thoughts

Advent Calendar 7 – Loving the unknown

Advent Calendar 7 – Loving the unknown

December 7, 2018
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Encyclopedia Helenica. This was one of the roles I took on, being the one in the know, the one who always had the knowledge and facts. Never daring to admit to not knowing, so I would even pretend I knew… as I was under the belief that my self-worth came from knowing. To say I have no clue what/whom you are talking about was not part of my vocabulary for the longest of time.

But no more.
Since 5-6 years I’ve gotten better and better at owning what I know, as well as what I don’t know. And I love not knowing, which is a big shift from absolutely fearing it before.

In not knowing – there’s a potential for learning, which is absent in knowing. To listen for that which I don’t know, rather than listening for that which confirms what I already know. Trying new things, new experiences, new flavors, new thoughts. Oh, I love it nowadays, love the unknown, am drawn to the unknown… both within as well as without myself.

Imagine what the world would look like, if humans were encouraged to look for the unknown. With curiosity. With an open mind. With playfulness.
To try. To feel. To think. To taste the unknown. Rather than to consolidate that which I (you?) already know.

Being humble enough to know that there is so much more to find out than that which I already know – and the wondrous world of discovery made possible when I stop fearing the unknown, and instead start to love it!


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 7 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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The Tibetan Art of Positive Thinking (book 23 of 26)

November 18, 2018
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in Tip
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Coming closer to the end of my reading challenge of 2018, the part which has me reading 26 books in Swedish and 26 in English, books I already had in my possession at the start of the year. The Tibetan Art of Positive Thinking by Christopher Hansard, is a book I got a year or two ago, on the recommendation of D.

“From the beating of our hearts at birth to our final breath in death, a continual stram of thought flows through us, making us, forming all our desires and directing unconscious actions, yet always guiding us towards greater self-knowledge. The power of thought is immense.”

It is. And the difference in how living life as me, before and after I realized exactly how powerful thought is… Huge.

“‘You are what you think.’ […] ‘Thoughts directs all things’, he said. ‘People pride themselves on how they think, but really it is thought that moves through people. Our thoughts create our lives, they make us sick, happy or successful. Our thoughts can pollute our planet through the actions we take. Thoughts on their own will gather like clouds in the sky, good thoughts coming together with other good thoughts and unskilful thoughts attracting other unskilful thoughts.'”

Or said in another way: we get more of that which we focus on. Another one of those clichés that I see people sharing, without fully realizing what it actually means. It means what it says. I do get more of that which I focus on. It’s simple physics. Like attracts like.

“Emotions are the teachers of human experience and we must always give thanks for them. They must not be denied but understood, loved and transformed.”

Allowing myself to feel what I feel, while at the same time, not necessarily take it so bloody seriously, or, for that matter, react upon every emotion that pops up within. Asking myself, how does this serve me, giving me that tiniest of distances towards myself, which can stop me from reacting, and instead having me choose my action.

Those are just a few of all the passages I’ve marked up until page 22. With another 250 pages to go, you do the math. So pick up a copy of this book, and find out for yourself what the ancient Tibetans (the Bön tradition, which began 17 000 years ago!) discovered about the world, our place in it and how everything connects.

“Complaining is damaging because words are the houses in which our thoughts live. They way you speak will indicate the way you think.”

That’s one reason why I have consciously chosen to be very restrictive with certain words. Such as right/wrong, good/bad, must/should/would/ought to. To name a few.

“If we become softer and slow our rush [in our search for happiness and meaning], the fear of desperation will fall away and we can then hear the tender voice of pure thought energy wishing only to guide us.
Make things simple in your life. Let your life become simple in its actions, communicate simply and let your love be simple, for then it will be profound.”

This reminds me of the phrase “Slowing down to the speed of life“, which actually is a book title, of a book I have yet to read. I will though, one of these days…


The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2018, to read and blog about 26 Swedish and 26 English books, one book every week, books that I already own. 

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Think and Grow Rich (book 8 of 26)

April 22, 2018
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Think and Grow Rich is a book written by Napoleon Hill. It was first published in 1937, with a few more years of The Great Depression having the world in a firm grip. I picked up a copy in India some eight years ago, but again, never got around to reading it. until now – this was one of the books I decided to read for my English reading challenge of the year. The copy I picked up was the original unabridged version, and in a sense that’s a shame. Because it is dated. The way it is formulated, the actual style of the writing is a bit… well, it’s as if Mr Hill believe the reader to be a bit obtuse, so he’s capitalizing the most vital parts, and that in and of itself rubs me the wrong way.

I also do not like how 99% of all of his examples of successful men, are actually men. The women are few and far apart, and basically show up at the very end of the book. Two, or possibly three examples of ladies as successful role models to mimic, the rest of the time when women are mentioned speaks of “our” ability to wrap men around our little fingers. (I trust I don’t have to even begin to explain why this get’s me all riled up?!) But, given the fact that the book was written close to a century ago, I tried to let this slip.

And once I do that, sure, this is a book that has its virtues, for sure. And given the fact that this is actually one of the most successful books of all time, it would be weird if it didn’t right? Read what it says on Goodreads about Hill and this book: “Hill’s most famous work, Think and Grow Rich (1937), is one of the best-selling books of all time (at the time of Hill’s death in 1970, Think and Grow Rich had sold 20 million copies).” 

Here are a few of the passages which spoke to me for one reason or another:

Open-mindedness is essential for belief. Closed minds do not inspire faith, courage, and belief. 

Every man is what he is, because of the DOMINATING THOUGHTS which he permits to occupy his mind. 

we-are-where-we-are-and-what-we-are-because-of-ouKnowledge is only potential power. 

[…] the word ‘educate‘ is derived from the Latin word ‘educo‘, meaning to educe, to draw out, to DEVELOP FROM WITHIN.

Any man is educated who knows how to get knowledge when he needs it, and how to organize that knowledge into definite plans of action. 

The person who stops studying merely because he has finished school is forever hopelessly doomed to mediocrity, no matter what may be his calling. The way of success is the way of continuous pursuit of knowledge.

[…] we are where we are, and what we are, because of our own conduct!

A book worth reading? Hm. Yes. It is. But I hope (and trust!) that there’s a revised edition more recently re-worked, and if I were you, I’d pick up such a copy instead of the original unabridged version.

The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2018, to read and blog about 26 Swedish and 26 English books, one book every week, books that I already own.

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I wanna pod

April 11, 2018
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A month or so ago, I connected again with a friend that I haven’t really talked to much in a few years. And we actually first met a few years ago, so basically we’ve only met up a handful of times. Yet. Because ever since our first meeting there’s been this sense of ”we will do something together”. Anyway, we set a date for a walk n talk, and that date just happened to be today.

In between setting it up, and walk n talk:ing, I read Daniel Priestleys Key person of influence. As I was reading, I was basically clobbered over the head with the realization that ”the message behind the written words on the pages” that Daniel writes about – a message unique to each and every reader – for me centered around one thing: It is time for me to pod. 

Yes. Pod. As in time to start a podcast. Or several. I’ll start with one though, to use as a blueprint for the other one’s I’ve been pondering for years on end. I figured out a good pod-theme (can you guess? Doing gentle, of course!) for this first pod-baby of mine, and my mind has been churning away in the background ever since.

So. Fast forward to today, when I met up with Søren Lassen outside the city library, for our walk n talk, and almost immediately, Søren brought up the fact that he (with a long background as a radio presenter), would love to help me set up a pod, if I felt like it.

Message-received-loud-and-clearSynchronicity.
Hell yeah – I just love it! The Universe is talking, and I am listening. Message received loud and clear

So – right now, I’m gonna scan my calendar for a few dates in May, send them to Søren, wait for confirmation, thus ensuring a next-step is in place. Because honestly – that’s all it takes. Taking one step, and setting up the next. Taking that step, and setting up a new next step. Repeat until done.

Too simple, you say?
Nah. Why should it be harder than that? I mean, really – my thoughts generate my feelings, which in turn lead to results, getting me precisely what I was thinking. So, no no, I will not be thinking about ”how hard this is gonna be”, on the contrary, this will be a grand adventure into the world of podcasting, one which I so look forward to. Game on!

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From me to me

January 31, 2018
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from me to meThe other day I took part in a conversation amongst precious souls, my circle of Camp fire sisters, that meet up about once a month over Skype. As always, deep connection took place, as we each shared what wanted to be heard.

Afterwards, Mayke sent us all this amazing piece of writing, spurred on by the virtual camp fire-conversation. I asked her if she could not release this text into the world, and if she didn’t have a place for that, that I’d love to feature her as a guest blogger here. So, without further ado, I give you:

From me to me, by Mayke Vullings

Some words, from me to me:

Today I am

In a child’s carousel

Twirling around in endless circles

The laughter long gone

Loudspeakers on full force

Bombarding my ears

With questions I cannot answer

Shouting my inadequacies for everyone to hear

Blocking deep truth I lost touch with

I am lost

In thoughts who keep me prisoner

Dictating a perspective

That leaves no space to breath

Now frantically looking for a way out

 

My friend whispers: that is the way in

Become your own Mum

Force yourself up

And go to the stove

Heat the water

Pour yourself a hot cup of tea

Sit down wrap your hands around the cup

Follow the steam with your eyes

As thoughts vapouring in thin air

walk to the couch

Cuddle into a blanket

Next to you a bottle of silence,

Your glasses and a good book to read

Breathing, breathing

Staying on this island as long as you need

 

Somewhere in the room

You know for sure –

are your ballet shoes

patiently waiting for your return

to step into

start dancing your life

again & again & again

recognizing yourself in the now

for who you truly are.

 

Amsterdam, 29th of January 2018

Mayke

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Being gentle to me – Reflection November ’17

December 1, 2017
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self-honoringLetting myself off the hook – allowing myself to stay attached, even though it doesn’t make sense anymore. Long after the original meaning has been lost, the decision had been made and step after step had been taken, increasing my  distance to what was once there, I still let myself be attached… until, one day, I woke up ready to let go of my attachment.

I read what I wrote in the paragraph above, and exhale and relax, knowing this is not something I would never have granted myself, had it happened 5+ years ago. What a long way I’ve come, in being gentle towards myself.

The difference that makes the difference? Self-honoring, perhaps? Learning h o w to be gentle towards myself, as well as slowly coming to terms with the fact that I deserve it, I am worthy of love and tenderness, also from myself? Learning not to take myself too seriously, and most definitely not to believe all the thoughts that come whizzing through my head?

I cannot say there’s one difference that has made the difference, rather, it’s a combination of things that all have been working in synergy, leading up to this place in time, where I know how to, and do, let myself off the hook, letting things unfold within without me pushing, prodding, persuading myself into letting go before I am ready to. No longer ripping myself apart, because I think I should this or that, making me do it, even though I’m not ready for it. No. No more. That violent behavior towards myself that was my modus operandi for years and years, for decades even, it has been – permanently I hope, trust and believe! – replaced by me practicing the art of being gentle to myself.

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Knock you upside the head with a shovel?

November 26, 2017
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in Tip
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I’ve written over and over again about the podcast of Julia Butterfly Hill interviewed by Chris Martenson on Peak Prosperity. Find it on iTunes or here: http://www.peakprosperity.com/podcast/85294/julia-butterfly-hill-living-meaning

I talked to you about how every so often, the way life works, sooner or later, life might pick up a shovel and knock you upside the head with it. When we get resentful, fearful, and anxious, it is like picking up the shovel and hitting ourselves back in the head with it. It does not actually pick up the shovel and use it for something constructive. It just knocks us back in the head with it. Whereas if we can shift our thoughts, we can maybe take that shovel and do something constructive with it.

Now. I know there is no way for me to control what thoughts come into my head. NO WAY! I cannot control this. However. If/When I get a “You silly twat, I’m gonna hit you over the head with a shovel“-thought into my head, what I can do is control how I react on it. When Julia say “shift your thoughts” this is how I interpret her. I don’t have to act on the thought, I don’t have to believe the thought, and I definitely don’t have to act in a way that doesn’t serve me. I can just as easily act in a way that does serve me.

It’s all thought, it’s not Truth.

I’ve become better and better at not hitting myself with said shovel. Because, you see, I used to be champion of the world in this field, for a long long time. But I realized that it’s not serving me AT ALL to hold this world championship title! So I’ve gradually learned not to go there, not to believe the “You silly twat, I’m gonna hit you over the head with a shovel“-thoughts, and more importantly, not to hang onto them. When they come, they come. Nothing I can do about that. But I have a choice in how I respond and relate to that thought.

There’s a quote by Wayne Dyer that goes like this:

You create your thoughts,
your thoughts create your intentions,
and your intensions create your reality.

Now. I agree with the two latter parts, but not the “I create my thoughts”-part. Because I don’t create them. So I’d like to rephrase:

image

So, what do you do when you get a “You silly twat, I’m gonna hit you over the head with a shovel“-thought? And does that response serve you?

In 2015 I ran a series on herothecoach.com with Sunday postings of podcasts to my liking. In 2017 I will be re-posting some of those blog posts, or posts with other podcast recommendations – and this is one of them, originally posted here – , mixing them up with new podcast recommendations. 

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#blogg100 – You are not.

May 31, 2017
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”You may feel alone,
and separated,
and powerless.
But you are not.”

At times… it can feel like I am.
Alone.
Separated.
Powerless.

But it is, as always, a feeling, stemming from a thought. And thoughts aren’t Truth, to be taken at face value. Thoughts are thoughts, and like some of the more obviously ridiculous ones, all thoughts can be treated with a bit of a distance. Look at them, while asking yourself How does this serve me?

Taking thoughts seriously is a choice I make. And as it is a choice, why not be deliberate in my intentions – choosing to take seriously thoughts that do serve me, rather than the ones that do not?

you are notThis does not mean I do not feel alone. Separated. Sad. Angry. Upset, grieving, confused. Any and all shapes feelings can take on – they are there. I experience them, from time to time. It simply means, that when I’m in this emotional space and place, my bigger Self often step forward, gently hugging me, telling me I’m ok, and saying Look, there’s a thought that’s making you feel really bad. How is that serving you?

Making it possible for me to not only experience, but simultaneously observe, bear witness. And, most importantly, allow me a moment of pause, to make my deliberate decision, whether or not to continue to focus on the feeling, or not.

Because.
I may feel alone, separated and powerless.
But.
I. Am. Not.

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 92 of 100.
The book “The parents Tao Te Ching” by William Martin.
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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Being gentle to me – Reflection November ’16

November 25, 2016
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It’s funny. A month passes so quickly. Two months even quicker.
It’s been almost two months since my husband moved out, three months since he said he wanted to. Time sure flies.

I’ve tried to take extra good care of myself this past month. Making sure I sleep, eat well and get the nutrients I need, exercise, have fun, get sunshine and wind upon my face. I’ve had a massage as well as a facial (the latter something I’ve never ever experienced before. It was nice, very relaxing!). And basically, I try to listen within. Making sure I am silent enough to hear even the faintest inner whisper, softly informing me of what it is I need to sustain myself at this moment in time. 

It’s been a month of high’s and low’s.
Right now, as I am sitting here by the kitchen table, typing away on my monthly reflection, I’m in the calmest state of mind, totally at ease, body relaxed, long slow breaths, ok with whatever might be. Two weeks ago, I was in pain. It hurt so much, thinking about what we once used to have, and I couldn’t fathom how we let it slip away.

I know, my state of mind will keep on moving, back and forth, like waves hitting shore. Sometimes gently, gently, lapping away at the sandy slopes. Sometimes hurling itself with massive energy onto land, with a desperation, trying to grab a hold of as much as possible, before withdrawing with a vengeance, dragging sand and debris along out to sea. waves along the shoreThat’s me. My emotional state. Sometimes like the gently lapping waves, sometimes with such fierce energy it’s almost hard to contain within the boundaries of my physical body. And although the situation at hand might provide me with opportunities to experience the highest high and the lowest low more often than usual, it’s still just a part of life. It’s always like this. At least for me. My state of mind is fluid. In constant flux between high’s and low’s and everything in-between.

Noticing what the energy of the moment is, gives me a hint as to how much trust it’s wise to put on my thoughts. In the extremes, both high’s and low’s, I’m no longer as prone to putting much value on my own thoughts and emotions. I mean, I don’t disown them. I certainly feel what I feel when I feel it. But in general, if I’m low, the quality of my thoughts is generally low as well, and I have learned (oh boy, have I ever learned, the hard way!) not to put too much faith in them. Rather, I let them be, knowing it will pass. This too shall pass, as the saying goes. And it always does. The same goes for the high’s of course, even though they are usually a lot more enjoyable.

These past months, I’ve had it all. And I’ve rolled with it, all of it. At times desperately wanting the pain to go away. All the while knowing that it will. In time. And that’s comforting. This is me being very gentle towards myself, knowing this too shall pass. It’s a deep knowing, and it is there always, throwing a shimmer even on the worst moments. Reminding me, that it will all be ok, that it is ok, even when it feels like it isn’t. Reminding me, that even though it hurts sometimes, I am ok, because I always am; as is hubby, which is also a great comfort to know in all of this!

Welcome to my new website, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. I will be reflecting on a monthly basis on what that means to me, in the moment, and this is one of those reflections. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future reflections.

 

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