On Cultivating Relationships With Family
How many of us struggle with our relationship with our family members? Often, these relationships are the most challenging and require the most courage.
I was curious to explore how Daliborka cultivates relationships with her family.
According to Daliborka, it boiled down to:
- Setting intentions
- Judgement free listening
She used to have a strained relationship with her brother. It was convenient to not connect with each other since they were living in different countries anyway. Later, she realized she had expectations about how her brother’s life should be, and subconsciously judged him for his way of life.
How unmet and unspoken expectations created tension in relationships!
1. Acceptance — We cannot change others
We all know that we can’t and shouldn’t change other people’s thinking and behavior, even if we want them to change for their own good. How do we get out of that mental loop of really wanting that person to change?
It’s so vital to accept our family members for who they are. Just like how Daliborka accepted that she can’t change her brother’s thinking and behaviors, we can learn to simply focus on being a better listener and supporter for our loved ones. That is the key to having a dream relationship.
Daliborka shared with us the Hawaiian Ho’oponopono Prayer for Forgiveness, which she uses whenever she is triggered by her brother. She closed her eyes, pictured her brother in her mind, and repeated these 4 phrases:
I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.
Saying this simple prayer helped her change the way she connected to her brother. Surprisingly, her brother’s attitude changed when he felt her way of relating changed. They now enjoyed much longer phone conversations with each other.
3. Setting intentions before a conversation
Once you have accepted your family member for who he/she is, and forgiven them, it’s time to set intentions before a conversation. It’s normal to go into a conversation with someone you have a strained relationship with, and think “Oh my god, we’re going to end up hating this conversation just like it always does.” Of course, it won’t be a nice conversation when you have this focus. Your energy will go to where your thoughts go.
What if you choose to send good energy to this conversation before you start to enter it?
4. Listen more during a conversation
I love how Daliborka shared that she started listening more to what her brother wanted to say so that he can feel truly heard. This requires letting go of expectations and judgment, and opening our hearts to listen. It is so important to let your loved ones feel free to be who they naturally are. When you focus on listening more to your loved ones, you start to build empathy and understand more from their point of view too.
Dream relationship starts with Mindfulness
Daliborka discovered that living more mindfully helped to improve her key relationships. Mindful living is similar to meditation, but it’s not about just sitting there to meditate. It’s about observing what you’re thinking and doing in each moment.
“Life is full of possibilities which we can change. We can change everything in each second. In each moment we can change everything in our life.”
Being mindful helped her to notice whenever she was judging herself and others, so she can stop judging and return to the present moment. She noticed that people around her start becoming much nicer than she originally expected of them.
Once we do the inner work of forgiving others and ourselves, we start to shift the energy dynamics and can now focus on letting go of how we used to judge others by being more mindful in each moment.
Vulnerability Dissolves Shame
Living in a peaceful country like Singapore, one could not imagine the adversities Daliborka had to go through as a youth.
During the Bosnian War, an air raid went on for two weeks in Mostar (a city and the administrative center of Herzegovina) where Daliborka was living with her parents. She was only 17 years old at that time and had to leave her parents behind in Mostar to live with her uncle in Germany for her safety.
After just one year of living with her uncle, Daliborka moved out to work and live independently. She was forced to grow up quickly, leaving her family behind. She did not speak German then, but has since mastered it and had a successful career in Germany. She did not learn to feel safe to show her vulnerability, and still felt a deep sense of shame of “I am not good enough”, due to the trauma she went through during that period.
She shared that one day while visiting Bali two years ago to attend a transformative two-day breathwork workshop, she experienced a spontaneous future vision of herself. She saw herself as beautiful and shining so brilliantly, and she recognized this future self as the real Daliborka! It was at that moment that she realized that she feels most natural being barefooted or in flip-flops and enjoying summer weather all year long. She no longer wants to wear winter boots and tolerate the harsh winters anymore.
Our challenges in life can mold us to be stronger, but we don’t have to hide our weaknesses. By learning to be vulnerable, it dissolves shame.
Leaving Corporate job in Switzerland to Setup Eco-village in Bali
If we say Yes to life and trust that life is always supporting us, then we will always manifest what we want.
Daliborka urges us to trust that there are so many more possibilities outside of what we think might be possible. She has experienced this stuckness before when she just couldn’t see any way out of it, but she did. Trust in yourself, trust that you are in this situation for a reason. Similarly, you will move out of it as long as you keep trusting in life and love.
Her deepest passion is to inspire others to realize how powerful they truly are, so they can transform their lives the way they want. She believes that all of us tend to cover our inner light with adulthood and life trauma.
This vision motivated her to quit her corporate job, sell her flat and car, move permanently to Bali, and start her new dream there.
Her current project is to build an EcoArt Village in Bali, called Naya Veda Vastu. It is used for hosting yoga retreats, music festivals, and a specially built sound dome for sound healing and meditation. It is a social project, working in harmony with the Balinese culture and its beautiful people, and it is being created as a sustainable permaculture village — living in symbiosis with the people and the culture.
Once we uncover our passions, our inner light starts to shine like diamonds.
About Daliborka Neumann
Daliborka Neumann is a Yoga and Meditation Teacher and Transformational Coach based in Bali, Indonesia. She started getting trained and certified in many modalities, such as yoga, meditation, spiritual healing, integral life coaching, bodywork therapy, and energy healing. She is combining all these modalities to help fellow women open their hearts and reconnect with who they truly are.
You can contact Daliborka here at https://www.facebook.com/daliborka.neumann