1/24 – Merely begin.

Where do I start?
How do I know what is the right project, work, next step for me?
How do I know?begin

That was the gist of one of the questions asked of Seth Godin at #SethInLondon. And Seth beautifully answers:

Begin. 
Merely begin. 

It doesn’t matter what you pick, as long as you pick. That is the clinch, you see! Picking. Not what you pick. But the act of picking and then taking step one, step two, step three, and so on, putting your effort into whatever it is you picked.

I think as you get used to picking, you also get better at it, learning from previous picks that might have totally bombed, or just didn’t really feel right after a while. As long as you keep on picking and continue to move, to act, to do work that matters, stuff may or may not be smashing successes or total disasters. Keep on picking. And then. Most importantly: You begin.

Reflection #1 of 24 from the notes I took and the experience I had at the Seth Godin Q&A-session in London, November 2015. These reflections will constitute my Advent Calendar for 2015, and will be posted daily from December 1st to the 24th.

DAY 5 #NAJOWRIMOPROMPT: Write 10 burning questions about your life

For today’s prompt write a list of 10 burning questions for yourself about your life. I suggest not overthinking your list of questions, and you probably should not think about trying to answer those questions right now. Just write whatever questions come to mind. Remember, you’re writing in your journal. No one else should see your list, and you don’t have to answer to anyone about the questions you raise. You may find the this list troubling to write, but the questions might a useful to return to for future journal entries.

Well. This was interesting. I’ve been avoiding this prompt for a few days, for some reason. But now that I have my 10 questions written down, I wonder what I was afraid of? There’s some challenging questions, but none that come as a surprise to me, and none that make me want to stick my head in the sand.

But no. I won’t publish them. If nothing else, I won’t because the prompt actually tells me not to. And I think I want to sit with them a bit more, question by question. Reflect upon them. See what comes to mind, rather than ”try to contrive an answer” to them. That doesn’t ring true to me at all, that’s not the way to go about these. But rather stick them in my mouth, one by one, like a lozenge. Letting it sit, slowly melting away… and possibly, there will be an answer. Or more questions perhaps? That would be welcome as well. I really like questions, and I like the not knowing. Hanging out in that place of limbo, where the question has materialized, but the answer hasn’t. Possibly the answer is like a mirage far away on the horizon. Something illusory, that cannot be analyzed and examined in great detail, because it doesn’t really exist. not knowingOr it might be slowly coming to form before my eyes, a bit like the statue of David inside the great block of marble, being liberated chunk by marble chunk by Michelangelo and his chisels. Or. It might be totally obvious, like a billboard commercial. Neon lights blinking, a clear message to me.

Who knows? Not me, that’s for sure.
And that makes me sit here with a grin on my face, laughing to myself.
Imagine that, huh?

Me.
Enjoying the process of not knowing, revelling in it.

Who would have thought?

 

Podcast 35/52 – the big questions

harvestListened to Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields in conversation with Dale Partridge when I was out picking wild plums, blackberries, dewberries and hazelnuts in the recreational area just across the street from my home. Dale and Jonathan proved to be great companions for my harvest walk, and once more, once it finished I had the urge to press play and start all over again.

There are so many questions one can ask oneself, on the life we lead. Questions that Dale and Jonathan ask and talk about in this episode. Big questions, that might actually be the common thread of most of the podcasts I share here. I like listening to podcasts that make me question e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g about life, in general and specifically about my own life. Questions of happiness, relationships, health, and what is really important to us. Questions that perhaps were impossible for the average Joe and Jane to ask for most of humanity, but that a huge number of people can ask themselves in the times we live right now. Not all, unfortunately, since there are many who suffer from famine, from inequalities, from war and terror. But let’s face it – if you are reading this, you’re almost certainly a part of the millions that can ask these questions. Question is – are you?

A girl’s best friend

Diamonds right, that’s what you thought I’d blog about? Well. No. That’s a load of crock. Diamonds cannot be the best friend of anyone.

And really, I am misleading you. Because that’s not what I want to talk about. Rather it’s the best friends of a coach I’m curious about, and taking an even larger view on it, these are probably the best friends any human being can have! All of ‘em, including you, although it might not be something you are concious of.

So, anyway, as a coach, and as a human being, I have three best friends:

Questions – great questions can sometimes totally flip a client, as it can be an invitation to an insight. New bubbles of conciousness opens up in a flash moment.

Silence – I no longer have the urge to avoid silence, needing to speak the moment it goes quiet. No. Nowadays I love silence. It’s a great help, and again, by keeping silent, sometimes that can be an invite to a turning point. Accepting the silence without the nagging desire to fill it with something, just being with it, in it. Magic!

Mind – this is the greatest one of them all really. Because this is where insights come from. This is where original though come from. This is the one I listen for, and sometimes it sparks insights that strike like lightning, out of blue sky. Sometimes much more subtle, wispering ever so quietly, so the only way to pick up on it is by being very quiet with sharp ears.

serve

So these three are the best friends I’ve got, questions, silence and mind, all working together to create the best life and world there can be. This is how I can serve my coaching clients the best way I know, and it’s also my contribution to creating a more loving world.

What are your best friends, for serving yourself, your surroundings and the world?

A question worth asking

That’s a question worth asking.

The sentence reverberated in my head…. as I realized that only because it’s a question worth asking, it does not mean, necessarily, that it’s a question worth answering.

I am extra fond of questions these days, compared to before. Or, I don’t know. It’s quite likely, now that I think of it, that a lot of my colleagues from previous work places thought I was a pain in the ass asking a lot of questions. Most likely a lot of them quite tough to answer, as I have always had a tendency to go up to system level, finding flaws and possibilities for improvement.

…if only the questions were asked, awareness raised…. then I could get going!

Perhaps once in a while, questions were not heard, deliberately, out of fear for what raised awareness might lead to?

And did I ever get frustrated when awareness was not raised. When I was speaking and writing to deaf ears and blind eyes, refusing to take it in. Like the three monkeys, holding their hands over eyes, ears and mouth.

I can imagine the unwilling recipients of words and writing desperately desired me to hold my hand over my mouth, taking on the personal of that third monkey. But nah, that’s never really been my strong suit.

question worth askingBecause sometimes it’s all in the asking! Agree?

If not me, who? If not now, when?

Yesterday my daughter posted a link to the talk Emma Watson did for the UN Headquarters on the launch of the HeForShe-campaign, and wrote a little prompt encouraging her Facebook-friends to watch it, in her very wise ways. Today we watched the clip together and it gladdened me to hear my daughter say ”I’d like to make a contribution to that campaing somehow!” when we’d watched it to the end. Please spend some 14 minutes watching it yourself if you haven’t already:

There is a lot to be said about gender inequalities, but I’ll focus on the same thing that my daughter picked up on in her prompt, namely:

HeForShe

Really good questions those, that I definitely will keep top of mind. But not necessarily questions I need to answer with my intellect, when I ask them silently within. Perhaps they had better just be asked, and reflected upon, letting wisdom shine through and give me the answers.

Imagine the change we all can be in the world, if we ask ourselves this when we hesitate if we really can make a dent in the universe:

If not me, who? If not now, when?