#tankespjärn

Shame. Top of mind.

Shame. Top of mind.

December 6, 2020
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The monthly tankespjärn-community Zoom-sessions stay with me, very much top of mind, as the saying goes, and the November-session on shame is no exception. 

The sensation of shame in the body – the way it can feel both hot and cold, all at once, how it makes me hide, freeze, become almost paralyzed, in words as well as movement. Have I done something wrong? Am I wrong? I AM wrong, and there’s nothing I can do to NOT be wrong. The connection to guilt is obvious, and regardless of what the shame is about, it can be so utterly debilitating. Shame can wrap me inside a cocoon, and, paradoxically, if I numb myself enough, that can even become a place of happiness… if I have numbed myself enough! 

It’s a heavy topic, and yet… witnessing nine souls brave it, fills me with compassion and hope. My eyes were opened to the concept of carried shame, which, I’ve discovered in the days since the call, is not just valid for shame. There’s so much I can carry that’s not mine… we are all potential carriers of things that do not belong to us, and this… helps. Weirdly enough. 

Have you seen the meme of a person stopping a bus from running over a child?
This is what I imagine when I look at my –and your– potential to stop carried shame (and other sentiments) from being passed down. I carry ”stuff” that comes from previous generations, in the same way they carry ”stuff” from the generations that preceded them, and so on. The cycle only breaks, if someone actually deals with what has been carried over from the past. Otherwise it will continue to build and build and build… 

It’s strangely emboldening to think that it is within my capability to stop this. I can put a stop to some, if not all, of what I’ve had to carry, making sure it is not carried forward anymore. (No. I don’t think I can, ever, get to the all of it, but I do believe that whatever I can address, will be an act of service for those who come after me. But also, equally as important, also for those who have gone before me. So I try. I do my best. And then, when I stumble, when I fall, when I stagger at the sheer weight of it all, I am reminded that every little bit counts.) 

Shame lives in darkness. And heals when brought to light.
Shame is processed, and heals, when brought to light; when it is witnessed.
This is why I believe my deep-dive into shame has been so revelatory, I am doing the work, and I am sharing it.
The hiding aspect of shame is what keeps shame alive, vibrant, continuing. When unhidden, when brought into light, when no longer kept under wraps, it cannot not transform. The only way to stop the hiding is to stop the hiding. 

And.
At the same time, discernment in what I am sharing and with whom is most important.
Not everyone will be able to meet me in the shame I carry, in the shame I am trying, wanting, needing to shine a light on.

And.
As with everything else, there is information in shame.
When I feel shame, I am being informed. Of beliefs (mine and/or from the cultural context I am steeped in), of energies not tended to, of the situation at hand. If I approach it thus, perhaps the felt experience will not shepherd me into darkness, paralysis and hiding, but rather, give me an opportunity to bear witness to what is going on, so that I can address it, tend to it, tend to me. In this way, shame (as much as every other felt experience) acts as a magnifying glass. It is virtually impossible to not pick up on signals of shame, they are so effective in their communication that I, at least, find it very hard to ignore. 

And when I don’t, I have a chance to ask Is it mine? And even if the answer is yes, what of it? What is the message? What is the information carried forth through the sensation of shame?


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Disagreement as bridge

November 6, 2020
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The bottom line:
Disagreement, not to be feared, or avoided, but rather, providing an opportunity to learn, gain insight and lean towards one another, bridging the gap.

Disagreement.
Twelve people.
Monthly Zoom-call in the tankespjärn-community.

I had shared three plus one links, and another community-member added yet another link, pieces speaking to the topic on disagreement.
The Future of Marriage
Dare to Disagree
Extreme Listening
Befriending Radical Disagreement
How democracies fall apart

I did something new on this call, as I normally doodle during the hour. This time, I asked permission to record the call, so I could doodle afterward instead, while watching the replay. All in all, an interesting experiment, because the actual energy of the call, in real time, poured into a doodle, is energizing and heightens the experience for me. Now, 1,5 weeks after the call, I’ve yet to post a reflecting ”here’s the October Zoom-call-summary” (i.e. this blog post), and I wonder if this is not the reason. In a sense, I am in disagreement with myself, as I fear people experience me as distant and not paying attention, when doodling during the call, but not doodling during the call in a sense makes me less present. Interesting.

However, the call itself gave me many thoughts, as these calls are wont to do, as the doodle reveals to a greater extent than what follows. One of them being the signal disagreement carries, that here’s (possibly) a relationship needing my attention. The possibility lies in whether or not this is a relationship I care about. If not, perhaps the signal sent by the disagreement is to walk away. If yes, disagreement tells me here’s an opportunity to listen. Give the other person/s the gift of feeling heard, truly heard. Might be uncomfortable, within, but when listening, most often there’s the chance to find something to grab onto, something which connects us, something we have in common. A bridge, from you, to me, finding that place of sameness that you can then truly grow from. Where we agree on the foundational value but disagree on the how to get there.

The physicality of disagreement can take varying forms, one of the more subtle ones displayed in what happens when I put my hand out in front of me, like a stop-sign. If I then ask you to do the same, placing your hand up against mine, without fail, if I start to push, you will push back. I’ve yet to come across anyone n o t pushing back (except perhaps others who also uses this method to get their point across), and when I let go, when I release the pressure I am exerting, letting my hand fall away, the others hand follows along, because the resistance is gone. And with resistance gone, the stand-still comes to a close, and movement is possible. Again. Anew. If there’s a disagreement on the horizon, instead of sitting down opposite each other, try taking a walk. Side by side, disagreements have a harder time finding its foothold.

How the fear of disagreement might make me shut up, not express myself, not voice my opinion. Sometimes it’s not fear stopping me, sometimes I simply cannot be bothered. My take; this speaks to a lack of interest in the person and/or the argument.

Disagreement creates friction, which can initiate movement, making us come closer (or drive us farther apart), and how that friction often manifests as d i s c o m f o r t. How discomfort always, inherently, carries with it the opportunity for healing, which led to this powerful statement: Addiction is avoidance of discomfort. Logically, what follows then would be, with addiction, no healing?! If the path of least resistance (the addictive behavior) is chosen, facing discomfort not being chosen, the opportunity to burn through some emotional baggage gone.

And also, how thank god we do disagree. On what is beautiful, important, significant, thrilling, interesting. Without that type of disagreement, there would only be one type of art, and can you imagine a more boring world than one with only one artistic expression present? Disagreement thus helps generate change, providing the necessary friction and traction that makes movement possible.

Disagreement can make me lean towards, rather than away, and that to me, brings the feeling of hope, a feeling I naturally opt for, when given a choice (and when am I not given a choice? As the choice is mine, the choice is always given. I do not always choose it though.). All in all, I left this conversation with much greater regard, even fondness, for disagreement. Quite something, isn’t it?


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Visual Tankespjärn

November 2, 2020
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In the creative community I am a part of, Anya Toomre shared a post accompanied by a most beautiful image she’d painted herself, and looking upon it, it took me a while to figure out what it actually was portraying. So I wrote a comment: I love this image. I had to struggle a bit to actually see the cat, so here’s another example of Tankespjärn. A visual one.

Anya wasn’t late to respond, asking me a question that got my thoughts going: I’m so close to this drawing because I did it so it’s interesting that you had to struggle to see the cat. What did you see? And why does this make it an example of tankespjärn?

Scrolling back in the feed to check out the image in question, once more, I was reminded. I find this image to be a piece of visual tankespjärn because the fish popped out immediately, but then… What w a s that? Weird looking eyes, but no, those aren’t eyes, those are paws, wait, hang-on, what i s this? Oh. Wait… Hm. Now I think I got it, might it be a cat? Oh. YES! It is.

Shifting my head around, looking at the weird centerpiece head tilted left, head tilted right, at long last my eyes finally locked onto something my brain could put a name to, and like an image suddenly coming into focus, all of a sudden, I got it. (Check out nekonabe by the way.) But I had to move my head around to be able to see what the image actually showed. Had I not done that, but rather kept on staring at those weird eyes (the back paws), I would not have figured it out. New perspectives are like that. They bring other things to the forefront, making me see beyond the immediate.

This interaction showed me a few things.
For one, Anya had no issue seeing the cat because she was so familiar with the image. This tells me tankespjärn is harder to get at with that you already know well, and more likely to experience it with things that are new(er) to you.

It also informs me that what’s tankespjärn for one, isn’t necessarily the same for another. Tankespjärn aren’t universal or general, but rather personal and specific. What makes me go Huh might not cause even the slightest ripple within you, and vice versa.

Of course, it also is a great reminder that tankespjärn comes in different forms. This one very visual, as opposed to the more word-based ones I most often pick up on, the read or heard ones. But there’s also the physical ones, when I try to make my body do something and it’s as if my body looks back at me with a surprised face, asking what on earth I was thinking…

And then, the obvious one for me:
I have really honed the skill of picking up on whenever I encounter a tankespjärn. I notice me noticing, and that noticing helps me stay with the slight discombobulation and discomfort that a real juicy tankespjärn gifts me with. And before I know it, that sensation has passed, and I am left slightly….  hm… More. New. Other. (Yup, as the slogan goes.)


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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A revelatory conversation on procrastination

September 24, 2020
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The bottom line:
Being in conversation with wise, curious and openminded people,
help me shift inner beliefs if/when they no longer serve me.

The September Zoom-call in the tankespjärn-community gathered nine souls to talk/explore/discover around the topic of procrastination. Part of what we brought up can be found in the doodle, part of it can be found within the nine souls present, part of it is likely gone with the wind, never to be touched upon again. Perhaps…

How do you define procrastination?
What’s the meaning of this word, for you?
Does it have negative connotations, or not?

Those were some questions we started off with, and then, in the way these conversations go, we ended up all over the map, which, for me, increases the chances that there will be a new perspective, a reframe, a tankespjärn somewhere to present new doors for me. Doors I get to choose whether or not I want to open, and then –next choice– to step through or not. Doors to new aspects of viewing life, of living life, of relating to myself or others.

Some of those doors read as follows:

  • procrastination, when I pick up on it consciously, holds information. For me to use or ignore, up to me. But contained within the sensation of procrastination there’s plenty of information.
  • how procrastination to most of us holds negative connotations.
  • an open-ended question/query as to whether there is a cultural aspect to procrastination: is it “a negative” in other cultures?
  • confirmation of my realization that there are more books to read than I will be able to in my lifetime (but here’s a bonus piece of tankespjärn for you: Nassim Nicholas Taleb has, since his teens, spent between 30-60 hours a week (!) reading. That’s massive!). The books that made it onto the doodle were AntifragileRest and Ever-Present Origin. But I swear there were a couple more mentioned…

Being in conversation with wise, curious and openminded people like these, help me shift inner beliefs if/when they no longer serve me. Given, of course, that I am open to it myself. Nothing shifts in a person with a closed mind. Nothing!


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Invitation

August 31, 2020
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The monthly Zoom in the tankespjärn-community took place this morning (for me. There were participants who were up in the middle of the night to partake. That wowed me!), and counter to past monthly Zoom-calls, this one was topic-less. That is, I hadn’t thought of anything to initiate the conversation… and for the shortest time, there was nothing but silence, as I threw out the invitation to talk about… what?

And the response was just that: INVITATION

So we took the invitation to speak, reflect, ponder, think and sense into the concept of INVITATION, and as always… it makes me astonished both how fast an hour can go (proof of flow-state) and also how much can be experienced in (but) an hour.

A few of the questions popping into my head, as I reflect on all we managed to fit into the one hour:

– When to extend an invitation? (The fear of imposing on others, often makes me send them too late… or not at all.)

– Do I do it enough?
(Heck no, is my answer to that question, that’s for sure!)

– Can I write a general invitation that actually makes individuals feel seen and heard, rather than go ”Oh, this is probably not for me”?
(See. I just w i l l   n o t stop with the shotgun approach, even though I know –Know!– the sniper approach works so much better. Sigh.)

– If extending an invitation is an act of g e n e r o s i t y, what is not extending an invitation then?
(This caused a shift in me when I first realized it, thanks to one of the prompts in The Creative’s Workshop. Not enough of a shift to make me be as generous with invitations as I would like to be – because I see myself as a generous person, and I want to show up as one.)

– Once I get someone to take my hand, accepting the invitation, how do I nourish the relationship, making them want to stay in my community? (Do general postings on the i n s i d e of a community suffice? Or do I need to make people in the community feel, on an individual basis, seen and heard on a continuous basis? I guess the latter… Agree?)

And there was more. Much more. Like these, resonating with me:
– Being (personally) invited feels very generous. It makes me feel chosen. (Seeding generosity. Indeed!)
– By invitation only. (How will the tankespjärn-community evolve if –when?– people I do not know, start to show up? Interesting question to ponder!)

Not to mention, this great piece of tankespjärn:
The more something is n o t for everyone, the more it is for the people it is for.

I know this to be true, as I know, that I, tankespjärn nor the community is for everyone.
This session has also informed me that it’s up to me to extend an invitation to those I know it’s for.

And, as promised: Yes. I extended three personal invitations last night, right before heading off to bed, only to wake up to a new patron! Given this result, insights gained from the Zoom on INVITATION, and more time on my hand, I vow to send out personal invites using the drip by drip-strategy. A drip here, a drip there, over time turns into a heckofa large puddle! (Don’t you just love puddles?)


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Missed opportunities. Or not?

August 30, 2020
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Here I go a g a i n!
Or rather… here I don’t go again.

I have the tankespjärn community monthly Zoom-call coming up tomorrow morning (my time, Central European Summer (!) Time/CEST. What that means for you TimeandDate can help figure out!), and I’ve been meaning to reach out, individually, to people whom I would love to join the community, thinking I wanna tell them Right before a monthly Zoom is a great time to jump in and try it out!

I still think that’s a great idea.
I just haven’t. Reached out, I mean.

And of course, rather than spending an hour reaching out to people, in person, with an open and heartfelt invitation… I do the s a m e thing that I’ve concluded, ages ago, is n o t the way to go. The shotgun approach is sooooo much easier though…. Ah, there comes my old friend, Resistance.

But it’s funny.
Because, when I do use the sniper approach, and reach out in person, regardless if I get a Yes or a No to my invitation, I always feel good.
Always. (Truly!)

So. What the heck is this really about?
What am I resisting? Why am I running into these missed opportunities, over and over again? Perhaps (likely?) I fear someone will not respond graciously, but rather lash out at me?

And, however irrational I know this fear to be, it might still be what keeps on getting in the way. Because that’s the thing about feelings. Rational, they most often are not.

I can look at this month’s Zoom as a missed opportunity. Or… I do have an hour or so before heading off to bed. So besides posting this (which, albeit not a personal invite, I hope still reads as an invite! I would love to have you check out the community!), I will reach out a hand to a few people I know and cherish. Ask. Invite. Extended without expectations (other than an actual response. I do love my clear Yes/No-responses, and might well push a bit to get one!).

Reporting back tomorrow, ok?
(That way I have accountability, in place as well. Clever, huh?!)

(And here I sit, ready to hit publish, when it hits me… what if I use this as accountability for the September Zoom as well? I mean, to get in touch and give personal invitations, with a bit more leeway? Even more clever!)


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Open to the shifts

August 25, 2020
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This past week, I have not blogged daily. Haven’t written daily either, but even days of writing, have not always been days of blogging. This will likely prevail. I will blog, if blogging is in the cards. Or not, if (when) not. There’s a shift here, a desire, an inkling to play around with a somewhat different way of going forth. It’s not hard for me to blog daily. (Most times.) What’s harder is listening within, and blogging because there’s something to be said, something to be let out, rather than doing it because I’ve committed to doing it. (Makes sense?)

My deep-dive will not be published (now). But I will be writing (it). This is a commitment I’ve made, one which, truth be told, might even be hindered if I were to stick to a daily blogging scheme, having me go for the easy write rather than the deep-dive, which takes so much more from me. There’s effort. (In flow. Effort in flow. Trust me. It comes. But not without thorns, tumbles, tears.)

Then there’s the idea of doing yet another different type of writing. A deep-dive of sorts as well, but not within so much as without, into something specific. Wanting to do tankespjärn-pieces, that are more thorough. Researched. Thought through. (Yes. Mostly when I write, I simply sit down and write. But I’ve been longing for a different type of writing for a while. So how about it; Give me permission to do just that?)

As always (often? At least often!) when there’s a shift in one place/space, other shifts tag along.
One shift acting as a catalyst, causing other shifts to happen.

Being open to the shifts makes for an interesting life.
Explorative. Elucidating. Expansive.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Change is coming.

August 11, 2020
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Change is coming.
(It always is, isn’t it?)

The change that I know is coming, will greatly impact what I do, and how I make my living, for the next 1,5-2 years. Or rather, what I will no longer be doing for the next 1,5-2 years.

And again, I thank my lucky star, that I’ve worked so much with myself, with embracing what is, with finding new ways forward, that this news doesn’t wreak havoc within.

Yes. There is sadness, at not being allowed to finish what we’ve started. At not getting to face the hurdles that were sure to come, with the team we’ve built. At not getting to share my everyday working life with these people, whom I’ve come to care greatly for, value and honor, and have so much fun with. At not getting the ample opportunities for learning, that were sure to rain down upon me, on a weekly if not daily basis.

And. There is gratitude. At having come as far as we have. At getting a strong team to gel together in a most amazing way. At getting to know so many new people, people whom I definitely want to stay connected to. And not least, of having been able to amass some funds, which will take me through the upcoming year, without having to go desperate.

And, yes, there’s a bit of frustration as well. At stopping this at this time, wasting money already spent, for reasons I cannot fathom, or at the very least, disagree with.

But.
I can also see what opens up for me, with letting go of what was to have been, making room to let come whatever will come in its place. Being able to serve other existing customers more fully again. At putting more focus on building my tankespjärn-community and all of the ideas I have around that. Of picking up the work of other things that I put at a lower priority than this project. And the opportunity, once more, to give myself more me-time, which I’ve not done this past year.

I’ve learned so much, though…
I’ve seen my strengths in greater clarity. (And my flaws.)
I’ve been validated as being an ace trainer.
I know that I work best as a project manager when I do it in tandem with another when that other complements me.
I’ve got proof –again– that I do have a high capacity, and that there’s a limit to it, to what I can keep track of with regards to details.
And that I absolutely love working with professionals!

I will make good use of all the learnings, insights and experiences I’ve gotten from working this project, and I am, more than anything else, extremely glad that I’ve been a part of it!

And so, change is coming.
(It always is, isn’t it?)


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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24 Assets (book 8 of 12)

August 10, 2020
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in Tip
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”Success is less about your individual talent and more to do with the environment that brings out the best in you.”

24 Assets: Create a Digital, Scalable, Valuable and Fun Business That Will Thrive in a Fast Changing World by Daniel Priestly is, just like Key Person of Interest, another one of his books that I’ve read, an easy read, filled with actionable suggestions. Perhaps, a bit too easy if you know what I mean?

But, like with all other types of self-help-books (regardless of the genre, be it personal or business development, home renovations or learning how to play the piano), unless you actually take the author up on his/her suggestions, and give it a shot, nothing will happen. And I gather that’s what most people do. Read, possibly get a few insights, and move on, without actually doing the work. Constantly searching, and never finding.

”There’s no avoiding the work or the practice if you want the results.”

Priestly has a challenge directed specifically for me as well:
”I want to encourage you to stop reading new books, going to new seminars, consuming a wide variety of videos and podcasts. Instead, pick a style and run deep with it–get yourself into the environment and implement.”

Not sure about that one. In practice, that is. In theory, I agree to a large extend, but not completely. Also, going deep (becoming a specialist) is not necessarily what works for everyone. The generalists out there (and heck, is this ever me!) are also necessary, as generalists and specialists contribute differently to the world, and we need that diversity. But in principle, sure, forever jumping from one book to another, from one podcast to another, from one seminar or YouTube-video or TED Talk or… might not always be the healthiest of behaviors. If done without reflection, without pausing and connecting dots, it might well be a form of fleeing, of avoiding what-ever-it-might-be.

But never looking outside your style, probably isn’t that healthy in the long run either. So, as with most things, a bit of both/and is likely the better strategy. Going at it in cycles is perhaps the most beneficial strategy at that, skimming the surface for a while before heading down into the deep. Come up to the surface, rest a bit, before starting all over again.

In the space I find myself, with tankespjärn being a concept I want (intend!) to dig down deep with, I will definitely look into these 24 assets, and decide what to develop, how to develop it, with whom and when. Exciting times ahead!


The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2020, to read and blog monthly about 12 Swedish and 12 English books, books that I already own.

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Right/Wrong

August 8, 2020
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Right and Wrong. That was the starting point for the monthly Zoom in July, in the tankespjärn community on Patreon. An hour of gentle, exploring, curious conversation and connection, along the lines of the attached doodle.

What became apparent quite quickly was that we all had a strong sense of either ourselves or a parent, being the one who was always right. Makes me wonder about you, reading this, if you, a parent, or perhaps a grandparent or someone else, held this role in your life growing up? The one always in the right?

From the doodle, I am thrown back to that Friday morning (CET time), the way our conversation meandered about, the way they do, those generous, rich, nourishing conversations. Across the distinction between Judgment (preconceived notions) vs Discernment (being open to what is), and how that latter opens up not just within, but also without, making room for all (people, ideas, decisions). To the impactful question: Am I worthy to get what I want? Which made way for insights of not nurturing oneself as one could (can!), and how, when the notion of having to be right (while fearing being wrong) leaves room for uncertainty, how freeing that can be.

Right and Wrong.
Where does it take you?


These Zoom-conversations are a monthly feature of the tankespjärn-community–and I know I speak for every member when I say, that you are enthusiastically invited to join in!

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