serve me

There’s a conversation for me to have

There’s a conversation for me to have

August 6, 2020
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There’s a conversation for me to have.
It’s prompted by one of my boundaries having been violated.
If that’s the word? Breached, might be a better choice.

I don’t set a lot of boundaries.
I think…
I’m not certain here. At all.
I do know I used to have a whole bunch of boundaries in place, boundaries which mostly did not serve me, but rather made it easier for me to be the person I did not want to be. So perhaps –quite likely even– I’ve gone too far in the opposite direction, and now have too few boundaries in place. Which makes it harder for me to be the person I want to be.

So there’s a conversation for me to have.
To enforce my boundary.
Or perhaps, rather, to honor me. Stand by me.
Be true to the one person that means more than any other in my life. Me.

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Going about my day in flow

March 5, 2020
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Tired last night after a long and intense day, I started to make my green smoothie for this morning, as I knew I would be more tired in the morning than last night before hitting the sack.

So I filled her up, my Bosch mixer… banana, apple, spinach leaves, parsley, ginger, spirulina, hemp protein powder, home grounded rose hip powder, sesame seeds, a bit of cauliflower stalk, water and whey. Pressed ON and was amazed at the difference in sound. Normally it makes quite a lot of noise, but it’s contained noise somehow. This time, I paused, turned around to look at it, and realized I’d forgotten to put on the lid. The difference in sound had to do with the fact that half-mixed bits of whatever I’d put in the container, was being sprayed onto my kitchen top and walls.

I was quick to press OFF, and then had no option but to clean up my mess.

Got it all sorted – quite gross actually, in those few seconds of mixing without a lid, the machine managed to spew out what looked a lot like barf –, and had a bottle ready in the fridge for my early departure today.

Which I remembered when I was halfway to the train station, on my bike…

Oh well.
It is what it is.
And it’s not in my bag, but in my fridge.

Nothing to do about that, it would mess up my schedule to turn around and fetch the bottle, so I trampled on instead, and will soon send a text to my colleague whom I will be working with in the morning, asking if I can make myself some porridge or something when I get to her.

That’s me dancing with whatever knocks on my door, solving what needs to be solved, working around what can be worked around, and simply going about my day in flow. Not wasting energy beating myself up for being stupid enough for forgetting the smoothie. Not wasting energy worrying about how to solve the issue of getting some breakfast. Acknowledging what is, and moving on, knowing it’s not a big deal.

This is one way I’ve automated my responses to what-ever-happens through the help of the question How does this serve me? I no longer have to actively ask it of myself (which I’ve done thousands of times, probably tens of thousands!), it’s as if my system does that automatically, and I just pop out again, ready to dance with the next thing that knocks on my door.

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Automate it!

February 6, 2019
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in Tip
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Automate it, I said, and she frowned. That sounds like robots and stuff, she responded and had me off on a rant about the marvel of automating things, and how it can be robots and stuff, certainly, but also what I make automatic in my life. Like the question Does this serve me? which I’ve asked myself thousands of times since… 2012?

In fact, I’ve asked myself this question so many times, that I no longer have to ask it to answer it. It’s now something I do automatically, whenever (or at least most of the times) I experience a really strong sensation, be it anger, irritation, frustration, fear, sadness, anxiety, worry. Or for that matter extreme elation, joy, curiosity, bubbling eagerness. The script of does this serve me runs automatically, and my response has me make a more conscious decision. It gives me just enough of a pause, or a distance if you will, to be able to observe what I am experiencing and respond to the question.

If the answer is yes I keep on going. If the answer is no sometimes I keep going anyway, taking full responsibility for it, and sometimes (most of the times, I would like to think) I stop, since the pause I’ve given myself gives me a way out somehow.

Insights are amazing. They are one of, if not the best superpowers of human beings. One of the most impactful insights I’ve gotten was that I don’t have to be so hard on myself. Sounds silly almost, but I was actually about… let’s see… 35 years old when I fully got this. So for 35 years, I lived with an extremely harsh inner dialogue. But – and this is important – just because I got the insight, didn’t mean that I automatically stopped being hard on myself. You see, for 35 years, I’d very efficiently built a whole system of neural pathways on how to be hard on myself. And just because I got that insight, those pathways didn’t disintegrate. They didn’t, because neural pathways don’t. (Unless you have a neural degenerative disease of some sort. Luckily, most of us don’t.) So what I had to do, once I got that insight, was learn new ways of interacting with myself.

I was helped along by my willingness to change my inner dialogue (which definitely also affected the way I interacted with everyone else. As above, so below and all that stuff!) and my observatory powers. I started to observe myself being hard on me. At first… it could take me hours (if not days) to spot it, after the fact, that is. After a stint of that, my revelatory observations crept closer and closer to the actual situation, and before I knew it, I was picking up on my soon-to-be-harsh inner dialogue. Before it happened. When that happened, I had a choice. Harsh. Or gentle. And I could pick which route to go down. And once I started picking gentle I started to build new neural pathways, training myself into new patterns of being with me.

Now 10-11 years after that first initial insight of not having to treat myself so harshly, I’ve gotten sooo good at being gentle with me. Not soft. Not weak. Not letting myself off the hook, and never challenging me. No, not even close to that! I challenge myself so much more now that I no longer fear my internal judge! So in a sense, I’ve not just automated does this serve me, but also being gentle with myself.

Both of these are ”automated scripts” that I find truly serve me as well as those around me.

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Magic trick?

May 12, 2018
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As I reflect on recent weeks, it hit’s me, hard: I’ve gotten really good at being gentle towards myself. This ”quest” of mine, that I’ve worked at for so long. It all started right before my first child was born, when me and my then husband split up. I wasn’t aware that what I was aiming for was the concept of being gentle towards myself, but in hindsight, it was. The time I didn’t have cash in hand to pay for a therapy session some six or seven years later was my first conscious experience that I actually did have a choice. That I could be gentler with myself, than was my habit (since forever…).

Now. In situations I’d previously label ”difficult”, it’s as if I see what’s the core issue, and I go straight for it, rather than get lost in the potential drama and upset;which, don’t get me wrong, isn’t ”wrong”. It simply doesn’t do anything for me anymore. It does not serve me, or the situation at hand. At all.

And no. Of course this isn’t my demeanor 100% of the time when it would be prudent. But more and more. And each time, I learn, and so, chances are I will respond wiser, more discerning (new favorite word!), based on what serves – not just me, but all involved! – the situation best.

The magic trick!Another typical situation, which also has me coming to this conclusion, is when I’m in conversation with friends and loved ones, them sharing their inner turmoil with me; how their inner dialogue is both harsh and judgmental, making me see, again and again, that my inner dictators truly have left the building. And what a difference it makes. As I told myself the other day in a morning walking meditation ending up with five minutes of personal pep talk, ”It’s wonderful to be Helena today, so much nicer than just a few years ago!”. It really is, making it much easier for me to continue with a gentle and loving acceptance of myself (and as a fantastic bonus: of everyone around me as well!).

So. Is it the combo, then? The ”doing gentle” hooking up with discernment (best question ever: How is this serving me/the situation? Is it?) – is that the magic trick?

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Doing gentle – 41 – Ask questions

October 23, 2016
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Having gone gentle on myself, I am much more curious about myself, and hence, also ask myself all sorts of questions these days, questions which I never would have dared voice even inwardly five-ten years ago. With my gentle approach towards myself, I’ve let go of a lot of the judgment which means I allow myself the freedom to ask, and answer, all sorts of questions and queries, and truly be open to whatever answer pops up.

Because of that, I have gotten much better at asking questions. Both of me and those around me. One such question is How does this serve me?, which I’ve asked myself over and over again the past years. And yes, How does this serve you? is also a question I’ve asked of many others, especially my coaching clients. duoFunnily enough, the most common answer seems to be Hm. It doesn’t serve me. Why on earth am I doing this?

However, I notice that the hardest questions to ask, are to those I feel very close to, those who are important to me. I’ve recently realized I hold myself emotionally captive with regards to what Others, those important others, think. Or as it were, what I think they might be thinking…

And off I go, believing I am a great mind-reader. Clearly not something which serves me. So. It’s time for me to ask more questions, and stop holding myself hostage.

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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