a space created to inspire your unique way to well-being through
physical movement, emotional awareness, mindfulness practice and play
Definition of barista
: a person who makes and serves coffee (such as espresso) to the public
Definition of innerista
: a person who intentionally creates life experiences by doing the inner work
Personal development for most people starts with getting unstuck.
Even if you try to jump directly into reaching your full potential in life, you will eventually face all underdeveloped, unloved, rejected and blocked parts of yourself. Getting familiar with them is not necessarily a pleasant experience, but it is an unavoidable part of the journey to your inner peace, self-acceptance, cultivating meaningful relationships, fulfilling jobs and balanced life.
Most of us strive to live better lives, whatever “better” might mean to each of us. At the same time:
- You can be extremely wealthy financially, surrounded by people you love and still be deeply insecure.
- You can have external life circumstances that look like a dream to most people and still feel lonely and empty.
- You can receive tons of compliments about your physical appearance every day and still feel unattractive and even ugly.
- You can have a healthy working environment, great colleagues and superiors, all the benefits in the world and still struggle to find a deeper sense of satisfaction at work.
- You can do all those nice things for yourself, practising self-love as recommended by the world known experts and still find it hard to really love and accept yourself.
Why are we the way we are?
In order to live an authentic, meaningful and abundant life, we need to look into our very personal and specific reasons of why we don’t live that life already. Whatever those reasons might be, one thing is for sure: it’s not only a coincidence or bad luck.
All of our unwanted and destructive habits have their own background stories and reasons to exist. They didn’t happen to us by magic.
We didn’t start biting our nails because they are so tasty, or start eating more than we need because food is really that irresistible. We don’t change partners or jobs every season because that’s so cool, and we don’t spend more than we earn because we really need more things and experiences.
So, why do we do everything we don’t really want to do?
Any habit that now seems as highly ineffective or inappropriate was most probably our best (and sometimes the only one) way to cope with our past life circumstances. Who knows what would have happened if we haven’t found our tricks to survive, the same tricks that we now judge and find hard to accept.
On the other hand, why aren’t we doing everything we really want to do?
Why don’t we exercise as much as we’d love to, eat more fresh food, sleep and rest enough, leave partners and jobs that are not a good match anymore (if ever)?
Every person has his or her own life story that eventually explains every habit, decision or belief they may have. That story is sometimes available as a clear memory stored in our brain, but sometimes the only way to access the root of our personal misery is to tune in with our physical body.
Everything that we’ve ever been through is somehow stored in our physical body, the only physical vehicle we are given for this lifetime. In time, from the moment we are created, our bodies get shaped by the experiences, emotions and conclusions we make about ourselves and about the world. When talking and feeling is not enough to transform the quality of our life experiences, it’s a good idea to include our bodies in the personal development journey.
The easiest way to access your body memory is to set your body in motion. Whether it be dancing, exercising, gardening or walking, the more present you become of the sensations in your body, the more insights will be available to you and the integration process will follow. It might get messy and uncomfortable: you might start feeling angry, disappointed, lonely, sad, empty, exhausted or frustrated. You might also have a purely ecstatic experience by feeling your own life force and energy flow. Feeling more is usually a good sign and should be celebrated even when the going gets tough.
Sometimes you’ll need to build your capacity to hold your feelings and at other times you’ll need to practice your ability to express yourself fully. If you haven’t been angry for years, you might be frightened by the idea of allowing your anger to finally come out (even in a safe space like a therapy room). Building a capacity to fully feel your anger and practising expressing it in a safe environment is a sustainable way to emotional freedom.
There’s nothing dramatic about feeling a full range of human emotions. Emotions do not define us – what we decide to do with them does.
Sometimes you’ll be able to understand how and why something has changed inside of you and sometimes it will feel like a blessing. That’s okay, because it’s not always about the intellectual understanding of the shifts that have happened. Sometimes it’s enough to receive one more bit of your personal puzzle that is getting you closer and closer to become an authentic and whole human being.
On this journey breath will be your best friend and the most patient teacher you’ll probably ever meet. Sometimes you’ll feel like travelling on your own, sometimes you’ll wish to join a group and at other times you’ll wish to work individually with someone who is skilled and trained enough to assist you.
How to start
There is no right or wrong way to start your inner work. It is happening in some form all the time, but usually our interest for more structured and guided work grows as we face uncomfortable experiences, personal crisis or loss.
If you’re more on the observer side and like to process things on your own, you are welcome to join public lectures and social media space.
Individual sessions are good option for more intense inner work.
Workshops are great way to meet others, make connections, exchange experiences and even realise that you’re not the only person on the planet dealing with a specific issue.
Whatever your preference might be, developing a daily ritual or personal practice will help you stay centred and more present during the day. Even the biggest insight will be forgotten unless it is put in practice because by doing so we’re allowing our brain to rewire itself and create a new way of processing our life experiences.
Pre-Accredited Member of European Association for Body Psychotherapy (EABP) and Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology
- Individual integrative body psychotherapy sessions
- Personal and professional experience in dealing with eating disorders
- De-armouring sessions
- Workshops and public lectures
- Innerista toolbox: Self-regulation
- Innerista toolbox: Radical moderation
- Innerista toolbox: Self-acceptance
- Innerista toolbox: Emotional freedom
- Deep transformation: Emotional and binge eating
- Deep transformation: Negative self-image
- How to waste your life: Perfectionism and inner criticism
- How to waste your life: Procrastination and self-sabotage
“I was one of those kids who grew up in a technically functional family. Years later I found myself living a technically functional life where externally I had everything most people usually want and yet I was completely miserable on the inside. My misery was kept secret for years and has manifested as a mix of eating disorders and a strong negative self-image. It was exhausting to live a double life, so I decided to find a way to live only one life – a good life.
“If your childhood experiences are really as important as psychologists say, how is it possible to get stuck so deeply while growing up in a seemingly pretty good environment?”, I was wondering at some point.
To discover what went wrong and to try to change my relationship with the food and myself I started seeing a Gestalt psychotherapist in my early twenties. I didn’t see the immediate results, but I felt that things were shifting and I liked that kind of support.
In my late twenties I felt ready to join The School for integrative personal development and therapy work at The Centre for Integrative Development in Zagreb, Croatia, a four-year training programme in integrative psychology, body psychotherapy and spirituality. Almost at the same time I’ve discovered a movement practice of 5Rhythms and haven’t stopped dancing ever since. The year 2012 will probably stay one of the most important years in my life. The following years spent in this intense training have shaped my new reality in which is much easier and more pleasant to simply be – me.
Integrative approach based on the body psychotherapy allows for all aspects of human existence to get in balance and fully develop. You can start your personal development work at any level – physical, emotional, intellectual or spiritual – because they are interconnected and eventually one change will initiate the next one until your whole being reaches the state of harmony.
More information about the training for integrative personal development and therapy work at The Centre for Integrative Development can be found on their website – here and here. The Centre for Integrative Development is a member of European Association for Body Psychotherapy.
In 2015 I’ve co-created a platform for personal development within The Association for Intentional Living (“Centar Svjesno življenje” in Croatian) in Zagreb, Croatia. Today all programmes in The Association for Intentional Living are coordinated by my dear colleague and friend Karolina Perišić and myself.
In 2017 I’ve moved to Dublin, Ireland and now I’m privileged to work with more diverse individuals who are dealing with everyday stress related disorders, lack of deeper connections in their personal relationships or culture shock after moving to a new cultural environment.
So far my group work was mostly focused on relationship with food, body and emotions. Positive body image, balanced eating habits, inner peace and feeling good in your own skin are possible no matter how stuck you are at the moment. Personal development for most people starts with getting unstuck, so pack your inner bags and become an innerista.”
If you’re interested in the individual sessions, workshops or lectures or you have any questions you are welcome to get in touch.