NEW ONLINE TRAINING: Untrain yourself and start becoming friends with your body

Dear reader,

previous blog post “Were You Trained to Hate Your Body?” has prompted this. In my line of work, I have never met a woman or a man who would not have at least one issue, struggle or cause for embarrassment about the way how their body looked, behaved or their habits around it. And yet I believe, with some time and motivation, we can un-train ourselves and find a way forward to becoming at peace or even friends with our bodies. So I have created this online training programme for all of us who would like to break this cycle of self-hate and turn it into something worthwhile.

Your past does not have to mess up with your future. Your past failures can be made into your future successes.

This online training will consist of five separate online videos, which you will receive every week to your mailboxes. The videos will tackle different aspects of our being and performance and will also offer you exercises which you can do alone or together with someone you trust.

The second part of the training will be individual sessions. In these conversations we will be focusing on the outcomes specially tailored to you and your hopes. Each participant will have an opportunity for two individual sessions.

The last part at the end of the training course might involve a group meeting where we’ll share our progress and create a resource support group, which can last beyond the training course. TBA.

FOR WHOM?

Anyone who can in some way relate to this blog post.

HOW LONG?

Starting on October 2nd 2017 and lasting for 5 weeks.

HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD I DEVOTE AND HOW WILL WE WORK?

As much time as you want. The video sessions will be sent directly to your email address, first one starting on October 2nd, after you register for this training. Then it is up to you how fast you go. There will be five slots, one per week. As for individual conversations, we will together look out for a time which suits us both and meet online, so you can enjoy our conversation from your own couch! The videos will be in English, as the training is designed for international audience. Individual sessions can be done in other languages of your preference (Slovenian or other Southern Slavic language, German or Spanish).

GREAT! HOW DO I JOIN?

You can register through this online form by October 1st. There is a symbolic participation fee of 50£, which includes all the videos, individual sessions and support through the training, so that really everybody can join. After registering you will receive an email with logistic and payment details.

QUESTIONS?

Here for you to answer.

I created this training because I believe in its usefulness. And I believe in the importance of this topic. As it is not a part of Ribalon’s regular trainings, we’ll only take up to 10 people on a first come, first serve basis. 

I am so hopeful because you reacted. Together we can shape a better future, starting with ourselves.

Biba

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La Dolce Vita. Why not?

 

 

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Were You Trained to Hate Your Body?

Dear reader,

I’m not sure how to start this post. It is quite intimate and personal. Not only to me, but to, I believe, every woman ever. Perhaps men as well, possibly more and more so.

See, our society has trained us to hate our bodies. Trained us to live in constant striving to change our body’s shape, tan, size, colour, smell, hair, you name it, they’ve got it covered. Or like Lily Allen put in one of her lyrics “Everything’s cool as long as I’m getting thinner”.

For me it happened as early as in elementary school gym class, where we were supposed to stand in line, from the tallest to the smallest pupil. I was somewhere in the middle, more among the taller end. And I wasn’t happy. Sometimes I wanted to be taller, sometimes smaller. I was also wearing glasses. Not attractive fashionable ones, but thick plastic pair, which would rub my nose and would look geeky. Of course other kids made fun of me. Of course I didn’t like it. Then came my foot size, which was somehow small. While most of the girls would buy their shoes at ladies compartment, I was still kept among kids trainers. And I was miserable.

Then I started doing ballet. Every single thing about ballet, is about the dancer’s body as well. I was unhappy with my arches. Unhappy with the length of my legs. Unhappy about my thighs. My red cheeks. I wanted to have a pale face and really dark hair. I wanted to be skinny. Not thin, but skinny skinny. I saw my body as my enemy, because it would gradually grow into a woman and I wanted it to remain at 50kgs. I didn’t see the swan-like neck, my big eyes, slender shoulders and long arms or my body’s amazing stretchiness. All of these didn’t count, compared to the deficiencies my body had.

When I stopped dancing, I didn’t like that my breasts were not cup C, not even a cup B. I didn’t like how my vagina looked like. I didn’t even like the shape of my fingernails.

So often have I encountered feelings of guilt, shame, embarrassment. And a deep desire to look like somebody else. Perhaps a movie star. Perhaps a model from a magazine. Perhaps a girl next door with fantastic hair and perfect life. I was not comfortable being naked, not even in front of my boyfriends. Or especially not in front of them.

So I would force my body to be, look and behave the way I believed would make me happy. It followed me. I could force it to be lower than 50 kgs while still a dancer. I could force it to work hard under poor nutrition. I could control its functions and could order when to get ill and when not. My body was not my partner. It was my slave. The only thing I had full control of, in the crazy world.

And the slave failed me.

No matter how hard I pushed it, I still didn’t like it. No matter what colour I dyed my hair or how much mascara I applied, it still wasn’t good enough. Every picture of my body or face I had a look at, was lacking something.

I think I have a natural or genetic inclination to addiction, be it good or bad. So I would get excited about something new and would joyfully embrace the new habit until I would master it. Be it a habit with good or bad consequences. So I started to smoke. Tried to smoke marihuana as well, but it didn’t do much for me, so I stopped. I think I could easily become an alcoholic, so I’m staying away from it (most of the time, khmmm). I would also get excited about gluten-free food. Or veganism. Or paleo. Or buying nice clothes. Shoes. Or bags, omg, bags. Hair accessories. Facial creams, lotions, scrubs, sprays, deodorants, serums. In order to be healthy, beautiful, attractive, young, I don’t know what. Bottom line, to be or become someone who I was currently not. Change was always somewhere on the horizon, visible, but out of reach. If I wanted to become healthier, I should buy and consume chia seeds and B12 supplements. If I wanted to remain looking young, I should start using facial creams and serums, because I am over 30. If I want to be ready to go to the beach, I should shave my legs and have my bikini line done. And get rid of cellulite of course, nobody wants to look at that, do they?

Carefully following and executing the demands of our society, I realised I was trained from my childhood on, to hate my body. To constantly look at its faults instead of pros and not dare to look at its beauty. To constantly try to improve it and make it something it is not.

Guess what dear ladies out there (and men are welcomed too): how about we train ourselves to love our bodies. 

It will be a hard, but I guess a rewarding journey. I started flirting with the idea some time ago, but constantly failed, as the power of collective memory and obedience’s just too strong and my individual mental determination can’t compete there. But perhaps we could make a difference, if there were more of us. I am at the moment somewhere down Croatian coast at a nude camp with only one piece of clothes and sandals. I haven’t brought any make up, facial cream or hair accessory. I am not thinking about what or when to eat, or how much. I am far away from my business casual meetings, my high heels or my tweezers. My body is full of mosquito bites, my hair hasn’t seen a hairbrush in a week and my face is lacking moisturiser (so the media tells me and I believe it). My legs are hairy and my feet are cracked, because I’m running around barefoot all the time. But I am feeling wonderful. I’m enjoying my femininity, my strong legs which can swim very fast and very far, my round hips which give me extreme pleasure when I’m making love, my waist with the stomach capable to digest all the rubbish I have fed it, my chest which can hold breath so I can swim underwater, my long arms strong enough to do and carry all the things that come to my mind and fragile enough to remind me that I don’t have to be strong. My head, which contains my brain, my strongest weapon, my full lips, my eyebrows, ears, … all the body parts which, even though I have treated it so poorly in the past, still serve me so damn well.

So I am training myself to love the woman my body contains. This is a daring act. I am not fooling myself into believing that I will not struggle along the way. The entire beauty industry would die if more women trained themselves to take a different path. But I will at least give it a go.

So I am happy to start a training programme for us, who no longer want to obey the paradigm that we have to hate our bodies in order to fit within this society. Those of you who have asked for it, check your mailboxes, as I have answered it today. And if anyone out there would like to join and train into becoming more likeable to yourself, you are most welcome. Send me an email and let’s make our bodies our most loyal and equal partners, perhaps even friends, but definitely not slaves.

Biba

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Your body. The only one you will ever have. I chose to start treating mine as my friend.

 

10 načinov kako izbrati primernega terapevta

Dragi moji slovenski bralci,

V kolikor vam blog zapis o tem kako se izogniti terapiji ni dal dovolj idej in čutite, da vseeno potrebujete pomoč terapevta ali pa vas na splošno zanima kako izbrati primernega terapevta zase oz. za koga, ki mu želite pomagati, potem bo tale blog kot naročen.

V določenih primerih, ko sami ne najdemo poti naprej, je pomoč strokovnjaka lahko zelo koristna, saj nam prihrani veliko časa, ki bi ga porabili za tavanje po slepih ulicah. Prav tako nam lahko pomaga premakniti zgolj kamenček ali pa celo goro, ki nam odpre popolnoma nova obzorja. Če ste torej poskusili že prav vse, da bi se terapiji izognili, vendar neuspešno, potem morda lahko poskusite skupaj s strokovnjakom, ki pa ga morate seveda najprej poiskati in modro izbrati. To pa je vse prej kot lahka naloga. Zato lahko morda pride prav par idej o tem kako izbrati tistega pravega, s katerim bosta ustvarjala in iskala za vas pozitivne spremembe.

Če ste iz kakršnega koli razloga izbrali napačnega terapevta, to ni nujno terminalna napaka. Dve očitni znamenji, ki vam nesporno kažeta, da ste izbrali napačnega terapevta, sta:

  • Če se po srečanju počutite slabše kot pred srečanjem: v tem primeru zaupajte sebi in se k terapevtu ne vrnite, saj je to podobno kot da bi ponovno poklicali na pomoč vodovodarja, ki vam je namesto, da bi vam popravil cev ki pušča, povzročil poplavo.
  • Če po treh srečanjih niste zaznali nobenega napredka pri sebi in če se vam zdi, da terapija za vas ne deluje (ne glede na to, kaj vam pravi terapevt), potem najdite drugega terapevta ali pa poskusite dalje sami.

Pa vseeno, preden se odločite, da “odpustite” svojega terapevta, ga morate najprej seveda najti. Tukaj je par namigov, ki vam lahko pomagajo pri odločitvi, ali ste našli pravega: 

  1. Vprašajte ga/jo o njihovem odnosu do bolečine. V kolikor vam rečejo, da brez bolečine napredek in rast nista možna (ali kot radi rečejo Angleži ‘no gain without pain’, odklonite sodelovanje. V resničnem svetu vemo, da bolečina kaže, da gre nekaj narobe. Zakaj bi torej terapevtski proces, ki naj bi nam pomagal, moral biti muka in trpljenje?
  2. Vprašajte jo/ga o njihovem odnosu do čustev. Ustvarjanje ali obujanje negativnih občutkov in čustev je ena od najlažjih stvari, ki jih terapevt lahko vzbudi. Tipičen primer za to je, kadar klient deli svojo težavo ali bolečo izkušnjo in terapevt nato vpraša: “Kako si se počutila ob tem?” Še vprašanje ali dve v tej smeri in zelo verjetno boste jokali kot dež, pa ne od veselja. Solze niso pogoj za uspešnost terapije in v kolikor vaš terapevt meni, da so njen sestavni del, ga oz. jo vprašajte kako vam bodo pomagali, da boste še pred koncem srečanja prišli ven iz negativnih občutij do stanja, ki bo za vas bolj ugodno in vas ne bodo pustili sredi vaših negativnih čustev.
  3. Izogibajte se terapevtom, ki trdijo, da vedo kaj je narobe z vami. Ne vedo. To sklepajo zgolj na podlagi (nepreverljivih) teorij. V kolikor bi resnično razumeli kako ljudje funkcioniramo, bi imeli zgolj par teorij o tem. Tako pa v stroki trenutno kroži par sto različnih teorij o tem kako ljudje delujemo, sodelujemo, se razvijamo, itd. Vendar so, kot začeto v prejšnjem zapisu, teorije zgolj metafore. Po eni strani, povedano precej neelegantno, smo ljudje kot Pavlovi psi: nekdo pozvoni in mi se odzovemo z naučenimi vzgibi, karkoli že to je. Po drugi strani, precej bolj sofisticirano, imamo Freudovo zapuščino, ki na ljudi gleda skozi mnogo različnih plasti in stopenj zavesti. Ne glede na to koliko teorij poznamo in kako dobro jih poznamo, ob koncu dneva pridemo do ugotovitve, da pravzaprav razumevanja o tem kako delujemo, čustvujemo, razmišljamo, enostavno nimamo. Posledično tudi nimamo ukrepov kako in s čim se lahko “popravimo” (kar odpira vprašanje ali bi morali karkoli “popravljati”, a pustimo to za zdaj za kakšno drugo priložnost). V najboljšem primeru lahko ugibamo in upamo, da bo poskus obrodil sadove, nove uvide, ideje o tem kaj lahko storimo drugače in spremenimo svojo situacijo na bolje. Teorija, ki ji ob tem sledimo, nam lahko pomaga (ali pa ovira) pri iskanju perspektive o tem kako naj gledamo na situacijo in iz katerega zornega kota naj se je lotimo. Zato izberite terapevta, ki se tega zaveda in ki ne zamenjuje teorije z realnostjo.
  4. Prav tako se izogibajte terapevtom, ki trdijo da lahko ugotovijo, kaj je narobe z vami. Takšno sodelovanje lahko vodi v to, da boste ob koncu staknili nekaj, česar predhodno niste imeli, najsibo diagnoza ali etiketa. Saj veste, vsi, ki smo kdaj brali kaj o različnih psiholoških boleznih in njihovih znakih, smo ob koncu branja o sebi sumili ali celo bili prepričani, da imamo tudi sami te znake in simptome. V mojem najstništvu sem strastno trenirala klasični balet. V moji plesni karieri so bili meseci ali celo leta, ko ni bilo dneva, da me ne bi bolela vsaj ena mišica. Nekega dne sem morala zaradi manjše poškodbe k zdravnici, ki je ravno takrat zaključevala specializacijo iz psihoanalize. Šlo je za ponavljajočo poškodbo in zdravniki niso znali najti konkretnega vzroka. Zato je bil njen zaključek, da sem te vrste človek, ki enostavno potrebuje fizično bolečino, da lahko dobro funkcionira v življenju. In da si jo ustvarjam sama. Čeprav sem se tej “diagnozi” upirala z vsem, kar sem imela na voljo in se k tej zdravnici nisem nikoli več vrnila, je njena opazka pustila pomemben in precej strupen odtis v meni, saj je zasadila dvom da morda pa je res nekaj “ornk” narobe z mano. To pa je vodilo v občutek nesigurnosti in odpiralo vprašanje ali nemara potrebujem dodatno, “poglobljeno”, strokovno pomoč. Tega občutka sem se otresla šele takrat, ko sem se preselila v drugo mesto in po naključju obiskala drugega zdravnika, ki je hitro ugotovil vzrok mojih fizičnih bolečin ter ga tudi učinkovito odpravil, brez stranskih učinkov. Zatorej v kolikor izberete terapevta, ki vam bo povedal kaj je narobe z vami, izberite takega, čigar razmišljanje je podobno vašemu. S tem se obvarujete tveganja, da nase navlečete toksično diagnozo, ki je morda sploh nimate.
  5. Vašega terapevta vprašajte kako dolgo meni, da bo trajalo vajino sodelovanje in ob tem bodite pozorni na gotovost, s katero vam bodo ponudili odgovor. Terapevti pogosto na vprašanje o tem koliko srečanj in kako dolgo bo trajala celotna terapija, odgovorijo z določenim časovnim in teoretičnim okvirjem. Terapevti psihoanalitiki bodo morda rekli vsaj dvakrat tedensko in minimalno eno leto, terapevti kognitivno-vedenjske smeri bodo morda predlagali 25 srečanj. Različni časovni okvirji so odvisni od tega kaj priporočajo različne teorije in raziskovalne ugotovitve. Kot take so seveda lahko vse kaj drugega od resničnega življenja in daleč od vaše situacije. Težko je reči kaj je najprimerneje, nam pa raziskave kažejo, da se večina terapij zaključi v prej kot desetih srečanjih (uspešno ali neuspešno) ne glede na to, kaj priporočajo terapevti. Terapevt, ki ob vajinem začetku ne ve, koliko srečanj bo potrebnih in kako dolgo bo trajalo vajino sodelovanje, je v tem smislu lahko veliko bolj fleksibilen in si bo bolj prizadeval, da bo vajino sodelovanje trajalo čim manj časa z za vas čim bolj ugodnim izidom.
  6. V kolikor želite povečati možnosti, da vaša terapija traja čim manj časa in vam pomaga, da čim prej nadaljujete s svojim življenjem sami, izberite terapevta, ki misli, da trajanje in razsežnost problema ne vplivata na dolžino terapije. Spremembe se ne zgodijo tako predvidljivo. V kolikor se z določenim problemom spopadamo že več let, to nikakor ne pomeni, da bo tudi terapija morala biti dolgotrajna. Nekateri ljudje bodo za doseg željene spremembe potrebovali dlje časa, drugi pa jo bodo dosegli čez noč. Večina nas je verjetno nekje vmes.
  7. V kolikor vam vaš potencialni terapevt reče, da si bo prizadeval za to, da se bo med vama ustvaril globok in pomemben odnos, razmislite še enkrat ali je to dobra izbira za vas. Globoki odnosi so najboljši s prijatelji in družino, ne s strokovnjaki. Na BBC 4 je bila pred časom predvajan intervju s psihoterapevtom znane londonske klinike, v kateri je terapevt ponosno povedal, da so za nekatere izmed njihovih klientov odnosi z njihovimi terapevti najpomembnejši odnosi, ki jih bodo klienti kadar koli imeli. Naloga terapevta je seveda zagotovo v tem, da pomaga klientom najti pot naprej v njihovem življenju. Nikakor pa ni terapevtova naloga da postanejo del njihovih življenj.
  8. Vašega potencialnega terapevta vprašajte ali verjame, da so nekateri ljudje preveč ranjeni, prizadeti ali bolni, da bi jim terapija lahko pomagala. V kolikor vam ne odgovorijo z “NE” v par sekundah, se takoj obrnite in odkorakajte skozi vrata. Prepričanje, da nekateri ljudje niso primerni za terapijo je pogubno prepričanje in žal precej priljubljen pogled, ki ljudi spreminja v mehanske objekte, ki jih lahko poškodujemo ali popravimo. Takšen pogled zanika našo človečnost, ustvarjalnost in sposobnost preživeti tudi najhujše življenjske preizkušnje. Ljudje niso poškodovani, šli so skozi izkušnje, ki poškodujejo. Včasih so te izkušnje tako boleče in tako močno vplivajo na to kdo in kaj smo (ter kdo mislimo, da smo), da se nanje odzovemo na zelo neobičajne načine. Morda celo na načine, ki so nevarni nam ali ljudem okoli nas. Vendar se lahko na te izkušnje odzovemo tudi drugače in naloga terapevta je, da nam pomaga najti druge načine. Takšne, ki nam omogočijo, da boleče življenjske izkušnje ne blokirajo naše prihodnosti in hkrati ne vznemirjajo naše preteklosti.
  9. Bodite pozorni na terapevte, ki vas bodo spodbujali, da se znebite prtljage iz vaše preteklosti. Med to prtljago so lahko tudi dragoceni družinski zakladi. Le zakaj bi se je sicer oklepali tako intenzivno in toliko časa. Seveda bo med prtljago iz preteklosti tudi veliko zastarele maščobe in v kolikor se osredotočamo zgolj na te madeže, bomo morda sčasoma videli zgolj to. Poiščite si terapevta, ki vam bo pomagal pospraviti po podstrešju in ki bo znal v razbitem steklu videti dragulje ter v starem luknjastem plašču vintage kos, vreden, da se uvrsti med modne klasike.
  10. In za zaključno misel, izberite nekoga, ki vam je všeč kot človek. Tudi če vajino delo ne obrodi sadov, vam lahko sodelovanje s to osebo ostane v prijetnem spominu.

Sama žal nisem našla zase primernega terapevta ko sem ga potrebovala. Bila sem premlada in premalo samozavestna, da bi sploh pomislila, da morda problem ni v meni. Želela bi si, da bi mi nekdo takrat pokazal ta članek. Če bo ta zapis dosegel samo eno osebo in ji na kakršen koli način pomagal, je moj današnji obstoj na tem planetu smiseln. Bodite dobro in prijeten vikend!

Biba

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Fotografija iz Sheffield Millenium Gallery – kadar sta združena ljubezen in usposobljenost, lahko pričakujete vrhunski izdelek. V našem primeru storitev 🙂

Maybe I don’t believe in happiness …

Dear reader,

my July has been the busiest month since Ribalon started. I have delivered or organised three major events in only one month: EBTA Summer Camp 2017, On Arrival EVS training and International Training No Panic. I thought I’d be exhausted by the end of the month, but surprisingly, I am bursting with energy. I’ll be returning back to the UK tomorrow and life will settle down only for a couple of days until full speed again.

So I am blooming professionally and could hardly imagine a more successful and fruitful summer.

But another part of me is dying. I am losing one of the most important people in my life. Ever since we first met, we both sensed this will lead to an exciting, loving, friendly, caring relationship. And yet we both knew our relationship was temporary, limited in time and space. What we did not know was that we’ll become so very close and such a perfect match, that we’d forgotten our relationship had serious limitations.

Now looks like, the time has come for us to part, because our lives are moving in different directions. We are not speaking the same language and do not live in the same country. We do not have many things in common and our social circles do not have overlapping members. We talked about this and it broke my heart when I first started to realise our tomorrow won’t be. But regardless of that, I tried to find a way forward, create some possibilities for us to stay together. And sometimes we are not almighty. Sometimes we cannot move mountains or create miracles, no matter how much we want to believe we could.

Right now I feel as if someone let the air out of my body. I’m feeling empty, crushed, hopeless. I want to be angry, but don’t know with whom. I want to scream like a spoiled child, but my resentment has no solid ground, since I knew from the beginning that I will lose this person. I guess I was hoping this moment would come later. Or perhaps never. I was convinced that I have the power and means to create opportunities and find solutions for us to be. And it worked. For a while. But now as I am receiving messages from this person, the bitter truth has showed its teeth and faced me with the fact that we hit the edge of our relationship. And that there are paths for us to move on. But not together.

I have let this person become such a big part of my life that I simply can’t see beyond this loss. And rationally I know, time will heal things. I know that a day will come when I’ll pick myself up again and will retain this relationship as something precious by keeping the memory of the good times we had together. But today I am heartbroken.

And this is where my clients come on stage again. I can’t thank them enough for their wisdom they shared with me. One such conversation I had while delivering a training in Poland in the end of July. One of the participants, a gentle, caring, amazingly brave and creative young man said something, while we were having a conversation, which made me think.

Perhaps my purpose on this planet is not to be happy. Perhaps my purpose on this planet is to make others happy, but my own happiness is beyond my reach. I have always thought happiness is somewhat overrated and following what Hemingway was supposed to say, that “happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” I somewhat agreed. Until this person came along. Together with this person I have experienced moments of biggest joy, excitement, passion, love, gratitude and, yes, genuine happiness. And I want more of this of course. But no matter how much I want it, our tomorrow won’t be.

So today I am realising once and for all, that I am losing this person and as much as I have tried everything, things won’t work out for us. I am coming back to be the old me, the one who does not believe in happiness.

And here comes a beautiful quote from my participant. He said it out loud, during our conversation. Later on, by the end of the training, he brought me a present. I am attaching the present in the photo below. The quote on the back of the Miro-like picture said:

“Maybe I don’t believe in happiness, but that doesn’t mean I believe in sadness.”  (Lucio, copyright allowed to Biba)

Thank you so much Lucio. So maybe I don’t believe in happiness anymore. And maybe I won’t manage to move on from this loss. Perhaps I will become an old, bitter person, closed up to the world. Or maybe not. But I don’t believe in sadness either. Whatever will be, I will never forget the moments when random people connect in their humanity and share some of their vulnerability and sadness. It is one of the best assets we possess as living creatures when things hurt.

Biba

Narejeno v Sloveniji

Ti, ki bereš ta blog,

če si star med 25 in 45 verjetno gledaš tv ali listaš Facebook. Jedel si večerjo, pa upaš, da bi pojedel manj. Imaš avto star okoli 8 let. Morda kredit za hišo ali stanovanje. Če imaš dopust, se verjetno preganjaš po hribih, ali pa lenariš na hrvaških plažah. Piješ ali Laško, ali Union, obojega ne. Ne zavidaš sosedu, a skrivaj paziš, da nima lepše pokošene trave, kot ti. Imaš rad govejo župco in občasno bereš 24ur.com.

Imaš službo. Morda prekarno. Ne zaslužiš dovolj. Šef te ne šteka, sodelavci so riti. Lahko bi bilo slabše, enim je res slabše. Z ženo nimata več tako pogostih spolnih odnosov, kot sta jih imela. Tudi zredila se je. Otroci te prosijo za denar. Oziroma jih morda sploh nimaš. Imaš pa psa, ali vsaj mačko. Ali vsaj sosedovo mačko.

Želiš si potovati. A ne na račun slabe kave ali gužve na avtocesti. Vse, kar je več kot 45 minut vožnje, je predaleč. Morda te je strah, da boš na potovanju žrtev terorističnega napada. Raje greš za vikend “na lepše”, četudi samo na kozarček, dva, tri, tro, tle … tla. Potem skušaš ne voziti, ampak včasih se pregrešiš. Saj ti si dober voznik in znaš voziti, tudi če je malce preveč pod kapo.

Gledaš poročila. Pa jih raje ne bi. In jih vseeno gledaš. Ali pa vsaj bereš twitterje. In spet 24ur.com, zlasti komentarje kaj je kdo rekel. In si rečeš s kakšnimi tepci živiš. In kako so ljudje omejeni.

Politika te ne zanima preveč. Politiki so slabi, skorumpirani, vse je preko vez in nimaš upanja, da bo kdaj bolje.

Ukvarjaš se s športom. Rad imaš gore. In pranje avtomobila. In sobotni shopping za hrano, kjer greš tudi na kavo. Z mlekom ali kapučin za dame. S penco in malce sladkorja. Morda z ovsenim mlekom, to je zdaj moderno.

Nisi ponosen, da si Slovenec. Gledaš horde mladih, ki se odseljujejo in si misliš le naj gredo, le kdo si želi živeti v državi, kjer vlada zavist, parcialnost, apatija in hlapčevstvo. Iščeš način kako bi prišel skozi “bolj poceni”, tudi če gre za račun brez računa. Če se le da, skušaš najti nekoga, ki bo koga “zrihtal”, če je le možno, zastonj.

Občuduješ tujino. Ljudi iz tujine. Tuje dosežke. Celo škandale. Kadar si v stiku s tujci se obotavljaš kaj imaš povedati o Sloveniji. Si skromen in se nočeš izpostavljati. Lastna hvala se pod mizo vala, si misliš.

Dragi moji Slovenci. Dajte potovat! Pojdite po svetu, pa ne kot turisti. Pojdite po svetu in izkusite realnost drugih držav, nacij in načinov življenja. Poskusite delati z drugimi kulturami. Preživite vsaj dva tedna nekje drugje, pa ne na dopustu, temveč med lokalci. Potujte tako dlje časa. In odkrili boste povsem nov pogled na Slovenijo.

Sama delam v tujini že približno tri leta. Moj pristanek je vedno v Sloveniji. Nazadnje sem se vrnila iz Poljske (bo sledil ločen blog zapis malce kasneje). V zadnjih treh letih sem zamenjala približno 10 držav. In pred tremi leti bi lahko ustrezala opisu zgoraj, le v ženski obliki. Potem pa sem na letalu odkrila revijo Slovenian Times. In takrat se mi je utrnila povsem nova slika.

  1. Slovenija je najlepša država v Evropi. Na najmanjšem koščku sveta ima največje raznolikosti. Čiste reke. Neokrnjeno naravo.
  2. V Sloveniji si povsod hitro. Prevoziš jo v treh urah. Imamo dobre ceste. In redne bencinske črpalke ob cesti.
  3. Slovenija je neskončno varna država. Kdaj ste nazadnje šli skozi Tivoli ob treh zjutraj in ste se bali, da vas bodo posilili ali oropali? Teroristični napad? Morda bolj razbita flaša na cesti, kot pa bomba. Nimamo nevarnih živali. Še najbolj nadležni so komarji.
  4. Slovenija ima noro dobro kulinariko. Domače je domače. Potica, gibanica, štruklji, sveža zelenjava, goriške češnje, štajerska jabolka, grozdje … vino .. 🙂
  5. Slovenija ima Slovence. Izumitelje. Športnike. Znanstvenike. Popotnike. Kamor koli po svetu boste šli, zagotovo boste naleteli na Slovenca.
  6. Slovenija ima super klimo. Ni prevroče. Ni premraz. Da se delati. Ne potrebujemo klime povsod. Ali mokasinov in Chelsea traktorjev, čeprav jih nekateri imajo.
  7. Slovenija je razviti svet. Imamo institucije kot so sodstvo, javno šolstvo, zdravstvo. Da, seveda stvari ne “štimajo”, seveda se da izboljšati marsikaj. Vendar ne pozabimo, da velik del sveta ne ve kaj so človeške pravice, pravice žensk in kaj je izobrazba. Za moje pojme ima Slovenija boljše zdravstvo kot Anglija. Pojdite in preizkusite 🙂
  8. Slovenija je naša. Imamo svoj jezik, kulturo, običaje. Sama sicer nisem 100% Slovenka, pa vendar jih cenim. Blog in spletno stran imam sicer v angleščini, vendar sem ponosna, da obvladam tako zahtevni jezik, kot je slovenščina. To ni samoumevno, da lahko govorimo slovensko. Ne samo doma.

Pravzaprav nobena od stvari iz zgornjega seznama ni samoumevna. Žal to ugotovimo šele takrat, kadar tega nimamo. Zatorej pojdite potovat, če ne morete ceniti našega koščka sveta, ki bi si ga z lahkoto naredili lepšega in boljšega. Z lahkoto bi lahko spremenili pogled in se začeli drug do drugega vesti predvsem … prijazno. Sprejemajoče. Ponosno.

Moje delo je v tujini. Zaenkrat. Vendar sem trdno odločena, da Slovenija ostaja moj biser in da bom naredila vse, kar je v moji moči, da ta biser pomagam ohranjati in ga pokazati drugim. Morda ga moram za začetek pokazati Slovencem. V bistvu smo noro dobri. In morda ravno zato, ker se tega ne zavedamo. Rada vas imam, moj mikro narod, ponosna sem, da sem Slovenka in hvaležna, da sem se rodila na tak košček sveta. Jutri grem v štacuno in bom kupila Palomin toaletni papir in brezov šampon. Le zakaj ju ne bi. In kamor koli me bo nesla pot, tudi če bo kdaj dlje časa od domačih kolišč, nikoli ne bom zatajila od kod prihajam, kje so moje korenine in kakšne so moje navade.

Slovenija je naš dom. In v njej živijo ljudje, ki jo delajo dom. Hvala vsem, ki o Sloveniji mislite dobro in v njej delate dobro. Ni vas malo.

Biba

Letališče.

Letališče. Svetovni popotnik s slovenskimi koreninami. Vsi tujci so nad Slovenijo navdušeni. Zakaj ne bi bili še mi?

 

Slow Down

Dear reader,

we live in a culture who tells us that we are only all right when and if we are constantly developing, changing, adapting, moving and growing.

I think this makes us miserable.

Several reasons to underpin this thesis. First is quite obvious: the world keeps telling us that no matter how well we perform today, we will have to do more the next year or month. Be more productive, innovative, creative, responsive, agile, be it whatever adjective you choose. We will always have to do something else, something additional. This way we are never good enough and in case we fail, guess who is to blame. Nobody else but ourselves. Because we live in a world where we can become whoever we want to be, we can reach to the highest mountain of dreams, only if we choose to do so.

Second, based on the first, we are not allowed to stop and put down our roots. We are not allowed to take a breath, admit that we have had enough and that we want to live a stable and secure life.

Strivings towards excessive self growth is nothing but a capitalistic discourse undercover. Self help and self development industry is not there to help you live a fulfilled life worth living. It is trying to turn you into a consumer, be it by telling you that you have to invest in yourself by either being enrolled in dozens of courses and fitnesses, buying goji berries and maca shakes or strive towards constant progress and growth.

How about we look out for an alternative for a change. Sometimes good enough is good enough. Sometimes you are already giving your maximum, so perhaps it is time that you tap yourself on your shoulder and say to yourself that you have done a good job. And you do not have to do more. Instead it might be perfectly all right to spend an evening out with your dog or friends, or watch telly or have that fattening meal out.

We are not machines. We are human beings. And as such far far from being perfect. And we will all die. One day all of our aspirations and hard work will be forgotten. Once you are in your fast lane before dying, it won’t matter how much you have accomplished. It won’t matter that you know everything about yourself (or others). It won’t matter that you were always rushing, always trying to exceed yourself. Because you will die anyway, same as everyone else will.

I don’t know what a definition of a good life is. But I am sure that self help and self development movement does not aim at that. It only wants you to become what you already are – an obeying consumer.

Your life. Your choice. Sometimes good enough is good enough.

Biba

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From our Coaching for Change training course in 2016. We couldn’t care less about progress 🙂 

Never Deny Your Roots

Dear reader,

my July is hectic – high season for trainers. Just closed hosting the EBTA Summer Camp 2017 and I’m already delivering a new one – On Arrival European Voluntary Service Training. 13 wonderful young people from all over Europe eager to contribute to the community by doing volunteer work. This time in my hometown, where I spent my childhood.

My mother had it far from easy with me. I was a terrible hard-to-get-on with teenager. We had an intensive love/hate relationship. Though I had a very happy childhood on a farm with my grandmother and grew up among dogs and woods, I hated my town where I went to elementary school. I did not feel well among its people and always felt an outsider, be it due to wearing glasses or being talented in music. So with 13 years I moved out and it was one of the best things I’ve done. But I experienced hard times in the capitol of Slovenia, because I was talking differently, behaving differently, looking differently, which is all of crucial importance for a 13 year old. So it took some extra efforts to establish my space in “the big city” and to find my identity.

With runaway from my hometown, my world expanded massively and eventually even Slovenia became too small, so I moved out of the country for a while, thus becoming a world citizen. So here I am now, returning back to my hometown which I used to hate and was happy to have left behind. But now I saw a completely different picture. On my usual morning run, I visited all the places that marked my childhood – the statues symbolising war victims where I spent hours playing hide and seek with my father (see the pic below), the pub my dad brought me to spend time with his drinking buddies, the park I used to cross almost every day cycling to the music school, the square where I gave my first speech in front of several hundreds people when I was 7 at Pipi Longstrump festival, the promenade where I regularly had the best ice cream covered in chocolate (still there, same ice cream, same topping, same kind service), the kindergarten where my mom used to work and I used to eat, my elementary school window where our class once escaped from, etc, etc. Visiting all those places, some exactly the same, some slightly modernised, brought back sentimental memories. And I realised my memories of the city were happy ones. I had great times in places with people that marked my early life and helped me become an adult I am today. Some of they played a more, some of them less positive role. So I called my mother this morning, told her where I was and thanked her for her hard work, for all the efforts she made trying to be a good mom. Of course she failed. And yet she has done the best she could. Like every parent ever.

So today I am embracing my roots and I am proud that I spent my early years in this city. And I realised how important it is not to deny your roots, whatever they are. They are yours, they helped you grow up, offered you lessons you took (or did not), provided opportunities to learn (or not) and helped contribute to your development. Nowadays sometimes I meet young people who are embarrassed where they come from, ashamed for who their parents were, what house they live(d) in or how much money their parents earned.

Of course most of us have mixed memories and feelings about our roots. And probably most of us have had experiences from the past that we’d rather see hidden. And I guess denying your roots will not help you develop further, because you are denying your past, which has contributed to your present whether you admit it or not. I’m also guessing that embracing your past by remembering the happy memories can help you walk with more confidence into your future.

So be thankful to people from your past. Your parents. Your neighbours. Your (mean) peers. Your friendly postman or waiter. Your teachers. Brothers or sisters. Long forgotten friends. Ex boyfriends or girlfriends. They all left a footprint in who you are today. The choice of what kind of footprint they left, is yours.

Biba

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My hide and seek place.