Monthly Archives January 2019

A structure to achieve my intentions

A structure to achieve my intentions

January 21, 2019
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in Tip
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Facebook reminded me about a post I made three years ago… that had me a bit confused because I’d forgotten about it. It was a post about 36 books I wanted to read in 2016, with an “I will likely be blogging about some of them” as an aside.

Facebook Live #80 ūüáĪūüá∑ūüá¨ūüáß – Intentions and what makes them transform into action

Facebook Live #80 ūüáĪūüá∑ūüá¨ūüáß – Intentions and what makes them transform into action

Publicerat av Helena Roth Lördag 19 januari 2019

Wanna wager if I succeeded or not?

Well. I didn’t. Not in 2016. Because I hadn’t set up the necessary structure to achieve my intention. So I bombed. However, the similar intention I set in 2018 was a success (reading 26 + 26 books in English and Swedish respectively, and to blog about one of them every Sunday), and I’ve set up a similar structure for 2019:
1) A Goodreads reading challenge (75 books to be read in 2019). I use Goodreads to keep track of the books I read, and what my progress is, so I visit the website at least a few times every week, if not daily.
2) I wrote my intention for the year of 2019-blog post, and in it, I wrote about both the #goodreadsreadingchallenge, but also about the 12 + 12 English/Swedish books I will read this year, and that I will be blogging about two of these books every month.
3) at the end of each month, I will be posting a follow-up-post on the yearly intentions, keeping track of how I am doing. This is a vital part, because it has me reminding myself about my specific intentions at least on a monthly basis. So if all else fails, at the end of the month (or the start of the next month) I will get a kick-in-the-behind to get on track again.
4) I have these 12 + 12 books in my bedroom bookcase, and I look at them every morning and evening.

Do you help yourself achieve your intentions through the structures you design and put in place, and if so, how?

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Yes. And No.

January 15, 2019
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I’ve gotten good at saying yes.
Perhaps a bit too good at it?

I mean… it’s great fun to say Yes. And what I say Yes to are things that are thrilling, exciting, challenging and will definitely cause me to both¬†expand and learn.

And honestly, saying No isn’t half as fun as saying Yes.
Still, of course, I say No when that’s what’s needed. If nothing else, Noes can make room for me to say a wholehearted Yes. If my calendar is completely full, saying Yes might be harder, or even impossible.

Lindy Hop, a definitive a Yes for 2019!

But… really? I m p o s s i b l e?

No. Not impossible. Wrong choice of word.
Harder is enough.

If my calendar is full, I might have to reschedule stuff, and/or say No to things I’ve already said Yes to, or… say No to things I would love to say Yes to because I have too many half-hearted yeses¬†in my agenda.

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Should I create and curate The Ultimate Podcast list?

January 12, 2019
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Caspian asked me if I had any podcast episodes to recommend to him… and I had to stop myself after sending him links to 5-6 shows. I could have kept going for a long time. I told him Perhaps I should set up a top-100-list¬†and he cheered me on. So the question of the day is:¬†Should I create The Ultimate¬†Podcast list by Helena Roth?¬†

It does entice me. There are just sooo¬†many wonderful podcast episodes I’ve listened to. I’ve blogged about a lot of them, and that is a good starting point for my list, of course. I listen to pods in both English and Swedish though, so possibly I should have two lists? Maybe, maybe… If so, I will start with the English one, because I’ve got a bigger reservoir of great pods in English.

Off the top of my head, I can easily pick five podcast episodes to start off my 100-list:

#053 Gabor Maté РDamaged leaders rule an addicted world at Under the skin with Russell Brand

How friendship and quiet conversation transformed a white nationalist at On Being 

What borders are really about, and what we do with them (especially the [Unedited] Luis Alberto Urrea) at On Being

The problem with the solution at Invisibilia

Juggling and bicycles at AKIMBO: A podcast from Seth Godin

So yeah.
I think I will create my Ultimate List. I won’t do it in this blog post though. Rather, I will create it as a separate blog post that I will be updating on a regular (or irregular) basis. I will (likely) also be blogging about each episode making the cut. Which is fun, because the five episodes I rattled off the top of my brain, are as yet un-blogged. Goodie – I will have no end of blog-ideas in other words!

What’s your best ever podcast episode? Perhaps one that you’ve listened to over and over again? Possibly one that left you all shook up, in the best of ways? Let me know – perhaps it will make the cut!

 

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Winners take all

January 9, 2019
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Winners take all. The first read of the year (book 1 of 75). Written by Anand Giridharadas. Subtitled The elite charade of changing the world. I borrowed it from the library on account of it being the book for the GIFTED book club meet up.

Got it. Started reading. And bam. Bam. Baaaam! Punch after punch in the face, in the stomach, and yet another in the face. That’s how it felt reading it. As if I’ve viewed the world facing forward, and all of a sudden I’m invited to view it from the side, gaining a completely new perspective on it.¬†And then the best part: Thanks to D during our book club conversation, I was afforded yet another view of the world, from the back this time, making me have even more perspectives to ponder.

As I sit here, looking a the pages I marked with bits and pieces that spoke to me – after the GIFTED-conversation, somehow these paragraphs have a different taste to them now. I see beyond, or perhaps, between the lines?

“Inspire the rich to do more good, but never, ever tell them to do less harm; inspire them to give back, but never, ever tell them to take less; inspire them to join the solution, but never, ever accuse them of being part of the problem.”

So here I am. Left with a deeper understanding (if nothing else, a deeper understanding of the fact that there’s more than meets the eye, and I have so much more to learn!) and an even greater appreciation of different perspectives. My ability, or perhaps, willingness (?), to put myself in a position to hear what others see, understand, like and dislike, is increasing. Which in turn has me learn even more… a positive spiral that keeps reinforcing itself.

Next book, next book club conversation – yes please!

 

 

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Do you worry?

January 8, 2019
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Do you worry?, they asked, and I said No. I don’t worry.¬†

You see, worry is one of those feelings I don’t see any point in engaging with. Now, of course I can feel worried at times, but when I pick up on the sentiment, I release it. Just let it be. The biggest reason (besides not seeing how worry serves me or anyone else) is that worry hurts.

Worry is like a¬†molded¬†glass, that upon breaking splinters into a billion tiny, extremely sharp, shards.¬†That’s how worry feels. Both to feel, and to be the recipient of, i.e. regardless if I am the worrier or the one worried about. I don’t want a billion tiny sharp shards directed at me, and¬†don’t want to direct them at anyone else either.

Rather than worry, I do feel concern. Concern, for me, has a totally different vibe to it. It’s not sharp and dangerous at all. It’s softer, gentler, it’s warm and caring. And I would much rather be concerned about someone than worry about them.

What about you? Do you worry?

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12 English books to read in 2019

January 5, 2019
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in Tip
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The sub-challenge of 2018 to read 26 English (as well as¬†26 Swedish) books was enjoyable, to the extent that I will do a version of it this year as well. So I’ve chosen 12 English (and 12 Swedish) books that were in my home come New Years, that I will read in 2019. Just like in 2018, I will blog about these on Sundays, once a month/blog. Besides this sub-challenge, my overall reading challenge for 2019 is to read (a minimum of) 75 books, and you can tag along on my reading journey over on my¬†Goodreads-profile.

A fairly good mix this year as well, and I look forward to getting acquainted with each and every one of them. Three of these I have had warming my bookshelves for quite a few years (Hargreaves/Fullan, Als√©n/Troedson and Yunus) but the rest I got in 2018. I have learned my lesson from last year, and will not hold back on reading “the heavy books” until the end of the year, that’s for sure. And the heavy artillery is here, in the English section, I don’t think there are any really heavy reads amongst the Swedish ones (but hey. Who am I to guess?).

Sara gave me Lame deer; D suggested Tarnas; Hargreaves/Fullan I picked up during my school activist-days; I bought Ben David at √Ąngsbacka during a workshop she held; Homo Deus I ordered before I finished¬†Sapiens because I wanted to read this one as well; Don’t Panic I bought directly from Troed; my sister, and others, praise this Murakami¬†as being his best so when I stumbled upon it at a second-hand shop, I figured I’d give it a go. Banker for the poor is, embarrassingly enough, probably an illegal book copy I bought on the streets of Mumbai ten years ago; Clapton’s guitar I found at another second-hand shop in Karlskrona during a rare in-the-flesh-Mastermind-meeting; Coyle has been recommended to me; Whitehead was my pick from the rewards for having read and reviewed¬†x number of books for the library’s “Summer book-challenge”; and finally: A fine balance. This book is special. Since I read it (in 98? 96? In Thailand anyway, visiting my brother.) I’ve pegged as the best book I’ve ever read. (Funnily enough, my brother says the same, and still does, I brought it up with him this week when we FaceTimed.) I have yet to re-read it, but when it showed up on the shelves of a second-hand store, I thought the time has come to do just that. And to ensure I will read it thoroughly it’s also my chosen book for the Gifted book club. I wonder: will I still think it’s the best book I’ve ever read after my re-read?

Have you read any of the books above, and if so, what did you think of it/them?

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A dip in the sea

January 4, 2019
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Headed for town, but before I took off on my bike, I packed a towel. Just in case.¬†After recording a pod and having lunch with and at Caspian’s I decided: Yes. Today is the day for the first dip in the sea of the year.

So I rode to the pier farthest from town, the one designated for skinny dipping. Parked my bike, took a picture and started to undress. Gloves, beanie, winter coat. Shoes, jeans, long johns, woolen socks. Woolen sweater, long tee, and my woolen undershirt. Off it goes. All of it.

As I pull my sweater over my head, a door to a somewhat surreal universe cracks open.

Grabbed my towel and headed out to the pier.
Sunny, windy, 5 degrees tops. Probably the same temperature in the water.

Tie my towel to the pier to stop it from blowing away.
Waves.
Slippery staircase, hold on tight.

And in I go.
Hesitate… and I would never do it.
So I just take one step after the other, until I am up to my neck in the ocean.

Cold. Yes. Shockingly cold.
Fully manifest in that other universe. The am-I-really-doing-this-and-can-this-really-be-happening-universe.

Hyperventilate while two waves crash into me, then get out. One step after the other, until I am up on the pier again.

In¬†the other universe,¬†I get out, cold and wet… and all of a sudden, my skin starts tingling. The chill vanishes, the wind disappears, time seems to stop, and I am totally present to the beauty of it all.

The ocean.
The sun.
The wind.
The vastness.
And last, but not least, to myself. For doing it.
Living. Fully!

Grab my towel and rub off, while taking my time walking to the bike and my clothes.

Slowly emerging from the alternate universe, I dress, happy, pleased, not feeling any cold whatsoever.

My soul sings!
I did it.
First dip in the ocean this year, and I know this dip will be followed by many others.

Who would have known that taking a (cold) dip in the sea would let me travel to another universe?
Who would have known a dip in the sea would fill me with this most wondrous feeling?
How will you know, if you would experience something like it unless you give it a shot?

 

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Listening within

January 2, 2019
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Oh…

Sitting down.
On the sofa.
After a very productive day.

Did the daily rituals, and the preparations for a 3-week course I am holding starting next week, and took a bike ride, and spent time with the eldest (soon off to Australia for the better part of a year. Better make the most of the time that’s left!), and started a new knitting project (Delightful, the shawl), and filled in the forms for an insurance claim, and, and, and…

Only to stop. Suddenly.
Realizing I’ve hardly breathed all day. All year.
2019 started off with me high on energy, like a Duracell bunny, going, going, going, going, going…

And I love it. I enjoy being high on energy. But I also love to reset myself. When I let me just be.¬†Listening within… I breathe in. Out. In. Out.

Close my eyes and let myself sink into Now. Here. The isness of life.

All the books I want to read this year (no less than 75), the blog posts I want to write (all 365 of them), the burpees I want to make (a burpee a day keeps the doctor away), the meditations I want to do (Headspace ftw), the runs I want to run (no less than 75, same as for the books), the Pok√©mons I want to catch, the bike rides I want to take, the dates I want to have, the laughs and the cries I want to have, the podcasts I want to listen to…

It’s all there. In the future.
As it should be.
But right now, I can let it all go, and just be. Right here. Right now.
(Because Now is all there really is.)
No musts. No wants even.
Only the soft inhalation making my body expand, followed by the equally soft exhalation, body contracting.
Like the waves of the ocean, gently lapping the pebbled beach.

Listening within I pick up on the message, spoken in a low and gentle whisper:
It’s time to go to bed. Rest. Recharge. Reset.

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2019. As I am.

January 1, 2019
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As I am. 

I asked my friend D¬†to translate “gown off” into Swedish. “Gown off” popped up in my first conversation with my new coach. I described the general feeling of that conversation, and somehow¬†D¬†managed, as so often (always?), put words to that which goes unspoken.

So all of a sudden, “gown off” turned into “as I am”, which feels spot on. This is how I step into 2019, filled with energy and curiosity, with champagne bubbles coursing through my entire body, eager and ecstatic¬†to experience all that is to come,¬†“as I am”. Naked. Raw. Intimate. With power and pleasure.

2019. The year when I will…
* have my bodily wellbeing in focus by:

  • continuing with my daily Seven accompanied by burpees
  • Headspace daily
  • run a minimum of¬† 75 runs
  • take cold (outdoors) baths¬†as often as I can – and add to this by taking cold showers
  • dance¬†Lindy hop¬†as often as I can (taking a class during the spring, and then there’s the social dancing as well!)
  • continuing to ribe my bike and walk as much as possible

* have my mental and spiritual wellbeing in focus by:

  • reading at least 75 books, of which 12 in Swedish and 12 in English already have been chosen. These 12 + 12 I will be blogging about.
  • learn at least five songs by heart including lyrics on the guitar, which will be made possible by my aim at ten minutes of guitar playing on a daily basis
  • I will let the wonderful book¬†The book of Awakening¬†by Mark Nepo be my daily companion
  • hold digital 24-hour sabbats at least twice a month

* have creation in focus by:

  • booking at least four two-day writing retreats during the year
  • keeping up with daily¬†Facebook Lives¬†for as long as there’s energy in doing it
  • blog daily
  • start to pod

* have financial husbandry in focus by:

  • sowing, sowing and sowing a little bit more; on a weekly basis intentionally work on my various income streams
  • keep tabs on my set invoicing goal on a monthly basis
  • keep an accounts book on private income and expenses

And finally – on all levels – experiment and play, experience pleasure and exploring and challenging myself, all the while being gentle to myself!

2019. Here I come. As I am. Gown off! 

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