Writings

The answer is No…

The answer is No…

November 16, 2018
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A few weeks ago, Vanessa of Crafting Connection (remember, the one with the amaaaazing Be the change-cards) shared an image on Facebook and Instagram, and I made a screen shot, because I found it do to the point:
If you don’t ask the answer is NO!!

So simple. So brilliant. And so ridiculously true. If you don’t ask the answer is NO!!

And still… here I am (possibly you as well?) hesitant to ask. Fearing the possible no. Totally missing the super-obvious, that if I don’t ask… the answer is given. No. Because I will n o t get what I don’t ask for (yes. Of course. Given that it is a something that I have to ask for to get. If it was something I could do myself, I would. Duh…).

Reminds me of something I have kept coming back to these past weeks, in various situations. That most of us would raise our hands if asked if we like to help other people. And – here comes the sad part – most of us would not raise our hands if asked if we like to ask for help from others.

I wonder how much the fear of getting a No is at the root of this behaviour? Probably quite a lot. And it’s a shame. Because if I, and you, and everybody else who refrains from asking for help, would start to look at is as providing others with an opportunity to do what people in general like doing, i.e. being of assistance, being helpful, perhaps more of us would raise our hands when asked Do you like to ask for help?

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Written on the body

November 15, 2018
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What do you think about the book, he asked me?

I am not sure, I answered. It’s mixed. There is a sense of distance, like I cannot really get i n t o the characters, i n t o the book, in the way I like, to get engulfed. There are parts written in a way that I cannot fathom how any one person can actually come up with something like that (specifically the parts written about the tissues of the body). That fascinates me as it’s not something I could ever in a million year see myself doing. And then… at times, there are passages that absolutely knocks the breath out of me, with stunning clarity, beauty, punch.

“Bigger questions, questions with more than one answer, questions without an answer are harder to cope with in silence. Once asked they do not evaporate and leave the mind to its serener musings. Once asked they gain dimension and texture, trip you on the stairs, wake you at night-time. A black hole sucks up its surroundings and even light never escapes. Better then to ask no questions? Better then to be a contented pig than an unhappy Socrates? Since factory farming is tougher on pigs than it is on philosophers I’ll take a chance.”

These passages in Written on the body, they are not a soft pastel aquarelle painting. This is a book of oil on canvas, thick, rich colours and textures, dramatic and real.

“The earliest pilgrims shared a cathedral for a heart. They were the temple not made with hands. The Eklasia of God. The song that carried them over the waves was the hymn that rung the rafters. Their throats were bare for God. Look at them now, heads thrown back, mouths open, alone but for the gulls that dip the prow. Against the too salt sea and the inhospitable sky, their voices made a screen of praise. 
Love it was that drove them forth. Love that brought them home again. Love hardened their hands against the oar and heated their sinews against the rain. The journeys they made were beyond common sense; who leaves the hearth for the open sea? especially without a compass, especially in winter, especially alone. What you risk reveals what you value. In the presence of love, hearth and quest become one.”

Written on the body was the book-du-jour of the GIFTED book club meet up today. D chose the book, and boy, did he ever open it up for me (and the others I think). There are layers and layers to be discovered in this book. A spider web intricately woven by Jeanette Winterson, and D, with his passion and love for the beauty and hidden meaning/s of this (and other) books, pushed the door open for me. Made me realize there’s a whole universe to discover with this book as the entry way.

All of a sudden…. it’s a book I am more curious about now, that I was when I had first read it. Makes me want to read it again, to see if I can discover a few of the references and subtly hidden messages D talked so passionately about tonight!

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Make sure it involves others!

November 14, 2018
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When asked If I offer out the phrase living a good life, what comes up for you? by Jonathan Fields on the pod The Good Life Project, Mitch Albom answers brilliantly.

Make sure it involves others, he said. Not sure that you can, you know, ever live a really good life if you’re not doing things for other people, if you don’t make helping other people or lifting other people a central part of your life. 

Mitch Albom is the author of Tuesdays with Morrie, a book I read a loooong time ago. I might have read some other book of his as well, not sure though. Mitch Albom hasn’t been top of mind, that’s for sure. But then, saw him featured on a recept episode of GLP, and clicked Play. And baaaam – I was hooked! By his gentle and thoughtful approach to life. By the example he’s setting, how he walks his talk. For real – at least what I can tell from this conversation. So I listened, and – yet again, it happens now and then – immediately pressed Play once I got to the end.

Well worth a second round of listening, and I might very well take Mitch on once more, for that matter.

At the end, he quotes his latest book, The next person you meet in heavenThe end of loneliness is when you realize how much need there is in the world, and how if you give to others in need, your loneliness goes away.

That sentence…Something about it makes me pause. Reflect. Upon my own feelings of loneliness. Of the loneliness I perceive in others around me, and the suffering I pick up from them, due to it. All in vain? I mean… he’s right, isn’t? Mitch, I mean? That if I truly realized how much there is to just dig into – there is no shortage what-so-ever of places, people, projects to get engaged in – I could have the busiest and most jam-packed action-filled life ever. If that’s what I aimed for. That is a choice available to me. And to you.

Listen to the pod. It’s worth an hour (or two. Or three…).

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Hiding in the shadows

November 12, 2018
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A part of me.
Sometimes.
Hiding in the shadow.
Holding back. Not showing myself, fully.
Hiding bits and parts of me.
From others. And from myself?hiding in shadows

“Last edited by Helena Roth on March 16, 2016.” means this post and the accompanying photo has been sitting as a draft for two and a half years.

Was I hiding? Yes. Most definitely. From myself as well as from others.
Six months later I separated from my then husband, and two years later the divorce was final.

Am I still hiding? Lurking in the shadows?

Yeah.
But way less.
First and foremost I am no longer hiding (as much) from myself.

Am on a quest to own this, to own me (!), fully. I want to decide, consciously, what I show of myself and when I show it. No more letting old conditioning – others voices internalized within, carrying messages of shame, of belittling, of “don’t think you are worth anything” – to be in charge.

Not any more.
No.

Saying Yes instead.
To me.

Here I am.
As I am.

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I’ve been low…

November 7, 2018
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Basically ever since May. And I only just found out – for real – last week, because that’s when I “became myself again”. And that was the difference that opened my eyes to the fact that I have been low, for months on end.

I mean… I’ve noticed it indirectly, but haven’t drawn the proper conclusion. Possibly you’ve noticed as well, because one of the symptoms have been my lack of energy and will to blog daily. It simply hasn’t happened since early May. After five+ years of daily blogging, it was as if I ran out of fuel. And I haven’t been “all there” in other instances as well, even when I would have liked to be fully present. I simply haven’t.

So no wonder that my summer felt a bit off as I looked back on it at the end of August.
And no wonder that the past two and a half months have gone by in a haze – I’ve had a lot to do, but didn’t ever get really grounded, not in myself, and not in my surroundings and my nearest.

And then… last Tuesday.
I was back!
Filled with energy.
With a lust to do, to write, to create.
To be me – and express myself.

And as I got through the first days of “being back to myself” – I realized…. I’ve been low. I haven’t been myself. That’s the root cause of all these symptoms of being-slightly-off-my-own-game, and I only connected the dots once I was one the game again. And let me tell you: it feels great!

I mean – if you ask people around me, possibly they might say that me-off-my-game is still a whole lotta me, with doings and writings and creations all around. And I… yeah, I won’t say that it’s not. But the difference is how it feels – within me. And what I have been doing, writing and creating this past week, has been so much more effortless that whatever I managed to get out of my system since May. So for me – the difference is significant.

Facts are that I’ve played the guitar and done an FB-live every day of November, as well as blogged five out of seven days (today included), which is way more than any seven-day-streak since May, despite starting off the month with a head cold.

I’ve been low. And now I am not. Now. I am back!

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Daily reflections on coaching

November 6, 2018
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I am a sucker for challenges, especially of the kind that goes something along the lines of “do x for y number of days in a row”. So when I stumbled upon a challenge on Facebook to join the #BusinessBoomUtmaning (utmaning means challenge in Swedish) which challenges me to post a Facebook live-video every day between the 1st and 21st of November, I was game!

The group is in Swedish, but I chose to do my challenge in English, and I also decided to have Coaching as the theme for the entire gig. Every day since November 1th I’ve created a short Facebook Live-video, and I have every intention of fulfilling my obligation to myself of running the course.

And since it’s a daily challenge for 21 days, it’s easypeasy as well – because it means I know that every day I am to do a Live. I don’t have to wonder if “it’s today or not”, because it is. Every day. For twentyone days.

My choice of theme gives me ample opportunity to reflect upon what Coaching means. For me. And for my clients – at least what they share with me. Additional perks is learning to do FB Live:s, get me in the habit of doing videos, get better at talking directly to the camera, get thinking of coaching more specifically, get more to blog about (because whatever I reflect upon most likely can be turned into a blog post) and as icing on the cake, it’s great fun to keep tabs on how many views each video gets.

Do you enjoy this type of challenge? Or do you abhor them?

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The Great Misunderstanding (book 22 of 26)

November 4, 2018
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The Great Misunderstanding, by Premananda, is a book that my pod-leader from my Supercoach Academy training in 2014 talked to me about on our third physical meetup, in London. I don’t remember how me and Phil to to talk about it, but as he lives locally, he said he’d bring it the next day, or possibly the next meetup (which took place in Santa Monica a couple of months later), I can’t remember which. Anyhow, both me and Phil forgot, until SCA was over…. so one day, I got a package in the post, and it was this book, gifted me by Phil!

“You don’t have to do anything to be who you are.”

Since then (holy moly, had to count on my fingers, but it’s been f o u r years!), I’ve been planning on reading it, but… you know the drill. I must say, actually reading books I’ve intended to read for years on end has most definitely been one of the greatest perks of my 26 Swedish and 26 English books-challenge. Such a fulfilling side-effect that I will be doing some kind of version of this challenge next year as well!

“Projection means to imagine that another is responsible for something that goes on inside you. If you want to put an end to suffering in your life you have to take responsibility for it. It has nothing to do with anybody out there. Realising that is a very big step because we spend most of our time projecting onto others and blaming them for our misery.
Putting an end to our habit of projection involves looking honestly at our behaviour and patterns, without judgment and opinion. we don’t have to change them; we just have to see them. As soon as they are seen they are not just automatic anymore. We stop being robotic, no longer just victims of our conditioning, and we become present with life as it actually is, not as we imagine it to be.”

Supercoach Academy is grounded in the Three Principles, a simple way of describing that which, in my understanding, is the common thread of most (if not all?) – major – religions, namely the creation and experience of being a human on Earth. This is also what Premananda talks about in The Great Misunderstanding, with a focus on the fact that we are not separate, but rather, we are one.

The Great Misunderstanding is an easy read, a mix of input/information, conversations and jokes. All pointing to the same thing, that a strong identification with an ‘I’, to a large extent makes life difficult. Unnecessarily difficult.

“You are here on this planet to be empowered, to be beautiful, to be whoever you are supposed to be and to manifest this in the world. Do your dance, whatever it is. It’s not so difficult. You just have to remember who you are and surrender to that, trust it.”

I like what I read, even though it’s not exactly news to me, any of it. But it points me towards something that I know to be true, that I revel in, a space, a silence, an understanding, that has me “coming home” in a way, remembering who I am, and surrendering to it.

“Life itself is a mirror. […] Everything that happens in life is an opportunity to know yourself. In our modern society most people are simply not interested to know who they really are.”

I don’t know that to be true, that people aren’t interested to know who they really are. I think many are, but feel both scared and alone in this search, not knowing who to look towards, whom to be guided by. It’s like reflection, a practice that most people seem to have forgotten about, forgotten how it’s done, when, why. Possibly it’s the same with “knowing who I am” – there might not be enough people around who are interested in this question (who am I?) and talk about it so we can be inspired and guided by them? I want to believe that, rather than “no one is interested”.

“[…] everybody arrives on this planet with an invitation around their neck saying something like ‘welcome – have fun’, but unfortunately it seems to fall off in many cases.”

Welcome – have fun!
Now isn’t that a lovely way to greet life and every single day with?


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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The self-care mastery of cats

November 3, 2018
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What are you thinking about?, I asked.

He looked at Pop the cat lying next to him on the sofa, carefully grooming himself, and said I am thinking about the self-care of cats. They are absolute masters at self-care. Look at him – carefully, meticulously and with the greatest care in the world, he’s gently taking really good care of himself. Licking his front leg, over and over, slowly brushing his leg over his face, licking once more, brushing his face. He, like all cats, simply excels at self-care.

Boom.
Yes!
That’s it.
That is what cats are, the self-care masters of the world!

I greatly enjoy watching Pop when he wakes up in the morning (often at the foot end of my bed, where he gladly can stay the entire night – never too long in one place, in one position, knowing, albeit he’s deep in sleep, that his body still needs to move to be supple in the morning), slowly stretching, growing to twice his length by reaching as far as he can with both front and hind legs. Twisting and turning his spine, getting vertebraes, blood, muscles and sinews going – mimicking Turning Torso, or rather, giving a perfect example of why Calatrava called his building just that.

And as I sit here, in the sofa once more (yes. I like my sofa.), guess who just came to snuggle up close to me? Yup, Pop the cat. And guess what he’s doing? Yup, practicing self-care! He’s a great role model, and an even greater reminder for me to practice self-care, as he’s around a lot (which he is because he’s a truly sociable cat, enjoying the company of people young and old alike).

My morning green smoothie, my Seven, my Headspace-meditation, my blogging, my reading, my moving around – a walk, a bike ride, a slow run. Those are the self-care-practices that come to mind, when I think about it. Having deep conversations with significant friends is another one, that is high on the list.

What type of self-care do you practice? And who is your guiding light, your role model, reminding you about taking good care of yourself?

 

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Be the change – cards and guidebook

October 30, 2018
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Be the change – a set of cards accompanied by a guidebook, all packaged in a beautiful box. Created by Vanessa Jane Smith of Crafting Connection, a dear campfire sister and friend of mine, and I am grateful to have been a small part of the birthing process of these wonderful cards. One of the cards “is me” even… symbolically speaking.

Vanessa presents the cards thus: Here are 53 invitations to play and stretch your thinking. They will make you stop, wonder, perhaps even confuse you for a second. They will put you in a new place where new ideas can come forward. 

Funnily enough, while drawing my card of the day, number 49 Trust and Let go, the image and the message is just what I needed to see and read right now: No matter what you are faced with now, you have a choice – to maintain the present order of things or to let go and allow it to reform. […] What do you now choose to definitively move towards?

You can buy these cards for yourself (from the website or the FB-page), and I so urge you to, as they are stunning, in all ways possible! Or as Vanessa frames it:

The cards and guidebook are a gift to you to be your own expert your own leader within each moment of every day.

Shake off any judgement or struggle because this is different from anything else you’ve done before.

Pick a card, jump in, and play!

Notice what comes up in you.

Perhaps it will trigger a feeling, an answer, an idea which you can bring into the group or just ponder on for a while.

This is how you will join new dots and connect new thoughts, ideas, and feelings in a new way.

So pick a card and start playing!

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Difference is a teacher

October 27, 2018
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I want my story heard, because, ironically, I believe Picasso was right. I believe we could paint a better world, if we learned how to see it from all perspectives, as many perspectives as we possibly could. Because diversity is strength, difference is a teacher. Fear difference; you learn nothing. – Hanna Gadsby

A dear friend of mine posted a summons on Facebook to watch Nanette, by Hannah Gadsby, telling me and his other friends, to “Watch it. Thank me later.”

I watched it a few months ago, at the suggestion of my ex-husband. I watched it then, and was astonished. Nanette is sensationally good, and Hannah Gadsby nails it, over and over and over again. But as I sat down in my sofa, wrapped in woolen blankets, with a cup of hot tea with honey, trying to scare away a headcold that’s been creeping up on me, reading Caspians summons, I figured, why not watch Nanette again?

So I did.
Just as astonished. Bowled over. Nailed. Over and over and over.
There is simply no hiding from her, from her justified anger, from her story.

I am angry, and I believe I’ve got every right to be angry. But what I don’t have a right to do, is to spread anger. I don’t. Because anger, much like laughter can connect a room full of strangers, like nothing else. But anger, even if it is connected to laughter, will not relieve tension, because anger is a tension. It is a toxic, infectious tension, and it knows no other purpose than to spread blind hatred, and I want no part of it because I take my freedom of speech as a responsibility. And just because I can position myself as a victim does not make my anger constructive. It never is constructive.

Laughter is not our medicine. Stories hold our cure. Laughter is just the honey that sweetens the bitter medicine. – Hannah Gadsby

To finish off, I’ll simply quote Caspian:
Watch it. Thank me later.

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