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Shame. Top of mind.

Shame. Top of mind.

December 6, 2020
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The monthly tankespjärn-community Zoom-sessions stay with me, very much top of mind, as the saying goes, and the November-session on shame is no exception. 

The sensation of shame in the body – the way it can feel both hot and cold, all at once, how it makes me hide, freeze, become almost paralyzed, in words as well as movement. Have I done something wrong? Am I wrong? I AM wrong, and there’s nothing I can do to NOT be wrong. The connection to guilt is obvious, and regardless of what the shame is about, it can be so utterly debilitating. Shame can wrap me inside a cocoon, and, paradoxically, if I numb myself enough, that can even become a place of happiness… if I have numbed myself enough! 

It’s a heavy topic, and yet… witnessing nine souls brave it, fills me with compassion and hope. My eyes were opened to the concept of carried shame, which, I’ve discovered in the days since the call, is not just valid for shame. There’s so much I can carry that’s not mine… we are all potential carriers of things that do not belong to us, and this… helps. Weirdly enough. 

Have you seen the meme of a person stopping a bus from running over a child?
This is what I imagine when I look at my –and your– potential to stop carried shame (and other sentiments) from being passed down. I carry ”stuff” that comes from previous generations, in the same way they carry ”stuff” from the generations that preceded them, and so on. The cycle only breaks, if someone actually deals with what has been carried over from the past. Otherwise it will continue to build and build and build… 

It’s strangely emboldening to think that it is within my capability to stop this. I can put a stop to some, if not all, of what I’ve had to carry, making sure it is not carried forward anymore. (No. I don’t think I can, ever, get to the all of it, but I do believe that whatever I can address, will be an act of service for those who come after me. But also, equally as important, also for those who have gone before me. So I try. I do my best. And then, when I stumble, when I fall, when I stagger at the sheer weight of it all, I am reminded that every little bit counts.) 

Shame lives in darkness. And heals when brought to light.
Shame is processed, and heals, when brought to light; when it is witnessed.
This is why I believe my deep-dive into shame has been so revelatory, I am doing the work, and I am sharing it.
The hiding aspect of shame is what keeps shame alive, vibrant, continuing. When unhidden, when brought into light, when no longer kept under wraps, it cannot not transform. The only way to stop the hiding is to stop the hiding. 

And.
At the same time, discernment in what I am sharing and with whom is most important.
Not everyone will be able to meet me in the shame I carry, in the shame I am trying, wanting, needing to shine a light on.

And.
As with everything else, there is information in shame.
When I feel shame, I am being informed. Of beliefs (mine and/or from the cultural context I am steeped in), of energies not tended to, of the situation at hand. If I approach it thus, perhaps the felt experience will not shepherd me into darkness, paralysis and hiding, but rather, give me an opportunity to bear witness to what is going on, so that I can address it, tend to it, tend to me. In this way, shame (as much as every other felt experience) acts as a magnifying glass. It is virtually impossible to not pick up on signals of shame, they are so effective in their communication that I, at least, find it very hard to ignore. 

And when I don’t, I have a chance to ask Is it mine? And even if the answer is yes, what of it? What is the message? What is the information carried forth through the sensation of shame?


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Spider. With a message.

November 8, 2020
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After a long slow morning, going through every step of my morning ritual, the ritual that suddenly has come to be of such importance to me, I get out of bed, after writing and reading, with the intent to get up. For real. Not just to go boil a pot of water, not just to do a morning Seven of pelvic movements, not just to go pee, and then return to bed. I stop in front of my yoni-altar, somewhat lackadaisically created at the start of the three-month Yoni Club-program, kneeling on the sheepskin in front of it, picking up my box of oracle cards with messages from my animal guides.

Opening the box, I pull forth the little book, laying it to the side, as I bring forth the deck of cards, starting to shuffle them, holding my hands in front of my heart, breathing steadily. In. Shuffle. Out. Shuffle. In. Shuffle. Out. Shuffle. Making my hands go still, I part the deck of cards and look solemnly at an upside-down spider. I right the card, looking at it, laughing a bit inside, as it so looks like the spiders that mostly live in the basement of my house, but that a few weeks ago suddenly graced me with their living-room presence.

Trust the creative spark you’re feeling and express it through writing stories that inspire and enlighten

Having just written one entry in The Depth(s), the written part of the deep dive I am currently on, into shame, and one other story, for my anonymous blog, I nod to myself in recognition as I pick up the booklet and read on:

The pulse of creativity is especially strong right now, triggering a not unfamiliar and compelling desire to express yourself through creative writing. Whether or not the tales you weave are true, whether they’re based on actual experience or the imaginings of your fertile mind, each day sit yourself down and pour out the words that come to you. Don’t ponder each sentence or paragraph; just write whatever wants to be written through you.

Oh yes, this is precisely why my morning ritual has suddenly become so important to me. It is a time and place where by sitting down, words do come to me, through me, in a way that is harder to come by, if I don’t do it in the morning. It’s possible, but right now, the importance of honoring me by granting me time in the morning a l s o for writing, has become very clear.

To inspire and enlighten others, you don’t need a profoundly complex tale. Start by describing a personal experience, one where you gained some insight that may also be useful to others. However, don’t focus on how people will respond to your story; instead, just enjoy the process of writing without judging your work or yourself. Write to express–not to impress.

I’ve not let fear of how others will respond stop me from writing, but as I have shared some deeply personal and vulnerable writings, in a small close-knit community, fear has been a part of my deep-dive. Something I’ve worked through by writing about it. Not ignoring it. Not adhering to it. But acknowledging it, observing it, and letting the voice tinted with fear also speak through me, letting those words out on paper as well as the others.

In attempting to write, you may find yourself easily distracted, either with others’ needs for your time and attention or with those negative thoughts and beliefs that are the product of judgments and shame that you were subjected to during childhood. A powerful way to release these habitual and self-limiting thoughts and feelings is to write about them in story form. As you do so, don’t hold back anything. Through such a catharsis, you heal those words that had originally wounded you.

Shame.
Judgment.
This i s what my deep-dive centers on.
The basis for these thoughts and beliefs of mine formed during childhood, but it doesn’t stop there. I’ve been piling them on, one atop the other, my entire life; as are you, I’m imagining. I don’t know that we can stop ourselves from it, but it sure helps to gain awareness, and learn to breathe through, rather than get stuck in, it.

So no. I do not hold back. Nothing is held back, it’s all coming out, having me jump back and forth, no need to go about it chronologically. What comes comes, and in the reflections I get from the people I share with, I am helped along the way. Helped to go deeper. Helped by having my memory jogged, upturning stone after stone, hidden beneath the surface for a long time. Helped to make connections that have eluded me previously.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Disagreement as bridge

November 6, 2020
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The bottom line:
Disagreement, not to be feared, or avoided, but rather, providing an opportunity to learn, gain insight and lean towards one another, bridging the gap.

Disagreement.
Twelve people.
Monthly Zoom-call in the tankespjärn-community.

I had shared three plus one links, and another community-member added yet another link, pieces speaking to the topic on disagreement.
The Future of Marriage
Dare to Disagree
Extreme Listening
Befriending Radical Disagreement
How democracies fall apart

I did something new on this call, as I normally doodle during the hour. This time, I asked permission to record the call, so I could doodle afterward instead, while watching the replay. All in all, an interesting experiment, because the actual energy of the call, in real time, poured into a doodle, is energizing and heightens the experience for me. Now, 1,5 weeks after the call, I’ve yet to post a reflecting ”here’s the October Zoom-call-summary” (i.e. this blog post), and I wonder if this is not the reason. In a sense, I am in disagreement with myself, as I fear people experience me as distant and not paying attention, when doodling during the call, but not doodling during the call in a sense makes me less present. Interesting.

However, the call itself gave me many thoughts, as these calls are wont to do, as the doodle reveals to a greater extent than what follows. One of them being the signal disagreement carries, that here’s (possibly) a relationship needing my attention. The possibility lies in whether or not this is a relationship I care about. If not, perhaps the signal sent by the disagreement is to walk away. If yes, disagreement tells me here’s an opportunity to listen. Give the other person/s the gift of feeling heard, truly heard. Might be uncomfortable, within, but when listening, most often there’s the chance to find something to grab onto, something which connects us, something we have in common. A bridge, from you, to me, finding that place of sameness that you can then truly grow from. Where we agree on the foundational value but disagree on the how to get there.

The physicality of disagreement can take varying forms, one of the more subtle ones displayed in what happens when I put my hand out in front of me, like a stop-sign. If I then ask you to do the same, placing your hand up against mine, without fail, if I start to push, you will push back. I’ve yet to come across anyone n o t pushing back (except perhaps others who also uses this method to get their point across), and when I let go, when I release the pressure I am exerting, letting my hand fall away, the others hand follows along, because the resistance is gone. And with resistance gone, the stand-still comes to a close, and movement is possible. Again. Anew. If there’s a disagreement on the horizon, instead of sitting down opposite each other, try taking a walk. Side by side, disagreements have a harder time finding its foothold.

How the fear of disagreement might make me shut up, not express myself, not voice my opinion. Sometimes it’s not fear stopping me, sometimes I simply cannot be bothered. My take; this speaks to a lack of interest in the person and/or the argument.

Disagreement creates friction, which can initiate movement, making us come closer (or drive us farther apart), and how that friction often manifests as d i s c o m f o r t. How discomfort always, inherently, carries with it the opportunity for healing, which led to this powerful statement: Addiction is avoidance of discomfort. Logically, what follows then would be, with addiction, no healing?! If the path of least resistance (the addictive behavior) is chosen, facing discomfort not being chosen, the opportunity to burn through some emotional baggage gone.

And also, how thank god we do disagree. On what is beautiful, important, significant, thrilling, interesting. Without that type of disagreement, there would only be one type of art, and can you imagine a more boring world than one with only one artistic expression present? Disagreement thus helps generate change, providing the necessary friction and traction that makes movement possible.

Disagreement can make me lean towards, rather than away, and that to me, brings the feeling of hope, a feeling I naturally opt for, when given a choice (and when am I not given a choice? As the choice is mine, the choice is always given. I do not always choose it though.). All in all, I left this conversation with much greater regard, even fondness, for disagreement. Quite something, isn’t it?


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Do you know such a place?

October 4, 2020
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The bottom line:
Finding a place where you and your endeavors have optimal conditions for deep-diving, for discovery, for expansion, for exploration. Within or without. A place which helps you go deeper, burrow further, discover more, other, new. 

I write.
Every morning, I fetch my iPad from the downstairs charging station, after feeding Pop the cat, and bring it back to bed with me. Using the wifi of my iPhone, as the wifi at Hasselbacken has exceptionally shaky reception in my bedroom, a fact which I am not altogether sad about, I load Pages and open The depth(s), containing my current writing endeavor. 

I write, write some more, pause, looking out the window, drinking a sip of lukewarm water, breathe for a few repetitions, deliberately, sensing into it, and then write some more. 

But you don’t get to see it.
Not here.
Not yet.
Possibly not ever. Here, that is. 

Parts of it will be shared, with you, but not here. Perhaps you will not find it. You see, at the moment, my plan is to share, in due time, parts of it at least, anonymously. 

It’s a way to be gentle with me, to not push myself so far outside my comfort zone that I freeze. But rather, to play at the edges, dipping my toe now and again into the unknown, in that which I paint inner landscapes off as scary. After not dying this time either, revert back to base, rest, recuperate, nourish myself, only to let me loose at play at the edge, over and over again. I do share it though. So far, all of it’s been shared, in a small community, a community where I feel held, where it’s (me. My writings) not just possible, but even welcome. A safe container, boosting me, strengthening my resolve, self-confidence and commitment. To finally, at long last, shine a light, at that which I’ve kept in the dark. For so long. Forever…

The writing is better, goes deeper, affects my every waking moment, informs my every waking moment. Thanks to the container in which I share, thanks to the people within this community, generous and gifted, loving and laughing, kind and considerate, smart and sharp, all in the most nourishing mix. My roots go deeper, my branches wider, the leaves of me vibrating with the richness of the colors of the rainbow, open to receive sunshine and rain, in exchange for oxygen, the life-blood of humanity and all things organic, freely given, in abundance. 

Do you know such a place?


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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A revelatory conversation on procrastination

September 24, 2020
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The bottom line:
Being in conversation with wise, curious and openminded people,
help me shift inner beliefs if/when they no longer serve me.

The September Zoom-call in the tankespjärn-community gathered nine souls to talk/explore/discover around the topic of procrastination. Part of what we brought up can be found in the doodle, part of it can be found within the nine souls present, part of it is likely gone with the wind, never to be touched upon again. Perhaps…

How do you define procrastination?
What’s the meaning of this word, for you?
Does it have negative connotations, or not?

Those were some questions we started off with, and then, in the way these conversations go, we ended up all over the map, which, for me, increases the chances that there will be a new perspective, a reframe, a tankespjärn somewhere to present new doors for me. Doors I get to choose whether or not I want to open, and then –next choice– to step through or not. Doors to new aspects of viewing life, of living life, of relating to myself or others.

Some of those doors read as follows:

  • procrastination, when I pick up on it consciously, holds information. For me to use or ignore, up to me. But contained within the sensation of procrastination there’s plenty of information.
  • how procrastination to most of us holds negative connotations.
  • an open-ended question/query as to whether there is a cultural aspect to procrastination: is it “a negative” in other cultures?
  • confirmation of my realization that there are more books to read than I will be able to in my lifetime (but here’s a bonus piece of tankespjärn for you: Nassim Nicholas Taleb has, since his teens, spent between 30-60 hours a week (!) reading. That’s massive!). The books that made it onto the doodle were AntifragileRest and Ever-Present Origin. But I swear there were a couple more mentioned…

Being in conversation with wise, curious and openminded people like these, help me shift inner beliefs if/when they no longer serve me. Given, of course, that I am open to it myself. Nothing shifts in a person with a closed mind. Nothing!


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Invitation

August 31, 2020
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The monthly Zoom in the tankespjärn-community took place this morning (for me. There were participants who were up in the middle of the night to partake. That wowed me!), and counter to past monthly Zoom-calls, this one was topic-less. That is, I hadn’t thought of anything to initiate the conversation… and for the shortest time, there was nothing but silence, as I threw out the invitation to talk about… what?

And the response was just that: INVITATION

So we took the invitation to speak, reflect, ponder, think and sense into the concept of INVITATION, and as always… it makes me astonished both how fast an hour can go (proof of flow-state) and also how much can be experienced in (but) an hour.

A few of the questions popping into my head, as I reflect on all we managed to fit into the one hour:

– When to extend an invitation? (The fear of imposing on others, often makes me send them too late… or not at all.)

– Do I do it enough?
(Heck no, is my answer to that question, that’s for sure!)

– Can I write a general invitation that actually makes individuals feel seen and heard, rather than go ”Oh, this is probably not for me”?
(See. I just w i l l   n o t stop with the shotgun approach, even though I know –Know!– the sniper approach works so much better. Sigh.)

– If extending an invitation is an act of g e n e r o s i t y, what is not extending an invitation then?
(This caused a shift in me when I first realized it, thanks to one of the prompts in The Creative’s Workshop. Not enough of a shift to make me be as generous with invitations as I would like to be – because I see myself as a generous person, and I want to show up as one.)

– Once I get someone to take my hand, accepting the invitation, how do I nourish the relationship, making them want to stay in my community? (Do general postings on the i n s i d e of a community suffice? Or do I need to make people in the community feel, on an individual basis, seen and heard on a continuous basis? I guess the latter… Agree?)

And there was more. Much more. Like these, resonating with me:
– Being (personally) invited feels very generous. It makes me feel chosen. (Seeding generosity. Indeed!)
– By invitation only. (How will the tankespjärn-community evolve if –when?– people I do not know, start to show up? Interesting question to ponder!)

Not to mention, this great piece of tankespjärn:
The more something is n o t for everyone, the more it is for the people it is for.

I know this to be true, as I know, that I, tankespjärn nor the community is for everyone.
This session has also informed me that it’s up to me to extend an invitation to those I know it’s for.

And, as promised: Yes. I extended three personal invitations last night, right before heading off to bed, only to wake up to a new patron! Given this result, insights gained from the Zoom on INVITATION, and more time on my hand, I vow to send out personal invites using the drip by drip-strategy. A drip here, a drip there, over time turns into a heckofa large puddle! (Don’t you just love puddles?)


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Missed opportunities. Or not?

August 30, 2020
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Here I go a g a i n!
Or rather… here I don’t go again.

I have the tankespjärn community monthly Zoom-call coming up tomorrow morning (my time, Central European Summer (!) Time/CEST. What that means for you TimeandDate can help figure out!), and I’ve been meaning to reach out, individually, to people whom I would love to join the community, thinking I wanna tell them Right before a monthly Zoom is a great time to jump in and try it out!

I still think that’s a great idea.
I just haven’t. Reached out, I mean.

And of course, rather than spending an hour reaching out to people, in person, with an open and heartfelt invitation… I do the s a m e thing that I’ve concluded, ages ago, is n o t the way to go. The shotgun approach is sooooo much easier though…. Ah, there comes my old friend, Resistance.

But it’s funny.
Because, when I do use the sniper approach, and reach out in person, regardless if I get a Yes or a No to my invitation, I always feel good.
Always. (Truly!)

So. What the heck is this really about?
What am I resisting? Why am I running into these missed opportunities, over and over again? Perhaps (likely?) I fear someone will not respond graciously, but rather lash out at me?

And, however irrational I know this fear to be, it might still be what keeps on getting in the way. Because that’s the thing about feelings. Rational, they most often are not.

I can look at this month’s Zoom as a missed opportunity. Or… I do have an hour or so before heading off to bed. So besides posting this (which, albeit not a personal invite, I hope still reads as an invite! I would love to have you check out the community!), I will reach out a hand to a few people I know and cherish. Ask. Invite. Extended without expectations (other than an actual response. I do love my clear Yes/No-responses, and might well push a bit to get one!).

Reporting back tomorrow, ok?
(That way I have accountability, in place as well. Clever, huh?!)

(And here I sit, ready to hit publish, when it hits me… what if I use this as accountability for the September Zoom as well? I mean, to get in touch and give personal invitations, with a bit more leeway? Even more clever!)


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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A nourishing conversation

June 23, 2020
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Attention energizes.
Intention transforms. 

These two sentences were the topic for the June monthly Zoom-call of the tankespjärn-community on Patreon inspired by these two posts:
Attention energizes. Intention transforms.
#blackouttuesday

Four people, 60 minutes (honestly, we ran for 70, my bad!).
Listening.
Learning.

A nourishing conversation, if ever, spanning the meaning of life to Covid-19, Black Lives Matter to the Law of Attraction (and the Law of Action), and the importance of knowing our attention as well as our intention when we decide what to focus on (based on the adage that we get more of what we focus on). 

This Zoom-call definitely whet my appetite and I already look forward to doing a Zoom in July, on… well. Who knows!

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Say w h a t?

June 21, 2020
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All of a sudden, I have at least four posts to write, where I know precisely what they will be about.

Say w h a t?

Yeah, I know.
For me, this is an oddity, an outlier. I normally sit down, and something shows up, which I then write about. Or, I start writing something, but it turns into something else, through a process I cannot describe, but one which my system knows full well, as it’s run often enough.

But now, I have a post on a book to write, one on generosity, one with a limerick gifted to me, and then one on today’s Zoom-call with my tankespjärn-community (which in itself is a post containing a multitude of spin-off-posts).

This means… if I sit down to write all these, I would be ahead of the game by at least four days. If I still stick to writing each day, that would get me halfway to the goal I’ve had for a while, of being approximately a week ahead of myself. Being ahead by a week or so has the added perk of me being able to re-visit written-but-not-yet-published pieces, tweaking and trimming them if need be.

But first… an hour of two of gardening!


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Going for the shotgun approach

June 18, 2020
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I could chastise myself for not being a better community-creator over on Patreon, but what good would that do me? Or my community members, for that matter?

No good what-so-ever.

So, when inspiration struck, I seized the moment, sending out an invite for a Zoom call on attention and intention come Sunday morning.

And, like the other times I’ve sent out an invite to join me on Zoom in the tankespjärn-community, regardless if someone pops up, or not, I will be there. I will bring my attention to my community because that is my intention.

(And yes.
Of course, I would rather you joined!
You, who are already a member of the community.
You, who have thought about it but not checked it out for yourself. Yet.
You, who’ve perhaps heard me mention it, but never really checked it out.
You, who’ve never heard about it.

All of you.
Welcome to join.
It would make me thrilled.
And happy. Elated!

And yes.
Here I go again.
Going for the shotgun approach once more, sending it out, into the void, the digital chasm, where – perhaps. Probably. Even likely? – no one actually feels invited. Personally invited. Which you are, I am just on the edge of my comfort zone here.

So.
I will.
Send out invitations.
Personally. Truly personally.

And I will come to you as well.
And you, you, and you.

Charlotte. Matthew. Alison and Lena. Janine, Verenice, Marcus. Andrea.
Jim and Gary. David and Dave. Angelica. Kristina. Pernilla and Elenor.
All of you.
Because you are all important to me, and I would love for you to join me!

One step at a time, even the smallest of steps can take me around the world. If only… I take them, step after step. That’s what I am committed to.)


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