Writings

Are you into poof?

Are you into poof?

September 17, 2017
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On Tuesday* me and my friend Michael Sillion will attend Seth in London, a full day Q&A session which he announced a month and a half ago. I was quick to let him know that I was interested, and once the tickets were released, I jumped at the opportunity to grab a 2-for-1-deal. Hence Michael joined me, which makes me very happy.

So, I figured, why not warm up with a podcast of Seth. This one is from Good Life Project, where Jonathan Fields and Seth Godin talk about any and every thing possible, and, as always, it’s a very enriching conversation to listen in on. You can actually watch the conversation as well, but I prefer podcasts actually!

I’ve listened to this episode probably five or six times by now, and one of the best parts of it is when Seth talks about Poof! (Around 16 minutes in on the conversation if you want to go there directly.)poof

I am not sure I am so good at making things go (deliberately) Poof, and I’ve definitely gotten a lot to think about since listening to this (over and over again).

Are you like Seth, into Poof?

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. 

*That is, on Tuesday, two years ago… as the #SethInLondon-event took place in November 2015.

 

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Result – success – failure

September 12, 2017
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”Call results, ’results’,
without labeling one as success
and another as failure
and your children will learn freedom from fear.”

And n o t only when it comes to what your children are doing/producing. No. For all of it. For all of what y o u yourself are doing/producing.

ResultsAll your results, are r e s u l t s. Results are facts.
This happened. That did not happen.

What happened, or did not happen, is not ‘success’. It is not ‘failure’.
Those are opinions. Your opinions on the fact, i.e. the ‘result’.

And when you treat your own results this way, your children, employees, siblings, friends and coworkers, will all have an opportunity to learn something, for themselves. Learn how not to hinder and hamper their own progress, their own desire and drive to try things out, to experiment, to learn and allow themselves the frustration and amazement at being a total newbie, by calling their results, ‘results’. Because that’s what you do. This is how we can be role models for those around us. By being it. Full out. Fearless.

And honestly – you will be in the minority.
Just look around you – how many do you know, that call results ‘results’?

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book “The parents Tao Te Ching” by William Martin.

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Everybody-friendly, artist-driven, God-optional, all ages

September 10, 2017
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“Everybody-friendly, artist-driven, God-optional, all ages” – what do you imagine this is the tagline for? If you are anything like me, you would not in a million years believe it is the tagline of a pop-up synagogue, would you? And yet, that is precicely what it is.

Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie in conversation with Krista Tippett on On Being is a hoot of a show under the title “First-aid for spiritual seekers”. I laugh, and I cry, and I feel such gratitute to people who don’t “take things for granted because it’s how it’s been done forever and ever” but rather dare ask Why? And Amichai most certainly is one who dares.

I mean, read this transcript from the conversation:

worthy of being passed down“… I think the words are the black box that contains so many of the ancestral aspirations and truths — and also baggage that needs to be checked. There is an evolution. Not everything that we’ve inherited is worthy of being passed on, like trauma and like memories and like values that have evolved. Part of the reason why I’m not an Orthodox Jew but a flexidox or polydox and otherwise-Jew, and not just “Jew,” is that I do believe in evolution, not just of our species and the world, but of concepts. And if the Bible and the Jewish values that have sustained my people for thousands of years believe that women were subservient and that sexuality was of a specific type and that types of worship included slaughtering animals, we’ve evolved. That’s not where we are. So we need to read some of those sacred words as metaphor, as bygone models, as invitations for creativity, and for sort of the second meaning and the second naïveté here that still retrieves this text as useful and these narratives as holy, not as literal.

I think that is, of course, the conversation between so many of us of different religions who are struggling with our brothers and sisters who choose to read things literally and speak for a Biblical truth that is unalterable, where we — some of us think that there is room here for creativity, for sacred metaphor and change. And we’re not there yet. We’re not there yet for those days of dignity and equality and radical justice that Heschel and Dr. King and so many of our leaders, then and now, are hoping for. And here we are — oh, my God — again?”

I hear Amichai speak this into the world, and I rejoice. I remember listening to this podcast once this summer (because yes, this is another one of those podcasts that I simply cannot get enough of, I listen, and re-listen, over and over again, and each time (!) I get something new from it) while picking raspberries in the garden, filled with gratitude and amazement that there are people who dare to question their tradition – regardless if it’s religious or simply habitual – in a way that is not condemning, but rather ripe with opportunity.

There’s possibility in it the questioning, I perceive doors opening, rather than shutting. There’s a strong sense of exploration, and I love the expansion possible in that endeavor.

I also experience gratitude for Krista Tippett and On Being, discovering and sharing the wisdom of interesting people, whom I would not in a million years ever stumble upon otherwise. So I dare you – if you’ve yet to listen to an On Being-episode, this is a great one to start with! The edited show is great, but the unedited one is even better; rich, filled with humor and wisdom.

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The force of life

September 9, 2017
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Yesterday morning I took my sourdough starter from the refrigerator, added it to a bigger bowl and mixed it with equal amounts of water and flour. Got home after a long day, and peeked under the dishcloth covering the bowl.

sourdoughBubbling, filled with life, the microbes of the sourdough starter had multiplied and the bowl was filled with beautiful bubbles. Stuck my nose under the cloth cover and inhaled deeply. The force of life so obvious, apparent, powerful; rich, musty, making me smile at the wonder of it all.

Almost forgot to remove one hundred grams to put in the fridge again as started, but luckily I remembered before it was too late! Added more flour, water, salt, rosemary and crushed rye, and mixed it all up before tucking it in for the night under the dishcloth again.

This morning it had, again, risen most beautifully, and I made buns that I let sit for a few more hours before baking them. Had extended family over for most of the day, and we enjoyed the most delicious lunch treat of homemade sourdough buns, with cheese and homemade plum jam, peanut butter and carrot sticks. Yum!

I only use sourdough, no added yeast. And yes, it requires a bit of planning, as I can not create ready-to-eat-buns (which is my favorite, I freely admit) in an hour or two, I need twenty-four or so. But hey – it’s so worth it!

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Expanding worlds

September 3, 2017
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PrideI’m one rung down on the ladder of being most-priviledged-in-the-world being female instead of male, but besides that fact, I am priviledged. No doubt about it. And I am what I am – the color of my skin, the citizenship I’m born into, being a normative heterosexual – all of those things just are. I cannot undo then. But what I can do is try to widen my own perspective. I can get to know people who come from different backgrounds, who have different experiences of the world – good as well as bad – and most importantly, people who look at the world differently than I do. And I promise you, I can find totally different worldviews also in white, Swedish, normative heterosexual women, who on the surface are similar to me. But there’s so much more to what shapes us, than the surface of things. And both matter – both that which is apparent to the eye, and that which resided within our souls. Both help shape our individual realities.

On Being have a lot of podcast episodes that help me gain these different perspectives. That’s one of the main reasons why I love this show above all the other equally interesting podcasts I follow. But there’s something to On Being that just fits me like hand in glove right now.

And on this topic, giving me other perspectives upon life, the show with Annette Gordon-Reed and Titus Kaphar entitled “Are we actually citizens here?”. I’ve listened to the episode a few times, both the edited and the unedited version. And each time I listen to it, I gasp at some of the experiences that Annette and Titus share with me, and while it’s easy to feel like a total dimwhit for “just not knowing”, I try to keep my focus on what I learn; that which widens my world, and grants me a fuller picture of what it means to be human in this world.

On the same note, I’d like to ask you to read this blog post shared by a friend of mine after the Charlottesville-attack. In a similar way of listening to Annette and Titus, reading this trying to put myself in these situations, my world expands. And I wonder, if that is not one of the highest ideals I have for myself, and for my fellow humans – to grant ourselves the gift of expanding worlds.

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That’s why!

August 29, 2017
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The so-called Migration crisis in 2015 caused too many countries, Sweden amongst them (much to my sorrow), to effectively shut their borders to refugees and asylum seekers. Countries close to these war-stricken countries have taken in so many more refugees than we could even come close to harboring.

In Lebanon one out of three is a refugee. One in three. Lebanon alone have taken in more Syrian refugees than all of Europe combined. All. of Europe. Combined. Can you imagine?

It saddens me beyond belief that Sweden, and too many other countries, are shutting people out, as well as denying asylum seekers a chance to settle down in a country not plagues by war, famine, poverty and apartheid (look into the situation for hazara in Afghanistan and the surrounding countries) that this is what it’s come to, and Sam explains why in but a few words:

FEAR”’We have kids who’ve come here from Perdido Beach. They’ve lost people on the way here, and we’re going to take them in and care for them.’ 

Some grumbling and a couple of defiant, shouted questions came out of the dark. 

’Because good people help people who need to be helped. That’s why,’ Sam yelled back.”

Good people help people who need to be helped.
That’s why.
And we aren’t helping.
Not enough, by far, with more than 65 million people forcibly displaced worldwide, according to UNHCR statistics.

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book ”FEAR” (number 5 in the GONE series) by Michael Grant.

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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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Everyday sexism

August 25, 2017
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For one reason or another, the topic of sexism and feminism, has been top-of-mind for me quite a lot this past month. I’ve read books that grant me a new perspective on life, listened to podcasts that totally shake me up, and had discussions on the topic as well. I find it interesting and important, and am thrilled to be gaining so much more bandwidth on these subjects. That in turn has me being more observing and curious about myself, my experiences and habits, making me question a lot of ingrained truths in my life. Adventures, to say the least – it’s truly an adventure to go exploring inside myself!

In one of the podcasts (the Swedish podcast called Penntricket) they recommended the Sexy Lie TEDxTalk by Caroline Heldman, so I watched it over lunch. After finishing, I had a few more minutes before my next appointment, so I pressed PLAY when I then stumbled upon this TEDxTalk as well:

Laura Bates talks about Everyday sexism, and yup, once again my world twists and turns ever so slightly. Facts that taken one by one seem so innocent and are easy to brush off, but then they become glaringly obvious when stacked together like this. Take a look for yourself, and then ask yourself the following two questions, inspired by these two TED Talks:

  1. Do we live in a fair and just society where sexism is a thing of the past?
  2. If you reply No to question 1, what steps can you take, both short-term and long-term, to help make it a thing of the past?
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The GIFTED book club

August 23, 2017
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On my birthday me and a friend gifted one another a book club, and when we sat down to think it through a week later, that’s the name we gave it. Tonight we had a first get-to-know-one-another-so let’s-wait-to-read-the-first-book-after-all-meeting, expanding upon the basic structure we had previously outlined, so we are set for the upcoming two meetings, and then we’ll see what works and what needs to be tweaked.

GIFTED book club

Now I have six weeks until our next meeting to read On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder, a book I wanted to read since listening to him in conversation with Sam Harris. We decided upon our next book as well, so I will immediately request it from the library.

I’ve never been a part of a book club before, let alone initiated one – so I am really looking forward to this experience. Feel like a rookie, learning as I go along, which is a state I am truly starting to enjoy more and more. It means there’s a potential for expansion, for growing, for gaining new perspectives upon life. And that it something I love!

If you’ve ever been a part of a book club, and have good ideas or tips to share, please do so in the comments. I’d love to get some input!

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Resistance.

August 22, 2017
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“There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writer’s don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.” 

The WAR of ARTSteven Pressfield writes this in one of the first pages of the book The War of Art. And I can give you a hint, writer is replaceable with whatever you aspire to. Regardless if you want to be a writer, a musician, an artist, an athlete, or whatever you can dream of, what you need to get to is the doing part. If you don’t “sit down to write”, you won’t be a writer. If you don’t practice the guitar, you won’t be a guitarist. If you don’t paint, you won’t be an artist.

The entire book centers on Resistance, and there are quite a few passages that I really enjoy. Some provoke me, other tickle me, other again make me nod emphatically with personal recognition. Here’s another personal favorite:

“Casting yourself as a victim is the antithesis of doing your work. Don’t do it. If you’re doing it, stop.” 

I am way too familiar with Resistance. It’s like an acquaintance that’s overstayed his welcome – boy, would I love to get rid of it! And I think there’s actually a way to at least reduce the frequency when this acquaintance comes a’knocking: by sitting down to write, step by step I train myself to do the work, regardless of the Resistance I feel or not. In time, Resistance might knock more seldom, knowing it’s futile?

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book ”The WAR of ART” by Steven Pressfield.

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