Upholder

Whatever happened to those 12 books?

Whatever happened to those 12 books?

January 15, 2021
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On January 4th, 2020, I posted a post on 12 English books to read in 2020. At the same time, I picked 12 books in Swedish ones too. This was the third time I chose a given set of books to read, as a way to actually read those unread books already in my possession.

For the first time, I did  n o t  follow through.

I read ten of the English, ten of the Swedish, leaving two + two unread, and those I just might donate/give away, because even though they spoke to me at the beginning of 2020, they sure didn’t for the duration of the year, and still don’t. On the other hand, two of the books I did read were really good, and I’ve already started to reread Women Who Run With the Wolves, because it is simply that good. Being Wrong is also a book I know I will reread in years to come.

Given how good I am at living up to internal (as well as external) expectations, you might be entertaining questions such as:

What happened to her, why didn’t she follow through?

She’s loosing it, isn’t she? I mean, she couldn’t even live up to this publicly displayed reading challenge. 

Or, for that matter, you might be thinking:

Oh. My. God. She’s human, after all! 

She must be feeling so upset at not living up to this promise!

The thing is, I neither feel I am loosing it, nor do I feel upset. Not even close. On the contrary.
My strong Upholder-tendency is simply being tempered, fine-tuned, used by me with more discernment, specifically what to let go of, even though it might be something that’s served me in the past. If it doesn’t any more, it’s Bye Bye! So if anything, that’s what happened.

The fact that I can temper this tendency, and that I should temper it, might be one of the more important lessons I grasped in 2020. So for this year, I haven’t, and won’t, do a repeat of this practice. I do have an intention to reread books in 2021 though, books that have made a big impact in me, for any number of reasons. And even though I shot way past my Goodreads reading challenge of reading 65 books last year (I read 88), I set the same target, 65 books in 2021.

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2020, a year to remember 

December 31, 2020
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The bottom line: 2020. One of the best years of my life, in large part due to new connections I’ve made this year, as well as the old ones that have deepened. 

When asked, I say that 2020 has been one of –if not The– best years of my life.
I mean it. It has.
In no way does that diminish the fact that’s it’s been one of the worst years for many, which pains me. However, it is my understanding that my experience of 2020, all the riches, connections and insights I’ve been given, also means that I emit nurturing and nourishing energy to a world in desperate need for just that. 

If I had to single out one aspect of 2020 that makes it the best year ever, it would be connection. The depth of connection, of communion even, I’ve experienced this year, goes beyond any and all things I’ve ever experienced. Ever. Starting the year off with a hide-away together with my two Buddhas Caspian and Dominic certainly set the tone for just this aspect of 2020, and then, for some reason, I finally signed up for an AKIMBO-workshop, after having thought about it for years on end. The Creative’s Workshop started in February. The Corona-virus beginning to sweep across the world just then had some participants lean out and leave the workshop, whereas the rest of us leaned in, fully, completely, the global community a life-line in so many ways during the months to come. 

Covid also caused me, Caspian and Dominic to set sail with Buddhas by the roadside, our podcast. We’d been experimenting since the summer of 2019, but never got the ship ready to actually set sail. When covid hit, we all felt a great need to talk with each other with covid as a central theme. Deeming it better to get our conversations out there then not, made us release the pod into the world, no matter how rough, raw and rambling our conversations are.

The Creative’s Workshop also spawned a number of groups I am still enjoying the company of, the Monday afternoon Reading retreat being one of the most consistent of them all. The void left upon the closing of the Discourse-platform the workshop ran on gave way to a Creative Community that’s now as vital and natural a part of my day as air and breath is. But then again, TCW also gave birth to my tankespjärn-community, which gifts me one of the highlights of my life, the monthly Zoom-calls. I love, love, love the way tankespjärn flows freely from heart to heart, from head to head, from soul to soul. 

At the end of the year, my time is spent in another AKIMBO-workshop, The Story Skills Workshop, where yet again, I am like a little goat kid let loose on a field filled with interesting things and fascinating creatures to discover, play and have fun with. This part of me in not only on display in online-workshops though. I’d dare say this is an accurate description of how I’ve showed up in the pharma-project I’ve invested many working hours to this year too. And not just me, my colleagues were game to discover, play and have fun right alongside me.

A new website will see the light of day come the new year, and with Lena I’ve set up an advisory board, meeting every third week to dive deep into what’s and how’s, anchoring them firmly in personal why’s. And those personal why’s… identifying with the Upholder-tendency with regards to internal and external expectations, this year has helped me level up. May 17th as I planned to head out to get my daily 10K in my body… something whispered No. Not today. You are not to leave the premises today. I listened. And I stayed put, letting go of that intention of mine, to move at least 10K/day, one which I’d adhered to for the better part of a year. But no more. 

This was the final piece of the puzzle I needed to be able to see that for me, with my strong Upholder-tendencies, being open to letting go of routines and habits that no longer serve, is of vital importance to me. Otherwise, I risk running myself to the ground, doing things I rationally perceive to be good for me. My rational self serves me. And, if I am not careful, it might well topple me over at times too. Looking back at the summer, which is when the pharma-project was put on hold, I am grateful it happened as I was severely singed around the edges, not far from burnout. Doing absolutely nothing for the better part of not just three weeks of vacation, but a few more weeks, having learned how to listen to that inner voice that told me to stay put was of immense value to me recovering, regaining strength, energy and capacity.

Besides gardening, the only this I did over the summer was read. Being 10-15 books behind my Goodreads reading challenge for 2020 (to read 65 books) at the beginning of summer, by the end I was 10-15 books ahead instead. Today, I finished my 88th book of the year, having read 23 087 pages in all. folklore played more or less around the clock during the summer holidays too, and I’ve binged a significant number of series too, Vikings, Game of Thrones, Handmaid’s Tale, The 100’s and currently Orphan Black, to name but a few. Given that, my fingers got a bit restless so I’ve knitted, crochet and even started to mend my own jeans curled up in the cozy corner of the sofa, watching Netflix, HBO and SVT Play. 

The book that made the most impact out of the 88 was, without hesitation, Women who run with the wolves, a book I’ve dubbed my take-to-a-deserted-island-book. I imagine I could reread it every year for the rest of my life and still find new gems and gain new insights from it. I’m actually of a mind to start a recurring book-circle to help me get it on a deeper level. For sure, this book helped me finally take the plunge into what I call my deep dive into shame, that I initiated around the half-year mark of 2020. It will continue on in 2021, who knows for how long. I do sessions with D on the topic, as well as write. A lot. 53 000 words so far, and who knows what this will turn into. In due time. At the moment, I share it in a small and select community, where I’ve received endless support to continue diving ever deeper. Which I do. 

With my body in focus being my intention of the year, I started off with an undefined idea. I knew there was to be an element of play, but I had no idea how little what I thought the year would focus on (strength, suppleness, endurance) I have focussed on. Or… perhaps that’s not true. Perhaps that is what the year has been focused on, only not in the images I had in mind when I wrote it. With Wivan as my Walkfeeling-coach since April or May, I am not surprised that I’ve started to become much more attuned to the signals my body emits, and the cyclic pattern of them. Plenty of barefoot-walks, daily cold showers since October, starting to ask my body for advice, and even going indoor-climbing with Caspian. Lindy hop-classes have been sadly interrupted by Covid, not so surprising, and unfortunately the same is true for choir-practice. But not until we’d managed to do a live-streamed spring concert, and then, before the second wave was upon us, an All Saint’s Day concert too. 

Christmas Eve was spent with my children, at home, and turned into an evening I will forever remember, in sync with my sentiment for the rest of the year, possibly the best Christmas Eve I’ve ever experienced. (That’s a story all in itself, and one I will share, in time. Rest assured.) And today, as the children will have New Years Eve-dinner with their father, I look forward to an evening all on my own. Going deep within, luxuriating in my own company, I cannot imagine ending this year in a better way. 

I’ve already set the intentions for next year, which, for me this time around, won’t start tomorrow, on January 1st, 20201, but actually started already on December 22nd, 2020, the first day after the winter solstice. The intention reads Ask – Listen, to and with All of Me – Act, and it is with that intention top of mind and deep in heart, that I bid 2020 farewell. A year I will always remember.

 

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2020 – Winter solstice – 2021: Ask – Listen, to All of Me – Act.

December 22, 2020
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C has been asking me, every two weeks or so, for the better part of the past few months Do you know what your intention for the year will be next year? I kept answering No, it hasn’t come to me yet, and But I can sense something, it’s slowly revealing itself to me. 

Then I woke up Monday the 14th knowing. I grabbed a small postIt-pad I keep on my bedside table, and wrote:
Intuition. Ask me. Embody. Listen. Books. Food. Activities. 2021. 21th. 

I texted C and told him I had it, the intention for the upcoming year, and that I was gonna make a shift, from starting my year on the first of January, to going with the energy and presence of sun. So I will be starting the intention of the upcoming year, today, the 22nd, the first day after the solstice, i.e. the longest day of the year, ending it on the 21st of December of 2021. 

The day after this intention came to me, I had a session with D.
I told him about it, as being about me doing the following: Ask – intuit – listen – act

D being D, he asked me what I meant with intuit, and when I expanded upon it, he helped me see that in essence, what I mean is this:

For the next year, I want to integrate all parts of me, my intuition, my senses, my felt experiences, my intellect and rationality, all of me, learning to play the instrument that is me better, fuller, learning when to do more of intuition, when to go all in with my intellect and so on. This has me leaning in to all of me, to ask, and then to listen, very carefully and closely. 

Given all of that, my intention for the upcoming year is to Ask – Listen, to All of Me – Act.

I can see a number of ways this will inform me.
What to eat. When to eat. When to get off the sofa to dance and move my body, how and when to move, when to go to bed, what book to read, film to see, person to call, when to step into a conversation and when to stay out of it. In a sense, I see it as me connecting any doing on my part more closely to the being of me. That the doing I will be doing, will be informed by my being, all of my being, and I hope to both calibrate and fine-tune my ability to hear, truly hear, what all of me has to bring to the table. 

You see, with a strong Upholder-tendency, my issue is not to adhere to commitments (to name but one, today I did my 2319rd day of morning-Seven’s) but rather, to not push myself into doing because I said I would. Sometimes, yes, absolutely. But I can push too hard, too far, to the detriment of me, and I want to practice self-honoring instead of self-punishment. In a sense, I am leveling up with regards to doing gentle with an edge, something I’ve learned how to do over the years. Now, I am taking it up a notch. 

So.
For the next year, the mantra that will be the lighthouse guiding me, ever onwards in expansion:
Ask – Listen, to All of Me – Act.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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The never-ending story of the questioning mind.

July 5, 2020
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I blog every day.
(Just like Seth.)
Is it too much, though?

Aarrgghhhh.
Resistance speaking? Fear? Not wanting to be too much?
(But I ”am” too much. And quite happily so.)

Who else publishes something daily?
Do you ever fear it’s ”too much to handle” for your audience?
Would you change, if it was?

For me, it’s simply the easiest way to do stuff. Daily.
(The Upholder in me nods and chimes in: I get such a kick out of run streaks as well!)

But I haven’t had a lot of people subscribing to my blog before, and now, more and more are trickling in, which makes me truly happy. And… fearful. For the above-mentioned reason.

Why?
(Oh, I know why, that’s simply the way the mind works. Thoughts come and go, and some of them sort’a makes an imprint, has me dive deep into the rabbit hole…)

Honest to God, I don’t read every post Seth publishes. I get the emails, and read some. Save them, to read later, and when there’s too many, I simply delete them instead. Unread.

So if you (imaginary subscriber of my blog) do the same, that’s perfectly fine.
I hope you read some, of course, but there’s no expectation from me that you read the lot.
Truly.

But should I take that, and turn it into a rational for not writing daily? If I post 3 days a week, would more people read more of the posts then? Or weekly?

Nah.

It doesn’t sit right.

But who knows, perhaps, once day, it might?
Or I’ll simply get fed up with writing/publishing daily, and I’ll start to ponder whether or not I write too seldom…

And on and on it goes.
The never-ending story of the questioning mind.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Willing myself into murky waters

March 23, 2020
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Participating in The Creative’s Workshop on akimbo.com I am exposed to two sets of asks.
1) The Dailies, where I and the other players are asked to write and post every day for 100 days in a row. Subject, style, content totally up to each and every one of us.
2) The Prompts, where I and the other players are given a thrice-weekly prompt asking us to reflect and respond to questions, pushing me (at least) far outside of my comfort zone. Asking me to take a stand, to give voice to what I like and dislike, to what I do and don’t do, to what my work looks like and why. 

The different asks give rise to different response within me, something I try to give voice to below.


It’s a matter of focus. Of intent.
Of willing myself into murky waters where the going is far from easy and smooth.

That’s what the Prompts feels like to me.

Whereas the Dailies are more of an easy-peasy sit-down and let what-ever-want’s-to-come-out pour from my fingers onto the screen in front of me.

And. Luckily. It’s not a question of either-or both rather a both-and.

They give me different types of release.
The Dailies get to be lighter, or heavier for that matter, but there’s more flow to them.
Less intellectual effort.

The Prompts speak to the Upholder in me, making me want to respond quite literally to the specific questions asked. Even though I wriggle like a worm on a fishhook now and again, I get through them, slowly and steadily, one by one. A bit behind the release-schedule, but catching up.
In their iterative structure, inviting me back into past prompts, to observe, orient, decide, act (ooda), there’s progress, if by progress I mean movement. Which I do.

Thanks in large part to TCW, my mind is moving.
My understanding is increasing.
The visibility is greater, there’s more and more clarity.
In what it is I want to do, in who it is I want to be.

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The edges of my capacity

March 8, 2020
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I have high capacity.
A lot of energy.
A well-exercised ability to focus and give it (whatever it is) my all.
But today… Today I bumped up against the edges of my capacity.

With two days of training this weekend, after a jam-packed week with just one evening off, otherwise busy busy busy – a fair description of the last two months as well – it seemed wise and caring to leave the rest of the evening unscheduled…

But no. Not me.
Thirty minutes after the training ended, I had tickets to see Frida – Viva la vida. It turned out to be a movie I enjoyed… and yet… I had a very hard time staying focused. I had a hard time to even stay awake. I was – I am – exhausted. And yet, coming home from the movies I had one more promise to live up to, with a group-call scheduled at 8:45 pm.

I would have been hard-pressed to cancel the movie plans, or try to give my ticket to someone else. And honestly, the thought never even crossed my mind. I don’t know what would have made me go down that route?

The group-call is one which I scheduled after I knew my schedule for the weekend. And it’s the same here. I don’t know what would have me postpone this call? (And having just had it, I am energized, and am happy I did not cancel on it.)

I do not see myself as a person who cancels, which even though I appreciate it as a general trait, is not necessarily a good thing if it’s a fundamental belief of mine, having me not-cancel at the expense of me.

The Upholder in me definitely plays a part here, a leading part even, and from the conversation in the group-call which I just finished, I wonder… how much of this is me being not-gentle towards myself? What does serve me? What would happen if I tried to be less ”follow-through at any cost”-ish?

Perhaps something worth playing around with?
Or.
Let me rephrase that:
Something worth playing around with.
To be continued.

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Content.

May 3, 2019
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Make the most of your created content… or so I read. And hear. Over and over again.
Realizing, I definitely do not.

I have, to date, 1692 blog posts over at my (nowadays solely) Swedish blog, and with this post published, 497 blog posts here. In a little while I will do my 184th Facebook live, recorded in as many days. Not even counting 2374 Instagram posts, there’s quite a lot of content I’ve created that I could/should do something more with.

I have recently started Doing Gentle with an Edge, my podcast where I read blog posts from my Doing Gentle-series, as well as reflections. That’s one way to reuse my original content, in a way that makes me happy. But surely there’s so much more I could do with everything I’ve done these past years?

Ebooks?
Transcribe some of my lives and turn them into blog posts?
Make lives (more deliberately) on the topic of blog posts I’ve written?
Pick out quotes from my writings, mount on value-adding (in one way or another) images and post on Instagram?
Start a Pinterest-account and post them there as well?
Be more deliberate in how I post and cross-post on social media in general, and Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram in particular?

And that’s just ”my content”, which is but a part of what I do/am capable of doing. Just writing this, I get a bunch of other ideas.

However. What I notice more than anything is that what is lacking in how I make the most of my content, as well as of my skills, is deliberateness.

I am an upholder.
When I say I will blog daily, I do.
When I start doing daily lives on Facebook, I do them.
When I say I will do something, it takes a lot for me not to follow through.
But… have I honestly asked myself what’s my Why behind doing what I am doing?
And if so – have I followed it up with the How in the form of actions? In turn, followed by What the actions of my How’s turn into?

No.
Have not.
Not all the way through the Golden Circle of Why – How – What.

Deliberateness, you read, and perhaps think That sounds so boring, and, somehow, almost manipulative, doesn’t it?

Well. To tell you the truth – no. Not to me. Where I am at right now, in an ongoing transformation of my business, it sounds anything but boring. It sounds outright enticing! I mean… what if I sat down, with pen and paper, and got deep into the question of What want’s to happen here/now? Perhaps I would stop blogging and live:ing daily? Perhaps I would do it even more often? Perhaps I would stop altogether? Who knows!

And… given how many ideas I am getting just from writing this, what if I hook my newfound friend deliberateness up with a hefty dose of focus? What might be possible then?

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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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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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Welcome 2018 – living an intentional digital and analog life

January 1, 2018
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Welcome 2018Welcome 2018, the year when…

  • I continue being gengle with myself – this is a perspective upon life that I will forever carry with me.
  • I live a more intentional life, in both digital and analog aspects – choosing what’s most fitting given the situation.
  • digital 24-hour sabbats will become a ritual in my everyday life. Every month? Weekly? Not sure, but two per month minimum.
  • my bedroom is a sheltered analog zone, without computers, iPads or phones, and if I need an alarm clock I will work it out with something other than my IPhone.
  • I will not buy a single online-course based on me watching video clips and reflect on my own. It. Does. Not. Work. For Me. I have learnt this lesson now.
  • I will, despite what I just wrote, restart and complete the “A year to clear what is holding you back” purchased during 2017.
  • I will be going – with good company – to an “analog” writers course with Bob Hansson at Mundekulla.
  • Pernilla Tillander and I will continue to work together – grow, learn and have loads of fun doing it – in Skurup for the ESF-project Include & Meet.
  • I will read 26 Swedish and 26 English books, one per week: books I already own. Each Sunday I will do a reflection on either blog on the book of the week.
  • above and beyond the 52 “books I already own” I will set my #Goodreadsreadingchallenge for 2018 to one hundred books.
  • I will let my Upholder-tendency have free reins, which you can see in the above, which for me is far from a punishment, rather, quite the challenge, something that tickles and entices me!
  • I aim at being a ChattyMeals-hostess and/or attend others ChattyMeals at least on a monthly basis. LÄNKA
  • riding my bike and taking walks, as well as my daily Seven and my Headspace-meditations, will continue to be my daily companions in life.
  • my economic husbandry gains clarity – in all senses. What this really means is something still remaining for me to defins, so I know what it truly is I want to achieve.
  • my eldest will graduate. Yikes. How time flies. This deserves a celebration!
  • I – perhaps more important than anything else – will enjoy life, explore, discover, expand, and in all manners possible allow myself to have as much fun as I can!

Intentions of previous years have come to me more in the form of a single word, more or less. This year is different, but if I summarize all of the above, this is where I end up: Living an intentional digital and analog life. That will be the intention for 2018.

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