Gentle Power was founded in 2011 by Dorota Godby (hi there!) to turn into service the mistakes and discoveries in my dogged pursuit of understanding how life works (in contrast to what people say about life that’s often depressing or just doesn’t check out in practice).
In particular, I bring everything I’ve learned and proved to myself to work to support sensitive creatives and change workers who are my tribe by nature and affinity.
My background is in language teaching, breathwork therapy and collaborative communication.
Sometimes, I call my work ‘NVC for the highly responsive’ because when I discovered NVC (Nonviolent Communication), it powerfully connected the dots in my quest and became the largest ‘how’ of what I do.
And what I do is support people who thrive on gentleness to be able to live in a way that they can sustain and that allows them to bring their best through. The world right now needs those who care and see deeply to be more empowered.
I’ve chosen not to teach NVC as a modality. Instead, I smuggle it in as-needed and coach people how to apply its wisdom in their particular circumstances.
And, I’ll also use anything and everything that I’ve discovered to work if it’s helpful to the person in front of me.
Especially The Three Principles (a new psychology) and Sufism, my allies to sense-making and serenity.
The modality you use to experience a breakthrough is NOT that important.
What matters is that you bring compassion and clarity into your thinking.
Those two qualities will enable your progress and also make it worthwhile.
It gives meaning to my years of struggle on the planet to hear back that people feel safe, seen and supported through my championing. Gentle Power is actually quite powerful!
The longer story
It turns out that I became one of those relatively rare people who are very happy to have reached their forties.
For one, it gave me long enough perspective to see that what I’ve been pursuing has had ‘rhyme and reason’ all along.
It was a gorgeous surprise because until that forth decade arrived, I had mostly self-worry to show for my ‘non-standard life choices’.
It could have had something to do with people in my formative years dispensing worry as if it was a high form of love.
What I do know is that from my early years until well into my thirties, I experienced people as mostly, overwhelming, disappointing, or both.
It was painful enough to crush a soul and it nearly did mine.
I often didn’t want to be alive in my teens and was saved only by the beliefs about suicide I was exposed to at the time and then – unexpectedly and wondrously – by the arrival of my baby sister.
Eventually, I began seeing rhyme and reason to life, including the so-called mistakes I’ve made along the way.
I’m saying “the so-called mistakes” because I now see that we’re always in pursuit of who we are, what’s meaningful to us or useful to contribute.
I guess some of us are willing to do more painful research for that cause than others 🙂
Now, I have a lot of respect for that deeper research. To this effect, if I could, I’d shout this message from the rooftops:
Sensitive people tend to be late bloomers. By nature and especially given the unhelpful “winds” of the prevailing general culture. It takes time to get to know life with the level of care you carry so don’t judge yourself comparing your experiences to those of the majority. By default and destiny, you are a minority. Learn how to live it well!
Looking back at my life today, I see a journey that’s been painful and overwhelming for a scarily long time and yet – paradoxically – there has been underlying strength and purpose in it all along.
I now refer to this phenomena as the power of vulnerability and I recognise it in Andrew Solomon’s saying that
The worst moments in our lives make us who we are.
In my worst moments, what has kept me sane (just :)) was a strong imperative to make sense of what’s happening so I could find better alternatives.
I’d chip at it, read, experiment and ponder until I’d find “a better way”.
Truth be told, one of the best alternatives I’ve discovered is the curious way in which the best insights come when you stop chipping and efforting.
The crucial skill is to know when to think and feel and when to pause and let go for a bit.
The “Better Options” session I now offer to clients is a succinct version of the process of pausing and making room for insights.
Except it’s more fun because there’re two of us on the mission to find the best way to relate to the presenting challenge.
The photo here shows me in my teens, in a typically reflective but unusually serene moment (thanks to the energy that exists high up in the mountains).
And, I don’t mind telling you that I’ve done some wonderful and some ‘weird’ things since that day.
Loved being a foreigner (born in Poland, tried the Czech Republic and lived in the UK since 1994).
Got engaged on my first date, married and divorced within four years. (That was accelerated learning.)
Lived as a single person for eleven years in order to understand what ‘went wrong’ and to… you guessed it, find better options.
Lived in a commune and left but met my partner for eight years when visiting another commune (this time attending a training at Findhorn), back in 2008.
When I asked him what other people might find ‘weird’ about me, this is the list he rattled off without a moment’s hesitation. Myself, I’ve grown to really appreciate “weirdness” but make what you will of:
- a person having THAT many self-help books (kept 300 after decluttering)
- being extra quiet socially but running groups for bunches of people
- wearing purple for years and now often seen in teal (blue green)
- putting a lot of effort into things that other people wouldn’t bother about
- eating a weird diet (no grains, tons of greens)
- being into Nonviolent Communication
- keeping a big-woman-fertility-sculpture but choosing not to have children
And you? What’s your weird and where are you looking for better options?