For two years I was staring at a linden tree

Balazs Laszlo Karafiath's guardian-angels were working in full steam in the beginning of the new millennium while he was reaching his serious goals as a successful businessman. First he dived onto Monte Carlo's suburbs, then he was scooped up by ambulance from a construction site in Old Buda, which made him realize that for fulfillment and self-realization he does not necessarily have to paraglide to find the road to his goal. - Portrait by Zsolt Balla for the FORBES Hungarian Edition.

TE KI VAGY - WHO ARE YOU? FORBES Hungary ran a special on personal development as a part of business in the January 2016 edition

TE KI VAGY - WHO ARE YOU? FORBES Hungary ran a special on personal development as a part of business in the January 2016 edition

Living in California the forty three year old Mr. Karafiath has become a completely different person. In the 90’s, Balazs Szekfu (using still his birth-name) was well known by the Hungarian communication industry for his show at Tilos Radio and the founding of the Sziget Festival and the Carnation Web Agency. His looks, his habits and his character has also changed, that all together suggested that this must have been more than just 15 years of aging and the North Californian sun. 

He projects peace and harmony, which - who has known him early on would know - was not one of his strength. Right away I have challenged his calmness by showing up 20 minutes late to the scheduled interview. “I also got stuck in traffic, but I left on time.” - laughed (on the phone) with an obvious temperament that showed me that I would have to work way harder to piss him off ( or get him out of his balance).

The Feldmar years

In the middle of the 2000’s he realized that having accomplished companies did not make him content. That is when he had the opportunity to meet Andras Feldmar. They’ve worked together in a therapist-patient relationship from 2006 for a couple of years,  through skype and in person, using regular and also unorthodox styles of therapy. “ A big part of what I was earning, I spent on trying hard to put my life story back together.” - said Laszlo.

After he came back home - in 2006-2007, studied at Yale on a fellowship - he decided, that his biggest problem is the rhythm of his life, which he needed to slow down. Feldmar’s much used metaphor was that people move so fast that after a while they don’t realize there turns and intersections where they could have chosen other paths. “Since my companies were functioning well while I was away, I thought, what if I don’t go back to work? - which led me to move down to the lake Balaton Highlands, where I was practically staring at a linden tree for two years.” - explained Mr. Karafiath of his next step towards clarification.

The process was not slow and comfortable in all its elements. There were lots of things to face with, which needed to be laid out on a table. By Felmar’s suggestion he tried to share his thoughts and actions with his surroundings (for example with his parents), but did not expect change or input from it. The goal was to simply share his experience. 

“My community’s answer was surprising and encouraging. I apologized to countless people, whom I didn’t even know I’ve hurt before. The concept of love was foreign to me before and my relationships were built differently and I lived my life that way.”

Parental Hypnosis

After working with Feldmar Laszlo continued his self-recognition with San Francisco based psychotherapist Howard Teich who transformed their relationship from therapist-patient to teacher-student. Even though all the invested energy were bringing results, there  were lots of questions that needed answers. “ Ok, I understand and I know so much by now, so now what? I didn’t know why I still had a negative voice in my head bullying me all the time saying how lazy and useless I am, when the facts were showing neither. - added Balazs Karafiath, who got his answer to that question by hypnotherapy. 

“Couple of years ago I read a book from Bruce Lipton, who talks about how between age two and six our brain is in a hypnotic state where dreams and reality fades into each other, and when it approaches it stays with us, its carved in for life and the world will have this sign on it.” 

According to this theory the problem is, while tribal cultures in the world represent a colorful and complex picture to the people growing up in them a single parent or a nuclear family can  control the way their children see and get to know their surroundings: parents’ worldview  and attitude  gets hypnotized into their child even if they create negative core beliefs. According to this theory the only way to change these enduring scars, if one goes back to that subconscious state, where these “scripts” were born and can be overwritten.
For Laszlo this was the key to make peace with those voices in his head, also to block out the negative voices from outside. This inside monologue completely changed his attitude and behavior, which was a dramatic change. This methodology convinced Balazs Karafiath to become a student and finished a course in half a year that gave him his hypnotherapist practice. 

“Sadly since Freud, many people are afraid of the subconscious, they think that is where the bad things are.” - added, this fear is gratuitous, because if someone acknowledges his/her problem that needs to be solved and goes to a session, that already shows that the foundation of his/her adult self is well.

Karafiath got married this year and with his wife they are expecting their first child to born while spending few months in Hungary.  Just to be sure I ask him on a scale of 10 does he feel in place. “Ten” - he cuts in without thinking, then he hesitates. “The weather is awful, so let’s make it a nine and half.”

From Szekfu to Karafiath

Laszlo made a very important step towards finding his way to his identity when five years ago, he changed his name. “ I’ve changed back to my father’s old family name” - he said. “Our original Karafiat (means carnation in Slovak) family lived next to Brno in Jimramov in Bohemia, that is Slovakia today. My ancestors came to Buda on a horsecarriage in 1825 and added an ‘h’ to the end of their name. 
His dad changed his name to Szekfu (means carnation in Hungarian), but Laszlo never felt it belonged to him. “ Following my friend’s example, I’ve decided to change back to my old family name, and I asked my father for the old changing forms. The date of the change was May, 1972, which means I was conceived as a Karafiath, but I was born as a Szekfu. It felt all clear to me right away, why I felt my name was strange to me.