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Sometimes you just have to let it happen.

by Sunni Chapman

I’m so exhausted this week that I don’t have the energy to put together even one “Italian best-practice sales tip.” Instead what I have for you is an outpouring from my heart about the need for connection. This connection was a key factor in our family deciding to relocate to Sicily. A sense of belonging was needed to refresh our spirits and so, we just let it happen.

You need to know that my parents decided to come down the boot to stay with us this year. My family is originally from Turin which is in northern Italy but my husband Michael and I, along with our kids, decided to move to Sicily because we wanted to stay warm in the winter. Turin’s weather is like New York and Sicily’s climate is more like San Diego. So here we are, living in the south in the city of Palermo which has just been nominated as a European Cultural city for 2018.

It’s bigger than most Sicilian cities and with the size comes more noise, and a lot more traffic. But there is also an International School which is very important to us. We didn’t want our kids to be uprooted and feel lost while struggling with the language and cultural differences in a region that many people consider separate from Italy.

There are many reasons why we are here now but essentially last April we visited Sicily and allowed ourselves to relax and be receptive to whatever feelings and emotions presented themselves as we spent time here. We wanted to see if fate would open the door to this region or somewhere else. Once we stopped thinking and over analyzing and began experiencing instead what we found is that connection after connection to this amazing place was forming naturally and fate had indeed created a welcoming entry to Sicily.

In September of 2017 we made the dream a reality by making the big move to Palermo Sicily. Part of our move was for personal reasons and part was for business reasons because besides connecting with the people and surroundings we came here to build stronger connections with our suppliers. We NEEDED to implement quality control for the products we use from our Sicilian partners.

It’s a good thing that we’ve planned on staying here for at least a year because reaching our goal regarding quality control is going to take a LONG time and a lot of work. If you’ve seen some of my previous newsletters you know I am already working hard, but trust is not given lightly by Sicilians, it is earned over time.

These recent holidays were the first time we have spent together as a whole family, including the nonni in many years. Leading up to Christmas we were so excited to know that we were all going to be together in our new apartment in Palermo we could barely stand it! Life can be tricky though. Wouldn’t you know it but along with joy of Christmas morning we also received the wonderful present of sickness for the entire family.

Can you believe it? Starting with our 6 year old daughter then traveling to our 11 year old boy and then our older college aged girls. Of course Michael and I got to enjoy this present too. But THIS week the worst reality arrived when the nonni got sick too! I don’t know if you know but when the nonni are sick, it is BAD. Everyone in the family becomes alarmed when they get sick. This is REALLY BAD! The nonni are too important to be sick.

So here I am, exhausted while trying to make everyone feel better only to feel like I am not helping anyone at all. I feel ineffective and useless but I HAVE gained a measure of empathy for anyone who is chronically ill or suffers a long term malady.

This week, I am just me, vulnerable and all, authentic and real too. Honestly this is how I sometimes feel in my business when things are out of my control.

AND this is exactly why we are here in Sicily this year, to build the connections and relationships that will ultimately result in our clients and yours knowing that we will take care of them and have their backs no matter where they are from the collar to the toe of Italy’s boot.

Follow our lead, because sometimes to get things done you just have to be present and let it happen.


Laura Massoni - See Italy
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