The Saviour Syndrome

Apparently my life is full of “themes” that seem to haunt me until I’ve understood the message or learned the lesson. Lately, the theme is the “saviour syndrome“. This is a name I invented for it, inspired by one of my favorite models in psychology, the “drama triangle“.  What do I mean when I say I’m “haunted” by a theme? It’s as if life really wants me to get that idea and keeps sending me people and situations that confront me with that particular topic, forcing me to wrap my mind (and heart) around it in as many ways as I need in order to really get the message. Lately, the topic of “saving” others has kept popping up in my life quite a lot. The “saviour syndrome” as I call it, is not about that altruistic impulse of saving someone’s life when they’re in danger, nor is it about helping others in general. When being helpful turns into a “syndrome”, it’s clear that you’ve started falling into a potentially harmful habit. In a world most of us consider full of selfishness and self-centeredness it’s amazing how many people fall under the other extreme – that of obsessing about helping all those close to them, making themselves responsible for everything and everybody and blaming themselves for everybody else’s misfortune or failure. I know a lot of people who have taken it upon themselves to help their children, spouse, friends, to guide them (even against those people’s will), to always do “what’s best” for them – even at the expense of their own happiness and, sometimes, even at the expense of the happiness of the very own people they are so hard trying to help. If you are still not sure of what I’m talking about, just think of yourself and all those close to you. You might just discover that you have at least one person around you who is manifesting symptoms of the “saviour syndrome”. Such symptoms may include: Excessive involvement in other...

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The Art of Feeling Good

Today I woke up with a song playing in my head. This is the song: [youtube g_ig1gkgoQc]  As it’s my bad habit to think too much about everything, I did it again and I thought a little bit more about this, just in case there was an opportunity here to learn something new about myself. Why this song? Why today? What I realized was that it’s part of a theme I’ve been actually pondering upon for some time now. Where does “feeling good“, “being happy“, “living life to the fullest” really come from? Does it come from outside of us? Lately I have started stumbling upon more and more resources pointing out that the answer lies within, not outside of us. That, in itself, is nothing new. What was new to me was the idea that if you want to reach that source of inner joy and peace, you first have to gather the courage to confront yourself with all your negative emotions – sorrow, fear, rage, sadness, despair, guilt –  live through them instead of running away from them or drowning up in them. I am now reading a book by Richard Moss, a doctor turned visionary thinker and teacher. The book is called “The Mandala of Being – Discovering the Power of Awarenes“. It basically analyzes where we go when we run away from ourselves. And he says there are 4 places where our minds take us – the past, the future, the notion of “me” and the notion of “you”. This he calls “the mandala of being”. At the center of it is “Now” or “the Beginning”. There is a wonderful metaphor he uses, that really helped me understand what he means when he says we are all more than our memories of the past, our hopes for the future, or our judgements about ourselves and others. The metaphor goes like this: All our thoughts and feelings are like kites in the sky. They fly on the sky of our beings....

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7 Things I Am Grateful For In 2011

It is said that every 7 years we end a life cycle and begin a new one. There is a lot of mystique surrounding these 7 year cycles and I never really paid attention to it until this year. 2011 marked the end of a 7 year cycle in my life and it was indeed a very surprising year – a cornerstone on so many levels. It was a year full of emotion, self-discovery, transformation and growth. If I were to sum it up, I’t say it was the year of endings, beginnings and small miracles. And now, as the end of the year is drawing near, I can’t help but think of all the things that I am grateful for. There are many, but here are my top 7 reasons to say thank you! 1. Mind Learners – a dream come true A very important stage in my professional life ended this year. I decided to give up the safety of my corporate job and took a leap of faith, pursuing my dream of creating training and coaching programs with the brain in mind. And this led to the birth of Mind Learners – a dream come true. To me, this is much more than a professional change or an entrepreneurial adventure – it is an essential part of a larger, deeper personal mission. Mind Learners is the gateway to fulfilling what I feel is my vocation – pointing out a doorway towards self-discovery for others, and becoming more of myself in the process. 2. Finding myself This was the year when I reached a very important milestone in my own journey towards self-discovery. I finally realized what “self-actualization” means – it’s not about achieving something or becoming someone, but about rediscovering who you already are. I have come to believe that we all have in us the seeds of the best version of ourselves – we only need to look inside, face ourselves with all our inner lights and our shadows, accept ourselves for who we...

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Who Am I?

This past week I facilitated a workshop for a group of managers, and tried to change what I usually do in the beginning, when people introduce themselves – I asked them some challenging questions, aimed at making them think and making the “introductions” part more interesting for everyone. There was one question in particular that turned out to be a real challenge – although I hadn’t intended it to. The question was: “Who are you?”.  I had written this question on the introductory slide without really thinking about its deep meaning, and I was surprised at people’s reaction to it. Many identified themselves with their daily roles – manager, father, wife, friend, economist. Others mentioned personal qualities that defined them: goodness, honesty, openness, curiosity. Some said, openly, that they didn’t really know who they were, that they were still searching and discovering themselves every day. Listening to them got me thinking about myself and this question. Who am I? I realized I have been striving to answer this question all my life. There have been times when I thought I was getting close to finding the answer, and there were times when I felt like a visitor in my own life – as if I didn’t belong there, as if my home were somewhere else, but I had no clue where. In time, I became friends with this never-ending dilemma – Who am I? In doing so, I discovered something very important. I realized what I am NOT and that is something I would like to share with you. YOU are NOT your roles in life! I learned that I am so much more than my roles. I am not only a daughter, a sister, a friend, a trainer, a coach, a woman… All these are roles I take on every day – roles that I cherish, that are part of me, that make me feel alive and connected. They are part of my identity. But not a single one of them is ME –...

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About Synchronicity And Other Lessons I Learned This Year

The last month of the year is fast approaching and, with it, the first anniversary of my blog. Writing this blog has become more than a habit, it’s grown into an amazing communication line between my mind and yours, between my heart and that of all of you, who read my articles. All throughout the year I shared my readings with you, the lessons I learned from the wonderful people I meet in my work, as well as some of my own insights and “eureka” moments. The blog grew, my readership base grew and I grew along with it. This year has been perhaps the most transformational one of my existence, on so many levels, a real turning point towards the kind of life I believe I should be living – one where I am constantly in touch with myself, staying true to myself in everything I do. Along the way I have met some incredible people, some of whom have become my friends and stayed on with me on my journey, others who have touched my life for a brief moment and went their own ways, not before teaching me some important lesson that I really needed to learn from them. Without further a due, here are the most important lessons I learned this year: 1. Synchronicity The Universe tends to send our way those people and those experiences we need the most at that particular stage in our personal development. As I started to pay more attention to such “coincidences”, they started occurring more and more often, every time leaving me bewildered and a little bit wiser. Synchronicity brought my way people who taught me about compassion, about empathy, about tolerance for others’ points of view, about giving without expecting something in return. Synchronicity intervened whenever I was in doubt and didn’t know which way to go – somehow, someway, something happened that put me right back on track. The most important thing I learned about synchronicity is that it’s most likely to...

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