Author Archives Helena Roth

A gift? Or a present?

A gift? Or a present?

November 28, 2018
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53. What do you want to gift to the world? #teachingoftheday on gifting, and on creating things that matter to you. I think we need to rethink our concept of gifts, just as we need to adjust our expectations of the receivers of gifts.

Publicerat av Caspian Almerud Onsdag 28 november 2018

I listen to Caspian in #teachingoftheday number 53: What do you want to gift to the world?

#teachingoftheday on gifting, and on creating things that matter to you. I think we need to rethink our concept of gifts, just as we need to adjust our expectations of the receivers of gifts.

I listen. And agree. Perhaps not so surprising, as I gifted him (twice!) It’s you turn by Seth Godin, (a book I in turn have been gifted by Seth himself!) that gave him these thoughts. I am onboard, completely, having thought a lot about that which I gift to the world.

But. When Caspian differentiates between gifts and presents (from 5:20 onwards), my mind started to spin.

He says Of course there is a difference between gifts and presents, I am aware of that.

And immediately my mind went Really? Is there? Isn’t a gift a present? Isn’t a present a gift? Is there an obvious difference between these two words? 

This fascinates me; how all of a sudden my mind opened to seeing a connection (or perhaps a dissonance?) that I’ve never picked up on before. The words gift and present are words I’ve used hundreds or thousands of times. And I have never ever put them next to each other, comparing them, in a sense I’ve never really looked at them. It’s as if I right now, am tasting these two words for the very first time.

 

 

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Show up and respond to what shows up

November 24, 2018
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During Supercoach Academy, more than once, Michael Neill told me and my fellow classmates the two secrets to coaching (and life):

  1. Show up
  2. Respond to what shows up

Nah, I hear you saying. It can’t be that simple. 

Well.
Why not?
I mean – what if it truly is that simple?

Showing up (present. Fully present) and responding to what shows up.

Nothing more. Nothing less.

This coach (and life) motto was the topic of a Facebook live I recently streamed:

FB Live #5 – Showing up – two rules! 🎯

FB Live #5 – Showing up as a coach (and as a human being)!Sharing two rules for coaching (as well as being a human being).https://helenaroth.com/#BusinessBoomUtmaning

Publicerat av Helena Roth Måndag 5 november 2018

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Good enough for now, safe enough to try

November 22, 2018
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Good enough for now, safe enough to try.

Caspian talks in his #teachingoftheday on “just doing things” and not falling prey to the trap of perfection and endless planning. Those two aspects (perfection and excessive planning) likely make a lot less happen in the world than what would otherwise be the case.

49. What could you accomplish without perfection? #teachingoftheday from a small laundry room, and on holiday!This is one of my favourite topics, and I’ll most probably get back to it.

Publicerat av Caspian Almerud Torsdag 22 november 2018

When asked What could you accomplish without perfection? my reply was: My #teachingoftheday:s for instance – and my FB live:s – just doing it, and not really worrying about it. 

And as I was typing my response, Caspian said just as much, because for him as well, the #teachingoftheday-vlogs are good enough to ship in the moment, and definitely safe enough to try, with no real harm imaginable for Caspian. Or for me. Because I feel the same.

Having blogged for six years and in that sense getting used to “shipping content” on an almost daily basis, has definitely prepared me for the vlog-experience. And it’s been fun. Once I had filmed my first #teachingoftheday, I immediately filmed another one, and I’ve done a couple more since. And then I started doing FB-live:s, and truly enjoyed myself. With no aim for perfection what so ever!

What might you be able to do (for yourself, for your close ones, for the world, the scope doesn’t really matter) that would be good enough for now, safe enough to try?

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On the issue of the day

November 20, 2018
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I often return to blog posts of the past. My blog posts of the past. As I’ve been blogging for 6 years – more or less daily for 5 of those years – there are quite a few blog posts to choose from.

When there’s an interesting article or question or observation asked, many times I am reminded of something I’ve written that is relevant to whatever prompted the connection being made in my mind. So I search for it (and oftentimes find what I am looking for. Not always though) and can share what I’ve written and pondered about… about whatever really. Fear. Mistakes. Dancing. Coaching. Existential questions. Anything really!

And what is apparent, is how timeless many of my posts are. They can be recent or have 5 years to them, and still be as relevant today as when I wrote them. It’s not valid for all of them though, and listening to Seth Godin on Good Life Project, I got some insight into why that is. Seth was telling Jonathan Fields about “the issue of the day” and how he makes a point n o t to write about is – in specifics (listen from about 49 minutes in):

I care enough about my vision of the world that if I thought that I could change the way we did things by blogging about it, specifically, I would do it. But I feel like, a) chiming in on the issue of the day is a trap because it protects us from having to take responsibility for a larger view. […]
I think you can read at least half my blog posts as political, but none of them are saying Today, I think this person is wrong and this person is right, because as soon as I do that it’s so easy to ignore what I said because I am not on the right team, what ever team you want to be on. And so, I don’t want to play that sort of short-term tribal thing. Instead I want to say thank you to people from where ever you are coming from for giving me two minutes of your time, think about this. And if you think about this and still want to support that, well that’s your choice because you are a grown-up. Because I don’t believe what you believe, I don’t know what you know, I don’t want what you want. But here, here is a thought that feels to me coherent, and hard to argue with, and I notice things, do you notice this? And I know that that kind of input has influenced my life coming up, particularly as a teenager and surely thereafter, way more than when someone says this person is right, that person is wrong.

This is truly food for thought for me, and in how and what I write. Because I do chime in, now and again, on the specifics of the issues of the day. And those are posts that have a much shorter lifespan than posts that take the larger view.

I love how a new thought can open up for new perspectives – will this lead to changes in how and what I write? Or not?

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The Tibetan Art of Positive Thinking (book 23 of 26)

November 18, 2018
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Coming closer to the end of my reading challenge of 2018, the part which has me reading 26 books in Swedish and 26 in English, books I already had in my possession at the start of the year. The Tibetan Art of Positive Thinking by Christopher Hansard, is a book I got a year or two ago, on the recommendation of D.

“From the beating of our hearts at birth to our final breath in death, a continual stram of thought flows through us, making us, forming all our desires and directing unconscious actions, yet always guiding us towards greater self-knowledge. The power of thought is immense.”

It is. And the difference in how living life as me, before and after I realized exactly how powerful thought is… Huge.

“‘You are what you think.’ […] ‘Thoughts directs all things’, he said. ‘People pride themselves on how they think, but really it is thought that moves through people. Our thoughts create our lives, they make us sick, happy or successful. Our thoughts can pollute our planet through the actions we take. Thoughts on their own will gather like clouds in the sky, good thoughts coming together with other good thoughts and unskilful thoughts attracting other unskilful thoughts.'”

Or said in another way: we get more of that which we focus on. Another one of those clichés that I see people sharing, without fully realizing what it actually means. It means what it says. I do get more of that which I focus on. It’s simple physics. Like attracts like.

“Emotions are the teachers of human experience and we must always give thanks for them. They must not be denied but understood, loved and transformed.”

Allowing myself to feel what I feel, while at the same time, not necessarily take it so bloody seriously, or, for that matter, react upon every emotion that pops up within. Asking myself, how does this serve me, giving me that tiniest of distances towards myself, which can stop me from reacting, and instead having me choose my action.

Those are just a few of all the passages I’ve marked up until page 22. With another 250 pages to go, you do the math. So pick up a copy of this book, and find out for yourself what the ancient Tibetans (the Bön tradition, which began 17 000 years ago!) discovered about the world, our place in it and how everything connects.

“Complaining is damaging because words are the houses in which our thoughts live. They way you speak will indicate the way you think.”

That’s one reason why I have consciously chosen to be very restrictive with certain words. Such as right/wrong, good/bad, must/should/would/ought to. To name a few.

“If we become softer and slow our rush [in our search for happiness and meaning], the fear of desperation will fall away and we can then hear the tender voice of pure thought energy wishing only to guide us.
Make things simple in your life. Let your life become simple in its actions, communicate simply and let your love be simple, for then it will be profound.”

This reminds me of the phrase “Slowing down to the speed of life“, which actually is a book title, of a book I have yet to read. I will though, one of these days…


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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The answer is No…

November 16, 2018
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A few weeks ago, Vanessa of Crafting Connection (remember, the one with the amaaaazing Be the change-cards) shared an image on Facebook and Instagram, and I made a screen shot, because I found it do to the point:
If you don’t ask the answer is NO!!

So simple. So brilliant. And so ridiculously true. If you don’t ask the answer is NO!!

And still… here I am (possibly you as well?) hesitant to ask. Fearing the possible no. Totally missing the super-obvious, that if I don’t ask… the answer is given. No. Because I will n o t get what I don’t ask for (yes. Of course. Given that it is a something that I have to ask for to get. If it was something I could do myself, I would. Duh…).

Reminds me of something I have kept coming back to these past weeks, in various situations. That most of us would raise our hands if asked if we like to help other people. And – here comes the sad part – most of us would not raise our hands if asked if we like to ask for help from others.

I wonder how much the fear of getting a No is at the root of this behaviour? Probably quite a lot. And it’s a shame. Because if I, and you, and everybody else who refrains from asking for help, would start to look at is as providing others with an opportunity to do what people in general like doing, i.e. being of assistance, being helpful, perhaps more of us would raise our hands when asked Do you like to ask for help?

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Written on the body

November 15, 2018
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What do you think about the book, he asked me?

I am not sure, I answered. It’s mixed. There is a sense of distance, like I cannot really get i n t o the characters, i n t o the book, in the way I like, to get engulfed. There are parts written in a way that I cannot fathom how any one person can actually come up with something like that (specifically the parts written about the tissues of the body). That fascinates me as it’s not something I could ever in a million year see myself doing. And then… at times, there are passages that absolutely knocks the breath out of me, with stunning clarity, beauty, punch.

“Bigger questions, questions with more than one answer, questions without an answer are harder to cope with in silence. Once asked they do not evaporate and leave the mind to its serener musings. Once asked they gain dimension and texture, trip you on the stairs, wake you at night-time. A black hole sucks up its surroundings and even light never escapes. Better then to ask no questions? Better then to be a contented pig than an unhappy Socrates? Since factory farming is tougher on pigs than it is on philosophers I’ll take a chance.”

These passages in Written on the body, they are not a soft pastel aquarelle painting. This is a book of oil on canvas, thick, rich colours and textures, dramatic and real.

“The earliest pilgrims shared a cathedral for a heart. They were the temple not made with hands. The Eklasia of God. The song that carried them over the waves was the hymn that rung the rafters. Their throats were bare for God. Look at them now, heads thrown back, mouths open, alone but for the gulls that dip the prow. Against the too salt sea and the inhospitable sky, their voices made a screen of praise. 
Love it was that drove them forth. Love that brought them home again. Love hardened their hands against the oar and heated their sinews against the rain. The journeys they made were beyond common sense; who leaves the hearth for the open sea? especially without a compass, especially in winter, especially alone. What you risk reveals what you value. In the presence of love, hearth and quest become one.”

Written on the body was the book-du-jour of the GIFTED book club meet up today. D chose the book, and boy, did he ever open it up for me (and the others I think). There are layers and layers to be discovered in this book. A spider web intricately woven by Jeanette Winterson, and D, with his passion and love for the beauty and hidden meaning/s of this (and other) books, pushed the door open for me. Made me realize there’s a whole universe to discover with this book as the entry way.

All of a sudden…. it’s a book I am more curious about now, that I was when I had first read it. Makes me want to read it again, to see if I can discover a few of the references and subtly hidden messages D talked so passionately about tonight!

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Make sure it involves others!

November 14, 2018
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When asked If I offer out the phrase living a good life, what comes up for you? by Jonathan Fields on the pod The Good Life Project, Mitch Albom answers brilliantly.

Make sure it involves others, he said. Not sure that you can, you know, ever live a really good life if you’re not doing things for other people, if you don’t make helping other people or lifting other people a central part of your life. 

Mitch Albom is the author of Tuesdays with Morrie, a book I read a loooong time ago. I might have read some other book of his as well, not sure though. Mitch Albom hasn’t been top of mind, that’s for sure. But then, saw him featured on a recept episode of GLP, and clicked Play. And baaaam – I was hooked! By his gentle and thoughtful approach to life. By the example he’s setting, how he walks his talk. For real – at least what I can tell from this conversation. So I listened, and – yet again, it happens now and then – immediately pressed Play once I got to the end.

Well worth a second round of listening, and I might very well take Mitch on once more, for that matter.

At the end, he quotes his latest book, The next person you meet in heavenThe end of loneliness is when you realize how much need there is in the world, and how if you give to others in need, your loneliness goes away.

That sentence…Something about it makes me pause. Reflect. Upon my own feelings of loneliness. Of the loneliness I perceive in others around me, and the suffering I pick up from them, due to it. All in vain? I mean… he’s right, isn’t? Mitch, I mean? That if I truly realized how much there is to just dig into – there is no shortage what-so-ever of places, people, projects to get engaged in – I could have the busiest and most jam-packed action-filled life ever. If that’s what I aimed for. That is a choice available to me. And to you.

Listen to the pod. It’s worth an hour (or two. Or three…).

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Hiding in the shadows

November 12, 2018
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A part of me.
Sometimes.
Hiding in the shadow.
Holding back. Not showing myself, fully.
Hiding bits and parts of me.
From others. And from myself?hiding in shadows

“Last edited by Helena Roth on March 16, 2016.” means this post and the accompanying photo has been sitting as a draft for two and a half years.

Was I hiding? Yes. Most definitely. From myself as well as from others.
Six months later I separated from my then husband, and two years later the divorce was final.

Am I still hiding? Lurking in the shadows?

Yeah.
But way less.
First and foremost I am no longer hiding (as much) from myself.

Am on a quest to own this, to own me (!), fully. I want to decide, consciously, what I show of myself and when I show it. No more letting old conditioning – others voices internalized within, carrying messages of shame, of belittling, of “don’t think you are worth anything” – to be in charge.

Not any more.
No.

Saying Yes instead.
To me.

Here I am.
As I am.

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I’ve been low…

November 7, 2018
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Basically ever since May. And I only just found out – for real – last week, because that’s when I “became myself again”. And that was the difference that opened my eyes to the fact that I have been low, for months on end.

I mean… I’ve noticed it indirectly, but haven’t drawn the proper conclusion. Possibly you’ve noticed as well, because one of the symptoms have been my lack of energy and will to blog daily. It simply hasn’t happened since early May. After five+ years of daily blogging, it was as if I ran out of fuel. And I haven’t been “all there” in other instances as well, even when I would have liked to be fully present. I simply haven’t.

So no wonder that my summer felt a bit off as I looked back on it at the end of August.
And no wonder that the past two and a half months have gone by in a haze – I’ve had a lot to do, but didn’t ever get really grounded, not in myself, and not in my surroundings and my nearest.

And then… last Tuesday.
I was back!
Filled with energy.
With a lust to do, to write, to create.
To be me – and express myself.

And as I got through the first days of “being back to myself” – I realized…. I’ve been low. I haven’t been myself. That’s the root cause of all these symptoms of being-slightly-off-my-own-game, and I only connected the dots once I was one the game again. And let me tell you: it feels great!

I mean – if you ask people around me, possibly they might say that me-off-my-game is still a whole lotta me, with doings and writings and creations all around. And I… yeah, I won’t say that it’s not. But the difference is how it feels – within me. And what I have been doing, writing and creating this past week, has been so much more effortless that whatever I managed to get out of my system since May. So for me – the difference is significant.

Facts are that I’ve played the guitar and done an FB-live every day of November, as well as blogged five out of seven days (today included), which is way more than any seven-day-streak since May, despite starting off the month with a head cold.

I’ve been low. And now I am not. Now. I am back!

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