thinking

Educated. A must-read.

Educated. A must-read.

May 25, 2018
/ /
in Tip
/

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

Read More

#blogg100 – Ask it.

April 21, 2017
/ / /

“And your doubt can become a good quality if you train it. It must become aware, it must become criticism. Ask it, whenever it wants to spoil something for you, why something is ugly, demand proofs from it, test it, and you will perhaps find it helpless and nonplussed, perhaps also aggressive. But do not give way, demand arguments and conduct yourself thus carefully and consistently every single time, and the day will dawn when it will become, instead of a subverter, one of your best workmen, – perhaps the cleverest of all who are building at your life.”

Ask it!

Ask itOh how simple, and yet – why do I have the feeling I am not the only one to not have asked my doubt Why, nearly as much as warranted? Demanding proof of it, and thus, giving myself a chance to distance myself from it. A reprieve, making me doubt my doubt, as it were.

I simply never knew I could ask anything of it, taking it as Truth, believing all but the most outrageous statements made by it.

Honestly though, by It here, I don’t just mean my doubt, I mean all my thinking. Whatever thoughts pop into my brain, I do not have to take them at face value. I can ask how it serves me, to believe the message and take action on it. And if the answer is that it doesn’t (or for that matter, that I do not know if it serves me, which to me implies that it doesn’t), I can let it go. At that moment, my mind is truly the cleverest of workmen, building at my life.

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 52 of 100.
The book “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke.

English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.

Read More

Doing gentle – 18 – Stop with the mind-reading

May 15, 2016
/ / /

So here is the deal: I don’t know what you think. There’s really no way for me to know. Unless of course you tell me. But if you are silent and am not sharing your experience with me, I simply cannot know (!) what you think.

What I might be doing in such a situation, is to think (!) I know what you think. And that is really not a very good idea.

mindreaderWhat happens is, that I project my thoughts upon you. Often I think that whatever is on your mind, must be related to me, it simply cannot possibly not be related to me.

I can also project my fears onto you. If I am afraid of dogs, in a situation involving a dog, it’s commonplace that I’d make you afraid of dogs, in my imaginary world. Inside my head.

What often happens to me, when I go all mind-reader, is that I would rapidly proceed to blame you for whatever it is that I think you think. What I think you might think can even become a show-stopper for me. If I believe my thoughts, whatever it is that I think you think, I am headed down a rabbit hole and that’s simply no place for a human being. If I become really adept at this mind-reading sham I might very well use it to effectively stop myself from living full out. Because of what I think you, or others, might think.

Do you mind-read? Do you know when you do it? Can you tell? Does it serve you?

I know it doesn’t serve me. Not the way I’ve made use of it. So what if, I stopped thinking I know what you think? Perhaps I can ask instead? What might become possible then? What might I learn – about me, about you?

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.

Read More

Doing gentle – 6 – The problem isn’t the problem

February 21, 2016
/ / /

doing gentle problemsWhat if I told you, that the problem isn’t the problem. Would you believe me?

What if I told you, it’s your thinking about the problem, that is the problem. Would you believe me?

How many times have you worked yourself into a rut, scared, anxious, worried, nervous, dreading something that is to come? Knowing it will be hard, stressful, troublesome, and sure not to work out in any good way. You just know it will be a disaster.

Whether it be a job interview. The first meeting with your ex-spouse after the divorce. Tearing down the ancient wallpaper in the guest room. Asking the boss for even more time off since your mom has taken a turn for the worst and might not live much longer. Holding a presentation for more people than ever before.

And how many times have you been surprised that the disaster never happened? Surprised at how good the job interview felt. At the civil conversation you and the ex managed to hold. How the wallpaper came down much more easily than expected. How the boss was very empathic and without any hassle gave you a promise to take as much time off work as you need. How you absolutely rocked that presentation, and they asked you for a quote for giving it at their sister company as well.

This if what I mean. How the problem isn’t the problem, the problem is your thinking about the problem.

So what if you picked up on your thinking? What if you became aware that you are thinking nervous, anxious, worried thoughts? Nothing more. Nothing less. You don’t have to do anything about those thoughts, but notice they are there. Notice yourself thinking and feeling them. Knowing what you are feeling are your thoughts in the given moment, not what the problem at hand will feel like. It might. By all means, it might. Because surely interactions with ex-spouses, wallpaper and presentations can all go horribly wrong, taking an even nastier turn that you pictured in your misgivings. But regardless if your misgivings will turn out to be true or false, what happens will happen. Why experience the pain twice, when you don’t have to?

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.

Read More