How it is possible?

Kati Orav
5 min readJan 26, 2021

“I can’t do it, it is impossible” has never been my style.
“How it is possible?” has always been my way of seeing life.

So, I promised to write a little about myself. And then I started to think- what would be the most relevant to share? I thought so deeply that probably overthought many times. The post should have been published several weeks ago but I just couldn't get started. Now, I give it a try and let us agree that if you can't find the information you would like to know about me, then just let me know :) It is a bit funny to write about myself but at the same time, it is so interesting to take time and think about my strengths and doings and how this all is connected with my previous mission and passion.

I was just an ordinary girl who always believed that something extraordinary will happen. I used to do a lot of sports, dreamed about being an actress or an architect and life always found me being a leader or helping others in situations where I saw I could help. Today, sports is my lifestyle but I don't do it for competition. I don't dream to be in any other profession that I am now- practicing, teaching, and researching graphic facilitation but I do dream to be a bit more as I am today so I could help more people with my knowledge and skills. Also, I see that I can help education with my passion so I work for that.

Recently I have started to think that I may be talented with my attitude to life. I have always been positive, optimistic, emphatic, creative, and hard-working but also pretty easy going, seeking new ways and somehow longing to be different from the big mass. Already in primary school, I understood that my superpowers are seeing the big picture and patterns, synthesizing, connecting ideas, and seeing what is not seen. This made me a very good problem solver, always coming up with creative ideas and finding new solutions. Today it is very common to teach people a growth mindset but I know that I was born with it.

“I can't do it, it is impossible” has never been my style.
“How it is possible?” has always been my way of seeing life.

I was only 18, just finished high school when I found myself in school as a substitute teacher. I mostly taught the high school students in math and English but also got a second grade for half a year. So I spent 4–5 lessons with 34 students at the age of 8–9, like a real teacher. Sounds pretty crazy, I know but maybe I am a natural-born teacher even if I have been fighting against it all my teenage years (saying that I will never be a teacher because my grandfather and my mother were teachers- classical story). But being a teacher made me fall in love with working with kids and I went to study youth work. I said pretty easily good buy to those dreams of being an actress or architect and still don't regret it. So, I worked in the field of youth work- in school and in public service from 2001- 2013 and loved every minute of it.

It was 2009 when I participated in a 7-month training to become an inclusive leader. This idea comes from participatory leadership, from a worldwide community named Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations that Matter (AoH). This changed my whole life and I could say that this program contained everything that nowadays people learn from life or success coaches. This program pretty much made me who I am today, bringing out the best of me. I thank so much my teachers, mentors on friends Piret Jeedas, Ivika Nõgel and Robert Oetjen.
Of course, I practiced it all in my community to develop youth work and community life in a participatory way and it worked. It really did and still does. So, at one point I wanted to share the wisdom and practice with more people and in 2010 I started to teach AoH myself and help other communities as paid work. I could say that those were pretty crazy times. I did youth work as my biggest duty, then I did trainings as a freelancer at weekends and extra hours and- had a baby, wonderful son Samuel. Of course, my husband Ingmar helped me a lot and he is still my best companion and teammate. In 2012, I started to work out my own program as a trainer and gave birth to our second son Ruben.

In 2013 I got a call to participate in training named “Graphic Facilitation”. Well, I can not draw and I do not believe that they can make me draw either, I thought. But let's give it a try. So I went to that 2- days training and it happened to be another one that changed my life. Thank you so much, dear teachers and friends from Denmark- Anne Madsen and Christina Hemmingsen.
I didn't know it at the time but this training gave me a passion and mission to serve in this life. And, most of all, the skill of how to draw as a thinking tool brought out the best in me. Graphic facilitation is all about seeing the big picture and patterns, synthesizing, connecting ideas, and seeing what is not seen. And do you remember what I mentioned before about my superpowers? Exactly! How could I not love this approach?! How funny- the only lesson I was struggling with at school, the drawing became my lighthouse and guide to new life. The only difference was that I had a new angle to look at the act of drawing, the total shift in mindset. And I learned it as a concrete technique.

So, once again I started to practice this approach in youth work and community development, discovering its power and hidden corners. I had no plan to start teaching it or start using it somehow publicly as a paid job. I was just a practitioner, who so much enjoyed the new skill, the way it helped me and people around me to understand processes and set goals. It made me a much better leader and trainer. And, as a mother of two, I had a lot of fun while drawing more with my kids.

But the universe had some other plans…. Do you know this saying that life happens while you are busy making other plans? This is totally true. I found myself in another training….

… but- to keep this post short, the story will continue next time… Stay tuned :)



Kati Orav

I encourage people to dream bigger and be more creative and entrepreneurial. For that, I teach them how to use the Magic of an Imperfect Line.