Monthly Archives December 2016

Farewell 2016!

Farewell 2016!

December 31, 2016
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Sitting in bed reflecting on the past year. As always when I write these yearly reflections I start off slow, not really remembering… and then, slowly, the paper is filled up, with travels, experiences and moment of learning. One by one they add up, to form an amazing cavalcade of (parts of) what 2016 brought forth for me.

popPop the cat
A year ago he moved in with us, Pop the cat. This wonderfully friendly cat, who’s managed to charm not just us, but most of the neighborhood. He likes to take walks with us, but as the generous cat he is, he doesn’t restrict himself to family only, but gladly hooks up with anyone going for a walk along the neighborhood.

Writers retreat
Finally got my act together to set up my very own, personal, writers retreat in January. My friend Therese let me use her sweet little guest house in the deep forests of Småland, and I wrote, wrote and wrote some more. A wonderful experience, that I promised myself on a quarterly basis. I didn’t manage that – but the ambition still holds! – but I did manage a second writers retreat in October. This time around Sus in Sävsjö provided the location (Småland again!), and me and Sara wrote, wrote and wrote some more on our joint book project. We booked several more writers retreats in the spring, to ensure that we – in 2017 – will create all the material we deem necessary, to take the project to the next phase.

A course in a special type of falsetto singing used traditionally in Sweden to get the cattle to come home
I don’t even know how to translate kulning, which is the Swedish word for this course. Anyway, it was great fun, and absolutely crazy! I found a course in my Facebook-feed, which I shared because it was enticing to me. I hesitated though, until Sara from the writers retreat actually went and registered for it. Then and there I decided to join her, so in June we spent two days singing this special type of sone, in the wonderful surroundings of Stenshuvud. We let loose strong forces of nature, that’s for sure!

Seattle/Vancouver-trip with the family
The first item that I actually managed to cross off my Bucket List! Almost three weeks together in Seattle, on the Olympic Peninsula, in Vancouver and with a shorter trip on Iceland than planned – however, still long enough to give us the opportunity to experience the Blue Lagoon.bluelagoon_photo_1I want to give you a tip as well, AirHelp assisted us when the final flight back from Iceland was more than four hours delayed. We ended up getting a quarter of the flight cost for the entire trip back!

This has been a turbulent year – on the inside! – which culminated this fall, when me and hubby separated after fourteen years. This has resulted in many a reflections and countless tears, but also lots of love, closeness, laughter and wamrth, in so many levels. I am trying my best to stay open through out the ongoing process, rather than closed off. Because who says a love relationship has to look a certain way? Why not create the form that makes me and my loved ones feel the best we can, regardless if that would deviate from the norm or not? The exploration will continue in 2017, and I know this: together we are taking responsibility for the wellbeing of the entire family, which feels really good.

Medvetna ValIntentional Decisions
The book! What a journey. And what marvellous co-travellers I’ve been honored to co-create the book Medvetna Val – från offerkofta till möjlighetsmantel with! (The book is in Swedish and the title talks about the intentional decision to go from victimhood to acting on possibilities.) And the adventure will continue, that’s for sure. I look forward to it all, with the possible exception of the Swedish Book fair in Gothenburg in the fall. I was there this fall, and would gladly skip it next time around. Perhaps it was due to the impending separation and lots of uncertainty in my personal life at the moment, but regardless, there’s so much energy in the air in such occasions, that it drains me, more than rejuvenates me. Although I was thrilled at finally meeting up with the one and only Klas Parknäs in 3D and that was a great gift!

God Man – acting legal guardian for unaccompanied minors
My first Good Child (the Swedish term God Man, litteralt translates into Good Man so I call the children under my charge my Good Children!) turned eighteen which meant he no longer was deemed in need of my services, but in the nick of time, I got him registered for school, thanks to the willingness and flowing humanity of various officials. My second Good Child who has a permanent residence permit, also turned eighteen this fall, and he’s got enough drive to last him his entire lifetime. It will take him far! Am no longer God Man for him either, for the same reason (turned eighteen) but we stay in touch and each time I see him I rejoice! When my youngest Good Child turned thirteen, and two months later got a permanent residence permit, I cried from happiness and relief. All of this warms my heart!

But sometimes, my heart breaks instead. Since two months back, my forth Good Child (also turned eighteen, so I am no longer acting legal guardian) sleep in my living room on a cot we set up for him. In the middle of January we are called to the Migration court as a result of having appealed the ruling of the Swedish Migration Board not to let him stay in Sweden. I would like to ask you to keep us in your thoughts – the odds that the court will overturn the ruling are not good. But there is a chance, and that’s what we try to keep in mind! And if you, or anyone you know, can assist us with arranging better living accommodations for him than a spare bed in my living room, please get in touch!

Two blogs and writing
A year ago, at long last, I separated my Swedish and English writings. My blog up till then had become a jumble of Swedish and English posts, and it felt messy. Now it’s purely Swedish and English respectively, and it feels much better to me. I often write in the mornings, and when I sit down, I just start writing, in one of the two languages. Whatever comes comes. Very interesting, as I never really know what language it will be. I do enjoy writing, that’s for sure, and I’ve got several book projects cooking, so the story will continue…

Pop på promenadPokémon Go
In Seattle, during the summer, Pokémon Go was released, which had my son immediately expropriate my cell phone, to toks balls hither and dither. I started an account myself, but not until we got back to Sweden and organized the youngsters cell phone-problems, did I start playing for real. And what joy this has given me this past fall! I’ve walked and walked, alone and with my son, and since Christmas Day, much to our mutual delight, my daughter has also joined us in playing. So you can bet on us continuing to chase Pokémons in the vicinity. It’s a very easygoing and humble way to hang with the kids, and at the same time be outside in motion. Cat the Pop often joins us when we take our Pokémon-chasing-walks, which adds to the charm.

rågsurdegsbullarGetting issues on the roof fixed; re-planting the front yard; repairing the kitchen cooker hood fan and exchanging the refrigerator door seal; finally ordering a large amount of fire wood for the fireplace.
Odds and ends (called sourdoughs in Swedish, which gives you a bit of colloquialism to enjoy) that haven’t made it off the To-Do-list in years, now actually got done. And actual sourdough as well! I attended a cooking class in September with Jan Hedh, a famous Swedish pastry cook and baker, who gave us all a bit of a rye sourdough originating in San Fransisco 1969. It’s thriving at home with us, and I bake a couple of times every month.

Our Stories
Took a Walk n Talk with Anders Roos the first week of January, connected by Inga-Lill, who had a hunch that we should meet. She didn’t know why, but boy was she ever right! Our Walk led me and Anders Nordgren to join Anders inco-creating a project that he came up with, and had started to act upon.

The project ”Våra Berättelser – vi som flytt(at) hit” (which means “Stories of those who’ve moved or fled here”) is a photo- and text project where people who’ve enriched our country for more than half a century will tell their stories. The public debate centers on fear, with a focus on difficulties and costs. We need a material that shows all the benefits we’ve received from the people who’ve come here, but more than that, material that will show who they are.

That’s how we describe it, this very important project close to my heart, where I will be the one producing the texts. And for certain, this is not the last you will hear about this!

Häringe SlottCastle weekend
Ann had a big birthday so she invited ladies close to her heart for a castle weekend. Not a lot of ladies actually made it to the weekend, which perhaps was for the best, because it surely was a god’s send! Spending the weekend just being, held in love, by some of my closest friends, was rejuvenating. You know how important this was for me, just then, just there, but still: thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

My hands have started to work again. I am in creation mode! I’ve knotted caps, wrist warmers, wash cloths, a wonderful shawl and am busy making a sweater. I cannot even remember last time I knitted myself a sweater… but now I’ve got one going!

To be precise, 4806 burpees since May 28th 2016, when I was invited to joined a 100-day-burpee-challenge by a friend. 3000 burpees in the first one hundred days, and since then, I just kept going. I do burpees every day – haven’t gone a day without at least a few, since May 28th! – and have, in 2016, done four thousand eight hundred six of them.

This, and so much more, is the gifts 2016 brought for me! I collect all these memories of the past year, and let go of what I don’t need to bring with me into 2017. Letting go of that which no longer serves, to be able to let come what which want’s to happen!

With the warmest gratitude I send you wishes of a wonderful new and happy year ahead. I surely look forward to what will manifest for us all in 2017!

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Nothing beats coming home!

December 29, 2016
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homecomingHave been away at my mother’s place for the past week, celebrating Christmas. Have had a wonderful and very relaxing time, with lots of PokemonGo-walks together with the kids as the new addition to the usual Christmas traditions. Hubby left for Malmö on Tuesday; today, me and little brother made our way home with Pop the cat tagging along and tomorrow big sister will undertake the trek to Malmö.

Came home, unpacked, opened letters and scanned the piles of newspapers, and then… plonked down on my bed. My bed! Brought the book that I started to read in Vejbystrand, tuned in to 1972 by Josh Rouse on Spotify and wrapped the woolen blanket – made by my grandmother – around me. Looking around me, at the oil paintings on the walls, made by my other grandmother, breathing in, breathing out, soaking in the atmosphere, the smells and sounds of home.

Oh. The bliss. I’ve so enjoyed the week in Vejbystrand, and still, the best part of going away is coming home. Nothing beats coming home!

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December 28, 2016
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in Tip

Inspired by a Daily bits of-course I checked out Mapswipe. An app where you and me, online or offline, can assist with identifying features on maps of remote areas. Buildings, roads and such. The purpose is to “proactively map the places in the world where the most vulnerable people live, before a crisis happens”.

I’ve been using the app for a few months now, and normally do a bit of mapswiping in the mornings, right after my daily meditation. Building it into my morning ritual, I know I am contributing a few mintes of my time, to something that can make a real difference in the lives of many people.

By November 29th I’d mapped 373 kilometers and found/marked 1100 objects. Almost a month later, I’m on Level 9, having mapped 942 square kilometers and found 2642 objects. It’s real easy to use the app, as I tap once when I find something (marking the tile green), twice when I think I’ve found something (marking the tile yellow) and three times when there’s a problem such as cloud cover which makes it impossible to scan the area (marking the tile red).

MapswipeTry it out while waiting for the bus, standing in line, during travels or, like me, for a few minutes in the morning. Every little bit counts and it sure is a worthwhile use of my time. Perhaps of your time as well?

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Being gentle to me – Reflection December ’16

December 25, 2016
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What a month I’ve had. A month of more sense of the present than ever. Presence. In the Now. Not a lot of thoughts on the past. No questions of why we ended up where we did, what we could have done differently, why we didn’t… None of that hindsight questioning of me and my choices. Simply being in the realization that I am where I am. And so are we. We ended up right here.

Not a lot of thoughts on the future either. No worrying, fretting or anxious questions on what will be, where it all will go, whether or not we will stay married, or not, and what either choice would mean, for me, for us, for the kids… None of that either.

Simply being here, right now.

Enjoying myself immensely. Feeling light than in years – ever? Cooking. Doing the laundry. Blogging. Taking walks. Dogsitting Sixten. Eating dinner with the kids, talking, listening, laughing. Walk n Talking with hubby. Working, giving trainings, sending out quotations and getting some new assignments. Writing protocols, knitting, singing my heart out in two Christmas choir concerts with my choir as one of four participating choirs.

Enjoying lifeYou know – life. All of the mundane chores of ordinary day-to-day life – truly enjoyable. Grateful for having it, living it, being present for it. Being gentle to me, in the most loving way, simply being here and now, and cherishing every second of it. Right now, it’s time to do my daily Seven exercise, get dressed, have some breakfast and then take a walk – possibly with my youngest – to catch some Pokemon’s. Later on there will be more people coming over, to have fun and enjoy life with.

The last monthly reflection of the year, leaving me with a strong sense of gratitude and love. Love of life, with all in the up’s and down’s and the many shapes and forms it serves me up, each and every day. Loving life!

Welcome! Here the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. I will be reflecting on a monthly basis on what that means to me, in the moment, and this is one of those reflections. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future reflections.

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24/24 – Are you a cook or a chef?

December 24, 2016
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We got a final gift. The generosity kept on coming. A beautifully printed piece of paper to remember the occasion by. (As if I would ever forget it anyway?!)

The photo doesn’t do the print justice at all. But my piece of print is being framed right now, so it’s the only photo I’ve got to share with session

The question is this: Do you want to be a cook or a chef?

You see. Seth calls out for more chefs. And I agree. We do need more chefs. But, if at heart you are truly are a cook. Go be a cook, and create a life that matters to you, doing what you love!

But if you are not, at heart, a cook. Don’t settle for it. Don’t listen to the mind chatter telling you that you cannot venture forth and try to become a chef. Because you can. And that, now that I think about it, really sums up the message Seth keeps on hammering out there.

You can.

At least. You can venture forth. You can act. You can also fail. And learn from that. Venture forth anew, course-adjusted based on your learnings. Act again. And possibly. Fail again. Repeat, repeat, repeat, and then… You will see that little by little, you become more and more of a chef. If you learn. And don’t fall for the biggest scam around, ok? Falling in love with a specific way to achieve your goal, rather than setting your hearts desire on said goal, is just not a good idea. Try one way. If it fails. Try another. And another.

If you are a chef at heart – the world needs you. Your onlyness. Don’t cut yourself – or the rest of the world – short. Be a chef. And please, echoing Seth, go, make work that matters.

Reflection #24 of 24 from the notes I took and the experience I had at the Seth Godin Q&A-session in London, November 2015. This was my Advent Calendar 2015 on, and as I loved each and every post so much, I am reusing them for this years’ Advent Calendar here! These reflections will be posted daily from December 1st to the 24th, which means this is the final one. I hope you enjoyed them all!

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23/24 – Construct your life

December 23, 2016
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You construct your life. 

Unless someone else does it. And is it then the life you want to live? Or does it turn into a life lived by you, rather than the life you want to live?

Perhaps it’s a subtle difference, not visible to each and all of you.

But for me… there is a difference there. A matter of ownership. Of being the person constructing my life, taking it on, fully, actively. Constructing my life.

The opposite is riding along in the bus. Back-seat driver at best. Likely nothing more than a passenger. Passive. Ceding ownership to someone, something, else. Almost a way of claiming victimhood. Who would I cede to? And why?

No. Not for me. That is not my path. I don’t see a reason why I would not construct my life. Do you?

Reflection #23 of 24 from the notes I took and the experience I had at the Seth Godin Q&A-session in London, November 2015. This was my Advent Calendar 2015 on, and as I loved each and every post so much, I am reusing them for this years’ Advent Calendar here! These reflections will be posted daily from December 1st to the 24th.

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22/24 – What’s your Why?

December 22, 2016
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If you know me at all, you know I have a soft spot for the question Why.

Why makes my heart beat a little bit faster, as I truly believe knowing what lies at the heart of something, a passion, an interest, a purpose, makes a difference. It makes the feeling behind the action and/or words purer, more energetic, vibrant and full of life.heart

So ask yourself – what is your Why?

But don’t stop there. Do it the Toyota Way, asking at least five why’s in a row, really getting to the bottom of it, finding the root-cause.

But it doesn’t have to be a problem that needs fixing. Not at all. Rather. Get to the heart of what makes you happy everyday, and then, DO more of that. Create a life where that Why infuses your day. Every day.

I know my Why. But still. I get prompted by this Advent Calendar to dig deeper. To redefine it. Or clarify it. It’s as if the rough sketch is about to turn into a sharp and well-shot photograph. With great clarity in the details, and unquestionably clear in what it’s showing.

Yeah. My Why is getting sharper. Your’s?

Reflection #22 of 24 from the notes I took and the experience I had at the Seth Godin Q&A-session in London, November 2015. This was my Advent Calendar 2015 on, and as I loved each and every post so much, I am reusing them for this years’ Advent Calendar here! These reflections will be posted daily from December 1st to the 24th.

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21/24 – Your elevator question?

December 21, 2016
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elevator question

Everyone has heard of a thirty second elevator pitch. But have you ever heard of anyone actually getting anywhere with one? Making a sale? Catching a big fish, so to speak?

I doubt it. I haven’t heard of any example at least. Maybe you have?

Anyway. Seth has a suggestion, and I love it.

Rather than go down the Ego lane of making an elevator pitch, get an elevator question instead. Questions are so much more invigorating and interesting than any pitch you might come up with.

And once you have you elevator question ready (or two? Three? Ten?), make sure you have this down as well: Be. Honestly. Curious. About. The. Answer. 

Otherwise you don’t have to bother. People who ask a question without an interest in the answer isn’t much fun to talk to, are they?

Reflection #21 of 24 from the notes I took and the experience I had at the Seth Godin Q&A-session in London, November 2015. This was my Advent Calendar 2015 on, and as I loved each and every post so much, I am reusing them for this years’ Advent Calendar here! These reflections will be posted daily from December 1st to the 24th.

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20/24 – The Startup school

December 20, 2016
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I am a fan of Seth Godin. I guess that isn’t a big surprise if you’ve stuck with me these past 20 days or so?

I am fascinated by his mind, marvel and wonder at how it works, because he has an ability to look at things from a totally different perspective that what seems the obvious one, and that is a very valuable skill. He is a great teacher at that, and I learn so much from reading and listening to him.your turn

He is also very generous! At the London Session, everyone got a copy of What to do when it’s your turn, and also a copy of one of the other books he brought to London. Generous with his books. But also, very generous with his knowledge, which he shares freely. So when I went searching for podcasts with or by him, and stumbled upon his Start up school, it feels as if I hit the jackpot!

Here are fifteen episodes of Seth. 

1 – Freelancer or Entrepreneur?
2 – Adjusting the Course?
3 – Creating Scarcity
4 – Appealing to Consumers
5 – Permission and Trust
6 – Raising Money
7 – Advertising and Competitors
8 – Making Ideas Travel
9 – Compromising
10 – Tactics
11 – Cash Flow
12 – The Dip
13 – Building The Truth
14 – The ShipIt Journal
15 – Distinct and Direct

Do what I did. Start at number one and just keep on going all the way to fifteen. Most of these are around twenty minutes long, so it’s doable, and well-spent time at that.

Seth is unrehearsed, as this was all taped during three days of a Startup school he ran with a handful of budding entrepreneurs. Genius as always, sharing wisdom, insight and knowledge, asking questions, the answers of which has the potential to change my life.
If. I. Act. On. It.

As always, that’s the catch. If I don’t take action, it will never change my life. Listening to it, and never ever acting upon what I hear and learn, won’t make a dent in the universe. Not at all. But if I listen. Learn. And act, out of what is mind to do. Now. That’s another story!

Reflection #20 of 24 is a bit of an odd ball, as it’s not from the notes I took and the experience I had at the Seth Godin Q&A-session in London, November 2015. Rather, this is a reflection on a podcast with Seth Godin. This was my Advent Calendar 2015 on, and as I loved each and every post so much, I am reusing them for this years’ Advent Calendar here! These reflections will be posted daily from December 1st to the 24th.

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19/24 – Will I be redundant?

December 19, 2016
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Are you afraid of Artificial Intelligence? Does it scare you that soon, computers and robots seem able to do just about everything?

I don’t go down that road, deliberately, as I don’t want to live a life out of fear. Fear for myself, for my children and grand-children, for work – will there be any? -, for being extraneous and redundant.

So. I actually try to do that which only I can do (i.e. be me) really really well, letting my onlyness flow freely into the world, sharing what I see, do, feel, know.

And work will never be scarce. Having a job might be a thing of the past, sooner than we think, but work. I get to do work that matters every day. That’s my prerogative. And your’s as well. Life. Work. There’s no difference. Or at least, there doesn’t have to be.

Living a life that matters means doing work that matters.

What are you doing with your onlyness?

Reflection #19 of 24 from the notes I took and the experience I had at the Seth Godin Q&A-session in London, November 2015. This was my Advent Calendar 2015 on, and as I loved each and every post so much, I am reusing them for this years’ Advent Calendar here! These reflections will be posted daily from December 1st to the 24th.

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