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?

 

Podcast 41/52 – the other side of the story

There’s an episode of On Being that I listened to over and over again in May when I was in London for the Innate health conference. I had a 30 minute walk from my Air BnB to the venue, and there was so much depth in this one show, that I basically listened, re-listened and listened yet again to this episode, hearing new things each time.

I put it in the Evernote list for ”blog series podcasts” and then it fell prey to the same problem that several of my absolute favorite podcast episodes have been struck by:
I love them so much, and there is wisdom upon wisdom spoken that I would like to point out and write about, that I tell myself ”I’ll get around to it some day”, wanting to really take my time, listening to the episode and jot down all of the moments of insight…. and guess what? I don’t take the time for that. And the absolute gems of the podcast world, according to me, never makes it into my podcast series here on the blog.

So. Time to change that. Yesterday I relistened to this specific episode of On Being again, featuring journalist Michel Martin, and I just new I have to stop holding these gemstones hostage in Evernote!

BoldomaticPost_You-just-can-t-live-in-your-bMichel Martin is apparently a well known and accomplished journalist, even though I’d never heard of her before listening to this podcast. But then again, being Swedish it’s not surprising I don’t know of her work. But from what I hear on this show, I understand that she’s really taken this question to heart in her journalistic work:
What’s the side of the story that isn’t obvious?

One of the ways she does this, is to look for the people who’s voice hasn’t been heard, which she gives some great examples of in the podcast. This is something she would like more people to do, which she phrases like this:
My real charge to people is look around and see who’s missing. And try to invite that person.

That is such an important charge.
Simply stated, and clear in what to look for, and how to act.

It all ties together very well. If there is a void in the voices being heard, I won’t get to hear all sides of the story will I? And if I don’t, it is easy to stay in my bubble. The missing voices tell the other side of the story, the side that isn’t obvious from the get-go. And when I hear those voices, when my perspective is widened. My bubble bursts. Or, if you would, it widens and expands, to take in a larger portion of the world around me. And then. I hear another not so obvious story, and it expands again. And again. And again.

Look around you. See who’s there.
Then look again.
Who’s missing?

DAY 2 #NAJOWRIMOPROMPT: What inspired your creative self?

Yesterday you wrote about ways you express yourself creatively. For today’s journal entry, write about you creative influences. Who and what makes you feel creative. Who and what do you draw creative inspiration from?

Creative influences. Now that’s a questions I can probably provide a multitude of answers to, but nobody but me can make me feel creative!

I find it a bit odd that I read thousands upon thousands of blog posts (most notably school-related ones as well as Seth Godin, Leo Baubata, Arvind Devalia and the likes) up until I started blogging myself. Then, I basically stopped following blogs. I still read some occasionally, but I haven’t followed a blog for years. With one exception, that of my friends Wivan and Anders, as it’s one way to ensure I know what’s going on in their lives as they travel the world.

Since I started blogging myself, I listen to podcasts. (So yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised to see myself pick up podcasting and then cease to listen to other podcasts?!) All through out this year, my Sunday blog post has been, and will be, a podcast tip from me. My absolute favorites are On Being, One You Feed and Good Life Project. There are other as well, some Swedish ones, such as 100%-podden by my friend Charlotte Rudenstam (there are a few episodes in English as well, so do check it out) and Värvet with Kristoffer Triumf, but also English ones such as Freakonomics Radio, Peak Prosperity Featured Voice and several NPR shows with Invisibilia and Serial as my most loved ones. And yes, I draw an immense amount of creative inspiration from these podcasts!

appleNature is also something from which I draw creative inspiration. Walking about. Sitting down. Looking at a tree, a lake, a rock, a straw of grass, ants in an ant hill… anything and everything, nature is a marvelous source for inspiration!

And family and friends of course, it’s like having my very own treasure chest full of creative inspiration! I like to witness and observe, both the ongoings of my family and friends as well as what happens within me when I am in interaction with the ones close to me.

Since I’ve stopped reading blogs so much, perhaps you think I no longer get creative inspiration from written material. Well. That would be a faulty assumption. I read books, I love books, and I get a lot of inspiration from them. Fiction is more to let my mind just be, without triggering it too much, but I also read a lot of non-fiction, which definitely does just that, triggers my creativity, my curiosity, a wish to sit with a certain question or topic, and see what happens within as I do so. A lot of that comes out as blog posts.

Do I have other sources for creative inspiration. You bet. I could jot down another ten sources, easily, but no, I’ll stop here. But what about you? Who and what do you draw creative inspiration from?

Podcast 40/52 – the act of noticing things

My friend Laura told me she’d listened to Ellen Langer on On Being, and suggested I check it out. So I did (and would have anyway, since On Being is a favorite show of mine. But I am so happy for the suggestion!), and once finished, pressed Play immediately, to listen yet another time. And actually, I’ve listened to the episode more than three times by now! It’s definitely a very good show to listen to, at least if you are in any way interested in mindfulness, or mindlessness, for that matter. Ellen Langer has a purely scientific take on it, and I really like her definition of mindfulness: “the simple act of actively noticing things”

Because that is really what it is all about. And she does have a point. I mean, how do I DO ”being in the present”? How do I know I am ”being in the now”? And she is spot on with her definition. You are present when you notice things. That is how you know you are in the present moment, and not off on a mental tangent somewhere or other.

Now that’s just one of many precious gems in this episode of On Being, and I will just pinpoint one more, before letting you head on over to On Being to listen for yourself.

Fairly early on in the show Ellen speaks about perspectives, and what she said really got me thinking. She points out how nobody truly believes there is just one way to look at the world at large or a specific detail (unless they are a fundamentalist, my addition), and yet, we so often go through life doing just that. And she gave me a much needed nudge, to look at a specific person in a fairly periferal position of my life, who still somehow seem to take up more energy and space than I want. And wham. All of a sudden, I could see what for me seems like very petty and begrudging behavior, in a totally new light. I all of a sudden developed a lot of empathy for said person, because I realized that a likely cause for the behavior is loneliness and a fear of not having any friends.

noticing things

It’s so amazing when those shifts occur, it’s as if a door opens that I had no clue was there in the first place. And that my friends, is definitely an example of the simple act of noticing things.

So. Stop. Pause. Look around you.
Notice five new things about the space you are in?

Podcast 39/52 – Chickensoup for the soul

Thursday to Sunday have been a long enjoyable chickensoup for the soul-moment for me, as I’ve been travelling in England with my choir. England have greeted us with the most magnificent fall weather, and we’ve taken in the sights, sounds and smells of Oxford and its surroundings. On Saturday we sang in Enstone parish church of St Kenelm’s, and it was a joy. Good accoustics and an attentive audience, including both a touch of royalty (as the Swedish princess Margareta attended, being a resident of Enstone) as well as one sweet soul who let out the most appreciative ahhh at the end of each song. (And no, it wasn’t someone in pain, trust me, I know the difference!)On Sunday (today that is) we will sing in the service at 11 am in St Paul’s chuch in Covent Garden, also known as the actor’s church, as well as give a repeat concert at 1 pm.On account of all this music, as podcast tip 39/52, I wanted to share a special episode of On Being with you, the one featuring Yo-Yo Ma, world-reknown cellist. And, as it turned out, an extremely interesting human being, with such a great knowing of why he does what he does. 

I’ve listened to this episode, both the edited as well as the uncut version, many times, and each time I am left with the most lovely sensation of deep inner calm coupled with a great appreciation for the wisdom available to us all. Yo-Yo Ma personifies this for me, and I hope you will take the time to listen. And don’t be fooled by all this talk of music, it’s definitely a conversation spanning a wide array of life, including music, but really centering on Yo-Yo Ma’s love and interest of humanity.

Music is what happens in between the notes, Yo-Yo Ma says, and I can only agree. In between the notes, my soul is restored, my mind can take leaps of joy as well as sorrow, and it is truly chickensoup for the soul. For me, listen to, or creating, music is definitely one of my favorite pastimes to sooth as well as vigorate my soul. What’s the best chickensoup for your soul?  

Podcast 38/52 – Stillness

I remember the first time I came across Pico Iyer. He gave a TED Talk on The Art of Stillness that captivated me. His words, his way of showing up in the world, his message. All captivating, and performed in such a way, that something opened up within me.

Stillness was never a word I used to describe myself. Before. Perhaps I’ve been more still in a bodily manner, but definitely not mentally. Mental chatter, constant, busy busy, chatting away at all times. Never knowing how to shut it up, or to stop paying attention to it. Never a still moment. Almost.

Now. I revere the stillness that I find, now and again, often on a daily basis. Meditating for instance. But also in micro moments throughout the day, discovering something beautiful, sensing a smell, or a sound, or even the absence of sound. Captivated, for just a microsecond, as if time stops, ceases to exist, like pressing a pause-button.

Pico Iyer also had a conversation with Krista Tippett, On Being, on the Art of Stillness, and I thought it would be an excellent companion to the reflections on being aware, that have dominated the blog this week. Pico Iyer travels the world, and then travels within his inner world, deciphering the first kind of travels through the second. In a sense, becoming more aware of what goes on outside, by a raised awareness of what goes on inside. travel to be moved

This is what my life journey have started to feel like, a travel, a journey of discovery, of expansion as well as stabilization, of awareness. And the more I travel, roaming the landscape and continents within, the more I am moved by moments of pure presence, in me, as well as outside of me.

Today I will be traveling, and Pico is spot on. I am not traveling for the sake of moving around, I am traveling with the hope of being moved. And I know I will be.

Why do you travel?

 

Podcast 37/52 – mindblowing podcast on intelligence

Oh. Perhaps you are getting fed up with the podcast tips I’m providing every Sunday. It’s almost solely Good Life Project or On Being that I’ve featured lately. But heck, those two shows are simply so good. Honestly, if you have yet to actually click on one of the links I’m inserting into these podcast tip blog posts, you really should give it a go.

And, yeah, of course, you’ve probably guessed by now that I’m gonna write about one of these shows today as well. And you’re right. I will. You see, I’ve been listening over and over to an extremely fascinating conversation between Krista Tippett and educator Mike Rose on the intelligence present in all kinds of work.

Mindblowing. Mike describes the intelligence of a waitress, and made me realize what a fenomenal memory many waitresses have. The intelligence of a plumber, who perhaps works in limited surroundings, making it impossible to actually see with his or her eyes what the issue is, but through the help of probing fingers and an ability to paint an internal picture, can solve it. There’s beauty and, indeed, intelligence in all the millions of different work activities that goes on, through out the day and night, all over the world.

MindblowingI’m even fascinated by my fascination over this! And I’ve got a treat saved up for myself as well. There’s an unedited version of their conversation that I’ve yet to listen to. Oh goodie!

Anyway, check it out, and please pay extra attention the last 10-15 minutes of the episode, as Mike and Krista then touch upon a topic very close to my heart, that of the purpose of education, of learning, of schooling. I usually twitterify the question as #WhySchool, and, guess how happy I got when I heard Mike speak about why he thinks it’s so important to be very clear about the purpose of schooling and education. Oh, and if you want to, please let me know what pops up for you as you listen to this episode. Id love to hear your thoughts on the topics raised in this show. Ok?