Writings

Judgment vs discernment

Judgment vs discernment

May 7, 2018
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With curiosity and a wish for more, Tess picked up on the distinction between judgment and discernment in the post on Intuitive living, and I can only agree: it is a distinction which piqued my curiosity as well.

Discernment-is-an-important-skill-to-develop“You may have notices that we have never discussed forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a concept of the All. Forgiveness implies judgment. Forgiveness implies right and wrong. Your Western culture and religions have created the concepts of sin and forgiveness as a way of controlling people’s minds. Judgment was created in this way. (You must understand judgment as being different from discernment. Discernment is an important skill to develop.) There is no place for judgment. The concepts of sin and forgiveness and redemption are not concepts borne out of Love. Love is within each one of you, bestowing mercy upon you in each moment of your existence.” [As voiced by Spirit.]

Judgment is a concept I am very familiar with. I have judged others, but more than that, I have judged myself. Over and over again. And harshly, at that. For me, judgment is centered around right and wrong. I judge you as being wrong – and instantly I place myself on the rung above you, because I know the difference, I know what’s wrong, and what’s right, and you are failing, miserably. And the same goes for myself, even though it’s an internal hierarchical set-up enabling me some how to place myself above myself.

I’ve let go of my default setting to judge, something which I know my surroundings also pick up on. In the words of a friend who’s known me for thirty plus years: “You used to be so black and white, Helena, but nowadays you reside in the grey shades in-between; you always see both sides of a situation, and are not prone to judge either side as right or wrong”, which I took as a great compliment.

I haven’t really given any thought whatsoever – consciously at least – to the concept of discernment, but I do find it intriguing. It does go hand in hand with my favorite saying though, that being: How does this serve me/you? That’s discernment for me, now that I think of it.

To discern (According to my Apple Thesaurus: perceivemake outpick outdetectrecognizenoticeobserveseespotidentifydeterminedistinguishdifferentiatediscriminatetell apartbecome cognizant ofbecome aware ofbecome conscious of) what works right now, and what doesn’t. What will further my path ahead, and what will not. What will serve me – or not. That, for me, is discernment.

And I can be very clear when I communicate from my place of discernment. I don’t have to be wishy-washy (Thesaurus again: feebleineffectualweakvapidmilk-and-watereffetespinelesslimplimp-wristednamby-pambyhalf-heartedspiritlessirresoluteindecisiveinformal wetpatheticweak-kneedBrit. informal half-arsed. Love that last one!) about it at all, I can stand very firm in what serves me or not.

Just because I don’t go for judging a situation any more, whatever it is, doesn’t mean I cannot make my meaning, my belief, my understanding, my needs even, heard. On the contrary. I can do just that but I come from a context of non-judgment, which to my experience, makes it so much easier for the people in my surrounding to accept whatever it is I am asking or pointing out. And this I think is the clue: I am not saying “I am right, you are wrong, and anyone who’s wrong is inherently bad!“. I am saying “This is what I need right now. You might need something other than me, which is fine. I respect your needs, and you respect mine, and we’ll deal with the consequences. Together.

Thank you Tess for asking me to expand on the concepts of judgment vs discernment – this has been most helpful. I feel elated to have discovered that my default setting of today (since letting go of judgment) of asking how this serves me, is an excellent guide in helping me be more discerning in life.

And by the way – as I look in the Thesaurus, judgment is a word that pops up to define discernment, so I cannot say that my understanding of these two concepts and how they relate to one another is accurate. For you, that is. Because it certainly holds true for me.

 

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Intuitive living: A sacred path (book 9 of 26)

May 6, 2018
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Personal dedicationI don’t even remember when I bought Intuitive living: A sacred path by (and directly from) Alan Seale, but it’s been at least five years I’d wager. I know I have bought it from Alan in person though at CoachWalk Academy, as he’s written a lovely dedication to me in it.

Anyway. So I chose this book, one I’ve had in my possession for years on end, and almost laugh at the synchronicity of it: this was definitely the right moment for me to read this book. Now, as I sit here blogging about it, I flick through the pages, and there are so many passages I’ve highlighted – passages that speak to me, that encourage me, that validate beliefs and concepts that I use as a coach and trainer, but also stuff that I have never thought about, and – a few times – stuff I’m not altogether certain if I agree with – that I just pick a few in random to share here: “Freedom and peace are inner states of being. Peace is not the absence of conflict, but rather your response to conflict. Being free and at peace means knowing without doubt that no matter what is happening around you, nothing can harm you at your center.”

“Being rigid in our beliefs and harsh in our judgments only leads to inflexibility in life. This makes any kind of adjustment to situations and conditions all the more difficult.”

“You may have notices that we have never discussed forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a concept of the All. Forgiveness implies judgment. Forgiveness implies right and wrong. Your Western culture and religions have created the concepts of sin and forgiveness as a way of controlling people’s minds. Judgment was created in this way. (You must understand judgment as being different from discernment. Discernment is an important skill to develop.) There is no place for judgment. The concepts of sin and forgiveness and redemption are not concepts borne out of Love. Love is within each one of you, bestowing mercy upon you in each moment of your existence.” [As voiced by Spirit.]

“Develop your craft. Take the journey. Light the light. Dance the dance. Be Love.”

There are plenty of exercises in this book, that I intend to try out, and I already know this to be a book I will revisit, likely more than once. (And isn’t that the best feeling? It’s a bit like making a new best friend!)

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.

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Our past is a story we tell

April 28, 2018
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I think that something that was a real turning point for me was the realization that we have a choice how we view our past. I could have come out of dad’s incarceration, that time of separation, this kind of wild years, when I was a teenager and really hurting a great deal and seen it as a tragedy that this had happened to us, and told the story, that our dad abandoned us you know, and he made this choice to be a drug trafficker when he had young children, and can you believe that?

Our-past-is-a-story-we-tellI could have decided to tell the story that way, and then I would be a different person, and a less happy person. But I chose to tell it differently, and I chose to see it differently, and I believe in my version of events very truly but it is a choice that we make. Our past is a story we tell, and how we tell that story is a choice we make about who we are, and how we want to be perceived, and who we want to be, and I think being aware of that certainly empowers you to rethink in some ways. 

These are the words of Tyler Wetherall, a woman who grew up with a dad on the run, at the end of her long conversation with Jonathan Fields on the Good Life Project podcast. She touches a topic very dear to me, something which I certainly have given a lot of thought to these past years.

The realization that it is I who give value to my experiences, I color them, I make them significant or insignificant, meaningful or meaningless. With each layer I wrap around my experiences I have a choice. Each layer presents itself as an opportunity for me. I get to choose victimhood or ownership. Love or hate. Making myself large, or small. Helpless or in charge. At the mercy of someone else’s choices, or at the helm of my own life.

Does this mean I always make “the right” choice? No. Of course not.
But the more I practice (with ample help in my most valued question How does this serve me?) the easier it is to make decisions in the moment that do me good rather than the opposite. We get better at that which we focus on, at that which we practice – so I’ve made a choice to focus on being gentle towards myself, and being aware of the choices I have, is one way of honoring myself.

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At a loss for words

April 25, 2018
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Be gentle with yourselfJust finished watching Avicii: True Stories.

Am at a loss for words.
Except, perhaps, these four words:
Be gentle with yourself. 

I was thirty-eight when I understood, that being gentle with myself is an option available to me, at all times. Or rather, that it was an option at all. It took me a few more years of practice to fully experience having that choice in any given situation.

I have a hard time understanding that it’s possible to grow up, not knowing that it is not just possible, but a benevolent way to be with oneself. But I know it happens, as it happened to me. And maybe Tim didn’t know either?

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Think and Grow Rich (book 8 of 26)

April 22, 2018
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Think and Grow Rich is a book written by Napoleon Hill. It was first published in 1937, with a few more years of The Great Depression having the world in a firm grip. I picked up a copy in India some eight years ago, but again, never got around to reading it. until now – this was one of the books I decided to read for my English reading challenge of the year. The copy I picked up was the original unabridged version, and in a sense that’s a shame. Because it is dated. The way it is formulated, the actual style of the writing is a bit… well, it’s as if Mr Hill believe the reader to be a bit obtuse, so he’s capitalizing the most vital parts, and that in and of itself rubs me the wrong way.

I also do not like how 99% of all of his examples of successful men, are actually men. The women are few and far apart, and basically show up at the very end of the book. Two, or possibly three examples of ladies as successful role models to mimic, the rest of the time when women are mentioned speaks of “our” ability to wrap men around our little fingers. (I trust I don’t have to even begin to explain why this get’s me all riled up?!) But, given the fact that the book was written close to a century ago, I tried to let this slip.

And once I do that, sure, this is a book that has its virtues, for sure. And given the fact that this is actually one of the most successful books of all time, it would be weird if it didn’t right? Read what it says on Goodreads about Hill and this book: “Hill’s most famous work, Think and Grow Rich (1937), is one of the best-selling books of all time (at the time of Hill’s death in 1970, Think and Grow Rich had sold 20 million copies).” 

Here are a few of the passages which spoke to me for one reason or another:

Open-mindedness is essential for belief. Closed minds do not inspire faith, courage, and belief. 

Every man is what he is, because of the DOMINATING THOUGHTS which he permits to occupy his mind. 

we-are-where-we-are-and-what-we-are-because-of-ouKnowledge is only potential power. 

[…] the word ‘educate‘ is derived from the Latin word ‘educo‘, meaning to educe, to draw out, to DEVELOP FROM WITHIN.

Any man is educated who knows how to get knowledge when he needs it, and how to organize that knowledge into definite plans of action. 

The person who stops studying merely because he has finished school is forever hopelessly doomed to mediocrity, no matter what may be his calling. The way of success is the way of continuous pursuit of knowledge.

[…] we are where we are, and what we are, because of our own conduct!

A book worth reading? Hm. Yes. It is. But I hope (and trust!) that there’s a revised edition more recently re-worked, and if I were you, I’d pick up such a copy instead of the original unabridged version.

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.

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I wanna pod

April 11, 2018
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A month or so ago, I connected again with a friend that I haven’t really talked to much in a few years. And we actually first met a few years ago, so basically we’ve only met up a handful of times. Yet. Because ever since our first meeting there’s been this sense of ”we will do something together”. Anyway, we set a date for a walk n talk, and that date just happened to be today.

In between setting it up, and walk n talk:ing, I read Daniel Priestleys Key person of influence. As I was reading, I was basically clobbered over the head with the realization that ”the message behind the written words on the pages” that Daniel writes about – a message unique to each and every reader – for me centered around one thing: It is time for me to pod. 

Yes. Pod. As in time to start a podcast. Or several. I’ll start with one though, to use as a blueprint for the other one’s I’ve been pondering for years on end. I figured out a good pod-theme (can you guess? Doing gentle, of course!) for this first pod-baby of mine, and my mind has been churning away in the background ever since.

So. Fast forward to today, when I met up with Søren Lassen outside the city library, for our walk n talk, and almost immediately, Søren brought up the fact that he (with a long background as a radio presenter), would love to help me set up a pod, if I felt like it.

Message-received-loud-and-clearSynchronicity.
Hell yeah – I just love it! The Universe is talking, and I am listening. Message received loud and clear

So – right now, I’m gonna scan my calendar for a few dates in May, send them to Søren, wait for confirmation, thus ensuring a next-step is in place. Because honestly – that’s all it takes. Taking one step, and setting up the next. Taking that step, and setting up a new next step. Repeat until done.

Too simple, you say?
Nah. Why should it be harder than that? I mean, really – my thoughts generate my feelings, which in turn lead to results, getting me precisely what I was thinking. So, no no, I will not be thinking about ”how hard this is gonna be”, on the contrary, this will be a grand adventure into the world of podcasting, one which I so look forward to. Game on!

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Key person of influence (book 7 of 26)

April 8, 2018
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Key person of influenceKey person of influence, by Daniel Priestley. A book gifted to me by my friend Michael Sillion, aka Captain Future. He gave it to me with the sweetest inscription, with the hope that it would inspire me as much as he has been inspired by me. And yes Michael, this is a book that inspires me. There are a few threads that stick out for me from this first read (yes. This is a book I will reread.):

  1. I will get going with my podcast plans. (Plans that have been plans for far too long, it is time to get started.)
  2. The distinction between resources and resourcefulness. This is an angle I have not previously come at the concept of resources from, and it makes for quite an interesting perspective I must say. Love it!
  3. This is a book full of questions that I would like to sit with – ponder, reflect upon, throw out there and see what comes back… (hence the re-reading intention!)

As for the second thread, here’s a paragraph from the book, with a sassiness (of course!) that puts a smile upon my face:

No matter what you need in your business or your life, getting it will be a function of your resourcefulness rather than whether the resources are available. Of course they are available. 

The three biggest factors that determine your resourcefulness are:

  • The questions you ask.
  • The people you know. 
  • Your willingness to stretch into the unknown. 

All of these factors are things I’ve been very actively working on.

The questions you ask.
A very dear friend of mine recently reflected on the fact that she now asks many more questions than she did upon meeting me (in 2013). The mantra “the questions you ask are more important than the answers you give (or receive)” is a way to be in the world that I’ve been hammering home (for me as well as for those I spend time with) these past years.

The people you know.
Ever since the same time that I met both of the people I’ve referred to above, I’ve “collected” people that inspire me, people that make me strive to be my better self. Matthew Kelly says it perfectly in The rhythm of life, a book I’ve yet to read, but definitely want to:
The people we surround ourselves with either raise or lower our standards. They either help us to become the-best-version-of-ourselves or encourage us to become lesser versions of ourselves. We become like our friends. No man becomes great on his own. No woman becomes great on her own. The people around them help to make them great. 

We all need people in our lives who raise our standards, remind us of our essential purpose, and challenge us to become the-best-version-of-ourselves.

Your willingness to stretch into the unknown.
I used to fear the unknown. I had the mistaken belief that my worth, my value as a person, resided in my ability to know, to be wise, knowledgeable, a veritable Encyclopedia Helenica… So for me to admit to not knowing, scared me senseless. I still struggle with this, there’s a lot of long-lived patterns of automatic responses for instance, giving the impression that I know full well what’s being talked about, even though I don’t have a clue, but a lot of it’s gone. Perhaps helped along the most by two aspects of my personal development these past five-ten years or so; my ability to be gentle with myself (and not knock myself upside the head with a mental shovel whenever I make a mistake or don’t live up to high inner standards) as well as my curiosity (also a trait I’ve actively cultivated).

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.

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7even last words: Reunion

March 30, 2018
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7even last wordsToday was the day for the first performance ever of 7even last words, a musical production written by Jens Eriksson, choirmaster of Södra Sallerups kyrkokör, a ladies’ choir in Malmö. We gave the performance in Husie church, accompanied by Friiskvartetten, a string quartet.

The production contains seven movements, one for each of the Sayings of Jesus on the cross. As always, each movement has its on distinctive sound, each tugging a different string within as I listen, as I sing, as I get lost in the cadence and rhythms, the tonality of the cello, the viola, the violins.

Below you will find the seventh and last piece, titled Reunion. It’s fun – listening to this piece I hear it differently, than I do when being in the midst of the choir. The back and forth between the sopranos and the altos isn’t as clear to me as a member of the choir, as it is when listening to it being performed.

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Divorced. Again.

March 27, 2018
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Here I am – divorced for the second time.
This is not what I intended. But it’s what happened.

Sad?
Well, yes, sure it’s sad. I didn’t want this. Until the moment came when I actually did want it. Because that’s how it works – all of a sudden perspectives change, an insight put’s everything into a different light. I can see the sadness in life not turning out the way I wanted to, but at the same time, I’m not sad about it. I have no regrets. Fact is what I feel more than anything is gratitude that both of us, I and my ex-husband, to a large extent have – and have had – the ability to keep a cool head as well as a warm and gentle heart throughout the process från separation to settled divorce, with agreements on property settlements to child alimony and all of the other things that follows, when two souls are in the process of untangling themselves from each others lives.

The difference in my life isn’t that big either, to be honest. I still live in the house; I love it here and am very happy we’ve found a solution enabling me to stay put. The kids decide themselves how they want it, where to live and when (mostly). Kids and kids… little brother might still count as one, but the 18 year old will soon graduate, so there is a limit to the time remaining for her to “live at home”.

I ponder what makes me so calm and collected within. Perhaps because I’ve let it take its time? Or rather: I’ve let myself take the time I’ve needed to. Time to feel, time to cry, to grieve, to land in new circumstances.

I-carry-with-me-the-best-of-memoriesPerhaps because I’ve let thoughts and corresponding feelings come and go? I haven’t attached myself to any feeling as such, I’ve simply let them come, fill me up, and then I’ve let them pass through. Sometimes fast, sometimes really slow – all the while safe in the understanding that whatever I feel in the moment, it will pass. Another thought will come, eventually. No feeling is static. Ever.

And like Pernilla says – grief and joy go hand in hand, are best friends. The grief I experience when something has run its course is all about the flow of joy, love and compassion, all about the experiences. Delighting in what has been, that no longer is. Grateful for all I’ve been through, all I’ve learned, all that has arisen on account of this specific relationship. I carry with me the best of memories, and look to the future with a curious mind, all the while keeping my focus in the here and now, living and enjoying myself to the fullest.

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Mating in captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence (book 6 of 26)

March 25, 2018
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Mating in captivityInternational bestseller is written on the cover Esther Perels first book Mating in captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, and I get why. It’s a very interesting read, opening up loads of questions for me.

Given the dissolution of my (second) marriage, quite naturally I’m interested in relationships, breakup’s, love and desire, and the wealth of topics – and experiences – related to this. In the midst of it all, Esther Perel turns up in my life, in podcasts (her own, Where should we begin?, as well as interviews on other shows), and in other forums.

“[…] when we trade passion for stability, are we not merely swapping one fantasy for another? As Stephen Mitchell points out, the fantasy of permanence may trump the fantasy of passion, but both are products of our imagination. We long for constancy, we may labor for it, but it is never guaranteed.”

No. Constancy is not guaranteed.
I for one know all too well that it is not.

“Erotic intimacy is the revelation of our memories, wishes, fears, expectations, and struggles within a sexual relationship. When our innermost desires are revealed, and are met by our loved one with acceptance and validation, the shame dissolves. It is an experience of profound empowerment and self-affirmation for the heart, body and soul. When we can be present for both love and sex, we transcend the battleground of Puritanism and hedonism.”

What opens up for me now, with a second divorce on my resumé… is there’s definitely a battleground to transcend, oh yeah. There’s so much for me to discover. Mostly about myself. About my body, my sexuality and sensuality and most certainly about my erotic intelligence. Trust me when I say, that’s not a combination of words I’ve ever used before, never ever. About time perhaps?

“It takes courage to push yourself to places that you have never been before… to test your limits… to break through barriers. And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anaïs Nin

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. 
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