Monthly Archives August 2017

That’s why!

That’s why!

August 29, 2017
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The so-called Migration crisis in 2015 caused too many countries, Sweden amongst them (much to my sorrow), to effectively shut their borders to refugees and asylum seekers. Countries close to these war-stricken countries have taken in so many more refugees than we could even come close to harboring.

In Lebanon one out of three is a refugee. One in three. Lebanon alone have taken in more Syrian refugees than all of Europe combined. All. of Europe. Combined. Can you imagine?

It saddens me beyond belief that Sweden, and too many other countries, are shutting people out, as well as denying asylum seekers a chance to settle down in a country not plagues by war, famine, poverty and apartheid (look into the situation for hazara in Afghanistan and the surrounding countries) that this is what it’s come to, and Sam explains why in but a few words:

FEAR”’We have kids who’ve come here from Perdido Beach. They’ve lost people on the way here, and we’re going to take them in and care for them.’ 

Some grumbling and a couple of defiant, shouted questions came out of the dark. 

’Because good people help people who need to be helped. That’s why,’ Sam yelled back.”

Good people help people who need to be helped.
That’s why.
And we aren’t helping.
Not enough, by far, with more than 65 million people forcibly displaced worldwide, according to UNHCR statistics.

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book ”FEAR” (number 5 in the GONE series) by Michael Grant.

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A sucker for romantic love

August 27, 2017
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There’s one episode of Good Life Project that I’ve listened to over and over again, for the past year. It’s called When life partners become business partners: Linda & Charlie Bloom, and even disregarding all the wisdom contained in the conversation, it is one of those easy-going and flowing conversations between Jonathan and the Bloom’s, that makes me want to cuddle up and just sit listening to them all day long.

Linda and Charlie Bloom have a wonderful rapport, and their love, respect and awareness in what they do and say and how they act towards one another, makes me long to experience the same. I am most definitely a sucker for the all-encompassing, life-long romantic and highly conscious love, that’s clear to me. Especially so, after also having read Alain De Botton’s book The Course of Love last year, a book that I rated 3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads with this review:

An unusual grip, letting us follow along in a course of love, while being witnesses to a couple meeting, marrying, having kids and so on. Quite interesting, that’s for sure. And what a punch in the face for the all-encompassing romantic love… 

sucker for romantic loveSo I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. Is the Bloom-experience something which has happened for these two amazing people, making them outliers in a gigantic coordination system of human relationships, whereas the vast majority of us (the rest of humankind) will never ever have even the most minute of chances of actually experiencing something like it? Am I bonkers for believing it is within my grasp, that somewhere, somehow, there is the possibility of such a relationship for me?

I know the Bloom’s are not the only couple on Earth experiencing a romantic relationship as rich and rewarding as theirs; at the same time, I honestly believe relationships such as theirs is clearly in the minority. Most relationships likely never turn as deep and intentional as theirs. But is it because it’s “not possible” for the rest of up to attain that level of depth? Or is it more cause and effect; being in a minority, most of us have never witnessed anything like it, and hence most of us stumble along, in inadequately close but not close enough (not as close as they could be) relationships, never having had such a role model-relationship close by, to learn from, be inspired by, witness?

And even if we are lucky enough to actually be in the vicinity of such a relationship – would it truly benefit us? I mean – how to create a life together like this, how to be such a life partner, how to become a human, to evolve as a human being together with another soul – is not a topic that comes up a lot, is it? It’s not something we talk to our kids about: What works, what doesn’t work and what is missing from mum and dad’s relationship? is seldom the topic of conversation over dinner at home, is it? In my experience it’s seldom the topic even between the two (or more) souls directly involved in the relationship as such? But maybe it should be? Maybe there’s a lot to gain from having these conversations with those around us? Or am I totally losing it here? What do you think?

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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Everyday sexism

August 25, 2017
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For one reason or another, the topic of sexism and feminism, has been top-of-mind for me quite a lot this past month. I’ve read books that grant me a new perspective on life, listened to podcasts that totally shake me up, and had discussions on the topic as well. I find it interesting and important, and am thrilled to be gaining so much more bandwidth on these subjects. That in turn has me being more observing and curious about myself, my experiences and habits, making me question a lot of ingrained truths in my life. Adventures, to say the least – it’s truly an adventure to go exploring inside myself!

In one of the podcasts (the Swedish podcast called Penntricket) they recommended the Sexy Lie TEDxTalk by Caroline Heldman, so I watched it over lunch. After finishing, I had a few more minutes before my next appointment, so I pressed PLAY when I then stumbled upon this TEDxTalk as well:

Laura Bates talks about Everyday sexism, and yup, once again my world twists and turns ever so slightly. Facts that taken one by one seem so innocent and are easy to brush off, but then they become glaringly obvious when stacked together like this. Take a look for yourself, and then ask yourself the following two questions, inspired by these two TED Talks:

  1. Do we live in a fair and just society where sexism is a thing of the past?
  2. If you reply No to question 1, what steps can you take, both short-term and long-term, to help make it a thing of the past?
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The GIFTED book club

August 23, 2017
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On my birthday me and a friend gifted one another a book club, and when we sat down to think it through a week later, that’s the name we gave it. Tonight we had a first get-to-know-one-another-so let’s-wait-to-read-the-first-book-after-all-meeting, expanding upon the basic structure we had previously outlined, so we are set for the upcoming two meetings, and then we’ll see what works and what needs to be tweaked.

GIFTED book club

Now I have six weeks until our next meeting to read On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder, a book I wanted to read since listening to him in conversation with Sam Harris. We decided upon our next book as well, so I will immediately request it from the library.

I’ve never been a part of a book club before, let alone initiated one – so I am really looking forward to this experience. Feel like a rookie, learning as I go along, which is a state I am truly starting to enjoy more and more. It means there’s a potential for expansion, for growing, for gaining new perspectives upon life. And that it something I love!

If you’ve ever been a part of a book club, and have good ideas or tips to share, please do so in the comments. I’d love to get some input!

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Resistance.

August 22, 2017
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“There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writer’s don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.” 

The WAR of ARTSteven Pressfield writes this in one of the first pages of the book The War of Art. And I can give you a hint, writer is replaceable with whatever you aspire to. Regardless if you want to be a writer, a musician, an artist, an athlete, or whatever you can dream of, what you need to get to is the doing part. If you don’t “sit down to write”, you won’t be a writer. If you don’t practice the guitar, you won’t be a guitarist. If you don’t paint, you won’t be an artist.

The entire book centers on Resistance, and there are quite a few passages that I really enjoy. Some provoke me, other tickle me, other again make me nod emphatically with personal recognition. Here’s another personal favorite:

“Casting yourself as a victim is the antithesis of doing your work. Don’t do it. If you’re doing it, stop.” 

I am way too familiar with Resistance. It’s like an acquaintance that’s overstayed his welcome – boy, would I love to get rid of it! And I think there’s actually a way to at least reduce the frequency when this acquaintance comes a’knocking: by sitting down to write, step by step I train myself to do the work, regardless of the Resistance I feel or not. In time, Resistance might knock more seldom, knowing it’s futile?

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book ”The WAR of ART” by Steven Pressfield.

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Running as Spiritual Practice

August 20, 2017
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I chocked myself a few months ago, when I got a strong urge to go out running, and actually did. Felt very pleased with myself, but didn’t force anything. But a few weeks later, the urge hit me again, and then again and again. By now, I’ve been out eleven times, and I truly enjoy it. runkeeper

Then I chocked myself again, just the other day, when my cousin shared a post on a race in Kalkbrottet (an old and disused limestone quarry close to where I lived as a young child) and I signed up for a five kilometer run! I’ve never run a race in my life, and I’ve never been down in Kalkbrottet, so I figured why not?

Kalkbrottsloppet

As I listened to the On Being episode called Running as Spiritual Practice I found myself recognizing a lot of the sentiments shared by those sharing their stories on the show. It’s a diverse collection of people – a motley crew – which reminds me, yet again, that there is always so much more that joins us together, than sets us apart from one another. I feel kinship with… well, with them all, really. As I look at the profiles of the people features on the show, I realize that there’s not a single one of these lives, that did not in some way touch me, as I listened to them sharing why they run, how they run, what they have gained from it, how running made many of them view themselves from a different perspective.

Running again

Beautiful, that’s what it is, receiving this gift os people sharing a piece of themselves. With me. And you, if you choose to. It’s an episode well worth a listen to!

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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Chasing coral

August 17, 2017
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When the soon-to-be-eighteen year old tells me “Mom, tonight you’re gonna watch Chasing coral, and I will watch it again with you.” it’s hard to resist. So I didn’t.

We got comfortable on the sofa, and pressed PLAY on Netflix. But a few minutes in, I gasped in chock, when they visited a coral reef in Florida, and was told how much remained of a specific species, compared to the amount of them around in 1975, when a survey had been done. The chocking answer: 0.01 %.

Hooked, I watched in rapture, and horror as well, and there were more graspable moments, as well as quite a few that brought tears to my eyes. This one for instance, showing the death of a piece of coral, from dying (to the right, image showing bleached coral) to completely dead (to the left, only the coral skeleton remains, overgrown by algae), in but a few months time:

Chasing coral

As the end credits were rolling, singing along to Kristen Bells original song Tell me how long, I am left with the sensation of being dumbfounded. I just c a n n o t grasp how far the human species have drifted away from the understanding that we are not separate from Nature. We are a part of it. And when we harm such a vital part of our global eco system as the coral reefs are, we are harming ourselves. Severely. That, if nothing else, should be a wake-up call of massive proportions, should it not?

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Strands of neediness.

August 15, 2017
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Half of a yellow sun“For a brief irrational moment, she wished she could walk away from him. Then she wished, more rationally, that she could love him without needing him. Need gave him power without his trying; need was the choicelessness she often felt around him.”

The tangled mess of love entwined in strands of neediness; strands that can be as smooth as silk, and as coarse as a fibrous hemp rope. A need that can feel soothing at times, harming at other times.

I suspect I and Olanna (the character in the book, thinking these thoughts to herself) are not the only ones familiar with this sensation. And, is it not also such, that once the aspect of need in and of one’s lover dissipates, there is a shift, a huge shift, at least on the inside?

When the choicelessness is no more, and the choice – to love, or not to love; to stay, or not to stay – is there, I reclaim my power and my world immediately doubles in size. And with that comes both great exhilaration, but also, perhaps, dread? Because having the option of choice does not always make life simpler, does it?

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you: The book “Half of a yellow sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

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Liberated being

August 13, 2017
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Short and sweet, another Good Life Project riff, on the word transformation and how it’s being used in the world of yoga, self-awareness and mindfulness. The term transformation, as it’s used in this crowd, really comes from is the sanskrit word/concept of jivanmukta. And jivanmukta isn’t about transformation, it’s about liberation. It translates into Liberated being.

BoldomaticPost_l-i-b-e-r-a-t-e-d-b-e-i-n-gWhen I listened to this podcast, there was a release within. A flash of lightning, an aha, that told me something I already knew, I just hadn’t put it into words. Jonathan Fields did that for me.

Liberated being – not transformed.
L i b e r a t e d !

So free yourself. Let yourself out of the cage created by and for you. Reveal what is already there, know there is nothing to transform. You don’t have to become someone else, transform into some other being, with different, better, more worthy traits and skills.

It’s all within you.

You cannot be found outside of You. You can only be found within.
So stop looking outside, thinking there’s something you can do, be, buy to find yourself. You cannot. Look inwards. Not to transform. To reveal. To get to know your true essence. To step into it, fully.

Sometimes. It scares me.
Becoming aware of my true essence, to feel, sense, notice it.
Other times, it’s the most divine experience, uplifting, hope giving, and enormously empowering. Because the power is there, within me. None else can empower me.
It’s within. I. Have. It. Already.

Let it out. Liberate it. Set it free.

It? Me!
Set me free. Let me out. Liberate myself.

Liberate thyself?

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, or posts with other podcast recommendations – and this is one of them, originally posted here – , mixing them up with new podcast recommendations. 

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