Stabat Mater

Bearing a gift for Easter

Bearing a gift for Easter

April 10, 2020
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It’s Good Friday and you are not supposed to wish anybody Happy Easter on Good Friday.

But… I read a suggestion on Instagram to reach a hand out to friends and family who are all alone this Easter, and all of a sudden, I had texted more than twenty people – mom, dad, aunt, old class-mates, bonus kids with their respective partners, workmates, wives and dear friends, an old fling, a current Tinder date… – wishing them all a Happy Easter and giving them the gift of one of the most beautiful musical works I know, the Stabat Mater that Jens Bragdell Eriksson wrote with and for the Södra Sallerup church choir in 2016.

We’ve sung it a number of times, and there are at least four versions of it on YouTube, from the very first performance ever, to an auto-generated playlist of the album we recorded in 2017 that is also available on Spotify.

With this, I wish you a Happy Easter as well, however inappropriate it is.

(Me, front row, second to the left behind the string quartet.)

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Good bye 2019!

December 31, 2019
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This year with the intention As I am has truly been a most wonderful, challenging and rich year. So much has happened, so many meetings have taken place, so many insights and lessons have come my way. 

Monthly follow-up of the intention of the year: As I am
Continuously following up on the fairly detailed ambitions I set within four areas (bodily, mental and spiritual wellbeing, creativity and financial husbandry) has been a very interesting activity, helping me to remain focused, as it has given me at least (!) a monthly reminder on what it is I want to focus on.

Timetravel
The invite to T and Hs 100-year party in Stockholm gave me a day (or two) of time-travelling. The theme of the party was the 1920s, and with my soul sister S and A I was given a chance to truly travel in time. As if I simply stepped outside of my ordinary life during these days… magical!

Cold baths
I started taking cold baths at the end of November 2018, and took it to new heights during 2019, ending on a high with 8 days of cold bathing in a row. Thanks to the deep breathing-practice that’s taken a firm place in my life during 2019, I’ve given up the quick ”in and out”-dips of before, in favor of five-ten minute submersions in cold water, thanks in large part of breathing and focus. It’s absolutely amazing and definitely something I will continue doing!

Coach Dave
In December 2018 I hired coach Dave for a year’s worth of coaching, at substantial cost, a tad more than 100% more than I’ve ever invested in myself before. When the time came to pay the second installment, my Jenny (who does my company finances) if Dave was worth it. My answer was fairly illuminating: No, Dave isn’t worth it, but I am! It’s been a fantastic journey and I have learned a lot, but perhaps the most important insight is just that one. I am worth investing in!

Podcasting
I have released one round of my own pod Doing gentle with an edge, and have twice as many episodes recorded but as yet unreleased. I will, in due time! I have taken part in Caspians Ett samtal (for the second time round; in Swedish) and have, thanks to Caspian, moderated the pod Fria Barn (in Swedish) released in the fall of 2019. Together with Caspian and Mr D I am also busy recording a number of episodes of a new pod in English which will be released in January. Finishing of the year with a couple of days of New Years retreat with those two gentlemen – what a wonderful way to end a year and a decade in!

60 hours of tankespjärn
For many years, tankespjärn has been my companion, as a word, as a concept, even, when I started to reflect upon it, as my life philosophy, since long before the word revealed itself to me. During the year the idea to host 60 hours of tankespjärn was born in a conversation with coach Dave. That’s what happened and there will be more, mark my word, in years to come.

Pecha Kucha and TEDxSlottsparken
As I so often do, once again I say: Thanks to Caspian I did a Pecha Kucha in Lund in April headlined How I broke up with my inner dictator, and that experience in contrast with my June experience as a moderator at TEDxSlottsparken was enormous. I was very nervous to do the Pecha Kucha, whereas I, moderating TEDx felt calm and collected. The difference? My Pecha Kucha was written in advance, and had me timing speech with 20 slides for 20 seconds each, while as a moderator I could act in the moment from what was, which (apparently) suits me much better!

Kenya
Nine days in Kenya after midsummer turned into one of the most rewarding experiences of the year. It’s given me so much, in so many aspects, such as an increased understanding of the tree-savings-scheme I have as a part of my (and the kids) long-term savings since 2015, to an increased network and a very close friendship with my roommate Lena. I finished the blog-year with a 25-days advent calendar here, with images and stories from the trip, something which deepened my gratefulness for going, even more.

Mastermind-pilot
Another thing was born during a coaching conversation with Dave, when he gave me 15 minutes to “do something”, which resulted in my sending out an invite on the fly, to a handful of chosen people, to participate in a Mastermind-pilot. During thirteen Tuesday evenings starting in August, had me spending an hour with four participants and me as the facilitator. What a journey that turned into. A pilot that definitely has me wanting more!

Culture
It’s been a year of many lovely cultural experiences of all kinds. With Heléne I have experienced Patricia Piccininis A World of LoveGuds olydiga revben, sing-a-long to Rocketman på Spegeln as well as Stina Wollters exhibition in Borstahusen. Add to that a fantastic production of Mozart’s Requiem at Malmö Opera with Skånes Dansteater, yet another sing-a-long with Dirty Dancing on the big screen and last but not least, performing Stabat Mater over Easter, the first-ever performance of Missa Brevis at All hallows eve and the choir trip to Jämtland.

Goodreads reading challenge
I set a goal to read 75 books during 2019, and finished my 76th book on New Year’s Eve, so mission accomplished. I also have the 12 Swedish och 12 English books I chose at the start of the year, to read and blog about on a monthly basis. Ever since I invented this challenge in 2018, when I chose 26 + 26 (which was a bit too much) I have realized this to be an excellent way for me to ensure that the books I buy “in order to read” which then end up unread on a bookshelf, actually get read. So I will do the same for 2020, 12 + 12.

Ready to leave the nest
My firstborn headed off to Australia on adventures in January, coming home end November, just having turned twenty. 10,5 months on the other side of the planet, and if I had any doubt before the trip, by now I am 100% certain this kid is ready to leave the nest. This makes me very happy and grateful because this is what parenting is really about, making kids ready to fly on their own!

The year that has passed has, of course, been loaded with a huge number of things besides the few I display here, but in general, it’s been a fabulous year with up’s and down’s, with tears of joy as well as sorrow, with amazing moments in solitude as well as in togetherness, and I am thankful to each and everyone and everything–including myself–that’s participated in making this year so rich.

Finally, I wish for you and yours to have a truly wonderful new year, in joy and love, with warmth and light–take good care of yourself!

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Follow up – March 2019 – As I am.

April 6, 2019
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I intend to go through my intentions for the year at the end of each month. This gives me a monthly reminder of my intentions as well as ample space for reflection and possible adjustment.

March. What a month! And it’s already finished, but far. It’s been a month with a lot happening – both in and with me.

2019. The year when I will…

* have my bodily wellbeing in focus by:

  • continuing with my daily Seven accompanied by burpees: ✅Soon I have 1700 Sevens in a row…
  • Headspace daily: ✅
  • run a minimum of  75 runs: 1 run in March as well. I will take a run when I feel like it.
  • take cold (outdoors) baths as often as I can – and add to this by taking cold showers: 1 cold bath in March, one which had me go into the water twice on the other hand.
  • dance Lindy hop as often as I can (taking a class during the spring, and then there’s the social dancing as well!): 7/10 classes completed, haven’t missed a single one.
  • continuing to ride my bike and walk as much as possible: walked almost 60 kilometers and biked just short of 310 ditto.

* 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: Read 17/75 böcker. Blogged about A fine balance (book 3 of 12 in English) and the Swedish counterpart is I det sista regnet.
  • 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: Missed out on playing the guitar three days in March, and have stopped setting a timer for 10 minutes. Sometimes I just play one song, sometimes two, sometimes three. So 10 minutes a day isn’t something I live up to on a daily basis, but I am playing, more often than not! And soon I have Utan dina andetag down pat and Shallow which is our current homework-song is coming along quite nicely as well, because I really enjoy this song!
  • 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: 9-10th and 23-24th of March I observed my digital sabbat. In April I aim for the same on 12-13th and 19-20th.
  • börja podda: Alltså… inledande avsnittet klart, upplagt på Soundcloud, och ytterligare tio avsnitt fiffade… men iTunes ratade mig. På kryptiska grunder med en hjälptext som inte gjorde mig klokare. Så jag skrev om. Ratad igen. Skrev om igen. Ratad igen… så då lusläste jag den där hjälptexten ännu en gång och skrev om igen, på lite annat vis. “Submitted for review” i över en vecka, över månadsskiftet… men idag (4 april) så är den “Active”! Whoop. Oj liksom – men det får jag skriva mer om i nästa månadssummering ju! *cliffhanger*
  • släppa (minst) 4 e-böcker under 2019: Spinner tankar men inget som konkretiserats. Än.

* have creation in focus by:

  • booking at least four two-day writing retreats during the year: pondering a few ideas about writing retreats, including the possibility of running a digital retreat? My ideas from January remain.
  • keeping up with daily Facebook Lives for as long as there’s energy in doing it: ✅
  • blog daily: ✅
  • start to pod: Well…. the introductory episode is finished, upoladed to Soundcloud, and another ten episodes are ready to go… but iTunes rejected me. On cryptical reasons with a help text that did nothing to make me wiser. So I re-wrote the metadata. Rejected again. So I re-wrote it once more. And was rejected yet again… so I took a finetoothed comb to that help text, and re-wrote once more, but with a twist. “Submitted for review” was the status on iTunes for more than a week, passing the end of the month… but on April 4th, the status was changed to “Active”! Whoop!! I mean – wow! But hey… more of that in next months monthly summary! *cliffhanger*
  • release (at least) 4 e-books in 2019: thoughts are swirling, nothing concretized as of yet.

* 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: ✅I reached my set goals in January and March, not in February.
  • keep an accounts book on private income and expenses: ✅I have to say, keeping tabs on my finances, both incoming and outgoing, sure makes for a higher state of consciousness around what there is. I highly recommend it.

And finally – on all levels – experiment and play, experience pleasure and exploring and challenging myself, all the while being gentle to myself: brother and sister-in-law on a quick visit to Sweden so me and the youngest kid of the house got on a train to Vejbystrand for just short of 24 hours (where I totally make said youngster completely embarrassed to have a mother like me, as I stand in the middle of the square in Ängelholm and start to d a n c e until brother, sister-in-law, mother and aunt arrive on the bus. Youngster n o t happy, let me tell you. The residents of Ängelholm smiled on the other hand!), brother gave me an introductory course in genealogical research with help of the app Ancestry, getting the last of the pod-work done as well as records an introductory episode, went to a vernissage and a 24-hour castle get-away with my most lovely wives (yes!), give birth to, and starts to work on an idea that is very close to my heart in coaching conversations with Dave, spend a full weekend dedicated to Stabat Mater with a concert in Denmark as well as in Malmö with a get-together at my place after the Malmö-concert, for friends and family who are attending the concert, manages to go skinny dipping in the ocean (cold bath!) despite the fact that it’s almost storm winds out, coaches, walks, enjoy the sunshine and bike rides and generally: living life!

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Advent Calendar 6 – To feel.

December 6, 2018
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I sing in a choir. In this choir we have the luxury of having a wonderful choir master, Jens Eriksson, who is also a composer. A couple of years ago, he wrote a Stabat Mater for my choir, and it is the musical highlight of my life – I absolutely love this musical work.

In the sixth piece Fac, ut portem Christi mortem about three minutes in (the Spotify version), there’s a sequence for the string quartet, and at 3:20 one of the instruments has a solo note, a high F (I think). This single note, lasting for a few seconds, is so beautiful that I cannot even keep my eyes open. I feel this note throughout my entire body; in a way I totally let myself float away on this note… while still being completely present to the sensation, with awareness of myself and the pleasure I take in being a part of this musical creation.

Allowing myself to feel, to enjoy, to take pleasure in what is, in the moment. Letting me experience what is there to experience, without drowning in the emotion. Being aware, being present, stops me from drowning, giving me an anchor of sorts, to my innate wellbeing. It makes me open to feel, to dare to feel it all.

This duality, of feeling fully, of experiencing, while at the same time witnessing the experience taking place. This is one way for me to be gentle with myself, as I am no longer afraid to feel what I feel.


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 6 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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Good bye 2017

December 31, 2017
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Good bye 2017, the year when…

  • I had Wholeheartedness as my intention, something I’ve blogged about on a monthly basis since.
  • my company Respondi AB turned ten years old. Imagine that!
  • me and Pernilla Tillander started to work together for the ESF-project Include & Meet in Skurup, something which has been among the most fun and rewarding things I’ve done during my ten years as an entrepreneur. We will continue to work together in 2018 in Skurup and I greatly look forward to it!
  • I did two “current state” analyses that made quite the impact, especially in me.
  • my longest running assignment ended, after nearly five years.
  • thoughts on my future business enterprise are starting to become clear.
  • I rediscovered my fascination with husbandry, also in an economic fashion.
  • music played a big part:
    • the musical highlight above all else throughout my life is performing Stabat Mater by Jens Eriksson. The first performance took place already during Easter 2016, but during 2017 Stabat Mater was released on Spotify, and the church choir from Södra Sallerup performed Stabat Mater no less than three times this year. One performance took place in Salzburg where the choir went for a trip in september. Stabat Mater is on repeat at home, and I absolutely love this piece of music!
    • my musical highlight number two took place in twofold this year as well: we recorded an album in the beginning of the year, and this was released (both as an actual CD and on Spotify) at the end of the year, Vi är i advent. Another abum running on repeat in my headphones.

HERO in Edinburgh

  • I turned fortyfive and discovered the thrill of hosting a potluck party – what a smashing idea!
  • sad farewell’s were mixed with the joy of new budding lives.
  • acting legal guardian for unaccompanied minor refugees is an ongoing assignment, a roller coaster of joy, frustration and pride; for my legal guardians as well as others.
  • we decided to stay together but live apart… only to hand in our divorce application a few months later.
  • far later I finally removed my wedding ring, leaving me with the feeling of a phantom ring on my ring finger.
  • I participated in the #blogg100 challenge for the forth time, after refraining for a year. For the first time I trid blogging onehundred days in a row based on a set theme (by myself) – mixing Swedish and English blog posts – which definitely was to my liking.

GoodReads

  • I have read, read, and read some more. 73 books and 22889 pages according to GoodReads. But then I also proof read a book not yet published, so in total I read 74 books and 23014 pages during 2017. My #Goodreadsreadingchallenge for 2017 was fifty books, so I reached my goal by far.
  • The Gifted book club saw the light of day in conjunction with my birthday, and during the fall we’ve read two books. We are starting 2018 with Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, following it up with Foe by J.M. Coetzee and I am thrilled to see what other books we will be reading after that.
  • for the first time ever have I technically proof read a book (and buy what a book. Only available in Swedish, but if you know Swedish, most definitely pick up, and read, a copy of Sigrid sover på soffan!)
  • ChattyMeals made an entrance into my life, an aquaintance I will definitely continue to entertain during 2018.
  • I understood my relationship to inner and outer expectations, this concept that I’ve been reflecting upon for years now, and now have an even greater understanding of, being the Upholder I am.
  • I ran my first ever race!
  • I tried taking a digital sabbat, which definitely wet my appetite, to the extent that it actually served as the basis for my intention for 2018.
  • my firstborn came of age and my lastborn turned teenager and started junior high school. Oh how time flies!
  • for the first time in forever we stayed in Sweden during the summer holidays (o the chagrin of the kids).
  • all four Roths are finishing off the year participating in the largest New Years Eve-street party in the world, the Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh.

Roths in Edinburgh

And with that, I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year!

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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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