Mark Nepo

The Book of Awakening

The Book of Awakening

January 2, 2021
/ / /

The Book of Awakening, a daybook to accompany you, providing comfort, beauty and tankespjärn, in the words of Mark Nepo. It’s been my more-or-less daily companion. During 2020. In 2019. And now and again, in 2018, when I believe I first picked it up.

It’s a beautiful book.
A quote followed by a text for each day of the year. These are what I’ve read. Over and over. The marginalia becoming more and more prevalent, for each pass. Exclamation marks. Stars. Hearts. Squiggly lines or arrows marking specific sentences/passages. A note, referring to a friend, a thought, another concept or book, dots my mind connected with whatever I was reading. 

At the end of each text, there’s a suggested action.
Almost always (always?) these are about connecting with Being. Looking within, with closed eyes. Or stepping out in Nature, connecting to a leaf, a flower bud, a puddle. Some are to be done in solitude, others with a partner, a friend, a relative or family member. Some can be done immediately. Others ask you to step out of wherever you are upon reading.
These, I’ve yet to dive into.
Fully.
I skim them, sometimes, many times simply flick my eyes across them, picking up a word, connecting to whatever the daily awakening has opened within me. 

I’ve decided I will pick another daily companion for the upcoming year, and yet. I know (Know) I will come back to The Book of Awakenings. This is a life-companion, and I know (Know) I will dive ever deeper the next time I choose this book to accompany me for a full year. Know that I will then, step more fully into the suggested actions/meditations/reflections/asks. 

Closing my eyes, listening to the quiet yet insisting voice within saying this could be a lovely morning ritual to share with someone. To take turns, reading, reflecting, sharing what stirs within and then, to do those actions, together. 

”Like most gifts, it is the passing of something meaningful between people that awakens us to our potential.” – Mark Nepo


Tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
Read More

opening the spirit within us to the spirit of what is

October 26, 2020
/ / /

The bottom line:
”…opening the spirit within us to the spirit of what is.”
Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening, for October 26.

Blank.
Woke up.
Boiled some water, while doing a Seven with pelvic focus. Jiggling around, back, forth, a spine-wiggle or two. Or three. Side to side, in eights and in circles. Wakes my body up. Slowly and gently, I move on lighter feet to the bedroom.
Drag the covers from the bed, lie down on my sheepskins, with my butt up against the bed, feet on top, as if sitting on the side of the bed, back against the floor.
Do my Wim Hof breathing exercise, three rounds, simultaneously doing the Walkfeeling starter-move, opening up, aligning, getting hips and legs and back all working together.
Get up off the floor, drag the covers back into bed, bunching the pillows behind my back, I sit down, with iPad in hand.
Getting ready to write, I space off into the distance, not knowing what to write.
Nothing really comes to me.
Drink my now-lukewarm water, picking up The Book of Awakening, to read the entry of the day.

Blank.
So I do what I have a habit of doing.
This.
Writing down where I am, what I’ve done to get here, and all of a sudden.
There I am. (Or here?)
The fingers start to fly across the keyboard, dropping words upon words on to the screen.

Is there value in this?
For me? Yes. I think so. No.
I know so. Letting it, whatever it is for the day, flow out of me, holds value.
It’s an acknowledgment of being here. Of being present to what is. Observing myself, my surroundings, my emotional and mental state, I at once land here. Grounded. And at the same time, it’s freeing. Opens a door for my mind to go walk-abouting, skip-skipping along like a little child, uninhabited by the shoulds and musts of the day, of life. Simply being. Showing up and noticing what shows up. Responding to it. (The blankness. There. Here. And me, dancing with whatever and whoever comes knocking on the door.)

For others? Yes. I think so.
And No. I wouldn’t presume to say I know so. I do not k n o w if this is or can be useful to anyone else. What I do know is that me sharing what goes on within me, within this quirky brain and body of mine, often seems to resonate. Not with everyone (never my desire. I am not for everyone.), not even with many (how do I define many?) but most definitely with some. A few. (And those few. I do write, ship, share, for you. For me, yes. But also for you. Because this is another dance that I actively choose to engage in. The dance between me and the unknown. The unknowns?)

I have a few different Pages documents available to me when I plonk down in bed, ready for my morning writing. I have my so-called Morning Pages (which have never been what Julia Cameron describes, not for me. Most of what I put in that document shows up on my blog. Not ’for my eyes only’, because writing ’for my eyes only’ doesn’t seem to work for me. It’s not where the magic lies. For me.), a practice I started in 2016 (opened my Morning Pages from 2016, scrolling through parts of it. Oh my. There’s stuff there, unfinished stuff, snippets of me, that I never did return to, as intended. All of my Morning Pages documents are filled with them. Always thinking I’ll get back to them, ”finishing” it all. Never have. Never will?). There’s The Depth(s), containing my deep dive into shame, created on August 22nd, 2020, and at the moment, most often my go-to-starting point for my morning writings. Then there’s a recent addition, a document containing writings for a blog I just started, another blog. (An anonymous one.)

Sometimes, I know just what document to open, because I know what wants to come out fits specifically into one or the other of these documents. Other times, something comes out onto one document that doesn’t belong there. Like this.

I opened The Depth(s) today, and upon putting finger to keyboard, when blank came to me and I kept on, I knew, this text needs to be moved to my Morning Pages of 2020 because this text isn’t a part of the deep dive.

And I like that.
I even love it.
How I am adhering to the practice of writing, but not to having to write something specific, if something specific doesn’t come to mind.
Being open for what is, what wants to happen, what comes out of me. Through me.

A recent addition to the writings of my Morning Pages is the bottom line, which I can never write beforehand. It comes when all is done, all is out, and I look through it, trying to find the essence of the post. This is a practice that challenges me, in more ways than one.

First, to remember to do it.
Second, to actually find the essence. Not always easy.
Third, to capture that essence, in a sentence or two. Not always easy either.

Aaaaah.
Deep inhale, exhale.

Picking up The Book of Awakening, reminded of the entry of the day, I find it. The essence of this post. And with that. I am done. With writing. For now.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
Read More

I am not alone.

June 20, 2020
/ / /

Today we recorded another episode of Buddhas by the Roadside, spending most of the time talking about (dis)embodiment. Somewhere along the lines of conversation, jumping from bare feet, to menstrual cycles, to what gets schooled out of humans during childhood and in adult life, the amazement of the designs behind the human body as well as the bodies of tigers and penguins and house-cats, I was reminded of this passage, which I’d read earlier in the morning. It can be found on June 19th in The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo.

”This is why it helps to share our journey with others, because in so doing we become a chorus of voices, and the stress of going solo lessens once we discover that we are not alone.”

I don’t remember what stepping stone(s) brought me to it in the Buddhas-conversation, but I remember why I’d snapped a photo of it upon reading it. When I went for the shotgun-approach *again*, caught myself in the act, and then sort-of did a combo shotgun/sniper rifle-approach instead, one of my fellow The Creative’s Workshoppers got inspired and wrote something along the lines of taking my lead.

”This is why it helps to share our journey with others, because in so doing we become a chorus of voices, and the stress of going solo lessens once we discover that we are not alone.”

As I read these lines, I was reminded of how happy that made me. The knowing (!) that I am not alone.

For some reason (I believe it to be deep, the need to know we are not alone. Deeply existential. The most basic fear of humans is that of being shunned. We are not solitary creatures.) knowing she’d follow along, had me exhale. In relief. Knowing (!) I am not alone.

And. If I hold it in, whatever it is that has me think I am the only person on Earth feeling this… If I hold it in, not giving anyone the opportunity, the possibility, to reach out a hand, tap me on the shoulder, and gently say Oh my friend, I know what you are feeling. Been there, done that. You are not alone.

Indeed, sharing is caring holds multiple meanings.
And I am enamored with them all.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
Read More

2019. As I am.

January 1, 2019
/ / /

As I am. 

I asked my friend D to translate “gown off” into Swedish. “Gown off” popped up in my first conversation with my new coach. I described the general feeling of that conversation, and somehow D managed, as so often (always?), put words to that which goes unspoken.

So all of a sudden, “gown off” turned into “as I am”, which feels spot on. This is how I step into 2019, filled with energy and curiosity, with champagne bubbles coursing through my entire body, eager and ecstatic to experience all that is to come, “as I am”. Naked. Raw. Intimate. With power and pleasure.

2019. The year when I will…
* have my bodily wellbeing in focus by:

  • continuing with my daily Seven accompanied by burpees
  • Headspace daily
  • run a minimum of  75 runs
  • take cold (outdoors) baths as often as I can – and add to this by taking cold showers
  • dance Lindy hop as often as I can (taking a class during the spring, and then there’s the social dancing as well!)
  • continuing to ribe my bike and walk as much as possible

* have my mental and spiritual wellbeing in focus by:

  • reading at least 75 books, of which 12 in Swedish and 12 in English already have been chosen. These 12 + 12 I will be blogging about.
  • learn at least five songs by heart including lyrics on the guitar, which will be made possible by my aim at ten minutes of guitar playing on a daily basis
  • I will let the wonderful book The book of Awakening by Mark Nepo be my daily companion
  • hold digital 24-hour sabbats at least twice a month

* have creation in focus by:

  • booking at least four two-day writing retreats during the year
  • keeping up with daily Facebook Lives for as long as there’s energy in doing it
  • blog daily
  • start to pod

* have financial husbandry in focus by:

  • sowing, sowing and sowing a little bit more; on a weekly basis intentionally work on my various income streams
  • keep tabs on my set invoicing goal on a monthly basis
  • keep an accounts book on private income and expenses

And finally – on all levels – experiment and play, experience pleasure and exploring and challenging myself, all the while being gentle to myself!

2019. Here I come. As I am. Gown off! 

Read More

#blogg100 – Limitations taken upon myself.

May 6, 2017
/ / /

”It may be interesting to ask,
What limitations have I,
unthinking,
taken upon myself?
It is very difficult for you child’s horizons
to be greater than your own.
Do something today that pushes
against your own preconceptions.
Then take your child’s hand
and gently encourage her to do the same.”

The event horizon calling me again.
Calling out to me, holding me. Safe in the knowledge that it’s not dangerous to cross over, to step beyond the edge of the known, into the wholly unknown.
Into realms brand new to me.

That in and of itself is possibly one of the greatest gifts I have to give, to myself, my children, friends and family and all those around.
The very fact of owning the concept of the event horizon, not intimidated – or, if so, at times, still not turning around, running away as fast as I can, but staying put – nor frightened – or, if so, at times, still not turning around, running away as fast as I can, but staying put.

Staying put… but not forever. Slowly inching forward Mark Nepo-style; an inch into the unknown.

Mark Nepo

If I manage this, not all the time, but enough times, then I will be pushing against my own preconceptions. There’s no way not to. By doing that, the limitations I’ve taken upon myself, unthinking, will become fewer and fewer. (Albeight they might be joined by new ones, brand new limitations, falling in line after the old and familiar ones.)

Living by example; not a burden, but a gift.
(Possibly a gift in the way the stinging nettle is a gift. If not careful, it will hurt, at least temporarily, as I pick it, to make the most yummy green smoothies, feta cheese-and-nettle-pie and nettle pesto. But the richness of all I can do with the stinging nettle, is more than enough reward when compared to the potential drawback and occational sting. The moments of me experiencing the burden of living by example are few and far apart; I neither shy away from them nor do I chase after them, becoming overwhelmed if and as they occur. I can be present to them, experience them, and let go…)

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 67 of 100.
The book “The parents Tao Te Ching” by William Martin.
English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.

Read More