Disagreement as bridge

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.

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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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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Follow up – September 2019 – As I am.

October 3, 2019
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I intend to go through my intentions for the year at the end of each month. This gives me a monthly reminder of my intentions as well as ample space for reflection and possible adjustment.

September. Everything is running at full speed ahead. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a jampacked calendar as now. It’s a bit over the top, honestly. It means I don’t have the possibility to be as flexible as I normally am, and that means I cannot say yes to things I’d like to do. Hence, this is to change, and at the final week of October the jampackedness of my calendar starts to ease up, so then…

2019. The year when I will…

* have my bodily wellbeing in focus by:

  • continuing with my daily Seven accompanied by burpees: ✅
  • Headspace Meditate daily: ✅ For 71 days I have done at least three sets of Wim Hof-breathing (Found a new favorite video that I do the first 15 minutes of) as a start of the day, which is a wonderfully meditative moment, which also helps me to be in my body. Besides that, for two weeks I’ve been having a  daily Deepak Chokra-meditation moment as well. Absolutely lovely!
  • run a minimum of  75 runs –> run-when-I-feel-like-it-intention: Not even once.
  • take cold (outdoors) baths as often as I can – and add to this by taking cold showers: YEEEEES! The water temperature is finally getting low enough so I can actually claim I am doing cold baths. Five times in September I’ve either gone bathing in the ocean (cold baths more or less, as the temperatures might not have been below my own made up limit of 14 degrees, but it definitely hasn’t been ”summer weather”) or taking cold showers. I just love it!
  • dance Lindy hop as often as I can (taking a class during the spring, and then there’s the social dancing as well!): The intermediate level C course has started with two lessons under my belt so far. It’. Is. So. Much. Fun. To. Dance. Lindy hop!
  • continuing to ride my bike and walk as much as possible: walked slightly more than 70 and biked a bit more than 240 km. I have taken action on the statement of last months summary, to get “at least 10 km in my body” on a daily basis, by adding ”Minimum 10 k today” Way of life-app where I keep track of various things (mostly because I let go of Headspace as my meditation runstreak keeper. And yes. I am nuts. My vice is runstreaks, this is a fact.)

* have my mental and spiritual wellbeing in focus by:

  • reading at least 75 books, of which 12 in Swedish and 12 in English already have been chosen. These 12 + 12 I will be blogging about: Have read 59/75 books and am all of a sudden three books ahead of schedule. I have Nextory audiobooks to thank for this, as this has made me listen to audiobooks instead of podcasts. However, I am a physical-book-reader at hears, and that’s a fact as well. I have blogged about Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions (book 9 of 12 in English) and Vad jag älskade (book 9 of 12 in Swedish, but I actually read and blogged about it in June already. However, I screwed up then and forgot, so I blogged about another book as well, which I ”keep as book number 6”).
  • learn at least five songs by heart including lyrics on the guitar, which will be made possible by my aim at ten minutes of guitar playing on a daily basis: Having decided on learning Shallow, Utan mina andetag, Still haven’t found what I am looking for, Try and Annie’s song by heart during the summary of August has helped… but just a teeny weeny bit. I have only played the guitar 7 days in September, so, I repeat myself: There’s room for improvement here. This also linked perfectly to the jampacked calendar. I. Do. Not. Want. To. Have. It. Like. This. So. I had better change it then!
  • I will let the wonderful book The book of Awakening by Mark Nepo be my daily companion: Back on track, I am now reading my daily Nepo, more or less. At long last!
  • hold digital 24-hour sabbats at least twice a month: In September I held digital sabbat three times, on 7-8th, 21-22nd and 27-28th. In October I mark off 3-6 (! Going on a choir journey – why not stay off social media and screens in general during the trip?), 10-11 and 25-26 for my upcoming digital sabbats.

* have creation in focus by:

  • booking at least four two-day writing retreats during the year: These are the dates: 13-14 September, 28-28 October, 11-12 November, 9-10 December. Now… that didn’t really work out. Or… at least, there wasn’t much writing being done. But I did keep it top of mind, which is better than before. SWith a bit of luck and focus, next time will be better!
  • keeping up with daily Facebook Lives for as long as there’s energy in doing it:
  • blog daily: Well… not really. 8 Swedish blog posts and 3 English ones. Far from ”daily”, Since September 27th I am back on track though!
  • start to pod: Have cut 7 episodes with 15 to go… so I had better block off some calendar time for this work as well. 19, 26, 27 September. That didn’t do the trick either. The jampacked calendar had me make other priorities. October looks even worst, so I block off 4th and 15th of November to get my pod up and running again.
  • release (at least) 4 e-books in 2019: thoughts are swirling, nothing concretized as of yet. The chances of this happening might just have gotten better as well, given the fact that I have marked writing retreats in my calendar?

* have financial husbandry in focus by:

  • sowing, sowing and sowing a little bit more; on a weekly basis intentionally work on my various income streams: ✅
  • keep tabs on my set invoicing goal on a monthly basis: ✅I reached my set goals in January and March and in August! Whoop! Did not in February, April, May, June, July or September (but wasn’t that far off this month).
  • keep an accounts book on private income and expenses: ✅

And finally – on all levels – experiment and play, experience pleasure and exploring and challenging myself, all the while being gentle to myself: Started the month in the same way that I finished last month, by volunteering at Backyard Sessions, have ridden the grand old-tinker lady Tinka with Pernilla at Lyckegården, been dog-sitting both Sigge (picture proof below) and Maya, ridden my bike to Malmö C at a speed far above anything I thought I’d ever reach on my oldfashioned and very straightforward three-geared ladies bike, been cultural with Heléne once again, this time EsterBlenda at Skarhult Slott – lovely! A forest- and mushroom picking experience, some wonderful cold baths and a GMP training which gave me quite a surprise. All of a sudden my doodle from the GMP-training of 2016 appeared in the presentation,  as Karen Ginsbury had found it when she was googling earlier in 2019. (If you are in the Life Science/Pharma industry and looking for yearly GMP-updates/trainings: Find a course wit Karen Ginsbury. She is outstanding!)


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