Jonathan Fields

Freedom to explore more, not freedom from…

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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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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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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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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Setting an intention for the day

January 3, 2017
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So. Already we’re off and running. Three days in on the new year, the year of 2017. This year of wholehearted living. (This year of even more deliberate and intentional wholehearted living than ever before, that is.)

Today I have five scheduled meetings, all of very different tonality.
* Talking through an assignment that I will be performing in the first months of the year. Looking forward to having more clarity on what and how to do it, on the basis of a clearly voiced why.
* Sitting as a croquis model for a friend – my first ever time as an adult. My maternal grandmother was an artist, and I sat for her many times in my childhood, as the paintings and clay sculptures around the house give evidence to. But as an adult I’ve not done it, and in the nude, never. Exciting! This will have me cross off a bullet on my Bucket List already on the third day of the new year, which feels great. Bringing my vulnerability to the table will for sure be required for this one to go off as intended.
* Attending a phone conference project meeting ensuring everyone is all set for the activities planned to start Monday next week. Staying sharp and ready to ask important and sometimes uncomfortable questions, as that’s one of my roles in this assignment.
* A social media team meeting with a non-profit organization. Want to contribute with what I can, as it’s rock ‘n roll time
* The final Good Life Project ambassador zoom-call. I’ve bought and read “How to live a good life” by Jonathan Fields in the fall, and have seven more books at home (as a part of bying the ambassador-package), just waiting for me to take action on them. It’s time for me to do just that. Have had thoughts of a virtual book club, but would like to do a local one as well. Up for it?

Those are the five scheduled meetings of the day. A diverse mix of meetings, all of them requiring my presence, for varying purposes, and with me having very different roles.

intention for the dayThen there’s all the other meetings of a day. The unplanned ones.
Interacting with the kids. Hugging them good-morning and kissing them good night and everything in between.
Social media-meetings. Chat messages. Posts to comment on or share, with deliberate intention.
Smiling at strangers when out walking, riding my bike, posting a letter.

What about me bringing myself, present and loving, into each and every interaction of the day? What if I, at least, make that the intention of the day?

 

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Not much good for anything

November 22, 2016
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My mind was wandering. Constantly checking social media, email, SMS. Desperate for a hit of connection. So I said to myself: Stop. No more. Take a break and do something else. You’re not much good for anything right now. 

So I took out the yarn and needles and pattern for a wool sweater that I bought in Visby this summer. I’ve just cast a quick glance or two on the pattern before, realizing I would need to sit down for quite some time, in order to get started. Having procrastinated on getting started for four months, now was the time. Turned on the Good Life Project Ambassador VIMEO that I missed out on Thursday last week, and plonked down in the sofa.

Listening, and knitting. Knitting, and listening.

Once Jonathan was done, I was in full swing and wanted to carry on knitting. Remembered my friend Michael Sillion having suggested a youtube-clip with Seth Godin to me, so Seth became my second companion for the afternoon. Now I feel much calmer, centered, and both inspired and proud of myself. Jonathan and Seth gave me both intellectual and spiritual challenges to contemplate, and I got started on the sweater.knitting

As I didn’t have any pressing items on my To Do-list this afternoon, I let myself be. I let the jittery non-focussed me have an opportunity to slow down and refocus. That was a deliberate choice I made. Turned out the not-much-good-for-anything-state of mind that I was in earlier, actually turned out to be a much-good-for-knitting-and-taking-in-some-challenging-input-state of mind. Who would have known?

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How to live a good life?

September 9, 2016
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how to live a good lifeHad two episodes of the Good Life Project podcast I wanted to share with a friend, and as I was searching for the links, I spotted Jonathan Fields new book. Clicked on the link, and what do you know, in bare seconds, I’d pressed the “I want to become an ambassador“-button, purchasing ten copies and a lot of extra goodies!

Now, that might seem ridiculously spontaneous and risky, besides expensive, but honestly. It’s not. I’ve followed Jonathan a few years by now, and the GLP podcast is, along with On Being, my favorite podcast.

So I already know that whatever Jonathan is putting out into the world, will be good. And at this very moment in time, diving headfirst into How to life a good life is something I’d gladly immerse myself in!

So I will. Will you join me?

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