Be a gardener of your emotional garden: How to separate wheat from chaff

The scene attracted Zeljka Jelic as a ten-year-old insecure girl, because it gave her the opportunity to be “someone else”. Life circumstances prevented her from studying for this vocation, so she continued to act in the amateur theater “Stevan Sremac” in Crvenka.

The turning point was meeting and collaborating with Tibor Wade on the amateur play “Everything for the Garden” back in 2004, when this famous director offered her to play “Praise of Madness” by Erasmus of Rotterdam.

The desire for training and new knowledge stimulated the need for psychology studies, but it succeeded, as he says in an interview for Dnevnik with Marina Jablanov, only at an age when she was more than twice as old as most of her colleagues. That did not discourage her, on the contrary.

She successfully completed them and is now a psychologist, psychological counselor in supervision and PEAT trainer (a method that leads to the effective release of subconscious programs and various unwanted conditions).

Emotions can be a good link between acting and psychology. The actor must recognize them and be able to bring them on stage, and how do you observe emotions from the point of view of a psychologist now?

– Acting is my first, greatest and eternal love, my essence. The feeling of low self-confidence that accompanies puberty would disappear on stage, behind the mask of a new character. Some directors, after assigning us roles, asked us to write a “history”, that is. a life that preceded the character we play, and from some of our point of view.

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In this way, we directly connect with the characteristics, character and, most importantly, emotions and emotional states that are necessary for the role to be presented in a credible way. It fascinated me, so it somehow naturally followed me to finally enroll in psychology, because I don’t think it’s too late as long as a deep desire and inner voice follow.

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Our whole life revolves around emotions, and we know so little about them, because through working with clients I have noticed that they often do not know how to recognize their emotions, they are confused and do not understand what is happening to them and why.

How is it that emotions can have a big impact on us, without us even being aware of it?

– Although psychologists place them in the conscious part of the mind, they are, in fact, conscious only to a certain extent. That is why we talk more about repressed emotions, ie. about emotional charges and all those feelings often experienced as traumas, which have not been resolved.

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We can deal with conscious contents easier or harder, but with the subconscious it is very difficult, and that is exactly the place where problems arise, and they should be solved there. When we know that our life is governed by the subconscious, it is clear how important it is to deal with it.

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I would emphasize the importance of a personal decision to change something in life and thus take responsibility. Because no one else can, nor will they come to do it for us – we have to be gardeners of our garden, because only we arrange our garden! As we edit it – so it will be for us.

But how to recognize in that garden of ours what is a weed and what is not?

– I would say it’s very simple. All that makes us restless is the “weeds”! It is restlessness that indicates to us that something is wrong. Emotions are closely connected with the body and each of our emotions causes certain physiological changes in it, if we are very scared, sad, or feel threatened, deceived…

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There is a great connection between bodily sensations and certain emotions, and that is why it is important to listen to our body. While our body is still “whispering”, we should understand what it is that we are not doing well, and not wait for the body to start “screaming”.

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It is very important that we do not lie to ourselves, that we are completely honest with ourselves, that we face the problem, and not run away from it. Whether it’s a person, a situation or ourselves.

According to psychologists, over 90 percent of our lives are unconscious, and only less than 10 percent are conscious. How to become aware of what we do not even know exists?

– We are beings who rely on the senses, and we believe that there is only what we can see, hear, feel… However, when people are open to believe in what they do not see, but feel, it is much easier for them.

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I mean, first of all, intuition (which is in the subconscious part of the mind), but most often it is overwhelmed by unresolved emotional charges from the past, as well as our need to logically interpret and understand everything (

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When we release it, we get a flawless guide. We all have it. And we all have the capacity to work on ourselves, but it is easier for many to stay in their own “safe zone”, in their little “mud” where they know everything, than to dare, move forward and realize how wonderful life is.

Are there psychological methods to achieve this?

– If it were easy to reach your subconscious, there would not be numerous techniques used to do that. Many are good, but not every technique suits everyone, nor does every medicine, and that is normal. Even our “autopilot”, as we can call our subconscious, is not something that is a priori bad.

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If we have learned to ride a bike, we do not have to remember every time how we should maintain balance, because we know that.

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On the other hand, we should not be constantly in mind – we strive to solve our life in our head, instead of solving it from the heart. The problem should always be solved at the place where it arose!

Is there a method that helps us to clean everything that we “pushed under the carpet”?

– There are numerous methods, and one, very effective in terms of results, was developed by our clinical psychologist Živorad Mihailović Slavinski. It is a PEAT method that involves four techniques. Tony Robbins used the world-famous motivational speaker and strategist to talk about how effective he is, and he acknowledged this method and Slavinski.

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These techniques can be successfully applied in all conditions and life situations that carry a large amount of emotional charge. It works with four elements: emotions, thoughts, bodily sensations and mental images.

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And what is important for people who do not like to “open up” and talk about themselves, is that one definition of a problem or emotional state is enough to start the process. Figuratively speaking, what has long been pushed under the carpet and which over time has become a “bump” on which a person gets stuck and slams, PEAT cleans.

The person breathes, the feeling of being stuck disappears, emotions no longer control him, but he takes control of them and thus takes control of his life. This leads to a better and more functional life.

Is it easier these days for people to decide to solve their problems with a psychologist, and do you think that the stigma of going to psychological counseling has finally been removed?

– I think that the situation with the coronavirus has influenced people to face themselves, move, get rid of taboos and thus more easily turn for help. Yes, that leap into the unknown, that is. the change, which they feared, does not have to be and is not terrible….

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Nothing is black or white and no matter how hard it seems to you, if it directs you to change in your life what has been stinging you for a long time, then that is good. Our people say “every evil for some good” and it really is so.

Source: Sito&Rešeto by

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