About Gordana

Living Peacefully





About Gordana

I chose to call my practice and  website Living Peacefully because I realised that throughout my life I have been looking for and trying to create peace either externally and/or internally. As a child I assumed, often,   a role of  peace maker  trying to negotiate arguments between members of my family, my friends, and my classmates.

When I was in my early twenties the civil war ravaged throughout my home country of Croatia, former Yugoslavia, and my home town of Vukovar was severely affected. I was lucky to be in England at the time  and to be able to stay there as a refugee. The war in my own country intensified my need and search for peace even more. At the time, however, I was still looking for peace on the outside. I even did a master degree in Understanding and Securing Human Rights as an attempt to try to understand how wars, and the suffering they bring with them, can be prevented and how a lasting peace in the world could be achieved.

The more I was evolving emotionallythe more I realised that  human rights perspective however valid was limited and in my perspective not enough focussed on the actual human beings and the inner processes that drive us.In 2006 when I was introduced to Nonviolent Communication (NVC)   it became clearer to me that when looking for  for peace and harmony in the world we need to start on the level of each human being and her or his (universal) human needs. NVC is a process of communication  using a concrete set of skills that help us to aligne with our deep universal needs and from that place we engage and create life-serving relationships, communities, workplaces and companies. On a deeper level NVC is more than 'just' a set of skills, it can be used as a spiritual practice, a way of life in full awareness of our common humanity and desire to honors everyone's needs. NVC was developed by  Marshall B. Rosenberg Ph.D.

Next to learning and practicing NVC, in 2008 I also obtained a Diploma in the Humanist Counselling at The Academy for Counselling and Coaching (ACC) in the Netherlands. This was a part of my desire to constructively use my life experience and knowledgein order to  help  others to look into themselves and find that light that, in my opinion, everyone of us carries inside them.

As a consequence of my counseling training and the NVC practice I have started to look much more intensively inside of myself as well as towards other people and the universe for sources of inspiration, for answers that are beyond rational and understandable (cognitively). Beyond the masks, behaviours, defense mechanisms that most people show first, I started to search for the human in each person, ‘that of god in everyone’. I have opened my self to the idea of energies that we all carry with us and bring to situations and relationships we engage in.  In one word started exploring spirituality. I guess the best way of describing my spirituality is by saying I have faith but I am not a believer. I do not to attach myself to any concept or idea of God/Buddha/Allah rather I am keeping myself open to the flow of divine energy from wherever and in whichever form it may come, not holding on to it but rather letting it flow.

On my path of growth and in the process of searching for peace I discovered that peace is not to be found some day, if only conditions are to be right. Rather, it is to be found or rather chosen in here, wherever I am at any given moment, and in the now, in the present moment. Through my personal experience I have, therefore, learned that peace begins with me and it begins in the here and now and these two notions also play an important part in my coaching and counselling practice.

“Peace requires

something far more difficult

than revenge or merely

turning the other cheek;

it requires empathizing

with the fears and unmet needs

that provide the impetus for people

to attack each other.

Being aware of

these feelings and needs,

people lose their desire to attack back

because they can see

the human ignorance

leading to these attacks;

instead, their goal becomes

providing the empathic connection and education

that will enable them

to transcend their violence

and engage in cooperative relationships.”

Marshall B. Rosenberg


''How to be at peace now?

By making peace

with the present moment.

The present moment is a field

on which the game of life happens.

It cannot happen anywhere else.''

Eckhart Tolle


''There is only the moment.

The now.

Only what you are experiencing

at this second is real.

This does not mean,

live for the moment.

It means,

you live the moment.

… love has meaning

only as it is experienced

in the now.

Leo Buscaglia

Gordana Stankovic

Living Peacefully

Humanistic Counselling & Life-coaching

KvK number: 66762871