life

Surround yourself with people who…

Surround yourself with people who…

June 18, 2019
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My life. And your life. We create them, our lives. We create them all by ourselves. (But not alone!) Make sure you make a life as rich and beautiful as this absolutely adorable summer bouquet my sweetest friend A arranged for me. A bouquet with a variety of flowers, colors, fragrances, shapes – as abundant and beautiful as life can (should!) be.

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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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The intricate fabric of life

April 10, 2019
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I have pledged to upload new episodes on Mondays and Thursdays, of my podcast Doing Gentle with an Edge. And as I haven’t gotten anything other than the free account on Soundcloud as of yet, I uploaded the first Doing Gentle episode and the first reflection-piece just before midnight Wednesday night. Not being able to schedule the releases, this is how it will be done, for now.

And so now it truly begins, this podcasting adventure. Because the introductory episode was not “the real deal”. These two episodes are. And the way this pod works is that what I am releasing into the world in the form of sound, are texts that have been available in written form since they were published. January of 2016, for these specific blog-posts-turned-pod-episodes.

Awareness. 
Please be gentle, I’m still learning. 

Those are the ones.
I can honestly say, that I would not be who I am if I hadn’t learned how to be gentle with myself. And I hadn’t learned that it was an option to be gentle towards myself if I hadn’t been made aware of that fact by my then-therapist.

Life…

It’s no wonder to me that life is so often described in terms of a weave. A web.
An intricate fabric, of events and happenings, of successes, failures, and mishaps, of chance meetings and life-long friendship, of love, lost and found, of tears, joy, happiness, and sadness.

Since 2012 blogging has been a major part of my life weave. In 2018 I started doing vlogs (in the form of a daily Facebook Live) and now, at long last, I’ve added podcasting as its very own thread.


Find Doing Gentle with an Edge in a podplayer near you, or via these links:
iTunes https://apple.co/2uSd94d
Spotify https://spoti.fi/2G2XMuI 
Acast https://play.acast.com/s/doinggentlewithanedge?

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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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With a little help from my friends… or with money?

February 11, 2019
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When I have a need, say of a long ladder so the chimney sweeper coming for his annual visit can get up on the roof, or a car for a few hours or a day, or help to take care of Pop the cat for a few days, or whatever really – my first instinct is to think about my friends. Might there amongst them be someone who can help me, or at least point me in a direction that could solve my problem/tend to my need?

I think it always has been my initial reaction. But I’m not sure.
I know I started to get really good at asking for help once my first marriage crashed and burned five weeks before the birth of my eldest child. Have a hard time to recall if I was as good at asking for help before that, but have a feeling I was. At least pretty good at it. But ever since that crash and burn, I’ve gotten really good at asking for help, and am proud of it!

The other possible reaction is to look for a service provider to tend to the need. Buy a ladder. Call a taxi or book a car in a carpool. Get Pop a few days vacation at a cattery.

These two approaches to life, and to solving one’s needs, are just that, two different approaches. I for one instinctively go for the first, and if that doesn’t work out, choose a suitable service provider to ensure I get my needs met. Neither approach is inherently good or bad. But… at the same time, the benefits of the first approach, of asking near and dear ones for help, has some (perhaps not so) hidden advantages to it. If I ask you for help, and you can help, the likelihood of you asking me, or others, for help when you need it increases. In this way, we weave a tapestry of relationship, of friendship, of live, concern and care. If I always turn to a professional service provider to help me out, I am effectively not weaving myself into that tapestry of mutual relationships, and I think that’s a dangerous path to choose.

We know that one of the most significant indicators of happiness is the strength of a person’s relationships. Asking for, and responding to requests for, help, is definitely one important part of relationship-building. We are better together, that’s the superpower of human beings. If I don’t do my bit in giving others the chance to help me, I am holding back on strengthening relationships not just for my own sake, but also for those close to me, am I not? And what message am I sending, by not asking for help? Is it a signal I want to send?

So perhaps… I am wrong in saying there’s nothing inherently good nor bad in these two approaches? Perhaps there is more good to be had from asking for help, than from paying a service provider? At least if I never ever ask anyone for help. But perhaps people like that simply do not exist?

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Loving living life!

January 23, 2019
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What gets me going is this: Seeing people use their energy wisely, making the most of it, loving the life they live, rather than beating themselves up for not being enough and/or for not doing enough.

When what I see, is people who simply misuse their energy. Burning fuel, getting nowhere. What a waste!

A waste of energy, yes, for sure, but more than that, it’s a waste of possibility, of playfulness, of experimentation and plain old having fun. And that’s not the point of living. The point of living is living. So live! Because when you live a life where your being and your doing are closely aligned, your energy is used efficiently, getting you where you want to go, and more importantly: getting there wholeheartedly, with a deep sense of knowing your own worth. And that’s what you are worth – honor yourself by making sure you live life from this viewpoint!

Helping someone get to that point, where life is lived, fully, oh… it’s just the best! I love it. So that’s what I will be up to in 2019, helping people start loving living life.
❤️💙💛💚💜

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The Great Misunderstanding (book 22 of 26)

November 4, 2018
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in Tip
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The Great Misunderstanding, by Premananda, is a book that my pod-leader from my Supercoach Academy training in 2014 talked to me about on our third physical meetup, in London. I don’t remember how me and Phil to to talk about it, but as he lives locally, he said he’d bring it the next day, or possibly the next meetup (which took place in Santa Monica a couple of months later), I can’t remember which. Anyhow, both me and Phil forgot, until SCA was over…. so one day, I got a package in the post, and it was this book, gifted me by Phil!

“You don’t have to do anything to be who you are.”

Since then (holy moly, had to count on my fingers, but it’s been f o u r years!), I’ve been planning on reading it, but… you know the drill. I must say, actually reading books I’ve intended to read for years on end has most definitely been one of the greatest perks of my 26 Swedish and 26 English books-challenge. Such a fulfilling side-effect that I will be doing some kind of version of this challenge next year as well!

“Projection means to imagine that another is responsible for something that goes on inside you. If you want to put an end to suffering in your life you have to take responsibility for it. It has nothing to do with anybody out there. Realising that is a very big step because we spend most of our time projecting onto others and blaming them for our misery.
Putting an end to our habit of projection involves looking honestly at our behaviour and patterns, without judgment and opinion. we don’t have to change them; we just have to see them. As soon as they are seen they are not just automatic anymore. We stop being robotic, no longer just victims of our conditioning, and we become present with life as it actually is, not as we imagine it to be.”

Supercoach Academy is grounded in the Three Principles, a simple way of describing that which, in my understanding, is the common thread of most (if not all?) – major – religions, namely the creation and experience of being a human on Earth. This is also what Premananda talks about in The Great Misunderstanding, with a focus on the fact that we are not separate, but rather, we are one.

The Great Misunderstanding is an easy read, a mix of input/information, conversations and jokes. All pointing to the same thing, that a strong identification with an ‘I’, to a large extent makes life difficult. Unnecessarily difficult.

“You are here on this planet to be empowered, to be beautiful, to be whoever you are supposed to be and to manifest this in the world. Do your dance, whatever it is. It’s not so difficult. You just have to remember who you are and surrender to that, trust it.”

I like what I read, even though it’s not exactly news to me, any of it. But it points me towards something that I know to be true, that I revel in, a space, a silence, an understanding, that has me “coming home” in a way, remembering who I am, and surrendering to it.

“Life itself is a mirror. […] Everything that happens in life is an opportunity to know yourself. In our modern society most people are simply not interested to know who they really are.”

I don’t know that to be true, that people aren’t interested to know who they really are. I think many are, but feel both scared and alone in this search, not knowing who to look towards, whom to be guided by. It’s like reflection, a practice that most people seem to have forgotten about, forgotten how it’s done, when, why. Possibly it’s the same with “knowing who I am” – there might not be enough people around who are interested in this question (who am I?) and talk about it so we can be inspired and guided by them? I want to believe that, rather than “no one is interested”.

“[…] everybody arrives on this planet with an invitation around their neck saying something like ‘welcome – have fun’, but unfortunately it seems to fall off in many cases.”

Welcome – have fun!
Now isn’t that a lovely way to greet life and every single day with?


The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2018, to read and blog about 26 Swedish and 26 English books, one book every week, books that I already own.

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Barefoot.

October 11, 2018
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Barefoot shoes.
The best (albeit an oxymoron of grand proportions)!
Even better; barefoot for real.

It is a wonderful way to connect to what is.
Making me, without a shadow of a doubt, be extremely aware of the way my feet meet the ground, and what that ground consists of. Each step can be different.

Paved roads.
Gravel paths.
Grass. Cold from the morning dew, or warm from a hot summers day.

A muddy uphill stretch, making my toes dig in for traction.
Small pebbles hurting my feet – like stepping on Lego.
Acorns and leaves, chestnuts and broken off twigs.

Grounding myself.
Becoming more aware of what else is around me, as my feet somehow lead the way. On an adventurous exploration of my closest surroundings.

Sharpening my senses. All of them. Feeling each and every small irregularity of the ground beneath me, irregularities totally masked when wearing “normal shoes”. Noticing the birds chirping, the squirrel jumping quickly across the path up a tree, the colors of autumn – the vibrant greens, reds, yellows and browns. Orange. Black. Contrasted with the crips clear air of October – making me look up at the bluest of blue skies.

Barefoot I meet the world around me, closer, fuller. Naked. Skin on ground.
As I finish my run, my feet tingle, blood flow maximized, a sensation of being very much alive.

Dip my feet in a water bucket in the garden, jiggling them around to get rid of the worst of the remnants from my run, a leaf stuck onto of my foot, grass between my toes, and a splash of mud here and there. Surprisingly clean, honestly. The wetter the ground – like the morning dew of my run this week – the more visible it is, that I’ve actually run without shoes. On a dry summer day – my feet almost look the same before and after a run.

Regardless of when… the feeling! Incomparable. Something akin to the sensation of a winter bath after a stint in a really hot sauna. Suddenly my entire body is tingling with life, pulsating, a-knocking to remind me, it’s there.

It’s here.
Life. To be lived.
To its fullest.

 

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Beauty (book 18 of 26)

September 9, 2018
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in Tip
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Beauty. Pure beauty.

There. I could finish here. Because it’s true. Pure beauty, that’s what this book is – Beauty The invisible embrace authored by John O’Donohue. And the funny thing is – I normally abhor audio books, but this one, read by John himself… now that I might truly enjoy, I believe. His soft-spoken rolling sweet Irish accent is wonderful to listen to, and when I was reading it was as if I could hear him whispering in my ears, that which my eyes were taking in. That’s actually how I was recommended the book, by my former coach. She told me to find the audiobook!

Which I didn’t (not for lack of trying). All the same I am very happy that I bought the physical book instead.

Beauty John O'Donohue“These times are riven with anxiety and uncertainty, given the current global crisis. […] Our trust in the future has lost its innocence. We know now that anything can happen, from one minute to the next. The traditional structures of shelter are shaking, their foundations revealed to be no longer stone but sand. We are suddenly thrown back on ourselves. Politics, religion and economics and the institutions of family and community, all have become abruptly unsure. At first, it sounds completely naïve to suggest that now might be the time to invoke and awaken beauty. Yet this is exactly the claim that this book explores. Why? Because there is nowhere else to turn and we are desperate; furthermore, it is because we have so disastrously neglected the Beautiful that we now find ourselves in such terrible crisis.”

Beauty was originally written in 2003, yet, upon reading this paragraph, I feel John O’Donohue is talking about this very moment in time. Climate crisis. Refugees. Wars. Natural disasters. Nationalism on the rise in more places than I care to know. As I write this, the voting in the general election in Sweden 2018 is four minutes from closing time. Four minutes until the counting of all votes will commence… and I fear the results which is totally unprecedented in my life.

“The way we look at things has a huge influence on what becomes visible to us. […] Eventually the windows of the mind become blinded by an imperceptible film of dead thought and old feeling so that the air within becomes stale, life lessens and the outside world loses its invitation and challenge. When no fresh light can come into the mind, the colour and beauty fade from life. There is an uncanny symmetry between the inner and the outer world. Each person is the sole inhabitant of their own inner world; no-one else can get in there to configure how things are seen. Each of us is responsible for how we see, and how we determine what we see. Seeing is not merely a physical act; the heart of vision is shaped by the state of soul. When the soul is alive to beauty, we begin to see life in a fresh and vital way.”

Based on my social media feed, I am saddened and frightened by what seems to be visible to people. How they see… and what. And who’s to blame. Pointing fingers. Painting doomsday images, where Beauty is long since dead and buried. This is not what I need right now. And I don’t think it’s what you – or we as a collective – need either. We need the opposite:
To behold beauty dignifies your life; it heals you and calls you out beyond the smallness of your own self-limitation to experience new horizons. To experience beauty is to have your life enlarged.

Yes. Please, more beauty. For me. For you. How I wish for you – and you, and you, and you! – to experience more beauty.


The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2018, to read and blog about 26 Swedish and 26 English books, one book every week, books that I already own.

 

 

 

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Embodied.

May 23, 2018
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GroundedThe vibrations from the drums keep on reverberating within me, even though the last beat faded away an hour and a half ago.
Am still riding the wave of the energy from the vibrations; what a wonderful feeling.

Vibrations.
It’s as if all of a sudden, I’ve discovered a new world, a new dimension, the world of vibrations.

Setting an intention.
Heard. Voiced. Welcomed.

Receiving a clear message that this is to be embodied.
I need/crave/desire more body in my life.
It is where the direction I am pointed in.

The vibrations do just that, wake me up, body and soul, having me ride the waves of the drumbeats.
It’s all about energy.

I.
Am all energy.

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