Seven

No. I love it.

No. I love it.

May 7, 2020
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I have to say, those 30 minutes of daily gardening, have proven to be something that’s truly turned into a wonderful gift. For myself.

And I want to do it, but I don’t have to do it. It is a choice, one I’ve made, and I don’t have to remake it every day, but then again, if there’s neither room nor energy for gardening, then I will not beat myself up for skipping a day.

I know I am Champion of Runstreaks (2090 days of Seven-morning workouts in a row, is all the proof I need; not that I need it) and hence, the 30 minutes of daily gardening doesn’t have to do with that. But rather… ever since my ex-husband and I separated in the fall of 2016, the garden has fallen into greater and greater disarray, as he was the one who spent a lot of time tugging at weeds, cutting the miniature lawn and trimming the hedges. Last year when I thought to ask Mr D if he wanted to assist me in cultivating my garden I had also promised myself not to vacation away from home… which definitely isn’t how it turned out. Instead, I spent 10 days in Kenya and 12 days touring UK, Belgium and the Netherlands… not to mention working like crazy.

Orange = radishes. Blue = carrots. Green = spinach. Pink = leek. And the cherry blossoms scattered like snowflakes all over.

This year, I will spend my summer here. At home. Which is just what I want, and have wanted for a couple of years, and finally will have the opportunity to do. I made myself the promise to not leave home come the summer of 2020, and on account of the pandemic that’s a promise I can easily live up to… but hey, if I can find something positive in the current situation, that’s a good thing, in my view. So I won’t beat myself up over that either.

And I enjoy it.
Sticking my hands in the dirt. Sowing a row of carrots here, a row or two of radishes there. Watering the prepared beds, tugging at some weeds. Getting rid of last year’s rasp- and blackberry brambles, starting to attack the wild roses going rogue at the front of the house. 

Being bathed in the soft evening sunshine, listening to the birds chirping away. Now and again sharing a word or two with my lovely neighbors, or for that matter, passing seedlings back and forth across the fence. Sitting underneath the apple tree overfilled with blossoms, talking to and petting Pop the cat, coming to keep tabs on me.

All the while, supported and aided by Mr D, either here, in person, helping me dig, plant, prepare, telling me what goes where, and in what combinations. Or there, online, cheering me on when I send him a daily text with photos, sharing my daily gardening-session with him. 

I enjoy it.

No.
I love it!

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Just Being.

March 14, 2020
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Completely blank calendar.
24 hours of naught.
That does not happen often, and the only reason it happened today was the cancellation of my trip/course this weekend.

Not a cloud in the sky, almost no wind, 6 degrees Celsius and the warmth of the sun.

Slow morning in bed, reading, tindering with an interesting bloke, did my morning seven’s (two of them) before my three-round Wim Hof-deep breathing, breakfast. A 15 km bike ride, left-over lunch of the loveliest Jerusalem artichoke soup and now… headed outside for some gardening.

Dry leaves, withered stalks.
To be gathered and collected, tossed in the garden bin.
Filling up a few bags of firewood to bring inside, for those sure-to-come stormy and cold spring evenings. And if not… it will be very ready to burn come the fall dito’s.
Perhaps a bit of weeding as well, even though very few plants that are considered weeds in my garden.

Just Being.
Being.

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The power of small steps

February 27, 2020
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Today I hit a(nother) milestone in Seven, the app I use for my daily (minimum) seven-minute-workouts, as today was my 2020th day of doing a daily workout. A milestone on account of it being the year 2020 right now.

2020. Days. In. A. Row.

That’s quite a lot.
And yet. Doing a seven-minute daily workout only requires seven minutes a day.

It sure does point to the power of small steps.

Just imagine.
What else is made possible if I start to take action?
If I stop procrastinating?
If I stop making excuses?
If I stop postponing to another day that which I can start right away?

Imagine what is possible if I Do?
Today. Tomorrow. The day after, and the day after that, and…

On and on, step by step.
Over time it adds up.

Do you have any area in your life where you’d like to start to take a step? What stops you? Do it. Now. Drop what you are doing, and Do. Now.

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The only way…

November 1, 2019
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The only way to ever get to a run streak of 1900 daily seven-minute-workouts (caveat: of a varying kind, sometimes heart pumping and sweat dripping, sometimes slow and stretching) is to do it one day at a time.

When I started with my first ever morning Seven on August 18th, 2014, I was on a mission to do the seven-month-challenge. I’d been gradually working more and more movement into my days, but had a focus on walks and bike rides, and I felt an urge to complement that with other types of exercises.

And boy did the habit of a daily seven ever get ingrained in my brain during those months, so when the time came… I just kept going. And going. And going, until, on Wednesday the 30th of October 2019 I hit 1900 days in a row.

And yes. I’ve kept going since, of course. Today, November 1st, I did my morning seven-workout number 1902. And I have no intention of ever stopping. Why should I?

But you know what? If I missed a day, that would be ok too. I’d simply get back on it the next day. That’s what I’ve done with meditations because I actually started a daily meditation practice too, that same day back in August of 2014. I think the farthest I ever got was somewhere between 700-800 days in a row, but way more than once I forgot a day here and a day there. Never once though did I beat myself up over my lapse, but simply got back on track the next day.

Why did I manage a perfect 1900 days in a row run streak for my morning seven but not for my meditation? Because the morning seven has a natural trigger, which I never did manage to design for the meditation. I get dressed. Every day. And before I dress, I do my morning seven. It’s as easy as that. The meditation doesn’t have such a natural trigger. (On the other hand, today I did my 100th Wim Hof deep breathing exercise in a row, something I do count as a meditative practice. And as I want to do the breathing before I do my seven, maybe I’ve gotten the perfect trigger in place at long last?)

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Streaks

August 8, 2019
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Seth Godin celebrates eleven years of daily blogging, quite an impressive daily runstreak I must admit. I am far from his caliber (in this, as well as in most – all? – things) but I am quite good at runstreaks myself. It’s soon seven years since I started my Swedish blog, and 6,5 years since I commenced my habit of daily blogging. Which I have not kept up as diligently as Seth, but still, in seven years I have published 2249 blog posts. 2250 with this one. And as I started my more-or-less daily blogging habit on January 23rd 2013, which is 2389 days ago, I have missed 139 days. In 6,5 years. Corresponds to roughly 5 %, which inversely means I’ve blogged just short of 95% of the days since then.

Cool.

Yet.
That wasn’t the point I aimed for.

Seth writes “Streaks require commitment at first, but then the commitment turns into a practice, and the practice into a habit. Habits are much easier to maintain than commitments.

He is so spot on here.

In another runstreak of mine I have managed to stick to the 100% daily drill – I did my 1817th Seven-morning workout today upon waking up. Monday August 18th 2014 I started, and since, I have not missed a single day. It’s evolved from being a commitment, which definitely along the way turned into a habit. One I do not question. It’s not a matter of IF I should do my morning Seven. I just do it. I have made the decision, and put it in the Decision Box, to use the words of my friend Caspian.

I made a decision on August 18th, 2014, to start (and finish) the Seven-month challenge that Perigee (the app-makers) promotes. Every day, I could have revisited that decision. But I didn’t, because I’d already made it. And needless to say, by the end of those seven months, I just kept going.

If nothing else, committing to a runstreak, honoring it and making it a practice, to be rewarded by it becoming a habit is energy conserving. I spent my energy d o i n g my morning workout, rather than debating with myself whether or not I should do it.

Now.
This might not work for everyone. At least not if the Four Tendencies come close to describing how people respond to inner and outer expectations. Needless to say, I am an Upholder. I do not question for a second that Seth Godin is one as well.

However. I firmly believe everyone can find ways of transforming commitments into habits. What’s your way to enable this type of transformation for you?

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Time.

January 25, 2019
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The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the next best time is today, or so the saying goes. I reflected upon this this morning, as I did my 1622nd Seven exercise in a row. 1622 days. 4 years and 5 months, approximately. August 18th 2014 was my start date, and every day since I have done (at least) a Seven minute exercise. Every day.

But I could have done this so much longer – if I had started earlier. I didn’t though, and I see absolutely no point in beating myself up over that fact. Because what’s done is done. I cannot go back in time and start earlier. No matter how much I might want to, it’s just not to be done.

So I don’t go there. I spend zero time wishing that I’d stumbled upon the Seven app at an earlier point in my life. That way, I conserve my energy and use it in ways that serve me instead of wasting it. I have a higher regard for my own limited amount of daily energy, than to squander it away at thoughts like:

Oh, if only I had started exercising when I was a young kid… then I would be so fit today.

Oh, if only I had understood how to be gentle towards myself when I was younger… then my life would have been so much nicer.

Oh, if only I had realized that I don’t have to believe in all the thoughts I think… then I would have saved myself so much grief. 

I. Don’t. Go. There.
(Or rather, if I do – I certainly don’t stick around.)

Because – the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, for sure, but if I didn’t, the best time to do it is right now. And if I didn’t plant that tree back when… nothing I may say or do will change that fact. But I can change the fact of today – I can start now. I can act today. I can set something in motion today, that will give me great benefit tomorrow, and next year, and twenty years hence.

Today is a perfect day for a new beginning. If you take action today – in twenty years time, you will thank yourself, because you did plant that tree. So, what might you set in motion today?

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2019. As I am.

January 1, 2019
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As I am. 

I asked my friend D to translate “gown off” into Swedish. “Gown off” popped up in my first conversation with my new coach. I described the general feeling of that conversation, and somehow D managed, as so often (always?), put words to that which goes unspoken.

So all of a sudden, “gown off” turned into “as I am”, which feels spot on. This is how I step into 2019, filled with energy and curiosity, with champagne bubbles coursing through my entire body, eager and ecstatic to experience all that is to come, “as I am”. Naked. Raw. Intimate. With power and pleasure.

2019. The year when I will…
* have my bodily wellbeing in focus by:

  • continuing with my daily Seven accompanied by burpees
  • Headspace daily
  • run a minimum of  75 runs
  • take cold (outdoors) baths as often as I can – and add to this by taking cold showers
  • dance Lindy hop as often as I can (taking a class during the spring, and then there’s the social dancing as well!)
  • continuing to ribe my bike and walk as much as possible

* 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.
  • 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
  • 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

* have creation in focus by:

  • booking at least four two-day writing retreats during the year
  • keeping up with daily Facebook Lives for as long as there’s energy in doing it
  • blog daily
  • start to pod

* 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
  • 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!

2019. Here I come. As I am. Gown off! 

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Good bye 2018…

December 31, 2018
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Good bye 2018, the year when…

  • I expanded upon the intentions of previous years, from a word to a full sentence: living an intentional digital and analog life, which got a lot of activities and plans, that I’ve been following up on a monthly basis (on the Swedish blog).
  • I started the year with being a teacher at Newton college of higher vocational studies. The course is called Mapping and documenting processes, and the students were Business Analysts IT. Thrilling, challenging and very generative. Am gearing up for a re-run, as I will be giving this course in January of 2019 as well.
  • our divorce was finalized. At the same time, I took over full ownership of the house (with a little help from the bank, of course).
  • I visited Paris for the first time, with the kids, my mother, aunt, brother and nieces. Glorious!
  • my eldest graduated from secondary upper gymnasium. Time sure does fly…
  • I’ve started to explore inner and outer dimensions of myself in new ways. I spent my birthday at a godess weekend course, spent a week at the No Mind-festivalen at Ängsbacka. And towards the end of summer I painted a mandala with Lisa Withlovelisa Rislöw before taking a two-day course in Playful Tantra with Charlotte. Talk about being wowed! So maybe you’ll not be surprised that I’ve also downloaded Tinder…
  • for a full week, I had my lovely Campfire Sisters visiting Sweden.
  • for the better part of 6 months, I’ve been low… which I realized when I stopped being low in the end of October. Not surprising given the past years up’s and down’s, and yet, it feels good “to be back”.
  • I joined the #BusinessBoomUtmaning on Facebook at the beginning of Novemver, and have since done a Facebook Live every day, something I think I will continue doing! It’s fun, expanding and rewarding. Earlier in the fall I recorded my first #TeachingOfTheDay at the bequest of Caspian, and both these activities have gotten me started in many ways.
  • I finally took up swing dancing again, also known as Lindy hop. I absolutely love it and will continue dancing!
  • I got myself a new coach – and boy am I ever curious about what this will generate in 2019! One thing is for sure; I want to coach more than I have these past years, and I very much look forward to this.
  • I let my Upholder tendency run loose (looser than before). This has resulted in…
    * 21 digital sabbats, minimum 24 hours, but a few were 48 hours long
    * 5 ChattyMeals with me as hostess, and one that I took part of as a guest
    * 52 runs, which evens out to one a week, which is what I set my mind to
    * 110 days of practicing the guitar
    * my daily Seven this morning being my 1597th in a row (yes. For 1597 days I have done my morning exercise!). As part of my daily Sevens I’ve also done 2890 burpees (since I started that challenge May 28th 2016 I haven’t gone a day without at least one burpee, and have done a total of 12442 burpees by now).
    * me doing 1597 Headspace meditations, but with a broken run streak. Today was my 108th Headspace in a row. For some reason it’s easier to remember doing my daily Seven than the meditation, so once in a while, I forget a day.
    * I’ve decided to do my German DuoLingo-course daily as well – today was day 157, and there are only 11 lessons left to get to level 2, then I’ve reached level 2 for the full course. There are a total of five levels, so I have my work cut out for me a few more years!
  • And then. The reading. Massive enough to warrant its own bullet.
    I challenged myself to read 100 books in 2018, and I did, last night. Managed to squeeze in one more book this morning, so I have read a total of 101 books in 2018, reading 28 723 pages…
    I added two more challenges to this as well:
    1) to read 26 Swedish and 26 English books, chosen a year ago (books I already had at home), and to blog about them every Sunday on my two blogs. Lats last night I crossed the finishing line, with The Black Swan being the last of the English books.
    2) reading the alphabet in 2018, a challenge I stumbled upon when a lady made a comment on a blog post of mine. I only partly managed this one, reading 21 of 29 letters of author given names, 23 of 29 letters of author surnames, 24 of 29 on book title, but… luckily I managed to read all the letters when combining these three lists, so I did manage to read the entire (Swedish) alphabet, 29 out of 29 letters done!

Now… time to prepare the New Years Eve dinner. I am grateful and happy for this rich and exciting year, and I am pleased to be able to round off this year like this. Reflecting back, with gratitude, giving me a form of closure of the year that’s passed, which makes for a great start-off point for 2019.

With this, I wish you and your loved ones a very happy New Year!

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The self-care mastery of cats

November 3, 2018
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in Tip
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What are you thinking about?, I asked.

He looked at Pop the cat lying next to him on the sofa, carefully grooming himself, and said I am thinking about the self-care of cats. They are absolute masters at self-care. Look at him – carefully, meticulously and with the greatest care in the world, he’s gently taking really good care of himself. Licking his front leg, over and over, slowly brushing his leg over his face, licking once more, brushing his face. He, like all cats, simply excels at self-care.

Boom.
Yes!
That’s it.
That is what cats are, the self-care masters of the world!

I greatly enjoy watching Pop when he wakes up in the morning (often at the foot end of my bed, where he gladly can stay the entire night – never too long in one place, in one position, knowing, albeit he’s deep in sleep, that his body still needs to move to be supple in the morning), slowly stretching, growing to twice his length by reaching as far as he can with both front and hind legs. Twisting and turning his spine, getting vertebraes, blood, muscles and sinews going – mimicking Turning Torso, or rather, giving a perfect example of why Calatrava called his building just that.

And as I sit here, in the sofa once more (yes. I like my sofa.), guess who just came to snuggle up close to me? Yup, Pop the cat. And guess what he’s doing? Yup, practicing self-care! He’s a great role model, and an even greater reminder for me to practice self-care, as he’s around a lot (which he is because he’s a truly sociable cat, enjoying the company of people young and old alike).

My morning green smoothie, my Seven, my Headspace-meditation, my blogging, my reading, my moving around – a walk, a bike ride, a slow run. Those are the self-care-practices that come to mind, when I think about it. Having deep conversations with significant friends is another one, that is high on the list.

What type of self-care do you practice? And who is your guiding light, your role model, reminding you about taking good care of yourself?

 

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Going with the flow

July 12, 2017
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I haven’t officially declared myself as having started my summer vacation, but more or less, I have stopped working for the summer. Being self-employed with the type of assignments that I take on, I am fairly free to schedule my work the way it suits me best, so since the kids left school for the summer mid-June, I have been taking it fairly easy. Work wise, that is.

But yesterday was one of those days where everything just flowed, from one task to another, and as I seem to have loads of energy at the moment, I am just going with the flow.

Allotment aisle cleared of weedsIt started off (after blogging and doing my daily Seven of course) with a date at the allotment, where we cleared away the final patch of weeds, to return the plot to the city, as we are no longer interested in keeping it on. Last week we weeded the entire plot, and just had the aisle outside to clear up as well. Done deed. Felt good!

Got home, and immediately brought out the vacuum cleaner as there had been an accident in the kitchen involving a glass bowl breaking apart. Started to vacuum, and figured I might as well do the entire house. So I did. And while I was in cleaning mode, I took the time to clean the toilet, bathroom and laundry room as well.

Then I had some lunch out in the garden, reading the paper, before I decided to go to the library to return and borrow some books. So I took a long barefoot walk, enjoying the lovely summer weather. As I got close to home, the neighbor texted, saying she’d started to cut our shared hedge out front, and hoped I would be ok with it, as she’d been quite drastic in reducing the height of it. I got home, and high fived her, as we’d been about to suggest to trim it quite a lot, giving it a complete make-over, and the height was just what I would have suggested. As she was hard at work, it seemed fitting I joined her. So I did. Hours upon hours of hedge-trimming, interspersed with a Swedish fika at the neighbors to regain some strength for completing the job.

The hedge make-over

Managed to convice my daughter to make dinner for us, and as she was busy in the kitchen, I finished trimming the hedge from my side, just getting done when dinner was served. All in all, I would say the hedge has been reduced by half both in height and width! Give it a few weeks, and it will be all green again. grass cuttings

Earlier in the day, another neighbor a couple of blocks away, texted asking if I wanted some grass cuttings (the best fertilizer for the garden!), so after dinner, I rode my bike over there, took the wheelbarrow filled with grass cuttings for a walk, dumped it in my yard (that’s on todays agenda, to distribute it evenly in my garden where appropriate) and walked back, before taking my bike home again.

Absolutely beat, I just had one more thing on my daily-to-do-list: my twenty minutes of guitar playing. Got that over and done with (it’s coming along nicely I can tell you!) and then plonked down in the sofa, for a while, before dragging my tired body up to bed.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had too much sleep, as I’ve been severely bitten by whatever tiny winged creature resides in the hedge, all over my body, so I’ve been tossing and turning, itching like crazy, all night. So perhaps, today will be a day of gentler and less strenous flow?

Unless the neighbor decides to rent a trailer to haul all the hedge branches to the recycling station, because then I will join her in that endeavor as well, getting rid of the huge pile currently residing on my drive way. On the neighbor front lawn it looks as if there’s two hedges, so there’s plenty to haul away, that’s for sure. But compared to what got done yesterday, getting rid of it all will surely feel like a breeze.

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