perspectives

When the apocalypse comes

When the apocalypse comes

May 1, 2020
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On Being is a favorite podcast of mine, one I’ve listened to more or less since I discovered the world of pods, which might have been some 8-10 years ago or so.

Today, walking barefoot in the park, I had Ocean Vuong and Krista Tippett accompany me. Listened to the edited version, and once it was done (by then I had walked home, donned socks and gotten on my bike) I immediately started on the unedited one. By the time that one finished (which had me in garden garb, busy sowing sallad, digging up a few stray herbs and replanting them in the herb garden, cheered on by Pop the cat), I pressed PLAY yet again.

That’s how good it was. Or is.
I urge you to listen, for yourself, to see what you pick up on.

What calls to me most, right now, is this passage on Noah’s Ark:
[…] the preacher kept talking about Noah’s Ark, and I was so infatuated. I think it embedded into my psyche in really everything that I do, even to this day. What an incredible mythos to work and live by, which is that when the apocalypse comes, what will you put into the vessel for the future?

What a marvelous question, accompanied in the unedited version, with this:

The demand on an assessment of human good and value. And then also the abandonment of what is not useful. That confrontation of filtering for gold for the future.

Today, in a world suffering a global pandemic, this is a very apt perspective to take on.
To address. Not necessarily to answer, straight up and down, but to work with. Sit with. reflect upon. Talk about.

I, for one, have definitely thought more than once how glad I am that some (or perhaps even a lot?) of the – in my view, judgmental, I confess – mindless consumption of shit and stuff, has stopped, only to read the following in a New York Times-article:
Millions Had Risen Out of Poverty. Coronavirus Is Pulling Them Back.
Experts say that for the first time since 1998, global poverty will increase. At least a half billion people could slip into destitution by the end of the year.

Reading.
Forcing me to consider that, of course, there is a whole chain of people dependent upon just that mindless consumption, and if one stops, so does the economic wheels of the other.

And what bothers me the most is how it’s always the poorest and most exposed that bear the brunt of it. Regardless of what it is. Be it war, economic recession, pandemics or weather conditions…

This, for me, is one aspect of what #tankespjärn is.
Shifting perspectives, insights that however much I would like for there to be, there very rarely are Right’s or Wrong’s, making me reexamine my stance on things, my beliefs, my prejudices.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Advent Calendar 11 – I was the most negative person I knew

December 11, 2018
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I have been the most negative person I knew.

For real.

The shift came about when I was nine months pregnant with my first child, when my then-husband called to break up with me. I was shaken, understandably, but at the same time took the opportunity to ask do you like who you are Helena? I also dared answer, truthfully, and the answer was heck no. I am so fed up being me!

Because I did hate. Or rather, I used the word hate. Possibly what I intended was disliked, but the word I used was h a t e. And it’s a word I am extremely restrictive with today. I can’t even say that I know there’s anything I hate, honestly. Hate takes a lot of energy. And I don’t want to put my energy on to that which I don’t want more of. I would much rather put my energy on that which I do want to see more of.

It is also very powerful for me to state this:
I have been and no longer am the most negative person I know! 

Once in a while, I do fall into negativity. Of course. I am human.
But it’s hard for me – truly hard – to remain negative for long. I simply cannot stay there. My mind automatically starts to look at what-ever-is-the-issue-at-hand from different perspectives, making it impossible to stay negative. Guess three times if I prefer being the most negative person in the world, or the opposite?


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 11 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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On the issue of the day

November 20, 2018
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in Tip
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I often return to blog posts of the past. My blog posts of the past. As I’ve been blogging for 6 years – more or less daily for 5 of those years – there are quite a few blog posts to choose from.

When there’s an interesting article or question or observation asked, many times I am reminded of something I’ve written that is relevant to whatever prompted the connection being made in my mind. So I search for it (and oftentimes find what I am looking for. Not always though) and can share what I’ve written and pondered about… about whatever really. Fear. Mistakes. Dancing. Coaching. Existential questions. Anything really!

And what is apparent, is how timeless many of my posts are. They can be recent or have 5 years to them, and still be as relevant today as when I wrote them. It’s not valid for all of them though, and listening to Seth Godin on Good Life Project, I got some insight into why that is. Seth was telling Jonathan Fields about “the issue of the day” and how he makes a point n o t to write about is – in specifics (listen from about 49 minutes in):

I care enough about my vision of the world that if I thought that I could change the way we did things by blogging about it, specifically, I would do it. But I feel like, a) chiming in on the issue of the day is a trap because it protects us from having to take responsibility for a larger view. […]
I think you can read at least half my blog posts as political, but none of them are saying Today, I think this person is wrong and this person is right, because as soon as I do that it’s so easy to ignore what I said because I am not on the right team, what ever team you want to be on. And so, I don’t want to play that sort of short-term tribal thing. Instead I want to say thank you to people from where ever you are coming from for giving me two minutes of your time, think about this. And if you think about this and still want to support that, well that’s your choice because you are a grown-up. Because I don’t believe what you believe, I don’t know what you know, I don’t want what you want. But here, here is a thought that feels to me coherent, and hard to argue with, and I notice things, do you notice this? And I know that that kind of input has influenced my life coming up, particularly as a teenager and surely thereafter, way more than when someone says this person is right, that person is wrong.

This is truly food for thought for me, and in how and what I write. Because I do chime in, now and again, on the specifics of the issues of the day. And those are posts that have a much shorter lifespan than posts that take the larger view.

I love how a new thought can open up for new perspectives – will this lead to changes in how and what I write? Or not?

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The deep democracy of open forums (book 21 of 26)

October 21, 2018
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in Tip
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“Today’s democracy is like an old dance. We need a new dance, a deeper democracy, based on awareness of what it happening inside ourselves and others.”

A couple of years ago, Mr D gave me The deep democracy of open forums, by Arnold Mindell, for my birthday, and for that, I am eternally grateful – now, that I’ve finally read it, that is! The thought behind the gift, any gift, always warms my heart. But reading it, I understand why he gifted me this book. Right up my alley, and most definitely a book with a lot of food for thought!

One of the ways I show up in the world these past 5-10 years or so, is making use of my heightened ability to look at things from different perspectives. I have gotten good at it, in many ways, and in different situations.

“Without some form of awareness training, within the privacy of our inner autonomy, most of us behave like tyrants. When it comes to recognizing different aspects of ourselves, we become dictators who simply refuse to do so. If we are strong, we ignore our shyness. If we are harmonious, we repress and/or deny our anger.”

And yet, reading The deep democracy of open forums, I realize there are many more aspects of “different perspectives” that I have yet to acknowledge. There so much more to become aware of, not in the least that which is not visibly present, and yet, so significant, for instance unvoiced sentiments and feelings, ghosts of the past or of those not physically present yet very much there, and so much more.

“Power is less important than awareness. If you have awareness, you do not need power. You need power only if you are fighting something. Awareness does not fight; it may notice fighting and other things happening, but it does not identify with or judge those things. When awareness is present, the spontaneous behavior of everyone is awakened and unpredictable processes emerge that are what’s best for all.”

This book has given me a deeper appreciation and understanding of the importance of taking all perspectives into consideration, on everything really, but I guess to narrow it down, it might be helpful if I say “all perspectives of conflicts”, even though, truly, my appreciation for where a heightened awareness comes in handy goes way beyond “simply conflict”. Awareness is always beneficial – even when it might not be immediately apparent.

“If you notice change, change happens. You need awareness, not power, to notice and follow the unceasing flow of change.” 


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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