On Life, Love and Leadership

On Life, Love and Leadership

SF on Tour featured in “The Solution Focused Podcast” by UKASFP hosted by Alun Parry

In this episode, Alun Parry and UKASFP invited us to share our story and how we incorporate solution focused practice into our lives and relationship – and how we aim to inspire leaders and actually everyone to use SF too, as we truly believe that applying SF conversations adds lots of joy, ease and success to everyone’s lives! Thank you Alun for being such a great host, very good listener, summarizing important things in a beautiful way and adding interesting perspectives to the stories. We truly enjoyed being your guests.

SF on Tour featured in Extra-Blick, the newspaper for Southern Upper Austria (German language)

SF on Tour featured in Extra-Blick, the newspaper for Southern Upper Austria (German language)

We are so excited! For the first time our story is featured in German language – in the well known Upper-Austrian newspaper Extra-Blick. It means a lot to us that Thomas Sternecker became interested in our story especially as I (Elfie) grew up in the region and we (Dominik, Bibiana and I) always feel home when we’re there!

Thank you Thomas Sternecker for your great questions and for putting our story in such a lovely way together!

A year on the road: Some Fun Facts

A year on the road: Some Fun Facts

Dear Reader,

One year and 38’182 km (23’725 miles) ago we moved into our motorhome “Hearty”. It was a great year with all kind of different experiences – from a like adventurous to z like zesty. Time to celebrate!

We put together some (fun) facts about our journey, joyful moments, everyday life necessities, challenges we mastered, and some more things we found interesting to reflect on. AND we’re excited to share that with you today 🙂

So far we travelled 11 countries – 9 in Europe (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Iceland) and 2 in North America (Canada, USA).

We visited 18 out of 50 (some say 52 – counting Washington DC and Puerto Rico) states in the US (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington), Dominik and Bibiana did another 9 states (New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and D.C 😉 ) driving down the East Coast from Maine to Florida while Elfie stocked up her inner fire with some freezing ice baths at her Wim Hof Method training in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

At the end of April, we arrived on Vancouver Island, Canada, by ferry. So far we travelled through 8 out of 10 provinces (Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario)..

We explored 11 National Parks – 1 in Austria (Nationalpark Kalkalpen), 7 in the US (Hotsprings National Park, Big Bend National Park, Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands National Monument, Arches National Park, Canyonland National Park, Garden of Gods National Monument) and 3 in Canada (Pacific Rim, Jasper National Park, Banff National Park) so far.

Oh dear… yes… we also faced some troubles with our Hearty:

  • On day 1 of our journey – we managed to catch a bridge with the top of our Hearty (yes, we were too high! or the bridge to low and the sign too small to see 😉 ) and had to change two roof windows. We were happy that our journey went on.
  • In July we had some serious problems with water leaking through the roof and our ceiling – it was raining in our bed room. So, we decided to get a new (second) roof.
  • During a nice nighttime drive in Florida our front light decided to not work anymore. We fixed it with a cable strap and it still works 😉
  • Three times we had to change tyres. First a nail found refugee in our back tyre. And then on Vancouver Island we had to change the too bald front tires.
  • Cold whether brought some challenges with condense water on/in the ceiling. After buying an infrared space heater and stuffing gaps at the back roof window we never had that issue again.
  • A oil leak challenged us to create a nice success story (in our SIMPLY FOCUS podcast SFP 3 – Solution Focus makes a difference we share more about that). We were glad to see that it ‘only’ was the loose oil filter that caused this problem. The second time we had an oil leak we knew what to do and after our car service in Calgary we should not face that issue again.
  • A crack in the wind shield was the latest challenge. Too big to repair. Let’s go for a new wind shield in Toronto.

In total we (which actually means Dominik & Bibiana) repaired for sure more than 50 things in and around our Hearty, among others our sun blinds, mosquito screenings, the door holders, the zipper on our mattress, our speakers, the front lights and one of the brake lights, the fridge knob, etc.

Everyday life necessities include finding food stores, doing laundry, dump water and the toilet and refill our water tank. In total we dumped our toilet approx. 110 times (and Elfie still looks like a mixture of lemon face and horror clown when dumping – that’s why Dominik is Elfie helping out A LOT! ;).

Spending family time is great – spending time together as a couple precious. So far we had one date night, just the two of us adults, and we enjoyed every second of it! A big THANK YOU to our dear friends Nicole and Carey with their two amazing daughters for making this evening in the Crow & Gate Pub possible for us! A lot of potential regarding this one… So… more date nights to come… for sure!

We love doing ice baths! In Albuquerque, NM, we finally found cold enough temperatures that allowed us to do a little ice bath challenge. Start with an ice bath every day for 20 days. We did it! What a tonic!

Let’s talk animals. Beside the often not so nice encounters with mosquitos we had some really wonderful wildlife encounters: We saw brown bears, coyotes, elk, moose, deer, orcas, one grey whale, squirrels, marmots, racoons, goats, pelicans, frogs, bald eagles, hummingbirds, lots of other beautiful birds, peacocks, swans, ducks, thousands of mosquitos and many more. We even heard the sound of cougars. The animals we feared most (alligators – we know that’s a stupid one – and rattle snakes) luckily have not crossed our path yet. Although we think to have a much better idea of alligators now, we’re still not that excited about encountering rattle snakes.

Moments where we discover that signs of our preferred future came true are always very special to us. Here are some of the moments connected to our painted RV and the messages on our “Hearty”, that added quite some sparkle to our days:

  • We love these moments when people pass our “Hearty” and smile. And lucky we, that’s what we see almost every day!
  • Quite regularly people smile and even stop to share with us that they like the messages on our RV. Many even ask questions about the messages and invite us to have a joyful conversation about Solution Focus and even share wonderful stories from their lives with us.
  • People passing us with their cars honking, waving and smiling at us while sharing that they like our RV or even that they are on our website make us smile and laugh. What lovely moments!
  • Receiving eMails and messages on Facebook from people who saw us and our Hearty is always special. This makes us smile and feel very grateful – seeing that people even take the effort to write in order to tell us that they like what we do. Wow!
  • Creating solution focused experiences for and with people is exciting. We are grateful and happy and that we had a lot of opportunities to share our passion with many people along the road – in highlight rounds, solution ping-pong games or SF conversations… and we even had some little workshops around the Hearty (one thing we absolutely want to do more in the future!).

We love campfires! Even more surprising, that we only had 9 or 10 campfires so far. And yes, the fire bans in different areas are no excuse… So, definitely a good thing to work on 🙂

One of the most surprising things in our Hearty is our upper-heat oven! When we bought our motorhome we thought we’ll not use this oven at all, such a waste of space. What a funny conclusion… Thankfully we don’t believe everything we think. Now we’re regularly baking our bread in there, and we already made pizza, brownies, cookies and even a birthday cake for Bibiana.

Right now we are on the Trans-Canada-Highway on our way from Calgary to Toronto – 3.500 km, the longest distance we drove without rest days in between.

Want to hear more fun facts? Ask us your questions in the comments section below or in one of our podcasts. We are looking forward to answering them in the beginning of our podcasts in the future.

Thank you for being on this journey with us!

Elfie, Dominik & Bibi

Crossing Borders: Our story featured on Utah Public Radio

Crossing Borders: Our story featured on Utah Public Radio

EXCITING TIMES in Logan, UT

It’s April and early in the morning – at least for Elfie 🙂 We are on our way to Utah Public Radio. Together with our dear friend Pamela King we are invited to give an interview and share our story with their audience. Now you can hear our story in their series “Crossing Borders: A Yearlong Storytelling Project”.

THANK YOU Pamela King for making this possible AND THANK YOU Dani Hayes for the interview and the great time we had at Utah Public Radio!

Good bye USA! Hello Canada!

Good bye USA! Hello Canada!

Solution Focus is a gift to us in many ways. Creating Solution Focused experiences for people is our passion. Consequently making Solution Focus principles a life-style is what we aim for. The last 6 months we had lots of opportunities to proof that. There were these wonderful times when we talked about our preferred future, explored what already works towards this future and discovered what shows us that we’re on our way to co-create a great time together. It was the days when we felt energized, nourished and alive.

However, there were also moments were we felt exhausted, tired, and annoyed. Moments were it felt harder as usual to put a smile on the face and interact joyfully with each other. Moments which actually invited us to show up and proof that we are serious in living a Solution Focused life-style. Moments were we felt lucky to remind ourselves that it’s not about being solution focused all the time. Rather it’s about training our focus, inviting each other to look on co-creating joyful interactions, amplifying useful change and discussing what we want rather than talking about what we don’t want.

During all these brilliant times and challenging moments we strongly felt connected to the power of being surrounded by like-minded people. Willpower is a great thing to have. However, accessing friendpower is magical. Our journey through the United States allowed us to meet and spend time with amazing Solution Focused practitioners and we feel truly blessed to be surrounded by so much friendpower, passion and people doing amazing Solution Focused work in so many different fields of live.

We are grateful for all the heart-touching encounters, inspirational moments and great conversations we have had with all the people we met so far. Today we’d like to pause in order to honor the amazing networks of Solution Foucsed practitioners all around the world. These networks allow to connect with people we know from books, stories and maybe some short interactions at conferences, to get in touch, come together and joyfully ride the wave of friendpower. We are grateful for all the people who contribute to keep these networks alive and we’re grateful for all the possibilities these networks bring to each and everyone of us.

Last but not least we want to thank all the great people who invited us into their lives and spend time with us. Thank you for so many precious moments, inspirational conversations and your brilliant work!

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