calm

Calm to be had.

Calm to be had.

March 27, 2020
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Last week as I stepped into the cold water of the ocean off the coast of Malmö in the south of Sweden, I had my phone with me. I’ve a habit to do that, now and again, as I record myself going in, staying in, sharing my experiences with cold bathing. What came out of my mouth that crisp spring afternoon, with sunshine and blue skies, as I was standing in the water, which, just like the air was around five degrees Celsius, was this: There is calm to be had.

The world has turned upside-down, for so many. A global pandemic is raging, and I fear that we’ve just seen the beginning of it. Cities, counties, countries and companies are closing down in varying degrees, and whatever was normal, no longer is.

And.
With all that going on.
There is calm to be had.

It’s easy to not experience calm right now.
I know that.
I see that.

I also know it’s equally easy to experience calm.
I know that.
I see that too.

There are many things I have no say in.
What my government is –or is not– doing. Whether or not the school my youngest attends will stay opened or not, and what will happen next, neither locally nor globally.
No. Say.

But there are many things I have a say in.
In what I choose to do with my days. How I spend them, regardless of external constraints. What I read. What I listen to. What interactions and conversations I engage in. If I seek out Drama, or not. If I stick to routines (as best I can) that serve me and my wellbeing.
If I show compassion and care. To me. And you. And us.
A. Say.

There is calm to be had.
And it matters whether or not I choose calm. Or not.
Because I matter. Just as you matter.

Can I always choose calm?
Yes. I can.
But I don’t.
Because I am human. And so are you. And that’s the way it should be.

The choice is still there though.
There is –always and already– calm to be had.

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Caring. Of self. Of others.

March 13, 2020
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At home.
Not going in to work.
Not headed to Bornholm for the weekend course I signed up for around Christmas time. I canceled my attendance before the course got canceled on account of almost everyone canceling their attendance as well. 

That’s positive.
People are thinking and taking preventative action, avoiding unnecessary meetings and events, minimizing the risk of spreading and/or catching the Coronavirus. 

I haven’t seen the negative effects of this, yet. Understand there are people hoarding so much for themselves that others will go without. But I have seen the opposite, the positive effects. People volunteering their help with grocery shopping or cooking, to help those in high-risk categories. People not involved in fear-mongering, but rather the opposite, being factual and emphatic at the same time, willing us all to stay calm and caring. Of self. Of others.

Not going in to work does not mean I cannot work.
I can. Luckily.
However. Hand on heart… Have not mustered the energy to go at work in full swing. Not yet. Giving myself room to take it a bit slower, to rest more, sleep until I wake up, have a slow morning reading in bed, letting the re-calibration work it’s way into me, in the back of my mind letting the insight from my prioritization-exercise percolate. Curious to see what will come out of it. How I will protect this new space (as I was asked by a fellow TCW-attendee) of insight and a world slowed down.

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Being gentle to me – Reflection May ’16

May 25, 2016
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Sometimes life sucks, like, really sucks. The worst. Horrible. Upheaval. Uproar. Chaos. Lethargy. An undesirable status quo that cannot seem to shift. But what I’ve come to experience, is that even in situations like these, when life really sucks, it doesn’t. Now there’s a paradox, I know. But, what if it isn’t?

What if that which is a human being can never really be defined in one single emotion? I mean. I’ve had some serious issues to think about lately, and if you focus only on those, yeah, life is really hard, massive, heavy, uncertain. But life as a whole? No. I didn’t experience it as such. This particular area of life, yes, there I had issues. There was uncertainty and fear, feeling alone and vulnerable. But those weren’t the pervasive emotions of my experience of life as a whole, or possibly, of capital-L Life.

May reflectionI discovered this as I was having lunch with a friend. We had an honest and very open conversation and as I told my story, as I explained the issues I was facing, I felt very calm. Totally centered.

Was asked Oh, poor you, that must be so hard?

And, almost surprisingly, the answer from me, was No. Not at all. I don’t experience this situation hard at all. Uncertain yes. But not scary, not hard. Just uncertain. And it will resolve itself, one way or the other, and regardless of how it will come to be, it will be fine. I will be fine.

Now, I’ve never felt this calm in a correspondingly serious situation before. Never. And on another note, what’s a serious situation? Why do I put that label on the situation? What if it’s just a situation, no more, no less. A situation, that’s all. Not serious. Not minor. Not important. Not insignificant. Simply a situation, to deal with. Perhaps, that’s the key? Might that be the reason why I felt such calm and confidence in the situation? Because I truly didn’t weight the issue down, internally, with the label Serious? It was a situation that was in need of being resolved, but I had no real deadline for it, I wasn’t in any rush, had no sense that I had to get on with it. Was fine with letting it evolve, letting go and letting come, uncover what was to happen.

I’ve never been more gentle to me, than in this situation. 

Wow. What a statement.

Imagine the amount of energy I would have spent on trying to resolve the issue, on wrangling to make the outcome a specific way – the way I would have decided was The Right Way – if this would have happened five, ten, fifteen years ago. An enormous amount! Trust me on this. And now – most of that energy was available for other things, activities, experiences, emotions. Some of the energy, yes. Of course there were moments of hard effort, of wishing that what Is wasn’t, but so much less than I would have spent in the past.

I’ve never been more gentle to me, than in this situation. What a gift!

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. I will be reflecting on a monthly basis on what that means to me, in the moment, and this is one of those reflections. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates (in the right-hand column) so you won’t miss out on future reflections.

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