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Advent Calendar 9 – Dream!

Advent Calendar 9 – Dream!

December 9, 2018
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Do you dream?
And more importantly, do you act on your dreams?

To dream is important. And sadly, I think there are a lot of people who don’t dare to dream… or perhaps rather don’t act on making dreams come true, whether or not they are big or small dreams. (It doesn’t matter if your dreams are big or small. As long as you dream.)

And I do think that is sad, because most of us, who have the type of life I do, live lives of such comfort and safety, that dreaming and acting upon our dreams is definitely something for us to do. There are many others, who actually have a much harder time to dream, who perhaps don’t even know how to. But that is far from my reality. I am a citizen of one of the most rich countries of the world, I own a company, have a house, a family and the Swedish social security system to back me up. That is my reality. And likely your reality is akin to mine, where you are not struggling to survive on a daily basis.

So. Dream. And act on it. Try, rather thank think you can, or cannot. And why not use design thinking, where you iterate loops of planning – doing – analyzing – tweaking and then starting over again. Rather than try to eat the elephant whole, go at it in smaller pieces, starting with a tail or an ear. Bite-sized actions, taking steps towards achieving your dreams. That’s what it means to live, rather than to be in survival mode.

I mean… what have you got to loose by acting upon your dreams?


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 9 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle

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The Tibetan Art of Positive Thinking (book 23 of 26)

November 18, 2018
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in Tip
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Coming closer to the end of my reading challenge of 2018, the part which has me reading 26 books in Swedish and 26 in English, books I already had in my possession at the start of the year. The Tibetan Art of Positive Thinking by Christopher Hansard, is a book I got a year or two ago, on the recommendation of D.

“From the beating of our hearts at birth to our final breath in death, a continual stram of thought flows through us, making us, forming all our desires and directing unconscious actions, yet always guiding us towards greater self-knowledge. The power of thought is immense.”

It is. And the difference in how living life as me, before and after I realized exactly how powerful thought is… Huge.

“‘You are what you think.’ […] ‘Thoughts directs all things’, he said. ‘People pride themselves on how they think, but really it is thought that moves through people. Our thoughts create our lives, they make us sick, happy or successful. Our thoughts can pollute our planet through the actions we take. Thoughts on their own will gather like clouds in the sky, good thoughts coming together with other good thoughts and unskilful thoughts attracting other unskilful thoughts.'”

Or said in another way: we get more of that which we focus on. Another one of those clichés that I see people sharing, without fully realizing what it actually means. It means what it says. I do get more of that which I focus on. It’s simple physics. Like attracts like.

“Emotions are the teachers of human experience and we must always give thanks for them. They must not be denied but understood, loved and transformed.”

Allowing myself to feel what I feel, while at the same time, not necessarily take it so bloody seriously, or, for that matter, react upon every emotion that pops up within. Asking myself, how does this serve me, giving me that tiniest of distances towards myself, which can stop me from reacting, and instead having me choose my action.

Those are just a few of all the passages I’ve marked up until page 22. With another 250 pages to go, you do the math. So pick up a copy of this book, and find out for yourself what the ancient Tibetans (the Bön tradition, which began 17 000 years ago!) discovered about the world, our place in it and how everything connects.

“Complaining is damaging because words are the houses in which our thoughts live. They way you speak will indicate the way you think.”

That’s one reason why I have consciously chosen to be very restrictive with certain words. Such as right/wrong, good/bad, must/should/would/ought to. To name a few.

“If we become softer and slow our rush [in our search for happiness and meaning], the fear of desperation will fall away and we can then hear the tender voice of pure thought energy wishing only to guide us.
Make things simple in your life. Let your life become simple in its actions, communicate simply and let your love be simple, for then it will be profound.”

This reminds me of the phrase “Slowing down to the speed of life“, which actually is a book title, of a book I have yet to read. I will though, one of these days…


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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#blogg100 – Observe yourself.

April 12, 2017
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“Do not observe yourself too closely.
Do not draw too rapid conclusions from what happens to you;
let it simply happen to you.”

Yes.

But also – No! A strong and resounding No rising from within the depths of me, reverberating in my entire being.

Perhaps my fervent opposition to Rainer Maria Rilkes two sentences is his use of the words observation and drawing conclusions, without using also the word judgement. Because there is nothing that has helped me as much to Live life as it happens to me, as the ability to observe myself. But here’s the clou: To observe myself, without judgement. Rilkes “rapid conclusions” in my mind is to do with making judgements.

chainsOnce I learned to observe myself (which for me means the ability to bear witness to myself, to all that I am experiencing, while simultaneously seeing what I am experiencing – I am in it, but at the same time outside of it) and fully understood that whatever I am thinking isn’t Truth, but rather a filter which shapes the experience of the world I am in, life changed. Oh how it changed! It became possible for me to let life happen, without me having to fight it each and every inch of the way. No longer shackled to the harsh voices within.

Because simultaneously, my inner Judge and Dictator lost its power over me and my life. He could be shouting at me (I often liken him to a combination of Hitler/Mao/Stalin. Perhaps a bit dramatic, but hey, that’s what it felt like to be me), the same things he’d been shouting at me for years on end, relentlessly, and all of a sudden… I was able to let it be. To avoid engaging with it. To avoid the conclusions stemming from an internal dialogue telling me You are so dumb!, You should have known better! and Why on earth would you ever do something that stupid, haven’t you learnt anything?.

Once I stopped paying attention to the harsh inner dialogue of mine, the tone of it shape shifted, into something that gradually turned into the ability to be gentle towards myself. And from that place, whatever happens to me, as I am living my life, is easier to handle with grace, come what may.

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 43 of 100.
The book “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke.
English posts here, Swedish at
herothecoach.com.

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Being gentle to me – Reflection January ’17

January 25, 2017
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After a full year of monthly reflections on what it means, for me, to be gentle towards myself, you might think this is a topic that I’ve exhausted. That I’ve written what’s possible for me to write about. But far from it. I am, constantly, observing that I am being gentle towards myself, in situations where it greatly gladdens me, instances where I know – and I do mean Know – that in the past I would not have been able to chose gentleness, if nothing else than for the reason that I simply did not know it was an option!

Choosing to be gentle towards myself is becoming second nature. It is something that comes first, almost always, nowadays, and from that I conclude that I have practiced the art of being gentle for long enough, so it no longer takes as much effort to choose the path of gentleness, as compared to when I first realized that it was, indeed, a viable option for me – and anyone! – to choose.

I normally say the first big insight that it was even an option, was when I did not bring cash to pay my therapist, some 10-11 years ago. I was ashamed, and wildly kicking myself verbally, and she was astonished that I was so hard on myself. She told me what she’d done if the situation had been reversed, and my jaw fell. I simply could not believe it was an option not to beat myself up internally for having done such a low thing.

But as I sit here and look back at my journey of discovery into the world of gentleness, I spot the birth of my first child as one of those moments, when I was given the choice – by the midwife – to be more gentle to myself. Under slightly unusual circumstances – as me and my then-husband had separated and filed for divorce just a few weeks prior to the birth of our child – I was accompanied by two friends, while giving birth.

When we got to the hospital, I got into a warm bath, and after a while, the midwife looked at me and more or less gave me permission to keep my focus on me, rather than on the comfort of my friends. I was conversing them, staying cheerful and positive, all the while having contractions that hurt like hell… The midwife looked at me, and calmly said You don’t have to entertain your friends. They can take care of themselves. You conserve your energy. You will need it later.

And now, as I reflect back on that moment, I see what I chose then, as I did heed the experienced midwife’s words, was to be gentle to myself. To let myself off the hook to be a gracious “hostess” to my two friends. To truly see that they were there for me, because I had asked them, because I had a need for their strength. In that moment, they were there solely for me and my unborn child. Not the other way around. comfortable spotAnd that was ok. I could let myself off the hook, and relax into being supported, fully, without having to reciprocate, in that time and space. That there would be a time for me to be there, fully, for them. But that would not be the moment of birth of my firstborn. That’s for sure.

Funny that… How I have these recollections of specific moments when I discovered that being gentle to myself was a choice I could make. That there was a choice, and that gentleness was one of the options open to me. As a result, it’s much easier for me to love myself, to like myself, and to enjoy the daily exploration of Life. The life I lead from the place of being gentle to me, is a ridiculously comfortable spot to live from, as compared to my life while being harsh on myself (oh, so harsh!).

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Look up, he told me.

June 15, 2016
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look up

Look up, he told me. Look up!

There is the sky. The sun. The world.
It is not all dark, drab, solitary. There is more than misery. Much much more.
Look up. Live. Exult. Rejoice. Cherish that which is, and to hell with the rest.
Live life to it’s fullest. That’s a choice we can make. That’s a choice I can make.
Do I?

Look up – it is not hopeless. All is not lost.
There is light, there is love, there is sunshine and generosity.
Humor, passion, friendship. Causes to pursue. Projects to dedicate myself to.
Relationships. Laughter and ice cream and green smoothies.
Wet kisses from infants and teasing tweens. And there’s knitting.
Adventures to be had.

Life. Live it.
Looking up.
That’s where it can be lived – by me.

Or.
I can choose to keep my head down. To look down, refuse to see that which is there, right in front of me, if only I raise my head from it’s downward slump.
That which is there but which may never ever come into the world, unless I look up, until I uncover it.
The endless possibilities in life that may come into my awareness, into my life.
When I look up. When I live. Fully. When I love without abandon.

Look up. Live. Love. 

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