Monthly Archives November 2016

Doing gentle – 46 – Expectations vs Agreements

Doing gentle – 46 – Expectations vs Agreements

November 27, 2016
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If I have to name one podcast that’s made the most lasting impression in my life, I believe it has to be Expectations vs Agreements with Steve Chandler. In roughly 15 minutes he explains the difference between the two, according to his view, and when I first heard it it bowled me over completely. I had to listen again and again, and as a result of that, I took a long look at myself. I started to discover instances where my expectations were enormous, and non-spoken, and inevitably knocked me down, as my surroundings (or myself) never could live up to what I had dreamed up had to happen for whatever activity to become a success.

Expectations, verbalized or not, will never get you above zero. If I expect something from you, and you don’t live up to it, I’m in the negative. If you live up to it, I get up to zero, because I expected you to. So I can never rejoice at it. Whereas if we make an agreement (and it has to be a proper one, where both parties takes it seriously enough to actually come to an agreement of what, when, how etc) I get to rejoice as much as I want to when we both live up to our respective tasks of the agreement.

I’ll give you an example. The first time I really observed my expectations (after listening to the podcast) was when my kids had a day off school and we’d decided to take a day-trip to Copenhagen together. We came to the railway station, and as we took the escalator down to the tracks, my kids started to moan and groan. Oh mom, will we have to walk all day? Mooom, can’t we just stay in one place? Oh, I don’t wanna… 

And I saw them. The expectation. They became very real to me then. The expectations in my mind were far from what was just happening. I had envisioned a lovely day, walking around in Copenhagen, having fun, enjoying ourselves, stopping for a bite to eat here or there, and generally having a day filled with Kodachrome-moments.

Problem was. Those were my expectations. And as I could hear from the kids, they each had a complete other set of expectations.

I never really got around to making an agreement with them that time, I think I basically flipped and told them off… Why should we ever go for a day-trip if all you’re gonna do is moan and groan? Didn’t win any awards for Mom of the Year for moment, that’s for sure. But we did have an ok day in the end, that we did!

A while later me and the kids were going for a week-long break in Stockholm and Uppsala. On the train there, I told them about Expectations vs Agreements, and we talked about it. We voiced our expectations, and turned them into agreements, were we all were willing to give some, in order to get something else. And lo and behold, we actually had a great vacation together, where on numerous occasions we referred to our agreement, as a gentle reminder, and all of us were more generous with our time and moods. All of us, willing and wanting to pitch in a bit extra, knowing that it would, sometime, be returned to us. A great vacation that was, let me tell you!wise one

So. Try to spot when you fall in the trap of expecting this or that. Just noticing it makes a difference. If you want to, then start to experiment with starting a conversation instead, which might land you in agreement about what’s to be done, how, when, by whom and whatever other details might be necessary for your specific circumstance.

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I’ve been sharing thoughts on how I do gentle for the last 46 weeks, and I hope you’ve enjoy it. We are approaching December and I will be publishing an Advent Calendar daily, and who know’s if the Doing Gentle-series will be returning thereafter. Either way, if you like the perspective you get from reading my posts, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts

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Being gentle to me – Reflection November ’16

November 25, 2016
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It’s funny. A month passes so quickly. Two months even quicker.
It’s been almost two months since my husband moved out, three months since he said he wanted to. Time sure flies.

I’ve tried to take extra good care of myself this past month. Making sure I sleep, eat well and get the nutrients I need, exercise, have fun, get sunshine and wind upon my face. I’ve had a massage as well as a facial (the latter something I’ve never ever experienced before. It was nice, very relaxing!). And basically, I try to listen within. Making sure I am silent enough to hear even the faintest inner whisper, softly informing me of what it is I need to sustain myself at this moment in time. 

It’s been a month of high’s and low’s.
Right now, as I am sitting here by the kitchen table, typing away on my monthly reflection, I’m in the calmest state of mind, totally at ease, body relaxed, long slow breaths, ok with whatever might be. Two weeks ago, I was in pain. It hurt so much, thinking about what we once used to have, and I couldn’t fathom how we let it slip away.

I know, my state of mind will keep on moving, back and forth, like waves hitting shore. Sometimes gently, gently, lapping away at the sandy slopes. Sometimes hurling itself with massive energy onto land, with a desperation, trying to grab a hold of as much as possible, before withdrawing with a vengeance, dragging sand and debris along out to sea. waves along the shoreThat’s me. My emotional state. Sometimes like the gently lapping waves, sometimes with such fierce energy it’s almost hard to contain within the boundaries of my physical body. And although the situation at hand might provide me with opportunities to experience the highest high and the lowest low more often than usual, it’s still just a part of life. It’s always like this. At least for me. My state of mind is fluid. In constant flux between high’s and low’s and everything in-between.

Noticing what the energy of the moment is, gives me a hint as to how much trust it’s wise to put on my thoughts. In the extremes, both high’s and low’s, I’m no longer as prone to putting much value on my own thoughts and emotions. I mean, I don’t disown them. I certainly feel what I feel when I feel it. But in general, if I’m low, the quality of my thoughts is generally low as well, and I have learned (oh boy, have I ever learned, the hard way!) not to put too much faith in them. Rather, I let them be, knowing it will pass. This too shall pass, as the saying goes. And it always does. The same goes for the high’s of course, even though they are usually a lot more enjoyable.

These past months, I’ve had it all. And I’ve rolled with it, all of it. At times desperately wanting the pain to go away. All the while knowing that it will. In time. And that’s comforting. This is me being very gentle towards myself, knowing this too shall pass. It’s a deep knowing, and it is there always, throwing a shimmer even on the worst moments. Reminding me, that it will all be ok, that it is ok, even when it feels like it isn’t. Reminding me, that even though it hurts sometimes, I am ok, because I always am; as is hubby, which is also a great comfort to know in all of this!

Welcome to my new 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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Beauty surrounds us

November 24, 2016
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I don’t think I’ve ever experience the beauty of fall as I am this year. And I don’t think fall has gotten more beautiful – I think the change is in me. I’ve never been so aware, never taken the time, to look, to see the colors, the contrast, the smell, the vibrancy.
The energy!fall love 1
I’ve become better calibrated. It’s like I’ve been fine tuned. My senses are functioning, on a whole new level. Whole heartedly.
I notice. I take it in. All of it.
For the first time, it feels as if I fully n o t i c e all the beauty that surrounds me.fall love 4

It’s been there before. Of that I am certain.
But it was never a part of my reality, in the way it is this year.
Because this year, my eyes have opened.
They take it all in, all that is, and always has been.
The texture, colors, smells, movement.
Wind. Sunshine. Dark clouds.
The heaven and earth.
fall love 5The withered hops in the allotment.
fall love 2

The horse chestnut leaves, glowing orange.fall love 7

The black walnut tree. The bark, the lichen, the leaves. And the fruits!fall love 6

The last holly hock, smiling at me, as I pass it. I have to stop. I ask if I may take its portrait. Of course, it tells me, smiling.
I smile back.fall love 3

It feels as if a view has lifted off my eyes. And my heart.
As I take it all in, I can feel myself expand, my awareness, love and gratitude for the beauty of the world fill me up, every cell of me.

Life.
I love it.
See it.
And live it.

Do you notice the beauty that surround you?

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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Not much good for anything

November 22, 2016
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My mind was wandering. Constantly checking social media, email, SMS. Desperate for a hit of connection. So I said to myself: Stop. No more. Take a break and do something else. You’re not much good for anything right now. 

So I took out the yarn and needles and pattern for a wool sweater that I bought in Visby this summer. I’ve just cast a quick glance or two on the pattern before, realizing I would need to sit down for quite some time, in order to get started. Having procrastinated on getting started for four months, now was the time. Turned on the Good Life Project Ambassador VIMEO that I missed out on Thursday last week, and plonked down in the sofa.

Listening, and knitting. Knitting, and listening.

Once Jonathan was done, I was in full swing and wanted to carry on knitting. Remembered my friend Michael Sillion having suggested a youtube-clip with Seth Godin to me, so Seth became my second companion for the afternoon. Now I feel much calmer, centered, and both inspired and proud of myself. Jonathan and Seth gave me both intellectual and spiritual challenges to contemplate, and I got started on the sweater.knitting

As I didn’t have any pressing items on my To Do-list this afternoon, I let myself be. I let the jittery non-focussed me have an opportunity to slow down and refocus. That was a deliberate choice I made. Turned out the not-much-good-for-anything-state of mind that I was in earlier, actually turned out to be a much-good-for-knitting-and-taking-in-some-challenging-input-state of mind. Who would have known?

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Doing gentle – 45 – Source of information

November 20, 2016
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What’s your source of information, the therapist asked of Mary Karr, and she’s honest enough to see that most of the time, it’s her imagination that’s the source of imagination.

She tells the story in On Being with Krista Tippett, an episode I’ve listened to over and over again. There’s a lot of gold in that episode. Little snippets of conversation that, in it’s raw honesty and vulnerability with an ever-present humor, enters me, completely. Goes straight to my heart and lodges there, as little crystals to carry with me. Crystals to energize me, when I have a need for it.

What’s your source of information, I ask myself, as I paint a picture of what certain experiences, interactions, activities undertaken or not, mean. And I know, it’s I. I’m the source of information, as the picture within my mind is painted from a palette of opinions and expectations, rather than fact, data points, that just are.

pathAnd here’s the catch for me. There’s nothing wrong with painting a picture out of opinions and expectations, as long as I am aware of it. If I mistakenly believe the picture to be painted using fact and data points that just are, that’s when and where I might end up in some serious trouble. That’s where I deceive myself, lure myself down a treacherous path, of mistakenly (oh so innocently!) believing that what I paint, for my inner eye, is Truth. Which it is not. It is a picture made up of make-belief, some of which might be more in line with what was intended than other parts of it; the knowing of which is of great benefit to me.

When would it serve you, to ask yourself that question:
What’s your source of information?

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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My greatest fears

November 17, 2016
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Have joined up for the 30 days of being fearless-Facebook group started by Billie Allen. *And yes, it’s another numbered time-constrained challenge. You know I’m a sucker for these by now!*

One post in the Facebook-group read:

If you could overcome your greatest fears, how would your life be different? How would you be different?

Here’s my reply:

“Greatest fears”. It sounds so grand, so large. 

I believe my “greatest fears” are in reality fairly small… not daring to speak up, to make the most of the gifts I have to bring to the world, to stand up for someone in need for fear of being harassed myself, or ridiculed, etc.

FearsI am on a journey to walk thru my fears, not to “overcome” them as such, but to live life, and pass thru them, not having them be a hindrance, but rather, a possible bump in the road onwards, that gives the journey it’s texture. 

As I bump thru my fears, I become more me. Less restrictive, less mindful of what other people might or might not think about me, more in tune with my thoughts and emotions, daring to show my feelings, laugh out loud when I feel like laughing, sing to a great song when I hear it, regardless if I’m on a plane or alone at home. Less worried, less concerned with expecting stuff from myself and/or others, more exuberant, living life more fully, with up’s and down, more interested in people. Being less afraid, I’ve gotten to be a much better listener, no longer afraid of what might arise within myself from the stories I’m told. 

It’s an ongoing journey and I enjoy every twist and turn of the road, being less concerned about what I would have deemed right or wrong, good or bad, in the past.

Namaste!

If you could overcome your greatest fears, how would your life be different? How would you be different?

Since 2012 I have blogged over at herothecoach.com in a jumble of Swedish and English and this post is a sample of what I’ve been writing there over the years. As of 2016 I only write in Swedish there, and in English here. 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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Updated!

November 16, 2016
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Had a need to attend a GMP-training. GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practice, and this is where it becomes obvious that there is more to my (professional) life besides coaching. I work part-time as a consultant in the pharmaceutical industry, and right now I can sport a GMP Updates certificate after attending a one day seminar with Karen Ginsbury, at IFF Copenhagen, see notes (taken in Paper by FiftyThree, using their Pencil) below.GMP updates

I didn’t expect to have as much fun as I did; that was a definitive bonus. Add to that a few really good tips to one of the assignments I have just begun, reassurance that our thinking on that project is on the right track, and a cup of tea and subsequently dinner with a very dear friend before heading home, and I am going to bed a happy camper!

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Doing gentle – 44 – Letting go and letting come

November 13, 2016
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aloneI want to separate. He said.
I don’t. I said. But what to do, since it takes two to tango? 

So he left. Got a rental apartment and moved out, a month later, providing me with the grand opportunity to practice the fine art of letting go and letting come.

Letting go of all my beliefs about what our relationship was, and should be.
Letting go of the way I would have liked for us to be working on our relationship, living under the same roof.
Letting go of the feeling that somehow I’ve failed. Again. Second time around.

Letting come whatever our relationship might transform into.
Letting come the sweet sensation of knowing it – life – is up to me. Going it alone, with all the up’s and down’s it brings with it.
Letting come the curiosity of what wants to happen now.

Letting go of that which has been, that which is no more.
Letting come that which wants to happen.

What is there for you to let go of, in order to let something else come?

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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I miss me

November 10, 2016
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Came home after a full day of meetings.

Went out into the garden.
A run-away hen. Picked her up and lifted her into the coop confinement.
Sun shining brightly. Deep blue sky.
A crispness to the air, typical of the early fall weather.

Apples ripening on the trees.
Some of the leaves of the trees in the garden starting to turn. The mulberry tree in particular, gorgeous yellow-colored leaves.

Spot the last rose in bloom. Cradle its velvety petals in my hands. Pull it towards my face. Inhale deeply, slowly closing my eyes, just drinking it in.

velvety petals

Realize something important.

I miss me.

I’ve been unusually (for me) occupied with work and travels for the past several weeks. Somewhere along the line of these past few years, I’ve gotten used to hanging out much more just with myself, being able to control my own schedule to a larger extent. So after these past weeks, I miss me.

Luckily, tomorrow is my day! Beginning this fall, I’ve set aside a day a week in my calendar that is my day. To do with what I want. If I want to work, I work. If I want to read a book, I read a book. If I want to take a dance walk, I take a dance walk. I make a deliberate attempt to not book any meetings on my days, unless it’s something I really want to do. If I want to… well, I’m sure you get the picture by now.

I so look forward to connecting with myself tomorrow.
Have you ever felt the same? Missing yourself?

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.

I choose this post with extra great care, as today, I gave myself my own day, something I have not honored these past two whirlwind months. I have these days scheduled in the calendar, every week, but if I don’t honor them they don’t do me much good, do they? So as I gave myself this day, I started to catch up with myself, and today, I haven’t missed me at all! 

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What we focus on becomes our reality.

November 9, 2016
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What do we know?

One thing and one thing only: Donald Trump won more electoral votes than Hillary Clinton, and hence will *barring unforeseen circumstances* be the next president of the United States.

Will it be a disaster? The end of the world as we know it?
Will Trump build a wall along the Mexican border, stop muslims from entering the US and put a ban on free trade by imposing high taxes on goods from China and Europe?

We don’t know.
Because none of it has actually happened. It’s definitely not happening now, right this minute. But given the outrage and horror, it might as well have. But it hasn’t, not yet.

And yes. It might happen. For sure. But it’s also possible (perhaps not probable, but definitely possible) that it might not happen.

We. Just. Don’t. Know.

And no. I see no good in Trump becoming POTUS, that’s for sure. I have a hard time taking the guy seriously, and for the life of me, have a hard time understanding how the Republican Party ended up where it’s at right now. But still. Nothing has happened, yet. So why waste a lot of energy focussing on what horrible things we think might happen? Why not put that energy to better use instead?BoldomaticPost_What-we-focus-on-becomes-our

Welcome your feelings of horror, despair, anger, frustration, of being scared for what might be. They will come anyway, because they are a part of the human experience on earth. We feel. The entire spectrum. All that is possible to experience, we experience. But you can let the feelings that don’t serve you particularly, wash over you, and continue on their way. You don’t have to invite them in, make up the guest bed and serve them dinner. That’s a choice you can make. Because, and this is important: What we focus on becomes our reality.

So make sure you focus on that which you want to see in the world, rather than what you don’t want to see. What we give energy to, grows stronger. Chose wisely and with great care, given the state of the world right now, what to feed with your attention – my choice is love, cocreation, playfulness. Honesty, care and empathy. And many many other things, that all make up parts of what constitutes living a good life in my view.

What do you chose to give energy to?

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