Reflection

Hiding in the shadows

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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I love my body!

October 12, 2018
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Haven’t ever heard of Big mouth before stumbling across this video, but definitely get curious about the show watching this clip, which I greatly enjoy. Being comfortable in ones body IS beautiful, something I’ve given a lot of thought to lately. Once in a while I enjoy visiting an open-air swimming-bath, both summer and winter (a sauna and a dip in just-above-freezing water, oh that’s a thrill for body, mind and spirit alike!), and I marvel att the diversity of bodies. The variety, of shapes, sizes, colors, amounts of hair and where, the movements, energy and to what extent people are at ease, at home, in their own bodies. It’s fascinating and wonderful, and each visit has me falling more and more in love, with my own body, as well as the bodies of my fellow humans.

Your body is gorgeous, and so is mine!

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Barefoot.

October 11, 2018
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Barefoot shoes.
The best (albeit an oxymoron of grand proportions)!
Even better; barefoot for real.

It is a wonderful way to connect to what is.
Making me, without a shadow of a doubt, be extremely aware of the way my feet meet the ground, and what that ground consists of. Each step can be different.

Paved roads.
Gravel paths.
Grass. Cold from the morning dew, or warm from a hot summers day.

A muddy uphill stretch, making my toes dig in for traction.
Small pebbles hurting my feet – like stepping on Lego.
Acorns and leaves, chestnuts and broken off twigs.

Grounding myself.
Becoming more aware of what else is around me, as my feet somehow lead the way. On an adventurous exploration of my closest surroundings.

Sharpening my senses. All of them. Feeling each and every small irregularity of the ground beneath me, irregularities totally masked when wearing “normal shoes”. Noticing the birds chirping, the squirrel jumping quickly across the path up a tree, the colors of autumn – the vibrant greens, reds, yellows and browns. Orange. Black. Contrasted with the crips clear air of October – making me look up at the bluest of blue skies.

Barefoot I meet the world around me, closer, fuller. Naked. Skin on ground.
As I finish my run, my feet tingle, blood flow maximized, a sensation of being very much alive.

Dip my feet in a water bucket in the garden, jiggling them around to get rid of the worst of the remnants from my run, a leaf stuck onto of my foot, grass between my toes, and a splash of mud here and there. Surprisingly clean, honestly. The wetter the ground – like the morning dew of my run this week – the more visible it is, that I’ve actually run without shoes. On a dry summer day – my feet almost look the same before and after a run.

Regardless of when… the feeling! Incomparable. Something akin to the sensation of a winter bath after a stint in a really hot sauna. Suddenly my entire body is tingling with life, pulsating, a-knocking to remind me, it’s there.

It’s here.
Life. To be lived.
To its fullest.

 

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It’s on me as well.

October 2, 2018
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Read this post on Facebook. It referred to a question asked on Twitter by Danielle Muscato:Read the replies, from both men and women.
Realized two things.
First: I know what these women are talking about.
Second: I can also relate to (commenting) men not really being in the know, because honestly, I haven’t spoken enough out my experiences to the men in my life. It’s simply not been part of the conversation.

So.
It’s on me as well. Speaking up – about the things I do to keep myself safe, without really reflecting upon them and definitely without letting on to the men around me. And I should. Because we are not mind readers, us humans. Sharing my experiences is a way to increase the likelihood of others raising their awareness of what happens to women in their circles.

So.
The other night I was filled with energy after a wonderful weekend course, and when I got home, I had dinner and afterwards took my boundless energy for a dance walk in a recreational area just across the street from my house.

It’s lit in places, and not lit in places.
I had my headphones on, playing music, singing and dancing along, as I also caught the occasional Pokemon and spun a few poke-stops (most of them placed in the unlit areas of the park).

Now and again, a jogger (all of them men for some reason) would come running from behind, having me spot them, glancing back, slightly on edge, until they had passed me by.

And as I entered the darkest path, through the arboretum, I DID consider… was this wise of me? Should I really walk through here, in pitch black woods, not knowing what might happen?

I chose to.
But also turned on my IPhone flashlight, to give ME an opportunity to spot anyone else coming on the chance of them having ominous intentions (rather than for the sake of lighting my way).

So, yeah.
I know precisely what it feels like, having an inclination towards fear and insecurity. I don’t let it stop me from taking the walk – but I do take the walk slightly on edge, truth be told. And I don’t want to. I want to be able to take this walk, without any fear in my system – because I don’t want to be ruled by fear. I want to look at people around me with a loving disposition. And I believe you would want me to look at you like that as well, don’t you?

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Bliss.

October 1, 2018
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“Female sensuality”, Helena Roth. Created at a “Paint Mandala”-class (Måla Mandala) with Lisa Withlovelisa Rislöw, the day before a weekend class on Playful tantra (Lekfull tantra), given by Charlotte Cronquist, the following reflection written after day one.

Presence.
Closeness.

Finding me.
In your eyes.
Seeing and being seen.
In my yes. My no.
Lucidity is kindness, as always.
To breath; rebirthing, opening up, energies in flux. Loudly.

Body contact.
Hands caressing my body, soft as a feather.
The strength of an arm holding me close.
Letting my enjoyment be seen, heard.

Speaking out loud, my inner wish.
What I desire. Right now. With you and noone else.
To speak. Be granted my wish. Speaking another. Granted, yet again.
Daring to let go.
Daring to let me ask for, be granted, receive.
Revel.
Simply being with it. Being with.
Sensuality.
Caresses.

Not taking responsibility for anyone but me.
I. Here. For me. Not you.
You. Here for you. Not me.
In the space in between, We are created.
Multiple We’s.
Shifting. Growing. Weaved together, by laughter, eye contact, touch.

Shares. Laughs.
Truth and lies; more laughter. Frivolous and heartfelt, all at once.
That which is significant, and that which is insignificant.

Elemental massage. Like earth, fire, water, air, ether.
Heavy. Earthed. Grounded. Powerful. Well needed.
Surprised. Sweeter to receive than give, which gives me permission after the fact, for what I gave. Like a winter swim: tingling skin, awakened, alive. Blood flowing through my veins.
Rippling, sparkling. A moment of grace.
Softly, softly. Caressed by hair, by breath, by the outermost part of the fingertips. More, give me more!
Caressed by energy, by the force field generated by closeness and presence, even without physical contact. There is so much more to us, we reach far beyond our physical bodies.

The gift.
That I do. Dare. Let myself.
Give. Receive.
The exquisite thrill, heartfelt and real, far from ABC.
The amount of pleasure available to us in life, far beyond what I ever knew, dared, understood, thought myself able to.

Beginning to understand.
Bliss!

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Inching closer

August 23, 2018
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Pod directionsSlowly but not very steadily, my Doing gentle podcast-project is inching closer to reality. Today, while on the train to Stockholm, I took Caspians advice and used the time fruitiously: I started to (Finally. Jeez, I planned to have this done in June or July at the very latest!) listen to the raw uncut version of my pod-recordings from May, making notes on what to keep and what to discard.

I have one hour forty minutes of raw unedited recordings to go through…. and in three hours I managed forty minutes of it. Luckily I’ll be headed home by train as well. I know what I’ll be amusing myself with then, that’s for sure!

 

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Bury me standing.

August 22, 2018
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I should not be sitting here, in the sofa, closer to 11 pm, after a long day, when I still haven’t even begun packing my trip to Stockholm tomorrow morning… but I am. Tonight was the first GIFTED book club meet-up after the summer, and the book of the day was Bury me standing by Isabel Fonseca.

Bury-me-standing-I-ve-been-on-my-knees-all-my-lif“Bury me standing.
I’ve been on my knees all my life.”

A Roma proverb by Manush Romanov, which he called out to Isabel at the end of a mutual visit in Sofia.

First of all – this meet-up marks our one-year-anniversary, and I have to say, I’ve read books I most likely would not have read, had it not been for the book club. For that I am very grateful. It is one way to combat the narrowing of my filter bubble, for sure.

Secondly, Bury me standing is a daunting read. Informative, detailed, perplexing, shocking and sometimes even downright horrendous. It evokes so much in me, it’s hard to know where to start. But… I think…. maybe what strikes me first and foremost, is, truly, how hard it is for me to u n d e r s t a n d the Roma way of life, sentiment and culture. It is a culture very alien to me. Here we have a culture, a people (even though even the classification of the Roma as “a people” is not unproblematic in itself, see the quote below), that seem so foreign, to what almost all cultures across the globe have “assimilated into”. I mean, look at schooling. Most people across the globe go to school, regardless if you are 10 years old in Cuba, Nairobi, Shanghai or Malmö. And those schools, more or less, are very similar. Superficial differences exist for sure, but the basic structure is the same. And here we have a group of people, who just doesn’t buy into what I, what we, what the Western society (for lack of a better word), have deemed good, worthwhile, necessary.

And from the book, it’s made perfectly clear (in all to graphic descriptions sometimes) how we have not been able to stand this, for five hundred years or so. In fact, it seems we’ve done our very best throughout the centuries to thwart every possibility for Gypsies (the term Isabel Fonseca uses throughout the book; the library copy I’m reading was published in 1996) to become a part of society. Shunning them. Ostracizing them. Killing them. Making up laws and regulations (still in effect today. I mean, t o d a y, in 2018!) that are specifically designed to make it as hard as possible for them to live their life, their way.

Why can’t we live and let live? Why is “the other” so frightening to us?

I don’t know. It’s hard even to write about this book.
We did have a really good GIFTED conversation about it though, and somehow, I find it easier to talk about my thoughts, insights, questions and curiosities both towards the book and the Roma people, than to pin them down on paper.

“The Jews have responded to persecution and dispersal with a monumental industry of remembrance. The Gypsies – with their peculiar picture of fatalism and the spirit, or wit, to seize the day – have made an art of forgetting. 
Historically the Gypsies have not had an idea of, or word for, themselves as a group. In place of a nation, they recognize different tribes and, more locally, extended families or clans. Their European names – like Gypsy or Zigeuner – suggest a monolithic what. This isn’t an accurate reflection of how they see themselves: it is a reflection of how they are seen by outsiders.”

Outsider who, like me, have such a hard time understanding what it is we are seeing, that we cannot comprehend it. Perhaps (even likely) we cannot even see what it is we should, or could, be seeing, because our frame of reference is so vastly different.

“But things are changing. Just as Eskimos have chosen to call themselves the Inuit – which means “people” – “Roma” is emerging as a common name and signaling the arrival of a new collective identity.”

I hope, oh, how I hope, that the coming five hundred years will not be a continuation of what has gone on for far too long. So… what to do?

Listen.
Be there. Curiously. Non-judgmentally. Not wanting/needing/aiming to “solve the problem/s”.
Letting go of the idea that the Western way of living is “the right way of living”, letting come… a broadened perspective? A deeper understanding? Self-determination (truly)?

Listen (and learn).

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Being one with all

July 16, 2018
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July 7 to 14, 2018, I was at No Mind, a festival at Ängsbacka. Upon leaving, I had no intention of coming back. However, the most amazing sensation is with me, making me wonder if maybe I will. Sometime.

Arriving home after a ten hour journey, I was, understandably, quite exhausted while at the same time, brimming with energy. So much so, that I unpacked in a jiffy and immediately donned my running clothes and shoes. Went out for a slow run, before taking a shower and hitting the sack.No MindThat’s when it started.
A sensation of being part of a thousand-headed entity, of being one with everyone who attended No Mind, experiencing everything each and every one of these thousand souls experienced in the moment. Being asleep – yet wide awake. Tired – yet filled with energy. Floating on the sensation of being one with a thousand people, the most exquisite experience – wondrous!

Throughout the night, while sleeping, this is what inhabited my dream state.
Waking up, this is what inhabited my waking state.

Getting up, the day after coming back, I carried it with me – being a part of it, there was simply no other option available. Going through the day, it was there, in the background, only to blossom into full aliveness once more as I went to bed yet again in my own bed, twenty four hours after coming home. And immediately, the sensation doubleness in intensity, ten-fold, a hundred-fold, a thousand times more intense – once again, my entire being filled with the sensation of being one with all, no division, no separateness. Unity. Blissful.

Rocked by a thousand hearts, a thousand embraces, a thousand slow breaths – in and out – I gently drifted away into my dream state; Held. Caressed. Cared for. Loved. Part of a beloved community.

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Embodied.

May 23, 2018
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GroundedThe vibrations from the drums keep on reverberating within me, even though the last beat faded away an hour and a half ago.
Am still riding the wave of the energy from the vibrations; what a wonderful feeling.

Vibrations.
It’s as if all of a sudden, I’ve discovered a new world, a new dimension, the world of vibrations.

Setting an intention.
Heard. Voiced. Welcomed.

Receiving a clear message that this is to be embodied.
I need/crave/desire more body in my life.
It is where the direction I am pointed in.

The vibrations do just that, wake me up, body and soul, having me ride the waves of the drumbeats.
It’s all about energy.

I.
Am all energy.

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