Podcast 27/52 – Philosophize this!

How can you not want to listen to an episode of Philozophize this!, when this is the prompt for the podcast:

philosophize this

 

Be reckless

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 said/shared.

BoldomaticPost_Be-reckless-when-it-comes-toThe six suggestions Parker provides on living a life worth exploring are simple. And powerful. So powerful I feel an urge to split this recommendation into six consecutive blog posts.

The first suggestion is: Be reckless when it comes to affairs of the heart.

He urges us all to fall passionately in love with life. And to go boldly, not fearing the vulnerability that is a certain companion when living a life worth living. When we give of ourselves, there will be times when we risk getting hurt. But the alternative, of holding back, of not giving of ourselves, of not letting that happen through me, that is mine to give the world. That’s just too sad to even contemplate.

So – go out there, and be reckless. Love. Live. Create! Because if you are anything like me, you are more afraid of regretting what wasn’t done rather than that which was done, when lying on your death bed. Or?

 

A steady stream of thoughts

So I couldn’t keep myself from quickly flicking through most of the birthday greetings on Facebook before going to bed.

And you know what? I sit here, writing this, with tears in my eyes. From joy. Feelings of gratitude, love and a great sense of peace. It might seem super soppy but I truly don’t care.

IMG_0149Here’s my take on it:
Hundreds upon hundreds of people, have taken the time to write me a greeting, long or short, on my birthday.

Some people I’ve never met physically. Some people I’ve known since the day I was born or shortly thereafter. Some I interact with on a daily, and sometimes almost hourly basis, and some very seldom. Maybe I write them a birthday greeting, and they write me one.

It doesn’t matter. It’s caring. It’s acknowledging of another person. It’s a message to me that I am seen. I am held. Yeah, it might only take a few seconds. But still, it’s seconds that could have been used otherwise. But all of you chose to give me those seconds. And hundreds upon hundreds of seconds turns into at least a few minutes. So on the day that was my birthday, I was in the minds – and sometimes in the hearts – of hundreds of people, for at least five minutes total.

Is it a wonder that I felt good the entire day? How could I not? With a steady stream of thoughts sent my way, what else is there, but to feel the love, the care, the wellwishes?

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. 

BoldomaticPost_It-s-the-realization-of-how-t

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?

 

Love. Is.

Love has no labels:

It’s been a while since I watched this the first time. So I just watched it again. And tears fall from my eyes. Because love is. No labels. No bias. It’s pure.

And still – sometimes I catch myself putting labels on love. Judging some relationships as being more true and hence worthy of admiration, and some relationships as less worthy, trying to figure out how it’s possible for love to exist in such circumstances.

That’s on of my biases on love. And I am glad I see it. Because awareness is a great first step towards getting rid of them.

Where does your bias concerning love lie?

From the deepest despair to the highest hope

Yesterday at the Innate Health conference a man by the name of Dicken Bettinger spoke. And how he spoke. Dicken shared a few stories, one of which related to a troubled teen, and that’s the one that got to me, real hard. A few minutes in on his sharing my eyes started to tear up and by the end I was sobbing, uncontrollably.  

From a place of opposing feelings; from the deepest despair, that we, ordinary people, can innocently be so cruel to each other, to the highest hope, that if you are listened to, by someone who has an understanding of the way the world actually works (inside out), your life can change in an instant.

Does that sound too easy? As if I look at turning from despair to hope with just a thought as something too lightheartedly?

I ensure you I don’t. But I think you just like I, have experienced at least once in your life, a change of heart, where you go from one state of mind to another, in the blink of an eye, in the time it takes to think one thought.

There’s a quote from Sydney Banks that describes this perfectly:

Everybody, everybody, is only one thought away from whatever you’re looking for, if you can find that one thought. And that one thought — do you know what it is? It’s a state of thoughtlessness, thoughtlessness from the little personal mind. This is why people meditate. The second your mind quietens down, what you call divine mind, spiritual mind, spiritual intelligence, spiritual knowledge, true knowledge — all the same thing in different names — comes into being. And you get what you call an insight, that is a sight from within, deep past your personal mind, and all of a sudden, your world changes. 

That’s where my hope lies. In the fact that a change of heart, a shifting of the way I see and experience the world, can happen in a heartbeat, born by the wisdom contained within one thought. That’s hopeful. And I rejoice at the fact that even though I realized the other day that I will not be coming to this type of conferences again (for now at least), I was there yesterday for an experience that shook me to the core. In the very best of ways, mind you, because I only stayed in despair for a short time. The hopefulness of it all takes over in me, and from there, beautiful things can happen. Because I know that anything is possible. That’s the message for me, after these three days at the Innate Health conference: look to and come from love and understanding. Then anything is possible. Anything. Even the seemingly impossible. Such as turning from a world of despair into a world of hope, all of a sudden. Hopeful isn’t it?

Love and understanding

Love and understanding. Yesterday I was reminded, again, that love and understanding is always the answer.   

Asking myself, I know that if I have done something wrong, something I am not proud of, perhaps even ashamed of having done, getting told off, made to stand in a corner to repent, perhaps even being ostracized, that never (!) creates a setting where I dare to truly look within and take ownership of my actions, and know or find a way forward from them, away from them, levelling up, rather than just repeating them over and over. Never.

What does create a setting where I am willing, able, to look within, honestly and consciously, and evolve, is, always, love and understanding. Unconditional. Non-judgmental.  That always does the trick. Given that I step into it myself. That’s the barrier for me. I also need to look at me with love and understanding.

Sometimes I don’t. And then I won’t. Evolve I mean, by looking honestly within. Taking full ownership of myself, my believes and my actions. If I’m stuck in a mode of self-loathing, judgment and disdain, there is no progression. I am stuck. Believing the inner chatter telling me how bad, worthless and pathetic I am, I don’t get away from it. I cannot rise above it, seeing it for what it is: thoughts. Transient, as thoughts are to their very nature. 

But when I step into love and understanding within myself, seeing whatever mindless mental chatter there is for what it is, transient thoughts, not Truth, anything can happen. That’s what I’ve experienced. Anything can happen from that place, the potential is unlimited, endless. Anything. 

And what a place that is to come from, to live from, where anything is possible. Where love and understanding forms the base, the come-from-place. Love and understanding for me. For you. For us. For everything. 

What happens for you when love and understanding is your come-from-place?

Felt by the heart

When I watched this clip, of kids with a blindfold, who are told to go find their mom amongst a group of six women, what struck me is the importance of all our senses.

Perhaps we don’t take the other senses into consideration as much as when sight is taken from us, as in the video here. But the love, oh, the love I see in the eyes of these women. Makes me want to shed a tear or two, out of pure joy at the connection I see displayed before my eyes.

Reminds me of the quote by Denzel Washington:

”Why do we close our eyes when we pray, cry, kiss or dream?
Because the most beautiful things in life are not seen but felt by the heart.”

Dance through life

During a coaching session last week with my coach, she said:

Dance with whatever knocks at your door.

It’s a phrase someone had told her once, I believe, and it hit me hard. In a good way, I might add.

The way I see it, I don’t control what comes knocking on my door. Chance, fate, serendipity, accident, coincidence…. whatever you want to call it, I don’t have control over it. But I can chose to dance with it, whatever it is. That’s a choice I have. It might not be my preferred dance partner, it might not be the dance of my choice, but regardless of that, I can dance with it.

dance with whateverI get to dance.

That’s what I realized during that coaching session.
I get to dance. With whatever comes knocking at my door. And I love to dance. I really really love it, so thinking about life in this way, that I get to dance with whatever comes knocking on my door, makes me all tingly inside. I can dance through life!

Life doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

Podcast 10/52 – a pledge and a challenge

“I have no intake at all of any feedback or criticism from anyone who’s not in the arena.”

That’s one of the quotes from this episode of Good Life Project with Brené Brown that really hit home for me: Brené Brown – On Gratitude, Vulnerability and and Courage.

She talks about what type of feedback she’s getting, and how she’s gotten very self knowledgeable as to what type of feedback she’ll even begin to consider to take in. The ones filled with love, with ”you’ve changed my life”, or the even grander ”you’ve saved my life”, she doesn’t want to read. It’s too much for her, and it’s not constructive, in the sense it doesn’t give her anything to work further with. The ones filled with hatred, she’s not looking at, at all, there’s no sense in that, whatsoever. What she does like are the constructive ones, suggesting she look into someone else research, a book or a study she should have included in her own research, and so on.

All of that makes perfect sense to me, but what really hit home was that quote that I shared at the top:

BoldomaticPost_I-have-no-intake-at-all-of-an

What she’s saying there is this: if you are not vulnerable, putting yourself out there, in any way, shape or form, I’m not going to listen to what you have to say about me being vulnerable and putting myself out there.

I remember when I first listened to this episode. I heard what she said. All of a sudden, it made such perfect sense to me! Anyone not daring to be vulnerable, sharing themselves in that honest, open and authentic way (in any kind of arena, in any form, but putting themselves out there!) that Brené herself does so well, is not a good judge/critic of my vulnerability, of me putting myself out there. But if you do put yourself out there, if you are amongst those daring to be vulnerable, I am very interested in taking in what you have to share.

Today, on the International Women’s Day of 2015, that’s the message I want to help spread – if you dare to be vulnerable, then please also dare to reject the criticism and hatred of those who dare not, those who share not. Hatred doesn’t come from those who dare, it doesn’t come from those who share. No, from those on the arena, you will receive love, respect, compassion and empathy.

BoldomaticPost_I-will-dare-to-be-vulnerableSo this is my pledge:
I will dare to be vulnerable.
I will put myself out on the arena.
I will share and be love.

And here’s my challenge to you:
Dare to be vulnerable.
Put yourself out on the arena of your choice.
Share and be love. 

I’m hoping more people will dare to be vulnerable, because I think that’s the way forward to that loving society that I envision. So. Is this a challenge you’re willing to take on?