Monthly Archives December 2018

Good bye 2018…

Good bye 2018…

December 31, 2018
/ / /

Good bye 2018, the year when…

  • I expanded upon the intentions of previous years, from a word to a full sentence: living an intentional digital and analog life, which got a lot of activities and plans, that I’ve been following up on a monthly basis (on the Swedish blog).
  • I started the year with being a teacher at Newton college of higher vocational studies. The course is called Mapping and documenting processes, and the students were Business Analysts IT. Thrilling, challenging and very generative. Am gearing up for a re-run, as I will be giving this course in January of 2019 as well.
  • our divorce was finalized. At the same time, I took over full ownership of the house (with a little help from the bank, of course).
  • I visited Paris for the first time, with the kids, my mother, aunt, brother and nieces. Glorious!
  • my eldest graduated from secondary upper gymnasium. Time sure does fly…
  • I’ve started to explore inner and outer dimensions of myself in new ways. I spent my birthday at a godess weekend course, spent a week at the No Mind-festivalen at Ängsbacka. And towards the end of summer I painted a mandala with Lisa Withlovelisa Rislöw before taking a two-day course in Playful Tantra with Charlotte. Talk about being wowed! So maybe you’ll not be surprised that I’ve also downloaded Tinder…
  • for a full week, I had my lovely Campfire Sisters visiting Sweden.
  • for the better part of 6 months, I’ve been low… which I realized when I stopped being low in the end of October. Not surprising given the past years up’s and down’s, and yet, it feels good “to be back”.
  • I joined the #BusinessBoomUtmaning on Facebook at the beginning of Novemver, and have since done a Facebook Live every day, something I think I will continue doing! It’s fun, expanding and rewarding. Earlier in the fall I recorded my first #TeachingOfTheDay at the bequest of Caspian, and both these activities have gotten me started in many ways.
  • I finally took up swing dancing again, also known as Lindy hop. I absolutely love it and will continue dancing!
  • I got myself a new coach – and boy am I ever curious about what this will generate in 2019! One thing is for sure; I want to coach more than I have these past years, and I very much look forward to this.
  • I let my Upholder tendency run loose (looser than before). This has resulted in…
    * 21 digital sabbats, minimum 24 hours, but a few were 48 hours long
    * 5 ChattyMeals with me as hostess, and one that I took part of as a guest
    * 52 runs, which evens out to one a week, which is what I set my mind to
    * 110 days of practicing the guitar
    * my daily Seven this morning being my 1597th in a row (yes. For 1597 days I have done my morning exercise!). As part of my daily Sevens I’ve also done 2890 burpees (since I started that challenge May 28th 2016 I haven’t gone a day without at least one burpee, and have done a total of 12442 burpees by now).
    * me doing 1597 Headspace meditations, but with a broken run streak. Today was my 108th Headspace in a row. For some reason it’s easier to remember doing my daily Seven than the meditation, so once in a while, I forget a day.
    * I’ve decided to do my German DuoLingo-course daily as well – today was day 157, and there are only 11 lessons left to get to level 2, then I’ve reached level 2 for the full course. There are a total of five levels, so I have my work cut out for me a few more years!
  • And then. The reading. Massive enough to warrant its own bullet.
    I challenged myself to read 100 books in 2018, and I did, last night. Managed to squeeze in one more book this morning, so I have read a total of 101 books in 2018, reading 28 723 pages…
    I added two more challenges to this as well:
    1) to read 26 Swedish and 26 English books, chosen a year ago (books I already had at home), and to blog about them every Sunday on my two blogs. Lats last night I crossed the finishing line, with The Black Swan being the last of the English books.
    2) reading the alphabet in 2018, a challenge I stumbled upon when a lady made a comment on a blog post of mine. I only partly managed this one, reading 21 of 29 letters of author given names, 23 of 29 letters of author surnames, 24 of 29 on book title, but… luckily I managed to read all the letters when combining these three lists, so I did manage to read the entire (Swedish) alphabet, 29 out of 29 letters done!

Now… time to prepare the New Years Eve dinner. I am grateful and happy for this rich and exciting year, and I am pleased to be able to round off this year like this. Reflecting back, with gratitude, giving me a form of closure of the year that’s passed, which makes for a great start-off point for 2019.

With this, I wish you and your loved ones a very happy New Year!

Read More

The Black Swan (book 26 of 26)

December 30, 2018
/ / /

The Black Swan – The impact of the highly improbable, is a book written by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. It is the perfect follow up to Thinking, fast and slow, as Kahneman and Taleb cross-reference each other throughout the two books.

What then, is a Black Swan? In Taleb’s words: “First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme impact (unlike the bird). Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable. I stop and summarize the triplet: rarity, extreme impact, and retrospective (though not prospective) predictability.”

The Black Swans live in Extremistan, whereas most of us humans seem to believe we live our entire lives in Mediocristan: “Mediocristan is where we must endure the tyranny of the collective, the routine, the obvious, and the predicted; Extremistan is where we are subjected to the tyranny of the singular, the accidental, the unseen, and the unpredicted.”

As with Thinking, fast and slow, this is quite the read, not easy, often times mind-boggling to say the least, but greatly helped along by the dry humor inserted here and there – making it a challenging but fun read!

Taleb doesn’t seem to leave a single stone unturned, yet he is clear about the danger in pretending to know what one does not know: “My biggest problem with the educational system lies precisely in that it forces students to squeeze explanations out of subject matters and shames them for withholding judgment, for uttering the ‘I don’t know’.”

With this final book reflection of the year, a year of reaching my goal of reading one hundred books (this one!) as well as reading – and blogging about – 26 Swedish and 26 English books that I decided upon at the start of the year, I am happy to put this book reading challenge to behind me. Urged along by Taleb who writes read books are far less valuable than unread ones I will happily continue to purchase and borrow books, matching my library of read books with my antilibrary, of as yet unread books.

Seneca ended his essays with vale, often mistranslated as ‘farewell’. It has the same root as ‘value’ and ‘valor’ and means both ‘be strong (i.e., robust)’ and ‘be worthy’. Vale.”

Indeed a fitting way to end this year of lots of reading and no less than 52+ book reflections (counting the Swedish ones as well as the English):
Vale.


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

Picked a card

December 25, 2018
/ / /

Picked a Be the change-card. Got Courageousness

It resonates.

Given what is to come, which I’ve started to really know thanks to my new coach, and our (so far) three conversations, courage is a wonderful companion. I have to – want to! – embody courage. Be it. Show it.

Sensing into the card, courageousness is the willingness to be it, with it being anything. To be afraid and still act. To feel ashamed and still speak up. To feel small and not let that feeling stop me from stepping into that which is, always and already.

Always and already, Dominic says. And I love it.
Always and already courageousness is there. Is here.
Am I acting on it? Am I in touch with it? Am I present to it?

FB Live #55 🇬🇧🇺🇸- Picking a cardMore on the #BeTheChangecards here: https://helenaroth.com/be-the-change-cards-and-guidebook/

Publicerat av Helena Roth Måndag 24 december 2018

Read More

Advent Calendar 24 – Letting things unfold

December 24, 2018
/ / /

Coming to a close with my advent calendar on the theme of being gentle I reflect on the process, where these blog posts are a tandem gig, with a Facebook live in Swedish always being the inspiration for the English blog post. Being gentle is a concept dear to me, as the shift from being unkind to gentle towards myself has had a profound impact on being me in the world.

I’ve been doing Facebook lives for 54 days in a row (yes. I am an upholder. No news there!), starting with 21 lives in English on coaching, continuing with no specific theme in mind yet daily until the advent calendar started on December 1st. A few years ago (honestly… likely around seven, or so?), I might well have set up a plan for each day, detailing the content in advance. Now – that’s not how I run. Sometimes I have an idea, but most of the time, it sort of just unfolds. I let the concept of what wants to happen now run wild and crazy, and have a lot of fun being creative and on-the-spot.

All the same, making more of my Facebook lives might very well be something I want to play around with at the start of the year. I will see – and so will you – how it all unfolds from here on.

There are so many ways for me to be gentle with myself; letting things unfold is but one of them. I hope you have found as many or more ways of being gentle with yourself, making it more fun and joyful being You in the world. And with that, I want to wish you a very merry Christmas!


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 24 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

Read More

Advent Calendar 23 – Enjoying the Now!

December 23, 2018
/ / /

Woke up this morning to a white landscape, after having read in the newspaper yesterday that Christmas would be green down south in Sweden where I live. I was elated, and I was most definitely open for the magic of the ordinary, being totally awed by the transformation of the view outside my window.

I’ve shoveled snow! What a treat – and a great everyday workout as an added bonus.

Biked (!) to the grocery store – which is indeed an adventure with 10 cm of snow on the bike path -, did my Facebook Live outside and went for an evening walk, giving myself a thorough dose of the beauty of a snowy landscape. In between all of that, I’ve made vegan and vegetarian dishes for the Christmas Eve smorgasbord (spelled properly, i.e. Swedish: smörgåsbord), listening to Christmas music recorded a few years ago with the choirs of my parish (including mine, so yes, I’m in it).

Fully enjoying every moment. Because that is what there is. The Now. One after another, these Now’s are stacked upon the previous one, and all I ever really have is the Now. So I don’t care that the snow will soon start to melt away, transforming from white snow into greyish slush, turning into ice if and when the temperature drops below zero… as it is, right now, I fully enjoy it!


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 23 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

Read More

Advent Calendar 22 – The magic of the ordinary

December 22, 2018
/ / /

We talked about magic in my podclub. Magic, we concluded, meaning a transformation of sorts, a shift in energy, like an excited-state atom. How (especially young) children are much closer to the magic of the ordinary, able to find awe in most anything. How the beauty surrounding us is available if we are open to it.

At a restaurant eating dinner with my eldest, all of a sudden I started to dance, sitting at the table. In the speakers, I’ve got your Christmas right here by Aloe Blacc started playing, and that’s a song I love. So I started to dance. With my eldest cringing, telling me people might see me, I told her This is something to film and share with the world so I handed her the phone and danced my heart out. Uploaded the clip to Instagram and Facebook, and only made the connection to the magic of the ordinary now. How me hearing this song did but me in an “excited state”, transforming my energy, making me want to dance. So I did. I let magic run its course.

The magic of the ordinary, the awe of life and beauty. Do you let yourself experience the magic of the ordinary? In the beauty of the flower of the orchid? How cute the cat is sleeping on my bed? How the rays of the sun shines through the window of the kitchen? The beauty that is always and already there, to be experienced with awe and wonderment, if only we let it?


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 22 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

Read More

Advent Calendar 21 – Invest in yourself

December 21, 2018
/ / /

I invest in me, with time and money – which actually is time as well. Every krona I spend comes from the time I’ve spent doing work for my customers, billing them and then paying my own salary. I invest a lot in me. The investments I make in myself is how and what I “feed myself”, both mentally, emotionally and physically.

Mentally I feed myself deliberately by listening to podcasts, reading books (94 read so far this year, with a goal of – at least – 100!) and initiating and partaking in conversations of the most diverse kind. I have just hired a new coach and I am investing a lot in myself by retaining him. Feels great! This all helps my mind expand, providing me with more perspectives than ever before, making me more prone to be able to flip things around and not go for the most obvious answers. Building a world of infinite greyscale (the color of wisdom, mind you!) rather than black and white.

Being a part of Mastermind-groups and having colleagues to discuss things with is both a mental and emotional investment. And of course, spending time with those I love is an emotional investment, one that I would like to invest a bit more in, come to think of it.

Physically I invest in myself by doing my morning exercise (today was day 1587 in a row!), biking most everywhere, going for walks (I never suggest lunch or fika-meetings, always suggesting Walk N Talks instead, and CoachTalks for my coaching clients.), jogging once a week and just recently starting to dance lindy hop. I drink my daily green smoothie and love my ginger shot, eating vegetarian food (which works fabulously for me) trying to stay away from food where the contents, the ingredients, aren’t easily understood.

These are but a few of the investments I make in me – and guess what? It feels amazing! And I reflect on what I do to invest in myself now and again because just because I’ve invested in a certain way for a long time, doesn’t necessarily mean that it still is an investment worth the time. Perhaps the return on investment has diminished, perhaps it’s no longer a return I value?

Do you invest in yourself? If so – how? With what? And what’s the return on investment you get from it? And if not – why? What signals does that send, to both you and others?


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 21 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

Read More

Advent Calendar 20 – Time and patience

December 20, 2018
/ / /

My youngest cooked dinner tonight. I had asked him and added the extra challenge that I wanted him to make a new dish, which he did. Once he was finished, and we were eating, astonished he realized a full hour had gone by.

And yes. Of course. Cooking from scratch takes time in and of itself for me as well, but I’ve practiced chopping onion way more than he has. So I told him as much, telling him that’s one of the reasons why I want him to help with cooking dinner. It will give him the necessary practice, and in time, he will get more and more skilled at it. All of it. Deciding what to cook, checking to see that all the ingredients are available, planning what do do when while cooking, and finally the joy of sitting down to eat a homecooked meal.

And yes. Of course. If I had taken over the onion-chopping chore, it would have gone a bit quicker. But that’s where patience comes in. For me. Because if I had taken over, impatient and hungry, he wouldn’t be learning, would he? Things take time. And sometimes those things take patience to endure.

Being gentle has me being patient with myself. And those around me. It’s a vital ingredient of growing, of learning. Letting time work in my favor, allowing skills to get honed. My lindy hop-dancing is another example. I attended a beginners weekend a month ago, and have since attended four social dance events, held Wednesdays in my hometown. Have signed up for the B-level class in the spring, and so look forward to it. Because I know, that with a gentle mind, time and patience, I will get better at it. I mean, I am already better than I was a month ago, because practice makes if-not-perfect, then at least better. Without the two factors of time and patience (and curiosity, a willingness to learn, to try, to learn from mistakes and many other factors of learning!) learning would not happen, as I wouldn’t be giving myself a chance to learn.

And I want to. I love learning new stuff! (You too?)


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 20 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

Read More

Advent Calendar 19 – Boost!

December 19, 2018
/ / /

In my Mastermind-group every second or third meeting we round off with a boost session, and I love it. Each person has their moment in the spotlight, with the rest of us taking turns appreciating the person in the hot seat. We’ve been going at Masterminding for 6 full years by now, and I’ve gotten good at both aspects – the giving as well as the receiving.

I know giving boost to someone is an act that might scare people. Others might be scared at receiving it.

But scary?
Well. I would challenge that, and say that it’s really about not being used to it. Because there’s nothing to fear. There’s no danger in it. And the more I practice, the better I get. With that, comes the lessened sense of feeling scared…

The gift of a boost can also be lessened by trying to reciprocate in the moment. If I am told Oh Helena, I love the way your mind works, it gives me new perspectives, and say, wholeheartedly, Thank you, really letting the boost land, sink in, reverberate within, the gift of the boost has been fully acknowledged. If, instead, perhaps I say Oh, well, thanks, but you give me new perspectives too, it’s almost as if I belittle the gift. As if I cannot receive without reciprocating in kind – which has the negative side-effect of people not really knowing if I truly mean what I say, or not.

Giving. Receiving.
Acts of kindness, both, whether or not it concerns boosts, or other things.
If one or the other makes you feel a but uncomfortable – practice. Give if you don’t really know how to. Receive if that makes you cringe. Because… when I give, someone else gets to receive. And when I receive, someone else gets to give.


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 19 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

Read More

Advent Calendar 18 – Make a great day!

December 18, 2018
/ / /

When I first met Inga-Lill, now a close friend of mine, I heard her say Make a great day. It made me aware of the difference between Have and Make. Have a great day, is more passive, where as Make a great day, is active, and gives me power forward. It makes me more aware of my own power to create my day, to act with intention, and to take my responsibility to ensure my day is great.

The difference is in the words… or rather, in the meaning I put on them. The difference, for me, between have and make, might not be the same for you.

I got a comment on my daily Facebook Live where I spoke about this (in Swedish). The gist of it: it’s nice to be able to move between having and making. Sometimes, to lean back and wait for the day to unfold, seeing what it will offer. Other times, to more actively create one’s day.

And I totally agree! Sometimes I don’t want to make my day, just letting myself have it. But I don’t want to presume what others might want or need, so generally, I do go for Make when I greet people or bid them farewell. A Make a great day! also tends to jolt people out of their habitual state of not-being-fully-present. Make a great day is still uncommon enough, that most have never heard it. Had I said Have a great day! I am sure many would not have given it a second thought. But when I say Make a great day! I know from experience and the response it generates, that most people do give it a second thought. And that short pause – of truly noticing what was said – might be the difference that makes a difference to ensure that is a day made great.


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 18 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

Read More