Podcast 42/52 – to hold the question

Like last weeks tip, here’s another podcast that I’ve been putting off blogging about, because it’s simply so rich that I am at a loss to find the words to write about it. It’s an episode from Good Life Project this time, with Nilofer Merchant, my favorite walk-and-talk-lady!

Nilofer is a woman who’s led a very interesting life, that’s for sure. She shares openly and without a lot of sentiment, but still, there is a vulnerability to it. She talks about her inner tyrant *been there, done that* and then a very interesting piece of conversation follows, on ”sustained uncertainty”. Just listen, and you’ll get what that points at.

Anyway. I’ve listened to this show umpteen times, and the other day I listened again. And guess what! I heard something I hadn’t heard the other times. Isn’t that amazing? How I suddenly got something else, probably because I listened differently this last time.

Joint creation by Vanessa Smith and Helena Roth at Summit of Human Potential Realization.

Joint creation of the global community by Vanessa Smith and Helena Roth at Summit for Human Potential Realization.

The thoughts about community and the epidemic of people feeling alone and cut off from the rest of the world… How we are actually not paying attention to the phenomenal amount of communities we are a part of, and then they give example after example, and I had to stop to take it all in. There are a few communities that I instantly come up with if you’d ask me what I ”am a part of” so to speak. But what Nilofer and Jonathan point to, is a much larger sense of community, that really stopped me in my tracks, this time around. I am very grateful for that!

Oh. And then, the part about questions and answers, close to the end. As a person enamored with questions, this part blew me away:

My job is to hold the question. […] I think most of us were trained with the idea that you needed to know the answer. […] if you actually own the question, other people can help you with the answer […] and more importantly, they can help you make the answer a reality! – Nilofer Merchant

There’s a question that’s been a constant companion of mine these past two and a half, close to three years. And I still haven’t gotten tired of it. What’s the question that lie at the center of your life?

Being aware – reflection #2

Sticking to my awareness-theme, I pick up the next set of questions from my original post. Now let’s see what I might discover today.

How do you Do awareness?
What a relevant question. And such a difficult question to answer. Because how Do you Do awareness? *pause to reflect and sit with the question*
Well. I guess, for me, doing awareness isn’t really visible on the outside, it’s more something that goes on within me, which then might manifests visibly, in my actions and the way I show up in the world.

What is the relationship between being and doing awareness?
Being aware comes before the doing of awareness. I don’t think it can be the other way around and they don’t work in parallel either. Being precedes doing. It’s as simple as that. Do you agree?being precedes doing

How can you tell when another person acts out of awareness? Or when he/she
doesn’t? Is it visible somehow?
These questions all belong together. And yes, sometimes I can tell if a person acts out of awareness or when he/she doesn’t. Sometimes I can’t. I guess it varies. However, I actually think I can sense it, intuit it, more often than I can actually see it with my eyes. Whether or not I use my intuition to sense it, or I use my eyes to see it, I guess what I spot is incongruencies, when there’s a mis-match between being and doing. Something that is un-synchronized, out of tune, not as it should be.

Is there a limit, a point where you are fully aware, saturated, unable to become more aware? If so, can human beings reach that point? Is it even desirable?
Another set of questions that belong together.
And no. I don’t think we can reach that point, at least not staying a human being.
Actually. I have a sense that once a person is 100% aware, saturated with awareness, unable to become more aware… he or she will cease to exist, revert into godhood, no longer having a place in the human realm. Being human and living the human experience means there is always more to learn, to grasp, understand, discover, be curious about. There is no such thing as a comprehensively aware human being. Because once we reach a point of all-knowing, we are god, pure and simple, and the need for our human form will be no more.

Do I know this last to be true? Heck no.

I haven’t got the faintest idea if this is the way it is, or just a figment of my imagination. But it’s as far as my reflections on awareness and humankind have taken me. To this date. Who know’s where I will be on this subject tomorrow. Perhaps my awareness will have taken me somewhere completely different?

In tears; determined!

Have you seen The internet’s own boy about Aaron Schwarz? It’s an amazing documentary. A tear jerker. It touched me deeply, and I’m almost ashemed of being a part of the culture that makes a person with gifts like Aaron, kill himself.

If you haven’t seen the documentary, I urge you to do it. Immediately! And then you reflect on the choices you can make, small or large, that can help create a better world. Aaron believed in questioning, asking why, and not settling for what is. Question in your way.

Because I believe in a better world, just like Aaron did. Throughout the documentary that’s the message that shines most brightly for me, this enormous urge to do good, and help in making the world a better place. All similarities between me and Aaron end there, because in no way do I want to compare myself to his brilliance. But then again, I don’t have to. Because we are all needed. Each and every one of us has something unique, and when that unique core is used to create a better and more loving world, we will be able to level up, both as a society and as individuals.

Aaron believed in questioning, asking why, and not settling for what is. He questioned in his way. Watching the documentary has me in tears, but I am also more determined. I am strengthened in my belief that we can change the world, in the power of asking why, that one person can make a difference and that we are all needed.

I urge you to question the structures of the world we live in, your way, and I’ll keep on questioning in my way. Deal?

Held in a space of love

Being held in a space of love, that beats most things I’ve experienced. That’s what a great coach (for me) will do. And that’s what I experience at Supercoach Academy as well. space of loveBeing held in a space of love opens up for discovery of things within that I didn’t know were there to find. It opens for grabbing onto a story of mine, shining some light on it, and watching it dissolve into nothingness, because that’s what stories are. They really are nothing, but for the fact that we place meaning onto them. They are a thought, that we believe to be real, and that’s why they seem ream. But they are a thought, and it’s only when I ”have something on that thought” that it seems real to me.

During the last weekend with SCA2014, I was listening to a chat between Michael Neill and George Pransky, when George said something to the effect of:
It’s the meaning you put on ”it”, that is causing your distress.

(”It” being whatever it is you put meaning to, whatever it is you are dicussing, bringing up, getting stuck on.)

I can see this in my life, nowadays. I can see myself when I am in distress, and know where that feeling comes from. It doesn’t mean I don’t experience distress anymore. Not at all! That happens, all the time, because it’s part of the human experience on earth. It happens to us all. Period. But I know where my distress is coming from, and knowing that makes it seem slightly less real for me. It makes me not take that distress as Fact, as something that Must be. It makes me see the distress as a feeling I am experiencing, because I have a thought of some sort. And I feel the feeling. That’s a given. But I no longer believe that feeling to be a Must. It’s not a feeling that is inevitable. It’s not a feeling which is the only true response given the situation. It’s A feeling. Not THE feeling.

And when I am held in a space of love, I can begin to question my beliefs, question the stories I’m telling myself to be real. And that process is a miraculous journey, that free’s me up, expands me, makes it possible to let go of restrictions that don’t serve me (anymore), and mostly, for me, it means my energy is not wasted on conserving the stories of my life. The energy can be used for much greater thing. I don’t have to waste energy trying to maintain a status quo that is a construct of my thinking, instead the energy can be used, in the moment, for whatever want’s to show up, whatever wants to happen.

Have you ever been held in a space of love?

I guess I never stopped

While flying Norwegian to Los Angeles I was browsing the inflight magazine, and stumbled across an article about Sverker Johansson, the worlds most prolific writer, having published more than three million Wikipedia articles. Or rather, he’s done a bunch, but then he created a bot that scans databases, creating articles on the go.

Anyway, this Swede seems to be one of those people with a mind that expands in all areas at once. He has degrees in multiple fields, and said: ”From the age of five, I was curious about everything – I kept asking ‘Why?’, and I guess I never stopped.

Sverker Johansspn
I just love that, and to a certain degree regret that I did stop. Because I did. Somewhere along the line as a growing child, or a young adolecent, I stopped asking why. Luckily, I started asking that question again a few years ago, and it’s taken my life on a ride I never dreamed of.

But what can I do to get my kids back to question-mode? Because, although it pains me greatly, I think they have stopped, to a large extent… at least it seems to me as if much of their natural curiosity have disappeared (or perhaps retreated within, to a safer place, ready to come out if and when the time and setting is right?). And even though I am asking…. I really know the answer, which is for me to be my curious self. That’s the only thing I can do!

I also have a feeling it’s actually very unnatural for humankind NOT to ask questions of why, how, what for and so on. Would we have evolved as far as we have otherwise?

Oh! Wondrous thought: Would we perhaps have made an even better job of our human evolutionary endeavors if more people had kept their question-mode alive and kicking?