I´m challenging you!

I´m getting older every day. Each year I celebrate my birthday. This year I want to celebrate me becomming 58 with you – friends, family, collegues and many others. I challenge you all to achieve the goal of this campaign – to raise 2500$ for water to the needy. I/we in the western world take water for granted – but it is not a fact everywhere. Follow my example and give from your abundance – together we complete the goal in the campaign period until my 58th borthday: Welcome to help make the world a better place.

I follow The Minimalists blog – http://www.theminimalists.com/birthday/ – in this post Ryan Nicodemus begins a campaign for his 31st birthday  – collecting money for water to the needy.

I really love this idea and was challenged to follow his example. Now I challenge YOU.

I have often thought “I should try to make a difference” – now “I MUST make a difference” is my saying..

Visit my campaignpage  – http://mycharitywater.org/p/campaign/?campaign_id=31737 – give of your abundance and together make the world a better place – for ALL!

/Sten

Guest blog

During four years (so far) of walking in spain (Camino de Santiago) I have had wonderful encounters with people of all nationalities, sex, age, experiance etc. Some of them have stayed with me as friends over the years and yet some rreally close friends. One of those close friends is Martin from england. I asked him if he would write a short text about his momentum for walking 900 km over thirty days in spain. Here’s what I recieved from Martin.

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Hi my name is Martin. Some years ago I read a book by the author Paulo Coelho. The book tells of one mans mystical pilgrimage from St Jean pied de port in France to Santiago de Compostela in North West Spain. The story resonated with me so much I vowed one day to make this journey.

Some fifteen years after reading this book, time which I had spent researching the pilgrimage I finally decided to jump in and walk the Camino Frances which is one of a few pilgrimage routes to Santiago de compostela where it is said the remains of St James the apostle are buried.

I had pledged at that time in my life that if I decided to do something I would follow that decision to the end no matter what resistance my mind may try to subconsciously create with negative thoughts. I was going to do it. Every time a negative thought appeared in my head I would replace it with one more positive. No matter who told me I was crazy to take on this trip I would tell myself that it was an opportunity of a lifetime. I made this pilgrimage as a tribute to my late father.

The strongest motivation I had to do this trip apart from being a tribute to my late father was to prove to myself that I could indeed follow a plan to the end no matter what. So many times before in my life I had let go of my dreams and this was going to be the beginning of living my dreams. A very powerful process was to take place during this walk. As day after day of my pilgrimage I overcome deep seated fears that had held me back for many years. I walked in physical pain for most of the trip but not for one moment did I ever think of giving up. This is what is called a self fulfilling prophecy. Each time we decide to go in a certain direction in life, if we give it everything we have something wonderful seems to happen. I believe that God or the universe comes on
board to assist us over the final stretch. So my message to you is (never give up) most people fall at the final hurdle when they should have pushed further. The journey was magical and my life has improved because of it. Along the way I had time to go through a totally positive thought process and met some incredible people.

I thank you for reading my short story. Please never give up on your dreams!

…writing and expectations…

Image

How much must I write?

How often must I write?

At times my professional life occupies all my time during the day. That fact results in very little time for reflection, questions and critical thinking. These actions that are the foundation for all my writing and sharing.  If the amount of these important actions diminish procrastination becomes the main theme. At these times in life when I need to write, meditate, walk to help me feel alright I do it to little – due to lack of time spent for reflection, questions and critical thinking. That is an awkward way of living! Today I learnt that trying is not enough – Only DO counts. Keep it up!

…about retreat…

Retreats are great occasions for catching up and adding energy. But most essentially of course is to do nothing and just do/not do all that is offered during the retreat. It depends on what the place offers. I can walk. Sit. Sleep. Read. Write. Eat. Look. Listen. Meditate. Think. Remember. Cry. Laugh. Smile. If it’s a silent retreat the spoken word is absent. I enjoy that. The spoken word is gone and gives chance to focus on whats left. The spoken word may obscure what’s real. I went to the local church where they arranged an eight huor silent retreat. I came across this great book – “Gå med dig och glädjen att vara” (Go with me and the happiness in beeing) by Lars Gustafsson. While reading this book I got a lot of reflections and thoughts that I bring with me and now like to share with you dear reader. First. He listened to Bach mass in h-minor. At one place in the music they sing about the fishers at the lake of Gennesaret. They have problems with catching fish. A preacher comes by and suggests they go further out to the deep waters – “there you will find fish” he says. First the fishermen think “what do you know of fishing- your’e a preacher?” Anyway, they follow his idea and later arrives with tons of fish. The parable tells me that a) help may come from an unexpected quarters. b) defy fear and go deep. There you will find life richness and happyness. Defy the fear and go deep. Second: We say that identity is formed during youth. True. But if we stop there and confine ourselves with that, the quote may imprison us – telling us that you can not/may not expand, change, evolve as person, change ideals getting older. My reflection is – if you say this and live this way you don’t need to be responsible and take action for your need of change when it talkes to you. You just sit back and  wait until the attack is over. Third: He writes about identity. He refers to a writer who says that we have multiple identities (father, son, teacher, husband, brother etc) and the freedom lays in beeing able to switch between the different id’s. Problems may occur when one or more id’s are connected with shame and guilt. In that case we tend to avoid, block and hide them leading to an unfulfilled personality. About help coming from unexpected quarters a story told by Paulo Coelho comes to mind: “A man slipped and fell down into a pit. A preacher comes by and the man prays him for help to get up from the pit. The preacher blesses him and walkes away. A couple of hours later a doctor came up. The man askes for help. The doctor was content to consider his blesyrer on hold, writes a recipe and tells him to buy the medicine at the nearest drugstore. Eventually someone he’d never seen before comes by. He asked for help again and the stranger jumped into the pit. OK? What do we do now? Now we are stuck here the both of us! Whereas the stranger answers. No. We’re not. I’m from this neighborhood and I know how to get up”.   If you never visited a silent retreat I highly recommend you do! /Sten

…about walking….

Walking is one of my passions. Recently I have done less of it for different reasons. I must come back to it. To me walking is a process. It is a healing process. The process of walking helps me to catch up with what I have missed during the day, the days, when the weeks run like a fast train passing each station without loosing speed. Without stopping. Just on and on. Evening walks. Weekend walks, Weekly walks. Caminowalks. The process takes me down and makes me more focused. Answers and revelations come to me like lightning.

One summerweek just before my holydays I made an experiment. I choose a lake to walk. My desicion was to walk the lake over one week and do that slower and slower. I began doing the lake in 45 minutes. It is 3 kilometers. 3000 meters. To begin with that was slow walking. In the course of a week I was doing the lake in 93 minutes. My feet mooving very, v e r y, v e r y slow at the end. I havent done quigong but I imagine it was in that tempo. I followed the leg movements step by step. Lifting my feet from the ground. First the heel, Rolling the foot,toes leaving the path, lifting it up, moving it forward, down with the heel the forefoot, the toes and again and again – step by step – foot by foot.

What did I realize during this week? I did get very familiar with the inhabitants of the forest. The trees. The bushes. plants. weed. grass. fir needles. anthills. beetles……I began recognizing the individual trees, the individuality of the separate trees. Their wounds. The way they grow. Some trees are broken. Some proud. Some trees even tried to stop me. Branches crossing the path. Speaking to them “hello tree, you look fine today. Are you wet? Do you need water?” I started to be very caring about them. I got very aware of the nature around me. Very devout and attentative. Like a child for the first time in the forest. Seeing it for the first time. With big eyes! Taking all time needed to really see…..and to hear. My listening bacame sharp. Every change in breeze. The sound of branches. The sound of birds. The sound of my feet to the ground. The sound of broken twigs under my shoes. Avoiding to step on the small tiny animals walking with me on this forest path. Moving slower and slower alongside the lake. The sound and movements of water. Sparkling water. Waves against the shore. A fish jumping for a fly. Watching the waves moving over the surface. Throw a stone and watch the ripples flow. Moving out across the bay. (thanks to David Gray). My senses became sharp. My reverence and care for all increased. I became a better human.

…about resistance….

…these words comming from a new book by Paulo Coelho (released in 2013 in many countries) describes to me the power other people in my close vicinity can mean to me in a negative meaning. Even if I am over concious that I am right in my choices I sometimes fall into the pattern of imitating. Other peoples thinking can be enough to stop me from communicating with them, from dealing with them, from doing my thing, from changing into a different path. It is not always other peoples saying stopping me – it´s the thinking. What I think they think. I look around me. I see what I see. Hear what I hear. Make my assessments. Sometimes these assessments comes from a true ground. Sometimes from false grounds. Reading these words from Paulo helps me going my way – doing things my way.

….on shopping and things…

Today I was teased by an announcement on my smart phone. A new technicality promising to bring heaven to earth. I will not tell you what it was as it might tease you and I don’t want to participate in that game. I was really teased and I was just a touch from sending an order to the company on the other side of the blue planet.

When I begin reflecting over why and what happens when I get absorbed in sales patter and actually buying  I realize that my genuine interrest for my context and my relations disappear.

Why I want it? For the fun of it. The thing awakens my curiosity. I want it!. I want to be number one.(why is that important?) I want/need confirmation (in this moment I have an extra need for that as work is hard and I feel challenged, insecure where I have my partners). It gets obvious to me that shopping brings the focus from the important stuff in life – the deep – towards the surface. I’m looking for something to talk about, to be able to brag among friends ( its important to be number one!?).

The time accessible for my self to communicate becomes occupied communicating surface instead of the deep essentials –  of giving appreciation and praise.

Is it possible that our focus on things more and more makes us look on our entourage the same way – as replaceable, repairable, possible to be bought and sold on a market, gives importance to have a cool design/surface , to be described and rejected or accepted. 
If that is the case of nature it is devastating.