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. 

Terapija pod drobnogledom

Dragi moji bralci,

Tole je članek, za katerega sem pred petnajstimi leti obupano hrepenela, da ga bo kdo napisal. Ker ga ni, ga bom napisala pač jaz. Članek ne odraža mnenja stroke, temveč zgolj in edino moje lastno. Vem pa, da se bo v njem marsikdo našel. Tako v strinjanju, kot v nestrinjanju. Za razliko od mojih angleških člankov, je ta namenjen moji državici in mojim slovenskim bralcem. Ker mi je mar.

Terapevtom danes na trgu ni težko, saj povpraševanje in klientela raste hitreje, kot kdajkoli.

Terapevti, zlasti tisti z osnovno izobrazbo iz psihologije, pogosto trdijo da vedo kako deluje naš um, kako ustvarjamo in negujemo naša razmerja ter medsebojne odnose, zakaj se vedemo kot se, ipd. Posledično vedo tudi, kako lahko rešimo težave na teh področjih če le-te nastanejo. Resnično življenje nam vsak dan znova kaže, da je to nesmisel, pa vendar se v terapiji radi zatekamo k raznoraznim teorijam, ki nam razlagajo človeško mišljenje, vedenje, čutenje ter ponujajo rešitve za nastale težave in motnje na teh področjih.

Ob začetkih moje svetovalne kariere, ko sem se seznanjala z različnimi teorijami in bila deležna mnogih usposabljanj, sem verjela, da večina naših duševnih (in tudi marsikaterih fizičnih) težav izvira iz nerešenih stisk ali travm iz preteklosti. Verjela sem tudi, da otroci katerih starši se ločujejo, često razvijejo raznorazne vedenjske težave zato, da bi obdržali očeta in mater v zakonski zvezi. Verjeli ali ne, ta prepričanja sem prelila tudi na moje kliente, ki so jih posvojili in označili kot logične, razumljive in smiselne. Vendar pa sem kasneje odkrila, da so vse velike psihološke teorije (Freudova in Jungova psihoanaliza, narativna teorija, kognitivno vedenjska teorija, sistemska teorija, ipd.) zgolj in samo bolj ali manj posrečene metafore – različni načini kako spretno uporabiti besede za to, da bi upodobili, ubesedili in razložili nekaj, česar se najverjetneje ne da razložiti. Strinjam se, da so teorije kot metafore ali prispodobe lahko zelo ustvarjalne in navdihujoče, saj odpirajo mnoge razprave in omogočajo soočenje različnih pogledov. Toda kadar te teorije jemljemo kot “splošne resnice”, takrat postanejo oklepi, v katerih se klienti prej ali slej počutijo slabo, saj ima vsaka teorija nujno v sebi večjo ali manjšo vrzel. Seveda obstajajo primeri, kadar je obisk pri terapevtu povsem razumen in smiseln: veliko bolje je poiskati pomoč pri terapevtu kot pa npr. ločitev, dolgotrajna huda depresija, samomorilno vedenje ali ubijajoč odnos s staršem, otrokom ali kom drugim. Vendar je pri izbiri terapevta treba biti previden, da le-ta ni slepo zavezan svoji teoriji. To lahko ugotovite po tem ali bo vaš potencialni terapevt že vnaprej vedel koliko časa bosta potrebovala, da bodo srečanja učinkovita ali pa tega ne bo znal vnaprej napovedati, bo pa vsekakor upal, da bo to manj kot deset srečanj.

Nikakor ni moj namen spuščati se v konflikt z vzemimo za primer anonimnimi alkoholiki, zlasti ne, ker so mnogi moji klienti, ki se skušajo odvaditi odvisnosti od alkohola pri njih našli boljše zatočišče in bolj uporabno pomoč kot pri marsikaterih profesionalnih terapevtih. Vendar pa se ne morem strinjati z njihovo priljubljeno tezo, da »zato ker alkoholik nisi postal/-a čez noč ne moreš pričakovati, da boš prenehal/-a piti čez noč«, saj je ta teza tako daleč od resnice, kot je Nova Zelandija od Slovenije. Z zgornjo tezo, da se sprememba ne more zgoditi hitro, se strinja tudi veliko terapevtov. In tukaj imam težavo: kako lahko vedo, kaj bo posameznik ali posameznica naredila jutri oziroma česa ne bo? Kako lahko vedo koliko je za nekoga nekaj težko ali enostavno? Nekateri ljudje spremembe naredijo čez noč. Drugi pač ne. Večina nas je nekje vmes. Kar se mi zdi pri tej zadevi bistveno je to, da terapevti ne morejo (in ne smejo!) misliti, da vedo. Česar pa se morajo zavedati in upoštevati je dejstvo, da se bo večina terapij končala v manj kot desetih srečanjih ne glede na to kaj terapevt misli, da bi se moralo zgoditi in kdaj. V času, odkar v Londonu delam klinično in so med mojimi klienti tudi takšni, ki so diagnosticirani s hudimi psihičnimi boleznimi in takšni, ki so označeni kot ‘brezupni primeri’, se mi je opazovanje, da večina ljudi doseže željeni napredek v manj kot desetih srečanjih, potrdilo. Podobno opažam tudi pri mojih mentorjih in supervizorjih, le da je njihov uspeh s klienti še očitnejši. Skratka: kadar zaupamo klientom in ne sledimo svojim lastnim teorijam, se bo večina efektivnega dela in napredka zgodila do nekje desetega srečanja. Po tem času se napredek ustavi in izgublja svojo vrednost. S tem ne trdim, da so dolgotrajne terapije brez vrednosti. Mnogi klienti bodo povedali, da jim je dolgotrajna terapija zelo pomagala, vendar se moramo zavedati, da je teh klientov znotraj vseh klientov relativno malo. Veliko jih je, ki so v postopkih dolgotrajnih terapij popolnoma brez potrebe in brez učinka. Kar je sramotno za profesijo in ponižujoče do klientov.

In sedaj moje zlobno dejanje, saj bom vrgla kamen v sveti gral in ga verjetno zbila s prestola. Pa mi je prav malo mar. Dotaknila se bom nečesa, čemur pravimo terapevtski odnos. Kdo potrebuje terapevtski odnos? Na BBC sem zasledila zanimivo oddajo, v kateri je terapevtka neposredno v kamero ponosno povedala, da je za nekatere od njenih klientov odnos z njo najpomembnejši odnos, ki ga bodo kdaj imeli v življenju. Kaj je to drugega od milo rečeno – kraje? Živimo zato, da imamo najrazličnejše odnose – da ljubimo, smo ljubljeni, imamo prijatelje, se spreminjamo skozi odnose, se skregamo, ponovno pobotamo, gremo dalje, itd. V kolikor nimamo odnosov, postanemo hudo osamljeni, nesrečni, celo samomorilni (saj poznate eno najhujših kazni, ki se ji reče samica?). V teh situacijah je vsekakor dobrodošla pomoč terapevta, vendar mora biti ta pomoč v skladu s kontekstom klientovega življenja, nikakor pa ne prevlada nad njihovim življenjem. Kakšna je vrednost odnosa, ki se konča takrat, kadar nam zmanjka denarja za terapijo? Da, včasih se zgodijo stvari in besede med klientom in terapevtom, ki nas vežejo tudi kasneje v življenju, včasih tudi takrat, ko bi bilo bolje, da se razidemo. Včasih terapevti postanemo najpomembnejši ljudje v posameznikovem življenju. In takrat se moramo opravičiti, saj smo z našo (preveliko) prezenco napoti nekomu, ki bi nas lahko zamenjal in zato ne bi bil plačan.

Bolj kot prizadevati si za ‘dober terapevtski odnos’ bi si po mojem mnenju terapevti morali prizadevati za to, da v klientovem življenju pustijo čim manjše sledi. Oziroma sploh nobenih sledi. Skušali naj bi imeti tako minimalen vpliv, da se jih klienti kasneje sploh ne bi več spomnili. Da pa bi to lahko dosegli, morajo terapevti veliko bolj kot svojim teorijam in celo sebi, zaupati klientu. Zavedati se morajo tudi, da ne glede na to kako uspešna je bila terapija in ne glede na to kako z lahkoto klienti nadaljujejo s svojim življenjem, so to še vedno njihova lastna življenja. Klienti lahko jutri naredijo zgolj to, za kar imajo potencial že danes. Terapevti pri svojem delu nikakor ne ustvarjajo ničesar novega, prav tako nimajo čarobne paličice, niti ne zdravijo. Svojim klientom preprosto pomagajo videti njihov lastni potencial in stvari, ki jih le-ti že imajo in jih lahko že uporabijo. Da to drži ve vsak od nas iz naših lastnih izkušenj. Nasveti drugih delujejo samo takrat, kadar se lahko usedejo na nekaj, kar je že v nas. Da, v življenju se zataknemo. Da, o tem razmišljamo, to analiziramo (včasih celo preveč). Nato preizkusimo raznorazne stvari, nekatere delujejo, druge ne. Mislimo, da nikoli ne bomo našli rešitve. Tako ponovno premislimo in poskusimo nekaj drugega, dokler ne najdemo nečesa, kar deluje. In glej – premaknemo se dalje! In kadar se obrnemo nazaj ter reflektiramo prehojeno pot, takrat pogosto odkrijemo, da smo se sekirali za brezveze ter da smo imeli rešitev takorekoč na dlani. Le gledali smo v napačno smer. Večino teh sprememb dosežemo brez velikega pompa, brez velike osebnostne transformacije, brez spreminjanja svojega sebstva, karkoli ta konstrukt že pomeni. Ostajamo isti »mi« pred spremembo in po spremembi, večina nas ne doživi neke velike osebne preobrazbe, niti je ni treba. Jaz sem nehala kaditi v enem dnevu po desetih letih kajenja. Zaenkrat nisem začela ponovno, niti ne čutim potrebe. Ozdravila sem se smrtne diagnoze. In za nobeno od teh dveh stvari ne morem reči, da je bila potrebna korenita sprememba identitete ali proces neke hude transformacije.

Dobra terapija je tako preprosto in zgolj pogovor, ki nam pomaga, da pogledamo na stvari iz drugega zornega kota ali da pogledamo za vogal, za katerega se nam je zdelo, da ni vredno pogledati ali smo preutrujeni, da bi pogledali sami. Dober terapevt vam bo pustil, da slišite svoj lastni glas. Spraševal vas bo vprašanja, ki se jih še niste vprašali zato da se boste lahko slišali odgovoriti stvari, ki jih še niste izrekli. Te stvari so potencialno lahko tiste, ki vam bodo odprla nova vrata, za katere ste morda pozabili, da obstajajo, morda niste vedeli, da obstajajo. Kadar se to zgodi vemo, da terapija deluje. Dober terapevtski odnos torej pomeni pomoč terapevta, da nam pomaga imeti dober odnos s sabo. Karkoli dober pomeni v naši lastni definiciji.

Zato danes pišem manifest o tem, kako se izogniti terapiji. Kadar se vam zdi, da potrebujete pomoč terapevta je zlato pravilo, da poskusite vse, kar je v vaši moči, da se tej pomoči izognete. Prvič zato, ker ne glede na to kar ste slišali, terapevti nimajo odgovorov na vaša vprašanja. V najboljšem primeru vam bodo pomagali najti odgovore sami – to je tudi njihova naloga. V večini primerov rešitve za naše situacije najdemo sami oziroma skupaj z našimi prijatelji in pomembnimi drugimi. Samo znati moramo pogledati na prave konce. Tukaj jih je zbranih nekaj:

  • Ne zamenjujte življenja in problemov. Življenje je eno sranje za drugim. Problemi so isto sranje vedno znova. Življenje nam prinese, kar nam prinese in to je to. Jebiga, nekateri imajo srečo, drugi je nimamo. Nekateri so se rodili v funkcionalne družine, s talenti, drugi se nismo. Jebiga. Kako se bomo soočali z temi izzivi je tisto, kar šteje. Dobili smo karte, kako bomo z njimi igrali, je v naših rokah. Torej od tega kako se soočamo in odzivamo na življenje je odvisno koliko problemov bomo imeli (in rešitev). Prepogosto svetovalci in terapevti zamenjujejo življenje za probleme. Samo poglejte koliko ljudi je dnevno napotenih k strokovnjakom, kadar se jim zgodi še posebej stresen življenjski dogodek! Vsakega od nas lahko jutri povozi avto. No, vsakega, ki gre ven iz svojega stanovanja in v določenem času prečka cesto. Vsakemu lahko teoretično jutri pade klavir na glavo. Lahko se znajdemo v enem od terorističnih ali drugih napadov. Na to se bomo odzvali zelo različno, od »tole je pa zanimiva zgodba za vnuke« do »biti zunaj je nevarno, bolje da ostanem doma in nikoli več ne grem ven«. Avto, klavir ali napad sami po sebi nikoli niso problem. So življenje. In žal sranje. To, da zaradi tega nikoli več ne bomo zapustili varnega zavetja doma, pa je problem! Zato si dajte čas, kadar vam življenje postreže s sranjem, preden se samodiagnosticirate in odločite, da ste razvili problematičen vzorec okoli tega. V takšni situaciji boste bolj kot karkoli drugega potrebovali predvsem ramo nekoga, na kateri se boste lahko odkrito in glasno zjokali. Te pa navadno pridejo brezplačno.
  • Kadar razmišljamo o terapiji, smo ponavadi že tako globoko v našem problemu, da le-ta zakriva večino našega horizonta in jemlje večji del našega časa. To nam ovira proces odkrivanja rešitev. Najenostavnejša strategija, ki je lahko uporabna v tej situaciji je preprosta, a ne enostavna: vsak dan porabite nekaj časa za razmišljanje o stvareh, ki so vsaj približno pozitivne v vašem življenju. To NI »THINK POSITIVE« MANTRA, temveč je zgolj ohranjanje pogleda (in prostora) na stvari, ki so že v vašem življenju in za katere bi radi, da bi bile v njem še naprej, tudi takrat, ko vašega problema ne bo več. To vam bo pomagalo narediti več prostora v vaši glavi za potencialne rešitve, saj se ne boste toliko ukvarjali z vašim problemom. Morda boste tako lahko pogledali preko vašega problema in videli kaj, česar do sedaj niste.
  • Predstavljajte si, da se jutri zjutraj zbudite in da je vaš problem čez noč izginil. Kaj bi bila prva stvar, ki bi jo opazili, ko bi se zjutraj zbudili, še preden vstanete? In kaj še? V kolikor je prvo znamenje, ki bi vam povedalo, da vašega problema ni več ta, da boste vstali bolj sveži in spočiti, si skušajte predstavljati kako bi to zgledalo, če bi se gledali na video posnetku. Kakšno razliko bi to pomenilo glede na to kako ste vstali danes? Kakšno razliko bi to pomenilo za vaše celotno jutro, če bi vstali bolj sveži in spočiti? Kadar se potopimo globoko v naš problem in mu pustimo, da zagreni nas in vse okoli nas, je presenetljivo kako hitro in zlahka pozabimo kakšna oseba smo običajno. Pozabimo, da smo morda oseba, ki je včasih z veseljem vstajala in se je veselila dneva pred sabo. Namesto tega se pričnemo samodefinirati ne le da imamo problem, temveč da smo postali problem, s čimer zelo slabo vplivamo na potencial, ki ga imamo. Spominjanje našega potenciala na način, da si predstavljamo kako bi zgledalo naše jutro in naš dan brez problema nam pogosto pomaga, da (ponovno) vidimo morda že pozabljene aspekte naših življenj, kjer nas morda čakajo rešitve.
  • Izredno močna nadgradnja tega spominjanja v prihodnosti, ki se je učijo tudi udeleženci naših strokovnih usposabljanj, je predstavljanje boljše prihodnosti skozi oči naših pomembnih drugih. Kaj bi opazil vaš partner, cimer, otrok, mačka, papagaj da je drugače na vas na to jutro, ko se zbudite brez problema v življenje, ki ga želite? Kakšen učinek bi nanje imelo videti vas v takšnem stanju? Pogled skozi perspektive drugih nam lahko ponudi bogat vpogled v znanje, ki ga imamo o samemu sebi. Bolj kot se zavedamo svojih virov moči, bolj jih lahko začnemo (ponovno) uporabljati, zlasti v časih, ko se nam zdi, da nimamo nikakršnih virov in sposobnosti.
  • Zavedajte se, da nihče ni popoln. To velja tudi za načine, kako živimo svoje probleme. Začetnika k rešitvam usmerjene terapije Steve de Shazer in Insoo Kim Berg sta bila prva, ki sta odkrila pomembnost naših pomanjkljivosti pri reševanju problemov. Ne glede na to kakšen problem imamo, vedno bodo obstajala obdobja, ko našega problema ne uspemo »delati popolno«, tj. vedno bodo obstajala obdobja izjem, ko se nam problem ne pojavlja oziroma se nam pojavlja manj pogosto. Tipičen primer za to je lahko oseba, odvisna od alkohola, ki iz nekega razloga na dan ko ima intervju za službo, ne pije. Ali pa oseba, diagnosticirana z agorafobijo, ki gre vsak dan iskat otroke v šolo, preprosto zato ker ni nikogar drugega, ki bi to lahko naredil. In ker je to pač »treba narediti«. Ta primer, ko oseba gre iz hiše, ne šteje, ravno tako kot v očeh osebe, odvisne od alkohola ti drobni redki dnevi, ko dobi povabilo na intervju »ne štejejo«. Pa vendar oba primera pričata o izjemni odločenosti premagati strah in odvisnost. Poskusite poiskati tudi najmanjše izjeme (morda vam bo pri tem lahko v pomoč kdo, ki vas zelo dobro pozna) in skušajte ugotoviti kaj takrat počnete drugače. V vsaki izmed teh izjem leži seme, iz katerih lahko vzklije rešitev za vaš problem.
  • Včasih same sebe težko vidimo, zlasti kadar skušamo poiskati svoje dobre strani in vire moči. Takrat se skušajte spomniti vašega prijatelja ali prijateljice, ki vas zelo dobro pozna ter katere/ga presoji zaupate. Razmislite kaj bi ta oseba znala povedati o vas. Zakaj vas jemlje kot vredno ali vrednega prijateljstva? Zakaj so z veseljem vaši prijatelji? V kolikor vam uspe, da se za nekaj časa pretvarjate, da nase gledate skozi oči tega prijatelja/prijateljice, toliko bolje. Lahko pa to osebo vprašate neposredno: zakaj si moja prijateljica, kaj vidiš v meni, zaradi česar si z veseljem moj prijatelj? Zato imamo prijatelje, da nam pomagajo videti naše najboljše izvedbe sebe. Bolj kot smo v stiku s svojimi najboljšimi verzijami, bolj smo odprti za priložnosti.
  • Vrnimo se k naši domišljiji. Tokrat si ne predstavljajte, da je vaš problem čez noč izginil, temveč si predstavljajte, da se jutri zbudite in se počutite kot riba v vodi, tj. v vaši najboljši koži – v dan, ko ste vaša absolutno najboljša verzija. Kaj bi opazili na takšno jutro, do najmanjših podrobnosti kot so denimo kako bi si pripravili zajtrk? Kaj bi opazila vaša družina, prijatelji, hišni ljubljenčki? Sodelavci? Celo sovražniki in tujci na cesti? Predstavljajte si različne kontekste in ljudi, s katerimi ste navadno v stiku ter skušajte nanizati čim več podrobnosti. Tudi to lahko zelo pomaga, da pridete v stik s svojimi lastnimi resursi in notranjimi viri moči, ki vam bodo pomagali odkriti potencialne rešitve.
  • Poskusite z lestvicami. Tale lestvica vam bo pomagala orisati malce drugačno perspektivo na vaš problem. Predstavljajte si lestvico od 0-10, kjer 10 pomeni življenje, ko vaš problem docela izgine in 0 pomeni najslabše kar je kdaj bilo, kje na lestvici ste trenutno? Kje bi želeli biti, da bi lahko rekli, da je »dovolj dobro«? Nato naštejte vse možne stvari, ki se jih lahko spomnite, ki so vam pomagale do vaše X – številke, kjer ste trenutno: torej kako to, da ste na X in ne nižje. Nato se vprašajte katera bodo znamenja, ki vam bodo povedala, da ste se začeli pomikati na lestvici navzgor. Obstaja velika verjetnost, da boste precej presenečeni nad razdaljo, ki ste jo že prepotovali in razdaljo, ki jo želite doseči, da bi se počutili ok. Prav tako boste verjetno presenečeni nad vsemi stvarmi, ki že obstajajo in vam pomagajo, da ste na X in ne nižje. Te stvari vam morda lahko pomagajo pri vaši nadaljnji poti proti željeni destinaciji.
  • Lahko si zastavite tudi bolj splošno lestvico, npr. 0-10 kjer 10 pomeni, da z vašim življenjem (delom, razmerjem, ipd.) ne bi mogli biti bolj zadovoljni in 0 pomeni nasprotno. Ponovno se vprašajte kje ste trenutno in nato kako to, da ste na X in ne nižje. To vam bo pomagalo videti stvari, ki v vašem življenju že delujejo in četudi vas to ne bo pripeljalo do rešitve, vam bo omogočilo dobre temelje za iskanje. Problemi ne postanejo nepremagljivi sami po sebi, temveč zato, ker izgubimo upanje, da jih bomo lahko rešili.
  • Kot zadnjo rešilno bilko, pokličite terapevta in se zmenite za srečanje. Nato se spomnite vseh obiskov pri vaših zdravnikih, zobarjih, svetovalcih, ipd. in časa, odkar ste se zmenili za obisk pa do dejanskega obiska. Verjetno imate izkušnje, da se je v tem času vaša situacija že močno izboljšala. In to ni naključje. Prvi korak k iskanju rešitve je že ta, da razmišljate o strokovni pomoči. In to je pogosto dovolj, da se proces razrešitve situacije začne. Steve de Shazer in Insoo Kim Berg sta odkrila, da se zadeve razrešijo same po sebi v približno sedemdesetih odstotkih primerov njunih klientov v času, ko so se naročili na srečanje pa do časa, ko so na srečanje dejansko prišli. Tudi pri svojem delu opažam, da veliko klientov pride na eno samo srečanje. Veliko se jih že tekom enega samega srečanja zave, da so svoj problem že začeli reševati sami. Morda bo tako tudi pri vas (vendar prej preverite pri terapevtu, da ne računa odpovednih stroškov!)

Toliko za danes. V enem od naslednjih člankov se bom razpisala še o tem kako izbrati pravega terapevta. Hvala za branje in – na življenje!

Biba (akreditirana psihoterapevtka iz k rešitvam usmerjene terapije pri UKASFP v Združenem Kraljesvtu)

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The Power of Rejection – a special guest post

Dear reader,

today we have a special post – a guest post from Naomi. She has indeed written a masterpiece for you and this is her first blog.

I have never met Naomi face to face. Our paths crossed as our common friend John Wheeler introduced us one to another, saying we might be a valuable contact to each other. He was absolutely right. We met on Skype more than a year ago, neither of us knew what to expect from the conversation and a few minutes into our Skype we both knew this was a beginning of a relationship that is beyond professional one.

Professionally, Naomi is a Solution Focused Trainer and Practitioner with 20 years of experience in a variety of specialist areas including substance misuse, young people, offending, homelessness and employability. She is passionate about supporting people to notice their unique strengths and how to practically apply these to maximise success in their chosen objectives. She is motivated by equality, fairness and understanding the social organisation of different cultures, including approaches to life, laughter, survival and routine.

Personally, she is such a delight to be talking to, as she is so kind, curious, energetic and bursting in talent. I am honoured that she wrote a blog for you and am more than happy to be able to offer you an excellent read on a topic that we are all very familiar with – rejection. So sit back, relax and enjoy reading!

The Power of Rejection

If you think you are someone who has never been rejected you are either a sociopath, totally unself aware or living so safely you have never taken a risk on anyone or anything. This means you are limiting the amount of joy you can experience in a significant number of spheres of your unexplored life. It is of course natural to want to avoid rejection. Rejection is uncomfortable, anxiety provoking and frequently leads to an excessive amount of self criticism, and in it’s most extreme form, self-hate. What happens when we are rejected by others, either in a work or relationship context, is all too often we then reject ourselves. When we reject ourselves, we are pretty much temporarily doomed: A release of the stress hormone cortisol usually occurs which either makes us inert and paralysed, or overflowing with negative energy heading one hundred miles an hour towards self destruction, commonly in the form of over eating, over drinking, over thinking or over angering.

So. There is all that. Or, there is another way. A way we can use rejection to be one of the greatest gifts the world has handed to us, because when interpreted and used wisely rejection can be powerful. Initially it’s sting is so painful we feel a complete loss of control. However when this initial sting passes, with a solution focused mind, rejection can provide incredible clarity about what is important, how to focus on what we can control and what we have got and who and what accepts us. It can bring into sharp view the people around us that are strong and grounded enough to vote for us even when others don’t or when we struggle to ourselves. It can provide valuable information about the fact that actually the person or situation we were in was unbalanced and therefore not right for us in some way. It can give clues to us about the need for a new perspective or to do something different. It forces acceptance because we are powerless to do anything else, and when you truly practice acceptance, calm follows, and then this strange sense of strength and resolve arrives and suddenly, in coping, an inner peace. Intuitively you find yourself starting to feel able to refocus on what really matters and let go of what doesn’t. You realise in fact that life post-rejection is actually happier and more fulfilling than life pre-rejection, because you no longer have anything to be scared of and everything to try.

And here in lies a beautiful irony … I have avoided blogging for over two years because of an absolute terror of being rejected. Every time I became drawn towards posting thoughts, feelings and perceptions online, I rapidly recalled back again, making statements in my mind like ‘don’t be silly, you’re not intelligent enough to blog, what if people don’t like it, you could ruin your reputation’, and even saying these sentences out loud is making me feel nervous, yet I am going to keep writing and in about half an hour I am going to press send. Why? Because someone whom I respect invited me to do this, Biba, who in her invitation showed her faith in me, which in itself stimulated this burst of certainty that I have in fact got relevant perspectives to share and made me realise I don’t need everyone to approve, I just need some people to approve and most importantly,

I, must approve.

So in writing this I challenge all of us to put the principles above into practice. My best hope in articulating these ideas is that they serve as a reminder to us all about perceived rejection, when we feel raw and exposed and frightened, to ask ourselves ‘How can I use what has happened to propel me forwards to a more desired future?’, ‘What and who is accepting me that shows me where my energy should be channelled?’, ‘What can I achieve if I try not to let this idea of rejection take over and instead use it as a catalyst for positive change?’. ‘If I am as wise as I possibly can be, what might I do tomorrow that would show me I was taking a wise step?’

And the wisdom that comes from interpreting rejection usefully is also becoming aware of our limits so that we can make informed decisions about when to take the risks that might lead to perceived rejection and when to stand back. Beware of the frequent ‘rejectors’ of this world, people quick to criticise others, they are projecting their own unhappy and unsettled mind. Your ultimate power is not to mind what they say and instead seek their strengths. Zoom in on values, gratitude, enjoyment of what is, concepts that no external reaction can touch.

The reason being that when our unique appraisal of ourselves and others is positive and when we deeply, truly attune our minds to become compassionate, our ability to perform highly, significantly increases. Finally I must add that simultaneously seeing and feeling the discomfort of rejection aswell as using it to increase your personal power, is also essential. It inspires us to work harder, be more determined, our own definition of better. But only when we invite it in through courageous acts, taking risks, and regardless of outcomes, forcing ourselves to notice the opportunities not the limitations.

Naomi

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Do not mark yourself safe

Dear reader,

the world is going crazy. We woke up to shocking news about another terrorist attack in London, six people dead and more than 40 injured. This has been the third attach in the past few months, and I was very close when the first one happened on Westminster bridge.

Such events remind us of our mortality and of our very limited time here. They also remind us that nothing should be taken for granted, be it love from your significant other, freedom or safety.

I was just opening my Facebook account today to see how many of my friends marked themselves safe. As I found out they increasingly marked themselves, I was more than happy and relieved. There were also a few messages in my inbox inquiring about my own safety, as people know I live in London quite a proportion of my time. I am on my way there right now, this very moment. And one of my relatives was sobbing on the phone, begging me not to go this time. She was petrified something would happen to me. She was afraid these attacks will come after her as well sometimes in the future.

This made me think. I am not marking myself safe today. Because guess what: there is no such thing as being safe. I could well stay at home. I could well stay in my house. Or perhaps in bed. Sleeping, not wanting to wake up. I could buy myself insurance policies. Double secure all my passwords and accounts. Write a testament. I could stop writing blogs because I might regret it sometimes in the future.

I might not eat another cake, book another holiday, walk woods in solitude, pet a wild dog or touch an unfamiliar beautiful plant. It might be poisonous. I might not go to another open air event, because people are carrying all sorts of disease and it might be contagious. I might never fall in love again, because I might be disappointed. And I might never accept a new job offer, because I might not be good at it or might not like it.

I might try to keep myself safe. Not push it. Not go places. Not expose myself to risky situations.

That way I might safely arrive to death.

None of us knows how long we are going to live or how we are going to die. And this is a huge blessing, not to know. Some of us were lucky to be born in certain parts of this world. Some of us were lucky to be born to functional families. Have good health. Talents. Opportunities. Human rights. But all of that is no more than sheer luck or coincidence. Many people on this planet do not have such luck. And if you do, you can do something for those who don’t.

So you’ve got your cards at birth. Now it’s your turn to play the game. Cards do matter of course. But what also matters, is your playing strategy. And this is in your hands alone. You can keep your cards to yourself, look after them not to get dirty, tear, disappear, etc. You can swap some with others and get something better in return. Or worse. It’s a gamble. You can also play and risk losing it all or winning. You can’t know the result in advance. You can’t control the game. But you can control your choices and moves.

I think we are taking life way too seriously. With all the respect to all the human suffering, I by no means want to hurt or diminish anyone. I would simply like to say that suffering, pain and loss are parts of life. And so are courage, will, love and solidarity. We sometimes put way too much emphasis on certain aspects of life and forget about others. And we take it way too serious.

If I am to die today, tomorrow or any time soon, be it in an accident or naturally, I only wish I would have one final thought:

That it has been a hell of a journey and I’ve had the best time while on it.

If it is my time to go, it is time to go. I have had an amazing life, I have loved a lot, felt all sorts of emotions, discovered places and explored cultures, experienced difficulties, stress, joy, bliss, anger, abandonment, hate, forgiveness, I have worked hard and played hard and most of all, I have never played it safe. That’s a life I’d like to have when looking back. If I am to share some of my stories with my grandchildren, I would be so blessed and grateful. If not, then not. I would share it with someone else – today it is with you. Hopefully meet you in the next blog post, or if not – thank you, wish you a life worth living and – may you be strong, wherever you are. Do not let fear control your choices. Unless you want to arrive to death – safely!

Biba

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Some journey.

Coaching for Change finished: a difference that made a difference

Dear reader,

yesterday we submitted the final report for our international project Coaching for Change.

Sometimes people say “Yeah these international projects are fun and cool, but they do not really make any difference, nor do they have any lasting effects”. I suppose people having these thoughts speak from experience and I would not dare to argue with them. And I want to share with you that our project does not fit that basket.

It has been nearly 9 months since our Training Course in Frankolovo, Slovenia, where 28 people lived and worked closely together and by the end of the course, practiced Solution Focused Coaching conversations smoothly and independently. In these 9 months many things happened: people change locations, change jobs, change professions … move on with their lives. And for some reason, we stayed in touch with each and every one of our participants. I think the reason behind this has to do with us writing the project together.

As I was putting the contents together for our report for the National Agency and European Commission and as I was editing the videos we made during our sessions, I felt such gratitude. What we have done was much more than just another training course. What we started then, was a milestone: we started a new movement. Being a part of this makes me humble and emotional, as it is such a gem when one has a possibility to not only participate, but initiate something as big.

So I would like to share some of the feedback our participants shared. Let their voice speak on our behalf.

Many changes and news in my life. First of all after hard and stressful months I’ve tried the test for a very particular course at the university of Milan and I’m in. I still couldn’t believe it, only 80 seats it’s an economics course with service profile in collaboration with the tourism and social Chamber of Milan. I think in it I could express my passion for practice mathematics and at the same time my love to help the other… and after let’s see what the life is going to offer me. In those months I’ve used a lot what I learnt at the course especially for myself… I realised that so often my way of thinking and see the situation is completely changed with SF. I haven’t used it in professional field, I would not be able but with the kids I look after at the centre, or also in conversation with friends It’s helped me a lot. And I would like to go deeper with coaching because it’s something that I really feel in myself.

I’m writing a field diary with conclusions and reflections for my jobs and I’m having sparkling moments! Now I’m more aware of what we learnt thanks a lot for all., I’m more focused on adults and I do approach them with SF questions. SF training was really interesting and useful for me to improve as a professional and share the informations whit my job partners – those with whom I work more directly. I would really like to participate in an advanced training because it is useful for me as a career counsellor. and to share the knowledge with my team.

I have used the skills in situations, but i did not have intensive changing sessions, it was more used in taking steps to achieve some result. I would love to join an advanced course! I switched workplaces though. Im now working for an organisation supporting youth houses! I am using SF questions, but not in the way we learned it.. i recognise the fact that i implement the theory of solutions focused, but more in groups and not so much for changing behaviour, but changing views.

I am in my last year of my Master’s study, meaning I have been fully occupied writing the thesis. I noticed that during writing and talking to my other colleagues I used some of the SF questions we learned and I tried to break the complaining culture. My colleagues have noticed this and when I was not doing it they asked me to “ask some of your questions, because they are really useful!”. So I have in a way coached our entire class!

The project had a great impact on me and I believe also on what I do and on the people around me. Since the moment I came back I tend to focus on the positive things that happens to me and basically I feel like I am living a more fulfilling life. I truly believe that it s the point of view I had on the things and not the things themselves to make me sad sometimes. This thoughts I have are supported by some moments I lived during the course. When I think to them again I feel empowered and sometimes I find new elements of reflection. One of them is when we had to work in groups and write on a big piece of paper what was solution focused for us? When our group came up with that drawing with many lines with different colors… I don’t know if you remember, but it was extremely powerful for me. I used some of the questions with people around me and I had surprised reactions, like I was asking an unexpected question, but always interesting answers. I truly believe I helped some people tho see other sides of the same reality, myself first.

I tend not to give advice and to accept that the solution with which some people come up with can be a good one for them even if it doesn’t make any sense for me. Maybe there is no order in what I wrote, it was out of enthusiasm . By the way, when I come back I decided to change university and degree. Instead of going on with philosophy, after I graduated I took up a master degree in development and management of human resources and I find it great. I really hope you keep on doing what you are doing because that project was great for me. I will be organising a brainstorming afternoon for a group of 20 people and I would really like to have a process with them, before the brainstorming, to create an atmosphere of positivity/solution focus/no criticism and I want to teach them the SF mindset.

I am more self confident about myself. Training course was a moment to stop, reflect and make an inner turn. I would say I got more independent and self trusting myself in personal and professional life. It gave self confidence to develop constellation as an approach in my profession. The most useful moment was when we shared our future plans and our team members gave the feedback . Now when I look back almost one year ago, I have reached exactly what I wrote and the comments responds to way it happened. So it was a good bread for the road. As well it was my first meeting with Slovenia. A beautiful meeting to fall in love with this country.

I’m using the knowledge I gained thanks to you, almost every day. In my personal life I started to look for my resources in a more conscious way and focus on what I’m grateful for. In my work I started to give much more positive feedback and I use the SF questions in a lot of situation. For example when I start it finish a training or during debriefing an activity. It works really well. Thank you all!

No more words are needed, right?

So if you would like an insight into some of our sessions, have a peek into my YouTube channel and witness the brilliance of our participants.

Coaching for Change videos

Let us continue what we started. If you would like to join, let us know 🙂

Your trainer’s team

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Your trainer’s team

I’ve just had the best conversation of my life

Dear reader,

thank you for your patience. You had to wait quite a while for this post. I’ve got so much going on in so many different fields that I find it challenging to keep up with everything. I have been doing lots of clinical work. Had delivered Solution Focused training in Slovenia. Just finished a 5-day training for European Voluntary Service volunteers. Will be doing lots of facilitation of various small or large scale events in the upcoming week. And then back to London. Not to mention writing articles, doing research analysis, selecting coworkers for our upcoming 3-year project, etc. Sometimes I think it’s way too much for just one person.

Many people would say the most meaningful learning and AHA moments happen out of your comfort zone and are accompanied with stress, discomfort, perhaps even a crisis and pain. I’ve got no opinion on this, but I do have a very recent experience that I’d like to share with you.

I nearly experienced a crisis yesterday. Something happened that completely removed the ground from my feet and I found myself in a situation where I felt angry, hurt, crushed and above all, terribly disappointed in somebody. I was working, had been away from home for several days. The training had been successful and going well, though it required lots of energy, flexibility and trust. I am generally always good at maintaining balance while working. Not so much if something happens to me personally. That crisis had nothing to do with my work, but it happened while I was working, in the middle of the day. And it had to do with something somebody else had done or hadn’t and should have. At least in my opinion.

So we closed the day. Nobody noticed. I went up into my room. Hotel rooms (single ones) can be devastating. I had about 30 minutes of spare time before the final party. And I felt this extreme tension, caused by the action of this another person that triggered my crisis. I sat on the floor next to my phone charger and wrote a message to one of my most precious people with whom we were to meet in Skype on that day, but he sort of stood me up and hurt me some more. He did not respond, which added to my irritation and the sense of imbalance. I felt so abandoned. And lonely, even though I had been immensely successful and efficient at my work only an hour ago.

I went into the bathroom. There was nothing to do there. I searched my bags and found some food and snacks. Was just about to open that chocolate bar without any reflection or mindfulness. And for some reason I didn’t. Then I saw a bottle of wine I bought earlier in the day for our evening party. I went back to the bathroom and searched for a glass. I opened the bottle, poured myself a glass and sat on the floor again. It must have looked pretty miserable, being alone in a hotel room, sitting on the floor drinking wine in sorrow, listening to some pathetic music. No wonder people commit suicide in moments like this one.

After the second glug of wine I took a deep breath. And another one. Then I changed the music. And then something magical happened. My thoughts started leaving my head. One by one. Until there were no more thoughts. I’ve no idea how long this no-thought mode lasted, and what happened next was the best conversation I ever had. A conversation inside my head. For the first time, I spoke nothing but kindly to myself.

I opened my eyes. And I smiled. It was such a pure and natural thing to do. And then I realised:

I don’t need anybody. All I need is already here.

This has never happened to me before. It was a moment of supreme balance, imperfect perfection and beauty. I felt so strong. And for the first time, I realised that no matter what happens:

I will be fine.

I’m sure that wine glug made a contribution. But I was not drunk, far from it, my head was crystal clear and I felt at peace. So I got up, went into the bathroom, brushed my hair, left my room and joined the party in my brilliance. And had a very nice evening afterwards.

I am certain life will bring numerous situations where people will hurt me, deliberately or not. I am 100% positive that there will be challenges bigger than I will be able to handle. And from now on I also know that there is an enormous force and strength in me with which no matter what happens:

I will be fine.

Love, Biba

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Stronger. Together.