choice

Do what it takes.

Do what it takes.

May 17, 2019
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Stop, he said. Don’t come dragging that old story again, just do what it takes. We can spend our time together talking about petty things, things you know full well how to get done, or… we can spend it on that which would really provide value for you. It’s your choice. What do you choose?

Once again, coach Dave gave me the mental slap in the face I needed to shake out of a limiting belief I’d been holding on to for a couple of months. Like a mantra I’d been telling myself, over and over again, only a mantra that kept me small. Kept me a victim. Kept me in a passive state of mind, which definitely did not help me make either of the two choices.

It didn’t help me do what I needed to get done, and it didn’t open me up for working on the other stuff either, the dream, the enticing and alluring idea I’d cracked a few weeks earlier in another conversation with him.

He’s good at it.
Keeping me large, that’s what he does.
Holds me to my inner Goddess, to the fierce and powerful Amazon warrior within.

Mirroring for me what that Helena is all about, what I am capable of, when I own It. When I own Me. Owning that powerful-beyond-measure that is the light within, and letting it shine, shine, shine! Doing what it takes. 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” – Marianne Williamson

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Make sure it involves others!

November 14, 2018
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in Tip
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When asked If I offer out the phrase living a good life, what comes up for you? by Jonathan Fields on the pod The Good Life Project, Mitch Albom answers brilliantly.

Make sure it involves others, he said. Not sure that you can, you know, ever live a really good life if you’re not doing things for other people, if you don’t make helping other people or lifting other people a central part of your life. 

Mitch Albom is the author of Tuesdays with Morrie, a book I read a loooong time ago. I might have read some other book of his as well, not sure though. Mitch Albom hasn’t been top of mind, that’s for sure. But then, saw him featured on a recept episode of GLP, and clicked Play. And baaaam – I was hooked! By his gentle and thoughtful approach to life. By the example he’s setting, how he walks his talk. For real – at least what I can tell from this conversation. So I listened, and – yet again, it happens now and then – immediately pressed Play once I got to the end.

Well worth a second round of listening, and I might very well take Mitch on once more, for that matter.

At the end, he quotes his latest book, The next person you meet in heavenThe end of loneliness is when you realize how much need there is in the world, and how if you give to others in need, your loneliness goes away.

That sentence…Something about it makes me pause. Reflect. Upon my own feelings of loneliness. Of the loneliness I perceive in others around me, and the suffering I pick up from them, due to it. All in vain? I mean… he’s right, isn’t? Mitch, I mean? That if I truly realized how much there is to just dig into – there is no shortage what-so-ever of places, people, projects to get engaged in – I could have the busiest and most jam-packed action-filled life ever. If that’s what I aimed for. That is a choice available to me. And to you.

Listen to the pod. It’s worth an hour (or two. Or three…).

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Our past is a story we tell

April 28, 2018
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in Tip
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I think that something that was a real turning point for me was the realization that we have a choice how we view our past. I could have come out of dad’s incarceration, that time of separation, this kind of wild years, when I was a teenager and really hurting a great deal and seen it as a tragedy that this had happened to us, and told the story, that our dad abandoned us you know, and he made this choice to be a drug trafficker when he had young children, and can you believe that?

Our-past-is-a-story-we-tellI could have decided to tell the story that way, and then I would be a different person, and a less happy person. But I chose to tell it differently, and I chose to see it differently, and I believe in my version of events very truly but it is a choice that we make. Our past is a story we tell, and how we tell that story is a choice we make about who we are, and how we want to be perceived, and who we want to be, and I think being aware of that certainly empowers you to rethink in some ways. 

These are the words of Tyler Wetherall, a woman who grew up with a dad on the run, at the end of her long conversation with Jonathan Fields on the Good Life Project podcast. She touches a topic very dear to me, something which I certainly have given a lot of thought to these past years.

The realization that it is I who give value to my experiences, I color them, I make them significant or insignificant, meaningful or meaningless. With each layer I wrap around my experiences I have a choice. Each layer presents itself as an opportunity for me. I get to choose victimhood or ownership. Love or hate. Making myself large, or small. Helpless or in charge. At the mercy of someone else’s choices, or at the helm of my own life.

Does this mean I always make “the right” choice? No. Of course not.
But the more I practice (with ample help in my most valued question How does this serve me?) the easier it is to make decisions in the moment that do me good rather than the opposite. We get better at that which we focus on, at that which we practice – so I’ve made a choice to focus on being gentle towards myself, and being aware of the choices I have, is one way of honoring myself.

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Strands of neediness.

August 15, 2017
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in Tip
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Half of a yellow sun“For a brief irrational moment, she wished she could walk away from him. Then she wished, more rationally, that she could love him without needing him. Need gave him power without his trying; need was the choicelessness she often felt around him.”

The tangled mess of love entwined in strands of neediness; strands that can be as smooth as silk, and as coarse as a fibrous hemp rope. A need that can feel soothing at times, harming at other times.

I suspect I and Olanna (the character in the book, thinking these thoughts to herself) are not the only ones familiar with this sensation. And, is it not also such, that once the aspect of need in and of one’s lover dissipates, there is a shift, a huge shift, at least on the inside?

When the choicelessness is no more, and the choice – to love, or not to love; to stay, or not to stay – is there, I reclaim my power and my world immediately doubles in size. And with that comes both great exhilaration, but also, perhaps, dread? Because having the option of choice does not always make life simpler, does it?

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you: The book “Half of a yellow sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

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Being gentle to me – Reflection January ’17

January 25, 2017
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After a full year of monthly reflections on what it means, for me, to be gentle towards myself, you might think this is a topic that I’ve exhausted. That I’ve written what’s possible for me to write about. But far from it. I am, constantly, observing that I am being gentle towards myself, in situations where it greatly gladdens me, instances where I know – and I do mean Know – that in the past I would not have been able to chose gentleness, if nothing else than for the reason that I simply did not know it was an option!

Choosing to be gentle towards myself is becoming second nature. It is something that comes first, almost always, nowadays, and from that I conclude that I have practiced the art of being gentle for long enough, so it no longer takes as much effort to choose the path of gentleness, as compared to when I first realized that it was, indeed, a viable option for me – and anyone! – to choose.

I normally say the first big insight that it was even an option, was when I did not bring cash to pay my therapist, some 10-11 years ago. I was ashamed, and wildly kicking myself verbally, and she was astonished that I was so hard on myself. She told me what she’d done if the situation had been reversed, and my jaw fell. I simply could not believe it was an option not to beat myself up internally for having done such a low thing.

But as I sit here and look back at my journey of discovery into the world of gentleness, I spot the birth of my first child as one of those moments, when I was given the choice – by the midwife – to be more gentle to myself. Under slightly unusual circumstances – as me and my then-husband had separated and filed for divorce just a few weeks prior to the birth of our child – I was accompanied by two friends, while giving birth.

When we got to the hospital, I got into a warm bath, and after a while, the midwife looked at me and more or less gave me permission to keep my focus on me, rather than on the comfort of my friends. I was conversing them, staying cheerful and positive, all the while having contractions that hurt like hell… The midwife looked at me, and calmly said You don’t have to entertain your friends. They can take care of themselves. You conserve your energy. You will need it later.

And now, as I reflect back on that moment, I see what I chose then, as I did heed the experienced midwife’s words, was to be gentle to myself. To let myself off the hook to be a gracious “hostess” to my two friends. To truly see that they were there for me, because I had asked them, because I had a need for their strength. In that moment, they were there solely for me and my unborn child. Not the other way around. comfortable spotAnd that was ok. I could let myself off the hook, and relax into being supported, fully, without having to reciprocate, in that time and space. That there would be a time for me to be there, fully, for them. But that would not be the moment of birth of my firstborn. That’s for sure.

Funny that… How I have these recollections of specific moments when I discovered that being gentle to myself was a choice I could make. That there was a choice, and that gentleness was one of the options open to me. As a result, it’s much easier for me to love myself, to like myself, and to enjoy the daily exploration of Life. The life I lead from the place of being gentle to me, is a ridiculously comfortable spot to live from, as compared to my life while being harsh on myself (oh, so harsh!).

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To have. Or to be.

November 1, 2016
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To have or to be.
A wise man wrote those words to me, as I shared a snippet of my day with him.

BoldomaticPost_To-have-or-to-beTo have? 
I believe I’ve tried that one. For a long time. In many different settings.

To be? 
Not so familiar with this one. Comparatively.
Have been playing with it these past years, and am definitely positively inclined towards it…

And then today, as I read To have or to be it clicked.
There’s only one option for me, ahead. And that is to be.
It is time to dive headfirst into that, giving it a go, full steam ahead, to see how that works out for me.

To have. Or to be? What’s your choice?

 

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Doing gentle – 40 – What do you fill your days with?

October 16, 2016
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What do you fill your days with? Light? Or darkness? Love? Or fear? Trust? Or distrust? Ownership? Or victimhood?

Have you ever asked yourself these questions? Do you see that it’s actually a choice we can make, all of us, for our own lives?

magpieBecause it truly is. It is a choice. I get to choose. And I can make those choices as a kind of guiding light, and/or in every moment. For me, I’ve made most of those choices on the level of guiding light, as a kind of direction in life, rather than as a choice in the moment. For instance, I’ve very clearly chosen trust. I trust those around me, I trust in the goodness of people, and I did that because I want to live in a world filled with trust, rather than distrust. When I am in distrust, life sucks, honestly. It’s so much more energy-wasting to go around distrusting people, organizations, companies, societal systems, than it is to work out of the basic assumption that I trust in all of these. I trust they are in it for the betterment of us all.

I do get knocked down once in a while, of course. And that’s hard. But I don’t want to change my basic trust in people, because when I am in trust, I feel so much better.

Welcome to my new website, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I will be sharing thoughts on how I do gentle, and this is the fortieth of those. I hope you enjoy it and if you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series. Also make sure to track back and ready the previous posts.

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Doing gentle – 29 – There are no Musts

July 31, 2016
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Sometimes I forget that Musts are a figment of our imagination. Must’s, should’s and would’s, have to’s. They are made up. Imagined.

I’ve heard someone say there are only two Musts: we must die (at least so far) and we must choose. And I guess that’s a fair estimate.

The rest of them, the Musts, the Should’s, Would’s and the Have to’s, are all made up. Make belief.

Oh, no, some people say when they hear me tell them that Must’s don’t exist, they do, they do exist! I must feed the kids a warm meal every night, and I definitely have to give the house a good cleaning every time my mother-in-law is coming to visit.

But no. Sorry. You don’t have to feed the kids a warm meal every night. You don’t even have to feed them actually. You probably want to feed your kids, and you might think it is a great idea for them to have a warm meal at night, but it’s not a Must. It’s a choice you make.

tablecatAnd you definitely don’t have to clean the house before your mother-in-law comes over. No way. There’s no rule that says this is a Must. Except, perhaps, within you. In your mind, there is that rule. And that rule might be yours. I mean, truly, something you’ve designed because you love your mother-in-law so much and know that she feels so much better in a clean house. It might be someone else’s rule and if that’s the case, I suggest you find out who’s voice is telling you to clean house? Regardless, it’s still not a Must. If you do it, it’s because you choose to do it. If you don’t well, then it’s because you chose not to do it. Either way, it’s not a Must. It is a choice.

So. What Must’s exist in your life, that you might as well start to name appropriately? I mean, why not say what is really going on.

I want to feed my kids a warm mean every night, because I think it’s important for their growth and development, and because I love sitting down the whole family at night, talking and sharing our daily experiences with each other. 

I want to clean our house now, since mother-in-law is coming, and I want it to look nice for her.

So. Ditch the Must’s. You don’t need them. Instead, do what you want to do, and call it for what it is. A Want To rather than a Must.

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I share thoughts on how I do gentle, and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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Doing gentle – 25 – Fear brings an invite

July 3, 2016
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I used to run away from fear. Fear scared me. I thought it was something to avoid, at all costs, that which fear was warning me about. Then I got into a different relationship with fear. I learned to ask myself a verifying question to see if the fear was real, as it were, or just a figment of my imagination.

Should I send out an SOS?

(Dial 112, or 911, call the police, the fire department, an ambulance, however this is done where you live.)

Most often. (Almost always… or actually, always.) The answer would be no. The police wouldn’t come, there was no fire to put out, and none was in harm’s way. Most often, (almost always… or actually, always), it was imagined. Fear of speaking my mind. Of showing up. Of making myself visible.jump

Then it shifted again. My relationship with fear took on a third form. And this time, fear has a totally different energy to it. There’s bubbles in it. Excitement. An edge, telling me, here’s something you might want to try, my friend. An invitation, that’s what fear brings today, to me. An invitation, to step up, to level up, to become that which is within my grasp, that which I can choose to do, to be, to become. Speak my mind. Show up. Be visible.

No longer hide in the shadows of my imagined fear, but rather step into being all that I can be.

An invitation to dance. Dance in the light. Dance with the world. Dance with that which knocks at the door. Once it comes a-knocking, it’s up to me to accept the invite, or not. My choice.

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I share thoughts on how I do gentle, and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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A life Lived?

April 15, 2016
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Hubby at AfterWork.
Daugher at the movies.
Just me, son and cat at home.

So we chill. Have left-overs for dinner. Agree to watch a movie. Together. I suggest Despicable me, which I have yet to see. He agrees, even though he’s seen it. More than once. But. Alas…. nowhere to be found (on Netflix at least).

So we sit down in front of the computer, and flick thru the movies available. Wanting to spend a few hours together, but with what? At long last, I spot The Intouchables and suggest it. He requested a funny yet exciting movie, and I said This movie has everything you requested, and loads of it. I click on the little arrow, divulging a short description of the movie. He reads and says, Let’s go.

The IntouchablesSo we do. I push play and settle down.
Watch. Laugh. Have deep whispered conversations.
Sit close, curled up together under the blanket, occasionally with Pop the cat accompanying us in the sofa.

And I just love it.
Love the connection.
The shared laughter.
Mutual insights into life.

A life Lived? Or a life Endured?

Those are some of the questions popping into my mind once the outro starts to roll with the credits when the movie comes to an end. Life can be lived – and Driss is a great catalyst for a life lived – or it can be endured.

In my life, the choice is mine. No one elses.

What will I chose? What will you?

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