Is love enough to build a happy relationship?

I met Martha at a party in Kaufleuten club in Zurich on a rainy Saturday evening. We had a ‘girls talk’ over a White Russian. She was in a tough relationship which brought lots of troubles and worries. She said: “The most important is that we love each other”. 

Hell yeah, I thought. As if love could fix it all…

LOVE IS NOT A CURE 

You can call me the most unromantic person in the world, but love cannot fix troubles in your relationship. You cannot sit around, unhappy, thinking that love to your partner will heal all problems. 

Love will neither fix you nor bring you permanent happiness. It won’t heal your traumas. Sometimes you need a visit at the shrink’s office to heal yourself and not a person who sleeps next to you and calls you ‘darling’. Love is not a plaster you put on your skin when you hurt yourself. 

Why love is not enough for a relationship to succeed?

If love to your man is the first thing that matters to you in your relationship, then ask yourself a question.

  • What is there apart from love? 
  • What other qualities does your relationship have? 
  • What are the common values of you and your partner?
  • Do you share a similar view on things and life in general? 
  • Do you both want to have a family and kids? 
  • What are the common goals and life plans of you and your partner?

LOVE IS MATHEMATICS

Sometimes I meet women who crave and beg for love. When they meet a guy, they fall in love straight away and think about the love that they will get from their partner. Love blinds them. They cannot see who the guy really is and figure out if he only says that he ‘loves’ or he actually does it. 

“I just wanna be loved” attitude is very dangerous for women. Love is an important part of a relationship, but you cannot sacrifice everything for it. Any relationship consists of many parts. There’s one part called ‘liking each other’, another one called ‘respect’, the next one ‘common values’ and so on. 

So, what is love? Love is an addition.

love is not enough

First of all, you need to take care of yourself. Your state of mind. Your shit. You need to love yourself before you love another person. You cannot get water out of a stone. If you don’t love yourself, there’s a low probability that you will be successful in loving another person. It’s pure mathematics. 0 love times 1 equals 0. You cannot give what you don’t have in yourself. 

In romantic comedies, people who meet each other, first, need to overcome some obstacles (job challenges, personal challenges, etc) before they are finally together. They don’t go into a relationship only because no one else came their way. 

They don’t bring into their relationship shitty patterns from their family of origin or exuberant expectations. First, they deal with their own shit, before they turn their relationship into a ‘relationshit’. 

Better to be in a ship with the other person than in a shit… It makes a whole lot of difference. 

A good relationship does not come wrapped in a ribbon

When I ask people how they met they start telling me that the time stood still, and they immediately knew that was ‘it’. Love at first sight. Biochemical cocktail of love & attraction.

Usually, in these moments I say: “Whoa. Hold your horses. Beginnings are always like the golden age of America. Like the first episode of your favorite Netflix series. Excitement and curiosity. All until the time you both advance to the second series called “Ups and downs” or “Storms and calms”.

relationship equals effort
The love and feelings you get from your beloved are not a gift neatly wrapped in a ribbon that is there to last forever.

It’s rather credit for a foundation on which to build something that matters.
Many couples part in the 5th or 7th year of their relationship. Love burn-out. They don’t know why they are together. They look at his or her beloved sleeping in bed, wondering why they decided to start this relationship. Wondering what went wrong and when.

Usually, it takes a couple of years for a couple to part. What happens then? A new love cycle begins. A new partner, butterflies in the stomach and love, that lasts only for some time…

Usually, this pattern of 5 or 7-year lasting relationship have couples who didn’t make it through the “storms and calms” and who forgot to build strong fundaments. They were so happy that they have this person, and they thought that ‘love’ will fix it all. That love will make it work. Unfortunately, love alone doesn’t guarantee a long-lasting relationship.

Love equals work. Yes. That’s the way it is. I can see your surprised faces now 🙂 Love is always about two totally different people coming together. Different backgrounds, different families, sometimes even different countries. You need to put your sleeves up and dig in to make it work. To build the fundaments for it to flourish.

Is it easy? Rather not. But one thing is sure – Santa Claus brings gifts only to children. The grown-ups make gifts by themselves, thanks to their work, attention, and experience.

Love is never about “meeting the right person”. Even if you meet your Mr/Mrs. Right, there’s still some work to be done.

relationship requires effort

There’s a song by The O’Jays – “Now that we found love what are we gonna do with it”. Think for a moment. What are you going to DO with your love?

All fables end with “they married and lived happily ever after”. Real life has nothing to do with a fable. The ups and downs happen even in the happiest relationship. But if you have a strong pillar on which you have built your love, no storm or hurricane will ever destroy it.

Care for your love every day. Just like you brush your teeth. Let it become a habit.

Valentine’s Day is approaching. We are bombarded with adverts of sexy lingerie, heart-shaped chocolates, and red roses. All good restaurants in Zurich are booked out for this Friday evening. People hoard to celebrate love. At least one day per year.

It’s actually a great idea to celebrate love. But maybe without all this marketing. Realizing that each day is a good day to celebrate love. Not only 14th February.

Wishing you wonderful days full of love,

Aleksandra

Strong women and weak men

strong women an week men

How they are born? What makes men weak and women strong?

EQUAL BUT DIFFERENT

According to the family constellations method, the first place in the family belongs to the man.

He leads, builds a house, goes out to hunt and provides food and shelter for his woman. The second place belongs to the woman, who takes care of the internal world – children, home, cooking, and household management.

First and second places are just functions. We don’t talk here about the first as ‘better’ and the ‘second’ as worse. Men and women are equal as sexes but were created to fulfill different functions, thus complementing each other. Yin and yang. Sun and moon. Masculine and feminine.

During the past years, a lot has changed between feminine and masculine roles. Men built a world where there was no place for women. Witches and female shamans were a threat to the men of those times, because of their advanced knowledge. So, men burned them at stakes. Hurting the feminine and cursing women who gave birth to baby-girls.

WAR ZONE

Then, there were wars, like the 1st and 2nd World War, which decimated men. The masculine fell down and didn’t have the strength to get up. Boys were raised by mothers and grandmothers because fathers died at war. Today we have many strong women. It all comes as an aftermath of war. An aftermath nobody ever took into account.

Strong women

Who is a strong woman?

A woman who is focused on being successful in her career?
A woman who can do without a man?
A woman who stands by her partner?
A woman who is feminine? Dressed in a flowery dress, connected to her intuition, loving and caring?

Look closely at her. Look at her mother. How was her mother like? Was her mother feminine? Or maybe she was raised on the anger of her mother, who was left alone after the war with five kids to feed?

Maybe your grandmother ruled in the house because she had no choice. Left alone on the ashes of war with five kids to take care of. This is where the anger on men starts. I’ve seen it many times during family constellations. Women’s anger on men. A murderous anger.

The anger of pain of being left alone with no help of a beloved man to survive. So, the women needed to stand in the men’s place. In the masculine. They made themselves strong and carried masculine burdens of taking on masculine roles.

Now ask yourself a question. An important one.

Do you have a tendency to carry a lot on your shoulders? Do you, as a woman, constantly control everyone and everything? Do you rule in the house, because all needs to be done “your way”?

Or maybe you’re a man and you were raised by a mother who was always pissed on your father? Who always criticized him and dominated him?

Do you remember this moment when as a child you dreamed about leaving your home and being away from the mother who always told you what you should do and how you should do it?

The war is long over. Time to make peace.

Week man

Time to understand that women and men both need each other. We need to acknowledge our incompleteness.

We need to understand that a feminine needs a stable and strong masculine. And masculine needs warm and sensitive feminine.

Look at your ancestors and ask yourself – can I have it a different way than you?

The answer will come. Today is a good day to wake up, see the patterns which existed in your family and break them by deciding that you will allow yourself to act differently.
To be a masculine man. Or a feminine woman.

Aleksandra Bzdzikot
Certified family constellations therapist
Certified art therapist

Being yourself is not easy. Why?

being yourself

Being yourself is not easy, because sometimes we‘re brought up to be someone else, someone, who has to be ‘this or that’. How often did you hear from your parents that you look like your grandfather or that you took on artistic skills after your father who liked to draw in his free time?

If looks and skills are passed on through generations, do you think that emotional problems, relationship patterns, money blockages are not? Then, let me surprise you 😉

  1. Sometimes it all comes from our family tree. Maybe some of our ancestors couldn’t pursue their passion. Maybe others told them “you won’t make a good teacher” or “You won’t be a good artist” plus “you cannot make money on art”. So they gave up their dreams of being themselves for the sake of peace of mind and social acceptance.

Maybe our parents couldn’t be themselves, because they were brought up by their parents according to some unwritten but verbally expressed rules? The behavioral patterns easily get transmitted through our genetics.

  1. Then comes the programming neatly covered under “schooling”. They tell us to go to school, study hard, be a good boy or a good girl. Go to church, believe in God, God will take care of you in the afterlife, fear the devil… They all tell us what to do. Until we reach the age of 18, we are fully programmed. Programmed to be someone. A firefighter, a teacher, a politician, a lawyer, and an IT software developer…

So you go the university, still study hard and land a good job. Congratulations! You’re a lawyer (banker, engineer or whoever) and you’re fully programmed to exist in the society and work like a sheep for the next 40 years.

Wait a moment. Was this what you wanted? Ask yourself a question: did I consciously choose that way? It is important that we feel good at our careers, in our relationships and with ourselves when we look at ourselves in the mirror.

How do you know if you are yourself?

  • You accept yourself fully, including your flaws;
  • You accept your path, the career that you CONSCIOUSLY chose;
  • You take no opinion of others on yourself;
  • You love yourself the way you are.

Look in the mirror. Who do you see there? The product of your parents/society expectations or yourself? 😊

Being yourself in a world which constantly tries you to be someone else, is the biggest achievement”.

Courage in life

courage in life

The old year is coming to an end making space for the new one to come. New Year means new wishes, new resolutions and new plans. Oh yeah, we all know it.

Martha desperately needed changes in her life. She felt like a used-up Ferrari. Always in chase of a better job, better relationship and a better life. But still, despite her wishes for change, she did very little to change it.

Maybe you also don’t quit your comfy job, though you feel it’s high time for something new and more developing?

Maybe you feel you deserve better, a better-paid position or a normal, loving relationship but you still wait until it miraculously appears in your life?

The truth is, we, humans, are lazy. If we don’t need to move – we sit. Imagine someone tells you that you don’t need to go to work anymore in your life. Would you still get up at 6:30 am to move and do your stuff? I guess not.

We all have wishes. “I want to lose 5 kgs”, “I want to meet the man of my dreams”, “I want to change my job”, etc. Nowadays, “I want to” supersedes our “I do it”. We live in the world of our “wants” and not “doings”.

We are afraid to cross the magic barrier of FEAR. Why magic?

Imagine you’re standing on a cliff. On the other side, there’s another cliff where you see your dream job or dream relationship. In between, there’s an abyss. You know that you need to cross it to get to the other side. The fear stops you. The abyss is too deep, and the line is too thin. You come up with excuses why you CAN’T get to the other side, instead of putting your shit together and creating a way to get there.

Maybe you run and make a big jump, maybe you walk on the thin line or construct a more solid bridge.

In this way, you CREATE your ways on how to get to the other side. The only ingredient you need is COURAGE.

Without courage, Marc Zuckerberg wouldn’t have created Facebook.

Without courage, Jan Mela (a disabled Polish boy) wouldn’t have reached the North Pole.

Without courage, you wouldn’t have been where you are now.

Courage to go your own way of making better choices and going beyond the limits.

With best wishes for the New Year!

Plantation of Creativity team

The Art of Happiness

Do you know how your thoughts drift you away from your fulfilled and happy life? Maybe you always thought that happiness is butterfly which is always slipping through your fingertips?

the art of happiness

I’m not going to give you a definition of what ‘happiness’ is. Each of us has his own definition, which is in accordance with our values and belief system.

Lately, I’ve been watching “The affair” TV series. The main protagonist, Noah Solloway, had it all. A beautiful and loving wife, 4 healthy kids and a cosy home in the city. Yet, he was not happy. Later on, in the next seasons, he divorced his wife, took another woman and had a baby with her. Yet, he was not happy. I won’t spill the beans of how it all ends.

How many of you out there are like Noah Solloway?

Never happy with what you have. Never knowing what you actually want. Not appreciating what you have. Drifting through life insatiably.

HAPPINESS IS ANOTHER FORM OF CREATION. YOU DESIGN IT WITH YOUR THOUGHTS.

Sounds easy, hm? Easy for someone who is well aware of the power of our thoughts and is already using it.

What if, let’s say, you grew up in a poor family with a negative view on everything? What if all your friends around complain about how hard it is to earn well or to meet a good life partner? What if you don’t believe in yourself, because no one else believes in the success of your business idea?

Discover 5 mental habits on how you can create more happiness in your life.

1. PERCEPTION

The first step on your way to happiness is the ability to perceive good things in your life. If you go through your day thinking only about the bad stuff, bad weather, bad boss and lack of money, no wonder you attract it in your life.

Think about the positive things that happened during your day. Maybe someone gave you a smile on the tram or you drank a cup of your favourite coffee?

2. GRATEFULNESS

Every morning, straight after your wake-up, think about 4 things that you are grateful for today. The more positive things you perceive the higher your happiness level 🙂

3. LETTING GO

Let go of grudges ad anger towards people in your life. Are you still angry with your parents that they criticise you all the time? Time to let go. Time to give a hug to your dad and tell him how much you love him. Holding grudges and anger destroys you inside. As soon as you let go, regardless of the other person’s feelings, you find peace and clear off your head from negative emotions.

4. PURSUE YOUR DREAMS

Have dreams. Dare to dream and fulfil your dreams. This can give you so much power when you’re on your way to creating the life you want. You dream about meeting your other half? Then go out more, socialise, have the courage to meet new people.

5. APPRECIATE YOUR ROOTS

Even if you don’t like your family town or you have difficult relations with your parents, learn to appreciate your roots. Your family gave you everything they could. They fed you, educated you and loved you. Yes. Even when they didn’t know how to show this love. You owe them respect. They created you. Thanks to them you could come to this world and experience this life. Learn to appreciate it.

Let me end this post with a quote from my favourite philosopher Marcus Aurelius:

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking”

And what’s your view on that?

Let me know in comments.

Are you the boss of your life?

Often you come to the office in a corporate world to earn. To make a career. To have a good job. To become rich. To enjoy a good life, because you work so hard. Just like Steven.

Every day he dressed elegantly in a Zegna tailor-made jacket, Hugo Boss shirt and the newest model of Rolex – “GMT Master II”. He thought he had it all. A nice apartment in Switzerland, along the coast of the Zurich lake. A luxury car. A stable job in a bank. And a boss he hated.

darth vader boss type

Maybe you also complain about your boss, be it during a break for a cigarette, after-work drinks with your colleagues or making a phone call to your best friend in the toilet.

When you enter “toxic boss” in google you’ll find a sea of books on how to deal with such a person. I guess you also had at least one boss in your life that you were not happy with.

Today’s bosses are like Lord Vader, a black shadow figure giving orders. You wanted to leave at five o’clock sharp to make it home for dinner with your family? No way. Your boss orders you to stay and finish up an urgent report for him.

THE FORCE IS WITH HIM, AFTER ALL.

Steven worked extra hours. He thought he would please his boss and gain even more. What exactly? More money? A better reputation of an employee you can always count on to stay overtime?

WHO, ULTIMATELY, IS THE FORCE WITH?

The truth is, you cannot change the behavior of your boss, his personality, that he sucks being a leader or that he is not good at managing people. You cannot change someone else or external situations.

You can only change yourself. What you can do – is that you can choose your boss or your workplace. Yes. We always have a choice. The force is always with you.

The force is the power of choice. The power to say “no” to a job you don’t like. The power to go your own way and decide for yourself.

Steven used to say: “Yeah, sure, I would have to find a new job and it is not so easy”. Have you ever thought why you’re making yourself such a victim? Why you bear mobbing or another mistreatment in the workplace? Staying overtime for mediocre pay? Trying to work hard despite the crazy boss around?

It looks like Lord Vader took your force away 🙂 If you’re holding on to your own complaining policy (don’t mistake with compliance policy), then you have a problem. You are afraid to make a choice and use your force.

You are afraid to be the boss of your life.

Is the force with you? Or not yet?

What is art therapy?

When we were kids, art time was often the best part of grammar school. Who didn’t enjoy coloring, drawing, and painting? It was fun, relaxing, and you got a wonderful euphoric feeling from creating something you made with your own hands.

plantation-of-creativity-art-therapy-trauma-healing-zurich-warsaw-relationship-coach-

Then you proceeded to working life in front of a computer for 8 hours a day. At least. The movements of your hands were limited to typing on the computer keyboard and your imagination was put to sleep like your beloved ill dog, which suffered from cancer.

Yes. A sad story. Today we are no longer creative. We have far less ways to express our emotions. We shout at our kids, we pump at the gym, we come home edgy after a full day at work… Jenny was like this until she discovered art therapy.

She never would have thought that art therapy could help her through the toughest spots in her life, but it actually did. It helped her to release all her emotions, without the need to scream or pull out your hair from your head.

WHAT IS ART THERAPY?

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses a variety of art media as its primary mode of communication and expression. It’s a particularly useful method of finding ways to explore difficult emotions. I use art to help grown-ups and children deal with emotions including loss, grief, transitions, attachment, emotional, bullying, mental health, behavioral issues, and confidence issues among others.

There is something so freeing about art therapy. The goal of art therapy is not a production of an art masterpiece, it is rather a creative process in which you take out all hurtful and sad emotions to the daylight. From your brain, heart, as well as the subconscious mind. You speak, not with words, but with colors and images. You move, you create, you are in the flow.

All you do is you move your brush or pencil, create, take it all out with fierce red or the blackest black.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ART THERAPY?

1. You reduce stress.

You had a bad day at work. You have a problem with your boss. You come to an art therapy session. You imagine you are telling your boss everything by colors and lines you put on paper in front of you. Thinking about your boss and your feelings towards him/her, you let these feelings come out. When you finish you feel relieved, born again, happier.

2. You address past traumas.

Do you remember that hurtful break-up between you and this man you so much cared for? You buried it deep down inside and from that time your relationships with men are not going well. In the art therapy session, you work to release the emotions about that break-up, which are still present in your body and mind. Maybe you didn’t express them before? Maybe it was too painful to dwell in it? Now is the moment to say a proper ‘good-bye’ with art therapy method.

Art therapy is great when dealing with marriage problems or divorce.

Kids quite often use art therapy unconsciously, when for example, their parents quarrel or divorce.

Plantation of Creativity leads art therapy sessions for children and adults. Contact us and schedule your first session with us!

“If you’re feeling blue, try painting yourself a different color”.

No day is more important than today

Rainy autumn day. Monica sat down on the couch after coming back from work. A pack of Lays Chips of fromage taste was lying near on the coffee table.

The power of the present

She said to herself: “Well, I worked hard today in a job which I don’t like. I deserved these chips.

A voice in her head asked the same question as yesterday evening: “Monica, what about using this time to build up your own business that you’ve been dreaming of for so long?”

Monica did not reply and ignored the voice. She forwarded her hand to reach for the chips, switched her computer on and started to watch a movie.

No stress. No effort. Just distraction. Imagine it is you who eats these chips and watches a movie. Would you regret it later on?

Regret is one of the basic human emotions. Sometimes we regret small things – that we worried too much, that we didn’t take the number form the girl we liked or that we simply, just like Monica, postponed our dreams and ate chips to cover our feelings up.

It’s normal. Life is not a test from mathematics. We cannot fully prepare for life. We come to our thirties or forties and wonder: “What the hell am I doing in this job?”. Then, still, we sit and watch a different movie every evening and eat chips to console our feeling of being “too late for changes”.

Usually, when I ask people why they don’t do what they dream of, they answer: “it’s not worth it, I am already 35” or “It’s too late. So much time has passed by”.

Yes. It is sad that you lost so much time. You made stupid mistakes. You ate chips and watched movies every single night. This time will not come back.

Looking form this perspective, we can say that today is everything we’ve got. You can either eat your chips and complain about how much time has already passed by or take care that you will lose no more of it.

BE CONSCIOUS OF THE PRESENT MOMENT.

Your future exists only in your imagination and not in a material world. Plus, by the way, you create your future today, at this very moment. This moment is everything you’ve got. When you think about the past where are you? In the present. The same, when you think about the future. Eckhart Tolle speaks about it in his fascinating book “The power of the present”.

MAKE SMALL STEPS TOWARDS YOUR DREAM EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Exchange chips & movie evening into taking action towards your plans. Reorganize your desk. Get rid of stuff you no longer need. Go for a walk. Sign up for a drawing class. Change your job.

Your future depends on what you are doing today. It is not too late to change your profession or learn something new.

At least, when you do it now, you’ll say after years: “Good that I started in October 2019”, instead of saying “Pity, I didn’t start it earlier” when you’ll be 50.

Plantation of Creativity Team

What would you tell to your 10-year-old self?

1. Life is a game Aleksandra. It’s neither a Moroccan bazaar nor an ascetic cave. If you wanna play good learn the rules of the game called Life.

2. Love yourself because you are beautiful the way you are. Don’t listen to your colleagues making fun of your body. Let yourself be.

3. Be grateful for everything you have and the family who surrounds you. These persons might depart any moment and it’s important to love them the way you love yourself. Show them your affection and love. Even if they don’t show it to you.

4. Play, swing and have fun in the playground. The time for books and learning will come later.

5. Each failure is a next step towards your success. Those who don’t make mistakes never grow and never learn. So take your bike again, fall again and learn how to ride!