Reflection

Isn’t it strange?

Isn’t it strange?

February 15, 2018
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CompetencesI’m asked to fill out a profile page and get stuck.
Competences – mine.

What are they?

What am I good at?
Good enough at to make whatever it is worth mentioning as core competences?

Writing? Seeing the full picture; drawing quick connections?
Reading. I know I’m good at that, but I mean… that’s not something to stress, is it?

Oh well. Hopefully my friends will help me. Have sent off a few queries, in the hope that they will help me. And I think it’s easier for them, than it is for me. As it would be for me, if I was to provide five competences for each of those I asked now. No problem at all. It would be quite easy, even, I think.

Isn’t it strange that it’s so hard for me to see me, and so much easier to see you? Or is it simply a clever design of human beings? Another reason why we are better together, than apart?

Because then I can see you, can reflect back to you that which you send out, so that you can see for yourself. And you can see me, can reflect back to me that which I send out, so that I can see for myself. Stronger, smarter and more competent together, than apart. Perhaps it isnät so strange, after all.

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Time travelling

February 2, 2018
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I sit here, headed home by train, after being away for a night and a day, on assignment for a new client. The sounds and movements of the train help lull me into an experience of timelessness; the sense of time passing, and yet… not. I’ve ridden a lot of train in my days, and I gather all those memories weigh in, to awaken the sensation of being outside time, somehow.

Perhaps I’ve also been influenced by the fact that I’ve travelled through time while the trains have been taking me first north, and then south. Time travelling through a multitude of episodes of the second season of Outlander, this favorite series of mine. Season one is my absolute favorite, and I recently viewed it yet again, for the umpteenth time. In season two, which I just finished re-watching, there’s more sadness, more sorrow, more darkness. A series worthwhile watching, definitely. Especially if you, like I, have a taste for the ways of the past. A few weeks ago I watched the third season for the first time, and now, that I’ve finished re-watching season one and two, I will revisit the third season once more. I already look forward to it, a smile not far from that of the Cheshire cat upon my face.

Season 1, episode 9 The Reckoning

Season 1, episode 9 The Reckoning

Nowadays it’s easy for me to experience the full spectrum of available emotions, from deep love, to the most wondrous joy, to dark despair and heartwrenching sorrow. Place me in front of a clip from Britain’s got talent, and I cry my eyes out – from joy, from pride, from the nerves so visibly strung, sometimes breaking, sometimes making the sweetest art. So watching Outlander most definitely has me on an emotional rollercoaster, let me tell you. And I love it. As I get to f e e l.

I am not afraid of feeling, of experiencing emotions, from the darkest to the lightest. I relish in it. In the experience. In having my heart constrict along with my throat as my eyes well up… to laughing out loud revelling in the humor of the moment at hand… to sensing my blood heat up and rush to erogenous zones spread out across my body as I watch a hand stroke a thigh, a chest, a breast; as two mouths meet up in a kiss, be it soft and tender, or hungry and desperate for more.

I know it will pass, as all emotions, feelings and sensations do – but as they pass through me, I get to f e e l them. And the more I enjoy the actual feeling of them all, the less afraid I am of experiencing whatever feeling comes to pass. It enriches my life, making it easier for me to acknowledge what I feel as I feel it, to stand up for myself and what I sense, while at the same time, not take myself too seriously.

Because that is not a contradiction – feeling it all, all the while not taking myself seriously -, though I fear many believe it is? I know the sensation in the moment will pass, and my old-time companion – the query “Is this serving me?” – helps me to act when it does serve me to, and to refrain from acting when it doesn’t. Except for then I say bugger all, and act full well knowing it is not serving me (whatever it might be!), just because I stubbornly want to. Deliberate and intentional, not blaming my actions on anyone but myself. Taking full responsibility, knowing full well, that no one else can make me feel anything, that’s my prerogative, solely.

So.
Time travel is up, for now.
The train rolled in to Malmö Central, I got off and got on my bike, and am now plonked in ”my spot” on my sofa, with Pop the cat cuddled up beside me, the soft and melodious sounds of
Myrra Ros accompanying me as I finish writing this.

Long. Rambling.
Not especially coherent.
As blog posts go, far from a master piece of mine.

Don’t really give a hoot though.

Getting back on track with daily blogging will likely have me ship stuff, that could – should? – be improved upon. But hey – sometimes there’s a point to that as well. In Lund there’s even a museum dedicated to it, a museum of sketches, called the Museum of Artistic Process and Public Art. I’ve never been there. Think I might go visit it soon. Get inspired by watching ”the birth of a work of art”, as the founder of the museum intended.

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From me to me

January 31, 2018
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from me to meThe other day I took part in a conversation amongst precious souls, my circle of Camp fire sisters, that meet up about once a month over Skype. As always, deep connection took place, as we each shared what wanted to be heard.

Afterwards, Mayke sent us all this amazing piece of writing, spurred on by the virtual camp fire-conversation. I asked her if she could not release this text into the world, and if she didn’t have a place for that, that I’d love to feature her as a guest blogger here. So, without further ado, I give you:

From me to me, by Mayke Vullings

Some words, from me to me:

Today I am

In a child’s carousel

Twirling around in endless circles

The laughter long gone

Loudspeakers on full force

Bombarding my ears

With questions I cannot answer

Shouting my inadequacies for everyone to hear

Blocking deep truth I lost touch with

I am lost

In thoughts who keep me prisoner

Dictating a perspective

That leaves no space to breath

Now frantically looking for a way out

 

My friend whispers: that is the way in

Become your own Mum

Force yourself up

And go to the stove

Heat the water

Pour yourself a hot cup of tea

Sit down wrap your hands around the cup

Follow the steam with your eyes

As thoughts vapouring in thin air

walk to the couch

Cuddle into a blanket

Next to you a bottle of silence,

Your glasses and a good book to read

Breathing, breathing

Staying on this island as long as you need

 

Somewhere in the room

You know for sure –

are your ballet shoes

patiently waiting for your return

to step into

start dancing your life

again & again & again

recognizing yourself in the now

for who you truly are.

 

Amsterdam, 29th of January 2018

Mayke

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Welcome 2018 – living an intentional digital and analog life

January 1, 2018
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Welcome 2018Welcome 2018, the year when…

  • I continue being gengle with myself – this is a perspective upon life that I will forever carry with me.
  • I live a more intentional life, in both digital and analog aspects – choosing what’s most fitting given the situation.
  • digital 24-hour sabbats will become a ritual in my everyday life. Every month? Weekly? Not sure, but two per month minimum.
  • my bedroom is a sheltered analog zone, without computers, iPads or phones, and if I need an alarm clock I will work it out with something other than my IPhone.
  • I will not buy a single online-course based on me watching video clips and reflect on my own. It. Does. Not. Work. For Me. I have learnt this lesson now.
  • I will, despite what I just wrote, restart and complete the “A year to clear what is holding you back” purchased during 2017.
  • I will be going – with good company – to an “analog” writers course with Bob Hansson at Mundekulla.
  • Pernilla Tillander and I will continue to work together – grow, learn and have loads of fun doing it – in Skurup for the ESF-project Include & Meet.
  • I will read 26 Swedish and 26 English books, one per week: books I already own. Each Sunday I will do a reflection on either blog on the book of the week.
  • above and beyond the 52 “books I already own” I will set my #Goodreadsreadingchallenge for 2018 to one hundred books.
  • I will let my Upholder-tendency have free reins, which you can see in the above, which for me is far from a punishment, rather, quite the challenge, something that tickles and entices me!
  • I aim at being a ChattyMeals-hostess and/or attend others ChattyMeals at least on a monthly basis. LÄNKA
  • riding my bike and taking walks, as well as my daily Seven and my Headspace-meditations, will continue to be my daily companions in life.
  • my economic husbandry gains clarity – in all senses. What this really means is something still remaining for me to defins, so I know what it truly is I want to achieve.
  • my eldest will graduate. Yikes. How time flies. This deserves a celebration!
  • I – perhaps more important than anything else – will enjoy life, explore, discover, expand, and in all manners possible allow myself to have as much fun as I can!

Intentions of previous years have come to me more in the form of a single word, more or less. This year is different, but if I summarize all of the above, this is where I end up: Living an intentional digital and analog life. That will be the intention for 2018.

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Good bye 2017

December 31, 2017
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Good bye 2017, the year when…

  • I had Wholeheartedness as my intention, something I’ve blogged about on a monthly basis since.
  • my company Respondi AB turned ten years old. Imagine that!
  • me and Pernilla Tillander started to work together for the ESF-project Include & Meet in Skurup, something which has been among the most fun and rewarding things I’ve done during my ten years as an entrepreneur. We will continue to work together in 2018 in Skurup and I greatly look forward to it!
  • I did two “current state” analyses that made quite the impact, especially in me.
  • my longest running assignment ended, after nearly five years.
  • thoughts on my future business enterprise are starting to become clear.
  • I rediscovered my fascination with husbandry, also in an economic fashion.
  • music played a big part:
    • the musical highlight above all else throughout my life is performing Stabat Mater by Jens Eriksson. The first performance took place already during Easter 2016, but during 2017 Stabat Mater was released on Spotify, and the church choir from Södra Sallerup performed Stabat Mater no less than three times this year. One performance took place in Salzburg where the choir went for a trip in september. Stabat Mater is on repeat at home, and I absolutely love this piece of music!
    • my musical highlight number two took place in twofold this year as well: we recorded an album in the beginning of the year, and this was released (both as an actual CD and on Spotify) at the end of the year, Vi är i advent. Another abum running on repeat in my headphones.

HERO in Edinburgh

  • I turned fortyfive and discovered the thrill of hosting a potluck party – what a smashing idea!
  • sad farewell’s were mixed with the joy of new budding lives.
  • acting legal guardian for unaccompanied minor refugees is an ongoing assignment, a roller coaster of joy, frustration and pride; for my legal guardians as well as others.
  • we decided to stay together but live apart… only to hand in our divorce application a few months later.
  • far later I finally removed my wedding ring, leaving me with the feeling of a phantom ring on my ring finger.
  • I participated in the #blogg100 challenge for the forth time, after refraining for a year. For the first time I trid blogging onehundred days in a row based on a set theme (by myself) – mixing Swedish and English blog posts – which definitely was to my liking.

GoodReads

  • I have read, read, and read some more. 73 books and 22889 pages according to GoodReads. But then I also proof read a book not yet published, so in total I read 74 books and 23014 pages during 2017. My #Goodreadsreadingchallenge for 2017 was fifty books, so I reached my goal by far.
  • The Gifted book club saw the light of day in conjunction with my birthday, and during the fall we’ve read two books. We are starting 2018 with Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, following it up with Foe by J.M. Coetzee and I am thrilled to see what other books we will be reading after that.
  • for the first time ever have I technically proof read a book (and buy what a book. Only available in Swedish, but if you know Swedish, most definitely pick up, and read, a copy of Sigrid sover på soffan!)
  • ChattyMeals made an entrance into my life, an aquaintance I will definitely continue to entertain during 2018.
  • I understood my relationship to inner and outer expectations, this concept that I’ve been reflecting upon for years now, and now have an even greater understanding of, being the Upholder I am.
  • I ran my first ever race!
  • I tried taking a digital sabbat, which definitely wet my appetite, to the extent that it actually served as the basis for my intention for 2018.
  • my firstborn came of age and my lastborn turned teenager and started junior high school. Oh how time flies!
  • for the first time in forever we stayed in Sweden during the summer holidays (o the chagrin of the kids).
  • all four Roths are finishing off the year participating in the largest New Years Eve-street party in the world, the Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh.

Roths in Edinburgh

And with that, I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year!

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4 years and 10 months

December 12, 2017
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Four years and ten months since I got an email from a former colleague at a new company, asking if I had time for, and was interested in working i, a specific project he had in mind.

I said yes. So for fBoldomaticPost_it-s-time-to-let-goour years and ten months I’ve been working for this project that is nearing it’s end, although not quite – but my work is done.

That’s the best part of being a consultant for me – knowing in my heart when it’s time to let go, when I’ve done what I can, when there is no longer any need for me and my services, because others have taken on the various tasks that I’ve had on my plate.

Projects tend to be learning experiences, especially the type of projects I’ve had the privilege of participating in during my years in the pharmaceutical (as well as food-packaging) industry – mainly focussed on equipment, facilities and media. (And if you go Huh, what’s she talking about? just drop me a message and I’d gladly have a conversation about my professional background!) So I’ve had four years and ten months of having a lot of fun, met some great people, got to visit Hamburg (and other parts of Germany for that matter) a number of times, have had my fair share of frustration, and all in all – to my eternal gratitude – have learnt so much!

This project has been a part-time assignment for all but a few weeks here and there, so it’s never been “all that I do” (another thing I am very grateful for – I love the diversity of what I do!). I have lots of other projects and assignments on my plate, both new and old one’s, but this project has still been a part of my work life for a long time, so letting go isn’t done without experiencing a twang of regret for what will no longer be.

On the other hand, that twang is accompanied by the bubbling anticipatory experience of letting come:
What want’s to happen now?

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Being gentle to me – Reflection November ’17

December 1, 2017
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self-honoringLetting myself off the hook – allowing myself to stay attached, even though it doesn’t make sense anymore. Long after the original meaning has been lost, the decision had been made and step after step had been taken, increasing my  distance to what was once there, I still let myself be attached… until, one day, I woke up ready to let go of my attachment.

I read what I wrote in the paragraph above, and exhale and relax, knowing this is not something I would never have granted myself, had it happened 5+ years ago. What a long way I’ve come, in being gentle towards myself.

The difference that makes the difference? Self-honoring, perhaps? Learning h o w to be gentle towards myself, as well as slowly coming to terms with the fact that I deserve it, I am worthy of love and tenderness, also from myself? Learning not to take myself too seriously, and most definitely not to believe all the thoughts that come whizzing through my head?

I cannot say there’s one difference that has made the difference, rather, it’s a combination of things that all have been working in synergy, leading up to this place in time, where I know how to, and do, let myself off the hook, letting things unfold within without me pushing, prodding, persuading myself into letting go before I am ready to. No longer ripping myself apart, because I think I should this or that, making me do it, even though I’m not ready for it. No. No more. That violent behavior towards myself that was my modus operandi for years and years, for decades even, it has been – permanently I hope, trust and believe! – replaced by me practicing the art of being gentle to myself.

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Wholehearted – Reflection November ’17

November 29, 2017
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conflicting emotionsIn the last month I’ve had been in conversations with a few loved ones into topics less often broached (by me, at the very least), such as menopause and money, desire and divorce, sex and shame. All of them topics well worth a conversation or two. Or more, lots more than two.

I am, slowly and steadily, approaching these topics, and my oftentimes conflicting emotions around them. It sure helps to have people close to me whom I can discuss them with – voicing even that which I am ashamed of, in the knowledge that it will be received with grace and tenderness. I’ve chosen wisely. My loved ones are people I trust completely.

Mmm.
Just writing that last sentence brings a smile to my face, and a warmth that sweeps across my insides.

How sweet it is, to sit here, knowing deep within, that I am worthy of this.
Worthy of having people close to me, worthy of loving and being loved.

It’s not always been apparent to me, this inherent worthiness, that I share with each and every soul on earth. I know it’s not apparent to many of you either. I wish you will be converted, as I’ve been, into this words-are-unnecessary-and-couldn’t-describe-it-anyway type of knowledge – and perhaps, knowing it’s possible to go from one to the other can make a difference?

Wholeheartedly, I do my very best to embrace myself, the light and the darkness, the skills that are so easily perceived, as well as the hidden potential, yet to be uncovered. It’s there. I hide it. From me. From you. But I hide less and less. And spending time with people who do the same – show up, in their full glory of humanness – is such an inspiration. It helps me. You are my role models. From you I generate strength, passion and ideas and, most importantly, you are my invaluable sounding boards, allowing me to bounce my insecurities, fears and desires off.

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One grain of salt

November 22, 2017
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dance walking down the street”I have tried to learn in my writing a monastic lesson I could probably not have heard otherwise: to let go of my idea of myself, to take myself with more than one grain of salt.”

Yes. The more grains of salt the better, in my experience. Learning, slowly, steadily, bit by bit, to not take myself so seriously, oh boy, what a difference that makes for the way I experience that which is my life. Allowing me to laugh at myself. Making it much easier to step up and own the responsibility of what I do – or omit to do. Asking for forgiveness, when I’ve failed someone. But also to feel, to rejoice, laugh, cry and dance my heart out, yeah, I’ll even gladly, with a smile upon my face, go dance walking down the streets of town! (That’s one link I’d love for you to check out – it will take you to YouTube, where you’ll see for yourself!)

Best of all? I know there’s so much more for me to experience as I learn to take myself with yet another grain of salt!

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book ”Echoing silence: Thomas Merton on the vocation of writing” edited by Robert Inchausti.

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A languorous few hours

November 16, 2017
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languorous hours in bedHere I am, still in bed. It’s a quarter past eleven, I’ve been awake for three and a half hours, but have yet to leave bed for the day. I’ve done my daily Headspace meditation; have read a bit, written some more; all the while listening to Peaceful Piano on Spotify.

One of those days which is mine, with no planned activities, no urgent Musts to deal with, a lot of Wants though – but this, allowing myself a languorous few hours, of doing mostly nothing really, just chilling, hanging around, relaxed, probably even lazy.

Oh how wonderful life is! Giving myself this gift of a few languorous hours of Being, with no requirement of Doing. Whatever does get done, does so out of pleasure and curiosity; Doing:s just for the plain fun of it!

And in case you wonder – no, I really don’t hear the monkey mind chattering away inside, filled with impatience, highly annoyed at this self-indulgent waste of time that could be put to better use. It might be chattering away…. but if so, it’s white noice that goes by unnoticed. And honestly I don’t think it’s there. Even the life of my inner monkey mind has gotten to be a lot more relaxed as years have passed and my experience of life has shifted along with my growing skill of being gentle with myself.

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