeerden ook veel beter tegen kritiek kunnen dan hun minder hard roepende collega’s in de buurlanden. Als het om perceptie gaat, is iedereen even gevoelig. Hierin zit ‘m dan ook de knoop.

    A knot by Brigit Law

    (More …)

  • Brigit Law 2:46 am on September 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Resilience needed 

    Resilience, or the ability to survive or even thrive under stress, needed to succeed in life and business #9/11 #story #change #neuroscience

    Read more about it in the article ‘On Trauma and Resilience: 10 Years After 9/11‘.

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