Podcast 52/52 – Love your soul

Suddenly. It struck me.

Hey. It was Sunday the other day. And I didn’t post a podcast-tip on my blog. I did the Sunday before, I know I did. But I must have forgotten this past Sunday. Or didn’t I?

So I had to check it out. And whaddayaknow? I was right. I did forget. So here it comes, a few days late, but better late than never, as the saying goes. Podcast tip 52 out of 52 for 2015. And you know what? I have enough to have a go at another 52 weeks of tips without even listening to a single new podcast, there are so many good podcasts out there!

Martin Sheen on On Being will be be featured on this my last podcast recommendation of the 2015.

About 18-19 minutes in (in the edited version at least) Martin talks about love. About finding it, deep within ourselves, and how often we forget to look just there.

We have to look in the spot where we’re least likely to look, and that is within ourselves. And when we find that love, that presence, deep within our own personal being — and it’s not something that you can earn, or something that you can work towards. It’s just a realization of being human, of being alive, of being conscious. And that love is overwhelming. And that is the basic foundation of joy. 

Listening to this podcast… I shiver, experience a sharp intake of breath, of having my eyes opened, realizing that here is a person, a full person, with so much more depth to him than I ever imagined in my restricted and prejudiced mind. Amazing.I love it. I love having my eyes opened to the extraordinary ordinariness of another human being, and slowly, slowly, I notice I look at my fellow human beings, those around me, with a more open heart, open mind, and I know. I know there is more to this person – to every person – than meets the eye. Because there always is. It is wonderful. Imagine the marvel of it, the joy of glimpsing the soul, the onlyness, and it will never end. There are more souls out there for me to glimpse than I will ever be able to actually experience.

I close my eyes.
Feel myself twirling around and around.
On an old-fashined merry-go-round, round and round.
Knowing whenever I open my eyes, there will be a completely unique human being there to meet, to get a soul-glimpse of, to befriend and love.love your soul

Knowing I am also one.
A complete human being.
With more to me than meets the eye.
Someone for me to meet, to get a soul-glimpse of, to befriend and love.

Opening my eyes.
Look around me.
Look within me.
There’s love. All over.
Inside me. Outside of me.
Overwhelming.
Absolute joy.

We look high, we look low, we look afar and we – might – look close.
But how often do we actually look within ourselves for Love?

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

Podcast 46/52 – An act of rebellion

On Being.
Krista Tippett in conversation with Parker Palmer and Courtney Martin.
Topic: The inner life of rebellion.

At this point in time, a time of terror and natural disasters, war and tyranny, people fleeing from their home and countries, from death and destruction…. holding onto hope is a challenge. A struggle. Not always easy. But I stick with it. I stick with my hope of a better world, for all. With the knowing, deep within me, that the path of love is the path ahead, towards that world, which is better for each and every one. In times like these, holding onto hope is an act of rebellion.act of rebellion

This is the essence of this podcast. Holding onto hope. Parker Palmer and Courtney Martin remind me of the path I’ve chosen in life. The path of love.

Does that mean I never despair? Dread? Fear? Hate?
No. I feel it all. It’s a part of the human experience.
But I cannot, will not, let those emotions become the main route of my life.

That is not how I want my life to play out, focusing on those feelings, the feelings of despair, dread, fear, hate. It’s not what I chose. So when those feelings show up, I see and acknowledge them, I don’t shy away from them, but I have the choice not to dive headfirst into them, and that’s most often the choice I make.

Trying to avoid falling for the siren’s call of the cynic, the sarcastic, the pessimistic and the negative. Instead, I try to listen to the love, the creativity, the compassion and the positive. Simply, because it makes my life more enjoyable. That’s my act of rebellion. Holding onto hope, believing in and living my life out of love and light.

What is your act of rebellion?

 

In, and of, heaven

Today, in a coaching session with my coach, I found myself in heaven. Cuddled up in my armchair, with Carla on SKYPE, talking, listening, reflecting, and most of all, being.

Sharing the sensations of the past months, the conversations, meditations, insights. Experiences. And wham – I’m there. In heaven. In the softest of places, simply being. My voice, in communion, getting more gentle, soft-spoken. Pulse, breath, all slow down, calmness reigns. Indicating the state I’m in.

To meditate on a pinprick of light, in the middle of my chest. A pinprick of pure light, love, compassion, happiness. A pinprick which slowly grows, filling up every cell of my body, going further, beyond the physical boundaries of my body. Slowly expanding, with every intake of breath, pausing on every exhalation. Inhalation, expansion. Exhalation, stillness.

pinprick

Expansion – Stabilization. Expansion – Stabilization. Expansion – Stabilization.

The pinprick grows, meter by meter, kilometer by kilometer, country by country. I envision my beloved friends and family, spread across the globe, bathing in the light, love, compassion, happiness stemming from deep within my chest. Love guides me to them.

Soon, it’s as if I am at the crest of this wave, the wave of expanding light, love, compassion, happiness. I am in it, as well as of it. Experiencing and witnessing, all at once. Not in one spot along the rim of the ever-expanding pinprick, but all over it. In every single point, in all dimensions.

I see the Earth, this blue and green planet, then the moon comes into focus, followed by our solar system. The pinprick engulfing the Milky Way, while I continue to ride its crest, expanding into another galaxy, and another, and another…

The sensation of falling backwards, into infinity, with all that is, right in front of me. Being in it, as well as of it. I am it. Infinity. Heaven. On Earth. All of universe is right there, within me. I can feel the sensation, pulsing, pulsing, slow, but steady. A pulse felt in all that is me, today, now. My skin, hair, eyes, all of my inner organs, my heart, brain, all my senses.

It’s as if I’ve gained an extra sense. There’s sight, sharper than before. But known to me. There’s smell, hearing, taste. Touch. Nerve endings tuned in to notice minute details. All known to me, since eons. But richer, sharper, more attuned to actually performing to their fullest capacity.

And then. Something else. Universality. A sense which enriches all the other senses, a heightener. Boosting, maximizing. And then some.

I am in, and of, the universe.
I am not merely human, I am it all.
All that breathes, all that lives, but more, still more.

I am stardust.
Stellar wind blows through me.
I am in, and of, heaven and earth, and all that has ever existed.
And I am not alone. This is what we all are, where we all are.

Known to some, unknown to many. Including me. Up until very recently. But not anymore. Once experienced, it cannot be un-experienced. Like reading. Internalized, forever a part of me.

I just never knew. Wasn’t ready for it before. But it was always there. Within.

I know this. There is no need to search for heaven. It’s already within you. Open up to it. That’s the only thing to do, nothing else, because when the student is ready, the teacher appears.

Beauty surrounds us

I don’t think I’ve ever experience 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!fall love 1
I’ve become better calibrated. It’s like I’ve been fine tuned. My senses are functioning, on a whole new level. Whole heartedly.
I notice. I take it in. All of it.
For the first time, it feels as if I fully n o t i c e all the beauty that surrounds me.fall love 4

It’s been there before. Of that I am certain.
But it was never a part of my reality, in the way it is this year.
Because this year, my eyes have opened.
They take it all in, all that is, and always has been.
The texture, colors, smells, movement.
Wind. Sunshine. Dark clouds.
The heaven and earth.
fall love 5The withered hops in the allotment.
fall love 2

The horse chestnut leaves, glowing orange.fall love 7

The black walnut tree. The bark, the lichen, the leaves. And the fruits!fall love 6

The last holly hock, smiling at me, as I pass it. I have to stop. I ask if I may take its portrait. Of course, it tells me, smiling.
I smile back.fall love 3

It feels as if a view has lifted off my eyes. And my heart.
As I take it all in, I can feel myself expand, my awareness, love and gratitude for the beauty of the world fill me up, every cell of me.

Life.
I love it.
See it.
And live it.

Do you notice the beauty that surround you?

Podcast 43/52 – How are you?

Guess what? I have a new podcast for you this week. At long last, you might think, perhaps getting fed up with On Being, Good Life Project and One You Feed, with a few others sprinkled on top these past 42 weeks. If that is so, today is your lucky day!

I stumbled upon ProBlogger a month or two ago, and have listened to a handful of episodes. If you are into blogging and want to expand your blogging skills, I would definitely recommend that you check out the entire podcast series from ProBlogger. But this episode holds value to each and every one of us, regardless if we blog or not.

Darren Rowse goes personal, and invite his listeners to do the same, truly asking ourselves the question: How Are You?

HowAreYouIt’s a question that invites an honest look at a lot of areas of life, perhaps all. If you’re up for it. Otherwise, pick one, and go deep.

Health? Diet? Exercise?
Love? Relationships? Friends? Family?
Parenting? Hobbies? Work?

As I ask myself How are you, in general I’ve never been so well, as I am today. As far as I know, I have my health, I eat better than ever, move about daily, even though, if I’m honest – there’s a nagging sense of wanting to be stronger and have more stamina. So there’s something to look into some more. Or. Perhaps I should just get on it, instead of looking into it… I mean. I know what it takes. Knowing myself, the best way to go about it, is to make a plan. Once I commit to a plan, it seems I don’t have a hard time sticking to it. So a plan it will be.

I listened to this podcast two times, back to back, so there is something about How are you that beckons me. It’s very easy to just breeze over a question like this one, especially since in many English-speaking countries it’s a greeting phrase, and not really meant to be answered honestly. Or? I wonder if I am?