Good Life Project

Our past is a story we tell

Our past is a story we tell

April 28, 2018
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I think that something that was a real turning point for me was the realization that we have a choice how we view our past. I could have come out of dad’s incarceration, that time of separation, this kind of wild years, when I was a teenager and really hurting a great deal and seen it as a tragedy that this had happened to us, and told the story, that our dad abandoned us you know, and he made this choice to be a drug trafficker when he had young children, and can you believe that?

Our-past-is-a-story-we-tellI could have decided to tell the story that way, and then I would be a different person, and a less happy person. But I chose to tell it differently, and I chose to see it differently, and I believe in my version of events very truly but it is a choice that we make. Our past is a story we tell, and how we tell that story is a choice we make about who we are, and how we want to be perceived, and who we want to be, and I think being aware of that certainly empowers you to rethink in some ways. 

These are the words of Tyler Wetherall, a woman who grew up with a dad on the run, at the end of her long conversation with Jonathan Fields on the Good Life Project podcast. She touches a topic very dear to me, something which I certainly have given a lot of thought to these past years.

The realization that it is I who give value to my experiences, I color them, I make them significant or insignificant, meaningful or meaningless. With each layer I wrap around my experiences I have a choice. Each layer presents itself as an opportunity for me. I get to choose victimhood or ownership. Love or hate. Making myself large, or small. Helpless or in charge. At the mercy of someone else’s choices, or at the helm of my own life.

Does this mean I always make “the right” choice? No. Of course not.
But the more I practice (with ample help in my most valued question How does this serve me?) the easier it is to make decisions in the moment that do me good rather than the opposite. We get better at that which we focus on, at that which we practice – so I’ve made a choice to focus on being gentle towards myself, and being aware of the choices I have, is one way of honoring myself.

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Freedom to explore more, not freedom from…

December 24, 2017
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These past few weeks, I’ve been pondering what my intention for 2018 is to be. During 2017 I’ve had the intention of Wholeheartedness. A few years prior I’ve also gone into the new year with an intention, and I intend to do so again for 2018.

Somewhat surprisingly for myself, what’s been popping up has been different thoughts on going more analog, of letting go of habits of checking email, facebook, messenger and the likes once every few seconds, of deleting various app’s from my IPhone, app’s which are merely a mental distraction (and time trap), and not really value-adding at all.

So as a reminder, of what it really is I am looking for (more connection, more conversation, more value-adding interactions and smarter use of my time. As well as less mindless habitual waste of my time. If I am to rest, and relax, I want to do so in the analog.) I gift you Sherry Turkle in conversation with Jonathan Fields in Good Life Project. Sherry is pro-technology, but a proponent of a mindful and intentional use of technology, which is precisely what I intend to explore deeper during 2018.

She’s gotten a lot of flak for her thoughts on the matter, but I honestly think it’s well worth reflecting upon what it is we do with technology, and what it is doing to us (or perhaps more correctly: what it is I am letting technology do to me – I am no helpless victim here!). It’s not all positive, in the same way that I don’t think a n y t h i n g exists that is entirely positive. There’s two sides to every coin, and there’s also my strong belief that whatever works for me might not necessarily work for you. We might have different needs, ideas, ways to operate in the world, to relax, to get inspired and so on – and hence, during 2018 I will be exploring what a more mindful technology use will do for me.

Freedom.toOn an interesting side note, this is my use of digital technology so far this Christmas morning: Sitting in bed, writing on my IPad, listening to Spotify on my IPhone, after having checked my email (personal and work-accounts at that), my Messenger (said good morning to my eldest who’s up and about earlier than the rest of us), my Facebook- and Instagram-feeds, thrown my first Pokémon Go-ball, done some Wordfeud and WordBrain-puzzling and finished a fifteen minute Headspace meditation. Oh, plus buying a one-year subscription to the Freedom-app, using their 40% discount code (FLASH40) I received in my inbox this morning (valid 24 hours). So yeah – a bit of intentional use of technology is just what I want – the freedom to explore more of an intentional life, not freedom from technology! Important distinction for me.

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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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A sucker for romantic love

August 27, 2017
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There’s one episode of Good Life Project that I’ve listened to over and over again, for the past year. It’s called When life partners become business partners: Linda & Charlie Bloom, and even disregarding all the wisdom contained in the conversation, it is one of those easy-going and flowing conversations between Jonathan and the Bloom’s, that makes me want to cuddle up and just sit listening to them all day long.

Linda and Charlie Bloom have a wonderful rapport, and their love, respect and awareness in what they do and say and how they act towards one another, makes me long to experience the same. I am most definitely a sucker for the all-encompassing, life-long romantic and highly conscious love, that’s clear to me. Especially so, after also having read Alain De Botton’s book The Course of Love last year, a book that I rated 3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads with this review:

An unusual grip, letting us follow along in a course of love, while being witnesses to a couple meeting, marrying, having kids and so on. Quite interesting, that’s for sure. And what a punch in the face for the all-encompassing romantic love… 

sucker for romantic loveSo I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. Is the Bloom-experience something which has happened for these two amazing people, making them outliers in a gigantic coordination system of human relationships, whereas the vast majority of us (the rest of humankind) will never ever have even the most minute of chances of actually experiencing something like it? Am I bonkers for believing it is within my grasp, that somewhere, somehow, there is the possibility of such a relationship for me?

I know the Bloom’s are not the only couple on Earth experiencing a romantic relationship as rich and rewarding as theirs; at the same time, I honestly believe relationships such as theirs is clearly in the minority. Most relationships likely never turn as deep and intentional as theirs. But is it because it’s “not possible” for the rest of up to attain that level of depth? Or is it more cause and effect; being in a minority, most of us have never witnessed anything like it, and hence most of us stumble along, in inadequately close but not close enough (not as close as they could be) relationships, never having had such a role model-relationship close by, to learn from, be inspired by, witness?

And even if we are lucky enough to actually be in the vicinity of such a relationship – would it truly benefit us? I mean – how to create a life together like this, how to be such a life partner, how to become a human, to evolve as a human being together with another soul – is not a topic that comes up a lot, is it? It’s not something we talk to our kids about: What works, what doesn’t work and what is missing from mum and dad’s relationship? is seldom the topic of conversation over dinner at home, is it? In my experience it’s seldom the topic even between the two (or more) souls directly involved in the relationship as such? But maybe it should be? Maybe there’s a lot to gain from having these conversations with those around us? Or am I totally losing it here? What do you think?

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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Liberated being

August 13, 2017
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Short and sweet, another Good Life Project riff, on the word transformation and how it’s being used in the world of yoga, self-awareness and mindfulness. The term transformation, as it’s used in this crowd, really comes from is the sanskrit word/concept of jivanmukta. And jivanmukta isn’t about transformation, it’s about liberation. It translates into Liberated being.

BoldomaticPost_l-i-b-e-r-a-t-e-d-b-e-i-n-gWhen I listened to this podcast, there was a release within. A flash of lightning, an aha, that told me something I already knew, I just hadn’t put it into words. Jonathan Fields did that for me.

Liberated being – not transformed.
L i b e r a t e d !

So free yourself. Let yourself out of the cage created by and for you. Reveal what is already there, know there is nothing to transform. You don’t have to become someone else, transform into some other being, with different, better, more worthy traits and skills.

It’s all within you.

You cannot be found outside of You. You can only be found within.
So stop looking outside, thinking there’s something you can do, be, buy to find yourself. You cannot. Look inwards. Not to transform. To reveal. To get to know your true essence. To step into it, fully.

Sometimes. It scares me.
Becoming aware of my true essence, to feel, sense, notice it.
Other times, it’s the most divine experience, uplifting, hope giving, and enormously empowering. Because the power is there, within me. None else can empower me.
It’s within. I. Have. It. Already.

Let it out. Liberate it. Set it free.

It? Me!
Set me free. Let me out. Liberate myself.

Liberate thyself?

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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Releasing criticism

August 6, 2017
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During the Christmas holidays I took long solitary walks along the beaches off the coast of Vejbystrand, where my mother lives. Beautiful landscape, highly varying weather, and great podcasts to keep me company, vejbystrandwhen I didn’t feel like walking in silence.

One of the podcasts I listened to was this one, the Good Life Project-interview with Tara Sophia Mohr, who said something to the likes of this:

Feedback tells me nothing of me, and everything about the person giving it. 

And I stopped in my stride. Went back on the podcast, and listened again, and yup, that’s what she said, Tara. That the feedback she get’s tells her everything about the feedback-giver, and nothing about herself.

Wow. I giggled a little to myself, and could imagine the amount of energy I’ve wasted on fully diving headlong into someone else criticism and feedback about me – taking it for truth. Scary almost, now that I think of it.

Now, she made it clear, that just because she doesn’t believe feedback tells her something about her, that she’s not interested in hearing it. On the contrary, she’s extremely interested in it – just because it tells her so much about those she’s interacting with.

Come to think of it, it’s been a while since I listened to this episode of Good Life Project, and I think I might take my own recommendation and re-listen to it the upcoming week.

What do you make of her statement? Agree? Disagree?

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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Walking to listen

July 16, 2017
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walking to listenFor me, doing most of my coaching as CoachWalks, walking outdoors with my clients, a podcast entitled Walking to listen is impossible to resist. So I press Play, and am amazed that I have not come across Andrew Forsthoefel before. Because what he speaks about – and writes about in the book with the same name – is absolute beauty.

Here’s a young man who speaks of himself as always having had the “seeds of curiosity” within him. And the way he speaks of himself, and his journey, and how he uses his curiosity to actually see – truly see! – people, has me wowed. The attention he grants people, known or unknown to him, being curious, seeing the individual, listening. Without the specifically voiced intent to gain something, but rather, wanting to give. And in giving attention, exquisite attention he calls it, of course, he is gifted something extraordinary:

Seeing them as worthy of time and attention. Worthy of their place in the world. Seeing them as if they belong, seeing them as if they might have something to offer. And asking people questions in that way, allowed them to sing songs they never even realized they had in them. And so in seeing people this way, it often had the effect of inviting them to see me that way. And when we were seeing – when there was that mutual sort of osmotic flow of respect, even reverence, you know, love is a word that can be used to describe this kind of space.

This is a podcast I’ve listened to two, three times already, with more re-listens sure to come, I am most definitely curious enough to grab a copy of his book. Watering the seeds of curiosity inherent in me, is something I’ve consciously been doing for years now, after having them be totally dormant for decades. And you know what? In the shift, from dormant to fully blossoming curiosity, I experience my life being Lived; Richer. Fuller.

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How to get good at anything!

June 25, 2017
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How, you ask, would it be possible to get good at a n y t h i n g in twenty hours? guitarThat’s the topic of this Good Life Project-rif with Jonathan Fields in conversation with Josh Kaufman, author of a book entitled The first 20 hours: How to learn anything… fast! 

I haven’t read the book, but so far have listened to the podcast three times, and right now, I am moving my hands off my computer keyboard and onto to my guitar, because I’ve just made myself a promise: I will practice playing my guitar for twenty minutes every day (aiming for late afternoon/evening to maximize learning while sleeping – yup, that’s what I wrote, learning while sleeping, however weird that might sound. Listen to the show and you’ll get why!) for the next two months, giving me twenty hours of practice before my guitar lessons start again in the fall.

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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Speaking my truth

June 11, 2017
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Rather than solve my issue with my podcast-player, I’ve started to listen to podcasts in another app, and hence, have a backlog of episodes to listen to from my favorite podcast shows, such as On Being and Good Life Project. Pressed play on the GLP-show with Glennon Doyle Melton, and felt now and again as if she’s speaking my thoughts, my feelings, my fears, my beliefs and wishes. She is, in many ways, speaking my truth. How odd! And cool, at the same time.

elderberry flowersThis is one of those times I wish GLP had transcripts of their shows, so I could serve you up a number of those hitting-me-straight-in-the-heart quotes by Glennon, but alas… I simply hope you will do what I did, and listen. I went elderberry flower-picking this evening, to make cordial, and had Glennon and Jonathan Fields accompany me.

She gives me cause to reflect upon relationships, on writing, on intimacy and being transparent, and about doing the next right thing, without explaining myself to others. And as I cannot stop myself from pressing play once again, here are a few snippets that speaks to me:

Relationships are hard work, because they make us face our stuff. 

I wanna figure out how to be my most intimate self with my most intimate relationships.

To do the next right thing and then not explain myself. The first step is to do it without first asking for permission, or consensus. […] The most bad-ass thing that a woman can do is just not explain herself.

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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Beyond the regrets of the dying

May 28, 2017
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regretsPodcast-Sunday. Yet again. And I don’t know what to write about, what to recommend. Not because there’s not a lot of options – I have listened to hundreds of podcast episodes I’d gladly share with you, on any given day. But today, I am feeling vulnerable, naked, bared to the bones. And I don’t know how to match my sentiment with a podcast recommendation… something I don’t have to do. But I want to. Truly. So after giving it some thought, I gift you with Bronnie Ware on Good Life Project: Beyond the 5 regrets of the dying.

*deep sigh*

I think I’ll just leave it at that… no, wait, I don’t want to send you off to listen to Bronnie Ware and Jonathan Fields with a sense of despair and possible pending doom.

*taking a deep breath, gathering strength*

Perhaps you’ve heard of Bronnie Ware, the palliative carer who tended many dying people, and finally sat down to write about their top regrets, and the lessons Bronnie learned from their lives. It went viral, with good cause. The top five regrets were as follows:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is not what the conversation centers on though. You can read the blog post, or the book, if you want to delve deeper into these regrets, and possibly take stock of your life, and how you are faring in each of the five.

What Bronnie and Jonathan are in conversation about goes above and beyond these life lessons. Bronnie tells the story of her somewhat unusual childhood, sharing visions of endless dark and starry nights, of silence and empathy, and of letting come that which wants to come, which is precisely the state I am in right here, right now. Letting go, in order to let come that which wants to come.

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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