Monthly Archives January 2017

All that we share

All that we share

January 31, 2017
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Remember I posted a quote by Ted Kennedy?

What divides us pales in comparison to what unites us.

It’s still my locked screen-saver on my phone. I am jolted by the truth of it, whenever I lay my eyes on it.

Here’s another way of saying the same thing.
What divides us pales in comparison to what unites us.
We share so much, being human beings on this earth. Remember that, for all our sakes!

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Getting a divorce?

January 30, 2017
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Are you getting a divorce?
No. We will stay married. We love each other, and it feels right, at this very moment, to give that love space and light, nourishment and care!

Will you be moving back in with each other then?
No. We will continue to live under two roofs. We love each other, and want to be together. And in that togetherness it feels right, at this very moment, to stay särbo [a Swedish term, not to be confused with sambo which means co-living without being married. Särbo means living apart but being together.].

But why? If you love each other, and want to stay married, why don’t you move back in with each other? Because it feels best right now, to continue down the path we started on in the fall. Not to wear and tear on each other, every single day, but to let love, and longing, grow in peace. We see each other every week, we talk in one form or another every day, we help each other with all that we can do for one another and for the kids (both the younger and the older). And we let the longing for a hug, a kiss, a hot embrace, grow, expand, and rejoice ever more in the happiness at actually seeing each other.

But the kids? Do you truly have the kids best interest at heart?
Yes. All the time. In all we do. Being good parents – together, and separately – is something we’ve been very conscious about keeping top of mind these past months. To never let go of the fact that we are, indeed, parents. Together. Regardless of where our love relationship will go, how it might come to look in any given moment and what it might evolve into over time, we are parents, together. Guarding the relationship we have as parents, and because of that, the family relationship, is the most important we can do. That is the contract agreed upon when two adults form a family together. Holding the child/children’s best interest at heart – and at the same time never forgetting that children fare best with parents who thrive. In this way, we are doing our best for everyone!

Ok. But that almost seems a bit cold, almost as if you’ve rationally figured out what’s best for you at the moment?
Yes. Perhaps. But… at the same time, perhaps not? Both heart and brain have been of great service to us in this process. We love each other, that’s the very foundation. That has become very clear these past six months. And perhaps, for the very reason that we love each other, and at the same time, both of us feel the need for change as compared to “the old days, the old ways”, and as a result, living apart as särbo is our choice.

With open eyes, an open mind and an open heart.

With less expectations and more conversations and vulnerability.

Where we take walks together, every week, and talk. Open up about everything. Talk on heaven and hell. On dreams, love, wishes. On practical things such as dental retainers and computer games, on the wellbeing of our children, on what’s new at work. On quality management systems and holiday trips. As well as on fears, questions on things we hope we’ve misunderstood, expectations that pop up with an intent to disappoint.

Conversations that have already provided such gifts. Insights. Closeness. Warmth.

Conversations, where we help each other – both together and separately – to break patterns that no longer serve anyone. Patterns that are remnants of old experiences, patterns best put under a microscope, where it becomes obvious they no longer serve, in the form they have withstood the test of time. Worn down and applied in the wrong situations they simply make life harder.

Love on a growth pathIn this särbo-relationship, living apart, I have a much stronger sensation of being close, than when we lived underneath one roof, and I sometimes experienced jarring feelings of being lonely. The connection between us, now, so much stronger. Stronger, and growing, enriched by small (and large) evidence of love and respect. A särbo-relationship, where it’s easier for us to give each other space for our different needs and desires. Where we can be there, for each other, and at the same time give ourselves place and space to land, to learn, to live.

For me, Living is at the center of my being. Not surviving, not existing. But truly Living. And as our ideas on what it means to Live, are (somewhat) different, this turns into less of a potential problem, and rather into a source of exciting new things, discoveries, insights, to bring to moments of Us; by us choosing each other, choosing living apart as särbo, choosing to say yes to the love that exists between us.

And I can see it. I can see how we give insights more space, sharing conclusions with each other, breaking patterns. Helping each other break patterns! Helping each other, with curiosity, openness and with great care: warm loving care and concern. The ability not to fall for the initial feeling, which – much like for Alice – opens the gateway straight down into Wonderland. The traps, hidden by trap doors, no longer as easy to fall into. More observing, of each other, and as a direct result, observing of the dymanics between us. And with the will to create a good rappore, much more outspoken than when everyday life grinds away at Us.

We are making an active choice to become särbo, living apart, because we love one another!

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The disembodied western culture

January 29, 2017
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in Tip
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On Being is, as you might have guess, a favorite of mine, when it comes to podcasts. And this episode is as good as the next. Because they truly all have something special.

In this episode I met Bessel van der Kolk for the first time, and just from spending fifty minutes with him and Krista, I know I would love to listen more to him. He’s an interesting man, and I would love to meet him, talk to him, listen to him tell me more about what he’s discovered during his life.

There’s a part of the show, near the end, where Bessel and Krista talk about the disembodied Western culture, and I’ll just let you read for yourself:

DisembodiedDR. VAN DER KOLK: … Western culture is astoundingly disembodied and uniquely so. Because of my work, I’ve been to South Africa quite a few times and China and Japan and India. You see that we are much more disembodied. And the way I like to say is that we basically come from a post-alcoholic culture. People whose origins are in Northern Europe had only one way of treating distress: that’s namely with a bottle of alcohol.

North American culture continues to continue that notion. If you feel bad, just take a swig or take a pill. And the notion that you can do things to change the harmony inside of yourself is just not something that we teach in schools and in our culture, in our churches, in our religious practices. And, of course, if you look at religions around the world, they always start with dancing, moving, singing …

MS. TIPPETT: Yeah. Crying, laughing, yeah.

DR. VAN DER KOLK: Physical experiences. And then the more respectable people become, the more stiff they become somehow.

Disembodied. Stiff. Detached from ourselves.

Watched The Imitation Game for the second time the other day, and flinched at the “stiff upper lip“-reference the head master makes when telling the teenaged Alan Turing about his friend Christoffer passing away during a holiday. I flinched, and feel very sad. How much pain have we, as a culture, not inflicted upon each other, by using words and phrases like that, setting that as the norm; being highly disembodied, clearly making it the thing to strive for.

And I think, even though Alan Turing must have been a school boy during the 20s, that it’s still so to a large extent. Rather than make use of our body for learning, school children in many many places are still told to sit still. Disembodied, that’s the culture we live in. And this is just one example, I’m sure I could come up with a number, if I wanted to. I don’t though.

Because perhaps there is a change coming? What with new research such as neuroscience, and new discoveries on learning, physical and mental development etc. Dare I hope?

In 2015 I ran a series on herothecoach.com with Sunday postings of podcasts to my liking.  In 2017 I will be re-posting some of those blog posts – and this is one of them, originally posted here – , mixing them up with new podcast recommendations. 

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Being gentle to me – Reflection January ’17

January 25, 2017
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After a full year of monthly reflections on what it means, for me, to be gentle towards myself, you might think this is a topic that I’ve exhausted. That I’ve written what’s possible for me to write about. But far from it. I am, constantly, observing that I am being gentle towards myself, in situations where it greatly gladdens me, instances where I know – and I do mean Know – that in the past I would not have been able to chose gentleness, if nothing else than for the reason that I simply did not know it was an option!

Choosing to be gentle towards myself is becoming second nature. It is something that comes first, almost always, nowadays, and from that I conclude that I have practiced the art of being gentle for long enough, so it no longer takes as much effort to choose the path of gentleness, as compared to when I first realized that it was, indeed, a viable option for me – and anyone! – to choose.

I normally say the first big insight that it was even an option, was when I did not bring cash to pay my therapist, some 10-11 years ago. I was ashamed, and wildly kicking myself verbally, and she was astonished that I was so hard on myself. She told me what she’d done if the situation had been reversed, and my jaw fell. I simply could not believe it was an option not to beat myself up internally for having done such a low thing.

But as I sit here and look back at my journey of discovery into the world of gentleness, I spot the birth of my first child as one of those moments, when I was given the choice – by the midwife – to be more gentle to myself. Under slightly unusual circumstances – as me and my then-husband had separated and filed for divorce just a few weeks prior to the birth of our child – I was accompanied by two friends, while giving birth.

When we got to the hospital, I got into a warm bath, and after a while, the midwife looked at me and more or less gave me permission to keep my focus on me, rather than on the comfort of my friends. I was conversing them, staying cheerful and positive, all the while having contractions that hurt like hell… The midwife looked at me, and calmly said You don’t have to entertain your friends. They can take care of themselves. You conserve your energy. You will need it later.

And now, as I reflect back on that moment, I see what I chose then, as I did heed the experienced midwife’s words, was to be gentle to myself. To let myself off the hook to be a gracious “hostess” to my two friends. To truly see that they were there for me, because I had asked them, because I had a need for their strength. In that moment, they were there solely for me and my unborn child. Not the other way around. comfortable spotAnd that was ok. I could let myself off the hook, and relax into being supported, fully, without having to reciprocate, in that time and space. That there would be a time for me to be there, fully, for them. But that would not be the moment of birth of my firstborn. That’s for sure.

Funny that… How I have these recollections of specific moments when I discovered that being gentle to myself was a choice I could make. That there was a choice, and that gentleness was one of the options open to me. As a result, it’s much easier for me to love myself, to like myself, and to enjoy the daily exploration of Life. The life I lead from the place of being gentle to me, is a ridiculously comfortable spot to live from, as compared to my life while being harsh on myself (oh, so harsh!).

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Divided or united?

January 24, 2017
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unites us

I’ve had this quote as the locked-screen-saver on my IPhone for the past two weeks, and everytime I look at it, I am reminded. Remind about love, of the power of unity, of togetherness and of how much more I can accomplish when I don’t go at it alone.

So. I don’t. Go at it alone.
I go. With you. Together.

In love!

 

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A glimpse into a world you can’t see

January 22, 2017
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in Tip
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Invisibilia is a glimpse into a world you can’t see.

Listen.

Feel different.

Those are the final words on the “About Invisibilia”-webpage. I’ve listened to the three first episodes, and I am intrigued. It’s interesting, funny, astounding and sometimes downright horrible.

glimpse unseen worldsI could probably put each and every episode into a podcast-recommendation blog post, but it seems like it’s a series that really belong together, and since it’s just started to air, I’ll simply recommend you start with episode one, and if it get’s you hooked, do what I’ve done, and just continue!

The first one has the alluring title of The secret history of thoughts, and I greatly enjoyed listening to it. I agree with some of the stuff, totally disagree with some other things, and overall had a great time listening. I actually relistened to the episode the other day, and the second story about the locked-in man is especially fascinating.

Just listen. Maybe you’ll hear something you’ve never heard before when you listen. Ready for a glimpse into a world you can’t see?

In 2015 I ran a series on herothecoach.com with Sunday postings of podcasts to my liking.  In 2017 I will be re-posting some of those blog posts – and this is one of them, originally posted here – , mixing them up with new podcast recommendations. 

As I am re-posting and hence reading what I wrote about Invisibilia makes me eager to listen to the show once more. So I open up Overcast, look up Invisibilia and am immediately rewarded: there’s a second season out! 

Whoa! Another nine episodes for me to indulge in. Oh, happy days!

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Longing for tomorrow

January 20, 2017
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So I found this article, with the long and cumbersome title:
I polled 1,500 people about their best relationship advice – and everyone said the same thing.

I read it.

Pondered a bit.

Wrote down the advice-headings, with the intent of writing my reflections to each piece of advice.

And now. I’ve been acting on it. And as I read the article a few weeks ago, for the past week, as I have been sitting with this, the content of the article itself isn’t top of mind… which I think is good. It makes it easier for me to let go and see what comes to me, when I read them:

  1. Be together for the right reasons
  2. Have realistic expectations about relationships and romance
  3. The most important factor in a relationship is not communication, but respect
  4. Talk openly about everything, especially the stuff that hurts
  5. A healthy relationship means two healthy individuals
  6. Give each other space
  7. You and your partner will grow and change in unexpected ways
  8. Get good at fighting
  9. Get good at forgiving
  10. The little things add up to big things
  11. Sex matters… a lot
  12. Be practical and create relationship rules
  13. Learn to ride the waves

There they are, the common threads of 1500 people giving Mark Manson the basis of the article, condensed into these thirteen statements. As I write, I agree with some, tweak others and cringe at a few. As usual, when writing, I observe myself. Seeing what happens, as I let the words form, spotting feelings, beliefs, wishes and desires, fears and sensitive topics, and – most of all – expectations.

sproutOh, these expectations! Seldom voiced, rather thought internally, with the hope that through osmosis or mind-reading they will automatically pop into the mind of the expectee. And how rarely it works. So I am thrilled at spotting them, getting them down on paper, sometimes even working out a draft agreement I would like to suggest, as a way to get out from underneath the trappings of expectations.

This weekend, I might just make good use of these observations and ideas, written down – visualized – dreams and desires.

It’s as if I’ve collected a fair amount of building blocks, that can be used to craft and create something new; letting it sprout, whatever it will be. Something that better serves Me, and You, and as a direct consequence; better serves Us (throwback to advice number five).

I breathe in. Breathe out.
And long for tomorrow, open to whatever will come.

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Space of Now

January 18, 2017
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Rereading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now I am elated to read about what I am experiencing right now. Being in the Now. Not knowing what lies ahead, and not really bothering with it either. Being in the Now; Being happy here. Feeling content, in peace. Relaxed. In the space of Now, where things are good and I am at peace, I cook dinner. Eat. Talk to kids. Cuddle with them a bit. Feed the cat. Hang the wet laundry to dry. Ride my bike to a meeting. Knit on my woolen sweater while watching a TED Talk. Blog. Read. Talk to the school nurse of one of my legal guardians aka unaccompanied minor refugee. Light a fire in the living room stove. Walk to the nearest PokémonGo-gym, battling my way in. Pop the cat on the sofaTake a photo of Pop the cat while he’s sleeping in the most adorable way on the sofa. Text with friends and family. Write a quotation for an assignment that would be thrilling to get. Read a high-level guideline on quality systems. Order a few Christmas gifts. Light a candle and finish a Sudoku.

It’s good. Life.

I don’t know what will come, and I don’t have the sense that I need to, or even want to know. It will come. Or rather, life is constituted of moments of Now, and in those moment, most often there is peace, tranquility, excitement, joy, laughter, tears, thrill and connection. And when I simply allow myself to be there, in the moment, living, feeling, experiencing… Then life is good.

I especially don’t know what will be with regards to my marriage. But… it doesn’t hurt, at least not right now. And it hasn’t for the past few weeks. I’ve let go of a lot of would’s and should’s and why-not’s, and in return, I get to relax into what is. Yes, we are living apart. Yes, there is still love. Yes, there is a strong will to ensure that no matter where our relationship ends up, that it will be in a place of mutual respect. Yes, there is the longing for the familiar, and when I open my arms and invite him in, he comes. That way, I get to enjoy it. Him. Me. Us. And it’s sweeter somehow. No longer taking anything for granted; When I want a stronger sense of connection, I ask for it. Or he asks and I say Yes. And there, in the space of Now of the is-ness of life, it is all good and I am filled with a deep sense of inner peace.

Not bothering my mind with if’s, but’s, and what-might-be’s, but rather… breathing in, breathing out, letting go, letting come, and resting in the space of Now.

It’s good. Life.
Right Now.

The above text was written November 30th 2016.

As I reread it, I see the pivot I did sometime before writing this, with regards to my marriage, but also with regards to life itself. Something I am grateful for having experienced, a pivot I would not wish to be without. So. There is much gratitude for the way life has unfolded, and continues to unfold. In the most mysterious and unknown way. It’s good. Life. Right Now.

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A sense of hope!

January 15, 2017
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in Tip
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Hope in the darkI have bought her book, entitled Hope in the dark, but I have yet to read it. I have however, over and over again, listened to Rebecca Solnit and Krista Tippett in conversation at On Being of how people are falling together when disaster strikes.

Thing is – why does it have to be only when there is chaos, havoc and peril at hand, for people to fall together and be there for one another? And does it?

I venture a No. It doesn’t. But, as Rebecca describes in the podcast, the story we are telling ourselves is that we are bad a taking care of each other, that we are prone to revert to more primitive behavior; that at our core, human beings are programmed to look out for one thing, and one thing only: the self, not caring about others.

And we don’t have to. We can tell ourselves another story. We can point to the fact that when crisis hits, people automatically know what to do, how to behave, and altruistically help and aid each other in the community. So – what if we told ourselves stories that point to this – our innate ability to be there for one another, of togetherness and community – rather than the egotistical and selfish behavior that drive us farther apart?

And what with the political state of the world right now – with Brexit, Trump and more refugees on the run than ever in human history – wouldn’t a story of human support and community-building help provide a sense of hope that we need more than ever?

In 2015 I ran a series on herothecoach.com with Sunday postings of podcasts to my liking.  In 2017 I will be re-posting some of those blog posts, mixing them up with new podcast recommendations, such as this one. 

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Time-travelling through internal trap doors

January 14, 2017
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So much is happening. Within. I am discovering, internally, falling down trap doors that in an instant makes me a time traveller. Takes me into a different time, another situation, with people from the past. Making me react, now, as if, I was still in the past situation. Not serving me, at all. But possible for me to observe. And when I do – the chances of me falling through that specific internal trap door again, reduces. I will be less prone to time travel to a distant memory, that no longer bear any relevance to who I want to be today, how I want to show up in this moment.

discoveryI write. Loads. And you don’t get to see it. Not yet. In time – possibly?
I discover, when I write. And it makes it easier for me, to succintly share my discoveries with You. You – the one who was there, in the moment of Now, when I time travelled and almost, almost, reacted. But I didn’t. And that’s something! No. More than some-thing. That’s a lot! It matters. Every time I time travel into the past, acting from a memory or two, I am on automatic pilot. Falling through the trap door, and responding to Now, without presence. Breaking that pattern, even if only one time, means it’s possible. It means it can become probable, it can grant me help to stay in the presence, more and more. Acting, rather than reacting. Giving me a moment of pause, to observe my whereabouts, looking around me and spotting tell-tale signs of past memories. Shaking me up, bringing me back. To Now.

Which is where I want to be, when I am in connection with people who I value. I want to be present. (And no, that does not mean I won’t ever reminice with people, on shared past experiences and sweet memories. Walking down Memory Lane can be such a treat. But that’s a whole other ballgame than time travelling through internal trap-doors!)

Such an exciting path of discovery I am on!

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