Writings

The Icarus Deception (book 1 of 26)

The Icarus Deception (book 1 of 26)

January 14, 2018
/ /
in Tip
/

The first English book in my reading challenge of 2018 is The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin, a book he actually gave me himself, signed, sealed, delivered. I went to #SethinLondon in 2015 (Boy, times sure flies, can you imagine it’s been 2+ years already Michael?) and got two books to bring home.

My dear friend Michael Sillion, Seth himself, and yours truly at #SethinLondon, November 2015

My dear friend Michael Sillion, Seth himself, and yours truly at #SethinLondon, November 2015

Now, the book is… Seth. That’s one of his most prominent features I must say, having read his blog for years on end, listened to a number of podcasts with/by him, and having read a few books as well; he is Seth, where ever he is, whatever medium he’s coming across. He speaks the way he writes, and he writes the way he speaks.

And I love it. I am totally fascinated by the way this man’s brain operates, how he can see things that I am blind to, and how he shares it all – generously, and with such great warmth. I was totally star-struck upon meeting him, and he “brought me down” (or rather, brought himself down by being absolutely human, in the best possible manner!) in the most gentle fashion, asking my name, making small talk in a way that took away my anxiety, leaving only a great feeling behind.

The Icarus Deception is no exception – it’s Seth. His style of writing, his style of pointing out the would-be-obvious stuff that I (and you?) just miss, don’t even give a passing thought to – but which, when he put’s the magnifying glass upon it, I realize has immense value.

Sure – it’s filled with sentences that are very “quotable”, short, snazzy, to the point, and packing quite a lot of punch, a bunch of them. And I guess some people might not be into that. But for me it works. And I can see how being drip-fed “Seth-isms” for ten (or more likely fifteen?) years or so, has made a huge impact in my life.

Am I doing more art (he’s very particular about art!) now? Yes.

And I being more vulnerable, and sharing my art? Yes.

Do I constantly expand my comfort and safety zones, by putting myself on the edge? Yes. That’s what I am doing at the moment, holding a 9-day course in a subject that is far from “my home base”. Is it scary? You bet, but do I let fear stop me, from putting my stuff out there? No, except sometimes, so the better answer is: less and less. Or as Seth expresses it:
For the first time in history, most of us have the chance to decide what to do next, what to make, how to deliver it. Most of us won’t take that chance, but it’s there.

Take the chance!

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.

Read More

A new day is on the horizon

January 8, 2018
/ /
in Tip
/

“I want all of the girls watching here now to know, that a new day is on the horizon. And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say, ‘me too’ again.” Oprah Winfrey as she accepts the 2018 Cecil B. de Mille award.

I watch it, and I shiver. Come to the end, and immediately press play again, and now tears come streaming down my cheeks. Third time around – I am amazed at this extremely powerful speech, by an equally amazing and powerful woman. I just might watch the speech a fourth time, a fifth time… and whenever I need a boost!

Read More

26 English books to read during 2018

January 3, 2018
/ /
in Tip
/

One of my sub targets for the year, linked with my intention to live a more intentional digital and analog life during 2018, is to read 26 Swedish and 26 English books, books that I already own. There are more books in the house, still unread that I want to read, but of the English books these 26 were the most enticing.

26 English books

As you can see, it’s a mix of new and old books. The Swedish collection has a more diverse touch to it, whereas this collection feels a bit heavier. However, all of these books have one thing in common: I want to read them!

SwopI pondered if I should predetermine which book to read what week, but decided against it. Have entered all the books (both Swedish and English) into my Goodreads-profile under ”To read”, so I have them there, when the time comes to move them, one by one, into ”Currently reading” before filing them under ”Read”.

However, as I did that, I noticed that I actually already read David Whyte’s The house of belonging. So I replaced it with a book I got from a fellow Supercoach in 2014, which I’ve been intending to read ever since.26 English on display

I will read these chosen English books every other week, and blog about them (at least once) by the end of said week. I started off the year with a Swedish book, so you’ll just have to wait for another week before knowing which book I start with out of these 26.

Read More

Welcome 2018 – living an intentional digital and analog life

January 1, 2018
/ / /

Welcome 2018Welcome 2018, the year when…

  • I continue being gengle with myself – this is a perspective upon life that I will forever carry with me.
  • I live a more intentional life, in both digital and analog aspects – choosing what’s most fitting given the situation.
  • digital 24-hour sabbats will become a ritual in my everyday life. Every month? Weekly? Not sure, but two per month minimum.
  • my bedroom is a sheltered analog zone, without computers, iPads or phones, and if I need an alarm clock I will work it out with something other than my IPhone.
  • I will not buy a single online-course based on me watching video clips and reflect on my own. It. Does. Not. Work. For Me. I have learnt this lesson now.
  • I will, despite what I just wrote, restart and complete the “A year to clear what is holding you back” purchased during 2017.
  • I will be going – with good company – to an “analog” writers course with Bob Hansson at Mundekulla.
  • Pernilla Tillander and I will continue to work together – grow, learn and have loads of fun doing it – in Skurup for the ESF-project Include & Meet.
  • I will read 26 Swedish and 26 English books, one per week: books I already own. Each Sunday I will do a reflection on either blog on the book of the week.
  • above and beyond the 52 “books I already own” I will set my #Goodreadsreadingchallenge for 2018 to one hundred books.
  • I will let my Upholder-tendency have free reins, which you can see in the above, which for me is far from a punishment, rather, quite the challenge, something that tickles and entices me!
  • I aim at being a ChattyMeals-hostess and/or attend others ChattyMeals at least on a monthly basis. LÄNKA
  • riding my bike and taking walks, as well as my daily Seven and my Headspace-meditations, will continue to be my daily companions in life.
  • my economic husbandry gains clarity – in all senses. What this really means is something still remaining for me to defins, so I know what it truly is I want to achieve.
  • my eldest will graduate. Yikes. How time flies. This deserves a celebration!
  • I – perhaps more important than anything else – will enjoy life, explore, discover, expand, and in all manners possible allow myself to have as much fun as I can!

Intentions of previous years have come to me more in the form of a single word, more or less. This year is different, but if I summarize all of the above, this is where I end up: Living an intentional digital and analog life. That will be the intention for 2018.

Read More

Good bye 2017

December 31, 2017
/ / /

Good bye 2017, the year when…

  • I had Wholeheartedness as my intention, something I’ve blogged about on a monthly basis since.
  • my company Respondi AB turned ten years old. Imagine that!
  • me and Pernilla Tillander started to work together for the ESF-project Include & Meet in Skurup, something which has been among the most fun and rewarding things I’ve done during my ten years as an entrepreneur. We will continue to work together in 2018 in Skurup and I greatly look forward to it!
  • I did two “current state” analyses that made quite the impact, especially in me.
  • my longest running assignment ended, after nearly five years.
  • thoughts on my future business enterprise are starting to become clear.
  • I rediscovered my fascination with husbandry, also in an economic fashion.
  • music played a big part:
    • the musical highlight above all else throughout my life is performing Stabat Mater by Jens Eriksson. The first performance took place already during Easter 2016, but during 2017 Stabat Mater was released on Spotify, and the church choir from Södra Sallerup performed Stabat Mater no less than three times this year. One performance took place in Salzburg where the choir went for a trip in september. Stabat Mater is on repeat at home, and I absolutely love this piece of music!
    • my musical highlight number two took place in twofold this year as well: we recorded an album in the beginning of the year, and this was released (both as an actual CD and on Spotify) at the end of the year, Vi är i advent. Another abum running on repeat in my headphones.

HERO in Edinburgh

  • I turned fortyfive and discovered the thrill of hosting a potluck party – what a smashing idea!
  • sad farewell’s were mixed with the joy of new budding lives.
  • acting legal guardian for unaccompanied minor refugees is an ongoing assignment, a roller coaster of joy, frustration and pride; for my legal guardians as well as others.
  • we decided to stay together but live apart… only to hand in our divorce application a few months later.
  • far later I finally removed my wedding ring, leaving me with the feeling of a phantom ring on my ring finger.
  • I participated in the #blogg100 challenge for the forth time, after refraining for a year. For the first time I trid blogging onehundred days in a row based on a set theme (by myself) – mixing Swedish and English blog posts – which definitely was to my liking.

GoodReads

  • I have read, read, and read some more. 73 books and 22889 pages according to GoodReads. But then I also proof read a book not yet published, so in total I read 74 books and 23014 pages during 2017. My #Goodreadsreadingchallenge for 2017 was fifty books, so I reached my goal by far.
  • The Gifted book club saw the light of day in conjunction with my birthday, and during the fall we’ve read two books. We are starting 2018 with Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, following it up with Foe by J.M. Coetzee and I am thrilled to see what other books we will be reading after that.
  • for the first time ever have I technically proof read a book (and buy what a book. Only available in Swedish, but if you know Swedish, most definitely pick up, and read, a copy of Sigrid sover på soffan!)
  • ChattyMeals made an entrance into my life, an aquaintance I will definitely continue to entertain during 2018.
  • I understood my relationship to inner and outer expectations, this concept that I’ve been reflecting upon for years now, and now have an even greater understanding of, being the Upholder I am.
  • I ran my first ever race!
  • I tried taking a digital sabbat, which definitely wet my appetite, to the extent that it actually served as the basis for my intention for 2018.
  • my firstborn came of age and my lastborn turned teenager and started junior high school. Oh how time flies!
  • for the first time in forever we stayed in Sweden during the summer holidays (o the chagrin of the kids).
  • all four Roths are finishing off the year participating in the largest New Years Eve-street party in the world, the Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh.

Roths in Edinburgh

And with that, I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year!

Read More

Wholeheartedness – Reflection December ’17

December 25, 2017
/ / /

My final reflective blog post on the intention I placed upon 2017: Wholeheartedness – living life wholeheartedly. I’ve already started to reflect quite a lot on my upcoming yearly intention, earlier than what has normally been the case for me. So the intention for 2018 feels like it’s one born out of necessity, out of a willingness and urge to explore what might come with a year of intentional living… but not so fast, my dear. I have yet to do this final reflection on wholeheartedness.

wholehearted me december 2017Given all the ups and downs of 2017, I have most definitely been aided by having this intention. Not letting myself forget, that it’s my life, it’s my heart, and I am the one in charge of making, creating, shaping my life in a manner most coherent with my beliefs, wishes, desires, aspirations, goals, values – call it whatever you like, I am still the one in charge. It’s on me.

And nowadays, for me, that’s a very hopeful and inspiring statement to make: I’m in charge. It’s on me.

The old Helena would have been intimidated by it, scared, and most of all, reluctant to honor it – reluctant to honor myself, in a sense, not believing I had it in me, not wanting to own my life and my experiences, believing life was easier if someone else was responsible. But alas – that’s not how it works. No one else can be responsible, because I am the one who shape my experience of my life. It comes from within. Being open to that, to all of my experiences, sure makes a difference. And that, in and of itself, is perhaps a definition of wholeheartedness? Not shying away from anything, not even the stuff most difficult to face, the bits and pieces of me that I have spun stories around, making it shameful, despicable, unworthy.

Being open to all of me, my whole heart, has helped me put less and less weight upon the stories I spin that are no longer serving me – and with that I have more energy for that which serves me: such as living a wholehearted life.

Read More

Freedom to explore more, not freedom from…

December 24, 2017
/ /
in Tip
/

These past few weeks, I’ve been pondering what my intention for 2018 is to be. During 2017 I’ve had the intention of Wholeheartedness. A few years prior I’ve also gone into the new year with an intention, and I intend to do so again for 2018.

Somewhat surprisingly for myself, what’s been popping up has been different thoughts on going more analog, of letting go of habits of checking email, facebook, messenger and the likes once every few seconds, of deleting various app’s from my IPhone, app’s which are merely a mental distraction (and time trap), and not really value-adding at all.

So as a reminder, of what it really is I am looking for (more connection, more conversation, more value-adding interactions and smarter use of my time. As well as less mindless habitual waste of my time. If I am to rest, and relax, I want to do so in the analog.) I gift you Sherry Turkle in conversation with Jonathan Fields in Good Life Project. Sherry is pro-technology, but a proponent of a mindful and intentional use of technology, which is precisely what I intend to explore deeper during 2018.

She’s gotten a lot of flak for her thoughts on the matter, but I honestly think it’s well worth reflecting upon what it is we do with technology, and what it is doing to us (or perhaps more correctly: what it is I am letting technology do to me – I am no helpless victim here!). It’s not all positive, in the same way that I don’t think a n y t h i n g exists that is entirely positive. There’s two sides to every coin, and there’s also my strong belief that whatever works for me might not necessarily work for you. We might have different needs, ideas, ways to operate in the world, to relax, to get inspired and so on – and hence, during 2018 I will be exploring what a more mindful technology use will do for me.

Freedom.toOn an interesting side note, this is my use of digital technology so far this Christmas morning: Sitting in bed, writing on my IPad, listening to Spotify on my IPhone, after having checked my email (personal and work-accounts at that), my Messenger (said good morning to my eldest who’s up and about earlier than the rest of us), my Facebook- and Instagram-feeds, thrown my first Pokémon Go-ball, done some Wordfeud and WordBrain-puzzling and finished a fifteen minute Headspace meditation. Oh, plus buying a one-year subscription to the Freedom-app, using their 40% discount code (FLASH40) I received in my inbox this morning (valid 24 hours). So yeah – a bit of intentional use of technology is just what I want – the freedom to explore more of an intentional life, not freedom from technology! Important distinction for me.

Read More

Existence is playful

December 19, 2017
/ /
in Tip
/

The existence, the physical universe is basically playful. There is no necessity for it whatsoever. It isn’t going anywhere. That is to say, it doesn’t have some destination that it ought to arrive at.

But that it is best understood by the analogy with music. Because music, as an art form is essentially playful. We say, “You play the piano” You don’t work the piano.

Why? Music differs from say, travel. When you travel you are trying to get somewhere. In music, though, one doesn’t make the end of the composition. The point of the composition. If that were so, the best conductors would be those who played fastest. And there would be composers who only wrote finales. People would go to a concert just to hear one crackling chord… Because that’s the end!

Same way with dancing. You don’t aim at a particular spot in the room because that’s where you will arrive. The whole point of the dancing is the dance.

But we don’t see that as something brought by our education into our conduct. We have a system of schooling which gives a completely different impression. It’s all graded and what we do is put the child into the corridor of this grade system with a kind of, “Come on kitty, kitty.” And you go onto kindergarten and that’s a great thing because when you finish that you get into first grade. Then, “Come on” first grade leads to second grade and so on. And then you get out of grade school and you got high school. It’s revving up, the thing is coming, then you’re going to go to college… Then you’ve got graduate school, and when you’re through with graduate school you go out to join the world.

Then you get into some racket where you’re selling insurance. And they’ve got that quota to make, and you’re gonna make that. And all the time that thing is coming – It’s coming, it’s coming, that great thing. The success you’re working for.

Then you wake up one day about 40 years old and you say, “My God, I’ve arrived. I’m there.” And you don’t feel very different from what you’ve always felt.

Look at the people who live to retire; to put those savings away. And then when they’re 65 they don’t have any energy left. They’re more or less impotent. And they go and rot in some, old peoples, senior citizens community. Because we simply cheated ourselves the whole way down the line.

If we thought of life by analogy with a journey, with a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at that end, and the thing was to get to that thing at that end. Success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead.

But we missed the point the whole way along.

It was a musical thing, and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.

Alan Watts, British philosopher (1915-1973)

Read More

The Personality Myth

December 17, 2017
/ /
in Tip
/

The Personality Myth is one of my favorite Invisibilia episodes, one I’ve listened to over and over again. There are several threads that are artfully intertwined, shifting from theory and science to personal stories.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the marshmallow test? Walter Mischel is the brain behind the test, and one of the people interviewed in the episode. And he’s adamant, that the “popular belief” of that the marshmallow test showed, is far from the point that he finds most important in the study.

SPIEGEL (one of the show hosts): Basically, over the last two decades, the marshmallow test has become a kind of poster child for the idea that there are specific personality traits that we all have inside of us that are stable and consistent and will determine our lives far into the future.

There is only one tiny problem with this interpretation, as Walter Mischel himself will tell you.

MISCHEL: That iconic story is upside down wrong – that your future is in a marshmallow – because it isn’t.

Another thing that keeps reappearing during the show is various ways to phrase the sentiment that “you might find it hard to accept that there aren’t any core traits that are permanent and fixed” – and every time this is voiced, I realize: I don’t. Not at all. I don’t find it hard to accept at all. Do you?

BoldomaticPost_the-many-ways-in-which-peopleFor me, what Walter Mischel points to based on his own research is in perfect sync with my personal experience of me changing. Going from “the most negative person I know, to – if not the most positive – at least a lot more positive than I used to be” is a very real change. Am I the same that I used to be? No. Do I have the same personality that I “used to have”? No. So don’t you try to skirt responsibility by leaning on that old idiom that it’s impossible to teach an old dog a new trick – it’s simply not true. In the words of Mischel himself:

What my life has been about is in showing the potential for human beings to not be the victims of their biographies – not their biological biographies, not their social biographies – and to show, in great detail, the many ways in which people can change what they become and how they 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. 

Read More

Will you tell me?

December 15, 2017
/ /
in Tip
/

As I read page after page of Humble inquiry by Edgar H. Schein, I am guessing a bystander would have wondered what I was up to, with all that humming and hawing. Humming from recognition and having flashbacks to my own experiences, hawing from making mental notes of and agreeing with great aspects of humble inquiry.

Then I got to a question, that made me stop. Reflect. Ponder.

Making yourself vulnerable will elicit a more personal conversation, and through successive rounds of asking, telling, and acknowledging, trust and openness will build to the point where you can ask the difficult question, ”If I am about to make a mistake, will you tell me?”. You can then assess whether you have achieved the climate of psychological safety in which all of you will help each other and communicate openly. If it still feels uncomfortable, you can humbly ask, ”What do we need to do differently to get to that point of perpetual, mutual help?”.

Have I ever been humble enough to ask? Have I ever been humble enough to listen if someone told me I this?
Where have I ever been, that have a culture inductive to making such an ask? Have I?

humble inquiry

(And yes, I have. But not in as many places and/or relationships as I would like to – so there’s room for improvement.)

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book ”Humble inquiry” by Edgar H. Schein.

Read More