If life gives you
a sour lemon...
As hard as you can.
It's time to make some limoncello.
Veterinary surgeon (DVM MRCVS PGCert MAPPP)
Positive Psychology Coach, Conflict Mediator
Speaker Motivator Human
This story begins in the basement in a small,
Eastern European general practice.
As a student, I used to spend my entire free time in that clinic, learning from the vets and practicing my hand skills, but also...
making coffee, cleaning the floor and listening to the life stories brought to the clinic by the clients.
Very quickly, I discovered my two biggest passions:
small animal surgery and human minds.
I spent hours and hours in the clinic's basement, practicing all sorts of surgical procedures on cadaver, as well talking to my veterinary colleagues and clients, listening about their hopes and struggles.... and I loved it.
Immersing myself into both surgical craft and conversations with people gave me joy and pure FLOW.
As time went by and I followed my surgical passion, the love of looking into human minds took a backseat.
I continued my surgical journey through the internships, certificates and multiple clinical settings - general practice, university, referral, research and charity - on four different continents. I worked with veterinary professionals in Poland, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, United States, Singapore, Bali and India. Even though I had been focused on developing my surgical skills, I also had a chance to get to know many vets, nurses, technicians and other veterinary-related professionals in all those countries. I have learnt about their personal and professional challenges and expectations. I have been their support, consultant and motivator for nearly 10 years now.
As I grew as a surgeon, so did my knowledge about human minds and souls. Not only in the veterinary profession, but, most importantly, in the diverse settings, cultures and conditions that other people live in.
All those experiences have shaped me into a truly open-mined, observant and empathetic person who is able to propel people around me towards the positive change.
Unfortunately, life can be ruthless.
So often, something utterly terrible has to happened to nudge us towards the new direction, to remind us what is REALLY important in our existence on this planet.
Within a few months, two of my veterinary colleagues committed suicide.
Why? What went so wrong? Could we have prevented it? - no-one knew.
It made me fully realise, how important, but also neglected, mental health is. Particularly among health care professionals.
At that exact moment, my passion for human minds and souls came back to the surface.
I guess... I needed that metaphorical
"slap in the face", the wake-up call.
I had never been taught about the importance of taking care of our wellbeing. The subject of mental health did not even EXIST in my homeland and everything that I knew about it came through years of experience, exposure to thousands of different kinds of people and intense self-work - books, workshops, congresses and courses.
When my passion and my signature strengths - creativity, zest, love of learning and social intelligence - hit me again with the full force,
I decided to get actively involved in
the mental wellness care and suicide prevention.
I intensified serving my colleagues as their guide and support.
Eventually, to gain the academic structure to further shape my skills and knowledge, I completed in the Master's program in Applied Positive Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, where I trained to become the Positive Psychology Coach.
I also certified as a Workplace Conflict Mediator
and through experience and further education, I specialised in the topics of emotional intelligence, dignity, shared humanity, civility and posiitve social connections.