lifestyle, Personal

Burst into flames, rise from the ashes.

“Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better” Dr. Steve Maraboli said. I read that today and found infinite truth in it. Come to think of it, that’s how life works. I mean, even though I don’t remember, I’m pretty sure being born is a little piece of hell. Like every great transition in life, the painful change, result in something much better. Not always right away, but down the line for sure. Pain makes us change and grow. It inspires and transform.

Yesterday I was very hurt and angry. When something cuts me deep, I tend to react with anger. Great anger. Because I care. Not necessarily for the situation itself, but on a deeper level. It changes my perspective. My values. My fundament. And these are hard things to deal with. I’m over the worst of it now. Like I wrote yesterday: it was unexpectedly expected. I knew I needed to make some changes. I’ve been dwelling on these changes for quite some time already. Close to a year actually. I’ve just been very, very lost. You see, when your life is turned upside down like mine was a couple of years ago and everything you knew suddenly became uncertain – there is a constant upward climb to be made. Not just practically in life, but the whole inner world as well. Standing in it in the moment you face hopelessness, pain, despair, desperation and shame. All the feelings we all try to avoid. I’ve come to learn that these emotions are the most valuable ones. These emotions are the force behind everything good. A fundament build on unicorns shitting rainbows seldom end up standing through the storm. They run when the thunder starts in the horizon. A good foundation is solid and that means being prepared for anything, especially the things we fear most. And how do we build that? Well, is really about the cliche of being secure in yourself, but not in the manner you might think. Its not about convincing yourself about your best self, its about facing and handling the most crucial feelings and reactions you can experience. The hard ones you usually avoid. That we are taught to avoid – and that’s a learning curve built on experience. Simply put: Stop living in flight-or-flight mode. Let things unfold, sort of speak.

My day today has been pretty good, even if I feel like my whole face is eyebrows at the moment. I went and got them tattooed you see, and damn! These things could have their own heartbeat. It kind of felt like they did too, because that was some painful shit. I’m very much looking forward to the end result, right now I wish it still was halloween-month so I could get away with it. Anyway, I also sorted out a couple of things. I had a fruity conversation with my lawyer, so things regarding my apartment is coming close to an end. Finally. After seven months of being a bit frustrated. And I actually had an epiphany – I want to learn more about business development, entrepreneurship and innovation, so I applied for some courses at university. Im quite excited about that actually, having tasted that in my work life it made me hungry for more knowledge, and I think this is what I want to work with. So fingers crossed that I get in! All that from feeling super sorry for myself yesterday. It moved me further along than I’ve moved in the past six months, where I’ve just dwelled in my existential crises without any sense of direction. As you can imagine, I feel very content at the moment. And excited about where this is heading.

I’m gonna wrap this up now: Welcome the hardship of life, it might surprise you in mysterious and wonderful ways.

x

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lifestyle, Personal

The judgement detox.

Judgement. Taste it. Taste the lingering bitterness upon your lips. If it doesn’t give you a bad taste in your mouth, it is because the ego has sugarcoated the word for you for how ever long you’ve been unaware of the bitterness it brings to your life.

Recently I picked up a book by Gabrielle Bernstein called the judgement detox. I was drawn to this book in my endless flip through of new inspiration simply because of my personal awareness and relationship with my own judgement and criticism. I decided a couple of years ago that I would change my way of thinking about myself and my surroundings. I wanted that vicious and ruthless voice to stop dominating my everyday conversations I have with myself. You know, that voice that throws you thoughts out of nowhere. The voice that tells you all that’s wrong with everything, yourself and others alike. This ego turned my life into a never ending documentary with a cruel and merciless commentator – transforming a beautiful world into a gloomy scene. I guess one is not aware of it until one actually address it. You see, I was tired. I was tired of the negativity I brought to myself. I wanted it to stop. I then decided that I would ask myself how I justified my nasty thoughts about others and why I thought what I thought. Who am I to criticise complete strangers on a bus? Based on what? What does it bring to my life? These where the questions I asked myself once that viscous commentator started going. I had a serious conversation with myself – every single time. Let me tell you, it’s no picnic in the park. But it was necessary. I think it took about two months until I didn’t have to address the Hyde to my Jekyll on a daily basis regarding what my eyes could see. Until it stopped being an everyday battle. The result of doing this was actually massive. Not only is my everyday life more wonderful than ever from stopping criticising and judging others – but in the process I stopped doing this to myself as well. The relief of this cannot be explained. It has to be experienced.

Now, my Hyde is not dead. Far from it. He is not buried either. My Hyde is very much alive and going. I don’t want him dead, not by the least. What I do want is for Hyde to be balanced. For his influence to be of benefit, for him to not gloom my life away. Judgement is necessary, you see, to some degree. It’s a survival mechanism. We need it to assess situations, to make decisions. The challenge occurs when this little monster grows out of its proportions and eat you. And it is easy to detect whom is all consumed by their monster: pointing out others flaws, high self criticism (often also disguised in the critic of others), the urge of assertiveness – to mention some of the symptoms. These symptoms, when not addressed, can build the biggest life-lie and bury you in your self-deception. Nothing good comes from either. You are creating your own personal hell and when it starts to crack, the fall will be much harder. Much harder than facing reality, which is hard in it self.

When I started the book I though “well, this is exactly what I’ve been doing!” and was very content with myself. Maybe a little to content (Hello Mr.Hyde). I decided to make use of Jordan Peterson’s rule 9 from the 12 rules for life An antidote to chaos: Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t. Gabrielle Bernstein definitely knows something I don’t, and the things we do have in common, she puts in to a symphony of very understandable words. She says:

While we all have different stories that caused us to separate from love, we all have the same response to feeling alone in the world: fear. One way we respond to that feeling of fear is to fight back by judging others. It’s our way of trying to build ourselves up. We lean on judgment as our great protector. I cannot overstate this: Judgment is the #1 reason we feel lonely, sad and disconnected. Our popular culture and media place enormous value on social status, looks, racial and religious separation, and material wealth. We are made to feel less than, separate and not good enough, so we use judgment to insulate ourselves from the pain of feeling inadequate, insecure or unworthy. It’s easier to make fun of, write off or judge someone for a perceived weakness of theirs than it is to examine our own sense of lack.

Judgement protects us. It protects us from our innermost deepest feelings of lack, shame and weakness. It also protects us from making deadly mistakes. So however tempting it is to evict judgement all together, judgement is a necessity. What we do not need is judgement to rule our lives. We need to address ourselves, we need to stop glooming down ourselves, our lives and everything that enters and exits. We need to look inward and to be honest with ourselves.

I only started this book, so I’m not in a place where I can give a full review. But the book has already inspired me and given me something of value. It’s message is so important that I wanted to put it out there right away: Don’t let judgement, whom is there to protect you, be your destruction.

I Sincerely wish that this has inspired you as it inspired me, and if you choose to pick up the book: enjoy your read and a good taste in our mouth.

Have a lovely Sunday.

x

lifestyle

One lifestyle tip that will change your fitness journey for the better.

Social media makes a healthy lifestyle seem so complicated. I mean, look at Instagram and all the weird exercises people post for variation. Why on earth would I complicate a standard glute thrust by putting a bench in the smith machine and lay on top of it? – Or the SoMe business platforms that promise you that it’s simple, but at the same time makes sure you understand that you must have (expensive) help to achieve your goals – what ever your goals may be. And don’t get me started on the “you are beautiful the way you are (but you must want to be the best version of yourself because that is the one closes to our ideal and you’ll have to pay for it). Sigh. I’m gonna share a secret with you, for free, because it’s much needed.

First off I want to give you a little background, that is: my background. Because I did all these things for years: expensive coaches, excessive dieting, overtraining. I was frustrated, obsessed and full of it. I was unhealthy. Obsessiveness is never healthy. I spent about three or four years obsessing over my fat percentage, my food, my gym schedule and being pissed of at anything that came in my way of my fitness journey. I trained every single day. Hard. Let me tell you, that’s not a life worth living, unless you breath competition. With that said I’m not saying working out every day is bad, on the contrary- but the way I did and with my mindset it was not beneficial. To little fuel, to much hard work and a negative mindset made me physically sick continuously (I always had the flu, not that I let that stop me). Sometimes I think pictures can say more than words, so let’s take a look:

Don’t be fooled by the smiles. This is 6 days a week of overtraining, muscle problems, little growth, under-eating, bringing meals because I couldn’t eat what other people ate, frustration caused by thoughts like “I’m to fat.”, “I need to lose more fat.” Etc. How sick is that? Looking back now I understand my reasons for doing this, which is an whole other story, but when push comes to shove: this is the reality for many people. We obsess over stupid shit like this with the idea that when we reach ” perfect” – which does not exist btw because there will always be something to fix – then we can start living our lives. If I could I would have slapped the f*ck out of myself at the time. The saddest thing is that there is so much money in this for different businesses. People seriously live their best life of your bad self esteem, and that my friend, makes me even sadder.

My body had breakdown and I took a year of everything called gym and diet. I gained weight. Peculiar enough I didn’t mind and I didn’t obsess about it. I was actually happier, believe it or not. Thinking about it, it’s not so hard to believe – my body actually got food which kinda makes you happy. I made a deal with myself that I would never ever return to my obsessive behaviour again, so once I actually started training again I had to take a lot of breaks when my negative mindset started to form again. I mean, I refused myself to go to the gym when the obsessiveness started to surface. And this is where we get to it: It’s all about your mentality. You need to develop a healthy mindset.

Tip: Focus on your mentality. Self-development is key.

You cannot fix something from the outside in, because no matter how fit you get or how close you are to the “ideal box”- if your mind isn’t with you in a healthy way, you will never be satisfied and grateful for what you are and have got. You cannot transform your mental disturbed thoughts with physical change. We are taught and fed with the idea that everything is external and this is why we fail.

My transformation did take some time. I wanted the mental plane to be good and fitness to be enjoyable and about more than physical results. On the far left I was unhappy (read: hungry). In the middle I didn’t really care and on the right and the two pictures below I started my journey back to the gym.

Now, a couple of years later and with a completely different mindset I’m back in shape. I don’t train nearly as much and I don’t follow any diet. I feed myself with what I believe is healthy for me both in body and soul, I eat when I am hungry and I make conscious choices. I also enjoy myself, take time off, drink alcohol and enjoy meals wherever I can get them. And I usually don’t train during holidays.

So what is it that I do? Well, I keep it simple and enjoyable. I train strength One hour three times a week on average, I do restorative yoga once a week (just because I enjoy it, and it has so many benefits) and I eat food that benefits me and that I enjoy according to my pallet when I am hungry. These are habits that I’ve made, enjoyable habits, and I do not overthink it.

I stopped overthinking.

You don’t need to try every weird ass f*cking isolated exercise from Instagram. You do not need to eat leafs and starve. Or live on supplements. You do not need to spend two hours a day in a gym. Most importantly you do not need to buy all the crap people try to sell you. What you do need is to figure out what works for you with a healthy mindset and stick with it, and if you’re mindset is obsessive about everything that is wrong – then you work on that first.

I guess what I am trying to say is:

and the rest will follow. Don’t waste your time, money and energy, and know that you cannot buy perfection.

x

Personal

The unpredictable.

It’s a beautiful autumn day here in Norway and I’ve been enjoying my morning with slow music and chores. Everyday chores, within the right circumstances, usually gives me good reflection-time. Thought trains that makes me question everything. Today my thought train has been tearing apart our need for planning.

The need for planning and the extent of it is independent of course, but we all do it to some extent. We fill our hearts and minds with hopes and dreams, goals and intentions – and we plan out how we are and what we need to reach them, to fulfil our desires. I do that – to some extent. I can be very clear in what my desires are in some areas of my life and I can be totally open or closed in others. I often live on a “happy go lucky”-attitude, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t work hard to achieve my hearts desires. It simply means that I am open to the unpredictable and that I embrace what ever appears in my path – good or bad. I’ve also learned that my desires often collide with my environment, not a new lesson learned by the way, and the hardship it is to accept that others might not accept that.

So, the problem I have with planning is that I simply don’t want my life to be blueprinted in all areas. I want the opportunities and the unpredictable. I want to make choices based on my current situation and my feeling place. I want to be open minded and embrace the music of life – whatever song that might be. And I want to be able to accept how everything turns out in the end, no matter if it is a rocky or a pleasant journey. To me excessive planning is a desperate need for control and a sign that we are outside our feeling place. We cannot control everything. We can guide ourselves in the desired direction.

I plan very little. I take steps and let the world unfold. I desire map twice a year. I prioritise the things that’s closest to my heart at the given time. I plan short term in the direction of my life’s desire and I keep my mind open to changes. I draw out my priorities from my overall desired feeling place.

Excessive planning and the expectation that we always know what we want in any given situation drives me insane. Now, I might have been exposed to this over a period of time, but nothing has ever been clearer to me than that way of living is so very wrong – to me anyway.

So yeah.. there you go. Today’s thought train.

Enjoy your Wednesday.

x

Uncategorized

The courage of kindness.

We are all individuals travelling our personal journeys, consciously or not. Either we are lost in the dark or travel with intention. Both on a mental and emotional plane, effected by a physical world. Coloured by our surroundings, other individuals journeys and the world as a collective whole. The people we surround ourselves with effects us more than we might be aware of. The individuals we meet throughout our life, no matter the circumstances or the timespan, leaves memories and scars. They might even change our course of direction without us realising.

We move in an inner and outer world of chaos and order. Mostly chaos some might say. We need chaos. Without it, there is no order. Without chaos we don’t evolve. We can draw this train of though even further. We can insert the terms good and evil. With this I’m not trying to take us down the path of the hero and the villain, but the path of understanding that our perception of ourselves and the world can be experienced as a good and a bad. We experience joy and suffering, and we need both to know the other. With that said, and I do have point to this, we don’t need to make others suffering a worse experience in an already chaotic circumstance. We don’t need to be cruel, evasive or indifferent towards the people we meet in our paths. I think we sometimes have our heads so caught up with our own circumstances and our own journey that we forget that the individuals we meet carry the same emotional and experiential system as us. Most people have some association to the term Butterfly effect – in the sense of the movie or the actual term itself. I believe we all carry the butterfly effect with us every single day and just to clarify:

In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic no linear system can result in large differences in a later state.

And this would be the right place to insert:

If you can be anything in this world, be kind.

In which I do believe by the way, but there is more to it than just flat out kindness. It’s about awareness. Are you aware that your words and actions can change someone else’s course? That your flakiness, evasiveness and fear might create a whole new dimension of chaos in someone else’s journey? – or kind and genuine words for that matter. That our selfishness and fear of hurting cause even more pain on the other side of the coin? Why can’t we, as a collective and as individuals, be more aware of each other? Be more genuine and honest, both with ourselves and with others. Think about how we effect others just as much as they effect us? Tune up that empathy and really consider what it would be like to walk in the other persons shoes? Stop being so damn judgemental all the time? Ok, I am painting this with grim colours, but the thing is that most people don’t realise that what they do, or even what they don’t do, can cause a great change in someone’s life. It’s not about stripping away chaos, because being aware and doing the genuinely right thing might not be as pleasant as just avoiding it all. But the avoiding adds mass to the already grim chaos. And wouldn’t it be nice if we all, just even one percent, had a slight approval in our meetings with the outside world?

The reason I’m hesitant about just throwing out quotes about kindness here and there as an effort enough, is that I’m not really sure if we’re all on the same page when it comes to defining what kindness really means. I often see the invisible parallells drawn between kindness and people pleasing – and kindness has nothing to do with pleasing others. Being kind is not about boundlessness. Kindness is about coming from a place of love. Love for yourself and/or for others – and from a place of awareness and understanding that your actions, as small as a butterfly’s wing stroke, can create a storm elsewhere. As I read this back I see that we would benefit from a definition of love as well, but that might take a series of posts to get through, so I think I will leave it at that and move on to my point:

If we could give to others what we wish for ourselves, we might just make every individuals journey a more pleasant voyage. Or just what Jesus said:

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

x

Personal

The twinkle in our eyes.

The world is full of magic things, waiting for our senses to grow sharper.

..But somewhere along the way they weakened. When did we stop viewing the world with amazement and stars in our eyes?

I’ve spent a good amount of time with my nephew lately. He is very new to this world and everything is a beautiful mystery to him. I see the twinkle in his eyes when he discovers a new sound or something as simple and common as a leaf on the pavement. He gets so excited and explodes from the joy of sharing it. It makes me wonder… when do we forget the magic of the world? When is it that we are to busy and occupied to see the beauty right in front of us? The joy of simple enjoyment and to get excited about life for the purpose of life itself?

Now, this is a generalisation of course, I know there to be creative, joyful souls out there who brings delight to us through their stories, music and art every single day. It’s when I look at people from my window seat at a cafe, the bus ride to work or simply at instagram that I loose faith. Can we even be more alike? It’s the importance of being busy, accurate, socially correct, materialistically successful, feigned and like everyone else that makes me feel and live the contrast to the genuinely happy spirit of my nephew.

It makes me sad that we somewhere a long the way loose our childlike spirit and get groomed into depressing adults chasing trophies for others to admire – like we really care. What’s the importance? And why do we care so much about other people’s admiration?

It’s not to be admired that gives true happiness. It is to admire the greater and the most simple things in this world and in life.

I for one am gonna let my nephews enthusiasm rub off on me as long as I can.

I’ll start by enjoying these covers against my skin and stretch out in bed – just because I can!

Truly enjoy your Saturday ❤

x

Personal

Horsing around

The day finally came: I got back on the horse! Horses was my favourite activity as a child and I took it very seriously. It’s ridiculous that I’ve waited twenty years to get back into it.

Martine and I contacted a Horse Center close to us and was given the opportunity to come by for a ride – and make it more permanent, which we will. But my god I am rusty! I need to read up, practice and get back into the whole deal, because there’s a lot of things to think about while handling a horse. I was very happy that I was given such a beautiful gelding, I could not have asked for a better horse. His name is Neptun and he put his head on my chest during our grooming session, which was such a beautiful moment. He is a Polski Konik and a very kind man – even if he takes every opportunity to ravish every bush in his way.

It took a while for me to get into the rhythm of Neptun and get comfortable, but now all I can think about is our next ride. I’m completely in love with riding all over again and just the smell of the stables brought back a flash of memories. I’m so glad that I have Martine to share this with and that we both enjoyed ourselves so much!

I’m definitely back to my childhood wish of getting a horse now and have decided that I will – when I’ve decided where I want to settle down in the future. Horses are such beautiful animals with the most amazing souls. Just being around them makes me immensely happy and calm.

I guess we can round this up to mission successful. One step closer to a long lost passion.

I hope you have an amazing Friday as well and all the best wishes for your weekend. Thank you for stopping by.

x