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Bearing witness

Bearing witness

October 15, 2017
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Here’s a new recommendation for you, at long last! I have tons of episodes from On Being, Good Life Project and One You Feed that I’d love to recommend for you, but I also want to give you a taste of something new. So here’s Rich Roll in conversation with Andy Puddicombe, the voice and co-founder of Headspace, the meditation app that I’ve been using for almost a year now.

I’ve just listened to a few episodes of the Rich Roll Podcast, and I will be recommending some more as time goes, but the episode with Andy was really interesting, in part because I honestly had no clue to Andy’s extremely unusual background! I might be the only one in the Western world who’s missed out on that story, but… go figure. There I was, anyway. Rich and Andy cleared that up for me though, which I am happy about. Because Andy has lived a life with a story worth telling, that’s for sure.

BoldomaticPost_Most-people-assume-that-meditI’ve never taken to meditation before. Haven’t really tried, properly, and never got interested enough to actually give it a go. And I’m quite happy about that actually, because I sure had it wrong.

Andy got it right, in this quote. That’s the mis-conception that I had. That meditation was a way to stop the inner chatter, the endless jabber, that’s accompanied me all my life.

Perhaps lucky for me, I’d already gotten an understanding of how thoughts work, how they shape the world as I experience it, and what with daily blogging (being a form of self-coaching for me) for a couple of years, I’d gotten pretty ok at stepping back from myself, bearing witness.

So when I started on the Headspace-journey, I had absolutely no wish, desire or ambition for it to help me “stop my thoughts”. Not at all. I just really enjoyed giving myself 10-15-20 minutes a day devoted to stepping back and bearing witness, just being with myself. Sometimes in absolute calm. Sometimes agitated as hell. And not getting caught up in either of those states, but rather just seeing it, seeing me, in the moment.

Anyway. Whether or not you meditate or if you really loath meditation and such mumbo-jumbo, this interview is worth listening to, in my view. And if, by chance, you get interested in the Headspace app and want to give it a go, start with the free 10-day routine, and then let me know if you want to try more. Because I have a 30-day voucher to give away to someone who want’s it! Might it be you?

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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I was all I had.

October 13, 2017
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BoldomaticPost_I-was-all-I-had”Whatever its results, the California trip would have a lasting impact on me. I got to see the country. I came up against some real talent and held my own, but the band that took us out at the Family Dog stayed with me. They had something we didn’t, a certain level of sophisticated musicality. They were better than us and that didn’t sit well with me. It’s not that I didn’t expect to come up against superior talent; that happens, it’s the way God planned it. I was fast, but like the old gunslingers knew, there’s always somebody faster, and if you can do it better than me, you earn my respect and admiration and you inspire me to work harder. I wasn’t afraid of that. I was concerned with not maximizing my own abilities, not having a broad or intelligent enough vision of what I was capable of. I was all I had. I had only one talent. I was not a natural genius. I would have to use every ounce of what was in me – my cunning, my musical skills, my showmanship, my intellect, my heart, my willingness – night after night, to push myself harder, to work with more intensity than the next guy just to survive untended in the world I lived in. As I sat there in the back, I knew when we got back home, there would have to be some changes made.

Truth be told, ”I” is all that all of us have. I have me. You have you. And yeah, of course, we also have each other, but if I don’t show up for us, there won’t be an us. So: I am what I bring to the table. I am all I have.

Reading this excerpt from Born to run, it’s not surprising at all that Bruce Springsteen became the rock n roll legend that he has become. But I wonder – how many people don’t give themselves to the world, in the way Bruce has? What are we all missing out on, because people don’t value their ”I” enough, don’t see that their skills, intellect, heart and willingness, would give their onlyness to a world that needs it?

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book ”Born to run” by Bruce Springsteen.

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Terrible, thanks for asking

October 8, 2017
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Terrible, thanks for askingI found a new podcast to listen to, thanks to the New York Times podcast club on Facebook. It’s called Terrible, thanks for asking, and on the surface it might seem to be a “true life drama junkie”-podcast. This is how it’s described:
You know how every day someone asks “how are you?”. And even if you’re totally dying inside, youn just say “fine”, so everyone can go about their day? This show is the opposite of that. Hosted by author and notable widow (her words) Nora McInerny, this is a funny/sad/uncomfortable podcast about talking honestly about our pain, our awkwardness, and our humanness, which is not an actual word.

As I don’t peg myself a “true life drama junkie”, or a drama junkie at all for that matter, this podcast isn’t that at all, in my experience. It’s not a “revel in our horrible stories and sympathise like crazy with the storytellers while being happy as hell it’s not my own life”-podcast. Rather it’s a podcast where I can empathize with people having (had) various experiences that affected them and their lives.

Having only listened to a handful of episodes so far, the fifth one titled Help me remember is the episode that’s affected me the most so far. Grace, the daughter of Dawn Pereda whom the show is about, is wise beyond her years, and it hurts to hear her wisdom spoken out loud like this. It hurts, because she’s twelve, and she’s already experienced enough trauma, heartache and concern to last a lifetime. And yet, she continues on with her life, with grace, enormous grace.

I cannot help but think:
Here’s a young child who’s learned the hard way that the stories she tells herself shape her reality, making her deliberately very careful to create the best reality she can, given her circumstances.

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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Symbols of loyalty

October 2, 2017
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“You might one day be offered the opportunity to display symbols of loyalty. Make sure that such symbols include your fellow citizens rather than exclude them.”

Timothy Snyder puts his finger on something that I’ve not been able to pinpoint before, but with this sentence the significance of symbols of loyalty becomes very clear. The chapter title reads Take responsibility for the face of the world, and he continues:

The symbols of today enable the reality of tomorrow. Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate. Do not look away, and do not get used to them. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so.

It is so easy to set standards of Us and Them, to separate, distinguish, exclude. It doesn’t take much at all. To some extent, I think it comes naturally for us (as a species); but that doesn’t negate the individual responsibility I have, to be observant of myself, to notice when I do exclude, when I divide the world into good and bad guys, into Us and Them. Because me noticing, and gently nudging myself towards unity, inclusion, connection, makes my life so much lovelier to live, truth be told. And I think that makes your life lovelier as well. That’s me taking responsibility for the face of the world.

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you: The book ”On tyranny: Twenty lessons from the twentieth century” by Timothy Snyder, which also happen to be the first book of The Gifted Book club, having the first meeting come October 4th 2017.

 

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A special treat for you!

October 1, 2017
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In Sweden we have an old radio tradition dating back to 1959 called Sommar i P1. That means “Summer in program 1” and I’ve never heard it presented in anything other than Swedish. However, for some reason, of which I am very grateful, one of the best episodes of this summer, with environmental scientist Johan Rockström, suddenly showed up, in an English version. He gave his original Sommar-show in Swedish, and if you know the language, I’d recommend that. But if you aren’t one of the fewer than 10 million people worldwide who know Swedish, please make sure you listen to the English version!

BoldomaticPost_I-support-the-Earth-StatementAs a person with a strong environmental interest there were a lot of facts in this podcast that I already knew about. Some that I think I’ve forgotten but now have a revived understanding about, and, interestingly enough, quite a few new facts and figures to me.

Johan Rockström provides some devastating pieces of information, regarding our world and what humans are doing to it, but he has an optimism to him, that makes this episode strangely uplifting, despite the grim realities of climate changes and the likes, that we face.

One of the things that Johan Rockström have initiated is The Earth Statement, which is something I had not heard of before I listened to this podcast (which I’ve done three times, by now), but since then I’ve become a supporter, adding my name to the list of many others.
Check it out yourself: http://earthstatement.org or perhaps you already have?

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. 

As you can tell, the call-to-action is a bit outdated, but that does not mean the podcast I am referring to is outdated – it’s well worth a listen to, even a few years after it was aired originally.

 

 

 

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I’m an Upholder. You?

September 24, 2017
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Listening to Jonathan Fields in conversation with his longtime friend Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project if you’ve read that book? I have. Enjoyed it. This conversation centers around The four tendencies, something which Gretchen apparently touched on in one of her earlier books, and then dove deeper into, making it the topic for her current book The four tendencies, a book I most definitely want to read after listening to this podcast.

The four tendencies centers on how we, as human beings, relate to inner and outer expectations – being prone to or resisting one or the other. The four tendencies are given names; Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, Rebel. More than 800 000 people have taken Gretchens simple online test to get a feel for ones own core tendency, and I turned out to be an Upholder. Not surprising, just from the podcast itself I felt the most connected to this tendency, and the online test confirmed it.

As I listen to the podcast (over and over again), clarity arises.

Clarity in why I am good at keeping promises to myself (such as meditating every morning and doing my daily Seven, such as promising myself to practice the guitar for twenty minutes a day for sixty days, and following through) but also towards others (meeting deadlines, keeping promises, getting the job done).

Clarity in why some people struggle with things that come naturally to me, because I can see other tendencies in them, giving me a greater understanding in what makes them tick, one way or another, which might make me become a better coach, mother, business partner and friend in the future.

Clarity as to how the assignment “to make people better at motivating others” isn’t about what works for me, but rather about the four ways there are to have people gain the most traction from their own inner driving forces. A Upholder meets both inner and outer expectations. For a Questioner understanding why is central making them meet their own inner expecations. The Obliger struggles and fails to meet inner expectations but readily meets outer ones. And at last the Rebel, resisting both outer and inner expectations, which to me sounds really tricky. I mean, what remains then? Spur of the moment, I guess?

Four tendencies

If we all knew our own tendencies, and had sufficient knowledge about the other three, for sure that would make a huge difference in any setting we find ourselves in. At school, at work, with the closest family, with friends. Knowing my own tendency, which is actually quite rare, which means what works for me, won’t necessarily work for you. And if you and I both have some knowledge about our respective core tendencies, perhaps there is a greater opportunity for us to find common ground, to be able to stand by one another, being there for each other in ways that are truly helpful?

I am an Upholder, with leanings towards Questioner, I think. The test online doesn’t dig deep enough for me to truly distinguish the nuances in great detail; am hoping the book will. What are you?

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Are you into poof?

September 17, 2017
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On Tuesday* me and my friend Michael Sillion will attend Seth in London, a full day Q&A session which he announced a month and a half ago. I was quick to let him know that I was interested, and once the tickets were released, I jumped at the opportunity to grab a 2-for-1-deal. Hence Michael joined me, which makes me very happy.

So, I figured, why not warm up with a podcast of Seth. This one is from Good Life Project, where Jonathan Fields and Seth Godin talk about any and every thing possible, and, as always, it’s a very enriching conversation to listen in on. You can actually watch the conversation as well, but I prefer podcasts actually!

I’ve listened to this episode probably five or six times by now, and one of the best parts of it is when Seth talks about Poof! (Around 16 minutes in on the conversation if you want to go there directly.)poof

I am not sure I am so good at making things go (deliberately) Poof, and I’ve definitely gotten a lot to think about since listening to this (over and over again).

Are you like Seth, into Poof?

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. 

*That is, on Tuesday, two years ago… as the #SethInLondon-event took place in November 2015.

 

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Everybody-friendly, artist-driven, God-optional, all ages

September 10, 2017
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“Everybody-friendly, artist-driven, God-optional, all ages” – what do you imagine this is the tagline for? If you are anything like me, you would not in a million years believe it is the tagline of a pop-up synagogue, would you? And yet, that is precicely what it is.

Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie in conversation with Krista Tippett on On Being is a hoot of a show under the title “First-aid for spiritual seekers”. I laugh, and I cry, and I feel such gratitute to people who don’t “take things for granted because it’s how it’s been done forever and ever” but rather dare ask Why? And Amichai most certainly is one who dares.

I mean, read this transcript from the conversation:

worthy of being passed down“… I think the words are the black box that contains so many of the ancestral aspirations and truths — and also baggage that needs to be checked. There is an evolution. Not everything that we’ve inherited is worthy of being passed on, like trauma and like memories and like values that have evolved. Part of the reason why I’m not an Orthodox Jew but a flexidox or polydox and otherwise-Jew, and not just “Jew,” is that I do believe in evolution, not just of our species and the world, but of concepts. And if the Bible and the Jewish values that have sustained my people for thousands of years believe that women were subservient and that sexuality was of a specific type and that types of worship included slaughtering animals, we’ve evolved. That’s not where we are. So we need to read some of those sacred words as metaphor, as bygone models, as invitations for creativity, and for sort of the second meaning and the second naïveté here that still retrieves this text as useful and these narratives as holy, not as literal.

I think that is, of course, the conversation between so many of us of different religions who are struggling with our brothers and sisters who choose to read things literally and speak for a Biblical truth that is unalterable, where we — some of us think that there is room here for creativity, for sacred metaphor and change. And we’re not there yet. We’re not there yet for those days of dignity and equality and radical justice that Heschel and Dr. King and so many of our leaders, then and now, are hoping for. And here we are — oh, my God — again?”

I hear Amichai speak this into the world, and I rejoice. I remember listening to this podcast once this summer (because yes, this is another one of those podcasts that I simply cannot get enough of, I listen, and re-listen, over and over again, and each time (!) I get something new from it) while picking raspberries in the garden, filled with gratitude and amazement that there are people who dare to question their tradition – regardless if it’s religious or simply habitual – in a way that is not condemning, but rather ripe with opportunity.

There’s possibility in it the questioning, I perceive doors opening, rather than shutting. There’s a strong sense of exploration, and I love the expansion possible in that endeavor.

I also experience gratitude for Krista Tippett and On Being, discovering and sharing the wisdom of interesting people, whom I would not in a million years ever stumble upon otherwise. So I dare you – if you’ve yet to listen to an On Being-episode, this is a great one to start with! The edited show is great, but the unedited one is even better; rich, filled with humor and wisdom.

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Expanding worlds

September 3, 2017
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PrideI’m one rung down on the ladder of being most-priviledged-in-the-world being female instead of male, but besides that fact, I am priviledged. No doubt about it. And I am what I am – the color of my skin, the citizenship I’m born into, being a normative heterosexual – all of those things just are. I cannot undo then. But what I can do is try to widen my own perspective. I can get to know people who come from different backgrounds, who have different experiences of the world – good as well as bad – and most importantly, people who look at the world differently than I do. And I promise you, I can find totally different worldviews also in white, Swedish, normative heterosexual women, who on the surface are similar to me. But there’s so much more to what shapes us, than the surface of things. And both matter – both that which is apparent to the eye, and that which resided within our souls. Both help shape our individual realities.

On Being have a lot of podcast episodes that help me gain these different perspectives. That’s one of the main reasons why I love this show above all the other equally interesting podcasts I follow. But there’s something to On Being that just fits me like hand in glove right now.

And on this topic, giving me other perspectives upon life, the show with Annette Gordon-Reed and Titus Kaphar entitled “Are we actually citizens here?”. I’ve listened to the episode a few times, both the edited and the unedited version. And each time I listen to it, I gasp at some of the experiences that Annette and Titus share with me, and while it’s easy to feel like a total dimwhit for “just not knowing”, I try to keep my focus on what I learn; that which widens my world, and grants me a fuller picture of what it means to be human in this world.

On the same note, I’d like to ask you to read this blog post shared by a friend of mine after the Charlottesville-attack. In a similar way of listening to Annette and Titus, reading this trying to put myself in these situations, my world expands. And I wonder, if that is not one of the highest ideals I have for myself, and for my fellow humans – to grant ourselves the gift of expanding worlds.

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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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