discover

A moral dilemma

A moral dilemma

December 8, 2020
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The bottom line: A permission slip, to myself, to write to my heart’s content. And then, after I’ve finished writing, apply my new-found skills of the story scaffolding to the piece, to help me determine whether or not this is a story or a non-story. Depending on the answer, there might be some value in going back to the piece to shape, embellish, clarify it. Or not.

I spent an hour and a half in the company of four newfound friends, all of whom are co-travellers in the Story Skills Workshop. One of the assignments is to record yourself telling (or reading. Yeah. There’s a difference. One I’d not been fully aware of before.) a story, and then invite others into a live story-telling-session. 

It was a lot of fun, very rewarding in terms of feedback given and received, and, as always, feedback given by someone to another story-teller, is sometimes as helpful, or perhaps even more helpful, than feedback directed straight at me. The round-about-way is, perhaps, more palatable, in the sense that I am more easily open to take in what is being said, when it is not me, my story, my performance, my telling, that’s in the spotlight. 

The direct feedback I got was extremely valuable though, and here I am, contemplating a re-write of my story, to encompass all of the insights and nudges I got after my first round of telling it. 

However, as I woke this morning I remembered… I’d recently read  s o m e t h i n g  that spoke precisely to this. To the re-telling, the embellishment, the ’making more of’ that I was busy doing, in my mind’s eye. But what was that something? And where did I read it? 

I turned towards one of the four books I am currently reading, neatly stacked on my nightstand, and picked it up. I was hoping it was this one (A Primer for Forgetting, by Lewis Hyde), and not The Naked Now by Richard Rohr that I’d finished a week prior, and subsequently had borrowed to a friend. If it was that one I was in trouble, as I didn’t have it at hand. 

Flicking through the pages of Hyde’s book, going backwards from my bookmark firmly lodged on page 126, I glance at my marginalia, hoping that it will pop up. Luckily, it does. On page 100, so not even that many pages back. It’s a chapter titled FEED ON THE PRESENT and in it Hyde recounts a  story he’s heard recounted, of a man coming to a realization on the actual recounting of his story. 

As I am extra fond of these meta-me (or meta-Larry, in this case) conversations, here’s a few paragraphs from the book:

”… when he got home and recounted the story to various friends, ’the telling started to change a bit, from it just being a straight report of a fact and what I went through. I saw that it was promoting the self. […]’ The story had picked up self-importance along the way; ’there was some mileage coming from it.’”

’… this kind of self-making may be unavoidable and often harmless, but as a matter of Buddhist practice it should at least be noticed, be brought to mind. ’I saw what the mind was doing; the mind was taking materials from the pastas first they were just ’factual’ but then immediately started to use them for the present, the present sense of myself… The self if constantly using the materials of the past and the future to nourish itself, to build itself up… I didn’t do it consciously… It just happened. The ego is going to work, and that’s what it knows how to do.’

[…] to describe how the ego functions: it feeds on the past and the future.

– Lewis Hyde, A Primer for Forgetting

Now.
I am not a journalist.
Embellishing texts and stories is well within my prerogative, and yet.
I do believe there’s something to the awareness alluded to by Hyde (and Larry). If I am conscious of what I am doing, as I am embellishing my stories… I don’t know. There’s a greater chance of me being careful with the message? Or intentful? My stories are often centered around me – my learnings, insights, difficulties – and I honestly don’t want to make me into a person far removed from the people I am trying to reach, be it through writing or telling. I want the threshold to be lowered, rather than increased, and if I were to simply embellish as much as I can, I fear that wouldn’t be the case. 

Perhaps this is simply a message for me, as this is part of the usefulness I make of my writing:
I discover myself while writing, and if I then embellish freely, is it me I am discovering, or an imaginary me? 

(My old me did stop here, leaving you, as well as me, hanging. But, in having a story scaffolding to drape my story across, when I did, I came to the realization that this is an incomplete story, if I want it to actually read as a story. The missing part is the consequence. Where will this all lead to? What will this all lead to? 

Again. I don’t  h a v e  to make it into a full story. That’s my prerogative. Each and every time. But, for the purpose of the learning and discovery-journey I am on, let’s say I do want that:)

I’d say, my answer to this moral dilemma, centers around what my purpose is.
Am I writing only to find me? If so. Go ahead, make it less story-telling-worthy. Don’t embellish, stick to what helps me find me. 

But if I am also, or only, writing in order to get a point across, to publish a text that I hope will resonate with others too… then by all means. Put a bit more effort into it. Check to see that the story scaffolding is active in each and every step. Make sure I do engage my audience, that the challenge is clearly seen/felt/understood, so that the resolution points to a change, leaving no-one in question as to where the story ended for the heroine. 

Only… that leaves me with the worst answer of them all: It all depends. 

However. I actually think this speaks to what the Story Skills Workshop is truly about. For me. (Important bit, that last one. For me!) I write, a lot, and seldom am I intentional with my writings. Neither when sitting down to write, nor when I ship. And honestly, I don’t necessarily want to be more intentional when setting out to write. I do so enjoy writing only to discover when I am knee-deep in, what I am actually writing about. 

But the latter part. Doing the post-analysis, using the story scaffolding, helps me see what the piece is all about. And prompts me to ask myself: What’s the purpose of this piece? What do I want it to be? What do I want it to do? Does it want to become a story, or is it (I!) content with having it be a non-story?

Depending on the answer, I might, or might not, do what I did here. Go back to the writing, deliberately and intentionally shaping it (or not), embellishing it (or not), clarifying it (or not), so that I know I’ve done my best to give it the necessary prerequisites of being able to live up to my intention/s. Story or non-story alike.


#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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#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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Doing gentle – 12 – Talk to a wise one

April 3, 2016
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I have my coach. wisdom
Family and friends.
Co-creators of various things, movements and business ideas.
My Mastermind-group.

Where would I be without them?
Some more instrumental in me unravelling myself, becoming who I am, than others. But all, important. Playing a vital part on this journey of mine, to rediscover my Self.

Allowing me a space to go on an inner journey of discovery and exploration. Letting me try out thoughts, phrases, feelings. State what’s important for me. What’s not. I go naked in front of them, metaphorically naked. Bare myself. Sometimes chocking to myself, as I sometimes find parts of me I wasn’t aware of. And the people I’ve chosen to share with, they can hold this. It’s not too much for them. They don’t shy away. They welcome me, all of me. Making it easier for me to welcome me, all of me, as well.

They are wise. With them and their wisdom, my wisdom can flow, expand into the unknown. Explore. Discover.

What do you have? Whom do you have?
Where do you open up your thoughts, perhaps, so you get to see them as well as someone else, someone wise. An individual, or several, whom you know hold you in a loving space, and who are also open to what shows up for them as you share?

Welcome to my new website, 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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