Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A wintery bushcraft meeting

The weekend before last we had another bushcraft meet from the "local" branch of bushcraft Sverige. This time it was my turn to arrange things and I chose the charcoalkiln as a hostingsite. Given the time of the year weather might not be agreeable and there we'd have a roof over our head. Plus all the other advantages, such as a roomy firepit, a parking very close by and enoug woods to raom around in. I had chosen a subject for this meeting; warmth under difficult circumstances. I also was going to set them a challenge; the one match challenge. Make a fire with just your knife and one match. The weather cooperated nicely. The cold and frost had taken a step back. with temperatures hovering about freezing. Humidity was quite high and everything was icy, yet there was precipitation forecast.
At 10:00 I was on site, waiting for the others to show up. I did not need to wait long. I had given directions and marked the road with a bright pink air recognition panel. I got a fire going and hung a kettle with water over it to clean and boil it out.
By the time the kettle was clean, the first parfticipants started to come in, so time for coffee!!
Fortunately Olli had some more of his woodscoffee with him. He never lets one down.. ;) But I had a package myself too, so no shortages there! He also treated us to 2 cakes (you know Swedes and fika), but he also brought along some guests from work in order to introduce them to our way of outdoorlife.
More and more folks trickled in and by 11:00 we were complete

Photo by Boel Engkvist

Photo by Boel Engkvist
It was good to see a lot of familiar faces, but it was equally nice to meet new people. The group we have is steadily growing in size, which pleases me a great deal. That means somethig like this is needed and appreciated!
After the coffee and introductionround we set off to find material for the fires. And this is the main benefit of having a group. Not only can the chores be divided, you also have bundled knowledge and it always feels special, when you can teach someone your tricks and learn some new ones yourself in the proces.

Finding some fatwood or tjärved

Finding an entire stump of it!!

Dead, standing/leaning wood

Photo by Boel Engkvist

Picture by Salima Voloscuka
After this is was time for the task at hand; make your fire, using but your knife and one match. That means you have to have everything right, since you only got one chance. That means you have to focus on what you do and so, because you are focused, the proces gets stuck in your head, both failures and success. Preparing your fire is an essential skill, especially under these circumstances. Firewood is not readily available, getting it going is tough, but so is keeping it going! And your fingers get numb in this humid cold, so you have to watch out when handling your knife and that one match. It was great to see everyone so focussed, yet not all succeeded. Even the "old dogs" struggled and for me that meant a mission accomplished. Much was learned that afternoon and all involved realized the difficulty in it.

My wife paid us a short visit during this challenge, bringing along our oldest daughter and the dogs. And they too learned some lessons. For the dogs that meant dealing with a group of people and another dog! 
She tasted woodscoffee....
.....and they didn't want to go home....

After the challenge it was back to the firepit for some lunch, more coffee and more talk! Between bites, and there were many since not only did everyone bring their own food and Olli from Swetrek treating us to the earlier mentioned cakes, but Sali had brought a large pastery of dough and feta-cheese, whereas Boel treated us to some dark chocolate! 
We discussed all sorts of subjects, not just the one we tried. Marcus brought along some material to make charcloth like tins and cottonfabric. We tried flint & steel and as a bonus Olli showed us how to make a Swedish/Finnish torch. The discussion about its origins still rages on...!!

Photo by Boel Engkvist

Photo by Boel Engkvist

Photo by Boel Engkvist

Photo by Boel Engkvist
And then..... right at the end... we received an absolutely fitting encore! It started to snow. Big heavy flakes wafting down, immediately transforming the atrmosphere. All went silent and I am always amazed at the effect this has. It instantly creates a dreamy, almost failrytale-like atmosphere, yet with a chilling undertone....
Picture by Salima Voloscuka

Photo by Olli Niemelä
By 15:00 hours it was time to say goodbye. Some had a longer trip ahead of them and being on the road during snow, thaw on icy surfaces when dark settles in... It takes longer and a lot more effort.
I waited till everyone had gone, packed up my things, made a last round to make sure everything was as it shoukd be, stared into the fire a few more moments and then poured over the water from the jerrycans I had brought with me. A large column of vapour bellowed up through the trees and with that I thanked the spirits for granting us such a good time here.

A massive thank you to all that participated!
You made this day special!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Hochsensibele Männer - Tom Falkenstein

Once again a bookreview and once again in German. The English version will make up the second part of this post.
As I mentioned before Tom and I got into contact with one another by sheer coinsidence, him looking for men to contribute to the book he was writing at the time. A book about highly sensitive men. If you are interested in highsensitivity, think you are that yourself or maybe know someone who might be, please check out the following sites;
Tom Falkenstein's European Centry for High Sensitivity
Elain Aron's Highly Sensitive Person

Hochsensibele Männer
Mit Feingefühl zur eigenen Stärke
durch Tom Falkenstein

Tom's Buch fängt an mit einem Vorwort, geschrieben von Elain Aron, ich schätze mal DIE Aurotität, wenn's geht um Hochsensibilität. Dann folgt eine Einleitung, geschrieben von Tom selbt. Das Buch besteht aus 2 Teilen; 1. Das Phänomen Hochsensibilität und 2. Hochsensibel (gut) leben.
Das 1. teil hat 4 Kapitel, in dem Tom auseinander setzt was Hochsensibilität nun eigentlich ist, aber er fängt an mit dem Thema "Mann sein" und deren Rolle in der Gesellschaft. Danach erweitert er den Begriff Hochsensibilität, wie es zu verstehen ist, was die Auswirkung im Alltag ist oder sein kann und vor allen was es nicht ist im Begriff zu psychischen Erkrankungen oder Probleme. Ein sehr wichtiger Unterschied!
Der 2. Teil besteht aus 5 Kapitel, in denen Tom erklärt wie man, und zudem Buchstäblich Mann, im Alltag mit Hochsensinilität um gehen kann, vielleicht sogar muss. Die ersten 3 Kapitel heissen; "Strategien im Umgang mit Überregung und emotionaler intensität", ein äusserst wichtiges Thema für all denen, die Hochsensibel sind und sich im gestressten und überreizender Gesellschaft behaupten und aufrecht halten müssen.
Die letzten 2 Kapitel wenden sich dan auf einem selbst und auf das Innern. Wie kann der hochsensibeler Mann mit sich selbst umgehen und vor allem sich selbst so mögen wie er ist! Dies ist mindestens genau so wichtig, denn viele Männer haben ihr ganzes Leben lang gehöhrt das etwas falsch an ihn ist, was aber überhaupt nicht stimmt!
Jedes Kapitel wird abgeschlossen mit einer kurzen Zusammenfassung und es gibt sehr reichlich mit Übungen, die mann machen kann um das Gelesene in der Praxis zu lernen oder zu üben. Darüber hinaus lässt er 10 Männer zu Wort kommen, die ihre Geschichte, Gefühle oder Einblicke im Alltag teilen, was ich selber als sehr hilfsreich und erleichterend empfand, weil damit bestättigt wird, das man nicht alleine ist.
Das Buch schliesst ab mit einem Interview mit Elain Aron, gehalten von Tom.

Was mir persönlich an diesem Buch gefallen hat, ist das Tom sehr klart macht das die Probleme, mit der viele hochsensibele Männer kämpfen, nicht an den Männern selbst liegen oder zu liegen brauchen, aber das sie verursacht werden durch ein ausserordentliches Falsches Bild, das die Gesellschaft hat von Männer und was von Männer erwartet wird. Ein Bild an dem hochsensibele Männer meistens nicht treffen können. Ein Bild von harte, emotionslose, starke, kontrolierende Führer und Krieger.
Dazu steigt Tom über die individuelle Ebene aus und witmet seinen Blick auf uns als Gesellschaft und schlägt vor eine soziale Revolution (kann es gar nicht anders umschreiben) zu starten in dem er sagt das es Zeit wird für eine Emapzipation des Mannes! Es wird Zeit das Männer auch so sein dürfen wie sie sind, vor allem wenn sie gefühlvoll, sensitiv oder introvert sind. Unsere Gesellschaft braucht Männer wie uns, wenn wir die Probleme, die uns bevor stehen, lösen sollen!
Ich habe dieses Buch mit sehr viel freude gelesen und werde es wieder lesen. Ich bin kein Anfänger wenn es um den Begriff HSP geht und ich habe vor vielen Jahren schon gelernnt was und wie ich bin, aber dieses Buch hat mich nicht nur viel Wiedererkennung gegeben aber auch Neueinsichten.
Ich kann Männer, die hochsensitiv sind oder die, die denken oder vermuten sie könnten es sein, nur raten dieses Buch zu lesen!! Eigentlich würde ich jeden raten es zu lesen, damit die von Tom gedachte soziale Revolution auch tatsächlich statt finden kann! Für mich ist dieses Buch genau so wichtig, wie die Bücher von Elain es damals waren.

Und Tom kann ich nur raten (habe ich auch gemacht) dieses Buch auf Englisch aus zu geben, damit viel, viel mehr Männer errecht werden können. Ich wage zu behaupten das dieses Buch zu wichtig ist, es nicht zu tun!!

Vielen Dank für das Buch, Tom!
Es hat mir sehr geholfen und ich hoffe, nein weiss, das es viele andere auch helfen wird!!

Tom's book starts with a prolog, written by Elain Aron, a person I see as THE authority, when it comes to highsensitivity. It is then followed by a preface by Tom himself.
The book consist of 2 parts; the first deals with the phenomenon highsensitivity and the second focusses on living (well) with it.
Part 1 consists of 4 chapters, in which Tom explains what highsensitivity is, but before that he addresses the issue of what it means to be "a man" and what their role in society is or should be. He then proceeds with explaining the term highsensitivity, how to interpret it, what effects it has on everyday life or how it is affected by it and last what highsensitivity is NOT, in regard to mental illnesses and issues. A very distinct difference!
The second part is made up out of 5 chapters, focussing on strategies on how to deal with overstimulation of the senses and emotional intensity. A very important issue for all those highly sensitive people, who are exposed to modern society's onslaught and who have to stay upright nonetheless.
The final 2 chapters then turn toward the highly sensitive person themselves and deals with how a highly sensitive man can and should deal with himself and more so, how they can and should like and love themselves for how and what they are! This is at least of equal importance, because many, if not most, of them have heard their entire lives that something is wrong with them, which absolutely is NOT true!
Every chapter is recaptured in a summory and there are exercises throughout the book one can do, in order to learn how to apply what has been read into everyday life. Furthermore the book has 10 stories of men, who share their stories, their emotions or give a glimpse of everyday life, which I myself found really helpful and have me a sense of relief, since it shows and confirms I am not alone in this.
Finally the book closes off with an interview of Elain Aron by Tom himself.

What I personally really liked about the book, was that Tom made it very clear that many of the issues highly sensitive people and especially men, deal with everyday, are not or need not be caused by themselves! They are caused by an inherently wrong image society has of them and of men in general, expecting them to be tough, resiliant, emotionless leaders and warriors.
Furthermore Tom lifts the issues above and over the individual level and takes a scrutinizing look at society itself and suggest to start a social revolution (I can not call it otherwise) in which men are granted the possibility to be as they really are and to be accepted as such, wether he is sensitive, thoughtful or introvert or not. Our society is in desperate need of such men, if it is to solve many of the problems it is facing today!

I truly enjoyed reading the book and will reread it for sure. I am not a novice, when it comes to highsensitivity, having read Aron's books many years ago, but this book not only retought me some very valuable lessons, but also provided many new insights. I can only strongly recommend any man, that thinks he might be highly sensitive or knows someone who might be to read this book. 
I actually would suggest everyone interested to read it, so that we can achieve this revolution! For me this book was of equal importance as Aronäs books years ago.

As for Tom, I strongly suggest he makes sure the book appears in English as well. I dare say it is to important to not do so!