Afraid of otherness?

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 and second suggestion here.

BoldomaticPost_As-you-welcome-whatever-you-fThe third suggestion is: As you welcome whatever you find alien within yourself, extend that same welcome to whatever you find alien in the outer world.

There is no other, that is not also a part of you.

I’ll write that again: There is no other, that is not also a part of you.

So be hospitable, curious and meet the world with the same sense of adventurous journey of discovery that you hopefully have embarked upon within yourself. There is no need to be afraid of otherness. Or rather, you do not need to act upon the fear. You can see it, witness it, and let it pass through. Because you are meeting yourself, when you come across someone, something, which you do not recognize, that feels new and different and unknown to you. That is how to grow. That is how to benefit the world. And that is where my hope for the future lies. Just imagine what will be made possible when we no longer fear otherness. I can see it in my minds eye. Can you?

A blessed encounter

Yesterday I had an amazing time with a handful of friends, that rock in all sorts of ways. The foremost reason is that they all are curious about themselves. Since that’s the stage of life I am at as well, it’s a perfect match!
And it get’s extra interesting since our selves are so different, we all are living and learning on the edges of the unknown, whatever that is, for each and every one of us. Expanding my horizons and daring to step one inch into the unknown, is magic, but doing it in parallel with other brave exploring unique individuals is so enriching, because their edges and unknowns are different places to mine. And I get to take a small part in their edgy landscapes as well. And let me tell you, that is just awesome!

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Wivan-Kristina blogged about meetings and encounters this morning, inspired by our day together, and posted it on Facebook. A friend of mine commented on it, posting and linking to this beautiful text:

A blessed encounter.

We spontaneously decided to get together.
Unwaveringly and with no preamble, we delved into the core questions of existence. In great honesty. With great zest.
We were completely ourselves, we showed our yearning but also our wisdom and uncertainty, trusting and backing each other. There was a deep sense of connection, affinity, solidarity. As if our words were dancing. There was joy but also sorrow. But we allowed ourselves to embrace both, and so only pure joy availed.

“Do you feel this perfume, where does it come from?” he asked.
We didn´t know exactly what was going on, but the three of us felt a soothing feeling of coherence. Of consistency. That nearness felt like music…our words were creating a kind of Symphony – as in the Greek word symfono. Namely, perfect agreement, perfect consonance.
Heartfelt Connectedness in Wholeness.

~ Julien Matei

Honesty and zest, joy and sorrow with quite a dab of anger as well actually. And oh so much embracing! It’s a perfect description of our encounter yesterday.

I am grateful to be a part of such a context. It makes it easier to walk my path, knowing there are people rooting for me along the journey. And if need be, they’ll do more than root for me. That knowledge is priceless.

Who’s rooting for you?

Walk and Talk

I am an advocate for Coachwalks as you might have understood – at least if you’ve read some of my blog posts in Swedish. For me, walking while coaching has a whole bunch of benefits, the biggest one being that the physical movement ensure you cannot remain stuck mentally.

Here’s Nilofer Merchant talking about the same concept:

I challenge you to try a walk and talk-meeting, rather than a traditional sit-down-meeting. Up for it?