experience

Present to what?

Present to what?

January 25, 2021
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The bottom line: I get to experience that which I am present to, and not experience that which I am not present to, as I cannot be present to everything all at once.

I’m sitting in bed. It’s 8:24 am and I’ve just completed my regular Wim Hof breathing practice. Before that, I did a seven-minute pelvic exercise in my morning gown, standing in the kitchen awaiting the kettle coming to a boil. Just drank the by-now lukewarm cup of water, grabbing my iPad to do a bit of morning writing before getting up, for real. 

Open PAGES, look at the screen.
Blank. 

Raising my head, I look out the two windows facing me as I sit, propped up by pillows in my bed, and it’s snowing. Big flakes. 

Surprised, I immediately put fingers to keyboard and start to write, only to look up again three minutes later… no snow.
Snow flakes have given way to raindrops. Huh.
Go figure.

In an instant.
There.
And then, not there.

If I hadn’t looked up.
I would have missed them, the snow flakes.
Makes me wonder.
How much do I miss?
And… kind of like the question if a tree that falls all by its own out in the forest actually makes a noise even with no one around to hear, I wonder if it actually matters? Do I miss out on things, if I do not know they exist? If I had missed out on seeing these snow flakes, not knowing that there was a brief interlude of heavy snowfall, just for a minute or two… would I really have missed out? 

Doesn’t the missing-out-aspect require me to know what was, and know that I did not get to experience it?
Is knowledge a prerequisite to missing out on something or other? 

Hah!
It’s now 8:33 and as I raise my head (this is what I do when I look for inspiration, my head and eyes tend to veer towards upper left), guess what? 

Yeah.
Snowing.
Again. 

I cannot be present to everything all at once.
I cannot be present to everything, period.

And what I am not present to I cannot experience.
What I am present to, I experience. And the better I get at being present, the deeper those experiences impact me. It’s as if I am thrown a piece of string, with each experience, a piece of string that I can then follow, outwards, beyond. To more experiences, to a wider perspective. 

Snow. Rain. Snow.
Must be around freezing for that to happen, or perhaps a few degrees above. But not more. And definitely not less.
Will it cause slippery streets and pavements? Will people hurt themselves on account of this?
Might it snow enough for kids to be able to start a snow ball fight, make a snowman or even go sledding?
Will I have to shovel snow when I leave the house later today, for a walk?
Might it turn colder, affecting the five pieces of maple logs D brought this weekend, logs we intend to inoculate with mushroom mycelium? Is winter finally coming? What will we do with the logs then, how to keep them from freezing?

8:44.
Again. No snow flakes falling.
Part of a dance that might well continue if it wasn’t for the fact that I have a Zoom-meeting starting in fifteen minutes. I tear myself away from my musings, as I realize it’s high time to get out of bed to get ready.

What might I miss out on as a result?
And what might I experience?
To what am I present?


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

October 20, 2020
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The bottom line:
No matter who I come across, whether a professional or a hack, there’s an opportunity to learn. Being conscious of this, and expressing gratitude for the possible learning, might help me stop judging the hacks I meet. 

I am enamored with professionals.
The way T asked me a gazillion questions during our Zoom-call the other week, question after relevant question, trying to tease out of me what it is I envision for tankespjärn. What a pro! She’s done this many times, that much is apparent, but sometimes that actually turns into a disadvantage, if it also means you go through the motions rather than actually still engage, fully, with the process.

Needless to say, T engaged fully, as the pro she is.
I was quite impressed by myself as well, able to reply to almost all of the questions, something I would only have been able to do half-assed six months ago, and basically not at all a year ago. The idea and vision I have for tankespjärn is getting clearer and clearer, that much is apparent, and a result of letting things take the time they need. The value of not rushing things is obvious to me, it’s something I truly believe in, and at the same time, it’s not always easy to live by.

However.
When I am met by someone who is supposedly a professional, a hack who doesn’t even go through the motion of pretending to do his/her work properly, cutting corners to the extent that the end result will be far from the agreed-upon, that I do not like. And even worse, I have very little patience with it. This is one of my remaining Achilles heels, where I can get very judgmental and with that, possibly a bit mean as well?!

I am not proud of that.

I do try to conduct myself in such a way that my professionalism is not compromised, biting my tongue to stop from blurting out any one of a number of thoughts running through my head…
Come on, do the work I’ve paid you to do!
Are you insane, how on earth…?
For crying out loud, snap to attention!

Instead, I clarify, when clarification is needed.
I explain, when understanding is lacking.
I point to reference documents, refer to praxis, ask for clarification, as appropriate.
Do my best, to help the process along, but inside… it’s hard not to get resentful. People who so clearly are done, spent, should not do what they do anymore. Or even don’t want to be and do what they are being and doing. As if serving the final years of a prison sentence, biding their time, before escaping, released from their responsibilities, their position, their work.

Possibly… what triggers me is my fear of becoming like that?
Or the discomfort I receive when picking up on the energy exuded?
Whatever it is, there’s both a physical and a mental rejection within me, informing me this is not a road I want to head down. Quite the opposite.

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.
This gives me a choice.
If I don’t find it worth doing, either I get to find something else to do, or I get to shift my approach, to find the worth of doing within me.

Easier said than done?
Sure.
But that’s life, isn’t it?
And I for one would not want a life of easy, honestly.
I want to butt up against the edges of my capacity, my capability, my comfort.

Perhaps that’s why, now and again, I come across a full-fledged professional, right after having met a hack? Both of them challenge me. Both of them have me up against the edges of my capacity, capability, comfort zone. In totally different ways, but still. I learn and grow from the experience.

What if, from now on, when I come across the pro, I say thanks for the learnings?
What if, from now on, when I come across the hack, I say thanks for the learnings?
Might that make it easier for me to refrain from the judgment? Worth a try!


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Winnie-the-Pooh on Management & Problem Solving (book 3 of 12)

March 16, 2020
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I really did not enjoy reading Winnie-the-Pooh on Management & Problem Solving by Roger E. and Stephen D. Allen.

And in a sense… that makes me happy. Oddly enough.
Bear (haha. Pun not intended, would you believe it?) with me, as I try to explain.

You see.
I have a tendency to enjoy most of what I read.
I love books. I read lots.
And I can as easily down a quick-read from the chick-lit genre as a fact-based non-fiction book on leadership and human development, a Science Fantasy-trilogy as a spiritual deep-dive into the world of Mary Magdalen.
And most everything I do enjoy. I find something in them that attracts me, keeps me reading.
Can be the wit of it, the beauty of the language, a totally engrossing story or facts that makes my mind boggle.

“Remember, good judgment is the result of experience, and experience is the result of bad judgment.”

But more and more, I can discern (what a wonderful word that one! Discernment.) what I don’t like, what I don’t enjoy, where the language is not alluring, where I cannot get close to the characters (The Neapolitan Novels of Elena Ferrante is a great example), where something, whatever it might be, just seems off for one reason or another.

I had but read a few pages of this book when I knew it was off. For me! Which is an important caveat, as my taste is just that: mine. Noone elses. I borrowed this book from C, and he swears by it. But if I had not assigned this book a slot in my “read these 12 English books in 2020” I would have closed the book, returned it to C and never thought more of it.

But as I had chosen it, I made myself finish it, even though it took me more or less three months, with it laying on my dressing table as a constant reminder…

Perhaps it’s as simple as me not really being a Winnie-the-Pooh fan?
Perhaps the way the Allen’s emulate the way A.A. Milne writes (and is allowed to use excerpts from his books on Winnie-the-Pooh, both the written stories and the illustrations), but without being as great word-smiths as Milne?
Perhaps it was simply the wrong time for me to read it?

I don’t know, and don’t have to delve into it in-depth, but… at the same time, this is where my happiness comes in. You see, I am currently enrolled in The Creative’s Workshop (workshop run for the first time by Seth Godin on akimbo.com), and in several of the prompts (lessons you might say, three per week, over a 100-day-period) we’ve been asked to look at things such as these:
What is good, in my view? Why is it good? Who crafts good stuff (similar to that which I am working on)?
What don’t I think is good, and why? Who crafts “bad” stuff?
Who do I admire? Who do I want to emulate? And who’s the amateur, the professional and the hack in your line-of-work?

So.
Winnie-the-Pooh is helping me discern my responses to questions like these ones.
And that’s really helpful!

“…creativity […] is a way of being, of looking at things without judging them first, and that it can be learned and improved.”


The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2020, to read and blog monthly about 12 Swedish and 12 English books, books that I already own.

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Advent Calendar 6 – To feel.

December 6, 2018
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I sing in a choir. In this choir we have the luxury of having a wonderful choir master, Jens Eriksson, who is also a composer. A couple of years ago, he wrote a Stabat Mater for my choir, and it is the musical highlight of my life – I absolutely love this musical work.

In the sixth piece Fac, ut portem Christi mortem about three minutes in (the Spotify version), there’s a sequence for the string quartet, and at 3:20 one of the instruments has a solo note, a high F (I think). This single note, lasting for a few seconds, is so beautiful that I cannot even keep my eyes open. I feel this note throughout my entire body; in a way I totally let myself float away on this note… while still being completely present to the sensation, with awareness of myself and the pleasure I take in being a part of this musical creation.

Allowing myself to feel, to enjoy, to take pleasure in what is, in the moment. Letting me experience what is there to experience, without drowning in the emotion. Being aware, being present, stops me from drowning, giving me an anchor of sorts, to my innate wellbeing. It makes me open to feel, to dare to feel it all.

This duality, of feeling fully, of experiencing, while at the same time witnessing the experience taking place. This is one way for me to be gentle with myself, as I am no longer afraid to feel what I feel.


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 6 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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Being one with all

July 16, 2018
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July 7 to 14, 2018, I was at No Mind, a festival at Ängsbacka. Upon leaving, I had no intention of coming back. However, the most amazing sensation is with me, making me wonder if maybe I will. Sometime.

Arriving home after a ten hour journey, I was, understandably, quite exhausted while at the same time, brimming with energy. So much so, that I unpacked in a jiffy and immediately donned my running clothes and shoes. Went out for a slow run, before taking a shower and hitting the sack.No MindThat’s when it started.
A sensation of being part of a thousand-headed entity, of being one with everyone who attended No Mind, experiencing everything each and every one of these thousand souls experienced in the moment. Being asleep – yet wide awake. Tired – yet filled with energy. Floating on the sensation of being one with a thousand people, the most exquisite experience – wondrous!

Throughout the night, while sleeping, this is what inhabited my dream state.
Waking up, this is what inhabited my waking state.

Getting up, the day after coming back, I carried it with me – being a part of it, there was simply no other option available. Going through the day, it was there, in the background, only to blossom into full aliveness once more as I went to bed yet again in my own bed, twenty four hours after coming home. And immediately, the sensation doubleness in intensity, ten-fold, a hundred-fold, a thousand times more intense – once again, my entire being filled with the sensation of being one with all, no division, no separateness. Unity. Blissful.

Rocked by a thousand hearts, a thousand embraces, a thousand slow breaths – in and out – I gently drifted away into my dream state; Held. Caressed. Cared for. Loved. Part of a beloved community.

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Being gentle – Reflection October ’17

November 1, 2017
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being gentle

B e i n g   g e n t l e

t o

me

˜

t r a n s f o r m e d

m y

l i f e.

˜

C o m p l e t e l y   a n d   a b s o l u t e l y.

˜

I   w i s h

˜

f o r

a l l

˜

t o   e x p e r i e n c e

w h a t    l i f e

i s    l i k e

˜

w h en

l i v e d

f r o m   t h a t   p l a c e.

˜

T h a t   p l a c e   o f

b e i n g   g e n t l e.

˜

T o

m e.

˜

A n d

t o

y o u!

 

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