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.
In Many countries, All Saint’s Day, was observed on November 1st, 2017. The date varies throughout the world though.
In my home country, Sweden, the first Saturday in November (today) is called “All Saint’s Weekend”.
Wether or not you are religious, and no matter where you live, this time of the year can still be a time to spend some time keeping those that have passed to the other side, extra near in mind, soul and heart.
Take a moment for yourself. It does not have to be long, just a moment. A moment of reflection.
Today (for me and many others) it is All Saint’s Day and it is a day to honor and remember our loved ones that have entered the other side. That does not mean that they are far away in thought and heart, but I still miss my loved ones every day. I still love them every day. That is not different today.
Today is different because right now there is a very thin and fragile veil between us here on Earth and those who are in another dimension. I chose a white rose, the meaning of remembrance, and a red rose for love today. The candles burning represent the light that they brought into my life here on Earth. The flames are shining bright with emotions. My longing, my grief, our days lost, but most of all, the flames are burning bright for the love that we shared.
Be still in silence and feel their presence. Whisper a message, a question, or just think quietly of your loved ones who are on the other side. All the while from your heart.
Can you sense them? They can feel your inner being. Honor the love that you shared by being still in your mind and heart. Stop and listen. Maybe you will hear a whisper …
Most of all, keep your loved ones that have gone before you, close to your heart.
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.
Lately I have been reading a lot about that we need to realize that we are enough as we are. I am sure you have as well. The topic is a popular one. For me it started as a self-discovering journey while I took Brené Brown’s class based on her book “The Gift of Imperfection – Let Go of Who You Think You are Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.”
It is difficult to tell you in words what a change-shifter the class was, as reading her book. As a matter of fact, I have read all her books. They all have different messages, but the core of each book is that we need to dare to embrace ourselves for who we are. Plus equally important, we need to accept and embrace others for who they are. As long as they are not harmful – physically, verbally or emotional abusive. We might not agree of someone’s choices in life but it is not our place to judge. They are walking their own path for their own reasons, and so is each and everyone of us.
Recently I realized that I am surrounded by some people who judge others constantly, which made me choose not to engage in conversations with those people at this time. All it did was emotionally drain and hurt me.
I wish to be surrounded by open-minded, and even more importantly open-hearted people. I am lucky enough to have those kind of people in my life, and for that I am eternally grateful. I have a choice whom I socialize and engage with. So do you.
This all came to light through the class I took and it opened my eyes for my own judgements. Mostly I constantly judge and criticize myself in my own head, more than I consciously judge others. If I am not good enough through my own eyes, how could I be in someone else’s?
I will not invent the wheel here again. I am just pondering what being enough really means. As usual it will mean a different thing for different people. When I think of the statement that “I am enough”, I have a hard time to relate.
I often feel that I should be a better mother, a better partner, a better friend, more physically active, smarter, and most of all I feel that I should give more love to other people in general. So I am NOT enough in my own mind. Is this negative self-talk helping me in any way? Absolutely not.
My new ritual before going to bed is to go through the day and focus on if I did anything well that day. Any action with a kind heart is what my mind is searching for. Not a flaw in my face that I can see in the mirror just before bed, but I am taking a good look inside myself. Maybe most nights I can only come up with one thing, and that is ENOUGH.
I am enough as long as my intentions are to bring out the best in me towards others.
The flip side of the coin is about setting healthy boundaries with people in your life. When someone oversteps your boundary and you are able to say to that person: “it is enough”, you are letting them know it is time to respect you and your boundaries. When you can set healthy boundaries in your life, then one epiphany comes naturally; I AM ENOUGH!
I do not need to loose more weight, be in shape or do more for others. I am enough in just the way I am and do things. I needed to through in “do things” here, as actions speaks louder than words.
I do not need to fill my schedule with more superficial things. I need to fill my time with people and activities that will nurture my soul.
If I can say “NO” and “THAT IS ENOUGH” to people and circumstances that only brings emotional stress to me, then I have come a long way.
Then I can say that I AM ENOUGH, as I have said yes to myself by saying no to others.
A week ago my emotional inner self was in turmoil. Only one person knew what I was dealing with that day. We all have those days … but what I had that day was a friend who left this amazing mermaid with a beautiful quote on my doorstep. More tears flooded – – now out of gratefulness!
I’m so lucky who have people in my life that doesn’t live life on the surface. That they are not afraid to be vulnerable and feel deeply. Because that’s exactly what I was doing that day (and many other days). I felt deeply …
Dare to feel … Feelings are never wrong … It’s what we do with them that matters
Another year has passed without my Mormor, my Grandmother, with us here on Earth. Almost one month ago marked the two years without her here with us. I did not miss her more that day than any other day, the day just made me pause a little extra.
I needed to find some quite time just for me. A time where I could sense my Mormor’s presence through my breath. I was able to still remember her voice, and it brought me comfort. The memories of her that came flooding in were more from earlier years. When she really was my loving, caring and witty Mormor.
I realized that the memories of her being sick at the end are slowly fading. In the beginning it was all that I could feel and picture. The pain of seeing my Mormor become less and less herself with age was heartbreaking. With time the pain of loosing her is still present, but not as intense as in the beginning.
No matter at what age someone you love deeply passes away, there will always be a longing for that person. A void to be filled.
Now that void is more and more filled with all the beautiful memories of her. My Mormor who always made time, talked with wisdom, said the funniest things, gave the warmest hugs, cared for everyone and loved her family with all her heart. She saw no evil in other people, heard no evil and she never spoke no evil. The picture of my little haven in our backyard represents all that she stood for. Peace, equality among all mankind and love.
Now I can hear her voice, feel her gentle hand on mine, and most of all I can feel the love that we shared. She will always be one of the biggest gifts in my life. A gift that I will treasure forever.
Not even death can take our love away. Love remains. Always.