In becoming a Gestalt coach my main drive is to understand human behavior and how it drives action.
What kind of influence does perception and perspective have on our lives?
I've learned that without perception there is no realization, therefore all behaviors that have become habits, deserve to be examined by us in order to understand which emotions and thoughts are conditioning our potential.
I believe we should encourage ourselves to get to know ourselves better, to learn to accept ourselves unconditionally, rather than trying to change to conform to some sort of norm (individual or social, internal or external, philosophical, moral, religious or political).
There are tools that can help us identify blockages and difficulties, thus we can explore new and more advanced ways of functioning.
We can learn to turn our fears, doubts and suffering to our advantage by contemplating what these emotions are trying to make us do, that we wouldn't do, if these weren't present.
By blocking our negative emotions and thoughts (that we perceive as bad, such as our fears) with forced positive thinking, we block ourselves from appreciating the way these "negative" emotions are serving us.
They always serve us, but we need help is seeing how, because we judge the way in which it's presented to us.
Is there any event in your life, where you spot shame, or guilt or resentment and you feel that is conditioning your life by creating negative thinking patterns?
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The method I work with and why it matters
Gestalt coaching aims for the development and maintenance of a harmonious state of complete physical, mental and social-well-being.
How is that achievable?
It's achievable by becoming conscious about the full spectrum of emotions and thoughts (positive and negative) that circulate in us on a daily basis.
Our experiences are divided in positive and negative experiences and if we believe the delusion that life is only meant to be happy and we must avoid pain, we are in for a surprise, mostly in the form of a trauma or major disappointment.
The idea that our negative thoughts and emotions are "bad" is the only thing that's causing the damage.
Because we resist the growth these negative events are meant to achieve in our lives. It's a choice: you either face the reality in which it is presented, or you stick your head into sand and pretend that everything is ok.
Forced positive thinking may give temporary relief and even motivation, but if you keep walking with a little stone in your shoe, it will never leave you feeling completely comfortable with walking...and it will ultimately cause a wound on your foot.
The pain we feel is directly proportional with the distance between reality and our expectations (delusions, fantasies).
The pain is trying to show us something we don't want to see: the fantasy bubble we create around our head wants to burst. But the fantasy bubble doesn't always burts. Sometimes people live their whole life like that...with the little uncomfortable stone in their shoe...It happens.
You will know the bubble around your head wants to burst when the pain has become unbearable and it forces you to do something, you usually wouldn't do, if the pain wasn't there.
We can sometimes feel a sensation of relief after we are confronted with the truth about something we've been trying to deny. Have you ever felt that?
We feel the relief in such cases, because instinctively we know that finally, we see clearly. No more bullshit.
So once again: the pain we feel about a person, an event or a thing - you name it - is only as big as the distance between your expectations and the reality. We have been feeding ourselves a fantasy, or an expectation based on our emotional values and that kept us busy from seeing what actually is in front of us.
How to empower yourself with negative thoughts and emotions?
The reward we get from being real is just as big as the pain we feel at that moment.
The pain is serving us.
If we try to get rid of it, ignore it or block it with forced positive thinking, we might feel temporary relief and even motivation, but on the long term, we fall back in the same behavior pattern and we allow it to condition our lives.
Anything we repress, will come out eventually, and usually in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
So I dare to say: enjoy it when it hits you.
The pain is here to stay until you stop fighting it and know that the fear of fear and pain is always bigger than the fear and the pain itself.
Everytime we try to compete with a fantasy (like the expectations we build up in our head: this is how it should be), we lose.
So once again: forced positive thinking or drugs can get you temporay relief, but it won't last long until you go back to doing the same mistake again. But that's also ok...Sometimes we like to learn the hard way. We don't make the same mistake twice, we make it six-seven times, just to be sure.
The minute we start contemplating on both sides of the spectrum (the positive aspects and the negative aspects), we see what the pain is trying to teach us. There are tools to learn to do this from an observatory perspective, assuming that in an event every person involved had their own expectations, fears and values just like us, and that they are perceiving everything based on their own "filters" created by their own current emotional values.
We don't see things as they are presented to us, we see things as we are.
We only judge others the way we judge ourselves.
When we learn to look at events and people from an observatory perspective, we might end up crying tears of joy. It's fantastic to see people realize that the things they like most about themselves and the things that served them most in life, were actually ALL created in painful situations the resent deeply.
I believe there is nothing more liberating than being real about ourselves and having a clear mind. Why? Because when we do so, we give ourselves the freedom to choose who we want to be and what kind of life we want to live. We put an end to victimhood and we take over.
Is there an event in your life where you can sport shame, resentment or guilt?
Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
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My name is Iulia Oprea, I grew up in Transylvania and I currently live in Budapest, Hungary.
I have become a Gestalt Coach in 2015. My coach education is accredited by the ICF and I work according to the ICF code of ethics.
I learned coaching at the Gestalt Coaching Center in Budapest.
I'm a great fan of people being exactly who they are. In 2014 I was fortunate to give a speech at the TEDxTarguMures conference in Romania about the topic of being the authentic You. And I realized that in order to be authentic, we need to allow ourselves to be vulnerable (something I resented deeply because of previous experiences I perceived as bad).
I'm thrilled to see the shift in perspective about negative emotions and thoughts and about the real effects of forced positive thinking. You can already find many videos and articles in The Economist and The Huffington Post.
I've learned the hard way that growth happens through negative experiences.
Happiness reinforced our identity built around our most precious values, however there is only gradual growth.
So ever time we block negative emotions and force positive emotions on ourselves without looking at how it serves us, because we are afraid to feel pain, our survival instinct tell us - Time to grow! It's causing a void and some drama, which leads to pain, which leads to growth.
It's what we're programmed to do. Learning to empower our lives with negative emotions and thoughts is the key to our freedom and our real peace of mind.
To me, a person is worth as much as they are willing to do for their own freedom.