love

Being gentle to me – Reflection November ’17

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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Flipping the script

April 9, 2017
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in Tip
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After the illdeed in Stockholm on Friday, I woke up Saturday morning, with the strong urge to write about the Invisibilia-show on Flipping the script, while simultaneously humming to the tune of “What the world needs now, is love, sweet love“:

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No not just for some but for everyone.

What Flip the script talks about, is a fenomena called noncomplimentary behaviour. Complimentary behaviour is the science behind the phrase “respond in kind” and is why anger begets anger, hatred begets hatred, and violence will lead to more violence. Of course, the same is true for emotions such as love and kindness, upon showing those it’s more likely we will receive it in turn from those we shower it on.

Noncomplimentary behaviour is when we break that pattern, and conciously decides to respond in another way. If met with hostility, responding in kindness might just break the cycle of hostility, and the Invisibilia show is full of examples of this.

I say consiously, because I believe that’s what it takes for most of us. Unless we are simply so wired to always respond with kindness and love, it takes effort and, for me, a round of internal Who do I want to be in this situation? How do I want to show up in the world, right now?-Q&A, for me to avoid responding in kind.

love balloonAnd when I am successful, it often diffuses the situation. It’s like the situation is a balloon, slowly emptying of air, shape-shifting and morphing into something else, completely.

This, I believe, is what we need more of in the world. Right now.
For more people to resist responding in kind, and more actively try to show up in the world in a manner that is in harmony with my values and believes as to what a citizen of Earth should be like, in order to be of assistance to all of existance, animate and inaminate alike.

What the world needs now is love, and with an intentional decision on your part (and mine!) we can flip the script, together. Let’s fall together, rather than apart, to paraphrase Rebecca Solnit, because that’s how we flip the script which seemingly is taking us into a tomorrow more closely resembling a horror movie, than a love song. Let’s choose the love song and see where it takes us?!

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, mixing them up with new podcast recommendations, such as this one.

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#blogg100 – A nothingness enters.

April 7, 2017
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”There is no evidence of the soul except in its sudden absence. A nothingness enters, taking the place where something was before. A night without starts falls and for a moment covers everything in the room.”

Bruce Springsteen writes about the death of The Big Man, Clarence Clemons. As I sit here, horrified by the events today – one wreaked havoc and caused deaths on a street in Stockholm this afternoon. Another the less public and Kafkaesque experience, of sitting in on a ”return dialogue” at the Swedish Migration Agency, where all I wanted to do was shout This is not dignified! We cannot treat human beings as if they are pawns in a chess game! – I remember Bruce words, that affected me so a few nights ago, as I read it.

me and ekmanA nothingness enters… and all I am left with is a resounding sense of regret. Regret at what we humans are capable of doing towards and against one another. Dehumanizing our brothers and sisters, and in one fell swoop dehumanizing ourselves at the same time.

I don’t want to become numb. So I ration my exposure to the horrors of the world. Knowing I show up more loving when I do. And yet. Sometimes it is hard to resist, the numbness alluring, like the song of the siren… But even more enticing is the love, the generosity, the human instinct to look after one another, to care for our brothers and sisters. With that sense of love and compassion, I go to bed, lucky me and my loved ones are safe, sending out a warm heartfelt embrace to those less lucky.

”There is no evidence of the soul except in its sudden absence. A nothingness enters, taking the place where something was before. A night without starts falls and for a moment covers everything in the room.”

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 38 of 100.
The book “Born to run” by Bruce Springsteen.
English posts here, Swedish at
herothecoach.com.

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An act of rebellion

February 26, 2017
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in Tip
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On Being.
Krista Tippett in conversation with Parker Palmer and Courtney Martin.
Topic: The inner life of rebellion.

At this point in time, a time of terror and natural disasters, war and tyranny, people fleeing from their home and countries, from death and destruction…. holding onto hope is a challenge. A struggle. Not always easy. But I stick with it. I stick with my hope of a better world, for all. With the knowing, deep within me, that the path of love is the path ahead, towards that world, which is better for each and every one. In times like these, holding onto hope is an act of rebellion.act of rebellion

This is the essence of this podcast. Holding onto hope. Parker Palmer and Courtney Martin remind me of the path I’ve chosen in life. The path of love.

Does that mean I never despair? Dread? Fear? Hate?
No. I feel it all. It’s a part of the human experience.
But I cannot, will not, let those emotions become the main route of my life.

That is not how I want my life to play out, focusing on those feelings, the feelings of despair, dread, fear, hate. It’s not what I chose. So when those feelings show up, I see and acknowledge them, I don’t shy away from them, but I have the choice not to dive headfirst into them, and that’s most often the choice I make.

Trying to avoid falling for the siren’s call of the cynic, the sarcastic, the pessimistic and the negative. Instead, I try to listen to the love, the creativity, the compassion and the positive. Simply, because it makes my life more enjoyable. That’s my act of rebellion. Holding onto hope, believing in and living my life out of love and light.

What is your act of rebellion?

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. As I’ve been inundated in feelings of hopelessness a lot these past months, as well as listening to Rebecca Solnit in an On Being episode and also reading Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit, when I stumbled upon this podcast recommendation from 2015, it immediately felt like the podcast to recommend. For you, of course, but perhaps even more so, for myself. So I will listen to this one, again. Holding onto hope!

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Getting a divorce?

January 30, 2017
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Are you getting a divorce?
No. We will stay married. We love each other, and it feels right, at this very moment, to give that love space and light, nourishment and care!

Will you be moving back in with each other then?
No. We will continue to live under two roofs. We love each other, and want to be together. And in that togetherness it feels right, at this very moment, to stay särbo [a Swedish term, not to be confused with sambo which means co-living without being married. Särbo means living apart but being together.].

But why? If you love each other, and want to stay married, why don’t you move back in with each other? Because it feels best right now, to continue down the path we started on in the fall. Not to wear and tear on each other, every single day, but to let love, and longing, grow in peace. We see each other every week, we talk in one form or another every day, we help each other with all that we can do for one another and for the kids (both the younger and the older). And we let the longing for a hug, a kiss, a hot embrace, grow, expand, and rejoice ever more in the happiness at actually seeing each other.

But the kids? Do you truly have the kids best interest at heart?
Yes. All the time. In all we do. Being good parents – together, and separately – is something we’ve been very conscious about keeping top of mind these past months. To never let go of the fact that we are, indeed, parents. Together. Regardless of where our love relationship will go, how it might come to look in any given moment and what it might evolve into over time, we are parents, together. Guarding the relationship we have as parents, and because of that, the family relationship, is the most important we can do. That is the contract agreed upon when two adults form a family together. Holding the child/children’s best interest at heart – and at the same time never forgetting that children fare best with parents who thrive. In this way, we are doing our best for everyone!

Ok. But that almost seems a bit cold, almost as if you’ve rationally figured out what’s best for you at the moment?
Yes. Perhaps. But… at the same time, perhaps not? Both heart and brain have been of great service to us in this process. We love each other, that’s the very foundation. That has become very clear these past six months. And perhaps, for the very reason that we love each other, and at the same time, both of us feel the need for change as compared to “the old days, the old ways”, and as a result, living apart as särbo is our choice.

With open eyes, an open mind and an open heart.

With less expectations and more conversations and vulnerability.

Where we take walks together, every week, and talk. Open up about everything. Talk on heaven and hell. On dreams, love, wishes. On practical things such as dental retainers and computer games, on the wellbeing of our children, on what’s new at work. On quality management systems and holiday trips. As well as on fears, questions on things we hope we’ve misunderstood, expectations that pop up with an intent to disappoint.

Conversations that have already provided such gifts. Insights. Closeness. Warmth.

Conversations, where we help each other – both together and separately – to break patterns that no longer serve anyone. Patterns that are remnants of old experiences, patterns best put under a microscope, where it becomes obvious they no longer serve, in the form they have withstood the test of time. Worn down and applied in the wrong situations they simply make life harder.

Love on a growth pathIn this särbo-relationship, living apart, I have a much stronger sensation of being close, than when we lived underneath one roof, and I sometimes experienced jarring feelings of being lonely. The connection between us, now, so much stronger. Stronger, and growing, enriched by small (and large) evidence of love and respect. A särbo-relationship, where it’s easier for us to give each other space for our different needs and desires. Where we can be there, for each other, and at the same time give ourselves place and space to land, to learn, to live.

For me, Living is at the center of my being. Not surviving, not existing. But truly Living. And as our ideas on what it means to Live, are (somewhat) different, this turns into less of a potential problem, and rather into a source of exciting new things, discoveries, insights, to bring to moments of Us; by us choosing each other, choosing living apart as särbo, choosing to say yes to the love that exists between us.

And I can see it. I can see how we give insights more space, sharing conclusions with each other, breaking patterns. Helping each other break patterns! Helping each other, with curiosity, openness and with great care: warm loving care and concern. The ability not to fall for the initial feeling, which – much like for Alice – opens the gateway straight down into Wonderland. The traps, hidden by trap doors, no longer as easy to fall into. More observing, of each other, and as a direct result, observing of the dymanics between us. And with the will to create a good rappore, much more outspoken than when everyday life grinds away at Us.

We are making an active choice to become särbo, living apart, because we love one another!

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Divided or united?

January 24, 2017
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unites us

I’ve had this quote as the locked-screen-saver on my IPhone for the past two weeks, and everytime I look at it, I am reminded. Remind about love, of the power of unity, of togetherness and of how much more I can accomplish when I don’t go at it alone.

So. I don’t. Go at it alone.
I go. With you. Together.

In love!

 

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