love

Advent Calendar 1 – Being gentle

Advent Calendar 1 – Being gentle

December 1, 2018
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I decided to join the #BusinessBoomutmaning (i.e. challenge) in December as well, doing 21 FB Live’s, just like I did in November. This time around, I will be doing my live’s in Swedish, and as an Advent Calendar on the theme of being gentle. But I also wanted to share my current thoughts on this subject here, as this entire site is centered around Being and Doing Gentle. So I will do a written advent calendar here on the blog, in writing sharing what I share in words on Facebook (in Swedish). The background for why I landed in Being Gentle is simply thus: I have spent 75% of my life in the opposite corner, being extremely harsh with myself.

My inner dialogue was hard up until around ten years ago when the following occurred: 
I was headed to my therapist, and as I hadn’t taken the time to withdraw cash from the ATM the day before, I went to the small kiosk along the way, with the intent of buying something small and withdrawing cash at the same time. However, as I came there, the phone lines were down, so they could not accept my credit card. Hence… I came to my therapist without cash to pay her. And I felt awful. Horrendous. Disrespectful towards her, with the knowledge that I was a dreadful and despicable person for not living up to my end of the bargain.

I told her as much… and she looked at me (with the kindest and most curious of gazes) and stated the obvious: You are very hard on yourself. 

I nodded, a bit perplexed, and asked: Don’t you have to? 

She shrugged her shoulders, and said, gently: No. If it had been me, I would simply have said that I’ll bring double the money next time. 

And, like the wrecking ball that Miley Cyrus sings about, my beliefs shattered. The beliefs that I had to be hard on myself… or perhaps rather, the belief that that was the only way to be me in the world. All of a sudden, I got a glimpse that perhaps there was another way of talking to myself, one that did not make me feel so bad, much (most…) of the time.

From then on, I have worked at transforming the ingrained habits of 30+ years of living life being hard on myself, into living a life of being gentle towards myself. Have found ways of being and doing gentle towards myself, and today, wholeheartedly, I can say: I like being me. I enjoy the way I am with myself, and how I show up as me. And I love myself. But that was not the basis for this transformation, that has been a bonus effect!


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 1 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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I love my body!

October 12, 2018
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Haven’t ever heard of Big mouth before stumbling across this video, but definitely get curious about the show watching this clip, which I greatly enjoy. Being comfortable in ones body IS beautiful, something I’ve given a lot of thought to lately. Once in a while I enjoy visiting an open-air swimming-bath, both summer and winter (a sauna and a dip in just-above-freezing water, oh that’s a thrill for body, mind and spirit alike!), and I marvel att the diversity of bodies. The variety, of shapes, sizes, colors, amounts of hair and where, the movements, energy and to what extent people are at ease, at home, in their own bodies. It’s fascinating and wonderful, and each visit has me falling more and more in love, with my own body, as well as the bodies of my fellow humans.

Your body is gorgeous, and so is mine!

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Intuitive living: A sacred path (book 9 of 26)

May 6, 2018
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in Tip
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Personal dedicationI don’t even remember when I bought Intuitive living: A sacred path by (and directly from) Alan Seale, but it’s been at least five years I’d wager. I know I have bought it from Alan in person though at CoachWalk Academy, as he’s written a lovely dedication to me in it.

Anyway. So I chose this book, one I’ve had in my possession for years on end, and almost laugh at the synchronicity of it: this was definitely the right moment for me to read this book. Now, as I sit here blogging about it, I flick through the pages, and there are so many passages I’ve highlighted – passages that speak to me, that encourage me, that validate beliefs and concepts that I use as a coach and trainer, but also stuff that I have never thought about, and – a few times – stuff I’m not altogether certain if I agree with – that I just pick a few in random to share here: “Freedom and peace are inner states of being. Peace is not the absence of conflict, but rather your response to conflict. Being free and at peace means knowing without doubt that no matter what is happening around you, nothing can harm you at your center.”

“Being rigid in our beliefs and harsh in our judgments only leads to inflexibility in life. This makes any kind of adjustment to situations and conditions all the more difficult.”

“You may have notices that we have never discussed forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a concept of the All. Forgiveness implies judgment. Forgiveness implies right and wrong. Your Western culture and religions have created the concepts of sin and forgiveness as a way of controlling people’s minds. Judgment was created in this way. (You must understand judgment as being different from discernment. Discernment is an important skill to develop.) There is no place for judgment. The concepts of sin and forgiveness and redemption are not concepts borne out of Love. Love is within each one of you, bestowing mercy upon you in each moment of your existence.” [As voiced by Spirit.]

“Develop your craft. Take the journey. Light the light. Dance the dance. Be Love.”

There are plenty of exercises in this book, that I intend to try out, and I already know this to be a book I will revisit, likely more than once. (And isn’t that the best feeling? It’s a bit like making a new best friend!)

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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Divorced. Again.

March 27, 2018
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Here I am – divorced for the second time.
This is not what I intended. But it’s what happened.

Sad?
Well, yes, sure it’s sad. I didn’t want this. Until the moment came when I actually did want it. Because that’s how it works – all of a sudden perspectives change, an insight put’s everything into a different light. I can see the sadness in life not turning out the way I wanted to, but at the same time, I’m not sad about it. I have no regrets. Fact is what I feel more than anything is gratitude that both of us, I and my ex-husband, to a large extent have – and have had – the ability to keep a cool head as well as a warm and gentle heart throughout the process från separation to settled divorce, with agreements on property settlements to child alimony and all of the other things that follows, when two souls are in the process of untangling themselves from each others lives.

The difference in my life isn’t that big either, to be honest. I still live in the house; I love it here and am very happy we’ve found a solution enabling me to stay put. The kids decide themselves how they want it, where to live and when (mostly). Kids and kids… little brother might still count as one, but the 18 year old will soon graduate, so there is a limit to the time remaining for her to “live at home”.

I ponder what makes me so calm and collected within. Perhaps because I’ve let it take its time? Or rather: I’ve let myself take the time I’ve needed to. Time to feel, time to cry, to grieve, to land in new circumstances.

I-carry-with-me-the-best-of-memoriesPerhaps because I’ve let thoughts and corresponding feelings come and go? I haven’t attached myself to any feeling as such, I’ve simply let them come, fill me up, and then I’ve let them pass through. Sometimes fast, sometimes really slow – all the while safe in the understanding that whatever I feel in the moment, it will pass. Another thought will come, eventually. No feeling is static. Ever.

And like Pernilla says – grief and joy go hand in hand, are best friends. The grief I experience when something has run its course is all about the flow of joy, love and compassion, all about the experiences. Delighting in what has been, that no longer is. Grateful for all I’ve been through, all I’ve learned, all that has arisen on account of this specific relationship. I carry with me the best of memories, and look to the future with a curious mind, all the while keeping my focus in the here and now, living and enjoying myself to the fullest.

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Time travelling

February 2, 2018
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I sit here, headed home by train, after being away for a night and a day, on assignment for a new client. The sounds and movements of the train help lull me into an experience of timelessness; the sense of time passing, and yet… not. I’ve ridden a lot of train in my days, and I gather all those memories weigh in, to awaken the sensation of being outside time, somehow.

Perhaps I’ve also been influenced by the fact that I’ve travelled through time while the trains have been taking me first north, and then south. Time travelling through a multitude of episodes of the second season of Outlander, this favorite series of mine. Season one is my absolute favorite, and I recently viewed it yet again, for the umpteenth time. In season two, which I just finished re-watching, there’s more sadness, more sorrow, more darkness. A series worthwhile watching, definitely. Especially if you, like I, have a taste for the ways of the past. A few weeks ago I watched the third season for the first time, and now, that I’ve finished re-watching season one and two, I will revisit the third season once more. I already look forward to it, a smile not far from that of the Cheshire cat upon my face.

Season 1, episode 9 The Reckoning

Season 1, episode 9 The Reckoning

Nowadays it’s easy for me to experience the full spectrum of available emotions, from deep love, to the most wondrous joy, to dark despair and heartwrenching sorrow. Place me in front of a clip from Britain’s got talent, and I cry my eyes out – from joy, from pride, from the nerves so visibly strung, sometimes breaking, sometimes making the sweetest art. So watching Outlander most definitely has me on an emotional rollercoaster, let me tell you. And I love it. As I get to f e e l.

I am not afraid of feeling, of experiencing emotions, from the darkest to the lightest. I relish in it. In the experience. In having my heart constrict along with my throat as my eyes well up… to laughing out loud revelling in the humor of the moment at hand… to sensing my blood heat up and rush to erogenous zones spread out across my body as I watch a hand stroke a thigh, a chest, a breast; as two mouths meet up in a kiss, be it soft and tender, or hungry and desperate for more.

I know it will pass, as all emotions, feelings and sensations do – but as they pass through me, I get to f e e l them. And the more I enjoy the actual feeling of them all, the less afraid I am of experiencing whatever feeling comes to pass. It enriches my life, making it easier for me to acknowledge what I feel as I feel it, to stand up for myself and what I sense, while at the same time, not take myself too seriously.

Because that is not a contradiction – feeling it all, all the while not taking myself seriously -, though I fear many believe it is? I know the sensation in the moment will pass, and my old-time companion – the query “Is this serving me?” – helps me to act when it does serve me to, and to refrain from acting when it doesn’t. Except for then I say bugger all, and act full well knowing it is not serving me (whatever it might be!), just because I stubbornly want to. Deliberate and intentional, not blaming my actions on anyone but myself. Taking full responsibility, knowing full well, that no one else can make me feel anything, that’s my prerogative, solely.

So.
Time travel is up, for now.
The train rolled in to Malmö Central, I got off and got on my bike, and am now plonked in ”my spot” on my sofa, with Pop the cat cuddled up beside me, the soft and melodious sounds of
Myrra Ros accompanying me as I finish writing this.

Long. Rambling.
Not especially coherent.
As blog posts go, far from a master piece of mine.

Don’t really give a hoot though.

Getting back on track with daily blogging will likely have me ship stuff, that could – should? – be improved upon. But hey – sometimes there’s a point to that as well. In Lund there’s even a museum dedicated to it, a museum of sketches, called the Museum of Artistic Process and Public Art. I’ve never been there. Think I might go visit it soon. Get inspired by watching ”the birth of a work of art”, as the founder of the museum intended.

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Being gentle to me – Reflection November ’17

December 1, 2017
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self-honoringLetting myself off the hook – allowing myself to stay attached, even though it doesn’t make sense anymore. Long after the original meaning has been lost, the decision had been made and step after step had been taken, increasing my  distance to what was once there, I still let myself be attached… until, one day, I woke up ready to let go of my attachment.

I read what I wrote in the paragraph above, and exhale and relax, knowing this is not something I would never have granted myself, had it happened 5+ years ago. What a long way I’ve come, in being gentle towards myself.

The difference that makes the difference? Self-honoring, perhaps? Learning h o w to be gentle towards myself, as well as slowly coming to terms with the fact that I deserve it, I am worthy of love and tenderness, also from myself? Learning not to take myself too seriously, and most definitely not to believe all the thoughts that come whizzing through my head?

I cannot say there’s one difference that has made the difference, rather, it’s a combination of things that all have been working in synergy, leading up to this place in time, where I know how to, and do, let myself off the hook, letting things unfold within without me pushing, prodding, persuading myself into letting go before I am ready to. No longer ripping myself apart, because I think I should this or that, making me do it, even though I’m not ready for it. No. No more. That violent behavior towards myself that was my modus operandi for years and years, for decades even, it has been – permanently I hope, trust and believe! – replaced by me practicing the art of being gentle to myself.

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Strands of neediness.

August 15, 2017
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in Tip
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Half of a yellow sun“For a brief irrational moment, she wished she could walk away from him. Then she wished, more rationally, that she could love him without needing him. Need gave him power without his trying; need was the choicelessness she often felt around him.”

The tangled mess of love entwined in strands of neediness; strands that can be as smooth as silk, and as coarse as a fibrous hemp rope. A need that can feel soothing at times, harming at other times.

I suspect I and Olanna (the character in the book, thinking these thoughts to herself) are not the only ones familiar with this sensation. And, is it not also such, that once the aspect of need in and of one’s lover dissipates, there is a shift, a huge shift, at least on the inside?

When the choicelessness is no more, and the choice – to love, or not to love; to stay, or not to stay – is there, I reclaim my power and my world immediately doubles in size. And with that comes both great exhilaration, but also, perhaps, dread? Because having the option of choice does not always make life simpler, does it?

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you: The book “Half of a yellow sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

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What my children learn watching me?

June 17, 2017
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propped up in bedToday is my birthday, and as I sit here, still propped up against the pillows in bed, getting ready for the day – which will be spent preparing for and having people over in the afternoon and evening – I come across this phrase:

”What are your children learning
as they watch you?”

I could ask them. Actually, that’s a good idea, I think I will, one day in the not too distant future.

I can also look within, and reflect upon what I wish and hope that the learn while watching me.

I hope my children learn (in no specific order)…
– to be gentle towards themselves.
– to laugh at all things possible to laugh at (and with).
– to be generous, both in spirit and with physical means that can grant relief to a fellow human.
– that it’s ok to experience all emotions possible to experience; to not be afraid of feeling whatever comes in the moment.
– to dream wildly and to do the work that will take them one step closer towards fulfilling that dream, and then another step, and another…
– to be kind in heart, helpful and openminded.
– to open their homes to those in need.
– that thoughts aren’t Truth, but rather a suggestion, that they, in each given moment, can ask How does this serve me?. And if the answer is It doesn’t, to know that they can let go of that thought, to let the next one come.
– the importance of thinking one step further – that the choices we make has implications down the line, not simply for us as individuals, but for all of us, for flora and fauna and the Earth itself.
– to enjoy life! The richness of it, the textures, smells and flavors, the vistas and thrills, the high’s and low’s of the eternal rollercoaster we call life!
– to love. Wholeheartedly. With all they’ve got.
– to dance through life, and especially, to dance with whom- och whatever comes knowing at the door.
the importance to look after ones Self, in spirit and body alike.
– to read! All the worlds available to us in the form of books is such a treasure.
– to ask questions and be forever curious.
– to be open to what wants to happen next.
– to grace life with beauty and tenderness as well as lots of hugs and kisses! You can never get too many hugs, that’s for sure.

I believe I could go on and on, listing all the things I wish my children learn from watching me; all the while knowing that I am not all of this at all times – far from it. It is my intention though, to live life wholeheartedly with these aims top of mind. And when I slip or forget, to get back on track and above all, to be gentle with myself at all times.

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book “The parents Tao Te Ching” by William Martin.

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Love your soul

May 14, 2017
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in Tip
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Suddenly. It struck me.

Hey. It was Sunday the other day. And I didn’t post a podcast-tip on my blog. I did the Sunday before, I know I did. But I must have forgotten this past Sunday. Or didn’t I?

So I had to check it out. And whaddayaknow? I was right. I did forget. So here it comes, a few days late, but better late than never, as the saying goes. Podcast tip 52 out of 52 for 2015. And you know what? I have enough to have a go at another 52 weeks of tips without even listening to a single new podcast, there are so many good podcasts out there!

Martin Sheen on On Being will be be featured on this my last podcast recommendation of the 2015.

About 18-19 minutes in (in the edited version at least) Martin talks about love. About finding it, deep within ourselves, and how often we forget to look just there.

We have to look in the spot where we’re least likely to look, and that is within ourselves. And when we find that love, that presence, deep within our own personal being — and it’s not something that you can earn, or something that you can work towards. It’s just a realization of being human, of being alive, of being conscious. And that love is overwhelming. And that is the basic foundation of joy. 

Listening to this podcast… I shiver, experience a sharp intake of breath, of having my eyes opened, realizing that here is a person, a full person, with so much more depth to him than I ever imagined in my restricted and prejudiced mind. Amazing.I love it. I love having my eyes opened to the extraordinary ordinariness of another human being, and slowly, slowly, I notice I look at my fellow human beings, those around me, with a more open heart, open mind, and I know. I know there is more to this person – to every person – than meets the eye. Because there always is. It is wonderful. Imagine the marvel of it, the joy of glimpsing the soul, the onlyness, and it will never end. There are more souls out there for me to glimpse than I will ever be able to actually experience.

I close my eyes.
Feel myself twirling around and around.
On an old-fashined merry-go-round, round and round.
Knowing whenever I open my eyes, there will be a completely unique human being there to meet, to get a soul-glimpse of, to befriend and love.love your soul

Knowing I am also one.
A complete human being.
With more to me than meets the eye.
Someone for me to meet, to get a soul-glimpse of, to befriend and love.

Opening my eyes.
Look around me.
Look within me.
There’s love. All over.
Inside me. Outside of me.
Overwhelming.
Absolute joy.

We look high, we look low, we look afar and we – might – look close.
But how often do we actually look within ourselves for Love?

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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#blogg100 – Love, my heritage.

May 9, 2017
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“Demand no advice from them and reckon with no understanding; but believe in a love that is preserved for you like a heritage, and trust that in this love there is a strength and a blessing which you are not bound to leave behind you though you may travel far!”

I read the words Rilke wrote many years ago, and am able to rest in them. To rest in the love, preserved for me, like a heritage. There, always, however far and wide I might travel, always and already within me. In the same way as Home is within me. Always and already. Not created outside of me; it resides within me.

“But your solitude will be your home and haven even in the midst of very strange conditions, and from there you will discover all your paths.”

heritageRilke continues to write about Home, and I know deep with in, there are new paths ahead, paths to explore, with curiosity and an open mind.

Honestly though – what does it mean these lines of his? Does it mean anything; does it even have to? Can I simply rest in the fact that the words speaks to me as I read them, there is something there, a message? A confirmation? Listening beyond the words, I am embraced by the feeling within, and it is all good. A knowing that the strength and blessing truly is there for me, for us, regardless of what paths lie ahead.

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 70 of 100.
The book “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke.
English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.

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