Writings

Queen of Bingeing

Queen of Bingeing

September 30, 2020
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The bottom line:
Now and again letting myself fall head over heels in love with a great story, going with the flow of it, while simultaneously observing myself –picking up on what it is I like/dislike, what rubs me the right/wrong way, what I resist or want more of– is a gift. To me. 

My two Buddhas have been encouraging me (that’s a very kind way of describing their insistance!) longest of time, to watch Game of Thrones. I’ve resisted. Oh, how I’ve resisted. Not having access to HBO for one. Too busy, for another. Currently involved in something else, not wanting to take the time, oh but I’ve heard it’s so filled with violence in many forms… 

Excuses, excuses. 

So on the 3rd I signed up for a two-week-trial period, and got down to it. Watched the first episode of the first season… and then I just kept going. On the 28th I watched the sixth and final episode of the eight and final season. 

For 26 days GoT has kept me company, and perhaps there’s been one or two days of no GoT (except in my dreams… bingeing is an interesting way of populating dreams, with whatever I am bingeing on. Before giving up Pokémon Go, I’ve been PoGoing plenty in my dreams, just to give one example.), but more or less, this has been a daily companion for me for the past just-short-of-a-month.

A daily companion giving me the opportunity to make huge progress on my knitting; my GoT-knitting project which is what it turned into unwittingly. A poncho, accompanied by wrist-warmers. All of my own design, and an easy one at that, to ensure I could knit and watch at the same time. Had two lovely skeins of the most beautiful ruby-red lace woollen yarn, to turn into something. Knitted the first skein, all on the poncho, and then did two wrist-warmers before starting in on the poncho with the rest of the second skein. Have a third (or less?) of that last skein left, before the poncho is finished.
Keeping my Buddhas up-to-date on my progress, I’ve gotten a few priceless responses. One of my favorite is If there would be any money in bingeing, you’d be a millionaire. And this one, as I started on season five: That’s 40 hours of series in what? 3 weeks? And they say us millenials are bingers only to have the other Buddha respond with Noobs. And no. I got to season five in 16 days. Just saying. Bingeing GoT even had my kids realize that this is a serious skill of mine, and one they’ve likely inherited (genetic or environmental? Forever the Question, is it not?) too.

(My noobs-commenting-Buddha clocked 1+ season a day in his GoT-haydays, a point he’s keen to get across, making my 26 days seem like an eternity… Hence ’noobs’.)

I’ve truly enjoyed the process, letting myself get lost in a story, which is one reason why I love reading fiction (which is all I read up until I turned… 35 perhaps? Somewhere around there. Before that, the thicker the book, or the more books in a series I could find, the happier I was. Historical, or science fantasy, well-written, and I was hooked.). I’ve never gotten through George R. R. Martin’s series though. I know I’ve started it. Once? Twice? Not thrice. Didn’t take to it. Now – now I think I would definitely like to read it. I probably will.

Violent?
Heck yeah.
Lots of sex in the most weird and (supposedly) shamed ways?
Hell yeah.
That too. 

And I truly like it. Love it even. All of it!
Well-developed characters.
Absolutely stunningly shot – the way the are working with visuals is simply amazing.
Not to mention the actors. Wow! Just witnessing the children of the Stark family growing up through the years of shooting the series is something special. 

I truly appreciate the norm-breaking aspects to GoT. There’s not a season that goes by without some serious tankespjärn being provided, served up on the finest silver platter, there for the taking. Having a dwarf play one of the main characters for instance. Being extremely human in the sense that he’s a dwarf a n d a sexually practicing one at that. As human as anyone else. I love that! It also saddens me, because it makes it very apparent how seldom people who deviate from the norm (that friggin’ norm, narrower and narrower by every year.) are visible in every-day-culture as humans, expressed in all their glorious messy humanness. 

Another piece of tankespjärn for me is the roundedness of ”the evil characters”. Caricatured, sure, and yet, believable. Complex human beings, not one-dimensional. Picking up on this tell me it is not often so. That it’s more common that characters are black-or-white, good or evil, seldom both-and. But we are. Both-and. There’s good and evil in all of us. In the sense that sometimes, what I do or say, or don’t do nor say, is of service. To me. To others. Sometimes definitely not of service, neither to me nor others. Stumbling along, in all our glorious messy humanness, the full spectrum is there. Emotions, sensations, experiences. We get to live it all. If we let ourselves. And a lot of the expressions within our popular cultural register lack this. One- or perhaps two-dimensionality is rife, and the multi-dimentional (not for a moment would I denigrade humanness to being no-more-than three-dimensional) lived reality of humanity more rare for sure. 

As I watched the last episode of the last season, followed by the documentary made during the last season, a void opened up. What to do, when not watching a gazillion GoT-episodes every day?
Start to binge something else?
Write more?
Get to bed earlier?

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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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Keep on…

September 21, 2020
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I read:
People don’t show up when you launch.
They show up when they’re ready.

Such a simple concept, and yet… hard to come to terms with.
Or. Rather. Hard to disassociate between me doing my work, and you showing up when –and more importantly!– if my work is for you.

This is what generosity is.
What invitations are.

Me doing my work, putting it out there, telling the world, by all means, but not shoving it down anyone’s throat, not playing dirty. Generously sharing, shipping, showing up. Reaching out a hand, with a personal invitation

(this, for me! My achilles heal. Still. And I need to stop saying that.

Let me rephrase: This has been my achilles heal. But. It. Is. No. More.

Today I exult in sending out personal invites; hammering it home… No. That’s not very generous to me, is it? Putting away my hammer, and instead, giving myself a high five for each personal invite I extend, for each generous act of mine, for all the ways I show up. For me. For you.)

…that truly is an open, honest, no-strings-attached-invitation, where a No is as welcome as a Yes.

And how inviting others into my world, my creations, is, truly, generous, and that there’s no way for me to know when you’re ready, so the best thing I can do is keep on creating, keep on shipping and sharing, keep on inviting.


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

September 14, 2020
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Procrastination, the action of delaying or postponing something.
From Latin: procrastinare, pro-, ‘forward’, with –crastinus, ’till next day’ from “cras“, ‘tomorrow’.

Starting off with a bit from Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb:
Few understand that procrastination is our natural defense, letting things take care of themselves and exercise their antifragility; it results from some ecological or naturalistic wisdom, and is not always bad–at an existential level, it is my body rebelling against its entrapment. It is my soul fighting the Procrustean bed of modernity. Granted, in the modern world, my tax return is not going to take care of itself–but by delaying a non-vital visit to a doctor, or deferring the writing of a passage until my body tells me that I am ready for it, I may be using a very potent naturalistic filter. I write only if I feel like it and only on a subject I feel like writing about–and the reader is no fool. So I use procrastination as a message from my inner self and my deep evolutionary past to resist interventionism in my writing. Yet some psychologists and behavioral economists seem to think that procrastination is a disease to be remedied and cured.

I read this, and went: Wait. Hey! Whaaaat?!

Thinking back, I am guilty as charged. Having only, ever, looked at procrastination with scorn, disgust, dread, flagging it to be the culprit of tight (or even more horribly, missed) deadlines, of unchecked ToDo’s, endless lists written and never attended to… and add to that my worst sin: tardiness. Which, I must admit, I am only now realizing has a large factor of procrastination in it. ”I’m just gonna…” is one of the most common phrases out of my mouth (ask my children, they will verify it!), habitually postponing the next step in favor of what I am doing right now.

In the mornings, I want to write, read, do my Wim Hof-breathing rounds (three sets) and my morning Seven before I feel properly ready to meet the world. If I don’t exercise some proper discipline not only do I not write, not read, I spend the time scrolling my SoMe-feed, getting ready to do my Wim Hof around the time when I should be getting dressed to have breakfast, in order to meet whatever appointment/deadline I am ignoring… This has me doing my breathing, Seven and getting dressed, often skipping breakfast, and biking like a madwoman across town, arriving –winded and sweating– a few minutes after the fact…

I am n o t proud of this.
But. I. Just. Cannot. Seem. To. Shake. The. Habit.
Procrastinating like hell.
I am just gonna… do this, that and the other thing, before I get down to business and get myself to whatever-is-scheduled.

So when I read ”…seem to think that procrastination is a disease to be remedied and cured” I went: Wait. Hey! Whaaaat?! You mean it may n o t be? 

What’s the message for me in this?
What is it I am n o t doing, that would make me stop procrastinating?
Or, rather, what would have me use the procrastination as a message, a signal? Information to me, about the way I schedule my days, my weeks? The way I am keeping myself from doing some things I truly want to do (or do I? Is that the message?), avoiding… what?

There are so many layers to this, layers I am eager to lift up, explore and study, scrutinize and learn from. What serves me? What doesn’t serve me? When does/doesn’t it? How can I find ways of being in the world, that doesn’t have me waste the time of others (having to wait for me before getting on with it) while at the same time grant myself a life of less meddling?

So. Many. Questions.
Impossible (or not?) to answer?

What is procrastination to you?


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
Join me and other patrons of the tankespjärn-community on a Zoom-call on September 23rd 2020 at 7 pm CEST, in conversation on the topic of procrastination.
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100 vaginas

September 9, 2020
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Vulnerable.
Apropos.
Gripping.
Intense.
Notable.
Awe-inspiring.
Salutary.

Watching 100 vaginas. Three-quarters of an hour-long documentary on Laura Dodsworth. It’s not at all about vaginas though, but of vulvas. The difference between a vagina and a vulva?

Vital.
Unyielding.
Lovable.
Viable.
Ally.
Sensual.

Did you know the difference (without googling)?
Up until a few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to answer that question. Perhaps, you, like me, thought it was more or less a same same but different relationship between the two? (But no. Not at all. The vulva are the outer genitalia, and the vagina is the birth canal between the vulva and the uterus.) Imagine. I did not know…

That alone is a s t o n i s h i n g.

I mean, I possess both a vulva and a vagina and have done so since I was born in the early 70s. And still, I’ve never really know how it’s all connected.

Which is one of the reasons Laura Dodsworth chose to photograph 100 vulvas (after photographing both 100 breasts and 100 penises). The ignorance is massive.

Did you know that the shape and since of the clitoris (and believe me, the clitoris is way more than that visible little bud blanketed in labia. This is more than I knew.) wasn’t mapped and properly understood (thanks to Dr. Helen O’Connell) until 1998.

1 9 9 8.

Inconceivable.

So if only because of that: in Sweden 100 vaginas is available on SVT Play until February 2021, so if you read this before then, and reside in Sweden, watch it. If you read this later, or you live somewhere else, google and see if you can catch a viewing of the documentary some other way, or get a hold of the book.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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What’s not to love?

September 1, 2020
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Two years ago I reclaimed lindy hop dancing into my life. A beginner weekend course (a refresher from the few years I danced lindy hop almost twenty years prior), and then classes for three semesters and social dancing at that. Or… almost three semesters. The spring classes (10 classes constitute a semester) were cut short for obvious reasons (Corona, pandemic, social distancing) after the first three.

Today. The first of the remaining seven classes was held. One and a half hours of dancing. N o t the way it was. But… still. Dancing. The music. The sweat, laughter, struggle and flow. How I love it!

How I hope that we will find ways to make dancing a part of our actively lived culture again. Not to have to be afraid of it. Of being close to others. (Yes, measures were taken. Stay home if symptomatic, of course. No obligatory partner swopping, but if you want to swop, going for smaller groups of 2-3 couples. Wash hands. Sanitize them often. No touching of face. Well. You know the drill…)

Am I crazy for doing it?
Possibly. But I am not sure I’d remain sane n o t doing the things I love doing, not for long…

And here’s a clip of two others who also love it. It’s my favorite lindy clip, all categories.
The ease of these skilled dancers, the fun they have, the lovely music… what’s not to love?

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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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Writing

August 24, 2020
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Third day in a row.
Sitting in bed, iPad in my lap, leaning against the headboard, supported by pillows.
Writing.

Oh!
At long last, getting back to this lovely routine.
Waking up, getting out of bed to go pee, and then sneak downstairs, fetching my iPad, before heading back under the covers. Setting myself up for a few minutes, half an hour, an hour, of writing.
Writing.

Writing, intentionally, a deep-dive into a topic (or rather, into an exploration within), a strong enough Why to get me to commit, to take action, to Do in order to match who I want to Be. An exploration I am, for now, keeping to myself, or at least, to a small group of people. Figuring things out, discovering, uncovering, not wanting to publish, as this specific baby is far from ready to meet the world. Perhaps it will be. One day. Perhaps it never will be. Ever. Regardless, it feels very good to be writing.
Writing.

And as always (often?), when I start to write, more wants to be written. It’s as if I open the faucet, and out it comes. Like this. Writings related to the experience of writing, or other; experiences, urges and insights, all of a sudden start to flow, wanting to come out, wanting to be written.
Writing.


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