time

…seize the wonder of being alive in this moment.

…seize the wonder of being alive in this moment.

March 22, 2020
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“As well as saving millions of lives by killing rodents, our soft-footed friends have helped heal countless hearts. Sitting quietly at the ends of beds, they’ve waited for human tears to ebb. Curled on the laps of the sick and elderly, they’ve offered comfort impossible to find elsewhere. Having served our physical and emotional health for thousands of years, they deserve recognition. The Egyptians were right. A cat is a sacred being.”

Picked it up in one of those bookshelves at an office, where people can put books they’ve read, and if there’s a book calling out to them, take that one back home to read. I didn’t bring a book with me, but I’ve been generous with donating books both here and there over the years, so I figured I could put this book in my backpack, as it did just that. Call out to me. To take it.

So I did.

“Mothers have powers beyond politics, art and money. We’re the people who give life, nurture babies and make them grow. Without us humanity would wither like seaweed on a rock. Knowledge of our power is so deep we don’t talk about it often, but we use it all the time.”

And what a lovely book it is, Cleo, by Helen Brown.
I’ve written on how Pop the cat is my resident master of self-care, and he continues to teach me how to enjoy every ounce of life.

“Cleo was changing my attitude to indulgence. Guilt isn’t in cat vocabulary. They never suffer remorse for eating too much, sleeping too long or hogging the warmest cushion in the house. They welcome every pleasurable moment as it unravels, and savor it to the full until a butterfly or falling leaf diverts their attention. They don’t waste energy counting the number of calories they’ve consumed or the hours they’ve frittered away sunbathing.”

In a world that is slowing down, the following lines spoke volumes to me.
So I will leave them here, for you, to read.
For you to look within, while you read, to discover what happens within you.

“One of the many ways in which cats are superior to humans is their mastery of time. By making no attempt to dissect years into months, days into hours and minutes into seconds, cats avoid much misery. Free from the slavery of measuring every moment, worrying about whether they are late or early, young or old, or if Christmas is six weeks away, felines appreciate the present in all its multidimensional glory. They never worry about endings or beginnings. The joy of basking on a window ledge can seem eternal, though if measured in human time it’s diminished to a paltry eighteen minutes.

If humans could program themselves to forget time, they would savor a string of pleasures and possibilities. Regrets about our past would dissolve, alongside anxieties for the future. We’d notice the color of the sky and be liberated to seize the wonder of being alive in this moment. If we could be more like cats our lives would seem eternal.”

 

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There’s always time

March 3, 2020
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There’s always time.
It’s never a matter of not having enough time to do the important things in life. Never.
(Big word, never.
Intentional use.)

The important things in life, you will find – or make – time for.
If not, well, then they aren’t important. 

#tankespjärn

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Hustling!

June 20, 2019
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Plenty of time… until all of a sudden, I don’t have enough. Story of my life…

And it’s funny – because there seems to be a gene controlling this human feature (flaw?) that skips a generation. Or at least skipped a generation when I am concerned. My father, oh my, he gets something to do, and he does it. He doesn’t bother to wait until there’s a deadline, he simply gets it done. Whereas me and my brother, give us a deadline, and we’re chill up until the very last minute when all of a sudden we scramble and hustle to get whatever-it-is done and handed in on time… or at least try to, occasionally failing miserably. Is it the instant gratification monkey rearing his ugly head?

Anyway. Off I go, hustling for half an hour, before I have to head off!

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Time enough.

June 8, 2019
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Going home. Happy I chose the slow route. A full eight hours to let the experiences of the past two days settle within, integrate, solidify. 

Time enough for soul and body to catch up with each other. 

Time enough for mind and heart to digest the richness of these past few days. 

Time enough for me to revel in remembrance, letting my heart overflow with the joy and gratitude that comes with living life at its fullest. 

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Time.

January 25, 2019
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The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the next best time is today, or so the saying goes. I reflected upon this this morning, as I did my 1622nd Seven exercise in a row. 1622 days. 4 years and 5 months, approximately. August 18th 2014 was my start date, and every day since I have done (at least) a Seven minute exercise. Every day.

But I could have done this so much longer – if I had started earlier. I didn’t though, and I see absolutely no point in beating myself up over that fact. Because what’s done is done. I cannot go back in time and start earlier. No matter how much I might want to, it’s just not to be done.

So I don’t go there. I spend zero time wishing that I’d stumbled upon the Seven app at an earlier point in my life. That way, I conserve my energy and use it in ways that serve me instead of wasting it. I have a higher regard for my own limited amount of daily energy, than to squander it away at thoughts like:

Oh, if only I had started exercising when I was a young kid… then I would be so fit today.

Oh, if only I had understood how to be gentle towards myself when I was younger… then my life would have been so much nicer.

Oh, if only I had realized that I don’t have to believe in all the thoughts I think… then I would have saved myself so much grief. 

I. Don’t. Go. There.
(Or rather, if I do – I certainly don’t stick around.)

Because – the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, for sure, but if I didn’t, the best time to do it is right now. And if I didn’t plant that tree back when… nothing I may say or do will change that fact. But I can change the fact of today – I can start now. I can act today. I can set something in motion today, that will give me great benefit tomorrow, and next year, and twenty years hence.

Today is a perfect day for a new beginning. If you take action today – in twenty years time, you will thank yourself, because you did plant that tree. So, what might you set in motion today?

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A dip in the sea

January 4, 2019
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Headed for town, but before I took off on my bike, I packed a towel. Just in case. After recording a pod and having lunch with and at Caspian’s I decided: Yes. Today is the day for the first dip in the sea of the year.

So I rode to the pier farthest from town, the one designated for skinny dipping. Parked my bike, took a picture and started to undress. Gloves, beanie, winter coat. Shoes, jeans, long johns, woolen socks. Woolen sweater, long tee, and my woolen undershirt. Off it goes. All of it.

As I pull my sweater over my head, a door to a somewhat surreal universe cracks open.

Grabbed my towel and headed out to the pier.
Sunny, windy, 5 degrees tops. Probably the same temperature in the water.

Tie my towel to the pier to stop it from blowing away.
Waves.
Slippery staircase, hold on tight.

And in I go.
Hesitate… and I would never do it.
So I just take one step after the other, until I am up to my neck in the ocean.

Cold. Yes. Shockingly cold.
Fully manifest in that other universe. The am-I-really-doing-this-and-can-this-really-be-happening-universe.

Hyperventilate while two waves crash into me, then get out. One step after the other, until I am up on the pier again.

In the other universe, I get out, cold and wet… and all of a sudden, my skin starts tingling. The chill vanishes, the wind disappears, time seems to stop, and I am totally present to the beauty of it all.

The ocean.
The sun.
The wind.
The vastness.
And last, but not least, to myself. For doing it.
Living. Fully!

Grab my towel and rub off, while taking my time walking to the bike and my clothes.

Slowly emerging from the alternate universe, I dress, happy, pleased, not feeling any cold whatsoever.

My soul sings!
I did it.
First dip in the ocean this year, and I know this dip will be followed by many others.

Who would have known that taking a (cold) dip in the sea would let me travel to another universe?
Who would have known a dip in the sea would fill me with this most wondrous feeling?
How will you know, if you would experience something like it unless you give it a shot?

 

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Advent Calendar 20 – Time and patience

December 20, 2018
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My youngest cooked dinner tonight. I had asked him and added the extra challenge that I wanted him to make a new dish, which he did. Once he was finished, and we were eating, astonished he realized a full hour had gone by.

And yes. Of course. Cooking from scratch takes time in and of itself for me as well, but I’ve practiced chopping onion way more than he has. So I told him as much, telling him that’s one of the reasons why I want him to help with cooking dinner. It will give him the necessary practice, and in time, he will get more and more skilled at it. All of it. Deciding what to cook, checking to see that all the ingredients are available, planning what do do when while cooking, and finally the joy of sitting down to eat a homecooked meal.

And yes. Of course. If I had taken over the onion-chopping chore, it would have gone a bit quicker. But that’s where patience comes in. For me. Because if I had taken over, impatient and hungry, he wouldn’t be learning, would he? Things take time. And sometimes those things take patience to endure.

Being gentle has me being patient with myself. And those around me. It’s a vital ingredient of growing, of learning. Letting time work in my favor, allowing skills to get honed. My lindy hop-dancing is another example. I attended a beginners weekend a month ago, and have since attended four social dance events, held Wednesdays in my hometown. Have signed up for the B-level class in the spring, and so look forward to it. Because I know, that with a gentle mind, time and patience, I will get better at it. I mean, I am already better than I was a month ago, because practice makes if-not-perfect, then at least better. Without the two factors of time and patience (and curiosity, a willingness to learn, to try, to learn from mistakes and many other factors of learning!) learning would not happen, as I wouldn’t be giving myself a chance to learn.

And I want to. I love learning new stuff! (You too?)


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 20 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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When time stops

May 2, 2016
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Sometimes, it’s as if time ceases to be.

When something so unexpected takes place – that everything just freezes. The moment lasts forever. I breath in, out, slowly, slowly, but without any time elapsing. Being in a prolonged state of now, a moment that has no beginning, no end. the unexpected

When something so unexpected takes place – that you start to question your sanity. Did it? Or didn’t it? Am I living a dream? Or did what seems impossible, improbable, implausible, actually just happen?

What do I feel? What don’t I feel?
It’s as if I go into chock, don’t know up from down, left from right, am I even breathing, or did that stop too?

Tears fall slowly, softly, down the curve of my cheeks, I taste the their saltiness when they slowly roll only my lips, into my mouth.

I sit. Still. Breathe.
Gaze, unseeingly, straight ahead. Seeing something else in my minds eye, replay the scene, breath. In. Out.
Hug myself. Lost. Feel lost. Cannot wrap my head around what just happened.

Am I out of my mind? What did just happen? How could it happen?
And given that it did happen – what’s the next step? Where do I go from here?
How to move, one step at a time, onto the road ahead?

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