Monthly Archives March 2016

A library of memories

A library of memories

March 31, 2016
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I have a grand library of memories within. 43 plus years I’ve lived and breathed upon this earth, in the form of Me. Thousands upon thousands of memories, shelved upon the bookcases of the library of Memories within. A little bit like the memory balls of Inside out by Pixar/Disney. bodleianBut as I’ve recently been in Oxford visiting the Bodleian Library, that’s the vision I see before me as I close my eyes and let my imagination carry me away, into the library of Memories within.

There are memories of all sorts there, all flavors. Happy, Ecstatic, Joyful, Sad, Grief, Troublesome, Painful, Sweet, Beautiful. And more, much more. Like a library contains books of different categories, so does my library of Memories. A multitude of memories, encompassing all categories (?) of the Human Experience.

I have, sometimes, felt weighted down by this grand library. Memories have stuck, top of mind, not wanting to (or being able to?) settle peacefully upon a shelf, next to other memories of the same type, or from the same time. A heavy load to carry around, dragging me down, draining me of energy.

This rarely happens anymore. I seldom feel burdened by memories and experiences. They just are. They exist. Nothing more. Nothing less. I don’t have to layer them with the rights and wrongs of my past. I feel. Fully. But no longer (as often as before at least) label experiences, and the resulting memory, as good or bad, as right or wrong, as worthy or unworthy.

Being ok with what is, both in the Now, and in remembering the moments of Now long since passed, makes a difference in everyday life for me. It helps me both feel – truly feel – that which I feel, while at the same time I observe myself feeling it. Not judging. That’s what it is. The difference. For me. Can you relate? Do you know what a difference it does to stop judging oneself, in any given moment?

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.

I dedicate this post to my paternal grandmother who passed away yesterday, two weeks short of her 98th birthday.
You have a lot of shelf space within my library of Memories! <3

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Doing gentle – 11 – Play!

March 27, 2016
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Play. Oh how I have resisted this. Taken myself so seriously. The pain I’ve inflicted upon myself, telling myself it’s important to be right, vital not to appear silly, crucial to be well-poised and serious. Pain. Yes. I use that word. Because it’s been painful. The loss of face can hurt a lot, when the concept of face has been blown out of all proportions in my inner dialogue. When I’ve created a narrative around myself, that being playful, silly, happy and lighthearted is wrong. Bad. A sign of a weak character. Unworthy. And so on…

Guess what?play
I have started to practice to play. To experiment with it. With me.

And it’s gotten to the point, where I am quite good at playing mentally. In my mind, with my thoughts. I’ve learned not to take my thoughts so seriously, not putting so much weight on them. But physically…. that’s harder for me. I’ve kept myself under such a tight regime, not allowing my body to express playfulness, silliness, happiness.

What if I let the little child within out? Allowing, no, more than that, inviting her to come out and play? When I do, I feel silly. Self-conscious, oh so self-conscious. Thinking everybody is looking at me, pointing fingers, laughing at how silly I am. Sometimes it helps knowing that everybody else has the same thoughts. Or at least, a huge majority does. But why should I let this stop me? How does that serve me?

What if, we all stopped taking ourselves so seriously? What if, we lived life, as if life is a playground instead? A place to play, experiment, have fun, be silly, laugh until we wet our pants, and expand as human beings?

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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Being aware

March 24, 2016
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What does it make you think? Feel?
What do you associate with being aware?
Do you think of yourself as being aware? Or not?
Do you have a role model, someone who personifies being aware for you?

And how do you Do awareness?
What is the relationship between being and doing awareness?
How can you tell when another person acts out of awareness? Or when he/she doesn’t? Is it visible somehow?

Is there a limit, a point where you are fully aware, saturated, unable to become more aware? If so, can human beings reach that point? Is it even desirable?

Does it have a color? A symbol?
What is the language of awareness? Does it exist?
Or will we – together – make the language of being aware come to form?
Are there any rituals connected to being aware?
Or might we – together – create some?

What is made possible when you live life out of a place of heightened awareness?
What happens to you? Those around you? The world?
Is anything made impossible when living life out of a place of heightened awareness?

What would the world look like with a raised awareness in humankind?

being aware

Starting Sunday I will be immersing myself into being aware and I am very curious to discover what will arise from the experience. Until then, I’ll dip my toe into it, getting into the mood, tasting it, trying to get a feel for it, discovering the texture of it, recognizing and perhaps building up the energy of awareness within me.

And yes, I’ll share the process with you, here, because somehow, blogging is one way I get in touch with myself, discover myself within the words, the images, the sensations that arise within when I write. It’s a way for me to be aware.

Perhaps I’ll sit with the questions I’ve written above. Perhaps I’ll blog about what comes to mind. But I am also curious. About what comes to mind for you? Would you mind sharing your thoughts about being aware with me?

Welcome to the English writings of me, 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 – 10 – Experience your experiences!

March 20, 2016
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Experience your experiences. Fully. Go all in. Let yourself live, love, feel.

No emotions and feelings are wrong. They just are.

Let yourself off the hook to ”feel the right things”. All those ”I should feel this”, ”I definitely shouldn’t feel that”, ”Why can’t I feel this instead”-thoughts. Ask yourself. How do they serve you, these thoughts?

What if you let yourself feel what you feel, without putting a whole lot of pressure on yourself for feeling the right or wrong things? I believe that makes for a much better place to make a conscious decision on what serves you, what the next step might or might not be, than beating yourself up for feeling the wrong thing.

Laugh, when you feel like it.funny face

Cry, when tears start to form at the corner of your eye.

Shout, when there’s a shout wanting to escape your throat.

Giggle, when you feel like a good giggle.

Make a funny face, when the urge hits you!

But yeah. Of course. Sometimes, it might not be appropriate. Then let yourself make a conscious choice to hold back. You are wise, you know when it’s ok to express your feelings and when you should refrain. Don’t beat yourself up for wanting to giggle during a funeral., if the urge comes over you. But, perhaps, hold back on the giggle. You can giggle inwards, if you feel the need for it. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling what you feel. Let yourself feel whatever comes to you.

The Human Experience consists of a full rainbow of emotions and feelings. Don’t sell yourself short. Let yourself have the full human experience. That’s why we are here, as humans. To be human.

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On compassion

March 17, 2016
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compassion

Continuing my collaboration with Sus and her marvelous ladies, prompted by a query from my coach on yesterday’s doodle on judgement. She read what I’d written and added: …and practice self-compassion for our sweet, humble humanity when we notice we have “fallen into judgment” yet again….

She continued with wondering what my compassion sketch would look like, and that thought crept into my conscious mind during this morning’s meditation. So I brought out my IPad, Paper and Pen, and started doodling. A few botched attempts, and then I sent the text above out into MIX. Send a note to Sus asking if she was up for another collaboration. She said she’d gladly give it a go, and immediately got it right, with little Miss Balancing-Act above.

That’s what it can feel like for me, balancing in life. Putting one feet out in front of me, not knowing if I’ll wobble and fall, or stand steady, ready for the next foot to move ahead. But the real balancing act is about meeting both situations (the wobbly as well as the steady journey ahead) with compassion, for me, and for everyone else.

Realizing how I’m not the only one stumbling through life – occasionally falling down, sometimes in a flow – but this goes for everyone. We are all balancing our way through life. All of us. 

Now, there’s a thought to sit with…

Since 2012 I have blogged over at herothecoach.com in both Swedish and English 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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Working 9 to 5

March 16, 2016
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Barely awake. Still tired from a night of slightly restless sleep. Then a blasting alarm – which for me has become a rare occasion, normally I get up when I wake up, whenever that happens to be. But this week has been exceptional that way. Ordinary routine in the morning for most? Having to leave the house by twenty to eight every morning is a habit I have totally fallen out of. Which is the way I want it. This week it’s like that though, all week.

sunshineI took a short breather at lunch time, getting something to eat, breathing in the crisp and slightly chilly spring air, and lifting my face up towards the sun, rewarding myself with a few precious moments of pure golden sunshine.

Makes me realize. How extra ordinary my life has become, without the trappings of 9-5-life. And I love it. It’s what I want, desire, rejoice in. I don’t feel drawn to a more regular daily work routine, having an office to go to each day. Not at all. Every day different from the next. It’s not for everyone, I guess. But I am so glad I have listened to my inner voice, telling me to no longer accept full-time long-term assignments. It’s not my cup of tea anymore.

I rejoice in this: Sometimes no planned activities. Other days back to back meetings, of all sorts. Writing days. Coaching days. Days filled with collaboration of various forms. And my very own days. Every week, there’s a full day marked off in my calendar with HERO’s own day. And once in a while, a week comes along just like this one, where I am on site at a customer, day after day.

Again. I reflect on it, look back at the way I am being drawn to live this way, and I see how – right now – I am in love with the diversity of my days! Tomorrow – who knows?

 

 

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Doing gentle – 9 – Ditch the notion of right and wrong

March 13, 2016
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Right. Wrong.
That was the flavor of my life, up until a few years ago.

And I – I was always right.
How I feared being wrong. Terrified of it. Dreaded it. I could hang onto my right, with all my might. Not budging a centimeter, at least, not let on, that my inner conviction was falling away, crumbling to pieces. Must not let on, must not admit to being wrong. It’s dangerous. Lethal!

I’ve even stopped using the words, to a large extent. I avoid talking about right and wrong, and rather talk about what serves me.

Now. Don’t misinterpret me here. I’m not saying I can do whatever, if it serves me. I’m not letting myself off the hook, going all mayhem, lying, stealing, hitting, killing. No. Of course not. But I am saying, that the notion of a universal right and wrong is a scam.

It’s wrong to kill, yeah? Yeah, I agree. Except, perhaps, in cases of euthanasia, where a soul has suffered for years on end, and the only other future ahead, is even more and worse suffering? Is it still wrong to kill then? I don’t know. Honestly. But this just proves my point, it’s not all clear cut. This might be an extreme example. But really, it depends upon the circumstances.

Becoming more aware of my notions of right and wrong, what serves and what doesn’t serve, has made me more aware and open to the nuances of life, to a more philosophical outlook on life. The richness of the grey scale wasn’t available to me before, when I lived in a black and white world, a world of right. And wrong. Grey, in all nuances. Grey, the color of wisdom.

greyscale

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 ninth 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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An epidemic of harshness

March 10, 2016
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I used to have an inner dialogue akin to a mix of Hitler/Mao/Stalin, or that’s how I remember it, anyway. I don’t anymore. The voices of dictators inside myself, is a thing of the past. I can’t pinpoint an exact time when they stopped, but gradually, over these past 10 years or so, their once overpowering and loud voices got more quiet, less frequent, and nowadays, I basically don’t hear them, at all.

I know the moment where I realized I didn’t have to believe them, didn’t have to act out their orders. It’s probably 9 years ago, by now. Coming for a session with my therapist, I didn’t have cash with me, to pay for the session. I berated myself, prostrated myself, viciously whipped myself with verbal lashes. So ashamed of myself, stuck in the feeling that I was disrespectful to my therapist. She looked at me, astonished at what she saw. Asked “Why are you so hard on yourself?” and I gasped “You don’t have to be?“. “No“, she said, continuing, “I would have just said ‘I didn’t bring cash today, I’ll bring it next time“.

Flabbergasted, my only respons was “You can do that? You don’t have to whip yourself into submission for failing to live up to your own standards?“.

That was a pivotal moment in me, discovering myself.

Since then, I’ve come such a long way that the dictators rarely, if ever, let their voice reverberate within my head.

I quite often recount this story with coach clients, because I’ve found most people recognize this. All but one client, actually. And I’ve had coaching conversation with hundreds of people by now.

All.

But.

One.

Of those I’ve brought this up with, recognize this in themselves. harshnessThat has led to me to the conclusion that there is a raging epidemic, spread across the globe, across the human population. At least within the Western hemisphere. An epidemic of inner harshness. A harshness that makes us behave internally in a manner we would never want to expose another living being to.

And the problem with this epidemic is that it’s all but invisible. Because when I see someone that I really admire, I compare my inside (my inner climate) with someone else’s outside. Having no clue. Absolutely none, as to what that person’s inner dialogue sounds like. He/She might look like he/she has it all together, on the outside – but what goes on within?

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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Write!

March 9, 2016
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After circa 1500 blog posts, I know without a shadow of a doubt, that my life has changed, for the better, thanks to the writing I have been doing these past 3,5 years. I have, on record, the path I have been walking in life since August 2012. I can see how my thoughts, beliefs and attitudes have expanded with me. As I grow, so do the writings.

I rejoice in revisiting old posts, as I can see the progression. What I thought before, might not fit with my current understanding of the world. And then again, sometimes it’s still a perfect fit. To see how thoughts are expanded, how a line of reasoning matures, over time, as I revisit a subject time and time again. And best of all: to take pleasure in it. I don’t judge myself for what I used to think, for what I penned before. What ever I wrote, that’s where I was at the time. Like a moment in time, preserved in words, and images, something to look back at and enjoy. Savor. However far I might have traveled mentally, emotionally, in understanding, from that specific point, I hold myself gently, in remembrance. That is where I once was. Now. I am here.

Writing with a little bit of help from my friend

Writing with a little bit of help from my friend

Blogging is my way of journaling. For sure. I’ve never really managed to keep a diary or to do daily journaling, ever. But blogging is a format that works for me, once I got into the habit of daily blogging (thanks to #blogg100). And I think it has one up on a journal actually. Every month I revisit my old posts from that month, in the archives of my blog. What did I write about on March 9th 2013? 2014? 2015? The few times I have managed to keep a journal, well. Let’s just say, I’ve never ever revisited what I wrote in a journal at an earlier date. Never. So the blog definitely has that advantage, for me.

Besides the fact that this monthly walk down Memory Lane gives me the joy of seeing how my thoughts and my skills as a writer develops, it has also made me aware of the fact that a lot of my old posts are as valid today as the day they were published. The majority of them have aged with grace (except perhaps those from March 9th these past years…). They are as relevant today, as when they were top of mind a year or two or three ago. And that’s interesting to me. It tells me that the subjects that occupy my mind, to a large extent are timeless. In some sense, it centers around what it is to be and to become, human. Perhaps even, how to become a good human?

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Doing gentle – 8 – Does it serve me?

March 6, 2016
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angryI don’t know how many times I’ve asked myself variations on this theme:

How does this serve me?
Does this serve me?
What would serve me right now?

At first. A really strange concept. As if I could choose?

I was living under the assumption that I was a victim to my circumstances, not having a choice in how to proceed.

If I was angry, angry I was. Nothing to do but suffer through it, and boy, was I ever angry.

And yeah, there’s a chemical aspect to that, true. If something happens and my anger is set off, a surge of signal substance is released from my neurons. However. It takes approximately 90 seconds for those to have gone through my entire system, and break down. Disappear. So, after a few minutes, the choice of remaining angry or not, is mine. I do get to have that choice.

I resented that thought, at first. I wanted to hang on to my anger, and I wanted it to be automatic, so I didn’t have to take responsibility for it. It’s just there, and I can’t do anything about it. 

But over time, I realized that sometimes my anger didn’t serve me at all. To remain angry after the initial reaction was not serving me, perhaps even hurting me. So I got used to asking the question, of myself. How does this serve me? 

And you know what.
Sometimes I choose to stay angry. Because I really feel like being angry. And I let myself run with that feeling, surging through my body, my spirit, full out anger. The all-hands-on-deck-type of anger.
Sometimes. I choose to let it go. It can simmer in the background, but it’s as if I no longer pay attention to it. I no longer feed it. And it’s not what I front with, not how I show up in the world.
Once in a while, I choose to let my anger go, and have a hard time to not show up as angry anyway. Then I take full responsibility for it, and withdraw. Telling those around me that I have a hard time not to act angry, that I don’t want to, so would you please excuse me, while I cool off over here, in solitude.

And yes. It works the same way whatever emotion you are currently experiencing. You do have a choice. Not whether or not to feel what you feel. That’s not at stake. Because you feel what you feel. Nothing more, nothing less. The choice is rather if you want to keep feeding that feeling, or not. And as I said, just because I choose not to, doesn’t mean it goes away immediately. But in time. It will. It dissipates. Fades away. Might take a minute. Might take a day. Ten years, for all I know. But if you keep on feeding it, for sure it will stay longer than if you don’t.

So next time you experience a rush of feelings, ask yourself the question: How does this serve me?

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 eight 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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