My Latvian experience….

Piše: Ivana Marin — 20. December, 2021.

“Caring as Second Nature” is the name of the training that took place in Latvia from 06/10/2021 till 10/15/2021 organized by the NGO Radi Vidi Pats from Latvia, with which the Argonaut Association has been cooperating for many years. Mihaela from Croatia has taken part in the training and shared her experience.

In this lifetime we are often so lost and confused… And in some places and with some people we learn
things, we learn things that change us.


In this lifetime I am often so lost and confused… And in some places and with some people I learn
things, I learn things that change me.


I have learned to speak from the eye. From the I. And it was hard. And easy at the same time because I
am more often than not, egoistic. But I guess everyone is as well.


This training was not something I expected. I expected something a lot more superficial, more structured
and by the book. But my book flew out the window when I walked through the stones. Each day started
with an amazing tool – free writing. I have never done that before, but I will continue. Everytime I
recognize I have too much mess in my head. It brings clarity, and the pain in the hand is worth it.
Besides free writing, we also had the time in the day, completely random,when we listened to each of the
participants power song – a song that makes them feel good. That was beautiful. During one of my songs
I was super embarrassed and during the other super excited.


In this short time we went through very practical tools on emotions, burnout, mental health in general,
deep listening and mirroring.. And many more. Everything was broken down to simple steps, but when
we did the practical part – it was not so simple to do. Which is just an indication that these practices are
not known and used in general society. Nothing new, but sad. For me personally it was incredibly
validating to hear about approach to emotions. Because in my community, country, emotions are
painfully minimalized, invalidated and neglected. So more than anything else, this training made me
FEEL more. Made me start thinking about my needs and made me start prioritizing them. And it was so
hard. We had a 22 hour challenge to think about our needs and self care. In this time we were supposed
to do only what is on our list for self care. It was hard, I couldn’t even think of what my needs are and
how would I go about taking care of my self… It was challenging. And I realized I am a people pleaser
and I am not being honest in my work.


I have decided to change my job position. I realized working with people is too challenging for me. At
least for now. So I have everything to thank to these wonderful people who made this possible. I will
work in the same place, but a job that feels good to do.


I have met so many, so many beautiful people in this training. I stayed in touch with some of them and
made plans for the future. I will meet them again. I got some fresh ideas on how to go about my life, felt
some new perspectives from the connections I made. So I feel enriched in different ways. It was
absolutely something I needed and I would recommend anyone to try it. Although, if it is not meant for
you, it will not happen. Because the universe has a way of putting the right people in the right place at
the right time. And it makes no mistakes!

The mobility of youthworkers “Caring as Second Nature” is financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union that in Latvia is administrated by Agency for International Programs for Youth.
This publication reflects only the viewpoint of the author.

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