Monthly Archives April 2016

A reading experience above and beyond the ordinary

A reading experience above and beyond the ordinary

April 29, 2016
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in Tip
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For the past month I’ve been reading The O Manuscript by Lars Muhl, and as I finished it last week, I am left with this:the o manuscript

  1. This is the most odd and at the same time the most astonishing book I’ve ever read. A reading experience above and beyond anything I’ve ever had. And as an avid reader, that is quite the statement.
  2. An insight into the power game of humanity. An ancient power game, which in this book is illustrated by the way the Christian church have omitted the female power from the entire story that is told and retold within Christianity. Eye-opening. And a strong sense of recognition. A shift is coming, a shift, from something un-balanced, to something more balanced. Male and female joining hands, working together, for the greater good.
  3. Few are the pages where I haven’t jotted down a comment, starred a beautiful phrase, or marked a paragraph or two of something that I want to look closer at. Phrases, thoughts, ideas to sit with, reflect upon, and just see what opens within me as I do.
  4. Knowing that this was but the first time I read this book. I have an urge already to start reading it again, from the very beginning. The knowing that this is a book that will accompany me on my life’s journey ahead is strong.

Large words. All from the reading of a book.
But yes.
It is a truly wonderful book. Powerful. Very different, in the best possible way.

So different in fact, that as I write this, I am struck by my lack of words. I cannot explain it. I cannot seem to describe my experience while reading it, onto paper. Inside me, there’s a breathless anticipation, an eagerness, the joy of knowing I’ve stumbled across something huge, something so important and life-altering that it’s almost, but just almost, scary. But it’s not. Because I have been opening up to the unknown the vast unknown that The O Manuscript points at, within me, is not something to be scared of. It’s sacred, holy, something to rejoice in, to explore, uncover, and most of all, to live.

I so hope you will pick it up. I also hope that you will get to experience some of the deep emotions this book has evoked in me. I would like to ask you of one thing though, if you do chose to get and read The O Manuscript:
Read it with an open heart, an open will and an open mind and see what awakens in you.
Read it in the state of curious exploration, and listen to what want’s to happen now.

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Criticism from a loved one

April 28, 2016
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Criticism from a loved one. Cuts so deep.

Holding a larger weight, coming from someone close to me, than remarks from a stranger or acquaintance. The thoughts of loved ones about me matter more, than the thought/belief others more distant might or might not hold of me. Sometimes it’s not even criticism, simply an observation or a wandering though being voiced. But I take it as criticism, I turn it into critique in my inner monologue.

When I get lost in the criticism from loved ones, my fear of losing the love of those closest to me, losing their respect, grows and grows, the more I value that unique individual. The greater the importance I place upon that someone, the greater the fear of having them disappear from my life. And if/when they critique me, that is what I fear the most. That they will leave me.

And it is odd. Because this means that I don’t hear what they say. I don’t hear the possible truth or message there might be in what I’m being told. I shut down, stop truly listening, my love for me and them seems to dissipate and my fear takes over. Fear of what might be, of what it might mean.

Often, arguments follow. Or sulking.
Sometimes what started as an innocent remark can escalate into what feels like an outright war.

getting lostAnd guess what.
I just realized, I am that loved one once in a while as well. I am not solely the one being critiqued, I also give critique to others. It doesn’t seem too farfetched to suggest that it works the same for them, as it does for me, does it?

But what would happen, when critiqued (that is, when I perceive that I am being critiqued!), if I stayed in love, rather than jump headfirst into my deepest fears? What might I learn? Is there learning for me there? About me? Or about my loved one? Learnings that I turn my back on, all because I lose my way, and get lost in the dungeons of my fear landscape. Dark. Cold.

What if I simply stick to love instead?

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 April ’16

April 25, 2016
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There is a sacredness in being gentle. If done deliberately, in full awareness.
Gentle. On purpose. A fundament. To life.
To a life well lived, as opposed to a life where one simply survives.
Gentleness. Compassion. Grace. Kindness.

My discovery of gentleness – of learning not only how to be gentle to myself, but starting from scratch with understanding that it’s an option. That being gentle to me a choice that I have – in the way I think of it today, is something I’ve grown into, this past quarter of my life. I am grateful for the discovery of gentleness, which has led me to so many insights. So many.

As a result of this discovery, I am free to explore and uncover. I get to be curious about all things, within as well as without. And I learn. I listen. Ask questions, and reflect on answers. Feel. Experience. Live. Upon discovering being gentle, to me, I learned to lavish the world with it.
Gentleness. Compassion. Grace. Kindness.April reflection

And the concept of gentleness pops up, everywhere. Over and over. In conversations, in podcasts I listen to, articles, books, songs, quotes.
Over and over.
Gentleness. Compassion.
Grace. Kindness.

And then.
Then there are the places where I spot the absence of it.
The absence of gentleness.
A void. Something is missing that is needed, a necessity; leaving me in dire straights. It’s as if I get short of breath. Gasping for air, but there’s too little of it.

Gentleness. Compassion.
Grace. Kindness.
Can we live without it?
Can I? Do I want to?
Is life worth living without?

Welcome to my humble abode, 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 – 15 – Who’s rules are they?

April 24, 2016
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Who’s rules are you trying to live by? Your own? Your parents? The trend-setters in school? The unwritten rules of the society you are a part of, all the should’s and must’s as well as the should and must not’s?

Ask yourself. ask
What is the rule?
How is it important to you? Why?
How does it affect you and the life you lead?
Is it a rule you agree with, or would you rather it didn’t exist?
Or would you simply rephrase it somehow? How?

Again. Awareness is the thing.
Awareness that there are rules, unwritten ones, that you have internalized during your upbringing, that can have a profound effect on your life.

So when you hear yourself tell yourself this cannot be done, that must not happen, oh no, you can’t wear that, don’t eat ice-cream for breakfast or whatever… ask yourself: why not?

Perhaps you will find a really good reason why not. Perfect. Perhaps you will find an equally good reason for doing it, despite the rule. Perfect. The point is to become aware. Not to act without reflecting, living a life by rote.

Ask.
Why not?

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Graveyard ruminations

April 21, 2016
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I’m sad to see gravestones in Swedish cemeteries being taken down and removed, for lack of someone to care for them, or perhaps more correctly, pay for someone else to care for them. And I get it. I guess. Someone has to pay the price for it, and all that.

But still. Having spent a few precious minutes of peace and quiet at the wonderful graveyard of St Kenelm’s church in Enstone outside Oxford, I still mourn the fact that Swedish cemeteries are such images of straight lines, well kept graves, and neatly tended shrubs and hedges.

Because the magic get’s lost somewhere along the way. I love burial grounds, and perhaps that’s an oddity in itself (although luckily I know I have several friends who join me in this oddity. I am not alone!), but the real magic of a cemetery is never as well experienced as in a gloriously unkept cemetery found in such number on the British Isles (including Ireland).graveyardsLush greenery, old gravestones, where the writing is all but impossible to read, tipped over gravestones, broken ones, in all manner of disarray. Hundreds of years old graves with a fresh bouquet of flowers and a burning candle on it. Some clearly forgotten. Birds chirping away, the dapples of the sun through the branches of a tree, insects buzzing, a dog barking in the distance.enstone graveyardExperiencing such peace and calmness, my soul settling down into the bosom of my heart, taking it in, all of it. I sense love in the air at cemeteries. Perhaps that seems strange, but then again, grief is love with a twist of sadness to it, right? Looking at myself, I cry for those I’ve lost in this world, because I love them and miss having them around in the form I’ve grown used to. Walking around on a cemetery I feel closer to those who are no longer here physically. Memories of times gone by sweep through me, of laughter, conversations, smells and sounds of my childhood tickle my senses, making me believe, for a split second, that I am sitting at the kitchen table of my Momo, drinking a glass of her homemade pink saft…

Oh sweet memories.

I am grateful for having lived a life which has created a grand library of sweet memories to ruminate upon.

Since 2012 up until the new year I blogged over at herothecoach.com and this post a sample of what I’ve been writing over the years. I hope you enjoy this #ThrowbackThursday-post, that I post in loving memory of my paternal grandmother whom we will be saying farewell to today. The post was originally published here, and if you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts.

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Avoiding war, just to fall into a trap!

April 18, 2016
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Had another wonderful conversation with D. At the end if it, he gave me a gift, that opened up for a new insight in me.

The insight was this:armed
I have gotten to know myself so well by now, that when I am upset about whatever, while in a low state of mind, I don’t want to drag other people into my personal hell with me. So I (try as best as I can to) refrain from picking fights, withstand the urge to arm my self and to lash out, or at least, only to lash out while keeping myself under a tight leash to minimize the damage I do when cracking my whip. So I hide away, find some solitude, curl up all alone, and weather the internal storm without letting on what’s going on.

When the storm passes, and I move into a higher state of mind, I no longer feel the need to communicate whatever it was that had me upset in the first place. I don’t see the point to it. So I keep quiet. Even though my loved ones know I’ve been to hell and back – that’s apparent. They sense what I’ve been through, just as I sense it when they go through something similar. Without knowing the specifics. Without grasping possible insights or reflections that comes from it.

And that was the gift. Understanding that my burning desire to avoid going to war with someone important to me, had me fall into another trap! The trap of shutting them out when I don’t share my experiences once I’m in a higher state of mind. My loved ones don’t have a clue as to what I went through on the journey. If I don’t let them in, if I avoid to share my hardships with them, I effectively stop them from empathizing with me, from sharing my journey. And that can, in a sense, be as damaging as outright fighting can be. And I never knew. I just never thought about it this way.

But I see now, that in my efforts to shelter my loved ones from vitriolic words and emotions – anger, resentment, disgust, frustration, pain, annoyance – I’ve gone a step to far. I am happy I have learned to minimize the amount of vitriolic words and emotions that I expose my surroundings to, and that is something I will keep on working on, but… But!

I will start to share my experiences, once I am out of the rabbit hole, to open up for conversation, understanding, connection and deepening relationships. I will try to share, in such a way that I don’t pass the responsibility for my experiences onto anyone else, try my very best to communicate that I take full responsibility for me and my experiences, while at the same time, letting those near me in. Letting my loved ones come close. Closer. Not push them away, by enclosing myself behind a high and thick wall, not shove my loved ones away, out of a fear of hurting them.

The strategy I’ve been applying for the past few years is not optimal. I knew this. I know this. I feel it and have done for quite some time. I just never knew what it was that wasn’t all there. And now I do. Thanks to D. As so often in our conversations, he presented me with a gift, and I received it. Opened it. Listened within to what arose from hearing his thoughts spoken out load. Letting the insight wash over me. And expanded.

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Doing gentle – 14 – Let yourself off the hook

April 17, 2016
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You don’t have to be wise and all-knowing all the time. You don’t have to take on the injustices of the entire world, just because you, in your clearest moments, can see them, and know deep within your heart what is needed to make the world a better place.

It’s not on you. It’s not your responsibility. Let yourself off the hook. off the hook

And know this: It’s a work to be done together, by us all. We all play a part in creating the world, moment by moment, and when one person falters, someone else will pick up the slack, making sure the chain isn’t broken.

We’re in this together, and no individual is responsible for it all. That’s not what being gentle to oneself means. Being gentle means seeing my part as part of the whole, and knowing that as humans, we do stumble, falter, make mistakes and royally screw up, once in a while. Don’t beat yourself up over that. If you didn’t screw up once in a while – why would you still be here, on earth, having a human experience? You wouldn’t, in my view. Being human means just that. We screw up. Sometimes big, sometimes small. What matters is what we do afterwards. Take responsibility for your mistakes, and learn from them. Maybe you’ll avoid that mistake in the future, maybe you can help someone else who’s in the same mess you were before. Use it. Wisely.

Together we can cover for each other.

Welcome to my site, 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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A life Lived?

April 15, 2016
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Hubby at AfterWork.
Daugher at the movies.
Just me, son and cat at home.

So we chill. Have left-overs for dinner. Agree to watch a movie. Together. I suggest Despicable me, which I have yet to see. He agrees, even though he’s seen it. More than once. But. Alas…. nowhere to be found (on Netflix at least).

So we sit down in front of the computer, and flick thru the movies available. Wanting to spend a few hours together, but with what? At long last, I spot The Intouchables and suggest it. He requested a funny yet exciting movie, and I said This movie has everything you requested, and loads of it. I click on the little arrow, divulging a short description of the movie. He reads and says, Let’s go.

The IntouchablesSo we do. I push play and settle down.
Watch. Laugh. Have deep whispered conversations.
Sit close, curled up together under the blanket, occasionally with Pop the cat accompanying us in the sofa.

And I just love it.
Love the connection.
The shared laughter.
Mutual insights into life.

A life Lived? Or a life Endured?

Those are some of the questions popping into my mind once the outro starts to roll with the credits when the movie comes to an end. Life can be lived – and Driss is a great catalyst for a life lived – or it can be endured.

In my life, the choice is mine. No one elses.

What will I chose? What will you?

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Where are you headed?

April 14, 2016
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Well, you see. I’m not. Not anymore. At least not the way I used to think about the direction I was headed in. You see, I used to have the feeling that where I was, wasn’t All That. But Over There, at the end of the rainbow, that’s where All That resided… and if only I could get there, then I would live happily ever after. Until, that is, I discovered it really wasn’t All That after all, spotted a new Over There, another rainbow to chase after, which I immediately set off in search of.

This was closely linked to my view of myself as a D-I-Y-project, a renovation object, in need of fixing. If only, I would know this, or be skilled at that, or looked a bit more like Z, then I would be a person worthy of respect, love, appreciation…
expand

So when asked, the other week, Where are you headed?, I actually said as much: I’m not. Not in the sense of being here, and wanting to go over there. I look at life, and myself, as being here, and expanding. In all directions. Not moving away from where I am, to another point in the universe. No. I expand. In all dimensions. Grow.

Centered in myself. Letting my roots grow, wide and deep. Not uprooting myself over and over again, moving towards the new site of All That. Getting there. Letting my roots grow… until I uprooted myself again. And again. And again.

Centered. Rooted. I don’t miss that feeling of dissatisfaction one iota, the dissatisfaction of not being good enough, always striving away, towards something else, towards completion, being fixed. If only…

Centered. Rooted. With a feeling of satisfaction, out of which I expand way beyond any Over There that I might have been striving towards or even imagined before. With my new way of being in the world, there’s an accompanying curiosity that makes for a journey of explorative discovery. Within the framework of that journey, I am travelling far and wide; farther and wider that I ever would have been able to before. Exploring the universe, within and without the boundaries of my physical being.

So. Let your imagination run wild. What if…
– you would stop chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow Over There?
– you would see that staying rooted and expanding from a center point, would open up something new in your life, something way beyond anything you’ve ever experienced before?

What then?

Welcome to my English website! 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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Doing gentle – 13 – Treat yourself good.

April 10, 2016
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I recently realized I’ve managed to define a few basic ingredients for a good life, that can vary in size, shape, execution, but without them, I don’t know that I would lead a good life. So I treat myself good, by making sure I get these. Preferably on a daily basis, but that might be optional once in a while.

Sleep.
During sleep, the body heals itself.
I might be sleeping, feeling as if I’m not doing anything, but my body is busy at work.
Repairing. Strengthening. Nourishing.

So I make sure I get my sleep.
Once in a while I experience a sleepless night or two though, and during those, I rest. I might not be sleeping, but I can rest. Lie there in bed, and just enjoy the warmth, the closeness of my husband, the cat snoring in the cosy chair in the corner. Resting. Not as good as sleep, but a close second, and I would rather take rest than anxious worrying.

Sunshine.
Get outside. Sit in the sun. Sit in the shade. Take a walk. Go for a jog. Have dinner in the garden. Sleep in the hammock. Plant some flowers. Do whatever you want to, but get outside. Even when the sun isn’t out. The sun isn’t actually the thing, it’s fresh air, outside, being in nature, that’s the thing. But I love the word sunshine, I love the images it opens on the inside of my eyelids when I close my eyes, thinking about sunshine.

So if it’s raining – get outside anyway. Get dressed so you can take a walk in the rain. Or undress, and get out there in the summer rain, dancing away, naked on the lawn.

diving in

Movement.
We’re made to move. Something has to happen for us not to be able to move, because we are built for movement.
Dance. Run. Jump. Walk. Crawl. Ride a bike. Go swimming. Stretch, bend, exert yourself.
Your body is made for it, and the way of our times is not beneficial to us. Long commutes by car, train, bus. Sitting in front of a desk all day, hacking away at a keyboard. We’re not cut out for it. So if that’s what you do – get conscious about it, and treat yourself well, well enough to inject small bursts of movement into your day.

Take the stairs. Get off the bus a stop earlier and walk the last bit. Sell the car and get a good bike, by all means. Set the timer at 30 minutes and take a dance break, in the office, letting all your colleagues be inspired. Heck, you might start a weekly lunch-beat at the office, who knows! As long as you move. That’s what the body is made for!

Food.
Sustenance. We need it. Nourishment. Liquids and solids.
I almost laugh at myself now, but just a few years ago I had a great epiphany. I truly got it, that every time I eat or drink, I have a choice. A choice to eat or drink something that brings be closer to a healthy state, or something that brings me further from health. Let me tell you, that was a big one!

And you know what – sometimes a delicious piece of dark chocolate is just what I need to stay healthy. Or at least, that’s what I tell myself. And that’s fine. Health isn’t just about physical nourishment that can be ingested. It’s about more than that. But to a large extent, I think modern man has forgotten that the food we eat, is a sign of our reverence, respect and love for ourselves. And I think, we all deserve the very highest reverence, respect and love! Looking at how my diet has changed over the years, it’s reflecting that, more and more. And that makes me very happy, because I deserve the best!

Companionship.
We need to belong. Human beings are wired for it. Wired for connection. That’s why we care so much about what other people think of us. Even more importantly then, to actually create a life where those around you really truly love and respect you. We become like the five people we hang around with the most. So pick wisely. Deliberately.

I didn’t really catch on to this until a few years ago, and since then, the very companionships I cultivate are such a vital part of my expansion as a human being. I’ve co-created several arenas, where I can be me. Fully. Without holding back. I will be held in a loving space, encouraged to experiment and expand, to evolve and grow. Where I can get a hug and a sympathetic shoulder to cry on, as well as a kick in the butt, when that’s what’s needed. Make sure you surround yourselves with people like that. And the best way to make that happen, based on my experience, is by being like that yourself. Be a person you would want to hang with.

Sleep, sunshine, movement, food and companionship.
In no specific order. Neither is more important than the others, but rather, are all vital ingredients for a good life in my understanding.

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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