I was faking it

Dear reader,

it will soon be three years since I first went to study in England. Another three months will have to pass and it will be three years since I first saw Solution Focused Approach in action. I am still amazed. But I know one thing now:

I was faking it.

I was faking my skills, my knowledge and my competencies. Three years after, I know that

I don’t know anything anymore.

Talking about Solution Focus is very different to doing Solution Focus. And I think until now I was only talking about it and not really doing it. My departure to the UK this September has left me blank, confused, doubtful and modest.

I’ve been such a narcissistic lazy egocentric. This is to confirm that talking about your skills won’t make you skilful and talking about excellency won’t make you excellent.

So I am starting over … I have lost some of my shine or pride and have stepped aside one or several steps down to bow to my ignorance and the greatness of proficient SF practitioners.

Now I have truly realised what it means that Solution Focused Approach is simple, but far from easy. It is not difficult to learn it, yet it takes hours, maybe even years to practice before one can say one knows what they are doing. Maybe knowing and understanding is beyond our horizon anyways. My teacher said that once I will figure out what I am doing, I should start doing something else. He is right of course, yet my limited capacity understands his wise word with huge delays.

So I am cutting down now and trying to eliminate everything that distracts my focus. I am eager to learn. And I suspect I will probably never understand. Yet I still want to master SF one day. If this is to happen, it will happen from a modest position, not a glorious one. So I could very much use your help if you want to go on this journey with me. Let us practice, let us make mistakes, let us learn together. Contact me and practice with me – let’s experience and discover Solution Focused magic together! Step by step.

Biba

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I have more questions than I will ever have the answers to …

You were born to count the stars PART 1

A Touch of sLOVEnia broadcasting internationally.

A youth exchange in an organic farm, somewhere far away from factories and shopping malls. About 25 people from all over Europe. And my very first time as a trainer in a setting as such.

Dear reader,

all you really need is not a great pair of shoes. I just came back from the above event and as I’m going through the photos and am trying to organize memories. I feel the time is right to share with you what’s up.

This youth exchange was something beyond special. It was an opportunity to stop time, unplug wifi, forget the phone charger and throw makeup into a trash. As always, at the beginning when I have a group to lead and a message to deliver, I get a bit nervous. But not this negative nervousness, but more of an excited one. I was worried whether the group members would understand the message and whether they would have it difficult adapting and simplifying their way of life for the time being at this exchange. Besides solar showers and compost toilets, there was also very strict non alcohol and drug policy as well as vegetarian food.  Not everybody is able adapt to this, yet alone to understand what to do and how to spend the time instead of browsing and tweeting. Will the group of people who don’t know most of the others and are aged between 16-25 be able to manage?

This group managed and they managed the first day already. The energy we created was so inspiring and I think they (and hope) learned soooo much in such a short period of time. For example, take an exercise: you get a certain social role assigned and you have to place yourself up the scale according to what the facilitator asks. Questions like “can you vote, are you able to bring your friends over for dinner, are your children going to be safe in the future, can you afford to buy new clothes every 3 months”, etc. etc. Each member had a different role. And as we climbed up the scale, many were left behind and some were progressing forward. In the debriefing phase we discussed about this. And people who were way in front (privileged) noticed that none of them was there because of their own efforts. Maybe it was a rich daddy’s influence, maybe a political party they belonged to or maybe they were children of successful traders. But none of them was privileged because of their own work.

It touched us deeply. As we shared the emotions in the end, a girl who was among “well off” members said, she was disappointed. And she was right. Society isn’t just. And the position we are in, has most of the time nothing to do with our work or efforts. Equal opportunities suddenly gain importance and at the same time become a vague concept.

Anyhow, this was just to illustrate about the group’s maturity.

I’m sitting in front of this stupidd screen now. And am going through what has happened in the 3 days we’ve been together. The exchange isn’t over yet, just I had to leave because I have some other obligations to fulfill. So I think right now the group is having dinner and is hopefully checking their “gossip box”. I hope they will find something nice in there.

More to follow …

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Mandala of trust, understanding, respect and love.

The Campaign – a Word about Money

Dear reader, Since I’ve told you about the big news gone bad, I moved on, looking for other possibilities. I’m a very altruistic person, money plays little role on my priority scale. However we both know where (sadly) the power is and that money does make the world go round (the good news about this being it doesn’t bring any sense for its spinning – other things that money cannot buy provide that!).

So I started looking elsewhere, how I can make my dreams come true on one hand without losing my passion and energy by being absorbed in financial issues and on the other offer my knowledge and time to everybody without charging for that. I still hope these things go hand in hand, so I’ve launched a campaign of fundraising for my project.

Today a dear friend of mine whom I’ve met in London sent me a message, commenting my campaign in terms that I should think about how to engage people to feel that there can be some difference through my project and I need to show how I want things to be. He’s really smart and has helped me before, so I’m taking his advice seriously. If you’re following this blog regularly, you might have some clue about what I want and why I want that. Still it might be a good idea to put it into concrete details and outline the project more specifically, since I didn’t want to do that in the campaign description (wanted to be very short and precise).

I expect this project to be a masterpiece. I want to do with the students the same as spring does to the cherry trees (P. Neruda’s quote). I want to help them blossom, discover their full potential not only in academic sense, but also in their core qualities, their inner beauty. Since I’ve been engaged through one form or another in student academic and extracurricular activities I’ve seen a lot. Also being a student myself, I know it’s a huge pressure to be a “good” student. Besides, I’ve experienced some very tough time myself and was also very ill, but there was nobody who would offer me support. I’ve experienced exclusion, shame, stigma and lots of pain. Pain caused by words, denial, avoidance and physical pain as well. There were doctors, all sorts of specialists I didn’t want to go. There was no one, who would listen, who would understand. I had suicidal thoughts and have caused lots of harm to my body. Everybody pretended they didn’t notice. This has been going on for quite some years before I came to university.

Most people, according to statistics collapse and fail. I survived. I had to pull myself up, it was one of the hardest things I had to do and yet the one I’m most proud of. Even though I did some very nasty things that were very wrong and I’ve caused lots of trouble especially to my family, this is a part of my life that helped me shape into the person I am today. Back then I was alone, couldn’t talk to anyone and yet I managed. Still I remember how deeply I wished there was someone or something that I could run to and rest a bit, just put my head into someone’s lap and close my eyes for a moment and forget about everything. That has always been my driving force that pushed me forward in doing what I do with my students. I wasn’t lucky to be provided with support. But I can be that support for somebody else, because I understand. Not everything, but I understand at least what it’s like, when it’s really bad.

So my dear reader and potential contributor, that’s what I HAVE TO DO. Be the one for those who need it, be the one I didn’t have. Students come to me because they feel welcomed, they feel accepted and safe. The effects we both (a student and I) witness in sessions are hard to describe. Just one session can sometimes cause huge consequences in terms that a student realizes she/he can do it and is not alone. But I can’t do that voluntary my whole life and at the same time I want the students to have free support. That’s why I need your help.

So if this project is to succeed, here’s what you (engaging) might be part of:

– if you are from the higher education area and the project is running at your institution, you may notice better student’s performance, less stress and more cooperation. Solution focused approach brings people together and fosters collaboration instead of competition.

– If you are a company or an employer you’ll benefit from confident and reflecting graduates, who might gain their confidence in the sessions.

– If you are not directly engaged, still there’s a chance you’ll have an intern who has benefited from this project. Or a business partner. Or a spouse, a son in law, etc. Because all these students will one day take the role in society. If they are able to fly instead of being depressed, then the future society looks good. My faculty (and university) is large, our graduates travel and move across the globe. So you never know when you’ll meet someone who’s been down at a certain point in their life, but with this project he/she got the support to develop the wings.

– If you want, you can be an active part of it. I’m always opened to new ideas, new partners, who share the same ideals. If you want, I’ll come deliver a workshop for you. Or a training course. Or can help you with what I have to offer. And I may not have everything. But what I do have is unique, it’s real, based on my own personal experience and it’s provided with honesty and enthusiasm.

Take care. Now time for some garden soup.

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Sky’s not the limit today.