blogging

Open to the shifts

Open to the shifts

August 25, 2020
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This past week, I have not blogged daily. Haven’t written daily either, but even days of writing, have not always been days of blogging. This will likely prevail. I will blog, if blogging is in the cards. Or not, if (when) not. There’s a shift here, a desire, an inkling to play around with a somewhat different way of going forth. It’s not hard for me to blog daily. (Most times.) What’s harder is listening within, and blogging because there’s something to be said, something to be let out, rather than doing it because I’ve committed to doing it. (Makes sense?)

My deep-dive will not be published (now). But I will be writing (it). This is a commitment I’ve made, one which, truth be told, might even be hindered if I were to stick to a daily blogging scheme, having me go for the easy write rather than the deep-dive, which takes so much more from me. There’s effort. (In flow. Effort in flow. Trust me. It comes. But not without thorns, tumbles, tears.)

Then there’s the idea of doing yet another different type of writing. A deep-dive of sorts as well, but not within so much as without, into something specific. Wanting to do tankespjärn-pieces, that are more thorough. Researched. Thought through. (Yes. Mostly when I write, I simply sit down and write. But I’ve been longing for a different type of writing for a while. So how about it; Give me permission to do just that?)

As always (often? At least often!) when there’s a shift in one place/space, other shifts tag along.
One shift acting as a catalyst, causing other shifts to happen.

Being open to the shifts makes for an interesting life.
Explorative. Elucidating. Expansive.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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The stress indicators

June 5, 2020
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Hard to ignore, the stress indicators. Having a hard time getting to bed. Waking early and/or intermittently throughout the night. Having a hard time holding it together (you should have seen my reaction to this America’s Got Talent clip – moved to tears above and beyond my normal reactions to AGT/BGT-clips!). And, today, the best tell-tale sign of them all, the fluttering eyelid. All of these indicators have been my companions now and again throughout adult life (and probably even before).

The difference is my greater awareness about them. I see them. I feel them. I notice them. And, I know what to do about them as well. At the moment, I do what I can during the weekends to make sure I rest, relax, read. Spending time in the garden is a great way to ground me. I recharge enough to make sure I can do what needs to be done the upcoming week without running dangerously low on battery.

It’s also a conscious decision of mine to keep up my current work pace, knowing it’s a weekday sprint/weekend recharge for about another month. After that, there’s room. For me. For recharging for a longer period, and more importantly, for less sprinting.

Am not worried.
In a sense, kind of pleased that I’ve gotten to be so good at picking up on these indicators, that in the past, 10+ years ago, were just a part of my normal life. They aren’t anymore, on account of what I do and how I have set up my life, and it has made me much more observant to when they show up. Giving me a chance to take stock, to weigh pro’s and con’s and make a conscious decision on my next step.
Am also fully aware that shorter sprints of massive workload is something I am capable of managing, I just need to make sure that the periods aren’t too long, because that’s when it starts to become a real problem.
And it’s not. Not yet.
And I won’t let it be, either.

If nothing else, my more-or-less daily blogging helps me check in with myself. And wondrously enough, somehow whatever seems to come through my fingers onto (digital) paper, most often points me in whatever direction I need to go. It’s a gentle nudge, bringing my awareness up, making me see. Me.


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

September 30, 2019
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It’s past ten pm, I have yet to blog and finish a meditation challenge-activity as well as send off a challenging activity of my own to my digital #tankespjärn client, before I hop into bed. Pop the cat is draped elegantly across the sofa, right next to me, my guess is he’ll run after me once I get off the couch, to beat me to bed.

I am not really in blogging-mode, and yet, here I am, willing myself to write. You see, these past months I’ve not made time for blogging in my extremely jam-packed calendar, and it affects me. I ground myself when I write; I become aware of what I am, where I am, who I am when I sit down to let my fingers tip-toe across the keyboard. So the fact that I’ve been a busy bee coupled with the fact that I haven’t blogged is starting to take its toll. Blogging is a part of my wellbeing practice.

Had a friend suggest I ”just write, you don’t need to publish it”. But that’s just it. I don’t ”just write”. Or at least, way too seldom. Publishing my writings is what makes me write, especially as I have the intention to blog daily. That means I write daily, and that is of huge benefit to me.

So here I sit. Ten past ten at night, after a long day of three different networking meetings, four almost-half-hour bike rides, and both choir and guitar practice. Writing. Getting into the habit of blogging daily again. A habit that serves me.

Possibly I should take a helicopter view of my blogging routine, and set up a new set of intentions. Perhaps daily isn’t optimal? Perhaps it should be every other day, perhaps only on weekdays, perhaps… well. Who knows. For now, though, getting back on the horse again seems like the wisest thing I can do.

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Streaks

August 8, 2019
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Seth Godin celebrates eleven years of daily blogging, quite an impressive daily runstreak I must admit. I am far from his caliber (in this, as well as in most – all? – things) but I am quite good at runstreaks myself. It’s soon seven years since I started my Swedish blog, and 6,5 years since I commenced my habit of daily blogging. Which I have not kept up as diligently as Seth, but still, in seven years I have published 2249 blog posts. 2250 with this one. And as I started my more-or-less daily blogging habit on January 23rd 2013, which is 2389 days ago, I have missed 139 days. In 6,5 years. Corresponds to roughly 5 %, which inversely means I’ve blogged just short of 95% of the days since then.

Cool.

Yet.
That wasn’t the point I aimed for.

Seth writes “Streaks require commitment at first, but then the commitment turns into a practice, and the practice into a habit. Habits are much easier to maintain than commitments.

He is so spot on here.

In another runstreak of mine I have managed to stick to the 100% daily drill – I did my 1817th Seven-morning workout today upon waking up. Monday August 18th 2014 I started, and since, I have not missed a single day. It’s evolved from being a commitment, which definitely along the way turned into a habit. One I do not question. It’s not a matter of IF I should do my morning Seven. I just do it. I have made the decision, and put it in the Decision Box, to use the words of my friend Caspian.

I made a decision on August 18th, 2014, to start (and finish) the Seven-month challenge that Perigee (the app-makers) promotes. Every day, I could have revisited that decision. But I didn’t, because I’d already made it. And needless to say, by the end of those seven months, I just kept going.

If nothing else, committing to a runstreak, honoring it and making it a practice, to be rewarded by it becoming a habit is energy conserving. I spent my energy d o i n g my morning workout, rather than debating with myself whether or not I should do it.

Now.
This might not work for everyone. At least not if the Four Tendencies come close to describing how people respond to inner and outer expectations. Needless to say, I am an Upholder. I do not question for a second that Seth Godin is one as well.

However. I firmly believe everyone can find ways of transforming commitments into habits. What’s your way to enable this type of transformation for you?

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Going with the flow

July 12, 2017
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I haven’t officially declared myself as having started my summer vacation, but more or less, I have stopped working for the summer. Being self-employed with the type of assignments that I take on, I am fairly free to schedule my work the way it suits me best, so since the kids left school for the summer mid-June, I have been taking it fairly easy. Work wise, that is.

But yesterday was one of those days where everything just flowed, from one task to another, and as I seem to have loads of energy at the moment, I am just going with the flow.

Allotment aisle cleared of weedsIt started off (after blogging and doing my daily Seven of course) with a date at the allotment, where we cleared away the final patch of weeds, to return the plot to the city, as we are no longer interested in keeping it on. Last week we weeded the entire plot, and just had the aisle outside to clear up as well. Done deed. Felt good!

Got home, and immediately brought out the vacuum cleaner as there had been an accident in the kitchen involving a glass bowl breaking apart. Started to vacuum, and figured I might as well do the entire house. So I did. And while I was in cleaning mode, I took the time to clean the toilet, bathroom and laundry room as well.

Then I had some lunch out in the garden, reading the paper, before I decided to go to the library to return and borrow some books. So I took a long barefoot walk, enjoying the lovely summer weather. As I got close to home, the neighbor texted, saying she’d started to cut our shared hedge out front, and hoped I would be ok with it, as she’d been quite drastic in reducing the height of it. I got home, and high fived her, as we’d been about to suggest to trim it quite a lot, giving it a complete make-over, and the height was just what I would have suggested. As she was hard at work, it seemed fitting I joined her. So I did. Hours upon hours of hedge-trimming, interspersed with a Swedish fika at the neighbors to regain some strength for completing the job.

The hedge make-over

Managed to convice my daughter to make dinner for us, and as she was busy in the kitchen, I finished trimming the hedge from my side, just getting done when dinner was served. All in all, I would say the hedge has been reduced by half both in height and width! Give it a few weeks, and it will be all green again. grass cuttings

Earlier in the day, another neighbor a couple of blocks away, texted asking if I wanted some grass cuttings (the best fertilizer for the garden!), so after dinner, I rode my bike over there, took the wheelbarrow filled with grass cuttings for a walk, dumped it in my yard (that’s on todays agenda, to distribute it evenly in my garden where appropriate) and walked back, before taking my bike home again.

Absolutely beat, I just had one more thing on my daily-to-do-list: my twenty minutes of guitar playing. Got that over and done with (it’s coming along nicely I can tell you!) and then plonked down in the sofa, for a while, before dragging my tired body up to bed.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had too much sleep, as I’ve been severely bitten by whatever tiny winged creature resides in the hedge, all over my body, so I’ve been tossing and turning, itching like crazy, all night. So perhaps, today will be a day of gentler and less strenous flow?

Unless the neighbor decides to rent a trailer to haul all the hedge branches to the recycling station, because then I will join her in that endeavor as well, getting rid of the huge pile currently residing on my drive way. On the neighbor front lawn it looks as if there’s two hedges, so there’s plenty to haul away, that’s for sure. But compared to what got done yesterday, getting rid of it all will surely feel like a breeze.

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Learn to speak your truth

August 2, 2016
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Seth Godin prompts everyone to blog every day for sixty days in the final minutes of the podcast Louder than words with John Bonini:

I would suggest that people blog every single day – you don’t even have to put your real name on it – but make a commitment every day to notice something, and write about that thing you noticed in a way that doesn’t benefit you, but benefits someone else. Do that for sixty days, without measuring, just to do it, just to see how it feels, just to be naked. My bet is, if you can start down that path, you might not end up being a blogger, but you will end up as someone who can speak their truth with more confidence. 

SeattleI started my first blog in August 2012 with the intent to do just that, write and share my observations of the world as I saw it. However, my writing was very sporadical, until I stumbled upon a Swedish 100 day blogging-challenge in January 2013. Since then, I have blogged daily, with a few exceptions (the most notable one the recent two week summer holiday I took with my family). I can’t say I’ve written with the specific purpose not to benefit me, but to benefit others. But as it turns out, it has benefitted both me and others, that I know.

For me, writing is the best self-coaching tool around, but I would not do it nearly as mush as I do due to blogging. And I wouldn’t do it as often, if I didn’t have the aim to blog daily.

So.
I blog.
Daily.

That way it’s not an issue.
It’s not even a daily choice.

It’s a choice I made once, about something that matters greatly to me. That turns daily blogging into something to execute rather than decide upon. It’s no longer a matter of having time, or having something to write about or whatever other excuse I can come up with, it’s simply something I do. Daily. Sit down, write, post and share.

I have reaped so many benefits from daily blogging, that it would make for a long bullet list. However, Seth sums it up perfectly: Blogging daily has helped turn me into a person who can speak my truth with more confidence. 

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