cold bath

Feel the water

Feel the water

May 26, 2020
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Bike to the ocean.
Sit down on the bench close to the pier.
Undress. Slowly.

Pull out the sarong from my backpack, the sarong that’s always and already there, in case I feel like taking a cold bath – which, I am happy to report, it still qualifies as (my personal limit is below 14 degrees C).

Put away my phone and my glasses, use a scrunchie to gather up my hair in a bun, and walk towards the stairs, down into the water.

Sun is shining.
Hardly any wind.

Step by step, not fast, not slow, just an even pace, I walk down the stairs into the water. Face the sun and start to swim, all the while counting. Upon hitting 300 I turn around and start to swim back to the pier, but when I reach it, I stay in more. Longer. Don’t want to get out. Not yet. Haven’t had enough.

Turn to face the sun again, and with every cell of my body, every fibre of my being, I feel the water slowly lapping against my chest.

Continuing to count, I take another shorter swim, before I finally, upon hitting 800, get out of the water, realizing it’s about time to head on off to my friend for the Q&A I was to moderate an hour later.

14 minutes. Give or take.
15 degrees in the air.
11,5 in the water (I have my sources).

There’s nothing quite like it.

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2020 – with my body in focus

January 1, 2020
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These past years, the intention of the coming year has come to mind around New Years, when I’ve been busy gathering my thoughts on the experiences of the year past, high’s and low’s alike, to sum up, and clean my slate for what is to come. The intention for 2020 came to me a couple of months ago, when I, in a moment of total clarity, just knew that it is with my body in focus that I will start off the new decade.

With my body in focus Is as yet undefined. I will not write a detailed list of exactly what I will be doing this year, like a minimum of x runs/bike trips/swims/walks/gym sessions per week/month/year and so on. No. Not like that. Because I do not know. Instead, I will play around with my body as the theme, the challenge is (being gentle with myself, not to worry about that) to develop more strength, suppleness, endurance. I want to better my ability to stand on one leg, to squat, to get a stronger and supple back that can sleep in beds not my own without causing me pain, want to be able to do proper and more sit-ups and push-ups, chin-ups och pull-ups, want to build strength and movement in my feet and get rid of the big toe joint pains I suffer since biking into a rock foot first, November 2018. I will dance lindy hop as much and often as I can, both taking classes and attending social dance’s, and more than anything, I will take regular movement-breaks when I do what I am doing right now: sitting in front of the computer.

Last year’s intention As I am was easy to follow up on a monthly basis, precisely because I’d written it so detailed and specific. Even though this intention is far from just that, I still want to commit to a monthly follow up on with my body in focus because it’s such a good way to keep the intention top of mind. I will surely reflect on the actual facts of what I’ve done each month, the number of kilometers on my bike and on foot I’ve been logging since September 2009, so that type of data (and habit!) is easily accessible. But I want to compliment my monthly reflections with what I experience, the feelings the theme awakens within, the differences I observe and what it means to me.

So.
With my body in focus, I start 2020 by taking a walk down to lake Boren for the first cold bath of the year as well as the decade.

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Follow up – October 2019 – As I am.

November 4, 2019
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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.

October. The big birthday month always jampacked with celebrations and so much more, this year as all years. A little bit odd to celebrate my eldest twentieth withour her (in Australia for yet another month), but everything works!

2019. The year when I will…

* have my bodily wellbeing in focus by:

  • continuing with my daily Seven accompanied by burpees: ✅
  • Headspace Meditate daily: ✅ Have practiced 99 days in a row of deep breathing with Wim Hof, and have recently upgraded to the app Wim Hof Method. Highly recommended. I also continued with the Deepak Chokra-meditations for the first week in October.
  • 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: 9 cold baths (or showers) in October. Very pleased and honestly quite astonished at myself. I went skinny dipping for ten minutes in 12 degree water, and absolutely loved it!
  • dance Lindy hop as often as I can (taking a class during the spring, and then there’s the social dancing as well!): I am dancing, even though I missed one lesson at the end of the month. On the other hand, I compensated that by heading off for the social dancing that same evening, as I got home in time for that. My dance partner taught me what the lesson had contained, so I don’t feel I missed out too much. I look forward to continuation class D next semester!
  • continuing to ride my bike and walk as much as possible: walked just short of 70 and biked barely 260 kilometers. And, I have 24 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: Read 62/75 books but haven’t finished the English book of October yet. So I just might do two English books next follow up. But I have blogged about En dag ska jag skriva om den här platsen (book 10 of 12 in Swedish).
  • 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: Nope. Won’t reach this goal, but on the other hand I have played the guitarr 14 times in October (despite not having laid a hand on the instrument for the first two weeks…).
  • I will let the wonderful book The book of Awakening by Mark Nepo be my daily companion: ✅
  • hold digital 24-hour sabbats at least twice a month: October turned into a weird month in relation to digital sabbat. I had one for the choir trip to Åre/Östersund on October 3-6, and 25-26 at that, and possibly 11-12th… but I am not 100% certain. So… I know one thing. I have not been as observant on this as I usually am. Perhaps that’s why I have been missing my digital sabbats these last few weeks? In November, I plan on digital sabbats on 8-9, 15-16 and 29-30th.

* 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. Thanks to my soul sister Sara I did have a writing retreat on October 28-29th. With darlings to kill and a started ebook I feel very pleased with myself.
  • keeping up with daily Facebook Lives for as long as there’s energy in doing it:
  • blog daily: With 15 Swedish blog posts and 5 English I am basically back on track, at least given the fact that October has been a month filled with activities, both days and evenings.
  • start to pod: Have cut 7 episodes with 15 to go… so I had better block off some calendar time for this work as well. The jampacked calendar had me make other priorities. October looks even worse, so I will block off 4th and 15th of November to get my pod up and running again.
  • release (at least) 4 e-books in 2019: Well, like I said, there is now a started ebook on my computer. A step in the right direction.

* 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 and in October! Whoop! Did not in February, April, May, June, July or September.
  • keep an accounts book on private income and expenses: ✅

And finally – on all levels – experiment and play, experience pleasure and exploring and challenging myself, all the while being gentle to myself: Celebrated 12 years as my own employer with lunch at Anita with Pernilla, the choir trip to Åre and Östersund will forever remain in my memory, #HBGTALKS with Pernilla and Elenor Thelander, podd recordings with Caspian and Mr D (as well as with Rebecka Koritz, Anna Brix Thomsen, Jens Peter de Pedro and of course Caspian – more on both these pod’s in due time!), and I gave a great lecture/talk during the Copenhagen customer event for Better Globe on the theme “Better Globe Forestry from an organizational point of view” (a heck of a lot more exciting that it might sound, let me know if you want a private session hearing with my Kenyan travel tales, I have some amazing photo’s and stories to share), and the slightly absurd image of a totally white Riseberga creek. Milk ran away from the dairy across town! A lot of cold baths, 24 wonderful hours in Lessebo and Grimsnäs with a handful of #skolvårare, day two of Likeaboss-training followed by two days of Internal revision for BRC food which also was a heck of a lot more fun that it might sound (Rikard Hellqvist at Bergström & Hellqvist is an excellent trainer!), loads of birthday celebrations (even though my firstborn spent her twentieth birthday across the globe!), an inspiring meeting on a train and daily seven number 1900 in a row. And my very own frog (thanks Maja for showing me how to!).What a magnificent month!

 

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A dip in the sea

January 4, 2019
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Headed for town, but before I took off on my bike, I packed a towel. Just in case. After recording a pod and having lunch with and at Caspian’s I decided: Yes. Today is the day for the first dip in the sea of the year.

So I rode to the pier farthest from town, the one designated for skinny dipping. Parked my bike, took a picture and started to undress. Gloves, beanie, winter coat. Shoes, jeans, long johns, woolen socks. Woolen sweater, long tee, and my woolen undershirt. Off it goes. All of it.

As I pull my sweater over my head, a door to a somewhat surreal universe cracks open.

Grabbed my towel and headed out to the pier.
Sunny, windy, 5 degrees tops. Probably the same temperature in the water.

Tie my towel to the pier to stop it from blowing away.
Waves.
Slippery staircase, hold on tight.

And in I go.
Hesitate… and I would never do it.
So I just take one step after the other, until I am up to my neck in the ocean.

Cold. Yes. Shockingly cold.
Fully manifest in that other universe. The am-I-really-doing-this-and-can-this-really-be-happening-universe.

Hyperventilate while two waves crash into me, then get out. One step after the other, until I am up on the pier again.

In the other universe, I get out, cold and wet… and all of a sudden, my skin starts tingling. The chill vanishes, the wind disappears, time seems to stop, and I am totally present to the beauty of it all.

The ocean.
The sun.
The wind.
The vastness.
And last, but not least, to myself. For doing it.
Living. Fully!

Grab my towel and rub off, while taking my time walking to the bike and my clothes.

Slowly emerging from the alternate universe, I dress, happy, pleased, not feeling any cold whatsoever.

My soul sings!
I did it.
First dip in the ocean this year, and I know this dip will be followed by many others.

Who would have known that taking a (cold) dip in the sea would let me travel to another universe?
Who would have known a dip in the sea would fill me with this most wondrous feeling?
How will you know, if you would experience something like it unless you give it a shot?

 

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