respect

Meditations (book 13 of 26)

Meditations (book 13 of 26)

July 1, 2018
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in Tip
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MeditationsMeditations. Written by Marcus Aurelius. Not intended to be published as a book (containing a total of 12 books or sections, presumably written at different times in his latter life.), at all. Rather this is something he wrote to himself, of for himself, seemingly daily musings.

Treat with respect the power you have to form an opinion. By it alone can the helmsman within you avoid forming opinions that are at variance with nature and with the constitution of a reasonable being. From it you may look to attain circumspection, good relations with your fellow-men, and conformity with the will of heaven. Book 3, #9

Put from you the belief that “I have been wronged”, and with it will go the feeling. Reject your sense of injury, and the injury itself disappears. Book 4, #7

Once dismiss the view you take, and you are out of danger. Who, then, is hindering such dismissal? Book 12, #25

Several things strike me as I read it, the first is how non-foreign it seems. I mean, this is a book of daily musings written about two thousand years ago, and yet, it doesn’t feel that foreign to me, even though on the surface me and Marcus certainly doesn’t have a lot in common. And yet, many of these musings are ones I’ve entertained myself.

Think it no shame to be helped. Your business is to do your appointed duty, like a soldier in the breach. How, then, if you are lame, and unable to scale the battlements yourself, but could do it if you had the aid of a comrade? Book 7, #7

The second thing is the emphasis on self – not in a self-centered and egotistical manner, but rather: don’t point a finger at anyone else, whatever they might have done or not done, is really not for you to judge. At least, that’s how I interpret it.

When men are inhuman, take care not to feel towards them as they do towards other humans. Book 7, #65

Thirdly, the focus on love and unity, how we are all one, part of a greater whole (even though, looking at when he wrote this, and what he was doing at the time, being emperor of the Roman Empire, this certainly must have been fairly “filtered” in his understanding, to those of similar standing and heritage/nationality).

Would you wish for the praise of one who thrice and hour calls down curses on his own head? Would you please one who cannot even please himself? And how can a man be pleased with himself, when he repents of well-nigh everything he does? Book 8, #54

I like it though, this book. And in my view, it proved one of the most interesting GIFTED book club conversations we’ve had, at that. The book was my choice, and I wisely chose it for this specific week, knowing I could blog about it with the book fresh in my mind.

Today I have gotten myself out of all my perplexities; or rather, I have got the perplexities out of myself – for they were not without, but within; they lay in my own outlook. Book 9, #13

The quotes I’ve chosen here ring true for me. There are a lot of them that I have a hard time understanding though, or downright disagree with. I might blog about them as well, but for now, you’ve have to suffice with these few that I found great pleasure in.

Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one. Book 10, #16


The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2018, to read and blog about 26 Swedish and 26 English books, one book every week, books that I already own.

 

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Getting a divorce?

January 30, 2017
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Are you getting a divorce?
No. We will stay married. We love each other, and it feels right, at this very moment, to give that love space and light, nourishment and care!

Will you be moving back in with each other then?
No. We will continue to live under two roofs. We love each other, and want to be together. And in that togetherness it feels right, at this very moment, to stay särbo [a Swedish term, not to be confused with sambo which means co-living without being married. Särbo means living apart but being together.].

But why? If you love each other, and want to stay married, why don’t you move back in with each other? Because it feels best right now, to continue down the path we started on in the fall. Not to wear and tear on each other, every single day, but to let love, and longing, grow in peace. We see each other every week, we talk in one form or another every day, we help each other with all that we can do for one another and for the kids (both the younger and the older). And we let the longing for a hug, a kiss, a hot embrace, grow, expand, and rejoice ever more in the happiness at actually seeing each other.

But the kids? Do you truly have the kids best interest at heart?
Yes. All the time. In all we do. Being good parents – together, and separately – is something we’ve been very conscious about keeping top of mind these past months. To never let go of the fact that we are, indeed, parents. Together. Regardless of where our love relationship will go, how it might come to look in any given moment and what it might evolve into over time, we are parents, together. Guarding the relationship we have as parents, and because of that, the family relationship, is the most important we can do. That is the contract agreed upon when two adults form a family together. Holding the child/children’s best interest at heart – and at the same time never forgetting that children fare best with parents who thrive. In this way, we are doing our best for everyone!

Ok. But that almost seems a bit cold, almost as if you’ve rationally figured out what’s best for you at the moment?
Yes. Perhaps. But… at the same time, perhaps not? Both heart and brain have been of great service to us in this process. We love each other, that’s the very foundation. That has become very clear these past six months. And perhaps, for the very reason that we love each other, and at the same time, both of us feel the need for change as compared to “the old days, the old ways”, and as a result, living apart as särbo is our choice.

With open eyes, an open mind and an open heart.

With less expectations and more conversations and vulnerability.

Where we take walks together, every week, and talk. Open up about everything. Talk on heaven and hell. On dreams, love, wishes. On practical things such as dental retainers and computer games, on the wellbeing of our children, on what’s new at work. On quality management systems and holiday trips. As well as on fears, questions on things we hope we’ve misunderstood, expectations that pop up with an intent to disappoint.

Conversations that have already provided such gifts. Insights. Closeness. Warmth.

Conversations, where we help each other – both together and separately – to break patterns that no longer serve anyone. Patterns that are remnants of old experiences, patterns best put under a microscope, where it becomes obvious they no longer serve, in the form they have withstood the test of time. Worn down and applied in the wrong situations they simply make life harder.

Love on a growth pathIn this särbo-relationship, living apart, I have a much stronger sensation of being close, than when we lived underneath one roof, and I sometimes experienced jarring feelings of being lonely. The connection between us, now, so much stronger. Stronger, and growing, enriched by small (and large) evidence of love and respect. A särbo-relationship, where it’s easier for us to give each other space for our different needs and desires. Where we can be there, for each other, and at the same time give ourselves place and space to land, to learn, to live.

For me, Living is at the center of my being. Not surviving, not existing. But truly Living. And as our ideas on what it means to Live, are (somewhat) different, this turns into less of a potential problem, and rather into a source of exciting new things, discoveries, insights, to bring to moments of Us; by us choosing each other, choosing living apart as särbo, choosing to say yes to the love that exists between us.

And I can see it. I can see how we give insights more space, sharing conclusions with each other, breaking patterns. Helping each other break patterns! Helping each other, with curiosity, openness and with great care: warm loving care and concern. The ability not to fall for the initial feeling, which – much like for Alice – opens the gateway straight down into Wonderland. The traps, hidden by trap doors, no longer as easy to fall into. More observing, of each other, and as a direct result, observing of the dymanics between us. And with the will to create a good rappore, much more outspoken than when everyday life grinds away at Us.

We are making an active choice to become särbo, living apart, because we love one another!

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Doing gentle – 13 – Treat yourself good.

April 10, 2016
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I recently realized I’ve managed to define a few basic ingredients for a good life, that can vary in size, shape, execution, but without them, I don’t know that I would lead a good life. So I treat myself good, by making sure I get these. Preferably on a daily basis, but that might be optional once in a while.

Sleep.
During sleep, the body heals itself.
I might be sleeping, feeling as if I’m not doing anything, but my body is busy at work.
Repairing. Strengthening. Nourishing.

So I make sure I get my sleep.
Once in a while I experience a sleepless night or two though, and during those, I rest. I might not be sleeping, but I can rest. Lie there in bed, and just enjoy the warmth, the closeness of my husband, the cat snoring in the cosy chair in the corner. Resting. Not as good as sleep, but a close second, and I would rather take rest than anxious worrying.

Sunshine.
Get outside. Sit in the sun. Sit in the shade. Take a walk. Go for a jog. Have dinner in the garden. Sleep in the hammock. Plant some flowers. Do whatever you want to, but get outside. Even when the sun isn’t out. The sun isn’t actually the thing, it’s fresh air, outside, being in nature, that’s the thing. But I love the word sunshine, I love the images it opens on the inside of my eyelids when I close my eyes, thinking about sunshine.

So if it’s raining – get outside anyway. Get dressed so you can take a walk in the rain. Or undress, and get out there in the summer rain, dancing away, naked on the lawn.

diving in

Movement.
We’re made to move. Something has to happen for us not to be able to move, because we are built for movement.
Dance. Run. Jump. Walk. Crawl. Ride a bike. Go swimming. Stretch, bend, exert yourself.
Your body is made for it, and the way of our times is not beneficial to us. Long commutes by car, train, bus. Sitting in front of a desk all day, hacking away at a keyboard. We’re not cut out for it. So if that’s what you do – get conscious about it, and treat yourself well, well enough to inject small bursts of movement into your day.

Take the stairs. Get off the bus a stop earlier and walk the last bit. Sell the car and get a good bike, by all means. Set the timer at 30 minutes and take a dance break, in the office, letting all your colleagues be inspired. Heck, you might start a weekly lunch-beat at the office, who knows! As long as you move. That’s what the body is made for!

Food.
Sustenance. We need it. Nourishment. Liquids and solids.
I almost laugh at myself now, but just a few years ago I had a great epiphany. I truly got it, that every time I eat or drink, I have a choice. A choice to eat or drink something that brings be closer to a healthy state, or something that brings me further from health. Let me tell you, that was a big one!

And you know what – sometimes a delicious piece of dark chocolate is just what I need to stay healthy. Or at least, that’s what I tell myself. And that’s fine. Health isn’t just about physical nourishment that can be ingested. It’s about more than that. But to a large extent, I think modern man has forgotten that the food we eat, is a sign of our reverence, respect and love for ourselves. And I think, we all deserve the very highest reverence, respect and love! Looking at how my diet has changed over the years, it’s reflecting that, more and more. And that makes me very happy, because I deserve the best!

Companionship.
We need to belong. Human beings are wired for it. Wired for connection. That’s why we care so much about what other people think of us. Even more importantly then, to actually create a life where those around you really truly love and respect you. We become like the five people we hang around with the most. So pick wisely. Deliberately.

I didn’t really catch on to this until a few years ago, and since then, the very companionships I cultivate are such a vital part of my expansion as a human being. I’ve co-created several arenas, where I can be me. Fully. Without holding back. I will be held in a loving space, encouraged to experiment and expand, to evolve and grow. Where I can get a hug and a sympathetic shoulder to cry on, as well as a kick in the butt, when that’s what’s needed. Make sure you surround yourselves with people like that. And the best way to make that happen, based on my experience, is by being like that yourself. Be a person you would want to hang with.

Sleep, sunshine, movement, food and companionship.
In no specific order. Neither is more important than the others, but rather, are all vital ingredients for a good life in my understanding.

Welcome to my new website, 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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