Tankespjärn

Setting the tone: On gifting

Setting the tone: On gifting

January 1, 2021
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The bottom line:
Pick a topic. Any topic.
Bring it up in a circle of people, people open, curious and willing to contribute.
Behold: magic will unfold. 

Setting the tone, the tankespjärn-community monthly Zoom-call for December of 2020 on gifting, might well have been a major influence on what transpired a few days later, on Christmas Eve, as me and my children celebrated Christmas together. A Christmas different from all other Christmases, perhaps because of that fact alone, perhaps not, but regardless, the most magical of Christmases ever (another story, another time). And yes. A gift. To me.
And yes. A gift. To my kids.
And yes. A gift. To the three of us, to Us. 

We gifted each other one of the finest and most sought-after of gifts: time and attention. Presence. Respectful, loving, open and curious presence. Which, it just so happens, is also my major take-away from the Zoom-call, that being with someone, truly with, is one of the most valuable gifts a person can give anyone. Including oneself – tending to myself is (perhaps?) the biggest gift of all. If I do not, I will not, sustainably, be able to provide for others. 

In the Zoom-call on gifting we touched upon so many facets of gifting, the light, bright, shiny ones. Yes.
How a gift well-received, with grace and a heartfelt thank you, is a gift in and of itself.
How whatever it is that you do, and share, with a small or large circle, is a gift. Say, writing a book. Painting a picture. Baking a cake. 

And also, the darker, more murky and off-center-aspects.
How I am powerless over others, and thus, even if I act with the best of intentions, in gifting time and attention, or a thing, it might backfire, because those others respond in anger, in the same way I can, when I receive something I’ve not asked for, which isn’t what I want.
How the opportunities to bear gifts are so rife, it can be daunting in itself, freezing me in in-action, stuck in the thousands of opportunities arising each minute. 

And.
Then. This:
Compassion for self.
Empathy for others.

As it was spoken into the (Zoom-)room, God bumps spread across my limbs, a sign I always receive as the gift I know it to be, suggesting I pay extra attention right here, right now, because there’s Truth being told/shared. 

It is with the utmost grace I host, participate, and doodle, these community-meet up’s. To be able to do this, in the company of openhearted, respectful and loving souls, is such a gift to me, a priceless gift.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New. And yes. I mean you.
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A moral dilemma

December 8, 2020
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The bottom line: A permission slip, to myself, to write to my heart’s content. And then, after I’ve finished writing, apply my new-found skills of the story scaffolding to the piece, to help me determine whether or not this is a story or a non-story. Depending on the answer, there might be some value in going back to the piece to shape, embellish, clarify it. Or not.

I spent an hour and a half in the company of four newfound friends, all of whom are co-travellers in the Story Skills Workshop. One of the assignments is to record yourself telling (or reading. Yeah. There’s a difference. One I’d not been fully aware of before.) a story, and then invite others into a live story-telling-session. 

It was a lot of fun, very rewarding in terms of feedback given and received, and, as always, feedback given by someone to another story-teller, is sometimes as helpful, or perhaps even more helpful, than feedback directed straight at me. The round-about-way is, perhaps, more palatable, in the sense that I am more easily open to take in what is being said, when it is not me, my story, my performance, my telling, that’s in the spotlight. 

The direct feedback I got was extremely valuable though, and here I am, contemplating a re-write of my story, to encompass all of the insights and nudges I got after my first round of telling it. 

However, as I woke this morning I remembered… I’d recently read  s o m e t h i n g  that spoke precisely to this. To the re-telling, the embellishment, the ’making more of’ that I was busy doing, in my mind’s eye. But what was that something? And where did I read it? 

I turned towards one of the four books I am currently reading, neatly stacked on my nightstand, and picked it up. I was hoping it was this one (A Primer for Forgetting, by Lewis Hyde), and not The Naked Now by Richard Rohr that I’d finished a week prior, and subsequently had borrowed to a friend. If it was that one I was in trouble, as I didn’t have it at hand. 

Flicking through the pages of Hyde’s book, going backwards from my bookmark firmly lodged on page 126, I glance at my marginalia, hoping that it will pop up. Luckily, it does. On page 100, so not even that many pages back. It’s a chapter titled FEED ON THE PRESENT and in it Hyde recounts a  story he’s heard recounted, of a man coming to a realization on the actual recounting of his story. 

As I am extra fond of these meta-me (or meta-Larry, in this case) conversations, here’s a few paragraphs from the book:

”… when he got home and recounted the story to various friends, ’the telling started to change a bit, from it just being a straight report of a fact and what I went through. I saw that it was promoting the self. […]’ The story had picked up self-importance along the way; ’there was some mileage coming from it.’”

’… this kind of self-making may be unavoidable and often harmless, but as a matter of Buddhist practice it should at least be noticed, be brought to mind. ’I saw what the mind was doing; the mind was taking materials from the pastas first they were just ’factual’ but then immediately started to use them for the present, the present sense of myself… The self if constantly using the materials of the past and the future to nourish itself, to build itself up… I didn’t do it consciously… It just happened. The ego is going to work, and that’s what it knows how to do.’

[…] to describe how the ego functions: it feeds on the past and the future.

– Lewis Hyde, A Primer for Forgetting

Now.
I am not a journalist.
Embellishing texts and stories is well within my prerogative, and yet.
I do believe there’s something to the awareness alluded to by Hyde (and Larry). If I am conscious of what I am doing, as I am embellishing my stories… I don’t know. There’s a greater chance of me being careful with the message? Or intentful? My stories are often centered around me – my learnings, insights, difficulties – and I honestly don’t want to make me into a person far removed from the people I am trying to reach, be it through writing or telling. I want the threshold to be lowered, rather than increased, and if I were to simply embellish as much as I can, I fear that wouldn’t be the case. 

Perhaps this is simply a message for me, as this is part of the usefulness I make of my writing:
I discover myself while writing, and if I then embellish freely, is it me I am discovering, or an imaginary me? 

(My old me did stop here, leaving you, as well as me, hanging. But, in having a story scaffolding to drape my story across, when I did, I came to the realization that this is an incomplete story, if I want it to actually read as a story. The missing part is the consequence. Where will this all lead to? What will this all lead to? 

Again. I don’t  h a v e  to make it into a full story. That’s my prerogative. Each and every time. But, for the purpose of the learning and discovery-journey I am on, let’s say I do want that:)

I’d say, my answer to this moral dilemma, centers around what my purpose is.
Am I writing only to find me? If so. Go ahead, make it less story-telling-worthy. Don’t embellish, stick to what helps me find me. 

But if I am also, or only, writing in order to get a point across, to publish a text that I hope will resonate with others too… then by all means. Put a bit more effort into it. Check to see that the story scaffolding is active in each and every step. Make sure I do engage my audience, that the challenge is clearly seen/felt/understood, so that the resolution points to a change, leaving no-one in question as to where the story ended for the heroine. 

Only… that leaves me with the worst answer of them all: It all depends. 

However. I actually think this speaks to what the Story Skills Workshop is truly about. For me. (Important bit, that last one. For me!) I write, a lot, and seldom am I intentional with my writings. Neither when sitting down to write, nor when I ship. And honestly, I don’t necessarily want to be more intentional when setting out to write. I do so enjoy writing only to discover when I am knee-deep in, what I am actually writing about. 

But the latter part. Doing the post-analysis, using the story scaffolding, helps me see what the piece is all about. And prompts me to ask myself: What’s the purpose of this piece? What do I want it to be? What do I want it to do? Does it want to become a story, or is it (I!) content with having it be a non-story?

Depending on the answer, I might, or might not, do what I did here. Go back to the writing, deliberately and intentionally shaping it (or not), embellishing it (or not), clarifying it (or not), so that I know I’ve done my best to give it the necessary prerequisites of being able to live up to my intention/s. Story or non-story alike.


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

December 7, 2020
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The bottom line:
When to use the framework and tools I am learning from the Story Skills Workshop, and when not to. A great discernment to make!

I know now why I resist the story scaffolding.
When I write, I mostly write to discover. Not to learn, and definitely not to teach.

When I write to discover, it is as much a surprise to me, as to anyone else, what will come.
It’s truly a matter of what wants to happen here, very far from I want this to happen now.

Like this piece.
I had the start – the insight that I write to discover. But that was it. Nothing else, nothing more. Once I put fingers to keyboard, it comes, whatever it is. I let it, and I love letting it, sometimes chuckling to myself over what is revealed to me, sometimes confused or surprised, now and again moved to tears.

Given this, I am seeing the use of the story scaffolding for me to vary on account of what type of writing it is. A piece such as this, I’d best put it out of my mind until it’s done, all has come out. Then it might well be of use to me to play with analyzing the text, seeing if I can discover all the elements of a story in it, and depending upon what type of text I’ve written, if it is a story, an actual story, that analysis can help me make the story a better story, a more succinct story, a more complete story.

If I set out knowing that I am writing a proper story, one where I know the beginning, middle and end, and the point I want to get across, why, then performing the analysis according to the story scaffolding ahead of time makes perfect sense. That will help me structure the story, get the arc of it in place in a way that serves the reader.

And then… there’s all the other stuff I write.
The non-stories.
The stream-of-consciousness-pieces as well as the poems, the book reflections and anecdotes, the invitations and…
At a loss for words, I’ve realized I’ve batched most everything into the concept of story, something the Story Skills Workshop has shone a light on, making me discern more consciously what is a story and what isn’t, but I am far from on firm ground here. So I don’t know, what else might I be writing that is a non-story?

I don’t know, and I am eager to discover more on that topic, as well as what will happen when I start to use the framework and tools from the workshop more actively, more deliberately. And I wonder… will you notice? Will there be a sudden shift, in what I write, how I write, how you, the reader, will perceive it (I don’t think so. But if I am wrong, please tell me!), or will it be a gradual shift, invisible in each and every piece to its own, but when put together, next to one another, small incremental spets will be discernable, when looking back (Yes. If anything, this!)?


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Shame. Top of mind.

December 6, 2020
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The monthly tankespjärn-community Zoom-sessions stay with me, very much top of mind, as the saying goes, and the November-session on shame is no exception. 

The sensation of shame in the body – the way it can feel both hot and cold, all at once, how it makes me hide, freeze, become almost paralyzed, in words as well as movement. Have I done something wrong? Am I wrong? I AM wrong, and there’s nothing I can do to NOT be wrong. The connection to guilt is obvious, and regardless of what the shame is about, it can be so utterly debilitating. Shame can wrap me inside a cocoon, and, paradoxically, if I numb myself enough, that can even become a place of happiness… if I have numbed myself enough! 

It’s a heavy topic, and yet… witnessing nine souls brave it, fills me with compassion and hope. My eyes were opened to the concept of carried shame, which, I’ve discovered in the days since the call, is not just valid for shame. There’s so much I can carry that’s not mine… we are all potential carriers of things that do not belong to us, and this… helps. Weirdly enough. 

Have you seen the meme of a person stopping a bus from running over a child?
This is what I imagine when I look at my –and your– potential to stop carried shame (and other sentiments) from being passed down. I carry ”stuff” that comes from previous generations, in the same way they carry ”stuff” from the generations that preceded them, and so on. The cycle only breaks, if someone actually deals with what has been carried over from the past. Otherwise it will continue to build and build and build… 

It’s strangely emboldening to think that it is within my capability to stop this. I can put a stop to some, if not all, of what I’ve had to carry, making sure it is not carried forward anymore. (No. I don’t think I can, ever, get to the all of it, but I do believe that whatever I can address, will be an act of service for those who come after me. But also, equally as important, also for those who have gone before me. So I try. I do my best. And then, when I stumble, when I fall, when I stagger at the sheer weight of it all, I am reminded that every little bit counts.) 

Shame lives in darkness. And heals when brought to light.
Shame is processed, and heals, when brought to light; when it is witnessed.
This is why I believe my deep-dive into shame has been so revelatory, I am doing the work, and I am sharing it.
The hiding aspect of shame is what keeps shame alive, vibrant, continuing. When unhidden, when brought into light, when no longer kept under wraps, it cannot not transform. The only way to stop the hiding is to stop the hiding. 

And.
At the same time, discernment in what I am sharing and with whom is most important.
Not everyone will be able to meet me in the shame I carry, in the shame I am trying, wanting, needing to shine a light on.

And.
As with everything else, there is information in shame.
When I feel shame, I am being informed. Of beliefs (mine and/or from the cultural context I am steeped in), of energies not tended to, of the situation at hand. If I approach it thus, perhaps the felt experience will not shepherd me into darkness, paralysis and hiding, but rather, give me an opportunity to bear witness to what is going on, so that I can address it, tend to it, tend to me. In this way, shame (as much as every other felt experience) acts as a magnifying glass. It is virtually impossible to not pick up on signals of shame, they are so effective in their communication that I, at least, find it very hard to ignore. 

And when I don’t, I have a chance to ask Is it mine? And even if the answer is yes, what of it? What is the message? What is the information carried forth through the sensation of shame?


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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I dream stories.

December 5, 2020
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The bottom line:
Immersing myself fully in the Story Skills Workshop, I am dreaming about the tools and framework given to me, an indication that I am wholeheartedly taking on the challenge of learning and discovering what these might gift me with.

I dream stories.
Here, a dream-bubble filled with the engaging beginning of a story.
There, another bubble filled with the story scaffolding.
Characters. Catalysts. Change.

Bubble after bubble burst into my dreams, having me process, relate to, befriend the framework and tools presented to me in the most ingenious way in the Story Skills Workshop. As I sleep.

This is what the brain does.
Make sense of what abounds in my world during the day, cleaning it up if need be, categorizing it, upgrading some to becoming a part of my memory bank, others discarded as not relevant, not worth the time and effort of remembrance.

There’s a lot for me to relate to, to integrate, to try on for size and fit, of all that is presented to me in the workshop. And I am reminded of the value of me keeping an open (an even more open than I have been, honestly!) mind and heart to it all, when I read Lewis Hyde A Primer for Forgetting, in an ask to the reader, by courtesy of Nietzsche:

”Whoever wants really to get to know a new idea does well to take it up with all possible love, to avert the eye quickly from, even to forget, everything about it that is objectionable or false. We should give the author of a book the greatest possible head start and, as if at a race, virtually yearn with a pounding heart for him to reach his goal. By doing this, we penetrate into the heart of a new idea, into its motive center: and this is what it means to get to know it. Later, reasons may set limits, but at the start that overestimation, that occasional unhinging of the critical pendulum, in the divide needed to entice the soul of the matter into the open.”

This, an ask, that I can take to heart even though I am not here, in the Story Skills workshop, reading a book. I am, I want to be, penetrating into the heart of this, for me, new idea of the story scaffolding, learning, playing with, experimenting and examining what it can be for me, what it can mean for me, as I write, as I continue to learn and to discover what is there, for me to expand with, through, from.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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The interplay of learning and discovering

December 3, 2020
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The bottom line:
The interplay of learning and discovery and what sets them apart from one another.

The Story Skills Workshop is informing me.
In many ways. But one, in particular.

How the word story is, in reality, much more defined than what I, personally, have known it to be.

I just wrote a reflective piece within the confines of my Deep Dive into Shame, and it was not a story.
Or?
Was it?

Aargh.
I thought it wasn’t.
Now.
Thinking about it again.
I am unsure.
Perhaps I’ll revisit it, trying to see if I can fit the story scaffolding to it.

However, this is one of the things being in such a massive discovery-phase leads to. For, even though I am learning, how to tell a story, what is a story, what parts constitute a story, and how I can become better at telling stories, I am also discovering. And as my wise friend Inma has made me realize, there’s a huge difference between the two. Learning and discovering are not the same. There can be a lot of learning within the discovering, and there can be moments of discovery within the learning, but in general, what Inma pointed to makes sense, for me.

Paraphrasing, what I heard her say was this:
Learning is being open to what is known to exist, however not yet mastered by me.
Learning has me knowing the end destination from the moment I set out.

Discovery has me stepping into the unknown, taking the risk of setting foot in unknown land.
Discovery is me not having a clue what might be, what might become, whether it be up/down, in/out, high/low, light/dark…

When I set out to learn how to play the guitar, I had the image of me sitting around a campfire on the beach on a warm summer evening, with a handful of friends, playing and singing. Together.

Given this image, I signed up for a semester of lessons with a local guitar teacher, and chord by chord, I learned. There was discovery thrown into the mix, like the discovery that I didn’t have the ability to make one or two of my fingers press down on a string where I wanted and needed them to. I had no idea of that particular aspect of learning how to play the guitar, so it was a discovery. But the endeavor itself was not. It was a learning endeavor.

When I set out to deep dive into shame, I had no idea what I was getting into. No idea what it might lead to. No clear plan or path ahead. What I did have was willingness. Curiosity. A clear intention of not holding back. But the end destination was not clear, not well-defined, simply a felt sense of something other. And willing to risk whatever it took to expand into this otherness. The endeavor itself is a discovery, and cannot be anything but a discovery.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Disagreement as bridge

November 6, 2020
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The bottom line:
Disagreement, not to be feared, or avoided, but rather, providing an opportunity to learn, gain insight and lean towards one another, bridging the gap.

Disagreement.
Twelve people.
Monthly Zoom-call in the tankespjärn-community.

I had shared three plus one links, and another community-member added yet another link, pieces speaking to the topic on disagreement.
The Future of Marriage
Dare to Disagree
Extreme Listening
Befriending Radical Disagreement
How democracies fall apart

I did something new on this call, as I normally doodle during the hour. This time, I asked permission to record the call, so I could doodle afterward instead, while watching the replay. All in all, an interesting experiment, because the actual energy of the call, in real time, poured into a doodle, is energizing and heightens the experience for me. Now, 1,5 weeks after the call, I’ve yet to post a reflecting ”here’s the October Zoom-call-summary” (i.e. this blog post), and I wonder if this is not the reason. In a sense, I am in disagreement with myself, as I fear people experience me as distant and not paying attention, when doodling during the call, but not doodling during the call in a sense makes me less present. Interesting.

However, the call itself gave me many thoughts, as these calls are wont to do, as the doodle reveals to a greater extent than what follows. One of them being the signal disagreement carries, that here’s (possibly) a relationship needing my attention. The possibility lies in whether or not this is a relationship I care about. If not, perhaps the signal sent by the disagreement is to walk away. If yes, disagreement tells me here’s an opportunity to listen. Give the other person/s the gift of feeling heard, truly heard. Might be uncomfortable, within, but when listening, most often there’s the chance to find something to grab onto, something which connects us, something we have in common. A bridge, from you, to me, finding that place of sameness that you can then truly grow from. Where we agree on the foundational value but disagree on the how to get there.

The physicality of disagreement can take varying forms, one of the more subtle ones displayed in what happens when I put my hand out in front of me, like a stop-sign. If I then ask you to do the same, placing your hand up against mine, without fail, if I start to push, you will push back. I’ve yet to come across anyone n o t pushing back (except perhaps others who also uses this method to get their point across), and when I let go, when I release the pressure I am exerting, letting my hand fall away, the others hand follows along, because the resistance is gone. And with resistance gone, the stand-still comes to a close, and movement is possible. Again. Anew. If there’s a disagreement on the horizon, instead of sitting down opposite each other, try taking a walk. Side by side, disagreements have a harder time finding its foothold.

How the fear of disagreement might make me shut up, not express myself, not voice my opinion. Sometimes it’s not fear stopping me, sometimes I simply cannot be bothered. My take; this speaks to a lack of interest in the person and/or the argument.

Disagreement creates friction, which can initiate movement, making us come closer (or drive us farther apart), and how that friction often manifests as d i s c o m f o r t. How discomfort always, inherently, carries with it the opportunity for healing, which led to this powerful statement: Addiction is avoidance of discomfort. Logically, what follows then would be, with addiction, no healing?! If the path of least resistance (the addictive behavior) is chosen, facing discomfort not being chosen, the opportunity to burn through some emotional baggage gone.

And also, how thank god we do disagree. On what is beautiful, important, significant, thrilling, interesting. Without that type of disagreement, there would only be one type of art, and can you imagine a more boring world than one with only one artistic expression present? Disagreement thus helps generate change, providing the necessary friction and traction that makes movement possible.

Disagreement can make me lean towards, rather than away, and that to me, brings the feeling of hope, a feeling I naturally opt for, when given a choice (and when am I not given a choice? As the choice is mine, the choice is always given. I do not always choose it though.). All in all, I left this conversation with much greater regard, even fondness, for disagreement. Quite something, isn’t it?


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

November 2, 2020
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In the creative community I am a part of, Anya Toomre shared a post accompanied by a most beautiful image she’d painted herself, and looking upon it, it took me a while to figure out what it actually was portraying. So I wrote a comment: I love this image. I had to struggle a bit to actually see the cat, so here’s another example of Tankespjärn. A visual one.

Anya wasn’t late to respond, asking me a question that got my thoughts going: I’m so close to this drawing because I did it so it’s interesting that you had to struggle to see the cat. What did you see? And why does this make it an example of tankespjärn?

Scrolling back in the feed to check out the image in question, once more, I was reminded. I find this image to be a piece of visual tankespjärn because the fish popped out immediately, but then… What w a s that? Weird looking eyes, but no, those aren’t eyes, those are paws, wait, hang-on, what i s this? Oh. Wait… Hm. Now I think I got it, might it be a cat? Oh. YES! It is.

Shifting my head around, looking at the weird centerpiece head tilted left, head tilted right, at long last my eyes finally locked onto something my brain could put a name to, and like an image suddenly coming into focus, all of a sudden, I got it. (Check out nekonabe by the way.) But I had to move my head around to be able to see what the image actually showed. Had I not done that, but rather kept on staring at those weird eyes (the back paws), I would not have figured it out. New perspectives are like that. They bring other things to the forefront, making me see beyond the immediate.

This interaction showed me a few things.
For one, Anya had no issue seeing the cat because she was so familiar with the image. This tells me tankespjärn is harder to get at with that you already know well, and more likely to experience it with things that are new(er) to you.

It also informs me that what’s tankespjärn for one, isn’t necessarily the same for another. Tankespjärn aren’t universal or general, but rather personal and specific. What makes me go Huh might not cause even the slightest ripple within you, and vice versa.

Of course, it also is a great reminder that tankespjärn comes in different forms. This one very visual, as opposed to the more word-based ones I most often pick up on, the read or heard ones. But there’s also the physical ones, when I try to make my body do something and it’s as if my body looks back at me with a surprised face, asking what on earth I was thinking…

And then, the obvious one for me:
I have really honed the skill of picking up on whenever I encounter a tankespjärn. I notice me noticing, and that noticing helps me stay with the slight discombobulation and discomfort that a real juicy tankespjärn gifts me with. And before I know it, that sensation has passed, and I am left slightly….  hm… More. New. Other. (Yup, as the slogan goes.)


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Queen of Bingeing

September 30, 2020
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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?

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A revelatory conversation on procrastination

September 24, 2020
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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.
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