sleep

The stress indicators

The stress indicators

June 5, 2020
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Hard to ignore, the stress indicators. Having a hard time getting to bed. Waking early and/or intermittently throughout the night. Having a hard time holding it together (you should have seen my reaction to this America’s Got Talent clip – moved to tears above and beyond my normal reactions to AGT/BGT-clips!). And, today, the best tell-tale sign of them all, the fluttering eyelid. All of these indicators have been my companions now and again throughout adult life (and probably even before).

The difference is my greater awareness about them. I see them. I feel them. I notice them. And, I know what to do about them as well. At the moment, I do what I can during the weekends to make sure I rest, relax, read. Spending time in the garden is a great way to ground me. I recharge enough to make sure I can do what needs to be done the upcoming week without running dangerously low on battery.

It’s also a conscious decision of mine to keep up my current work pace, knowing it’s a weekday sprint/weekend recharge for about another month. After that, there’s room. For me. For recharging for a longer period, and more importantly, for less sprinting.

Am not worried.
In a sense, kind of pleased that I’ve gotten to be so good at picking up on these indicators, that in the past, 10+ years ago, were just a part of my normal life. They aren’t anymore, on account of what I do and how I have set up my life, and it has made me much more observant to when they show up. Giving me a chance to take stock, to weigh pro’s and con’s and make a conscious decision on my next step.
Am also fully aware that shorter sprints of massive workload is something I am capable of managing, I just need to make sure that the periods aren’t too long, because that’s when it starts to become a real problem.
And it’s not. Not yet.
And I won’t let it be, either.

If nothing else, my more-or-less daily blogging helps me check in with myself. And wondrously enough, somehow whatever seems to come through my fingers onto (digital) paper, most often points me in whatever direction I need to go. It’s a gentle nudge, bringing my awareness up, making me see. Me.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Advent Calendar 13 – Take good care of yourself

December 13, 2018
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If I don’t take care of me, who will?

No one. That’s who.

So the job falls on me – which is just the way I want it. It has me taking charge of my life, ensuring I get what I need. Enough sleep. Plenty of movement and exercise. Daylight! Friendship and love. Mental challenges. Being meticulous with what I ingest – not just food and drink. Mental ingestion is as important, if not more… That’s why I stopped watching news on the telly, twenty years ago. I have recently decided to stop subscribing to my morning newspaper. And I stopped reading crime novels and thrillers 5-7 years ago or so, but not because I don’t like them. I do. I did. There are some extremely skilled authors in this genre. But I simply did not want to fill my mind with horror and terror. So I stopped.

Perhaps that’s an idea for you to try as well? Or not?
Because even though I believe our basic needs are more or less the same, the How of them can vary greatly! And if you don’t try different things on – how will you know?

Yesterday I worked all day, then went to the silent after work, and straight from there to social lindy hop dancing organized by Cat’s corner at Moriskan… and guess what? Giving myself a few hours of swing music (put a tune on, and see if you can keep from smiling and tapping your feet, wanting to daaaaance?! I can’t!), dancing this coolest of dances, and being surrounded by other smiling people. What a treat, for me! And who knows, maybe you’d love lindy hop as well?!

If you take good care of you. And I take good care of me.
Then I can be my best me when we meet.
And you can be your best you.
Imagine the quality of the us we create between us then…

Doesn’t get much better than that, does it?


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 13 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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Doing gentle – 13 – Treat yourself good.

April 10, 2016
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I recently realized I’ve managed to define a few basic ingredients for a good life, that can vary in size, shape, execution, but without them, I don’t know that I would lead a good life. So I treat myself good, by making sure I get these. Preferably on a daily basis, but that might be optional once in a while.

Sleep.
During sleep, the body heals itself.
I might be sleeping, feeling as if I’m not doing anything, but my body is busy at work.
Repairing. Strengthening. Nourishing.

So I make sure I get my sleep.
Once in a while I experience a sleepless night or two though, and during those, I rest. I might not be sleeping, but I can rest. Lie there in bed, and just enjoy the warmth, the closeness of my husband, the cat snoring in the cosy chair in the corner. Resting. Not as good as sleep, but a close second, and I would rather take rest than anxious worrying.

Sunshine.
Get outside. Sit in the sun. Sit in the shade. Take a walk. Go for a jog. Have dinner in the garden. Sleep in the hammock. Plant some flowers. Do whatever you want to, but get outside. Even when the sun isn’t out. The sun isn’t actually the thing, it’s fresh air, outside, being in nature, that’s the thing. But I love the word sunshine, I love the images it opens on the inside of my eyelids when I close my eyes, thinking about sunshine.

So if it’s raining – get outside anyway. Get dressed so you can take a walk in the rain. Or undress, and get out there in the summer rain, dancing away, naked on the lawn.

diving in

Movement.
We’re made to move. Something has to happen for us not to be able to move, because we are built for movement.
Dance. Run. Jump. Walk. Crawl. Ride a bike. Go swimming. Stretch, bend, exert yourself.
Your body is made for it, and the way of our times is not beneficial to us. Long commutes by car, train, bus. Sitting in front of a desk all day, hacking away at a keyboard. We’re not cut out for it. So if that’s what you do – get conscious about it, and treat yourself well, well enough to inject small bursts of movement into your day.

Take the stairs. Get off the bus a stop earlier and walk the last bit. Sell the car and get a good bike, by all means. Set the timer at 30 minutes and take a dance break, in the office, letting all your colleagues be inspired. Heck, you might start a weekly lunch-beat at the office, who knows! As long as you move. That’s what the body is made for!

Food.
Sustenance. We need it. Nourishment. Liquids and solids.
I almost laugh at myself now, but just a few years ago I had a great epiphany. I truly got it, that every time I eat or drink, I have a choice. A choice to eat or drink something that brings be closer to a healthy state, or something that brings me further from health. Let me tell you, that was a big one!

And you know what – sometimes a delicious piece of dark chocolate is just what I need to stay healthy. Or at least, that’s what I tell myself. And that’s fine. Health isn’t just about physical nourishment that can be ingested. It’s about more than that. But to a large extent, I think modern man has forgotten that the food we eat, is a sign of our reverence, respect and love for ourselves. And I think, we all deserve the very highest reverence, respect and love! Looking at how my diet has changed over the years, it’s reflecting that, more and more. And that makes me very happy, because I deserve the best!

Companionship.
We need to belong. Human beings are wired for it. Wired for connection. That’s why we care so much about what other people think of us. Even more importantly then, to actually create a life where those around you really truly love and respect you. We become like the five people we hang around with the most. So pick wisely. Deliberately.

I didn’t really catch on to this until a few years ago, and since then, the very companionships I cultivate are such a vital part of my expansion as a human being. I’ve co-created several arenas, where I can be me. Fully. Without holding back. I will be held in a loving space, encouraged to experiment and expand, to evolve and grow. Where I can get a hug and a sympathetic shoulder to cry on, as well as a kick in the butt, when that’s what’s needed. Make sure you surround yourselves with people like that. And the best way to make that happen, based on my experience, is by being like that yourself. Be a person you would want to hang with.

Sleep, sunshine, movement, food and companionship.
In no specific order. Neither is more important than the others, but rather, are all vital ingredients for a good life in my understanding.

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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When they sleep

January 21, 2016
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I read a poem today, by the Norwegian poet Rolf Jacobsen (1907-1994) :

All people are children when they sleep.
there’s no war in them then.half-open flowers
They open their hands and breathe
in that quiet rhythm heaven has given them.
They pucker their lips like small children
and open their hands halfway,
soldiers and statesmen, servants and masters.
The stars stand guard
and a haze veils the sky,
a few hours when no one will do anybody harm.
If only we could speak to one another then
when our hearts are half-open flowers.
Words like golden bees
would drift in.
– God, teach me the language of sleep.

If only we could speak to each other then, when our hearts are like half-open flowers. What a difference that could make. What would you be saying differently do you think?

Welcome to my new website. 
Since 2012 I have blogged over at herothecoach.com and this post is a sample of what I’ve been writing over the years. I hope you enjoy this #ThrowbackThursday, originally published here. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts.
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The event horizon calling?

January 20, 2016
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Sunday morning I get out of bed, not having slept a wink. None of the ”Oh god, I haven’t slept all night, this is a disaster”-feeling. On the contrary. I’ve had a good night of rest, just not sleep. I’ve had nights like this a handful of times per year these past 2 years. After the first occasion, with three sleepless nights, then a night of good sleep luring me into safety only to get hit with yet another sleepless one, I have let any and all anxiety around this experience go.

I rest. Even though I don’t sleep, and hence I’m not a total wreck in the daytime. But I treat myself gently, not exerting myself. Rest more, in daytime as well.

Still… Since Saturday night I haven’t had even one good nights sleep. And 4 sleepless nights in a row is unusual even for me. I’ve slept some, not total insomnia, but not at all like normal (which for me means 8 hours of deep sleep). So I tell a friend about it, letting on that it feels like something is about to shift. It’s as if I stand at a threshold, and it can go either way. I level up, or I fall back down into what I came from?

He asks – Is the event horizon calling? 

Yes. That’s it! YES, my entire being calls out in exultation, the event horizon is calling me! This boundary of black holes in cosmos, the edge of the world as we know it, and something else, something unknown, something different.

Tell my campfire sisters about the insomnia, about the event horizon. Suddenly I see more. Held in a space where curious exploration is encouraged and welcome, I see what this is, to me.

”Normal insomnia” is when I wake up in the early morning hours, 2, 3 or 4 o’clock, and there is something that wants to come out of me. I fight it for a while, loving my bed, the warmth, the restful sound of gentle inhalations followed by exhalations from my husband lying next to me, but no luck. Sleep resists me, won’t come until I get a release. So I often get up, and with pen and paper, or my computer, in front of me, let that which wants to come out, come out. Onto paper, in words, shapes/forms. Get hit by a definitive sense of being done, and after that, I can get back to bed and fall asleep once more.

This is different. There is no urge to leave bed. None. There is nothing wanting to come through me. I don’t have to do anything to be done, so I can go back to sleep. Rather, it’s an invitation for me to step into something, unknown, exciting, reassuringly gentle. It’s the event horizon calling me, inviting me to dance along the edge of the known and the unknown. I am open to it. Not resisting the insomnia, embracing it instead. Knowing it is meant to be, I am meant to be. There. Right then. Right there.

event horizon

The event horizon is calling, and I am heeding the call.
What lies beyond the edge of the threshold?
What is there – for me to know, experience, embody?

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