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

when you hold on,
your hands are
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
a gift.
There is
no room
for any other

it’s true.
Sort of.
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
might get away.
but you thought
you were
Or are you

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


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.


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?


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?

#skolvåren aka #school spring

I have attended several trainings for Transformational Presence Leaders and Coaches by Alan Seale, and was very thrilled when I was given the opportunity to share #skolvåren, that is #school spring, in his newsletter The Transformer.

Transformer”School Spring” – Transforming Education To Create A World That Works

by Helena Roth

(Helena Roth from Sweden is a graduate of the Transformational Presence Leadership and Coach Training program. She first shared ”School Spring” with our community at the first Transformational Presence Global Summit in The Netherlands in March 2013.)

Three and a half years ago, I became the chairwoman of the parent association of my children’s two schools here in Sweden. Thus began my journey into the world of schools. I have read, watched, listened, talked, and then read some more, until, more recently, my interest has become a raging passion for school development. Or, better said, a passion for creating a world that works, with schools as the foremost pathway to get there.

Having set aside some money in my company, I decided to dedicate 2013 as my year for school development, even though I didn’t know if, and if so, how, this project would put bread on my table. I also took advantage of the ”early bird” price for the Transformational Presence Global Summit that was held in The Netherlands in March, knowing that the energy kick I would receive from the Summit would serve me for the rest of 2013. Little did I know when I first reserved my place at the Summit that it would not turn out to be a kick to get anything started, but instead would be ”superfuel” to kick into overdrive what had already begun.

On February 15th at 10 pm while on Twitter, I made a connection with a teacher in Varberg, Sweden. We began planning a meeting in Varberg for June 18th and 19th to discuss schools and society, and we opened the meeting to anyone else who wanted to join us. This was the start of #skolvåren, or #schoolspring in English, paraphrasing the ”Arabic Spring” and tapping into the power of life that spring brings.

With #schoolspring, we began by asking ”Why?” in order to find the direction for ”How?” The Swedish school debate is in a sorry state, with lots of name-calling and blame games, and is almost solely concerned with ”How.” There are no visions, no talk about the world we want to live in today and tomorrow. Therefore, it seems that we as a society no longer really know what schools are for – what their purpose is. So in #skolvåren, we ask ”Why?” over and over again as a first step in gaining clarity about what education in today’s world needs to be about.

Now, three months later, the event in Varberg is fully booked at 130 registered participants with more than twenty people on a waiting list. Among the participants will be politicians and major business CEOs, as well as many interested citizens who are eager to explore together ”Why school?” The school debate in Sweden has started to come alive, and #schoolspring is clearly fueling the conversation.

My personal goal is to change the school systems on a global scale by 2020, and I know there are many people around the world with similar interests and goals. Sweden is certainly not the only country where education systems are in trouble. This is a global issue. For me, the larger goal is to create a world that works. I believe that vibrant, empowering, creative, and effective schools can be one of the most impactful ways to do that. School systems of today are one of the primary filters that most children pass through. So why not ensure that we have set up the best systems we can possibly have, enabling and empowering children to be all that they can be? That’s the world I want to live in – a world where each and every person is encouraged, coached, challenged, and expected to be all they can be.

There are many signs that this wants to happen, including well over 28,000 visits to the #schoolspring blog and more than 1,400 followers on Twitter (@skolvaren). In addition, we have attracted the attention of Richard Gerver, author of the best-selling book, Creating Tomorrow’s Schools Today. His interest in our cause is also making a difference.

I invite anyone who is interested in transforming education to be in touch with me to talk about how we can work together to take this movement to the world.


Thank you Alan for providing this wonderful opportunity to share #skolvåren across the globe – because for me, the goal is a global transformation of school systems, in order to create a world that works. Because I believe we have not reached the pinnacle of human achievements yet – I believe we can do better.

Are you with me on that?


Titta omkring dig. Hitta en punkt som symboliserar nuet. Gå dit.
Det är 2013.
Hur känns det?
Hur lever du, arbetar, roar dig, kommunicerar etc?

Tänk dig tillbaka sju år, till 2006.
Titta omkring dig. Hitta en punkt som symboliserar 2006. Gå dit.
Jämför ditt nu med ditt då.
Vad visste du 2006?
Skulle du då (2006) ha kunnat tänka dig – och satt ord på – allt du har runt omkring dig idag (2013) som är fullständigt naturligt för dig i nuet?

Jag tror inte det. Åtminstone är det sant för mig.

Gå tillbaka till din 2013-punkt och titta på 2006.
Hur känns det?
Vad vet du idag om 2006?
Vad var helt okänt 2006, som du nu är trygg med, som är en del av din vardagsverklighet?

Tänk dig nu framåt sju år, till 2020.
Kan du veta idag, med din 2013-kunskap och insikt, hur livet ser ut 2020?
Hur du arbetar, roar dig, kommunicerar?

Jag tror inte det.

Titta omkring dig. Hitta punkten som symboliserar 2020. Gå dit.
Hur vill du känna dig nu, i 2020?
Vilket samhälle vill du vara omgiven av, leva i, ur ett känslomässigt perspektiv?
Hur känns det?

Tänk dig nu att du står där i 2020 och tittar tillbaka till nuet, 2013.

Ser du, att samma sak som du ser när du står i 2013 och tittar tillbaka till 2006, kommer att vara sant även 2020?
Att du inte 2013 kan sätta ord på hur:en för 2020.
Men att du kan sträva efter att ha en tydlig bild av känslan, av syfte, av varför.
Då kommer hur:en på vägen.

Hur känns det?

Radartornet - hur ska jag kunna veta vad som komma skall?

Det är lite som att sitta i radartornet och inte riktigt veta vad det kommer att dyka upp på skärmen framför dig.

Vågar du kasta loss?

PS – Tack Alan Seale för inspirationen till dagens visualiseringsövning.


Skriver merparten av detta när jag är på hemväg från ett global summit i Nederländerna, för Transformational Presence Leaders and Coaches. Åkte nattåget både tur och retur, och hann därför med ett besök i Camp Vught. Detta var det västligaste av Nazi-Tysklands koncentrationsläger, och det är idag bland annat ett museum, ett nationalmonument.

Memorial wall

Jag fick skjuts till museet och på vägen dit pratade jag och en summit-kollega om den täta kopplingen mellan orden compassion och passion. Hur de inte kan separeras. Om du inte uppvisar omsorg och medmänsklighet i det som är din passion – är det då verkligen passion? Är det inte något annat?

Svenska översättningar av ordet synkar inte lika bra till passion, därav vidmakthåller jag engelskans compassion i detta inlägg. Tyda.se översätter compassion med deltagande, medlidande, misskund, medmänsklighet och ynk. (Vet inte riktigt var det sistnämnda kommer från.)

I poscasten On being with Krista Tippit som intervjuar Thupten Jinpa, nära vän, översättare och kollega med Dalai Lama pratar de i slutet om just compassion som den enande faktorn i alla världens religioner. Det ligger som grund till alla våra värdesystem. Att utöva compassion är en nyckelaspekt i att vara människa. Och då passar ju svenska översättningen medmänsklighet väldigt väl helt plötsligt.

Skriver detta samtidigt som jag satt Paul Halleys Ubi Caritas på repeat i hörlurarna – ett musikstycke som talar till mig, som uppfyller mig med hopp och tro på vad jag som enskild individ kan tillföra världen. Hur jag, tillsammans med dig och alla andra, kan förändra världen, till att bli ett ställe med mer compassion, eller medmänsklighet. Är det en strävan du är med på?