unknown

Slow down. Ease up.

Slow down. Ease up.

February 16, 2019
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As I walked through the door, exclaiming my back is killing me, D picked up on the message. When we sat down to work with the pain, he asked me: What did you feel as you stepped through the door?

I didn’t really have an answer, so he asked if I wanted to hear his impression. Yes, please tell me, I responded. What else could I say, being a Curious George and all that…

So he said, slow down. That’s the message I got, to slow down. Ease up a little. 

I’ve carried the message with me, this past week, using it as a baseline to reflect on what I am doing, in which areas, and how it all serves me. Or doesn’t, for that matter.

Coming to a realization that for quite some time I’ve been pushing all my own buttons. At the same time. Working on all areas, simultaneously. Pushing against the boundaries of my comfort zone… no, that’s untrue. I’ve been pushing against the boundaries of my stretch zone, going dangerously into the red snap zone… in many, if not all, areas of life.

I realized, as I took in the message I was sending but not picking up on, that I don’t have to work in all areas, everywhere, all the time. It is not only reasonable but actually wise, to heed the advice of the master of self-care, Pop the cat. Let myself rest, consolidate, push fewer buttons, letting come that which wants to come, given that I let go of that which has done its job.

So I breathe in. Hold it, for a few seconds. Then… exhale, letting go of a bit of the urge within, to be done. Knowing it’s not at the finishing line the reward of this journey lies. It is the journey itself. That is the reward. The growth. The expansion. The learning. That which is life. Living it. Loving it. Letting go to let come, and reveling in each twist and turn, each nook and cranny, falling through internal trap doors, one after the other. All the while being open. And gentle. Knowing my gentleness towards myself is that which ensures the openness, the willingness, the ability to step without hesitation into the next inch of the unknown.

As a direct result of the reflective process of this past week, I honored myself today.
Saying No to others. Saying Yes to me.
Slowing down. Easing up.

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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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Key person of influence (book 7 of 26)

April 8, 2018
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in Tip
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Key person of influenceKey person of influence, by Daniel Priestley. A book gifted to me by my friend Michael Sillion, aka Captain Future. He gave it to me with the sweetest inscription, with the hope that it would inspire me as much as he has been inspired by me. And yes Michael, this is a book that inspires me. There are a few threads that stick out for me from this first read (yes. This is a book I will reread.):

  1. I will get going with my podcast plans. (Plans that have been plans for far too long, it is time to get started.)
  2. The distinction between resources and resourcefulness. This is an angle I have not previously come at the concept of resources from, and it makes for quite an interesting perspective I must say. Love it!
  3. This is a book full of questions that I would like to sit with – ponder, reflect upon, throw out there and see what comes back… (hence the re-reading intention!)

As for the second thread, here’s a paragraph from the book, with a sassiness (of course!) that puts a smile upon my face:

No matter what you need in your business or your life, getting it will be a function of your resourcefulness rather than whether the resources are available. Of course they are available. 

The three biggest factors that determine your resourcefulness are:

  • The questions you ask.
  • The people you know. 
  • Your willingness to stretch into the unknown. 

All of these factors are things I’ve been very actively working on.

The questions you ask.
A very dear friend of mine recently reflected on the fact that she now asks many more questions than she did upon meeting me (in 2013). The mantra “the questions you ask are more important than the answers you give (or receive)” is a way to be in the world that I’ve been hammering home (for me as well as for those I spend time with) these past years.

The people you know.
Ever since the same time that I met both of the people I’ve referred to above, I’ve “collected” people that inspire me, people that make me strive to be my better self. Matthew Kelly says it perfectly in The rhythm of life, a book I’ve yet to read, but definitely want to:
The people we surround ourselves with either raise or lower our standards. They either help us to become the-best-version-of-ourselves or encourage us to become lesser versions of ourselves. We become like our friends. No man becomes great on his own. No woman becomes great on her own. The people around them help to make them great. 

We all need people in our lives who raise our standards, remind us of our essential purpose, and challenge us to become the-best-version-of-ourselves.

Your willingness to stretch into the unknown.
I used to fear the unknown. I had the mistaken belief that my worth, my value as a person, resided in my ability to know, to be wise, knowledgeable, a veritable Encyclopedia Helenica… So for me to admit to not knowing, scared me senseless. I still struggle with this, there’s a lot of long-lived patterns of automatic responses for instance, giving the impression that I know full well what’s being talked about, even though I don’t have a clue, but a lot of it’s gone. Perhaps helped along the most by two aspects of my personal development these past five-ten years or so; my ability to be gentle with myself (and not knock myself upside the head with a mental shovel whenever I make a mistake or don’t live up to high inner standards) as well as my curiosity (also a trait I’ve actively cultivated).

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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#blogg100 – Limitations taken upon myself.

May 6, 2017
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”It may be interesting to ask,
What limitations have I,
unthinking,
taken upon myself?
It is very difficult for you child’s horizons
to be greater than your own.
Do something today that pushes
against your own preconceptions.
Then take your child’s hand
and gently encourage her to do the same.”

The event horizon calling me again.
Calling out to me, holding me. Safe in the knowledge that it’s not dangerous to cross over, to step beyond the edge of the known, into the wholly unknown.
Into realms brand new to me.

That in and of itself is possibly one of the greatest gifts I have to give, to myself, my children, friends and family and all those around.
The very fact of owning the concept of the event horizon, not intimidated – or, if so, at times, still not turning around, running away as fast as I can, but staying put – nor frightened – or, if so, at times, still not turning around, running away as fast as I can, but staying put.

Staying put… but not forever. Slowly inching forward Mark Nepo-style; an inch into the unknown.

Mark Nepo

If I manage this, not all the time, but enough times, then I will be pushing against my own preconceptions. There’s no way not to. By doing that, the limitations I’ve taken upon myself, unthinking, will become fewer and fewer. (Albeight they might be joined by new ones, brand new limitations, falling in line after the old and familiar ones.)

Living by example; not a burden, but a gift.
(Possibly a gift in the way the stinging nettle is a gift. If not careful, it will hurt, at least temporarily, as I pick it, to make the most yummy green smoothies, feta cheese-and-nettle-pie and nettle pesto. But the richness of all I can do with the stinging nettle, is more than enough reward when compared to the potential drawback and occational sting. The moments of me experiencing the burden of living by example are few and far apart; I neither shy away from them nor do I chase after them, becoming overwhelmed if and as they occur. I can be present to them, experience them, and let go…)

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 67 of 100.
The book “The parents Tao Te Ching” by William Martin.
English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.

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#blogg100 – what hope is.

March 3, 2017
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what hope isSo now that we’ve established what hope is not, what if we try to look at what hope is? Rebecca writes (still just in the very first pages of the foreword to the third edition of Hope in the Dark):

”Hope locates itself in the premises that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty is room to act. When you recognize uncertainty, you recognize that you may be able to influence the outcomes – you alone or you in concert with a few dozen or several million others. Hope is an embrace of the unknown and the unknowable, an alternative to the certainty of both optimists and pessimists. Optimists think it will all be fine without our involvement; pessimists take the opposite position; both excuse themselves from acting.”

The most impactful part – for me – is this: in the spaciousness of uncertainty is room to act.

The spaciousness of uncertainty – the vast expanse of no-thing that opens up for some-thing to take place, some-thing to enter the arena, to happen, simply because it is time. Not knowing what will come out of it (do we ever? Truly? Know? Believe, think, can logically assume… sure. But know?), if anything. If it will make a positive impact, or just be like a stab in the dark, seemingly pointless?

And then there’s the embrace of the unknown. That’s hard enough for many of us, I posit, so what about embracing the unknowable? That which is not possible to know. As a former control freak (at least ”former” suits most areas of my life today, but I can probably round up a few near and dear ones who would say I am still a staunch control freak in part…) I’ve learned to live in the unknown, to be ok in it, with it, and even better, to actually thrive there. But the unknowable? I’ve never even considered the difference between the unknown and the unknowable, until this very moment. Have you?

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 3 of 100.
The book “Hope in the dark” by Rebecca Solnit.
English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.

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Who I already am.

September 10, 2016
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So, even if you make plans you never think you’re really ready for marriage?” 

“No,” Seinfeld said. “It’s like any growth. You can’t be ready for it because it’s growth. It’s going to be new. You’re going to have a new life. You’re going to be a new person.”

I like Seinfeld’s definition of growth. You’re not ready for marriage. You’re not ready to start a business. You’re not ready to move to a new city. You’re not ready for growth … and that’s exactly why it will make you grow. Start before you feel ready.

By definition, growth must be something that makes you feel unprepared and uncertain. If it was comfortable and easy, it wouldn’t be growth. It would be normal. It would be standard. It would be who you already are.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

BoldomaticPost_Who-I-already-amWho I already am.

Wow.

I read that sentence over and over again, shiver, close my eyes, and feel my entire body relax into the unknown, that thing, which I am not, and never can be, ready for.

If I was ready, I would already have done it.
The only way to “be ready”, is to have already done it.
And I haven’t. Not yet.

Exhale and let go.
Knowing letting go opens up for letting come that which wants to happen.

That me – that is a second from emerging from the growth.
That me – that in the next moment, again will be not-ready for the next thing, and the next.
A never ending story, and that’s precisely how it’s supposed to be.
Otherwise I would never grow into becoming whom I will become.

And in the meantime, as I practice the fine art of being gentle towards myself, that which is life is lived, loved, experienced and treasured. Each glorious unknown and non-ready second of it!

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