— Olga Leschen at the communication course

Olga Leschen at HalvorsbøleOlga’s life has been full of changes. She was born in Omsk, Russia’s 5th largest city, and grew up with Russian as her native language. When she was 19, her family decided to move to Germany. She would have liked to stay on in her childhood city, but had to move along. She didn’t know a single word of any language other than Russian, and admits that the first year was difficult. But it is not her nature to give up easily. She learnt German during the first few years of her new life, passed her high school exams, got the necessary A levels, and made her way to university. In Russia, she had wanted to study psychology, but in Germany she changed her mind and studied international transport management. Now she works in the international account management department of a German manufacturing company and is responsible for customers in Russia. She has also spent three years in Hungary.

Olga in canoe

Learning about herself

Why Acem training in interpersonal communication?

After she learnt Acem Meditation, Olga practised zealously and went to an international weeklong retreat in Norway. The idea of a communication course added a psychological aspect which was new and appealing. She had never relinquished her interest in psychology, and when she heard about the communication course, she was intrigued. She wanted to find out more through her own experience.

In the beginning, it was a bit confusing. The process was different from anything she had encountered before. There were no clear rules to follow. Everybody in the group contributed to its development. Olga was free to explore, see and learn about herself through the group. The other participants developed their image of Olga, and it was important for her to recognize that she herself contributed to that image.

Opening up

“This course doesn’t stay on the surface, like some other communication courses I have participated in. The most important difference is that you give others an opportunity to see you. Talking isn’t enough. You must show emotions too. Sometimes this is painful, but it brings you closer to others. Each person is free to decide his or her own limits to openness. In the group, we learned to respect each other, including all the differences between us.”

Olga found that she tends to suppress negative things, and thereby to hold back more than necessary. She thinks she would have profited from commenting more freely on others, as some of the other participants did. The experience of the communication course will also be important in her job:

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to get closer to others, and I definitely hope to come back later.”

Olga is a moderator in Acem, and has already taught two follow-up courses in Acem Meditation. She likes it, and also enjoys meeting meditators in the Acem centre in Hamburg, where she now lives.