Monthly Archives May 2016

Soul Portrait

Soul Portrait

May 31, 2016
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I’m currently creating a collection of Soul Portraits which stems from a documented and visualized conversation we have for about an hour. You talk, I listen, comment and draw.

That’s the beginning of an email Vanessa of Crafting Connection sent me last week. I immediately replied, saying Yes please, I’d love to experience a Soul Portrait-session!

And today, we had the most wonderful conversation. Centering, to start with, and then we threw away the tether anchoring the boat to the quay, and took off. Sailed across the sea. Going deep, wide and high! Vanessa asking a question, and me dropping down. Into depth. Into insight. Remembrance. Wisdom. Becoming very aware of that infinite wonder of the (always present, but not always perceived) Universal Mind.

A magnificent experience, and you bet I am curious as to what the result might be. In the moments of stillness in-between my sharing, prompted by one of Vanessas very powerful and multifaceted questions, I could hear her drawing, writing, putting what she heard, sensed, felt, down on paper. Pens/Pencils/Crayons on paper – short scratching sounds – telling me something beautiful was being created at her side of this co-creation. And this I know without even having seen the Soul Portrait Vanessa drew during our hour together. I know her work, and I love it. That’s one way I know it will be a treasure she’ll bring me in a week or two, when finished with my Soul Portrait.

But I also know it will be beautiful, because I felt it. I felt the beauty, the serenity, the joy, the uncovering, as we met across time and space – with SKYPE as a medium – souls connecting, far beyond such technicalities.

A Soul Portrait.

Mmm.

I exhale, close my eyes, and am instantly brought back to the connection of souls.

The joy and richness of having people like Vanessa in my tribe.
Getting to experience the unexpected. Over and over again.
This time – A Soul Portrait. Next time – who knows?

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Doing gentle – 20 – Listen. Read. Watch.

May 29, 2016
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I take in a lot, and wasn’t all that surprised when Strengths Finder indicated that Input is one of my foremost strengths.

I listen. To podcasts. To people around me. To documentaries, wise friends, to nature. To myself, the inner voice.

I read. Books. Fiction as well as non-fiction. Blogs. Articles. Snippets on social media.

I watch. Myself. Those around me. Society at large. TED Talks. Inspirational movies, shows, clips.

I’ve always done this.

readBut there’s been a shift, these past three-four years. I used to bounce good things, that is, I’d get it, read it, listen to it, watch it, and immediately send it back out into the world. As is. And I grew dissatisfied with that habit of bouncing. I wanted to sit with stuff more, reflect, put my own twist to it. Send it back out into the world, yes, but with the addition of my own words to it. With my images. Adding a layer, a tone, adding me. Explaining why I felt this was important, inspiring, innovative.

And in doing that – mostly through my daily blogging – the level of my intake has shifted. Possibly I take in less, in numbers. But I definitely take in more, in depth. I go deeper. That which calls out to me, I often read, more than once. I often listen to, or watch, more than once. I want to get deeper, find the nuances. And every iteration means I hear, or see, or notice, something new. I experience more.

This has made life richer. Less black-and-white, less either-or. More flavors. More colors.

It’s as if I am a consumer. And a producer. At the same time. I used to consume. Period. And when I started to produce (for me, blog posts, mainly, but also the work I put into the coaching I do, and the non-profits I am involved in) I realized that consumption is simply part of the deal. It’s one side of the coin, and both are needed for the coin to have any real value.

So. Listen. Read. Watch. And then – make something of it. If only for yourself, within yourself, making it come alive within you. Nothing more is needed. If you want to put it out into the world. Do. If you don’t. Don’t. But regardless, be open to, reflect and learn from that which you hear, read, watch.

Welcome to my humble abode, 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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Out for a walk

May 28, 2016
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I’ve always been to impatient to ever train my cats to walk by the leash. However, several times I’ve lived with cat’s who have been trained by others, and I’ve occasionally enjoyed taking a walk with them. But more than anything I enjoy taking a walk with a cat, as equal partners. Not putting the leash on, but rather, me headed out for a walk and a cat joining me. On their own volition.

Now that I think about it, I remember the walks I used to take with my cat Bilbo, who died, oh, quite a few years ago. Eight-nine years ago possibly? Anyway. He was a special cat and highly loved. Me and him used to go mushroom picking in the forest surrounding the small cottage in Småland that my extended family utilized many years ago. I would take the wicker basket on my arm, and head out, and he’d join me. We would continuously talk to each other, meowing back and forth, as we walked, loosing visual, but always within hearing distance. I enjoyed that so much.

allotment

The other day, my three-year old cat Pop, who’s only been with us since January 2016, came with me, as I headed out for an after-lunch-walk in Bulltofta, the recreational area across the street from where we live. And he did the same as Bilbo used to do. Kept talking to me, so I talked back. We passed the allotments, keeping in close contact.

dandelion

As I tried to walk along the gravel path, he disagreed with my choice and led me across the frisbee-golf field, up onto another path, where I marveled about the wondrous design of dandelions.

coming

Most often I took the lead and he followed behind. Sometimes he had me retrace my steps, because he clearly found a better route for us. I obeyed, of course, and he was always right.

After roughly one kilometer walking together, he dumped me. I went to the library, and to the grocery shop, and he went his own way, on his walk-about in the woods.

beat

And then… a well-deserved rest on the sofa. What a treat, to have such a sweet presence staying with us, clearly enjoying our company, completely safe in the bosom of the family. How grateful I am that our paths crossed!

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Being OK with what is

May 26, 2016
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As I have an enormous amount of conversations at the moment, I keep being reminded about one of the key factors in the transformation I’ve undergone these past years. And I even got a reminder of it from the daily EnneaThoughts that I subscribe to since many years back:

Acceptance

Being OK with what is, accepting whatever emotion I’m feeling in any given moment. If you don’t recognize this, I hesitate as to whether or not you can you even begin to understand what a difference that acceptance makes, compared to constant inner fighting, not being OK with my feelings, not wanting to feel what I was feeling, and believing I was bad for feeling what I felt.

Oh the energy I’ve wasted over the years, I cannot even begin to fathom the extent of it….

But no more!

And guess what? I don’t beat myself up for the energy I’ve wasted over the years either. What’s done is done, and thanks to me doing it, I’m where I am at today, so really, it’s a blessing!

Because today, I am ok with what ever state of mind I am in. I am, truly, ok with it. I accept, fully, and with that comes complete and utter compassion and love. For me, but also for the world I live in.

This also means that even if/when life sucks, I’m ok, I’m good, and most of all, I don’t have to run away from what is, or fight myself for being where I am. I can just be with what is.

Are you ok with what is or do you fight it?

Since 2012 I have blogged over at herothecoach.com in a jumble of Swedish and English. This post is a sample of what I’ve been writing – in English – there over the years. As of 2016 all my English posts appear here instead.

I hope you enjoy this #ThrowbackThursday, originally published here, and if you do, please subscribe to updates (right-hand column) so you won’t miss out on future posts. And perhaps, you also notice from the monthly reflection, that being OK with that is is a constantly evolving experience.
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Being gentle to me – Reflection May ’16

May 25, 2016
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Sometimes life sucks, like, really sucks. The worst. Horrible. Upheaval. Uproar. Chaos. Lethargy. An undesirable status quo that cannot seem to shift. But what I’ve come to experience, is that even in situations like these, when life really sucks, it doesn’t. Now there’s a paradox, I know. But, what if it isn’t?

What if that which is a human being can never really be defined in one single emotion? I mean. I’ve had some serious issues to think about lately, and if you focus only on those, yeah, life is really hard, massive, heavy, uncertain. But life as a whole? No. I didn’t experience it as such. This particular area of life, yes, there I had issues. There was uncertainty and fear, feeling alone and vulnerable. But those weren’t the pervasive emotions of my experience of life as a whole, or possibly, of capital-L Life.

May reflectionI discovered this as I was having lunch with a friend. We had an honest and very open conversation and as I told my story, as I explained the issues I was facing, I felt very calm. Totally centered.

Was asked Oh, poor you, that must be so hard?

And, almost surprisingly, the answer from me, was No. Not at all. I don’t experience this situation hard at all. Uncertain yes. But not scary, not hard. Just uncertain. And it will resolve itself, one way or the other, and regardless of how it will come to be, it will be fine. I will be fine.

Now, I’ve never felt this calm in a correspondingly serious situation before. Never. And on another note, what’s a serious situation? Why do I put that label on the situation? What if it’s just a situation, no more, no less. A situation, that’s all. Not serious. Not minor. Not important. Not insignificant. Simply a situation, to deal with. Perhaps, that’s the key? Might that be the reason why I felt such calm and confidence in the situation? Because I truly didn’t weight the issue down, internally, with the label Serious? It was a situation that was in need of being resolved, but I had no real deadline for it, I wasn’t in any rush, had no sense that I had to get on with it. Was fine with letting it evolve, letting go and letting come, uncover what was to happen.

I’ve never been more gentle to me, than in this situation. 

Wow. What a statement.

Imagine the amount of energy I would have spent on trying to resolve the issue, on wrangling to make the outcome a specific way – the way I would have decided was The Right Way – if this would have happened five, ten, fifteen years ago. An enormous amount! Trust me on this. And now – most of that energy was available for other things, activities, experiences, emotions. Some of the energy, yes. Of course there were moments of hard effort, of wishing that what Is wasn’t, but so much less than I would have spent in the past.

I’ve never been more gentle to me, than in this situation. What a gift!

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 (in the right-hand column) so you won’t miss out on future reflections.

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Doing gentle – 19 – Smile more

May 22, 2016
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What happens in you when you smile? Have you noticed?

smile moreYou know, there’s even science to back up the fact that smiling increases our wellbeing. And you don’t even have to smile smile. It’s enough, if you really don’t want to smile, to bite down on a pen. Putting it horizontal in front of your mouth, and biting down on it. Not too hard, you don’t want to break it, but just hold it there. Activating these muscles is enough to raise your wellbeing a little bit. And the added bonus, when biting down on the pen, is you feel kind of silly and will likely start to smile just because!

I try to smile a lot. When I meet people, on the street, walking, riding my bike, getting on the bus, standing in line at the supermarket. You name it. I have made it a habit to smile, and often to nod a little hello as well. And I love the smiles I get back. Makes me feel like I have been seen. That I am. Someone. You smiling at me, verifies me. Makes me aware of the connection between us. And my guess is, you feel the same when I smile at you.

So. Smile at the world. It will make you feel better and it will make those you meet feel better as well. A clear win win in my opinion!

Welcome to my humble abode, 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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The elephant in the room

May 19, 2016
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Do you know the feeling, when it’s like there is an elephant in the room, that everyone pretends not to see? Everyone is trying hard to ignore it, chitchatting away or just keeping silent, wishing fervently for someone else to do something, say something, anything, just to get a break from the intense atmosphere?

It can take a lot of courage to be the one to put the spotlight on the elephant. But oh how I wish that was something more people dared to do. Because honestly, who is served by keeping this kind of culture going?

And sure. At a workplace, perhaps it is the boss who should break the ice, be the one to call forth the underlying issue that causes elephants to occur. But what if the boss isn’t capable of doing that, for whatever reason? Should we then keep on perpetuating the current elephant-generating climate, or should I perhaps take a stance? Or you?

It’s not an easy call, it can take a lot of courage, and there are risks associated with it, I do believe. Well, I know. But more often than not, the aftermath of outing the elephant usually aren’t even close to being as bad as I imagined them to be. Believing all hell will break loose, only to realize it’s like a dud shot. And personally, I’d rather take my chances at influencing the current work climate, than not. The alternative might be to find a different job, because seriously, I don’t want to work at a place like that. But I sure want to make sure I’ve done my bit first, to be the change I want to see, right?!

elefanter

Think I have pushed the metaphor far enough now though, don’t you? But apart from that, what’s your take on this?

Since 2012 I have blogged over at herothecoach.com in a jumble of Swedish and English. This post is a sample of what I’ve been writing – in English – there over the years. As of 2016 all my English posts appear here instead.

 

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 – 18 – Stop with the mind-reading

May 15, 2016
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So here is the deal: I don’t know what you think. There’s really no way for me to know. Unless of course you tell me. But if you are silent and am not sharing your experience with me, I simply cannot know (!) what you think.

What I might be doing in such a situation, is to think (!) I know what you think. And that is really not a very good idea.

mindreaderWhat happens is, that I project my thoughts upon you. Often I think that whatever is on your mind, must be related to me, it simply cannot possibly not be related to me.

I can also project my fears onto you. If I am afraid of dogs, in a situation involving a dog, it’s commonplace that I’d make you afraid of dogs, in my imaginary world. Inside my head.

What often happens to me, when I go all mind-reader, is that I would rapidly proceed to blame you for whatever it is that I think you think. What I think you might think can even become a show-stopper for me. If I believe my thoughts, whatever it is that I think you think, I am headed down a rabbit hole and that’s simply no place for a human being. If I become really adept at this mind-reading sham I might very well use it to effectively stop myself from living full out. Because of what I think you, or others, might think.

Do you mind-read? Do you know when you do it? Can you tell? Does it serve you?

I know it doesn’t serve me. Not the way I’ve made use of it. So what if, I stopped thinking I know what you think? Perhaps I can ask instead? What might become possible then? What might I learn – about me, about you?

Welcome to my humble abode, 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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Connective harmonies

May 12, 2016
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At first.
There is nothing.

Silence.

Then.
A hum.
A deep, vibrating hum.

Grounding me.

The vibrations enter me, Body, Mind, Soul.
All starts to vibrate within me.

Then.

I start to hum.
Cannot keep it in.
Out it comes.

A deep, vibrating hum.
Grounding me even deeper.

Blending with the existing hum, weaving back and forth. Together.
More voices join in.
The hum grows, in strength and resonance.

When I close my eyes, the overtones are apparent within me. I can feel the vibrations, starting with the base notes, slower vibrations, at the root of my being. Vibrations spread upwards within me, octave upon octave. Soon there is a symphony of resonance engulfing me, I cannot tell my boundaries, I am dissolving, becoming a part of a big humming body, in resonance, together.

I have to breathe.

I stop humming. Deep intake of breath. My boundaries solidifies again, as I stand surrounded by the vibrations, letting them carry me while breathing.

When I’ve replenished my body with fresh air, the hum within cannot be contained anymore, so out it comes, rejoining the choir of humming voices. Together again.

Once more, I start to dissolve, the world around me disappear, all there is is this co-creation, a being made up of voices, filling me up.

Every cell of my body sings, I go from humming a sonorous base tone to a high-pitched tone, clear, wordless. It’s the voice of an angel coming through me, soaring high on unlimited and unconditional love, dancing on the threads of vibrations, expressing the exuberant joy of experiencing Heaven on Earth.

It goes on and on.
Time ceases to exist.
What is. Is.

And then. Collectively, as one, we lower our voices, the energy remains, but more contained, concentrated, slowly dissolving, like a mist, dispersed by the ray of sunshine.

Voices go silent, one after another, keeping the hum within, rather than letting it out into the world. Like a ball of energy, nesting deep within the soul of each participant, a proof of our connection, a reminder of our human potential. The ability to start with nothing and out of it create a symphony of resonance.

One single hum remains…wonder

And then.
Silence.

Except deep within our souls,
where the ball of energy remains,

a reminder of Heaven on Earth.

Since 2012 I have blogged over at herothecoach.com in a jumble of Swedish and English. This post is a sample of what I’ve been writing – in English – there over the years. As of 2016 all my English posts appear here instead.

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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Beyond the bend?

May 10, 2016
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Summer has arrived in Sweden, and quite abruptly at that. Feels like it was winter, more or less, way too long, and then all of a sudden the weather drastically shifted and it’s now warm enough to go with bare legs and feet, soaking in the sun and warmth. Had been inside for too much of the day, so having a scheduled CoachWalk with a client to look forward to this evening made me very happy. Really enjoyed the evening walk in the park.

CoachWalks are my favorite way of coaching, I must admit. Out strolling, sauntering slowly along the gravel paths, passing trees in bloom, nettles rising above the old stems of last year, birds chirping merrily and the sun warm in the face. Something happens then. Or… more like it: something can happen then, something quite out of the ordinary. Last CoachWalk we took, all of a sudden we were laying down in the grass to look at an imaginary projection of a problem, getting beneath it, looking at it from below. Quite literally… the problem vanished, dissolved into thin air, as it were.

beyond the bend

Never really knowing what might lie beyond the bend, we walk on, sometimes in engaged conversation, now and again in comfortable silence. Once in a while we stop and talk, intensely, waving arms around, picking up a stick and drawing in the gravel to make a point, clarify, illustrate. With a curious and gentle disposition, a lot can be discovered, and better yet, uncovered, when you put one step in front of the other, and walk on. Because you never really know, what might lie beyond the bend, do you?

Feel free to get in touch with me, if you are ever in the neighborhood of Malmö and would like to experience a CoachWalk. If you’re not geographically close, a CoachTalk works just as fine! 

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