learning

A nourishing conversation

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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Advent Calendar 20 – Time and patience

December 20, 2018
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My youngest cooked dinner tonight. I had asked him and added the extra challenge that I wanted him to make a new dish, which he did. Once he was finished, and we were eating, astonished he realized a full hour had gone by.

And yes. Of course. Cooking from scratch takes time in and of itself for me as well, but I’ve practiced chopping onion way more than he has. So I told him as much, telling him that’s one of the reasons why I want him to help with cooking dinner. It will give him the necessary practice, and in time, he will get more and more skilled at it. All of it. Deciding what to cook, checking to see that all the ingredients are available, planning what do do when while cooking, and finally the joy of sitting down to eat a homecooked meal.

And yes. Of course. If I had taken over the onion-chopping chore, it would have gone a bit quicker. But that’s where patience comes in. For me. Because if I had taken over, impatient and hungry, he wouldn’t be learning, would he? Things take time. And sometimes those things take patience to endure.

Being gentle has me being patient with myself. And those around me. It’s a vital ingredient of growing, of learning. Letting time work in my favor, allowing skills to get honed. My lindy hop-dancing is another example. I attended a beginners weekend a month ago, and have since attended four social dance events, held Wednesdays in my hometown. Have signed up for the B-level class in the spring, and so look forward to it. Because I know, that with a gentle mind, time and patience, I will get better at it. I mean, I am already better than I was a month ago, because practice makes if-not-perfect, then at least better. Without the two factors of time and patience (and curiosity, a willingness to learn, to try, to learn from mistakes and many other factors of learning!) learning would not happen, as I wouldn’t be giving myself a chance to learn.

And I want to. I love learning new stuff! (You too?)


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 20 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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Advent Calendar 7 – Loving the unknown

December 7, 2018
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Encyclopedia Helenica. This was one of the roles I took on, being the one in the know, the one who always had the knowledge and facts. Never daring to admit to not knowing, so I would even pretend I knew… as I was under the belief that my self-worth came from knowing. To say I have no clue what/whom you are talking about was not part of my vocabulary for the longest of time.

But no more.
Since 5-6 years I’ve gotten better and better at owning what I know, as well as what I don’t know. And I love not knowing, which is a big shift from absolutely fearing it before.

In not knowing – there’s a potential for learning, which is absent in knowing. To listen for that which I don’t know, rather than listening for that which confirms what I already know. Trying new things, new experiences, new flavors, new thoughts. Oh, I love it nowadays, love the unknown, am drawn to the unknown… both within as well as without myself.

Imagine what the world would look like, if humans were encouraged to look for the unknown. With curiosity. With an open mind. With playfulness.
To try. To feel. To think. To taste the unknown. Rather than to consolidate that which I (you?) already know.

Being humble enough to know that there is so much more to find out than that which I already know – and the wondrous world of discovery made possible when I stop fearing the unknown, and instead start to love it!


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 7 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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Advent Calendar 3 – Letting my body sing with joy

December 3, 2018
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The importance of being in physical motion isn’t new to anyone reading this. Of this I am so sure I’d be willing to bet money. However – many of us (including me!) aren’t in motion even close to the amount we need, to do our bit to ensure wellbeing in all ways, physical as well as mental and spiritual. Because they are connected, as we as human beings are an integrated system, not a body separated from our mind.

I don’t have a car anymore (not since 2014), and live in Malmö in Sweden, which is a city well attuned to riding bikes as well as walking and with a fairly ok-functioning public transportation system. As I don’t need a car to get to work, being without a car works just peachy for me. And if I need one, I have friends who are wonderful, as they let me borrow theirs if possible. And if that fails, there’s always Sunfleet carpool.

If possible, I do use my bike, so this morning, when I had a walk n talk at a park in the center of town, I rode my bike there and back. All in all this means I have gotten two hours of movement in my body, and my body loves it. But not just my body – it’s the perfect “cure” for ensuring mental movement as well. As Anna Tebelius Bodin told me and the others at a seminar last week, just by standing up, our human brains are alerted. They wake up, going “What’s up? I am ready for what ever may come!”. Our brains were evolved to our current functionality approximately 40 000 years ago, when human beings were in almost constant movement, at least 17-18 000 steps per day. So when these ancestors of ours finally did sit down, their brains were allowed to take a rest. So the way us modern humans live and work today, with many if not most of us, being practically immobile for hours upon hours, sitting in front of a computer screen, or a lecture for that matter, we are not giving our brains an optimal setting to ensure learning. Because just by sitting down, the brain has already entered rest mode.

In the spring of 2017, my body all of a sudden started to tell me it wasn’t satisfied with “just” walking and biking any more. It told me to start to jog. Me, jog? Well… if the body tells me so, who am I to disagree, right? So I started to jog, slowly, and set a goal for myself this year of jogging at least every week. Which I have done, except for weeks when I’ve had a cold, but then I do two jogs the next week to compensate.

Come spring of 2018, my body whispered more and more, that it wanted about 10-20 kilometers of movement a day. So I’ve listened. Letting my body sing with joy at being able to move, at wanting to move, of being used the way it is meant to be used – for movement. That makes me feel great!


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 3 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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I stand accused

July 14, 2017
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I realize how difficult it is to be human together, to relate to one another, especially when language and culture creates barriers that make us falter, stumble, thread carefully, for fear of harming, of confusing, of misunderstanding.

It’s not a great feeling, to be accused of wrong-doing. But each is entitled to their view, and as their experiences are shaped by their current state-of-mind, I am the first to see beyond my initial reaction, and spot the world view underlying the accusation.

standing accusedKnowing I don’t set out to harm, to expose, to do wrong. I don’t. I might do it, anyway, because of my own fallibility, exposed to situations new to me, unsure of what’s the best route ahead. Finding my way, slowly, as if I was stepping barefoot into a stream, threading on sharp rocks, carefully making my way forward. Sometimes needing to retrace my steps, because the path ahead turned out to be a dead-end, filled with sharp stones I cannot make my way across. Hurting, cold water, cuts and bruises from the stones, and yet. I keep on walking. There’s nothing else to do. I have come to far to turn back, and yet, I have not come far enough to actually see the light at the end… Not knowing what my next step is, I pause, gather myself, and while exhaling, gently feel my way forward, inch by inch, all the while trying, still, to stick to my core value: wanting to make a positive imprint, to make a difference. 

The older I get the more I realize the importance of grounding myself in what that means. For me. Finding out, by trial and error, what it entails. How I do it. How do I make a difference? How do I make a positive imprint? Learning from my mistakes, fine-tuning actions and intentions, being ever more precise in my language, minimizing the risk for mishaps and misunderstandings. But never seizing to act. Never to stop doing, for fear of doing wrong, of standing accused. I’d rather do, and be accused, than not do, and risk ending up at the end of life, regretting what I did not do, when I could have; regretting not speaking my truth, when I had the opportunity.

So here I stand, accused, knowing I would do it again if I had the chance.
I might do it slightly different, but not for the fear of being accused of wrong-doing, but for what I have learned in the process.

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#blogg100 – Above all love them.

April 3, 2017
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“A world will come over you, the happiness, the wealth, the inconceivable greatness of a world. Live for a while in these books, learn from them what seem to you worth learning, but above all love them.”

I do. Love them, that is.
I love books. Love reading.
My mother tells me, that once I learned how to read in first grade, I wouldn’t stop.
That was the start of a life-long (or so I believe) love for books and reading, that has only ever had one temporary lull, when me and my then soon-to-be husband first met. That whirlwind romance had me so up in the air, I was not grounded enough to pick up a book. So I didn’t, at all, for the better part of a year.

BooksWhat I’m reading has change a lot over the years, and also how I read, actually.

I do have a tendency to have multiple books going at the same time, and that’s a tendency that’s growing stronger again, after a less intense period.

I no longer feel the need to finish each and every book I pick up – and that has certainly made my relationship to reading much more enjoyable, infused with a greater sense of fun.

I’ve more or less completely stopped to read any type of crime novels, suspence thrillers and the likes. Don’t want to fill my inside with the horrors of what mankind is capable of doing to our fellow human beings.

I’ve started reading a lot more non-fiction than ever before, a lot of psychologically and spiritually exploring books.

But I still do love me a great science fantasy-series. And many are the books for young adults that I find immence pleasure in diving deep into.

And. Perhaps more so now than ever before, I am learning from them what seem to me worth learning. This is something I am concious of today, whereas for most of my reading years, I’ve not put as much of the spotlight onto that aspect of reading books. Now I do. This #blogg100-series on snippets of gold found in books is most definitely a direct consequence of this aspect of reading: these blog posts are all a tribute to what I’ve found that seems worth learning, for me. And you?

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 34 of 100.

The book “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria RIlke.

English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.

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