once you understand what it means it will change your life

“I am” is a significant word. I explored it through photography.

I am – a deep understanding of this word can change your life. “I am” is one of the more significant words.

Notice that when you ask yourself what “I am” means, a feeling arises. You feel something inside you. Isn’t it interesting?

Of course, you know you are and it goes without saying. But try to understand and feel it more deeply.

Stand with your feet on the ground and think “I am.” Repeat the word in your mind several times. Start walking with that awareness of “I am.” You can also run or dance with “I am”. Check how you feel and what you feel when you realize the meaning of the word.

I feel joy. And gratitude.

When you understand with all your heart the meaning of “I am,” it can change your life. So, please do experience. Knowing something and experiencing it are two different things.

“I am” – with this awareness everyday life is better. You notice more around you and enjoy it more. Gratitude awakens in you, which brings positive energy. It helps you live with a lighter heart.

Hardship and pain are part of life. They cannot be avoided. Thanks to them, we make effort and achieve something. We keep developing. But we have a choice to see consciously what gives lightness, relief, comfort, and what gives a sense of power at the same time.

“I am” is a powerful word.

To understand and see it better, you can go for a walk and photograph the topic “I am”. You don’t need to know in advance how to do this. Ideas will come. Walk, look around you and you will discover an unlimited source of wisdom, creativity and joy. Below are my photos of “I am”.

Inspired by Mooji.

All text and photos on this website are © Copyright 2018-2021 by Dorota Raniszewska; All Rights Reserved

About the author: Dorota Raniszewska – certified professional coach, EMCC Coach and Mentor – Senior Practitioner, accredited coach Izba Coachingu, certified trainer, author of the book “ONE IMAGE – MANY WORDS. Photography in personal development, healing and education. Notes from a personal journey”.

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living in peace and returning to harmony

Peace is inside you like deep in the ocean.

Peace is inside you like deep in the ocean.

I found it inside myself.

I can live in peace. I can return to harmony and rest whenever I need.

You can do as well.

There is something trans-material in the heart of our existence. As people, we suffer. We struggle. We strive for. There are also moments of joy, fulfillment and rest.

There is no life without difficult moments, or emotions that are unpleasant. Nevertheless, we are able to transcend them. We admire the beauty of nature. We find trust in an unknown future. Hope, beauty, pleasure give us a sense of freedom and lightness to life. And we can learn to find peace inside us. It resides deep within our hearts.

I will tell you my story of discovering peace. I was looking for it. I was looking for a way to find it in everyday life. I practiced body and movement awareness, meditation and breathing. But in fact, Mooji taught me how to find harmony inside my heart. I understood that peace begins inside me. I found a way to return to it. And I’m writing about it today.

When I feel tired, anxious, restless, confused, when I feel that too much is going on in my head, then I lie down. I close my eyes. I put all my thoughts aside. And I lie there for 10 minutes. I am resting.

When I find peace inside myself, I feel it around me as well. I am in the space of my peace. It begins inside the heart. You can feel it there.

But let’s go deeper into it.

What does it mean to put all my thoughts aside?

It means that I don’t think and put aside plans to be carried out, “to-do” lists, urgent and important things, missions, concerns, desires, needs, assessments. Thoughts will come back. The mind does not sleep for long. Believe me, thoughts will not fade away. So you can put them aside for a few minutes. They can wait.

Also, abandon any relaxation techniques, or motivational thoughts. And for a moment you are just as if empty. You rest in silence and emptiness. You are doing nothing. You simply are.

This is not meditation. It is just resting. Just like animals do on a hot day. You can even keep your eyes open. You are fully aware and you are present.

Notice that when you are in this ‘just-being‘ and don’t think, then you don’t feel any pressure. There is no judgement. There is no rush. There is nothing that makes you uncomfortable. You feel comfortable.

After a few minutes, get up. You will feel when you want to get up. Your body will be relaxed and your mind will be clearer.

I do it every day – even several times a day. Nothing is needed – no gadgets, equipment, techniques. Just allow yourself to put your thoughts aside for a few minutes and be.

This is how you will improve the quality of you life.

 I learned to rest on demand.

 I encourage you – try it. Don’t say ‘I know it’. Knowing and experiencing are two different things.

Experience it now.

 I wish you a real discovery of WHAT is perhaps the most important in life. When you discover peace and harmony within you, you will feel it all around you. There is gentleness, love and sense of security in it.

 This is the power of peace.

living in peace and returning to harmony

Photo by Maria Lupan on Unsplash

All text and photos on this website are © Copyright 2018-2021 by Dorota Raniszewska; All Rights Reserved

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When you ask your coaching client to look for his or her Most Important Photo, they will reflect on what matters to them in life.

This article is going to be a coaching exercise for me 😉. Why? I’m pretty good at spreading ideas and sharing my knowledge but I’m less good at celebrating success and showing great feedback received 😊. Sometimes I’m too busy and run fast forward, but many times, I’m simply having this kind of inner dialogue which you might know about modesty, temperance and letting things speak for themselves. 

But this time, there is a special occasion. It is about coaches feedback received after the ‘Photography in Coaching. Making the Future Visible’ presentation at the EMCC Global Coaching, Mentoring and Supervision conference that took place recently. 

Together with my colleague, Bara Belova who is a manager, mentor and coach we challenged ourselves to demonstrate a live coaching session on ‘The Most Important Photo’ – which is a coaching process that I’ve been developing based on the use of client personal photos and the model of neurological levels.

And here is what some of the conference participants shared:

This sort of topic can be filed under ‘Creative Stuff’ all too often. The use of personal visuals in our lives today is part of our everyday conversation; whether that be a visual or spoken exchange. This is so relevant to all natures and approaches to coaching. 

My comment: Yes, indeed. The experience shows that clients personal photos are very useful in all coaching niches, i.e.:

  • life coaching – think about personal resources that are visible in the photos,
  • executive coaching – think of values that drive behaviours and leadership style,
  • career coaching – think of profile photos that are our public messages about our uniqueness,
  • relationship coaching – think of emotions and thoughts that relationship photos can evoke,
  • wellbeing – think of taking photos as mindfulness practice or creative thinking,
  • team integration and coaching. 

Also, active taking of photographs is an excellent way to facilitate people communication and exchange of ideas, especially when there is a need to think out of the box and to speak beyond language limitations. 

I found this very thought-provoking and powerful. I have been incorporating pictures and art into my coaching over the last year and will use ‘The Most Important Photo’.

My comment: It’s so nice to read that other coach also uses photos. Many use ready decks of photos to stimulate thinking and communication. I’m happy that you are inspired to use this process of the Most Important Photo. The use of clients’ personal photos is something unique in terms of connecting to the true self.

Learning a new way to help the client tap into his/herself was very helpful. Especially in this day and age of “selfies.

My comment: Well, yes. Memories and emotions triggered by our personal photos remind us of parts of ourselves that we might forget in a daily race. A simple photo from holidays, work, graduation, family home or the one we took and are proud of, can be very insightful in talking about what matters to us in life generally. And authenticity is a meaningful topic today.

Great appreciation to Bara for being willing to act as a coachee and great appreciation to Dorota for taking us through the coaching exercise. Using the personal photo was very inspiring. Thank you

My comment: It was an act of openness and courage. But we also benefited a lot from it. We learned a lot. I think that the session we presented was the most reflected one I ever had. Also, we were supported by the EMCC team in all the preparatory tasks, including the pre-recorded session, conference papers, promotional interviews. The work that was done by the EMCC team to organise this conference deserves the highest admiration and gratitude. 

True coaching, thus very relevant!! 🙂

Insightful, innovative, valuable. Loved this session thank you both!

One more thing to share maybe. Besides the conference presentation, we also prepared a conference paper dedicated to ‘The Most Important Photo’ and the power of photography in coaching. I will be happy to share it with you. If it is of interest to you, send me an email at dorota@photo-in-coaching.com

Here are some of my quotes from the conference paper:

Photography assists us from birth on in all we create in life based on our dreams and hopes, strengths, relationships and achievements.

Photographs mirror, materialize and document the experiences of human life – our biography. They make it easier to connect to what matters to us. They trigger memories and provide a lot of material for the thinking process.

The Most Important Photo connects you to something meaningful in your life and to the essence of who you are and what is your core life experience. It is one of the important photos that are kept to remember important moments and people in life.

When you ask your coaching client to look for his or her most important photo, they will reflect on what matters to them in life.

If you wish to learn more about photography in coaching, you can reach my book ‘ONE IMAGE – MANY WORDS. Photography in personal development, healing and education. Notes from a personal journey. It is available here

Thank you for reading this article.

Dorota Raniszewska – certified professional coach, EMCC Coach and Mentor – Senior Practitioner, accredited coach Izba Coachingu, certified trainer, author of the book “ONE IMAGE – MANY WORDS. Photography in personal development, healing and education. Notes from a personal journey”.

All text and photos on this website are © Copyright 2018-2021 by Dorota Raniszewska; All Rights Reserved

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Take a walk on the windowsill

There was a storm that day. It was raining. 

During the rain, you can take a break to sit on the balcony or windowsill and watch the rain. Drink your tea slowly. Taste it with pleasure. Observe what’s outside the window.

Look up to the sky and the ground under your feet. Enjoy the view. Be happy that you can see a colourful world, hear birds, feel fresh air, wind, temperature.

A moment of rest and slowness – such a “walk on the windowsill”.

It may seem that everything has come to stillness. But when you watch mindfully in silence, you notice that the birds are singing, the branches in the trees are swaying, the air is slightly undulating like water. Everything is moving, but it is moving slowly.

“Slowness” is a small but significant word.

Plant a plant, water it, give it care, love, time, light, attention and it will grow. You will appreciate it after some time. Maybe you have plants on your balcony or windowsill that you care for every day. They grow over time, and you appreciate them more and more.

It may take many years for the plant to grow. And this allows us to see that time is something that helps us grow, mature and calm down in life. You learn to appreciate the time.

Many people say that time is money. Are you sure? Time is duration, development, life.

So often people are focused on finishing something, closing it up, bringing it to an end. But do they notice that life is going on? Do they enjoy what they are doing before they finish it?

Life goes on and now is the time to enjoy it because we are and live in a beautiful world that we can admire and enjoy.

Life is not just about closing, delivering. Life wants openness from us. Let nature guide you at least a little. Listen to the wind, look at the waves, the river current, watch the rain outside – it calms you down. When you look at the cornfields waving in the wind or the river or listen to the murmur of the forest, you return to yourself, to your soul. And that’s enough for you to feel good.

So let nature guide you from time to time. Notice that our Mother Earth offers what we need to live.

Below a photo from my walk on the windowsill.

Photo by Eduard Militaru on Unsplash

All text and photos on this website are © Copyright 2018-2021 by Dorota Raniszewska; All Rights Reserved

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“Sunrise – My moment of the Day” and a photo on my desk

I took this photo during a bird-watching at sunrise with my son. It shows “My moment” of the day 🍀 – it is when I’m in nature at sunrise, observing how the world wakes up, listening to delicate sounds of early morning and bird voices, feeling the fresh air. It is a moment of full connection when I feel to be truly a part of the universe.

And what is Your Moment?

Having the photo of “My Moment” on my desk helps me to relax during my working day. When I see it, I immediately feel a bigger space inside myself.

No rush. No stress. Life is the now.

I recommend you watch this film “Waves – A Portrait of Maria á Heygum“. It inspired me a lot some years ago and I have watched this film many times and share with many people. It helped me to put in words “MY Moment” 🙂

All text and photos on this website are © Copyright 2020 by Dorota Raniszewska; All Rights Reserved

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In pursuit of colours with my camera

“We only see what we look at.”

– John Berger “Ways of seeing”.

Spring has come but it is all grey and cold outside where I live. We have a lot of rain with snow, and the trees are not yet ready to blossom. But I desperately need colours of Spring to feel more joy and beauty. So I decided to go out every morning in pursuit of colours with my camera.

And I found them!

I can’t find words to describe my joy and satisfaction from doing that. But when you look at my photos you will probably imagine it.

So when you need to look for the sun, for the colours of life, for beauty to feel more hope and calm, just go out with your camera and look for it. And you will find what you are looking for. Attention follows intention. Just:

“Open your eyes, enjoy what you see and be mindful to it.”

– this is the quote from my book “ONE IMAGE – MANY WORDS.”

It is amazing how thoughts come and go and come again in a new light.

Thank you Life and the Universe.

All text and photos on this website are © Copyright 2020 by Dorota Raniszewska; All Rights Reserved

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“Becoming Visible to Yourself” – upcoming workshop

“Becoming Visible to Yourself – Photography in Coaching and Wellbeingis the title of the workshop that I will lead for the Finnish PhotoTherapy Association.

During this workshop participants will experience the power of personal photos in building positive narratives about themselves, understanding their needs, values and the essence of their life experience, of what makes sense for them in life. In a process of a self-reflection based on “The Most Important Photo” that is facilitated with the use coaching techniques and personal photographs, life achievements, relationships and character strengths become visible and expressed. I will teach how personal photos can be used to connect to inner wisdom, a sense of meaning and build bridges between past achievements and future possibilities.

The Most Important Photo? What is it? The Most Important Photo is a photo that the client is choosing deliberately from his or her photos that are kept to remember important moments and people in life. This is a photo connects you to something meaningful in your life and the essence of who you are and what is your life experience. It can be used as a gate for reflections about someone’s values, needs, future career choices, or life changes, etc. It is generic process.

During the workshop, I will also show two examples of using active photography to support wellbeing.

The first one is a case study from a one-to-one coaching process with a client who struggled with low energy in life and blocking self-beliefs. Daily morning photography and grounding practice helped the client to regain a sense of purpose, joy and self-drive in life. It resulted in significant changes for better in life.

The second one is a project reflecting my practice of photo-walks that I offer in order to support clients in connecting to themselves, supporting habits of self-care, finding joy in life.

I hope that I will start offering this workshop soon as an open-enrollment workshop!

thank to the photos express our admiration for the world every day and celebrate the joy of creation. 

All text and photos on this website are © Copyright 2020 by Dorota Raniszewska; All Rights Reserved

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The Forest and Our Wisdom – the Close-up project/ week #1

The first week of the Close-up project is behind us. It was dedicated to the virtue of Wisdom.

What were the photos taken by the participants of that project? Where did photo-walks take us? What did the old photos say to us about wisdom?

Many reflections were connected to trees and forests. Here are some of them.

Whoever you are, a man or a tree, wisdom is in all of us.

Trees teach us how to grow. The higher a tree grows, the deeper its roots go. As it grows upwards, it finds an anchor.

What’s in it for us, people? Let’s remember to ground ourselves as we move up. Find time to rest, reflect and learn from experience. Let the body-mind stay alone from time to time, far from noise, pressure and anything that prompts to move forward. Find an anchor in the breath, peace of mind, and quiet.

Go to the forest or to the park every day. Find space where you can meet yourself and listen to your inner voice in silence. The longer you listen, the more you will know.

“Spend some time alone each day.” The Dalai Lama

Below, you can see the slideshow of some of the photos taken as a reflection about Wisdom during the first week of the Close-up project and our photo walks.

And now, you can go out and take a walk yourself. Just let yourself travel. Find a moment to sit and reflect on your wisdom – how can develop and use your wisdom to live better and happier? What will you start doing, what will you continue doing and what will you stop doing based on what you know is best for you. How can you take a better care of yourself? And finally, what will you do in the the coming week in order to live wisely.

All text and photos on this website are © Copyright 2020 by Dorota Raniszewska; All Rights Reserved

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Orientation meeting: Take your first step on Photography in Coaching

On the 17th of May, I invite to an Orientation meeting about my Course on “Photography in Coaching”. During this meeting, you will learn details about how the Course is designed and rolled out. Here is the link to the registration: LINKParticipation is free :).

This is already for the 3rd time that I invite for this insightful event!

If you consider taking part in the Course, I really recommend you to join this Orientation meeting. It takes one hour and I share a lot of details about its design and roll-out. Also, you will learn several things about Photography in Coaching!

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The Life Photo Album and a Tree

“The roots are our family and important persons in our life. The trunk of the tree includes our strengths and skills that we have. The branches with the leaves are like all the things that we have done in our lives and we are proud of. The fruits are the emotions that we feel about our achievements. Life is like a tree that is alive in all seasons. In difficult situations, we have to connect to our emotions and also, to remember who we are and what we achieved.

I think that “The Life Photo Album” is a perfect tool to help people to understand their strengths and achievements.”

I received this nice and pictoresque reflection from Katerina Michael, a psychotherapist living and working in Cyprus, who attended the Course on “Photography in Coaching”. She was very inspired by the experience of the Life Photo Album Process. Thank you, Katerina.

All text and photos on this website are © Copyright 2020 by Dorota Raniszewska; All Rights Reserved

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