Monthly Archives February 2016

Doing gentle – 7 – Don’t scratch the wound

Doing gentle – 7 – Don’t scratch the wound

February 28, 2016
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We are all born with a physical immune system. The purpose of this issue system is to bring us back to physical well-being. If I scratch my hand, I don’t have to think my way to a healed wound, it’s taken care of by my immune system. It’s a good idea to still the blood flow, and to clean it out, but besides that, not much to do. I can be a bit smart, and avoid digging in the bare soil until the wound closes over, because otherwise it might be infected, but I don’t have to order my white blood cells over to the wound site, to clean up the mess. I don’t have to send an order to enzymes and clotting factors to head on over there and get started on repairing the hole, rebuilding the skin. It is done, because that’s what the immune system does. It picks up on irregularities, and straightens them out.

I can mess it up. I can dig in bare soil, I can scratch at the wound, removing the crust, over and over again, exposing the wound to the environment and possible hazards. Worst case, I get the wound infected and it will take a long time to heal, and possibly it might need antibiotics if I’ve really messed it up.

doing gentle scratchBut if I clean the wound, stop the blood flow, and leave it be, letting my immune system work it’s magic, it will be fine. It’s just a scratch, and I will be fine.

What many of us has forgotten, is that we have a similar psychological immune system, designed to bring us back to mental well-being, in the same way the physical immune system brings us back to bodily health. And the same thing applies here. Don’t scratch the wound. By scratching our mental wounds, we interfere with the psychological immune system, stopping it from doing its job.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve experienced nights of total insomnia. Not often, but a few times every year. And the first time, I had two nights in a row, slept one, thought I was ok, and had another one. It scared me. I got anxious, and nervous, and worried that I had suddenly developed a sleeping disorder. I started to fret about going to bed on time, and avoid screen time before bed, eating a few hours before not to have that disturb my sleep, and most of all: during the sleepless nights, I went on and on in my head, telling myself I had to sleep. I was scratching the wound, so to speak. I wouldn’t let myself rest and relax, even though I wasn’t sleeping, no, I was beating myself up over it, trying to force myself to sleep.

No such luck. But in time, after a few sleepless nights, I slept. Like a baby. Not doing anything really, except let my system work itself out.

And since then, whenever I have one of these sleepless nights, I trust my system, my psychological immune system, is at work, doing its thing, and I don’t have to get in its way. I don’t have to be anxious about insomnia, and I don’t have to do anything to get my immune system working. It’s working. Trust me. And trust it. It’s there, and it’s working away. What I should do, is get out of its way, and stop scratching the mental wound.

So next time you are anxious, stressed out, feeling down, having bouts of insomnia. Leave it be. Don’t scratch on your wound. Clean it, and stop the blood flow, for sure, which in mental issues might mean things like go to bed on time, take a walk and get some air and sun, eat healthy food. But don’t go overboard, scratching at the problem. Let your immune systems take you back to your innate well-being. That’s what they are there for.

Welcome to my new website, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I share thoughts on how I do gentle, and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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Responsibility

February 25, 2016
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What is responsibility?
What does it mean?
How do I act responsibly?
And why do I have such strong attachment to the word, with a heavy feeling of sorts attached to it?

Those are but a few of the questions that arose a while ago, during a coaching call with my coach. Since then, I’ve toyed with the word, played with the concept, observed my feelings, written about it in my journal, and also spoken again and again with my coach about it, but also brought it up in other conversations.

I’ve gotten more insight. I’ve discovered the story I was telling myself about being responsible, and why it is “something I have to do“. No wonder it had a heavy feel to it!

If I think responsibility is a heavy burden to bear, a must, something one should do, it’s only logical that it will have a very heavy feel to it. 

And you know what? It doesn’t have to.

The more I’ve sat with the word, I’ve realized responsibility can feel very light as well. It all depends on my state of mind. When I am in a low state of mind, I feel alone, having to carry the weight of responsibility all by myself. When, on the other hand, I am in a high state of mind, I feel connected to the Whole, to Mind, to whatever connects us all to each other (also when I’m in a low state of mind, mind you! Only when I’m low, I lose sight of the connection that is always there, as if I’ve gotten lost).

When I’m aware of the connection, feeling connected, responsibility is light as a feather. It’s as if I am no longer the only one to carry my load, like I’m larger than life, and no burden is too heavy. My self is so expanded, so connected to the energies of Mind, that I’m sharing the weight with everyone. Light. As a feather.

feather

I like the new relationship with Responsibility that I am exploring. What is Responsibility to you? Is it heavy? Or light as a feather?

Welcome to the English writings of Helena Roth. Since 2012 I have blogged over at herothecoach.com and this post is a sample of what I’ve been writing over the years. I hope you enjoy this #ThrowbackThursday, originally published here, and if you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts.

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Being gentle to me – Reflection February ’16

February 23, 2016
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Helena and the fluI am just getting back to full strength after a week of the flu.

In other words, I just had the perfect opportunity to practice being gentle to myself. I woke up Tuesday with a high fever, called off all meetings and assignments for the rest of the week, rested, slept, and most of all, had absolutely no expectations on myself and of any type of productivity.

Ditching all expectations on myself is much more significant than it might sound. Opening up for just being, without planning for or demanding any type of output from myself (I even had a few blog-free days last week, because my aim to blog daily is not a Must to me). Letting myself have all the time needed to combat all flu-bugs and just focus on getting well again.

As I sit here and reflect, I realize how lucky I am to have been on the road of Being gentle to me for a few years now. I know how easy it would have been for me to beat myself over the head with angst over cancelled meetings, reports not filled in, emails not responded to and so on.

Now – none of that. Truly. I cancelled those meetings without a bad conscience. I filled in the reports this week instead, and am slowly getting through all the emails of last week. I rested, watched silly movies, read a few chick-lit books and enjoyed leaving my physical immune system alone to do what it does best – return me to physical wellbeing and health.

Welcome to my website, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. I will be reflecting on a monthly basis on what that means to me, in the moment, and this is one of those reflections. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future reflections.

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Doing gentle – 6 – The problem isn’t the problem

February 21, 2016
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doing gentle problemsWhat if I told you, that the problem isn’t the problem. Would you believe me?

What if I told you, it’s your thinking about the problem, that is the problem. Would you believe me?

How many times have you worked yourself into a rut, scared, anxious, worried, nervous, dreading something that is to come? Knowing it will be hard, stressful, troublesome, and sure not to work out in any good way. You just know it will be a disaster.

Whether it be a job interview. The first meeting with your ex-spouse after the divorce. Tearing down the ancient wallpaper in the guest room. Asking the boss for even more time off since your mom has taken a turn for the worst and might not live much longer. Holding a presentation for more people than ever before.

And how many times have you been surprised that the disaster never happened? Surprised at how good the job interview felt. At the civil conversation you and the ex managed to hold. How the wallpaper came down much more easily than expected. How the boss was very empathic and without any hassle gave you a promise to take as much time off work as you need. How you absolutely rocked that presentation, and they asked you for a quote for giving it at their sister company as well.

This if what I mean. How the problem isn’t the problem, the problem is your thinking about the problem.

So what if you picked up on your thinking? What if you became aware that you are thinking nervous, anxious, worried thoughts? Nothing more. Nothing less. You don’t have to do anything about those thoughts, but notice they are there. Notice yourself thinking and feeling them. Knowing what you are feeling are your thoughts in the given moment, not what the problem at hand will feel like. It might. By all means, it might. Because surely interactions with ex-spouses, wallpaper and presentations can all go horribly wrong, taking an even nastier turn that you pictured in your misgivings. But regardless if your misgivings will turn out to be true or false, what happens will happen. Why experience the pain twice, when you don’t have to?

Welcome to my new website, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I share thoughts on how I do gentle, and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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I shiver, watching, listening. Experiencing.

February 20, 2016
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I watch Prince Ea and shiver. Moved to the core. The hair on my arms and legs stand up, shivering, experiencing that which lies beyond the words, beyond the labels. The boundary of my body is no more. I crack open. Expand. Sense more, sense further, farther. Even my skin isn’t satisfied with being skin-deep.

I am NOT black. I am NOT white.
I am more. I am it all.
No one label can ever define me.
No one label is large enough to encompass that which is me. That which is you. That which is us. All.
Except the one label which is what we all truly are. Love.

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Who would I be…

February 18, 2016
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Alexandra Rydholm posted a poem on her Facebook profile that was so wonderful I immediately asked her if I could credit her in this blog post. Here it is, the most lovely poem, by sculptor Paige Bradley, who makes amazing bronze sculptures as well:

“From the moment we are born, the world tends to have a container already built for us to fit inside: A social security number, a gender, a race, a profession or an I.Q. I ponder if we are more defined by the container we are in, rather than what we are inside. Would we recognize ourselves if we could expand beyond our bodies? Would we still be able to exist if we were authentically un-contained?”
-Paige Bradley

I think a lot about containers, boxes, labels and classifications. I understand the need for them on one hand, not least because they make it easier to talk to each other. They provide a shortcut, in a way, which save us from having to explain in more words, what can be summarized in just one. But on the other hand, they put up barriers, limits, restrictions and boundaries that, in many ways I believe, stop us (at least me) from being all that I am, or at least all I can be.

All these definitions I can attribute to myself: woman, mother, wife, biologist, coach, book reader, blogger, project manager, change agent, caucasian, cat lover, amateur gardener, entrepreneur. And I am sure I can come up with many more.

With this list of attributes, I am assuming you are painting a picture of me in your head? Drawing conclusions as to who and how I am, as a person?

20130503-212823.jpgI mean, that’s what I do. But should I? Am I not restricting my ability to see the other person for who he/she truly is? And even worse – am I not restricting myself as well, by adding labels to me? I can honestly say I am more authentic and much more myself now, than I was 15 years ago. But the great thing is I am finding out more and more of myself with each passing day.

Who would I be to you, if I hadn’t provided you with these labels?

Who would I be to you, if you only saw 100% Helena?

Who would you be, if you strip off your own labels?

Welcome to the English writings of Helena Roth. Since 2012 I have blogged over at herothecoach.com and this post is a sample of what I’ve been writing over the years. I hope you enjoy this #ThrowbackThursday, originally published here, and if you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts.

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Doing gentle – 5 – Pick up on inner judgement

February 14, 2016
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Once you’ve gotten aware that it’s an option to be gentle towards yourself, and after you’ve discovered the general tone of your inner dialogue – start to aim the awareness towards yourself. Pick up on when you belittle yourself. When you blame yourself for things that are not your fault. When you judge yourself for this, that or the other thing. When the harsh whipping voice of the inner dictator spins around within your mind, over and over again, hurting you with each turn, each twist, each whiplash.doing gentle 5

Become aware.

Spot it.

Spot yourself judging yourself.
Belittling yourself.
Ridiculing yourself.
Calling yourself names.

And then.
Practice self-compassion.

Acknowledge that you spotted a piece of judgment, belittlement, name-calling. Just see it. And give thanks for that. For seeing it. For actually picking up on it. If you really want to make yourself prone to spotting the self-deprecating comments you give yourself, give yourself a hug. Actually, physically, put your arms around you, and hug yourself.

It’s a really good thing to be able to witness ones’ self and not punish yourself for what you witnessed. If you punish yourself, your willingness to bear witness on yourself diminishes. Makes perfect sense. Why should you become aware and learn to see yourself, if it only leads to even more punishment?

Welcome to my new website, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I will be sharing thoughts on how I do gentle, and this is the fifth of those. I hope you enjoy it and if you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.
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A cruel and heartless world, anyone?

February 11, 2016
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BoldomaticPost_It-s-not-our-job-to-toughen-oI read the quote by L R Knost on what our job is, what my job is, and I nod, agree, and then give a deep sigh. Not because I disagree. I don’t, not at all. I agree wholeheartedly!

The sigh comes more from having met so many people – in person, or via their writings, articles, blog posts, or through their social media presence, tweets, Facebook status updates and the likes – who seem to think the opposite. People who state “It’s a tough world and if kids don’t get knocked around a bit – metaphorically at least – during their upbringing and time in school, they will not know what hit them when they grow up and join ‘the real world’ as adults“.

Maybe not spoken in those exact words, but definitely sending that message. And I simply do not believe that is the way towards a more loving and peaceful world. On the contrary. And for me, the trick is this: I cannot raise my children to be more loving and wholehearted if I am cruel and heartless. Again – kids (and everyone else as well, I dare say) do as we do, not as we say.

It’s time to walk the talk. For real. Because I want to do my job, I want to be a part of making the world a little less cruel and heartless, and more loving and peaceful.

But how? How do I do that? How do I act lovingly? What is a wholehearted action? How do I show up in the world, lovingly and wholeheartedly?

I think I might write down a few bullet points for loving and wholehearted respectively, translating the fluffy words into actual activities (actions, words, gestures). Then I can look within to see if I am walking my talk, or not. What do you think, are you?

Welcome to the English writings of Helena Roth. Since 2012 I have blogged over at herothecoach.com and this post is a sample of what I’ve been writing over the years. I hope you enjoy this #ThrowbackThursday, originally published here, and if you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts.
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Tender loving care

February 10, 2016
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It can be given in so many ways.

A hug.TLC
A kiss.
An email or a text telling someone that you are thinking of them.
Preparing a favorite food for dinner.
A cold hand on a feverish forehead.
A knitted pixie hat.
Shoveling snow on the sidewalk of your elderly neighbor.
A look. A look of love, of recognition, of companionship.

Found my old post-it-note pad in the shape of a heart today. Picked it up. Took a pen. Wrote Hugs on one note. Kisses on another. Hid them for hubby to find, one of these days. Simple. Silly. Yes, for sure. But still – I betcha he’ll be smiling when he finds them, don’t you think? And even if he won’t, I smiled when I hid them. So if nothing else, its an act of TLC towards myself, which is as important.

How often do I take the opportunity to show some tender loving care?
How often do I let the opportunity pass me by? Perhaps without even recognizing it?

Inhale. Pause. Close my eyes and exhale. Slowly.
Tender loving care.
The words shimmer on the inside of my closed eye lids.
Pink, purple, red. Warm colors, radiating heat. Radiating love.

I can share more tender loving care with the world.
With myself, my husband, children, friends and family. 
With acquaintances and complete strangers.

I can. And I will.
Because I want to.
Because I said I would.
Right now. Right here.
A promise. To me. To the world.

 

Welcome to my new blog at helenaroth.com. I have previously blogged at herothecoach.com. That’s where you will find all new Swedish posts. All my English posts will be published here, from now on. If you enjoyed this read, please subscribe to updates (in the column to the right), that way you will get all new posts delivered to your email inbox.

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Who am I and why am I here?

February 9, 2016
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Who am I?
A question that can be answered in so many different ways its almost ridiculous.

I can look at it through a very narrow lens. Then I might say that I am a woman, a mother, a wife, someone who loves to read and write. A cat-lover and hobby gardener.

If I zoom out a bit more, a possible answer could be that I am a change agent and professional coach, a person with a keen interest in the school debate, determined to make a positive impact on earth during my life time.

If I zoom out as far as possible, I am a soul amongst other souls, here to share and care for all that has been, all that is, and all that will be. There is a part of all that is within me, while at the same time I am a part of all that is.

So why am I here then? What is my why?
Another question that can be answered on many different levels.
The narrow lens informs me I want to be there for my loved ones and live a good life.
Zooming out, I want to make a difference, be of service. Generate some type of lasting value. Minimize the negative effects I have on planet earth.

If I zoom out all the way to the end, I am here to learn that which is mine to learn, in this life. I am here to live the understanding I have, that all there is, is love. There are no broken souls, there’s no one and no thing to fix, all there is, is love. All I can do, is love. Living life, in and out of love, manifests a better world for all into creation.

Two years ago, I would not have been able to zoom out this far. I wasn’t there. Yet.
Two years ago, I did not know that I am here to live my understanding that all is love.
An understanding birthed into being a beautiful day on the beaches of Santa Monica, California. Birthed into being with the gentle yet poignant questions of my coach, acting as midwife.

The world exploded into a bubble of love, and life as I know it, hasn’t been the same since.lovebubble

Welcome to my new blog at helenaroth.com. I have previously blogged at herothecoach.com. That’s where you will find all new Swedish posts. All my English posts will be published here, from now on. If you enjoyed this read, please subscribe to updates (in the column to the right), that way you will get all new posts delivered to your email inbox.

 

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