I’m reflecting on this past year before the door to 2017 closes.
My guess is that I’m not the only one.
I just realized that it would be good to do this more regularly. Stop, and listen inward, reflect on where I am.
Am I where I want to be in the now? If not, can I accept the now? Can I change anything moving forward?
What do I want to fill my life with? Meaningful moments, activities, stillness and treasured meetings with family and friends. Then my heart is full and I can shine my love for you, for life – into the world.
How will I chose to act and live in 2018? What doesn’t serve me any longer? Who should be in my life? What can I do to surround myself with the right kind of people (for me) and live a life that breaths to the rhythm of my heart? So I can stand tall and be my true self.
Everything is blank in front of me when I step into 2018. It’s a good thing.
I will fill the blank canvas with meaningful colorful warm strokes as I go…. and fill the blank pages with heartfelt words that will bring me to you.
I want to choose to fill my empty spaces in my way and in my time. Then the empty spaces will be the truest, most colorful me. And my moments will be filled with love together with you.
I’m ready to turn my back to 2o17, which was not a good year for me. Of course it had its good moments and they will stay in my heart. I know that this past year have been difficult for many people for various reasons. I’m WITH you to step into 2018 and not knowing what 2018 will entail.
I want to approach 2018 moment by moment and fill each moment with my heart’s desire and meaning.
How will you leave 2017 behind and greet 2018?
I do have one wish for all of us during 2018 though … let’s be kind to one another … let’s meet heart to heart.
I will not close the door to 2017 gently this year, as I normally do when one year is to end and another year is to begin.
I will slam the door to 2017 shut, hard.
I’m not afraid to meet the unknown in the empty spaces in front of me.
2018 is for you and I to meet our truest selves and to bring meaning to the empty spaces. My way, your way, together with our hearts open.
I don’t know what 2018 will bring, and that is okay.
My inner being is just like the fog that just rolled in outside.
The fog covers both the ocean and the mountains. It is dense, just like the fog inside of me and it is hanging over both my heart and soul. Ready to lift. Ready to shift.
Outside in nature, the fog burns off over the ocean in the afternoon. I need to do a similar thing with my own inner fog, my fog that diminishes my clarity over life.
My inner core is one big fog of emotions.
Some feelings are welcome. These feelings I embrace full on.
Other emotions that exist inside of me are unwanted. The unwanted ones, I just try to push away. I do not want to feel, think, or even experience them.
So what do I do when my unwanted feelings start to rise inside of me? They arise like a hot burning volcano ready to burst. I cannot let all that anger, frustration and sadness come out.
Not now. Not yet.
So I move … just like the fog outdoors is constantly drifting, so am I. I need to be in motion … so I run, walk, lift weights and do yoga. Sometimes I even dance by myself. To let the body feel the rhythm in my veins, and let the lyrics both soothe and strengthen my soul.
I need to heal. I need to be strong. Inside and out.
We all have been in situations that we wished never happened, and I was just recently in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I cannot change what happened. The only thing today that I can change and that I have power over, is how I deal with the aftermath. The aftermath of the situation that I was involuntary in and could not avoid for my life.
I never had a chance to say no. I was never asked, and I never had a chance to run away.
Now when I am safe, I cannot sit and feel these unwanted feelings. Me, who always have said: “Do not avoid your emotions, sit with them and accept them.” I am the one who now is running away from them. Or am I perhaps running with them? Maybe what I am doing is a healthy outlet to be able to process the unwanted situation over time. Maybe.
Because if I sit with the memory and the feelings that come with reliving the event, I think that I will fall apart.
I do not want the unwanted situation to have that power over me. I want to have power over myself.
So by moving my body I more and more believe that I am having a healthy outlet for all my emotions. I am actually not avoiding my feelings. They are with me every step of the way.
There is nothing wrong with shifting focus on your emotions and experiencing different feeelings. It is what we do with them that matters.
By moving my body more, I am giving myself a gift. My brain gets more oxygen, my blood shifts to all my organs and flows easier through my veins.
With every step that I take, I can feel that the fog is slightly lifting from my heart.
One day I know I will have run out out from the fog inside of me.
One day, rays of sunshine from acceptance and love will burn my inner fog away.
One day I will see clearly again, the day that the dense fog has burned off all of its heaviness.
Once the fog has moved away from me, I will not feel lost anymore.
Until then, I will continue to do what I can in this moment.
To put one foot in front of the other and move forward.
With mixed emotions I am welcoming the first month of spring. Depending on where you live, spring might still be far away – it might already have come, or you might not experience a lot of changes in seasons where you live. Regardless of where you live, if the nature and the weather changes seasons or not, you might change seasons internally anyway. Those changes can be called emotions or feelings, or even seasons within us.
If we for one moment go back to the changes we see around us in nature and what different types of weather we experience, we can all pretend that we have real winter with snow, cold weather and short dark days, then spring comes with longer days and greener hills. We soak up the sun with lighter days in the summer, and finally fall arrives with crisp air and trees with leaves in a ray of amber colors. That’s a lot of dramatic changes in nature in one year.
The same can happen within ourselves in a year. We can have a period of dark difficult times, easier days with spring in our steps, heavy weight on our shoulders that are lifted when we are surrounded by inspiring energy, and also days when we can reflect upon all the different colors and shades within our deepest self that shape us.
Where I live now we have small changes of seasons, and it’s very different from my country of origin, Sweden. In Sweden there are drastic changes between the four seasons. With a lot of changes in the nature that surrounds us and the weather, we also will experience changes within.
With the sometimes rainy grey fall and longer darker winter months in certain parts of the world, it is easy to feel tired and a little low. Sometimes you might also feel more lonely and separated from the world, as most people are hurrying down the streets to escape the harsh weather to find warm comfort inside a building. Hiding from the outside in other words. But the outside can be beautiful as well. There is a saying in my “old country”: “There is no bad weather – only bad clothing.” Think of a hillside full of snow when the sun is shining. It’s so glitteringly beautiful that it even can make us gasp for air. Breathtaking in other words. So with all the different seasons, it’s good and bad. Just as life.
We have darker and more difficult days, whereas other days can lift us up and we feel energized.
Does everything affect us from the outside and in though? No, I will dare to say. It is all about our attitude and reaction. We are our thoughts. As a result of our thoughts come a certain behavior. So I’m pretty certain we are what our behavior shows. Are we angry, bitter and resentful towards the world? Or are we compassionate, empathic and loving to one another?
Whether we react to the weather changes outside, or to people around us, does not matter. It is how we react to the outside world that defines us. It defines who we truly are deep within.
It’s all like the serenity prayer. You need to know what you cannot change, change what you can, and understand plus accept the difference.
So with all the words written above I’ve metaphorically compared changes in seasons in nature with changes of emotions within us. That was intentional on my part.
It can be difficult to transfer from one season to another, as it can be very hard to come to terms with certain situations and circumstances in your life. You just need to know what you can control or not. Ultimately the only thing you can control is yourself.
So what do we do when it’s a grey rainy day? We might not like it, but we cannot change it. All we can do is to grab a raincoat, umbrella, accept the weather as it is and step out into the street and greet the world anyway.
The same goes for when you’re being beaten down with one hardship after another in life. You might not like it, but you cannot control what happens to you. Only how you react to it. You don’t need to like the situation you’re in, but you need to accept it. Sit and really feel it. There is no escape rout here. As much as you cannot skip the downpour of the rain, you cannot jump over an obstacle in your life. You need to walk right through it. Getting soaked in tears perhaps instead of the rain. And on the other side of the rainbow your tears will have landed in your heart. Gently to flood your inner being of lessons learned and wisdom gained.
You made it out from your inner storm, and for that you came out stronger on the other side. Believe me, there is no way to go around anything. Whether it is a rain cloud or a heartbreak. The only way to make it in both circumstances is with a lot of determination to take one step at a time. Forward. All the while with a gentle heart towards yourself.
As I am writing, I am hearing gusty winds outside. It makes the whole house shutter. I am in a phase in my life where a lot of unwanted changes are happening and the future is as uncertain as always. So at this moment, I do not know if this spring will be as bright and colorful for my heart as the flowers are in my garden right now. Or if there will be a constant shadow darkening my soul. No one can know what the future might bring and that is sometimes the beauty of life. Right now though, I honestly wish I knew that the next couple of months would be a little brighter and full of colorful surprises feeding my soul. Then I will try my best to bring some bright colors into someone else’s life. Always pay it forward. That is the gift of living.
I will end tonight’s writing with a sentence from one of my favorite Swedish poets – the late, Karin Boye, wrote: “It hurts when buds burst”.
So I am imagining that most of us at one time or several times in our life, we will have a bud that is about to burst open within us. The process might hurt a lot, but afterwards you will blossom. I promise.
I am ready for spring and to let the bud inside of me burst. It will be painful. I also know two more things: it will be worth it and I will eventually blossom.
Today is Valentines Day, a day associated with romantic love.
Today is so much more.
If you are gentle with your inner voice and let that voice tell you that you are loved, you can show compassion towards yourself. Only then it is when you truly love yourself and have the capacity to love others. If you can open your heart to love yourself first, you have come a long way.
It is so easy to have our inner voice judge ourselves and tell us that we are not good enough, smart enough, not good looking and not worthy of love. That powerful and destructive voice is so wrong. We are all worthy to be loved.
If you really can see and feel the beauty that shines within you, you will be able to see it in others as well.
If we can feel love, we shall spread love. If we can show our love to one person, that person will be able to take the love in and also pass it forward. Just like when you throw a rock into the ocean and it makes rings, the rings will multiply. We can touch another’s heart with our own loving heart. The importance is that the only love there is, is a non-judgemental love.
It will and can be a ripple effect of love. So today is about starting to share the love within you with others.
Today will never just be a commercial day for me. That we need to buy flowers, chocolate etc. All those things are nice though. But today is so much more than that.
Today it is exactly three years since my beloved Mormor’s (Grandmother’s) funeral. It is not a reminder of my loss, as I miss her every day.
Today is a reminder that she was buried on the most perfect day, as she represented everything that I call love. She was a true gift to me and so many others.
Her selfless way of always being there for others and helping those in need was never a sacrifice on her part. It was her way of living. She did not know any other way than to be there for other people. That is not romantic love. It is universal love. That we care for one another and if we can help someone, we help. That is true love.
I just read a little bit about the history behind Valentines Day and I will not write a piece of history here. It was just all very interesting to read. I do want to share one thing that I found though.
What does it mean to be someone’s Valentine?
“Being my Valentine means that you are that special and the only person I will be spoiling the day of.”
“It does not mean that we are in a relationship. It just means for that day, I express to you in words, gifts and actions what you or your friendship means to me in a more intimate manner.”
Something to think about perhaps …
For me, my thoughts return to my loving Mormor (Grandmother) and what I take away from the statement above is that she was my Valentine. She was that special to me. Not only on this day, but all days. I also know that she was that special to many people.
She was a pure Valentine who gave her love away unconditionally, and she also saw and experienced a Valentine in other people in return. So love goes around. You give love away, and you will receive tenfolds back.
The greatest gift you can give someone is telling them that you love them, that they matter to you. Or show it to them with your caring actions before it is too late.
My Mormor (Grandmother) was and still is the most giving person I have ever known. A true giver of love.
Let us all pass love onward. Today and all days. We can all be Valentines every day and let our love touch other people. Let our lives be love.
Yesterday was International Peace Day 💙
That should be EVERY day …
Peace starts with love ❤️ It starts with you and I …
Do we love ourselves?
We need to give peace to our own hearts first. Then we have a gift … and with every gift you give it away …
Or in this case, you pass your inner peaceful love forward and keep the love and peace still beating to the rhythm of your own heartbeat❣️
Your inner love and peace will circle around and touch others.
Keep loving yourself, keep loving each other …
All of a sudden the month of May was here. Where did April go? I felt that I had been going from one thing to another without a stop. The first weekend of May I decided it was time for a well needed break with just a morning walk on the beach, except there was no beach to be seen when I came down to the ocean. Only water that had built up to a swell and crashed into shore. Little did I know that was how I would feel for most of May, that a big wave came crashing into and over me.
Life is full of changes and unexpected situations, some are welcome while others are not. This May has greeted with me with situations that made me feel like I was swept out from shore with a current so strong I had to stay in the water against my will. Other times I have been able to do what you are supposed to do, ride with the tide.
So with the good and the bad, with both internal storms and several storms from Mother Earth, all I can do is to learn that you cannot go against the current. Acceptance of something you cannot control is very difficult, and at times it will leave you gulping for air. But one thing is for sure, after a storm comes a welcoming calm. Embrace it and breathe in the love around you and breathe out the stuggles. That way you will stand more firmly rooted when the next storm hits, and when it does – what do you do?
It is easy for me to welcome a new “winter month” standing outside, letting the sun warm my face. The sun is breathing life, and I feel it in every pore of my body.
Not everyone can step out into the warmth of the sun right now. What you can do though, is to step outside and breathe fresh air. even if it is just for a brief moment. The fresh air, (almost) regardless of temperature will clear your mind and free your senses.
As hard as the dark winter months can be in the Northern Hemisphere, you who live there, will endure and make the most of it. Trust me, I have lived with real winters most of my life, so I do know how difficult it can be. I also know that the sun will shine with warm bright rays upon your skin again. It is a known fact, so hold onto that image and cozy up after breathing some fresh air. Cozy up by the fire, light some candles and just be.
So even if I do not need to shovel snow or put on winter clothes, I had to experience what the New Year brought me, like for all of you. January started with a BOOM in all kinds of directions, and I am now trying to navigate how I will spend my time the next eleven months of this year.
The year started off with a lot of demands of my time, an emotional blow to the heart and some minor medical issues. All of a sudden I sat with a “to-do-list” so large that I did not even know where to start. I am used to being my own boss, and with some new responsibilities I had to rethink. To prioritize correctly and manage my time plus energy became my biggest challenge.
I wanted to take on my new responsibilities with a clear head. To do so, I needed to center myself emotionally.
The other day when the demands and tasks seemed too overwhelming. I did what I have done so many times before. I closed the computer, turned off the phone, and put away all the papers that were spread around me. I stepped outside to our front lawn and saw the beauty in front of me.
With several deep breaths, I saw everything clearly and smelled the goodness around me. The salty ocean, the lush bushes and the magical sky were all there for me to take in with all my senses.
The cool evening air calmed my mind and stilled my emotions. I walked back inside to not just do, but also to be.
My first live interview as a writer went like this …
Please click on “Read more”, and you can see/hear the whole interview.
It is in Swedish so I apologize to all my English readers. Hopefully there will be an interview in English soon, as a translation of my book is in the works.
For this interview, it wasn’t really any time to prepare. I received the questions a few minutes before taping, and I glanced at them before putting them away. I felt that there was no right or wrong answer, and I decided that it was better to just go with my gut instinct on how to answer. I didn’t want it to be rehearsed. All I wanted was to somehow convey that my writing comes from my heart. Every word is always felt, before I think it. Like Hemingway said: “Write your first draft with your heart, and the second one with your mind”. That is how I tried to do this interview, except I only went with my heart and never had a chance to change any answers with my mind.
I cannot regret how I answered, as the answers were true to me at that very moment. I am pretty sure that I could use a class in media training, but for now you get what you see. You get to listen to me with nerves and all. But mostly you get to hear the real me and what writing this book meant to me. The book is a celebration of my love for my Grandmother. That is something you don’t rehears for. It is just there, with or without cameras. Always.
The days at the Book Convention in Gothenburg, Sweden, was filled with experiences that I am still taking in. It was four days of working hard to promote my own book, meeting other writers, going to seminars, and talking with publishers. All along being surrounded by supportive family and friends. I could not have made these days as successful and fun, if it wasn’t for my amazing support team! I bow in gratitude for you!
Most days didn’t end at the Convention Center, they ended hours later somewhere where the networking continued. So the only thing lacking during these days were sleep. That was a small prize to pay for all that I received!
My heart is filled with memories of inspiring meetings, interesting people, and also a lot of fun moments!
I could of course not be at the Book Convention without buying books, that was truly impossible. I found my favorite publisher, among with some of my favorite authors. I had to buy another suitcase to bring back all these wonderful books. Instead of harvesting pumpkins as the season is called for, I will dive into my Harvest of Books. One book at a time, with a heart filled with gratitude. Printed literature is still alive!
I #TiedOneOn is a campaign to bring awareness to a rare disease called Dysautonomia. October is known for breast cancer month, but less known is that it’s also Dysautonomia awareness month. It means that we are trying to bring awareness to the medical field. Yes, you read correctly, many doctors and nurses are not educated in diagnosing and treating the many forms of Dysautonomia. We need to change that.
Of course it’s also important to bring awareness to the public as well, as it’s called the “invisible disease”. People affected with Dysautonomia often look fine on the outside but are really ill on the inside. To hear people say: “but you look fine”, is common. For the person struggling it can be hurtful to hear, and it can feel like they are not being taken seriously.
So what is Dysautonomia? It is a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in the body. The ANS controls your heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, digestion, excretion, body temperature, and other involuntary bodily functions. In other words; ANS controls everything we take for granted, everything within the body that should function without us thinking about it. All its functions should be automatic, and it’s nothing we can control. There lies the hardest part.
We want to be in control of our own body. When the ANS fails to function it differs from person to person which symptoms are most profound. It can range in severity from mild to fatal.
So yesterday I #TiedOneOn for my son Christopher, our friends Claire & Bella, myself and everyone else who is fighting any form of Dysautonomia.
My son is proof to that there is hope. After three years of being critically ill, he was able to fully recover due to excellent treatment, support and time. He is a true miracle!
I believe there are more people who will recover sooner with awareness and education. This illness will take many different forms and is played out differently for every person. A few things are the same though: it is real, it is difficult, and it is a battle. For some it will last a couple of years, and for others it can last a lifetime.
There needs to be more research done, and more awareness among the medical community. That is what this month’s campaign is about. But the fight doesn’t end with the last of October. It is a fight 24/7, and you must fight for a better tomorrow! Never ever give up fighting the battle!!
I’m trying my best in fighting this illness. To try your best is all you can do.