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.

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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 ❤

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Norwegian culture, Personal, Travel

Norwegian in Los Angeles

Being Norwegian in Los Angeles is nothing but exceptional. I’m sure there are Norwegians who beg to differ, but for me and my fellow travel partner it’s our favorite place to visit. Even though the reasons are complex, I will try to break it down for you.

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First off our love comes from a cultural perspective. We have both spent our youth years in small remote places in Norway where Norwegian culture stand strong. With that I particular mean what we call “Janteloven”. It’s a norm that have grown strong roots into our culture since 1933. The law of Jante comes from a text of Axel Sandmose’s book “En flyktning krysser sitt spor” and goes like this:

  1. You’re not to think you are anything special.
  2. You’re not to think you are as good as we are.
  3. You’re not to think you are smarter than we are.
  4. You’re not to imagine yourself better than we are.
  5. You’re not to think you know more than we do.
  6. You’re not to think you are more important than we are.
  7. You’re not to think you are good at anything.
  8. You’re not to laugh at us.
  9. You’re not to think anyone cares about you.
  10. You’re not to think you can teach us anything.

After more thorough research I realized that this actually is a Scandinavian phenomenon. I’m not sure how well rooted this phenomenon is with our neighbors, but it sure is a reality in Norway. In other words put beautifully by a unknown source in Wikipedia:

The description of a pattern of group behavior towards individuals within Nordic countries that negatively portrays and criticizes individual success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate.

When in Los Angeles we are free of this. People simply do what they want, they pursue their ideas and desires no matter what and I find it so inspiring. Being around individuals like this also gives me a feeling of freedom I rarely experience at home. Don’t get me wrong, I do feel like a free individual in Norway and i pursue what ever I want, it’s just that it’s usually frowned upon and that can be hard sometimes. Norwegians are in a very spoiled position where we have room to frown upon others: we have a safety net others only can dream about. This also makes entrepreneurship rare here. Why take a risk when everything is handed to you?  On the other hand I always return home with lots of inspiration and creativity! I find it super inspiring and interesting to see how Americans go about their life, because I am so used to the safety net and the clock in/clock out mindset we have in Norway. Here work is just work, not a passion (even if they try to convince you otherwise). It’s lovely to see the passion in people and how excited they are about what they do – and all the hours they put in it – without the judgement of our fellow humans.

The second thing is networking and friendships. Because of the lack of The law of Jante, coming into contact with people is really easy. I hear the Norwegian Troll in the back of my mind at this moment go “ooh – but it’s all superficial. True relations take time” – hah. Yes, they do, but how the heck are you arrive at this point if saying “hi” to someone new puts you in a mental hospital? Say “hi” to someone on the bus here and they will look at you like they think you escaped from a mental institution. I swear,  I’m not trying to paint Norway in a bad way – I love my country, but it really is the reality of things and a reason why I sincerely love Los Angeles. In the short amount of time I have spent there I already have several beautiful relationships blooming and I am so grateful to have these people in my life – both family and friends.

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Then there is the food. I love how simple it is to stay healthy. I mean, I usually don’t because I’m on a holiday, but to be unhealthy in Los Angeles is seriously a conscious choice. No matter what your diet is, there are endless possibilities. And don’t get me started on all the freshness and tastes. I’m drooling right now, thinking about just booking my next ticket. I mean, I would move for Wholefoods as a single reason.

There are some cons though:

  1. My hair gets really, really thirsty. It seriously goes from softness itself to a broomstick. Wtf?
  2. The lack of sleep. There is to much fun everywhere!
  3. The endless sunshine. I mean, I love it, but it can drive me a little bit insane at times. I’m used to seasons and not having that is mentally challenging for some reason.

Coming home this time was like going from a rock concert to a meditation room. I’m dead tired. All I do is eat, sleep and dwell. I dwell a lot because I’ve actually come to the conclusion that I want to move over. I have no idea how I will make that happen practically, but I’m dwelling on it. I’m young, I don’t have children and it’s kind of now or never -ish. I mean, I have things to put in order in my life over here first, but I am seriously thinking about this day and night. It might be the best decision of my life, or the worst.. But how would I know if I don’t try? *Waiting for Norwegians to go all apeshit-Jante*

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I hope that gave you some insight into my/our love for this city. I would like to do a “10 things to do in LA”-post, but I’m always blown out of my mind with all that is happening so I never get around to documenting anything. Maybe next time. Now I’m off to the gym and then I have a eating-date with my travel soulmate at her house – while walking down memory lane from our last trip. Enjoy your weekend – wish you all the best!

x

 

Personal

A personal journey: The story I wouldn’t share and my most vulnerable moments.

You’re stuck and everything you want is sitting right there in front of you, out of reach.. you crave change with an unsatisfactory hunger and the only thing between you and what you want is your minds limits. I broke it. I took it. All at once.

These last few months have brought massive change for me. It all started a couple of years ago when my long term relationship broke in a very ugly way and my whole world crushed in to a million pieces. Not because of the relationship itself, but because all I thought to be true – like friends and the revelation of characters that I had been surrounding myself with – turned out to be as fake as a three dollar bill. I’m not going to paint myself as a saint here, because I wasn’t, but I find it extremely fascinating how flawed individuals can take the moral high ground in other people’s lives like they’ve never stained themselves. It’s fascinating how morally superior some suddenly get, even knowing that their sheet isn’t clean at all. When fingers are pointed at your flaws and they actually mirror their own. Fascinating. Anyway, I did a massive relations clean out and the time following was very uneasy with a lot of noise from my past life. A vendetta actually. At the very same time I started a new relationship, new relations, a new job and I moved houses. It took my attention away from the noise and I got to refocus, heal a little and grow. I’m very grateful to all the people who were there for me in this time of massive disappointment, grief and heartache. Thank you.

In this time I also distracted myself enough to leave some stuff unhealed, which later came back to haunt me. You see, a few moths ago it all tipped over. Ten years in a bad relationship with both a bad beginning, middle and end, the cruelty of friends I trusted, those who did nothing (and I mean nothing! Which is almost worse) and the pattern of me waiting for others to come around. Adjusting. Hoping for the hopeless. Putting myself a side. I was angry, massively angry and completely done with dancing to anyone else’s tune. I developed severe anxiety. I was depressed. I was down for the count. I think I wore the same t-shirt for weeks.. and I didn’t leave the house. Again, I’m very grateful to you who were there for me and took care of me in this time when I wasn’t capable myself.

I am still not completely where I want to be and I am still healing, but I did decide to make some changes. I did draw my ideal life and I have reached almost every single intention in my desire map. People get surprised over my decision making in this time of need and healing, but to be honest the timing has never been better. Things have never been clearer and I have never been more determined than I am in this moment of time. I started travelling again. I started writing again. Working out again. Painting. I bought a home. I (we) broke off my relationship (we are still friends and I will hold him close to my heart forever, he saved me in many ways and I love him dearly). The difference this time is that all of this is not a distraction, it’s with clarity and intent from my hearts desire. I learned from my downfall what really mattered to me and that soulfood and intentions are more important than any ideal presented from the outside world. And to be honest; it feels both scary as hell and wonderful at the same time, but most importantly it feels right. Even if some of it hurts.

If there is one thing I’ve learned from all of this it is that: Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as being stuck somewhere you don’t belong.

Thank you for reading.

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