by Olieta Horvat Kardoš

This article comes from Guidepoints News from NADA Spring 2021 Issue. Sign-up to receive Guidepoints in your inbox quartlery. The Guidepoints newsletter is the only publication devoted to the sharing and dissemination of our NADA work on an international scale. Become a member to opt-in for a print copy. Check-out past issues.

My colleague Ksenija and I were eagerly preparing for an important event where we would gather our acquaintances, friends and family members and introduce them to the NADA protocol. We carefully compiled a list of people we would invite, wanting everyone to feel welcomed as our guests. More importantly we wanted to convey positive emotions, warmth, happiness and satisfaction of experiencing the NADA protocol.

Several days prior to our clinic, Ksenija and I provided the NADA protocol at a public park, so we had some experience to help us prepare a COVID-safe space. We prepared the necessary needling supplies, and we also had healthy cookies and tea as an additional welcome. We were happy and in anticipation. Our trainer, Sara, arrived. Then, the first guests began to arrive. I shared our story of how we joined Inicijativa as volunteers, and how Sara came to teach us the NADA protocol and how grateful we were for this learning.

When we put the needles in, I felt tension for the first 10 minutes. After that, the atmosphere in the room changed. Relaxation, peace and connection was felt in every corner of the room. Sara, Ksenija and I smiled, enjoying every moment of this beautiful evening.

Ksenija and I have been connected personally and professionally for a long time. In our collaboration, we work to serve people who are in need. By going to the areas affected by the earthquake, we try to alleviate the pain and suffering of people who have lost so much, people who still live in fear and have little hope for a better tomorrow.

For us the NADA protocol represents a new skill and opportunity to help people. Respect for others, and care and compassion for their well-being, are the threads that intertwine and guide our lives. For both Ksenija and me, participating in this training opened new doors and balanced emotions in a way that was beneficial not only for the people we are trying to help, but for ourselves also.

The earthquake and COVID shook all of our lives. The NADA protocol is something new, different, something that positively affects our health and the people we work with. We thank everyone who made it possible for us to be a part of this beautiful experience. Special thanks to our Sara who inspires us with her energy, knowledge and skills. I expect that we will all persevere in implementing the NADA protocol. 

I would like to make a special note saying that our mothers were there at the first training session. They had given us such unconditional support in this new learning, that it was especially good to see them being able to relax and let go of the tension we’re all living with – even for a little while.

Olieta Horvat Kardoš is a professor of pedagogy at the Velika Gorica High School. She is also the director of the Red Cross counseling center for prevention of substance use disroder.

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