Throw the hat!

Throw the hat!

March 19, 2020
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Stop thinking! Start doing!

That was the message I got in a mastermind-session a month ago.

You’ve been thinking too long, it’s time to throw the hat and commit.

And it’s true. That’s what I need to do.

Like I did last summer, when my coach Dave during a coaching session challenged me to throw something out there, and revert in 15 minutes to the session. That turned out to be my first proper Mastermind-class which I gave weekly starting in August of 2019, running for three months. It turned out lovely, and I truly enjoyed it, as did the participants.

If Dave hadn’t challenged me to throw that hat (sending the invite to 10 handpicked people I’d love to have participate in my Mastermind), I would not have done it. And that would have been my loss. Truly.

So whyyyyyyyyyy don’t I throw the hat for #tankespjärn?

And yeah. I know. It really doesn’t matter why.
What matters is that I do it.








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Follow up – November 2019 – As I am.

December 27, 2019
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I intend to go through my intentions for the year at the end of each month. This gives me a monthly reminder of my intentions as well as ample space for reflection and possible adjustment.

November. Another jampacked month that ended in a crescendo of emotions.
[On account of the Advent Calendar this post following up on November is much delayed.]

2019. The year when I will…

* have my bodily wellbeing in focus by:

  • continuing with my daily Seven accompanied by burpees: ✅
  • Headspace Meditate daily: ✅ 129 days with Wim Hof deep breathing.
  • run a minimum of  75 runs –> run-when-I-feel-like-it-intention: Not even once.
  • take cold (outdoors) baths as often as I can – and add to this by taking cold showers: 7 cold baths (or showers) in November. Have been to the open-air swimming-bath at Ribersborg a few times, and every time I go into the water for a swim, I stay in at least two minutes. That is quite the conversation starter I’ve noticed, many people comments and ask with curiosity “How on earth do you stay in so long?”. I enjoy that, ‘cuz it gives me a chance to talk about how I’ve come to love cold baths.
  • dance Lindy hop as often as I can (taking a class during the spring, and then there’s the social dancing as well!): Lindy hop-class ended mid-November and on Wednesdays after that I’ve been busy so haven’t been to the social dances either.
  • continuing to ride my bike and walk as much as possible: walked just short of 40 and biked barely 400 kilometers. I have 47 days with “at least 10 kilometers in my body” at that!

* 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: Jampacked month indeed, have only finished reading three books during November. It’s been quite some time since I read that little! At the end of the month, I was on 65/75 books, and am still short the English book for the month (I did finish the one for October though!). Don’t panic (bokk 10 of 12 in English) and Utan invandring stannar Sverige (book 11 of 12 in Swedish).
  • 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: Whoop whoop – have upped my game as a guitar student, because I’ve played my guitar every day in November, which hasn’t happened in a long time!
  • I will let the wonderful book The book of Awakening by Mark Nepo be my daily companion: Well… no. Even Mark has been hit by this month’s jam-packedness.
  • hold digital 24-hour sabbats at least twice a month: October turned into a weird month in relation to digital sabbat. I had one for the choir trip to Åre/Östersund on October 3-6, and 25-26 at that, and possibly 11-12th… but I am not 100% certain. So… I know one thing. I have not been as observant on this as I usually am. Perhaps that’s why I have been missing my digital sabbats these last few weeks? In November, I plan on digital sabbats on 8-9, 15-16 and 29-30th.
  • 12-13 (sabbat from pleasure-screen time, even though I went to visit a machine manufacturer in Germany these two days, so I did have quite some work-screen time), 15-16th and 29-30th of November. In December I plan for digital sabbats on 15-16, 19-20 and 30-31.

* have creation in focus by:

  • booking at least four two-day writing retreats during the year: These are the dates: 13-14 September, 28-28 October, 11-12 November, 9-10 December.I would have needed my soul sister Sara at home in November to make that writing retreat happen… On the other hand, it was very beneficial for me with two days of blocked time in my calendar, because I could use that time to deal with one emergency after another. And, as a bonus, I have a writing retreat booked for New Years!
  • keeping up with daily Facebook Lives for as long as there’s energy in doing it:
  • blog daily: No. Not even close. 3 Swedish and 3 English posts in November. 🤐
  • start to pod: Have cut 7 episodes with 15 to go… so I had better block off some calendar time for this work as well. The jampacked calendar had me make other priorities. October looks even worse, so I will block off 4th and 15th of November to get my pod up and running again. That didn’t help. Oh well, it will be, in due time. But, let’s not forget that I am moderating the pod Fria Barn which was released in November, and in December a couple of episodes of another pod I am a part of will also be released. [Note December 27th when this blog will be published in English: Nope, will be in January.] So I am podding, just not on my own Doing gentle with an edge.
  • release (at least) 4 e-books in 2019: There is now a started ebook on my computer, but nothing else has happened during November.

* 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: ✅I reached my set goals in January, March, August, October and in November! Whoop! Did not in February, April, May, June, July or September.
  • 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: The few photos I’ve taken in November bear witness to the jam-packedness of November. I did finish off the Mastermind-group I’ve been facilitating since August, I have had quite a few cold baths with magnificent view’s, I’ve been darning socks with Pop the cat for company, attended Mozart’s Requiem with Skånes Dansteater at Malmö Opera (what a performance!), Rocketman sing-a-long-movie and restorative gong-baths at Yoga Kendra with H and finally, that emotional crescendo: Alma coming home after 10,5 months in Australia. I cried when she walked through customs at the airport and I was finally allowed to hug my firstborn. What a sensation!

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August 20, 2019
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Synchronicity. Around… Friction.

On Akimbo.
In a conversation with D and C, a conversation you just might be privy to listening in on one of these days.
With my campfire sisters, as well as in my reflection with D on that conversation we had.

And now.
As my final words of the third Mastermind-session (of 13 total) that we just wrapped up, me and my four participants.

It makes the world move.
Without friction. No cars. No bikes. No nothing really.

We would possibly be sliding around haphazardly… might be fun. But it’s not what we have. Because we do have friction.

We even have two kinds.
There’s friction. And then there’s Friction with a capital F. Life-giving. The Friction that makes me grow, rather than just wear me down.

There’s form. And the formless.
For some, oh it’s a stretch to conform to form. Rules. Boundaries. That’s where the friction is at. Play with it. Work it. Use it. See what happens within the form.

For some, so the opposite. The formless, the vast expanse of endless possibilities. Nothing to hang onto, no given starting point. That’s where the friction is at. So play with that. Work it. Use it. See what happens within the formless.

Dance between them.
The Friction and the Frictionless. Between that which is such a stretch and that which is easypeasy.

As you dance – the event horizon for you and your relationship with the form and the formless will shift. Transform. Expand, ever onwards. Might it even constrict?

Yeah. I think it just might. And then… another transformation. Something born, which was always and already there, within you, you just had never opened that specific door within before.

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On the fly

August 13, 2019
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in Tip

Just finished my second Mastermind call, with the group I have initiated. Second one-hour call of a total of thirteen, running from August till the end of October, on a weekly basis. Four participants, and me as moderator.

The fun part is, I sent invitations for this Mastermind, on the fly. Dave the coach gave me a challenge to ”take action” during a coaching call early June, and this was what came to me: I want to start a Mastermind group for coaches and/or people interested in coaching.

When I sent out the email invites, then and there, I had nothing planned, except ”a three-month Mastermind”. I didn’t have a set starting date, no plan for content or anything really. Except, of course, six and a half years of being an active participant in my own Mastermind-group, which, as my wise friend Caspian pointed out, certainly means I am extremely grounded in the Mastermind concept as such. Had it been something which I have no experience or expertise in, I would not have made this type of invitation, that’s for sure.

Just do it, on the fly.
Throw something out into the world.
Chances are (quite good actually) that if it’s something you have found value in – someone else will too.

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12 English books to read in 2019

January 5, 2019
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in Tip

The sub-challenge of 2018 to read 26 English (as well as 26 Swedish) books was enjoyable, to the extent that I will do a version of it this year as well. So I’ve chosen 12 English (and 12 Swedish) books that were in my home come New Years, that I will read in 2019. Just like in 2018, I will blog about these on Sundays, once a month/blog. Besides this sub-challenge, my overall reading challenge for 2019 is to read (a minimum of) 75 books, and you can tag along on my reading journey over on my Goodreads-profile.

A fairly good mix this year as well, and I look forward to getting acquainted with each and every one of them. Three of these I have had warming my bookshelves for quite a few years (Hargreaves/Fullan, Alsén/Troedson and Yunus) but the rest I got in 2018. I have learned my lesson from last year, and will not hold back on reading “the heavy books” until the end of the year, that’s for sure. And the heavy artillery is here, in the English section, I don’t think there are any really heavy reads amongst the Swedish ones (but hey. Who am I to guess?).

Sara gave me Lame deer; D suggested Tarnas; Hargreaves/Fullan I picked up during my school activist-days; I bought Ben David at Ängsbacka during a workshop she held; Homo Deus I ordered before I finished Sapiens because I wanted to read this one as well; Don’t Panic I bought directly from Troed; my sister, and others, praise this Murakami as being his best so when I stumbled upon it at a second-hand shop, I figured I’d give it a go. Banker for the poor is, embarrassingly enough, probably an illegal book copy I bought on the streets of Mumbai ten years ago; Clapton’s guitar I found at another second-hand shop in Karlskrona during a rare in-the-flesh-Mastermind-meeting; Coyle has been recommended to me; Whitehead was my pick from the rewards for having read and reviewed x number of books for the library’s “Summer book-challenge”; and finally: A fine balance. This book is special. Since I read it (in 98? 96? In Thailand anyway, visiting my brother.) I’ve pegged as the best book I’ve ever read. (Funnily enough, my brother says the same, and still does, I brought it up with him this week when we FaceTimed.) I have yet to re-read it, but when it showed up on the shelves of a second-hand store, I thought the time has come to do just that. And to ensure I will read it thoroughly it’s also my chosen book for the Gifted book club. I wonder: will I still think it’s the best book I’ve ever read after my re-read?

Have you read any of the books above, and if so, what did you think of it/them?

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Advent Calendar 19 – Boost!

December 19, 2018
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In my Mastermind-group every second or third meeting we round off with a boost session, and I love it. Each person has their moment in the spotlight, with the rest of us taking turns appreciating the person in the hot seat. We’ve been going at Masterminding for 6 full years by now, and I’ve gotten good at both aspects – the giving as well as the receiving.

I know giving boost to someone is an act that might scare people. Others might be scared at receiving it.

But scary?
Well. I would challenge that, and say that it’s really about not being used to it. Because there’s nothing to fear. There’s no danger in it. And the more I practice, the better I get. With that, comes the lessened sense of feeling scared…

The gift of a boost can also be lessened by trying to reciprocate in the moment. If I am told Oh Helena, I love the way your mind works, it gives me new perspectives, and say, wholeheartedly, Thank you, really letting the boost land, sink in, reverberate within, the gift of the boost has been fully acknowledged. If, instead, perhaps I say Oh, well, thanks, but you give me new perspectives too, it’s almost as if I belittle the gift. As if I cannot receive without reciprocating in kind – which has the negative side-effect of people not really knowing if I truly mean what I say, or not.

Giving. Receiving.
Acts of kindness, both, whether or not it concerns boosts, or other things.
If one or the other makes you feel a but uncomfortable – practice. Give if you don’t really know how to. Receive if that makes you cringe. Because… when I give, someone else gets to receive. And when I receive, someone else gets to give.

Advent Calendar 2018 – number 19 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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Advent Calendar 2 – Help en route to become gentle with myself

December 2, 2018
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Pondering what has helped me learn how to be gentle with myself, I realize me, myself and I have been my foremost help and aide on this journey. I have let myself open up for insight, for new thoughts. For asking questions, and listening for the reply. I excel at intake, reading, listening, talking, taking in new stuff, getting hints and ideas worth trying, to see what I might gain from them.

Leonard Cohen famously wrote that there’s a crack in everything, and that’s where the light comes in. Then I recently read somewhere, that the crack is also where the light shines through from within. And that’s what I’ve let myself do (and become), a person where light can both enter, but also exit. I take in light – and I transmit light.

My loved ones have also been an integral part in me learning to be gentle towards myself. My ex-husband played a big part, and my children. They are the reason why I started therapy some 12-13 years ago or so. I didn’t want to be such an angry mom for them, and took help, because I was at a loss on how to transform myself.

I’ve attended a myriad of different courses, specifically coaching courses and summits of various kinds, but neither of these courses I’ve picked with the specific purpose of becoming gentle to me. And yet… they have all helped me reach the place where I can say, with complete honesty, that I am. Not 100% of the time and in all situations. Of course not. But that’s not a goal I strive for, becoming “perfect” in this sense.

My Mastermind-group and my #skolvåren back office-gang. Funnily enough these two major parts of my personal development (in many ways) both have their moment of birth in the first months of 2013.  The amount of stuff we’ve worked through together, sharing beliefs, knowledge, questions, fear, longings and bas the basis has been a general sense of curiosity, we’ve helped each other grow and expand. Enriching ourselves through continuous discussions  where the underlying love and respect we all have for each other sets the tone.

And then… all the conversations I’ve had. These have been a huge factor as well. Conversations with myself, as well as others. I have a few very intimate friends whom I’ve shared so much with – and thanks to their knowledge and wisdom, I’ve gained a deeper understanding of myself. And that in turn has also helped me become gentle towards myself.

And the benefits are massive. For myself, of course. Being harsh or gentle in my inner dialogue definitely makes a huge difference. For me. But it also impacts those I meet. If I am harsh with myself – it’s much more likely I will be harsh with you as well. Even thought that isn’t what I aim for. And logically, the opposite is true as well. The more gentle I am with me, the easier it is for me to be gentle with those in my vicinity.

Thanks to me opening up to both myself as those around me, letting these different avenues all help me learn to be more gentle with myself, my experience of life today is one which has me smile softly just writing these words. And I love how my body and my emotions so visibly guides me by showing me what serves me, and what doesn’t.

Advent Calendar 2018 – number 2 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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Doing gentle – 32 – Set up a Mastermind-group

August 21, 2016
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For three years now I’ve been a part of an official Mastermind-group. And it’s been more impactful than I think I’ve given it credit for. There’s four of us in my Mastermind-group, and we meet up roughly every third week. When we started, we all lived in the same city, and our meetup’s were physical. For the past almost two years, we’ve mostly done SKYPE-sessions, with members calling in from all over the globe.

For us, a meeting normally runs for two and a half hour, so there’s plenty of time. We set them up daytime, most often in the morning. We try to schedule a full semester of sessions when we have our first meeting every term (August and January). In the summer, before going for vacation, we go on a Mastermind-retreat, doing a bit of work, but mostly relaxing, enjoying ourselves and having a blast together.

We know each other so well by now, both work-wise but also personally, that our topics can center on anything, and I literally mean anything! But that’s been a journey, in and of itself. We didn’t start there. We’ve grown together, learned to trust and love one another. These are three souls who know me inside and out, people I know are always there for me, ready to hold space for me, give me a hug in hard times and kick my behind when I’ve gotten stuck and needs a jolt.

Every meeting one of us acts as chairman, and we always rotate this position.
Our fall-back agenda reads something like this, with somewhat fluid time slots, depending on our mood and needs, with a bit of bio-breaks here and there as well:

1) Check in – 3-5 minutes each

2) Every one provides their question of the day, something they need help with, or input on, or if there’s just something on your mind you’d like to speak into the room and perhaps get some feedback/feed forward on – 3-5-7 minutes each

3) Reflection round on the individual questions/topics, where the others give their input – 7-10-15 minutes each

4) Take-away of the day – 1-3 minute each

5) Feedback for the chairman – 2 minutes total

6) Boost session where we go around the table and boost each other, one by one – 3 minutes each

perchedSometimes, we have a specific topic for the meeting, and we experiment more with the content of the agenda, than we did when we first started our meetings. The first semester we had a facilitator as well, who invited us all to the Mastermind-group. That was very helpful, and I for one am very grateful for that initiative.

The Mastermind-concept was coined by Napoleon Hill, but was, as I understand it, a reflection he made after interviewing many of the most successful people in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s. The way we run our Mastermind is an adaptation to suit us, and I strongly urge you to try it out yourself! Surrounding yourself with people who will hold your back, while always holding you to be the best possible You will impact your life in ways you never imagined.

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I share thoughts on how I do gentle, and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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