Katarina Čuk, you really have a diverse and full life. How would you describe and highlight the main milestones in your life?
Yes, I can really say that I have had a full life – especially in the sense of periods with more and less diversity, which allow many possibilities to deal with different emotions and enable personal growth. This is primarily due to many »stressful« life events and situations, however there were also enough of nice events to complement them. For the most part, I would say that my main approach towards life is a curious one - I always search for something and explore it, and while I search for the best verses and stories to write on the »paper« I am most happy with the moments of finding myself - that deepest, raw sense of self-awareness inspires me the most. I find the easiest way to explore myself in the nature where I experience many interesting things about which I write in my books.
You wrote an interesting book entitled Our Timeless Nature. Can you tell us more about the book: how much time it took to write it, from where did you draw the inspiration, why this topic interests you and what do you try to convey with it?
Book Our timeless nature is a collection of insights, messages and inspiration about the nature from the nature and how it can help us in personal growth, health and coping with life challenges. It encourages a different perspective on the nature, our inner nature and life here and now. It was created spontaneously and sprang from some kind of whispers and exploration of the nature, trees and muses. I could say, this is part of my essence and something that most interests me in life - it makes me wanna write about it and talk about it to people in order they would acknowledge the inevitable connection with the nature. I like when people say that after reading my book they look at the nature and themselves differently, they perceive it and themselves more deeply.
I read that you can relate to the advices from old women's book and for instance why oak and pine trees are good for our health. You also wrote that ills of modern society is man's lack of connection with the nature and that man's co-existence with the nature is not a goal but process. What do you mean by that?
People have came from the nature, we are natural beings, and therefore it is simply not natural for us to be separated from it – to be frequently indoors, in the cities surrounded by all-powerful devices, artificial impulses etc. Therefore from this follows that our health on all levels is found in the nature and in connection with the nature and separation from it is the cause of many modern problems. Gradual reconnection with it in a way that this becomes our habit, part of everyday life is a process that is beneficial to all. Reconnection may mean a walk in the nature, a more frequent visit to the forest, a tree-tutorial exercises, the use of natural products, the care for the environment, the cultivation of plants on our balconies or at least a picture of the nature on the computer's background. And, most importantly, in nature it is easier to hear ourselves, the genuine voice that guides us.
In the documentary Attraction of Gender, you and Kamala Katerina Gjorgievska were presented as partners: can you can tell us more why you decided to took part in the documentary and if you would like to share with us why you split after 10 years of relationship?
Kamala and I decided to cooperate in your documentary mainly because we have always believed that it is important to be visible and help to raise awareness, mutual understanding and progress in the areas that are important to us and to talk about topics that may still be taboo in society. Progress can also mean the end of something in order to make room for something else when it is time for rewriting of the relationship which could bring even bigger personal growth or something new in a different way.
You two still have together the project Full Bliss Living. Part of the project are also your workshops »Energy Balancing with the Tree« in which you present yourself as an expert in the field of personal and spiritual growth and the implementer of the »Forest Selfness« program. Can you tell us more about these workshops and to whom are they intended for?
Full Bliss Living went through different transformations (at the same time as Kamala and I went through transformation as a couple and each of us separately), which slowly shapes into a new form, yet its basis to find our own way and our own self-care and satisfaction still applies. All I do personally, this applies to my writing as well as workshops and forest self-ness (wellness), is intended for people who want a better connection with themselves and with nature, perhaps in ways that have not yet been met or have not been really dwelled upon yet. I do it especially through our connection to the trees and since we forgot that connection we may need some incentive to remember and rebuke it. That is why recently there have been so many scientific research and evidence proving nature, especially trees, are good for our body, mind and emotions. Since nature has personally helped me, I have been training and still studying in the field of integrated treatment with nature, as well as meditation and personal growth, so that I can share it professionally with the others.
How would you describe yourself as a lesbian, bisexual ...?
I do not describe myself with any of these words, because I do not wish to label either myself or the others. I am here. I live and love.
How much your sexual orientation affects or if affects your work at all: do you pay attention to sexual orientation in your workshops, and does forest respond to this?
My work is about building up a connection with yourself and accepting yourself, your nature, and everything that comes with it - and it helps people at different levels. Nature accepts us as we are, and in the forest we do not have to pretend, fear, hide or encumber ourselves... We are just what we are. This can make us feel relieved, lead to greater self-acceptance, and invest energy into greater self-confidence.
Where does your optimism, courage, and ideas come from?
From the nature, close relationships and listening to, reading and writing songs and being with my cats ;).
What are your plans for the future? Do you have a new girlfriend?
My plans ... are all related to the nature, writing, translation, education, diverse experiences of life and, of course, with that comes love for here and now.