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A sensory gateway to feeling

A sensory gateway to feeling

October 9, 2020
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The bottom line:
Letting my inner child come out and play, reveling in the experiences she presents me with. What a gift!

Having stayed indoors for a couple of days, recuperating from a head cold, when I’d finished my GoT-poncho and the sun was shining… I donned said poncho and headed out. I live just across the street from a lovely recreational area, which is a place I love walking in. (To the extent that I call it my office, given the fact that I do CoachWalks with clients there.)

Wanted a few more photos of the poncho, so I played around with the timer on my iPhone camera, finding a bench where I could –with a bit of luck– prop my phone up to snap a few.

Kept walking, reveling in the crisp air, the smell of fall, the colors of summer leaving, the moist grass and the rough texture of the gravel. Because even though I wore a coat, and my poncho, I’d opted for barefoot. Wanting to maximize it, taking every chance I get, and honestly, it’s not until the temperatures drop close to freezing that it starts to get somewhat painful to walk barefoot.

Came across a young couple with a toddler of maybe one and a half years. No more. Possibly slightly less. The little one was all donned in rain gear (yes, sun shining brightly a n d the occasional drop of rain) with sturdy waterproof boots, exploring the pools of water on the graveled path. Looked at me, step-step-stepping in a puddle, and I smiled. Walked a few steps, coming across another puddle, so I stepped in it, turning towards the toddler, and step-step-stepped in the pool of water, loving the feel of the water splashing about my bare feet. I looked at the child and smiled, with eyes and mouth. The toddler looked at me, eyes opening wide in surprise, taking in the fact that here was this big person, with bare feet, step-step-stepping in a puddle. Looking at dad, he/she was reassured by dad who said Yes, she’s doing the same thing you are!, winking towards me.

I bade them farewell with a nod and yet another smile and went my way, only to step in a patch of grass-turned-to-squishy-mud along the side of the path, having the mud squeeze its way most deliciously up in-between my toes, looking down at my muddied feet, laughing. At life. At sensations. At sunshine and rain. At freedom, of expression, of exploration, of norm. Bare feet giving me a very visceral anchor, in direct contact with my surroundings, a sensory gateway to f e e l i n g. There’s nothing quite like it!

 


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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As something that Is.

March 29, 2020
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Wrote this long post on moving my body more since I seem to be glued to my computer these days, only to realize that ain’t it for today’s post. 

You see… I just finished setting up my Patreon #tankespjärn community page.
I will press the Launch -button tomorrow.
The site is crude with plenty of room for improvement, but I will launch.
And I will tweak! I promise. There’s plenty to do – both on the community-site, and concerning other websites etc… But I do not want to be stuck polishing my phone, before I put this out there. I mean, hey, perhaps the phone needs to be polished a lot less than I imagine it has to.

So I want to get it out there, to start to play and experiment, and no longer talk about this community as if it’s something that is to happen.
But rather.
As something that Is.

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2020 – with my body in focus

January 1, 2020
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These past years, the intention of the coming year has come to mind around New Years, when I’ve been busy gathering my thoughts on the experiences of the year past, high’s and low’s alike, to sum up, and clean my slate for what is to come. The intention for 2020 came to me a couple of months ago, when I, in a moment of total clarity, just knew that it is with my body in focus that I will start off the new decade.

With my body in focus Is as yet undefined. I will not write a detailed list of exactly what I will be doing this year, like a minimum of x runs/bike trips/swims/walks/gym sessions per week/month/year and so on. No. Not like that. Because I do not know. Instead, I will play around with my body as the theme, the challenge is (being gentle with myself, not to worry about that) to develop more strength, suppleness, endurance. I want to better my ability to stand on one leg, to squat, to get a stronger and supple back that can sleep in beds not my own without causing me pain, want to be able to do proper and more sit-ups and push-ups, chin-ups och pull-ups, want to build strength and movement in my feet and get rid of the big toe joint pains I suffer since biking into a rock foot first, November 2018. I will dance lindy hop as much and often as I can, both taking classes and attending social dance’s, and more than anything, I will take regular movement-breaks when I do what I am doing right now: sitting in front of the computer.

Last year’s intention As I am was easy to follow up on a monthly basis, precisely because I’d written it so detailed and specific. Even though this intention is far from just that, I still want to commit to a monthly follow up on with my body in focus because it’s such a good way to keep the intention top of mind. I will surely reflect on the actual facts of what I’ve done each month, the number of kilometers on my bike and on foot I’ve been logging since September 2009, so that type of data (and habit!) is easily accessible. But I want to compliment my monthly reflections with what I experience, the feelings the theme awakens within, the differences I observe and what it means to me.

So.
With my body in focus, I start 2020 by taking a walk down to lake Boren for the first cold bath of the year as well as the decade.

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I write. But not lyrics. Yet?

February 9, 2019
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I write.
Not as much as I read. But I write.
Since August 2012 in the form of blogging, before that (and also after) more writing at work… the number of routines, and test protocols and reports of various kinds I’ve written during the years, you’d not want to know, neither would I.

This will be my 2105th blog post (Swedish and English, the latter 20% of the total), and I intend to continue blogging as long as I find value in it. It serves me, and I enjoy it. So I write and will continue writing.

Recently, a glimmer of an opportunity to write lyrics have arisen, and I wonder… how to write lyrics? Lyrics first, and then someone will put music to it? Or music first, and I put lyrics to it? Can I? Should I?

Smile at me, shake my head a bit, and know full well that the answer is this:
Try it. Experiment. Play with it. See what happens, how it unfolds, if there’s something there – it will become obvious. If not, that will also become obvious. Why make it harder than it has to be?

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2019. As I am.

January 1, 2019
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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! 

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Daring greatly, with my guitar on my lap

September 21, 2017
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A year ago I started to take guitar lessons, every other Monday for forty minutes. That was about all the playing I did, despite having a clear image in my mind of me sitting with friends around a log fire on the beach, playing the guitar and singing. It looks so alluring. As a child I played the piano, and here’s a given: you do not bring the piano down to the beach to sit around a fire, playing and singing.

This summer I decided to play twenty minutes a day, for sixty days, and quickly got results. So when I heard Mandy Harvey sing Try on America’s Got Talent, I googled the chords and lyric and printed them out. I figured out a simple strumming pattern and started to practice.

On my own – no problem. I sing and play with all I’ve got. But as soon as my daily twenty minutes had to take place with people around (my closest family), either I got extremely self-conscius – having me try to play and sing, as opposed to actually playing and singing – or I simply skipped practice altogether.

But when we had a temporary house guest for a week, staying in the living room on account of not having a spare bedroom to offer him, I decided to stop with the “trying”. So I sat down, guitar in hand, and started to play and sing. For real. (The response I got was a “You’re not all bad at that!”.)

That same week we had my youngest niece staying for a night, and when the three youngsters in the house were busy watching YouTube, playing games and cuddle with Pop the cat, I pulled out my guitar and did my daily twenty. When I put the guitar away, my niece turned to me and said Oh, that was so nice!, giving me a bit of good “sitting around the fire on the beach”-vibes for the future.

And then I figured it out: The ultimate challenge for me! I set a reminder on my phone to bring the guitar on Friday morning. So when Pernilla Tillander, my partner-in-crime for a specific assignment for all the pre-school staff in a small Swedish commune, came to pick me up Friday morning, I opened the back door and tossed my guitar in the back. Pernilla turned around, said A guitar? How exciting! and I told her my plan:

We talk a lot about courage, being role models, and daring to do even though you might not be a fully fledged professional, so I figured I’d sing and play the song Try, what do you think about that?

Pernilla being Pernilla, was all for it, of course!

So that Friday I sat, guitar on my lap, and sang, morning and afternoon, for forty and fifty people respectively, after telling them this story. And you know what? I didn’t die, not even once. And the sky didn’t come crashing down. And none of it happened on the following Monday either, when I did a repeat performance for the last group of a total of seventy people!

Singing Try

If I messed up noow and again, both with my singing and my playing?
You bet, several times. That’s on the house!
If I felt less and less nervous each time?
You bet, the third time around my voice carried much better than the first two times.
If I’ve sung and played the guitar in front of pretty large groups?
You bet. Amazing!
If I would consider doing it again?
You bet!

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The Gift of Play

July 2, 2017
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in Tip
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Playing with SixtenInspired by my friend Michael Sillion I’ve started to gift people a podcast, or a blog post, or something else that I perceive to be virtual and meaningful, on their birthday. And I find that the podcast I most often feel like gifting to people, is the On Being episode with Stuart Brown “Play, Spirit and Character”.

It’s an episode which I’ve listened to many times by now, and which I will listen to many times to come as well. Stuarts voice reminds me of Martin Sheen, whose episode on On Being also is a keeper. So when I listen to Stuart, I get the added bonus of being reminded of the wisdom shared by Martin in “Spirituality of Imagination” which I have recommended in a previous blog post.

The conversation centers on the importance of play for a person to grow up, develop and blossom into a full human being. The implications of not being allowed to play during childhood, are severe, and yet, what I find so fascinating in this conversation is my joy at discovering that we are built to play throughout our lives, even “as adults”.

“… the human being really is designed biologically to play throughout the life cycle. And that, and from my standpoint as a clinician, when one really doesn’t play at all or very little in adulthood, there are consequences: rigidities, depression, lack of adaptability, no irony — you know, things that are pretty important, that enable us to cope in a world of many demands.”

Playing with PopTo engage in a little “guilt-free purposelessness” each and every day, is one of the main messages I take from this talk. Stuart also describes his experience of play as having “some sense of timelessness and freedom and purposelessness” or the more poetic description as being “outside of time”. That phrase has such a lovely ring to it, and I know just the feeling! Hoping you do too? And don’t get thrown by the word p l a y as such. There’s a lot of things that can be included in the term p l a y, so if you are engaged in an activity of any kind and experiencing being outside of time – you don’t have to look any further than that.

So play on – because life truly is meant to be a playground!

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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Doing gentle – 11 – Play!

March 27, 2016
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Play. Oh how I have resisted this. Taken myself so seriously. The pain I’ve inflicted upon myself, telling myself it’s important to be right, vital not to appear silly, crucial to be well-poised and serious. Pain. Yes. I use that word. Because it’s been painful. The loss of face can hurt a lot, when the concept of face has been blown out of all proportions in my inner dialogue. When I’ve created a narrative around myself, that being playful, silly, happy and lighthearted is wrong. Bad. A sign of a weak character. Unworthy. And so on…

Guess what?play
I have started to practice to play. To experiment with it. With me.

And it’s gotten to the point, where I am quite good at playing mentally. In my mind, with my thoughts. I’ve learned not to take my thoughts so seriously, not putting so much weight on them. But physically…. that’s harder for me. I’ve kept myself under such a tight regime, not allowing my body to express playfulness, silliness, happiness.

What if I let the little child within out? Allowing, no, more than that, inviting her to come out and play? When I do, I feel silly. Self-conscious, oh so self-conscious. Thinking everybody is looking at me, pointing fingers, laughing at how silly I am. Sometimes it helps knowing that everybody else has the same thoughts. Or at least, a huge majority does. But why should I let this stop me? How does that serve me?

What if, we all stopped taking ourselves so seriously? What if, we lived life, as if life is a playground instead? A place to play, experiment, have fun, be silly, laugh until we wet our pants, and expand as human beings?

Welcome to my new website, 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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