Headspace

2019. As I am.

2019. As I am.

January 1, 2019
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As I am. 

I asked my friend D to translate “gown off” into Swedish. “Gown off” popped up in my first conversation with my new coach. I described the general feeling of that conversation, and somehow D managed, as so often (always?), put words to that which goes unspoken.

So all of a sudden, “gown off” turned into “as I am”, which feels spot on. This is how I step into 2019, filled with energy and curiosity, with champagne bubbles coursing through my entire body, eager and ecstatic to experience all that is to come, “as I am”. Naked. Raw. Intimate. With power and pleasure.

2019. The year when I will…
* have my bodily wellbeing in focus by:

  • continuing with my daily Seven accompanied by burpees
  • Headspace daily
  • run a minimum of  75 runs
  • take cold (outdoors) baths as often as I can – and add to this by taking cold showers
  • dance Lindy hop as often as I can (taking a class during the spring, and then there’s the social dancing as well!)
  • continuing to ribe my bike and walk as much as possible

* 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.
  • 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
  • I will let the wonderful book The book of Awakening by Mark Nepo be my daily companion
  • hold digital 24-hour sabbats at least twice a month

* have creation in focus by:

  • booking at least four two-day writing retreats during the year
  • keeping up with daily Facebook Lives for as long as there’s energy in doing it
  • blog daily
  • start to pod

* 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
  • 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!

2019. Here I come. As I am. Gown off! 

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Good bye 2018…

December 31, 2018
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Good bye 2018, the year when…

  • I expanded upon the intentions of previous years, from a word to a full sentence: living an intentional digital and analog life, which got a lot of activities and plans, that I’ve been following up on a monthly basis (on the Swedish blog).
  • I started the year with being a teacher at Newton college of higher vocational studies. The course is called Mapping and documenting processes, and the students were Business Analysts IT. Thrilling, challenging and very generative. Am gearing up for a re-run, as I will be giving this course in January of 2019 as well.
  • our divorce was finalized. At the same time, I took over full ownership of the house (with a little help from the bank, of course).
  • I visited Paris for the first time, with the kids, my mother, aunt, brother and nieces. Glorious!
  • my eldest graduated from secondary upper gymnasium. Time sure does fly…
  • I’ve started to explore inner and outer dimensions of myself in new ways. I spent my birthday at a godess weekend course, spent a week at the No Mind-festivalen at Ängsbacka. And towards the end of summer I painted a mandala with Lisa Withlovelisa Rislöw before taking a two-day course in Playful Tantra with Charlotte. Talk about being wowed! So maybe you’ll not be surprised that I’ve also downloaded Tinder…
  • for a full week, I had my lovely Campfire Sisters visiting Sweden.
  • for the better part of 6 months, I’ve been low… which I realized when I stopped being low in the end of October. Not surprising given the past years up’s and down’s, and yet, it feels good “to be back”.
  • I joined the #BusinessBoomUtmaning on Facebook at the beginning of Novemver, and have since done a Facebook Live every day, something I think I will continue doing! It’s fun, expanding and rewarding. Earlier in the fall I recorded my first #TeachingOfTheDay at the bequest of Caspian, and both these activities have gotten me started in many ways.
  • I finally took up swing dancing again, also known as Lindy hop. I absolutely love it and will continue dancing!
  • I got myself a new coach – and boy am I ever curious about what this will generate in 2019! One thing is for sure; I want to coach more than I have these past years, and I very much look forward to this.
  • I let my Upholder tendency run loose (looser than before). This has resulted in…
    * 21 digital sabbats, minimum 24 hours, but a few were 48 hours long
    * 5 ChattyMeals with me as hostess, and one that I took part of as a guest
    * 52 runs, which evens out to one a week, which is what I set my mind to
    * 110 days of practicing the guitar
    * my daily Seven this morning being my 1597th in a row (yes. For 1597 days I have done my morning exercise!). As part of my daily Sevens I’ve also done 2890 burpees (since I started that challenge May 28th 2016 I haven’t gone a day without at least one burpee, and have done a total of 12442 burpees by now).
    * me doing 1597 Headspace meditations, but with a broken run streak. Today was my 108th Headspace in a row. For some reason it’s easier to remember doing my daily Seven than the meditation, so once in a while, I forget a day.
    * I’ve decided to do my German DuoLingo-course daily as well – today was day 157, and there are only 11 lessons left to get to level 2, then I’ve reached level 2 for the full course. There are a total of five levels, so I have my work cut out for me a few more years!
  • And then. The reading. Massive enough to warrant its own bullet.
    I challenged myself to read 100 books in 2018, and I did, last night. Managed to squeeze in one more book this morning, so I have read a total of 101 books in 2018, reading 28 723 pages…
    I added two more challenges to this as well:
    1) to read 26 Swedish and 26 English books, chosen a year ago (books I already had at home), and to blog about them every Sunday on my two blogs. Lats last night I crossed the finishing line, with The Black Swan being the last of the English books.
    2) reading the alphabet in 2018, a challenge I stumbled upon when a lady made a comment on a blog post of mine. I only partly managed this one, reading 21 of 29 letters of author given names, 23 of 29 letters of author surnames, 24 of 29 on book title, but… luckily I managed to read all the letters when combining these three lists, so I did manage to read the entire (Swedish) alphabet, 29 out of 29 letters done!

Now… time to prepare the New Years Eve dinner. I am grateful and happy for this rich and exciting year, and I am pleased to be able to round off this year like this. Reflecting back, with gratitude, giving me a form of closure of the year that’s passed, which makes for a great start-off point for 2019.

With this, I wish you and your loved ones a very happy New Year!

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The self-care mastery of cats

November 3, 2018
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in Tip
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What are you thinking about?, I asked.

He looked at Pop the cat lying next to him on the sofa, carefully grooming himself, and said I am thinking about the self-care of cats. They are absolute masters at self-care. Look at him – carefully, meticulously and with the greatest care in the world, he’s gently taking really good care of himself. Licking his front leg, over and over, slowly brushing his leg over his face, licking once more, brushing his face. He, like all cats, simply excels at self-care.

Boom.
Yes!
That’s it.
That is what cats are, the self-care masters of the world!

I greatly enjoy watching Pop when he wakes up in the morning (often at the foot end of my bed, where he gladly can stay the entire night – never too long in one place, in one position, knowing, albeit he’s deep in sleep, that his body still needs to move to be supple in the morning), slowly stretching, growing to twice his length by reaching as far as he can with both front and hind legs. Twisting and turning his spine, getting vertebraes, blood, muscles and sinews going – mimicking Turning Torso, or rather, giving a perfect example of why Calatrava called his building just that.

And as I sit here, in the sofa once more (yes. I like my sofa.), guess who just came to snuggle up close to me? Yup, Pop the cat. And guess what he’s doing? Yup, practicing self-care! He’s a great role model, and an even greater reminder for me to practice self-care, as he’s around a lot (which he is because he’s a truly sociable cat, enjoying the company of people young and old alike).

My morning green smoothie, my Seven, my Headspace-meditation, my blogging, my reading, my moving around – a walk, a bike ride, a slow run. Those are the self-care-practices that come to mind, when I think about it. Having deep conversations with significant friends is another one, that is high on the list.

What type of self-care do you practice? And who is your guiding light, your role model, reminding you about taking good care of yourself?

 

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Bearing witness

October 15, 2017
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in Tip
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Here’s a new recommendation for you, at long last! I have tons of episodes from On Being, Good Life Project and One You Feed that I’d love to recommend for you, but I also want to give you a taste of something new. So here’s Rich Roll in conversation with Andy Puddicombe, the voice and co-founder of Headspace, the meditation app that I’ve been using for almost a year now.

I’ve just listened to a few episodes of the Rich Roll Podcast, and I will be recommending some more as time goes, but the episode with Andy was really interesting, in part because I honestly had no clue to Andy’s extremely unusual background! I might be the only one in the Western world who’s missed out on that story, but… go figure. There I was, anyway. Rich and Andy cleared that up for me though, which I am happy about. Because Andy has lived a life with a story worth telling, that’s for sure.

BoldomaticPost_Most-people-assume-that-meditI’ve never taken to meditation before. Haven’t really tried, properly, and never got interested enough to actually give it a go. And I’m quite happy about that actually, because I sure had it wrong.

Andy got it right, in this quote. That’s the mis-conception that I had. That meditation was a way to stop the inner chatter, the endless jabber, that’s accompanied me all my life.

Perhaps lucky for me, I’d already gotten an understanding of how thoughts work, how they shape the world as I experience it, and what with daily blogging (being a form of self-coaching for me) for a couple of years, I’d gotten pretty ok at stepping back from myself, bearing witness.

So when I started on the Headspace-journey, I had absolutely no wish, desire or ambition for it to help me “stop my thoughts”. Not at all. I just really enjoyed giving myself 10-15-20 minutes a day devoted to stepping back and bearing witness, just being with myself. Sometimes in absolute calm. Sometimes agitated as hell. And not getting caught up in either of those states, but rather just seeing it, seeing me, in the moment.

Anyway. Whether or not you meditate or if you really loath meditation and such mumbo-jumbo, this interview is worth listening to, in my view. And if, by chance, you get interested in the Headspace app and want to give it a go, start with the free 10-day routine, and then let me know if you want to try more. Because I have a 30-day voucher to give away to someone who want’s it! Might it be you?

In 2015 I ran a series on herothecoach.com with Sunday postings of podcasts to my liking. In 2017 I will be re-posting some of those blog posts – and this is one of them, originally posted here – , mixing them up with new podcast recommendations. 

 

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Headspace-hiccup

August 4, 2017
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headspace from 800+ to 1As I did my daily morning Headspace-meditation, my runstreak was reset from 800+ days to 1. Oh well. Perhaps I forgot yesterday? I might well have. Thing is, I can’t check. The Headspace-app allows me to see my Headspace-journey, but only what sessions I’ve done in which order, not the time/date for each (or at least, the last one). I know I did my 800th meditation in a row on Tuesday because I screenshotted and Instagrammed that joyous occation. I did the same today (less joyous though it might have been), and figure I will simply get back on the horse, but have a small nagging sensation of having done a quick Restore-session yesterday morning as well, so I sent off a rambling email to Headspace Support.

I’ve been meaning to email Headspace since the new update anyway, asking for a time/date-stamp and point out the oddity of their rewards-system which I don’t think is in sync with what seems resonable to be the general aim of Headspace (getting people to meditate, daily. Period.), so I added that (that’s the rambling part) to my general question:

Hi,
My Runstreak was reset today and I have a faint memory of doing a quick Restore-session yesterday (ie Thursday the 3rd of August). However as its still n o t possible to get the time stamp in my Journey (please add this! A feature like that in iMessage or Messenger – hold and time/date appears) I wonder if it was actually the 2nd that I did the last session previous to my quicky today (restore Friday 4th).

The o n l y good thing about having lost my runstreak of 800 days is that I will actually get some rewards again – you do Realize you are actually rewarding people for not keeping to their runstreak by sending out give-away-headspace for 15-30-90 etc up to 365 days and then zip, nada, zilch. And I don’t even get a Goal for my efforts. Oh well. Going slightly off topic here but as I wrote I might as well give you what’s in my mind. The old buddy-visual was better than the new one also, but thanks for re-adding buddy-runstreak at least.

Hoping to hear from you,
Helena

A while ago, I got into my head thinking “how awful it would be if I lost my pretty and long Headspace runstreak, which is so much moore impressive than it was last time I lost it“, so even though I bothered with sending the email, I am not upset, but rather am quite happy at observing my reaction at seeing the number 1 in my runstreak: Oh well. I must have forgotten to Headspace yesterday.

Not beating myself up. Not blaming myself for being stupid to loose my runstreak. Nothing of the sort. Just a simple “Oh well”, knowing it doesn’t really mean anything. I will continue doing my Headspace, because I like giving myself the gift of a few minutes that are mine, solely mine, each day.

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At the edge of understanding

February 3, 2017
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Listening to Headspace Pro pack number six. The description reads:
Headspace Pro Pack 6 focuses on your sense of me, myself and I. Learn how to step back from your identity and just experience life.

I’ve meditated to this pack several times before, but this time there’s a difference in what I hear, and how it is received, within. I am at the edge of understanding here. On the event horizon, knowing there’s something else out there, I just cannot seem to grasp it, to understand it. Or even to see it.

It’s in the small things Andy Puddicombe says, a phrase here or there, that my mind knots up, and simply cannot fathom what he’s saying. And he even says that; It can take a long time to truly experience this.

I’ve been so helped by differentiating between what I experience, and observing myself experiencing it, that the concept of letting both of those go, and simply be – to just experience. Nothing else – almost scares me. That’s what I think I did. Before. When I was swept away by my experiences, taking them, and me, so seriously. And that’s n o t what Andy is suggesting, he makes that very clear, but it’s still towards that way of experiencing experiences that my mind goes when He prompts me to let go of the identification, and be in the moment.

And again. Here I am. Writing down the observations of my Inner Observer. Most definitely a part of Me. Identifying to the fullest. It almost makes me laugh out load, as I sit here in bed, typing away. Oh well.

fully understandOne thing I am not though, and that is impatient to cross this event horizon. The need, the urge, the itch to grasp this, fully, to be able to check off the box saying I, Helena, fully understand the concept of stepping back from my identity and not cling to my sense of me, myself and I. It’s not there. There’s no need, no urge, no itch. It’s just a possible understanding. One that might come to me, or not. Perhaps this is an event horizon I will never cross. And that doesn’t bother me. Come what may, I say, and fully embody that. For this piece of the puzzle, at least. I can be more impatient with other pieces of the puzzle, wanting to fully comprehend, to embody. But not here.

“At the edge of understanding” I wrote in the title for this post. I could also have written “At the edge of my understanding”. Subtle difference, but, perhaps the way I accept my non-understanding of this, is a way of simply experiencing, rather than identifying too much with my lack of understanding. What a paradox!

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My morning ritual

January 9, 2017
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A new week. Looming ahead.
Meetings. MasterMind. Guitar class. Back to school after the holidays, for the kids. Assignments and cultural events. And me. Lest I forget…

The morning ritual.

Headspace. A bit of Good Life journaling.
The morning writings, which might turn into my daily blog post.
Seven with burpees. Green smoothie.

And then.
Ready to face the world.Good Life journalingWhat I’ve been doing in the mornings though, is to also check social media. Facebook. Messages. Instagram and TinyBeans. Playing a game or two, throwing my first poke-ball of the day.

I don’t want to do it that way anymore. I want to use my morning ritual as an internal cleanse, rather than as a way of getting showered by outside stimuli.

To focus and feel.
Get clear on what my day holds, what I want to bring to it, and how it all is connected to my wellbeing – to the well of my being.

So. From now on, my morning ritual will be more intentional, in alignment with my wish to give myself space. Space to explore. To discover. To cherish and love. Space to be, to let that which wants to come, come. A way to ensure I spend time making, creating, opening up to and revelling in: My good life!

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Five hundred days

October 5, 2016
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five hundred daysFive hundred days of Headspace meditation.

In a row.

Prior to that I had a run streak of two hundred and seventy-eight days of Headspace.

That’s a whole lot of Headspace I’ve given myself.
And that’s it, isn’t it? It truly is a gift. A gift I give myself, each and every day. Fifteen minutes give or take, of choosing me, daily. Choosing to be with me.

My 778 days of Headspace amounts to a total of one-hundred and eighty-six hours of meditation (using the app). That’s close to five weeks.

WHOOOOO!
Mind-boggling…

Could I have made better use of these five weeks over the past two years? Well. Possibly. But honestly. I’ve never chosen me as much as I have since I started with Headspace. A whooping five weeks of choosing me.

The result?
Those who knew me before, I think you can tell for yourself.
As for the rest of you – let’s just say that by choosing me in this way, I’ve got a lot more love to go around for everyone else as well. I’ve gotten to know me better, and by doing that, I am opening up to others, no longer afraid of what they might awaken within me.

It’s made me more curious.
More curious about me. About you, us and about life at large.
And that, my friend, is a great place to live in and from!

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Being gentle to me – Reflection August ’16

August 27, 2016
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In my daily Headspace meditation, this morning I heard Andy Puddicombe say, in the first out of thirty sessions on the topic of stress, that stress is wanting things to be different, from how they are right now. Little did I know that shortly thereafter I would get the perfect opportunity to practice this lesson.

Reacting. Or not. Falling into the abyss of a reactive emotion. Or not.
Anger. Irritation. Frustration.

I reacted. And fell. Deep and hard.
Made good use of the angry energy though, digging for hours on end in the front yard. But at a price.

And yeah, sure, I would have liked to have been a person, earlier today, who responded with grace and humility, rather than irritation and annoyance. I didn’t though. And as I sit here reflecting, here my second training opportunity for the day arrives, served on a silver platter.

React. Or not? Fall into the abyss of a reactive emotion. Or not?
Shame. Regret. Self-contempt.

No. This time, I gently, but firmly, bid those emotions to leave by the door that I leave open for then. And as they make their way over there – slowly, going in circles, hoping I will let up and start to engage with them despite having bid them good bye – I take the opportunity instead to reflect with a gentle perspective upon the day. On the choices I made, and the consequences those choices led to. Accepting. Fully. The outcomes that serves me – having done a really good day’s work in the front yard at the top of the list – as well as the ones that clearly doesn’t serve me – relationships bruised by me falling into the abyss, dragging others down there with me in the fall.cooling summer evening

A stressful situation? Well. I guess that’s the thing. It could be. But I don’t choose to want things to be different, from how they are right now. Because what was, is past. And I cannot turn back time, and retrace my steps, making other choices that those I did. So no, I sit here, in the cooling summer evening, accepting what is. Accepting what was. The only thing I can do, is apologize for my behavior, and learn from the happenings of the day. When a similar situation arise in the future, I might be able to make a different choice from the get-go, one with fewer non-serving outcomes. Or not. Regardless, I chose to be gentle to me. Because the opposite, being harsh and judgmental towards myself, doesn’t make life better for anyone.

This is what being gentle to me means in the month of August 2016. What does it mean to you?

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. I will be reflecting on a monthly basis on what that means to me, in the moment, and this is one of those reflections. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future reflections.

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