I’m Daria, a regular 40-something woman who used to have a regular job. I am grateful for the small and big things in life. I am curious and passionate about the human mind and well-being. I love laughing and spending time with my family, and I love my friends and my boxer dog. Nature is my second home, the place to rejuvenate and find peace.
Today, I consider myself a joyful and lively person with a purpose. That wasn’t always true.
From a successful career to burnout
Initially, I graduated with a master's degree in sociology at University Adama Mickiewicza, in Poznan, Poland. During my studies, I started my career in the communication industry. I have nearly 20 years of experience working in leadership positions within media and advertising in international companies, ranging from smaller agencies to large global corporations.
For many years, I have been a career-minded insecure overachiever climbing the corporate ladder to earn more money, power, and position. My job has been my number one priority for a very long time, even taking over my personal life. The career race severely strained my marriage and my physical and mental health. In the end, it left me burned out and grappling with short memory loss, depression, and insomnia.
I snapped out of the stress and insecurity trance with the help of mindfulness and meditation.
My psychotherapist suggested that I try a mindfulness course. I agreed reluctantly. I soon discovered that mindfulness would change the course of my life.
I spent months in mindfulness courses and spent numerous hours meditating. This involved nearly a month of living in silence over the course of a year. I realized that my behavior was driven by a fear of failure, insecurity, and the belief that a particular lifestyle was the only possible way to work and live.
I believed that I progressed and had the power to decide and drive change externally, yet I was jailed by the story I had created for myself—the story that had a deleterious impact on my mental and physical health and personal life.
Each day that I went to work, I felt more and more frustrated, and I had the sense I didn’t belong. I grew more determined to strike out on my own and entirely redefine the context of my life. I decided to leave my corporate job and turn my energy and passion into meditation practice, understanding the human mind, working with people and helping them discover the gift of mindfulness and meditation and its power to unveil the mysterious ways the human mind works.
I have since developed a more profound sense of self, adopting tools to help my mind and body flourish. With the help of meditation, I have learned how to allow myself to be vulnerable and become genuinely responsible for myself, my body, my attitude, my beliefs, and my choices. I have gained the clarity to decide what I wanted to do with my life. Most importantly, I have learned how to pause and respond skillfully to the small and big challenges in life. I remind myself every day about Viktor Frankl's (psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor) words:
My practice and philosophy
I practice meditation every day and regularly participate in silent retreats for at least 15 days a year. I find meditation practice to be an integral part of my growth as a person and a teacher. It allows me to continue to develop my emotional strength, compassion, patience, gratitude, and attention.
Life can be complex and difficult to navigate; so are our minds. We can’t control life events, and we can't change the past. We face various situations and its consequences without any influence. It can be frustrating and tiring, but we can train our minds and bodies and make mindful choices when it comes to how we treat ourselves and respond to life situations.
My philosophy is anchored in mindfulness, its Buddhist roots, and supported by newest neuroscience and psychology research. I focus on mental and emotional well-being and the development of cognitive and emotional resilience—the core strength we use to lift the load of life. Resilience helps us withstand adversity, bounce back from life's downturns, and grow with each difficulty. Resilience also enables us to develop the foresight to prevent future stress.
"My philosophy is built on the notion that everything is connected."
We live in a complex and interconnected ecosystem consisting of mind, body, relationships, and the broadly understood environment—our close surroundings—like our home, workspace, and nature. Our minds and bodies constantly communicate and influence each other. Our interactions with other people and with our environment impact the state of our minds and bodies.
Mind, body, human relationships, and environment are crucial to our overall well-being. Any change in one will ultimately affect all remaining components that comprise the whole.
Mindfulness can be a powerful way of guiding us toward a better understanding of this interconnectivity, developing more attention, and learning to observe our minds and bodies and to respond wisely to what’s happening.