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Team Underdog!

Team Underdog!

November 27, 2017
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The Center for Sustainable Change is a non-profit whose mission is to establish and support a collaborative world-wide network of individuals and groups who are introducing the understanding of MindConsciousness and Thought via locally-led community change initiatives. Since 2015, I’m on the Board of Directors of the Center, which has been quite the journey, I must say. I am the only non-American on the board at the moment, but I also believe I am the person with the least amount of experience into the world of US non-profit’s (and yes, the two are most definitely linked in my mind). Anyway, it’s time for the annual fundraiser and Terri Alamo, the new CEO formerly known to me and many others as one of the magic elf’s of Michael Neill, asked if I wanted to play Top Dog, where whoever raises the most funds for the Center will be awarded the designation of TOP DOG.

I said yes, and immediately realized I have an optimal team-name, as I truly feel like an Underdog in this contest! So, Team Underdog it is, and hey – I’d like to challenge you to help me – the underdog – become top dog! It’s simple and you can help me win this very prestigious award, support a good cause and have a bit of fun in the process in multiple ways. The first one is to donate which can be done here: https://centerforsustainablechange.org/donate. Be sure to put TEAM UNDERDOG in the comment box.

Team Underdog

I’d also be very happy if you’d help me share the message that the annual fundraiser is in full swing, and that all donations made before December 15th when the contest ends will be matched by a generous board member so even the smallest amount will make a difference, and every little bit counts a long way!

So please, help this underdog-Swede become TOP DOG in the Center for Sustainable Change Annual Fundraiser. Visit https://centerforsustainablechange.org/donate and make a donation. Put TEAM UNDERDOG in the comment box.
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Knock you upside the head with a shovel?

November 26, 2017
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I’ve written over and over again about the podcast of Julia Butterfly Hill interviewed by Chris Martenson on Peak Prosperity. Find it on iTunes or here: http://www.peakprosperity.com/podcast/85294/julia-butterfly-hill-living-meaning

I talked to you about how every so often, the way life works, sooner or later, life might pick up a shovel and knock you upside the head with it. When we get resentful, fearful, and anxious, it is like picking up the shovel and hitting ourselves back in the head with it. It does not actually pick up the shovel and use it for something constructive. It just knocks us back in the head with it. Whereas if we can shift our thoughts, we can maybe take that shovel and do something constructive with it.

Now. I know there is no way for me to control what thoughts come into my head. NO WAY! I cannot control this. However. If/When I get a “You silly twat, I’m gonna hit you over the head with a shovel“-thought into my head, what I can do is control how I react on it. When Julia say “shift your thoughts” this is how I interpret her. I don’t have to act on the thought, I don’t have to believe the thought, and I definitely don’t have to act in a way that doesn’t serve me. I can just as easily act in a way that does serve me.

It’s all thought, it’s not Truth.

I’ve become better and better at not hitting myself with said shovel. Because, you see, I used to be champion of the world in this field, for a long long time. But I realized that it’s not serving me AT ALL to hold this world championship title! So I’ve gradually learned not to go there, not to believe the “You silly twat, I’m gonna hit you over the head with a shovel“-thoughts, and more importantly, not to hang onto them. When they come, they come. Nothing I can do about that. But I have a choice in how I respond and relate to that thought.

There’s a quote by Wayne Dyer that goes like this:

You create your thoughts,
your thoughts create your intentions,
and your intensions create your reality.

Now. I agree with the two latter parts, but not the “I create my thoughts”-part. Because I don’t create them. So I’d like to rephrase:

image

So, what do you do when you get a “You silly twat, I’m gonna hit you over the head with a shovel“-thought? And does that response serve 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, 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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Where should we begin?

November 19, 2017
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I stumble upon the podcast “Where should we begin? with Esther Perel” and all of a sudden, Esther is everywhere. I read about her here and there, friends refer to her, and she’s even a guest on “Terrible, thanks for asking”. Her book Mating in captivity is mentioned as a possible future read at the latest GIFTED book club meet up, and I can only surrender to this onslaught of synchronicity:Message from the universe

Yes – I hear you, Universe.
I am listening to her podcast.
I will pick up her book.

I get the message!

Listening to “Where should we begin? with Esther Perel” is quite the special pod-experience, unlike most other podcasts I listen to on a regular basis. Most intriguing is the way Esther surprises me, over and over again – she provides a different perspective; focussing on things I would not have thought of; she picks up on small, subtle nuances and… somehow… now and again, magic happens. There’s insight, there’s laughter, there’s a release of tension that is palpable even through the airwaves. Well worth a listen!

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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Do you know who Glenn Beck is?

November 12, 2017
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I can honestly say, I had no clue who Glenn Beck is when I pressed PLAY on Podcaster. And honestly, I still don’t, really, as the only point of contact I’ve had with him is that On Being episode with him in conversation with Krista Tippett that I first listened to in May of 2017. On the other hand, it’s an episode I think I’ve listened to at least five times, possibly more, so the Glenn Beck he presents as there, is someone I’ve gotten to know quite a bit.

Under what rock have you been hiding?, you might be asking right now.
But as a Swede, living in Sweden, for me Glenn Beck is not a household name. So I figure I’m in pretty good company, in not knowing who this man is.

OppositesHowever. It is a truly remarkable podcast, this one. (And please, when you listen to it, choose the unedited version!) There’s a rapport between them that I really like, but more than that, I think it’s the fact that Krista and Glenn seem to “come from opposite points of view” in many ways, and yet, there’s respect, there’s humor and laughter, there’s agreements as well as points of disagreement, but in the most interesting way. Not at all confrontational (which I gather is something this man has been throughout much of his career), but rather, investigative with lots of curiosity and open-mindedness.

Krista starts the show by stating:
Glenn Beck is a complicated person. So, after all, are we all. Speaking with him brings home the reality that if we’re going to create the world we want our children to inhabit, we’re going to have to find ways to hold more complexity peaceably, and probably uncomfortably, just to soften what is possible between us. We need to be ready to let others surprise us, let them repent, offer forgiveness, and ask hard questions of our own place in this moment. This doesn’t happen often in politics, but it is essential in life and must be part of common life too. As part of our ongoing Civil Conversations Project, I draw out Glenn Beck in this generosity of spirit.

And that’s truly what this podcast exudes, a generosity of spirit; to such an extent that I’ve listened, and re-listened immediately thereafter, more than one time around. That’s high praise coming from such a podcast-buff as I!

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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The trainable cat

November 5, 2017
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Pop and me out walkingI’m a cat person. Love them, and have since I knew how. Have had cats most of my life, one or more, at most I’ve had three cats at the same time. Bilbo and Bombadil were joined by Pippin when Bilbo went on a walkabout for six weeks and Bombadil was desperate for a pal. So we got Pippin the kitten, and a few weeks later, Bilbo returned. Three cats is actually a lot more than two, somehow. But we made it work.

Have never been able to train my cats much. Walking on a leash is something none of my cats have ever learned. Bilbo would flop down on the floor as if he’d become instantly paralysed whenever I put the leash on him, totally unable to walk. Pop actually knows how…. but he moved in when he was three years old and already knew this skill. Besides that, he will gladly join us for walk around the neighborhood even without a leash, so he’s a special cat, that’s for sure.

Tummy to petSo when I saw the episode title “How to train your cat” on Fresh Air, I was intrigued and started to listen to it. Rapidly I understood, that in reality, I’m the one who’s been trained, by all my cats! They seem to know instinctively how to train their humans to do precisely what they want, whether it’s letting them out at four am, providing more food than planned, petting an upturned hairy tummy or, for that matter, immediately to stop petting that very same upturned hairy tummy. I’m a well-trained human I admit. But this is all about to change, as the podcast actually gave me a new perspective on this. Or perhaps it’s more just to say, I intend to even the odds a bit.

I will no longer let Pop the cat out at four am in the morning when he’s walking around screaming to be let out. Because every time I do, I am reinforcing his knowledge that this is how it works: If i miow loud enough and long enough, she’ll crawl groggily out of bed and let me out. And he did train me well! But no more.

Pop the catSo for a couple of early mornings, when Pop has let me know he want’s to go out (pressing needs perhaps? There is a litter box, he’s in no dire straits, I promise) somewhere around four five am, I’ve not let him out. I’ve invited him up onto the bed, but that’s the extent of my interaction with him in the wee hours of morning. And lo and behold, after a few frustrated minutes walking about, up and down the stairs, miowing, he relents. Sometimes he plonks down on my bed. The other day he chose Almas bed instead. Today he chose the sofa downstairs, so that when I got up around seven and went downstairs to pick up my phone and iPad (morning writing you know), me met me by the front door, and – without him making a sound – I let him out the door.

Same goes for food. Miowing in the past has meant that we relent, and give him some food, more than he actually should receive. If nothing else simply to shut him up. See – he’s trained us well, this cat! But no more. I am on to his training scheme and will refuse to play according to his rules anymore.

What I didn’t get from the podcast, which might be available in the book The trainable cat, is how to get Pop to indicate, with one (1) and only one miow, the desire to be let out and so on, but to stop after the one miow. Because I see him and hear him, and will – unless it’s five am in the morning – oblige. If we reach that point, I would be a very happy cat-owned human, that’s for sure. I’ll see if I can get a hold of that book – the story of me training Pop the cat and vise versa is to be continued…

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Be a better person

October 29, 2017
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Wanna make better stuff? Be a better person, Jonathan Fields says at the beginning of this weeks podcast tip of the Good Life Project (yet again a tip from GLP. Actually this is the third in a row – so if you haven’t listened to an episode yet, just do. They a_r_e really good, most of them!).

BoldomaticPost_Wanna-make-better-stuff-Be-a

Now, this is a Good Life Riff, meaning it’s only about five minutes long. Still. It’s worth listening to, and it sure puts a spin on things for me. Jonathan tells a story about guitars and guitar-makers in the riff, and says “You can’t keep your personality outside of the work“. It’s said about handmade guitars, but does it stop there? Isn’t that true for all work done by a human being?

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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Poetic tools

October 22, 2017
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I listened to an On Being episode with composer Mohammed Fairouz, and immediately after listening to the edited version I listened to the unedited version, which was even better. Mohammed Fairouz is not a man I’d never heard of before, and I am glad that has been rectified.

He has a lovely positive outlook on the future, stating in no uncertain terms that he thinks the world will soon become a better place. Since I also hold that view, hard as it may be to stick to sometimes, given the barrage of negative news flowing all around, I exhale, and feel my body go a bit soft, relaxed, knowing there are many more people devoted to the same aspiration.

I’m going to say something that you may think me crazy to say. But I believe that the future is extremely bright. I believe that the future is hopeful. And I think that this generation is absolutely committed to making the world a better place. And I think they have the means to do it. And I think that if the world does not become a better place by the time that I’m 50 or 60, we have no one to blame but ourselves. We have the will. We have the drive.
– Mohammed Fairouz

It’s an episode that span large and far, in time, in space. Mohammed has a beautiful language, and I love the flow of the conversation. Mohammed says something which I’ve never heard and honestly never thought about. But it hit home somehow, and I’ve reflected upon it since I heard it. I believe there’s something there.

“Where”, you ask?
I reply “Here”, and give you this:

BoldomaticPost_I-think-memorizing-poetry-is

Poetic tools. Isn’t that just a wonderful way to look at it? Poetic tools, do I even have any? I’m not sure I do. When spoken about this way, I sure get an urge to get myself some, don’t 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, 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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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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