connection

Own your reactions

Own your reactions

August 18, 2020
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I am no longer willing to let myself be used as the scapegoat. I am no longer willing to step up when others claim that my words, my deeds, my actions, are what angers them, what upsets them or what scares them. Because in truth, it is their reaction to my words, my deeds, my actions, that angers, upsets and scares them.

This never means I get to act like a brute, avoiding responsibility for my words, deeds and actions. That’s on me.

What’s on you, is to do the same. To own your reactions.

You might well be angered or upset, even scared. But own it.

Don’t go here:
”You make me angry, upset, scared.”

Or here:
”Your words, deeds, actions, make me angry, upset, scared.”

Rather, try to find something like this place within:
”I felt angered, upset, scared by what happened within me when I came upon your words, deeds, actions.”

When both of us own our reactions, progress is possible. Connection, understanding and respect is to be had.

And I know, I cannot make you choose this. And it’s not for me to tell you what to do, or not do.
What I can do though, are two things:
I can strive to live up to this ideal, myself.
And I can be very clear with what is OK for me. To not swallow it, to not take it, should you happen to put your shit on me.

And that latter one, is where I have an opportunity to improve. To learn how to live it, to actually be someone who doesn’t take others’ shit. The outcome of that might well be that I also choose to not be with you, simply because I get to choose my company. And as peer pressure is very real and we become like those closest to us, I honor me by being very specific and particular in choosing whom I spend time with. Because that choice will impact me, making me be more –or less– of the person I want to be in the world.

And there’s nothing I want more than to surround myself with people who see and encourage the potential harbored within me, who positively challenge me to –always and already– be and become the better me.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Garden TLC

May 14, 2020
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Monday. No gardening. None. 

Tuesday. No gardening. Not even a chance at it, except if I’d done it before leaving home at seven am, or after coming home at 10 pm. And not even I am that bonkers…

Wednesday. Cold as h*ll, especially so after a weekend of Swedish summer temperatures, which immediately had me acclimatized. Donned cap, gloves and winter coat before headed out to water my garden beds. So yes. 30 minutes – check.

Thursday. Warmer, though no summer heat exactly. Donned garden garb plus cap, and went out at 7 pm, with a Zoom call scheduled for 8 pm. Put more soil onto of the potato shoots peeping up. Planted three squash-plants and four kale plants. Potted the remaining seven squash-plants (where on earth should I put these? They are up for grabs if anyone is interested!) as well as three of the nine tomatoes I bought from a neighbor the other week. The thirty-minute mark came and went, and I stayed at it for another fifteen minutes, before reluctantly putting the tools away in my garden shed, and brought my potted kale, tomatoes and squash plants back indoors with me, to continue their softening process tomorrow morning. This way, in case the kale, squash and tomatoes I planted outside today will not make it, I have some spare plants left.

Oh…
How I enjoy looking at my garden, witnessing its response to my lavishing it with tender love and care (and a dab of water or two).
And even more, the joy at realizing how important and nurturing it is to be in it. With it.
Plants, soil, water. The green color. The brown, the black, the budding flowers. 

What a grand source of wellbeing and connection to all that is.
And how happy I am to simply enjoy it. No Musts. Just Wants.
Once in a while, however much I want to, it just won’t be. And that’s as it is. Nothing more. Nothing less. Acceptance.

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I love it, and I loath it.

April 18, 2020
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Last year I did two digital sabbats most months, each lasting at least 24 hours, oftentimes 48 hours or more. It’s a habit I’ve not properly carried forward into 2020, even though my need for it certainly hasn’t diminished. On the contrary.

But last night I gave myself the gift of a Social Media sabbath, checking out from Facebook and Instagram, Tinder and LinkedIn, and have now been off for 25 hours. The mindless reaching for my phone, unlocking it, swiping to my SoMe-folder on screen two, opening up Instagram, scrolling, giving a heart here and there, writing a comment or two, moving on, then Facebook, scrolling, giving a thumbs up, writing a comment or two, moving on, then Tinder, checking to see if there’s a new match or a new message, swiping left, left, left, right, left, then back to Instagram, then… on and on.

It is so mindless. Such a waste of time.
T h i s aspect of it. The almost unconscious routine-like habit of it; my inner SoMe-junkie in search of my next high. It doesn’t all have to be mindless though. The potential for connection is there, it is real. But that potential can be harnessed with much less waste of time.

Going on SoMe-sabbaths gives me the ability to witness myself and my interactions, to observe what I do, when I do, how I do, and realize that now and again, the why I do isn’t all too clear. And, so what? If I want to waste my time once in a while, so be it. My choice. My life. Sometimes, that’s what Is. And that’s fine. But I do want to be conscious of it. I want to choose to just be, letting myself be unproductive, non-effective, time-wasting, rather than feel addicted to it.

I’m quite particular about what I want to let myself be addicted to. Reading, hell yeah! Moving my body, of course. Silence and solitude, wouldn’t want to be without. But caffeine? No way. Don’t like coffee, but am seriously restrictive about tea as well, because I truly do not appreciate the headache that rears its ugly head after the fifth-day-in-a-row of having a cup or two of black or green tea. Nicotine? Nah, have never gone down that road, and alcohol is the same. I am really restrictive, and much prefer a glass of water to a glass of wine or beer which makes it very easy to not build habits around drinking.

But social media?
Huh… For me, it’s a different creature, for sure.
And I guess that’s why I am torn. I love it, and I loath it, all at once. A beast to be tamed? Or is this me trying to control me to an unhealthy degree? Should I just let myself off the hook, and scroll mindlessly to my heart’s desire without giving it another thought?


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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The bond we share

April 17, 2020
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There’s always connection. That’s the default. It is not something we have to create, to work hard at, to make happen.
It is there. Always and already.

And yet… with some, there’s more connection.
With some, there’s a knowing, a depth, a strength, that goes above and beyond.

It can only be, if it is mutual.
It is not enough for one party to feel this. Not possible.
It has to be felt by both.

Since 2015 I have been acting legal guardian for unaccompanied minors, and my first ever minor is still with me.
And boy is he with me. The bond we share is one of those. The one with more.

(Just to paint the picture for you, I am legal guardian, which does not mean that he lives with me. I am not responsible for day-to-day care but rather my role is to ensure his rights are protected, that he has someone who looks out for him with regards to being granted residency, citizenship, proper schooling and the likes.)

We met up today. It doesn’t happen that often, but today there was some official business to be done. We had a lovely couple of hours together, with lots of talk and laughter. As we said goodbye we hugged (yes. In Coronatimes. We did. We always do, and it’s always on his terms.). I whispered I am so happy I got to be your legal guardian. He strengthened his grip on me and responded.

So am I.

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Advent Calendar – December 25, 2019

December 25, 2019
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In the background, you can see people lined up. Our fellow travelers were taking a group photo, one which made its way into a newsletter reporting on the customer trip of the year. Me and Lena… we’re not in it. Actually, there are pictures with us in it as well, we sort of slid in at the very end of the photo session… but those weren’t used. Oh well. We were busy with other things. Important things!

Human to human.
Grown-up to baby.
Soul to soul.

I was in communication with the mother. With the grandmother (?).
But more significantly, I was busy communicating with this little baby.
Three generations in one fell swoop.

Connection.
There’s nothing better!

Not surprisingly, this is yet another one of my favorite pictures from my Kenyan adventures in June 2019. It’s also the twenty-fifth photo I’ve shared with you, here, in my advent calendar. I have more. Many more. But it’s Christmas Day, and hence, the end of my calendar. I would like to say thank you to you who have accompanied me on this 25-day long re-visit to Kenya, I’ve greatly enjoyed it, and I hope you have too.

I hope I have inspired you to start to buy trees or to increase your tree-savings-scheme. Or at the very least, given you a bit of insight into various aspects of Kenyan agroforestry, the economical and ecological importance of trees, and the beauty of Kenya?

If you’ve yet to make a decision (a Yes is as welcome as a No, what I am after is a clearly communicated decision!) on whether or not to start to buy trees, let me know what the snag is. A question you would like answered? More information on how it all works? Whatever it is, reach out, and I will do what I can to help you reach a clear decision. Because I unashamedly want everyone to buy trees, and that includes you!


Advent Calendar for 2019: sharing pictures and stories/reflections from my trip to Kenya in June. I went to visit “my trees” and get a hands-on experience of the social entrepreneurship of the Kenyan forestry company that I buy trees through.

Full disclosure: I am proud to say I am both a customer and an ambassador for the company. If you are curious to find out more, let me know and I’ll gladly get in touch with you! Here’s my sponsored link: https://betterglobe.com/27216 

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Souls connecting

July 20, 2017
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Today I’ve spent the day walking in Christiania in Copenhagen with Anna and Becka, two ladies I would not know were it not for social media. Becky likes to tell the story of how she, three years ago, on her first day on Twitter, a total newbie, managed to send off a tweet, which I picked up on and immediately replied with a question if she’d like to guest blog for #skolvåren (aka #schoolspring) and the rest is history as they say. We’ve been friends ever since. But as she’s a Swedish lady living in Mexico (a Swexican!) we’ve not had an opportunity before now to meet in the flesh.Christiania

Becka and Anna also hooked up via social media, and Becka hooked me and Anna up… and yes, as you might surmise, the rest is history there as well! Me and Anna have met a number of times, as we live fairly close to each other, but today way the first time we each met Becka.Three friends meeting up in the flesh

It’s quite amazing how deep a connection can become between friends, without meeting physically. And then, when the opportunity arises to actually do meet up in the flesh – it just feels so natural, easy, like old friends meeting up after a long time apart. The connections made online deepen the connection possible upon meeting physically – this I’ve experienced time and time again, and it never ceases to amaze me. So now I sit here reflecting upon the day, with the wonderful taste of the Mexican drinking chocolate gifted to me by Becka in my mouth, and a warm happy feeling within.Mexican Chocolate

Across oceans, continents, time zones – souls connect regardless!

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A life Lived?

April 15, 2016
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Hubby at AfterWork.
Daugher at the movies.
Just me, son and cat at home.

So we chill. Have left-overs for dinner. Agree to watch a movie. Together. I suggest Despicable me, which I have yet to see. He agrees, even though he’s seen it. More than once. But. Alas…. nowhere to be found (on Netflix at least).

So we sit down in front of the computer, and flick thru the movies available. Wanting to spend a few hours together, but with what? At long last, I spot The Intouchables and suggest it. He requested a funny yet exciting movie, and I said This movie has everything you requested, and loads of it. I click on the little arrow, divulging a short description of the movie. He reads and says, Let’s go.

The IntouchablesSo we do. I push play and settle down.
Watch. Laugh. Have deep whispered conversations.
Sit close, curled up together under the blanket, occasionally with Pop the cat accompanying us in the sofa.

And I just love it.
Love the connection.
The shared laughter.
Mutual insights into life.

A life Lived? Or a life Endured?

Those are some of the questions popping into my mind once the outro starts to roll with the credits when the movie comes to an end. Life can be lived – and Driss is a great catalyst for a life lived – or it can be endured.

In my life, the choice is mine. No one elses.

What will I chose? What will you?

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