Monthly Archives January 2016

Doing gentle – 3 – Notice my inner chatter

Doing gentle – 3 – Notice my inner chatter

January 31, 2016
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doing gentle 3 bwHave you picked up on the tone of your inner dialogue? I have. I used to have a dictator within, I remember it as having been a mix of Hitler, Mao, Stalin… And it was awful. Horrendous. Harsh. Evil. Mistrusting. Sadistic. Unrelenting and cruel.

But yeah. I wrote used to, because this is no longer the tone of my inner dialogue. I no longer experience this inner dictatorship. A faint echo of it might show up from time to time, but in no way close to what it used to be like, being me.

Today, my inner voice is gentle. Encouraging. Loving. Kind and appreciative. Playful even, and really curious. With a strong urge to experiment and discover, to expand, learn, evolve. So even if the echo of my inner dictator sometimes comes a-knocking, I greet it with a gentle curiosity, wondering what brought it here this time around. What the message might be, if there’s something to learn?

I often ask coaching clients what the tone of their inner dialoge is, and all but one have replied that it’s generally holds a harsh tone. All but one, out of a hundred, at least. Strange isn’t it. We seem to live in a culture that tunes our inner tone into a harsh one. Why is that? And why not re-tune it?

What’s the tone of your inner dialogue?

(And note! If the answer is harsh. You don’t have to be harsh on yourself because of it. Just notice. Nothing more. Nothing less. Just become aware. Step one, remember!)

Welcome to my new website, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I will be sharing thoughts on how I do gentle, and this is the third of those. I hope you enjoy it and if you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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Dare to ask!

January 28, 2016
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I’m discovering something new about myself as I’ve begun to play a game in my coaching, which also means I am pushing my edges by asking for things I’ve never even dreamed of daring to ask. And I discover lots of things as I do this.

pushing at the edge

Firstly that the edge (within me, the one saying “No Helena, you most definitely cannot ask for That!“) I perceive is a figment of my imagination, created by thought, but it is not and will never be the Truth, something real. It’s made up.

Secondly that I don’t die for asking. No matter how much my inner voice tries to tell me I must not ask for outrageous things. On the contrary actually. Asking makes me feel as if I live even more. And it makes me laugh, as the made-up-edge is pushed a bit further within my imaginary world.

Thirdly it’s a great way to collect No’s. That may sound very strange, but listen to this: Yes lives in the land of No. So if I go in search for the No’s, and even cherish them when I meet them, I’ll gladly go in search for more No’s. And you know what? Somewhere within all those No’s there will be a Yes. And the more No’s I collect, the more Yes’es I’ll encounter!

So, here’s to me asking and asking and asking some more, discovering where my edges are and challenging them, cherishing every No I meet along the way!

What are you afraid of asking for?

Welcome to my new website!
Since 2012 I have blogged over at and this post is a sample of what I’ve been writing over the years. I hope you enjoy this #ThrowbackThursday, originally published here, and if you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts.
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What is your egg?

January 27, 2016
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in Tip

One thing at a time. It makes sense. And it is a way to be gentle to yourself. Let yourself work on one thing at a time. Even though the urge to take on this, and that, and just a wee bit of this other thing as well, is strong within. And it might work. For sure. It depends on you to a large extent, and to your reasons for doing it. Or perhaps, better stated: it depends upon where the urge comes from. If it’s a sensible and logical conclusion, you’ve decided to stop drinking, smoking, eating too much, start to exercise and cook better food, and only drink green smoothies for breakfast and, and, and… Or if it’s actually something that you know to do. Something that is coming through you, with the quiet wisdom of Mind behind it.

Tim Ferriss talks about an egg. When people approach him, asking for help to get their life together (health, food, exercise and such), he has them start with an egg. You want to change your diet, get healthier, move more, sleep better? Start with an egg. Regardless of what your breakfast routine may look like, if it’s non-existent, or consists of sugar-coated cereal and low-fat milk, or is actually quite sensible. Start with an egg. That’s it. Add an egg. Simple. Boil it. Poach it. Whatever. Just add an egg to your breakfast.

The simple beauty of this is that regardless of what else you do, that egg will be beneficial. You will notice a shift. In endurance. Stamina. Ability to focus. It will help, in all those areas. Perhaps just a wee bit, but if you pay attention, you will spot the difference.

And once you’ve added that egg, noticed the benefits, and gotten into the routine to have your morning egg, then you can add another egg. Only this egg doesn’t have to be an actual egg. It can be a metaphorical egg. Pick one thing you can add, that will work in the same way as the breakfast egg. One tiny thing, as easy as an egg, that will benefit you, in some way.

Perhaps add a 15 minute walk to work? Or a five-minute meditation practice right before going to bed? Smiling at people you meet?

It doesn’t really matter. But add. Don’t subtract. At least not now. It’s so much harder to subtract than to add. Adding feels generous, there’s a sense of abundance to it. Subtracting on the other hand, means depriving yourself of something, actively thinking in negative terms (don’t do this, avoid that), and it’s actually hard on the brain to grasp.

Don’t think about the blue elephant wearing red smiling trunks, sitting up in the tree.

Yeah right. I’m definitely picturing that in my mind now. And you know why? Because the brain doesn’t register the ”don’t”. We picture the elephant, we can’t picture NOT picturing the elephant. So if nothing else – perhaps you can add the egg of talking in positives. Of framing your wishes, your dreams and desires, in positives. Avoid the negative words, the not’s, and observe what happens.

I’ve added eggs to my life. Sometimes an egg at a time, and sometimes enough to make an omelette. Some of these I have a long history with, some are newer.
*Having yoghurt and fresh fruit for lunch.
*My morning green smoothie.
*Headspace meditation before getting up in the morning
*Doing my Seven exercise before getting dressed.
*Getting myself a coach, whom I meet with regularly.
*Smiling at people I meet, regardless if I know them or not.whatsyouregg
*Taking active part in a MasterMind-group every third week, just to name a few…

Guess what? They are all beneficial. And, even more importantly, I am sticking with them. I enjoy them, I benefit from them, my life is better because of them. Sometimes I forget the odd egg here or there, but fairly quickly I pick up the habit again, whatever it is. Because I matter. My wellbeing is the most important thing for me. If I am well, living a rich life, taking care of my health both mentally and physically, it means I can be there for you. And I want to be there for you. That’s another reason why I am sticking to my eggs. It benefits me. And those around me.

In time, your eggs will automatically have the effect of ousting the bad eggs in your life, so to speak. So. If you could add a (metaphorical) egg to your life, what would it be?

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Being gentle to me – Reflection January ’16

January 25, 2016
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Being gentle lies at the heart of this entire site. The reason is simple: when I understood that it’s possible for me to be gentle to me, that’s when I started to know, and love, myself. Until then, I didn’t like me. At least huge chunks of me. And when I didn’t like me, it didn’t come naturally to me to be gentle with myself either.

being gentleSomewhere a shift occured. A shift where I went from not being gentle with myself, because I didn’t like me, didn’t think I deserved better than my harsh inner dialogue, to wanting to be gentle with me, but having no clue how it’s done. None. It was a very strange concept for me, this notion of being gentle to myself. I didn’t know how to do it. It’s taken me some time, but I’ve gotten a lot better at it. I still fall in the trap sometimes of punishing myself for something, some conceived misdemeanor of mine – major or minor – that I think I shouldn’t have committed.

But all in all, I am gentle to me. I hold myself gently, whether or not I’m proud of what I’ve done or it’s something I wish I could have unsaid or undone. I know that’s not possible, what’s done is done, and that holding a loving space for myself, especially when I’m not proud of my actions, is the best way to learn from the situation, and – hopefully – get better at making other choices in similar situations ahead.

Welcome to my new website, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. I will be reflecting on a monthly basis on what that means to me, in the moment, and this is one of those reflections. I hope you enjoy it! If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future reflections.

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Doing gentle – 2 – Innate well-being

January 24, 2016
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doing gentle 2You not only deserve being gentle towards yourself, it’s actually how you are born. We are all born with an innate well-being. It’s our birthright. It is there. Always there. Sometimes clouded over, but still, always already there, even if it’s in the background. Just like the sun. It’s always there, regardless if it’s a clear, crisp sunny winter day, or a cloudy, rainy and windy autumn day. The sun is there. It’s just hidden behind the cloud cover. It’s there at night as well, it just so happens there’s a planet between you and it.

Well-being is the same. It is always already there. And even better, there’s nothing I have to do to get it up and running. It’s like gravity. Gravity is always there, regardless if I know about it or not. A toddler jumping off the couch will fall down on the floor, despite not knowing a thing about gravity. Gravity doesn’t require you to know about it, for it to work. It just works. It’s just there.

So what if you stop thinking about yourself as if well-being is something that lies outside of yourself, something that can only be obtained if you get that job you want, or fall in love with the perfect man, or win the lottery, or… whatever. Happiness and well-being doesn’t reside outside of you. It is in you, and is always already in you.

What if well-being is always available to you, regardless of the circumstances?

Welcome to my new website, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I will be sharing thoughts on how I do gentle, and this is the second of those. I hope you enjoy it and if you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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When they sleep

January 21, 2016
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I read a poem today, by the Norwegian poet Rolf Jacobsen (1907-1994) :

All people are children when they sleep.
there’s no war in them then.half-open flowers
They open their hands and breathe
in that quiet rhythm heaven has given them.
They pucker their lips like small children
and open their hands halfway,
soldiers and statesmen, servants and masters.
The stars stand guard
and a haze veils the sky,
a few hours when no one will do anybody harm.
If only we could speak to one another then
when our hearts are half-open flowers.
Words like golden bees
would drift in.
– God, teach me the language of sleep.

If only we could speak to each other then, when our hearts are like half-open flowers. What a difference that could make. What would you be saying differently do you think?

Welcome to my new website. 
Since 2012 I have blogged over at and this post is a sample of what I’ve been writing over the years. I hope you enjoy this #ThrowbackThursday, originally published here. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts.
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The event horizon calling?

January 20, 2016
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Sunday morning I get out of bed, not having slept a wink. None of the ”Oh god, I haven’t slept all night, this is a disaster”-feeling. On the contrary. I’ve had a good night of rest, just not sleep. I’ve had nights like this a handful of times per year these past 2 years. After the first occasion, with three sleepless nights, then a night of good sleep luring me into safety only to get hit with yet another sleepless one, I have let any and all anxiety around this experience go.

I rest. Even though I don’t sleep, and hence I’m not a total wreck in the daytime. But I treat myself gently, not exerting myself. Rest more, in daytime as well.

Still… Since Saturday night I haven’t had even one good nights sleep. And 4 sleepless nights in a row is unusual even for me. I’ve slept some, not total insomnia, but not at all like normal (which for me means 8 hours of deep sleep). So I tell a friend about it, letting on that it feels like something is about to shift. It’s as if I stand at a threshold, and it can go either way. I level up, or I fall back down into what I came from?

He asks – Is the event horizon calling? 

Yes. That’s it! YES, my entire being calls out in exultation, the event horizon is calling me! This boundary of black holes in cosmos, the edge of the world as we know it, and something else, something unknown, something different.

Tell my campfire sisters about the insomnia, about the event horizon. Suddenly I see more. Held in a space where curious exploration is encouraged and welcome, I see what this is, to me.

”Normal insomnia” is when I wake up in the early morning hours, 2, 3 or 4 o’clock, and there is something that wants to come out of me. I fight it for a while, loving my bed, the warmth, the restful sound of gentle inhalations followed by exhalations from my husband lying next to me, but no luck. Sleep resists me, won’t come until I get a release. So I often get up, and with pen and paper, or my computer, in front of me, let that which wants to come out, come out. Onto paper, in words, shapes/forms. Get hit by a definitive sense of being done, and after that, I can get back to bed and fall asleep once more.

This is different. There is no urge to leave bed. None. There is nothing wanting to come through me. I don’t have to do anything to be done, so I can go back to sleep. Rather, it’s an invitation for me to step into something, unknown, exciting, reassuringly gentle. It’s the event horizon calling me, inviting me to dance along the edge of the known and the unknown. I am open to it. Not resisting the insomnia, embracing it instead. Knowing it is meant to be, I am meant to be. There. Right then. Right there.

event horizon

The event horizon is calling, and I am heeding the call.
What lies beyond the edge of the threshold?
What is there – for me to know, experience, embody?

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Doing gentle – 1 – Awareness

January 17, 2016
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My first step to awareness on how I was treating myself was the insight that I wasn’t gentle towards me. Doing gentleAnd that I could be.
During a therapy session many years ago, my therapist saw me treating myself with mental boxing gloves, and pointed it out to me.

Why are you so hard on yourself?, she asked.

I was flabbergasted.
Because in asking, she implied there was another option. And I just had not seen that, had not known that.
So I asked Don’t I have to be?

She smiled her sweet and gentle smile at me, and told me how she would have handled the situation we’d just been discussing.

I broke down in tears, exclaiming I didn’t know that I don’t have to be harsh towards myself.

I truly didn’t know that gentle was available to me.
Do you? Do you know, deep within yourself, that you can be kind and gentle towards yourself?

Welcome to my new website, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I will be sharing thoughts on how I do gentle, and this is the first post on the topic. I hope you enjoy it and if you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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I give thanks…

January 14, 2016
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… to myself. Since learning to be gentle with myself, life is just a wonderful adventure, in all it’s glory, through up’s as well as down’s.

… to those close to me, my family and friends. You make me a better person, and I love the way you enrich my life. Being in communion with like minded souls!

… to those who are aware. Aware of themselves, as well as their surroundings. Aware, and acting out that sense of awareness. You all help make the world a better place for us all.

… to those who struggle. With disease or mental anguish, with terror or impoverished circumstances, with relationships or loneliness, with life or death. I give thanks to you, because I learn from you and your struggles, in the same way I might have helped someone through my own struggles. At the same time, I wish your struggles would not be. My heart goes out to you all.

… to all those who knows and acts from the understanding that one person cannot do it all, but every person can do something. We all have the possibility to make a difference, and together, we can move mountains.

… to all those who stick to their worldview, even when times are tough. Who see the need to act according to ones values, treating a fellow human being as a fellow human being, whether or not she’s the first or hundredth who comes knocking, desperate, in need of a hand’s up.

… to life, to love, to laughter. I give thanks that I get to live a life and do work that matters, in these exciting and challenging times where the possibilities as well as the difficulties are endless. Together we determine the future of humankind, through our beings and actions.

live love laugh

Imagine what might happen if we all started to act more like a kind human, living, loving, laughing? What if, we would shower ourselves, our fellow human beings and the world we live on, with kindness?

Welcome to my new website!
Since 2012 I have blogged over at and this post is a sample of what I’ve been writing over the years. I hope you enjoy this #ThrowbackThursday, originally published here, and if you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts.

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A rediscovery of my Self

January 9, 2016
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It’s three am in the morning. I cannot sleep. Something wants to come out, and I let myself follow the urge, the need, to sit down with my computer, to let it out.

It’s the rediscovery of the Self. Of my Self.

Slowly, bits and pieces of me, left by the roadside, by myself, for one reason or another, are rediscovered. Like long lost friends, meeting up again after ten years, twenty, thirty… possibly even forty. I am that old. Forty three. Physical years. And there are bits and pieces of my Self, that I’ve left behind. Thinking I had to. Believing they were not ok. Not desired. Or desirable. Not wanted. By anyone.

Oh. My precious Self.

How misguided of me, to ever believe that any part of me, of my Self, didn’t have a place in my life.
Misguided. Innocently misguided. No judgement. Stating fact.
Holding no harshness within, as I rediscover my Self, piece by piece.

Tenderly, I hold myself, while reflecting on my Self. It’s the process of self-reflection.

Rediscovering my Self, while journeying within, inviting insights and discoveries.

Welcoming any and all. Welcoming back.

My long lost Self.

How precious you are.

MylonglostSelfAnd how my experience of life widens, expands, as I meet the world a fuller me. More whole.

Not because I was ever broken.

I do not believe human beings are ever broken. We just get lost underneath the trappings of shoulds, musts, wants. Huge parts of my Self got lost along the way. As the expectations of my surroundings – of my self, of what I should be, must be, would be – grew, the less of me shone through. Misguidedly thinking something else, something different, needs to come on top of that which is me, my Self.

And as I built the image of myself, slowly crafting a persona, parts of my Self got hidden, deep inside.

The process is like the rediscovery of a trunk full of photographs from generations passed, up in the attic. Dusty. Coated in spider-web. With that parched feeling to it, not having been replenished by the moisture and oil off the human skin, of hands gently caressing and passing photos along, to browse, to reflect, to revive, for eons. Always there. But forgotten, hidden away, not out of spite, but simply because box after box of stuff was put up in the attic. Making that precious trunk recede further and further into the background. A faded memory, like a photo slowly degrading from exposure to the sun…. fading, dissolving, disappearing.

A rediscovery of my Self.
Gently peeling away those externally or internally mandated layers, diminishing the light that is me. The light of the specific wavelength constituting my Self. Being expressed in the world distortedly. Through a filter. Many filters. Years of adding one filter upon another, fooling even myself into thinking what came out was my true wavelength. Thinking that’s the way I radiate in the world.

And now. Something completely different. As filter after filter is removed, the wavelength of my inner light shines a path ahead, guiding me towards more rediscovery of the Self. The Self that’s always been there. Waiting for me to reconnect. Oh, the joy of seeing the light radiate from within me, my inner light, my Self.

My long lost Self.

Welcome home.
I have missed you, and promise to take better care of you this time around. You are too precious to me ever to get lost again.

Having rediscovered how rich life is, meeting the world a fuller me, I look forward to explore and discover, to expand into that which is – as yet – unknown to me.

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