In Search of Meaning

January 1, 2014

What Would You Do If All The World Was With You?

I believe in powerful question being way more important than smart answers. Because they open up new dimensions, new possibilities in uncharted territories. I consider the one in the title (I am grateful for it to dear Mary-Alice Arthur) as a very powerful question, for me at least, because I can so easily get stuck in the dreamland: “Well, I would do this and that, but I don’t have the necessary support, and perhaps this terrible thing could happen, and I would lose my basic safety

For instance, when me and Robert Gonzales started to play with the idea of hosting a retreat together, we immediately decided to do a dream retreat. To go full-throttle and hold nothing back. To go as deep and wide and high as we could possibly imagine. To create a retreat that we both would personally die for being able to participate on. As if everything was possible and the whole World was with us.

And we started off creating it with asking ourselves some powerful questions: “What is my inner quest behind this? What is the higher purpose of this retreat and how does it contribute to the Whole? In what spirit do we want it to be happening?”

This ignited and clarified our deep passions about our Work, our existence, our purpose, our longing to contribute to the evolutionary process of Life. And the energy and the excitement we have already been feeling in regards to the retreat is incredible.

And now, when I think of it, on the 1st of January 2014, this is exactly how I want to spend each moment of my existence. In the most meaningful and passionate way. With influencing the evolution of my Life with powerful and spirit-triggering questions. With holding nothing back and not wasting a day.

As if the whole World was with me.

November 10, 2013

When Life realignes

I had a vision in my early teenage years that the way for me to spend my life in the most meaningful way would be to dare to strip naked and enter the world holding nothing back, expressing my true nature to the fullest, in a sheer authenticity. This vision has been with me throughout my life since, and I am, year after year, making steps toward this courageous authenticity. Something I have been sharing about in my second TEDx talk.

Then, when leading my first intense and deeply self-exploratory retreats and witnessing the beauty of individuals coming in touch, through all the scars and wounds acquired along their lives, with their true nature and suddenly shining in profound liberation and aliveness, then I started to realize this was a place for me to be. This was why I was here. This was most precisely the meaning of my life: to support the embodiment of the deepest authenticity of Life in me as well as in others.

Throughout the next 25 years I was roaming along this path and doing my work, sometimes pretty directly, and very often more remotely. Then a few years back I met Robert Gonzales, whom I experience as a dear soul-brother, and through witnessing his work my old passion got fully ignited again.

And I am so passionate that me and Robert (watch out, the Roberts are coming… ;-)  ) will start working together, firstly with an intense (and we really mean intense!) retreat Awakening to the Flow of Life, in April 2014.

Actually passionate is far too small of an expression. It is more precise to say that it feels like coming home, returning to what I came here for. Yes, this is why I am here and I cannot wait for the April to come, because my life will be in its full alignment again.

November 1, 2013

Head-banging, personal growth and stripping naked

When the organizers of the TEDx event on Kredarica (just below the peak of Triglav, the tallest mountain in Slovenia) invited me to come to a meeting and share with them my experience from my TEDx JenaParadies talk, and also perhaps consider doing another talk, I had total clarity in my head: »I will come and happily share  my experience, and I will most definitely NOT do another TEDx talk. I just don’t need that stress in my life.”

Yet at the meeting I, to my sheer horror, actually heard my mouth say: “Yes, OK, I will do it…”

This all lead me to some banging of my head to various walls, and to a rather traumatic moment at the rehearsals, and a deep realization afterwards that brought me back in touch with my integrity and made me start changing the whole concept of my talk just a couple of days before the event…

Well, I describe it all in my talk On Personal Growth and Stripping Naked

April 21, 2013

The Magic of Long Retreats

Although leading workshops and trainings has been my way of living for a quarter of a century (nooo, can’t be, I am not that old) and I lead on average three full training days per week, the European Intensive Course in Nonviolent Communication, on which I am one of the 6 trainers, holds a very special place in my heart and I look forward to it for many months in advance. I believe it is so because with the 9-day span, its format and six trainers present, it meets so many of my longings for certain qualities.

The first one is the quality peace, ease, spaciousness and flow. While shorter trainings often have this fear of lack of time to address everything, in this 9-day retreat I can relax and follow the energy of the group, offer workshops on aspects of NVC that are being requested, and respond to what is alive in participants. I can work alone, or offer workshops together with another trainer and explore new horizons.

The second one is the quality of a true community that tends to get formed, not just a pseudo one, as Scott Peck called it. After so many days of crying and laughing together in our vulnerabilities and openness, the difference between the roles of a trainer and the one of a participant start melting and we are fundamentally a community of learners, exploring Life together, hosting ourselves and each other. There is shared purpose, care and empathy and the vision of  what human societies could look like starts incarnating.

I love retreats which are long enough so that the end is beyond the horizon and not just around the corner. This not only provides lots of space for the integration to happen, but also somehow seems to centre everybody more into the here and now, into living and fully embodying the essence of the Nonviolent Communication and compassionate relating. I lose the perception of today and tomorrow, and just move through the hours and days, in a sense of a total immersion. For me, a long intensive retreat is like a little lifetime within the large lifetime.

And the last one that I so much enjoy: the growth and the fundamental shifts toward full living that happen in front of my eyes, with the beauty starting to radiate out of everybody – because the time and the intensity of the experience makes it almost impossible to not grow and to not start shining.

So, in essence, what am I so much looking forward to experience in August in France? To experience our human beauty! And I invite you to join me at the European Intensive Course in Nonviolent Communication in August, South France.

April 15, 2013

A baby born out of passion and a dream

In the same way I believe all the meaningful things in life begin, also this project started with passion and a dream.

A passion for enabling the connection between two individuals who have lost it along the way of their relationship. A passion for supporting them to find a way to really hear each other, while honestly speaking their hearts. A passion to support relationships in which everybody’s needs matter and in which struggle gets replaced by joy, fun, inspiration and creation.

This passion had been the fueling source for my work, and this passion gave birth to a dream that the support could be presented to people also in the form of a simple application, using the contemporary technologies. So that a person, when stuck in a conflict and finding themselves all alone, feeling frustrated and annoyed, yet wanting to find a way to continue communicating and cooperating with another, could get enough support to make another step.

I have shared this idea with a friend of mine, also a Nonviolent Communication trainer, in December 2008. She liked the idea, but somehow there were not enough sparks to start a fire. The idea in my head started to move into the background, also because I was so busy with my regular work as a trainer, facilitator and mediator. I let it go, thinking that someday somebody else will do it and this was just fine me.

Then I went skiing with my good friend Mark Walker, a Brit living in Paris, in early March 2011 and briefly mentioned this idea to him. Now, Mark’s response was intense! Being not only passionate about Nonviolent Communication and supporting individuals in any possible way as a coach and therapist, but also just simply very open and excited about new ideas, his eyes widened and his response was a big fat YES!

Suddenly there was no way of turning back and he started bugging me to move my ass and create this thing together. Excitement grew and there we were, just a couple of months later, spending days in the living room in my house in Ljubljana, Slovenia, drawing the first drafts of the algorithm of the application. None of us had any idea about the IT world, but we were really excited about the thought that application like this would exist. We would definitely be the first ones to buy it!

We knew we needed more people on the team, to ground our ideas and connect them with the IT world and the world of putting such things together. Soon Pavel and Steve were on board and the incarnation started.

And now it is such a joy to see the birth of this baby of ours. With so many ideas sparkling in our heads about what additions to make, what more to do that would support people deeper and in the wider range of life-situations. And of course it is also such a joy to start receiving feedbacks about the benefits users already got from the application. And also to have trust that more people will benefit from it, and so the World will have a tiny little bit more connection and less disconnection thanks to this little application. It is the small little contributions to the fullness of life in us and around us that seem to matter most.

So here I introduce you to the Virtual Conflict Resolution Coach and I am inviting you to try it out (first 48 hours is for free), explore it, play with it and please help us spread the word. It indeed can help and support individuals.

Click to go to The Virtual Conflict Resolution Coach


April 7, 2013

How TED influenced my blood pressure

It seemed like a jolly idea to respond to the invitation of The Melton Foundation and to come over to Germany to speak at their TEDx event on Global Citizenship. I felt flattered to soon be in the company of all the wise and smart and inspiring TED people, and life was easy.

:-)

Until I, on the afternoon of the D-day, entered the hall for a sound test a couple of hours before and the blood in my veins froze at the sight of  THAT stage in front of me, you know, the TED dark stage with the red TED… letters, and all the lights and huge cameras around…

My thoughts went screaming: “Am I totally crazy or what? This is where I will be in a couple of hours, with strict 18 minutes time-limit and cameras and it is going to be on YouTube soon, no matter how confused and silly I might get. Normally it takes me 18 minutes to just introduce myself when I work with groups. What on Earth was I thinking?!!!! ”

Suddenly presenting at TEDx did not seem such an intelligent idea at all. Should I run away and jump the first train out of the city? Should I fake a heart attack?

To be honest, I only remember a few seconds from those 18 minutes, and even this is a very hazy picture in my mind.

Anyway, after I managed to survive that shock, my blood pressure was again peaceful for a few months, until I finally had the video of my talk in front of me, ready to press the play button, knowing that whatever I was going to see was soon to be seen by everybody  that will Google-in my name. The 18 minutes of my first look of the video were probably the most nervous minutes of the last ten years of my life. My hear-rate went totally bananas. Speaking of inner peace and all the spiritual stuff… :-)

Darn you, Ted!

Anyway, I am quite fine now, me and Ted are friends again and here comes the link to that talk of mine, on Nonviolent Communication and the Language for Global Citizenship.

Hope you will find it interesting…

January 14, 2013

The ultimate self-supporting question

It is often difficult to find a balanced approach to ourselves, especially between forcing ourselves to do what we think we should be doing in order to be the way we think we should be (like efficient, slim, fit, successful…) on the one side, and between just letting go and simply follow the momentary pleasure, basically turning into a couch potato or something alike.

In the first instance we try to squeeze the life in us so that it would fit some mental images we hold as very important, in the latter we seem to be just giving up on the magic of life, letting it fly past our eyes.

I can see how my own attitude went, as a pendulum, through many cycles; in certain periods of life really having been hard on myself, and in other periods just dragging myself along, full of frustration and emptiness.

And then recently, a friend of mine shared the magical sentence with me, the perfect katana cut, the secret weapon to transcend the mind, the mystical red pill for waking up into the everlasting happiness, the alchemical potion to transform confusion to clarity, the grand shamanic…, well, OK, you got it, right? :-) So, to not torture you any longer, I am presenting you the ultimate self-supporting question:

“What would I do right now, if I really loved myself?

Though it sounds so simple and obvious, there is so much in it, so much of beautiful self-support. Just think of it. It is not saying just: “what would I enjoy doing now?”, because in most cases my answer would be: “well, nothing really, to just lie on the couch and eat potato chips…” or something alike. And it is also not saying: “what do I think I should be doing in order to…?” and force myself into anything.

No, it is not using the should-language and pressure, and yet it is totally supporting Life in me. It is gently reminding me of my longings and yearnings, and it is, at the same time, leaving free choice, easiness, freedom… It is, in a sweet way, reminding myself of my greater visions, and opening up new possibilities, of making different choices that would support my well-being more.

So, really, what would I do if I really loved myself? Would I watch another movie, or perhaps go to sleep and get rest? Would I read newspapers or perhaps sit for five minutes with my eyes closed, breathing deeply and easing tensions in my body? Would I spend another hour browsing through Facebook, or would I go upstairs and play my guitar? Would I do some more work at my computer or would I rather have a glass of wine with my wife, over a candle-light, sharing celebrations of the day? Would I or would I not go running into the silent snowy evening?

Well, I think this question will be my guiding light for the 2013.

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