Advent Calendar

Follow up – December 2019 – As I am.

Follow up – December 2019 – As I am.

January 7, 2020
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I intend to go through my intentions for the year at the end of each month. This gives me a monthly reminder of my intentions as well as ample space for reflection and possible adjustment.

December. The time of Advent, Christmas, New Year’s. A month filled with all sorts of undertakings, a new job assignment taking off properly in conjunction with other assignments to put to rest over the holidays.

2019. The year when I will…

* have my bodily wellbeing in focus by:

  • continuing with my daily Seven accompanied by burpees: ✅
  • Headspace Meditate daily: ✅ 159 days with Wim Hof deep breathing.
  • run a minimum of  75 runs –> run-when-I-feel-like-it-intention: Not even once.
  • take cold (outdoors) baths as often as I can – and add to this by taking cold showers: Finishing off strong with 8 days of colkd bathing in a row, and with a total of 13 cold baths (or showers) in December.
  • dance Lindy hop as often as I can (taking a class during the spring, and then there’s the social dancing as well!): No dancing in December, but have been accepted to the D-class beginning in February.
  • continuing to ride my bike and walk as much as possible: walked 55 and biked barely 400 kilometers. 77 days with “at least 10 kilometers in my body” at that!

* have my mental and spiritual wellbeing in focus by:

  • reading at least 75 books, of which 12 in Swedish and 12 in English already have been chosen. These 12 + 12 I will be blogging about: When December came aknocking on my door, I had ten books left to read, which honestly gave me a bit of a fright… but, I made it, amongst other things thanks to finding a few classics as audiobooks on Spotidy to listen to. 76 books under my belt in the goodreadschallenge for 2019. I also managed to finish my twelweth Swedish book Du sköna nya värld (book 12 of 12 in Swedish) as well as the remaining two English ones Homo Deus (book 11 of 12) and Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View (book 12 of 12).
  • learn at least five songs by heart including lyrics on the guitar, which will be made possible by my aim at ten minutes of guitar playing on a daily basis: Have played every day, for a total of 67 days in a row.
  • I will let the wonderful book The book of Awakening by Mark Nepo be my daily companion: Yes! The book is finished, and I even brought it on my New Year’s retreat in the woods outside Motala.
  • hold digital 24-hour sabbats at least twice a month: In December I held two digital sabbats, on 13-14th and 24-25th.

* have creation in focus by:

  • booking at least four two-day writing retreats during the year: These are the dates: 13-14 September, 28-28 October, 11-12 November, 9-10 December. Here I am, in the forest outside Motala, not really writing anything more than the usual ”fare the well” and ”welcome” blog posts for the year that has passed and the year that is commencing. But on the other hand I am writing them. And on a spiritual level, it’s most definitely a retreat well worth its weight in gold, thanks to my wonderful friends C and D.
  • keeping up with daily Facebook Lives for as long as there’s energy in doing it:
  • blog daily: YES! I was in a dismay after November, but on the first of Advent, I came up with the idea to do an English Advent Calendar here, with images and stories from my trip to Kenya, and since then I just kept going, so I’ve actually blogged every day in December.
  • start to pod: I recommend that you check out the pod Fria Barn (in Swedish), and wait until January for the other pod I am a part of. When it comes to Doing gentle with an edge I will simply have to get back on track in 2020.
  • release (at least) 4 e-books in 2019: There is a started ebook on my computer, but nothing else has happened.

* have financial husbandry in focus by:

  • sowing, sowing and sowing a little bit more; on a weekly basis intentionally work on my various income streams: ✅
  • keep tabs on my set invoicing goal on a monthly basis: ✅I reached my set goals in January, March, August, October, November and in December! Whoop! Did not in February, April, May, June, July or September.
  • keep an accounts book on private income and expenses: Remains to be done for December, but I will. 

And finally – on all levels – experiment and play, experience pleasure and exploring and challenging myself, all the while being gentle to myself: A month with the Advent calendar here that’s been very rewarding for me, a way to revisit my summer trip to Kenya. My youngest surprised me with making home made ravioli, while the oldes has been a sheer joy to have at home (imagine, a kid who helps around the house without any nudges. If ever there’s proof for a kid being ready to leave the nest, that’s it!). Wonderful nature experiences, with cold baths as well as ocean- and forest walks, the Stina Wollter-exhibition in Borstahusen with Heléne, and a lovely Christmas holiday. And to top it all off, a retreat in the woods outside Motala with C and D. What a lovely month!

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Good bye 2019!

December 31, 2019
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This year with the intention As I am has truly been a most wonderful, challenging and rich year. So much has happened, so many meetings have taken place, so many insights and lessons have come my way. 

Monthly follow-up of the intention of the year: As I am
Continuously following up on the fairly detailed ambitions I set within four areas (bodily, mental and spiritual wellbeing, creativity and financial husbandry) has been a very interesting activity, helping me to remain focused, as it has given me at least (!) a monthly reminder on what it is I want to focus on.

Timetravel
The invite to T and Hs 100-year party in Stockholm gave me a day (or two) of time-travelling. The theme of the party was the 1920s, and with my soul sister S and A I was given a chance to truly travel in time. As if I simply stepped outside of my ordinary life during these days… magical!

Cold baths
I started taking cold baths at the end of November 2018, and took it to new heights during 2019, ending on a high with 8 days of cold bathing in a row. Thanks to the deep breathing-practice that’s taken a firm place in my life during 2019, I’ve given up the quick ”in and out”-dips of before, in favor of five-ten minute submersions in cold water, thanks in large part of breathing and focus. It’s absolutely amazing and definitely something I will continue doing!

Coach Dave
In December 2018 I hired coach Dave for a year’s worth of coaching, at substantial cost, a tad more than 100% more than I’ve ever invested in myself before. When the time came to pay the second installment, my Jenny (who does my company finances) if Dave was worth it. My answer was fairly illuminating: No, Dave isn’t worth it, but I am! It’s been a fantastic journey and I have learned a lot, but perhaps the most important insight is just that one. I am worth investing in!

Podcasting
I have released one round of my own pod Doing gentle with an edge, and have twice as many episodes recorded but as yet unreleased. I will, in due time! I have taken part in Caspians Ett samtal (for the second time round; in Swedish) and have, thanks to Caspian, moderated the pod Fria Barn (in Swedish) released in the fall of 2019. Together with Caspian and Mr D I am also busy recording a number of episodes of a new pod in English which will be released in January. Finishing of the year with a couple of days of New Years retreat with those two gentlemen – what a wonderful way to end a year and a decade in!

60 hours of tankespjärn
For many years, tankespjärn has been my companion, as a word, as a concept, even, when I started to reflect upon it, as my life philosophy, since long before the word revealed itself to me. During the year the idea to host 60 hours of tankespjärn was born in a conversation with coach Dave. That’s what happened and there will be more, mark my word, in years to come.

Pecha Kucha and TEDxSlottsparken
As I so often do, once again I say: Thanks to Caspian I did a Pecha Kucha in Lund in April headlined How I broke up with my inner dictator, and that experience in contrast with my June experience as a moderator at TEDxSlottsparken was enormous. I was very nervous to do the Pecha Kucha, whereas I, moderating TEDx felt calm and collected. The difference? My Pecha Kucha was written in advance, and had me timing speech with 20 slides for 20 seconds each, while as a moderator I could act in the moment from what was, which (apparently) suits me much better!

Kenya
Nine days in Kenya after midsummer turned into one of the most rewarding experiences of the year. It’s given me so much, in so many aspects, such as an increased understanding of the tree-savings-scheme I have as a part of my (and the kids) long-term savings since 2015, to an increased network and a very close friendship with my roommate Lena. I finished the blog-year with a 25-days advent calendar here, with images and stories from the trip, something which deepened my gratefulness for going, even more.

Mastermind-pilot
Another thing was born during a coaching conversation with Dave, when he gave me 15 minutes to “do something”, which resulted in my sending out an invite on the fly, to a handful of chosen people, to participate in a Mastermind-pilot. During thirteen Tuesday evenings starting in August, had me spending an hour with four participants and me as the facilitator. What a journey that turned into. A pilot that definitely has me wanting more!

Culture
It’s been a year of many lovely cultural experiences of all kinds. With Heléne I have experienced Patricia Piccininis A World of LoveGuds olydiga revben, sing-a-long to Rocketman på Spegeln as well as Stina Wollters exhibition in Borstahusen. Add to that a fantastic production of Mozart’s Requiem at Malmö Opera with Skånes Dansteater, yet another sing-a-long with Dirty Dancing on the big screen and last but not least, performing Stabat Mater over Easter, the first-ever performance of Missa Brevis at All hallows eve and the choir trip to Jämtland.

Goodreads reading challenge
I set a goal to read 75 books during 2019, and finished my 76th book on New Year’s Eve, so mission accomplished. I also have the 12 Swedish och 12 English books I chose at the start of the year, to read and blog about on a monthly basis. Ever since I invented this challenge in 2018, when I chose 26 + 26 (which was a bit too much) I have realized this to be an excellent way for me to ensure that the books I buy “in order to read” which then end up unread on a bookshelf, actually get read. So I will do the same for 2020, 12 + 12.

Ready to leave the nest
My firstborn headed off to Australia on adventures in January, coming home end November, just having turned twenty. 10,5 months on the other side of the planet, and if I had any doubt before the trip, by now I am 100% certain this kid is ready to leave the nest. This makes me very happy and grateful because this is what parenting is really about, making kids ready to fly on their own!

The year that has passed has, of course, been loaded with a huge number of things besides the few I display here, but in general, it’s been a fabulous year with up’s and down’s, with tears of joy as well as sorrow, with amazing moments in solitude as well as in togetherness, and I am thankful to each and everyone and everything–including myself–that’s participated in making this year so rich.

Finally, I wish for you and yours to have a truly wonderful new year, in joy and love, with warmth and light–take good care of yourself!

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Advent Calendar – December 1, 2019

December 1, 2019
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I went to Kenya in June of 2019, spending nine days there, on a customer trip, where I and my fellow travelers went to visit trees that we’ve all been “saving in”.  
This is me and my roommate Lena Fridlund. We had a blast throughout the journey and boy, can we laugh together! Here we are on the grounds of the Utithini Primary School after the kids had gotten some gifts, brought to them by three of our fellow companions. Lena had a selfie stick with her, and the joy of these kids at being in the picture with us was indescribable. The trip was an impactful one for me, in so many ways, and I want to share this with you. So I decided to share a picture and a short reflection or story a day, as my advent calendar for 2019. So I want to do what these kids do so well: wave HI and extend an invitation to you, to join me here until Christmas is upon us! 

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Advent Calendar 24 – Letting things unfold

December 24, 2018
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Coming to a close with my advent calendar on the theme of being gentle I reflect on the process, where these blog posts are a tandem gig, with a Facebook live in Swedish always being the inspiration for the English blog post. Being gentle is a concept dear to me, as the shift from being unkind to gentle towards myself has had a profound impact on being me in the world.

I’ve been doing Facebook lives for 54 days in a row (yes. I am an upholder. No news there!), starting with 21 lives in English on coaching, continuing with no specific theme in mind yet daily until the advent calendar started on December 1st. A few years ago (honestly… likely around seven, or so?), I might well have set up a plan for each day, detailing the content in advance. Now – that’s not how I run. Sometimes I have an idea, but most of the time, it sort of just unfolds. I let the concept of what wants to happen now run wild and crazy, and have a lot of fun being creative and on-the-spot.

All the same, making more of my Facebook lives might very well be something I want to play around with at the start of the year. I will see – and so will you – how it all unfolds from here on.

There are so many ways for me to be gentle with myself; letting things unfold is but one of them. I hope you have found as many or more ways of being gentle with yourself, making it more fun and joyful being You in the world. And with that, I want to wish you a very merry Christmas!


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 24 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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Advent Calendar 23 – Enjoying the Now!

December 23, 2018
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Woke up this morning to a white landscape, after having read in the newspaper yesterday that Christmas would be green down south in Sweden where I live. I was elated, and I was most definitely open for the magic of the ordinary, being totally awed by the transformation of the view outside my window.

I’ve shoveled snow! What a treat – and a great everyday workout as an added bonus.

Biked (!) to the grocery store – which is indeed an adventure with 10 cm of snow on the bike path -, did my Facebook Live outside and went for an evening walk, giving myself a thorough dose of the beauty of a snowy landscape. In between all of that, I’ve made vegan and vegetarian dishes for the Christmas Eve smorgasbord (spelled properly, i.e. Swedish: smörgåsbord), listening to Christmas music recorded a few years ago with the choirs of my parish (including mine, so yes, I’m in it).

Fully enjoying every moment. Because that is what there is. The Now. One after another, these Now’s are stacked upon the previous one, and all I ever really have is the Now. So I don’t care that the snow will soon start to melt away, transforming from white snow into greyish slush, turning into ice if and when the temperature drops below zero… as it is, right now, I fully enjoy it!


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 23 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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Advent Calendar 20 – Time and patience

December 20, 2018
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My youngest cooked dinner tonight. I had asked him and added the extra challenge that I wanted him to make a new dish, which he did. Once he was finished, and we were eating, astonished he realized a full hour had gone by.

And yes. Of course. Cooking from scratch takes time in and of itself for me as well, but I’ve practiced chopping onion way more than he has. So I told him as much, telling him that’s one of the reasons why I want him to help with cooking dinner. It will give him the necessary practice, and in time, he will get more and more skilled at it. All of it. Deciding what to cook, checking to see that all the ingredients are available, planning what do do when while cooking, and finally the joy of sitting down to eat a homecooked meal.

And yes. Of course. If I had taken over the onion-chopping chore, it would have gone a bit quicker. But that’s where patience comes in. For me. Because if I had taken over, impatient and hungry, he wouldn’t be learning, would he? Things take time. And sometimes those things take patience to endure.

Being gentle has me being patient with myself. And those around me. It’s a vital ingredient of growing, of learning. Letting time work in my favor, allowing skills to get honed. My lindy hop-dancing is another example. I attended a beginners weekend a month ago, and have since attended four social dance events, held Wednesdays in my hometown. Have signed up for the B-level class in the spring, and so look forward to it. Because I know, that with a gentle mind, time and patience, I will get better at it. I mean, I am already better than I was a month ago, because practice makes if-not-perfect, then at least better. Without the two factors of time and patience (and curiosity, a willingness to learn, to try, to learn from mistakes and many other factors of learning!) learning would not happen, as I wouldn’t be giving myself a chance to learn.

And I want to. I love learning new stuff! (You too?)


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 20 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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Advent Calendar 17 – Putting a spin on things

December 17, 2018
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Selling.

In Sweden, the land of the Jante-law, there isn’t anything quite as bad as selling. The image of a slick used car-dealer comes to mind, a lowlife, busy talking, never listening, wanting to trick me into buying a cheap car for more than it’s worth…

As I am self-employed since October of 2007, selling is a vital part of my professional life. If I didn’t “sell myself and my competence”, I would not be able to continue to be self-employed. It just wouldn’t work. But the inner resistance to selling has been massive, let me tell you.

So when I heard from someone that selling isn’t about tricking people into buying stuff they don’t really need, it’s about inviting people to look at something that I have found provides value to me something shifted within! All of a sudden, instead of selling being hard, uncomfortable, and something I wasn’t really proud of doing, there was a free-flowing energy, champagne bubbles and a playfulness in its place. From this viewpoint – selling is like asking someone to dance. I get a Yes or a No, and either way, I know what my next step will be; Either I start to dance, or I move on to the next person, inviting them to dance with me.

Both these viewpoints on selling are simply stories I’m telling myself. Neither is Truth. Both are opinions. The GPS-facts of a sale concern a transaction between two (or more) parties. The negative and the positive spin I put on that fact, is my opinion on it. So, why choose to put a spin on selling which doesn’t serve me (making me feel like a slick car salesman, pushing you into a sale), instead of a spin which does serve me (Wanna dance? Yes? Whoop! Great, let’s dance! No? Whoop, great, thanks for telling me! I’ll ask the next one in line to dance.)?

And selling is, of course, but one of all the words, actions and activities I am involved with, where I place opinions on a fact that might or might not serve me. The more aware I get about this, the better choices I can make!


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 17 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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Advent Calendar 16 – To “bumblebee”

December 16, 2018
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A bumblebee is called humla in Swedish. I made a verb out of that many years ago, “att humla” i.e. “to bumblebee”. It sounds a bit weird in English, but I kinda like it.

“To bumblebee” means to go from one person to another, picking up little nuggets of wisdom, and sharing bits of that which I had previously picked up, moving on, and sharing more, just like a bumblebee flying from one flower to another gathering and giving pollen along the way. Connecting people, spreading a wider understanding and knowledge of who we are and what we know.

I toyed with the idea of putting bumblebee on my business card, as my title. I never did though, and now it’s too late as I never use business cards anymore. But I haven’t given up on bumblebeeing. I do it quite often. Sharing. Receiving. Getting and giving new perspectives and thoughts. It’s a big part of my growth, my expansion. As a person. Learning from my own experiences and insights, as well as from others, helping me grow and expand as a human being.


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 16 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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Advent Calendar 14 – Caressed by life

December 14, 2018
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Caressed by life. 

The words popped into my mind as I was brushing my teeth this morning.
I feel caressed by life, and it’s the most wondrous of feelings.

Before brushing my teeth, I had already had a morning of letting come whatever wanted to come. Woke early, rearing to go. Settled into bed with pen and paper, and started to let words flow. Idea upon idea bubbled out of me; an explosion of creativity, captured on paper.

Went for a run, before heading into town for a creative meeting at Caspian’s invitation. A lovely meeting, making me tug at the bit, wanting to continue the exploration that we started today. At the end of the meeting, Caspian asked us for our take-away’s from the meeting. I couldn’t contain myself, blurting out I have just realized that I truly have a lot to contribute. I know stuff, have experiences and wisdom worth sharing, and I want to share it!

With another two meetings – as wonderful as my morning meetings (including the one with myself and my bubbling idea-volcano) and totally different at the same time! – during the afternoon, I’ve had a rich day. And I feel rich. Caressed by life!


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 14 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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Advent Calendar 13 – Take good care of yourself

December 13, 2018
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If I don’t take care of me, who will?

No one. That’s who.

So the job falls on me – which is just the way I want it. It has me taking charge of my life, ensuring I get what I need. Enough sleep. Plenty of movement and exercise. Daylight! Friendship and love. Mental challenges. Being meticulous with what I ingest – not just food and drink. Mental ingestion is as important, if not more… That’s why I stopped watching news on the telly, twenty years ago. I have recently decided to stop subscribing to my morning newspaper. And I stopped reading crime novels and thrillers 5-7 years ago or so, but not because I don’t like them. I do. I did. There are some extremely skilled authors in this genre. But I simply did not want to fill my mind with horror and terror. So I stopped.

Perhaps that’s an idea for you to try as well? Or not?
Because even though I believe our basic needs are more or less the same, the How of them can vary greatly! And if you don’t try different things on – how will you know?

Yesterday I worked all day, then went to the silent after work, and straight from there to social lindy hop dancing organized by Cat’s corner at Moriskan… and guess what? Giving myself a few hours of swing music (put a tune on, and see if you can keep from smiling and tapping your feet, wanting to daaaaance?! I can’t!), dancing this coolest of dances, and being surrounded by other smiling people. What a treat, for me! And who knows, maybe you’d love lindy hop as well?!

If you take good care of you. And I take good care of me.
Then I can be my best me when we meet.
And you can be your best you.
Imagine the quality of the us we create between us then…

Doesn’t get much better than that, does it?


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 13 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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