Can you draw?

Stumbled upon a TEDx talk on Facebook this morning. Started to watch it in bed this morning, and didn’t get far before I sat up and got out a pen and paper. Graham Shaw asks the audience if they think they can draw, and then prove them all wrong:

Here’s my drawings (and my thoughts when Graham asked the question was ”No, I can’t, sadly, I am so bad at drawing anything that is figurative”), and I’ve already drawn a few more since then as well, all extatic that I can actually create something that looks like a person!

Now. Graham got an entire audience (bar the handful of people who actually did raise their arm, knowing already that they can draw) – including me! – to go from thinking they cannot draw to actually having produced a handful of sketches of people, actually looking like people!

people

I don’t know about you, but I sure have gotten a different relationship going with my thoughts and beliefs, based on the fact that most of them are but thoughts and beliefs. They are not real. They are thought, not The One and Only True Thought. They limit me, in the sense that I myself let these beliefs become boundaries for me. And sadly, even though I’ve gotten better at spotting these limiting beliefs, I do still let them stop me from experimenting and playing around more.

albert

Now what is that Albert Einstein quote? Oh yeah:
We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

And that’s really what Graham does in these 15 minutes. He shows me that the notion that I cannot draw is actually not a truth. And voila, something is created!

Graham ends his talk thus:
How many other beliefs and limiting thoughts do we all carry around with us every day, beliefs that we could perhaps potentially challenge and think differently about? And if we did challenge those beliefs and think differently about them, what else would be possible for us all?

Silly attachment?

Witnessing attachment all over. Within myself. In my beloved family members. In people standing in front of me in the queue to the boat shuttle to Saint-Tropez. In parents scolding their children at restaurants. 

Everywhere. Attachment to a specific outcome. To a certain way of doing things. Of how to behave, act, speak. 

And specifically – attachment to our own thoughts. If the thoughts we got attached to were thoughts with pleasant accompanying feelings, well, it wouldn’t really be so bad would it? But so much of the attachment is to the thoughts with accompanying feelings leading to damning results. Where I storm off, feeling totally insulted, belittled, ashamed, embarrassed… All because a thought popped into my mind, generating this feeling, and then *magic trick* having me believe in it! How I wish I had a magic trick to reverse that, making me un-believe it. Because so often what I get attached to is just plain silly stuff, that really don’t matter at all in the big picture. What do I want to spend my time and energy on? Attachment to small petty stuff, really not anchored in values and virtues that I would like to be associated with, both when I think about me and when other people do? Or truly, living my values, making them a way of my Now, painting the picture of my every moment in shades and hues of those very values and virtues? Why do I let attachment to silly stuff stop me, from living my values? And does it?

John Cleese and Groundhog Day

Just finished reading John Cleese autobiography So, Anyway… which is a book I recommend even for those who, like me, haven’t really got the British comedy scene from the 60s onwards down pat. One of the foremost insights I had when reading was how apparent it is that life unfolds, in mysterious ways, and how going with the flow of life can lead to fantastic careers, such as John Cleese’s.

But besides that, he talks a lot about writing (he sees himself first and foremost, as a writer rather than an actor), and stipulates a few rules for writing funny stuff, the second of which I really enjoyed reading:

BoldomaticPost_Your-thoughts-follow-your-moo

This I’ve found to be true: My emotions are a guide to my current state of mind, or mood, to use John’s words. I react to the world, from my current internal mindset, rather than have the outside world create my mood. I find this important!

It’s a bit like Groundhog day, you know, the movie with Bill Murray, where he keeps on reliving February 2nd, over and over again. The same things occur, and depending on his current internal mood, he’s happy, sad, angry, annoyed, depressed, frustrated about it. The same things. But his mood determines whether or not he perceives it to be good or bad, happy or sad, cheery or boring. This is true also in my life, as well as your’s, and is not a movie-feature.

If I’m in a miserable state of mind, I will see all things through that lens. It’s not the miserable things of the world that causes me to feel miserable. My mood tints the world into appearing miserable.

If I’m in a happy-go-lucky state of mind, I will see all things through that lens. It’s not the happy things of the world that causes me to feel happy-go-lucky. My mood tints the world into appearing happy-go-lucky.

One day I knock over a glass of water on the kitchen table and you would not want to be around me, for all the shouting, swearing and cursing going on, ruining my entire day and giving me ample evidence the whole world is out to get me. Another day, I laugh at my own clumsiness and after wiping it up just goes about my business, without a single cuss-word crossing my lips.

Have you experienced that as well, where the same things happened twice in a row, but your reaction is totally different?

Podcast 29/52 – Bearing witness

Here’s a new recommendation for you, at long last! I have tons of episodes from On Being, Good Life Project and One You Feed that I’d love to recommend for you, but I also want to give you a taste of something new. So here’s Rich Roll in conversation with Andy Puddicombe, the voice and co-founder of Headspace, the meditation app that I’ve been using for almost a year now.

I’ve just listened to a few episodes of the Rich Roll Podcast, and I will be recommending some more as time goes, but the episode with Andy was really interesting, in part because I honestly had no clue to Andy’s extremely unusual background! I might be the only one in the Western world who’s missed out on that story, but… go figure. There I was, anyway. Rich and Andy cleared that up for me though, which I am happy about. Because Andy has lived a life with a story worth telling, that’s for sure.

BoldomaticPost_Most-people-assume-that-meditI’ve never taken to meditation before. Haven’t really tried, properly, and never got interested enough to actually give it a go. And I’m quite happy about that actually, because I sure had it wrong.

Andy got it right, in this quote. That’s the mis-conception that I had. That meditation was a way to stop the inner chatter, the endless jabber, that’s accompanied me all my life.

Perhaps lucky for me, I’d already gotten an understanding of how thoughts work, how they shape the world as I experience it, and what with daily blogging (being a form of self-coaching for me) for a couple of years, I’d gotten pretty ok at stepping back from myself, bearing witness.

So when I started on the Headspace-journey, I had absolutely no wish, desire or ambition for it to help me ”stop my thoughts”. Not at all. I just really enjoyed giving myself 10-15-20 minutes a day devoted to stepping back and bearing witness, just being with myself. Sometimes in absolute calm. Sometimes agitated as hell. And not getting caught up in either of those states, but rather just seeing it, seeing me, in the moment.

Anyway. Whether or not you meditate or if you really loath meditation and such mumbo-jumbo, this interview is worth listening to, in my view. And if, by chance, you get interested in the Headspace app and want to give it a go, start with the free 10-day routine, and then let me know if you want to try more. Because I have a 30-day voucher to give away to someone who want’s it! Might it be you?

 

 

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?

Moderation or All-or-Nothing?

Today I pushed myself beyond my normal routine of doing a #Seven in the morning (Seven is an app – using the hashtag #SevenApp – which gives me 12 exercises to do, 30 seconds each, with 10 seconds of rest in between each), and did Seven times five instead of just one time around.

I did the workouts that have unlocked in my app (every second month of daily Sevens, a new workout with 12 new exercises gets unlocked):Seven times five
Full body
Upper body
Lower body
Random (random picks of the unlocked exercises, my favorite workout!)
Stretch

And I have to tell you – that was really nice. I’m gonna try to do a round of Seven times five on a weekly basis, if nothing else for the wonderful feeling I have in my body right now. Arms, legs, chest, stomach and back, well, really my entire body has that heavy feel to it, from being utilized and stretched a bit beyond its normal use.

Doing a little bit of exercise on a daily habit works really well for me. And after 219 days of daily Seven’s I can feel the difference. So much so that today, I was able to do Seven times five, which I would have been hard pressed to accomplish 220 days ago.

Goes to show that a little bit, done in moderation, really does make a difference in the long run. Even though we often fool ourselves into thinking it’s All or Nothing. And I know for myself, that when I set very ambitious goals, and then one day fall through, based on my belief in the All or nothing-scenario, I usually become a drop out from my own goal. And doing these smaller, more moderate habits, have really helped me come to terms with my faulty thinking around All or Nothing, which generally, doesn’t serve me. So, I simply shrug my shoulders at those thoughts, when they come sneaking in, which they do from time to time. But I generally don’t entertain them.

What about you? Moderation rings a bell, or you’re an All or Nothing-kind of person? What usually serves you better?