Writings

Where is away?

Where is away?

July 23, 2017
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in Tip
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I’ve written several times before about the podcast of Julia Butterfly Hill interviewed by Chris Martenson on Peak Prosperity. Find it on iTunes or here: http://www.peakprosperity.com/podcast/85294/julia-butterfly-hill-living-meaning

Here’s another part of that podcast that really hit me hard:
Unfortunately, in privileged societies, we are so disconnected from the impact of our choices. And one of the examples that I started using years ago that thankfully is now finally making it into the cultural conversation is:

When you say you are going to throw something away, where is away?

And the fact that we have that word proves how disconnected we have become because away is a place. And it is here. It might not be right in our backyard, but we all might have different houses; we share one home. There is no such thing as away. Away has people attached to it. It has places attached to it. It has animals attached to it. The fact that we think there is an “away” is a magnifying glass into how little we realize how much of a difference we truly make.

imageHonest to God, I’ve never really thought about it this way. I mean, my lifestyle has a smaller ecological footprint today that it did ten years ago, and I try to minimize it more, but still, I’ve never gone fully into the thought of AWAY not existing, of it being a place. Which of course it is!

Huh. Have to ponder that one even more I feel. And perhaps it’s time for another listen to this podcast, that really made me go Oh, Ah, Uhuh, over and over again. Did it provoke the same responses in 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, or posts with other podcast recommendations – and this is one of them, originally posted here – , mixing them up with new podcast recommendations. As I was writing the post A Plastic Ocean I was reminded of Julia Butterfly Hill’s statement in the podcast interview on Peak Prosperity, when she says When you say you are going to throw something away, where is away?, and sure enough, just minutes after me thinking this, that exact point was made in the documentary as well. And it sure is a great point, for when you say you are going to throw something away, where is away?

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A Plastic Ocean

July 22, 2017
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Ziplocked berriesThis past week we’ve been hard at work picking all the berries from the garden. Red and black currants, raspberries and gooseberries. Today we finished off the last of it – with the possible exception of raspberries, we might get another liter or two from the garden with a bit of luck (and sunshine). As I was taking care of all the berries, bagging them and preparing them for the freezer, I watched the documentary A Plastic Ocean.

Far from a feel-good-documentary, but well worth the watch. But honestly, sometimes it get’s too much, hearing about horrendous amounts of harm the human species is capable of. Tonight was one of those nights, making me almost paralyzed with the futility of even making the smallest of efforts.

And yet, as I was bagging my berries in Ziploc plastic bags, I know that these are bags that will be reused, over and over again. Because I do reuse all the plastic bags I use (and they aren’t that many to be honest), after washing them out, having them dry off in the dish rack. I do make that effort, and gladly at that. Living in Malmö in Sweden, I also know that once the Ziploc bags are torn and I will throw them in the trash, they will go to the city incinerator, which generates a lot of heat for heating houses in town. Probably not the best idea anyway, burning plastic is far from ideal, but hopefully it will stay clear of becoming micro plastic in the oceans at least.

If you’ve yet to watch A Plastic Ocean, please do!

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Souls connecting

July 20, 2017
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Today I’ve spent the day walking in Christiania in Copenhagen with Anna and Becka, two ladies I would not know were it not for social media. Becky likes to tell the story of how she, three years ago, on her first day on Twitter, a total newbie, managed to send off a tweet, which I picked up on and immediately replied with a question if she’d like to guest blog for #skolvåren (aka #schoolspring) and the rest is history as they say. We’ve been friends ever since. But as she’s a Swedish lady living in Mexico (a Swexican!) we’ve not had an opportunity before now to meet in the flesh.Christiania

Becka and Anna also hooked up via social media, and Becka hooked me and Anna up… and yes, as you might surmise, the rest is history there as well! Me and Anna have met a number of times, as we live fairly close to each other, but today way the first time we each met Becka.Three friends meeting up in the flesh

It’s quite amazing how deep a connection can become between friends, without meeting physically. And then, when the opportunity arises to actually do meet up in the flesh – it just feels so natural, easy, like old friends meeting up after a long time apart. The connections made online deepen the connection possible upon meeting physically – this I’ve experienced time and time again, and it never ceases to amaze me. So now I sit here reflecting upon the day, with the wonderful taste of the Mexican drinking chocolate gifted to me by Becka in my mouth, and a warm happy feeling within.Mexican Chocolate

Across oceans, continents, time zones – souls connect regardless!

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Soul Portrait, part two

July 18, 2017
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in Tip
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Today when I checked the letter box, there was a notice that I had a package to pick up. Soul Portrait in the postAs I bought (too much) yarn from Yll o Tyll  the other day, and got an email yesterday that they had sent my order, that’s what I expected. So when I saw the shop assistant bringing out a long tube, about 5 x 50 cm, my first thought was That’s a funny way to package yarn. I wonder how they got them all in there? which was followed shortly by an Ah! It’s my Soul Portrait from Vanessa! and a smile upon my face, as Vanessa manages to put beauty even into something as simple as writing my name and address.

Got home. Tore off the sticky tape at the ends. Managed to get the drawings out, and immediately rolled them out on the kitchen table, overfilled with joy: My Soul Portrait(s – Vanessa did two drawings – lucky me!).

My Soul Portrait

I will frame them and put them up on the walls somewhere in the house, that’s for sure.My Soul Portrait, number two

I still remember the feeling I had during and after the visual coaching session with Vanessa, and seeing my Soul Portrait brings it all back to me. If you are curious and want to get one of your own, get in touch with Vanessa at Crafting Connection, regardless of where in the world you live (as long as you speak either English or Spanish), as she works via SKYPE. It is, truly, an experience that I am grateful to have experienced.

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Walking to listen

July 16, 2017
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in Tip
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walking to listenFor me, doing most of my coaching as CoachWalks, walking outdoors with my clients, a podcast entitled Walking to listen is impossible to resist. So I press Play, and am amazed that I have not come across Andrew Forsthoefel before. Because what he speaks about – and writes about in the book with the same name – is absolute beauty.

Here’s a young man who speaks of himself as always having had the “seeds of curiosity” within him. And the way he speaks of himself, and his journey, and how he uses his curiosity to actually see – truly see! – people, has me wowed. The attention he grants people, known or unknown to him, being curious, seeing the individual, listening. Without the specifically voiced intent to gain something, but rather, wanting to give. And in giving attention, exquisite attention he calls it, of course, he is gifted something extraordinary:

Seeing them as worthy of time and attention. Worthy of their place in the world. Seeing them as if they belong, seeing them as if they might have something to offer. And asking people questions in that way, allowed them to sing songs they never even realized they had in them. And so in seeing people this way, it often had the effect of inviting them to see me that way. And when we were seeing – when there was that mutual sort of osmotic flow of respect, even reverence, you know, love is a word that can be used to describe this kind of space.

This is a podcast I’ve listened to two, three times already, with more re-listens sure to come, I am most definitely curious enough to grab a copy of his book. Watering the seeds of curiosity inherent in me, is something I’ve consciously been doing for years now, after having them be totally dormant for decades. And you know what? In the shift, from dormant to fully blossoming curiosity, I experience my life being Lived; Richer. Fuller.

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I stand accused

July 14, 2017
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I realize how difficult it is to be human together, to relate to one another, especially when language and culture creates barriers that make us falter, stumble, thread carefully, for fear of harming, of confusing, of misunderstanding.

It’s not a great feeling, to be accused of wrong-doing. But each is entitled to their view, and as their experiences are shaped by their current state-of-mind, I am the first to see beyond my initial reaction, and spot the world view underlying the accusation.

standing accusedKnowing I don’t set out to harm, to expose, to do wrong. I don’t. I might do it, anyway, because of my own fallibility, exposed to situations new to me, unsure of what’s the best route ahead. Finding my way, slowly, as if I was stepping barefoot into a stream, threading on sharp rocks, carefully making my way forward. Sometimes needing to retrace my steps, because the path ahead turned out to be a dead-end, filled with sharp stones I cannot make my way across. Hurting, cold water, cuts and bruises from the stones, and yet. I keep on walking. There’s nothing else to do. I have come to far to turn back, and yet, I have not come far enough to actually see the light at the end… Not knowing what my next step is, I pause, gather myself, and while exhaling, gently feel my way forward, inch by inch, all the while trying, still, to stick to my core value: wanting to make a positive imprint, to make a difference. 

The older I get the more I realize the importance of grounding myself in what that means. For me. Finding out, by trial and error, what it entails. How I do it. How do I make a difference? How do I make a positive imprint? Learning from my mistakes, fine-tuning actions and intentions, being ever more precise in my language, minimizing the risk for mishaps and misunderstandings. But never seizing to act. Never to stop doing, for fear of doing wrong, of standing accused. I’d rather do, and be accused, than not do, and risk ending up at the end of life, regretting what I did not do, when I could have; regretting not speaking my truth, when I had the opportunity.

So here I stand, accused, knowing I would do it again if I had the chance.
I might do it slightly different, but not for the fear of being accused of wrong-doing, but for what I have learned in the process.

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Governed by irony?

July 13, 2017
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BoldomaticPost_Do-not-let-yourself-be-govern“Do not let yourself be governed by [irony], especially not in unproductive moments.”

I’ve just written a piece, that might just be overfilled with irony. Perhaps that’s why I haven’t published it, but rather sent it to a select few, asking their opinion, whether or not I should.

The fact that I am not immediately pressing publish in WordPress, is answer enough though, and sure thing, I don’t have to wait long for my friends to revert with wise input, giving me food for thought.

“Seek for the depth of things: there irony never descends.”

I will heed Rainer Maria Rilke, and take my text at least one step deeper, possibly two. Sleeping on it will surely help. And then we’ll just have to wait and see whether it will see the light of day. Or not?

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke.

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Going with the flow

July 12, 2017
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I haven’t officially declared myself as having started my summer vacation, but more or less, I have stopped working for the summer. Being self-employed with the type of assignments that I take on, I am fairly free to schedule my work the way it suits me best, so since the kids left school for the summer mid-June, I have been taking it fairly easy. Work wise, that is.

But yesterday was one of those days where everything just flowed, from one task to another, and as I seem to have loads of energy at the moment, I am just going with the flow.

Allotment aisle cleared of weedsIt started off (after blogging and doing my daily Seven of course) with a date at the allotment, where we cleared away the final patch of weeds, to return the plot to the city, as we are no longer interested in keeping it on. Last week we weeded the entire plot, and just had the aisle outside to clear up as well. Done deed. Felt good!

Got home, and immediately brought out the vacuum cleaner as there had been an accident in the kitchen involving a glass bowl breaking apart. Started to vacuum, and figured I might as well do the entire house. So I did. And while I was in cleaning mode, I took the time to clean the toilet, bathroom and laundry room as well.

Then I had some lunch out in the garden, reading the paper, before I decided to go to the library to return and borrow some books. So I took a long barefoot walk, enjoying the lovely summer weather. As I got close to home, the neighbor texted, saying she’d started to cut our shared hedge out front, and hoped I would be ok with it, as she’d been quite drastic in reducing the height of it. I got home, and high fived her, as we’d been about to suggest to trim it quite a lot, giving it a complete make-over, and the height was just what I would have suggested. As she was hard at work, it seemed fitting I joined her. So I did. Hours upon hours of hedge-trimming, interspersed with a Swedish fika at the neighbors to regain some strength for completing the job.

The hedge make-over

Managed to convice my daughter to make dinner for us, and as she was busy in the kitchen, I finished trimming the hedge from my side, just getting done when dinner was served. All in all, I would say the hedge has been reduced by half both in height and width! Give it a few weeks, and it will be all green again. grass cuttings

Earlier in the day, another neighbor a couple of blocks away, texted asking if I wanted some grass cuttings (the best fertilizer for the garden!), so after dinner, I rode my bike over there, took the wheelbarrow filled with grass cuttings for a walk, dumped it in my yard (that’s on todays agenda, to distribute it evenly in my garden where appropriate) and walked back, before taking my bike home again.

Absolutely beat, I just had one more thing on my daily-to-do-list: my twenty minutes of guitar playing. Got that over and done with (it’s coming along nicely I can tell you!) and then plonked down in the sofa, for a while, before dragging my tired body up to bed.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had too much sleep, as I’ve been severely bitten by whatever tiny winged creature resides in the hedge, all over my body, so I’ve been tossing and turning, itching like crazy, all night. So perhaps, today will be a day of gentler and less strenous flow?

Unless the neighbor decides to rent a trailer to haul all the hedge branches to the recycling station, because then I will join her in that endeavor as well, getting rid of the huge pile currently residing on my drive way. On the neighbor front lawn it looks as if there’s two hedges, so there’s plenty to haul away, that’s for sure. But compared to what got done yesterday, getting rid of it all will surely feel like a breeze.

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Mindblowing podcast on intelligence

July 9, 2017
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in Tip
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Oh. Perhaps you are getting fed up with the podcast tips I’m providing every Sunday. It’s almost solely Good Life Project or On Being that I’ve featured lately. But heck, those two shows are simply so good. Honestly, if you have yet to actually click on one of the links I’m inserting into these podcast tip blog posts, you really should give it a go.

And, yeah, of course, you’ve probably guessed by now that I’m gonna write about one of these shows today as well. And you’re right. I will. You see, I’ve been listening over and over to an extremely fascinating conversation between Krista Tippett and educator Mike Rose on the intelligence present in all kinds of work.

Mindblowing. Mike describes the intelligence of a waitress, and made me realize what a fenomenal memory many waitresses have. The intelligence of a plumber, who perhaps works in limited surroundings, making it impossible to actually see with his or her eyes what the issue is, but through the help of probing fingers and an ability to paint an internal picture, can solve it. There’s beauty and, indeed, intelligence in all the millions of different work activities that goes on, through out the day and night, all over the world.

MindblowingI’m even fascinated by my fascination over this! And I’ve got a treat saved up for myself as well. There’s an unedited version of their conversation that I’ve yet to listen to. Oh goodie!

Anyway, check it out, and please pay extra attention the last 10-15 minutes of the episode, as Mike and Krista then touch upon a topic very close to my heart, that of the purpose of education, of learning, of schooling. I usually twitterify the question as #WhySchool, and, guess how happy I got when I heard Mike speak about why he thinks it’s so important to be very clear about the purpose of schooling and education. Oh, and if you want to, please let me know what pops up for you as you listen to this episode. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topics raised in this show. Ok?

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. Rereading this post as I am about to publish it, I remember the sensation of having my mind blown, more than I actually remember the conversation itself (except the waitress part, that I remember vividly), so I will take my own tip and re-listen!

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An absolute paradise.

July 7, 2017
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”In the symbiotic community of the forest, not only trees but also shrubs and grasses – and possibly all plant species – exchange information this way. However, when we step into farm fields, the vegetation becomes very quiet. Thanks to selective breeding, our cultivated plats have, for the most part, lost their ability to communicate above or below ground – you could say they are deaf and dumb – and therefore they are prey for insect pests. That is one reason why modern agriculture uses so many pesticides.”

Friendly gardenIt is sad to think about this, how we are robbing cultivated plants of their ability to communicate. But what makes me even sadder is that somehow, we humans have truly screwed up. I mean, my garden is an absolute paradise for insects of all sorts. It is filled with flowers blooming from early spring until late fall, it’s rife with decomposing leaves and plants, with plenty of possible holes serving as nests for both bumblebees and wild bees, no pesticides of any sort enter into it, and in all manners possible it is an extremely pollinator-friendly garden.

There’s only one thing missing: The pollinators.

Sure, there’s the occasional bee (but truly, occasional, not at all to the extent we had when we first moved here thirteen years ago) and bumble bee, sometime a butterfly wisps past me, and there’s a few more flower flies and such, but to a large part: it’s not buzzing and whizzing the way 1) I want it to be and 2) it used to when we first moved here.

And as the garden itself has only gotten more and more pollinator-friendly, I come to the conclusion that the surroundings aren’t?

When will we (human beings) realize it’s not a good idea to fight against nature, but rather something which we must work with, for the good of all that reside on this planet? Will we wake up in time, you think?

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:

The book “The hidden life of trees” by Peter Wohlleben.

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