23/24 – Construct your life

construct

You.

You construct your life. 

Unless someone else does it. And is it then the life you want to live? Or does it turn into a life lived by you, rather than the life you want to live?

Perhaps it’s a subtle difference, not visible to each and all of you.

But for me… there is a difference there. A matter of ownership. Of being the person constructing my life, taking it on, fully, actively. Constructing my life.

The opposite is riding along in the bus. Back-seat driver at best. Likely nothing more than a passenger. Passive. Ceding ownership to someone, something, else. Almost a way of claiming victimhood. Who would I cede to? And why?

No. Not for me. That is not my path. I don’t see a reason why I would not construct my life. Do you?

Reflection #23 of 24 from the notes I took and the experience I had at the Seth Godin Q&A-session in London, November 2015. These reflections will constitute my Advent Calendar for 2015, and will be posted daily from December 1st to the 24th.

19/24 – Will I be redundant?

linchpin

Are you afraid of Artificial Intelligence? Does it scare you that soon, computers and robots seem able to do just about everything?

I don’t go down that road, deliberately, as I don’t want to live a life out of fear. Fear for myself, for my children and grand-children, for work – will there be any? -, for being extraneous and redundant.

So. I actually try to do that which only I can do (i.e. be me) really really well, letting my onlyness flow freely into the world, sharing what I see, do, feel, know.

And work will never be scarce. Having a job might be a thing of the past, sooner than we think, but work. I get to do work that matters every day. That’s my prerogative. And your’s as well. Life. Work. There’s no difference. Or at least, there doesn’t have to be.

Living a life that matters means doing work that matters.

What are you doing with your onlyness?

Reflection #19 of 24 from the notes I took and the experience I had at the Seth Godin Q&A-session in London, November 2015. These reflections will constitute my Advent Calendar for 2015, and will be posted daily from December 1st to the 24th.

9/24 – A game of survival

survive

Look at the world, right this moment, with millions on the run, from famine and terror, from war and discrimination. Families torn apart. Young children travelling alone for months on end, in the hope of getting to a safe haven, somewhere. All alone, far from their parents and other loved ones.

There are those who’s survival actually hinges on the choices they make.

But if a business gamble fails for you and me, what’s the worst that might happen? A set-back in time, a lost investment, but really – nothing truly important. Such as not being able to put food on the table for your children, having them go to bed hungry, perhaps even starving. The risk of imminent death is a reality for many on this planet, and they have to be very careful not to make rash decisions, gambling with the life of themselves or their loved ones.

But for you and me? What if I go out on a limb, and it doesn’t work out? There’s always another option. I can get a job, if need be. I can save up enough to pay back my debt and then some, so I can go out on a limb again. I can try, and try again. Over and over. And I know that my children do not run the risk of starving to death, because I choose to try this or that.

It’s simply not a game of survival for you and me.

So why then are we so afraid to try?

Reflection #9 of 24 from the notes I took and the experience I had at the Seth Godin Q&A-session in London, November 2015. These reflections will constitute my Advent Calendar for 2015, and will be posted daily from December 1st to the 24th.

8/24 – Putting life on pause

reassurance

Do you think I should do this? Or that?
What do you think of this? Or that? 
Which one do you thing I should choose? This one? Or that one?

Reassurance. Asking for someone outside of yourself to make your choice for you. In a sense, that’s actually what it is. Putting the power over your life and your choices, in the hands of somebody else. What for?

You run the risk of being put on pause. On hold. Waiting for the response from your father, wife, boss, co-worker, teacher or best friend. Not being able to move on, using the energy of the moment, because you are… what? Afraid you might make the wrong decision? Might pick the wrong thing? Walk down a path you should not have chosen?

Letting others choose for you might seem like an easy way to live life. But is it really your life then?

Reflection #8 of 24 from the notes I took and the experience I had at the Seth Godin Q&A-session in London, November 2015. These reflections will constitute my Advent Calendar for 2015, and will be posted daily from December 1st to the 24th.

Slacklining through life

Have you ever tried slacklining? If you have, I know you know that balance requires constant movement. If you haven’t, imaging getting up on a small, flat nylon rope extended between two points. And then you walk. From one end to the other. If you are anything like me, and haven’t tried it before, you can’t.

I tried it this spring, and I almost wet my pants from laughing so hard during the experience. I figured I might be an ok rookie at this, but lo and behold, I didn’t even get up on the damned thing without grabbing onto my hubby’s shoulders for support. And then my legs went ballistic, wobbling back and forth like crazy. Hilarious. I just could not get them to stop… until all the wobble had gone out of them, and then, leaning heavily on hubby, I managed to walk a meter or two. That’s all. And it was damned hard.

But. And here’s the thing.

To keep your balance on a slackline, you have to be in constant movement, perhaps just minute micro movements, but still. If you were to stand absolutely still, you would not be able to stay on for a long period of time. It’s just not possible. People need to keep moving in order for balance to be maintained. Regardless if you’re on a slackline or not! Balance is an active state, it’s not passive at all.

Now. Imagine walking a slackline as a metaphor for life.

I think most of us aspire to some sort of balanced life. A little bit of play, building and maintaining strong relationships, loving and being loved, doing work that matters, having a meaningful pastime, and making a contribution to the greater good. More or less. This all requires movement. Physical as well as mental. With movement, you can deal with obstacles, you can get to know your friends better and deeper, or gain new ones. You learn and expand at work, gradually enjoying more and more complex and challenging tasks. And so on.movement

Without movement, on the other hand. What do you end up with? Imagine a relationship, where both parties are fixed in their ways and their thoughts. Stale, huh? At least that’s what comes to mind for me. Imagine never leaving your house. Never going for a walk. Not taking in anything new, no books, articles, movies, music, conversations. No play, experimentation or new sights.

Death. That’s what I perceive. Death.
Without movement, there is only death.

And even death, the real version, cheats us on this actually. Have you watched that clip of the compost degrading, while being filmed with a time-lapse camera? Watch it, it’s cool! And it shows that even in death there actually is movement. But it’s not active in the sense I’m pointing to, it’s the passive version.

So. If you want to live life, or you want to be able to walk from one end to another on a slackline, it’s vital to be in movement. That’s how you maintain a balance, making active choices, staying in movement, compensating for external as well as internal conditions (a sudden gust of wind, getting laid off). And, not to forget, sometimes we need support, and a lot of practice, and sometimes we can make do on our own, either through practicing until we’ve become proficient or even experts at something, or because we’re simply not aiming high enough, not going for something that will stretch our abilities to the fullest.

All this talk about slacklining has gotten me eager to try it out even more. This summer there were a few slacklines fastened around some trees in Bulltofta, not far from where I live, but I never tried them out. I hope they will be there this summer as well, and I promise I’ll make a go for it, an honest go at that! Wanna join me?

I give thanks…

… to myself. Since learning to be gentle with myself, life is just a wonderful adventure, in all it’s glory, through up’s as well as down’s.

… to those close to me, my family and friends. You make me a better person, and I love the way you enrich my life. Being in communion with like minded souls!

… to those who are aware. Aware of themselves, as well as their surroundings. Aware, and acting out that sense of awareness. You all help make the world a better place for us all.

… to those who struggle. With disease or mental anguish, with terror or impoverished circumstances, with relationships or loneliness, with life or death. I give thanks to you, because I learn from you and your struggles, in the same way I might have helped someone through my own struggles. At the same time, I wish your struggles would not be. My heart goes out to you all.

… to all those who knows and acts from the understanding that one person cannot do it all, but every person can do something. We all have the possibility to make a difference, and together, we can move mountains.

… to all those who stick to their worldview, even when times are tough. Who see the need to act according to ones values, treating a fellow human being as a fellow human being, whether or not she’s the first or hundredth who comes knocking, desperate, in need of a hand’s up.

… to life, to love, to laughter. I give thanks that I get to live a life and do work that matters, in these exciting and challenging times where the possibilities as well as the difficulties are endless. Together we determine the future of humankind, through our beings and actions. Imagine what might happen if we all started to act more like a kind human, living, loving, laughing? What if, we would shower ourselves, our fellow human beings and the world we live on with kindness?live love laugh

Bruce – more than meets the ear and eye

I love reading. I especially love reading biographies and have done ever since I was a child (or at least a teenager). So when I browsed the local library a few weeks ago, and spotted Bruce, I borrowed it and brought it home to read.Bruce

And what a book! It’s a well written biography, and despite the enormous amount of facts present in the book, it’s a joy to read, and doesn’t feel as information-laden as it actually is. But what really made me enjoy this book was Bruce himself. What a story. What a character. And jeez, what a skilled person, in his craft. Gifted musician, extremely (!!!) productive composer, and a very special singer, with a distinct voice.

Born to run is an album my older brother introduced me to when I was a kid, which was my entryway to Bruce Springsteen, and in a sense, I never got past it. I still think it’s the best he’s done, and Jungleland is, to this day, one of my absolute favorite songs. In my teens I listened to it over and over, drawn to the drama of the story, the varying sounds and atmospheres, and the powerful feeling of the entire song. But it’s been a while since I listened to it, so when I came upon the part of the book telling the story of the creation of that specific album, I immediately found it on Spotify, and started to listen. And did so with a new sensation, a deeper background, an understanding making me hear more in each song, picking up on the feeling behind, that which is sensed rather than heard.

While reading this book, a feeling grew stronger and stronger within me:
People are not what they seem to be. There’s so much more to each and every one of us, than what is apparent on the outside.

Even though this is not an autobiography, I got many glimpses of the person behind the public figure of Bruce Springsteen aka The Boss. And my reverie grew, page after page. For Bruce. His father, mother, grandparents. For people who tries to make the best of what they got, even when their best is far from sufficient… For the talented people walking alongside Bruce throughout his career. And for the audience, the listeners, the fans.

As I read, my reverie grew for human beings. We do try to make the best of what we get, and sometimes, it turns out absolutely magnificent. Sometimes, we end up with total rubbish, disaster, chaos and dread. Sometimes, the distance between a point of magnificence and a point of disaster is mere millimeters or seconds apart. The high’s and low’s of life. That’s what it is to be human. That is the Human Experience. And no one escapes it. Not me. Not you. Not Bruce. There’s no protection from it, thank God. Because without it, life would not be worth living. Life is made up of moments of high’s and low’s. And every single human being on Earth lives life according to this basic premise.

…..
Outside the street’s on fire 

In a real death waltz 
Between what’s flesh and what’s fantasy 
And the poets down here 
Don’t write nothing at all 
They just stand back and let it all be 
And in the quick of the night 
They reach for their moment 
And try to make an honest stand 
But they wind up wounded 
Not even dead 
Tonight in Jungleland