Rainer Maria Rilke

Governed by irony?

Governed by irony?

July 13, 2017
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BoldomaticPost_Do-not-let-yourself-be-govern“Do not let yourself be governed by [irony], especially not in unproductive moments.”

I’ve just written a piece, that might just be overfilled with irony. Perhaps that’s why I haven’t published it, but rather sent it to a select few, asking their opinion, whether or not I should.

The fact that I am not immediately pressing publish in WordPress, is answer enough though, and sure thing, I don’t have to wait long for my friends to revert with wise input, giving me food for thought.

“Seek for the depth of things: there irony never descends.”

I will heed Rainer Maria Rilke, and take my text at least one step deeper, possibly two. Sleeping on it will surely help. And then we’ll just have to wait and see whether it will see the light of day. Or not?

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke.

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#blogg100 – Beyond the simple and quiet words.

June 2, 2017
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“[…] do not think that the man who seeks to comfort you lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words which sometimes do you good. His life has much hardship and sadness and lags far behind you. If it were otherwise, he could never have found those words.”

multi-dimensionalI was reminded of these words by Rilke – penned in a letter to the young poet, corresponding with Rilke back and forth; letters which have been turned into the book Letters to a young poet, a book which I’ve read a couple of times, and will definitely revisit again, when the time is right – during a CoachWalk with a client. The blissed-out-and-always-happy-camper-personas that sometimes is what comes across, in interaction with someone in one form or another, I perceive as shallow and one-dimensional. And as I honestly don’t think anyone actually can be one-dimensional, I conclude that they probably aren’t, even though it seems to me, they work hard at making it appear as if they are.

Anyway. People are not one-dimensional, we are multi-dimensional, and as such, the entire spectrum of emotions is present, at one time or another. For me, it’s a deliberate choice to try to share not just a few ”happy and blissed out”-aspects of my emotional spectrum, but to share a broader range of what I face, as a soul having a human experience here on Earth. Come hell or high water, I try to let myself feel it all. Sometimes that can be very painful. And sometimes it’s bliss!

People that I, in turn, listen to, speaking words that sometimes does me good – are multi-dimensional as well. Light and shadow – co-existing and in the contrast of one against the other, I gain a sense of perspective and – sometimes – a touch of wisdom, coming to me in the form of insights. I try to listen to the words that are being said, because I do think words matter, but at the same time, I know that what’s behind the words matter even more. Sydney Banks takes it even one step further when he states that:

“Words are merely a form. Listen not to words, but to that which words attempt to convey.”

That’s what I believe was the difference that made a difference in the life of the young poet – he noticed something in the direction of the words that Rilke wrote, something that gave him the strength to carry on writing.

For me to be able to listen to that which the words are attempting to convey, I have to be open to what happens within me, while listening. Sometimes easy, sometimes hard; but as I persist, in time, it does get less and less hard I’ve found. It’s as if I’m fine-tuning my ability to listen beyond the words, picking up on smaller and smaller nuances, getting to know myself on a deeper level. Beyond the simple and quiet words.

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 94 of 100.
A mash-up of the book “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke and “The missing link” by Sydney Banks.
English posts here, Swedish at
herothecoach.com.

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#blogg100 – Changed.

May 22, 2017
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“We could easily be made to believe that nothing had happened, and yet we have been changed, as a house is changed into which a guest has entered.”

Do you notice how you change? Day by day, year by year, and finally, decade by decade?

Sometimes it’s hard to notice how I change over time; the change itself slips me by somehow. It’s as if I cannot put a finger on it, being too subtle a change to pinpoint. Really only obvious once I am face to face with myself, in a situation where my actions – or lack thereof – are so completely different to what I would have done in the past. Startling at times, or shocking. Sometimes I give myself a great big self-hug, so pleased at the apparent change.

changeThe other day, texting with dear and close friends, I realized that one significant change in me, is how I’ve come to accept what is, to a degee that I never have before. When I talk to clients about my current understanding of acceptance, I show it, physically. Not accepting, I stand, turning backwards, and fight what is. Spend all my energy trying to un-make what is, which never works, by the way. It is a futile war waged against the past, trying to undo what has already occurred. With acceptance, I turn, facing ahead, knowing what is is, using my energy more deliberately, to create and to instigate a change that I am attracted to and excited about.

The difference this has caused in how I experience my life, is so grand I don’t know what words to use to describe it. A large part of it is the energy-conservation – not wasting my energy fighting what is. With the energy not spent in futility, the possibility for creation is… ripe, apparent, infinite? Always and already, creation is right there at my fingertips; anything can happen, anytime.

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 83 of 100.
The book “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke.
English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.

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#blogg100 – On creation and criticism.

May 15, 2017
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“Works of art are of an infinite solitariness, and nothing is less likely to bring us near to them than criticism. Only love can apprehend and hold them, and can be just towards them. Decide each time according to yourself and your feelings in the face of every such declaration, discussion or introduction; if you should still be wrong, the natural growth of your inner life will lead you slowly in the course of time to other perceptions. Let your judgments have their own quiet, undisturbed development, which must, like all progress, come from deep within, and cannot in any way be pressed or hurried. It means everything to carry for the full time and then to bring forth. To allow every impression and every germ of a feeling to grow to completion wholly in yourself, in the darkness, in the unutterable, unconscious, inaccessible to your own understanding, and to await with deep humility and patience the hour of birth of a new clarity: that is alone what living as an artist means: in understanding as in creation.”

gerilla artOh.
How that rings true within me.

…nothing is less likely to bring us near to them than criticism. 

For sure, good can and might come out of criticism, but just imagine the amount of ”works of art” not born to this world, due to the fear of being criticized alone. And not but from others. I believe many have the most strident critic within them; stopping works of art from being born, out of fear of what inner or outer critics might (or might not!) say.

…the natural growth of your inner life will lead you slowly in the course of time to other perceptions.

So please. Create.
Knowing there’s no hurry. No rush.
Let it take its time and be whatever it wants to be.
But do not withhold that within you that which is to be, that which wants to be… perhaps even, that which must be?

It means everything to carry for the full time and then to bring forth.

Once born, it might not be, what you wanted it to. But the next creation, might. Or the one after.
In time, I believe it will. To get there, one has to let go, and let come, that which wants to happen.

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 76 of 100.
The book “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke.
English posts here, Swedish at
herothecoach.com.

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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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#blogg100 – The unknown.

April 24, 2017
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“…perhaps we should then bear our sorrows with greater confidence than our joys. For they are the moments when something new, something unknown, has entered into us; our feelings grow dumb with shy confusion, everything in us retires, a stillness supervenes, and the new thing that no one knows stands silent there in the midst.”

In its silence, easy to overlook, if nothing else but for the reason that we do not know it. Do not recognise it. Have no recollection of ever having met it, before.

And if we spot it, being able to let our sorrow go, in order to let this new insight come, the new, the unknown having entered into us, is not always the easiest of human feats. Letting go – to let come – isn’t. Easy, that is. The attachment, to our grief, our sorrow, to the injustices we’ve suffered; the suffering itself something we cling to, believing it defines us, makes us who we are.
Framework of me

And if it does, define us, define me, making me who I am, it is because I put that meaning upon it. It is I who am the sense-making machine, not the sorrow, nor the joy. It is the sense I make of it, the meaning I place upon it, the builds the framework of Me. A framework that can be limiting, but does not have to be.

That which makes all the difference being the level of attachment I have to it – if I am flexible to see the purpose of it, right now, right here, as is, without desperately hanging on to it tomorrow, when the need for something else is apparent, when what is, is different from what was, and hence, the access to a different framework is dependent upon myself, and my willingness to let go. Let go of that which did serve me, once, yesterday, but no longer does, today.

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 55 of 100.
The book “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke.
English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.

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#blogg100 – Ask it.

April 21, 2017
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“And your doubt can become a good quality if you train it. It must become aware, it must become criticism. Ask it, whenever it wants to spoil something for you, why something is ugly, demand proofs from it, test it, and you will perhaps find it helpless and nonplussed, perhaps also aggressive. But do not give way, demand arguments and conduct yourself thus carefully and consistently every single time, and the day will dawn when it will become, instead of a subverter, one of your best workmen, – perhaps the cleverest of all who are building at your life.”

Ask it!

Ask itOh how simple, and yet – why do I have the feeling I am not the only one to not have asked my doubt Why, nearly as much as warranted? Demanding proof of it, and thus, giving myself a chance to distance myself from it. A reprieve, making me doubt my doubt, as it were.

I simply never knew I could ask anything of it, taking it as Truth, believing all but the most outrageous statements made by it.

Honestly though, by It here, I don’t just mean my doubt, I mean all my thinking. Whatever thoughts pop into my brain, I do not have to take them at face value. I can ask how it serves me, to believe the message and take action on it. And if the answer is that it doesn’t (or for that matter, that I do not know if it serves me, which to me implies that it doesn’t), I can let it go. At that moment, my mind is truly the cleverest of workmen, building at my life.

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 52 of 100.
The book “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke.

English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.

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#blogg100 – For ever a beginning.

April 17, 2017
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“Do you not see, then, how everything that happens is for ever a beginning?”

What would happen if I were to live life from that standpoint for a day, a week, a year?
That everything, whatever it is, is a beginning. Of something or other.

Resigning from work. A beginning of a new – and perhaps untested – way of earning a living.
Moving house. The opportunity to get to know a new neighborhood.
Meeting and making a new friend. A whole new vista opening up before – and within – me.
Learning a new language. Perhaps falling in love with a whole culture, wanting to spend more and more time there.
Bidding a loved one farewell, perhaps from old age, disease, an accident. Pain barely bearable, and yet, a page is turned, and something new begins. Perhaps unwanted, resisted, undesired… and yet: there it is.

a new vistaEverything that happens is, for ever, a beginning, he wrote, and I wonder if I (MeYouWe?) have learned too well to hang on to what is, for fear of what might be? For fear of what new beginnings might come into fruition, beginnings into something I know nothing about, have never tried before, something which opens up a totally unknown vista before my eyes? Something that might require me to make shifts in how I live my life, shifts which impact others around me as well?

“Do you not see, then, how everything that happens is for ever a beginning?”

Yes. I do.
I simply haven’t thought about it before in quite so an all-encompassing manner, and… lo and behold, it excites me. Not frightened, but excited, I vow to put this spin on things more deliberately from now on – letting come that which wants to happen.

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 48 of 100.
The book “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke.
English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.

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#blogg100 – Your most silent hour.

April 14, 2017
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“…grow through your development quietly and seriously; you can interrupt it in no more violent manner than by looking outwards, and expecting answer from outside to questions which perhaps only your innermost feelings in your most silent hour can answer.”

Stabat MaterToday is Good Friday, and if ever there is a day where the (Christian) expectation is to be in the most silent hour, this is the one. I for one, will be singing today. Stabat Mater by Jens Eriksson, our choir director and composer of this marvellous piece of music, which we performed for the first time exactly a year ago. This piece does invite contemplation, some of the parts are so beautiful, it makes me tear up when I am performing it (or listening to it, which I do, a lot!).

Reverting to Rilke though, the notion that looking for answers from outside is a violent interuption of personal development, and the futility of believing that that is where they reside, the answers. Outside of ourselves, the place many look, similar to the old man who lost his house keys and was found looking for them underneath the lamp post on the street. Kindhearted folks came to help him, and asked where he lost the keys, and the man answered how he lost them “over there” – pointing in another direction – but as there was no lamp post there, he wouldn’t be able to find the keys in the dark, so he was searching here in the light.

Hands up anyone who’s ever searched outside of yourself for an answer, which you perhaps knows can only be found within, but you simply cannot make yourself go there… but why? What is it we so fear within ourselves? Is it the dark, the shame, the weakness, the failures and all that we wish we were not? Or is it the light, that Marianne Williamsson so eloquently refers to?

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 45 of 100.
The book “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke.
English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.

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#blogg100 – Observe yourself.

April 12, 2017
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“Do not observe yourself too closely.
Do not draw too rapid conclusions from what happens to you;
let it simply happen to you.”

Yes.

But also – No! A strong and resounding No rising from within the depths of me, reverberating in my entire being.

Perhaps my fervent opposition to Rainer Maria Rilkes two sentences is his use of the words observation and drawing conclusions, without using also the word judgement. Because there is nothing that has helped me as much to Live life as it happens to me, as the ability to observe myself. But here’s the clou: To observe myself, without judgement. Rilkes “rapid conclusions” in my mind is to do with making judgements.

chainsOnce I learned to observe myself (which for me means the ability to bear witness to myself, to all that I am experiencing, while simultaneously seeing what I am experiencing – I am in it, but at the same time outside of it) and fully understood that whatever I am thinking isn’t Truth, but rather a filter which shapes the experience of the world I am in, life changed. Oh how it changed! It became possible for me to let life happen, without me having to fight it each and every inch of the way. No longer shackled to the harsh voices within.

Because simultaneously, my inner Judge and Dictator lost its power over me and my life. He could be shouting at me (I often liken him to a combination of Hitler/Mao/Stalin. Perhaps a bit dramatic, but hey, that’s what it felt like to be me), the same things he’d been shouting at me for years on end, relentlessly, and all of a sudden… I was able to let it be. To avoid engaging with it. To avoid the conclusions stemming from an internal dialogue telling me You are so dumb!, You should have known better! and Why on earth would you ever do something that stupid, haven’t you learnt anything?.

Once I stopped paying attention to the harsh inner dialogue of mine, the tone of it shape shifted, into something that gradually turned into the ability to be gentle towards myself. And from that place, whatever happens to me, as I am living my life, is easier to handle with grace, come what may.

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 43 of 100.
The book “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke.
English posts here, Swedish at
herothecoach.com.

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