Has it ever happened to you, that suddenly everything you thought you knew was an illusion and what you thought is blue turned out to be red actually? Or in other words – have you ever experienced a feeling, where nothing makes sense anymore and doesn’t fit any of your frames, yet it is the most incredible experience? Well me too. That’s what my American journey looked like.
On one hand, I’ve learned even more about SFBT, had a supervision on a difficult case of mine, have met soul mates who share same ideals about it as I do and also was able to talk to world famous therapists and yet didn’t feel like an amateur. In solution focused environment that kind of thing wouldn’t happen anyway, as it is a very safe environment to learn, to be heard, to be seen, respected and to have a possibility to learn from the best. And they even show genuine interest in you and your work.
Now then. On the other hand, our training and conference was at a venue so much different to what I call a “known situation”. A totally different world, not only visually, but also culturally. For example some stereotypes: In a land where obesity represents a major problem, I’ve lost more than 2kgs. In a land where there are mainly hamburgers and fries, I had organic almond milk for breakfast. It took me 34 hours outbound to my final destination and more than 24 hours back. Including a delay, a missed plane, a rebooked one, a lost luggage and certainly many lost nerves. I busted into tears in the middle of the Heathrow airport in London, just because it was so damn big, that I freaked out. The next second I laughed for the very same reason. Anyway, to return to America: in a city with the elevation of more than 7,000 feet it is said not to pursue too much physical activity in the first few days and after my 34 hours of travel and flying, I walked from the airport to the hostel for more than 9 miles (had to stop in the outlets of course, and that was NOT in the same direction!). My shoes cancelled on me afterwards. Finally, after 6 hours of walking, I reached the hostel and announced my glorious journey and since then I was referred to as “the girl who walked from the airport”. After that I realized there was a bus for 2$/daily pass so that ended the walking odyssey.
How did I survive all of that? Not always, but mostly, I tried to focus and be present. Instead of complaining, I was thinking compliments. Instead of being self-centred I turned outwards. Instead of letting my emotion and body to take over in terms of being exhausted and stressed, I gently embraced that tired and nervous part of me and managed to calm it. It was one of the fiercest things I’ve ever done and yet a gentle one.
I wrote in my award proposal that if I am to win this award, this would mean that I could grow a bit more, I could spread my wings to other continents and make some contacts for future collaboration as well as could return back home with more knowledge and open-mindedness to share it with people around me.
That didn’t quite happen. Again, as written in my “About” section, the reality turned out so much better. I have gained confidence now as a therapist. Much more confidence, and I was doing ok before. I’ve deepened my skills. Mostly in terms that I’m okay with the “not knowing” and have gained trust into the client’s abilities. That they will tell me what I need to know. But most important, I’ve reached the limits of my comfort zone. And have crossed it. And I know that tomorrow I might be back on the old track of habits and comfort. Will definitely bring back these lost kilos :). But I realize now that everything I thought was black could be white and that I can go through more of this. Much more than I can imagine. Actually I’m looking forward to it.
Feels good to be back. Might get me some fries now, to justify the stereotype.