This question is one that I’ve asked myself for a long time!
I’ve spent decades building a life without having the answer. I’ve even moved abroad 20,000 km to New Zealand in search of it (but more on that later)!
My name is Jean-Philippe Policieux. I am 39 years old and for about 30 years, I have been living my life on auto-pilot.
It was the life I was given, the one I was told that I would be happy with… successful with.
“You will be an engineer, my son!” sums up the “free choice” of my educational destiny.
I liked that choice, I believed it, and in the end, I made it.
But simply because I was not taught to make my own choices.
I was a follower, it was easier. I was not consciously making decisions, I was not the leader in my own life.
Engineer. Parisian. Climbing the corporate ladder. In my comfortable life, everything worked like clockwork.
It was while following this life path however, that I understood I was living a life that was not consciously mine.
Until I started to feel that something was wrong.
Discovery of personal growth
As I started to pay attention to that feeling that something was wrong, I started listening, not only to what my head was thinking but to what my heart was feeling.
In the end, it was an introduction to hypnosis in 2006 that allowed me to discover my interest in personal growth.
This isn’t the type of Hypnosis that you can see in magic shows, but therapeutic and humanist Hypnosis, a more healing and spiritual approach.
Through this, a new world opened up: thoughts, beliefs, emotions, conditioning, and blockages. I embraced all the things, new to me, that can support the release of all that negative stuff that prevents us from living a serene life.
It was all new to me, but it resonated a lot!
Around that time I also got into spirituality.
I used what I learned and tried to find meaning at work I started to manage people and to coach them in their job, as project managers in particular. On one hand it made me a better leader, on the other it made me feel misunderstood. Can you picture an engineer who is asking himself metaphysical questions? To me it seemed impossible to talk about, it could be scary for others!
At that time, I felt useful in my time coaching and managing others, but there was a call for more, as if I was playing it too “small”.
I was starting to be fed up with IT, messy projects, technologies that change all the time, progress made on solutions that end up getting tossed to the side. It felt like there was no purpose except to power a crazy machine that was randomly advancing.
Fortunately, for JP the engineer, the Parisian (not the true me) it was about that time I was promoted, and found myself managing 50 people!
My ego was happy, but not for long…
The tipping point
Excel files, business proposals, useless and unproductive meetings, sterile discussions, blah, blah, blah… with 50 people to manage and all of my other work demands, I barely had two hours a year to spend with them as their coach, as their leader.
I thought I had the power to change things but in fact I was a prisoner myself.
Inside me the call gets louder: “It has to change.”
But what should I change? Who am I?
Ah-ha, a desire to live abroad. I can change where I live and change who I am.
The desire comes and goes, but it’s more and more present.
I changed jobs in France without success until finally the decision is made to move to New Zealand, with my young family in tow.
We left it all behind and with suitcases in-hand we landed in Auckland, 20,000 km away, the furthest possible place from my old job, from Paris, that we could go.
A flight around the world, sounds like more of an escape than a grand adventure, doesn’t it?
Well, yes, it was! 🙂
And while New Zealand is certainly stunning, it was not all flowers and rainbows. And the grass was not that much greener, I must say. There was stress, a lot of unknowns, suspense, disillusionment, in short, adventure (or an escape)…!
I found a job relatively easily. On December 24 I received a job offer, I will be an IT consultant. Merry Christmas to me!
And then weeks go by with a bizarre aftertaste. It took me several more days to understand something is wrong.
This life we are rebuilding from scratch has an air of deja vu …
You might have guessed it, I am recreating the same life as the one I had just left behind.
The beaches of New Zealand, the new and exciting views, can no longer mask the truth. The day-to-day life of a consultant comes back to me.
IT problems, changing technologies, convoluted projects,…
My ego takes a hit.
I used to coach project managers in France and now I am taking lessons from people on the subject who couldn’t even execute on the fundamentals. It could be the lack of language skills causing my frustration, or maybe life was just trying to motivate me, to teach me a more important lesson.
In the end, it took me four more years to learn that lesson.
The start of exploration
During those four years, it was my side projects that kept me going.
I started to ask myself new questions, in particular: “Who am I?” But the answers did not come like that. So, I started to explore.
I launched 5, 6, 7 projects to see what I liked or not, some more technical than others, and in this exploration, I re-discovered my desire to write.
I started a blog on project management (for those interested, it still exists: www.anyideas.net)
I’m starting to coach people again and I liked it again too!
I spent a huge amount of energy creating videos, articles and training courses, it became a buoy that allowed me to breathe!
In parallel, among the other projects, I explored my interest in spirituality.
I partnered with an American author, Neale Donald Walsch, to translate his newsletter in French.
I had started to read his books in France when I was learning hypnosis, and they had impacted me tremendously. They shook me up, in a good way! 😄
When I read his English newsletter, I thought it would be good if it existed in French.
So I started. I started translating little, by little, everyday … Monday to Friday …
The time spent focusing on spirituality flew by, I did nothing but translate and publish, I spent most of my energy promoting my project manager coaching.
I was the first to be surprised at the turn of events.
After all that energy, my project manager blog took off weakly and my spirituality site literally exploded in terms of subscribers!
I did not understand.
Life was showing me the way
People started asked me about the books of this writer, about spirituality, about their lives, they told me all about their problems and experiences. I felt a bit helpless to be honest!
Damn, I would think, who am I to talk about spirituality?
After all, I would think I’m not that much spiritual, I would tell myself. I am an Engineer, I like the concrete. When it’s too high up or too out there for me, pfiouuuuu… it goes 15,000 meters above my head!
I would answer these people anyways, I am a coach too I would confirm to myself. I started to realize, by answering these people I was bringing something to them.
They thank me, it helps them, it relieves them, they start to understand too.
So I continue to help spread the message of Neale Donald Walsch. After a while, I create trainings to go further, to help people better understand the books, and of course I keep translating the newsletters.
After a few years, tens of thousands of people receive the newsletter translated into French every day.
If I would have been told that at the beginning, I would never have started, I think! I would have been too scared.
I was already stressed when I sent the newsletter to 50 people …
When it finally started to stagnate, I already had the signs, I felt I was reaching a ceiling in terms of evolution. There was even more for me to discover.
A mentor once said to me, “Stop hiding behind your little finger! people want to hear Jean-Philippe! “
I didn’t sleep the night after that I was told that, but like most things in my story that didn’t change anything right away.
I had to go through a long personal crisis to get to the next step.
All the activities I launched alongside my full-time job, finally allowed me to leave it! What should have been the start to a more serene, freer, fulfilled life was the trigger for a succession of events, each one more disturbing than the other.
We unexpectedly had to leave our house in New Zealand, unable to find a comparable rental we jumped from airbnb to airbnb, we explored an opportunity to move to the United States without success, and my father announced a recurrence of his cancer.
The first 6 months after my professional departure became a complicated whirlwind of doubt.
After the professional change, the personal one …
I fear for my father’s health, the outlook does not look good, and thus the decision is made to return to France.
We take a plane on Christmas Day, and 48 hours of travel later (3 planes and a train), I arrive to his home and chat with him for hours, all things considered he seemed in good shape.
I didn’t know it, but it will be the last time I see him conscious.
Two months later, I am facing his mother, my grandmother, telling her it is time for my father to leave this world, that there is nothing more to do. I looked her in the eyes, I know at that moment that she will be fine.
This marks a step for me, I no longer have parents. This event cuts a link with my past, my education, and some of my younger, unconscious choices.
With this link cut, I begin to have new insights, I am meeting new people, and learning new answers about who I am and my purpose in life. I feel more aligned to the mission I am supposed to accomplish.
And then it’s my marriage that gets complicated.
I do not know what to do any longer to improve things. We make a decision to go separate ways.
Again a loss, a new life to navigate. There is logistical chaos, I sleep here and there, at friend’s at relative’s, in airbnb’s…
I get overwhelmed with doubts very often: “How did I get here ?” but also I have a sense of serenity.
The clarity increases, there is frequent synchronicity, the answers come more quickly, the awakenings are building stronger within me.
Reconnection in progress, please wait
My intuition is becoming persistently present.
First for me, then for others.
What to do, where to go, what to say…
I find myself blurting out answers to questions others ask that I haven’t even thought of.
I lead them down a path, opening up new perspectives that are super relevant, so they say, afterwards.
“How do you know ?!” , they ask me.
“Damn, but where did it come from?”, I wonder.
I know where it comes from, but I don’t yet accept this intuitive side of myself …
Things are still accelerating and I begin to use my intuition more consciously.
I think back to a conversation with a new friend who asks me what his life purpose is. I see images coming to me, I immediately share them and the person has a new sense of awareness right away!
I still have doubt, but experiences continue to present themselves, strengthening my belief. I had one day with 10 back-to-back coaching sessions, and every time the same happens for them.
In France or abroad, in French or English, in person or by video call, people start to unleash emotions, crying, relieving their trapped emotions or beliefs. At this point it can no longer be random.
I meet with people too much in their mind, on the verge of burn-out, or like my old self searching for that deeper meaning in their life.
The feedback from people is incredible, filled with gratitude, and in these discussions, I feel well-being and joy like never before.
And I understand.
So this is it. I see a place in this world for me, I understand my mission, and I decide to stop hiding and become the person I am meant to be!
And all these experiences, the good, the bad, the messy, finally make me understand who I am.
And these are the experiences, the life lessons that I share in my articles and training.
It’s real life, it’s concrete, I share it with you because it worked for me!
To date, I have coached several hundred people and I have led workshops and conferences all over the world to help people break out of the boxes they are trapped in.
The subject of my articles change in tone, style, and length… I wake up with furious desire to write in the morning, I share my thoughts about this changing world, on the transition that is taking place. Readers have left me incredible comments and I love connecting with them… I hope my stories will help you wake up and that I will hear from you soon!
It is time! 2020 is a new turning point, collectively.
And I’m having fun, and so the stories continue!
– Jean-Philippe Policieux