My name is Iva Paska. I was always drawn to existential questions such as
What is the meaning of life? How to live in today’s fast-paced society that can be challenging?
In the meantime, I have started to look at this as a call and started seeking answers. This web-page is the result of my now already 15-year long search, while staying away from cliche new-age ideas that promise instant happiness and seek instead meaningful paths towards self-growth.
As for me, I hold a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary humanities and social sciences, the field of Sociology from the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana. My sociological interests are intimate relationships and mental health from the sociological perspective, digital sociology and sociology of artificial intelligence.
I attended psychoanalytic courses and existential therapy courses at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb. I always felt drawn to existential philosophy, Bateson, systemic work and different ways of thinking about therapy and mental health and recovery approaches. I finished “Logotherapy in Upbringing and Education”, accredited by the Croatian Agency for Upbringing and Education, a DBT Legacy course of the Behavioral Tech Institute and DBT Skills course. Currently I am in gestalt psychotherapy training and I am loving it.
I have organized Existential circles that served as places for reflecting on existential givens we usually don’t have time or space to address in everyday life – such as meaning.
I worked for and participated in the work of NGOs in Zagreb and Varaždin dealing with EU projects.
I am working at the University where I also encourage critical thinking among my students, especially regarding the new world we inevitably face due to digital technologies.
I like combining all the things I have learned or experienced within different approaches to provide a meaning-making framework for our experiences.
The question of meaning can come to us in certain times, especially in contemporary society. Fast-pacedness and goal-orientation that are hallmarks of today’s society can neglect the needs of us human beings to the back – this can bring feelings of anxiety and alienation to the forefront.
Phenomenological and existentialist traditions look at human beings as beings-in-context. For these approaches, human beings are not just a fixed set of characteristics, but they are also dependent on the context, experience, intentionality, and always in a process. Meaning is usually found within the process.
The aim of the website is for these findings to aid in other people’s processes.
Hi Iva, I have seen some interactions between yourself and my digital media on Facebook and LinkedIn. I have to admit, I never really looked at your interests until after seeing your article surface on Mad in America. That was when I read your bio. At that moment, I knew we were kindred spirits, at least in the way we understand the world and hope to share it with the world through our writing. After, I looked at your blog and read this page solidifying my beliefs that we are indeed kindred spirits. I am wondering if you have looked into my work, specifically, my book, university on watch: the crisis in the academy. Somehow, I think the interpretive eye the narrator uses passes through this shared love of discovering meaning in life. My blog touches on these areas in a more sarcastic flippant way, as the entries are shorter in length than a full-length work. If this message spoke to you, please email me, and maybe we can work together on a project.
Love your philosophy and writings/offerings! Thank you so much!
Thank you, Phyll! Hearing such a nice feedback makes me inspired to continue with my work!
Yes! I have only just begun to read your website. I started with the “About” page. But I was very inspired by reading your article I found in Mad in America, “Finding Meaning in Suffering…”
I am a 66 year old woman living in California, USA, struggling big time with meaning. This is what really caught me:
“Your circumstances are uniquely your own. Your origin, your story, the things you’ve seem, the experiences lived and felt – nobody has done that or felt that in that particular way and in that particular manner but you…. what is it that you and only you can offer to the world?…”
Of course, the rest of the article was part of it as well. I don’t exactly know why, but that, above, is what I needed to hear. I thank you. Yes, thank you!
I look forward to reading more. I have read some existentialism, but it was challenging. Your “synopsis” (sort of) really got through to me! Thank you again…. Be well.
Thank you for sharing your experience and your kind words, Li Davis. I am glad that you have found the article at the time you needed it.