How to Revive the Magic in Your Relationship

During the Roman Empire, a priest was imprisoned because he had performed forbidden weddings for soldiers. The guardsman’s daughter visited him, they shared their thoughts and laughed. On the day of his execution, he wrote her a note saying he loved her and signed with “From your Valentine”.

This is one legend about the origins of this famous day in celebration of romantic love. Nowadays, Valentine’s Day has many faces: people ignore the day, some may have lost their belief in love, a single person has fun with friends with a touch of melancholy, a woman bitterly cooks dinner for her husband whilst thinking, “I will not support this for another year”, and couples go for a walk, admiring a sky full of stars and holding hands or happily enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner.

Valentine’s Day may remind you of how you feel right now about love. If you feel joy, everything is perfect. Yet, if this day provokes frustration, anger or sadness this may be a sign that you long for a change. Change is always possible. If you are single, you can attract the right partner now and as a couple, you can revive the magic of your relationship by taking some simple steps.

A relationship needs common dreams, goals that you want to achieve together. Take a time out of the routine and create your common dreams together. As single, get your dream about a romantic relationship clear. Write it down, focus on what you want to attract and let go of what you don’t want. Everybody has made good and less pleasant past experiences, allow yourself to dream big, independent of the past. This way you align your radar and attract whom you want.

Relationships are a deep connection between two people. Have courage and share your deepest thoughts and feelings. Whether you have known your partner for 20 years or you both have just met recently, allow your partner to see you without masks. You can never control the other’s thoughts or feeling, you can just give an honest picture about yourself.

Another way to improve the relationship is by practicing gratitude. Place a gratitude jar at home. Each time you feel grateful for something that your partner did or said, write it on a little note and put it into the jar. Maybe you came home after a hard day’s work, and your partner waited for you with dinner already prepared? Great, put a note in the jar. At the end of the year, empty the jar and read together the miracles that happened in your relationship.

Studies show that positivity supports the foundation of relationships and that the ratio between positive and negative affirmation should be 5:1. Positivity is a habit that can easily be learned and practice. Instead of blaming your partner, communicate your need or desire behind this complaint. Give your partner a compliment, tell him or her what they are good at. Singles may get stuck in negative thoughts because of frustration. Yet, our thoughts create our reality. Change your thoughts and create positive ones about romantic relationships and practice hope. The right partner for you is already out there and positive relationships are possible.

If the original spark seems to be lost in the routine of daily life, reminisce over the story of how you met each other. Tell each other all the details about how you experienced it and feel the original connection again. Imagine what is possible in the here and now starting from this point.

Real love is fundamental in our life. Misguided ideas such as “love is suffering” still exist, but love does not justify all and has its limits. Nowadays relationships are about two independent persons, loving each other with mutual respect, dignity and equality without violating each other’s rights and supporting each other as companions, best friends and lovers. Each relationship creates its own unique model based on two unique people and their specific inner worlds. This way, your relationship gives you positive energy and joy and each day can be like Valentine’s Day.

May every day in your life be Valentine’s Day.

I’d love to hear from you. Just leave your comment below.

Do you want to read more? Check the post Do you enjoy the beauty of the moment?

Published in www.barcelonaconnect.com, February 2013

Copyright@2013, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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Do You Think Emotions are Scary? Find out How to Manage Them Well!

Many years I regarded emotions as something scary, and I tried to suppress them as good as I could because I did not know what to do with them. I grew up in a family that never spoke about feelings, and I lived in Germany, and Germans tend to be rational and to live in their heads. Everything changed when I moved to Spain, the embodiment of emotionality where I learned to manage my feelings well. Today, my emotions add a beautiful blend of spices to my life. They give me precious signals and help me to live fully and energized.

Do you feel scared by your emotions? Do you try to suppress them or avoid feeling them?
Don’t worry, you are not alone. Many people haven’t learned to manage emotions properly. However, continuous suppression may result in anxiety, depression or psychosomatic symptoms like muscular tension or headache. Connecting with your emotions is healthy for your well-being. They aren’t scary, but they are valuable messengers for you that want to give you gentle advice.

How are feelings generated?
“My partner made me angry today.” Have you ever heard a similar sentence? Sometimes, it seems that other people can make us feel in a specific way, but the reality is different. Your emotion is generated by your thoughts about your partner’s actions or words. They can be conscious or subconscious, and they are influenced by your experiences and memories. Nobody can make you feel an emotion; your emotions are uniquely yours, and you are responsible for them.

So, where are your emotions?
Each emotion produces a sensation that you can observe in your body. This can be butterflies in your stomach when you fall in love or tension in your shoulders when you are stressed. Based on the emotion, you can note changes in the respiration or heartbeat, a tension in your body or sensations on your skin like goose bumps.

How do you connect with your emotions?
The first step is to be aware of what you feel. The following exercise can help you with this: schedule a session three times a day in your agenda, preferably in the morning, at lunch time and in the evening. During this session, take some deep breaths, tune in with your body and observe it. Don’t judge yourself. Every emotion or sensation that shows up is correct. There isn’t any right or wrong. Ask yourself the following questions to further explore your emotion: Where is it in your body? If it were a color what color would it be? If it were a shape what shape would it be? If it were a sound what sound would it be?

Emotions have a positive intention.
Each emotion has a positive intention for you, even though you might not be able to see it at first. E.g., I regarded anger as a negative emotion and didn’t feel comfortable with it. When I started to manage my feelings better, I found out that anger was a sign that I did not respect my limits or needs. I didn’t have to act on it; I just needed to be aware of it, to find out what it wanted to tell me and then I could choose an appropriate action like setting healthy boundaries in an assertive way. Through this learning, anger has lost its fierce aspect and has transformed into a precious messenger that indicates me that I should take care of me. Your emotions give you valuables signals for your well-being. Ask them what message they want to give you and what their positive intention is.

How can you cope with your emotions well?
You have many choices to cope with your emotions positively, and you should explore them to find out which ones serve you best. 
Here you can find some of them:

  • Writing about them in a journal.
  • Writing unsent letters, e.g. to an ex-partner.
  • Drawing them.
  • Talking to a friend you trust in.
  • Talking to a counselor you trust in.
  • Meditating.
  • Physical exercise like running or dancing.
  • Changing your body posture, e.g. instead of looking to the ground, looking up in the sky.

The better you cope with your emotions, the more energy you will have. This is a process that may require some time. You don’t have to be an expert, you just have to start the adventure.

What activity do you want to explore today?

I love to read your comments below!

Do you want to read more? Check the post How to use the power of your mind positively.

Copyright © 2014, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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4 Easy Ways To Say No

Some time ago, a friend asked me, “You have to come to our karaoke party this Saturday. I miss you.” I hate karaoke parties, and I knew that I would need time to relax. One voice in my head told me, “You are egoistic. You have to be there. Be nice!” The other one said, “I just don’t want to.” In the past, I would have gone to a party where I felt at the wrong place all the time, and I would have felt drained. Now I simply said, “No, I can’t.”

Do you fear to say “no”? Do you want to be nice to others? Do you fear conflicts?
If you struggle with saying “no,” don’t worry, you are not alone. Many times the difficulties exist due to learnings in our childhood. Were you allowed to say “no” as a child? How did your family use it? How did people react to it? As a child, I learned that “no” was a word that I wasn’t allowed to use, and that it might provoke a punishment. As an adult, I feared that the other person would either reject me or explode in a rage of anger, so I had major difficulties to say “no”. Was it good for me to say “yes” even though I should have said “no”? No, it wasn’t. I abandoned myself and lost the focus in my life because I tried to please other people. Furthermore, I made the activities with resentment like a recalcitrant horse because I didn’t enjoy them. Then, I learned to respect my needs and to say no.
The voices of fear and guilt are inappropriate advisors, and they shouldn’t be your motivation to decide what you are doing. There is a difference between doing things because you have to do them or because you want to do them. How often do you do things because you feel obliged to do them? How often do you please others? If you try to please others at the expense of yourself, you are not nice to you at all.

Healthy boundaries are a key for healthy relationships!
If you say “no” to what you don’t want, you respect your boundaries and priorities. You can’t control how the other person will react or how they will feel about it. You can just take care of your needs and priorities. If you start to respect your needs and your boundaries and say “no” when you want to, other people will get to know you in an honest and authentic way. Honesty is the key. Learning to say “no” is a healthy habit that will improve your relationships. Try out different occasions and find a way to say “no” that makes you feel comfortable!

How can you say “no”?
Here are four effective ways that helped me to learn it:

A simple “no” without any explanation is enough.
Say gently and firmly: “No, I can’t.” That’s it. There is no need to be aggressive or angry. You have the right to say “no” and you do not owe the other person an explanation.
“I don’t know yet, I’ll think about it. I’ll let you know tomorrow, next week,… ”
This way helped me when I felt pressured and gave me the time to become aware what I wanted. Use this method with people you have difficulties with or if you do not yet know what you want. Then, tell them your answer. Nobody can oblige you to do something that you do not want to do.
If the other person insists, repeat it.
Especially, if they are not used to it, it is likely that other persons insist on what they want, or they simply ignore your answer. In this case, repeat your answer firmly. Don’t capitulate. You don’t have to explain it, just repeat it.
“No, I can’t but what do you think about… “
Say no, and make a counter proposal that fits with your need. Your friend wants to meet you this weekend and you can’t? Make a proposal for a day when it is convenient for you or propose another activity you prefer. Don’t give in but start to negotiate a solution that fits you both.

The more you practice, the more comfortable you will feel. Start with an option that feels right for you and play with it. See it as an adventure on your journey. Saying “no” and respecting your boundaries will increase your self-esteem and self-confidence. You will experience a higher degree of contentment because you allow yourself to do what you really want. Live your life in an assertive way, respecting your needs and the needs of others.

Would you like to give it a try?

I love to read your comments below!

Do you want to read more? Check the post Do you know your rights in a relationship?

Copyright © 2014, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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Do You Enjoy The Beauty Of The Moment?

Last September, I did it. I stopped making excuses and went on a whale-watching tour in Vancouver. It had been my heart’s desire since many years, and I had tears in my eyes when I reserved the tour.

One week prior to the tour, my inner child was full of tension. Will the weather conditions allow the tour? I anxiously observed the forecast. It was supposed to rain all day. Would the event really take place?
On the morning of the tour, I woke up accompanied by the squawking of the sea gulls, and a ray of the sun entered shyly into my room. I saw a piece of blue sky through the gap of the curtains. I sighed deeply and smiled. All was well. I would be able to do the trip. I got ready and walked to the hotel in downtown Vancouver where the bus driver picked me up to bring me to the landing place of the boat in Richmond.
One hour later, I sat at the back of the boat, thickly packed in all the clothes I had brought with me to protect myself from the chilly airstream while the sun was warming my face. The roaring sound of the engines hurt in my ears and made it impossible to hear anything else, while the boat cut through the mirror-like surface of the Pacific that was unusually calm that day. There was nearly no wave, no movement.

The prediction was to see a pod of killer whales during the tour, and suddenly they were there. The boat stopped. Stillness surrounded us. The people in the boat ran to the side where the whales had appeared, hid their eyes behind their cameras and tried to make the perfect photo to hang on to it forever. I did the same. After three attempts, I stopped this impossible venture, and observed how the beauty of the moment revealed itself:
Two pods of whales had a cheerful encounter in the sea. Their beautiful black and white colors showed up when they did spy hopping and put their head out of the water. One whale even jumped out of it once. They seemed to be playing with each other, just like two families having an afternoon full of games, and I could feel a tingling joy in the air. I had never seen whales in the wildlife before, and tears of gratitude entered into my eyes as I observed their playfulness. We accompanied them for a while until the engines of the boat roared up again, and the boat took up speed. It seemed that we would also be able to watch some humpback whales that day.

The boat hunted through the sea in zig-zag patterns, until somebody screamed out, “There they are.” There, they were: two adult humpback whales, gliding through the water in their rhythm that was like a graceful dance. Their tail fins showed up for a second, then they descended into the deepness of the Pacific. Some minutes later, they emerged again and repeated their elegant movements. The boats with the whale-watchers followed them cautiously, anxious to be close to the spot of their next appearance. The two whales offered an image of harmony and synchronicity, transmitting grace, peace and perfection.

The guide said, “It is a miracle to see two types of whales on the same day.” For me, this day was a miracle, the two encounters with the whales a wonderful gift from the universe. I don’t have any photos, but the wonderful sensations that day has given me will stay forever in my heart.

What are the beautiful moments in your life?

I look forward to reading your comments below!

Do you want to read more? Check the post How do you relate with beauty?

Copyright © 2014, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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What If A Separation Is Not The End…?

Are you currently struggling with a separation? 

We as human beings have a need for love and most of us dream of a loving and intimate relationship. At least, I always did. However, my relationships ended with break-ups. In the beginning, I considered them as a sign of failure and blamed myself. Now I know that I needed these relationships and their endings. They motivated me to heal and change myself so that I was prepared for the relationship I want. Why did I need this preparation? I grew up in a dysfunctional family, and I only knew manipulative relationship patterns. Furthermore, I had learned misleading concepts about love, e.g. I considered pleasing my partner while neglecting my needs as loving behavior. The negative patterns of my childhood were deeply anchored in my subconscious, and I repeated them in my romantic relationships. With each break-up, I became aware of some of these patterns until they were finally healed. If your dream of a healthy relationship has not yet become true, it does not mean that it is not meant for you. It is only a sign that you should do some healing work before it can become true. If you don’t change anything, it is likely that you have the same outcome as before. Here are three easy changes that served me well:

Focus on what you want

I am sure that you have learned a lot about all the things that you don’t want to have in your relationship. At least, I had a long list in my mind. However, I didn’t define what I really wanted, and I attracted all that I did not want because I focused on it. Change your focus today and stop thinking about what you do not want. Instead, focus your thoughts on what you want and describe the relationship of your dreams. To prepare this, you may take a paper and draw two columns. On one side, write down all things you don’t want in your relationship, on the other side, turn it around into something you want. Allow yourself to dream big!

Commit to what you want

If you have defined what you want, you now have to take the next step: look at your description and define all the points that are show-stopper. Show-stoppers are these topics that are so important to you that you can’t live without them. Just to give you a personal example: I love cats – I have three of them – and I need a partner who also loves animals and appreciates living together with them. A partner who is allergic to cats is simply not possible. If you are clear about your show-stoppers, use them to make a conscious choice whether you want a relationship with a person. The clue is that you have to have the courage to say “no” to somebody who does not meet your show-stopper criteria.

Improve your self-compassion and self-esteem

You are the most important person in your life, independent from your (ex-)partner, your family or your friends. The relationship with yourself is the longest and most important relationship you will ever have in your life. The more you respect and value yourself, the more you will attract respectful and loving relationships into your life. A good level of self-esteem is the basis for a healthy relationship because it allows you to be honest and authentic. In a relationship, you should love your partner while you love yourself. This will also support you in setting healthy boundaries and in respecting your needs.

To increase your self-esteem, stop judging yourself and stop comparing yourself with others. You are unique and special. Instead, be aware of the qualities you have. What is making you special? Explore your strengths and be aware of them. Don’t criticize yourself, instead look at yourself through the eyes of loving grandparents who loves you and wants the best for you, What would they say about you? What advice would they give you? What would they wish you?
Failures are part of your growth process, and I am sure that you can make a valuable learning out of them. If there are parts of you that you do not appreciate, think about how you can change them so that you like them more. Explore them, they are there for a reason, and they want to tell you something. Ask yourself, What is the kindest thing I can do for myself in this situation?, and then act accordingly. Always keep in mind that you can’t change the past, but you can grow and become the person you want to be.

Which action do you want to take today?

I look forward to reading your comments below!

Do you want to read more? Check the post The greatest secret for a fulfilling relationship.

Copyright © 2014, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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Do You Know About The Hidden Dynamics Of Families?

Many people have difficult and painful family stories, perhaps with unresolved trauma. At least mine had them. Thanks to the constellations, I have found explanations and new perspectives and they helped me find peace. These family dynamics can cause diseases? It seems hard to believe and it is so. I saw touching examples during a workshop of Stephan Hausner in Barcelona, a German facilitator who uses family constellations in the area of healthcare. I was impressed by his respectful way to treat his clients and his ability to create an environment with the group that was free of judgment and his way to treat painful and difficult situations with love. After this impressive experience, I was glad about having had the opportunity to do an interview with him to present his valuable work:

What is a family constellation?

This is not an easy question. If you ask different facilitators, there will be as many different answers as people who you’ve asked. Actually, I do not use the term “family constellation” so often, I have replaced it by “systemic constellation” because my work is in the first step about families, but also beyond families. The constellations dig up how the traumas of our ancestors to whom we are bound by destiny, survive and influence the lives of descendants. Bert Hellinger opened the way for this method. My image of a constellation is that, among other things, it makes visible an internal process. I use this work frequently in a medical context because this corresponds to my experience.

How did you discover family constellations for your work?

I am working for 25 years as a homeopath and my original interest was the traditional Chinese medicine and the ancient Greek medicine. Both are medicines that try to discover what is in disorder in the body through a diagnostic system and try to restore order by putting an appropriate stimulus. I devoted myself to homeopathy for a long time and the constant search to reduce the treatment processes and to understand the disease and healing phenomena led me to a conference where I met Bert Hellinger and discovered his work. When I heard him talking about the order in family systems it was easy for me to connect these ideas with the understanding of health of traditional medicines, in the way that a disorder in the family system may create difficulties in daily life and working with constellations is the chosen method to reveal it.

Working with constellations means that I have the possibility to constellate a system of relationships with representatives physically in a room and then something happens that no one can really explain until now: the representatives feel like the real people. It still cannot be explained why this is so, but it is proven again and again that it is so and you can work with the dynamics and movements that appear there. So you can see unhealthy links in a family system and which connections are healthy. Through the therapeutic process it is possible to restore order in the system again so that the unhealthy links can turn into healthy connections.

What is systemic medicine?

For me, one of the most important observations of working with constellations with diseases is that a disease is not a personal phenomenon. Many diseases can only be understood when they are observed in a broader context. Systemic medicine means for me that there are diseases that must be understood by extending the system and through this larger system new spaces can be opened so that healing movements can emerge.

What fascinates you?

I consider working with constellations as especially suitable if good methods of treatment have not yet shown the expected success. I often meet patients who are in the hands of good doctors. However, they do not get better. Many times this is a sign that family dynamics are working behind this disease. I collaborate with a homeopathic pediatrician for many years, and if she does not achieve the desired effects with the children, she sends their parents to make a constellation with me. After the parents made a constellation, it happens many times that the homeopathic remedy that before has not worked suddenly starts working. What fascinates me above all is that this work addresses the power of self-healing of the patients and ideally it is a medical activity without the use of medication. Actually, it is a form of relational medicine.

What are diseases that often have an origin in the family dynamics?

I think that a disease always has multifactorial aspects. Multifactorial means that there is a physical, emotional and spiritual component and probably also a family component. Basically you can work for all diseases with a constellation, but it is not necessarily useful for all. Constellations are useful for chronic diseases such as autoimmune diseases, allergies, cancers, and when good treatments do not show the desired effect.

What is the potential of the constellations for the patient?

For me, it is essential to recognize that a disease is not a personal phenomenon of the sick person, but that many diseases can only be understood and treated if they are considered in a broader context, such as the family. In this way parents can alleviate their children. One of the most common dynamic in a constellation with diseases is to show that children are willing to carry a lot out of love for their parents, i.e. all the unresolved traumas that are still living in the family.

What are the limits?

One limit that is valid for all medical treatment is that the work can only be as good as the person who is doing it. It is not only about technique, but also about attitude and about body work which, in my opinion, is not adequately taken into consideration in constellations. My advantage is that I’ve been working with kinesiology for years. So I can feel in the client’s body if his body goes with what he expresses and what he says or not.

Another observation we make is that constellations are often about contents that were excluded and many symptoms remember contents that were excluded from one’s own biography or the family story. Deep down of the exclusion is an excessive demand in a traumatic situation in which you did not have sufficient resources to address this issue in a good way. The exclusion is a form of self-protection to survive. The experience is that these unresolved contents do not keep quiet, but are shown in the body or sometimes enter in later generations as children or grandchildren and show up as symptoms. In this aspect, an important limit is the customer himself: to what extent is it possible for the customer to open his heart to what he lives in the constellation. Finally, it is an integration process. You also have to say that it is a step-by-step procedure and an approach to that what was formerly experienced as dramatic and traumatic. It is about the freeing of the force that was tied up to the trauma and, ideally, this what was tied up will later become a special resource.

What role do you have as facilitator in the constellation?

When I got in touch with the constellations I was already firmly convinced that in cases where healing takes place, it is in the end self-healing. If you get to this point as a doctor, one has to ask himself, what can I actually do for the client? Perhaps, you succeed in creating an environment in which the forces of self-healing take effect perfectly. That was already my desire before and when I encountered the constellations, I realized that it is a good way to create this atmosphere of self-healing with a group. In the end, everything in the constellation is perception and attitude. The facilitator must be able to create an environment with the group where everyone feels that he can open up and that nobody will judge you for what has been brought to light. This is a great responsibility of the facilitator. You also have to master the technique, you need a good perception and at the same time you should be with both feet on the ground. I would like to add something here. In my opinion, the working with constellation has one problem: you can constellate everything and there will always appear something. And sometimes the movements of the representatives can induce traumatic processes that later over-strain the client again and re-traumatize him. The facilitator should be trained to have a constant contact and a constant attention with the client, so that he can prepare everything that is showing up in the constellation for the client so that the client can integrate the important things. So, on one hand, the facilitator prepares the field as a gardener and promotes the growth processes, on the other side he acts as a mediator between the events of the constellation and the client so that the client can make a proper integration process.

Is there an experience that has impressed you in particular?

I want to share a case of a 35-year old man who was suffering of high blood pressure for three years. When I asked if something happened in his life three years ago, he said that the company where he was working suddenly went bankrupt and he had to find a new job, he confessed that he felt like “they had taken his life. ”
I asked if anything had happened in his relationship with his father. The patient was reluctant and said, “when I was 17, my father left my mother!” I asked if he was angry with him, “yes, because I had to take his position.” To not go into detail of his anger I chose to change to the objective level, “Often the hidden family dynamic of patients with hypertension is a love that is or has to be repressed.” The patient was moved by statement: “I always loved my father, but I felt that I was not allowed to because he had done so much damage to my mother. “At this point, I asked the patient to choose three representatives for his father, his mother and himself. The patient positioned his representative next to his mother and the father’s representative a little apart of both. When I asked the representatives to follow their impulses, the representative of the father turned his back to his wife and to his son resignedly. The impression was that he had no chance with his wife. The representative of the mother said it was too much and that her son was too close. She made a clear step back and felt noticeably better with the greater distance. The representative of the patient, however, followed immediately. The representative of the mother breathed again heavily when her son was at her side and took several steps back. When the son wanted to follow her, she gave him a serious look to make it clear that she did not want him to follow. Her family history revealed that the mother lost her father when she was five years old and with this loss on her history she found it hard to get tied up with her family and to allow closeness.

I turned to the patient and asked, who was always responsible for the difficulties in the relationship of your parents? He immediately answered: “My father!” I gave him time to reflect and I asked again: And what do you see reflected in the constellation? The patient replied, my mother. I asked the patient to look to his father and say, “Dear father, I’m sorry, I was not free!” He cried when he repeated the phrase. The father’s representative approached the patient instantly and embraced him. The patient cried in the arms of his father and held his hand to his heart. Again and again he said: It hurts a lot. The representative of his father grabbed him and said: “It’s good, everything is fine”, the representative of the mother was relieved watching at the child in the arms of his father. She looked at them both benevolently. At the end of the course, the man said: “As much as my heart ached in the arms of my father, something is resolved. Now I feel a lightness that I have never known before”.

This case shows an impressive change of perspective. Initially, the father was guilty and responsible for all the suffering and during the constellation the patient could see that it was related to the mother because she had lost her father so early. 

How I can know that it might be good for me to make a constellation?

There are several possibilities. You can read my book Even if it costs me my life, it is written as a journey and if you’re free to open the heart to the written processes, you activate processes in yourself and you can recognize where you are in a similar situation and what steps could be a solution for you. It was my desire to write this book as self-help book. There are many examples so that everyone can learn from the difficulties of others and, above all, find processes to solve problems. Ideally you participate as an observer in a group of constellations and examine these processes in greater detail from a safe distance and allow yourself to be moved. This will produce one or another question that will be important to you and for your own growth process.

Is there a healing attitude? If so, what is it?

In many cases it is about excluded content that is part of one’s own biography or the family history. My impression is that you can already start to establish changes in attitude if you open up to these taboo subjects, these difficult issues that are traumatic or heavy, benevolently from a safe distance and recognize them as realities. Finally, it is about accepting what happened with the consequences it had. Many diseases arise when someone holds on to a reality that is different from what reality really was, and if this fight against reality ends new spaces will open up in which healing processes can take place.

What role do you wish for constellations in the healthcare environment?

I think it’s a great tragedy today that you can write a clinical history for years or decades in a so-called “developed” country without anyone raising the question of what really happened in the family. Anyone can probably understand that the death of the mother during the own birth produces an emotion of incredible guilt in one’s life that can manifest in emerging of an illness or symptoms. My wish would be that a kind of “critical mass” is achieved so that a disease is no longer seen as a personal phenomenon, but perhaps as family dynamics, and above all that a form of “health education” comes into the schools to teach the children the importance that a disease can have on family systems and what would be the necessary treatment. Right now I am collecting keywords that are related to health in my opinion. The words that come into my mind spontaneously are identity, authenticity, connection and presence. For me, it would be revolutionary if these concepts were present in classrooms in relation to the appearance of diseases and perhaps also to the prevention of disease.

Is there anything you would like to add?

It is my great desire that the work of the constellations in the area of “Health and Disease” occupies its place and that the possibilities can be explored and the limits are recognized and that it has its place in therapy. I also want to thank Bert Hellinger for opening the way for this method.

Many thanks to Stephan Hausner for this interview!

The hidden dynamics in my family influenced my relationships and my way to look at the world in a way that did not serve me well. Looking at these hidden influences liberated me from any negative influence and transformed my life. What do you know about the hidden dynamics in your family?

I look forward to reading your comments below!

Do you want to read more? Check the post How to Become a Modern Heroine.

Copyright © 2014, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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You Have Impossible Dreams? Find Out About Four Secrets to Realize Them!

Beginning of 2013, I decided to realise an impossible dream. I set my intention to write my first book. Today, the manuscript is finalized, and the book will be published within the next couple of months. When I started this project, I was full of doubts and worries. Am I good enough as a writer? Will I be ever able to finish it? I had no idea what steps were necessary to publish a book, yet I kept moving forward, one tiny step after the other, embracing fears, doubts and worries as part of the process. Now, I know that everything will work out great.

I am sure that you also have impossible dreams, maybe they seem too big or unreachable. Perhaps a loving and intimate relationship? Or a new step in your career? Or the one-year sabbatical and the trip around the world? Maybe a move to another country or continent? It does not matter what your specific dream is and whether you believe that it is possible or not. If you can dream it, you can also achieve it. Dreams come to you because they are possible for you.

Here are four secrets that will support you in realizing your dreams:

Take small steps.

If you want to realize your dream, take one small step at a time. It does not matter how small it seems. Get rid of the expectations by when you want to achieve it – if you make it in 2014 it is great and also if you realize it within the next couple of years. Some projects are just so big that they need more than one year to be created. It is not about when you achieve it but that you achieve it.
You can start with visualizations and affirmations. When I decided to write a book, I saw the published book in my hands in my inner eye, and I said to myself each day positive affirmations like “I am a good writer”, “I can achieve everything I set my mind to”. I also put a collage at my wall that showed my written book. Visualizations and affirmations are powerful and magical allies in achieving our dreams, and they are the smallest step you can take to begin with.

Surround yourself with supportive people.

I learned that the people I am with have a major influence on my capabilities, this can be supportive for my dream or blocking it. It was a painful but precious experience. Now, I choose to relate with people who are supportive of my objectives and reduce contact with people who drag me down because it will not help me to achieve my goal.
To create your dream, surround yourself with people who believe that you can do it and avoid those who are negative and sceptical, e.g. if you want to open your heart and find true love, surround yourself with people who believe that this is possible and avoid people who are afraid to open their heart again and talk in a negative way about finding true love. Another way is that you look for positive role models, for people who have already achieved what you want to realize and learn from their experience. The more supportive your environment is, the easier it will be for you to move forward in realizing your dreams.

Ask for help.

When I started to write my book, I had no idea about the process, so I read books about it, then I participated in a program that supported me in writing and publishing the book, and I asked experts for help in specific areas where I needed support. It does not matter what my dream was, I experienced that asking for support can be the most powerful thing for me to do.

Sometimes, you may have no idea how you can achieve your dream and perhaps it had not worked out before. Maybe you already had several failed relationships and now want to create a loving and intimate relationship. If something does not work out in the first few tries, don’t give up! Don’t be afraid and don’t be shy, ask for help by an expert. This is not a sign of failure but of strength, and it can be a powerful and wise step that supports you in accomplishing your goals.

Stay positive.

While writing my book, there were moments when I felt overwhelmed, stuck, full of fear and panic that I will never make it. In these moments, I took a break, maybe for some hours, sometimes for some days. I spent some time in nature, or I had a coffee in a nice café, trusting that a solution would show up. One time, I felt so desperate that I prayed for a miracle. The next day, I received it.

If you want to achieve an important goal, it is likely that there will be moments when you feel overwhelmed and stuck, full of worries and doubts, or maybe paralyzed with fear. In these moments, the best thing you can do is to take a break. Don’t give up on your goal, but spend some time without working on it and relax. Change your focus and become aware of where you are right now and what you already have accomplished. Get rid of your expectations about where you should be and how it should be. The important thing is that you already have moved forward.
Praying can also be a powerful way to stay positive in times of fears and doubts. Pray for solutions, pray for support and I assure you that it will come. These moments of doubts will pass by as the clouds in the sky and when they have gone you have taken another important step to realize your dream.

It does not matter where you are right now – you can realize even your biggest dream! Nothing is impossible. Have patience and trust, and never give up. This way, you will realize your biggest dream.

What are your biggest dreams?

I look forward to reading your comments below!

Do you want to read more? Check the post In Wholeness, We Meet.

Copyright © 2014, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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Why Does The Heart Go Through So Much Heartbreak?

Some weeks ago, a client asked me this question: Why does the heart go through so much trauma and heartbreak?

It remembered me of the times when I asked this question myself. My heart had experienced heartbreak, hurt and pain, and this question made me feel hopeless and deeply frustrated in the past. I did not see a feasible way to get out of this pain, and it accompanied me for many years, even though in different forms. In my childhood, my family relationships were full of suffering and, as an adult, my romantic relationships seemed to be a repetition of, at least, part of the hurt and pain. I asked myself, Why does the heart go through so much suffering? many times, but it did not lead to a solution. One day, I saw that I was asking the wrong question, and I started to ask myself, What can I do so that I can let go of trauma, shock, hurt and pain so that I will attract a healthy relationship? And suddenly, I saw new perspectives, and I found out that I had the power to heal my heart and get out of this painful circle.

Here are my recommendations so that you can let go of pain, trauma, shock and suffering and create a healthy relationship:

Connect to your dreams.

Most everyone wants a healthy, depth-of-their-heart true love relationship. Yet, many of us have deep wounds that need to be healed to experience this. Use the power of your dreams to motivate you to heal yourself and your heart so that you can attract the relationship you want. You deserve a healthy relationship, and you have the power to create it. See your past pain and suffering as a blessing because it showed you all that you do not want and transform it into joy and happiness by defining what you really want. It does not matter what happened in your past, you can now create the relationship you really want. Imagine how would be your life in a healthy, depth-of-your heart true love relationship? Imagine how would you feel if you really have attracted it? Never give up on your dream and use its power to motivate you on your healing journey.

Create a loving relationship with yourself
.

Learn to love, honor and respect yourself. This way, you will develop a healthy self-esteem, which is vital to a healthy relationship. Loving yourself is an inner process. It allows you to be authentic and speak your truth, to say “no” when you want to say “no” and to leave a relationship that violates your boundaries. It also supports you to enjoy life as a single person until the intimate love relationship that you desire becomes real. Be loving with yourself because the relationship with yourself is the most important one you will have in your life and the way you treat yourself can influence the way how your partner treats you.

Become a complete person.

Heal your childhood wounds and other negative experiences of your past and become complete. Learn to be aware of your needs and start to fulfill them by yourself. You are now an adult and able to fulfill your needs by yourself. This means that you are independent, and you can consciously choose the relationships that you want to have. And it empowers you to decline relationships that produce suffering. You may not be able to avoid short-term pain but you protect yourself from further long-term suffering.

Learn about new realities.

Your reality is shaped by your experiences. What type of relationships did you experience as a child? I only had painful experiences, and I thought that all relationships were struggle and suffering. As an adult, I learned that there are other realities. Healthy relationships do exist and creating them isn’t a mystery. Behaviors and attitudes that nourish a positive, joyful relationship can be learned. Look for positive relationships in your family or in your circle of friends. Look for stories about positive role models and create your picture of a healthy relationship and say no to relationships that do not comply with your picture.

Always remember that you are the most important person in your life, and you deserve to be loved, honored and respected, by yourself and your partner. If you have a loving relationship with yourself, this will protect you from staying in relationships that produce continuous suffering and it will give you the strength to leave these relationships. This way, you open the door so that better opportunities can arrive.

I look forward to reading your comments below!

Do you want to read more? Check the post Do you know your worth?

Copyright © 2013, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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Can She Really Make It?

Once upon a time, there was a little cat who travelled around the world. She had sparkling eyes and was full of positive energy. She stayed in amazing countries, made new friends, and her dream was to help others from the depth of her heart. After years of travelling, she came back home and stayed with the other cats of her tribe, still inspired by the many cultures she got to know and the many languages she spoke. She wanted to share her wisdom.

One day, she received the opportunity to talk in front of hundreds of other cats and to help them. She was thrilled, yet also fearful. Would I be able to make it well? Will I be really able to help others? What if I fail? were the doubtful thoughts that ran in her head. Insecure about her capabilities, she asked her aunt for advice. Her aunt was a huge gray cat that was always a bit discontent about her own life, but did not want to change anything. When the little cat came to her, she sat majestically in her padded chair. The little cat asked her, “Dear aunt, I have a question. I received an offer to hold a speech in front of hundreds of cats. Do you think that I will be able to do this?” Her aunt looked at her, disapprovingly and thought, she has not deserved this opportunity; I never have received an opportunity like this, while she said aloud: “Well, I don’t think that you will be able to make it. I don’t see you as a public speaker.” The little cat’s smile disappeared and all her courage went away. How should I be able to do it if my aunt does not believe in me? I should give up. With her head down, she left her aunt and wondered through the streets without destination. She looked around, and saw some kitten playing. As always, they beckoned her over, but she just shrug her head from one side to the other. She wasn’t in the mood to play because she was too disappointed. She felt worthless, just like being nothing. During the next days, she withdrew more and more from her friends and family. She looked around and everything had changed. The leaves of the trees had lost their fresh green and the flowers their colors, everything was gray. She was convinced that she could never realize her dream.

One afternoon, she wondered around and sat down under a majestic old tree with huge branches and roots to take a rest. Suddenly, there was a bright rainbow colored fairy in front of her face. She asked the little cat, “Why are you so sad?” The little cat told her the story. The fairy listened to her mindfully. When the little cat had finished, she said: “This comment wasn’t fair. You have so much light and love to give. Forget about what others say about you, believe in you. Don’t worry, you will do it well and you will make it better each day. Speak from the heart, be who you are.” The little cat was still disbelieving, “But my aunt said that I would not be able to do it. She knows me well.” And the fairy continued, “Never let other people define what you are capable of doing. It is normal to have fear if you start a new adventure. Don’t allow your fears to guide you. If the universe offers you an opportunity like this, you are perfectly well prepared for it. Just take the first step, and you’ll find your way. Each time, you will make it better. And always remember, if you need help, I’ll always sit at your shoulder.” And she softly touched the little cat on her left shoulder and disappeared. The little cat decided to give it a try. She had nothing to lose, but all to win.

One week later, she went on the stage and walked towards the speaker’s desk. She could hardly breathe. Then, she looked up and saw into the eyes of hundreds of cats. Oh, my god, I’ll never make this. What will they think about me? Her hands started to shake. “Don’t worry about what they think about you. Believe in you. Just tell your story.” The fairy whispered into her ear. The little cat took a deep breath and started. She could hear her voice trembling. No, I won’t give up; I have something valuable to share, she told herself silently, and she continued. Suddenly, she had forgotten about the other cats and just told her story as she always wanted to tell it. When she had finished, she didn’t dare to look up. She had given her best, but was it good enough?

There was silence in the room. Then, she heard a voice from the back, “Thank you”, and another “Thank you” from the front row, suddenly, many “Thank you”  echoed in the room. She looked up and saw that the other cats were standing and applauding her. She had tears in her eyes and did not know what to do. Then she saw the little fairy sitting at a lamp by her left side. She had a big smile on her face and made little jumps out of joy. The little cat smiled at her and said, “Thank you. Without you, I never would have made it.” The fairy twinkled, “That’s why I am here.”

That day, the little cat started to believe in herself, and she knew that the little fairy would help her whenever she had doubts.

I look forward to reading your comments below!

Do you want to read more? Check the post Do you have impossible dreams? Find out how to realize them.

 

Copyright © 2013, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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What if Your Relationships are Complex…?

Do you sometimes spend hours thinking about how your partner might react before you do something? Or do you create scenarios in your mind about what your partner might think or feel?

Just a while ago, I sat in a lovely restaurant with my friend who had recently fallen in love. I listened to her discourse about how her partner might react if she’d would do this or that. Her explanation about his world was full of doubts and worries, possibilities, twists and turns. Silently, I wondered how she could know his feelings, thoughts and needs without ever having asked him. Half an hour later, there was still no conclusion what she should do and I asked her, What do you really want to do? Her answer came quickly and was simple, I want to call him. Suddenly, everything was clear.

In the past, I spent hours thinking about the reactions of my partner before I decided what to do, or I created my own interpretations why he reacted in a specific way, and I never checked with him whether it was really like this or not. Since he meant a lot to me, I wanted to do it “right” but my relationship became complicated. I wasted my time and energy, and I learned that it did not work that way.

How can you simplify your relationships?

Here are some basics that helped me to understand the world of relationships better and that made my relationships simpler:

Each person has a different inner world

The truth is that each person has their own “reality” of the world. This means that each person perceives and experiments the world in their own way, with their experiences, feelings and thoughts and they create their own inner world. Just to give you an example: My sister and I have completely different memories about our childhood. She does not even remember moments that have been significant and highly emotional for me and vice versa even though we experienced both the same situations. Each person has a unique inner world. In your relationship, you have your world, and your partner has another world. You are expert in understanding your world but you will never really know what is going on in your partner’s inner world. Your partner is the expert for their inner world. So, stop thinking about what might be going on in their inner world.

Explore your partner’s world with curiosity

Instead of thinking about what your partner might think, feel or need, ask them. Be just like a tourist who is visiting a foreign country, in this case your partner’s inner world, and explore it with curiosity, just like a treasure map. I once coached a good friend and during the coaching process she suddenly revealed me dreams she had never mentioned before because she feared that I would judge her. I was deeply touched and surprised by the beauty of her inner world. Explore their world without judgement, ask them questions to get to know them better, and you may find precious jewels you never expected. The inner world of your partner might be a surprise to you. There will be things you like and others you dislike. It doesn’t matter how long you know each other, people can change overnight and their inner worlds, too. So, it is always worth to explore your partner’s world.

Let go of control

We can’t control what will happen in the relationship. It will happen what is supposed to happen. It does not make sense to create “what if” scenarios in your head because you cannot control how your partner will react. The more you try to control, the more complex the relationship gets. Don’t try to please the other person. There is no need to. You can just be who you are. Sometimes, you may have the same needs as your partner, and often you will have different ones. There is no right and wrong; the needs of both of you are equally important. Negotiate a creative solution that fits you both if you have different needs. Trust and allow your relationship to flow.

Be authentic

Show your partner who you really are. Be honest about yourself. Speak your true voice. Share your feelings, dreams, needs and fears. Respect your boundaries and say “no” when you want to say now. A relationship requires a deep connection between two people, and this is nurtured by authenticity and honesty.

Applying these basics in your relationship is a process, you don’t have to fulfill them all today, you don’t have to make is perfect. Important is that you make small steps and practice them with joy.

What do you want to try out today?

Do you want to read more? Check the post 4 Easy Ways to Say No.

I look forward to reading your comments below!

Copyright © 2013, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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