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Who am I and why am I here?

Who am I and why am I here?

February 9, 2016
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Who am I?
A question that can be answered in so many different ways its almost ridiculous.

I can look at it through a very narrow lens. Then I might say that I am a woman, a mother, a wife, someone who loves to read and write. A cat-lover and hobby gardener.

If I zoom out a bit more, a possible answer could be that I am a change agent and professional coach, a person with a keen interest in the school debate, determined to make a positive impact on earth during my life time.

If I zoom out as far as possible, I am a soul amongst other souls, here to share and care for all that has been, all that is, and all that will be. There is a part of all that is within me, while at the same time I am a part of all that is.

So why am I here then? What is my why?
Another question that can be answered on many different levels.
The narrow lens informs me I want to be there for my loved ones and live a good life.
Zooming out, I want to make a difference, be of service. Generate some type of lasting value. Minimize the negative effects I have on planet earth.

If I zoom out all the way to the end, I am here to learn that which is mine to learn, in this life. I am here to live the understanding I have, that all there is, is love. There are no broken souls, there’s no one and no thing to fix, all there is, is love. All I can do, is love. Living life, in and out of love, manifests a better world for all into creation.

Two years ago, I would not have been able to zoom out this far. I wasn’t there. Yet.
Two years ago, I did not know that I am here to live my understanding that all is love.
An understanding birthed into being a beautiful day on the beaches of Santa Monica, California. Birthed into being with the gentle yet poignant questions of my coach, acting as midwife.

The world exploded into a bubble of love, and life as I know it, hasn’t been the same since.lovebubble

Welcome to my new blog at helenaroth.com. I have previously blogged at herothecoach.com. That’s where you will find all new Swedish posts. All my English posts will be published here, from now on. If you enjoyed this read, please subscribe to updates (in the column to the right), that way you will get all new posts delivered to your email inbox.

 

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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, Alsén/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 Ängsbacka 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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Advent Calendar 3 – Letting my body sing with joy

December 3, 2018
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The importance of being in physical motion isn’t new to anyone reading this. Of this I am so sure I’d be willing to bet money. However – many of us (including me!) aren’t in motion even close to the amount we need, to do our bit to ensure wellbeing in all ways, physical as well as mental and spiritual. Because they are connected, as we as human beings are an integrated system, not a body separated from our mind.

I don’t have a car anymore (not since 2014), and live in Malmö in Sweden, which is a city well attuned to riding bikes as well as walking and with a fairly ok-functioning public transportation system. As I don’t need a car to get to work, being without a car works just peachy for me. And if I need one, I have friends who are wonderful, as they let me borrow theirs if possible. And if that fails, there’s always Sunfleet carpool.

If possible, I do use my bike, so this morning, when I had a walk n talk at a park in the center of town, I rode my bike there and back. All in all this means I have gotten two hours of movement in my body, and my body loves it. But not just my body – it’s the perfect “cure” for ensuring mental movement as well. As Anna Tebelius Bodin told me and the others at a seminar last week, just by standing up, our human brains are alerted. They wake up, going “What’s up? I am ready for what ever may come!”. Our brains were evolved to our current functionality approximately 40 000 years ago, when human beings were in almost constant movement, at least 17-18 000 steps per day. So when these ancestors of ours finally did sit down, their brains were allowed to take a rest. So the way us modern humans live and work today, with many if not most of us, being practically immobile for hours upon hours, sitting in front of a computer screen, or a lecture for that matter, we are not giving our brains an optimal setting to ensure learning. Because just by sitting down, the brain has already entered rest mode.

In the spring of 2017, my body all of a sudden started to tell me it wasn’t satisfied with “just” walking and biking any more. It told me to start to jog. Me, jog? Well… if the body tells me so, who am I to disagree, right? So I started to jog, slowly, and set a goal for myself this year of jogging at least every week. Which I have done, except for weeks when I’ve had a cold, but then I do two jogs the next week to compensate.

Come spring of 2018, my body whispered more and more, that it wanted about 10-20 kilometers of movement a day. So I’ve listened. Letting my body sing with joy at being able to move, at wanting to move, of being used the way it is meant to be used – for movement. That makes me feel great!


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 3 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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The Great Misunderstanding (book 22 of 26)

November 4, 2018
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in Tip
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The Great Misunderstanding, by Premananda, is a book that my pod-leader from my Supercoach Academy training in 2014 talked to me about on our third physical meetup, in London. I don’t remember how me and Phil to to talk about it, but as he lives locally, he said he’d bring it the next day, or possibly the next meetup (which took place in Santa Monica a couple of months later), I can’t remember which. Anyhow, both me and Phil forgot, until SCA was over…. so one day, I got a package in the post, and it was this book, gifted me by Phil!

“You don’t have to do anything to be who you are.”

Since then (holy moly, had to count on my fingers, but it’s been f o u r years!), I’ve been planning on reading it, but… you know the drill. I must say, actually reading books I’ve intended to read for years on end has most definitely been one of the greatest perks of my 26 Swedish and 26 English books-challenge. Such a fulfilling side-effect that I will be doing some kind of version of this challenge next year as well!

“Projection means to imagine that another is responsible for something that goes on inside you. If you want to put an end to suffering in your life you have to take responsibility for it. It has nothing to do with anybody out there. Realising that is a very big step because we spend most of our time projecting onto others and blaming them for our misery.
Putting an end to our habit of projection involves looking honestly at our behaviour and patterns, without judgment and opinion. we don’t have to change them; we just have to see them. As soon as they are seen they are not just automatic anymore. We stop being robotic, no longer just victims of our conditioning, and we become present with life as it actually is, not as we imagine it to be.”

Supercoach Academy is grounded in the Three Principles, a simple way of describing that which, in my understanding, is the common thread of most (if not all?) – major – religions, namely the creation and experience of being a human on Earth. This is also what Premananda talks about in The Great Misunderstanding, with a focus on the fact that we are not separate, but rather, we are one.

The Great Misunderstanding is an easy read, a mix of input/information, conversations and jokes. All pointing to the same thing, that a strong identification with an ‘I’, to a large extent makes life difficult. Unnecessarily difficult.

“You are here on this planet to be empowered, to be beautiful, to be whoever you are supposed to be and to manifest this in the world. Do your dance, whatever it is. It’s not so difficult. You just have to remember who you are and surrender to that, trust it.”

I like what I read, even though it’s not exactly news to me, any of it. But it points me towards something that I know to be true, that I revel in, a space, a silence, an understanding, that has me “coming home” in a way, remembering who I am, and surrendering to it.

“Life itself is a mirror. […] Everything that happens in life is an opportunity to know yourself. In our modern society most people are simply not interested to know who they really are.”

I don’t know that to be true, that people aren’t interested to know who they really are. I think many are, but feel both scared and alone in this search, not knowing who to look towards, whom to be guided by. It’s like reflection, a practice that most people seem to have forgotten about, forgotten how it’s done, when, why. Possibly it’s the same with “knowing who I am” – there might not be enough people around who are interested in this question (who am I?) and talk about it so we can be inspired and guided by them? I want to believe that, rather than “no one is interested”.

“[…] everybody arrives on this planet with an invitation around their neck saying something like ‘welcome – have fun’, but unfortunately it seems to fall off in many cases.”

Welcome – have fun!
Now isn’t that a lovely way to greet life and every single day with?


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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Wholeheartedness – Reflection March ’17

March 1, 2017
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Another month of having wholeheartedness as my intention for the year. During this month, I’ve been deliberately trying to step out from a middle man position that I’ve put myself in. I’ve been encouraged to, in some ways, but I cannot put the responsibility on anybody but myself. Sometimes I volunteer, and sometimes I’m invited to step into the situation, as a middle man, a go-between, a translator of sorts, but I am the one who accepts or rejects the proposition. And I’ve started to reject it. To say No, I won’t do this, anymore. It’s not good for me, and it’s not good for you either. It has me meddling in business that’s not mine to meddle in.

middle manI do find it challenging though… I’ve done it for so long, it feels very normal to do, and I experience a certain amount of discomfort when I don’t.

Lots of thoughts whirling around in my head, thoughts that generate a feeling of fear, of anxiety, of worry. Both for the people that are involved, but also for myself.

Who am I, if I am not the middle man? What space will open up for me, when I let go of this meddling? What might come of it?

There is both excitement and fear there – because who am I, to you, if I am not “assisting you” in this? Will you no longer depend on me (no, that’s the whole point, duh!)? Am I then no longer important to you?

And you – what will you do with the space that’s opening up, when I no longer inhabit it? Will any of you step into it? Take on the responsibility yourselves, for communicating in such a way that translation is no longer necessary? Speak, and listen, listen and speak, until you are in agreement of what it is you, both of you, are trying to convey? Making sure there’s respect for the feelings of the other, even if there might not be understanding – because the striving for understanding often seems to push you two farther apart, more than anything else? 

And there I go again… getting into – rather than stepping out of – it. So I remind myself – again – to let go. Because the only way for something new to come into this equation, if for me to let go, in order to let come that which wants to happen.

Breathe in, a long, deep, slow breath… and slowly let go, of my position as middle man. It’s served me, and you, to some extent. But it is time to let it go, hard as it might be. Or, for that matter, perhaps it might not be hard at all?

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Wholeheartedness

January 1, 2017
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As I pondered intentions for the year ahead, wholeheartedness popped up, and stayed. That’s it. The word, as Brene Brown uses it, is all-encompassing and provides a backbone for me to lean upon, get strength from, and grow with.

Wholeheartedness.
For me, the word holds vulnerability, compassion, integration and resilience, connection and love, acceptance, joy and laughter. Living a life. Not surviving it. Living it. Fully. With up’s and down’s, tears of joy as well as sorrow, and simply riding the waves, making the most of them, paddling when necessary to position myself in the optimal space to be able to ride, ride, ride, as the wave lifts me up, letting me use the energy of it in an effortless way…. until it ends. Then there’s the paddling to get into position again.

This mix, of effort and effortlessness, never contrieved, not in a way that drains energy. Resilient stewardship of me, of my life, of making sure my onlyness is put to use in the best way possible, at the service of all, whatever that may look like.

Grandiose, perhaps you think. Full of myself. Who do I think I am, believing I have something to contribute to the world in this fashion? Well. I, like Marianne Williamson, believe we all have something to share:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

So I release myself from the fear of letting my light shine. I intend to (even more deeply) explore wholehearted living in 2017, which in the words of Brené Brown means:

“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid but that doesn’t change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.”

Wholehearted living 2017

2017 – my year for diving headfirst into wholehearted living.

Worthy of love and belonging – yes, I am – and you are too – hell yes!

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A world in or out of focus

August 11, 2016
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Dramatic blue skies.

A small holt of trees, branches slowly moving from the wind.

Out of focus. In focus.

My IPhone had trouble focussing in the dusk.

The image to the left remind me of the way I see the world when I have taken off my glasses. To the right, I have put them on again. I am the filter for my experience of the world. Because regardless if I have my glasses on or not, the trees and the sky remains the same. No difference at all. Except in my perception of them.

And just as I understand that my glasses help me perceive the world around me with greater clarity, I know that sometimes I am in a high mood. When I am, my experience of the world is a world in focus. When I’m in low mood, it’s like I’ve lost my glasses and everything is out of focus. But alas, again, remember that the world itself can never be out of focus. It just it. It is I who am in or out of focus, in high or low mood, and my experience of the world will be shaped accordingly.

In focus. Out of focus.

Constantly shifting. A part of human nature. What makes all the difference in the world is being aware of my mood – because if I see that, I will understand why my world – in any given moment – appears to be in or out of focus.

Since 2012 I have blogged over at herothecoach.com in a jumble of Swedish and English and this post is a sample of what I’ve been writing there over the years. As of 2016 I only write in Swedish there, and in English here. 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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