11/24 – Own it!

own it

Volkswagen was an example Seth mentioned, when speaking about how we actually have a choice how to show up in the world. I can’t lay that on anybody but me.

Mind – Body – Spirit. 
I get to chose how to be in the world. 

Rather than laying it on the boss, the hubby, the parents, the mean teacher at school and so on. Those people might be acting like idiots, and I’m not condoning that at all, but my response is my response. Not. Dictated. By. Anyone. Else. It hinges on me owning it.

Listened to a bad guy in a TV-show, saying ”Only those with power get a choice, those who are powerless can’t do anything else but suffer through it”. And I thought. No. I don’t agree at all.

There’s a character who needs to read Victor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning. What Viktor realized during his time as a prisoner in a death camp during the second World War, was this:

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

So.
How do you want to be in the world? Owning it? Or not?

Reflection #11 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.

I give thanks…

… to myself. Since learning to be gentle with myself, life is just a wonderful adventure, in all it’s glory, through up’s as well as down’s.

… to those close to me, my family and friends. You make me a better person, and I love the way you enrich my life. Being in communion with like minded souls!

… to those who are aware. Aware of themselves, as well as their surroundings. Aware, and acting out that sense of awareness. You all help make the world a better place for us all.

… to those who struggle. With disease or mental anguish, with terror or impoverished circumstances, with relationships or loneliness, with life or death. I give thanks to you, because I learn from you and your struggles, in the same way I might have helped someone through my own struggles. At the same time, I wish your struggles would not be. My heart goes out to you all.

… to all those who knows and acts from the understanding that one person cannot do it all, but every person can do something. We all have the possibility to make a difference, and together, we can move mountains.

… to all those who stick to their worldview, even when times are tough. Who see the need to act according to ones values, treating a fellow human being as a fellow human being, whether or not she’s the first or hundredth who comes knocking, desperate, in need of a hand’s up.

… to life, to love, to laughter. I give thanks that I get to live a life and do work that matters, in these exciting and challenging times where the possibilities as well as the difficulties are endless. Together we determine the future of humankind, through our beings and actions. Imagine what might happen if we all started to act more like a kind human, living, loving, laughing? What if, we would shower ourselves, our fellow human beings and the world we live on with kindness?live love laugh

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?

 

What is reality?

Reality. The stuff, the world; that which we live in. Right?

Or.
Is it perhaps what I make of the world I live in? Am I shaped by reality? Or do I shape my reality?

What do I bring, to the experience I have of the world? My world, rather than The world?

How do I warp the reality into my reality just by having myself be the filter that everything I take in, gets filtered through?

I don’t know precisely what my filter adds to reality as I perceive it. I don’t need to. But knowing That my filter adds to reality, as I know it, is crucial. Understanding this, means I know that no other person on earth can have the exact same experience of the world as I have. No one. Everyone has their own unique filter, through which we take in that which we live in.

So the next time you and a friend talk about a shared experience, and you cannot understand how your friend says X happened, even though you know for a fact it was Y. This is the reason. You both took in the facts of the situation through your personal filter. It’s a bit like applying a filter on a photograph in Instagram. The starting point is the same, but the result can be just about anything, an endless diversity.

Given that – what is reality, really?

Being aware

What does it make you think? Feel?
What do you associate with being aware?
Do you think of yourself as being aware? Or not?
Do you have a role model, someone who personifies being aware for you?

And how do you Do awareness?
What is the relationship between being and doing awareness?
How can you tell when another person acts out of awareness? Or when he/she doesn’t? Is it visible somehow?

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?

Does it have a color? A symbol?
What is the language of awareness? Does it exist?
Or will we – together – make the language of being aware come to form?
Are there any rituals connected to being aware?
Or might we – together – create some?

What is made possible when you live life out of a place of heightened awareness?
What happens to you? Those around you? The world?
Is anything made impossible when living life out of a place of heightened awareness?

What would the world look like with a raised awareness in humankind?

being aware

Starting Sunday I will be immersing myself into being aware and I am very curious to discover what will arise from the experience. Until then, I’ll dip my toe into it, getting into the mood, tasting it, trying to get a feel for it, discovering the texture of it, recognizing and perhaps building up the energy of awareness within me.

And yes, I’ll share the process with you, here, because somehow, blogging is one way I get in touch with myself, discover myself within the words, the images, the sensations that arise within when I write. It’s a way for me to be aware.

Perhaps I’ll sit with the questions I’ve written above. Perhaps I’ll blog about what comes to mind. But I am also curious. About what comes to mind for you? Would you mind sharing your thoughts about being aware with me?

Afraid of otherness?

I listened to Parker Palmer giving this commencement address to the graduating class at Naropa University, and several times I got goose bumps and shivers. For me, those have become telltale signs that there’s something important and/or very true being shared.


The six suggestions Parker provides on living a life worth exploring are simple. And powerful. So powerful I followed my urge to split this recommendation into six consecutive blog posts. You can read my thoughts on the first and second suggestion here.

BoldomaticPost_As-you-welcome-whatever-you-fThe third suggestion is: As you welcome whatever you find alien within yourself, extend that same welcome to whatever you find alien in the outer world.

There is no other, that is not also a part of you.

I’ll write that again: There is no other, that is not also a part of you.

So be hospitable, curious and meet the world with the same sense of adventurous journey of discovery that you hopefully have embarked upon within yourself. There is no need to be afraid of otherness. Or rather, you do not need to act upon the fear. You can see it, witness it, and let it pass through. Because you are meeting yourself, when you come across someone, something, which you do not recognize, that feels new and different and unknown to you. That is how to grow. That is how to benefit the world. And that is where my hope for the future lies. Just imagine what will be made possible when we no longer fear otherness. I can see it in my minds eye. Can 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?

A world in or out of focus

Dramatic blue skies.

A small holt of trees, branches slowly moving from the wind.

Out of focus. In focus.

My IPhone had trouble focussing in the dusk.

The image to the left remind me of the way I see the world when I have taken off my glasses. To the right, I have put them on again. I am the filter for my experience of the world. Because regardless if I have my glasses on or not, the trees and the sky remains the same. No difference at all. Except in my perception of them.

And just as I understand that my glasses help me perceive the world around me with greater clarity, I know that sometimes I am in a high mood. When I am, my experience of the world is a world in focus. When I’m in low mood, it’s like I’ve lost my glasses and everything is out of focus. But alas, again, remember that the world itself can never be out of focus. It just it. It is I who am in or out of focus, in high or low mood, and my experience of the world will be shaped accordingly.

In focus. Out of focus.

Constantly shifting. A part of human nature. What makes all the difference in the world is being aware of my mood – because if I see that, I will understand why my world – in any given moment – appears to be in or out of focus.

Boys and girls

Boys and girls. Blue versus pink. Cars against dolls. Rowdy or mild-tempered. How we almost expect a teenage boy to have scruffy clothes and stink of sweat, while we would be horrified if it was a teenage girl. Excusing certain behavior with ”boys will be boys”, while expecting girls to help fellow boys in Kindergarten put on gloves, tie their shoes and zip up jackets.

I could go on forever, listing things, habits, colors and much more, that for some reason have been deemed either to be for boys. Or for girls. Men and women too, of course.

I don’t want to do that though.

What I want to do is have you read this article: 10 Words Every Girl Should Learn. And once you’ve done that, you read this article as well: Beating the Toy Aisle Blues (and Pinks).

Read them?

I read them, and went bonkers. Then I stumbled upon this as well:

iwrotehtearticle

Oh. I just remembered another example of the absurd world we live in, as well. I read another article (or a Facebook-update?) the other day, about a lady who had stopped moving over whenever she came upon people when walking, to see what would happen. Guess what she found out? Women move over. Men do to. But not all of them. I think she was up to a count of having collided with 26 men (and zero women), when she shared her observation with the world. And you know what? I actually tried it out the other day, when I was talking a walk in the park close to home. I was walking along, came upon a man coming at me, and I suddenly got it into my head to try it out for myself! We would have collided if he hadn’t moved, which he did, in the last instant. I am grateful for him for moving over, but what I found most interesting was how uncomfortable it felt NOT to move over. Extremely uncomfortable.

So. There I go. I am a person who moves over. Which in itself is not a bad trait, not at all. But it’s interesting, the feeling I got when I didn’t. When I was hell bound on standing my ground so to speak. Makes me think about my own behavior, how much of it which is truly Me, and how much is culturally accepted behaviors I’ve learnt the hard way, which might, or might not, serve me, but which I perform automatically, without giving it any thought. Makes me think of the way of the world, and the culture I am a part of co-creating on a daily basis, moment by moment.

Oh well. There’s plenty do to in the world, to make it a better place, a place where I can be me. Regardless of what that means (within moral and legal constraints of course – unless the law is discriminating itself, which unfortunately is the case in many places where for instance homosexuality is outlawed, just to name but one absurd example). Being me. And a place where you can be you. Period.

So. Here’s a challenge (or rather, many!). For me. Definitely. But perhaps also for you? I’m gonna observe my surroundings for a few days, to see if I can spot this:

BoldomaticPost_Socialized-male-speech-dominan

 

The Imitation Game

A few weeks ago I watched The Imitation Game, and was deeply touched by it. Watching it at the movies, At the movie theater, after my emotional breakdown. when the final minute was up, I was crying my heart out (as you can see in the snap shot selfie I took of my puffy face and red eyes). Fully aware I was in a movie theater, it didn’t really feel like the space to have an emotional breakdown, so I tried to regain my composure. Luckily, my company at the time, took a look at me, and knew precisely why I was crying hard. She said ”The things we humans do to each other”, or something similar. And yup. That was the thought running over and over in my head:

The things we do to each other.

Today I watched the film again. It’s as good. Or perhaps even better. I didn’t fall into complete heartbreak at the end this time around though, but a few tears were shed, not surprisingly. I strongly suggest you watch the movie.

And again. My head keeps on churning on the things we do to each other… Why oh why? Why do we do the things we do to each other? The bad things, the nasty, evil, inhuman and horrendous things we do to each other?

no one can imagineBecause, man, are we ever missing out! Here’s a genius, who…. no. I don’t want to spoil the movie for you, if you haven’t seen it yet. But suffice to say, without him, the world would indeed be a very different place than the world we live in today. And it would have cost a lot more human lives at that.

And Alan Turing is but one example. He made a huge contribution to mankind, but what about the rest, who perhaps are shut down – and there are many ways of doing just that! – before being able to share their gifts with the world? What unimaginable things are we missing out on? Can we really afford to continue this way, where the norm and the normal are for ever deemed ”the way to be”, and if you are not within that ever narrowing spectrum, we shut you out, ignore, ridicule, bully and harass you?

Why, oh why, do we do the things we do to each other?