habit

Insights that truly shake me to my core

Insights that truly shake me to my core

May 17, 2020
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I haven’t gotten the text on the victim vs perpetrator-perspective in the bag yet. Did discuss it with some wise friends today, and… it will come. I won’t let it go. But it’s still not ready.

And then… I wrote another text last night, after having done three more prompts in The Creative’s Workshop. The prompts gave me an insight into two modes of mine, perform/deliver and discovery, and the text I wrote a few hours later was directly related to this.

You see, a while after finishing those prompts, I got such a massive insight into my own behaviors, into where I slide easily into discovery mode, and where I stick to perform/deliver as if it was a life-raft, even though it’s most likely dragging me down, rather than saving me.

And it’s gotten to be a habit – a routine? Or perhaps even a ritual? – to write in situations like this. When hit by insights that truly shake me to my core, putting fingers to keyboard helps me find, what it is I suddenly see. It’s a way for me to step fully through the door that the insight invites me into, which is the way I describe what tankespjärn is. So yes. Insights, for me, are most often tankespjärn of the highest quality!

This insight is personal. Deeply personal.
And I don’t know if it’s to be shared widely.
Not yet.

I have to digest it a bit, wrap myself (not my head. My self! Significant difference for a recovering head-footer-person, i.e. the head with feet attached that small children draw as their first attempt at humans, that I am.) around it, and just let it be.

I did share it with two of my absolutely closest compadres, directly. They are as close to me as my own skin, in many ways, and I know, there’s nothing but love and support to be gotten from them. And within minutes and hours, I had gotten just that, from both of them. Love. Support. And more love.

The process… now and again, there are variations to the general process of writing, and this is one of them. When it’s something that hits home, deeply affecting me, I need to make sure that I am not bleeding from any wounds, before sharing. If I am, the reader gets more than they should, and it’s not fair on them. It’s not for me to spread my hurts, wounds, sorrows, on others, widely.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Yesterday I went on a strike.

April 21, 2020
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Yesterday I went on a strike.

I. Did. Not. Blog.

I just didn’t feel like it. I had nothing on my mind worth saying, and no inkling of what I might come up with, and… most importantly, no desire to.
So I let myself off the hook and simply did not blog.

It’s not much of a strike really, but given the ease with which I stick to habits, deliberately not sticking to them once in a while is more of a stretch for me than sticking to them. So, in a sense, by not blogging I was putting myself on the spot, not letting myself off the hook as much as getting me on it, because it takes more for me to break a habit than stick to it.

And I need that.
Once in awhile, I need – want! Thrive on! – to stir the pot, to surprise me by not going on routine and habit, but deliberately, consciously, with engaged awareness, question my habitual choices. Like daily 1) blogging 2) morning seven-minute exercise 3) deep-breathing-practice 4) 10+ kilometers in my body, and a number of other things I do daily or weekly.

Do my habitual practices a l w a y s serve me?

Are there moments when I am best served by not doing them?

What happens to me when I do them without really wanting to? W
ithout being present to what I am doing?
Do they still serve me then?

Is there a threshold when habits go from serving to not-serving, perhaps even becoming harmful?
And what does it take for me to pick up on that?

Who do I need to be, in order to give me the nourishment I need, when what I need shifts?

So many questions.
And luckily, no need to actually answer them as such, but rather, just to let them be. Throw them out there, and see, if anything comes back to me. An answer? Another way to look at things? A new question, deepening my reflection?


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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The only way…

November 1, 2019
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The only way to ever get to a run streak of 1900 daily seven-minute-workouts (caveat: of a varying kind, sometimes heart pumping and sweat dripping, sometimes slow and stretching) is to do it one day at a time.

When I started with my first ever morning Seven on August 18th, 2014, I was on a mission to do the seven-month-challenge. I’d been gradually working more and more movement into my days, but had a focus on walks and bike rides, and I felt an urge to complement that with other types of exercises.

And boy did the habit of a daily seven ever get ingrained in my brain during those months, so when the time came… I just kept going. And going. And going, until, on Wednesday the 30th of October 2019 I hit 1900 days in a row.

And yes. I’ve kept going since, of course. Today, November 1st, I did my morning seven-workout number 1902. And I have no intention of ever stopping. Why should I?

But you know what? If I missed a day, that would be ok too. I’d simply get back on it the next day. That’s what I’ve done with meditations because I actually started a daily meditation practice too, that same day back in August of 2014. I think the farthest I ever got was somewhere between 700-800 days in a row, but way more than once I forgot a day here and a day there. Never once though did I beat myself up over my lapse, but simply got back on track the next day.

Why did I manage a perfect 1900 days in a row run streak for my morning seven but not for my meditation? Because the morning seven has a natural trigger, which I never did manage to design for the meditation. I get dressed. Every day. And before I dress, I do my morning seven. It’s as easy as that. The meditation doesn’t have such a natural trigger. (On the other hand, today I did my 100th Wim Hof deep breathing exercise in a row, something I do count as a meditative practice. And as I want to do the breathing before I do my seven, maybe I’ve gotten the perfect trigger in place at long last?)

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Willing myself to write

September 30, 2019
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It’s past ten pm, I have yet to blog and finish a meditation challenge-activity as well as send off a challenging activity of my own to my digital #tankespjärn client, before I hop into bed. Pop the cat is draped elegantly across the sofa, right next to me, my guess is he’ll run after me once I get off the couch, to beat me to bed.

I am not really in blogging-mode, and yet, here I am, willing myself to write. You see, these past months I’ve not made time for blogging in my extremely jam-packed calendar, and it affects me. I ground myself when I write; I become aware of what I am, where I am, who I am when I sit down to let my fingers tip-toe across the keyboard. So the fact that I’ve been a busy bee coupled with the fact that I haven’t blogged is starting to take its toll. Blogging is a part of my wellbeing practice.

Had a friend suggest I ”just write, you don’t need to publish it”. But that’s just it. I don’t ”just write”. Or at least, way too seldom. Publishing my writings is what makes me write, especially as I have the intention to blog daily. That means I write daily, and that is of huge benefit to me.

So here I sit. Ten past ten at night, after a long day of three different networking meetings, four almost-half-hour bike rides, and both choir and guitar practice. Writing. Getting into the habit of blogging daily again. A habit that serves me.

Possibly I should take a helicopter view of my blogging routine, and set up a new set of intentions. Perhaps daily isn’t optimal? Perhaps it should be every other day, perhaps only on weekdays, perhaps… well. Who knows. For now, though, getting back on the horse again seems like the wisest thing I can do.

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Streaks

August 8, 2019
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Seth Godin celebrates eleven years of daily blogging, quite an impressive daily runstreak I must admit. I am far from his caliber (in this, as well as in most – all? – things) but I am quite good at runstreaks myself. It’s soon seven years since I started my Swedish blog, and 6,5 years since I commenced my habit of daily blogging. Which I have not kept up as diligently as Seth, but still, in seven years I have published 2249 blog posts. 2250 with this one. And as I started my more-or-less daily blogging habit on January 23rd 2013, which is 2389 days ago, I have missed 139 days. In 6,5 years. Corresponds to roughly 5 %, which inversely means I’ve blogged just short of 95% of the days since then.

Cool.

Yet.
That wasn’t the point I aimed for.

Seth writes “Streaks require commitment at first, but then the commitment turns into a practice, and the practice into a habit. Habits are much easier to maintain than commitments.

He is so spot on here.

In another runstreak of mine I have managed to stick to the 100% daily drill – I did my 1817th Seven-morning workout today upon waking up. Monday August 18th 2014 I started, and since, I have not missed a single day. It’s evolved from being a commitment, which definitely along the way turned into a habit. One I do not question. It’s not a matter of IF I should do my morning Seven. I just do it. I have made the decision, and put it in the Decision Box, to use the words of my friend Caspian.

I made a decision on August 18th, 2014, to start (and finish) the Seven-month challenge that Perigee (the app-makers) promotes. Every day, I could have revisited that decision. But I didn’t, because I’d already made it. And needless to say, by the end of those seven months, I just kept going.

If nothing else, committing to a runstreak, honoring it and making it a practice, to be rewarded by it becoming a habit is energy conserving. I spent my energy d o i n g my morning workout, rather than debating with myself whether or not I should do it.

Now.
This might not work for everyone. At least not if the Four Tendencies come close to describing how people respond to inner and outer expectations. Needless to say, I am an Upholder. I do not question for a second that Seth Godin is one as well.

However. I firmly believe everyone can find ways of transforming commitments into habits. What’s your way to enable this type of transformation for you?

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What is your egg?

January 27, 2016
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in Tip
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One thing at a time. It makes sense. And it is a way to be gentle to yourself. Let yourself work on one thing at a time. Even though the urge to take on this, and that, and just a wee bit of this other thing as well, is strong within. And it might work. For sure. It depends on you to a large extent, and to your reasons for doing it. Or perhaps, better stated: it depends upon where the urge comes from. If it’s a sensible and logical conclusion, you’ve decided to stop drinking, smoking, eating too much, start to exercise and cook better food, and only drink green smoothies for breakfast and, and, and… Or if it’s actually something that you know to do. Something that is coming through you, with the quiet wisdom of Mind behind it.

Tim Ferriss talks about an egg. When people approach him, asking for help to get their life together (health, food, exercise and such), he has them start with an egg. You want to change your diet, get healthier, move more, sleep better? Start with an egg. Regardless of what your breakfast routine may look like, if it’s non-existent, or consists of sugar-coated cereal and low-fat milk, or is actually quite sensible. Start with an egg. That’s it. Add an egg. Simple. Boil it. Poach it. Whatever. Just add an egg to your breakfast.

The simple beauty of this is that regardless of what else you do, that egg will be beneficial. You will notice a shift. In endurance. Stamina. Ability to focus. It will help, in all those areas. Perhaps just a wee bit, but if you pay attention, you will spot the difference.

And once you’ve added that egg, noticed the benefits, and gotten into the routine to have your morning egg, then you can add another egg. Only this egg doesn’t have to be an actual egg. It can be a metaphorical egg. Pick one thing you can add, that will work in the same way as the breakfast egg. One tiny thing, as easy as an egg, that will benefit you, in some way.

Perhaps add a 15 minute walk to work? Or a five-minute meditation practice right before going to bed? Smiling at people you meet?

It doesn’t really matter. But add. Don’t subtract. At least not now. It’s so much harder to subtract than to add. Adding feels generous, there’s a sense of abundance to it. Subtracting on the other hand, means depriving yourself of something, actively thinking in negative terms (don’t do this, avoid that), and it’s actually hard on the brain to grasp.

Don’t think about the blue elephant wearing red smiling trunks, sitting up in the tree.

Yeah right. I’m definitely picturing that in my mind now. And you know why? Because the brain doesn’t register the ”don’t”. We picture the elephant, we can’t picture NOT picturing the elephant. So if nothing else – perhaps you can add the egg of talking in positives. Of framing your wishes, your dreams and desires, in positives. Avoid the negative words, the not’s, and observe what happens.

I’ve added eggs to my life. Sometimes an egg at a time, and sometimes enough to make an omelette. Some of these I have a long history with, some are newer.
*Having yoghurt and fresh fruit for lunch.
*My morning green smoothie.
*Headspace meditation before getting up in the morning
*Doing my Seven exercise before getting dressed.
*Getting myself a coach, whom I meet with regularly.
*Smiling at people I meet, regardless if I know them or not.whatsyouregg
*Taking active part in a MasterMind-group every third week, just to name a few…

Guess what? They are all beneficial. And, even more importantly, I am sticking with them. I enjoy them, I benefit from them, my life is better because of them. Sometimes I forget the odd egg here or there, but fairly quickly I pick up the habit again, whatever it is. Because I matter. My wellbeing is the most important thing for me. If I am well, living a rich life, taking care of my health both mentally and physically, it means I can be there for you. And I want to be there for you. That’s another reason why I am sticking to my eggs. It benefits me. And those around me.

In time, your eggs will automatically have the effect of ousting the bad eggs in your life, so to speak. So. If you could add a (metaphorical) egg to your life, what would it be?

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