Time for a New Welcome and Passing Things On

Dear reader,

some of you have been with me since the beginning of this page (2014) and some of you have been a huge or a small part of this journey over the past seven years. A while ago, way before the pandemics, I was sat at a hairdresser’s, kept there way longer than I was willing to and served by a woman that was too talkative for my taste but she changed the way I view the time and purpose of life since this strange encounter.

As is often the case with hairdressers, they are far better therapists than us. And also great conversation makers. She told me everything about her family, her being in London, her past, present and future. A part of the story was about her grandfather who used to be very close to her when she was little, back in Greece. He was a jolly kind and very popular man, but much trouble to his wife, as nobody really knew how many children he had and how many women with. As such, female village counterparts were pretty cross with the bloke, but somehow my hairdresser, back then a little girl and him formed a bond for life. And one day she asked him: “Grandpa, so many people are cross with you and unhappy with how you are, so many people love you, so many people want you beside and also lots of people want to see you dead – why don’t you live more like they want you to? Why are you this way, so … free and careless?” And his answer was impressive. He said: “Kiddo, I am only here on a tourist visa. This visa will one day expire. I am not here to waste any of my time, nor to postpone what I want to do and how much love I want to give to later, because I am not sure when the expiry date will be. So my stay here is very temporary and I want to fully embrace it. Remember kiddo, this is not a permanent residence we’ve been granted, it’s merely a tourist visa.” Oddly, he died when he was 101 so his visa had quite a long duration and at present, there’s a legend circulating about him as the man who lived fully, but as if he was going to die anytime. At his funeral thousands cried and one of his grandchildren started an organisation helping young people find their purpose in life and place in this world.

We drag so much stuff around with us as we go about living in this world. Things we think we need, insurance policies we are hoping to protect us from the future, luggage and double packed items that are “just in case”, people and relationships that are not right for us but we still keep them “in case they change” and so on. And all this stuff paradoxically only enhances our sense of vulnerability – the more we drag around, the more vulnerable we feel. And the older we get, the less we dare and the safer we play.

A long time ago I wrote a post on not letting go, but instead letting in. And throughout this journey, I have been deliberately focusing on this – letting new things in and allowing for them to work their magic, instead of putting focus on trying to eliminate, get rid of or let go of the things that were not serving, supporting or useful anymore. This required a lot of trust in things working out and not getting in the way by trying to work too hard to work them out. And here I am now, seven years later, in another country, doing things I love, being able to love and be loved. And soon, I will be entering a different stage of life, where my life path and visa will be shared for a while, who knows how long and to what extent, but hoping it would be long enough sharing it with a man that has been everything I ever hoped for in every aspect, so much so it’s sometimes hard to believe it’s real. As it’s sometimes hard to believe that my life path and journey would ever include welcoming a little girl into this world. I am very much hoping that her arrival and start to life will be in a way that she’ll be able to enjoy her family and soon into a life where hopefully, she will be able to create a life experience for herself that she and those around her would be pleased with.

Welcome to my world little baby girl, a world that is no longer mine but expanded and shared with your dad. Thank you for giving us both a chance to become a family and to experience joys of having you and each other. I am of course terrified you’re a girl, because if you’ll be anything like I was in my teenage years, only universe can help me understanding and supporting you, but I am looking forward to it nonetheless. Hope you will always know that your mum can kick ass when needs be so you can have an example of a woman who is standing tall in flip flops in this world and is not afraid of anything, but also one that has her embrace open for you to come to, even or especially when you won’t feel like.

We can’t wait to meet you. And for you, dear reader, I can’t wait to see where the next blog will come from – what time, what state, what content. It might be a while before it happens and perhaps you might no longer be interested in it – a sign that our paths are not crossing anymore. Or you might start sharing it more closely and see something in it that could be of use for you. In either case, I am pleased you are here, sharing your tourist visa and hoping that your stay here is full of life in all it has to offer in a way that is right for you.

With love,

our family.

Trying hard to work things out limits the possibilities of things working out if you allow them. I am so pleased that I never tried too hard and this happened as a consequence. A home and a family.

Second training of our longterm project is happening in July in Poland – registrations open!

Dear reader,

a while back I posted about our Strategic Partnership we have with Estonia and Poland and our first training course on Solution Focused Approach which I led is now being put into online version which is ready for you to use! And now I am pleased to announce that our second training course which will be led by my valued colleague and friend Marta Skorczyńska is out and ready to receive applications!

This course will be on non-violent communication and with this blog, we are particularly inviting participants from SLOVENIA only. Lodging and accommodation costs are covered and there is a budget for travel costs too. If you are interested, see more info here. Registrations close on July 2nd. For any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. This project has been a wonderful experience so far so I am more than pleased to invite you to take part this training course.

Btw – the course will be face to face! What a change, huh?

Warmly,

Biba

A training for trainers in 2016 where I met Marta. It was the beginning of a long, fun and loving collaboration. Marta will be leading the course this blog is about.

New webinar on Wednesday: Introduction to Solution Focused Approach and a free intro training

Dear reader,

you might have been puzzled or intrigued by all the talk and chatter about the Solution Focused Approach. This site hopefully provides some sort of start so that you can get an idea of what that is, but if you’d like to know more, I’m pleased to announce that this upcoming Wednesday I am hosting a short webinar on the topic.

In the webinar, I’m going to walk you through and introducing you to an approach that changed my professional (and bits of personal) life. If you’ll feel like this might be for you, I’ll also present an opportunity for you to get trained in the basics of the approach – for free. For the past year, we have worked hard with partners from Estonia and Poland to make this happen and now it’s finally here – a brand new online training that will teach you the basics and in this webinar I’ll be so pleased to give you a chance to see it and later on try it yourself should you wish to.

If you’d like to attend the webinar, please register here.

Hope to see you on Wednesday, 9am GMT+1 (10am CET).

With love,

Biba

Online Solution Focused Tool: NEW LIVES FROM BROKEN DREAMS

Dear reader,

a couple of weeks ago, we ran a training together with Chris Iveson, co-founder of BRIEF but also my first supervisor, colleague, co-trainer and a dear friend. Soon after I completed my own SF training at BRIEF, we started doing work together – Chris came to teach with me on my Solution Focused training for professionals in Slovenia in years 2016 and 2017, we presenter together at international conferences, I was BRIEF’s guest to teach at their Diploma and other courses, until they offered me to run a course on my own in 2019 and for the past two years, Chris and I have been working together more closely as co-trainers, with the mission to bring Solution Focused Approach to countries, territories and disciplines where access to training is limited unaffordable and/or doesn’t exist at all. As such we travelled, even in the year of Covid (virtually) to Pakistan, India, Iran and are having activities lined up to travel to Africa and more of Asia in 2021.

The course we recently ran together was about Solution Focused Groupwork – Solution Focused approach for group facilitators. We got lucky for having a privilege to work with a group of 35 marvellous, skilled and dedicated practitioners, so we were already confident (and also hopeful) that two days together would have high chances to result in outstanding outcomes that neither of us could predict at the time we were planning the course.

And one Saturday before the course, my first Guardian paper arrived to our house. Chris has been tempting and nudging me with getting a subscription for years and I have no idea what made me finally agree at the beginning of April 2021. But I do believe that things happen for a reason and in the first paper read in my bed while having coffee and strawberries proved this once again. I was reminiscing about our upcoming course, when this article came up. And then in a blink of an eye, an illuminating thought came to link the metaphor of Kintsugi to the work we do in therapy, coaching and group work. I took a screenshot and sent it to Chris with a text saying “Let’s use this in our course!” and so it began. Before I could start putting my thoughts in shape, Chris had already given it a go with a group of trainees he was with. The response was promising and we started talking. Exploring. Wondering. Trying. Thinking. Hoping. More wondering. More trying. Until an exercise with thought through, deliberate and carefully selected questions was born. We offered this exercise to our group and gave it a proper go with the invite, that participants mute their microphones, but say their answers out loud in our common online space. The beauty of group work is that the facilitators will never know how a certain activity and invite will land and what the participants are capable to do and achieve together as a group. Our group made the exercise better, it brought us new metaphors and language, so we moved from an exercise of “A Broken Pot” to “New lives from broken dreams”. We explored the metaphor of “gold” and introduced a metaphor of “mosaic” rather than a reconstructed pot. So our group has merits that we went beyond the “Art of Repair” which is often associated with Kintsugi, to the art creating new lives. We are thankful to our group for testing this exercise and giving us feedback, which made us want to record it and make it publicly available so that more people can use it, either for themselves as a self help tool, or as an activity used in their group work or training where participants have gone through an experience where their dreams were broken, their hopes dashed, their future destroyed and somehow they are still here.

You can view and try the exercise here:

New lives from broken dreams: a new SF tool

There will be a written form of this exercise coming up too, to make it really inclusive. Chris and I are looking forward to seeing it be used, replicated, cited, taken on new levels, so let us know what you think and how you use(d) it.

Meanwhile – we will run the groupwork course again. When? When the time is right!

With love,

Biba and Chris

2021 has brought a new course: Solution Focused Groupwork with Chris Iveson and Biba Rebolj

Dear reader,

Happy New Year, may it be called a Year of Hope and may it sprout all the seeds you have been planting over 2020!

If I have learned one new thing since the pandemic started, it has been running virtual groups, virtual teams, facilitating virtual meetings and delivering trainings online. And to be honest, I have been enjoying it massively! All the discoveries and possibilities that online environment offers very early on outweighed the doubts and frustrations for not being able to meet face to face. Below is an example of one such event, where Chris and I together delivered a hugely successful post-conference workshop in India. Literally, sky’s become no limit when it comes to running virtual groups. But as they say, it ain’t easy!

Solution Focused approach can be used in a wide variety of fields and settings, ranging from therapy to management, and working with individuals or with groups. Solution Focused Groupwork, whether as therapy, training, support, coaching, or facilitation, and in classes, meetings and other settings, on-line and face-to-face, offers huge potential and can be a very cost-effective, practical and enjoyable way of working with several people at the same time, whether a few or several dozen. It also requires a somewhat different application of Solution Focused skills to those used in individual work. And here’s what Chris and I have prepared for you for 2021: a two day course in Solution Focused Groupwork, that will be delivered online!

In this course, you will explore with Chris and myself how to apply the Solution Focused approach in a variety of settings, both virtual and ‘real’. Chris and I have worked with groups of children, young people, parents, trauma survivors, women in violent relationships, teams and leadership groups. With this experience, together with your experience and skills, you can expect two days of lively, creative, inspiring and highly practical applications of the principles of Solution Focused Groupwork. You will then want to use the what you have learned with your groups immediately, whether you have been working in group settings for a long time, or are thinking of starting to do so. And even if you are already experienced in using the SF approach in your practice, you will gain lots of new skills and ideas from this course.

During our two days together, we will explore the following topics:

  • Off to a good start: group warm up & group contracting
  • Group spirit & formation: building collaboration, safety, curiosity and respect
  • Using the group as a resource to make change simple: preferred future
  • Group discovery of histories of preferred futures: what is already working
  • Using scales in Groupwork
  • Solution Focused negotiating in/with the group
  • Solution Focused debriefing and reflection in groups
  • Group endings: backpack of ideas for after the group stops meeting
  • Various group formats, size, settings and duration: adapting SF
  • How to plan Groupwork & stay SF in it (when things go left instead of right)

This workshop will prove invaluable in providing a core set of basic principles for conducting any type of group I which you want to maximise the constructive contribution of all group members.

Chris Iveson and BRIEF, the leading training provider of Solution Focused Practice, have been my first teachers of SF when I accidentally bumped into it in 2014. And since, have remained my nr. 1. Over the past years, Chris and I grew closer as colleagues, friends and especially since 2019, co-trainers. Having workshops delivered for larger groups as well as boutique teams (in 2020 we visited Pakistan, India and Iran) we discovered that our training styles and diverse experience uniquely complement each other, so we decided to run this course for you.

Chris Iveson founded BRIEF with his colleagues, Evan George and Harvey Ratner in 1989 and with them has been developing the most minimal and simplified version of this world-wide phenomenon, Solution Focused Practice. He is author and co-author of many books about the approach, including the much-translated Solution Focused Brief Therapy: 100 Key Points and Techniques and Brief Coaching: A Solution Focused Approach. A former teacher, social worker and family therapist and manager Chris brings a wealth of experience to both his practice and teaching. He is also a well-respected presenter around the world.

I’ve been working with groups since 2008. My work varies from running groups in formal settings: university tutors, students with disabilities, academic staff, EU commission, Slovenian government as well as non formal education on international level under Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps. I’m experienced in running groups as well as teams of various sizes and durations, some of the topics of which include tolerance, youth entrepreneurship, human rights, peace education, inclusion, conflict resolution, stress management, mental health, solidarity and non-formal education.

This course will be epic. Details to register can be accessed here. Chris and I are looking forward to welcome you on board!

With love and from life,

Biba

Biba and Chris

What if Cinderella were the villain?

Dear reader,

as the society and humans develop, new minorities, inequalities, injustices and vulnerable groups emerge who at some point when being oppressed for too long, dare to speak up. And the society responds first ignoring them, then trying to shut them down before they are willing to listen.

Gradually, with lots of confusion at first, I got quite close to a group, not in the most pleasant way, that has been existing probably for a tale as old as time and still continues to be, silent all these years. Step mothers. Until not long ago I used to be one. For 11 years. 

This group is traditionally marked as “vicious” or “wicked” or “evil”. Like in the lovely story of Cinderella. And I have felt it on my own skin what it’s like to be labelled as the one who:

  • Took away the daddy/husband
  • Is a gold digger 
  • Has ruined the family
  • Is the reason everything went wrong 
  • Has impacted or even disabled the healthy development of the children by being toxicIs crazy
  • And so on. 

For 11 years I tried to cope, understand and be supportive, cooperative and tried to change things, but got dismissive and rude behaviour in return over and over. Until I realised that it was never me who was the core problem of family issues, but even so served more than a handy culprit who came at the right time to take blame and guilt for everything that ever went and continues to be, wrong.

Being a stepmother or the other woman in a relationship also comes with huge responsibility where she is expected to understand and put others’ needs first, especially children (of course, they get hurt the most) and yet will still get in the way, but no-one will ever pay any interest in her needs or wellbeing no matter what she does or doesn’t do. And if she gets tired or leaves, she will be blamed again for doing so. In my example, I came in the middle of family secrets that had nothing to do with me, but yet was the main suspect for the scandal. I got blamed for being successful and creating a life where I blossomed, I was even looked down upon when my husband got ill as if I had a magic wand to make it better or as if I should get ill myself in order to show love and dedication, but on the other hand, it was still too difficult to get any sign of appreciation, but not even show basic respect and manners for any of my efforts. 

Having lived through this experience, I learned that the less hard I tried to understand the other perspective, the more opportunities arose in my life until I started focusing only on what mattered to me and areas of life where I could thrive. Don’t take this wrong – it was an awful journey with lots of societal pressure on what I should do/say/feel and nearly all of it came from people who have never experienced anything similar or had done anything to help. And at some point I discovered that there was whole world of women out there who were going through exactly the same. Fellow “gold diggers”, “family breakers”, “twinkies” and the like, maybe it’s time that we reconsider the story of poor Cinderella and vicious step mother and create the story of all those step moms who got in the middle of a muddle that wasn’t even theirs, but even so tried their best to lend themselves to humiliation, non recognition and non representation. Step moms are not villains. Nor are others, to be fair here, but the lack of recognition and reputation of wickedness, craziness and evil is not doing step moms justice. It just isn’t fair, so before you label another step mom, at least try and ask her about her experience and efforts. You might be surprised to discover that you actually might have a lot in common. 

I came because of love. And got blamed for breaking the family apart, a family that was already broken.

I stayed for a long time. And got blamed for breaking the family apart, a family that was broken.

I walked away. And again got blamed for breaking the family apart that is broken still.

Dear step moms of the world – you are not alone in this and it is likely that you did nothing wrong. I’ve done lots of research and spoke with many step moms of all ages, with or without their own kids and I heard the same stories over and over – stories of not wanting to speak up for they were the ones that were vicious, evil and guilty. I also spoke with those step moms, who travelled the journey of liberating themselves from those invisible chains, many of which were probably put on by themselves, willingly, hoping that love will make things right. Those were stories of journeys that were hidden and no-one was willing neither to tell nor listen to, but I have and here we are – you are not alone and you are probably a completely normal lovable loving person who is doing her best. I hope you never forget this and don’t let be persuaded otherwise by anyone. Those that try to do so have their own issues and battles to fight and remember, their issues are theirs, not yours. Do get in touch if you could use a listening ear or even support. We have been running occasional support groups so – you are definitely not alone. 

And dear ones who are wanting to ignore, shush or judge – I wish that you or your children will never have to experience anything similar. There is great love out there for all of us. So look after each other, closely or from a distance, but don’t turn against yourselves. I’ve a life to live now and so do you. There is so much love there for all of us. Love that will come in a shape of being able to fully hold you, without ever denying you or making you a culprit for someone else’s laundry. I stayed for love for a long time. And am now letting go for love that I was in the way of to flow, while I’ll be letting the new love in. 

A bow to you all, keeping head high up, wishing you nothing but the best and stay in good health and spirit.

Biba

How to recognise love?

Dear reader,

we often hear that rhetoric question “what is life without love”? And that notion of love being the ultimate driving force that keeps everything moving and sorts things out. You will also come across poetic writings in literature about love being a verb, which is very interesting, for language does determine how we think about things and life. In today’s blog I’ll explore the concept of romantic love between two partners. Other types of love we might do some other time.

Everybody talks about love and yet we don’t often know what it truly is and have difficulty describing it. We do slightly better by feeling (or not feeling) it. In the sense of when you love someone, you put up with things you never would with another person, you will go 29386 extra miles for them and they may be giving you million reasons to leave, but you are deciding to stay for only one reason, over and over again – because you love them. When your phone pings and you see their message your heart jumps. When you see your loved person, your body reacts to them. When you hear their voice, your own melts. When they don’t give you affection, you feel hurt like hell. And when you catch their eye, if it’s mutual, you both know how the other one is, you have common language, you feel each other and you work things out. Without wanting to change the other person. Am I being overly romantic? Today I had a chat with someone, who said my standards were too high, I should have been more realistic and such love doesn’t exist in real life. I said I won’t apologise for making them uncomfortable because their standards were lower than mine. And I didn’t.

Romantic relationship scene in London is quite unique, I must say. I hear it from my clients and I see it with my friends as well as myself. In such a multicultural city, where people do their lives differently as well as process and express their emotions in different ways, it’s not easy to find true love. Many times the word might be used prematurely and too easily, saying “I love you” way too casually, like misusing the word “happiness”. Both then get a bad name, people get bitter and disappointed and, well, unloved, blaming love for it. But love’s nothing to do with it, or does it?

So how do you recognise if you really love someone when you are not sure? And how do you know they really love you back? If love is a verb, it means it’s something we do. If love is a noun, it’s something we have. If it’s an adjective, it’s something we are. Whichever resonates with you better, take it. In life they probably go hand in hand, interchangeably. Let’s first explore how you know if you truly love someone. Do you love them because of something the other person has or does? Would your love stop if they did something to upset you? Does your love change based on what the other person does or does not do?

Now let’s go for the other side, how do you know you are loved – do you feel like you can wave your fist in front of the other person over and over and they will still be there with you? What would happen if the two of you terminated the relationship – would the other person still care for you? Or would they punish you? Manipulate you?

If you are not sure, try breaking up and see what happens. I don’t want to suggest this as something you should do (how would I know anyway), rather I’m offering this as food for thought. Would you be happy for the other person if you saw them being happy with someone else? Would they be happy for you? Would you wish the best or the worst for them? Would they pick up the phone if you rang them?

If you find yourself still having gentle, loving feelings towards the other person even when they are not with you, then you probably love them. If you are happy to be seeing them happy, even when this picture does not include you, you probably love them. If your affection for them is constant (which does not mean you wouldn’t get upset or cross with them), you probably love them. And if you are wanting to have them back in your life, but not forcing them to, you also probably love them.

Similar could go from the other perspective, so let’s build further from here. If you no longer had a relationship, what would the other person do – would they erase you from their life? Would they be insulted? Would they be playing games with you by using your friends in order to get to you? Would they disappear? Take revenge? Do you harm? I’m sure you could find your explanations on what those behaviours are so I won’t offer mine here, but one thing is certain – it’s not love.

In the end, love is going to kill us all. Or save us all? Have you ever been truly loved? Or truly loved someone? Have you experienced both? At the same time? Is this something that is common or rare? Let’s see what you think. Hope this is useful.

Biba

IMG_7284

Love is like an engine that drives things forward.

10 ideas about unlocking people’s potential

Dear reader,

everyday we have a chance to discover and define ourselves brand new – who we are and who we want to be. I like the saying that goes we are an average of 5 people we spend most time with (so choose wisely!)

Recently, I took on a new challenge. I’ll be working as a coach with a feminist organisation in London, supporting young women in reaching economic justice, independence and fulfilling their potential. Working with young people 1-2-1 or as group work has always been at my heart and seeing young people unlocking their potential is  one of the most exciting parts of professional life. But what is our role in helping them unlock it? Is our call to make a difference? Help people?

I’m not sure I believe in the concept of “helping” people. Such a statement somehow resonates in taking away the credits they deserve in the process and in helping professions we often paradoxically divert the verb “helping” away from its core by calling ourselves helpers, leaders, difference makers, uplifters, etc.

We are not gods in a sense to have something that others don’t, be it superpowers, super tools, a vision or other “supreme” qualities. Therefore, we must be very careful what verb we choose to describe what we do with people and in this world. Otherwise we might end up “getting people to do something”. And we shouldn’t. Not our place to get, move or make people do anything as if without us they would not be able to do it. There is an equal amount of divine energy in all of us when we let it show itself, so how can we allow that to happen and be in this world that might benefit others while they are unlocking their own potential? Here are a few ideas that emerged when thinking about my presence and doing my job better. I would like things working out for you so that you leave with:

  1. Having confidence about you that is going to guide and support you, as you are figuring out where you want and can go in your life.
  2. Having more clarity and energy as well as feeling like riding on a cloud rather than mere coping.
  3. Having a full sense of who you are by embracing this world in all its fullness that it is and learning to appreciate all of the components of it that have led to where you are now.
  4. Being a person that anyone who comes in contact with you will benefit as a result of being near you.
  5. Not feeling bad when the above doesn’t happen.
  6. Being kind, acceptant and friendly of yourself and anyone around you even when they do their lives differently. We are not perfect, we are never going to get our shit done and as such, we can’t get it wrong for life is happening for us, not to us, differently for everybody.
  7. Having way more fun on the way.
  8. Sleeping good and eating well however that looks for you.
  9. Tuning into the frequency of who you really are and spreading the joy of it.
  10. Wanting others to have that too.

These 10 ideas have been immensely helpful in thinking how I want to do my job as well as how I want to be in this world as a professional. Without having to step on a stage and shout how cool these ideas are. They may sound completely rubbish. Or totally useful. Both ways can lead to you discovering your own.

Guitar time now.

Biba

morning eagerness

I feel most myself when waking up with the sense of having a potential that inspires people to feel good about themselves. What about you?

Ever done a job interview that changed someone’s life?

Dear reader,

hope you’re hanging in there, during or post lockdown and are being kind to yourself. Here in London, we are witnessing all sorts of emerging practices of how people are keeping themselves busy, hopeful and entertained. Certainly an interesting time to be alive.

Recently I went through a recruiting process and a job interview for a position of a remote coach for young women. Not a full time job, but the recruiting process as well as competition was quite complex and demanding. I still don’t know about whether I’m going to get an offer or not, but this whole process so far has been a really enjoyable experience.

The interviewing team really made efforts so I could show my best sides.

And this is a very important sentence. It was not so much me being at my best (or not), it was about them creating deliberate conditions where my performance could surface. In interviewing processes this isn’t a common practice, I think. Not that I’ve been through many interviews but I know from many HR workers, career counsellors and candidates themselves this isn’t so.

Job interviewers haven’t got an easy task. Out of many candidates, sometimes similarly  qualified, they have to choose the right candidate for the company. So during the interviewing process, they have to find ways of getting to know the candidate and discovering their strengths, ways of working, nature, flexibility, manner etc. in order to contribute to company’s development as well as wellbeing.

Having this in mind, together with my friend and colleague dr. Leah Davcheva, we have designed an online workshop, where we would together with job interviewers like to share and experiment ways and tools of asking questions in job interviews that would provide the HR and management with information that would make the recruitment decision pleasant and easier. So if you work in HR, company or you even own one and need to recruit new candidates every now and then, and could benefit from offering a satisfying experience pre, during and post recruitment process for you and your job candidates, this might be of interest to you.

The workshop will be a one-time event on June 1st. Details can be found here.

And about my own job interview – I will find out by the end of this week. And if I get selected, that would by no means stop my work as a trainer, however it would enable me to work with young women, a group I’ve always been very fond of, but always unhappy to charge. This way I might have both. Wait and see!

With appreciation and wishing you best of luck in the job industry, process and practices!

Biba

Picture1

My old career is dead

Dear reader,

I am one of the thousands of people who are self employed and who have lost their businesses. I am also one of those, who used to live out of a suitcase and used to travel the world for work and now this career has been postponed, if not completely ruined. My future work is uncertain – there is no employer on my back, I may have no income for months and yet this won’t count towards trying to argue who will pay for my expenses like rent and food. This could have been more than enough to take onboard and be frustrated, stressed or really sad about. Not to mention worrying for the future and mere existence. But call me crazy if you wish, I don’t see it like that at all. I see it as an invitation to let new things in. So if you are one of people whose current careers have died, welcome, you are not alone. This blog might be useful for you.

Change happens all the time and life offers us different experience – variety of which count towards the overall experience of living. I’ve had a fantastic life so far and have probably experienced enough of it not to have regrets now that it is gone. So holding onto it and wishing for “the old to be back” may be a way to go, but it might also waste time. Waiting for things to “go back to normal” might be similar – there won’t be the “old normal”, there will be a “new normal”. So here it is – a new blank chapter of life to decide how to live and which life experience might be joyful to allow for yourself NOW.

I really like how our worlds have changed. How we have come back to basics in so many ways. Putting away all the fancy clothes, shoes and jewellery makes it so liberating. Wearing comfy clothes and shoes is much better for the body. No makeup as well – for the skin as well the Earth. Making the living and working space nicer, which is the space we spend most time in for weeks, is fun to do – cushions, pillows, candles, I even started growing plants and am thinking of painting something on my ceiling. Spending quality time with people, not ringing them only while queuing for boarding or waiting for another train to arrive, but deliberately set time aside for them, makes a difference. Video calls are a fantastic invention.

Cooking at home, simplifying meals and shopping is also fun and liberating. If offers chances to decide what kind of nutrition you would like your body to feed from. You also know exactly what you put in your meals if you are conscious about that. And our London house started having all those little rituals of cooking together and burning food together (which is rather a thing to do for fun, because none of us is particularly talented in cooking). Cleaning the house has also become massively enjoyable. I used to hate cleaning. But now it’s like exercising, with a visible outcome. And it never goes out of fashion.

My work has transformed and is transforming. I used to love to travel and work with groups, really enjoyed doing so. And I have had enough of that in my life, so now it’s time for something new: exploring ways how to train online and continue developing and working with groups remotely. It’s early stages, but I can already see the benefits of human relationships with the help of IT and digital facilitation. Lots of my current thoughts are dedicated to online training and with my team, we have designed and launched our first courses, which we have been working towards being succinct, high quality learning and satisfying experience, adjusted to online learning, which is very different to face to face. If interested, you can check and join our courses here. So here is an appeal for all of you, who would like to make a difference – if you support causes and corporations, why not supporting people you know who are doing work that you approve? Helping each other could be our “new normal”. I’d certainly much rather support my friend who is building webpages, rather than hire a company which has been making millions of profits.

All of the above does not mean being patient and just swallowing all the limitations of the new, current life we are living. It’s not about accepting. It’s about allowing for new experience to come to us. And explore ways how this experience can bring us joy, raise our collective consciousness and contribute to a better world. So I don’t really mind if the world is “never back to normal”. However am really curious about what’s emerging, how our daily work and rituals are changing and how all of us are growing with it.

What about you – what have you been noticing about your new lives that brings you joy?

With so much love,

Biba

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Here I am. And there you are. And there is so much life has to offer to us.