fear

Spider. With a message.

Spider. With a message.

November 8, 2020
/ / /

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.
Read More

Thanks for the learnings

October 20, 2020
/ / /

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.
Read More

The never-ending story of the questioning mind.

July 5, 2020
/ / /

I blog every day.
(Just like Seth.)
Is it too much, though?

Aarrgghhhh.
Resistance speaking? Fear? Not wanting to be too much?
(But I ”am” too much. And quite happily so.)

Who else publishes something daily?
Do you ever fear it’s ”too much to handle” for your audience?
Would you change, if it was?

For me, it’s simply the easiest way to do stuff. Daily.
(The Upholder in me nods and chimes in: I get such a kick out of run streaks as well!)

But I haven’t had a lot of people subscribing to my blog before, and now, more and more are trickling in, which makes me truly happy. And… fearful. For the above-mentioned reason.

Why?
(Oh, I know why, that’s simply the way the mind works. Thoughts come and go, and some of them sort’a makes an imprint, has me dive deep into the rabbit hole…)

Honest to God, I don’t read every post Seth publishes. I get the emails, and read some. Save them, to read later, and when there’s too many, I simply delete them instead. Unread.

So if you (imaginary subscriber of my blog) do the same, that’s perfectly fine.
I hope you read some, of course, but there’s no expectation from me that you read the lot.
Truly.

But should I take that, and turn it into a rational for not writing daily? If I post 3 days a week, would more people read more of the posts then? Or weekly?

Nah.

It doesn’t sit right.

But who knows, perhaps, once day, it might?
Or I’ll simply get fed up with writing/publishing daily, and I’ll start to ponder whether or not I write too seldom…

And on and on it goes.
The never-ending story of the questioning mind.


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

I am not alone.

June 20, 2020
/ / /

Today we recorded another episode of Buddhas by the Roadside, spending most of the time talking about (dis)embodiment. Somewhere along the lines of conversation, jumping from bare feet, to menstrual cycles, to what gets schooled out of humans during childhood and in adult life, the amazement of the designs behind the human body as well as the bodies of tigers and penguins and house-cats, I was reminded of this passage, which I’d read earlier in the morning. It can be found on June 19th in The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo.

”This is why it helps to share our journey with others, because in so doing we become a chorus of voices, and the stress of going solo lessens once we discover that we are not alone.”

I don’t remember what stepping stone(s) brought me to it in the Buddhas-conversation, but I remember why I’d snapped a photo of it upon reading it. When I went for the shotgun-approach *again*, caught myself in the act, and then sort-of did a combo shotgun/sniper rifle-approach instead, one of my fellow The Creative’s Workshoppers got inspired and wrote something along the lines of taking my lead.

”This is why it helps to share our journey with others, because in so doing we become a chorus of voices, and the stress of going solo lessens once we discover that we are not alone.”

As I read these lines, I was reminded of how happy that made me. The knowing (!) that I am not alone.

For some reason (I believe it to be deep, the need to know we are not alone. Deeply existential. The most basic fear of humans is that of being shunned. We are not solitary creatures.) knowing she’d follow along, had me exhale. In relief. Knowing (!) I am not alone.

And. If I hold it in, whatever it is that has me think I am the only person on Earth feeling this… If I hold it in, not giving anyone the opportunity, the possibility, to reach out a hand, tap me on the shoulder, and gently say Oh my friend, I know what you are feeling. Been there, done that. You are not alone.

Indeed, sharing is caring holds multiple meanings.
And I am enamored with them all.


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

Lovingkindness, a way to let go of hesitation and fear

February 29, 2020
/ / /

Three days a week, there’s a prompt in The Creative’s Workshop. Something to ponder, to reflect and act upon, to respond to. Prompt number 8 called for action, and as much as it scared me, at first, once done, I’d shed a ton of anxiety and hesitation. 

This sentence hit’s the bullseye. Spot on. Hurtfully so:
It’s not that you can’t organize and ship a minimum lovable product. It’s simply that you’re hesitating.

You see, I want to do more with #tankespjärn than I have been doing so far, and yes I am afraid. I am hesitant. I fear failure.

Deep inhalation!
Letting it out.

Lovingkindness.
Breathe in love. Breathe out fear.
Breathe in strength. Breathe out hesitation.
Breathe in determination. Breathe out fear of failure.
Breathe in courage. Breathe out poor excuses.
Breathe in words from the Angel’s advocate. Breathe out words from the Devil’s advocate.
Breathe in just do it. Breathe out procrastination.

That’s what I wrote. To get myself ready to do the work the prompt actually called for, which was to make a list of steps that will take me (closer) to what it is I want to create, and then list what I need to do to make each step a reality. 

After spending 15-20 minutes on it, there I was, with a list of five steps with a number of actionable to-dos for each one. And all of a sudden, anxiety and hesitation are replaced with a sensation informing me that This is doable!

 

Read More

On the issue of the day

November 20, 2018
/ /
in Tip
/

I often return to blog posts of the past. My blog posts of the past. As I’ve been blogging for 6 years – more or less daily for 5 of those years – there are quite a few blog posts to choose from.

When there’s an interesting article or question or observation asked, many times I am reminded of something I’ve written that is relevant to whatever prompted the connection being made in my mind. So I search for it (and oftentimes find what I am looking for. Not always though) and can share what I’ve written and pondered about… about whatever really. Fear. Mistakes. Dancing. Coaching. Existential questions. Anything really!

And what is apparent, is how timeless many of my posts are. They can be recent or have 5 years to them, and still be as relevant today as when I wrote them. It’s not valid for all of them though, and listening to Seth Godin on Good Life Project, I got some insight into why that is. Seth was telling Jonathan Fields about “the issue of the day” and how he makes a point n o t to write about is – in specifics (listen from about 49 minutes in):

I care enough about my vision of the world that if I thought that I could change the way we did things by blogging about it, specifically, I would do it. But I feel like, a) chiming in on the issue of the day is a trap because it protects us from having to take responsibility for a larger view. […]
I think you can read at least half my blog posts as political, but none of them are saying Today, I think this person is wrong and this person is right, because as soon as I do that it’s so easy to ignore what I said because I am not on the right team, what ever team you want to be on. And so, I don’t want to play that sort of short-term tribal thing. Instead I want to say thank you to people from where ever you are coming from for giving me two minutes of your time, think about this. And if you think about this and still want to support that, well that’s your choice because you are a grown-up. Because I don’t believe what you believe, I don’t know what you know, I don’t want what you want. But here, here is a thought that feels to me coherent, and hard to argue with, and I notice things, do you notice this? And I know that that kind of input has influenced my life coming up, particularly as a teenager and surely thereafter, way more than when someone says this person is right, that person is wrong.

This is truly food for thought for me, and in how and what I write. Because I do chime in, now and again, on the specifics of the issues of the day. And those are posts that have a much shorter lifespan than posts that take the larger view.

I love how a new thought can open up for new perspectives – will this lead to changes in how and what I write? Or not?

Read More

It’s on me as well.

October 2, 2018
/ / /

Read this post on Facebook. It referred to a question asked on Twitter by Danielle Muscato:Read the replies, from both men and women.
Realized two things.
First: I know what these women are talking about.
Second: I can also relate to (commenting) men not really being in the know, because honestly, I haven’t spoken enough out my experiences to the men in my life. It’s simply not been part of the conversation.

So.
It’s on me as well. Speaking up – about the things I do to keep myself safe, without really reflecting upon them and definitely without letting on to the men around me. And I should. Because we are not mind readers, us humans. Sharing my experiences is a way to increase the likelihood of others raising their awareness of what happens to women in their circles.

So.
The other night I was filled with energy after a wonderful weekend course, and when I got home, I had dinner and afterwards took my boundless energy for a dance walk in a recreational area just across the street from my house.

It’s lit in places, and not lit in places.
I had my headphones on, playing music, singing and dancing along, as I also caught the occasional Pokemon and spun a few poke-stops (most of them placed in the unlit areas of the park).

Now and again, a jogger (all of them men for some reason) would come running from behind, having me spot them, glancing back, slightly on edge, until they had passed me by.

And as I entered the darkest path, through the arboretum, I DID consider… was this wise of me? Should I really walk through here, in pitch black woods, not knowing what might happen?

I chose to.
But also turned on my IPhone flashlight, to give ME an opportunity to spot anyone else coming on the chance of them having ominous intentions (rather than for the sake of lighting my way).

So, yeah.
I know precisely what it feels like, having an inclination towards fear and insecurity. I don’t let it stop me from taking the walk – but I do take the walk slightly on edge, truth be told. And I don’t want to. I want to be able to take this walk, without any fear in my system – because I don’t want to be ruled by fear. I want to look at people around me with a loving disposition. And I believe you would want me to look at you like that as well, don’t you?

Read More

Daring Greatly (book 12 of 26)

June 17, 2018
/ /
in Tip
/

“When we stop caring about what other people think, we lose our capacity for connection. When we become defined by what people think, we lose our willingness to be vulnerable. If we dismiss all the criticism, we lose out on important feedback, but if we subject ourselves to the hatefulness, our spirits get crushed. It’s a tightrope, shame resilience is the balance bar, and the safety new below is the one or two people in our lives who can help us reality-check the criticism and cynicism.”

Daring Greatly, subtitled How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead, is a book by Brené Brown, shame- and vulnerability-researcher, made famous by her TEDxHouston Talk, which is well worth a look if you’ve yet to see it.

The-gap-starts-here-We-can-t-give-people-what-we“Here’s the question: We don’t intentionally create cultures in our families, schools, communities, and organizations that fuel disengagement and disconnection, so how does it happen? Where’s the gap?

The gap starts here: We can’t give people what we don’t have. Who we are matters immeasurably more than what we know or who we want to be.

This is the first of her books that I’m reading in English, which I strongly recommend, compared to the lousy translation to Swedish of one of her earlier works that I suffered through a while back. Daring Greatly is an easy read, and there’s loads of stuff within it to think about, to try out, to discuss with family, friends and colleagues, for sure. All the while, having listened to her in numerous pod’s, it’s as if I already know most of this.

“Minding the gap is a daring strategy. We have to pay attention to the space between where we’re actually standing and where we want to be. More importantly, we have to practice the values that we’re holding out as important in our culture.”

There were a few tender moments while reading though, centering on recent events, making me cringe a bit…. knowing I’ve n o t been vulnerable enough, knowing full well that I am trying to skirt the issues at hand. Grateful for the reminder, most definitely, and getting ready to shed my armor.

“Giving and soliciting feedback is about learning and growth, and understanding who we are and how we respond to the people around us is the foundation in this process.”

Voicing my discomfort, to someone in a position to help me reality-check the feedback, as well as help me through it (not around, not away from: through!), certainly is one of the best ways for me to keep me on a road of expansion, or growth, of a deepening understanding and knowing of who I am, and how I am. Voicing my discomfort, the shame and fear and disgust and confusion, makes it all real, bringing it outside of the dark recesses of my brain, where it would otherwise – perhaps – be lurking around for ages, doing no one any good. Better to bring it out into the light to see what it’s actually about. Starting to dance with it, sooner or later I know I will have learned new dance moves, that will help me as I dance along in life.


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.

Read More

That’s why!

August 29, 2017
/ /
in Tip
/

The so-called Migration crisis in 2015 caused too many countries, Sweden amongst them (much to my sorrow), to effectively shut their borders to refugees and asylum seekers. Countries close to these war-stricken countries have taken in so many more refugees than we could even come close to harboring.

In Lebanon one out of three is a refugee. One in three. Lebanon alone have taken in more Syrian refugees than all of Europe combined. All. of Europe. Combined. Can you imagine?

It saddens me beyond belief that Sweden, and too many other countries, are shutting people out, as well as denying asylum seekers a chance to settle down in a country not plagues by war, famine, poverty and apartheid (look into the situation for hazara in Afghanistan and the surrounding countries) that this is what it’s come to, and Sam explains why in but a few words:

FEAR”’We have kids who’ve come here from Perdido Beach. They’ve lost people on the way here, and we’re going to take them in and care for them.’ 

Some grumbling and a couple of defiant, shouted questions came out of the dark. 

’Because good people help people who need to be helped. That’s why,’ Sam yelled back.”

Good people help people who need to be helped.
That’s why.
And we aren’t helping.
Not enough, by far, with more than 65 million people forcibly displaced worldwide, according to UNHCR statistics.

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book ”FEAR” (number 5 in the GONE series) by Michael Grant.

Read More

#blogg100 – Allow yourself the same.

May 19, 2017
/ / /

”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.

Read More