The Key to My Heart

Dear reader,

no matter the weather, there will always be a place on Earth with plenty of sunshine. Or thunderstorms, depending on your preference or perspective. Whatever you think of things and events that are happening around you, you are right in version of your own truth.

Life is never easy. It is multifaceted, complex and unpredictable. Yet it doesn’t have to be unnecessarily complicated. I meet many people every day. They share their stories and wisdom. I am lucky to be blessed with a gift of being a wonderful and charismatic trainer/teacher and with the ability to make other people around me feel special. In that sense my work is a combination of what I am good at and passionate about. And sometimes I forget this and then my participants remind me of it. So today I’ll share some of their thoughts. It says a whole lot more about them than it does about me. So have a look at what kind of wonderful people I usually work with:

Biba is a very easy to follow and engage with teacher. I have learned a lot from her knowledge of the SF approach as well as her genuine passion. I think it would be useful for anyone (counsellor, parent, manager, etc.) to experience and practice at least once in their life like this. (Anna)

Working together will inspire, energise and change the way you work, live and think (Luke)

There is a lovely energy about you and an incredible inner strength. (Susana)

There is some mystery about how the process works, it seems. Perhaps that is a good thing as we humans are so hard wired to seek and enjoy mystery.  (Jane)

Thanks so much for this Biba and for the excellent sessions you ran here.  It was great to meet you and I have already tried putting some SF thinking into practice. (James)

I thoroughly enjoyed your energy! You are the real deal! (Chantal)

I like your relaxed, respectful and light-hearted way of being. Of course you will feel sometimes different, but there is always a joy around you. (Annemieke)

Those are not official testimonials, gathered for the purpose of promotion, far from it. They are little messages I got in the past three days alone. And I want to share them with you, because I want to emphasise that having a talent isn’t only a privilege. It is a responsibility and duty too – a duty to use it and give to community. Share your ideas. Share yourself. And then watch the magic happen when you get back to what you give tripled.

Yesterday my magic materialised as a very special key. I got my own pair of keys to BRIEF and I am now ready to start seeing my face to face clients (individuals or families) at BRIEF. Yesterday I saw a mother and her teenage son. So much love and care they have for each other and it was beautiful to watch it surface again. So come and join. Be a part of it. Use your talents. Welcome!

With much love and from life,



The Keys to My Heart

Eating disorders are wasting your time

Dear reader,

This is a very personal post and I have never written about this subject so openly.

For some reason, I remembered some of my teen idols. I was so in love with a French dancing figure skating pair, Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat, especially with their performance of “Esmeralda” and “Time to Say Goodbye” in the early 2000’s. Watching them skate again today, brought many memories of my early, young, fragile age, so I decided to go on with my orange-reddish hairstyle 🙂

Another recent idol has been Yulia Lipnitskaya, a young Russian figure skater, who, at the age of only 15 won the gold medal (well deserved!). I was wondering what she might be up to today, 4 years later, and found out that she’s retired from sport, due to severe anorexia.

I couldn’t believe it. It made me so so sad. She is far from lonely case. I dedicated my whole life to classical ballet, up to the age of 21. For years I was suffering from eating disorders. It started as I was getting ready for Ballet Nationals and my teacher made some crude remarks about my weight. At the age of 16, I wanted to do my best to “fit in”, succeed, meet the standards, regardless of how inhumane or devastating they were. I forced my body to do things most people couldn’t even imagine was possible. I pushed it beyond every limit and won the second place, dancing with a torn calf muscle. I could go on not eating for days, or bring every single meal out whenever I wanted. Still, no signs of fatigue or lost strength or physical ability. I had complete control over it. It was my absolute slave.

I made my best friend my slave. And as most things I was up to, I succeeded 100%.

It all got worse at about the same time, when I was almost expelled from school for anonymously publishing an article about certain practices and behaviours at our school. What I’d written was nothing but truth, but the reaction I got from my teacher was awful. I was excluded, humiliated, yelled at so that the entire school could hear and after that I learned to keep quiet, swallow all the injustices and simply pretend everything was fine. Pretend I was okay. Suppress all the emotions, desires, hopes. Just work, work, work. At the age of 16 my wings were broken. Crushed. I thought it was my fault. Everybody was pointing at me, confirming it was my fault. People watching me go down the road of slowly getting more and more exhausted, bystanders not knowing what to do, friends disappearing.

Eating disorders are lethal. They are one of the most damaging addictions. Vicious things, lurking in the back, taking over your life slowly, while you are fooling yourself believing you are in control.

I was so sad to read about Yulia. Such talents, such beautiful souls carried away by this disease. Many professionals are claiming, one cannot escape this circle. That the victim will always stay trapped in the cold hands of anorexia or bulimia. I say they are wrong.

I managed to recover myself. It happened as everyone else gave up. Doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, all sort of professionals. They gave up because they failed to ask me one single question:

What are your best hopes?

All of them were focused on ways how the disease was messing up with my life, or worse, how it’s become my life. None of them bothered to ask me about my other sides, my passions or hopes, probably because they assumed I had none. I believed that too. But it was not true. It was only that my wings were broken, but that doesn’t have to mean that I would not be able to grow new ones. Being kept in an environment where everybody was constantly reminding me that I have “screwed up”, “will not make it again” and “can’t do it myself” has been more damaging than the wounds I cut myself.

So at one point, after years of suffering, I decided that I won’t let my 16-year old down. I’ll never hide again and will never bow, even if and when my mouth will get me in trouble. I’ll never stand people for having the wrong energy, because I learned to be protective of myself and of people around me. People who are affected by eating disorders have several wonderful traits – they take it all on them, which makes them very pleasant company. They are incredibly talented, intelligent and resilient. But they simply don’t know that yet or don’t believe it. Eating disorders are a way of withdrawing, distracting from pain, focusing the punishment onto yourself, even when someone else is guilty. But in the cold light of dawn, eating disorders are a waste of your time. And a terrible waste of your potential.

Again, I was so sad to read the news about Yulia. And I know many girls like her, even some boys. I used to be one. And I can also show you that you, YOU ALONE, can manage to spread your wings again, fly, or grow whatever you need in order to lead the life you want. Yes, you can, without medication, painful questions and all sort of experts, who will pretend they care and will pretend they know better than you. No-one knows better than you.

Connect with me, if this sounds appealing and you might benefit from my experience. I was extremely lucky, that a couple of years after recovering, I accidentally bumped into Solution Focused Brief Therapy, which was exactly how I managed to restore my best version. The version that will never shut up and will never ever bend again. So naturally, I became a SFBT therapist and am now trying to make a difference with the approach and care, I needed, but was simply not there. With all my love and all my passion, both of which at some point I thought will never be on the menu of my feelings again. So I got lucky, but not because faith had it, but because I looked out for it.

With so much love to all the Yulias,



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.



Slovenians Rock!

Dear reader,

when I was 13, I ran away from home. I was a huge rebellion and my family had it tough with me, especially my mom (love you mom!). I hated my town where I had spent my childhood and elementary school and I couldn’t wait to move to the big city. Eventually, even Ljubljana became too small. But in the meantime, I grew out of puberty, fortunately.

Now living across different countries in Europe and constantly on the road, I began to love my small city of childhood. I am proud to have grown up in a besieged working class town together with ex-Yugoslavian refugees from the 1990’s war. And yesterday I hosted two workshops there. It’s much fun coming back, not having the slightest accent and not knowing anyone, yet I felt like coming home.

Let me tell you a bit about this town and region. It isn’t rich. In Slovenia, pretty much everything outside Ljubljana is considered undeveloped. And Ljubljana on its own is not more than a big village. Not much’s going on. People lacking jobs, cultural life, social life activities (weekend getting drunk parties excluded of course), etc. There are fewer opportunities, especially for young people. And people feel this. They are not happy about it, but not much they can do. Or they don’t recognise the injustices in wealth and other goods distribution, and are falling in despair anyhow.

And in the middle of such an environment and mindset, there happen to be two organisations. That make a difference. Young people have joined their forces together and launched a co-working space. They are fostering entrepreneurship, active citizenship and engaging individuals into a sharing community.

I had a privilege to meet some of their members yesterday. I saw dedicated, kind and resourceful individuals who are trying to survive, to fight and to enjoy their lives. They were full of passion, energy, enthusiasm and ideas as we had discussion around Solution Focused questions. They were collaborative. Great listeners. Great people to talk to. Amazing creative spirits. With crazily stunning ongoing projects. I was so impressed and proud of their achievements as well as genuinely happy that they were not among those who are trying to find a way to either steal from common good or escape abroad. They were there. Standing strong. Having it difficult of course and constantly questioning how to survive. And they were managing, somehow, by doing something right.

I observed some of their conversations after the workshops. They were really kind to each other and honest. They asked me why I came to work with them all the way from London and not charging them to do that. Isn’t it obvious? Because it was most rewarding to be able to support a growing community that wants to make a difference in their local environments. I like working with engaging, kind people. Somehow, I  always have a privilege to meet such people.

This blog has about 3,000 international readers (you are awesome and you know it). If you ever have a chance to work with a Slovenian, you most likely won’t be disappointed. They might be a bit slow and cold at first, but once opened up, they will deliver results. And won’t praise themselves for it. They work, work, work hard, until they drop. And if in supporting environments, they generate awesome ideas, supported by strong arguments.

So honestly, Slovenians rock. I know I will spend my old days in this country. Because I love and believe in its people. Because it’s my home.



Unlocking people’s potential – priceless.

There are no rules in life. There are only roles in life

Dear reader,

my hands are shaking from excitement as I’m writing this. Finished a videoconference call with a client from Germany in the morning and she pulled the trigger for this post.

She was diagnosed with pathological shyness in the past, as she was unable develop or keep normal relationships. She lived with this diagnosis her entire teenage life and is currently in the final year of her undergraduate studies. She sought my help because she asked for a coaching conversation with someone unknown, unbiased, who is keen on student population, their concerns and problems and would help her find a way forward.

As we talked, it turned out she is thinking about moving out of her country and continuing her studies on the masters level somewhere abroad. She was struggling with her indecisiveness, her fear that she would be unable to cope with unknown people and situations, as well as feeling frightened what would happen in case she doesn’t succeed.  It was pretty much a story that takes place quite often with young people at that age. Then something beautiful happened and I’m copying a section from our conversation (with her approval). Let’s call her Anna and I leave it up to you to decide whether this girl is truly pathologically shy:

Anna: … you know, it’s like first you have to go to school. Then you have to go to university. You have to perform with top scores, otherwise you won’t feel like you’re worth anything. Be the top of your class. Lend notes to your colleagues. Go to parties you don’t like. Get a boyfriend. Have sex because it’s embarrassing if you don’t at the age of 20. Then think about your masters. Get into the top schools, because this is how you’ll get an offer in a company. I’m trapped, I don’t think I can manage all that. And I can’t tell anybody, these thoughts are not good thoughts to have. It’s embarrassing.

Biba: what would the situation you could manage look like?

Anna: I couldn’t. I never could manage. You know I was diagnosed with being antisocial. I can’t cope because of that.

Biba: and if you somehow could? Suppose you could imagine a situation where you could manage, how might that look like?

Anna (long pause): I don’t know if I get your question. It’s a fact I can’t manage.

Biba: and if you could, how would you know you are managing?

Anna: this would be a totally different situation then!

Biba: like?

Anna (again long pause): first of all I wouldn’t be where I am right now. I wouldn’t be the person I am.

Biba: what might you be?

Anna: I would be simply … enough being me, being as I am. I would do what I like to do. At the moment I don’t really think there’s much I actually like to do. I’ve even forgotten what is it that I really like!

Biba: and what do you like?

Anna: I like to read. I like to cook. I hate numbers [note: she was enrolled in a course that contained a lot of numbers]. I hate staying up late, just because my roomate does. I actually don’t even want to go to masters.

Biba: so you’re very clear about what you don’t want.

Anna: it’s quite a surprise really. I think I hate my entire life! This is not me! I’m not shy, I just don’t like to talk to people! I don’t want to be a good quiet girl anymore either!

Biba: so if you could define it brand new …?

Anna: I would love to, but I can’t … [long pause] I can’t do it because the picture that I like doesn’t fit with what I’m supposed to do right now. And it’s already too late. You know, I don’t mean to hurt anybody or cause anybody problems, nor my parents, teachers, nobody. I was always told to be a good girl and so I was. Trying to please everybody. And I thought they would like me for doing so. But it seems like I can never be enough, just being me. I will never be enough. So I have to do the masters to achieve something. Then get a decent job to earn enough money to be independent. That’s what I would like.

Biba: that’s what you would like, is this how your preferred situation might look like that you could manage?

Anna: no! That’s my current reality and it’s overwhelming! It’s like I’m choking here.

Biba: okay. So if we keep it where you are now, you get the masters, get the job that pays your bills, where do you hope this would lead to?

Anna: I don’t know. I might wake up one day and say my life was … meaningless. Even though I might achieve everything that is expected from me to achieve … Why do we do that, why do I do that, is this normal?

Biba: I think we all try to more or less fit within the rules of our society. What do you think?

Anna: Not sure. It seems like everybody I know is pretty happy with that. They like where they are and where they go. And I’m torn inside.

Biba: I meet many people that are unhappy with that.

Anna: You know what? I actually think there are no rules in life. We invented them just because everybody does it. It doesn’t mean that everybody SHOULD do it.

Biba: it doesn’t, no.

Anna: but I am afraid to do anything about it. I could probably still turn it around when I was younger. You know, before I enrolled to this stupid class. It’s too late for me now, I can’t reverse it.

Biba: imagine we would have your 15 year old and your 30 year old arguing about who is more right to be too late, what sort of arguments might they both use to convince you?

Anna: they would both have pretty strong arguments!

Biba: so what might be their strongest anti-arguments to convince you that it is the perfect time to start over?

Anna: well I could as well be 60. I could just kill myself then.

Biba: you could as well be 23 [she was currently 22].

Anna: I know. I don’t want to waste another year. I want something better, this time for me. But it scares me, you know, it really scares me, because if I do it, I won’t have any support. Nobody knows me like that, nobody is interested in what do I want. Nobody will like who I really am.

Biba: good, it is supposed to be scary! It means it is worth it.

She was perfectly right. There are no rules in life. Sure, you are born, you go to school, you find a decent job when you are 25, you find a partner, have kids by 30, get a dog by 35, buy a house and a family car, go on vacation, pay for children’s schooling, go into menopause, possibly divorce, maybe get grandchildren, retire by 65 and hopefully, have someone to grow old with. Life has a certain natural cycle, we all get older and so far no one has survived yet. But the rules of when you should do what and how were invented because the majority does it that way, not because it should be done that way. You are supposed to eat breakfast. Exercise. Not take drugs. Learn how to drive. Sleep at night. Be faithful. Be on time. Make money. Consume a lot. Park on marked places. All these are the rules that were invented and some of them indeed make most of our lives easier to manage. It is easier if you sleep at night and if you try to follow the principles of a healthy diet. But you don’t HAVE TO do it, if you found something different that works for you. Especially if you found something that is more beneficial for you and others around you.

You don’t have to force yourself to wake up early in the morning if you are more of a night type. You don’t have to get married if you don’t believe in marriage. You don’t have to do the masters or go to university just because everybody does it. You don’t have to eat bananas because they are rich in potassium, if you hate it. You don’t have to run if you prefer swimming. Also don’t have to watch the news if it doesn’t interest you. You don’t have to participate in conversations that you find meaningless or boring.

There are no rules. There are only roles and even the roles change. If you are a parent, you are in a role of a caregiver. Once your children are adults, they might become caregivers and your role will change. If you are a spouse, you are in a role of giving and receiving love and affection. If you are 60, your body probably isn’t the same as it was when you were 20. That doesn’t mean it has to hurt or that you are unable to have regular walks if you like to.

Everything is fluid. Everything constantly changes. You don’t have to be obedient in life just because you were told you should be when you were little. It might help though in certain contexts, but there is no one out there, to whom you should kneel because they are superior. Nobody is better or worse than you are. Nobody is allowed to take the leading part of your life, as this is YOUR part and YOUR life, and it’s ending one minute at a time. So don’t take the part of a victim and don’t bend down. It is your responsibility to discover what you like, what fits you and find your passion to share and express yourself in this world.

Sure, not everybody will like you because of that and you might disappoint quite some number of people. But those who will like you for who you are and how you are, will support you. Someone I love deeply said once to me that he’s been stupid nearly all of his life. And he doesn’t mind being stupid with me as well. There is nearly 9 billion people on this planet. You will find people that share similar interests and who are happy to be your kind of stupid. Even if it’s just a few, these few can support you in your authentic happiness that comes from within your true self when you find your integrity to dare being you.

DARE to be who you are and who want to be! You have nothing to loose, you might only get rid of certain clutter you don’t need in life. There are no rules, only roles, and roles change. Constantly.


skype sf mindfulness

I’ve chosen my kind of people – Solution Focused community. Together we create miracles.

Unleashed Potential

Dear reader,

you haven’t heard from me for quite a while. The statistics still shows you keep coming back and I’m grateful for your patience.

After a period of stress and unbalance, I’m back, brand new and shiny. I feel energized, thrilled and powerful. In May we had our last Solution Focused Professional Training and with this act, Slovenia got her first generation of future Solution Focused practitioners. I’m so proud of them and so happy not to be alone anymore but to be a foundation and meeting point for a thriving community.

I’ve been very busy as well. In May and June I’ve hosted several workshops at the Faculty of Economics for English speaking students. I’ve also done some presentations and a workshop for a conference on advanced business approaches for business analysts. And I’ve delivered a training for experienced trainers who work in the youth field. Quite a dynamo!

Not spending much time online, I’ve been thinking of you, dear reader, as well, realizing that I somehow miss you, even though I don’t know you. Both of us, we form a community by inspiring and supporting each other mutually. I’m happy to have you and as Ribalon is thriving, I realized you play an integral part in it. So thank you very much for following this blog, for your presence, your engagement.

It has happened several times that I got messages from people saying they follow my work and are really happy to see me actually do things and make a difference. They often say how wonderful it is to see someone pursuing their dreams and really enjoying what they do.

Yes, this is truly such a privilege. To be born in a continent that is somewhat safe and has rather good estate regulations and public instititutions that care about its people. You might complain they suck, but hey, try travelling round the Globe a bit and you’ll see that what we have is far from being taken for granted. Women rights for example. Clean water. Public education. Democracy. You name it.

The second privilege is to be born with capacities that allow you to evolve and develop in what you aspire to be. You know – the things you want to do and you’re good at. Not necessarily parallel. So if you are able to do what you like to do and you are good at what you do, this is a winning combinaton! Most of the people I know have jobs they go to. Very few actually belong to the profession and call it passion.

The third, and not unimportant thing, is that you are able to do what you like and love to do, you are good in doing that and it brings you enough money so that you can live from this. Ribalon is a bit less than a year and a half old. And it is self sustainable already. Not really making profits yet, but certainly capable to take baby steps forward. And I don’t know anything about marketing, business plan, strategy, sales or entrepreneurship (not even know whether the spelling is right!). I just do my thing and I do a lot of it. I engage in conversations with people and use every opportunity to let them experience useful and meaningful conversations. People love it and they keep coming back and asking for more. And I don’t use any marketing or google adwords to make that happen.

This is a jewel, a true gem. And I feel alive and thriving! And happy to share it with you – there is enough light for all of us and it only multiplies by sharing!



Our first Slovenian Solution Focused reunion. 

How to Prepare for the Unknown: a Word About an EU Project

Dear reader,

so much has happened since the last post and it’s overwhelming. This is how my office looks like and it first started with a laptop and a notebook. Then there was a laptop and an iPad (for skype) and a notebook and a cup of tea. Today I’m working on two laptops, one iPad, two cups of tea (and I won’t be showing you the trash bin with remaining snacks), one notebook and a bunch of sheets torn out of that notebook. There are 15 people working together on an EU project, a mobility project for youth workers that will bring together about 25 participants from 11 different countries, 7 expert facilitators who use Solution Focused Coaching in their line of work and they will be working together in three connected but separate activities through May 2016 until February 2017.

project work.jpg

I’m the project coordinator and I’ve never done such a thing before. With zero experience I’m now hosting a huge partnership and a very demanding and high quality project, totally innovative and pioneering in the field, as it is gathering and linking together highly efficient expertise and social inclusion within the youth field.

I had no idea how to start this, nor how to navigate through the activities we should do. I only knew one thing – I was absolutely confident that partners, who were invited to join this initiative, have endless resoruces and skills and all I have to do is to find and address their skills as well as find out what they are passionate about and let them express it in that area. Since I’m good at finding these skills, I was completely okay with not knowing what will happen. So this whole process is one huge Solution Focused Approach in action.

Right now we are somewhere halfway through. It is a lot of work and my brain capacities are 95% occupied for more than 12 hours/day. When I sleep I reminisce about new ideas. When I cook I think about what next steps to take and whether I’ve forgotten something. While writing this post I’m already thinking about what will happen in the skype meeting we have this evening and the things I shouldn’t forget to ask. But there is one thing that constantly worries me: whether I will be capable to provide enough space for everybody to be included and heard and at the same time be the engine that pushes the whole thing forward. It would be much much easier to simply present the partners the application form and ask them to sign it. However that’s not a partnership project. Ours aspires to be. And yet I have no idea whether the path we are going is optimal or we could (or should) have done something different. I have absolutely no idea what will happen by the end of next week, yet I’m supposed to be a coordinator who knows these kind of things. The only thing I know is what the next step will be and then it is a question of addressing the partners’ needs and opinion to provide us with a glimpse of a next chapter.

And you know what? I’m super comfortable with this discomfort, because I trust the next step will appear right when we need to take it. What I’m a little less comfortable is that this is clearly a school for life and it will provide evidence of how much all my professional training and my theorizing to act in complex situations have been worthwhile, meaning whether I would be able to coordinate this huge piece of work in a solution focused way or not.

Let’s wait, hope, work and see …


You can change people: a Word about the Quiet December

Dear reader,

The end of the year is fast approaching. Don’t know whether you’re into celebrating, presents or any of that, anyhow it is a special time of the year. For me all the rush and presents excitement, the Christmas tree and lights is somehow secondary. It’s nice, but a bit too commercial for my taste. This year, we decided we’re excluding all gifts that come in material shape. We will give each other memories, so a gift should be something that a receiver will keep as a memory of a together-spent adventure (we’ll definitely save on gift paper :))

My December is usually a month of quiet, stillness, a month of reflection about the past ups and downs, lefts and rights, etc. This year has been a breaking point in my life. It has changed me and everyone around me, changed forever. The thing is, a situation, whatever it is, doesn’t simply happen to you – your reaction causes what you experience as happening. Therefore, you can change every situation, you can even change people. Your world can change instantly and you don’t have to do much to make that happen! And more good news – you alone can make it happen and have all the utilities and capabilities to do so. The very next minute you can begin to experience a brand new changed world.

Yesterday I’ve seen a new client, who is at the beginning of her independent career path. She chose to start her own firm and was a bit unsure about whether she could make it and the direction she should be headed towards. Usually, I don’t ask about the past, but here something, some strange curiosity drove me towards asking questions about her past work until the present moment. At the end of a session she said she didn’t know and hasn’t been realising she’s walked all that much already as she thought she was standing still and doing nothing. But now she actually realises how much she has accomplished already and if she’s come that far, she should be okay to proceed. And be successful in whatever path she chooses to go.

It’s almost a year since I left for my study visit to England that changed my life. This year, I’ve travelled and seen half a world literally, have learned so fast and so much about Solution Focused Brief Therapy and was able to make let’s say a 5 year path in only one with much published scientific work and contributions in international conferences. With pleasure and passion. And I wasn’t looking for opportunities, wasn’t looking for anything big. It just happened, naturally. I wasn’t waiting for my “big moment” to come, I created it by acting and reacting to what came across. And now looking back, I’m so happy I did, even though I was really scared, confused, had so many doubts and was afraid I wouldn’t make it. I’m really grateful I didn’t hide and made an excuse.

People around me changed. By noticing changes I’ve been going through, some people were curious and wanted to know more. Some were not. Some left my life, some stayed. Since working a lot and going through a process of intensive learning necessarily means sacrificing your time you used to spend on other things like having coffee, I started to pick my company really carefully. Because I value my time and I started to value my experiences too, so I don’t share it with people who don’t care about it. As a result, I managed to say goodbye to people that had negative impact on me and I’ve gained more respect from people, especially people that used to take me and my time for granted. As soon as I started to value myself more, they started to reflect that attitude back. I’m now attracting what I’m radiating. And it has always been like that, just I didn’t know and see it till now.

Don’t believe me? You can try it yourself. Such an experiment may be that you say no to someone if you don’t feel like doing something they want you to do. It’s very hard. Not to say that to them, but to say that to you. Very hard indeed. But with each attempt you’ll get better, I guarantee you that. Maybe as you see that it’s actually a relationship you have with yourself, that could make it a bit easier, because you’re probably not afraid of yourself so much as you are afraid of what the others might think of you. Well, whatever it is that they think of you, tells not so much about you, but a lot about them. That’s what I have written in the description of my Facebook profile picture and I’m sharing this one with you today. I’m giving myself to you, because I want to. Without makeup 🙂 So if you are being treated poorly, that is probably a sign of the other person’s bad attitude. Even if you please them, that attitude is not going to change. So why not doing yourself a favour by saying yes to YOU?

Wish you a lovely December. Spend it the way you like most. And thank you for being an important part of my reflection.


Dear friend/acquaintance/visitor. You may love me, hate me or neither. Whatever it is, it says a lot more about you than it does about me. Feel welcomed.