Writings

#metoo – a personal reflection

#metoo – a personal reflection

October 16, 2017
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Me too.
If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.
Please copy/paste.

#metooThat status has been all over my Facebook-feed these past few days.

I’ve seen it, read it, recognized myself in it (yeah, me too), been slightly overwhelmed at the number of women I know who’ve written “Me too”, and all the while, have hesitated to actually copy/paste and publish on my own wall.

Part of my hesitation is the reason why I do not pass on modern style chain letters, which in the social-media-era takes the shape of personal messages in Messenger, sometimes augmented by a <3 on the walls of the people passing the message on. It would take something quite extraordinary for me to pass this type of stuff on, and with #metoo I guess I’ve come across one of those extraordinary occasions.

If nothing else, simply the fact that I’ve seen so many “Me too” truly has given me a sense of the magnitude of the problem. But what pushed me over the edge to publish the status myself, was my friend Sohrab Fadai, who wrote a reflection upon #metoo that touched me deeply. He wrote it in Swedish, starting off with: My feed is filled with #metoo and once again the male silence becomes embarrassingly obvious. 

With the hope that more people will dare to look within and reflect in the same way as Sohrab does in his long post, I will post this on my wall as well.

Because… me too.

At school and university.
At work.
On the bus.
At a party (where I actually got punched in the nose).
Walking down the street.
On the train, the plane, the ferry.
At the beach.
In the grocery store.

Me too – in way too many places. And it’s not ok.

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Bearing witness

October 15, 2017
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in Tip
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Here’s a new recommendation for you, at long last! I have tons of episodes from On Being, Good Life Project and One You Feed that I’d love to recommend for you, but I also want to give you a taste of something new. So here’s Rich Roll in conversation with Andy Puddicombe, the voice and co-founder of Headspace, the meditation app that I’ve been using for almost a year now.

I’ve just listened to a few episodes of the Rich Roll Podcast, and I will be recommending some more as time goes, but the episode with Andy was really interesting, in part because I honestly had no clue to Andy’s extremely unusual background! I might be the only one in the Western world who’s missed out on that story, but… go figure. There I was, anyway. Rich and Andy cleared that up for me though, which I am happy about. Because Andy has lived a life with a story worth telling, that’s for sure.

BoldomaticPost_Most-people-assume-that-meditI’ve never taken to meditation before. Haven’t really tried, properly, and never got interested enough to actually give it a go. And I’m quite happy about that actually, because I sure had it wrong.

Andy got it right, in this quote. That’s the mis-conception that I had. That meditation was a way to stop the inner chatter, the endless jabber, that’s accompanied me all my life.

Perhaps lucky for me, I’d already gotten an understanding of how thoughts work, how they shape the world as I experience it, and what with daily blogging (being a form of self-coaching for me) for a couple of years, I’d gotten pretty ok at stepping back from myself, bearing witness.

So when I started on the Headspace-journey, I had absolutely no wish, desire or ambition for it to help me “stop my thoughts”. Not at all. I just really enjoyed giving myself 10-15-20 minutes a day devoted to stepping back and bearing witness, just being with myself. Sometimes in absolute calm. Sometimes agitated as hell. And not getting caught up in either of those states, but rather just seeing it, seeing me, in the moment.

Anyway. Whether or not you meditate or if you really loath meditation and such mumbo-jumbo, this interview is worth listening to, in my view. And if, by chance, you get interested in the Headspace app and want to give it a go, start with the free 10-day routine, and then let me know if you want to try more. Because I have a 30-day voucher to give away to someone who want’s it! Might it be you?

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 – and this is one of them, originally posted here – , mixing them up with new podcast recommendations. 

 

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I was all I had.

October 13, 2017
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in Tip
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BoldomaticPost_I-was-all-I-had”Whatever its results, the California trip would have a lasting impact on me. I got to see the country. I came up against some real talent and held my own, but the band that took us out at the Family Dog stayed with me. They had something we didn’t, a certain level of sophisticated musicality. They were better than us and that didn’t sit well with me. It’s not that I didn’t expect to come up against superior talent; that happens, it’s the way God planned it. I was fast, but like the old gunslingers knew, there’s always somebody faster, and if you can do it better than me, you earn my respect and admiration and you inspire me to work harder. I wasn’t afraid of that. I was concerned with not maximizing my own abilities, not having a broad or intelligent enough vision of what I was capable of. I was all I had. I had only one talent. I was not a natural genius. I would have to use every ounce of what was in me – my cunning, my musical skills, my showmanship, my intellect, my heart, my willingness – night after night, to push myself harder, to work with more intensity than the next guy just to survive untended in the world I lived in. As I sat there in the back, I knew when we got back home, there would have to be some changes made.

Truth be told, ”I” is all that all of us have. I have me. You have you. And yeah, of course, we also have each other, but if I don’t show up for us, there won’t be an us. So: I am what I bring to the table. I am all I have.

Reading this excerpt from Born to run, it’s not surprising at all that Bruce Springsteen became the rock n roll legend that he has become. But I wonder – how many people don’t give themselves to the world, in the way Bruce has? What are we all missing out on, because people don’t value their ”I” enough, don’t see that their skills, intellect, heart and willingness, would give their onlyness to a world that needs it?

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book ”Born to run” by Bruce Springsteen.

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Terrible, thanks for asking

October 8, 2017
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in Tip
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Terrible, thanks for askingI found a new podcast to listen to, thanks to the New York Times podcast club on Facebook. It’s called Terrible, thanks for asking, and on the surface it might seem to be a “true life drama junkie”-podcast. This is how it’s described:
You know how every day someone asks “how are you?”. And even if you’re totally dying inside, youn just say “fine”, so everyone can go about their day? This show is the opposite of that. Hosted by author and notable widow (her words) Nora McInerny, this is a funny/sad/uncomfortable podcast about talking honestly about our pain, our awkwardness, and our humanness, which is not an actual word.

As I don’t peg myself a “true life drama junkie”, or a drama junkie at all for that matter, this podcast isn’t that at all, in my experience. It’s not a “revel in our horrible stories and sympathise like crazy with the storytellers while being happy as hell it’s not my own life”-podcast. Rather it’s a podcast where I can empathize with people having (had) various experiences that affected them and their lives.

Having only listened to a handful of episodes so far, the fifth one titled Help me remember is the episode that’s affected me the most so far. Grace, the daughter of Dawn Pereda whom the show is about, is wise beyond her years, and it hurts to hear her wisdom spoken out loud like this. It hurts, because she’s twelve, and she’s already experienced enough trauma, heartache and concern to last a lifetime. And yet, she continues on with her life, with grace, enormous grace.

I cannot help but think:
Here’s a young child who’s learned the hard way that the stories she tells herself shape her reality, making her deliberately very careful to create the best reality she can, given her circumstances.

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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Wholeheartedness – Reflection (July, August and) September ’17

October 5, 2017
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pop and meHere’s another one of those monthly reflections that I haven’t written, not since the beginning of June! So here I am, pondering the concept of wholeheartedness and how it’s materialized in my life these past four months, and what I can see is a lack of drama.

Not because there’s not been ample opportunity to engage in drama, oh no, far from it. Living and working amongst other people – there’s always the opportunity to engage in drama. Always.

So the difference lies rather in how little I’ve engaged in it. I mean, I’ve weaned myself off drama for a long time (starting in 1995 or so, when I ditched watching the news on TV, I just could not stomach it any more!), and more so these past few years for certain, but recently, I’ve engaged in it even less, which feels great.

I’m not aware if this has been an intentional decision – which I guess points to the fact that it hasn’t been. But regardless, getting less and less interested in engaging in drama truly makes for a different and – in my case at least – sweeter experience of life.

Do you understand what I mean when I say ”I’m not engaging in drama”?

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Symbols of loyalty

October 2, 2017
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“You might one day be offered the opportunity to display symbols of loyalty. Make sure that such symbols include your fellow citizens rather than exclude them.”

Timothy Snyder puts his finger on something that I’ve not been able to pinpoint before, but with this sentence the significance of symbols of loyalty becomes very clear. The chapter title reads Take responsibility for the face of the world, and he continues:

The symbols of today enable the reality of tomorrow. Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate. Do not look away, and do not get used to them. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so.

It is so easy to set standards of Us and Them, to separate, distinguish, exclude. It doesn’t take much at all. To some extent, I think it comes naturally for us (as a species); but that doesn’t negate the individual responsibility I have, to be observant of myself, to notice when I do exclude, when I divide the world into good and bad guys, into Us and Them. Because me noticing, and gently nudging myself towards unity, inclusion, connection, makes my life so much lovelier to live, truth be told. And I think that makes your life lovelier as well. That’s me taking responsibility for the face of the world.

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you: The book ”On tyranny: Twenty lessons from the twentieth century” by Timothy Snyder, which also happen to be the first book of The Gifted Book club, having the first meeting come October 4th 2017.

 

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A special treat for you!

October 1, 2017
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in Tip
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In Sweden we have an old radio tradition dating back to 1959 called Sommar i P1. That means “Summer in program 1” and I’ve never heard it presented in anything other than Swedish. However, for some reason, of which I am very grateful, one of the best episodes of this summer, with environmental scientist Johan Rockström, suddenly showed up, in an English version. He gave his original Sommar-show in Swedish, and if you know the language, I’d recommend that. But if you aren’t one of the fewer than 10 million people worldwide who know Swedish, please make sure you listen to the English version!

BoldomaticPost_I-support-the-Earth-StatementAs a person with a strong environmental interest there were a lot of facts in this podcast that I already knew about. Some that I think I’ve forgotten but now have a revived understanding about, and, interestingly enough, quite a few new facts and figures to me.

Johan Rockström provides some devastating pieces of information, regarding our world and what humans are doing to it, but he has an optimism to him, that makes this episode strangely uplifting, despite the grim realities of climate changes and the likes, that we face.

One of the things that Johan Rockström have initiated is The Earth Statement, which is something I had not heard of before I listened to this podcast (which I’ve done three times, by now), but since then I’ve become a supporter, adding my name to the list of many others.
Check it out yourself: http://earthstatement.org or perhaps you already have?

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. 

As you can tell, the call-to-action is a bit outdated, but that does not mean the podcast I am referring to is outdated – it’s well worth a listen to, even a few years after it was aired originally.

 

 

 

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Being gentle to me – Reflection August and September ’17

September 25, 2017
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I don’t know if you’ve noticed the absence of my monthly reflection on how I do gentle to myself; I did. But I didn’t act upon it, so in a sense, that’s me being gentle to me. It’s not a m u s t to write these monthly reflections, it’s an intention, a gift I give myself, but also one that I can refuse, if that’s what feels best. And honestly, I didn’t really know what to write.

Acceptance on chestnutYou see, it’s been a time of winding down, a time of less emotional storms and upsets, a time of me simply being. At the same time it’s been a time of winding up, of getting my sh*t together, a time of me figuring out what being me means, right now, right here.

A chapter is closing, and I am deliberately trying to close it with gentleness and great care. And that feels really good – that’s what’s deserved.

At the same time, I know I’ve been necessarily blunt with others at times, and the only thing I can do (after saying sorry) is to take heed, to remember what it felt like, what it lead to, and try to behave more in the way I want to (being proactive rather than reactive) from now on, and most importantly: to not beat myself over the head for my bluntness. That won’t make it alright, and it certainly doesn’t serve either party, so, no. I am not taking that route. And I hope I’ve learned that lesson to the degree that I will never again chose the ”beat myself over the head”-route. I’ve done that enough, and nothing good comes from it.

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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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Daring greatly, with my guitar on my lap

September 21, 2017
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A year ago I started to take guitar lessons, every other Monday for forty minutes. That was about all the playing I did, despite having a clear image in my mind of me sitting with friends around a log fire on the beach, playing the guitar and singing. It looks so alluring. As a child I played the piano, and here’s a given: you do not bring the piano down to the beach to sit around a fire, playing and singing.

This summer I decided to play twenty minutes a day, for sixty days, and quickly got results. So when I heard Mandy Harvey sing Try on America’s Got Talent, I googled the chords and lyric and printed them out. I figured out a simple strumming pattern and started to practice.

On my own – no problem. I sing and play with all I’ve got. But as soon as my daily twenty minutes had to take place with people around (my closest family), either I got extremely self-conscius – having me try to play and sing, as opposed to actually playing and singing – or I simply skipped practice altogether.

But when we had a temporary house guest for a week, staying in the living room on account of not having a spare bedroom to offer him, I decided to stop with the “trying”. So I sat down, guitar in hand, and started to play and sing. For real. (The response I got was a “You’re not all bad at that!”.)

That same week we had my youngest niece staying for a night, and when the three youngsters in the house were busy watching YouTube, playing games and cuddle with Pop the cat, I pulled out my guitar and did my daily twenty. When I put the guitar away, my niece turned to me and said Oh, that was so nice!, giving me a bit of good “sitting around the fire on the beach”-vibes for the future.

And then I figured it out: The ultimate challenge for me! I set a reminder on my phone to bring the guitar on Friday morning. So when Pernilla Tillander, my partner-in-crime for a specific assignment for all the pre-school staff in a small Swedish commune, came to pick me up Friday morning, I opened the back door and tossed my guitar in the back. Pernilla turned around, said A guitar? How exciting! and I told her my plan:

We talk a lot about courage, being role models, and daring to do even though you might not be a fully fledged professional, so I figured I’d sing and play the song Try, what do you think about that?

Pernilla being Pernilla, was all for it, of course!

So that Friday I sat, guitar on my lap, and sang, morning and afternoon, for forty and fifty people respectively, after telling them this story. And you know what? I didn’t die, not even once. And the sky didn’t come crashing down. And none of it happened on the following Monday either, when I did a repeat performance for the last group of a total of seventy people!

Singing Try

If I messed up noow and again, both with my singing and my playing?
You bet, several times. That’s on the house!
If I felt less and less nervous each time?
You bet, the third time around my voice carried much better than the first two times.
If I’ve sung and played the guitar in front of pretty large groups?
You bet. Amazing!
If I would consider doing it again?
You bet!

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