Author Archives: mvtitania

Titania’s twelfth month: Doing something for the world

Gosh, I just realized that half of July has already passed, and I still haven’t got going with my twelfth and final project month. The most important reason is that I’m (almost) on holiday (hard to say now that I’m self-employed and don’t get any money for staying away from work), and thus life has less structure than otherwise.

2013-07-12 12.56.04This last week my mind has also been completely filled up by a camp, Circle Way, that I’ve been organizing (OK, so there’s been a bit of work, anyway…) together with my best friend, and where I brought my whole family. In the Circle Way camp we were around 70 people of all ages, coming together at a beautiful place in the Swedish countryside, listening to the wisdom of Manitonquat (or Medicine Story), an 84-year-old North-American Indian, and his Swedish wife Ellika, and practicing supportive listening – in circles and in pairs. It was a challenge arranging the camp with so many people (we did it last year as well, but with less than half the number of people), but I still managed to get a lot out of it for my own personal benefit – and the kids loved it, again!

The atmosphere of Circle Way is very warm, loving and respectful – towards other people and towards Mother Nature. So, the Memento Vivere challenge for my twelfth month seems to fit in very well in the aftermath of the camp. In two years from now, my family and I plan to go staying somewhere abroad for a longer period of time in order to try to do something good for the world. We have talked about India, but might turn up somewhere completely different. I would like to devote what’s left of this month to finding more information about where we could do and what we could do.

The original idea of the Memento Vivere project was to address twelve different areas. It hasn’t turned out exactly like that; sometimes I have needed two months in order to really get going with something. I have also come to realize that I don’t want to stop now! Using the project frame has been very beneficial to my development; I have got started with meditation and physical exercise again, and I have done many other things that make my life richer. I really believe in the idea of focusing on one thing at a time when you want to make a change, rather than trying to do everything at once, with the risk of ending up without having done anything at all.

So, I will go on with Memento Vivere, perhaps for another year, perhaps for life. Whenever it’s useful and feasible, I will use the one-month format. Whenever I need more time, I will use more months. Finding information about what to do for the world will take time, so, unless something else that feels extremely urgent turns up, I will use the coming months (uncertain how many) to dig into this area, until I feel confident about what we will do. If you have experiences of international volunteering – or know someone who does – I would really appreciate your suggestions for where to start looking!

PS. My Spirituality month went great! I’ll tell you all about it some other time. 🙂

Titania

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Filed under Challenge, Circle Way, Titania, Volunteering

My colour, my life, my book

One of the tasks in the course on spiritual development I’m taking this month was about trying to associate a colour with one of the other participants in the course, and then tell this person about your associations. A few days ago I got this message:

The color I associate with you is yellow, wonderfully warm yellow with hints of gold. I also get  a positive and very creative feeling, combined with a strong desire for self-fulfillment. You have just discovered your inner sun and you let it shine and touch everyone you meet. 

2013-06-08 19.04.30-2I was very happy about the message, and I particularly felt that this woman’s words about my creativity felt so good right now. As a child I dreamt of becoming a writer, and I have indeed been a textbook writer for quite a few years, but last week I embarked on a new project: writing a novel. Together with Miranda I went on a writers’ retreat for some days, a bit scared about finally awarding myself the time to start writing. What if I wouldn’t have anything to say?

But I shouldn’t have worried. The words just came to me, and in those few days, in those beautiful surroundings, I wrote about 25 pages of text – loving every minute of it. Of course it’s easier because I utilize my own experiences, feeling and thoughts to a great extent, but I was very pleased to note that I had no problems leaving the autobiographical parts and invent things that have never happened either. I’m now looking forward to a long summer where I will squeeze in novel writing whenever I have some time off – from children, bathing, cooking and mowing the lawn. It feels just like falling in love.

Titania

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Filed under Fear, spirituality, Writing

Titania’s TEDx Talk – time to just do it, again!

Since my April month was about just doing things, without fearing or procrastinating, I will do exactly that. A deep breath and here it is: my TEDx Talk about listening to your inner voice and learning to navigate according to your internal compass. If you like it, I would be very grateful if you would share it among your friends – since TED ideas are supposed to be spread. 🙂 Here goes!

Titania

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Miranda’s eleventh month: Spirituality

2013-05-07 21.19.47-1Ever since I was a little child, I’ve been interested in things that we cannot see. My grandmother used to tell me stories about strange things (some spooky and some wonderful) that had happened to people in our family. I’m not psychic or anything, but I believe – and hope! – that, for instance, death isn’t just a dead end. A few times in my life I’ve been to see psychics, not really because I want someone to tell me about my future (as many other people who visit such a person do), but mainly because I’ve been curious to see if I would be able to get in touch with someone from the other side. Once I was told that two of my four children, my oldest (Miranda) and my youngest, have special gifts.

I often hear people say that they cannot believe in anything that can’t be proven, and I fully respect this opinion. In my world, however, I don’t want proof of everything. To me, affirming what I cannot see – without really knowing – brings magic to life. Over the years, I’ve spent quite a lot of time reading about spirituality, in different areas. I’ve also taken courses, in crystal healing and reiki healing, the latter proving very effective in many situations (especially when I cannot sleep, and when my kids complain about growing pains in their legs). During my fifteen years working in Academia, I usually kept quite about this spiritual interest of mine; surrounded by researchers to whom evidence is everything.

Working as a freelance nowadays, I have no such problems any longer, and this month I’m going to take a new step in my spiritual development. Tomorrow, I will start following a distance course where we’ll practice a lot of different things related to strengthening one’s intuition and spiritual abilities. The course will run for a month, and besides practicing, I will have the opportunity to chat – via social media – to other course participants and our course leader. At the end of the month I will also take a whole-day course, and that night there will be a private seance with the course leader. I’m so excited!

Titania

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I just did it!

The focus of my April month was Just Do It!, with a hope not to procrastinate as much as usual, and dare to do somewhat scary things. On my list was, for instance, PR, phone calls, albums and my annual accounts. I’m proud to say that I’ve put quite a lot of photos in my album and that my annual accounts were finished today (one whole day before deadline!), whereas there haven’t in fact been any scary phone calls to make, and there hasn’t really been time for PR this month.

photoThe main reason for my lack of time for PR, however, is something that goes very well with the theme Just Do It! When I planned my April month I had no idea that a few weeks later I would be invited as a speaker at a TEDx event in my hometown. Having been a fan of the TED talks site for ages, this was a dream come true, and of course I had to say yes – and just do it! I’ve been giving lectures and talks for several years, but even though this was a local independent TEDx event (not the big conference of course), it felt really big to me. The fact that all talks are filmed and put on YouTube and the minuscule chance that your talk will in fact end up at the REAL TED website makes it extremely exciting to be one of the speakers – and quite scary as well. In spite of some technological problems my talk went well, I had a lot of positive reactions afterwards and the local newspaper wrote about it as well, which was great fun. The talk is being edited at the moment, and I might even dare to put it here later on… 🙂

Another challenge, a just-do-it thing I did this month without thinking about it when I decided upon the theme, was to sing in public. Together with my friend and colleague I made two presentations including talking, reading from our book and leading group discussions, and in both places we decided to finish our event by singing a song that tied in very well with what we had been talking about – time and how we use it. I also played the guitar, and even though singing and playing are things I used to do quite a lot before, it’s been about twenty years since I did it in public. And I so very much enjoyed it – and, it seems, so did our audiences. I think there will be more music in my life in the future… I’ll just do it!

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Titania’s ninth month: Just do it!

In spite of the fact that I am a doer – one of those people who actually get quite  a lot of things done – and not just an initiator, I also have a tendency to postpone things that I find boring or scary. This is a type of behaviour I dislike, and this month I’ll try to avoid postponing things that are not at the top of my want-to-do list.

Here are some things that I’ll challenge myself to avoid postponing this month:

  • making unpleasant phone calls (even though I’m 44, have four kids and a PhD, I sometimes still feel quite nervous about phoning people I don’t know very well…)
  • sorting bills, documents from authorities and other paperwork
  • doing my annual accounts (I love my new life as self-employed but I hate the book-keeping part…)
  • making PR for my company (I love my new life as self-employed but I hate selling myself…)
  • putting some hundred or so photos from last year in albums (this is something I actually enjoy, but still postpone getting started with)

I may even stop postponing watching those films I wrote about the other day… 😉

Titania

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Culture down the drain…

Hm. I gave culture another go. I thought “This time, maybe”. But no, although I try to avoid saying that I don’t have the time to do something (I prefer to talk about priorities), even I have to admit that there are not enough hours in a day for me to do all the things I want to do. My “problem” is that there are simply too many things in life that I really enjoy, which means that no matter how much I prioritize, I cannot do it all.

Work (which is one of those things I do love nowadays…) takes time, although I don’t work full time any longer; downshifting is one of the best things I’ve ever done in order to find more space for other things I also enjoy doing. Our three children of course need time and attention. The dishwasher needs to be emptied and re-filled, clothes have to be washed, dried and sorted (ironing is one of the things I usually unprioritize…), food has to be bought and cooked, the house needs cleaning (although again this is certainly not one of our high-priority areas). And then I have managed to get regular physical exercise and meditation into my life again, ever since those areas were focus months in my Memento Vivere project.

2013-03-31 20.57.27So, I haven’t devoted more time this month to culture than I normally do. I have read one book, I’ve seen two films and I’ve done some singing and guitar playing (practicing for an event with my friend next week), but that’s it. The huge pile of movies next to my TV-set is still very much present and so is the pile of books on my bedside table. I’ll give it a try again in the summer holidays, when I have finished writing my latest book, which I usually spend time on in the evenings.

And the good thing is – again – that it doesn’t matter. When I was younger, I was easily stressed by such things as book piles. Getting older, I have become more patient. Piles of movies I haven’t seen, books and articles I haven’t read instead give me a feeling of wealth. How wonderful having so many pleasant experiences left to enjoy! The same goes for all the projects I want to do in my working-life. Being a creative person I tend to come up with new ideas all the time, but with time I have learnt to put them in a file and wait until the moment is right. I don’t have to fulfill all my dreams at once. That gives me a tremendous sense of joy, and also a reason to take care of my health in order to live a long life.

Tomorrow is April Fools’ Day and time for a new project month, focused on Just do it! I’ll be back!

Titania

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