Basia Mosinski: Ways To Boost Your Confidence And Go After Your Dreams
Finding the time and the confidence to step out of your regular routine and really go after something, isn’t easy. Time makes us feel that we don’t have as many options but that’s just insecurity talking. Coco Chanel didn’t design the iconic Chanel suit util she was 71 years old. It’s all a matter of finding that sweet spot. Or as Barbara “Basia” Mosinski would say, that creativity which is the flow of your life.
We met Arts Psychotherapist, Basia, at a birthday dinner in NYC. She has a method of framing things in a positive and powerful way. Here, she explains clever tips for creating balance and ways to go for it (whatever your “it” may be).
Interview with Basia Moskinski, LCAT
Physical appearance can affect a woman’s confidence a great deal. Why is self-care an important part of achieving goals?
“I think you have to have it inside as well as outside. There’s a lot of power in feeling good and having self-esteem.”
The better we can feel about ourselves, whether it comes from skincare, or nutrition or exercise, I think is really great. If women can feel good and are active beyond 60 years old, that’s really great! It’s important to do things to feel good and not out of fear or pressure.
How can psychology be used in our everyday life to help us focus on a goal?
A. Start with creating balance. One of the things I’ve been kind of fascinated with myself is financial trading. I’m interested in how traders use psychology to manage their lives. There’s a book, by author Brett Steenbarger, called “The Psychology of Trading.” He talks about something called the Diversified Emotional Portfolio. A trader doesn’t put all their money in one fund because, if they did, they would never weather the bad trends.
“Traders and financial professionals diversify and it’s similar in the emotional realm where, sometimes, people don’t diversify their emotional account.”
Some people put all their energy into one relationship. When their relationship with the boyfriend goes bad, they are really off balance and they have nothing invested in other areas to weather that kind of storm.
What do you recommend doing to keep an “Emotional Diversified Portfolio”?
A. It really depends; it’s so individual based on someone’s life. If I was to recommended scheduling time for certain friends or family, it wouldn’t be the right thing for a number of people I work with who are hyper-organized and over-scheduled to begin with. That type of person needs to relax and do something spontaneous, to get back to what they want to do with free time or on a weekend. I wouldn’t recommend a guideline for everyone to follow, but I would say that if people strive for balance in a lot of areas of their life, they do well in weathering difficult times.
What is a passion that you followed and benefitted from exploring?
A. I always really loved boxing for some reason. I didn’t want to get in the ring, I didn’t want to get hit or anything like that, but I so appreciated the boxer’s training. The jumping rope, hitting the speed bag and kicking the heavy bags appealed to me, but most gyms where I grew up didn’t have that equipment, so I never learned. Later on, when I was starting a private practice in New York, it was very stressful and a lot of pressure. There was uncertainty, and it can be very lonely to start your own business. I took that stress and I went to a gym that had a speed bag. I saw some guys hitting the bag, so I asked them to show me how to do it.
It wasn’t easy, but I was determined because I had all this stress in me. For me, just the contact of hitting something was really big, and it touched something really deep inside of me. I felt in charge. I felt mastery over this bag and mastery over my stress; I was in the gym and away from my stress. I was in my body and in the moment and it became a practice. I just kept going and kept going. I finally got really good at it, and now I use that as my warm-up.
“Something really physical is very important in terms of my well-being. I learned that early on when I was in my twenties. I really got it, I got how important the physical part was for my emotional well-being.”
What are tools people can use if they have a goal they want to accomplish, but don’t know where to start?
A. If there is that project or business or that specific idea you want to do, you have to take a step towards it every day. Say someone is working and they know that this other business idea is the thing they want to do. It requires some simple movement toward that goal every single day.
SIMPLE TIPS TO GET MOVING:
- Complete a task each day – some sort of action toward that project needs to happen each day
- Make a phone call or meeting – make a communication to someone that will help further the cause
- Make a list – an action one day could be as simple as making a list of priorities
- Take action – begin checking things off your list that move you toward your goal
- Remain open – the path of getting to the goal may shift and change and warp into something a little different than the original idea. It’s important to be flexible in the process and to be open to doors that open to you
Those ideas are like gifts that come up and bubble up in us. It comes from oneself, so going towards it means going towards oneself. That’s where life is. When you stake a claim, like I’m going to create this business, the next part is to look and listen to your surroundings for how the universe is supporting that idea. Go towards that path that feels better, and where there is less resistance. If a door is opening and there is energy and vitality there, go in that direction!
How can women who are over-scheduled make time to be creative?
A. I think we are talking about mothers, who have a lot going on. If they can create small groups, say there are six of them, where each mother takes a turn in watching the children, each of them will have a couple days that are free. I think often, when they get the chance to have “me” time, they go to the spa. They go to take care of themselves, so they feel connected to themselves, and a spa does that. It’s away from the pressures and it’s almost like meditation. It’s an instinct we have to take care of ourselves and, when we don’t have that time, something else will fall short. What we lose from being so busy and being on cell phones all the time, is that quiet, where a creative idea can emerge.
Can photos people are instagramming or facebooking be revealing an unexpressed interest they secretly want to explore?
A. The images themselves may be therapeutic to take, so maybe that is why they are snapping so many photos of the ocean, but the therapy part happens when the conversation about those images occurs. Therapy is learning more about one’s inner life. In talking, they get to hear and realize those things that they long for. Maybe they have always wanted to surf. Stepping into those type of things, by actually doing them, could be really profound for that person’s life. I think it is definitely a place to investigate and explore.
How does texting or what someone is uploading to social media play a part in learning about oneself?
A. I’ve written quite a bit and published about the use of technology in psychotherapy. I’m an Arts Psychotherapist, so my training is to use the creative process. It’s very foreign to hand someone a brush and say make a painting and we will talk about what’s going on with you. It would be really weird for someone, but if someone comes in and says, “I’ve got a lot of problems in my personal and work relationships and people just don’t seem to understand me. I don’t know why I feel so isolated,” I might suggest looking at their communication style. Maybe follow a thread of text messaging, where people assume they are communicating, but often they’re not. I’m very interested in what people are using and what people are already doing. You see people taking photographs all over the place. What are they doing with the photographs and what do the photographs mean to them? Are the images always of singular objects? That might indicate someone is feeling alone and isolated. It doesn’t necessarily mean that, but it could lead to a conversation.
“The greatest gift we can give to others is our own consciousness. The greatest gift we can give to humanity is our own consciousness.”
The goal in therapy is to understand one’s self, but it takes work to reflect and look at ourselves with others, and to understand how we are in this world.
How is social media changing our ways of interaction? Is it positive or negative for us as humans?
A. Well, I’m a human also (laughs), I’m not just an observer. I’m participating and I’m really finding that in Twitter and Facebook, I find support emotionally in being involved in that. Even though one aspect is business and communicating with people in that manner. There is also a level of interaction that I find really invigorating and exciting. I can actually follow someone or someone is following me and we share some parallel ideas. I can I get in touch with that person and we have the opportunity to actually explore something that could be really dynamic. Obviously there is a lot going on in social media that is not helpful, like bullying and things like that we see in the media, but I think it’s happening less than people finding value on social media. So, I’m a proponent, but I do think it’s important to look at when things go wrong and how to correct those things. In general it feels like an open platform and I like that, and social media isn’t going away. It’s just a matter of keeping it in balance.
What is Arts Psychotherapy exactly and how do people use it?
A. It is psychotherapy. People who have emotional problems come to a therapist. I can’t speak for everyone, but in my practice I use creativity, so creativity could be in different forms; it’s not necessarily in the arts, but it could be.
“Creativity is being in the flow of life. How do you get into the flow, where there’s more freedom?”
Freedom of choice, freedom of pain and suffering…although life still happens, how can we free ourselves to withstand those troubles in a more sound, healthy way? Once I find out what’s going on, we start exploring health, expression, general well-being, the emotional environment of the person and get a picture of how balanced their lives are. If all people needed was art alone, then all artists would be healthy emotionally, and we know that’s not the case. It’s not art alone, but it’s expression along with certain things like being physically healthy, making a plan of how to order one’s life, and getting out from under the things that have become a burden.
What is one of your new creative outlets?
A. I have a lot of apps on my phone and iPad and when I’m traveling I love the creative apps that are for photos or drawing. Like collage apps, I love that stuff. I’m not so much interested in putting it out there as a business, I’m just really interested in making my own images and discovering myself.
What changes are you embracing now and what are you learning about yourself?
A. Well, I’m a grandmother, so my granddaughter is causing a lot of change in my life. I noticed, and this was through a photograph, when I’m with her on Balboa Island and my son and his wife and everyone is around, I feel really good and I see it in pictures. I see how different I look. It’s new because I’ve been very independent, I lived very far from my son when he was an adult and now I’m feeling this shift for me and I’m embracing it. Other than that, I’m interested in paddle-boarding now that I’m in California more. I love hiking and biking, so California has a lot of me. I don’t surf, but you never know…
Barbara “Basia” Moinski, ATR-BC, MA, MFA is a licensed and board certified Arts Psychotherapist who treats clients in California and New York.