New Generation of Solution Focused professionals has arrived!

Dear reader,

just got from Bulgaria, Sofia, where we celebrated 25 years of EBTA (European Brief Therapy Association) in a form of annual international conference. Solution Focused Brief Therapy has evolved massively since its beginnings in the early 1980’s. Today it is widely used not only in therapy and social work, but also in counselling, coaching, consulting, management, HR, education, even sport. Basically wherever there’s a need or a desire to build (or discover) rapid change towards a better future.

I am not very young anymore, yet still, a millennial. And have been practising Solution Focused practice for four years. That might not seem like a long time, but it is long enough to embrace the responsibility and even duty to take the approach further. Since SFBT is not mainstream, as has radially different outlook on therapy, relationship with clients and change, it has not been very good at politically establishing itself like positive psychology has done for instance. And that means that it might be widely unknown. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it is also a pity, because people like me might not know about it. I can speak for myself, that I was somewhat desperately in need for such an approach while I was working with students with mental health problems at university. But I was simply unaware of SFBT’s existence. Accidental discovery has made such a difference to me personally, professionally, that I decided to dedicate my entire career to it. And hence “only” four years and I am already an international presenter and speaker. Because I am so passionate about it. And I feel the duty to tell as many people I can that there is another way in doing therapy, coaching or whatever the setting in working with people. So EBTA has been truly supportive and welcoming. And I am taking it further – together with emerging new generation, new “kids” on the block, who come from different countries and who will hopefully be brave enough to trust, love and work in the way that will do our ancestors Steve and Insoo and others, justice.

So much for now. I’m training the third generation of Slovenian professionals this upcoming days – four day professional training in Solution Focused practice. And this is my little contribution before leaving Slovenia. And now let me feed my cat 🙂

Biba

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Mind the Gap Please and Keep Calm … yeah right

My dearest, dear readers,

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

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

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

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

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

So here I am.

Biba

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Thrilled, excited and beyond words!!!

Everything Changes

Dear reader,

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

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

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

  • Living a live you want requires trust.

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

  • Living a life you want requires courage.

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

  • Living a life you want has tolls.

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

  • Living a life you want will pay you back.

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

  • Living a life you want makes you modest.

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

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

So much for now. Much love and from life,

Biba

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A Night of Wonder and Questions

Dear reader,

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

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

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

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

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

Biba

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

 

Do Men Really Love Bitches?

Dear reader,

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

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

This is not what it’s about.

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

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

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

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

Lots of love,

Biba

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

Guest post: “I’ll be ok if…”

Dear reader,

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

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

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

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

What might happen if you do more of them?

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

Chris Ward for Biba’s blog

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

Dear reader,

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

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

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

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

Then a thought came:

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

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

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

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

With love,

Biba

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