Mind the Gap Please and Keep Calm … yeah right

My dearest, dear readers,

I often say life never goes according to our plans, does it. As I am writing this, I am having Pret decaf coffee at the Luton airport, returning back home from BRIEF Summer School 2018. This international summer school is one of the most magical solution focused brief therapy trainings, where experienced practitioners together with new stars across the world meet, learn and work together. This year I was so privileged and blessed to contribute to and co-shape its program with bits and pieces of group work and warming up activities, so needless to say it has had a special meaning for me.

It might seem to be the right time to tell you about the upcoming big changes, mentioned in the previous post.

For the past four years, I have been engaged in quite an unusual relationship. On-off, distance one, beautiful, fierce, loving, growing, totally unpredictable. And so life’s decided, this relationship is here to stay. Not only stay, we are heading towards a serious commitment, which shows in moving in together. In other more accurate words, I am moving to London, am in the middle of the process of becoming a UK resident and am  not only physically but also formally leaving Slovenia. I say formally, because Slovenia will always remain my home and a big part of my life is staying there, even though my Slovenian passport now has UK address in it. But professional development is leading me to the UK and my inner gut feeling says it’s right.

Don’t ask me what I’ll do or where I’ll stay. I don’t know. All I know is that life is short, I don’t want to have a plan B and I want to wake up every morning with the feeling that this is what I should be doing and this is where I need to be doing it right now. I will for sure continue with developing my Solution Focused Practice, partly because by now I don’t know how to work in any other way (nor do I want to) and partly because I love it more and more every year. So who knows what life will bring, thank each and every one of you who have been massively supportive when I first started thinking about this decision in June, thanks to all of my UK friends who have welcomed me so warmly when I first came back in 2014. Thank all of you, who have been thrilled when I told you that this time I am staying. Thank you my Slovenian friends for all we’ve accomplished together, I will hopefully be coming back as a regular visitor and we’ll have many chances to catch up. I am doing one more professional solution focused training in Slovenia as my final farewell and if you can, join in and take all I have to offer.

Lastly, thanks for all of the opportunities I wasn’t offered in Slovenia and all the rejections. I am beyond happy not to be engaged in a bonding contract and deeply grateful for being kind of pushed to start on my own and develop my own company. So I did. And now I am doing it again, but far from being alone. I am so so so much looking forward to new projects, new experience, new collaborations. I can’t tell you how warm it feels when you know you are going somewhere you are welcome, people want you and can’t wait for you to come.

So here I am.

Biba

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Thrilled, excited and beyond words!!!

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Everything Changes

Dear reader,

luck comes to those who are brave enough to look for it. There are many people who dream big. Many people who have given up their dreams. Many people who have no chance of anything like dreaming. And some people who actually do something about it.

Easier said than done. Doing something what you like is tricky. Because it might actually be much more difficult to do than doing something you don’t like. It seems paradoxical and somehow it is, because most of the people want to have a good life, enjoy themselves and those around them.

So why do most people still complain, look out for something different, fail over and over and are generally not satisfied with their current lives? Here are a few ideas how come choosing one way is easier than the other.

  • Living a live you want requires trust.

Trust I am talking about here is trust that things will work out. Trust that the way will unfold itself when the time is right. Trust also means letting go of planing, letting go of your super huge goals, letting go of analysing and trying to figure out “why” and “exactly how”.

  • Living a life you want requires courage.

Courage to take responsibility for your actions. Which might have good or bad consequences. Courage to do things that frighten you, be it call some stranger, write a complaint, tell somebody you love them, apologise for something you might have done. Courage to believe in yourself. To believe that you already have everything it takes and to believe that in a crucial moment you’ll know what to do. Which connects with the above mentioned trust.

  • Living a life you want has tolls.

It has. Some people might be your fans and admirers. And as such, they might be wanting things from you and might be on your tail. Some people might consider you threatening. Might try to disable you, stop you or speak behind your back. To live a life you want you might sometimes have to sacrifice things most people would not be willing to, such as getting drunk every weekend, wasting time watching series or even bigger things, such as giving up settling down in one place and building up a family or social community.

  • Living a life you want will pay you back.

Life is short. Way shorter than you realise. Many people say it begins at the end of your comfort zone. Since most of the people wouldn’t mind having a cosy life, this questions how many people actually do it. Are you really living or are you really comfortable? Easy roads do not make skilled drivers and one of the best teachers for life is supposed to be an empty pocket. Those of you who have quitted life of comfort, know very well that rewards are huge. You get a sense of being alive. A sense of freedom. Full flow. Passion. Love. Lightness and joy. Plenty of memories of all kinds. Nourishing relationships. Stories to tell. Experiences to share.

  • Living a life you want makes you modest.

The more you discover and experience, the less you “understand”. Until you give up the need to understand and the urge to explain. You begin to respect and celebrate diversity. Don’t have to be right (as if there is such a thing as being right). You don’t mind to share. And receive. You give up big dreams such as making an impact – it becomes more than enough to simply be, wake up every day with the sense of being fully alive and take care of your own wellbeing.

Since my last post, I am steadily moving towards a huge change in my life. A huge step that frightens me big time, and at the same time feels so right, that it would be a crime against humanity not going for it. I am choosing life, in all its beauty and unpredictability. The seeds have been planted, the end result (or better said a new beginning) will happen in a couple of months. If this post somehow resonates with you and you might want to move closer to living the life YOU want, I will share further steps  of my change with those of you who would like to get inspired via this Facebook page.

So much for now. Much love and from life,

Biba

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A Night of Wonder and Questions

Dear reader,

I’ve been back to the UK for a week now. It feels so good to be back, though not yet 100%, because I am still quite disabled, but close to feeling good enough. We had a great workshop with E. and C. at the United Kingdom Association for Solution Focused Practice in Liverpool and I was so pleased to meet some of now already old friends, getting to know some new ones and overall, have a very good time. Tomorrow I am travelling up North to teach a Masterclass in Sheffield, so life is treating me well.

And yet, I am somehow restless. Especially when I think of my Slovenian friends and Slovenia. It makes me somehow really sad that the climate and culture here, is so different to Slovenian. And I know I would not have recognised the difference if I haven’t been round the world to expand my horizon. There used to be a time, when I felt kind of “superior” for having this international dimension, capacity to think outside the box and embrace different outlook or worldview if you wish, compared to the one I was brought up in. Today I am realising it is still very much imbued within me and will probably stay with me forever, though I hope it might get smaller and smaller as I go about more useful ways of thinking and acting.

I met a dear Slovenian friend yesterday, who had left Slovenia five years ago. She said it was the best thing she’d ever done. I felt the same when I temporarily left it four years ago, but I am still kind of trying to keep coming back and trying to make a difference by sharing what I’ve learned. So far I am not sure about my success. Sometimes I think that if I stayed home longer, I might lean back towards the “old” ways of thinking and doing and as soon as I catch myself doing that, I feel rage and disappointment. On the other hand, being away, makes me want to spread my wings and share my happiness. And today I know that my inner flame will fade away if I won’t nourish it and take care of my own wellbeing, even if this means putting no one else first but me.

So I couldn’t go to sleep late into the night yesterday and have woken up at 4am today, listening to birds, watching the moon and wondering what life will bring me next. Where might I go? What might I do? Am I scared? Am I confused? What makes me happy? What does not? Am I allowing the good things for me to enter my life? Am I willing to accept that I can achieve beyond my current imagination?

I don’t know. All I know is that today as I was just exiting Holborn Underground station, a man stopped me and wanted to buy me a cup of coffee. I accepted. We spent lovely 20 mins together and I was wondering what his hidden agenda was. It turned out there wasn’t any – my presence and vibration simply attracted him and he couldn’t resist talking to me. I know I have a very magnetic, irresistible presence when I am in a good vibe. When I am not, I am average. Can I control which one to invite out? Wish that I might get there someday, but for now, these things only happen in London. To me at least. So I am guessing one should not try to find their purpose. The purpose will find you.

Biba

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View from my London bedroom window. Beautiful isn’t it?

 

Do Men Really Love Bitches?

Dear reader,

I am no relationship expert. In fact I’ve no idea about why or how relationships work or don’t. I just have them. But recently I’ve noticed a very interesting outlook, trending among women, young and mature. It is a belief that men don’t love nice girls, they love bitchy girls. The underlying message is that women should put themselves first and never look needy to a man.

I am seeing clients, lots of young women, sometimes couples. And I noticed that this new trend is somehow misunderstood and misinterpreted hugely. It conveyed many young women to literally become iron bitches, not caring about anyone and anything but satisfying their own needs.

This is not what it’s about.

There was a video circulating on FB about a mother with her son, playing in a playground. Other kids were teasing him and have been really rude towards him, because he was black. Sadly as it was, none of their parents reacted. And no, that didn’t happen in America, it happened in Spain. I went to a mall today. As I was just resting a bit, because I can’t walk for a very long time, both of my crutches fell on the floor. People were passing by and not even one stopped and offered any help.

While I do believe that people should not be overly helpful, I do not think that this is the kind of society I’d want to live in.

So back to the topic. No, men (or any human being really) in fact do not like bitches. Actually nobody likes self-centred careless bitches (and even they themselves probably don’t). Just remember what difference one single kind word can make. Or a genuine smile. A small gesture of kindness. Some care, not expecting anything in return, just because you are a lovely person. It will not cost you your throne, on the contrary – you’ll become a queen of people’s hearts without trying or wanting to.

So please, my dear women, girls, don’t swap your kind caring nature for cold, masculine steel. But yes, do like yourself, do take care of what you need and yes, do enjoy your femininity. Do put many efforts in trying to feel good in your body and spirit, and also do contribute with whatever you are and have got, to make this world a nicer place. Give, don’t close down. No one has ever become poor by giving.

Lots of love,

Biba

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You do not have to be a bitch for men to love you …

Guest post: “I’ll be ok if…”

Dear reader,

I’ve been so privileged to have met wonderful people on my journey. People who have inspired me, people who have been silly with my, people who have laughed and cried with me. Today I am giving you Chris. He is a Registered Mental Health Nurse, employed as a Wellbeing Advisor at a university. Most of his time is spent talking with students about how they may overcome any difficulties and achieve their aspirations. Chris once told me he wants to make a wider impact by spreading joy. I think it joy one of the highest purposes of life, so I suggested he writes something for us. Here it goes, hope you’ll enjoy it ❤

How do you know when you are at your best? What do you do in those moments? What might it look like to other people? What might you still be doing, and what might other people see if you still somehow manage to experience a moment in which you are at your best even when everything is going wrong? When nothing in your life in that moment is the way you’d prefer it to be?

In between the moments when you experience that, even during lengthy spells when you experience a major setback and don’t recognise yourself as that person any more, but instead find everything about how you’re behaving, thinking and feeling distasteful, yet maybe also strangely compelling, when you can’t remember how to be any other way… What are the different things you do during those spells that somehow deliver you back to the next moment, even if it’s only a fleeting moment, in which you are again at your best? The things you’re doing differently in that moment, compared to how you were doing them in the previous moment, when everything was wrong and nothing was working?

Whatever those things are, they are your things, hard earnt things, and they clearly work.

What might happen if you do more of them?

Your instinct is probably at least partly trustworthy, you probably will be ok if… you do the things that work for you. Not necessarily the things you feel compelled to do at first, out of habit or some notion of what you probably should do, but the things that genuinely work for you, as proven by subsequently resulting in you, and the other people in your life, recognising that you are a step closer to being you at your best. Rather handily, whether you do these things or not in any given moment, you’ve seen the pattern, you know how this goes; eventually you’ll be ok again. Then you wont. Then you will. Then you wont. Then you will. When you’re not ok, sooner or later you’ll do something different that works for you, then you’ll be ok. If you’re not sure what it’ll be, wait and see, and whilst you’re waiting, ask yourself how you’ll know when you’re ok again, or even better, when you’re at your best.

Chris Ward for Biba’s blog

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Don’t focus on letting go. Focus on letting in!

Dear reader,

I am back to work and have started to see clients again. Very often they come with some serious problems and loads of baggage from past negative experiences they want to let go of but can’t or has been going on for too long, perhaps going on still.

Sometimes they would come with some habits or addictions they would like to change and sometimes they come stressed, nervous about certain events or people and would like to let go of certain relationships.

My recent experience in the hospital of having been pushed in a life situation where I felt I lost pretty much everything, I remember lying in my bed and trying to let go. Let go of my irritation because someone really significant to me pushed me away, let go of the physical pain I was feeling, let go of fear what would happen the next day, let go of the overwhelming sensation that I blew up my body, my life and my future. The more I was “trying” to let go, the more irritated I felt. I knew I had to do something, or I would have gone mad, but whatever I tried to do, or whichever TED talk or whatever I was trying to calm down, didn’t work.

Then I realised I was trying to deal with my situation from a wrong angle. I was trying to let go of something unwanted and spent loads of energy and efforts trying to sort of “eliminate” the “bad stuff”. Of course that didn’t work! I was doing it from the stance of deprivation, feeling powerless, abandoned and hurt. I didn’t know any better than this. Well, many times letting go has worked, but not this time. I needed something different.

Then a thought came:

Why focusing on letting go. Why not focus on letting in?

This made all the difference. Being focused on what I wanted to let into my life had nothing, I tell you, NOTHING to do with what I wanted to let go of. At that moment, I wanted to let in some peace, calmness, tenderness, appreciation of beauty, people around me, service and my body which was fighting like a female tiger. As soon as I started searching for answers to what it was that I wanted to let in, my whole situation changed. My circumstances were the same, my roommates too, the clock was ticking with the same irritable sound, with a difference that all of a sudden it hasn’t been bothering me anymore.

Now I am using this question with my clients. Have recently been working with a highly suicidal girl who has been hospitalised several times due to self harming behaviour. The question of what was it she’s been wanting to let into her life and what difference that would have made for her, made all the difference. She is more than fine now, has found a boyfriend and they have just been away for their first weekend together.

We think life is complicated. True, it is complex, and layered, and beyond our understanding or explanation. But it doesn’t have to be very complicated if you find a way how to get yourself in a receptive mode where you can let or allow the good stuff waiting out there for you, to come in. It is there, right there. But you might be too busy to notice it, being too focused on what you don’t want and what you want to let go of.

With love,

Biba

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No reason to live? Get offline!

Dear reader,

More than one month since my last blog. In the meantime, I’ve had a Periacetabular Osteotomy hip operation. This is clearly not a small operation and the rehabilitation will take up to 6 months. It has been very painful, quite complicated, at moments more than a physical massacre. I am using crutches and am on a wheelchair now. With many restrictions, many narcotics, feeling dizzy, sloppy, slow.

But I tell you. I am having one of the best times of my life. The hospital where I was operated was more a hotel rather than a hospital, with view of the sea and peacocks perching on my window every morning and evening. We had the best time with my roomies – the last day before I was dismissed to be sent home I did every woman’s nails. My body has become my very best friend and companion – recovering rapidly. As soon as I got home I was quite independent, in spite all the restrictions and difficulties. Came off morphine last week, even thought I should be taking narcotics at least one more week. Have begun to drive already, even though I shouldn’t for at least for another four weeks. And no, I am not pushing it, am not trying to do the impossible, because I do not feel the urge or need to prove anything to anyone. My body is simply recovering splendidly. Even I myself am amazed. Of course there are ups and downs, but all in all, our bodies are miracles. And we tend to forget this way too often. Such a pity, really.

So that’s what’s been happening in the past month. But that’s not what I wanted to share with you. I wanted to tell you that one thing which helped me recover most, was being offline. Spending time with people who matter to me. Face to face. Closely. You know, when such life events happen, they make you pause and reflect. About what truly matters. I remember lying in my hospital bed, waiting to be taken to the operation room and since there have been quite some complications, I was not sure of whether I was gonna wake up or not. I was quite tired, stripped, fed up, have lost my independence, dignity, even hope. I knew the rehabilitation will be long and hard. I knew I will be in lots of pain (though couldn’t have imagined in what pain – had I known I might have changed my mind to allow this operation in the first place 🙂 ). In such moments it’s hard to find hope. But it is still possible to find joy. Find joy in the present moment, embrace it as it is. So I remember letting go of everything and simply decide to feel good. It worked. It so f****** worked that I still can’t believe it. And then I knew I was gonna be alright. Whatever will happen and wherever I will be, I will be alright.

Obviously, I have woken up, and I am here. Alive more than ever. But with one huge difference. Before this experience I was three things: being very ambitious, successful and at the same time pushing myself (and my body) beyond its limits. Now I realised this was perhaps attractive before, but it’s a new day today. Today I am not doing my life with anything but my heart anymore. What matters in the end, are the relationships. “Offline” relationships. Offline in the sense of being real. I have many very close friends whom I am mostly seeing online, but I count our relationships under “offline” category, because they are so genuine, so close, loving, affectionate. Yes, when it comes to life and death, you rearrange your priorities, And whatever you do, achieve, create, will not matter. What will matter is how much you have loved. So I decided to love. Dearly, passionately, closely.

I can’t tell you how much my life has changed. Yes, I might be disabled. Yes, I might be restricted. In pain. Weak. Fragile. But I have left such a huge baggage behind, which is called trying to make an impression, hiding, striving for to perfection. I don’t care about any of these anymore. If people like me, we’ll get together. If they don’t, there are almost 8 billion people on this planet so I won’t waste a thought on people who don’t match my frequency. But for those who do, I’d do everything. They are my life. If you are reading this or following this, you are my life too. I am your life too. And in the cold light of dawn, that’s what makes us human beings, that’s what gives us sense of belonging, that’s what creates joy. Which I believe is next to love, the second most powerful feeling.

Hope you are doing well. Tell me how you are 🙂

With much love,

Biba

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