Monthly Archives February 2019

Narrowing my focus

Narrowing my focus

February 12, 2019
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Gown off; my intention for the year. Gown off, as in as I am.

How will this show up to the world?

Well… the year is young, and there’s plenty of time for this to develop in ways unknown to me right now. What I am busy doing though, is making sure that what you see more genuinely reflects me as I am. I want to make sure I show up as I am both in 3D and online, so I am creating congruency between these arenas. Working on updating my website as well as my profile on LinkedIn. But am also using both Instagram and Facebook slightly differently, including my Facebook Live’s.

Working on my LinkedIn profile, and so much more with my coach Dave Kibby; it was in a session with him that gown off was revealed to me (us).
Had a hoot of a day in a photo session with photographer Anders Roos, to take new photos of me. As I am.
Spent a day cutting my soon-to-be-released podcast together with audio producer Søren Lassen Andreassen, getting raw cuts of twenty-two episodes finished. With musician Olof Jennfors putting the final touches to the soundtrack, I look forward to release my first-ever (own) podcast in a few weeks time! More on that, in due time.

Everything for everyone isn’t the best of business ideas, and it’s definitely not mine, as I am also getting much clearer with who I want to work with, separating them from those I can work with. The former is a smaller part of the latter, which means I am narrowing my focus, which feels great!

Who I want to work with? You! Given that you are a person who wants to do the work, to change, to expand. You, if you are a person ready to show up in the world as you are. Are you?

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With a little help from my friends… or with money?

February 11, 2019
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When I have a need, say of a long ladder so the chimney sweeper coming for his annual visit can get up on the roof, or a car for a few hours or a day, or help to take care of Pop the cat for a few days, or whatever really – my first instinct is to think about my friends. Might there amongst them be someone who can help me, or at least point me in a direction that could solve my problem/tend to my need?

I think it always has been my initial reaction. But I’m not sure.
I know I started to get really good at asking for help once my first marriage crashed and burned five weeks before the birth of my eldest child. Have a hard time to recall if I was as good at asking for help before that, but have a feeling I was. At least pretty good at it. But ever since that crash and burn, I’ve gotten really good at asking for help, and am proud of it!

The other possible reaction is to look for a service provider to tend to the need. Buy a ladder. Call a taxi or book a car in a carpool. Get Pop a few days vacation at a cattery.

These two approaches to life, and to solving one’s needs, are just that, two different approaches. I for one instinctively go for the first, and if that doesn’t work out, choose a suitable service provider to ensure I get my needs met. Neither approach is inherently good or bad. But… at the same time, the benefits of the first approach, of asking near and dear ones for help, has some (perhaps not so) hidden advantages to it. If I ask you for help, and you can help, the likelihood of you asking me, or others, for help when you need it increases. In this way, we weave a tapestry of relationship, of friendship, of live, concern and care. If I always turn to a professional service provider to help me out, I am effectively not weaving myself into that tapestry of mutual relationships, and I think that’s a dangerous path to choose.

We know that one of the most significant indicators of happiness is the strength of a person’s relationships. Asking for, and responding to requests for, help, is definitely one important part of relationship-building. We are better together, that’s the superpower of human beings. If I don’t do my bit in giving others the chance to help me, I am holding back on strengthening relationships not just for my own sake, but also for those close to me, am I not? And what message am I sending, by not asking for help? Is it a signal I want to send?

So perhaps… I am wrong in saying there’s nothing inherently good nor bad in these two approaches? Perhaps there is more good to be had from asking for help, than from paying a service provider? At least if I never ever ask anyone for help. But perhaps people like that simply do not exist?

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In pain.

February 10, 2019
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Friday morning it started. Again. My lower back pulsating, sending small hints that soon, in a few hours or at most a day, there will be massive pain, making me so weak that getting out of bed, putting socks on, or sitting down is a major hassle. A painful hassle.

Lying on heated wheat bags, with hips/legs in a 90 degree angle to alleviate the pain.

I know to be in motion when this happens. To not freeze on account of the pain, but rather the opposite. To move as much as I can, to stand, dance, wiggle my body, apply heat (or cold, but heat is so much nicer…) and whatever other ways to try to get through the pain incident as quickly as I can. 

It used to be my neck. Freezing up every now and then… and I finally got the message: speak out, because you’re holding something vital back, that needs to be communicated. Once I got the message, I picked up on the cues, and as I often (always?) knew what it was I was holding back, and to whom, this problem has all but disappeared.

Now it’s my lower back. And it has been for a few years. And I haven’t gotten the message. I’ve gotten a strengthening program for my core, and that’s helped, but out of the blue (or so I thought until today), this back pain would flare up, making life really painful for a few days.

Invited to lunch at D’s place, I knocked, stepped in and exclaimed: my back is killing me! He continued cooking, we talked, we ate (oh my, delicious doesn’t even begin to describe D’s cooking!), had tea, and then he asked if I wanted to work with him on my back. An offer too good to decline.

I showed him, the difficulty I had in leaning down to touch the floor, and with a sense of disgust told him about the sensation of being totally weak, lacking strength and control of my lower back, effectively stopping me from functioning in the world in the way I normally do.

So we got to work.
Him asking. Me responding.
Him paying very close attention to the energies, where they took me, what they had me do.
Scratch my forehead.
Peck on his knee with my finger.
He had me describing the pain; the location of it; the size of it; the shape of it; the sensation of it.

For an hour (or so?! I don’t know…) we continued, with me sensing into the pain, discovering the connection to old Helena (the one I was, before… The one that started to transform into new Helena, i.e. me, a few weeks before the birth of my first child) as well as Warrior Helena, my longings, needs, fears. Delving into my relationship to these two archetypes of Me, as well as noticing the shifting sensation in my back. Melancholy, tears, disgust, disappointment, the disembodied feeling of being a Brain and a Body rather than an integrated Being. Coming to understand the need to make allies with both old Helena and Warrior Helena.

That’s the message.
With the neck, my body told me to communicate with others.
With the lower back, my body is telling me to communicate with me. All of me. All aspects of me. To make all parts of me my allies, and not enemies, or parts to be ignored, taken for granted or be ashamed of. 

It’s hard to put into words, but in a gentle way a lot of ground was covered, a lot of work done. When done, D asked: How’s the back now? I smiled at him, wiggled about on the sofa a bit, afraid to show him what I believed to be true: that the pain was gone. So after stalling for a while – wanting to live in the hope that what I sensed from my lower back was true, rather than the fear of trying it out only to discover it wasn’t – I stood up, bent over, touched the floor without the least bit of problem or pain, danced around a bit, grinning from ear to ear: The pain is gone. Gone!

Oh!
The relief – the constant background pain, similar to the low-murmuring noise of ventilation. The relief when the pain disappears equal to that which occurs when the ventilation suddenly shuts down.
Amazement – how is this possible? Talking, sensing, doing the work, and all of a sudden, the pain is just gone?
Gratitude – how lucky am I, to have a friend like D. Someone who can help me find out more about myself, the messages my body is desperately trying to tell me, guiding me in the process of discovery. He’s done it before, he’ll do it again.
Wonderment!

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I write. But not lyrics. Yet?

February 9, 2019
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I write.
Not as much as I read. But I write.
Since August 2012 in the form of blogging, before that (and also after) more writing at work… the number of routines, and test protocols and reports of various kinds I’ve written during the years, you’d not want to know, neither would I.

This will be my 2105th blog post (Swedish and English, the latter 20% of the total), and I intend to continue blogging as long as I find value in it. It serves me, and I enjoy it. So I write and will continue writing.

Recently, a glimmer of an opportunity to write lyrics have arisen, and I wonder… how to write lyrics? Lyrics first, and then someone will put music to it? Or music first, and I put lyrics to it? Can I? Should I?

Smile at me, shake my head a bit, and know full well that the answer is this:
Try it. Experiment. Play with it. See what happens, how it unfolds, if there’s something there – it will become obvious. If not, that will also become obvious. Why make it harder than it has to be?

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Automate it!

February 6, 2019
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in Tip
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Automate it, I said, and she frowned. That sounds like robots and stuff, she responded and had me off on a rant about the marvel of automating things, and how it can be robots and stuff, certainly, but also what I make automatic in my life. Like the question Does this serve me? which I’ve asked myself thousands of times since… 2012?

In fact, I’ve asked myself this question so many times, that I no longer have to ask it to answer it. It’s now something I do automatically, whenever (or at least most of the times) I experience a really strong sensation, be it anger, irritation, frustration, fear, sadness, anxiety, worry. Or for that matter extreme elation, joy, curiosity, bubbling eagerness. The script of does this serve me runs automatically, and my response has me make a more conscious decision. It gives me just enough of a pause, or a distance if you will, to be able to observe what I am experiencing and respond to the question.

If the answer is yes I keep on going. If the answer is no sometimes I keep going anyway, taking full responsibility for it, and sometimes (most of the times, I would like to think) I stop, since the pause I’ve given myself gives me a way out somehow.

Insights are amazing. They are one of, if not the best superpowers of human beings. One of the most impactful insights I’ve gotten was that I don’t have to be so hard on myself. Sounds silly almost, but I was actually about… let’s see… 35 years old when I fully got this. So for 35 years, I lived with an extremely harsh inner dialogue. But – and this is important – just because I got the insight, didn’t mean that I automatically stopped being hard on myself. You see, for 35 years, I’d very efficiently built a whole system of neural pathways on how to be hard on myself. And just because I got that insight, those pathways didn’t disintegrate. They didn’t, because neural pathways don’t. (Unless you have a neural degenerative disease of some sort. Luckily, most of us don’t.) So what I had to do, once I got that insight, was learn new ways of interacting with myself.

I was helped along by my willingness to change my inner dialogue (which definitely also affected the way I interacted with everyone else. As above, so below and all that stuff!) and my observatory powers. I started to observe myself being hard on me. At first… it could take me hours (if not days) to spot it, after the fact, that is. After a stint of that, my revelatory observations crept closer and closer to the actual situation, and before I knew it, I was picking up on my soon-to-be-harsh inner dialogue. Before it happened. When that happened, I had a choice. Harsh. Or gentle. And I could pick which route to go down. And once I started picking gentle I started to build new neural pathways, training myself into new patterns of being with me.

Now 10-11 years after that first initial insight of not having to treat myself so harshly, I’ve gotten sooo good at being gentle with me. Not soft. Not weak. Not letting myself off the hook, and never challenging me. No, not even close to that! I challenge myself so much more now that I no longer fear my internal judge! So in a sense, I’ve not just automated does this serve me, but also being gentle with myself.

Both of these are ”automated scripts” that I find truly serve me as well as those around me.

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Follow up – January 2019 – As I am.

February 3, 2019
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I intend to go through my intentions for the year at the end of each month. This gives me a monthly reminder of my intentions as well as ample space for reflection and possible adjustment.

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: 3 runs during January.
  • take cold (outdoors) baths as often as I can – and add to this by taking cold showers: 2 cold baths in January.
  • dance Lindy hop as often as I can (taking a class during the spring, and then there’s the social dancing as well!): no lindy hop in January, but come February my dance class starts!
  • continuing to ride my bike and walk as much as possible: walked 70+ kilometers and biked almost 370 ditto.

* 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: Read 6/75 books. Blogged about The Talent Code which makes for book 1 of 12 in English, and the Swedish counterpart enligt Maria Magdalena
  • 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: Played at least 10 minutes a day during January, and am working on learning those five songs by heart.
  • 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:
  • Just one digital sabbat on 26-27 January. Reminding me that what works for me is if I when I do these reflections set preliminary dates for the two upcoming sabbats, so in Febuary I aim for 12-13 samt 22-23.

* have creation in focus by:

  • booking at least four two-day writing retreats during the year: pondering a few ideas about writing retreats, including the possibility of running a digital retreat?
  • keeping up with daily Facebook Lives for as long as there’s energy in doing it: ✅
  • blog daily: ✅
  • start to pod: Concretizing my intention. In February I will release the pod episodes I recorded this summer…
  • additional intention as of 2FEB2019: release (at least) 4 e-books in 2019

* 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: teacher at Newton vocational college in mapping and documenting processes, recording a pod with Caspian for Yet another conversation (Ännu Ett Samtal), my eldest flew to Sydney, Australien for 10-12 months or so, choir practice has started again, Ladies night at Inga-Lill, we’ve had both snow and rain and it’s been absolutely wonderful, and the cold baths at that, those I truly enjoy. Who would have ever thought that I would so love taking a dip in a freezing cold ocean? How fascinating!

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

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