“Did you know?", she sprayed the words into the room space. “Know what?", I asked while my partner escorted the question with a concerned look, “you’ve got twins!".
The ultrasound specialist smiled at both of us and somewhat dismissed the preliminary tension in the clinic. However, energy never disappears, it transforms. And in this moment the preliminary tension only converted into shock.
“WHAT?" Jordana my partner closed the circuit, while focusing back on her jellied tummy. “Yes!", the sweet specialist approved her diagnosis for the second time, this time with a softer voice and bigger smile. I looked at my partner and said: "we are going back home"!. All three of us were staring at the monitor where the unborn children were forming, while in our minds our plans were deforming.
At this point of time, a radical change in the direction of our life plot was born, and we were still the passive audience.
We immigrated to Australia from far away Israel only a few weeks earlier. We literally just got the keys to the leased house, and right after we signed up our firstborn to his kindergarten.
I always loved John Lenon’s tunes and quotes, but never realized that his life wisdom will become our guidebook. Life, indeed “is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.
I knew we were pregnant, and I mean before my partner developed her early pregnancy symptoms. A moment after we created them, I told her that we should expect. All my life I was intuitive. I just feel things. And in that moment, I knew it. But I didn’t know that we would have two...
I have to be honest. It took me a very long time to comply with this twist in our life story. I was angry, sad, confused, you name it- a cocktail of emotions and feelings of a grown up who never really matured.
Five months later we landed in Amsterdam for a night lay-over on our way back from big Australia to little Israel. We decided to give birth near our family and friends. We sold the car, broke the lease agreement, packed our goods and shipped it back in a container. We moved back to Israel. We were flirting with the idea of staying for a while, although eventually the logic took over and we decided not to overload our fragile fresh immigrant shoulders.
A month before Negev and Ogen were born, I sent the Australian government a proposal I assembled in collaboration with local organizations. All I could do from this moment on was to wait: for the twins to be born and for the government to accept it and re-write my future script in Oz.
In the meanwhile, the only thing that was born in my life was free time. And for an entrepreneur like myself, an empty cup has to be filled with a juicy nectar. I read an interesting interview with a parent guru over the weekend newspaper. Something about his energy moved me. As a root cause thinker, I’m often tuned into the unseen driving forces in life. The compost which enables yummy veggies to grow. I scanned the article back to the section in which he mentioned his life coach and decided to contact the guru of the guru.
Come over, she told me peacefully in our first of many chats to come. Come so I can meet you, you certainly sound like an interesting man. So I came once, and again and again. Her name is Tsila and she changed my life in many ways: like the twins, photography, the military service, my firstborn, my partner, the journey to Lapland, my parents, and like many other life spices which I ascribe as meaningful. Three weeks after our first session, Negev and Ogen were born.
Over night I ballooned from a father of one to a father of three.
I’m not the real hero of this story, it’s my partner, who carried, delivered and fed them days and nights. I was only Santa’s little helper.
Twenty days after their birth, I had to fly away and digest all of it, so I picked California. With the great support of my devoted and caring American in laws who backed me up with their presence, I went to visit my good old and wise Woodstock friends: Eric & Danielle. They are like second parents to me, but a more friendly version. Their house which overlooks the golden gate bridge is like my second home, and I can be myself there.
I decided intuitively to fly 15 hours in order to write the next chapter of my life. It was there where I started watching videos of Ken Robinson on creativity- my passion zone was revealed. It was there where I realized that my life story is quite interesting and unusual. It was there where I realized that our first move to Australia was only the first. Sometimes we need to distance ourselves in order to gain a fresh perspective. The distance clears background noises so we can better hear ourselves. This insight echoes in Steve Jobs’ video, which followed Robinson’s: …”Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.”
In the next few months things started to mature in my life: the twins, the notes from California, and the insights from Tsila’s sessions.
Four out of five federal minsters approved my proposal just before the Australian coalition collapsed. Another twist in the plot was born. With this news, a normal human being would have waved the Australia venture good-bye. But who said I’m normal? Last time I checked, creativity and linear thinking were not the perfect dancing couple.
Weeks later, my partner and I had a rare moment of exhausting silence. After 8 months of nursing the little ones around the clock, I don’t even know how I had the energy or the guts to bring up the subject, but I did. “Australia again?", I nodded back. “Something about the Australian chapter in our life requires a closure”, I explained. “I can’t tell you why, but my tummy tells me that I have to be there for the next phase of our life. Something is bubbling in me and wants to be born. The initiative with the government was a stanza of a larger poem".
A few weeks later, the doorbell of the Hertz Car Agency in East Melbourne marked my entry. Yes, we are back in Melbourne. I came to rent a car and left with an even more important item: a phone number of a nanny for the twins. I was showing off the sales agent my newborn babies photos and she offered her best girlfriend's nanny services with a cute Irish accent. Two weeks later, Lavinia the nanny will become a family member and will take care of the twins as if they were her own. The best things in life occur to me effortlessly…
My partner went back to teach, our firstborn got back to his prep and I…stationed myself in the library. All pieces are back in their place.
For 6 months, ten hours a day, I began connecting the dots, just like I learned from Steve Jobs in his videos. The notes from California, their peers from Tsila’s sessions, and ongoing insights to follow, matured into meaningful programs on creative thinking for the business and the education sectors. I started Beneath & Beyond.
I ran the programs quite successfully for a few more months before we moved back to Israel. The real driving force is hiding in this story.
Time allowed me to see the beauty of twists in plots. Life hosts them and is made of them.
Find them. Rewrite your plot.
And now, now what?!