reflexio: stop in order to become better

When I arrived to Hoshiv and saw how twelve sisters look after everything there, I thought, “How do they cope with so much work?” It was the first lesson I learned for my business: take away bureaucracy and just do it, Iryna Mala (from the company Trident) shares her first impressions of the program reflexio.

On the day when we had talked, she had spent the whole day in silence – which is one of the ways to know yourself and learn to listen. Iryna admits that when she was traveling to Hoshiv, she was overwhelmed with information: “Here I found peace and fresh ideas about what I do every day.”

“Discard what is urgent in order to reflect on what is important” is the motto of the first Reflexio, organized by the Lviv Business School of UCU (LvBS). For five days, in the peacefulness of the Hoshiv Monastery, participants had the opportunity to think: “The beginning of spiritual life is listening. I hope you have met people who know how to listen: pastors, mothers, friends – with their listening they help you to express something deeply true. Listening is essential for our spiritual life. Calm the noise in your soul, in your head, to hear what God says to you” Bishop Borys Gudziak shared some guidance with the participants.

The five-day program reflexio combined experience at an intersection – new speakers and opportunities every day.  Participants attempted a unique practice of silence and retreat with Bishop Borys Gudziak, rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University, and Father Vasyl Zakharus. Participants painted pictures together with one of the most famous contemporary artists in Ukraine, Mykhaylo Demtsiu. They studied Eastern religions and the logic of writing hanzi with the director of RR Commodities (Shanghai), Sergiy Lesnyak. Participants also studied philosophical texts and symbols with vice rector of the UCU, Volodymyr Turchynovksyy, and human rights defender Myroslav Marynovych shared his experience and lessons from his life.

“Usually we don’t have time for such things, but we need stop and reflect,” says Oleh Nykulyshyn (Market Universal Ltd.), who came here with his wife Irena. “These meetings and conversations are opportunities to view your relationships with God, people, and yourself in a completely different way.”

When faith is left beyond our daily affairs and is remembered only on Sundays, many feel the need for change: “There must be maturity to be aware of key issues. During Reflexio we looked at many issues in a different way. There is integrity in this program: the atmosphere of a monastery, worship, and people with different and interesting experiences – all of which are components of a new adventure. In business, there are issues which need strategic thinking and you have to sacrifice something in order to achieve aimed targets. The questions are what to sacrifice, and whether the target justifies the means. Here I realized how important it is to understand your target, the target of your company, and to analyze whether or not the sacrifice is expedient,” Oleh Nykulyshyn sums up his experience.

“I was looking for balance. When I saw the announcement for reflexio, I didn’t hesitate, because I knew that it would be useful. Here I tried to find harmony in silence and in conversation with other people,” says Iryna Mala. “There is too much vanity in business; I want to find an island of peace. And to hear yourself – you need to catch the moment.  When everyone around gives you advice on how to act, sometimes you just have to stop and listen to yourself.”

Oleksandra Podolyan came to this program from Yalta. She believes that these five days helped her to rethink her life radically. She feels she crossed a threshold, and now realizes the need for change: “LvBS managed to get together different people from different regions, but during the program we were very close. I felt inner peace and learned to listen.”

If you want to expand your boundaries, you have to experience discomfort, Father Vasyl Zakharus advised the businessmen. “God wants to bless us generously, but it is the individual who limits his generosity,” he explains. “Ask God to expand your boundaries and supernatural capabilities will become available. Paradoxically, but such a request increases our responsibility. However, expanding the boundaries is inevitable if you want to grow – then you will be ready to learn, to ask, to improve. If you want to see the true power of God, do not stay in one place. Most unsuccessful people are afraid of change.”

In conclusion, the priest advised: “Do not pray for tasks that are equal to your skills, pray for skills that are equal to your tasks. When you believe in what you want and do what you need for it, it will happen.”

PRME Interview - Sophia Opatska about reflexio