Doreen Cumberford is the founder of Life is Portable – Live it Everywhere You Go! She speaks, teaches and coaches on how to create wonderful transitions in the midst of global moves.
A native of Scotland, Doreen has worked for Her Majesty’s Foreign & Commonwealth office, corporate America while overseas and as an entrepreneur in business in the US.
Living overseas on four continents and in seven countries, including the Middle East for 17 years, she has a unique perspective and approach to movement, innovation and change.
Known for bold ideas, creative solutions and playfulness, she loves to help audiences “rock their reentries”, by managing the massive change that occurs while moving around the global. To learn more, check out expatdreambuilders.com – it’s a sanity kit for women traveling around the world while working.
Doreen shares with us her unique story
Doreen was born in Scotland and one defining moment for her at six years old was when her mother had residential lodgers in their house. Her mother taught her not to waste money, time and even space. They had Russian consulate members living in their house.
It was great because as a six year old, she was given the gift of inspiration and travel. She was taught how to appreciate Russian classical music, her dad taught her how to play chess and she was encouraged to be a ballerina.
Doreen believes that if we look back in our lives, we will see where the seeds are sown, of the greatness that we are to become later in life and that is continually happening and generating within us.
Doreen moved around the world and most recently, she was in Saudi Arabia for 15 years. While in Saudi Arabia, she believes that she relinquished a lot of her power. People came to the door to fix things and it was quite common to be brushed aside and the plumber would talk to your husband. There, only the men could drive and the women out in public would be covered with an “abaya.”
Doreen believe that during that period of her life, she shutdown systematically. She began to give up her power and she felt a little bit powerless.
However, after leaving Saudi Arabia and during her last 5 years there, she realized that there was an amazing gift in the experience, and she is now writing the book, “Life in the Camel Lane: Life is Portable, Live It Everywhere You Are.”
For her, it was almost a subconscious choice because of the environment she was living in. To disempower herself. But then after, she discovered that she did not need to do that. And in the last 5 years she was in Saudi, she began to have a greater sense that although the country that we live in, our circumstances, the culture that we live in, press things upon us, it is always our own personal choices that create the wonderful life that we choose to live in.
The common misconceptions that people have about Doreen’s type of business
Doreen believes that life is a lively process of becoming (first said by Douglas Mc Arthur). This idea is where she generated her idea that life is portable and living it everywhere you go.
There is a misconception that the culture can hold you back. Doreen bought this idea before when she was in Saudi Arabia. For the first 5 years that she was there, it was very frustrating not to be able to drive.
In the next 5 years, she got to drive in the desert. She also taught her daughter how to drive there. So there was a way around it. And she could drive in their small 21 square mile compound, but no faster than 45 – 50 kph.
The misconception that these things hold us back is a complete myth that we need to bust.
Everyday that we’re alive, we are given 24 amazing hours to spend. We can choose a lot of the way we want to feel, we can choose where we want to go, we have so many choices. But we often have this recording playing in the back of our mind that says, “oh, what if this happens? What if I fail? What if I don’t look good? What if I fail in front of lots and lots of people? What if I make a mistake?”
Everyone has those limiting beliefs that are like a recording in the back of our minds. We should primarily identify and not get fascinated by that. You need to dig around and find out why you think that and where it came from or how you could change it.
Another misconception is that our thoughts are not something we have control over.
The third misconception in the coaching space is that we are sort of speaking into a vacuum. Doreen does not believe that it’s ever true because every single soul listening to this podcast today is here for a reason. Nothing happens without a context.
The fact that Marie put in the time, the energy and the focus for this podcast, it is no accident that she and Doreen had met that day. And it is no accident that there are people out there that will be served by this podcast.
Doreen believes that it is another misconception that we live our lives without order. She believes that there is divine order that somehow moves through the nature around us.
If we would just live our lives naturally, and follow our instincts, and stop those old recordings, that we can ultimately have the life that we would just love to live.
Focus more on what you would love and less of what happened in the past.
Actually getting clear on what can you do where you are. In India, Mr. Khan of Khan Academy, installed a computer in the wall of his house and there was a slot outside where very very poor children were passing by everyday. The children got curious and they went to the computer and ultimately, they learned to teach themselves, by themselves, with no support, how to use the computer. Then those kids were surfing the internet in order to apply to go to school and universities overseas.
This story is a good example that we are naturally curious beings. If we feed and build from the curiosity, rather than the old stories that we have, then we can generate a much more abundant, fun and prosperous life. That is wherever we are and no matter the circumstances.
The question is, what can you do with what you have, where you are, right this minute.
Since most of us have computers, you can write a note to your friend, you can sit down and write a list of gratitude. There is always some way to surf the internet of the infinite ideas that are out there.
The steps that Doreen took to get to where she is today
- Get clear about your vision.
- In order to get results, you have to have a really clear vision.
- Have 5 ways to sensorize your vision.
- Practice it everyday, every morning and evening.
- Sensorize by smelling the flowers, feeling the rain on your skin, feeling the sunshine or the sand between your toes.
- Whatever your vision is, write down a list of the very clear senses that you want to experience.
- Be willing to fail forward and fast.
- Women in particular hold themselves back tremendously by the perfectionism that we expect from ourselves. We want things to be perfect, we want them to look perfect. We want them to feel perfect.
- Life is naturally messy, if we do our best in the midst of the mess, then we can overwhelm that procrastination factor and become much more effective.
- Figure out what is your passion, what is your experience and what is your unique intersection that only happens in your body and in your experience.
- Each of us had very unique experiences and backgrounds and lots of learnings.
- When you have an opportunity, in front of you or on the phone, and you are given a choice, always move in the direction of forward, and usually that is a Yes.
- It can be scary, it can be daunting, it can be crazy, it can be fun.
- Just practicing to say Yes, what if I could do this, what if I was really successful.
These five techniques that Doreen shared needs to be practiced daily and discipline ourselves with.
Have fun and play full out. Doreen believes that the human spirit relates to fun. She recommends everyone to have fun everyday and to encourage other people to do the same.
Doreen shares about her business and the freebie she’ll be giving to our listeners
Right now Doreen has a new webinar called – Rock Your Reentry. It will help anyone who has lived overseas or has done some travelling and is relocating back to their native country.
It can also help when you’re moving abroad, if your goal and your dream is to pack up your business and pack up your life and move. All the strategies and all the tools are the same tools that you need to go and to come back home.
Doreen is offering you the Expat Entrepreneurial Dream Builder’s Kit. It a sanity kit for helping women who are travelling around the world. You will find that there are things there that you can employ daily that will make big changes in your life.
Also, in the Rock Your Reentry program, Doreen offers a six month coaching program called the Voyager. It is a systematic program that will lead you through all of the steps that you need in order to re-enter a new location, environment, language, different foods, etc. And dealing with loss of friends, of place, and overwhelm because there’s so much logistics when you move.
Links in the podcast