Anya Piatkowska: Slovenia is a perfect place to reset and redefine what really matters in life!
After spending more than a decade in London where the last few years she had worked as a professional personal development facilitator, Polish national Anya Piatkowska moved to Slovenia with her husband and two children. In a very short time she became a central figure of the Grow.International.Slovenia platform, where she is using her best knowledge and skills to coach and help people reach their potential and achieve their life goals. The aim of the group is also to connect individuals and encourage them to support each other. We are happy Anya found time to answer our questions.
Head photo: Anya visiting the Tolmin Gorge, Slovenia
What was the reason or reasons for your decision to move to Slovenia?
After living 22 years in Poland, 2 years in Ireland and 12 years in London I had this huge urgue to move again. But I wasn’t really sure where to. In London I met Kristina, who is an amazing Slovene jazz singer and a vocal coach. This friendship inspired my 5 day visit to Slovenia in May 2017. In August the same year I was already moving here with my family.
Slovenia felt like my soul home and I had a very strong feeling I just needed to be here. My both children were really happy to be in Slovenia, too.
Obviously this was a huge and crazy change, as my London friends used to say at the time. Because of our self development tools, as a family we have managed to settle down here pretty well. We are using these tools not only to survive, but also in order to have a life which we really want. I am not saying it is always easy. But if you have the right habits and the right approach, it is quite simple and straightforward.
The two of us met at the very first Grow.International.Slovenia group meeting in Ljubljana, after I saw your Facebook post/call. How would you describe the group’s developement since then?
I am really happy we met through the Grow.International.Slovenia group! The group is getting into shape. With almost 300 open minded, positive and unique members we are figuring out what the community is about and building a platform for those who want to grow, cooperate and have fun together.
My aim is to equip individuals who would like to embrace any kind of change in their personal or business lives, with the tools like: adaptibility, persistence, consistence, self esteem, communication and realationship building skills. But most of all to equipe them with the confidence of making the right choices, on many different levels. Where the focus goes, energy flows!
Where does the group meet, can anyone join, how are the meetings structured?
So far, 4 events took place here in Ljubljana: networking plus mini self development. With the group we brainstormed on how to grow confidence, how to clarify our personal dreams and how to create the life we want to have. Overall, we had fun, growth time and in some cases we also started to cooperate with each other after the meetings. A few times we met at this great place called Zifeblat. But it closed down, and we are looking for another spot/cafe for our future group meetings.
An expat living in Slovenia or a local here – everyone is very welcome to join, share and exchange their international and/or local experienece on how to grow personally and in business.
This group is a lot about self development, so this is why it is really imoportant to be open minded. Not only to bring the issues to the group, but MOST importantly, to creatively and positively brainstorm about the practical solutions.
Where do you want to go with this platform?
The main purpose of this group is to connect the international and the local people’s experience. Networking, socializing and growing together – getting used to the habbit of finding solutions collectively, instead of just moaning about problems. By meeting people personally, hearing their stories, seeing their passions and finding out about their experiences, we can learn so much from each other. Plus we can share a good word about each other to people we know. It will cause a domino effect.
»I really want to gather and connect people who want to be the change in the world. I wish that Grow. International. Slovenia will be a nest for creative and cooperative people, who will constantly strive to change passive negativity to the active positivity with their own example!«
As an experienced international facilitator, what would you say are the greatest chalenges of facilitating such a group here in Slovenia comparing to London?
The main challange – but obviously it is just my personal feeling for now, is that poeple in Slovenia are not very trustworthy about self development, yet. Or maybe not as much as people in London. In London self development is like the first aid kid, the most important step in creating consciouss, successful and happy life!
If people support each other personally, and/or in businesses – with what they already have and do, instead of focusing on what they are missing – we all benefit. For example, if you need a good hairdresser/handyman/mechanic/therapist and your friend happens to know one, you would probably not choose a random person from the internet for such services.
Do you usually get any feedback from the participants?
Costructive feedback is a key to opening many doors. For example, after the first Grow.International.Slovenia meeting someone told me I exposed myself too much in front of the group because I shared information that I am looking for a work opportunity here in Slovenia … Yes, I was succesful in my coaching business in London. But since I just moved to a new country, with two children, not knowing the language and not having friends here I had to start from the beggining. This made me realize I didn’t explain the idea of the group clear enough. Another feedback I got recently after an individual meeting when someone thanked me a lot for a motivation to change a not very satisfying job.
Both of the feedbacks are valuable to me. But of course I have my own filters for feedback. Grow. International. Slovenia is not about showing yourself off, and then secretly looking for a solution to your daily challanges somewhere else. It is all about bringing the nurturing problems, and collectively finding solutions.
I also created ‘Art of Simple Life Managment‘ model, to help my clients master the idea of ‘KEEP IT SIMPLE & ENJOY LIFE TO THE FULLEST’. You can read about it on my website or find my posts on Instagram.
Is the positive attitude something people can learn and how? Is there any special »method« of dealing with negativism?
This is an extremly important question and this is what I love about self development. You can learn the tools to awake your mind potential, heart energy, grow confidence, communication or relationship building skills etc.
Most of us are being raised in families, societies, education systems where it seems more common to complain about what we don’t have, instead of appreciating what we already have or we have already achieved. I know this from my own experience. I was raised in a similar belief-system in Poland. But I changed it. You are what you believe in. Spending the same amount of energy for moaning can be used for creating the life we want!
Positive attitudes are definitely learnable skills and these are the most important skills for life. Unlearning the non supportive habbits, ‘CAN’T DO’ attitudes and replacing them with more beneficial ones for our general well being.
Join Grow.International.Slovenia on Facebook through this link.
Interview by Marijana of Let’s Go Slovenia