Recently, I gave an interview with Angelina Piechowska, a Polish woman living in Birmingham, UK. She works with what she calls 'self-silencing women' - mainly Polish women who went with their husbands to the UK and now live a more or less invisible life as housewives, often derouting into depression or anxiety. She is dedicated to spread hope and encourage agency for this group of expats. Read the full interview below.
A: Pernille, you work with people from all over the world, how do you discover the beauty within someone during a session?
P: If you are talking about all over the world, it is really this experience of our shared humanity. Whether people come from India, Thailand, EU or US, we are all human beings and we have so much in common. That is the beautiful thing.
A: Hvorfor valgte du å jobbe med behov? Why do you believe that needs are so important in our life?
P: It is because it is the common denominators between us. All human beings share the same basic needs. We have physical needs for shelter, food, and drink, and we share needs with one another that we need each other to be fulfilled, such as respect, acceptance, appreciation, acknowledgment, understanding, and so forth. Once we connect with the needs in each other, that's when we get a real sense of being deeply connected, not just as individuals but to everybody in a broader sense.
A: Så det er meningen at når du jobber med dine behov, at den fremmer den virkelige forbindelse med deg selv og andre mennesker?
P: Ja, de behov er måder at forstå hverandre og selv. Den måten vi er knyttet til vores behov og andres behov, det er gennem vores følelser. Feelings whether they are happy as contentment, and joy, or whether they are negative like anger or depression or fear, it all points to needs and whether they are being or not being met. Det er den måten at forstå til hverandre, å være nysgjerrig om de følelser vi har, og så for at finde de behov, som hver følelse peger på.
A: What do you recommend to people who claim that they do not have needs and they live day after day without awareness of their needs and feelings?
P: That is one of the things that really touches me when it happens. I see people who have had this experience throughout their lives that the only way to be safe is to eliminate themselves. Dus als ik met mensen die claim dat ik niet voel, wil ik met ze en ik deze ervaring van het hebben van een bedrijf geven, en ik laat ze weten dat ik de keuze heb dat zij de beste strategie hebben die voor hen werkt shut down some really important aspects of being human. This approach usually builds enough trust for the other person to notice feelings inside. Det er veldig vigtigt fordi følelser er virkelig verdt det, de giver os den oplevelse at leve vores liv. Not feeling anything compared to feeling our emotions is like a difference between reading the notes on a sheet of paper from sitting in the concert hall and listening to great music. Ef við höfum ekki tilfinningar, getum við ekki upplifað fyllingu lífsins.
A: It's so beautiful how you talk about it. What do you recommend to people who are in the very hard moments in their life and they do not see any hope?
P: Oh dear, so what i find to be really important is that they find one person who they trust, who is able to listen deeply and be with them through whatever pain or hardship they are experiencing, without any agenda to change it for them . Fordi paradoxen er når vi accepterer det vi føler og hvem vi er i øjeblikket, bliver vi i stand til at ændre. Men det første steget er alltid at føle og have kompanionship i hvad vi står i midten af.
A: What is the best source of power? How can we feel our power, how can we discover our power? Do you believe that everybody has inner strength?
P: I think true power consists of having the freedom to choose your reaction to what happens in your life, instead of what we usually do: When somebody is doing something to you that you do not like, and you react automatically, shutting down, or blaming the other person. If you become aware of what is triggered in you when this person did this or that, and you notice that actually, you have choice about how you think of the situation, and then after thinking, how you react. That is really claiming the freedom to change your life, and it is very powerful.
A: Ja, så vi må ikke forandre de andre menneskene, vi må bare forandre vores holdning til forståelsen af deres situation?
P: Yes, that is the first step. That might lead to ask other people if they will change something in their behavior or their decisions. Then it comes from a much more powerful place, as it gives the other person a sense of choice rather than we demand it. I guess everybody knows how it is when someone tells us to do something. That is something that easily creates distance. But when people come from a mature place in themselves and they ask kindly if we would discuss how this could be done differently, then it is much more likely that it will happen.
A: What happens when people have discovered what they really need? Have you experienced this moment where a client first time discovers what he needs?
P: Det kan være en ganske overveldende opplevelse når de våkner opp til sine egne behov, men snart kommer folk til å legge merke til at noe forandrer seg snart etter at de har gått på denne reisen. Just to taste the sweetness of getting to know yourself and to pay attention to your own feelings and needs. That allows them to care for other people's feelings and needs more consciously. Like a careful mom who sees her children; De kan være desperate, eller angre, eller fryktelige, og hun bare kysser dem på en moden måte og elsker dem uansett, mens hun omhyggelig peker på hvordan hun ville like dem å oppføre seg. That is how we step into this way of being with ourselves as well as with other people. Det gagnar oss og folk rundt oss så godt.
A: Do you see that some people are very afraid and they do not want to go for having their needs with because they think that it is wrong, that they will be excluded?
P: Ja, de er afraid at andre mennesker vil ikke like dem hvis de konsentrerer seg om sine egne følelser og behov. Og dette er en opplevelse som de sikkert har hatt i deres barndom. Perhaps they had a parent who did not have space inside to take care of his own needs and feelings, so the children had to act as grownups at an emotional level. Men hvis denne personen anerkjenner sine egne behov, vil fordelene være for ham, familien og mennesker rundt ham.
A: Når du jobber med folk, er det vanskeligste øyeblikket på denne reisen mot deg selv?
P: For me or for this person?
A: For your client and for you as well.
P: For me it's not hard J For the client, I guess it's the moment when she sees how much she has sacrificed and how much the costs have been for her and maybe those around her, and in the beginning she does not have de vaardigheden om het te veranderen. Så hun har til å holde sig i processen litt senere før ændringerne vil manifestere. The journey goes really through a lot of grief. Grief about what was, we wish would have been differently. Grief is a really important practice. Det er litt barn eller sagt goodbye til din drøm, godbye til noe som vi pleide å håbe for og vi aldri fikk.
A: Du vet det lyder som et barn eller transformation fra barn til voksen person. When you have to say goodbye to some items, issues in our life ....
P: Yes it is true and it is really growing into maturity in some way. Selv om jeg vil gerne moderere dette fordi folk er meget voksne og voksne, selv om de vælger at leve i de ofre for deres egne behov og følelser. Så det er ikke så kind av maturitet, det er mer som å vokse til potensialet for mennesker, et potensial til mildhet mot oss selv og mildhet til andre.
A; Somsimes mensen har ikke forbindelse med sig selv for en lang, lang tid. How we can rebuild our connections with our inner world?
P: This is a very important question. THE BEST MOMENT IS ALWAYS NOW J We can not change what happened before, but now, what do I feel in this moment? This might be a very difficult question. Så vi kan spørre oss selv, What do I notice in my body? How is my feet, my stomach, doing my heart? If my chest or my belly is contracting, something is not good for me, a need of mine is not with. What need might that be? Deretter bygger jeg en følelse af min egen indre liv og blir bevidst om det og finn noen ord for det å kommunisere med en betrodd venn.