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Inspiring Stories

Blair Schulze

"Mindfulness - being in the present moment with acceptance."

June 2, 2014 / Yana Papaya / 0 comments

Name: Blair Schulze Occupation: Counsellor Place of residence: Auckland, New Zealand Photo by Katherine Brook

Name: Blair Schulze
Occupation: Counsellor
Place of residence: Auckland, New Zealand

Words and story by Yana Papaya.

Edited by Maryana Kirakovskaya.

Photos made by Katherine Brook. 

What is it like to be a good man? Do you know the guy I am talking about? The one that you simply look at and see his power through stunning personality showing inside-out in the reflection of his eyes and kind smile. You have a huge respect to this person realising that he achieved a lot being honest to core values and cultivating only the best in himself and the world.

Social media has put up so many stereotypes and tips on how the real man should look like and feel like nowadays, what music should listen to, what brands should follow on Instagram, what perfume to use to seduce a woman. This modern time puts pressure on us. And the image of a real man is getting more blurry and blurry.

Taking a look at your cultural roots might help not to be lost in orienteers. Russian saying has it all: “A real man should plant a tree, raise a child and build a house.” Simple as that. Three. Key. Elements that can help you portray this real man. Responsible, caring, ready to settle and commit to the nearest and dearest, share love, support and respect as well as provide the security in living for people he cares the most. Probably this man has a creative mind and a DYI attitude. This man is as solid as rock. And his commitment to the family is unshrinking.

And I am pretty sure you can’t be born, but you can become a true man. This is a story about a solid mature man who had been going through interesting stages in life, searching out for a true  calling, losing and finding him new self again. Architect in the past with a present passion for designing, Blair Schulze is the first kiwi-hero of my project who built his own house, planted trees and now is fully family-oriented while raising a beautiful Tala-girl. Good man. Besides this goodness adds up with the fact that Blair is helping other people out providing the therapy regarding various human issues. Let’s picture him throughout his thoughts.

I guess what I know now and I didn’t know when I was 18 that I am a creative person. I always have to do something creative whether it’s gardening or building the furniture, doing a painting or designing a building, The creative side is just a part of me. I always need to have some sort of outlet. I had a big dream to design my own house. I am very happy with the result, however, I know that I want to build another house. I don’t know where it’s going to be on Waiheke Island or somewhere else, but I know that it’s going to happen in 5-10 years.

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I did therapy myself as I was unhappy working as an architect. I guess those two experiences getting a personal therapy plus learning to be a phone counsellor got me really engaged into this psychology field. I really enjoyed doing the phone counselling, it was very rewarding. It was unpaid, but the way I was engaged on an emotional level completely got me into it. The feeling was quite transforming, it opened a new door to me, importance of hearts connection.

One of the downsides of being an architect is contained in the fact that this profession could make creative and talented people tend towards narcissism. You could get a lot of adulation while drawing a cool sketch and I think that it makes easy for your ego to get enlarged. The other downside is that the architecture on the whole is the service for rich people. Only really wealthy people can afford architects. It means you should feel yourself very comfortable with rich people, you have to be friends with them.  So it was another reason why I gave it up in my 20s. I was very much left-winged in my political views, and I didn’t want to be a servant of the rich, I didn’t find it that very meaningful. Nowadays I am mature and it wouldn’t bother me at all but back then I was more idealistic (laughs).  Sitting in front of the drawing board and nowadays computer all day made me miserable, because I found it incredibly boring and it’s 90% of the architectural job. Thus, I realised that I needed something I would enjoy doing on day-to-day basis. I enjoyed my social life and I enjoyed chatting with people and I decided to do work that is more people-oriented.

My psychological concepts that I am using during the therapy have changed over the time. My initial training was more psychoanalytic based on psychoanalysis which started with Freud. I moved a lot from that. Where I work now is more I guess the concept of mindfulness. Corona Extra is a brilliant advertising to display what mindfulness should look and feel like. Mindfulness means being in the present moment with acceptance.  A big part of mindfulness is the ability to observe yourself on non-judgemental level but compassionate way. One of the main ways that therapy works is to develop an ability to observe yourself, a skill to step back from emotions and thoughts. It doesn’t mean that you want to completely ignore them though. It’s important to realise that emotions and thoughts are changing, and they represent the kind of your content mind. But not they are not the true assets of whom you are.

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Buddhists taught that you have YOU and you have your mind which are not necessarily the same things. So lots of people get into problems when either they overwhelmed with their emotions and stuck in negative thoughts or they stuck in thoughts all the time and they can’t access the emotions. But they might not necessarily be attached with the true core of themselves and their values, they just stuck with their emotions or thoughts.

There is a natural bios in the brain to remember the negative and focus on the negative. I went to a good lecture on it where the guy said: “The relaxed monkey dies first, the anxious monkey lives longer, because if you are constantly looking out for a danger, you are going to survive longer.” In other words the fear and anxiety system is given a huge power in a human’s brain.

I think as an individual practitioner it’s hard to notice wider trends. If you are at ‘the coal face’ it’s hard to see the whole mountain!  However, an obvious trend in wider society is the increasing focus on individualism over families and communities. I think this is probably the single biggest trend behind increasing mental health issues. As families and communities break down we get more and more isolated from others and this goes against our evolution as highly social animals.

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Our family is hugely a formative entity. It’s massive how the way we are brought up, the way parents deal with a kid during the first year of its life can determine the whole life. Being a parent is a big responsibility for everyone. While being a parent I am doing my best.

I don’t think that everyone needs therapy. Some people are just lucky to be born in a happy family with good genes. But I do think it could be more done within education system and society. It should be done at schools, teaching people about emotions and thoughts, values and relations that could be very helpful. Now it is just left for a family to teach you who you are. Imagine that you are growing up in dysfunctional family, as a result it might end up that as growing older you might become not a very happy solid person.

I was very ambivalent about having the children almost all my life. Since deciding to become a parent I definitely changed my mind and now I find it really fulfilling and fun.

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One of the greatest things of being a parent is just getting to experience this incredible joy that a child radiates. Certainly it’s easy to notice with my Tala, she is expressing joy in every way. That was unexpected for me just how much joy and fun my daughter is. Talking again about the human’s tendency to be focused on negative stuff, you would rather hear parents complaining about being a parent who says: “Oooh, I don’t have money and time to travel,” “I have sleep disruptions,” rather being able to see the bright side of it.

Being the father is the most rewarding, fulfilling and fun social role that I’ve played in my life. I think I am happy when I am now in my 40s, but it took me a while to get here and I had to go through many things in my life.

Enjoy the dreamy mix that might set up the right mood if you would like to practice mindfulness.

Inspiring Stories


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