Hi and welcome,
my name is Agnieszka Narloch. I am a woman who came for a journey to Earth like all of us travelling to my Self.
My educational background is in pedagogy, sociology, gender studies and counselling skills.
Social pedagogy and feminism had a big impact on my understanding of myself and the world around me. It showed me how the society makes of us whatever would be useful in the games of power. It showed me how individual self is being produced in the machine of social and cultural reproduction for the purposes of this machine. My three final dissertation works which I wrote in the years 2009, 2010 and 2011 were all inspired by feminism. First one focused on the social norms of women’ look, second on the private side of female success at work and third one on the views in which teachers see and impose on their pupils.
I had varied work experience. When I was 17 I run teenager’s art association in a small town Starogard Gdanski where I went to high school. As a young adult I worked as a freelancer for different cultural and educational institutions. I taught pedagogical subjects at private universities in Gdansk and Elblag and run gender courses in various projects. I also worked with children and teenagers, mostly running cultural workshops which were designed by myself. After moving to Scotland in 2013 I started working in local guest houses in Edinburgh. This work humiliated me but also helped me. I had to gather all my strength and courage not to let myself down in a situation when I became none and all alone without the knowing of the new language and culture. As a result I became more confident and proud of myself.
The other thing that had profound influence on me was my interest in therapy and personal development. I had a lot of stuff to work on. For many years I had very low self esteem and held a belief that nobody will ever love me. I looked for help in psychotherapy and various alternatives to it. I worked with many methods. What helped the most was breath work and books written by Kasia Miller.
Another source of understanding myself and the world came from my life experience. Since I lost my twin in 2010 – who decided to commit suicide when life became too hard – I started looking for an answer of who we really are and what life is really about. I turned for help to so called spirituality. I discovered kundalini yoga practice, prayer and meditation. I can tell now I wasn’t sure what I really looked for. During my practice there were times when I experienced uplifting feelings and the times when strange and scary feelings appeared. My external life gradually became more and more chaotic. There was little security in every meaning of this word.
At some point I went to France to take part in an international yoga festival, where we practised extensively. On the last day something weird happened to me. I experienced something that could be called either a moment of awakening or becoming crazy. My body danced, performing some strange show and the bigger Self (or real Self) witnessed it all throughout that time. It seemed like this thing -which before I had taken for myself – tried to make other people awake as well. The small community of yoga teachers didn’t know what to do with me and decided to call for the ambulance. Soon after this I had a breakdown and spent 17 days in mental health institution.
In the hospital I experienced on my own skin how social order with its divisions of “normal” and “not normal” is being created and reconstructed in our every day role playing. That was partly funny and partly upsetting experience. I never believed that something was ‘not right’ with me and after first few days in the hospital I refused to take medication. I made an appeal to Tribunal of Mental Health and was set free soon after that.
The following months proved to be the hardest but also the most valuable in my life. The relationships disappeared, I worked in a restaurant and washed dishes for all day long, and slept on a mattress in my friend’s bedroom (who kindly invited me to stay with her until I will put myself together again). I felt lonely, but also very angry and disappointed with my life. All things and people that used to constitute my self were gone. I remember spending most of the time after work sitting in the big chair staring at nothing for weeks. My identity had to collapse. And that was the blessing and beginning of a positive change, though I didn’t know about it back then.
I made decision I am going stand up for myself and I did. Existence helped me too. Today, almost three years later, I am in a quite different place in my life: have my home, loving partner, friends, many nice things to do and good enough job.
But most of all I stopped searching for anything. In my journey so far I learnt that life always unfolds and there is no way to control it. The control over life is an illusion. Better just let it go, breathe it in and out, and enjoy it all.
This is where I am at today, at the beginning of 2016.
PS Feel free to send me your story or a query! I’m always happy to connect with my readers :)