Hope as a verb

Spent the afternoon yesterday in a Masterclass with Alan Seale of Transformational Presence Leadership and Coaching, and the class centered around hope. How hope in and of itself can both be a passive noun, a wish, but also be an active verb, to have hope.

hope and vision

masterclassI truly enjoyed the conversation around hope, how it can be passive, being something I wish for, but honestly don’t take any steps to making it come true. And how it can be active, when I give it a bit more flesh, if I transform it into a vision, into something more than a simple wish.

For me, the afternoon was the third piece of a puzzle that opened up for me on Monday a week ago, and it kind of felt like I sealed the deal here. There is no way back, I know my vision and I know what it will take to get there. When I build on the hope, enlarging it, turning it into something more concrete, it’s also much easier to ask myself: So, what is my next step?

Preparing for life

Alan Seale wrote about Preparing for life, a 17 minute long film about a Waldorf school in California, The Waldorf School of the Peninsula, in his newsletter. He wrote about it in a way that spiked my interest and curiosity, so while having lunch I watched the film:

Now. There’s a lot going on in my mind as I watch this, as I take in what I see and hear. Some of those things are questions like:

  • Is it just this school or is this film representative (in spirit, if nothing else) of all Waldorf-schools? *how I wish for the latter*
  • Why haven’t I found a school like this for my children to attend? *feel sad, that I haven’t*
  • Is there even any schools like this in Sweden? I know there are Waldorf schools, but are they truly like this one? Same same but different, perhaps? *hoping I will find out from friends who work in and with Waldorf schools in Sweden and Norway*
  • Why don’t all kids get a chance to go to a school that truly give’s them access to this:
    To know the world is to know the self, and to know the self is to know the world.

But also thoughts such as:

  • Within the existing school system paradigm, this is probably as good as it gets.
  • But still, how strange it is that we toss kids together with other kids the same age, and sprinkle in a handful of adults, and keep them all in a classroom, or two, within the confines of a building called a school house. This is not natural for humans, it’s not what we are wired for, physically or psychologically.
  • Not surprised that the TV-reporters use dramatic words of ”totally unplugged school” when that is not what the teachers and students are saying at all. But headlines require the use of drama to get attention right?
  • Amazing eye sparkles going on here, as well as relationships, learning, and creations – I mean, witness some of those paintings and sculptures – they look like they were made by a professional!

All in all, Preparing for life leaves me with a feeling of hope. It show’s me it is possible to make something really great out of the concept of school, as it stands today, and looking forward, there’s every opportunity to create a school system where all children truly will be able to thrive and explore their human potential.

What are you left with after watching the film?

When you hold on tightly

Alan Seale is a man I admire greatly. Thanks to him, my personal transformation jump started a few years back. He publishes a newsletter, that I’ve referred to several times here on the blog.

This time, he published a poem by himself, that moved me deeply. Perhaps it will move you too? I will get out of your way, letting you read it in peace.

When You Hold On Tightly
by Alan Seale

When you hold on
tightly,
nothing can leave
your hands.
You imagine
that you cannot lose
”it”
as long as
you hold on
tightly.
Your mind
tells you
that you are
safe –
that nothing
can happen to
”it”
as long as
you don’t let
”it”
go.

Yet
when you hold on,
your hands are
closed.
When you hold on,
it’s impossible
for your hands
to receive
anything else.
They are
already full.
They cannot open
another door.
They cannot touch
another person or
accept
a gift.
There is
no room
for any other
possibility.

Yes,
it’s true.
Sort of.
Nothing
can happen
as long as you
hold on.
It’s also true
that you can’t even
take a deep breath.
Because if you do,
your grip will loosen
and
”it”
might get away.
Oh,
but you thought
you were
protecting
”it.”
Or are you
protecting
you?

What might be
possible
if you let
”it”
go?
What might be
possible
if you give
”it”
freedom
to stay,
to leave,
to transform,
to evolve?
What might be waiting
for you
right now
if your hands
were free
to receive?

Hands

Allt detta görande

Duktig Flicka-mönstret är väldigt starkt hos många, och det finns inga som är så bra på att agera och handla som duktiga flickor och pojkar.

(När jag skriver Duktig Flicka så tänker jag på båda könen, för det är ett mönster som alla kan anamma. Jag tror det har varit mest flickor historiskt som skaffat sig detta mönster, därav uttrycket, men jag ser fler och fler pojkar som dras in i det, tyvärr.)

Problemet är att Duktiga Flickor gör, utan att förankra görandet i sitt varande. Som Alan Seale uttrycker det, med ett kors där det vertikala handlar om varandet och det horisontella om görandet. När vi bara gör, utan att förankra det i varandet, så tappar vi bort oss själva.

När jag ska beskriva detta för människor jag möter så brukar jag sträcka ut händerna rätt ut i luften, utåt sidorna, och vifta hej vilt med händerna. Händerna symboliserar görandet. Och oj vad mina händer har gjort saker, under årens lopp. Varandet sker från mitt center, mitt huvud, min bål, mitt jag. När mina händer gör, utan att ha kontakt med mitt center, så kan det bli vad som helst av det. Och likadant funkar det på andra hållet, om jag bara är, och inte är i kontakt med görandet, ja, då blir det inte mycket gjort om ens något. Extremen här är kanske eremiten som sitter på en bergstopp och bara är i sitt center. För mig ligger magin i korset där de två axlarna möts. När mitt görande är nära förankrat mitt varande, då kan det slå gnistor må du tro!20131130-130249.jpg

Så, tillåt dig att reflektera kring varför du gör det du gör. Vad gör du som du inte alls kan förankra i den du är? Kanske kan du skala bort lite görande? Allt det där görandet du bara gör, utan att veta varför. Försök fokusera på att knyta ditt görande till ditt varande, ditt syfte, så att det du ägnar sig åt verkligen är förankrat i hela dig.

Av allt ditt görande, vilket är förankrat i hela ditt jag?

Embrace the shake!

Thank you Alan Seale for this great TED:

What an amazing story, providing profound insights into life. The ability to learn to embrace the shake (watch and you’ll find out exactly what this means!) is in a sense, an example of taking control of your own life. Phil Hansen truly embraces his limitation as an artist, and in doing so, realized the world is limitless.

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He continues to state:

What I thought would be the ultimate limitation actually turned out to be the ultimate liberation.

Have you embraced your limitations?

Mettā

I am preparing this blog post on September 11th after reading the weekly news letter from Alan Seale. He wrote about the Loving Kindness Meditation, also knows as Metta, from the Buddhist tradition, and I got curious. Luckily, my computer was at hand, and Google works like a charm for ensuring that curiosity doesn’t kill the cat.

Alan suggest the following words, but I understand that you can compose these lines with words that fit you best.

May I dwell in my heart;

May I be free from suffering;

May I be healed;

May I be at peace.

Found another blogpost on Metta, by Christine Carter, and she suggest doing this with you children:

May I be healthy and strong.

May I be happy.

May I be filled with ease.

20130911-145801.jpgStart with yourself as the focal point, after a while shifting focus to a loved one. Move on to a person you do feel neutral about, and after that shift your focus to someone with whom you have a conflict or an issue with. Move all the way out to include everyone in the universe, and conclude by going back to focusing on yourself.

I don’t know what this practice (a fem minutes per day) would do for me – but just from five minutes of googling and reading up on Metta, I’ve decided I’m gonna try it out. Rather than sit and wonder if it might or might not be something for me, I’m gonna try it, and then I’ll know for sure.

Wanna join me?

Let it shine!

Alan Seale sends out a weekly newsletter called The Transformer. On August 28th, this poem was the starting point:

Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial. That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality – your soul, if you will – is as bright and shining as any that has ever been. Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Teresa’s. Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.

— George Saunders, American writer

Wonderful words, stirring deep into my soul.

20130828-131302.jpgEspecially the latter part, about clearing away that which keeps me separate from my own luminous place. That resonates, because I believe we have so many patterns that form layers on top of the pure un-adulterated me.

Patterns can serve me. They might also do the opposite. It’s highly likely they did serve me when they were created. But do they still, perhaps years after I created them?

I try to identify my patterns and habits. Once I have, I let my Curious George run wild, checking them out, seeing if they still serve or not.

Any that I I find don’t serve me any more, I clear, one by one, making use of the energy within them, to become true to myself, showing my secret luminous place.

So let it shine – that which is truly you! We all need for you to let it shine!

What lies hidden in your secret luminous place?