learning

I write to discover

I write to discover

December 7, 2020
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The bottom line:
When to use the framework and tools I am learning from the Story Skills Workshop, and when not to. A great discernment to make!

I know now why I resist the story scaffolding.
When I write, I mostly write to discover. Not to learn, and definitely not to teach.

When I write to discover, it is as much a surprise to me, as to anyone else, what will come.
It’s truly a matter of what wants to happen here, very far from I want this to happen now.

Like this piece.
I had the start – the insight that I write to discover. But that was it. Nothing else, nothing more. Once I put fingers to keyboard, it comes, whatever it is. I let it, and I love letting it, sometimes chuckling to myself over what is revealed to me, sometimes confused or surprised, now and again moved to tears.

Given this, I am seeing the use of the story scaffolding for me to vary on account of what type of writing it is. A piece such as this, I’d best put it out of my mind until it’s done, all has come out. Then it might well be of use to me to play with analyzing the text, seeing if I can discover all the elements of a story in it, and depending upon what type of text I’ve written, if it is a story, an actual story, that analysis can help me make the story a better story, a more succinct story, a more complete story.

If I set out knowing that I am writing a proper story, one where I know the beginning, middle and end, and the point I want to get across, why, then performing the analysis according to the story scaffolding ahead of time makes perfect sense. That will help me structure the story, get the arc of it in place in a way that serves the reader.

And then… there’s all the other stuff I write.
The non-stories.
The stream-of-consciousness-pieces as well as the poems, the book reflections and anecdotes, the invitations and…
At a loss for words, I’ve realized I’ve batched most everything into the concept of story, something the Story Skills Workshop has shone a light on, making me discern more consciously what is a story and what isn’t, but I am far from on firm ground here. So I don’t know, what else might I be writing that is a non-story?

I don’t know, and I am eager to discover more on that topic, as well as what will happen when I start to use the framework and tools from the workshop more actively, more deliberately. And I wonder… will you notice? Will there be a sudden shift, in what I write, how I write, how you, the reader, will perceive it (I don’t think so. But if I am wrong, please tell me!), or will it be a gradual shift, invisible in each and every piece to its own, but when put together, next to one another, small incremental spets will be discernable, when looking back (Yes. If anything, this!)?


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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I dream stories.

December 5, 2020
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The bottom line:
Immersing myself fully in the Story Skills Workshop, I am dreaming about the tools and framework given to me, an indication that I am wholeheartedly taking on the challenge of learning and discovering what these might gift me with.

I dream stories.
Here, a dream-bubble filled with the engaging beginning of a story.
There, another bubble filled with the story scaffolding.
Characters. Catalysts. Change.

Bubble after bubble burst into my dreams, having me process, relate to, befriend the framework and tools presented to me in the most ingenious way in the Story Skills Workshop. As I sleep.

This is what the brain does.
Make sense of what abounds in my world during the day, cleaning it up if need be, categorizing it, upgrading some to becoming a part of my memory bank, others discarded as not relevant, not worth the time and effort of remembrance.

There’s a lot for me to relate to, to integrate, to try on for size and fit, of all that is presented to me in the workshop. And I am reminded of the value of me keeping an open (an even more open than I have been, honestly!) mind and heart to it all, when I read Lewis Hyde A Primer for Forgetting, in an ask to the reader, by courtesy of Nietzsche:

”Whoever wants really to get to know a new idea does well to take it up with all possible love, to avert the eye quickly from, even to forget, everything about it that is objectionable or false. We should give the author of a book the greatest possible head start and, as if at a race, virtually yearn with a pounding heart for him to reach his goal. By doing this, we penetrate into the heart of a new idea, into its motive center: and this is what it means to get to know it. Later, reasons may set limits, but at the start that overestimation, that occasional unhinging of the critical pendulum, in the divide needed to entice the soul of the matter into the open.”

This, an ask, that I can take to heart even though I am not here, in the Story Skills workshop, reading a book. I am, I want to be, penetrating into the heart of this, for me, new idea of the story scaffolding, learning, playing with, experimenting and examining what it can be for me, what it can mean for me, as I write, as I continue to learn and to discover what is there, for me to expand with, through, from.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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The interplay of learning and discovering

December 3, 2020
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The bottom line:
The interplay of learning and discovery and what sets them apart from one another.

The Story Skills Workshop is informing me.
In many ways. But one, in particular.

How the word story is, in reality, much more defined than what I, personally, have known it to be.

I just wrote a reflective piece within the confines of my Deep Dive into Shame, and it was not a story.
Or?
Was it?

Aargh.
I thought it wasn’t.
Now.
Thinking about it again.
I am unsure.
Perhaps I’ll revisit it, trying to see if I can fit the story scaffolding to it.

However, this is one of the things being in such a massive discovery-phase leads to. For, even though I am learning, how to tell a story, what is a story, what parts constitute a story, and how I can become better at telling stories, I am also discovering. And as my wise friend Inma has made me realize, there’s a huge difference between the two. Learning and discovering are not the same. There can be a lot of learning within the discovering, and there can be moments of discovery within the learning, but in general, what Inma pointed to makes sense, for me.

Paraphrasing, what I heard her say was this:
Learning is being open to what is known to exist, however not yet mastered by me.
Learning has me knowing the end destination from the moment I set out.

Discovery has me stepping into the unknown, taking the risk of setting foot in unknown land.
Discovery is me not having a clue what might be, what might become, whether it be up/down, in/out, high/low, light/dark…

When I set out to learn how to play the guitar, I had the image of me sitting around a campfire on the beach on a warm summer evening, with a handful of friends, playing and singing. Together.

Given this image, I signed up for a semester of lessons with a local guitar teacher, and chord by chord, I learned. There was discovery thrown into the mix, like the discovery that I didn’t have the ability to make one or two of my fingers press down on a string where I wanted and needed them to. I had no idea of that particular aspect of learning how to play the guitar, so it was a discovery. But the endeavor itself was not. It was a learning endeavor.

When I set out to deep dive into shame, I had no idea what I was getting into. No idea what it might lead to. No clear plan or path ahead. What I did have was willingness. Curiosity. A clear intention of not holding back. But the end destination was not clear, not well-defined, simply a felt sense of something other. And willing to risk whatever it took to expand into this otherness. The endeavor itself is a discovery, and cannot be anything but a discovery.


#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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Gifting me a morning ritual

October 13, 2020
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The bottom line:
Building a morning routine, where I feel thrown off my game when time does not allow for it to run its course in full, and realizing that this morning routine, or perhaps even ritual, is a gift. A Gift. To me.

Getting thrown off my new morning routine where I wake up, of my own volition, at six am. Get up, pee, go downstairs to fetch phone and iPad, standing in the kitchen doing a slow morning Seven of pelvic movements, waiting for the kettle to boil while checking my email and doing a quick scan of SoMe (now that the ayurvedic challenge is over, no more morning videos to peruse). Armed with electronic (writing) devices, a cup of warm water, I head upstairs, doing my Wim Hof breathing regime (normally in bed, today I lay down on the floor, pulling the duvet off the bed, to keep me warm), before climbing back into bed, to do my morning writing while drinking the warmed up water.

Once I’ve posted my writings, somewhere or other, I head for the basement bathroom, do my regular morning Seven (lately, a lot of Lindy hop-practices, which is akin to cardio, let me tell you) before jumping into a two minute-cold shower, before getting dressed, ready to meet the world.

By this time, it’s nine o’clock, give or take, and I realize how anything scheduled by me before nine throws me off my game. Off my writing game, to be precise, because the other things I do, regardless. Not necessarily in the order described above, but more or less.

Yesterday I’d scheduled a CoachTalk at 7:15 am, and then the day simply rolled on… never granting me (me never granting me, that is!) the time and space to sit down and do my (deep dive) writing. And somehow the entire day feels slightly off.

Yesterday, I had a Zoom-call scheduled at nine am, in conjunction with the Bonnie Bliss Yoni Club-training I’m taking online right now, and I got into sharing something I will be writing about in my deep dive, so in a sense, I got ”it” out of my system, but… it’s still not the same.

There’s something to the writing that provides both an edge (the permanence of it? The shareability of it? The way my words take on a life of their own? The dance with fear at being rejected, shamed and shunned for writing what I am writing?) and an expanded opportunity for learning. When I write, I explore. It truly is a deep dive, regardless if I am deep diving into a topic (shame) as I am at the moment, of if it’s ”just” writing because I want to, because I blog daily (No. Not at the moment. Unless the sharing in a small online-community can be called blogging, which, in a sense, it actually can.), because it’s a habit I’ve gotten accustomed to.

The way I write, I learn.
About me. About you. About the world.
There is discovery and surprise, there is exploration and aha-moments, there are connections made visible that have previously eluded me, there are new questions arising.

Waking up today, I realized… I need to stop giving away my mornings to others. I want to give them to me. I want to honor the precious opportunity they are to me, and be much more deliberate in when I schedule something else during this time. Sometimes, it’s a necessity. I have clients requiring my presence at certain times. I have commitments to others giving me an opportunity to prioritize, making me truly look at how I spend –and value!– my time. But if I am to give my mornings away, it’s going to be for very good reasons.

Because I haven’t, ever honestly, been so aware of the need to value my time, as I was today, waking, and realizing how my entire system longed for my morning routine, the very same one I did not gift myself with yesterday.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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A nourishing conversation

June 23, 2020
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Attention energizes.
Intention transforms. 

These two sentences were the topic for the June monthly Zoom-call of the tankespjärn-community on Patreon inspired by these two posts:
Attention energizes. Intention transforms.
#blackouttuesday

Four people, 60 minutes (honestly, we ran for 70, my bad!).
Listening.
Learning.

A nourishing conversation, if ever, spanning the meaning of life to Covid-19, Black Lives Matter to the Law of Attraction (and the Law of Action), and the importance of knowing our attention as well as our intention when we decide what to focus on (based on the adage that we get more of what we focus on). 

This Zoom-call definitely whet my appetite and I already look forward to doing a Zoom in July, on… well. Who knows!

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calling out for mama

June 6, 2020
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She showed me the trailer to American son on Netflix, and in no time at all, I asked if we couldn’t watch it. So we did. Had us frustrated, irritated, annoyed, upset and shocked.

Then a friend in The Creative’s Workshop discovered Stabat Mater, the piece Jens Bragdell Eriksson, my choirmaster, wrote in 2016 for my choir. Listening she wrote, having me put the album on myself, so I can listen knowing she’s doing the same, on the other side of the world. Together, at a time like this. Important. Vital. Rejuvenating. 

American Son.

Stabat Mater.
At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to her Son to the last.

And George Floyd calling out for his mama, before dying.
(Click this link. Read it. Promise me, you’ll read it. Then come back here.)

The synchronicity of it hitting me hard.
Parents. Children.
Death. Dying.
Life. Living. 

Trying to make sense of experiences I cannot possibly experience, asking when I don’t, taking in the differences in what it is to be human, in someone else’s body. 

There’s so much to learn, and I intend to continue learning.
Listening. Reading. Watching. Conversing. Asking. Writing. 

Being. And Doing.

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#blackouttuesday

June 2, 2020
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On this #blackouttuesday as I sit here, trying to take it all in, reading some (not a lot), watching some (not a lot), listening some (not a lot), I come back to this:

Attention energizes.
Intention informs.

To what do I give my attention?
What do I want to see more of in this world?

How am I being informed by my intentions?
What’s my learning like?
How can I expand it, go beyond, stretch myself, crossing edges as yet not crossed by me, helping me learn more, see more, grasp more?

And then… turning the energizing attention, and the informed intention into action.
That’s how change is made, by Being the person Doing the work.

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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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Slow down. Ease up.

February 16, 2019
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As I walked through the door, exclaiming my back is killing me, D picked up on the message. When we sat down to work with the pain, he asked me: What did you feel as you stepped through the door?

I didn’t really have an answer, so he asked if I wanted to hear his impression. Yes, please tell me, I responded. What else could I say, being a Curious George and all that…

So he said, slow down. That’s the message I got, to slow down. Ease up a little. 

I’ve carried the message with me, this past week, using it as a baseline to reflect on what I am doing, in which areas, and how it all serves me. Or doesn’t, for that matter.

Coming to a realization that for quite some time I’ve been pushing all my own buttons. At the same time. Working on all areas, simultaneously. Pushing against the boundaries of my comfort zone… no, that’s untrue. I’ve been pushing against the boundaries of my stretch zone, going dangerously into the red snap zone… in many, if not all, areas of life.

I realized, as I took in the message I was sending but not picking up on, that I don’t have to work in all areas, everywhere, all the time. It is not only reasonable but actually wise, to heed the advice of the master of self-care, Pop the cat. Let myself rest, consolidate, push fewer buttons, letting come that which wants to come, given that I let go of that which has done its job.

So I breathe in. Hold it, for a few seconds. Then… exhale, letting go of a bit of the urge within, to be done. Knowing it’s not at the finishing line the reward of this journey lies. It is the journey itself. That is the reward. The growth. The expansion. The learning. That which is life. Living it. Loving it. Letting go to let come, and reveling in each twist and turn, each nook and cranny, falling through internal trap doors, one after the other. All the while being open. And gentle. Knowing my gentleness towards myself is that which ensures the openness, the willingness, the ability to step without hesitation into the next inch of the unknown.

As a direct result of the reflective process of this past week, I honored myself today.
Saying No to others. Saying Yes to me.
Slowing down. Easing up.

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