Monthly Archives June 2017

Being gentle to me – Reflection June ’17

Being gentle to me – Reflection June ’17

June 28, 2017
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So much of what I’ve been writing about in these monthly reflections run like a thread through my experience of life, my self-gentleness takes on similar expressions from month to month, but what I did do in the month of June that was truly gentle to me, was to host a very special birthday party for myself. I sent out the invitations a while ago, hosting an open house from afternoon until the last guest would leave, with a request for each guest: to bring something edible that would do well at a buffet table, be it a snack, a starter, main course-type food or a dessert of some kind. In return I promised to take care of the drinks.

At three o’clock when I’d said people could start to come, two things struck me:
1) I was filled with energy, which felt different to most parties I’ve hosted. By the time the party is about to start, I’m normally exhausted from cooking and cleaning and preparing and getting everything in place. This time – not at all. I’d fixed tea and coffee, and put out assorted drinks, glasses, mugs, plates and cutlery, but that was about the extent of it. Great feeling, I tell you!
2) There was no one there! That gave me food for thought, because, of course, I had told everyone that they could come whenever it would suit them best, so perhaps I would be waiting for hours? I didn’t have to wait for long though until the first guests started to drop in, which was somewhat of a relief.

The family tradition holds that the celebrant gets to drink from the silver crystal glass. Photo: Annika Jeppsson

The family tradition holds that the celebrant gets to drink from the silver crystal glass. Photo: Annika Jeppsson

Having left it completely up to my guests to bring whatever they felt like, when one guest asked for coffee and cake, all I could say was “Sorry, there’s no cake yet!” because no one had brought any. We did get some cake eventually, so all turned out well.

It was a great adventure to see what everyone would bring. We got freshly baked bread and olives, melons and quiche, cheese pie and potatoe gratin, chicken sticks and lots of assorted cheeses, a taco fry with tortilla chips, pizza and apple pie, chia brownies and hazlenut/peach cake, and lots more.

I had a blast, had great fun botanizing amongst all the yummy stuff brought by everyone, and am absolutely enamored with the idea to ask the guests to bring something to eat – for sure, this is the way I will do hencefort when I want to invite a larger gathering over for one or another reason.

Not least because this was truly an act of gentleness towards my self. I do recognize though, that for someone not as used to letting go of all sense of control, it might be somewhat stressful. But I have let go of that. What would come, would be what we would be eating. Period. And I mean, it’s not as if my fridge, freezer and larder are empty, and there’s always take-out, so, I mean, there’s really nothing to worry about, nothing at all!

Welcome to my writings, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. I reflect 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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How to get good at anything!

June 25, 2017
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in Tip
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How, you ask, would it be possible to get good at a n y t h i n g in twenty hours? guitarThat’s the topic of this Good Life Project-rif with Jonathan Fields in conversation with Josh Kaufman, author of a book entitled The first 20 hours: How to learn anything… fast! 

I haven’t read the book, but so far have listened to the podcast three times, and right now, I am moving my hands off my computer keyboard and onto to my guitar, because I’ve just made myself a promise: I will practice playing my guitar for twenty minutes every day (aiming for late afternoon/evening to maximize learning while sleeping – yup, that’s what I wrote, learning while sleeping, however weird that might sound. Listen to the show and you’ll get why!) for the next two months, giving me twenty hours of practice before my guitar lessons start again in the fall.

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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Start living that way.

June 22, 2017
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in Tip
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”Suppose you had the revolution you are talking and dreaming about. Suppose your side had won, and you had the kind of society that you wanted. How would you live, you personally, in that society? Start living that way now!” – Paul Goodman

Dream societyA few years ago, I came to this conclusion myself. For years I was dreaming of a more gentle, loving and generous society, one where the connection between one and all was encouraged and acknowledged – what Martin Luther King Jr. called the beloved community -, when suddenly it struck me: I don’t have to live my life in a state of lack anymore. I can live my life, as if the world I dream of, is already here, where there is an abundance of love, generosity and gentleness.

So I did. I started to believe in the good of each and everyone I meet, which sometimes is harder than I would like for it to be, for sure. I started to be very generous with my love, with my caring, with my gentleness. Both towards myself (and that’s possibly where it’s made the biggest impact, honestly) and towards those around me. It’s one of the best moves I’ve ever made – in part because it makes for a much sweeter experience here on earth.

So. What do you dream of? What kind of society do you paint inner pictures of, when you imagine the best possible life for yourself and the world? What’s stopping you, from living the life you would live then, starting here and now?

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book “Hope in the dark” by Rebecca Solnit.

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What am I blinding my children to?

June 18, 2017
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in Tip
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I’ve already recommended the entire Invisibilia-podcast series in one of these podcast recommendations, and I do suggest you listen to each and every show. But here’s a specific episode which is just mind-blowing. At the end, the hosts had me dancing in the street (was outside taking a walk while listening) as I answered YES to the question:

Do you think if we changed our expectations blind people could come to see?

The episode is called: How to become batman and centers around Daniel Kish, a blind man (since he was 13 months old) who since early age uses echolocation to get around.

BoldomaticPost_What-am-I-blinding-my-childreWhen I listen to how his mom raised him, I got really quiet, and looked deep within at how I raise and have raised my children.

Paulette Kish faced the question if she was going to raise him like a seeing child, allow him to explore his world with very few restrictions on him for blindness?

Now. My children are not physically blind. So that specific question has never been a question for me to ponder. But still, as I listen to this show, and hear the story of Daniel, and of his mother, I cannot help but wonder what I am blinding my children to, by the expectations I place upon them? And correspondingly, what am I opening them up to, by other expectations? Are these expectations intentional or unintentional from my part? How aware am I of my expectations, and the result that can spring from them?

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. This one I find especially well-suited, given the similarity to the post from yesterday on What my children learn watching me?
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What my children learn watching me?

June 17, 2017
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propped up in bedToday is my birthday, and as I sit here, still propped up against the pillows in bed, getting ready for the day – which will be spent preparing for and having people over in the afternoon and evening – I come across this phrase:

”What are your children learning
as they watch you?”

I could ask them. Actually, that’s a good idea, I think I will, one day in the not too distant future.

I can also look within, and reflect upon what I wish and hope that the learn while watching me.

I hope my children learn (in no specific order)…
– to be gentle towards themselves.
– to laugh at all things possible to laugh at (and with).
– to be generous, both in spirit and with physical means that can grant relief to a fellow human.
– that it’s ok to experience all emotions possible to experience; to not be afraid of feeling whatever comes in the moment.
– to dream wildly and to do the work that will take them one step closer towards fulfilling that dream, and then another step, and another…
– to be kind in heart, helpful and openminded.
– to open their homes to those in need.
– that thoughts aren’t Truth, but rather a suggestion, that they, in each given moment, can ask How does this serve me?. And if the answer is It doesn’t, to know that they can let go of that thought, to let the next one come.
– the importance of thinking one step further – that the choices we make has implications down the line, not simply for us as individuals, but for all of us, for flora and fauna and the Earth itself.
– to enjoy life! The richness of it, the textures, smells and flavors, the vistas and thrills, the high’s and low’s of the eternal rollercoaster we call life!
– to love. Wholeheartedly. With all they’ve got.
– to dance through life, and especially, to dance with whom- och whatever comes knowing at the door.
the importance to look after ones Self, in spirit and body alike.
– to read! All the worlds available to us in the form of books is such a treasure.
– to ask questions and be forever curious.
– to be open to what wants to happen next.
– to grace life with beauty and tenderness as well as lots of hugs and kisses! You can never get too many hugs, that’s for sure.

I believe I could go on and on, listing all the things I wish my children learn from watching me; all the while knowing that I am not all of this at all times – far from it. It is my intention though, to live life wholeheartedly with these aims top of mind. And when I slip or forget, to get back on track and above all, to be gentle with myself at all times.

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book “The parents Tao Te Ching” by William Martin.

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This is how it is for everyone.

June 15, 2017
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“Life’s energy is never static. It is as shifting, fluid, changing as the weather. Sometimes we like how we are feeling, sometimes we don’t. Then we like it again. Then we don’t. Happy and sad, comfortable and uncomfortable alternate continually. This is how it is for everyone.”

I’ve written many times about just this. The ever-changing nature of the human experience, and how the realization that this is what it’s like to live on earth as a human being, has changed my life. It has broadened my experience of life, giving me room to be; To fully experience each and every emotion and feeling that comes upon me – creeping up? Crashing down? All of it! – with less desire to be rid of it, to get through to the other side, to stop feeling what I am feeling and feel something else, something better, sweeter, softer, instead. No. I feel. I hurt, grieve, rage and despair. But also heal, rejoice, laugh and swoon. Neither feeling better or worse than the other. Some of them easier to be in than others, but neither of them bad or wrong, as feelings go. They simply are.

Sixten the dogJust before, I was in a state of confusion. Right now – hungry. Getting ready to get out of bed, do my morning Seven, take a shower, make myself my morning green smoothie and be in town at ten o’clock, a thirty minute bike ride to get there, with the added To-do of having to take Sixten the dog (we are dogsitting for a few days) on a walk before I take off, I am now starting to feel a bit pressed for time…

Because life’s energy is never static. It is as shifting, fluid, changing as the weather. Sometimes we like how we are feeling, sometimes we don’t. Then we like it again. Then we don’t. Happy and sad, comfortable and uncomfortable alternate continually. This is how it is for everyone.

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you: The book “Taking the leap – Freeing ourselves from old habits and fears” by Pema Chödrön

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Leaving things alone.

June 13, 2017
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“Thanks to the migration of threes, the forest is constantly changing. And not just the forest – all of Nature. And that’s why so many human attempts to conserve particular landscapes fail. What we see is always a brief snapshot of a landscape that only seems to be standing still. The illusion is almost perfect in the forest, because trees are among the slowest-moving beings with which we share our world and changes in the natural forest are observable only over the course of many human generations. One of these changes is the arrival of new species.”trees

“Giant hogweed is considered extremely dangerous because its sap, in combination with ultraviolet light, can burn human skin. Every year, millions are spent digging up plants and destroying them, without any great success. However, hogweed can spread only because the original forested meadow along the banks of rivers and streams no longer exist. If these forests were to return, it would be so dark under the forest canopy that hogweed would disappear. The same goes for Himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed, which also grow on the riverbanks in the absence of the forests. Trees could solve the problem if people trying to improve things would only allow them to take over.

That last sentence is certainly true for much more than the problem of invasive plants. What would life be like if I (and you? we?) would leave things alone to a greater extent than I do? And how to know when me trying my hardest to improve things is truly beneficial, and when it is not?

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book “The hidden life of trees” by Peter Wohlleben.

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Speaking my truth

June 11, 2017
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Rather than solve my issue with my podcast-player, I’ve started to listen to podcasts in another app, and hence, have a backlog of episodes to listen to from my favorite podcast shows, such as On Being and Good Life Project. Pressed play on the GLP-show with Glennon Doyle Melton, and felt now and again as if she’s speaking my thoughts, my feelings, my fears, my beliefs and wishes. She is, in many ways, speaking my truth. How odd! And cool, at the same time.

elderberry flowersThis is one of those times I wish GLP had transcripts of their shows, so I could serve you up a number of those hitting-me-straight-in-the-heart quotes by Glennon, but alas… I simply hope you will do what I did, and listen. I went elderberry flower-picking this evening, to make cordial, and had Glennon and Jonathan Fields accompany me.

She gives me cause to reflect upon relationships, on writing, on intimacy and being transparent, and about doing the next right thing, without explaining myself to others. And as I cannot stop myself from pressing play once again, here are a few snippets that speaks to me:

Relationships are hard work, because they make us face our stuff. 

I wanna figure out how to be my most intimate self with my most intimate relationships.

To do the next right thing and then not explain myself. The first step is to do it without first asking for permission, or consensus. […] The most bad-ass thing that a woman can do is just not explain herself.

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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#blogg100 – All that is to come.

June 8, 2017
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”Every moment is a death
of all that has gone before,
and a birth
of all that is to come.”

Here I am, in a moment that is the death of the #blogg100 challenge 2017 – writing one hundred blog posts over one hundred days. Challenge completed. One hundred blog posts later, I am thrilled at the theme I picked for the challenge this year: writing about and reflecting on sentences or phrases I have read in books. I’ve blogged in English and Swedish both, and have a hard time grasping the fact that this is the last blog post of the hundred. It’s been such a joy to dive even deeper into the chosen books – finally giving myself an outlet for all the wise, witty, funny, amazing, thought provoking, beautiful and moving passages that touch me, that I mark off with a pencilled in star, exclamation mark, wiggly line, or simply by taking a snapshot of the page, saving it in my Evernote.

Here I am, in a moment that is the birth of all that is to come. I will continue to blog in this style, the way I’ve done it during the challenge, because I have so much more to reflect upon around the books I am reading. I have but skimmed the surface, with reflections on snippets from seven books I’ve read and written about in English, and nine in Swedish. It will, likely, not be a daily post, but then again, who knows what is to come…

What I do know is that just from the sixteen books I’ve referenced so far, I’ve still got material for hundreds more blog posts! There is so much wonderfully written wisdom to be had at easy access in books – those I’ve read, and those I’ve not yet opened – that I could continue on this theme forever if it would suit me. There’s so much more I also want to share in my writings, that I will not limit myself to this – but what I do notice is how my ability to be fully present to the Now, to feel, to observe, to note what happens inside as well as outside of me, is expanding. I have been enjoying the books I’ve read, unusually so, and the same goes for everything else in life as well.

Hugging my kids. Sitting on a train watching the fast-moving and beautiful vistas outside the window. The color and smell of the blooming lilacs.

Enjoying life, because I can.

lilacs

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 100 of 100.
The book “The parents Tao Te Ching” by William Martin.
English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.

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