curiosity

The interplay of learning and discovering

The interplay of learning and discovering

December 3, 2020
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The bottom line:
The interplay of learning and discovery and what sets them apart from one another.

The Story Skills Workshop is informing me.
In many ways. But one, in particular.

How the word story is, in reality, much more defined than what I, personally, have known it to be.

I just wrote a reflective piece within the confines of my Deep Dive into Shame, and it was not a story.
Or?
Was it?

Aargh.
I thought it wasn’t.
Now.
Thinking about it again.
I am unsure.
Perhaps I’ll revisit it, trying to see if I can fit the story scaffolding to it.

However, this is one of the things being in such a massive discovery-phase leads to. For, even though I am learning, how to tell a story, what is a story, what parts constitute a story, and how I can become better at telling stories, I am also discovering. And as my wise friend Inma has made me realize, there’s a huge difference between the two. Learning and discovering are not the same. There can be a lot of learning within the discovering, and there can be moments of discovery within the learning, but in general, what Inma pointed to makes sense, for me.

Paraphrasing, what I heard her say was this:
Learning is being open to what is known to exist, however not yet mastered by me.
Learning has me knowing the end destination from the moment I set out.

Discovery has me stepping into the unknown, taking the risk of setting foot in unknown land.
Discovery is me not having a clue what might be, what might become, whether it be up/down, in/out, high/low, light/dark…

When I set out to learn how to play the guitar, I had the image of me sitting around a campfire on the beach on a warm summer evening, with a handful of friends, playing and singing. Together.

Given this image, I signed up for a semester of lessons with a local guitar teacher, and chord by chord, I learned. There was discovery thrown into the mix, like the discovery that I didn’t have the ability to make one or two of my fingers press down on a string where I wanted and needed them to. I had no idea of that particular aspect of learning how to play the guitar, so it was a discovery. But the endeavor itself was not. It was a learning endeavor.

When I set out to deep dive into shame, I had no idea what I was getting into. No idea what it might lead to. No clear plan or path ahead. What I did have was willingness. Curiosity. A clear intention of not holding back. But the end destination was not clear, not well-defined, simply a felt sense of something other. And willing to risk whatever it took to expand into this otherness. The endeavor itself is a discovery, and cannot be anything but a discovery.


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

April 1, 2020
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It’s a little bit funny (I hum) that sometimes clarity comes when someone else explains your offering (whatever it might be), using their own words, and it just all falls into place. That’s what happened when Katarina Felicia Lundgren, in her words, described what the #tankespjärn-community on Patreon is, can and will be:

My friend Helena Roth has now opened her page #tankespjärn at Patreon –come and join her community– you will be part of a wonderfully deep conversation on how to grow, explore, find –what you need to find, grow and explore while Helena shares how she works with her tool –tankespjärn– that lets your thoughts and ideas receive a special mix of support, resistance, questioning, feedback – and cheering on!

If you are into co-creations and out of the box-ideas and realizations – this is a good space to be in. Join to find out more about tankespjärn!

I have yet to get really clear on how to succinctly describe the concept, the tool, so getting a blurb like this one from a word-smithy of rang such as Katarina, definitely helps me get clearer on what it is, and how I can describe it to others. Because the word itself isn’t much help, especially not for non-Swedish speakers, but even for them, it’s not a given.

And what I really like about this, is that even this part of the process is tankespjärn. The way I twist and turn words and my understanding of the concept in order to get at something that might –or might not– be communicable, with a driving force of curiosity (What will I learn? Who will react how to what types of descriptive phrases?) and playful experimentation (What if I do it this way, or that way?).

If it’s not apparent, I assure you, I am having great fun with all of this!


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

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The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (book 5 of 12)

May 26, 2019
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in Tip
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Haruki Murakami. 
The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.

Mesmerising, surreal, this really is the work of a true original the blurb from The Times reads on the cover. And in all honesty, I don’t know that I have much more to add to that. Mesmerising. Yes. Surreal. Extremely! The work of a true original. Heck yes. It’s another one of these reading experiences where I cannot wrap my head around what would make someone be able to write like this, to actually put what has been put on paper, down on paper.

Curiosity can bring guts out of hiding at times, maybe even get them going. But curiosity evaporates. Guts have to go for the long haul. Curiosity’s like an amusing friend you can’t really trust. It turns you on and then it leaves you to make it on your own – with whatever guts you can muster. 

Did I like it?
Yes. And no.

I mean… Yes. This is such an awesome book. But it is a book that demands my attention as a reader. My full attention at that. So, quick reader that I am, these 600 pages or so took me more or less 6 weeks to finish (which for me is a long time. Remember, last year I read 101 books, this year I am aiming at 75. If all books I wanted to read demanded as much from me, I would fail miserably in reaching my target.). A dozen pages or so at a time. Not much more. Sometimes less. (And yes, of course, I’ve been reading a few other books during this period, as per my usual habit. I am a parallel-reader, not a serial one. But regardless!)

And in a sense… this sentence points to my ambivalence as a reader:
The majority of people dismiss those things that lie beyond the bounds of their own understanding as absurd and not worth thinking about. 

This book is, at times, so far beyond the bounds of my understanding, it would be easy for me to dismiss it as absurd. Or plain strange. Not worth the effort. But it is! Truly. Like the back cover blurb from Independent of Sunday reads: How does Murakami manage to make poetry while writing of contemporary life and emotions? I am weak-kneed with admiration.

So am I. Murakami has a brain that I’d love to be able to “look inside”, to see how the connections are made, what type of leaps of the imagination that are necessary to spin this story… it’s so far from the way my brain works (or so it seems). But then again, that might just be another of the things I’ve come to know about myself, that isn’t anything but a belief, after all:
To know one’s own state is not a simple matter. One cannot look directly at one’s own face with one’s own eyes, for example. One has no choice but to look at one’s reflection in the mirror. Through experience, we come to believe that the image is correct, but it is just a belief. 


The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2019, to read and blog about 12 Swedish and 12 English books, one every other week, books that I already own.

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Key person of influence (book 7 of 26)

April 8, 2018
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in Tip
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Key person of influenceKey person of influence, by Daniel Priestley. A book gifted to me by my friend Michael Sillion, aka Captain Future. He gave it to me with the sweetest inscription, with the hope that it would inspire me as much as he has been inspired by me. And yes Michael, this is a book that inspires me. There are a few threads that stick out for me from this first read (yes. This is a book I will reread.):

  1. I will get going with my podcast plans. (Plans that have been plans for far too long, it is time to get started.)
  2. The distinction between resources and resourcefulness. This is an angle I have not previously come at the concept of resources from, and it makes for quite an interesting perspective I must say. Love it!
  3. This is a book full of questions that I would like to sit with – ponder, reflect upon, throw out there and see what comes back… (hence the re-reading intention!)

As for the second thread, here’s a paragraph from the book, with a sassiness (of course!) that puts a smile upon my face:

No matter what you need in your business or your life, getting it will be a function of your resourcefulness rather than whether the resources are available. Of course they are available. 

The three biggest factors that determine your resourcefulness are:

  • The questions you ask.
  • The people you know. 
  • Your willingness to stretch into the unknown. 

All of these factors are things I’ve been very actively working on.

The questions you ask.
A very dear friend of mine recently reflected on the fact that she now asks many more questions than she did upon meeting me (in 2013). The mantra “the questions you ask are more important than the answers you give (or receive)” is a way to be in the world that I’ve been hammering home (for me as well as for those I spend time with) these past years.

The people you know.
Ever since the same time that I met both of the people I’ve referred to above, I’ve “collected” people that inspire me, people that make me strive to be my better self. Matthew Kelly says it perfectly in The rhythm of life, a book I’ve yet to read, but definitely want to:
The people we surround ourselves with either raise or lower our standards. They either help us to become the-best-version-of-ourselves or encourage us to become lesser versions of ourselves. We become like our friends. No man becomes great on his own. No woman becomes great on her own. The people around them help to make them great. 

We all need people in our lives who raise our standards, remind us of our essential purpose, and challenge us to become the-best-version-of-ourselves.

Your willingness to stretch into the unknown.
I used to fear the unknown. I had the mistaken belief that my worth, my value as a person, resided in my ability to know, to be wise, knowledgeable, a veritable Encyclopedia Helenica… So for me to admit to not knowing, scared me senseless. I still struggle with this, there’s a lot of long-lived patterns of automatic responses for instance, giving the impression that I know full well what’s being talked about, even though I don’t have a clue, but a lot of it’s gone. Perhaps helped along the most by two aspects of my personal development these past five-ten years or so; my ability to be gentle with myself (and not knock myself upside the head with a mental shovel whenever I make a mistake or don’t live up to high inner standards) as well as my curiosity (also a trait I’ve actively cultivated).

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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Walking to listen

July 16, 2017
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in Tip
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walking to listenFor me, doing most of my coaching as CoachWalks, walking outdoors with my clients, a podcast entitled Walking to listen is impossible to resist. So I press Play, and am amazed that I have not come across Andrew Forsthoefel before. Because what he speaks about – and writes about in the book with the same name – is absolute beauty.

Here’s a young man who speaks of himself as always having had the “seeds of curiosity” within him. And the way he speaks of himself, and his journey, and how he uses his curiosity to actually see – truly see! – people, has me wowed. The attention he grants people, known or unknown to him, being curious, seeing the individual, listening. Without the specifically voiced intent to gain something, but rather, wanting to give. And in giving attention, exquisite attention he calls it, of course, he is gifted something extraordinary:

Seeing them as worthy of time and attention. Worthy of their place in the world. Seeing them as if they belong, seeing them as if they might have something to offer. And asking people questions in that way, allowed them to sing songs they never even realized they had in them. And so in seeing people this way, it often had the effect of inviting them to see me that way. And when we were seeing – when there was that mutual sort of osmotic flow of respect, even reverence, you know, love is a word that can be used to describe this kind of space.

This is a podcast I’ve listened to two, three times already, with more re-listens sure to come, I am most definitely curious enough to grab a copy of his book. Watering the seeds of curiosity inherent in me, is something I’ve consciously been doing for years now, after having them be totally dormant for decades. And you know what? In the shift, from dormant to fully blossoming curiosity, I experience my life being Lived; Richer. Fuller.

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#blogg100 – Beyond the word.

May 17, 2017
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Missing link“No one can give away wisdom. A teacher can only lead you to it via words, hoping you will have the courage to look within yourself and find it inside your own consciousness…

Beyond the word.”

Standing in front of a group, of fifty, sixty, seventy people, having a basic outline of what to say, what to point at, all the while knowing it’s precisely this that is needed for it to make any significant impact: for them to have the courage (or perhaps curiosity? What if we talk about it in terms of requiring curiosity rather than courage? Might it not be easier to step an inch into the unknown then? Curious invokes a less dangerous sensation within than Courage does, at least in me. What about you?) to look within. To consider what they hear, see, experience, to let it sit. Not outright rejecting what is said off hand, not necessarily swallowing it hook, line and sinker either. But truly, letting it sit within – tasting, feeling, sensing. Being open enough to try it out, looking at – and acting in! – the world from a different angle, gifting yourself a new perspective.

Going beyond the words of what I say, being quiet enough to hear what is voiced within. Perhaps, there you will find something new? Something – beyond the word – which makes your universe expand?

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 78 of 100.
The book “The missing link” by Sydney Banks.
English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.

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