Positive Mindset

How is it that sometimes we meet people who just burst out with their positive attitude toward everything and sometimes we get to know these who complain about every aspect of their lives?

When I was thinking deeper about our ability to think in a positive way and how we can learn it, it occurred to me there had to be, for a certain amount of time, a person present in our childhood who would show us how to always look on the bright side of life. In my case that was my father. Even though my relationship with him got a bit toxic, but when I look back at my childhood I remember him showing me the world through travels, sending me to English classes that in 1990s in Poland were extremely expensive, comforting me when something went wrong and making me search for the silver lining in every situation. In the same he also taught me an incredible responsibility for my actions.

After my 3 years of therapy and knowing some friends who also attend theirs, I noticed they did not become happier. I know the therapy’s aim is not to change anyone’s attitude toward life from negative into a positive one, but to get to know yourself better and in most cases stop hurting yourself subconsciously. Yet I noticed that the way my friends were unhappy with their lives before the therapy, they are still unhappy after it. Now they are more conscious about their unhappiness. So where comes this incredible positive attitude toward life in some of the people from? My observation is that it must have been taught from others. There just had to happen a person in our early days who would show us their optimism, easy-going personality and positive mindset. Only by observing such a person we were able to learn how to stay optimists.

I remember a one girl I met through Couchsuring who I spent with 2 weeks traveling in Asia. It was supposed to be an amazing time – Taiwan and Philippines with her and then South Korea on my own. Unfortunately what I noticed about her behaviour was that she compared everything to Thailand she visited a year before. While traveling around Taiwan she did not like the landscape, the food, the beaches etc. With the Philippines it was the same. I felt like telling her one day to buy the tickets and immediately fly to Thailand if she loved it that much. Anyway I shut up and just backed off. And after a while we were sharing only a hotel room and spending the days on our own. It was a good lesson for me to be learnt:

  1. Never go traveling with a person you know so little
  2. Just because someone attended psychoanalysis does not mean they are able to appreciate life
  3. Stay away from negativity and toxic people

I remember I was so happy when going on my Asian trip. Gee, I flew 8000 km and visited 3 countries in 3 days! 3 new cultures, many Couchsurfing experiences, meeting incredible people, sleeping in strangers’ houses – imagine in Taiwan out of 8 nights 5 we spent Couchsurfing!, making new friendships and experiencing amazing landscapes! I was able to live through these 3 amazing weeks! Yet I chose an improper person to share my positive emotions with. Now I know I will never do that to myself again.

I consider myself a very positive. Whatever happens and has a negative impact on my life I try to look for a silver lining every time. I think every situation will teach me a lesson, and I do not want to stay negative, but rather think of good aspects of every story. What I have also learnt is that positive mindset has to be taught to us. It does not come itself. It is possible to try to change our way of thinking, but that is a very long way. It is easier when there was a person in our surroundings showing us good aspects of life and in the same teaching us how to appreciate it while we were young. It really helps! Now I am grateful to my father who, even though was showing his miserable attitude sometimes, managed to teach me that life can be amazing and it is only up to me what I do with it! 🙂

Polish Toxicity in a Work Place

I was wondering lately about toxicity and what does it mean? Why some of the people tend to be toxic to us? Why do we meet them in our lives? And the most important – how to get rid of such people once we find out they do not bring any positive energy into our lives, but just use us in order to fulfill their needs?

I think we mostly meet such people in our working places. We spend there a lot of time every day and happen to cross our paths with many different personalities. With some we get along, with others we do not. We do not really need to be liked by everybody, do we? And it would not be such a problem in not sticking to toxic people at work, but what if this person occurs to be our manager?

I work in In Poland in a corporation, an American one. For the past few years I noticed that Poles who occupy managerial positions, in most cases are toxic. Or maybe that is the fault of Polish undervaluated society? My observation is that they seem so insecure about themselves, that once they are appointed or get a managerial position in a company, they start treating the employees as their property. Maybe it is their subconscious revenge, as probably when they were employees themselves, they were treated without the respect by their managers. I noticed, in the relations between managers and employees there is no trust, no honesty, no dialogues and no sincerity. Or maybe it is me who demands too much from the corporate life?

I am wondering if this is happening in other countries too? Or is it only Polish phenomenon? Are the managers-to-be taught to be assholes toward the employees while studying MBAs or different management related courses? Or is here the Polish history to be blamed for still having such a big influence over generations and the way we treat each other? Where all of us, Pols, treated without respect and neglected by our parents and when we finally get an important managerial position at work, we subconsciously start feeling that we start to matter to someone or something? Just because we didn’t to our parents, do we somehow compensate the lack of love and attention at our working places?

Most of our parents were neglected by theirs. Have we still not made peace with ourselves and our parents, as it wasn’t really their fault they were neglected and treated like shit in their childhood? Back then emotional awareness and emotional consciousness was not that important. Having a warm and clean place to sleep, feeding the kids, providing them with an education was more important than taking care of their mental health. Do we still tend to suffer because of the Second World War and its mental consequences? Our parents’ parents, that is our grandparents, lived during these horrible times. I cannot even imagine traumas they must have seen, lived through and survived. After so many years do we still, subconsciously, pay the price for what started happening 80 years ago?

I keep wondering why we, as Poles, only tend to hurt each in every aspect of our lives? Was the Polish society made only to suffer? For our behaviors I blame a bit the history, especially Second World War along with the communist times. The former taught most of Poles how to cheat in order to get what they need. Such actions can still be observed in our professional or personal lives even though the system changed. I know the new generation is being criticized for their lack of respect toward many things and the way they tend to act in a reckless way, anyway from one hand I hope they will finally teach Polish society that the luxury things we buy, the money we earn, the hours we spend at work to afford better brand cars or cosmetics, are not really worth the emotional sacrifice. I know it will take a lot of time to understand that nothing can buy respect, love, empathy, understanding, freedom or true friendships. In my opinion, if we don’t work harder on expanding our consciousness and being open about it, we will only be hurting each other even more. It is a funny thing I always preferred to be surrounded by foreigners. Even my boyfriends are from abroad. And I work in a very global company. As long as the managers I was working with were foreigners, all was perfectly fine. The moment I started working with Polish ones, all went wrong. I do hope it will change. For the time being I am working hard on changing my job and get a manager who is not Polish anymore.

Polish society – quite a strange one with big emotional and historical bag that is still being carried.

Is Your Brain Attracting Others?

I have observed an interesting phenomena of my brain. I am sure if all of us dig deeply, they will find the same examples. What I am about to describe is the way the brain works with attracting people. To make myself very clear – I think of a person and this person either calls, texts me or simply appears in my life quite quickly. Do not get confused – my brain does not attract each person that is in a way present in my life, so it does not work the way that I think of a lady working as a shop assistant in a shop I visit every day, and suddenly she texts me when she does not even have my phone number. I rather mean how our brain attracts people we are in a kind of relationship with – friendship, marital, or parental one. We, as people, build different relationships in which some tend to be emotionally stronger and some weaker.  The phenomena I am talking about happens, as my observation shows, when two aspects are fulfilled – we need to be in a quite close relationship with the other person (emotional, physical or both) and we need to think quite intensively about them. In such cases many times I noticed, my brain drew attention to the person I was thinking about and kind of made them contact me, subconsciously I presume.

Examples are best, so here is mine. I was involved, for a couple of years, in a very toxic relationship. It was an in and out one in which I was never really understanding my behavior that was only destroying me. Till the time I started psychoanalysis. However I noticed such a phenomena that when I was thinking about this guy, usually before going to sleep, the moment I woke up the next day I had several missed calls. I cannot say it was happening each time and just a simple thought of him draw his attention to me, because it was not that way. I just noticed the repeatable schema. Just because we were somehow emotionally connected, my brain was able to draw his attention into me when I was thinking about him in 80% of cases. Knowing this and thanks to understanding why this relationship was so toxic to me, I started changing my habit. Now, when I catch myself thinking of him I immediately stop myself and explain my brain I do not really want to repeat the past. After a 20-year-old fucked up relation, I will probably never get rid this guy from my brain and memories as he is part of my past experience, however I can stop hurting myself.

The above example was a negative one, as it spoke of attracting a person who was causing me harm. On the other hand, there are many positive examples. Lately I got closer to a colleague, a girl who I meet from time to time, travel with from time to time, spend time together. We managed to build a kind of emotional relation between us as we support each other and speak openly about everything that is happening in our lives, yet I cannot say we are addicted to each other – healthy relationship I would say. What I noticed lately is that when I think of her, she usually texts me with a quick note of what has just happened in her life or how she feels. She told me I do the same 🙂 It means we attract each other, or rather our brains do that 🙂 The same phenomena is happening with my father with whom I have a very close relation. In 9 out of 10 examples when I think of him, here it comes – I get a phone call from him the same day or even a few minutes later! 🙂 Amazing, isn’t it?

The most important to me is that by realizing how phenomenal my brain is, I am able to have it on my side and improve my life by attracting only people I want to be surrounded by and geting rid of the ones I was hurt by! 🙂

My Quick Way of Recognizing People’s Personalities

I will start with my quick explanation – by observing people’s behaviours I started to distinguish two types of personalities – weak and strong. How do I do it? It takes me 3 seconds and just a handshake. If it is a firm one, I immediately know I am dealing with a person who will not bullshit me and will tell me what they really have in their minds without any manipulation tricks. My observation also makes me wonder what they have been through their childhood, as it seems they grew up strong because of their childhood experience. When it comes to weak personalities – the handshake is a faint one. Oh, that is something unbearable to me!

I do not even remember when I started putting so much attention into somebody’s handshake. It is said you cannot make the first impression twice and in my opinion, handshakes take part of it. It happened to me I met people with an indifferent handshake and only then I realized they are neither strong nor weak. So my conclusion was simple – they are like their handshakes – indifferent, apathetic, dull. I try not to judge people only by the strength of their handshake  and I always try to get to know the person better, however I have proven myself many times my distinction does not lie and mostly tells me the truth about the other person’s personality.

As it may appear quite obvious, men have firmer handshakes than women do. They usually tend to be considered stronger physically too; however, when it comes to their handshakes I also noticed there are more and more men who are weak. Just because of their sex, they are considered strong, but when it comes to their personalities, I noticed they manipulate the same way weak women do. As I consider myself a strong personality, I also prefer to stick to strong ones as these types of personalities do not lie, are honest and sincere, say what they have in their minds no matter the cost. I know with them I can conduct interesting and fruitful conversations that will bring into my life new and interesting points of view. When it comes to weak personalities, my observation is as follows – they manipulate and they are incredibly good at it; they avoid confrontations; they are not able in explaining their needs in a clear and concise way, and I always get the impression I need to guess what they really want or need.  For me such traits are impossible to accept and I try to avoid these people. They annoy me. I know it is their way of survival and a way they protect themselves from any harm. However I prefer to stick to strong personalities as they help me grow and develop emotionally. In my opinion, only these people make the world a better place! On the other hand, if everyone were strong how would the world look like? Probably it would be a boring one and we, as human beings, would not need to grow emotionally as all of the people surrounding us would be real and honest.

Nowadays, I think our human biggest goal in life, is to learn how to be real and not to be afraid of showing it. And guess what? I am doing it – trying to be real, honest, and sincere as well as not being afraid of showing it! From the moment, I decided to act 100% real I started attracting people who think the same! That is the best that happened to me so far! Strong personalities I am surrounded by help me develop, help me grow, help me learn how to be a better person 🙂 Weak people would only show me how to lie, manipulate and cheat in order to achieve my own goals. What they have taught me however is who I do not want to be – a weak person! Moreover, the most important lesson occurred to be the one when I realized that I have a choice! 🙂 And I chose to be strong –  that is to fulfill my needs in an honest way. That way, by the end of my day, when I go to sleep, I dream peacefully 🙂

Who Are You My Demons?

This time it will be again about the dreams. I do analyze them a lot. With my therapist too. Each week, when it happens I remember my dreams, I write them down to try and interpret these during my sessions.

First of all, what I have learnt about the dreams, is that these come only to people who want to have them. It means if you want to dream and then remember these, they will come to you. Second of all I have finally learnt is how to properly interpret these, I hope 🙂 At the beginning, before starting my therapy, when I was trying to analyze any of my dreams in which a friend, my father, my colleague, beaufilf landscape etc appeared I was always thinking it was something about them – that my subconscious was trying to tell me something about these people. Now I know in 99% the dream is not about people appearing there, it is only about me and what they represent in my life. The more I dig, the more I find out about myself, as the third thing I learnt about dreams was that it is my subconscious trying to tell me more about my personality and even give me some tips of how to solve issues or concerns that appear in my life. As I wrote previously and I will repeat it now – subconscious has an amazing power in our lives. If we get to know it better, it can become a great friend and an ally in our lives.

I have also heard, from one of my friends, that people are looking for authenticity. I agree with her. After analyzing these words it came into my mind that in order to be authentic I need to reveal very deep emotions and experiences from my life and share it with others. Only that way I can make others understand themselves. I also know I will only be able to do so if people want to hear my story along with my life observation and experience.

To start with – two examples of my dreams and my demons appearing in them. We all have demons hunting us all of the time and it is only up to us if we deal with them or not. The result of my analysis occurred to be incredibly surprising. Let’s see below:

  1. A few years back I had the most terrible dream in my life in which I was shot by the SSman. It is always terrifying to be killed or die in a dream. Especially that after the shot, I did not wake up, I felt incredibly calm while I was dying. So yes – I died in my own deam! I still remember I was hiding behind a very old Polish car – Syrenka. It was the time of the II World War and I wanted to survive, so I was hiding. However this soldier, the SSman came from behind and without any word just shot me. The interpretation is as follows, very simple one that I only learnt 2 years back when I started my therapy – I was defeated by my demons. The dream showed me they control my life subconsciously and I surrender to them.
  2. A few weeks after I started my therapy, that was February 2016, I had another meaningful dream. I was in my flat, in my bedroom and suddenly a devil appeared out of the blue. He was in the form of my colleague – tall, strong, calm, even had the hors. Incredibly realistic. However me, instead of running away screaming and being terrified, I jumped onto him and started shouting at him I did not want to see him in my life! I even accused him of how he dared to come into my flat uninvited! I remember I was fighting him with my fists 🙂 Finally I kicked him out! Such a big guy was defeated by such a small girl 🙂 The interpretation occurred to be very interesting – my subconscious showed me I am starting to deal with my demons, even fighting them, not being afraid of them anymore, and the most important – not allowing them to control my life anymore! It had and amazing significance in my life of what that time my subconscious tried to tell me.

For me it is amazing to dream. I just love it! I feel I am connected then to my second part – the subconscious one. The two above examples prove how important it is for me to understand myself. And because I am working very hard on it, the dreams come to help me. Isn’t that significant for all of us to better understand ourselves and in the same to have better control of our actions? How many times have we acted the way we were not really proud of later on or we did not fully understand why we behaved the way we did? Isn’t that amazing that the answer to all of our concerns and our abilities lies in ourselves? The only thing that needs to be done is to reach into our subconscious. And dreams can help us do so. We only need to try to listen to them. I have many dreams written down as I also noticed if I write them down I manage to remember them better.

If any of the readers of this article are inspired by my observation and would like to start listening to their dreams here is my tip, as the dreams tend to fly away very quickly once we wake up. What I do every morning, when I wake up, to remember what I dreamt of is that I do not get up immediately, I lay down for about 10 more minutes in my bed with my eyes closed and try to concentrate to remind my brain what I was dreaming of. Once I do so it is not that easy to forget the dream. Sometimes I write the keywords of the dream immediately in my notebook during my breakfast or later in the afternoon as in some case during the day more images from my last night’s dream appear in my brain. What is crucial, in my opinion, is just a bit of a focus straight after waking up.

Sometimes, when there is something bothering me, before going to sleep I tell to myself – ok my subconscious, tell me what you think about it. And imagine I always get the answer! I always get the dream about my current problem and the tips of how to solve it! That is incredible that the answer to any of our concerns and issues is within ourselves. It only requires to pay attention to what is being said by our subconscious. However the biggest challenge is to learn how to properly interpret the dreams and the symbols in it. As our subconscious cannot speak any languages and cannot give us a direct answer, her only way of showing us the path is by images and the symbols in these appearing in our dreams. I do hope I am now able to interpret my dreams correctly and I do listen to them strongly believing they can help me understand myself better to lead a good, calm, and peaceful life!

 

One of my Dreaming Symbols – Water

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During my whole psychotherapy I have discovered there is one symbol that appears quite often in my dreams. This symbol is water. When I started digging into it with the therapist as well as with myself, I managed to figure it out. Water means my subconscious itself reflected in my consciousness. It is also one of the archetypical symbols Jung was speaking of and analyzing. The way I managed to interpret it correctly – I hope finally – helped me understand my subconscious better. I need to admit water appears in my dreams at least once a month. At the beginning, I was usually dreaming I was diving deeply into the water, swimming in it or dipping into it. Now I know it means that in my conscious life I was acting led by my subconscious needs. That also proves the power of it – most of our actions are led by our subconscious and we are not even aware of it! Once I started working on my subconscious, trying to understand it by analyzing its needs and use its power – my dreams also changed. Especially the ones with water. Now when I dream of a swimming poor, ocean, lake or anything that represents water, I see myself rather standing on a beach and admiring an ocean view along with a strong feeling I do not want to dive into it. If I did dive that would mean coming back to my old, unconcious habits! I know it is safer for me to stay attached to my conscious part for the time being. However, my dreams remind me there is still the unconscious one that does not want to be forgotten. I am aware I do not allow myself to any subconscious acts, I try to stay away from these. Do I really manage? My observation shows that subconscious is incredibly powerful in our lives and getting to know it is a very hard job as well as painful in most cases. Will I ever be able to get to know it 100%? I do not think so. I do not think it is possible to get to know ourselves 100%. However expanding the knowledge about our subconscious and its way of leading our lives is an amazing adventure! My therapy sessions helped me a lot in getting to know why I am acting the way I am and in the same gave me an opportunity to choose – if I still want to act led by my subconscious needs or there are some of my behaviors I am not really proud of and would like to change. That is probably why now, when I am dreaming of water, it is rather drifting on its surface trying not to touch it or diving into it – that is out of the question! I try to stay away from water as much as possible. That means in some ways I am trying to kill my subconscious and do not allow it to speak anymore. Is that a better solution than acting based on my subconscious needs? I know that sometimes listening to it is a good idea. Anyway how do I know which needs written in my subconscious part bring me filfillment, make me happy and which harm me? Probably I will find it out eventually. For the time being, at least, I know what my subconscious wants to tell me when the water symbol appears in my dreams. If not the therapy I would probably never be able to figure out what such a symbol may mean in my life and how it may help me to get to know myself better.

Home Alone for Christmas?

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This time of the year is coming when it feels strange if you spend Christmas alone. For the first time I felt the same. I thought how come I am spending such a wonderful time a year alone when I am not even old, my parents and my brother still are alive and I feel I do not want to spend Christmas with them?! Everybody around tells you it is such a special time you should (I hate this word!) spend it with your relatives. What if you do not really like your relatives? Shall you force yourself to be with them? Shall you visit them, pretend you want to be with them when in fact you are praying for the evening to be over? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we force ourselves to spend time with people we do not feel good with? Because the society says so? Because before Christmas and on TV as well as billboards we see these perfect commercials with perfect people sitting around the table who seem to be sharing and enjoying every moment of this special time? Do we live in such an illusion we can also have it with our own families when most of them are very imperfect? Do we think someting might change and improve our relationships with relatives during Christmas? Does this time really bring miracles?

I need to admit, the first time I decided not to visit my parents for Christmas, hurt. I spent Christmas Eve alone! Yep, alone! My father did not really show the respect for this time as he decided to work till midnight that day, to earn more money. He is a tram driver, so shifts he does are different ones and I do understand he needs to work in barbarian hours sometimes, but hey – it was Christmas! He did not need to take such a long shift, he could have finished at 6 pm, he had a choice! Yet he decided to neglect, in my opinion, Christmas Eve, and negate his own words when he was each year saying that Christmas is a family time and everyone should be with their families then. And he did exactly the opposite! It also made me wonder why grown ups say different things and later on act differently? If he said he did not give a damn about Christmas, I would understand his behaviour. Everyone has right to their own perspectives. So adults can act in a funny way some of the time. He went to work, and me, I decided I am spending this time at home, alone. As my relationship with my mother sucks and my brother is kind of good but totally irresponsible person, I admitted to myself I prefer to be home alone than in a bad company, even though this bad company occurred to be my own family :/ Felt strange at the beginning. The plan was simple – I had some dinner, a glass of wine, watched some TV. Nothing special, yet the company was special, because it was my own. 🙂 And the next day, when I woke up, I realized the drama did not happen. I was still alive and smiling. It only proved me the worst is always the first time. Whatever you do, the first time will always be most scary. I cannot say I was very happy about the fact my family sucks and is incredibly imperfect, but I realized if I do not want to take part in it, I do not have to. I am not going to force myself into spending time with people who have negative influence on me just because it is Christmas and they take part of my family. I prefered to visit my aunt the day after Christmas Eve instead. She lives a few kilometers outside of Warsaw and with her I can talk about everything – my life, my emotions, my travels and future plans. Even though she is 70 we get along perfectly and she supports me in every aspect of my life! This part of my family I love the most! 🙂 And I want to be surrounded only by people who wish me well and support me in achieving my goals. It makes me sad these are not my parents, yet I know I cannot change it. We do not choose families we are born into. However as an adult I can choose people I want to spend time with.

So this 2018 Christmas I am going to the mountains with a friend. The plan is to relax, do some hiking, maybe skiing, spend Christmas Eve just the two of us and share only positive emotions! Finally I am allowing myself to choose how and with who I want to spend this special time, instead of pretending I have a wonderful family that cares about each other when in fact it happens to be a very dysfunctional one. No point sacrificing my precious time with people who do not know how to love. This Christmas I am going to love my friend, and the mountains, and the snow, and the cold weather! 🙂

And I wish everybody to spend this special Christmas time with people you feel good with, who bring only positive emotions into your lives and make you happy! Life it too short to be surrounded by any aspect of the negativity 🙂