What’s your big job?

I listened to Parker Palmer giving this commencement address to the graduating class at Naropa University, and several times I got goose bumps and shivers. For me, those have become telltale signs that there’s something important and/or very true being shared.


The six suggestions Parker provides on living a life worth exploring are simple. And powerful. So powerful I followed my urge to split this recommendation into six consecutive blog posts. You can read my thoughts on the first, second and third suggestion here.

BoldomaticPost_Take-on-big-jobs-worth-doingThe fourth suggestion is: Take on big jobs worth doing. Jobs like the spread of love, peace and justice. 

Dare to dream, go for the seemingly impossible. I know I have these past 3-4 years. But I don’t even want to go there right now. If you’re interested you’l be able to find out what my goal for 2020 is.

The important thing for me is that we avoid playing small. Belittling ourselves. Yeah sure, maybe I can’t make a huge shift to society…. but maybe I can! Right? I mean, how would you know? If you don’t go for it – how would you ever know what might have been?

And don’t get me wrong, playing big doesn’t mean setting a big goal to change society, starting revolution, inventing something extraordinarily magnificent and winning the Nobel Price for it. It can just as well be about becoming the best parent around or spreading love and warmth where ever you go or volunteering at a local shelter…. or anything really. As long as you really have the feeling it’s worth doing. That’s what to look for!

Playing big, for me, is therefore more about stretching myself, growing, expanding. You know, like a balloon. When you first try to inflate it, it’s hard. You have to blow hard on it to make anything happen. And then – all of a sudden, it starts to expand, and finally – you’re there, with a beautiful ballon in your hands. Now. If you deflate it, and then inflate it again – it’s much easier the second time around, isn’t it? And possibly you can get a few more breaths of air in it. Just don’t blow so hard it explodes.

You know where that boundary is within you. I am certain of it. Just make sure you listen for the proper voice though! It’s not the harsh voice telling you ”You’re pushing it too far”, ”Don’t even bother to try it, you’ll fail!”, ”Who are you thinking you could do something like that?”… that you should listen to. No. Listen for the silent knowing, the kind that fills your entire body. Wordlessly it let’s you know, what the right amount of air is to stretch the balloon just a tiny bit further. That’s what you should listen for when you go for the big jobs.

So. I’m curious to know. What’s your big job?

Podcast 23/52 – the wisdom of tenderness

I can’t help it. Here’s another On Being-episode that I so hope you will listen to. Krista Tippett in a conversation with Jean Vanier, an episode recorded in 2007 when he was 79 years old. Jean is the founder of L’Arche, just having celebrated it’s 50th anniversary, hence the re-broadcast of the interview. And I am grateful for that, since I might not have discovered this particular episode in the archives of On Being otherwise.

(But there’s a thought – how many other gem’s are hidden in the archives? I might just set my mind to listening through all of On Being, every episode produced…. now there’s a quest!)

Being very interested and involved in the school debate and the educational system, I found this bit especially interesting to listen to:

The balance of our world frequently is seen as a question of power. That if I have more power and more knowledge, more capacity, then I can do more. […] And when you have power, we can very quickly push people down. I’m the one that knows and you don’t know, and I’m strong and I’m powerful, I have the knowledge. And this is the history of humanity. And that is all of what I’d call the whole educational system, is that we must educate people to become capable and to take their place in society. That has value, obviously. But it’s not quite the same thing as to educate people to relate, to listen, to help people to become themselves. 

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There’s something to ponder, for me, and others, of whom I ask the question Why school? The reason for asking, for me, is to get people thinking about the society we create, through the whole educational system (as well as other structures, but for me, the educational system and family are the top two factors.), and if we are creating that which we want to see more of. Like Jean Vanier said, capable people taking a place in society is all fine and dandy. But then what? What else is needed/desired?

L’Arche, which centers on sharing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, is new to me, as Jean Vanier is. I get intrigued, as I listen to what Jean speaks about, which is the thing I dream of. A world of people becoming themselves, relating and listening, sharing tenderness and love. A culture of welcoming. To and of all.

Fascinating to listen to the wisdom of tenderness this old gentleman has, towards life, all of it, regardless. And to hear him speak of growing older, and absolutely loving it. Witnessing the increasing frailty of his own body, being in total acceptance that his mind no longer can keep up as it used to, that his body demands an afternoon nap and so on. It’s just pure love. Magnificent.

What if…. I met the world from the wisdom of tenderness? What if…. we all did?

 

Podcast 8/52 – Dinner with Einstein, Jung and Herbie Hancock?

Listened to this episode of Peak Prosperity the other day, and since then have listened to it another two or three times. It’s a conversation between Christ Martenson and Andrew ”Treebeard” Graves on becoming the change we wish to see, and exploring the development of inner resilience.

And they go deep into stuff that really resonates with me in many ways. Sometimes perhaps simplifying a bit much, but still, there’s a lot of what they speak about that I agree with.

So, since I’ve talked and written much the past quarter on listening for that which I don’t already know, I’m now challenging myself to write about what I heard that was new to me… hm, let’s see… *reading through the transcript of the podcast, trying to find something that sticks out as new to me*

First of all, listening to this conversation as such, on a podcast such as Peak Prosperity surprised me, but also made me quite happy, because I’m hoping it will resonate with the Peak Prosperity community, and will lead to even more people actually starting to look within.

And also, I’d like to join in on that dinner conversation with Einstein, Jung, Herbie Hancock and Chris Martenson. I sort of knew Albert Einstein have said something like this: “People think I had these great ideas, but it was not me. I just opened myself up and creativity flowed through me. I was a vessel.” but I had no idea Carl Jung and Herbie Hancock felt the same. I actually had to google Herbie Hancock, because I’ve never really listened to him. Found a great tune quite fitting to the theme of the podcast itself actually:

Imagine all the people living for today.
Imagine all the people living life in peace.
Imagine all the people sharing all the world.

Now there’s a vision to dream of.
I do. I dream of that, and I try to act it too. I see the potential for it, the possibility that exist in every moment. A world where we live as one. And becoming the change we wish to see in the world is the only way to get there, I believe. Do you?

Vision and the inner voice

The importance of a vision, closely linked to the soul of the country, or company, is one of the thoughts reverberating in my head after my meeting with Richard Gerver yesterday afternoon, together with Susanne, Ann and Therese from #skolvåren back office. I only missed Ninna, who was with us in spirit, not being able to get away to join us.

Meetup with Gerver

Richard shared the story of his meeting with Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, who said, the real failures of Google, have come about when they tried to act based on the fear of what someone else is doing – Facebook are launching X, we must have something similar! – rather than go deep within to find what they, Google, want to do, regardless of what others are doing.

And that’s what Richard asks Sweden:
Find your vision, believe in you path ahead, and stick to it. Don’t copy cat Finland (now slipping in the ranks of PISA), to move on to copy cat Singapore (latest fad school system everyone want’s to learn from), to move on to….

Vision

No, stop right then and there. Ask instead:
What do we want?
Where are we?
Where do we want to go?
What are the needs of Swedes and Sweden, for a school system?

Discover our Why, find that vision, and stick to it, Richard passionately asks of the hundred or so of teachers, principals, school developers and #skolvårare, in the audience in Huddinge.

I have more thoughts to sit with, after an hour listening to Richard, but this one is top of mind at the moment. But I’m fairly happy to just sit with it, not really doing much at all to act upon this, at this very moment. I’m on a school break, with my kids, enjoying them and their company immensely.

And you know what, the message Richard wants to get across is extremely relevant here as well. So I’ll do what I can to make sure my children know how to listen to their own voice, to find their passion, rather than believing life is about going after someone elses dreams. Because it’s not. Listen within, and there is a voice somewhere, sometimes whispering, other times shouting loudly.

What might happen in the world, when more of us wake up to that inner voice?

I dreamed a dream…

…and that made me realize dreaming is one of the best examples of how all feelings stem from thought.

I was dreaming something strange last night. I was in that no mans land between being awake and sleeping, so I remember the dream sequence very vividly.

I was with my son in a room, and all of a sudden danger sprung. We managed to sneak into a safe room, and I searched for ways to make our predicament known to people outside. I finally found two small buttons, one which started a flashing light somewhere, and one which set of an alarm. The second I pressed the alarm-button my son got terrified and screamed out of fear, certain a new danger was facing him. I looked over at him at the same time I pressed the button, and when I saw his reaction I immediately pressed the button again to stop the alarm, all the while shouting to him that ”It was just me, it was just me!” to be able to get thru to him.

Then I woke up. For sure, this time, no mans land long gone. Terrified. With a dreadful feeling in my entire system. Wanting never ever to get into such a situation with anyone, let alone my son. Angry at myself for not having told my son about the alarm about to go off, angry at having put the two of us in this dangerous situation. Angry at the world for frightening my son like this.

Tried to go to sleep again. But once I wake up from dreams like these, I have a hard time to go back to sleep, because the feeling, and thought, stays with me. And my mind keeps on reiterating the dream sequence, over and over again, somehow ensuring that the feeling will not leave me.

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And here’s the deal: The feeling is real. Oh so very real. No doubt in my mind about that! But the thought, the dream, that caused the feeling to arise, was just a thought. It was just a dream. It hasn’t happened for real. It’s a figment of my imagination, created in the way thought is created.

When this happens to me I try telling myself it’s not real, that it was just a dream, but in a sense, that just makes me stay in the feeling longer, because I stay in the thought. And as long as it’s with me, the feeling is with me as well. Sometimes, I manage to ”reset the stage”, go back to the dream, and play it over, imagining a different outcome, a different scenario, in this case perhaps never stepping into that room in the first place. I didn’t go down that route last night, but luckily, I did go back to sleep after a little while, and the dream did not come back. But the memory of the dream and my feelings was very strong when I woke up though and I just knew I had to write about this.

My conclusion?

Well, that feelings are real, regardless if they stem from a thought pertaining to a situation in my physical surroundings, or to a thought coming from my psychical surroundings (fully from within my head, like the dream). But they they DO come from thought. All feelings come from thought. Sometimes I have a hard time fully getting that. But this example makes it very clear to me, at this very moment. And I’ll just let myself be with that for a little while. Do you know what I mean?

Present vs Future

Stumbled across this quote the other day:

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As someone deeply engaged in creating a better world, a sustainable learning society, this quote really hit me heard. Because this is exactly what I believe.

It is so vital to take a long good look at what we are doing right now, in the present moment. If it doesn’t resemble the future we dream of – why, then we should stop immediately and ask ourselves Why?

Why doesn’t the present look like what I’m dreaming of?

What I’ve discovered since initiating the #skolvåren-movement (aka the school spring) is that many people actually lack a dream of the future. Their image of the future is simply ‘more of what we have today’, and they cannot fathom something else.

For me – that implies that they have lost the ability to dream.

For me – that implies that we are at our societal peak, i.e. this is as good as it gets, and society cannot become better than its current set up.

For me – that’s not good enough.

However, I don’t have a clear view of what a sustainable learning society looks like, in detail. I cannot predict the future so I have little clue. But what I can do is envision what that future would feel like, to me. When I close
my eyes an think ahead – I can awaken the feeling I want to have, from the settings of a sustainable learning society.

And you know what? I think that’s sufficient in and of itself!

I don’t need to know the What and How of the future, not yet. Because, if my Why if strong enough / the What and How will fall in place. I go one step at a time, and each step will bring me closer to the feeling I am striving towards.

So, look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming.

Is it?