Do you love your problems?

It would be helpful, really ūüôā

Problems are … difficulties, possibilities, opportunities

A problem is a perceived gap between the actual state and a desired state. This may present itself as either a difficulty you face in life, or a question, puzzle or dilemma to be answered or solved (including homework tasks or math or engineering questions).

I love the definition above because it touches the core of what a problem is. It says about perception and the gap. A problem is therefore in the eye of the beholder. It is personal. Hence, problem solving is personal too and requires an action to close the gap.
We will focus here the first type of the problems.

Life difficulties

Some problems are natural and easy challenges in fact. They are the next step on your development path. These are usually small variations of the obstacles that you successfully overcome in the past. They require a stretch but within your possibilities.

Some problems are real difficulties that you have not yet learned to handle well. They may lie far outside your comfort zone and/or require either a personal change or a change of circumstances (family, home or work). Solving these types of problems is a key to life mastery indeed.

Some problems strike hard. These are usually the sudden and unexpected blows or turns in life. They can become a sudden illness, death, reallocation or loss. They may evoke fear, panic or terror. Your heart may feel squashed and you may feel contracted. You are terrified, overwhelmed and lost.

Ultimately you will go through the dark hours and let the emotions flow freely. In doing so, you are down to your true power and perseverance. Only when the emotions are released, you can approach the problems at hand.

Some problems (read: areas of growth) are your good “friends”. They have been with you for years but you avoided to take the responsibility for a change to happen. Your challenge is to become ready first. Ready, to arrive at a breakthrough moment in which you cannot handle the problems any more.

This is usually a moment of Self-realization in which you discover that the path you are on is not the one you would like to follow or when the when the consequences of the given behavior (say, from the lack of change) are more profound than the value of this behavior.

Such an inspiration may go about small things.

It can be an email from a friend telling you how much he appreciated your sound advice that makes you decide to quit your job and start a consulting business.

It can be a time when kids are particularly cheeky when you simply feel it’s enough for you to be a stay-at-home mum.

It can be a brief look into a mirror to realize how bad your posture is in order to subscribe to the regime of posture correcting exercises (BTW: the Egoscue’s health trough motion ones are super good indeed).



The real difficulty problems are the ones to tackle. 


Because if you know how to solve them, all other types of problems will ultimately arrive at this phase and can be tackled as well.

The problems aka real difficulties

These problems are caused by perceptions from your Conscious Self dwelling outside your Operational point of Action (or Power). If you perceive a problem, it means you are living with a situation without holding an intention or possibility of taking the action in the Now to tackle it.

The real difficulty problems arise because you

  1. don’t sufficiently understand the issues
  2. don’t accept the facts and/or the change to happen
  3. don’t take the right decision
  4. don’t take the right actions

When a problem occurs, resistance usually hits with a full blow.


Because you are confused, overwhelmed, insecure or simply afraid at the presence of Unknown. Ultimately, one of the three scenarios is usually there:

1) You don’t understand the issues and don’t know what to do (or how to do it). You are often paralyzed by uncertainty and afraid of the unknown. As a result, you avoid taking action.

2) You don’t know what to do but you keep taking arbitrary actions for the sake of feeling that we are doing something to maintain the illusion of progress (instead of being still).

3) You know what to do but you don’t like the actions involved (the lack of decision) and are afraid of the consequences of these actions (the lack of will to proceed).

Whatever the scenario, you can move past your doubts or inaction. You need to use strategic problem solving approaches. As these form a necessary skill of any intelligent person, learning them will only bring you benefits. Anybody can master the related process, I believe.


Love your problems

Do you love your problems? This would be helpful, indeed.

In the end your problems, are yours. This means they are a part of who you are and whom you are becoming. When you accept to love your problems, they are not enemies neither alien creatures anymore. They will start to work in your favor, and, as a result,  you will focus on the solutions with breeze.

There are two great approaches to solve your personal problems. And what is best, they are highly effective, once you know how to use the techniques well.

I will write about them in the next post ūüėČ


Photo courtesy Fe Langdon, available under Creative Commons on Flickr.



Do you want to be a norm?

You want to be perfect.
Balanced. Harmonious. Spotless.

That is what you think you want. To follow the perfect dream.

You want to have a great family.
(Obviously, a great house and a car too.)
You want an easy and smooth life.
You want to make a great carrier.

That is what you think you want. To follow the standard dream.

Do you want to be a deviation?

Luckily, you are much different than the norm.
You are strange, perhaps odd, colorful and spotty.
You are a masterpiece in creation.


It is the differences, not the norm, that shape interest and curiosity.

They make us think.
They make us look for answers.
They make us change and grow.

What is known and explained becomes boring.
What is different and standing out becomes interesting.

Have you ever thought that the greatest inspiration comes from the parts that do not fit to a model?
These are the ugly parts, aberrations, defects, imperfections, or surprises.
Indeed, we push towards a new development because the deviation is there and demands attention.


Harmony and elegance are powerful. They create a comfort zone.
As much as we want it and love it, we become lazy and purposeless when we dwell there for too long.

The norm, the model, the comfort zone is a place of rejuvenation. For a short while only.


The parts of yourself that are elegant, polished and worked-out make a great cover.
They help you shine. Yet, they likely stand on the way to your progress.

The parts of yourself that you wish to dispose of, change or hide are the sources of great power.
The imperfections are a potential for growth and purpose.

It is where you don’t fit and how you differ from others that becomes your strength.
It is the difference that is an inspiration for change.


Dare to be a Deviation, not the Norm.


This post is dedicated to Inge and Bob who taught me about trust.


Trust and faith are fundamental in our lives

Trust opens you up and allows you to learn in a moment. Outside your comfort zone.

Faith is a framework of your beliefs, in-flows and out-flows, approaches to learning and making use of your knowledge.

And here comes a story ….


One day I discovered I was pregnant. This was the beginning of a new journey into my second pregnancy. It turned out I was carrying twins. Quite a shock: double trouble and double blessing ūüôā

During pregnancy, the ultrasound scan at the 18-20 weeks serves as a tool to evaluate the development of the baby. It is an early diagnostic of some potentially serious health problems. I had one at the 18th week.

A sonographer was pleased with the pictures and gave me happy news – the kids were growing well. Yet, there was a little bit of hesitation in her voice. I ignored it.

I entered the room of the consultant with the ultrasound results. I was expecting the confirmation of the good news. There was, however, a big surprise waiting for me.  After a moment of silence, there was a shot in my heart.

“Are you going to terminate the pregnancy?”, the consultant asked calmly.

“What???”, my jaw dropped. I thought he was taking nonsense. “What do you mean?”

“There are two strong markers indicating that both your kids may have the Edwards syndrome.”¬† his voice was emotion-less.¬† “Moreover, your age makes the picture much worse.” he continued. “The chances are high.”

“What is it?”, I whispered. (I knew that statistically I was prone to much more genetic disorders of the babies than young mothers.)

“It is a serious genetic disorder of the 18th chromosome. It makes it impossible to support life. There are usually stillbirths. When born, majority of babies die in the first week.¬† Nearly nobody makes till 1st birthday. There are a few exceptions above one year old, but overall, there is no hope”, he explained calmly.

I suddenly knew it all. My friend’s baby died a few days after birth because of this disorder. And the next two babies died in the womb. Since I helped him to overcome the dark hours, I knew how devastating this experience was for him and his family.

I was petrified. The darkness was sudden and overwhelming. I could hardly breathe. The monsters were running wild.

– “We can perform amniocentesis from both amniotic sacs, but there is the risk of miscarriage for any of the twins. About 3%. “, he continued. “The risk is much higher with twins than with a single baby.”

Again a pause.

“You will know 100% whether the babies suffer from this disorder or not. “

I had no idea what to say, yet I felt I had to say something.

– “What would you do in my situation?” I asked.

– “I don’t know what I would do”, he said, “I’m a man.”

There was a pause. 

– “… but I know what my wife would do.¬† No hassle. Termination.”

I left the clinic with a leaflet on the Edwards syndrome in my hand. Little information really.

Dark hours

I returned home and spent hours on the web to educate myself on this genetic disorder, markers, amniocentesis and so on. I learned what was to learn there.

I felt angry, scared and abandoned. I felt as if I was the only person in the whole world. Deeply lonely.

The darkness was slowly competing with the Light for space both in my head and in my heart.

I studied the information. With detail.
There was intent. There was conscientiousness. There was devotion.

I listened to my feelings.

I was crying. Desperately.
There was pain. There was anger. There was drama.
I punched the pillow.
There was blame. There was anger. There was force.

I had done it all until I felt I became empty.
There was no more blame. No more guilt. No more emotion.

There was just silence and calmness. In the emptiness, a healing space was being created.

I was there, present, in the moment.

I had collected all necessary knowledge.
I returned to my center.

In the center I was able to create trust.  I recognized I was in God and God was in me.
I looked again at the data.

“Why would I choose a real risk of miscarriage of the twins for the hypothetical risk of their death resulting from the chromosome disorder?”

I wouldn’t.

In that moment I decided against amniocentesis (as the termination was out of question, anyway). The consultant was surprised.

The choice to trust

This was only the beginning. The pregnancy challenged me on all levels: as a human, wife, mother, scientist, and coach.

I chose to trust and have faith in great uncertainty. As never before in my life.

During pregnancy the lives of the twins have been threatened multiple times based on various grounds: lack of development, inappropriate support of my body, internal and external conditions. The twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome was at the background. At the 28th week I was pushed to be delivered because one of the babies stopped growing. In my opinion, the decision was based on insufficient data and the worst-case scenario approach.

I again studied the all the data diligently and read as much as I could to learn about the subject. I connected to my inner knowing. I decided to continue the pregnancy on my own request and risk.

The children arrived seven week later. Beautiful babies with no sign of Edwards syndrome.


In all these weeks, I was always in touch with the babies. I talked to them in my consciousness in order to send them love and respect, support them and respond to their needs in a moment. It was a remarkable experience.

I created a beautiful tunic of trust from various fabrics of knowledge, beliefs, experiences and understanding. By wearing it daily, I have kept faith.

What is the moral of the story?

Trust is not given, neither earned. It is not a data collection of gives-and-takes, scores of kindness, neither a one time learned approach.

Trust is being created in a moment and supported by an inner process.

Trust relies on the past experiences, but only relevant ones. It is created in a moment, in response to the needs. (For the advanced ones in pattern recognition: it resembles transductive learning).

It comes naturally when you are at the center.

To arrive at the center, you simply allow it. You remove resistance and let emotions flow. Freely.

Whatever comes, you let it pass through you in a safe way – without any harm to others.

In the moment you are empty, you can plant a seed of trust. It is a decision.

You simply say “I trust”. And you follow with your intention.

You keep your garden of thoughts clean and watered.

Your seed of trust will grow into a bush of roses.

Strong. Supportive. Beautiful.


Photo copyright by Moyan Brenn. Photo available under the Creative Commons license on Flickr.



Most people are afraid of conscious change. They would rather stay in their comfort zone than take steps into the unknown. As a result, life controls them.

Things happen to them and they respond to the circumstances. They become reactive instead of proactive and they become victims of the circumstances instead of their co-creators.

Yet the world keeps changing all the time. Both the employment of ideas and development of technology have been very fast nowadays. And we, as individuals, change every day.

We are bombarded with new information, new knowledge, new structures, new technology as well as the new challenges they pose. We collect new experiences, we learn new things and we change our minds. We evolve and change in response to the changing world.

Conscious change is often difficult. It may also be easy, if we encourage the right circumstances and apply the right strategy. An effective change can be implemented by simple and manageable steps. Change does not need to be a painful process, either. On the contrary, it can be pleasurable when we are enjoying the process.

Most people fear change and consider the fear of unknown as the major obstacle. I don’t think it makes change that difficult though.

Why is change difficult?

In my opinion there are two reasons:

  1. we don’t want it badly enough (motivation) or
  2. we don’t know how to make it happen¬† (techniques).

We don’t want to change

How many times did I want to become an early riser? Countless, I have to say. Have I been successful? No.

There were many times I committed to getting up at 4:30am or 5am and although I succeeded in a short term, I’ve never made it a habit. Why? I can give you various more or less valid explanations, but the truth is simple. I didn’t really want to.

I thought I wanted it because there was a logical explanation, a social pressure and a strong evidence of an organized and successful life from the early risers I knew. I understood all the benefits of becoming an early riser, too. But such a change required a major shift to happen Рgoing to bed early to get enough sleep.

I simply loved the quiet atmosphere of the night and the focus I could get in the evening hours.¬†The morning hours were unattractive to me because they kept introducing the pressure of the tasks to be handled in the day. I failed because I couldn’t sustain both processes: working late at night and starting fresh¬†and energized early morning. I simply did not want to become an early riser if I had to¬†give up my quiet evening hours (this is my secondary gain). So, I ultimately chose not to become one.

How many times did you want to loose weight, stop smoking, get fit, become debt-free or earn extra money aside? Even if you initially succeeded, have you been back to the old patterns?

It is quite common to be excited for a change, seemingly commit to it to get the short term result, only to find yourself back where you started some time ago. At the moment we take conscious action we are likely to stick to the process for a while. The moment we stop paying attention we are back on the old tracks.

Going against homeostasis and a staying both feet in the stretch zone requires much more than the initial intention and enthusiasm. It requires a conscious shift to happen.


I love coaching because we get to know ourselves and we grow enormously through asking the right questions, committing to right action and evolving through experimentation. Through self-coaching and coaching others it has become crystal clear that most people don’t really want to change. They want a magic button instead so that the change will miraculously manifest at the door. But there is no one like that, I’m afraid.

We say we want to change and we may even think or believe so with our hearts. In reality, however, this is often untrue. When you dig deep enough, you will often want the result but not the cost to be paid, learning to go through nor the shifts required for this change to happen. We want the result, the magic pill, but not the process. As if being fit or wealthy, having an interesting job or great family was a one-time event that could have been extrapolated to a lifetime.

Change is about learning new skills or forming new habits that have to be managed and maintained.

There are three main reasons why we¬†don’t welcome change:

  1. We lack understanding.
  2. We are not ready.
  3. We want the result but not the process.

We lack understanding

Forced change or lack of communication. This usually happens when a change is forced upon us, in a company, between peers or friends, or by some forms of social pressure.

For instance, the company has to go through a process of structural changes that will affect employers on all levels. Perhaps some positions will be threatened, new tasks introduced and new teams created. Everything is uncertain.

The lack of honest and effective communication from the CEO to the leaders, from the leaders to the managers and later co-workers will provide a fertile ground for false ideas, assumptions and speculations. This leads to the lack of trust, and ultimately creates resistance.

In addition, we also lack understanding when we have an inaccurate perception of who we are, what we want and what is our reality. This actually challenges us to dig deep to know ourselves.

Secondary gain. When we have a negative habit or a habit we would like to change, there is usually something beneath the habit that serves us well. It is called the secondary gain. We may perfectly understand the reasons and circumstances for a change to occur. We may clearly see the benefits, yet resist change from our heart.


Because deep beneath there is an additional gain for this habit to function. It may even be completely illogical.

For instance, a child may start wetting in bed simply because his secondary gain is to attract attention from the busy parents who (by default) dedicate majority of their attention to the younger siblings. Stopping this habit will withdraw the attention back to the sibling, something a child doesn’t want. And in some cases, any dedicated attention is better than no attention.

You may choose to smoke because you seek acceptance from the peers and you get it by joining the smoking circles at school or work. There are usually some interesting conversations going on. Quitting smoking would mean staying outside these circles and becoming “less cool”. You don’t want that, hence you will sabotage your approach to stopping smoking.

You may choose to over-eat because you don’t feel lonely during eating. With cooking, cleaning and eating there is always an activity to be done, so your mind (or stomach) is occupied.

We are not ready yet

Any change to happen needs to be accepted on the emotional level. In order to change we need to leave the comfort zone and taking steps into the unknown. And this bring forward our basic fear Рthe fear of the unknown. We are born to maintain the homeostasis, the status quo, and resist those things that we cannot easily predict the outcome. Change is uncertain and will lead us through new avenues and new learning. It invites tension and requires extra attention and focus for the new learning to occur.  It also requires new energy levels for maintaining the process.

For a change to happen we need to accept it. Not only by logical reasons, but also through the act of facing our fears that will surface on the way. We also need to give ourselves permission to make errors, choose suboptimal strategies and solve problems inefficiently. This means we grant ourselves permission to learn even if these are baby steps. Such an emotional preparation will allow us to embrace the change together with the underlying process.

We want the result but not the process

We want a quick fix without hard work. We want to become fit, healthy or wealthy overnight or in to weeks, (let it be a month but no more, ok?) without taking the necessary actions or establishing long term habits. This is again related to our inborn difficulty to think and predict trends long term. We are good at short term perspectives choosing an immediate gain (oversleeping, eating cakes, drinking coffee, buying stuff, etc) over the delayed gratification. And for these reasons, we will succumb to marketers who offer us shortcuts: one click to become a millionaire, a pill to a perfect body or a car for a perfect self-esteem.

Yet, change is a process. And we need to understand this fact.

We don’t know how to change

Change is difficult because we focus on the negative aspects of the change. We follow a wrong strategy. We want to stop habits or patterns and focus on what we don’t want. Effectively, we want to uncreate the very thing we have, but instead we usually add more features.

As we know from experience, when we have a poor product or a computer program then adding more features or creating fixes will usually not lead to a better product as a result.We will only get a complex solution, overcomplicated for the tasks to be done, counterintuitive, having too many preferences and unclear choices to be made. And perhaps even conflicts between the existing features.

It is much easier to create a new product from the scratch with the essential features only. It is then well-thought and optimized for the task, hence simple, fast and working like a charm.

The same applies to a change. If you focus on uncreating your unwanted habits by introducing fixes, you are likely opening yourself to pain and frustration.You need to replace one habit with another. But this is often difficult too. The right approach is to focus on creating a new product – the New You.

It is much easier to imagine the person you want to become and set up the conscious habits from the scratch that correspond to the You 2.0 :). This requires a cultivation of an ideal self-image, setting up right values and right beliefs, and starting small with right actions in order to built habits that serve us.


The truth is this:

If we don’t manage change, change will mismanage us.

If we don’t take the responsibility for change to happen we will become shaped by the external circumstances. Not to our liking :(.

Obviously, we can’t manage every change possible, but the essential ones. It is our task to choose¬†the changes that matter and make a difference.

Make a choice to change. Understand the why’s and the circumstances. Get ready. Implement!


Photo credit Fe Langdon, available under Creative Commons on Flickr.


Let’s say you are making progress in spurts. You live comfortably from one day¬†to another until you encounter a certain idea.

Not an idea. A strong idea.

Perhaps you read a book. Or you listen to the news.
Perhaps you overhear a conversation in a bus. Or your colleague shares his unusual strategy for success.
Perhaps you are surprised by a movie. Or you witness a healing.
Perhaps your employer introduces changes that will effect you in a tremendous way. Or your wife turns raw foodist.
Perhaps you learn about unschooling. Or your government makes a change in the constitution.
There comes a time when an idea you are exposed to kicks you out from your comfort zone.

It is sudden. It is shocking. It shakes the ground on which you are standing.

Wow! You are surprised  that an idea has such an effect on you. The idea strikes you so deeply that it nearly takes your breath away.

You are anxious.

You are out of balance.

You want to shout.

Oh, how much you wish to get back to your old and comfy shell. But it’s not possible. Because the idea is in your mind now, happily crawling there.

Oh, yoh yoh yoh…. It’s like a bug. Like two bugs. Wait … like three bugs. No. It is a colony of bugs! They are walking around, freely exploring and digging tunnels¬†in the decks of your mind.

What to do now???

Colony of bugs

You are confused. Yet you realize that you have two choices now. Either you starve the bugs or you organize your colony and get in charge.

You do not like the process that is ahead of you. You do not like to be outside your comfort zone. You start to pretend that you have not encountered the idea in the first place.¬†You will do everything to ‘forget’ the idea.¬†You will deliberately jump into certain activities such as work, mountaineering or programming, completely devoting yourself to the tasks for long hours. So long that there is no time left for thinking.

Such a strategy may help you to push the idea to the back of the mind. The idea will perhaps disappear from the conscious mind for some time.

But, no, no, no. Do not be fooled.

The idea is not dead. The bugs are dead. The idea is not.

The bugs have laid their eggs and hid them in multiple places. The eggs are well protected from your influence. When the time comes, new bugs are going to hatch from the eggs and they will start their exploration. The idea will come back. With a full force. And stronger than before.

So, once an idea gets into your mind, the only way forward is to confront it, feed it and manage it. To your benefits. Obviously, you may choose to indefinitely postpone these acts, but it will cost you time and huge effort to keep starving the bugs over and over again. Moreover, it will become increasingly more difficult. Therefore, it  is much more efficient to organize your colony of bugs and become the captain of your conscious growth.

Stages of transformation or how to tame your wild bugs

How to do that?

As in any disorder or chaotic behavior you need to accept the transformation path. Change is a process. In most cases, it goes naturally through seven stages. Learn what they are. Knowing how transformation evolves will help you to be prepared and optimize both the learning and the process to your benefit. The seven stages are:

1. Surprise (the mild version) or Shock (the strong kick)

Surprise or shock occur because you often encounter such an idea by accident. Or, you are confronted with an idea that shakes your thinking patterns or challenges your behavior. The bugs invade your mind and run in arbitrary directions. Chaos is everywhere. You feel lost.

2. Denial or Rejection

Homeostasis is your preferred state so you want to find your old balance back. The only way is to reject the intruder idea.¬†You either pretend the bugs are not really there or you force the bugs into a certain ‘compartment’ in your brain. They keep escaping, though.

3. Rational Understanding

Since the idea is a living thing in the mind and is perpetuating, your first getting along with the idea is to think it through and rationalize it. You make an effort to understand it. When you attempt to understand the idea, you start to follow the free movement of the bugs. You begin to discriminate between tunnels and pathways they make. You notice their preferences. And you think about consequences where these paths cross with paths of other bugs, bugs representing other ideas. You begin to notice the flow. The intensity. The patterns. And you slowly collect pieces of the puzzle: you begin to see the meaning of the new connections, between old and new paths.

4. Crisis

Most of the shocking ideas are shocking because they challenge your core values or beliefs, break old patterns or present radically new concepts that require change.

Once you understand what is going on and what is required for a change, there is a rebellion. It is usually when you understand the consequences of incorporating the idea into your life. You see the gap between the familiar old self and the new one that has to yet emerge after the idea is taken on board. Crisis results from being overwhelmed by the enormity of the transformation. Mind understands it but there is pain of leaving the old, fear of unknown and anxiety about the path.

This is when the bugs start to make the ‘bzzzzzzzz’ noise in your mind. They get loud. And even louder than that. The seem to go faster. And they make even more noise. It becomes so loud and so much¬†merry-go-round running in your thoughts that you feel you cannot handle it any longer. You shout “Stop!”.

5. Emotional Acceptance

This comes after crisis. Emotional acceptance occurs when you are willing to change your values or behaviors. You accept the transformation.

The danger, however, is that you may actually get stuck in the Crisis stage. It takes a conscious thought and managing emotional flow in order to accept what the idea brings to you. It often requires to accept the worse possible consequence or change that has to happen and come in terms with it. Once it is achieved, there is relief and a real progress begins.

A real change takes place when you accept the existence of the bugs and you allow them to penetrate your mind. Moreover, you actually start to appreciate them. You begin to like them and the novelty they brought. You enjoy observing their patterns, how they jump over certain areas while slow down in another one. You start to communicate with them. You are becoming friends.

6. Learning:  Thinking -> Experimenting -> Reflection -> Realization

In this stage you experiment with the implementation of the idea or its baby steps. This step may be quite some fun if you approach it from this angle.

This is a moment in which you start new learning. You take specific actions and observe the response. You widen certain tunnel and narrow the others. You close some paths or introduce obstacles half way. You bring bugs from your other ideas and see how the communication goes. You optimize the paths for efficiency and joy. You observe.

You analyze the circumstances and the results from your active experimentation. Then you notice similarities and introduce cross-roads with bugs from other ideas. You reflect and draw conclusions. Then you re-think your whole set-up, make necessary improvements and begin a more advanced experimentation and learning. This can easily go in multiple stages.

7. Integration

True learning leads to new behaviors or new routines. You have changed and your new patterns of thinking and acting have been integrated into your being. The new behaviors mark your new comfort zone.

Your bugs follow clear paths in your mind. They communicate well with other bugs and together they make a fantastic, well functioning and  well-orchestrated city of bugs. Ideas, I mean :).


There is a choice you can make any time you encounter a shocking idea, an unexpected change to happen or undesired circumstances to go through. It is a simple choice. You make it and you follow through.

Choose to become the captain of the idea bugs.


 Page 1 of 2  1  2 »