Author Archives Helena Roth

Thanks for the learnings

Thanks for the learnings

October 20, 2020
/ / /

The bottom line:
No matter who I come across, whether a professional or a hack, there’s an opportunity to learn. Being conscious of this, and expressing gratitude for the possible learning, might help me stop judging the hacks I meet. 

I am enamored with professionals.
The way T asked me a gazillion questions during our Zoom-call the other week, question after relevant question, trying to tease out of me what it is I envision for tankespjärn. What a pro! She’s done this many times, that much is apparent, but sometimes that actually turns into a disadvantage, if it also means you go through the motions rather than actually still engage, fully, with the process.

Needless to say, T engaged fully, as the pro she is.
I was quite impressed by myself as well, able to reply to almost all of the questions, something I would only have been able to do half-assed six months ago, and basically not at all a year ago. The idea and vision I have for tankespjärn is getting clearer and clearer, that much is apparent, and a result of letting things take the time they need. The value of not rushing things is obvious to me, it’s something I truly believe in, and at the same time, it’s not always easy to live by.

However.
When I am met by someone who is supposedly a professional, a hack who doesn’t even go through the motion of pretending to do his/her work properly, cutting corners to the extent that the end result will be far from the agreed-upon, that I do not like. And even worse, I have very little patience with it. This is one of my remaining Achilles heels, where I can get very judgmental and with that, possibly a bit mean as well?!

I am not proud of that.

I do try to conduct myself in such a way that my professionalism is not compromised, biting my tongue to stop from blurting out any one of a number of thoughts running through my head…
Come on, do the work I’ve paid you to do!
Are you insane, how on earth…?
For crying out loud, snap to attention!

Instead, I clarify, when clarification is needed.
I explain, when understanding is lacking.
I point to reference documents, refer to praxis, ask for clarification, as appropriate.
Do my best, to help the process along, but inside… it’s hard not to get resentful. People who so clearly are done, spent, should not do what they do anymore. Or even don’t want to be and do what they are being and doing. As if serving the final years of a prison sentence, biding their time, before escaping, released from their responsibilities, their position, their work.

Possibly… what triggers me is my fear of becoming like that?
Or the discomfort I receive when picking up on the energy exuded?
Whatever it is, there’s both a physical and a mental rejection within me, informing me this is not a road I want to head down. Quite the opposite.

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.
This gives me a choice.
If I don’t find it worth doing, either I get to find something else to do, or I get to shift my approach, to find the worth of doing within me.

Easier said than done?
Sure.
But that’s life, isn’t it?
And I for one would not want a life of easy, honestly.
I want to butt up against the edges of my capacity, my capability, my comfort.

Perhaps that’s why, now and again, I come across a full-fledged professional, right after having met a hack? Both of them challenge me. Both of them have me up against the edges of my capacity, capability, comfort zone. In totally different ways, but still. I learn and grow from the experience.

What if, from now on, when I come across the pro, I say thanks for the learnings?
What if, from now on, when I come across the hack, I say thanks for the learnings?
Might that make it easier for me to refrain from the judgment? Worth a try!


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
Read More

Gifting me a morning ritual

October 13, 2020
/ / /

The bottom line:
Building a morning routine, where I feel thrown off my game when time does not allow for it to run its course in full, and realizing that this morning routine, or perhaps even ritual, is a gift. A Gift. To me.

Getting thrown off my new morning routine where I wake up, of my own volition, at six am. Get up, pee, go downstairs to fetch phone and iPad, standing in the kitchen doing a slow morning Seven of pelvic movements, waiting for the kettle to boil while checking my email and doing a quick scan of SoMe (now that the ayurvedic challenge is over, no more morning videos to peruse). Armed with electronic (writing) devices, a cup of warm water, I head upstairs, doing my Wim Hof breathing regime (normally in bed, today I lay down on the floor, pulling the duvet off the bed, to keep me warm), before climbing back into bed, to do my morning writing while drinking the warmed up water.

Once I’ve posted my writings, somewhere or other, I head for the basement bathroom, do my regular morning Seven (lately, a lot of Lindy hop-practices, which is akin to cardio, let me tell you) before jumping into a two minute-cold shower, before getting dressed, ready to meet the world.

By this time, it’s nine o’clock, give or take, and I realize how anything scheduled by me before nine throws me off my game. Off my writing game, to be precise, because the other things I do, regardless. Not necessarily in the order described above, but more or less.

Yesterday I’d scheduled a CoachTalk at 7:15 am, and then the day simply rolled on… never granting me (me never granting me, that is!) the time and space to sit down and do my (deep dive) writing. And somehow the entire day feels slightly off.

Yesterday, I had a Zoom-call scheduled at nine am, in conjunction with the Bonnie Bliss Yoni Club-training I’m taking online right now, and I got into sharing something I will be writing about in my deep dive, so in a sense, I got ”it” out of my system, but… it’s still not the same.

There’s something to the writing that provides both an edge (the permanence of it? The shareability of it? The way my words take on a life of their own? The dance with fear at being rejected, shamed and shunned for writing what I am writing?) and an expanded opportunity for learning. When I write, I explore. It truly is a deep dive, regardless if I am deep diving into a topic (shame) as I am at the moment, of if it’s ”just” writing because I want to, because I blog daily (No. Not at the moment. Unless the sharing in a small online-community can be called blogging, which, in a sense, it actually can.), because it’s a habit I’ve gotten accustomed to.

The way I write, I learn.
About me. About you. About the world.
There is discovery and surprise, there is exploration and aha-moments, there are connections made visible that have previously eluded me, there are new questions arising.

Waking up today, I realized… I need to stop giving away my mornings to others. I want to give them to me. I want to honor the precious opportunity they are to me, and be much more deliberate in when I schedule something else during this time. Sometimes, it’s a necessity. I have clients requiring my presence at certain times. I have commitments to others giving me an opportunity to prioritize, making me truly look at how I spend –and value!– my time. But if I am to give my mornings away, it’s going to be for very good reasons.

Because I haven’t, ever honestly, been so aware of the need to value my time, as I was today, waking, and realizing how my entire system longed for my morning routine, the very same one I did not gift myself with yesterday.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
Read More

A sensory gateway to feeling

October 9, 2020
/ / /

The bottom line:
Letting my inner child come out and play, reveling in the experiences she presents me with. What a gift!

Having stayed indoors for a couple of days, recuperating from a head cold, when I’d finished my GoT-poncho and the sun was shining… I donned said poncho and headed out. I live just across the street from a lovely recreational area, which is a place I love walking in. (To the extent that I call it my office, given the fact that I do CoachWalks with clients there.)

Wanted a few more photos of the poncho, so I played around with the timer on my iPhone camera, finding a bench where I could –with a bit of luck– prop my phone up to snap a few.

Kept walking, reveling in the crisp air, the smell of fall, the colors of summer leaving, the moist grass and the rough texture of the gravel. Because even though I wore a coat, and my poncho, I’d opted for barefoot. Wanting to maximize it, taking every chance I get, and honestly, it’s not until the temperatures drop close to freezing that it starts to get somewhat painful to walk barefoot.

Came across a young couple with a toddler of maybe one and a half years. No more. Possibly slightly less. The little one was all donned in rain gear (yes, sun shining brightly a n d the occasional drop of rain) with sturdy waterproof boots, exploring the pools of water on the graveled path. Looked at me, step-step-stepping in a puddle, and I smiled. Walked a few steps, coming across another puddle, so I stepped in it, turning towards the toddler, and step-step-stepped in the pool of water, loving the feel of the water splashing about my bare feet. I looked at the child and smiled, with eyes and mouth. The toddler looked at me, eyes opening wide in surprise, taking in the fact that here was this big person, with bare feet, step-step-stepping in a puddle. Looking at dad, he/she was reassured by dad who said Yes, she’s doing the same thing you are!, winking towards me.

I bade them farewell with a nod and yet another smile and went my way, only to step in a patch of grass-turned-to-squishy-mud along the side of the path, having the mud squeeze its way most deliciously up in-between my toes, looking down at my muddied feet, laughing. At life. At sensations. At sunshine and rain. At freedom, of expression, of exploration, of norm. Bare feet giving me a very visceral anchor, in direct contact with my surroundings, a sensory gateway to f e e l i n g. There’s nothing quite like it!

 


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
Read More

Poncho and wrist warmers, a GoT knitting project

October 7, 2020
/ /
in Tip
/

As I started to watch (binge. Yeah. That’s a better term for it.) Game of Thrones my fingers ached to knit. I had just finished a shawl (hush! It’s gonna be a gift, so cannot disclose any details. Yet.) that had taken me… let’s just say, too long, and wanted something easy, that didn’t require a lot of my attention (lace-knitting. Requires attention. And for some reason, I seem to fall for lace-patterns… like said shawl.), so I went foraging in my yarn-stash. Found the two skeins of pretty (oh so pretty!) Meadow, rustic luxury, Red clover, a ”textured blend of baby llama, silk, linen and merino wool” from The Fibre Co. And yes, it’s every bit as lovely as that description purports. 200 grams of laceweight, about 1000 meters in total, now what could I make with it?

I am a sucker for shawls (basically the only thing I’ve knitted for the past five years has been shawls. And a few wrist-warmers.) but wanted something different, so I googled a bit, and decided on making a poncho, of my own design, so I could keep it GoT-bingeable. Experimented a bit with the number of stitches in the cast on, finally ending up with more or less half the number of stitches that I started off with. Good thing you can always unravel…

I binged. And knitted. Knitted and binged.
When I was done with the first skein, I decided to make a pair of wrist-warmers, also on the fly, picking upon the yarn-over-pattern from the poncho. Having completed those, I put them on while again turning my attention to the poncho.

I binged. And knitted. Knitted and binged.
And by the final episode of the final season, I still had approximately a quarter skein left. So I turned to The Handmaid’s Tale to keep up my binge/knit-bonanza, and then, finally.
Poncho. Done.
Sewn together, blocked, dried.
And. I. Love. It.

Sure, perhaps I was a bit too focussed on using more or less all of the yarn I had, which means it’s not even, in the sense that the width of the poncho is two-thirds of the length of the sewn together-edge, but hey. Asymmetrical is my thing these days, ever since reading Antifragile, so… I’ll not let anyone in on the fact that this was not a conscious design decision… (If you want it symmetrical, play around more diligently with the number of stitches and your desired length of the poncho.)

Here’s the rough outline for this garter-stitches only, back and forth poncho:
110 stitches (german stretchy cast on) on 4,5 mm needles (7 UK/US)

Lift the first stitch on every row, as if to knit purlwise

Knit 4 rows of garter stitches

A (2 rows): knit until 10 stitches remain, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit 4 stitches, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit 2 stitches

B: knit two rows of garter stitches

Repeat A and B until you have a long enough rectangle
Knit A, knit 3 rows of garter stitches and then cast off loosely enough to match the cast on

Fold in two, making sure to match the yarn over-holes together, and sew the top edges together, until the opening is just right for your head
Block the poncho and once it’s dry, have fun using it!

The wrist warmers:
40 stitches, using double yarn (german stretchy cast on) on 4,5 mm needles (7 UK/US)
Lift the first stitch on every row, as if to knit purlwise

Knit garter stitches back and forth (to match the poncho)

A: Knit 2 rows of garter stitches.

B: Knit 3 stitches, yarn over, knit two together, *knit 4 stitches, yarn over, knit two together* (repeat ** five times, giving you 6 yarn-over’s for every row), knit 5 stitches

Repeat A and B until the length of the square is sufficient to wrap around your wrist (for me 13 rows of yarn-overs), cast off. Sew together along the cast on/off-edges, making sure the yarn-overs align properly.
Block the wrist warmers.

Read More

eyes pop wide open

October 5, 2020
/ / /

The bottom line:
When the body is left to its own devices to find a routine that works.
And the moment of realization, that this is what has happened.

My body seems intent on making me get into, and stick to, a new sleeping regime. Or rather. A waking regime, as I’ve yet to stop wrestling with the I’m just gonna… do this too… before heading to bed-pattern that is so ingrained in me. But the funny thing is, regardless of when I finally stop with my this too and get in bed, I wake the same time. At six o’clock, ding, my eyes pop open, and I am ready to go. I’ve been playing with this for a few weeks now, and it hasn’t failed me once (or possibly once, but then again, I had a bit of a head cold then, so that’s fine).

Last night, I got off a Zoom-call at nine-thirty, and knew I s h o u l d head off to bed straight away, but instead, picked up the UFO (UnFinished Object, a classic knitting term…) I had grabbed a hold of just prior to the Zoom-call, having all but forgotten about it (thank God for alarms!). And as I had barely managed to knit one (1!) row before Zooming, I just wanted to knit ooooone more… and then, perhaps, why not, watch another episode of The Handmaid’s Tale? I mean, just one!

If you’ve come to know me at all, you won’t be surprised that just one episode turned into two and a fifth before I finally called it a day, plonking into bed half-past eleven. And then, doing what I always do, I picked up a book to read a few pages. (My reading is going a lot slower these days, as I plonk into bed later and later, having me too tired to read but a few pages.)

And then… d i n g – my eyes pop wide open, and I turn to see what time it is, only to giggle to myself when it reads *drum roll* 6 am. I get up, pee, go downstairs to fetch phone and iPad, standing in the kitchen doing a slow morning Seven of pelvic movements, waiting for the kettle to boil while watching the daily video of the 21-days-ayurvedic-challenge I’ve been participating in for the past three weeks (day 21 tomorrow). Armed with electronic (writing) devices, a cup and a bottle of warm water, I head upstairs, climbing back into bed, for my morning writing, drinking the warmed up water before I do my Wim Hof Method breathing exercise.

Mind reeling, there’s a lot that wants to be written, and I let it flow onto (digital) paper, accompanied by soft music of some kind, and an hour or two easily passes, before I am ready to leave bed and meet the day, full-on.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
Read More

Do you know such a place?

October 4, 2020
/ / /

The bottom line:
Finding a place where you and your endeavors have optimal conditions for deep-diving, for discovery, for expansion, for exploration. Within or without. A place which helps you go deeper, burrow further, discover more, other, new. 

I write.
Every morning, I fetch my iPad from the downstairs charging station, after feeding Pop the cat, and bring it back to bed with me. Using the wifi of my iPhone, as the wifi at Hasselbacken has exceptionally shaky reception in my bedroom, a fact which I am not altogether sad about, I load Pages and open The depth(s), containing my current writing endeavor. 

I write, write some more, pause, looking out the window, drinking a sip of lukewarm water, breathe for a few repetitions, deliberately, sensing into it, and then write some more. 

But you don’t get to see it.
Not here.
Not yet.
Possibly not ever. Here, that is. 

Parts of it will be shared, with you, but not here. Perhaps you will not find it. You see, at the moment, my plan is to share, in due time, parts of it at least, anonymously. 

It’s a way to be gentle with me, to not push myself so far outside my comfort zone that I freeze. But rather, to play at the edges, dipping my toe now and again into the unknown, in that which I paint inner landscapes off as scary. After not dying this time either, revert back to base, rest, recuperate, nourish myself, only to let me loose at play at the edge, over and over again. I do share it though. So far, all of it’s been shared, in a small community, a community where I feel held, where it’s (me. My writings) not just possible, but even welcome. A safe container, boosting me, strengthening my resolve, self-confidence and commitment. To finally, at long last, shine a light, at that which I’ve kept in the dark. For so long. Forever…

The writing is better, goes deeper, affects my every waking moment, informs my every waking moment. Thanks to the container in which I share, thanks to the people within this community, generous and gifted, loving and laughing, kind and considerate, smart and sharp, all in the most nourishing mix. My roots go deeper, my branches wider, the leaves of me vibrating with the richness of the colors of the rainbow, open to receive sunshine and rain, in exchange for oxygen, the life-blood of humanity and all things organic, freely given, in abundance. 

Do you know such a place?


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
Read More

Hold your own.

October 1, 2020
/ /
in Tip
/

This.
 
I think I watched (listened to) it in the spring.
But as it came across my feed last night; I listened. Twice.
Saved it for morning. Listened again.
 
There’s something to this, that, coupled with my own sensation of There is calm to be had that has me at a stand-still. The most beautiful stand-still at that. One of those catch my breath, letting tears roll down the side of my cheek-moments.
 
Listen.
Read More

Queen of Bingeing

September 30, 2020
/ / /

The bottom line:
Now and again letting myself fall head over heels in love with a great story, going with the flow of it, while simultaneously observing myself –picking up on what it is I like/dislike, what rubs me the right/wrong way, what I resist or want more of– is a gift. To me.

My two Buddhas have been encouraging me (that’s a very kind way of describing their insistence!) longest of time, to watch Game of Thrones. I’ve resisted. Oh, how I’ve resisted. Not having access to HBO for one. Too busy, for another. Currently involved in something else, not wanting to take the time, oh but I’ve heard it’s so filled with violence in many forms…

Excuses, excuses.

So on the 3rd I signed up for a two-week-trial period, and got down to it. Watched the first episode of the first season… and then I just kept going. On the 28th I watched the sixth and final episode of the eighth and final season.

For 26 days GoT has kept me company, and perhaps there’s been one or two days of no GoT (except in my dreams… bingeing is an interesting way of populating dreams, with whatever I am bingeing on. Before giving up Pokémon Go, I’ve been PoGoing plenty in my dreams, just to give one example.), but more or less, this has been a daily companion for me for the past just-short-of-a-month.

A daily companion giving me the opportunity to make huge progress on my knitting; my GoT-knitting project which is what it turned into unwittingly. A poncho, accompanied by wrist-warmers. All of my own design, and an easy one at that, to ensure I could knit and watch at the same time. Had two lovely skeins of the most beautiful ruby-red lace woolen yarn, to turn into something. Knitted the first skein, all on the poncho, and then did two wrist-warmers before starting in on the poncho with the rest of the second skein. Have a third (or less?) of that last skein left, before the poncho is finished.Keeping my Buddhas up-to-date on my progress, I’ve gotten a few priceless responses. One of my favorites is If there would be any money in bingeing, you’d be a millionaire. And this one, as I started on season five: That’s 40 hours of series in what? 3 weeks? And they say us millenials are bingers only to have the other Buddha respond with Noobs. And no. I got to season five in 16 days. Just saying. Bingeing GoT even had my kids realize that this is a serious skill of mine, and one they’ve likely inherited (genetic or environmental? Forever the Question, is it not?) too.

(My noobs-commenting-Buddha clocked 1+ season a day in his GoT-haydays, a point he’s keen to get across, making my 26 days seem like an eternity… Hence ’noobs’.)

I’ve truly enjoyed the process, letting myself get lost in a story, which is one reason why I love reading fiction (which is all I read up until I turned… 35 perhaps? Somewhere around there. Before that, the thicker the book, or the more books in a series I could find, the happier I was. Historical, or science fantasy, well-written, and I was hooked.). I’ve never gotten through George R. R. Martin’s series though. I know I’ve started it. Once? Twice? Not thrice. Didn’t take to it. Now – now I think I would definitely like to read it. I probably will.

Violent?
Heck yeah.
Lots of sex in the most weird and (supposedly) shamed ways?
Hell yeah.
That too.

And I truly like it. Love it even. All of it!
Well-developed characters.
Absolutely stunningly shot – the way they are working with visuals is simply amazing.
Not to mention the actors. Wow! Just witnessing the children of the Stark family growing up through the years of shooting the series is something special.

I truly appreciate the norm-breaking aspects to GoT. There’s not a season that goes by without some serious tankespjärn being provided, served upon the finest silver platter, there for the taking. Having a dwarf play one of the main characters for instance. Being extremely human in the sense that he’s a dwarf a n d a sexually practicing one at that. As human as anyone else. I love that! It also saddens me, because it makes it very apparent how seldom people who deviate from the norm (that friggin’ norm, narrower and narrower by every year.) are visible in every-day-culture as humans, expressed in all their glorious messy humanness.

Another piece of tankespjärn for me is the roundedness of ”the evil characters”. Caricatured, sure, and yet, believable. Complex human beings, not one-dimensional. Picking up on this tells me it is not often so. That it’s more common that characters are black-or-white, good or evil, seldom both-and. But we are. Both-and. There’s good and evil in all of us. In the sense that sometimes, what I do or say, or don’t do nor say, is of service. To me. To others. Sometimes definitely not of service, neither to me nor others. Stumbling along, in all our glorious messy humanness, the full spectrum is there. Emotions, sensations, experiences. We get to live it all. If we let ourselves. And a lot of the expressions within our popular cultural register lack this. One- or perhaps two-dimensionality is rife, and the multi-dimensional (not for a moment would I denigrate humanness to being no-more-than three-dimensional) lived reality of humanity more rare for sure.

As I watched the last episode of the last season, followed by the documentary made during the last season, a void opened up. What to do, when not watching a gazillion GoT-episodes every day?
Start to binge something else?
Write more?
Get to bed earlier?

Read More

A revelatory conversation on procrastination

September 24, 2020
/ / /

The bottom line:
Being in conversation with wise, curious and openminded people,
help me shift inner beliefs if/when they no longer serve me.

The September Zoom-call in the tankespjärn-community gathered nine souls to talk/explore/discover around the topic of procrastination. Part of what we brought up can be found in the doodle, part of it can be found within the nine souls present, part of it is likely gone with the wind, never to be touched upon again. Perhaps…

How do you define procrastination?
What’s the meaning of this word, for you?
Does it have negative connotations, or not?

Those were some questions we started off with, and then, in the way these conversations go, we ended up all over the map, which, for me, increases the chances that there will be a new perspective, a reframe, a tankespjärn somewhere to present new doors for me. Doors I get to choose whether or not I want to open, and then –next choice– to step through or not. Doors to new aspects of viewing life, of living life, of relating to myself or others.

Some of those doors read as follows:

  • procrastination, when I pick up on it consciously, holds information. For me to use or ignore, up to me. But contained within the sensation of procrastination there’s plenty of information.
  • how procrastination to most of us holds negative connotations.
  • an open-ended question/query as to whether there is a cultural aspect to procrastination: is it “a negative” in other cultures?
  • confirmation of my realization that there are more books to read than I will be able to in my lifetime (but here’s a bonus piece of tankespjärn for you: Nassim Nicholas Taleb has, since his teens, spent between 30-60 hours a week (!) reading. That’s massive!). The books that made it onto the doodle were AntifragileRest and Ever-Present Origin. But I swear there were a couple more mentioned…

Being in conversation with wise, curious and openminded people like these, help me shift inner beliefs if/when they no longer serve me. Given, of course, that I am open to it myself. Nothing shifts in a person with a closed mind. Nothing!


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
Read More

Keep on…

September 21, 2020
/ / /

I read:
People don’t show up when you launch.
They show up when they’re ready.

Such a simple concept, and yet… hard to come to terms with.
Or. Rather. Hard to disassociate between me doing my work, and you showing up when –and more importantly!– if my work is for you.

This is what generosity is.
What invitations are.

Me doing my work, putting it out there, telling the world, by all means, but not shoving it down anyone’s throat, not playing dirty. Generously sharing, shipping, showing up. Reaching out a hand, with a personal invitation

(this, for me! My achilles heal. Still. And I need to stop saying that.

Let me rephrase: This has been my achilles heal. But. It. Is. No. More.

Today I exult in sending out personal invites; hammering it home… No. That’s not very generous to me, is it? Putting away my hammer, and instead, giving myself a high five for each personal invite I extend, for each generous act of mine, for all the ways I show up. For me. For you.)

…that truly is an open, honest, no-strings-attached-invitation, where a No is as welcome as a Yes.

And how inviting others into my world, my creations, is, truly, generous, and that there’s no way for me to know when you’re ready, so the best thing I can do is keep on creating, keep on shipping and sharing, keep on inviting.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
Read More