difference

Educated. A must-read.

Educated. A must-read.

May 25, 2018
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in Tip
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A few months ago, my brother sent me a podcast tip, of Tara Westover in conversation on Talking politics. I listened, intrigued and curious after reading this blurb:
David talks to Tara Westover about her incredible new book Educated, which tells the story of how a girl brought up by survivalists in Idaho and who never went to school ended up with a PhD from Cambridge.  Along the way we discuss what education means and what Tara’s journey has taught her about politics and about life.  Really, this is a conversation about the important stuff.

I searched for the book in my local library database, didn’t find it, and sent in a purchase request. As often happens, the library got the book, and sent me an email saying I could come pick it up. I did. And didn’t start to read, busy busy, with all the other books I’ve been reading (this being the 38th book I’ve read so far this year). Got another email from the library, saying I had to return it – managed to extend my loan, and still didn’t start to read, busy busy… Third email dropped into my inbox, saying the book was due back again. Tried to repeat my action to extend my loan, but alas, someone else has requested the book, due back this past Monday.

EducatedSo… I immediately returned it? No. Despicable me did not return it, but rather, finally got around to reading it! I just finished it, and I promise I will return it to the library come Monday, cross my heart and hope to die. And boy. What a book. What a story. I am very glad I took the time to read it.

Educated is…
impressive.
haunting.
hard to wrap my head around.
and a definite must-read!

During a visit to Cambridge in the UK; Tara get’s to walk atop the chapel of King’s College (it’s beautiful!), and walks up there, amazed at the sights. Her fellow students and the professor accompanying them, stays close to the walls, walking slowly and crab-like, afraid to fall to the ground. Tara doesn’t, and the professor points it out to her, asking how come she’s comfortable way up high on this roof.

“I can stand in this wind, because I’m not trying to stand in it,” I said. “The wind is just wind. You could withstand these gusts on the ground, so you can withstand them in the air. There is no difference. Except the difference you make in your head.”
He stared at me blankly. He hadn’t understood.
“I’m just standing,” I said. “You are all trying to compensate, to get your bodies lower because the height scares you. But the crouching and the sidestepping is not natural. You’ve made yourselves vulnerable. If you could just control your panic, this wind would be nothing.”
“The way it is nothing to you,” he said.

I’ve never actually thought about it, but she’s right. Why would it be harder to walk atop that roof, than down on the street below? Why is it harder to walk along a plank laid across a creek, that it is to walk across the kitchen floor? There is really not much of a difference, except the difference you make in your head. And once again, I am pointed back to the truth of how our thinking creates our experience of the world, in each and every moment.


Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book ”Educated” by Tara Westover

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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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Impossible not to have an impact

April 30, 2017
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in Tip
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Julia Butterfly Hill interviewed by Chris Martenson on Peak Prosperity is am amazing podcast that I sincerely propose that you listen to.

You can find it on iTunes or here (where you will also find a transcript of the podcast if you’d rather read): https://www.peakprosperity.com/podcast/85294/julia-butterfly-hill-living-meaning

When I listen to podcasts and stumble upon a gem, I usually make a screen dump on my phone (since I basically only listen to podcasts via my smart phone), and Julia had me screen dump all of eight times. I will not tell you about all of these hidden diamonds at once though.

Julia said something which made me stop, breathe, take in and totally accept what she was talking about, when it comes to having an impact. This is what she said:

… because no choice happens in a vacuum, it is not only spiritually impossible, it is scientifically impossible to make no difference. And we need to deeply get that.

It is actually impossible as a person on the planet today to make no difference, to have no impact. And so the question: “Can I make a difference?” It is a myth, it is a lie, it perpetuates a disease of disconnect. It makes sure that we are good consumers. It makes sure that we feel disempowered. When we get that every single choice makes a difference, because it is impossible to make no difference, we actually realize that seven billion of us and growing are activists. We are all actively changing the world, even if we do not see the impact of that choice.

And so the question stops being, “Can one person make a difference?” And the question then becomes, “Okay, I do make a difference. What kind of a difference do I want to make with the gift of my life? What am I committed to seeing in the world? And how can I have my life be a contribution to that?” So it is not “can I make a difference?” It is “I do make a difference.” And we need to deeply, deeply, deeply get that.

Now, given the recent election to the European Parliament, and the hopelessness that I can see as a result of these results, really getting it, that I, that You, have an impact, I think is a huge factor in turning towards a feeling of hope, rather than numbing hopelessness.

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Can you see how it is impossible for you not to make a difference in the world?

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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