I am someone who’s learned how to be gentle towards myself after having an internal dialogue sounding like a mash-up of Hitler/Mao/Stalin.

Tankespjärn is the single biggest contributing factor in my shift from being the most negative person in the world, to… something very different, if perhaps not the most positive person in the world. But not far from. So whatever I write or say, is what I’ve done. Myself. I know it can be done.

I don’t have a one-size-fits-all solution for you, and try my utmost to be descriptive rather than prescriptive in my work. I share –through writing, podcasting, coaching and trainings– what has worked for me, in the hope that it might inspire you to think differently, to act differently, to try on a new habit or two to see what might come of it.

I would not be where I am today – regardless of the arena – if I hadn’t learned how to be gentle towards myself. In a sense, it is the very base that tankespjärn rests on. It’s one of the basic requirements for being able to truly use the power of tankespjärn in your life. 

You do gentle. Then you add “the edge”, which for me, is tankespjärn.

Tankespjärn itself came to me as a word in 2013 through Twitter. It’s something that I live my life by and have for far longer than I’ve actually known the word itself. Tankespjärn provides an opportunity to step into a new perspective, a new way to understand the world.

But. When you’re faced with Tankespjärn, there’s a choice. To step away from the possibility, or to step into it. But it sure is hard to forget about that door, leading to the unknown; the knowledge of which will, once revealed, always stay with you, even if you chose to let the door slam shut without entering.

What is tankespjärn for one, might not be for another. They aren’t necessarily universal or general, but rather personal and specific. What makes me go Huh? might not cause even the slightest ripple within you, and vice versa.

They also come in different forms. They might be visual, read or heard, or even physical ones, like when I try to make my body do something and it’s as if my body looks back at me with a surprised face, asking what on earth I was thinking…

Helena Roth