My Background – in depth
We are all a lot more powerful than we think.Yes, literally than we are used to thinking. Since we were little, people told us to how to not be: to not want so much, to not be too loud, all these things. While this is in part unavoidable, it is not helpful, since as adults we seek nothing else but to just be ourselves. Who that is, however, we have forgotten a long time ago. So, we embark on a journey.
Part One: Why are people doing what they are doing?
Ever since I was a small child, I had wondered why people did what they did. I studied psychology in Marburg and in Oregon (USA) and then went on to study neuroscience in Oxford (England). However, brain research was too focused on the detail to be able to answer my question. Once my love for research was satisfied, I was clear that I wanted to work with people and came to Berlin to start my Gestalttherapy training.
Especially during my time in Oregon, USA, and also in Oxford, I went to many personal growth seminars and learned how much I loved this work with people. I was deeply touched at “Heart of Now” in Oregon to see men - who had seemed so strong and confident - cry and talk about their insecurities. At these seminars I also explored my fundamental question in a more personal way, trying to understand why I was doing, what I was doing. Back in Marburg, I continued my journey by starting yoga and meditation.
In the last few years, I barely need to leave the house for learning experiences and challenges: My husband Ralph Piotrowski and I have two children. I love the wonderful opportunities children (and spouses) give us for growth. Children bring back in ourselves the experiences we had when we were their age. A constant opportunity to feel, relax and let go. And spouses – quite similarly: whenever we feel triggered and overwhelmed by our own emotions, it’s a signal to pause, take some time to ourselves and try and step back from these feelings, so they can pass. I am not saying it is easy at all, but a relationship in which both partners are aware that letting go of their own stuff is the way forward is truly a gift.
Since the kids are a little older now, I am also going on longer seminars and retreats again, like Tony Robbins’ “Date with Destiny”, the NARM® practitioner training with Dr. Lawrence Heller and my meditation retreat with Michael A. Singer (author of “The Untethered Soul”) in the US. There, I finally found some substantial answers to my question.
Part Two: Energy
At Tony Robbins’ very impressive seminar, I came back to what had been really important to me my whole life, but had somehow slipped into the background in the most recent years: my very holistic perspective on the world, being aware that we are all made of the same energy. At the seminar I also found the first good answer to my question of why people do what they do: everyone tries to meet their need for certainty, variety, love and connection, growth and/or contribution. However, I was soon to get an even deeper insight.
About two months after the “Date with Destiny”, Ralph pointed me towards an episode of Tony Robbins’ podcast with Michael A. Singer, author of “The Untethered Soul”. Michael Singer explained the necessity of letting go of past experiences and feelings, so we can start feeling the unity with our life energy. We need the awareness that we are not our thoughts or emotions, but the one who is experiencing them. Thoughts and emotions arise from not fully processed past experiences, they bubble up. If we can manage to let them pass without holding on to them and without shoving them down again, they are gone once and for all. And this lets our life energy flow a bit more freely than before. For me, just listening to this and starting to practice letting go, I felt the energy flow in my body for the first time.
Soon after listening to Michael Singer’s “The Untethered Soul” audiobook for the first time, my NARM® practitioner training started. It fit into all of this beautifully, as also Larry Heller, the founder of NARM® bases his theory on the life force in all of us. In his view, mainly early attachment experiences block the flow of the life force. In his approach to therapy, these blocking experiences can come gently to the surface, can be felt and released. During the training weeks, my experience of the energy flow in my body increased and I continue to enjoy and explore that.
In the beginning of 2020, I was able to travel to the US to a meditation retreat with Michael Singer. He doesn’t offer official retreats, so I organized it myself. While I was there, I also had the opportunity to meet him personally. He felt surprisingly familiar to me, as if we had known each other for a long time. My daily practice has intensified since then and is in the center of what is important to me.
So, Mickey Singer’s answer to my question of why we do what we do would be the following: Through past positive and negative experiences we have formed preferences of what we like and what we don’t like. Hence, we try to change the outside world to be the way we like it. However, controlling everything and everyone around is not in our power, so the only way to lasting happiness is to let go of our preferences, let go of our past experiences. This way we can enjoy life and the world in just the way it unfolds in front of us right now.
I love discussing my thoughts and realizations with Ralph and my friends, having them inform my work and sharing them – for example in my blogarticles and in my occasional newsletter (get it here).