gratitude

5 steps in Honorable Closure

5 steps in Honorable Closure

July 7, 2020
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Come 9th of July 2020, The Creative’s Workshop will be closing down, leaving me with… high points, low points, key lessons, loads of gratitude, and a definitive intention going forward.

This is the framework shared by the most wonderful Kathy Karn whose presence in TCW has been monumental – for me personally, and for many of the other participants in the workshop. She’s touched the heart of all of us. Kathy wrote about it thus: When we do our leaving in a mindful way our psyche gets notice and may raise up unfinished business that is worth attending to. Good closure prepares us well for new beginnings.

The details of my response will stay in TCW, with one exception:
I had forgotten what impact it has on me, on my energy, on my creativity, to be in a setting with such fabulous people, who, with grace and humility, share their work, their struggles, their questions, their praise, their warmth. It is something I never want to forget again!

This is my testimonial for TCW, which can be found on the site, where there’s a new session opening up soon. I have a hard time seeing how any TCW-cohort can ever be as amazing and special as the one that is just about to close, but… at the same time, I know it will be a most sensational experience for anyone participating in it. So if you’ve considered it, do so no more. Take the plunge. Enroll!

And even though the details will stay in TCW, I want to share the framework, for me to know I have it handy, and for you, to try it out, if and when, it’s time for an honorable closure. And there will be times for that. Now and again. There always is.

Letting go. Letting come.
Part of living. And loving.

5 Steps in Honourable Closure

  1. High Points: Reflect on the high points in your experience – this is a way of collecting memories and building an archive of turning points, gratitude moments, moments that touched your heart and or your funny bone. It is not a full recounting of the history of an event or time period, high points bring up the significant points that are worth remembering.
  2. Low Points: Were there any low points? Reflect on the tough parts, what was hard or challenging?
  3. Key lessons: What have you learned? How are you different, what has changed?
  4. Gratitude: Moments of gratitude may have already been mentioned in the responses above. If there is more then say more. If there are particular people you are grateful for, let them know, be specific about how that person impacted you.
  5. Intention Going forward: As an experience or relationship comes to an end what are your intentions going forward? How will you take the gifts, the lessons from this experience into your life? This does not need to be an exhaustive list, in fact, a couple of key points are probably more likely to get integrated into your life than a long to-do list. Take time to consider this – be specific.

#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Why hold back?

January 10, 2020
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Why hold back?

Let those tears flow. Freely.

Tears of joy. Of sorrow. Of gratitude. Of despair. Of fond memories. Of all that is and has been. Of all that never was and never will be. 

Here I am. On the train. Watching an episode from the third season of I am Anne (of Greengables) on Netflix and I am letting those tears flow. Freely. Because why not? What do I care if others think me odd or weird? I don’t. 

What is it to me if others think me brave for showing my emotions (without drama. No intrusion unto others bar the fact that I may be sniveling a wee bit, dabbing my eyes dry now and again)? A gift. From me. 

What do I care that I will be going to work with slightly puffed eyes? Well. I don’t. I am human. And proud of it. What better way to show my humanity than letting my tears flow in a moment when tears are what I have, what I am?

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Advent Calendar – December 21, 2019

December 21, 2019
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The magic of this place!
Kenya. Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge, inside Tsavo West National Park.
At sunset, with the view of the lit water hole.
As we stood there, birds came to drink, varying kinds of antelope, big and small animals of all kinds… and then, all of a sudden, an elephant.

It seemed so surreal.
Sure, I’d seen elephants earlier in the day, and yet.
Here, right in front of our noses, an elephant coming to have an evening drink, as we were doing the same, getting ready for dinner.

I FaceTimed my children back home in Sweden but they had a fairly lackadaisical attitude to it all. Desperate to share this with someone back home, I called my wives of sorts (yes, that’s what we call ourselves! There’s four of us and we’ve been a tightknit band ever since the days of the Twitter-born movement #skolvåren – which translates into school-spring – in 2013). And, as always, I knew I could trust them to match my wondrous state of mind, at witnessing this grandeur.

What a journey this trip turned out to be.
A journey of insights and new knowledge.
Greater understanding as well as gratitude towards life.
Friendships and new bonds formed with my fellow travel companions as well as our gracious hosts.
Laughter and singing and the occasional tear.
Erosion-stricken semi-arid lands, wildlife in the national park, a few hours of absolute relaxation at the splendid beaches of Malindi.
The plantations. The partner farmers.
The schools and microfinance banks.

A journey that is the result of a number of decisions made, starting with me buying my first trees in November of 2015.
Becoming an ambassador a year later.
Not really doing anything until yet another year had passed.
And then, slowly, getting more and more into it, simply because there’s so much about this that attracts me.

The path I’ve taken doesn’t have to be the path for everyone though. You can easily put aside a bit of your savings to buy trees – as a one-time-gig or monthly – and not think more of it than you do with your other forms of savings. But sitting here, getting to revisit Kenya again, thanks to this advent calendar, I am very happy that I did take on a more active engagement because this is not a trip that will ever be forgotten!


Advent Calendar for 2019: sharing pictures and stories/reflections from my trip to Kenya in June. I went to visit “my trees” and get a hands-on experience of the social entrepreneurship of the Kenyan forestry company that I buy trees through.

Full disclosure: I am proud to say I am both a customer and an ambassador for the company. If you are curious to find out more, let me know and I’ll gladly get in touch with you! Here’s my sponsored link: https://betterglobe.com/27216 

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I choose to!

May 24, 2019
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Attended a funeral.
A life, coming to an end.
A long life, lived.

Solemn feeling.
Filled with gratitude for living, for loving, for laughing, for learning.
Reminisce about loved ones who’ve gone before.

Tears fall, slowly, effortlessly.
Not sad tears. Loving tears. Heartfelt tears.
For lives, and choices.
The ones that serve. The ones that don’t.
How it all constitutes a life. A life lived.
Because they are, all of them, those lives.
Lived. One way or another.

And then… sooner or later, they come to an end.
Mine will too.
But not today. Not now.
Every day of life is a day of living.
Loving. Laughing. Learning.
If I choose to make it thus…

I choose to!

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In pain.

February 10, 2019
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Friday morning it started. Again. My lower back pulsating, sending small hints that soon, in a few hours or at most a day, there will be massive pain, making me so weak that getting out of bed, putting socks on, or sitting down is a major hassle. A painful hassle.

Lying on heated wheat bags, with hips/legs in a 90 degree angle to alleviate the pain.

I know to be in motion when this happens. To not freeze on account of the pain, but rather the opposite. To move as much as I can, to stand, dance, wiggle my body, apply heat (or cold, but heat is so much nicer…) and whatever other ways to try to get through the pain incident as quickly as I can. 

It used to be my neck. Freezing up every now and then… and I finally got the message: speak out, because you’re holding something vital back, that needs to be communicated. Once I got the message, I picked up on the cues, and as I often (always?) knew what it was I was holding back, and to whom, this problem has all but disappeared.

Now it’s my lower back. And it has been for a few years. And I haven’t gotten the message. I’ve gotten a strengthening program for my core, and that’s helped, but out of the blue (or so I thought until today), this back pain would flare up, making life really painful for a few days.

Invited to lunch at D’s place, I knocked, stepped in and exclaimed: my back is killing me! He continued cooking, we talked, we ate (oh my, delicious doesn’t even begin to describe D’s cooking!), had tea, and then he asked if I wanted to work with him on my back. An offer too good to decline.

I showed him, the difficulty I had in leaning down to touch the floor, and with a sense of disgust told him about the sensation of being totally weak, lacking strength and control of my lower back, effectively stopping me from functioning in the world in the way I normally do.

So we got to work.
Him asking. Me responding.
Him paying very close attention to the energies, where they took me, what they had me do.
Scratch my forehead.
Peck on his knee with my finger.
He had me describing the pain; the location of it; the size of it; the shape of it; the sensation of it.

For an hour (or so?! I don’t know…) we continued, with me sensing into the pain, discovering the connection to old Helena (the one I was, before… The one that started to transform into new Helena, i.e. me, a few weeks before the birth of my first child) as well as Warrior Helena, my longings, needs, fears. Delving into my relationship to these two archetypes of Me, as well as noticing the shifting sensation in my back. Melancholy, tears, disgust, disappointment, the disembodied feeling of being a Brain and a Body rather than an integrated Being. Coming to understand the need to make allies with both old Helena and Warrior Helena.

That’s the message.
With the neck, my body told me to communicate with others.
With the lower back, my body is telling me to communicate with me. All of me. All aspects of me. To make all parts of me my allies, and not enemies, or parts to be ignored, taken for granted or be ashamed of. 

It’s hard to put into words, but in a gentle way a lot of ground was covered, a lot of work done. When done, D asked: How’s the back now? I smiled at him, wiggled about on the sofa a bit, afraid to show him what I believed to be true: that the pain was gone. So after stalling for a while – wanting to live in the hope that what I sensed from my lower back was true, rather than the fear of trying it out only to discover it wasn’t – I stood up, bent over, touched the floor without the least bit of problem or pain, danced around a bit, grinning from ear to ear: The pain is gone. Gone!

Oh!
The relief – the constant background pain, similar to the low-murmuring noise of ventilation. The relief when the pain disappears equal to that which occurs when the ventilation suddenly shuts down.
Amazement – how is this possible? Talking, sensing, doing the work, and all of a sudden, the pain is just gone?
Gratitude – how lucky am I, to have a friend like D. Someone who can help me find out more about myself, the messages my body is desperately trying to tell me, guiding me in the process of discovery. He’s done it before, he’ll do it again.
Wonderment!

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4 years and 10 months

December 12, 2017
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Four years and ten months since I got an email from a former colleague at a new company, asking if I had time for, and was interested in working i, a specific project he had in mind.

I said yes. So for fBoldomaticPost_it-s-time-to-let-goour years and ten months I’ve been working for this project that is nearing it’s end, although not quite – but my work is done.

That’s the best part of being a consultant for me – knowing in my heart when it’s time to let go, when I’ve done what I can, when there is no longer any need for me and my services, because others have taken on the various tasks that I’ve had on my plate.

Projects tend to be learning experiences, especially the type of projects I’ve had the privilege of participating in during my years in the pharmaceutical (as well as food-packaging) industry – mainly focussed on equipment, facilities and media. (And if you go Huh, what’s she talking about? just drop me a message and I’d gladly have a conversation about my professional background!) So I’ve had four years and ten months of having a lot of fun, met some great people, got to visit Hamburg (and other parts of Germany for that matter) a number of times, have had my fair share of frustration, and all in all – to my eternal gratitude – have learnt so much!

This project has been a part-time assignment for all but a few weeks here and there, so it’s never been “all that I do” (another thing I am very grateful for – I love the diversity of what I do!). I have lots of other projects and assignments on my plate, both new and old one’s, but this project has still been a part of my work life for a long time, so letting go isn’t done without experiencing a twang of regret for what will no longer be.

On the other hand, that twang is accompanied by the bubbling anticipatory experience of letting come:
What want’s to happen now?

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