doing gentle

Podcasts recorded!

Podcasts recorded!

May 14, 2018
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Got myself all set up, outside, with all the gear arranged around me. Time to start. To record my first podcast-series. A series on Doing gentle, using the specific Doing gentle-posts as well as more general reflections, all presented as short episodes. I think. (Who know’s once I get further along in the process…)

PoddingMy gear? Nope. At a friend’s place – a friend with three decades worth of radio experience – using his gear, and with expert guidance at that. He’ll slowly “break me in”, having me learn more and more as we go along, but initially, just prompting me on how to sit, how to talk, where to direct my voice and such. And yes – we assembled it all outside at that!

Once I got started, he left me to my own devices. Had so much fun reading my posts – and you know what? Some of them are really good. It’s interesting to read them out loud, something completely different to reading them silently. I hear what I don’t see, and they come across as something slightly different. I like it. It’s like discovering them all over again, these posts from two years hence.

Next step has me listening to the recordings, making notations of what to keep and what to cut away. After that it’s time to find some sounds, intro/outro and possibly an ambient sound theme in the background as well… So much to learn!

In other words, it will be some time yet before this is available “where you normally find your podcasts”, but good things come to those who wait, or so I am told.

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Magic trick?

May 12, 2018
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As I reflect on recent weeks, it hit’s me, hard: I’ve gotten really good at being gentle towards myself. This ”quest” of mine, that I’ve worked at for so long. It all started right before my first child was born, when me and my then husband split up. I wasn’t aware that what I was aiming for was the concept of being gentle towards myself, but in hindsight, it was. The time I didn’t have cash in hand to pay for a therapy session some six or seven years later was my first conscious experience that I actually did have a choice. That I could be gentler with myself, than was my habit (since forever…).

Now. In situations I’d previously label ”difficult”, it’s as if I see what’s the core issue, and I go straight for it, rather than get lost in the potential drama and upset;which, don’t get me wrong, isn’t ”wrong”. It simply doesn’t do anything for me anymore. It does not serve me, or the situation at hand. At all.

And no. Of course this isn’t my demeanor 100% of the time when it would be prudent. But more and more. And each time, I learn, and so, chances are I will respond wiser, more discerning (new favorite word!), based on what serves – not just me, but all involved! – the situation best.

The magic trick!Another typical situation, which also has me coming to this conclusion, is when I’m in conversation with friends and loved ones, them sharing their inner turmoil with me; how their inner dialogue is both harsh and judgmental, making me see, again and again, that my inner dictators truly have left the building. And what a difference it makes. As I told myself the other day in a morning walking meditation ending up with five minutes of personal pep talk, ”It’s wonderful to be Helena today, so much nicer than just a few years ago!”. It really is, making it much easier for me to continue with a gentle and loving acceptance of myself (and as a fantastic bonus: of everyone around me as well!).

So. Is it the combo, then? The ”doing gentle” hooking up with discernment (best question ever: How is this serving me/the situation? Is it?) – is that the magic trick?

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Doing gentle – 46 – Expectations vs Agreements

November 27, 2016
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If I have to name one podcast that’s made the most lasting impression in my life, I believe it has to be Expectations vs Agreements with Steve Chandler. In roughly 15 minutes he explains the difference between the two, according to his view, and when I first heard it it bowled me over completely. I had to listen again and again, and as a result of that, I took a long look at myself. I started to discover instances where my expectations were enormous, and non-spoken, and inevitably knocked me down, as my surroundings (or myself) never could live up to what I had dreamed up had to happen for whatever activity to become a success.

Expectations, verbalized or not, will never get you above zero. If I expect something from you, and you don’t live up to it, I’m in the negative. If you live up to it, I get up to zero, because I expected you to. So I can never rejoice at it. Whereas if we make an agreement (and it has to be a proper one, where both parties takes it seriously enough to actually come to an agreement of what, when, how etc) I get to rejoice as much as I want to when we both live up to our respective tasks of the agreement.

I’ll give you an example. The first time I really observed my expectations (after listening to the podcast) was when my kids had a day off school and we’d decided to take a day-trip to Copenhagen together. We came to the railway station, and as we took the escalator down to the tracks, my kids started to moan and groan. Oh mom, will we have to walk all day? Mooom, can’t we just stay in one place? Oh, I don’t wanna… 

And I saw them. The expectation. They became very real to me then. The expectations in my mind were far from what was just happening. I had envisioned a lovely day, walking around in Copenhagen, having fun, enjoying ourselves, stopping for a bite to eat here or there, and generally having a day filled with Kodachrome-moments.

Problem was. Those were my expectations. And as I could hear from the kids, they each had a complete other set of expectations.

I never really got around to making an agreement with them that time, I think I basically flipped and told them off… Why should we ever go for a day-trip if all you’re gonna do is moan and groan? Didn’t win any awards for Mom of the Year for moment, that’s for sure. But we did have an ok day in the end, that we did!

A while later me and the kids were going for a week-long break in Stockholm and Uppsala. On the train there, I told them about Expectations vs Agreements, and we talked about it. We voiced our expectations, and turned them into agreements, were we all were willing to give some, in order to get something else. And lo and behold, we actually had a great vacation together, where on numerous occasions we referred to our agreement, as a gentle reminder, and all of us were more generous with our time and moods. All of us, willing and wanting to pitch in a bit extra, knowing that it would, sometime, be returned to us. A great vacation that was, let me tell you!wise one

So. Try to spot when you fall in the trap of expecting this or that. Just noticing it makes a difference. If you want to, then start to experiment with starting a conversation instead, which might land you in agreement about what’s to be done, how, when, by whom and whatever other details might be necessary for your specific circumstance.

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I’ve been sharing thoughts on how I do gentle for the last 46 weeks, and I hope you’ve enjoy it. We are approaching December and I will be publishing an Advent Calendar daily, and who know’s if the Doing Gentle-series will be returning thereafter. Either way, if you like the perspective you get from reading my posts, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts

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Being gentle to me – Reflection November ’16

November 25, 2016
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It’s funny. A month passes so quickly. Two months even quicker.
It’s been almost two months since my husband moved out, three months since he said he wanted to. Time sure flies.

I’ve tried to take extra good care of myself this past month. Making sure I sleep, eat well and get the nutrients I need, exercise, have fun, get sunshine and wind upon my face. I’ve had a massage as well as a facial (the latter something I’ve never ever experienced before. It was nice, very relaxing!). And basically, I try to listen within. Making sure I am silent enough to hear even the faintest inner whisper, softly informing me of what it is I need to sustain myself at this moment in time. 

It’s been a month of high’s and low’s.
Right now, as I am sitting here by the kitchen table, typing away on my monthly reflection, I’m in the calmest state of mind, totally at ease, body relaxed, long slow breaths, ok with whatever might be. Two weeks ago, I was in pain. It hurt so much, thinking about what we once used to have, and I couldn’t fathom how we let it slip away.

I know, my state of mind will keep on moving, back and forth, like waves hitting shore. Sometimes gently, gently, lapping away at the sandy slopes. Sometimes hurling itself with massive energy onto land, with a desperation, trying to grab a hold of as much as possible, before withdrawing with a vengeance, dragging sand and debris along out to sea. waves along the shoreThat’s me. My emotional state. Sometimes like the gently lapping waves, sometimes with such fierce energy it’s almost hard to contain within the boundaries of my physical body. And although the situation at hand might provide me with opportunities to experience the highest high and the lowest low more often than usual, it’s still just a part of life. It’s always like this. At least for me. My state of mind is fluid. In constant flux between high’s and low’s and everything in-between.

Noticing what the energy of the moment is, gives me a hint as to how much trust it’s wise to put on my thoughts. In the extremes, both high’s and low’s, I’m no longer as prone to putting much value on my own thoughts and emotions. I mean, I don’t disown them. I certainly feel what I feel when I feel it. But in general, if I’m low, the quality of my thoughts is generally low as well, and I have learned (oh boy, have I ever learned, the hard way!) not to put too much faith in them. Rather, I let them be, knowing it will pass. This too shall pass, as the saying goes. And it always does. The same goes for the high’s of course, even though they are usually a lot more enjoyable.

These past months, I’ve had it all. And I’ve rolled with it, all of it. At times desperately wanting the pain to go away. All the while knowing that it will. In time. And that’s comforting. This is me being very gentle towards myself, knowing this too shall pass. It’s a deep knowing, and it is there always, throwing a shimmer even on the worst moments. Reminding me, that it will all be ok, that it is ok, even when it feels like it isn’t. Reminding me, that even though it hurts sometimes, I am ok, because I always am; as is hubby, which is also a great comfort to know in all of this!

Welcome to my new website, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. I will be reflecting on a monthly basis on what that means to me, in the moment, and this is one of those reflections. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future reflections.

 

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Doing gentle – 44 – Letting go and letting come

November 13, 2016
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aloneI want to separate. He said.
I don’t. I said. But what to do, since it takes two to tango? 

So he left. Got a rental apartment and moved out, a month later, providing me with the grand opportunity to practice the fine art of letting go and letting come.

Letting go of all my beliefs about what our relationship was, and should be.
Letting go of the way I would have liked for us to be working on our relationship, living under the same roof.
Letting go of the feeling that somehow I’ve failed. Again. Second time around.

Letting come whatever our relationship might transform into.
Letting come the sweet sensation of knowing it – life – is up to me. Going it alone, with all the up’s and down’s it brings with it.
Letting come the curiosity of what wants to happen now.

Letting go of that which has been, that which is no more.
Letting come that which wants to happen.

What is there for you to let go of, in order to let something else come?

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I share thoughts on how I do gentle, and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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Doing gentle – 43 – Give thanks.

November 6, 2016
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Give thanks. To yourself. For trying, for being there, for getting out of bed and putting yourself out there, each and every day.
Give thanks. To yourself. For the days when you don’t get out of bed, cannot face the world, totally lacking in resources to even begin to put yourself out there. It’s all a part of making you you, a part of your onlyness, and that is something to give thanks to. Each and every day.

Give thanks. To your loved ones. For the light they bring into your life.
Give thanks. To your loved ones. For the struggles they face, for staying the course, for falling down and getting up, each and every time.

blossomGive thanks. To your friends. For all that they are. The richness they infuse your life with.

Give thanks. To your friends. For the deep conversations, the gentle hugs they provide when you are desperately in need of one. And for the resistance they provide, when that is what’s necessary for you to level up in life.

Give thanks. To the stranger you meet on the bus. The person in the swim lane next to you. To the cashier at the store, and the janitor who makes sure the light build get’s switched when it’s been broken at work.

Give thanks. For the leaves on the tree turning yellow in fall, the blossom spreading it’s fragrance on a warm summer night. For the sun, the moon, the stars.

Give thanks. And rejoice in all there is to give thanks for.

Welcome to my writings, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I share thoughts on how I do gentle, and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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Doing gentle – 42 – Personality? 

October 30, 2016
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Have you fallen for the ruse that a personality is a fixed set of likes/dislikes/habits and reactions that make up the basis of who you are?

I had. And in someways, I still fall for it. But most of the time, I don’t. I have come to understand that I have a choice. The choice of right now.

personalityYou see. When someone tells me It’s just who I am and expect me to take that as a Truth that cannot be changed, I cringe. However, if instead they would say It’s who I am, right now there’s an opening. Yes, there has been a choice, a choice to be bad-tempered, angry and upset, stingy, of rigid mind or whatever, in a given moment, but there’s also a willingness to see that in a day, or two, or five years, or whenever, there might well be another choice being made.

Whatever the choice, it’s not a permanent one. It’s fluid. Like life. Because life is fluid. It’s in constant flux. There’s never an emotion that lasts forever, because life cannot be lived like that. And hence, there’s never a ”personality trait” that’s a forever thing, unless we chose it over and over again.

And even then. It’s really not. Because however enamored we are in our personality, it can never be something which we are, 100% of the time.

She’s such a happy person.
Yeah. Except when she’s not. When she’s sad. Or scared. Or feeling vulnerable and alone.

He’s always such a grouch.
Yeah. Except when he’s not. When he sees an old favorite movie on TV, remembering happy days in his youth. Or when he wakes up from a lovely dream, carrying the feeling from it into his day.

Personality is not a permanent fixture. Simply because nothing can be permanent, permanence isn’t part of being human. Feelings, emotions and state of mind shift, constantly, and hence, the manner which we meet the world shifts along with it.

What choice are you making right this minute? What character trait are you choosing to meet the world right now?

Welcome to my writings, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I share thoughts on how I do gentle, and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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Doing gentle – 40 – What do you fill your days with?

October 16, 2016
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What do you fill your days with? Light? Or darkness? Love? Or fear? Trust? Or distrust? Ownership? Or victimhood?

Have you ever asked yourself these questions? Do you see that it’s actually a choice we can make, all of us, for our own lives?

magpieBecause it truly is. It is a choice. I get to choose. And I can make those choices as a kind of guiding light, and/or in every moment. For me, I’ve made most of those choices on the level of guiding light, as a kind of direction in life, rather than as a choice in the moment. For instance, I’ve very clearly chosen trust. I trust those around me, I trust in the goodness of people, and I did that because I want to live in a world filled with trust, rather than distrust. When I am in distrust, life sucks, honestly. It’s so much more energy-wasting to go around distrusting people, organizations, companies, societal systems, than it is to work out of the basic assumption that I trust in all of these. I trust they are in it for the betterment of us all.

I do get knocked down once in a while, of course. And that’s hard. But I don’t want to change my basic trust in people, because when I am in trust, I feel so much better.

Welcome to my new website, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I will be sharing thoughts on how I do gentle, and this is the fortieth of those. I hope you enjoy it and if you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series. Also make sure to track back and ready the previous posts.

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Doing gentle – 37 – Experiment!

September 25, 2016
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Do you experiment?
In life? At work? In relationships? With yourself? Alone, or together with others?

experimentI’ve not understood the importance of experimentation until just a few years ago. And I have areas where it’s easier to experiment, to play, to discover, and other areas in life, where there’s a resistance. A fear? Possibly. Probably, even. However. I do try. I experiment, more and more. I’ve let go of any lingering belief that I have to Know what will come, in order to even try something out. That I have to have the full plan in place, before I can even take one step. I don’t. And you don’t either.

We get to play around, dilly-dally, experiment. Try something out. If it didn’t work out as you thought, redesign and try again. Perhaps you got even farther from where you thought you’d get – redesign again. Reiterate. Over and over again.

And as Tay Lopez says, never run an experiment longer that eighteen months. After eighteen months, you either know that it works, and then you can decide on whether to keep on doing it. (But it’s no longer an experiment then, right!) If it doesn’t work. Call it quits. Regardless of sunk cost, let it go. It’s not worth it, any more.

Run a diet, try being a vegan for a month? Have fun with a new exercise plan. Sign up for a marathon, and get running! See how many books you can read in a year. Take a leave of absence from work and travel the world. Accept a challenge to blog daily for a hundred days in a row. See if you can grow enough vegetables to be self-sustained for the summer, for the fall, for nine months out of a year, or perhaps for a full year? See what happens if you don’t buy anything new (food excluded) for a full year. Say Yes to everyone who asks you something?

There is no end to the number of ways we can experiment in and with life.

Go for it. Experiment!

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I share thoughts on how I do gentle, and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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Doing gentle – 35 – Know you can never be broken

September 11, 2016
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Deep within you, there is a light, a core, that is You. This light can only shine. And it always does. However, as we grow up, we put on layer upon layer on top of this light, sometimes to the extent that the light cannot pass through all the layers, and you forget about it. Forget about You, and your inner light. But it’s there. Always and already, it is there.

inner coreThis light is the reason why I know – to the best of my understanding at this moment of time – that you cannot be broken. People don’t break. Our layers might. They can crack, start to rust, crumble to pieces, get run over, knocked down, battered and bruised. And because these layers are so prevalent, both our own, and on those around us, we get fooled into thinking that it’s us who are cracked, knocked down, battered and bruised. That we, as individuals, are hopelessly broken. Torn to pieces. Impossible to mend.

And I say. No. This is a mistake. A misconception, a misbelief, that is far from the truth. The truth that You cannot ever be broken. Because You rest deep within, in that eternal light, the light that can only shine, and which cannot be broken. Cannot be bruised, battered, knocked down.

When I look at a person, who appears battered and bruised – and sometimes, that person is me – with all my knowing, with all my belief, in every cell of my body, I know this to be true:
You can never be broken. 

And hence , You don’t ever need to be fixed. There is nothing to fix, you see. You just need to see You, to find You, within, hidden beneath those layers. To start to get acquainted with yourself, and the shining light that you are, again.

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I share thoughts on how I do gentle, and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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