Doing gentle

Doing gentle – 40 – What do you fill your days with?

Doing gentle – 40 – What do you fill your days with?

October 16, 2016
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What do you fill your days with? Light? Or darkness? Love? Or fear? Trust? Or distrust? Ownership? Or victimhood?

Have you ever asked yourself these questions? Do you see that it’s actually a choice we can make, all of us, for our own lives?

magpieBecause it truly is. It is a choice. I get to choose. And I can make those choices as a kind of guiding light, and/or in every moment. For me, I’ve made most of those choices on the level of guiding light, as a kind of direction in life, rather than as a choice in the moment. For instance, I’ve very clearly chosen trust. I trust those around me, I trust in the goodness of people, and I did that because I want to live in a world filled with trust, rather than distrust. When I am in distrust, life sucks, honestly. It’s so much more energy-wasting to go around distrusting people, organizations, companies, societal systems, than it is to work out of the basic assumption that I trust in all of these. I trust they are in it for the betterment of us all.

I do get knocked down once in a while, of course. And that’s hard. But I don’t want to change my basic trust in people, because when I am in trust, I feel so much better.

Welcome to my new website, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I will be sharing thoughts on how I do gentle, and this is the fortieth of those. I hope you enjoy it and if you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series. Also make sure to track back and ready the previous posts.

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Doing gentle – 39 – Notice your own, and growing, awareness.

October 9, 2016
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Observing myself, and witnessing the growth in me, makes me more aware of and also very grateful for the journey I am on.

Witnessing how I’ve expanded, how I am more and more congruent with the values I hold dear. How I show up, in much the same way, whether at work, at home, at a gathering of friends, or with total strangers. How there is less difference in me, regardless of the setting I am in.

rock peopleObserving and witnessing this, have been a large part in developing my gentleness towards myself. Becoming aware that I am more gentle towards myself today, than last week, last year, last decade, makes me more invested in me. In myself. In my continuous expansion, which is how I see it for myself. If I didn’t see any difference, if there was nothing to show for the work, the energy, the care that I put into this, I might have stopped. I might have been overcome by feelings of futility, not seeing the point in it.

But I do. I do see it. I pick up on subtle things, words I say that I would not have stated in a similar situation before. The lack of a reaction, that I thought was ”how I was”, proving to me, that it was just a habit, something I picked up, and now have let go of, rather than a fixed part of my ”personality”.

So. Notice yourself, and see if you can spot your own, growing awareness.
See if you can discover your own gentleness towards yourself. Has there been a shift somewhere along the way?

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I share thoughts on how I do gentle, and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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Doing gentle – 38 – Unpeel yourself like an onion

October 2, 2016
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I envision my personal development journey as if I am peeling an onion. Layer after layer I unreel externalities, roles, expectations, assumptions, societal norms and the likes. Things I’ve taken on during my upbringing, in school, at university, as a daughter, sister, grandchild, cousin, girlfriend, fiancee, divorcee, wife, mother, validation engineer, project leader, chairwoman of a parent association, self-employed consultant and quality advisor, coach, change agent. You name it, I’ve taken it on.

That’s what it feels like, when I look at this long line of roles, titles, that I have stepped into, some deliberately, voluntary, some just because life unfolds. As if they are something that is added upon me, externally.

light withinBut along the way, I also started to unpeel. I started to question the layering that sometimes felt like a mold I had to fit into, rather than becoming that which I am. And unlike the onion, in human beings, at the core, deep within, there is a gem, a diamond, a light that is You.

This light always shines. But the layers stop the light from reaching out into the world. Some roles let more light through than others. You appear brighter or more subdued, and sometimes, I think this can be as confusing to those around you, as it can be to yourself. But when you peel off the layers you’ve placed upon this inner light, it can reach the world, undiluted, unhindered. In its full glory.

Let it shine. The world needs your light, the light only you, and no one else can shine it upon the world.

Welcome to my new website, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I will be sharing thoughts on how I do gentle, and this is the second of those. I hope you enjoy it and if you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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Doing gentle – 37 – Experiment!

September 25, 2016
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Do you experiment?
In life? At work? In relationships? With yourself? Alone, or together with others?

experimentI’ve not understood the importance of experimentation until just a few years ago. And I have areas where it’s easier to experiment, to play, to discover, and other areas in life, where there’s a resistance. A fear? Possibly. Probably, even. However. I do try. I experiment, more and more. I’ve let go of any lingering belief that I have to Know what will come, in order to even try something out. That I have to have the full plan in place, before I can even take one step. I don’t. And you don’t either.

We get to play around, dilly-dally, experiment. Try something out. If it didn’t work out as you thought, redesign and try again. Perhaps you got even farther from where you thought you’d get – redesign again. Reiterate. Over and over again.

And as Tay Lopez says, never run an experiment longer that eighteen months. After eighteen months, you either know that it works, and then you can decide on whether to keep on doing it. (But it’s no longer an experiment then, right!) If it doesn’t work. Call it quits. Regardless of sunk cost, let it go. It’s not worth it, any more.

Run a diet, try being a vegan for a month? Have fun with a new exercise plan. Sign up for a marathon, and get running! See how many books you can read in a year. Take a leave of absence from work and travel the world. Accept a challenge to blog daily for a hundred days in a row. See if you can grow enough vegetables to be self-sustained for the summer, for the fall, for nine months out of a year, or perhaps for a full year? See what happens if you don’t buy anything new (food excluded) for a full year. Say Yes to everyone who asks you something?

There is no end to the number of ways we can experiment in and with life.

Go for it. Experiment!

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I share thoughts on how I do gentle, and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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Doing gentle – 36 – What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

September 18, 2016
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I hold myself back. Out of fear. Out of fear, of the imaginary kind. Not the kind where it’s the appropriate response. The imaginary kind, the one that often stems from mind-reading, that is, from making up a story in my head, about what someone else will think or feel. Most often, something that isn’t so at all.

without abandonWhat would I do if I weren’t afraid?
I would love without abandon. Recklessly. Full on.
I would laugh. Out loud, often, joyfully!

I would ask. Boldly. Or sometimes… I would ask really small questions; ones that feel like they are huge. And then, I would get the Yes, or the No, and life moves on. It doesn’t stop, I don’t die of embarrassment or what-ever else I’ve portrayed would happen.

I would enjoy the moment. Not hold back. Go for it. Acknowledge that which I desire, that which I want to do, or taste, or have, or feel, and go for it.

Not hold back. Go for it.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

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Doing gentle – 35 – Know you can never be broken

September 11, 2016
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Deep within you, there is a light, a core, that is You. This light can only shine. And it always does. However, as we grow up, we put on layer upon layer on top of this light, sometimes to the extent that the light cannot pass through all the layers, and you forget about it. Forget about You, and your inner light. But it’s there. Always and already, it is there.

inner coreThis light is the reason why I know – to the best of my understanding at this moment of time – that you cannot be broken. People don’t break. Our layers might. They can crack, start to rust, crumble to pieces, get run over, knocked down, battered and bruised. And because these layers are so prevalent, both our own, and on those around us, we get fooled into thinking that it’s us who are cracked, knocked down, battered and bruised. That we, as individuals, are hopelessly broken. Torn to pieces. Impossible to mend.

And I say. No. This is a mistake. A misconception, a misbelief, that is far from the truth. The truth that You cannot ever be broken. Because You rest deep within, in that eternal light, the light that can only shine, and which cannot be broken. Cannot be bruised, battered, knocked down.

When I look at a person, who appears battered and bruised – and sometimes, that person is me – with all my knowing, with all my belief, in every cell of my body, I know this to be true:
You can never be broken. 

And hence , You don’t ever need to be fixed. There is nothing to fix, you see. You just need to see You, to find You, within, hidden beneath those layers. To start to get acquainted with yourself, and the shining light that you are, again.

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I share thoughts on how I do gentle, and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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Doing gentle – 34 – Love yourself. 

September 4, 2016
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Here’s an important one:

Love yourself.

Do you? Do you know how to?

I do. Today I do love myself. And I have for the past couple of years. But I am still experimenting with how to do love for me. What does that entail, really? what does it mean? What is it that I do, or avoid doing, because I come from a place of self-love? That’s something I am uncovering, step by step, moment by moment. A joyful yet somewhat awkward journey at times.

Now. If you don’t love yourself, I’m gonna suggest you fake it.
If you think it’s hard to love yourself, fake it.
If you don’t think you deserve it, fake it.

Pretend.

I did just that. I faked it for a long time, until finally, I saw I really did. And when I became aware that I truly love myself, that there’s no fixing necessary, I am loved, I am love, and I am worthy of it, the world exploded in a love bubble!

And as the realization sank in, I understood that my faking it was a help along the way. It prepared the ground, made me ready for the real deal. I had been talking for years on end about the importance of love. How love is the answer. That love is all there is, and that coming from a place of love makes such a difference to how I experience love. And then I got it. Really. Fully. One hundred percent. G o t  i t!

balance

And then I could sort of keep on doing and saying the things I’d already practiced for so long, but now being totally genuine in it. Talking about the importance of coming from a place of love, and coming from a place of love, makes a difference. For me. And for those I interact with. And I know we all have the innate capability to come from a place of love. That’s there from the moment we first draw breath.

So love yourself. You are worthy of nothing less than that!

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Doing gentle – 33 – Four crucial phrases

August 28, 2016
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There are four very important phrases, that I heard as I listened to Krista Tippett on On Being interviewing David Isay, founder of StoryCorps – phrases that hold enormous power. They point to conversations to have with those around you, those most dear to your heart. Preferably, have them before that important someone dies.

The phrases are the following:contour

Thank you.

I love you.

Forgive me.

I forgive you.

When these phrases are spoken with conviction – true – into the world, something shifts.

It grounds you, both of you, all of you, in the moment. In the now. Here. In life. In love. In understanding and connection.

When did you last say these four phrases to someone important in your life?

And is there perhaps a conversation you should have, before it’s too late?

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I share thoughts on how I do gentle, and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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Doing gentle – 32 – Set up a Mastermind-group

August 21, 2016
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For three years now I’ve been a part of an official Mastermind-group. And it’s been more impactful than I think I’ve given it credit for. There’s four of us in my Mastermind-group, and we meet up roughly every third week. When we started, we all lived in the same city, and our meetup’s were physical. For the past almost two years, we’ve mostly done SKYPE-sessions, with members calling in from all over the globe.

For us, a meeting normally runs for two and a half hour, so there’s plenty of time. We set them up daytime, most often in the morning. We try to schedule a full semester of sessions when we have our first meeting every term (August and January). In the summer, before going for vacation, we go on a Mastermind-retreat, doing a bit of work, but mostly relaxing, enjoying ourselves and having a blast together.

We know each other so well by now, both work-wise but also personally, that our topics can center on anything, and I literally mean anything! But that’s been a journey, in and of itself. We didn’t start there. We’ve grown together, learned to trust and love one another. These are three souls who know me inside and out, people I know are always there for me, ready to hold space for me, give me a hug in hard times and kick my behind when I’ve gotten stuck and needs a jolt.

Every meeting one of us acts as chairman, and we always rotate this position.
Our fall-back agenda reads something like this, with somewhat fluid time slots, depending on our mood and needs, with a bit of bio-breaks here and there as well:

1) Check in – 3-5 minutes each

2) Every one provides their question of the day, something they need help with, or input on, or if there’s just something on your mind you’d like to speak into the room and perhaps get some feedback/feed forward on – 3-5-7 minutes each

3) Reflection round on the individual questions/topics, where the others give their input – 7-10-15 minutes each

4) Take-away of the day – 1-3 minute each

5) Feedback for the chairman – 2 minutes total

6) Boost session where we go around the table and boost each other, one by one – 3 minutes each

perchedSometimes, we have a specific topic for the meeting, and we experiment more with the content of the agenda, than we did when we first started our meetings. The first semester we had a facilitator as well, who invited us all to the Mastermind-group. That was very helpful, and I for one am very grateful for that initiative.

The Mastermind-concept was coined by Napoleon Hill, but was, as I understand it, a reflection he made after interviewing many of the most successful people in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s. The way we run our Mastermind is an adaptation to suit us, and I strongly urge you to try it out yourself! Surrounding yourself with people who will hold your back, while always holding you to be the best possible You will impact your life in ways you never imagined.

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I share thoughts on how I do gentle, and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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Doing gentle – 31 – Acceptance.

August 14, 2016
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I think many people mistake Acceptance for Submission. Submitting to what ever is. For me, that’s not at all what I put into Acceptance. Submission is victimhood. Acceptance is taking ownership. Acceptance means to learn to be ok with what is.

The world is unfair.

My hair doesn’t seem to want to grow longer than slightly below my shoulders, however much I would love for even longer hair.

I can sing, but there are some people in my choir who can sing much better than me. 

My boss said some really shitty things about me at the last gathering at work.

Submission – would be to make yourself the victim here.

contrastThe world is unfair. I am just one person, there’s nothing I can do to make the world a better place.

My hair doesn’t seem to want to grow longer than slightly below my shoulders, however much I would love for even longer hair. Poor me, I will never have the kind of flowing waist-long hair that I see in commercials.

I can sing, but there are some people in my choir who can sing much better than me. I might as well give up singing in my choir, given that I will never be as good as these people.

My boss said some really shitty things about me at the last gathering at work. Its so unfair, he shouldn’t have said those things about me, especially not in front of all my colleagues. I feel so ashamed, what must everyone think of me?

Acceptance – means you see that this is what happened. You accept that this happened, because it did. You accept that the world is unfair, that my hair is the length it is, that I can sing the way I sing, and that my boss said what he said. I cannot make this not have happened. Because it did. The next step to Acceptance, for me, is that I can then work on what I want to happen here. I can make my energy go into making what I want to be, what I want to happen, rather than fight that which is.

The world is unfair. Yes. I get to engage in organizations or causes that work at changing this. I am but one person and I cannot do everything, but I can, and will, do what I can, to leave the world a better place when I am gone.

My hair doesn’t seem to want to grow longer than slightly below my shoulders, however much I would love for even longer hair. Yes. That means I get to be patient, to see if my hair will actually grow longer. I also get to enjoy the fact that my hair is much longer now than it’s ever been since I was a wee lass.

I can sing, but there are some people in my choir who can sing much better than me. Yes. Lucky me! I get to enjoy singing together with these wonderful singers, learn from them, and practice my own singing, so I can be the best singer I can be.

My boss said some really shitty things about me at the last gathering at work. Yes. He must have been in a really bad place within himself, to act that way. What ever that was about within him, it certainly didn’t have anything to do with me.

Acceptance. To accept that which is, in order to be in a better position, stronger, fully loaded, to put all my energy into that which I believe or know can be.

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I share thoughts on how I do gentle, and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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