children

the welfare of the children

the welfare of the children

June 30, 2020
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I read a book. A book about a father who is suddenly –by the mother– refused the right to be with his two children, and what follows has me frustrated to pieces.

One reason for my frustration is that I have two friends who’ve gone through more or less the same thing, where the system(s) just seems totally inadequate and incapable of actually doing what the Swedish systems claim to do: Put the welfare of the children first. This is (supposed to be) valid for the school system, the social services, the police, the courts, all of the Swedish systems put in place to serve its citizens.

When I read the last page, I grabbed my computer and started to write. And was surprised at what I wrote, because it wasn’t the frustration from witnessing my two friends getting stuck in the quagmire of custody hearings, meetings with the schools and the social services, and what not that started to pour out…

No. What came out was my own frustration from my experiences of an adoption process, taking place in 2008-2009, when my second husband adopted my firstborn, with the blessing of the biological father, my first husband.

It surprised me. I wasn’t aware that this is at the root of why I am drawn to try to aid my friends, or really, anyone, getting caught and entwined in the barbed wire of the system. Because it can truly be detrimental. And I don’t see that it’s actually benefitting anyone.

So once more, putting fingers to keyboard informs me, greatly. I see me. Discover more, of me. Pieces hidden. Forgotten. Deliberately shunned. And… perhaps also pieces of me that are so brand-new, they are like a minuscule fetus, well-protected deep within the flesh of my body, my psyche, my being?

(The book’s in Swedish, and the post as well, but I might translate it. If you want to read it?)


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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calling out for mama

June 6, 2020
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She showed me the trailer to American son on Netflix, and in no time at all, I asked if we couldn’t watch it. So we did. Had us frustrated, irritated, annoyed, upset and shocked.

Then a friend in The Creative’s Workshop discovered Stabat Mater, the piece Jens Bragdell Eriksson, my choirmaster, wrote in 2016 for my choir. Listening she wrote, having me put the album on myself, so I can listen knowing she’s doing the same, on the other side of the world. Together, at a time like this. Important. Vital. Rejuvenating. 

American Son.

Stabat Mater.
At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to her Son to the last.

And George Floyd calling out for his mama, before dying.
(Click this link. Read it. Promise me, you’ll read it. Then come back here.)

The synchronicity of it hitting me hard.
Parents. Children.
Death. Dying.
Life. Living. 

Trying to make sense of experiences I cannot possibly experience, asking when I don’t, taking in the differences in what it is to be human, in someone else’s body. 

There’s so much to learn, and I intend to continue learning.
Listening. Reading. Watching. Conversing. Asking. Writing. 

Being. And Doing.

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Insights that truly shake me to my core

May 17, 2020
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I haven’t gotten the text on the victim vs perpetrator-perspective in the bag yet. Did discuss it with some wise friends today, and… it will come. I won’t let it go. But it’s still not ready.

And then… I wrote another text last night, after having done three more prompts in The Creative’s Workshop. The prompts gave me an insight into two modes of mine, perform/deliver and discovery, and the text I wrote a few hours later was directly related to this.

You see, a while after finishing those prompts, I got such a massive insight into my own behaviors, into where I slide easily into discovery mode, and where I stick to perform/deliver as if it was a life-raft, even though it’s most likely dragging me down, rather than saving me.

And it’s gotten to be a habit – a routine? Or perhaps even a ritual? – to write in situations like this. When hit by insights that truly shake me to my core, putting fingers to keyboard helps me find, what it is I suddenly see. It’s a way for me to step fully through the door that the insight invites me into, which is the way I describe what tankespjärn is. So yes. Insights, for me, are most often tankespjärn of the highest quality!

This insight is personal. Deeply personal.
And I don’t know if it’s to be shared widely.
Not yet.

I have to digest it a bit, wrap myself (not my head. My self! Significant difference for a recovering head-footer-person, i.e. the head with feet attached that small children draw as their first attempt at humans, that I am.) around it, and just let it be.

I did share it with two of my absolutely closest compadres, directly. They are as close to me as my own skin, in many ways, and I know, there’s nothing but love and support to be gotten from them. And within minutes and hours, I had gotten just that, from both of them. Love. Support. And more love.

The process… now and again, there are variations to the general process of writing, and this is one of them. When it’s something that hits home, deeply affecting me, I need to make sure that I am not bleeding from any wounds, before sharing. If I am, the reader gets more than they should, and it’s not fair on them. It’s not for me to spread my hurts, wounds, sorrows, on others, widely.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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What am I blinding my children to?

June 18, 2017
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in Tip
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I’ve already recommended the entire Invisibilia-podcast series in one of these podcast recommendations, and I do suggest you listen to each and every show. But here’s a specific episode which is just mind-blowing. At the end, the hosts had me dancing in the street (was outside taking a walk while listening) as I answered YES to the question:

Do you think if we changed our expectations blind people could come to see?

The episode is called: How to become batman and centers around Daniel Kish, a blind man (since he was 13 months old) who since early age uses echolocation to get around.

BoldomaticPost_What-am-I-blinding-my-childreWhen I listen to how his mom raised him, I got really quiet, and looked deep within at how I raise and have raised my children.

Paulette Kish faced the question if she was going to raise him like a seeing child, allow him to explore his world with very few restrictions on him for blindness?

Now. My children are not physically blind. So that specific question has never been a question for me to ponder. But still, as I listen to this show, and hear the story of Daniel, and of his mother, I cannot help but wonder what I am blinding my children to, by the expectations I place upon them? And correspondingly, what am I opening them up to, by other expectations? Are these expectations intentional or unintentional from my part? How aware am I of my expectations, and the result that can spring from them?

In 2015 I ran a series on herothecoach.com with Sunday postings of podcasts to my liking. In 2017 I will be re-posting some of those blog posts – and this is one of them, originally posted here – , mixing them up with new podcast recommendations. This one I find especially well-suited, given the similarity to the post from yesterday on What my children learn watching me?
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What my children learn watching me?

June 17, 2017
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propped up in bedToday is my birthday, and as I sit here, still propped up against the pillows in bed, getting ready for the day – which will be spent preparing for and having people over in the afternoon and evening – I come across this phrase:

”What are your children learning
as they watch you?”

I could ask them. Actually, that’s a good idea, I think I will, one day in the not too distant future.

I can also look within, and reflect upon what I wish and hope that the learn while watching me.

I hope my children learn (in no specific order)…
– to be gentle towards themselves.
– to laugh at all things possible to laugh at (and with).
– to be generous, both in spirit and with physical means that can grant relief to a fellow human.
– that it’s ok to experience all emotions possible to experience; to not be afraid of feeling whatever comes in the moment.
– to dream wildly and to do the work that will take them one step closer towards fulfilling that dream, and then another step, and another…
– to be kind in heart, helpful and openminded.
– to open their homes to those in need.
– that thoughts aren’t Truth, but rather a suggestion, that they, in each given moment, can ask How does this serve me?. And if the answer is It doesn’t, to know that they can let go of that thought, to let the next one come.
– the importance of thinking one step further – that the choices we make has implications down the line, not simply for us as individuals, but for all of us, for flora and fauna and the Earth itself.
– to enjoy life! The richness of it, the textures, smells and flavors, the vistas and thrills, the high’s and low’s of the eternal rollercoaster we call life!
– to love. Wholeheartedly. With all they’ve got.
– to dance through life, and especially, to dance with whom- och whatever comes knowing at the door.
the importance to look after ones Self, in spirit and body alike.
– to read! All the worlds available to us in the form of books is such a treasure.
– to ask questions and be forever curious.
– to be open to what wants to happen next.
– to grace life with beauty and tenderness as well as lots of hugs and kisses! You can never get too many hugs, that’s for sure.

I believe I could go on and on, listing all the things I wish my children learn from watching me; all the while knowing that I am not all of this at all times – far from it. It is my intention though, to live life wholeheartedly with these aims top of mind. And when I slip or forget, to get back on track and above all, to be gentle with myself at all times.

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book “The parents Tao Te Ching” by William Martin.

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#blogg100 – Allow yourself the same.

May 19, 2017
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”Give your children time to play without agenda,
to read without purpose,
to daydream without limits,
and to discover without fear.
Allow yourself the same.”

In a society giving praise to the highest possible efficiency, constantly striving for better, more, higher, larger, cheaper, I suspect the lines above might cause severe discomfort.

Without an agenda? Surely not! Must there not be an agenda, always knowing what we are headed for, what the goal is?

Reading without purpose, just for the…. fun of it? For the pleasure of it? Simply because it’s something we want to do. Not to get better, to learn, to widen our horizons, to sharpen our argumentative skills…. but simply, because we want to?

Dream without limits – oh no! Stay down, little one, you cannot break any glass ceilings, you are the wrong color, gender, sexuality, religion, ehtnicity…

And the last one.
Discover without fear.
Perhaps the one raising the most objections?
Fear. Ever-present, and almost revered.

Oh no, surely I cannot do that, it might be dangerous!

What, me? No way, there’s no way I can give a talk in front of onehundred people, I’d surely make a mess of it.

Get out of that tree, you might fall down, son!

Watch out for strangers, you never know what they might be up to!

When faced with phrases like this, we commiserate, nod sympathetically and share the sentiments… all the while sending the signal that this fear is real, it actually is something to avoid, that danger might befall you and your loved ones. But is it true? Is there – truly – danger ahead? Or are we simply paying too much attention on thoughts that don’t serve us at all?

discover without fear

What might we – I – discover, if the volume of the internal fear-monger is lowered? What might be experienced, learned, lived, if curiosity is allowed to take the place of fear? What’s there to discover?

Allow myself the same… If I don’t – what message am I sending my children and those around me? Is it the message I want to send?

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 80 of 100.
The book “The parents Tao Te Ching” by William Martin.
English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.

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#blogg100 – Worthy of imitation.

May 13, 2017
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The parents Tao Te Ching is brimful of little nuggets (and large ones for that matter). Nuggets that makes me gasp for air, shake my head with regret at what I’ve omitted to give my children during their upbringing, nod in agreement, rejoice at having learned how to and what I actually have done as a role model for them… and every other sentiment available for a parent, regardless of the age of the children. Mine are seventeen going on eighteen, and twelve going towards thirteen.

kidsAs I read and experience all of the above mentioned, and then some, I don’t wallop myself over the head, blaming myself for not having been a better parent, damning myself for not doing that, or for doing this. No. What has been has been, and that’s as it should be. But I can look at it, what has been, and take it in – what I did, what I did not. Why I did, why I did not. Looking within, reflecting, daring myself to look in the mirror that the book holds up in front of me, and with an open heart and mind, look at my reflection.

Gently, I look at myself, at what I see, at what the past has to show me, and learn from it. Because there’s a lot of road ahead of me, as a parent, still. It is not too late to ask for forgiveness, for those things I’ve done or not, that might have been harmful in some way. Acknowledging it, and, more importantly, learning from it. Trying out new ways to parent, new ways of relating to my precious children, as they are fast approaching adulthood. Being the best parent and person I can, in words as well as action. Because, and we all know this, and it’s one of the first quotes in the foreword to the book as well, in the words of James Baldwin:

”Children have never been very good at listening to what their parents tell them, but they never fail to imitate them.”


And as they come of age, being a role model worthy of imitation has never felt as important. Giving me great cause to continue to learn, to grow, expand as a human being. To continue to walk the path of my life, with gentleness and curiosity, making sure I grasp every opportunity to laugh and enjoy life to it’s utmost.

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 74 of 100.
The book “The parents Tao Te Ching” by William Martin.
English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.

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A cruel and heartless world, anyone?

September 29, 2016
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BoldomaticPost_It-s-not-our-job-to-toughen-oI read the quote by L R Knost on what our job is, what my job is, and I nod, agree, and then give a deep sigh. Not because I disagree. I don’t, not at all. I agree wholeheartedly!

The sigh comes more from having met so many people – in person, or via their writings, articles, blog posts, or through their social media presence, tweets, Facebook status updates and the likes – who seem to think the opposite. People who state “It’s a tough world and if kids don’t get knocked around a bit – metaphorically at least – during their upbringing and time in school, they will not know what hit them when they grow up and join ‘the real world’ as adults“.

Maybe not spoken in those exact words, but definitely sending that message. And I simply do not believe that is the way towards a more loving and peaceful world. On the contrary. And for me, the trick is this: I cannot raise my children to be more loving and wholehearted if I am cruel and heartless. Again – kids (and everyone else as well, I dare say) do as we do, not as we say.

It’s time to walk the talk. For real. Because I want to do my job, I want to be a part of making the world a little less cruel and heartless, and more loving and peaceful.

But how? How do I do that? How do I act lovingly? What is a wholehearted action? How do I show up in the world, lovingly and wholeheartedly?

I think I might write down a few bullet points for loving and wholehearted respectively, translating the fluffy words into actual activities (actions, words, gestures). Then I can look within to see if I am walking my talk, or not. What do you think, are you?

Since 2012 I have blogged over at herothecoach.com in a jumble of Swedish and English. This post is a sample of what I’ve been writing – in English – there over the years. As of 2016 all my English posts appear here instead. I hope you enjoy this #ThrowbackThursday, originally published here, and if you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts.

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