Author: Portable Door

 

Day 6: feel home and leave a trace

home is where you can express yourself…

Day 5: a gift from the Ear

A song I love, part of the soondscape https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KDcv2jcBweo

Day 4: my tableaux

A temporary, purple home.

Day 3: here is March

The Great Beauty and a seeker’s trivialties.

Day 1, 2: Rings on the water

Into the arms of those kids…

 

* Some pictures – like the 2nd one- were not taken by me. I might have found them in a foreign newspaper, on random walls, acknowledging the author(s) I don’t know, you stirred something in me…

the (w)Hole ‘s month in Fremtidslinjen

She will be sharing words from the takeover of Fremtidslinjen school by Sisters Academy
24 February- 16 March ’17

Photo: ‘I’ diana lindhardt

Between boys and girls (random, important inputs to sexual education)

For the last years, I have been on a pearl-searching journey. Love and sexuality has been my interest since I remember.  So many good and less good games played between people in their intimate relationships. Amazing developments woven together with holding back or confusion. Fear-driven and heart-driven moves. Aspirations based on dreams, philosophies or own projections about how and why others do what they do.

I must admit I’ve been a better collector than practical communicator/interpreter of my findings. So I want to share now – as an initial skeleton built on open questions and reflections that certain experiences and encounters awakened in me.

 

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Searching for love, while learning self-love. Exercising and showing my attractive sides, while longing to show my whole self, meet people from their vulnerable place. Wanting to be in a relationship, at the same time contemplating what/who a relationship should serve and which form it should take. Occasional thoughts about having kids, balanced with doubt, asking why, what drives me, finally trying to find an alternative child.

Meeting people with different ideas and lifestyles, getting curious, getting resistant: where is depth and where escape in monogamy, where is depth and where escape in polyamory? What do women really want? What do men really want? What do women think men want? And vice versa. Can we be together and interact in a way, so that we grow together beyond all those ‘coolness’ games? Can vulnerability be empowering and can honesty not break magic?

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“Imagine that…” or “In my perfect world…” are very important mental exercises, I believe. Expressing the most courageous dreams loudly and persistently, while working with what we have – can be a potent starting point before any ‘happiness’ talk.

Jumping in deep-water tantric environments surprisingly changed my life, teaching me something far more precious than any techniques: it namely extended my perception of love and sexuality… as a treasurous communication- and transformation- tool.

As this continuous learning process started to really blossom first in my adulthood – and I suspected it probably also did for many others – with “such a pity!” on my heart, I naturally started to act. I’ve been creating different interactive spaces and workshops, where authentic relating and sensuality are the tools.

 

My curiosity was also directed towards young people, so I investigated a bit, interviewed some. Where and how do they learn about love and sexuality? What is beautiful, attractive, what is fearful or confusing for them? I was also wondering what sexual education really teaches at schools…

This post is a long (inter)personal story (not scientific findings), with a great potential to awaken some further research or projects that I will gladly hear about and even get involved in.

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The source is 4-fold:

*In spring 2016, I interviewed some teachers in a Swedish school, asking about teenagers and sexual education.

*When in early 2015 I started to serve in Menneskebiblioteket as a human book with two titles: tantra and polyamory, I talked to many adults and youth – both folkeskole and gymnasium – about those topics, life and intimate relationships. I shared my stories and asked them also about their world… and  about sexual education.

*Precious insights I got from S, an artist and researcher who facilitates sexual relations groups in Malmo and contributes to further development of sexual  education in Swedish schools, including queer, critical perspectives, and analyzing heteronormativity in teaching materials.

*My own life experience and other people’s experiences interpreted by me.

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Love, sexuality and sexes: cultural(?) images, expectations and (self)perceptions

As the Swedish teacher (that taught biology and sexual education) mentioned, in Sweden, there has been a shift in what sexual education focuses on: one must not only learn to say no, but equally important is learning to say yes, listening to one’s “gut feeling”. People often misinterpret each other, so it’s useful to learn how to better read others’  signals.

So it seems that now – to a bigger extent than 30 years ago – lust and desire is a part of curriculum in gymnasia in Sweden.

 

The teacher mentioned what he showed and not showed to his students as pat of curriculum.

(“Never like the first time”  a cartoon

and

Do you want?” – (film/comic book? – I couldn’t find it) – he couldn’t show it cause the school curator said no 🙂

His reflection was also that teaching sexual education is nothing like any other subject, as one always has to “use” himself/herself. The ‘teacher’ role needs to always extend with something much more personal. During his studies not many fellow-teachers were up for taking this subject, as he said.

 

He expressed that to be a good sexual education teacher one has to be in a good contact with his/her own sexuality

(“…and I’m more of a theorist, coming from a religious family, where sex was a taboo.”). “And you have to dare to ask questions” – he added. As now it’s also a different world young people are living in, “I should have involved youth themselves in the process of designing a sexual education course last year when I came to teach in a new school”.

That were some of his lessons learned. And what I was the most curious about was:

‘What do u think is the most needed amongst teenagers?’

His answer was: small sharing circles …

{because – he said – they can easily find info about protection and diseases on the net, ungdomsugodning*, etc., but learning about emotions and communication needs to happen face-to-face}

…  where young people can open up in trust and together discuss love and sexuality. And especially explore these:

why do boys and girls do like they do?

-and what do girls and boys really think of each other?

 

…and topics he found out repeated themselves when he talked to his students:

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1)Girls say that boys have to know better. Boys don’t know that Girls  also have to be prepared (lubricated – also emotionally) to have sex.

(and it IS now on the curriculum)

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2)Girls say that boys mainly want sex, but most boys are interested in making it good for girls, but maybe they are just a bit clumsy.

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3)The teacher said that amongst 16 year-olds, maybe 50% already had sex. The interesting thing was that many young people that did not yet have sex seem to think that they are alone, that 90% of others already experienced their first time.

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4)Those that had sex only once often said: “is that it?” – cause  they had thought it will be different, better, longer…

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5)Some say that boys gets “high status” when involved  in sexual activities, and in terms of girls it’s not so well perceived. So there’s a big difference in being boy and girl when it comes to being a sexual being and expressing it openly.

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A bit on the last point that What the Swedish teacher mentioned, what some teenage girls mentioned and what was mentioned in this video

(spil fra 03:08 min, made in collaboration with Danish ‘Sex og Samfund’, I think) all seem to point to something important.

And pointing maybe not to truth as such, but definitely to some interesting narratives in the society:

Can it be that still today being sexually active with different partners makes men “cool” and women “cheap”?

{I don’t even know how to phrase it – yes, using words is art in itself – to invite critical reflection and not to confirm stereotypes. Let’s share responsibility here, ok?}

http://www.sexfordig.dk/film/seksualitet/?id=1835&vimeo=76428070

Narratives are important, cause they have a power to drive people’s beliefs, actions…and relationships between men and women.

 

Between boys and girls

In Sisters Academy in Simrishamn 2016, the (w)Hole’s little tableaux filled up with teenagers + new Academy staff.

That afternoon, we created a storytelling circle: 13 teenagers and 5 adults shared their stories and questions about love, sexuality and intimacy.

I also facilitated an ‘Attraction’ workshop there.

 

Some things that surprised me or fascinated me (how much things developed and stayed the same when I recall my teenage world:

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Some girls expressed that when they go dancing guys often look at them as at sexual objects so they feel pressure of feeding this canon of beauty and sexiness.

{“And girls want to be seen as ‘a whole person’? Or?” – the sexual education teacher asked when I told him that. I don’t remember what I answered. The question sounded so rhetorical to me, that I surprised myself that I hesitated… }

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And some guys said to that: it depends on the intention of coming to a party. Sometimes I am relaxed and want to connect to people. Sometimes “I just want to fuck and kill”.

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And then some girls said that sometimes they also have this energy of “fuck and kill”. But they also said that for boys it is much easier to appear “cool” when expressing interest in sex than it is for girls.

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One girl told me that others at school perceive her as a non-sexual being until one night they saw her lap-dance and were surprised to see this side of her. It seems that people create stereotypes about each other and others’ sexual abilities.

It seemed to me that both sides are tired of playing this confusing game that they actually don’t like to play.

 

 

Masculine and Feminine in a woman, Masculine and Feminine in a man…

Recently I repeatedly talked to people – also, but not only, from queer environments – that seemed triggered by operating with notions ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’. For me they are just words abstractly representing certain qualities without coloring them with judgement. Like purple and yellow. Like air or earth element. Now I see that the problem might be that in people’s minds ‘feminine’ is linked to women and ‘masculine’ to men. No doubt that queer people often hate all this tantric “polarity” talk 🙂

But The New Tantra is very queer in a way. Polarity is sexy, but reverse polarity is as sexy. Women expressing their “masculine” sides and men playing with “feminine” sides – all to grow even more powerful as human beings. Men being together with men, women with women, if it feels right, sexual identities being very fluid in this sense.

I still use those concepts (masculine, feminine), I like using them, but sometimes I consider finding new words – just to avoid unnecessary, long explanations.

I am interested in sexuality/sensuality as communication – a practice potentially much broader than what happens isolated between romantic partners/lovers.

 

Gender Identity and Feminism(s)

My experience was that topics like gender identity, transsexualism and feminism were hot subjects amongst the youth in Swedish gymnasium. It stroke me also how determined some female teenagers talk about feminism. That made me initially think two things: 1. there must me plenty of different schools of feminism, they keep multiplying and there’s so little I know about this complexity  2. those girls seemed to have an uncompromising belief in the importance of this “fight for female rights” and strong idea about commonly repeated issues like even salaries, equal access to various resources, right to abortion, etc. Then I started to ask about definitions, weaving in various “why’s?”.

My spontaneous concern was also: “poor men amongst those strong women equipped with unquestionable historical arguments and often with better abilities to express their emotions and opinions. Who is fighting for your rights, men?”.

I’ve been also wondering how men and women can cooperate, so that they become stronger together. What would be their common fight?

 

 

And am I a feminist myself? And if yes, what is MY feminism?

When I was young, I called myself a feminist – as every intelligent, aware, modern girl should – I thought 🙂

From the today’s perspective, that movement and belief system was built very much on opposition. Us against them. Who’s winning the battle, baby?

Porn can be destructive for learning real intimacy and deep sexuality – I’ve often heard.

But certain schools of feminism (“I have my clit and don’t need a man”) can no less than that contribute to unnecessary separation between men and women.

One book during the Academy started as a single-use reference to a question, and ended up as a recurring foundation for many existential debates, its fragments being read in various corners, its pages were flipped through by many curious hands. “Vagina” by Naomi Wolf the book was… I want to share some quotes.

 

(quotes from “Vagina).

 

It took me years of search and trial and confusion to come a bit closer to understanding where the real women’s power lies. In my world, of course, let me share about MY PERSONAL FEMINISM…

Since tantra entered into my life some years ago, standing in opposition to men was suddenly not longer necessary and not at all in my interest. On the contrary. I have actually never found so much woman-power in me as when being close to men. What an amazing shift, a relief! So yes, I am a feminist and I like male feminists, too, I just need to find my own definition and manifestation of feminism.

“Nuancing” dynamic realities, questioning hard-to-question slogans. Setting free last-described “structures” by creating new narratives.

Embrace complexity, baby!

If you want to read more on love, relationships and sexuality, with new angles, new real stories, 1.5 years later, you’re welcome to land on my post about Labels, Self-Perceptions and (A)Sexuality

 

<***> know that this sharing is about questions, not answers and is an expression of my own curiosity and a potential debate-starter. It doesn’t present any statistic-based study, but pieces of a complex picture – all gathered, while talking to different people.

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THE ART OF… JOB HUNTING {DAY 38. – 217.}: wrapping a full process cycle

Everything ‘the Art of…’ is about processes that bring something more than goal-related fruits.

 

I’d like to share some of those last 180 days of job-searching now that I reached a point of being hired and fired again within 2 weeks’ time.

 

What I’ve learned about myself and… the job market

I have not learned so much about the job market. For me it has been more of a black box.

 

There is something non-sustainable (energy-wasting) about job market, I feel, if:

-one is not invited to many job interviews without really knowing why

(no resources for individual feedback? – I understand. But if I at least could learn from those rejections: a wrong school? Lack of similar job experience? Because I’m not a Dane? Cause I haven’t had a stable full-time job for the last years? Or I don’t know anyone in a company? My CV being in English? Because they don’t really read my application? Me being good, but others are even more fitting?)

 

-there are sometimes 500 candidates per position

 

I think a job-searching process should be skill- and power-developing if it takes so much time and energy. But I feel I’ve been mainly creating texts for evaluation!

 

That I have learned about my job-application strategies:

(this I heard from those who really read my CV and application – and I don’t know the real percentage of those)

-my profile is very rich and interesting

-from such a profile, I need to create at least 3 different CVs, more target group-oriented:

one IT (and IT-related projects), one education/workshops/events, one creative (art, culture, research)

OK, this and a CV på dansk, right? it is slowly coming, in reasonable bits through my resistance towards – again – creating so much text for evaluation.

 

 

My Danish, my accent, my polishness…

A couple of times, I heard that I can easily be an asset without perfect Danish – even in education, as – because of my background, personality and accent – students might listen even more.

 

A couple of times, I heard that my accent can be an obstacle: e.g. in a role of #1) a street interviewer in Roskilde or #2) a support/company to a blind, handicapped man.

It seems (I heard) that could have something to do with #1) provincial vs international environments and  #2) some people are vulnerable and they need someone “familiar” around

If I accept such explanations (of stereotypes towards foreigners), I will myself be creating stereotypes about certain people and their reactions/decisions…and this I don’t want to feed.

So in this way, I prefer an open-mind in dealing with a black-box, than “knowing” by putting people in a white-box.

 

 

What I’ve experienced/gained while trying to experience finding a job 

In November and December. I kept rolling the ball I have started many weeks before when I tried to create a new job role myself, my unique package kit: a potential “performer/educator/interviewer” job in collaboration with Roskilde Kommune with an aim of inspiring and educating people to sort garbage (communication and presentation of myself with that angle is part of this blog post).

 

Another parallel effort was en experiment of “giving it all” to an application for a job I really wanted (going deep instead of wide). The position of Udeskolevejleder in Boserupgård Naturcenter in Roskilde. I wrote a perfect application – that I also “reused” as a base for one of my profiles (in my virtual CV) – including visual part, including calling the center’s leader beforehand, including a trip to the forest and connecting face-to-face with the team there, including calling the same leader after not getting a job for getting a constructive feedback. This application took the most time in my job-searching career.

 

After Christmas in Gdynia and New Years in my beautiful Polish mountains, I had some tough winter weeks, where my mind was so obsessed with finding a job + negative thoughts that I couldn’t relax walking through a park. The process was tough and fruitless.

I also received a reply to my application from Københavns Universitet:

Kære Iwona Rejmus

Tak for din ansøgning til stillingen som Kontorfunktionær.

Vi beklager at måtte meddele, at vi ikke finder dig kvalificeret til stillingen.

Ved udvælgelsen af kandidater er der lagt vægt på indgående kendskab til universitetsverden og erfaring med engelsk som primære arbejdssprog samt professionelt kendskab til design, sociale medier og internationale relationer. Sluttelig var kandidatens personlighed udslagsgivende for at få tilbudt stillingen.

As they argue, they put special focus on certain skills, therefore they didn’t find me qualified for the position. Hello, but all those skills/experience you need are precisely what I am and can! So either I don’t communicate what I can clearly, or you don’t read what I communicate.

 

Then when I realized I was one day too late for an important application deadline – hinted by a friend – and I normally keep deadlines – I felt it’s enough and time for a new chapter. I will not send applications, I will only network and meet companies/organizations face-to-face.

job searching tattoo  jobsoegningskitI took a bike, my job-searching kit (CVs, motivation letters, a city map and QR stickers – also on my chest) and spent a day visiting kulturhuse and ‘områdefornyelse’ places in Copenhagen. Even though I didn’t find a job, connecting with real people face-to-face gave me so much energy, motivation and (mutual) inspiration.

I knew that no matter how my situation looks after Sisters Academy (Feb-March 2016) – my last planned project on the horizont – I will continue with such a campaign.

Around that time, some new discovery (-> decision) also happened. I realized that all those years of unemployment I have been using actively for developing myself and sharing my treasures with other people, creating value, just not being paid for that. Maybe my way is to become a helper for handicapped people, while I continue doing what I am doing. This new turn on my journey unexpectedly gave me relief and inner peace.

 

What I’ve been working with for the last years and am not gonna stop…

I work with sharing knowledge and skills by injecting my energies in different contexts, a practice that I call Portable Door (Labs): performative education, co-creation events, self-developing workshops (towards authentic communication and against stereotypes):

100 faces of ‘each other’: workshop designer and space leader

Sisters Academy: teacher, performer, researcher for innovative education

Authentic Relating Denmark: workshop designer and festival co-creator

Menneskebiblioteket: a “book” in the Human Library

Huskunstnerordningen: week-long performative teacher at Danish schools (folkeskoler)

 

 

What I want from the process now, dreams and realities…

I was hired as a helper for a handicapped woman, but it was a chaotic and unstable start and had to stop, now I am soon visiting another potential family…and meanwhile I will keep searching for a job in a company/organization. I feel that a full cycle of job searching has been experienced. I’ve learned a lot. I am grateful. I am hopeful. Ready to start from scratch if needed, alternative ways of employment – even internship in the beginning. Handicaphjælper, yes, but not too long, as I cannot isolate myself from the job market. My final goal is to find a meaningful job, improving Danish, working as part of a team.

 

Thank you for all the help and inspiration to those that contributed to my job-searching journey until now. I needed to look back, evaluate, share before I start a new phase with fresh energy…

A no egg clue

blindfolded reflections after the Takeover in Simrishamn’16

Photo: Diana Lindhardt, 'The I' of Sisters Academy

Photo: Diana Lindhardt, ‘The I’ of Sisters Academy

Searching for something. A door, a clue. Feeling I am not challenging myself enough, not doing anything grand enough. Constantly waiting for “cracking it”

 

That stepping down from the „leader/inspirator/teacher“ role and letting myself experience what naturally unfolds in interactions with students without carrying the „giver“ mission – this I was not able to do most oft he time. But it was a pre-step to „getting it“ later, after my ‚100 faces’workshop and a following private session with a young woman from Berlin: vulnerability, awkwardness…and finding gold in learning from „less experienced“ (as the frame I created had suggested). She gave me such a gift by together breaking that frame. In the end she said I gave her a gift of empowering her to be a giver, not a „pupil“. It’s a crazy space that space. It’a edgy. It’s presence.

 

Paradoxically, one oft he strongest (or the most important) images I recalled today from the Takeover was that of students – after cooking so good and eagerly – dwelling over the table in evening hours with us. Seeking connection to something, ways of being?: the way of being themselves and being in love at the same time… We didn’t have a clue – I imagine – what complexities were happening in their teenage organisms. Thank you!

 

The egg: The Mechanic has given me the key…again.

Towards the end, in the kitchen, the Mechanic was communicating, with pauses, kindly as always and with patience, letting me put words on what I was reading from his language. He took an egg-shaped candle and started to hit it hard against the kitchen surface.

Nothing. For nothing.

Then he simply lighted the egg.

There was nothing to crack.

Not when you try to take something for what it is not.

Photo: Diana Lindhardt, 'The I' of Sisters Academy

Photo: Diana Lindhardt, ‘The I’ of Sisters Academy