Tankespjärn

This too shall pass

This too shall pass

May 9, 2020
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There was a king, and he once said to the court sages: I have a ring with one of the finest diamonds in the world, and I want to hide a message under the stone that can be useful in a situation of extreme despair. I will give this ring to my heirs, and I want it to serve faithfully. Think of what kind of message will be there. It must be very short to fit in the ring.

The sages knew how to write treatises, but did not express themselves in one short sentence. They thought and thought, but did not come up with anything.

The king complained about the failure of his venture to a faithful old servant who raised him from infancy and was part of the family. And the old man said to him: I’m not a sage, I’m not educated, but I know such a message. For many years spent in the palace, I met a lot of people. And once I served a visiting mystic whom your father invited. And he gave me this message. I ask that you don’t read it now. Save it under the stone and open it only when there’s no way out at all.

The king listened to the old servant.

After some time, the enemies attacked the country and the king lost the war. He fled on his horse and his enemies pursued him. He was alone, his enemies were many. He rode to the end of the road. There was a huge deep cliff before him, if he fell there, it is the end. He could not go back, as the enemies were approaching. He already heard the clatter of their horses’ hooves. He had no way out. He was in complete despair.

And then he remembered the ring. He opened it and found an inscription: “This too shall pass.

After reading the message, he felt that everything was quiet. Apparently the pursuers got lost and proceeded in the wrong direction. Horses were no longer heard. The king was filled with gratitude to the servant and the unknown mystic. The words were powerful. He closed the ring and set out on the road. He gathered his army and returned his state.

On the day when he returned to the palace, they arranged a magnificent meeting, a feast for the whole world – the people loved their king. The king was happy and proud. The old servant came up to him and said softly: Even in this moment, look at the message again.

The King said, Now I am a winner, people are celebrating my return; I’m not in despair, not in a hopeless situation.

Listen to this old servant, the servant answered. The message works not only in moments when everything is bad but also in moments of victory.

The king opened the ring and read: “This too shall pass.

Again he felt a silence fall over him, although he was in the midst of a noisy dancing crowd. His pride dissolved. He understood the message. He was a wise man. And then the old servant said to the king: Do you remember everything that happened to you? Nothing and no feeling is permanent. As night changes into day, so moments of joy and despair replace each other. Accept them as the nature of things, as part of life.


This is the parable I referred to in the post on What makes you not a Buddhist. What thoughts or feelings arise in you upon reading it? Do you recognize yourself, your thoughts and feelings? Or is it far removed from you, something you’ve not given a lot of thought to?

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Something that makes me go Huh…

May 6, 2020
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Why can’t I find it easily on your website? It’s not in your About-page, so I am not sure what tankespjärn is, and what it actually means?

The answer is easy: I haven’t gotten around to all of that. Yet. It is in the works and will be there. In a month? Two? Something like that. Definitely not longer, I definitely want to put tankespjärn front and center for anyone who comes looking.

As it is, you might google it and come across my small blurbs on it (#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New. Join!), or one of several blog posts where I’ve gotten into the concept in various ways. But as of right now, the one place where a definition of sorts is easily accessible is on the Patreon page where there’s a short video of me describing the concept if you scroll down to the About-section.

But in short:
Tankespjärn is an invitation to thinking and experiencing more, other, new, having you do a mental tumble, coming upon doors that open onto new vistas and universes. The invitation is to step through these doors, but, like with any invitation, you are free to say Yes or No.

My two blog posts on Help (Not wanting to ask for help, and The generous thing is asking for help) are examples of what might be tankespjärn for you, but then again, it might not, as each tankespjärn is an invitation, and not necessarily something for everyone. It might give rise to something to contemplate, to ask yourself questions you’ve never thought to ask, or perhaps take action where you normally don’t (or vice versa!). Or not. This might not speak to you at all, and if so, there’s probably something else that is the type of tankespjärn you need or look for at the moment. 

Something that makes me go Huh… and then I am free to take the invitation and go deeper, or shut the opened door, saying, Nah, not interested. That is what tankespjärn is, for me.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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When the apocalypse comes

May 1, 2020
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On Being is a favorite podcast of mine, one I’ve listened to more or less since I discovered the world of pods, which might have been some 8-10 years ago or so.

Today, walking barefoot in the park, I had Ocean Vuong and Krista Tippett accompany me. Listened to the edited version, and once it was done (by then I had walked home, donned socks and gotten on my bike) I immediately started on the unedited one. By the time that one finished (which had me in garden garb, busy sowing sallad, digging up a few stray herbs and replanting them in the herb garden, cheered on by Pop the cat), I pressed PLAY yet again.

That’s how good it was. Or is.
I urge you to listen, for yourself, to see what you pick up on.

What calls to me most, right now, is this passage on Noah’s Ark:
[…] the preacher kept talking about Noah’s Ark, and I was so infatuated. I think it embedded into my psyche in really everything that I do, even to this day. What an incredible mythos to work and live by, which is that when the apocalypse comes, what will you put into the vessel for the future?

What a marvelous question, accompanied in the unedited version, with this:

The demand on an assessment of human good and value. And then also the abandonment of what is not useful. That confrontation of filtering for gold for the future.

Today, in a world suffering a global pandemic, this is a very apt perspective to take on.
To address. Not necessarily to answer, straight up and down, but to work with. Sit with. reflect upon. Talk about.

I, for one, have definitely thought more than once how glad I am that some (or perhaps even a lot?) of the – in my view, judgmental, I confess – mindless consumption of shit and stuff, has stopped, only to read the following in a New York Times-article:
Millions Had Risen Out of Poverty. Coronavirus Is Pulling Them Back.
Experts say that for the first time since 1998, global poverty will increase. At least a half billion people could slip into destitution by the end of the year.

Reading.
Forcing me to consider that, of course, there is a whole chain of people dependent upon just that mindless consumption, and if one stops, so does the economic wheels of the other.

And what bothers me the most is how it’s always the poorest and most exposed that bear the brunt of it. Regardless of what it is. Be it war, economic recession, pandemics or weather conditions…

This, for me, is one aspect of what #tankespjärn is.
Shifting perspectives, insights that however much I would like for there to be, there very rarely are Right’s or Wrong’s, making me reexamine my stance on things, my beliefs, my prejudices.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Pay as much as you want?

April 28, 2020
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It’s funny how the (or at least my) brain works. An event or two flashed before my eyes last night, scrolling my social media feed, and they used the Pay as much as you want-, Donation based-, or phrased differently Pay as much as you think it’s worth-strategy.

Upon waking, my brain told me there are two, or possibly three, rationals for using this strategy:

  1. It’s a truly generous move, one where the organizer wants everyone to be able to come, to experience, to participate, regardless of their financial means.
  2. It’s a chicken move, evoked as a way to skirt one’s own responsibility. Not wanting to, being able to, feeling comfortable with (or whatever reason there might be subconsciously) actually putting a price on one’s services. Not knowing what it might be worth to others it is so easy to simply let the others decide. But what does that tell you about your own belief in your product/service? How much do you value you?
  3. A combination of the two where there is a genuine desire to be open for all, and yet getting away with it… One way to avoid this is to do Donation based with an added indication of what is going rate.

What do you see with these strategies, that I don’t?

Anyway.
That’s how my brain works.
How does your work?


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Questions on tankespjärn?

April 25, 2020
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Do you have any questions on tankespjärn for me?
What it is? What it means? How I do it? Why I do it?
Anything else you would want to know? 

I’d love to hear them, your questions, as I am doing a live in my tankespjärn-community and I don’t know if I will be doing it with any of my community-members, or alone. I just picked a time that was open in my calendar, and I haven’t got a clue if anyone else will be able to join me, let alone if they want to. 

But hey.
They joined my community, so I presume they would want to join if they could!

So I figured, I can make this into a worthwhile exercise regardless because there’s so much on the topic of tankespjärn that I have yet to communicate, that just knowing I will be devoting myself to it for an hour this upcoming week, makes me happy! I greatly look forward to it. But any question you would like to gift me with would be of immense help for me! 

But hey (again)!
Perhaps you would want to join me and the others in the community?
If so, check out my Patreon-site, join my community, and you are good to go. Hope to see you there!


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

April 14, 2020
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Testimonials.
What value do they hold? 

It’s much easier for me to listen to a personal account of something (whatever it might be. A new book, series, restaurant, savings scheme or…) by someone I know, and take to something. And if it’s not someone I know, I am slightly less inclined to try whatever out. 

But what goes as best practice these past years, is to gather testimonials. In writing, or on camera. Showcasing them on websites and offers, in commercials and marketing. And I’ve never really thought much of it, until I spoke to C about it. And he said, bluntly:
F*ck em. Couldn’t care less. Don’t want to know, don’t want to read, don’t want to hear. 

Which had me baffled. (And you’ll understand why I love hanging with him since he is so skilled at providing me with tankespjärn!)
Mostly because I had simply never really stopped to consider them. Testimonials. What good are they? Which ones provide value for me? Which ones don’t? And do I honestly receive the value I perceive from them, or am I simply affirming my own biases? 

The latter reminded me of a pod (in Swedish unfortunately) with the professor of marketing and consumer behavior at the Stockholm School of Economics Micael Dahlén. He spoke on biases and grades, TripAdvisor and book reviews and basically said the same thing C did, but with a bit more data to back him up. 

Now… I love receiving constructive feedback from others, on things I’ve done, on courses I’ve given, on workshops I’ve facilitated, and it feels great to have my ego stroked when the feedback if gushingly positive, but is there any use in showcasing that type of feedback? Or are they more of an ego-boost?

I’ve heard and read Seth Godin say, on a number of occasions, to not look at reviews or comments.
I’ve heard and read Brené Brown say, on a number of occasions, to not listen to anybody who isn’t themselves in the arena, to use her phrase. Not the negative expletives. understandably, but not the positive gushings either, because both will skew your view. Neither is of service to you or your craft.

So. What’s the value of a testimonial? Truly?


Tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
Join!

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Buddhas by the roadside

April 7, 2020
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I don’t know how many times I’ve sat in complete rapture listening to Dominic tell a story, or debunk a book, or guide me through a connection of dot’s that I wasn’t anywhere near connecting. More than once, I’ve wished I were recording it, wanting to share his insights, his wisdom, his deep knowledge of more areas on human existence on Earth than I can name.

Then there’s Caspian. Such a dear friend of mine, popping ideas right and left, and generously inviting me to tag along for the ride. Wise well beyond his years and yet, young enough to introduce new vistas of human existence in my life in a completely different way to how D does it, and never shy of telling me when I am off base in one or another way.

I love them both and love spending time with them. And since the fall of 2019, we’ve been doing just that, recording our conversations. However, we’ve never really gotten around to figuring out how to put this out there, or when… and then: Global pandemic strikes.

And there are no people I would rather sit with, talk with, engage with and receive tankespjärn from, than these two. So, that’s what we’ve been doing. We’ve recorded a number of conversations, which all have the corona-virus as a common denominator, but let me tell you, these conversations take the most wondrous routes, passing through such topics as Process Work, salt and slavery, the economy of Modern Man, Georgism and the Commons, and so much more.

And we said, sod it. Let’s not figure out precisely how to put this out there, let’s just do it. So that’s what we’ve done. The Corona Conversations by Buddhas by the roadside, are available on most pod players (or will be very shortly, I know Anchor and Spotify are up edit: now on Apple/Podcasts, and the rest are soon to follow!), and I would urge you to take a listen. Start with the one from March 14th, 2020, because that’s where we started this. And then – well. It’s up to you. Keep listening, or turn us off, your choice. But at least, give us a listen, at least if you are ready for some serious tankespjärn!

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A basic requirement.

April 2, 2020
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When I launched my English website I started a series of Doing gentle-posts, and the first one read like this:

My first step to awareness of how I was treating myself was the insight that I wasn’t gentle towards me.

And that I could be.

During a therapy session many years ago, my therapist saw me treating myself with mental boxing gloves, and pointed it out to me.

Why are you so hard on yourself? she asked.

I was flabbergasted.

Because in asking, she implied there was another option. And I just had not seen that, had not known that.

So I asked Don’t I have to be?

She smiled her sweet and gentle smile at me and told me how she would have handled the situation we’d just been discussing.

I broke down in tears, exclaiming I didn’t know that I don’t have to be harsh towards myself.

I truly didn’t know that gentle was available to me.

Do you? Do you know, deep within yourself, that you can be kind and gentle towards yourself?

I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today –regardless of the arena– if I hadn’t learned how to be gentle towards myself. In a sense, it is the very base that #tankespjärn rests on. It’s one of the basic requirements for being able to truly use the power of tankespjärn in your life.

You do gentle. Then you add “the edge”, which for me, is #tankespjärn.


Become a part of wonderfully deep conversations on how to grow, explore, find –what you need to find, grow and explore– while I share how I work with my tool #tankespjärn, that lets your thoughts and ideas receive a special mix of support, resistance, questioning, feedback – and cheering on!
 
If you are into co-creations and out of the box-ideas and realizations – this is a good space to be in. Join to find out more about tankespjärn!
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Twisting and turning.

April 1, 2020
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It’s a little bit funny (I hum) that sometimes clarity comes when someone else explains your offering (whatever it might be), using their own words, and it just all falls into place. That’s what happened when Katarina Felicia Lundgren, in her words, described what the #tankespjärn-community on Patreon is, can and will be:

My friend Helena Roth has now opened her page #tankespjärn at Patreon –come and join her community– you will be part of a wonderfully deep conversation on how to grow, explore, find –what you need to find, grow and explore while Helena shares how she works with her tool –tankespjärn– that lets your thoughts and ideas receive a special mix of support, resistance, questioning, feedback – and cheering on!

If you are into co-creations and out of the box-ideas and realizations – this is a good space to be in. Join to find out more about tankespjärn!

I have yet to get really clear on how to succinctly describe the concept, the tool, so getting a blurb like this one from a word-smithy of rang such as Katarina, definitely helps me get clearer on what it is, and how I can describe it to others. Because the word itself isn’t much help, especially not for non-Swedish speakers, but even for them, it’s not a given.

And what I really like about this, is that even this part of the process is tankespjärn. The way I twist and turn words and my understanding of the concept in order to get at something that might –or might not– be communicable, with a driving force of curiosity (What will I learn? Who will react how to what types of descriptive phrases?) and playful experimentation (What if I do it this way, or that way?).

If it’s not apparent, I assure you, I am having great fun with all of this!


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

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Stumbling. Fumbling.

March 31, 2020
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What to do now?
What to write on the Patreon site?
How to start to engage my early adopters, the first handful of Patreons who have stepped up, stepped in, and are ready to dance? 

Stumbling.
I am.

Fumbling.
I am.

Unsure.
I look at this. Nah.
At that. No way.
Discard the third thing and then…

What would your response to yourself be if you saw this time as an invitation to dance?

I get this response from Sue Heatherington in The Creative’s Workshop, and it has me relax, exhale, laugh a bit at myself, and start to dance. And all of a sudden, I’ve posted my first post in the brand-new #tankespjärn-community. And there’s more to come!


It –the #tankespjärn-community– is for those who wish (be it consciously or just through some type of itch) to discover.
More. Other. New. The multiverse available to us all.

It’s all about you. About your very own personal starting point, whoever and wherever you are.
You are a person who would benefit from reflection, from observation of self and the world around you, from discovering habits and patterns of old and asking (not once, but regularly) how or if they still serve.

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