(This piece was originally published in the Summer 2017 issue of Oregon Humanities in the Posts section.)
Where Are You From?
As an adult third culture kid, this question often stumps me. I was born in Perth, Australia to an English mother and an American father. I have lived in seven different countries. What place or country should I claim is home?
My parents met in New York and married in England. Along with eighty thousand other migrants, my risk-taking parents moved to Australia in 1969 by boat. They migrated as part of the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme, an effort to increase Australia’s population. In exchange for a very low-cost boat fare, they agreed to live and work in Australia for at least two years.
When I was born, Australia granted me birthright citizenship. The United States also granted me citizenship jus sanguinis because my father was a citizen.
My parents left Australia when I was two years old. I relinquished my Australian citizenship when I was eighteen years old by not renewing my passport. In the pre-Internet age, we were misinformed that I could not be a dual citizen.
What about British citizenship you might ask? Could I also claim British citizenship? That is a very good question with a complicated answer.
At the time of my birth in 1971, I was not able to claim British citizenship. Before 1983, United Kingdom citizenship only passed to the child through the father and not through the mother. This is wrong on so many levels! After all, I passed through my mother’s birth canal to come into this world.
Despite the law change in 1983, I still cannot claim British citizen. I fall under a loophole for British Overseas Citizens.
Due to obscure loopholes and misinformation, I only have a US passport. In the grand scheme of things, this is no big deal. I have only been back to Australia as a tourist one time, so this loss is not so painful. But not being able to acknowledge my mother's country bothers me a lot. I have a strong connection to my British heritage and family in England.
Where are you from? I often ask people if they want the long answer or the short answer. Usually, they get the short answer: Chaska, Minnesota. The longer version is sometimes painful to answer.
Kelsey Cleveland, Hillsboro
Return to your heart, choose your feelings, live with intention.
One of the key points of the Desire Map is that we can choose how we want to feel about our circumstances. This is important. Our feelings inform what we think. What we think informs our actions. Reconnecting with our Core Desired Feelings on a day to day basis is a practice that helps us to do just that.
I am excited to share with you a new heart-centered practice from Danielle LaPorte. She shared it with Desire Map facilitators last month during our monthly online gathering.
The new heart-centering practice helps you to reconnect with your core desired feelings in seven steps. Here is the touchstone sentence to help you recall the steps:
I find it easier to practice with audio guiding me through the steps so I’ve created one for you. For the visual learners among you, below is a graphic of the seven steps of the practice.