Writings

The interplay of learning and discovering

The interplay of learning and discovering

December 3, 2020
/ / /

The bottom line:
The interplay of learning and discovery and what sets them apart from one another.

The Story Skills Workshop is informing me.
In many ways. But one, in particular.

How the word story is, in reality, much more defined than what I, personally, have known it to be.

I just wrote a reflective piece within the confines of my Deep Dive into Shame, and it was not a story.
Or?
Was it?

Aargh.
I thought it wasn’t.
Now.
Thinking about it again.
I am unsure.
Perhaps I’ll revisit it, trying to see if I can fit the story scaffolding to it.

However, this is one of the things being in such a massive discovery-phase leads to. For, even though I am learning, how to tell a story, what is a story, what parts constitute a story, and how I can become better at telling stories, I am also discovering. And as my wise friend Inma has made me realize, there’s a huge difference between the two. Learning and discovering are not the same. There can be a lot of learning within the discovering, and there can be moments of discovery within the learning, but in general, what Inma pointed to makes sense, for me.

Paraphrasing, what I heard her say was this:
Learning is being open to what is known to exist, however not yet mastered by me.
Learning has me knowing the end destination from the moment I set out.

Discovery has me stepping into the unknown, taking the risk of setting foot in unknown land.
Discovery is me not having a clue what might be, what might become, whether it be up/down, in/out, high/low, light/dark…

When I set out to learn how to play the guitar, I had the image of me sitting around a campfire on the beach on a warm summer evening, with a handful of friends, playing and singing. Together.

Given this image, I signed up for a semester of lessons with a local guitar teacher, and chord by chord, I learned. There was discovery thrown into the mix, like the discovery that I didn’t have the ability to make one or two of my fingers press down on a string where I wanted and needed them to. I had no idea of that particular aspect of learning how to play the guitar, so it was a discovery. But the endeavor itself was not. It was a learning endeavor.

When I set out to deep dive into shame, I had no idea what I was getting into. No idea what it might lead to. No clear plan or path ahead. What I did have was willingness. Curiosity. A clear intention of not holding back. But the end destination was not clear, not well-defined, simply a felt sense of something other. And willing to risk whatever it took to expand into this otherness. The endeavor itself is a discovery, and cannot be anything but a discovery.


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

FOMO running wild!

November 24, 2020
/ / /

Speeding up, internally, overcommitting, FOMO running wild, efficient in the way only I know how, zooming from meeting to meeting indeed, on Zoom), not even giving myself the pleasure of a sunshine-filled walk midday.

Breathe, Helena, breathe.
And let go.
Release your foot from the gas pedal, there’s enough energy in the system to get quite far without you putting any more gas into it. Get your priorities in order, ticking ToDo’s off one by one (the only way to do them, one by one, bird by bird), and… oh. Yes. Saying No does not mean you will not be considered next time, does not mean you aren’t a valued participant of the community, does not mean any of the stuff the internal chattering ticker tape is trying to get you to believe.

Make sure you get the walks. The bike rides. The hour of puttering about in the garden, raking some leaves into a pile over here, cleaning some garden tools over there, checking the status of the horse manure/cow dung/saw dust-barrel, filled with what will be goodies for the soil come spring.

Make sure you get the fullness of the morning ritual. The movement, the Wim Hof breathing, the glass of by-now-luke-warm water, the writing (Oh, the writing! Treasure it, as it treasures you!), reading the daily entry in The Book of Awakening, and the cold shower. All of it vital, but more than that, all of it there for you. Gifts. All of them. Gifts that help you show up the way you want to show up in the world. Grounded. Filled with energy. Abel and capable. With a mischievous touch of tankespjärn to spice things up when needed.

But no.
These aren’t must’s.
They are want’s.
I want to get the walks, the bike ride, the gardening and the morning ritual. Add to that the reading, the community-building, the Buddhas-recordings, the therapy, the cooking for me and my children and sitting down to a meal together.

These are want’s that are important to me because with these I honor myself.
I honor who I am, who I have been, and who I will be.
Always and already.


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

Getting a few hours of work in

November 21, 2020
/ / /

The day opened up thanks to a change of plans, and although it’s Saturday, I thought I might get a few hours of work done, after first spending two hours over Zoom with my two Buddhas. So I sat down, computer at hand, and decided to do my work first, rather than prioritizing the paid work I have to get done.

(Yeah.
Sigh.
I know.
Crazy, right?!
I had perhaps get a wee bit better at prioritizing…
)

But before that, I did a combo breakfast/lunch. And yes. I am aware. This might be called a brunch. However, brunch sounds like a lovely spread, something to nibble at, come back to more than once, preferably in the company of great friends, and I had none of that. So brunch doesn’t seem like the word, if you know what I mean? A bowl of yogurt with a diced banana and an apple, alone, watching an episode of The Crown, simply isn’t brunch, no matter what time of day it’s done.

Never mind that though.

My work today constituted writing a response to one of the lessons in the Story Skills Workshop I am currently participating in, a lesson I’d let percolate for not just one, but definitely two, three? Or perhaps even four days?

(My game-plan in a workshop like this is not to read ahead of where I am currently at. So as I did lesson D today, not until having published my response did I start to read other’s responses to lesson D. I can read material that I’ve already moved past, but not material I’ve yet to provide my own take on. I want to come at each lesson from myself, from my thoughts, ideas, without having been –too– influenced by how others respond to them.)

I like percolating on these prompts, letting my response come, an organic growth from within somehow, but hey, there’s another three lessons that have already been released, and more coming, so a nagging sense of wanting to get it down on paper, so I could move on to the next lesson, giving that one room to percolate as well.

And yes. I did get my work done.
It’s just that besides writing my response to the questions asked, I’ve also responded/interacted/been moved by at least a dozen other responses. Wanting to read, savor, respond, and not just in this forum, but also in the other two forums I am a proud participant/member of. What I haven’t done, is that paid work. And as it’s now five-thirty in the evening, I feel about ready to call it a day.

Given that it’s Saturday, perhaps that’s not a bad choice after all?


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

Slowing down to the speed of life

November 19, 2020
/ / /

I turn off Spotify.
The pipes leading to the heaters gargle a bit, and a car drives by on the residential road outside. And there’s another one, farther away, on one of the larger streets a block or two away. My 16-year old son Benjamin semi-shouts Hey, hey upstairs, ensconced in his room, involved in a Valorant online-tournament with some friends, online-friends.
Car.
Another car.
And this ringing noise, slightly whining… is it but a figment of my imagination? Or perhaps, the residue of noise from just before, ruffling the sensory hairs in my ear canals, generating a high-pitched, yet more grass-rustling-in-the-wind-like noise.
I hear myself, breathing out. Breathing out again, and then, there, an even softer exhalation.
Benjamin scrapes his chair against the floor, which just so happens to be my ceiling, as he’s upstairs, and I am downstairs.
He laughs and yammers away, as I raise my head, looking out the window right in front of me, a head-movement accompanied by a crack in my neck, oops, another car on the street just outside the other window, the one to my right.
I’m sitting at the dining room table, the only table around, the kitchen too small for a kitchen table.
Look up again, another crack, but softer, more of a crick.
I inhale long, and deep, exhaling even longer.

In October of 2015, I went for a walk in the recreational park just across the street. It was a walk that etched itself deeply into my memories, as, for the first time, I s a w. I was more fully present to the beauty surrounding us, surrounding me, than I’d ever been before.

I don’t think I’ve ever experienced the beauty of fall as I am this year. And I don’t think fall has gotten more beautiful – I think the change is in me. I’ve never been so aware, never taken the time, to look, to see the colors, the contrast, the smell, the vibrancy. The energy!

Looking up once more, and yes, you know it, another crack.

It’s like an undulating wave, this paying attention and noticing. Now and again, I am at the peak of the undulation, totally present, attentive, noticing. Now and again, I am at the very bottom, lost to the world, nowhere close to the here and now. Most of the time, in movement along those undulations, headed towards attentiveness, or towards not-presenceness (a habit of mine. I make up words. Sometimes really good ones. Not sure this one qualifies though).

(Years ago….) I walked behind two people while walking through Hyde Park, and overheard part of their conversation.

Sometimes I give you book on how to live a good life and sometimes I give you books with good stories in them‘, the older man told his younger female walking companion, in an accusatory tone.

I spun a tale – a story? What i s the difference? I’ve never really given that much thought either, before. Now, it’s all I can think about… (well. Almost.) – around that, imagining, reflecting, perhaps even projecting?

I started to slow down to the speed of life in 2013, perhaps even more so in 2014, and have kept on with that practice ever since. And I see now, as I sit here, that ringing tone still present within me, starting to believe it’s not within me after all, but something you might also hear, if you were here, sitting opposite me at the table, that me slowing down, simultaneously made me level up in the art of noticing and paying attention. Within, as well as without.

And I love it.
But, without a doubt, there’s a lot more attention- and noticing-powers within me, so I am upping the ante, willing myself to play around with this for the next few days (and… hopefully, forever and ever!).


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

Story Skills Workshop

November 15, 2020
/ / /

I did it.

I held out for four months, but finally, I could not withstand the pull to engage in another AKIMBO workshop. I signed up earlier this week, and am now, already, madly-in-love-with and knee deep into the Story Skills Workshop. (If you read this before the 16th of November, 2020, there’s still a chance to dive in with me!)

With a total of fourteen lessons dropping every other day or so, I look forward to learn a lot, discover even more, and get (and give) ample tankespjärn. The first lesson on Why, I responded to thus:

What brought you to this workshop?
A pull, the first since being on the first cohort of The Creative’s Workshop, the first real pull of a soft inner voice saying this, this is something for you. Just the way it was with TCW, which is the first AKIMBO-workshop I’ve ever taken, even though I’ve been drawn to them, drawn, not pulled, subtle difference, and yet, one I’ve distinguished between, ever since Seth Godin first started plugging the altMBA.

Small nudges in response to me putting out into the world my thoughts on joining the Story Skills Workshop, the universe aligning, making the pull ever-stronger, magnetic, harder to resist. Possible to resist, now and again, I do resist on of these pull’s. But not this time. This time I went for it.

What’s the story you want to tell?
If anything, this is what’s unclear, here I do step out into unknown territory (and what a treat that is!). I have blogged since 2012, resulting in a lot of personal storytelling published. Since a few months back I am doing a personal deep-dive into shame, using different modalities, writing being one of them. I am sharing these writings, not (yet) publicly on my blog, but in a smaller circle of creatives, and I know (owning it.) the power of this material.

However, I do not feel that material is what I am to share here. It’s too personal, in one sense, but more than that, it’s a bit too raw, too current, to share here, not sure I could take it being nitpicked and scrutinized the way I want to invite nitpicking and scrutiny to my participation here.

So likely, I will be sharing personal stories, blog-worthy stories, strung together solely by the fact of me. But who knows…

What are some of your challenges when it comes to storytelling?
Well, possibly my greatest challenge is how to distinguish between personal and private, what is too intimate to share. And the hurdle there involves others more than me, honestly. I am what I am, who I am, because of others, loved ones as well as mere acquaintances, or even strangers. Where do I draw the line? Who, and how, do I bring into my reflective ruminations? Where do I draw the line? Who do I describe in such a way that they, and others close to me, would be able to distinguish, to know, who I am talking about? What events can be shared, where identity is revealed? When does it make sense, when doesn’t it? When might it even be hurtful to the person/s? Does the end justify the means? What –how– can I do to tell my story in a way that makes the story worth telling, without telling someone else’s story, in a way they do not want their story told? Where/How do I draw the line?


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

 

Read More

Spider. With a message.

November 8, 2020
/ / /

After a long slow morning, going through every step of my morning ritual, the ritual that suddenly has come to be of such importance to me, I get out of bed, after writing and reading, with the intent to get up. For real. Not just to go boil a pot of water, not just to do a morning Seven of pelvic movements, not just to go pee, and then return to bed. I stop in front of my yoni-altar, somewhat lackadaisically created at the start of the three-month Yoni Club-program, kneeling on the sheepskin in front of it, picking up my box of oracle cards with messages from my animal guides.

Opening the box, I pull forth the little book, laying it to the side, as I bring forth the deck of cards, starting to shuffle them, holding my hands in front of my heart, breathing steadily. In. Shuffle. Out. Shuffle. In. Shuffle. Out. Shuffle. Making my hands go still, I part the deck of cards and look solemnly at an upside-down spider. I right the card, looking at it, laughing a bit inside, as it so looks like the spiders that mostly live in the basement of my house, but that a few weeks ago suddenly graced me with their living-room presence.

Trust the creative spark you’re feeling and express it through writing stories that inspire and enlighten

Having just written one entry in The Depth(s), the written part of the deep dive I am currently on, into shame, and one other story, for my anonymous blog, I nod to myself in recognition as I pick up the booklet and read on:

The pulse of creativity is especially strong right now, triggering a not unfamiliar and compelling desire to express yourself through creative writing. Whether or not the tales you weave are true, whether they’re based on actual experience or the imaginings of your fertile mind, each day sit yourself down and pour out the words that come to you. Don’t ponder each sentence or paragraph; just write whatever wants to be written through you.

Oh yes, this is precisely why my morning ritual has suddenly become so important to me. It is a time and place where by sitting down, words do come to me, through me, in a way that is harder to come by, if I don’t do it in the morning. It’s possible, but right now, the importance of honoring me by granting me time in the morning a l s o for writing, has become very clear.

To inspire and enlighten others, you don’t need a profoundly complex tale. Start by describing a personal experience, one where you gained some insight that may also be useful to others. However, don’t focus on how people will respond to your story; instead, just enjoy the process of writing without judging your work or yourself. Write to express–not to impress.

I’ve not let fear of how others will respond stop me from writing, but as I have shared some deeply personal and vulnerable writings, in a small close-knit community, fear has been a part of my deep-dive. Something I’ve worked through by writing about it. Not ignoring it. Not adhering to it. But acknowledging it, observing it, and letting the voice tinted with fear also speak through me, letting those words out on paper as well as the others.

In attempting to write, you may find yourself easily distracted, either with others’ needs for your time and attention or with those negative thoughts and beliefs that are the product of judgments and shame that you were subjected to during childhood. A powerful way to release these habitual and self-limiting thoughts and feelings is to write about them in story form. As you do so, don’t hold back anything. Through such a catharsis, you heal those words that had originally wounded you.

Shame.
Judgment.
This i s what my deep-dive centers on.
The basis for these thoughts and beliefs of mine formed during childhood, but it doesn’t stop there. I’ve been piling them on, one atop the other, my entire life; as are you, I’m imagining. I don’t know that we can stop ourselves from it, but it sure helps to gain awareness, and learn to breathe through, rather than get stuck in, it.

So no. I do not hold back. Nothing is held back, it’s all coming out, having me jump back and forth, no need to go about it chronologically. What comes comes, and in the reflections I get from the people I share with, I am helped along the way. Helped to go deeper. Helped by having my memory jogged, upturning stone after stone, hidden beneath the surface for a long time. Helped to make connections that have eluded me previously.


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

Disagreement as bridge

November 6, 2020
/ / /

The bottom line:
Disagreement, not to be feared, or avoided, but rather, providing an opportunity to learn, gain insight and lean towards one another, bridging the gap.

Disagreement.
Twelve people.
Monthly Zoom-call in the tankespjärn-community.

I had shared three plus one links, and another community-member added yet another link, pieces speaking to the topic on disagreement.
The Future of Marriage
Dare to Disagree
Extreme Listening
Befriending Radical Disagreement
How democracies fall apart

I did something new on this call, as I normally doodle during the hour. This time, I asked permission to record the call, so I could doodle afterward instead, while watching the replay. All in all, an interesting experiment, because the actual energy of the call, in real time, poured into a doodle, is energizing and heightens the experience for me. Now, 1,5 weeks after the call, I’ve yet to post a reflecting ”here’s the October Zoom-call-summary” (i.e. this blog post), and I wonder if this is not the reason. In a sense, I am in disagreement with myself, as I fear people experience me as distant and not paying attention, when doodling during the call, but not doodling during the call in a sense makes me less present. Interesting.

However, the call itself gave me many thoughts, as these calls are wont to do, as the doodle reveals to a greater extent than what follows. One of them being the signal disagreement carries, that here’s (possibly) a relationship needing my attention. The possibility lies in whether or not this is a relationship I care about. If not, perhaps the signal sent by the disagreement is to walk away. If yes, disagreement tells me here’s an opportunity to listen. Give the other person/s the gift of feeling heard, truly heard. Might be uncomfortable, within, but when listening, most often there’s the chance to find something to grab onto, something which connects us, something we have in common. A bridge, from you, to me, finding that place of sameness that you can then truly grow from. Where we agree on the foundational value but disagree on the how to get there.

The physicality of disagreement can take varying forms, one of the more subtle ones displayed in what happens when I put my hand out in front of me, like a stop-sign. If I then ask you to do the same, placing your hand up against mine, without fail, if I start to push, you will push back. I’ve yet to come across anyone n o t pushing back (except perhaps others who also uses this method to get their point across), and when I let go, when I release the pressure I am exerting, letting my hand fall away, the others hand follows along, because the resistance is gone. And with resistance gone, the stand-still comes to a close, and movement is possible. Again. Anew. If there’s a disagreement on the horizon, instead of sitting down opposite each other, try taking a walk. Side by side, disagreements have a harder time finding its foothold.

How the fear of disagreement might make me shut up, not express myself, not voice my opinion. Sometimes it’s not fear stopping me, sometimes I simply cannot be bothered. My take; this speaks to a lack of interest in the person and/or the argument.

Disagreement creates friction, which can initiate movement, making us come closer (or drive us farther apart), and how that friction often manifests as d i s c o m f o r t. How discomfort always, inherently, carries with it the opportunity for healing, which led to this powerful statement: Addiction is avoidance of discomfort. Logically, what follows then would be, with addiction, no healing?! If the path of least resistance (the addictive behavior) is chosen, facing discomfort not being chosen, the opportunity to burn through some emotional baggage gone.

And also, how thank god we do disagree. On what is beautiful, important, significant, thrilling, interesting. Without that type of disagreement, there would only be one type of art, and can you imagine a more boring world than one with only one artistic expression present? Disagreement thus helps generate change, providing the necessary friction and traction that makes movement possible.

Disagreement can make me lean towards, rather than away, and that to me, brings the feeling of hope, a feeling I naturally opt for, when given a choice (and when am I not given a choice? As the choice is mine, the choice is always given. I do not always choose it though.). All in all, I left this conversation with much greater regard, even fondness, for disagreement. Quite something, isn’t it?


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

Visual Tankespjärn

November 2, 2020
/ / /

In the creative community I am a part of, Anya Toomre shared a post accompanied by a most beautiful image she’d painted herself, and looking upon it, it took me a while to figure out what it actually was portraying. So I wrote a comment: I love this image. I had to struggle a bit to actually see the cat, so here’s another example of Tankespjärn. A visual one.

Anya wasn’t late to respond, asking me a question that got my thoughts going: I’m so close to this drawing because I did it so it’s interesting that you had to struggle to see the cat. What did you see? And why does this make it an example of tankespjärn?

Scrolling back in the feed to check out the image in question, once more, I was reminded. I find this image to be a piece of visual tankespjärn because the fish popped out immediately, but then… What w a s that? Weird looking eyes, but no, those aren’t eyes, those are paws, wait, hang-on, what i s this? Oh. Wait… Hm. Now I think I got it, might it be a cat? Oh. YES! It is.

Shifting my head around, looking at the weird centerpiece head tilted left, head tilted right, at long last my eyes finally locked onto something my brain could put a name to, and like an image suddenly coming into focus, all of a sudden, I got it. (Check out nekonabe by the way.) But I had to move my head around to be able to see what the image actually showed. Had I not done that, but rather kept on staring at those weird eyes (the back paws), I would not have figured it out. New perspectives are like that. They bring other things to the forefront, making me see beyond the immediate.

This interaction showed me a few things.
For one, Anya had no issue seeing the cat because she was so familiar with the image. This tells me tankespjärn is harder to get at with that you already know well, and more likely to experience it with things that are new(er) to you.

It also informs me that what’s tankespjärn for one, isn’t necessarily the same for another. Tankespjärn aren’t universal or general, but rather personal and specific. What makes me go Huh might not cause even the slightest ripple within you, and vice versa.

Of course, it also is a great reminder that tankespjärn comes in different forms. This one very visual, as opposed to the more word-based ones I most often pick up on, the read or heard ones. But there’s also the physical ones, when I try to make my body do something and it’s as if my body looks back at me with a surprised face, asking what on earth I was thinking…

And then, the obvious one for me:
I have really honed the skill of picking up on whenever I encounter a tankespjärn. I notice me noticing, and that noticing helps me stay with the slight discombobulation and discomfort that a real juicy tankespjärn gifts me with. And before I know it, that sensation has passed, and I am left slightly….  hm… More. New. Other. (Yup, as the slogan goes.)


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

opening the spirit within us to the spirit of what is

October 26, 2020
/ / /

The bottom line:
”…opening the spirit within us to the spirit of what is.”
Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening, for October 26.

Blank.
Woke up.
Boiled some water, while doing a Seven with pelvic focus. Jiggling around, back, forth, a spine-wiggle or two. Or three. Side to side, in eights and in circles. Wakes my body up. Slowly and gently, I move on lighter feet to the bedroom.
Drag the covers from the bed, lie down on my sheepskins, with my butt up against the bed, feet on top, as if sitting on the side of the bed, back against the floor.
Do my Wim Hof breathing exercise, three rounds, simultaneously doing the Walkfeeling starter-move, opening up, aligning, getting hips and legs and back all working together.
Get up off the floor, drag the covers back into bed, bunching the pillows behind my back, I sit down, with iPad in hand.
Getting ready to write, I space off into the distance, not knowing what to write.
Nothing really comes to me.
Drink my now-lukewarm water, picking up The Book of Awakening, to read the entry of the day.

Blank.
So I do what I have a habit of doing.
This.
Writing down where I am, what I’ve done to get here, and all of a sudden.
There I am. (Or here?)
The fingers start to fly across the keyboard, dropping words upon words on to the screen.

Is there value in this?
For me? Yes. I think so. No.
I know so. Letting it, whatever it is for the day, flow out of me, holds value.
It’s an acknowledgment of being here. Of being present to what is. Observing myself, my surroundings, my emotional and mental state, I at once land here. Grounded. And at the same time, it’s freeing. Opens a door for my mind to go walk-abouting, skip-skipping along like a little child, uninhabited by the shoulds and musts of the day, of life. Simply being. Showing up and noticing what shows up. Responding to it. (The blankness. There. Here. And me, dancing with whatever and whoever comes knocking on the door.)

For others? Yes. I think so.
And No. I wouldn’t presume to say I know so. I do not k n o w if this is or can be useful to anyone else. What I do know is that me sharing what goes on within me, within this quirky brain and body of mine, often seems to resonate. Not with everyone (never my desire. I am not for everyone.), not even with many (how do I define many?) but most definitely with some. A few. (And those few. I do write, ship, share, for you. For me, yes. But also for you. Because this is another dance that I actively choose to engage in. The dance between me and the unknown. The unknowns?)

I have a few different Pages documents available to me when I plonk down in bed, ready for my morning writing. I have my so-called Morning Pages (which have never been what Julia Cameron describes, not for me. Most of what I put in that document shows up on my blog. Not ’for my eyes only’, because writing ’for my eyes only’ doesn’t seem to work for me. It’s not where the magic lies. For me.), a practice I started in 2016 (opened my Morning Pages from 2016, scrolling through parts of it. Oh my. There’s stuff there, unfinished stuff, snippets of me, that I never did return to, as intended. All of my Morning Pages documents are filled with them. Always thinking I’ll get back to them, ”finishing” it all. Never have. Never will?). There’s The Depth(s), containing my deep dive into shame, created on August 22nd, 2020, and at the moment, most often my go-to-starting point for my morning writings. Then there’s a recent addition, a document containing writings for a blog I just started, another blog. (An anonymous one.)

Sometimes, I know just what document to open, because I know what wants to come out fits specifically into one or the other of these documents. Other times, something comes out onto one document that doesn’t belong there. Like this.

I opened The Depth(s) today, and upon putting finger to keyboard, when blank came to me and I kept on, I knew, this text needs to be moved to my Morning Pages of 2020 because this text isn’t a part of the deep dive.

And I like that.
I even love it.
How I am adhering to the practice of writing, but not to having to write something specific, if something specific doesn’t come to mind.
Being open for what is, what wants to happen, what comes out of me. Through me.

A recent addition to the writings of my Morning Pages is the bottom line, which I can never write beforehand. It comes when all is done, all is out, and I look through it, trying to find the essence of the post. This is a practice that challenges me, in more ways than one.

First, to remember to do it.
Second, to actually find the essence. Not always easy.
Third, to capture that essence, in a sentence or two. Not always easy either.

Aaaaah.
Deep inhale, exhale.

Picking up The Book of Awakening, reminded of the entry of the day, I find it. The essence of this post. And with that. I am done. With writing. For now.


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

The will and skill to create

October 24, 2020
/ / /

The bottom line:
How will and skill combine to emergent creation, and how my awareness of this makes me embody the experience.

”Because the tools of production have entirely democratized, the population of producers is expanding exponentially, and now there’s little stopping those with the will and skill to create from doing just that.”

This is a quote from The Long Tail by Chris Anderson, and as I was writing the accompanying book reflection, I started to dive into the concept of the will and skill to create, as I find it an interesting concept.

Perhaps because this year has been such an opportunity for me to dive deep into the concept of creation, first as a participant in the premiere cohort of the AKIMBO-workshop The Creative’s Workshop, and second because I and many from that cohort have continued to create, and relate, staying in touch both in the forum available for all participants of AKIMBO-workshops, and in a separate forum created as a spin-off from TCW, but also subscribing to each other’s blogs and newsletters, setting up regular or one-off Zoom-calls, and many other ways.

The will and skill to create.
I have it. Have had it for many years.
Most prominently with my writings, I’d say, but there are so many other things I create as well, precisely because I possess the combination of will and skill. Last night I finished an intervention on a knitted sweater I bought in a flee-market years ago, a garment I like, but only wore a few times as the arms are simply off. Way too long, making it all-but-impossible to actually wear. I unraveled the sleeves, picked up the stitches where it was suitably long, and knitted a new cuff. Rinse and repeat, I now have a garment that’s useable again. Will. Skill. Creation. Given the long time it’s been tucked in the projects-basket, will have been a long time coming, even though I’ve been inhabiting the skill to be able to do this, for decades. But all of a sudden, will stepped in, and shit gets done.

That process, where shit actually gets done, is an interesting one. For me.
So when D started to talk about embodiment, something clicked. So I told him, about this intervention of sleeves and he nodded, acknowledging me in my understanding of this as an embodied process or practice.

Being a w a r e of what I was doing, a witness to the process, to the sudden consummation of the possible marriage between will and skill, resulting in creativity. Embodying it all, the will, the skill, the awareness. All levels of human beingness playing, together.

The very physical aspect of it, fingers dexterous enough to unravel the machine-knitted sleeves, picking up stitches onto the knitting needle. Binding off and sewing the cuff on the inside, doubling it, to mimic the look of the other cuffs.

The mental and logical aspect of it, my brain working out, as I went along, where to put scissors to sleeve, how to get the arm just right lengthwise, what to knit to bring the girth of the sleeve in by half or so, to ensure the new cuff would actually work as a cuff.

The visual aspect to it, my eyes carefully examining the other edges of the garment, wanting to make it look similar, because I didn’t want the new cuff to stick out, but rather blend in.

The emotional aspect of it, the pleased sensations coursing through me, not just at the finish line when I was done, but throughout the journey. The trepidation at actually cutting into the first sleeve (Will I totally destroy it? Will I succeed in making the necessary changes to it, or will it be ruined forever?), the happiness at being able to catch all the stitches without too much trouble, the sense of exploration and curiosity as I pulled it on now and again, to make sure that I didn’t unravel the sleeve too far, that the newly made cuff was not too long nor too short, but just right.

The meta-aspect of it all, me observing me, putting hand to scissor, scissor to sleeve, knitting needles to yarn, present to my mental calculations and gambles that paid off as I now have a garment that I can use. Want to use.


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