20/24 – Podcast 51/52 – The Startup school

I am a fan of Seth Godin. I guess that isn’t a big surprise if you’ve stuck with me these past 20 days or so?

I am fascinated by his mind, marvel and wonder at how it works, because he has an ability to look at things from a totally different perspective that what seems the obvious one, and that is a very valuable skill. He is a great teacher at that, and I learn so much from reading and listening to him.your turn

He is also very generous! At the London Session, everyone got a copy of What to do when it’s your turn, and also a copy of one of the other books he brought to London. Generous with his books. But also, very generous with his knowledge, which he shares freely. So when I went searching for podcasts with or by him, and stumbled upon his Start up school, it feels as if I hit the jackpot!

Here are fifteen episodes of Seth. 

1 – Freelancer or Entrepreneur?
2 – Adjusting the Course?
3 – Creating Scarcity
4 – Appealing to Consumers
5 – Permission and Trust
6 – Raising Money
7 – Advertising and Competitors
8 – Making Ideas Travel
9 – Compromising
10 – Tactics
11 – Cash Flow
12 – The Dip
13 – Building The Truth
14 – The ShipIt Journal
15 – Distinct and Direct

Do what I did. Start at number one and just keep on going all the way to fifteen. Most of these are around twenty minutes long, so it’s doable, and well-spent time at that.

Seth is unrehearsed, as this was all taped during three days of a Startup school he ran with a handful of budding entrepreneurs. Genius as always, sharing wisdom, insight and knowledge, asking questions, the answers of which has the potential to change my life.
If. I. Act. On. It.

As always, that’s the catch. If I don’t take action, it will never change my life. Listening to it, and never ever acting upon what I hear and learn, won’t make a dent in the universe. Not at all. But if I listen. Learn. And act, out of what is mind to do. Now. That’s another story!

Reflection #20 of 24 is a bit of an odd ball, as it’s not from the notes I took and the experience I had at the Seth Godin Q&A-session in London, November 2015. Rather, this is a reflection on a podcast with Seth Godin. These reflections will constitute my Advent Calendar for 2015, and will be posted daily from December 1st to the 24th.

Being aware – reflection #1

True to my word, I’m immersing in the concept of being aware today. As I sit here I look at the post from yesterday, and figure I might just as well just start at the beginning:

What does being aware make you think?
First off, that it’s something I know much more intimately now, compared to before. I am much more aware today, both of myself, but also of what goes on outside of me. And I like that.

Feel?
Well. Since I like the feeling of being aware, it really makes me feel good. Thinking about awareness gives me a warm feeling, and a strong sense of calm. It’s not always easy to be aware of this and/or that, but generally speaking, it’s as if the world becomes clearer, more well-defined, with a heightened awareness. Hence, the sense of calm.

What do you associate with being aware?
Hm.
Let’s see…
Wisdom. Clarity. A greater presence in the world – seeing it for what it is. Not placing a lot of extra stuff on top, but rather stripping down to what is.
A gentleness towards oneself, as well as to all other sentient beings, but also to everything else, non-sentient as well as sentient.

being aware reflection 1

Do you think of yourself as being aware? Or not?
Yes. I do. Now. Before, not so much. For me, it’s very much linked to the fact that I’ve learned how to be gentle with myself, which means I am curious about myself. Curiosity and awareness go very well hand in hand, because unless you are curious, and gentle with yourself, what you might discover about yourself through an increased awareness will get you in trouble. With yourself, no less.
What I mean is, before, I was afraid to see me. Because when I found something within that I didn’t like, didn’t approve of, wasn’t proud of…. I beat myself up over it. And that really isn’t a very good way to encourage more awareness and discovery. Nowadays, when I find something within that I previously would have labeled as something not likable, something to disapprove of etc, I see it. That’s all. I can embrace it for what it is, a part of me. Not judging it. And definitely not beating myself up over it. Makes me much more prone to being even more aware.

Do you have a role model, someone who personifies being aware for you?
There are quite a few people that I look up to when it comes to being aware. People who model it for me, simply by being. And I’ve been smart enough to make these people an integral part of my life. Friends, partners in various endeavors, coaches. So yes. I definitely have role models, and by hanging out with them, my own awareness get’s a boost. It’s a good trick, I definitely recommend it.

What, or who, boosts your awareness?

Podcast 27/52 – Philosophize this!

How can you not want to listen to an episode of Philozophize this!, when this is the prompt for the podcast:

philosophize this

 

Speaking vs Listening

I have a right to speak up, to voice my opinions. And that is a right I hold dearly.

But sometimes, I wonder if we’ve collectively forgotten about the other side of this coin? If and when I speak up, I would like to be listened to. If everyone is so busy speaking, who’s doing the listening? Hence, perhaps it’s time to start to talk about the right, or maybe even the duty, to remain silent and listen as well?

Now, I don’t have to listen to everything, of course not. I’m not saying you need to either. You get to choose. It’s totally up to you! But at least once in a while, stop talking and practice the art of listening instead, and see what happens. You might learn something new, you might be strengthened in your current beliefs, your world might totally flip-flop due to what you hear. But if you don’t listen – you are missing out on many opportunities to grow, to expand your awareness, to get a new sliver of knowledge, and thereby getting another piece of the puzzle in place. The puzzle that is life, wisdom, the meaning of life. The kind of puzzle that has no edge-pieces. An eternal puzzle, where you can add piece after piece, for your entire life.

So don’t limit yourself by talking talking talking so much that you forget the art of listening. Because if you do, you place a limit on yourself. And I know, because I’ve been a lousy listener for parts of my life. So lousy in fact, that I didn’t want to hear any opposing views, because I thought that meant I was no good. If I wasn’t ”in the right” I had to be ”in the wrong” you see.

I totally missed the deeper truth, that by listening, and looking within, at my beliefs, norms and habits, questioning them once in a while, I enter the road to a better life. That’s how to grow as a person. Realizing a few years ago that other peoples opinions don’t have any bearing on whether or not I am good or bad, sure made it easier for me to start to take in what they said, made it easier to start to listen, to dare to look at what happened within me when listening.

I hope I never forget this. I hope I always continue to practice the art of listening, so that my eternal puzzle can grow and expand, in all sorts of forms and shapes and patterns, totally wild, and nothing at all lika a traditional 1000-piece puzzle of a house in the Alps. *Fairly certain the image in my minds eye of that house in the Alps is fairly similar to the image in your minds eye.*puzzle

If you go for the house in the Alps, go for it with all your might. No two puzzles are ever the same, and we should never strive for that either. I want (my!) life, my puzzle, to be something else. Unpredictable. Going for the unknown. Willing and wanting to expand and grow. While being totally at peace with the here and now. Loving myself in the here and now, but childishly curious as to what might come, what might be, what might happen in the here and now of tomorrow?

Podcast 23/52 – the wisdom of tenderness

I can’t help it. Here’s another On Being-episode that I so hope you will listen to. Krista Tippett in a conversation with Jean Vanier, an episode recorded in 2007 when he was 79 years old. Jean is the founder of L’Arche, just having celebrated it’s 50th anniversary, hence the re-broadcast of the interview. And I am grateful for that, since I might not have discovered this particular episode in the archives of On Being otherwise.

(But there’s a thought – how many other gem’s are hidden in the archives? I might just set my mind to listening through all of On Being, every episode produced…. now there’s a quest!)

Being very interested and involved in the school debate and the educational system, I found this bit especially interesting to listen to:

The balance of our world frequently is seen as a question of power. That if I have more power and more knowledge, more capacity, then I can do more. […] And when you have power, we can very quickly push people down. I’m the one that knows and you don’t know, and I’m strong and I’m powerful, I have the knowledge. And this is the history of humanity. And that is all of what I’d call the whole educational system, is that we must educate people to become capable and to take their place in society. That has value, obviously. But it’s not quite the same thing as to educate people to relate, to listen, to help people to become themselves. 

BoldomaticPost_It-s-the-realization-of-how-t

There’s something to ponder, for me, and others, of whom I ask the question Why school? The reason for asking, for me, is to get people thinking about the society we create, through the whole educational system (as well as other structures, but for me, the educational system and family are the top two factors.), and if we are creating that which we want to see more of. Like Jean Vanier said, capable people taking a place in society is all fine and dandy. But then what? What else is needed/desired?

L’Arche, which centers on sharing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, is new to me, as Jean Vanier is. I get intrigued, as I listen to what Jean speaks about, which is the thing I dream of. A world of people becoming themselves, relating and listening, sharing tenderness and love. A culture of welcoming. To and of all.

Fascinating to listen to the wisdom of tenderness this old gentleman has, towards life, all of it, regardless. And to hear him speak of growing older, and absolutely loving it. Witnessing the increasing frailty of his own body, being in total acceptance that his mind no longer can keep up as it used to, that his body demands an afternoon nap and so on. It’s just pure love. Magnificent.

What if…. I met the world from the wisdom of tenderness? What if…. we all did?

 

Not my format!

I am attending the Innate Health conference in the northern outskirts of London at the moment and today is the last day out of three in total. And I had a realization yesterday right before the conference ended, having noticed something in myself both day one and day two: The standard conference format just doesn’t do it for me anymore. Sitting down from morning til late afternoon, just doing intake – listening to this interesting person, these riveting talks, this panel…. with short breaks and lunch, it’s too much for me. My head get’s filled up already by lunchtime. SImply because it’s all too good! And I’m to stingy to leave – I mean, I’ve paid my ticket, I want to get the most out of it…. That last part is of course something I could learn to drop, but still. I wrote in my note book yesterday that I should avoid conferences and go to retreats instead. 

Doodling during the conference – with the occasional message to myself.

I’ve never been on a retreat as such, but there are several that I’ve considered going to. In beautiful surroundings, with a few intake sessions/day, and plenty of space inbetween those sessions, to make sure there’s time to listen to what happens within during the retreat. It’s in the space between where the magic happens, rather than during a seminar, or a plenary panel, or a full day conference. 

My old self had no such issue with full day conferences. Possibly because I didn’t know that something else existed, or perhaps rather because I wasn’t aware of the magic of the space inbetween. I have learnt to reflect, to sit with myself and whatever wants to show up, these past few years, and these last days have given me the realization that I’ve changed. 

I like that. I love it actually. I love noticing the progression within myself, how what I do/feel/think today differs from yesterday, the year before or decades ago. It’s absolutely amazing, and I am so grateful for noticing it. It points to the limitless possibilities of life, of living on this earth, on having this human experience. As I write this I sit here with a silly grin on my face, feeling extremely happy. 

So. I’ve progressed. Full-day traditional conferences no longer do the trick for me, I have different preferences. Now I just need to remember this, the next time an opportunity pops up. And a few already have popped up I just realized. Hm. Time to act according to my understanding, and drop the ”Well just this one time”-attitude that is so easy to fall into when changes are to be made. What’s your best trick for following your wisdom rather than your old habits, in a situation like this?

A man of convictions

Possibly you’ve already read the story about Daniel Norris, the baseball pitcher in the US, who definitely stands out in a crowd? I read the article some weeks ago and got very inspired by what I read. I wanted to write about it, but only got around to it now. And since it’s been a while since I read it, I just re-read it, and listened to the clip as well. It’s all there in the article. Read it. Listen to Daniel.

When I come across a person, who – like Daniel – lives according to his values, rather than according to his circumstances, I get filled with hope. Hope for the future. For humanity.

Here we have one man standing out. Refusing to conform. To the norm. To do what, according to the masses, probably should be the proper action to take after signing a multi-million dollar contract. BoldomaticPost_Research-the-things-you-love

To do what he himself thinks makes sense. Being able to hear the inner voice of wisdom, act upon it, rather than having it drown in the constant barrage of noice from outside. That voice which can sometimes whisper so silently one really has to listen very very carefully. Get knowledge. Be kind and loving. Be happy with what you’ve got. Yeah, why couldn’t it be that simple? It’s truly inspirational! 

How do we ensure we get more people into the world with this ability? To listen within? To stand for ones convictions, in the face of rags and riches alike? Do I?

Please be gentle, I’m still learning

”Please be gentle, I’m still learning” Robbie Williams sings in the song Advertising Space. Imagine living approximately forty years before getting that. Forty years before understanding that if I’m not gentle with myself, much less learning takes place. 

If I associate learning with pain, with being chastised, told off, ”I should have known”:ed, do you think my system would be promoting and encouraging learning? 

No. It (I) will run the other way. Shut down, slowly, insights will be fewer and farther apart… or at least, they will be significantly more quiet, almost unaudible. The inner voice of wisdom, of universal mind, will be barricaded, by myself, by my self-preserving ego. The innervoice will be unwanted. Out of fear. Fear of the pain that comes with learning, which I’ve associated with pain, harshness. 

And that will only change once I begin to be gentle with myself. And I speak from personal experience when I say that being gentle with me, is a very off concept for one accustomed to being harsh. Realizing my internal harshness was one of the greatest aha-moments of my life, and what I saw was that it’s not mandatory to be my own harshest judge. Kindness, gentleness, is an option. Also for me. 

This insight has been with me since 2006-2007 sometime, and took place during a therapy session. Since then I’ve practiced being gentle with myself, och it’s something which comes more and more natural to me nowadays. And that’s be reverting back to being more fully me, because I I think it is our natural state. We’re born and created to be gentle with ourselves, otherwise we wouldn’t be the learning creatures that we are, from the very get go. 

Imagine a small child being harsh with herself for not immediately knowing how to walk, run, ride a bicycle. A child is naturally gentle with themselves, trying, failing, falling down, trying again, failing, falling down, trying again…. over and over until suddenly, one step is managed, then two, then all of a sudden, the child can walk, can run, ride a bike. 

What happens to us? Why do we – at least I – stop being gentle with ourselves, and rather start to be hard on ourselves? Is that why children are the greatest learners there is? Not because adults don’t have the capacity to learn, but because we’ve stopped being gentle with ourselves, we expect to get things right away, and we are afraid to try and fail. Because we’ve put another meaning on what it means to fail, than the child trying to learn how to walk, run, rida a bike. We believe it means we are bad, not good enough. While the child simply knows it means that the learning process is still unfolding, there’s more to learn, more to master, before the learning process has manifested into yet another skill. And somehow, adults impose their faulty understanding upon children, creating yet another harsh un-learner. What if we adults instead learned from children what it is we are born to be? Life long learners, where the only prerequisite is being gentle to ourselves.

Please be gentle, I’m still learning. Are you?

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?

Physically home

After 10 days on the road, visiting Santa Monica for Graduation weekend of Supercoach Academy, and then taking a few extra days of leisure in Seattle, meeting up with an old friend from my years as a foreign-exchange student in Lincoln, Nebraska, I am finally physically home. And it feels great.

Nowadays, I am, from a psychological point of view, (almost) always home within myself these days. But it sure does feel good to be physically home within the confines of my house and the loving arms of my familly.

Insights

Summer weather greeted me on return, and I enjoyed a sunny afternoon with the shared Insights from all my classmates of Supercoach Academy. The wisdom and sense of wonder contained within the stories, moves me to tears and laughter. I am filled with love for all of my fellow Supercoaches, but luckily enough, there’s enough to go around, so regardless if you’ve shared this ride with me the past nine months or not, consider yourself loved.

I am truly blessed!