books

12 English books to read in 2020

12 English books to read in 2020

January 4, 2020
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Third time’s a charm, so here I go, having chosen a given number of books in English and Swedish books I had at home around New Year’s, to read and blog about in 2020. Besides this sub-challenge, my overall reading challenge for 2020 is to read (a minimum of) 65 books, and you can tag along on my reading journey over on my Goodreads-profile.

Tess sent me the Wolves-book that I am really looking forward to reading, Goldratt and Mathiesssen have warmed my bookshelves for decades, Pernilla lent me the Buddhist book, Caspian the Pooh-book, and at least another three of them (Schulz, Eker and Priestley; possibly Friedman too?) have also been gifted to me. Anderson, Kostova and Liedman are books I’ve bought second hand (even though they are in more or less pristine condition).

Have you read any of the books above, and if so, what did you think of it/them?

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Good bye 2019!

December 31, 2019
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This year with the intention As I am has truly been a most wonderful, challenging and rich year. So much has happened, so many meetings have taken place, so many insights and lessons have come my way. 

Monthly follow-up of the intention of the year: As I am
Continuously following up on the fairly detailed ambitions I set within four areas (bodily, mental and spiritual wellbeing, creativity and financial husbandry) has been a very interesting activity, helping me to remain focused, as it has given me at least (!) a monthly reminder on what it is I want to focus on.

Timetravel
The invite to T and Hs 100-year party in Stockholm gave me a day (or two) of time-travelling. The theme of the party was the 1920s, and with my soul sister S and A I was given a chance to truly travel in time. As if I simply stepped outside of my ordinary life during these days… magical!

Cold baths
I started taking cold baths at the end of November 2018, and took it to new heights during 2019, ending on a high with 8 days of cold bathing in a row. Thanks to the deep breathing-practice that’s taken a firm place in my life during 2019, I’ve given up the quick ”in and out”-dips of before, in favor of five-ten minute submersions in cold water, thanks in large part of breathing and focus. It’s absolutely amazing and definitely something I will continue doing!

Coach Dave
In December 2018 I hired coach Dave for a year’s worth of coaching, at substantial cost, a tad more than 100% more than I’ve ever invested in myself before. When the time came to pay the second installment, my Jenny (who does my company finances) if Dave was worth it. My answer was fairly illuminating: No, Dave isn’t worth it, but I am! It’s been a fantastic journey and I have learned a lot, but perhaps the most important insight is just that one. I am worth investing in!

Podcasting
I have released one round of my own pod Doing gentle with an edge, and have twice as many episodes recorded but as yet unreleased. I will, in due time! I have taken part in Caspians Ett samtal (for the second time round; in Swedish) and have, thanks to Caspian, moderated the pod Fria Barn (in Swedish) released in the fall of 2019. Together with Caspian and Mr D I am also busy recording a number of episodes of a new pod in English which will be released in January. Finishing of the year with a couple of days of New Years retreat with those two gentlemen – what a wonderful way to end a year and a decade in!

60 hours of tankespjärn
For many years, tankespjärn has been my companion, as a word, as a concept, even, when I started to reflect upon it, as my life philosophy, since long before the word revealed itself to me. During the year the idea to host 60 hours of tankespjärn was born in a conversation with coach Dave. That’s what happened and there will be more, mark my word, in years to come.

Pecha Kucha and TEDxSlottsparken
As I so often do, once again I say: Thanks to Caspian I did a Pecha Kucha in Lund in April headlined How I broke up with my inner dictator, and that experience in contrast with my June experience as a moderator at TEDxSlottsparken was enormous. I was very nervous to do the Pecha Kucha, whereas I, moderating TEDx felt calm and collected. The difference? My Pecha Kucha was written in advance, and had me timing speech with 20 slides for 20 seconds each, while as a moderator I could act in the moment from what was, which (apparently) suits me much better!

Kenya
Nine days in Kenya after midsummer turned into one of the most rewarding experiences of the year. It’s given me so much, in so many aspects, such as an increased understanding of the tree-savings-scheme I have as a part of my (and the kids) long-term savings since 2015, to an increased network and a very close friendship with my roommate Lena. I finished the blog-year with a 25-days advent calendar here, with images and stories from the trip, something which deepened my gratefulness for going, even more.

Mastermind-pilot
Another thing was born during a coaching conversation with Dave, when he gave me 15 minutes to “do something”, which resulted in my sending out an invite on the fly, to a handful of chosen people, to participate in a Mastermind-pilot. During thirteen Tuesday evenings starting in August, had me spending an hour with four participants and me as the facilitator. What a journey that turned into. A pilot that definitely has me wanting more!

Culture
It’s been a year of many lovely cultural experiences of all kinds. With Heléne I have experienced Patricia Piccininis A World of LoveGuds olydiga revben, sing-a-long to Rocketman på Spegeln as well as Stina Wollters exhibition in Borstahusen. Add to that a fantastic production of Mozart’s Requiem at Malmö Opera with Skånes Dansteater, yet another sing-a-long with Dirty Dancing on the big screen and last but not least, performing Stabat Mater over Easter, the first-ever performance of Missa Brevis at All hallows eve and the choir trip to Jämtland.

Goodreads reading challenge
I set a goal to read 75 books during 2019, and finished my 76th book on New Year’s Eve, so mission accomplished. I also have the 12 Swedish och 12 English books I chose at the start of the year, to read and blog about on a monthly basis. Ever since I invented this challenge in 2018, when I chose 26 + 26 (which was a bit too much) I have realized this to be an excellent way for me to ensure that the books I buy “in order to read” which then end up unread on a bookshelf, actually get read. So I will do the same for 2020, 12 + 12.

Ready to leave the nest
My firstborn headed off to Australia on adventures in January, coming home end November, just having turned twenty. 10,5 months on the other side of the planet, and if I had any doubt before the trip, by now I am 100% certain this kid is ready to leave the nest. This makes me very happy and grateful because this is what parenting is really about, making kids ready to fly on their own!

The year that has passed has, of course, been loaded with a huge number of things besides the few I display here, but in general, it’s been a fabulous year with up’s and down’s, with tears of joy as well as sorrow, with amazing moments in solitude as well as in togetherness, and I am thankful to each and everyone and everything–including myself–that’s participated in making this year so rich.

Finally, I wish for you and yours to have a truly wonderful new year, in joy and love, with warmth and light–take good care of yourself!

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A structure to achieve my intentions

January 21, 2019
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Facebook reminded me about a post I made three years ago… that had me a bit confused because I’d forgotten about it. It was a post about 36 books I wanted to read in 2016, with an “I will likely be blogging about some of them” as an aside.

Facebook Live #80 🇱🇷🇬🇧 – Intentions and what makes them transform into action

Facebook Live #80 🇱🇷🇬🇧 – Intentions and what makes them transform into action

Publicerat av Helena Roth Lördag 19 januari 2019

Wanna wager if I succeeded or not?

Well. I didn’t. Not in 2016. Because I hadn’t set up the necessary structure to achieve my intention. So I bombed. However, the similar intention I set in 2018 was a success (reading 26 + 26 books in English and Swedish respectively, and to blog about one of them every Sunday), and I’ve set up a similar structure for 2019:
1) A Goodreads reading challenge (75 books to be read in 2019). I use Goodreads to keep track of the books I read, and what my progress is, so I visit the website at least a few times every week, if not daily.
2) I wrote my intention for the year of 2019-blog post, and in it, I wrote about both the #goodreadsreadingchallenge, but also about the 12 + 12 English/Swedish books I will read this year, and that I will be blogging about two of these books every month.
3) at the end of each month, I will be posting a follow-up-post on the yearly intentions, keeping track of how I am doing. This is a vital part, because it has me reminding myself about my specific intentions at least on a monthly basis. So if all else fails, at the end of the month (or the start of the next month) I will get a kick-in-the-behind to get on track again.
4) I have these 12 + 12 books in my bedroom bookcase, and I look at them every morning and evening.

Do you help yourself achieve your intentions through the structures you design and put in place, and if so, how?

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12 English books to read in 2019

January 5, 2019
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The sub-challenge of 2018 to read 26 English (as well as 26 Swedish) books was enjoyable, to the extent that I will do a version of it this year as well. So I’ve chosen 12 English (and 12 Swedish) books that were in my home come New Years, that I will read in 2019. Just like in 2018, I will blog about these on Sundays, once a month/blog. Besides this sub-challenge, my overall reading challenge for 2019 is to read (a minimum of) 75 books, and you can tag along on my reading journey over on my Goodreads-profile.

A fairly good mix this year as well, and I look forward to getting acquainted with each and every one of them. Three of these I have had warming my bookshelves for quite a few years (Hargreaves/Fullan, Alsén/Troedson and Yunus) but the rest I got in 2018. I have learned my lesson from last year, and will not hold back on reading “the heavy books” until the end of the year, that’s for sure. And the heavy artillery is here, in the English section, I don’t think there are any really heavy reads amongst the Swedish ones (but hey. Who am I to guess?).

Sara gave me Lame deer; D suggested Tarnas; Hargreaves/Fullan I picked up during my school activist-days; I bought Ben David at Ängsbacka during a workshop she held; Homo Deus I ordered before I finished Sapiens because I wanted to read this one as well; Don’t Panic I bought directly from Troed; my sister, and others, praise this Murakami as being his best so when I stumbled upon it at a second-hand shop, I figured I’d give it a go. Banker for the poor is, embarrassingly enough, probably an illegal book copy I bought on the streets of Mumbai ten years ago; Clapton’s guitar I found at another second-hand shop in Karlskrona during a rare in-the-flesh-Mastermind-meeting; Coyle has been recommended to me; Whitehead was my pick from the rewards for having read and reviewed x number of books for the library’s “Summer book-challenge”; and finally: A fine balance. This book is special. Since I read it (in 98? 96? In Thailand anyway, visiting my brother.) I’ve pegged as the best book I’ve ever read. (Funnily enough, my brother says the same, and still does, I brought it up with him this week when we FaceTimed.) I have yet to re-read it, but when it showed up on the shelves of a second-hand store, I thought the time has come to do just that. And to ensure I will read it thoroughly it’s also my chosen book for the Gifted book club. I wonder: will I still think it’s the best book I’ve ever read after my re-read?

Have you read any of the books above, and if so, what did you think of it/them?

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Good bye 2018…

December 31, 2018
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Good bye 2018, the year when…

  • I expanded upon the intentions of previous years, from a word to a full sentence: living an intentional digital and analog life, which got a lot of activities and plans, that I’ve been following up on a monthly basis (on the Swedish blog).
  • I started the year with being a teacher at Newton college of higher vocational studies. The course is called Mapping and documenting processes, and the students were Business Analysts IT. Thrilling, challenging and very generative. Am gearing up for a re-run, as I will be giving this course in January of 2019 as well.
  • our divorce was finalized. At the same time, I took over full ownership of the house (with a little help from the bank, of course).
  • I visited Paris for the first time, with the kids, my mother, aunt, brother and nieces. Glorious!
  • my eldest graduated from secondary upper gymnasium. Time sure does fly…
  • I’ve started to explore inner and outer dimensions of myself in new ways. I spent my birthday at a godess weekend course, spent a week at the No Mind-festivalen at Ängsbacka. And towards the end of summer I painted a mandala with Lisa Withlovelisa Rislöw before taking a two-day course in Playful Tantra with Charlotte. Talk about being wowed! So maybe you’ll not be surprised that I’ve also downloaded Tinder…
  • for a full week, I had my lovely Campfire Sisters visiting Sweden.
  • for the better part of 6 months, I’ve been low… which I realized when I stopped being low in the end of October. Not surprising given the past years up’s and down’s, and yet, it feels good “to be back”.
  • I joined the #BusinessBoomUtmaning on Facebook at the beginning of Novemver, and have since done a Facebook Live every day, something I think I will continue doing! It’s fun, expanding and rewarding. Earlier in the fall I recorded my first #TeachingOfTheDay at the bequest of Caspian, and both these activities have gotten me started in many ways.
  • I finally took up swing dancing again, also known as Lindy hop. I absolutely love it and will continue dancing!
  • I got myself a new coach – and boy am I ever curious about what this will generate in 2019! One thing is for sure; I want to coach more than I have these past years, and I very much look forward to this.
  • I let my Upholder tendency run loose (looser than before). This has resulted in…
    * 21 digital sabbats, minimum 24 hours, but a few were 48 hours long
    * 5 ChattyMeals with me as hostess, and one that I took part of as a guest
    * 52 runs, which evens out to one a week, which is what I set my mind to
    * 110 days of practicing the guitar
    * my daily Seven this morning being my 1597th in a row (yes. For 1597 days I have done my morning exercise!). As part of my daily Sevens I’ve also done 2890 burpees (since I started that challenge May 28th 2016 I haven’t gone a day without at least one burpee, and have done a total of 12442 burpees by now).
    * me doing 1597 Headspace meditations, but with a broken run streak. Today was my 108th Headspace in a row. For some reason it’s easier to remember doing my daily Seven than the meditation, so once in a while, I forget a day.
    * I’ve decided to do my German DuoLingo-course daily as well – today was day 157, and there are only 11 lessons left to get to level 2, then I’ve reached level 2 for the full course. There are a total of five levels, so I have my work cut out for me a few more years!
  • And then. The reading. Massive enough to warrant its own bullet.
    I challenged myself to read 100 books in 2018, and I did, last night. Managed to squeeze in one more book this morning, so I have read a total of 101 books in 2018, reading 28 723 pages…
    I added two more challenges to this as well:
    1) to read 26 Swedish and 26 English books, chosen a year ago (books I already had at home), and to blog about them every Sunday on my two blogs. Lats last night I crossed the finishing line, with The Black Swan being the last of the English books.
    2) reading the alphabet in 2018, a challenge I stumbled upon when a lady made a comment on a blog post of mine. I only partly managed this one, reading 21 of 29 letters of author given names, 23 of 29 letters of author surnames, 24 of 29 on book title, but… luckily I managed to read all the letters when combining these three lists, so I did manage to read the entire (Swedish) alphabet, 29 out of 29 letters done!

Now… time to prepare the New Years Eve dinner. I am grateful and happy for this rich and exciting year, and I am pleased to be able to round off this year like this. Reflecting back, with gratitude, giving me a form of closure of the year that’s passed, which makes for a great start-off point for 2019.

With this, I wish you and your loved ones a very happy New Year!

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Advent Calendar 21 – Invest in yourself

December 21, 2018
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I invest in me, with time and money – which actually is time as well. Every krona I spend comes from the time I’ve spent doing work for my customers, billing them and then paying my own salary. I invest a lot in me. The investments I make in myself is how and what I “feed myself”, both mentally, emotionally and physically.

Mentally I feed myself deliberately by listening to podcasts, reading books (94 read so far this year, with a goal of – at least – 100!) and initiating and partaking in conversations of the most diverse kind. I have just hired a new coach and I am investing a lot in myself by retaining him. Feels great! This all helps my mind expand, providing me with more perspectives than ever before, making me more prone to be able to flip things around and not go for the most obvious answers. Building a world of infinite greyscale (the color of wisdom, mind you!) rather than black and white.

Being a part of Mastermind-groups and having colleagues to discuss things with is both a mental and emotional investment. And of course, spending time with those I love is an emotional investment, one that I would like to invest a bit more in, come to think of it.

Physically I invest in myself by doing my morning exercise (today was day 1587 in a row!), biking most everywhere, going for walks (I never suggest lunch or fika-meetings, always suggesting Walk N Talks instead, and CoachTalks for my coaching clients.), jogging once a week and just recently starting to dance lindy hop. I drink my daily green smoothie and love my ginger shot, eating vegetarian food (which works fabulously for me) trying to stay away from food where the contents, the ingredients, aren’t easily understood.

These are but a few of the investments I make in me – and guess what? It feels amazing! And I reflect on what I do to invest in myself now and again because just because I’ve invested in a certain way for a long time, doesn’t necessarily mean that it still is an investment worth the time. Perhaps the return on investment has diminished, perhaps it’s no longer a return I value?

Do you invest in yourself? If so – how? With what? And what’s the return on investment you get from it? And if not – why? What signals does that send, to both you and others?


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 21 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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The Law of Light (book 20 of 26)

October 7, 2018
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The Law of Light – the secret teachings of Jesus, written by Lars Muhl. As with The O Manuscript, Lars Muhl provides me with yet another wonderful reading experience. Not as outer worldly as The O Manuscript; but most definitely a book well worth the read.

The book is… well… It contains a mix of verses out of Biblical sources paired with Lars providing explanations or perhaps rather interpretations as well as his own little gold nuggets of wisdom. The book ranges over a wide expanse, covering heavenly archetypes and mystery traditions, conscious breathing and sin, love and free will, and much much more. This is a book I already know I want to – and will! – reread. There is simply so much here that intrigues me, that resonates, that provides little glimpses into things I have barely begun to scratch the surface of.

“A person who lives entirely in the outer world without any connection to his or her inner life always ends up as a victim of loneliness and separation. Such a minus-person […] is often frustrated about the past and in constant fear of the future.”

How I can relate to that. My entire recollection of childhood centered (! Yes. Past tense. Because I can change the story I tell about my childhood experience, to best serve me and those around me.) on being left out, feeling isolated and alone, observing rather than taking part.

“Mankind has only one self. On the other hand, this self has two sides, the small, personal self and the higher, transpersonal Self. Through our free will we have, at every instant, the opportunity to choose the type of reality we desire. We can choose the small self’s limited reality, or we can raise ourselves above the personality’s pettinesses and take responsibility for our life in the creative possibilities of the great Self: NOW.”

Another verse I can relate to. Ever-so-much. The rediscovery of my Self, a journey that has lasted – consciously – for the past three years. A journey that inspires me, encourages me, expands me. At the moment, a journey leading me on a playful dance of discovering my inner Yes (and No – but my lukewarm yeses and no’s have been frequent visitors within, those aren’t my main challenges.) which also has me saying yes and no. Stating it, plain and simple, is a challenge in and of itself. But I am getting there!

“Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this is of confusion.” (Matthew 5:37)


The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2018, to read and blog about 26 Swedish and 26 English books, one book every week, books that I already own.

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13 read – 13 to go!

July 4, 2018
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Have reached the halfway mark of one of my two reading challenges of the year, to read 26 English books (as well as 26 Swedish books) during this year, books I already had in my home at the beginning of the year, books I’ve had the intention to read, but never got around to. Until now, that is! I’ve read 13 of the English books and am currently on my 14th Swedish book, so I am on track on both languages, with 13 English books to go. (My second reading challenge is to read 100 books in total in 2018, and I am fairly aligned with that goal as well, with 48 books read so far.)
English books - 13 downEvery Sunday (or, well, rather every other Sunday, as I blog about my Swedish books every second week) I write a book reflection on the book of the week, which in and of itself is a treat for me. I discovered how much joy it gives me to reflect on books as I did the 2017 #blogg100-challenge when I wrote a book reflection every day for one hundred days in a row. There are so many fantastic books, and also so much thought provoking, beautiful, outrageous, troublesome, chocking, fascinating and marvelous to read in books!

Once I’ve finished the Swedish book of this week, I think I will start on Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, but then again, you never know. Sometimes I change my mind at the critical time of actually flipping open to the first page of the book…

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26 English books to read during 2018

January 3, 2018
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One of my sub targets for the year, linked with my intention to live a more intentional digital and analog life during 2018, is to read 26 Swedish and 26 English books, books that I already own. There are more books in the house, still unread that I want to read, but of the English books these 26 were the most enticing.

26 English books

As you can see, it’s a mix of new and old books. The Swedish collection has a more diverse touch to it, whereas this collection feels a bit heavier. However, all of these books have one thing in common: I want to read them!

SwopI pondered if I should predetermine which book to read what week, but decided against it. Have entered all the books (both Swedish and English) into my Goodreads-profile under ”To read”, so I have them there, when the time comes to move them, one by one, into ”Currently reading” before filing them under ”Read”.

However, as I did that, I noticed that I actually already read David Whyte’s The house of belonging. So I replaced it with a book I got from a fellow Supercoach in 2014, which I’ve been intending to read ever since.26 English on display

I will read these chosen English books every other week, and blog about them (at least once) by the end of said week. I started off the year with a Swedish book, so you’ll just have to wait for another week before knowing which book I start with out of these 26.

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Welcome 2018 – living an intentional digital and analog life

January 1, 2018
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Welcome 2018Welcome 2018, the year when…

  • I continue being gengle with myself – this is a perspective upon life that I will forever carry with me.
  • I live a more intentional life, in both digital and analog aspects – choosing what’s most fitting given the situation.
  • digital 24-hour sabbats will become a ritual in my everyday life. Every month? Weekly? Not sure, but two per month minimum.
  • my bedroom is a sheltered analog zone, without computers, iPads or phones, and if I need an alarm clock I will work it out with something other than my IPhone.
  • I will not buy a single online-course based on me watching video clips and reflect on my own. It. Does. Not. Work. For Me. I have learnt this lesson now.
  • I will, despite what I just wrote, restart and complete the “A year to clear what is holding you back” purchased during 2017.
  • I will be going – with good company – to an “analog” writers course with Bob Hansson at Mundekulla.
  • Pernilla Tillander and I will continue to work together – grow, learn and have loads of fun doing it – in Skurup for the ESF-project Include & Meet.
  • I will read 26 Swedish and 26 English books, one per week: books I already own. Each Sunday I will do a reflection on either blog on the book of the week.
  • above and beyond the 52 “books I already own” I will set my #Goodreadsreadingchallenge for 2018 to one hundred books.
  • I will let my Upholder-tendency have free reins, which you can see in the above, which for me is far from a punishment, rather, quite the challenge, something that tickles and entices me!
  • I aim at being a ChattyMeals-hostess and/or attend others ChattyMeals at least on a monthly basis. LÄNKA
  • riding my bike and taking walks, as well as my daily Seven and my Headspace-meditations, will continue to be my daily companions in life.
  • my economic husbandry gains clarity – in all senses. What this really means is something still remaining for me to defins, so I know what it truly is I want to achieve.
  • my eldest will graduate. Yikes. How time flies. This deserves a celebration!
  • I – perhaps more important than anything else – will enjoy life, explore, discover, expand, and in all manners possible allow myself to have as much fun as I can!

Intentions of previous years have come to me more in the form of a single word, more or less. This year is different, but if I summarize all of the above, this is where I end up: Living an intentional digital and analog life. That will be the intention for 2018.

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