365 ways to energize – a daily companion to living with health, purpose, and joy

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What do you love to do, that makes you go a little bananas…?

Day 31We were four girlfriends today that were skiing fresh powder together. The screams of joy as we bounced down in knee-deep powder were hugely alivening. We were all smiling from ear to ear, bubbling with enthusiasm and joy feeling grateful to be sharing our passion with one another.

I have realized that sharing the things I love with people that have the same passions as me enhance my joy.

One of the fastest ways to get happy and energized is to live your passions – to let yourself fully engage in the things you love.

“Passion is oxygen of the soul.” Bill Butler

It is easy to make everything else more important than doing the things that makes your heart sing. If we do not make space for the things we love, we can become a little numb.

Life is too short for not making your passions a priority!

Don’t ever marginalize what you enjoy. It is not about what other people think. It is all about what makes your heart sing.

What are you passionate about that you could make more time for in your life?

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Are you happy yet?

Day 30I remember well a few years ago a girlfriend of mine telling me that she was not feeling happy, and that she did not know many people who were truly happy either.

This came as a big surprise to me, as she, and most of her friends seemingly lived a great life. Her children were healthy and doing well in school, and in life. She had a great husband, and lived well. From the outside, it seemed there was nothing lacking in her life.

So what was missing for her to feel truly happy? She couldn’t seem to put her finger on it. It made me realize that happiness is not related to what we have in terms of material things, or even to having a healthy family, friends, or beauty.

It can help to remind ourselves how fortunate we are and to stop and feel gratitude for what we have, but the ultimate sense of happiness goes beyond being grateful.

I believe that true happiness is directly linked to being connected to our life purpose.

I think Mark Twain said it well, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born…and the day you find out why.”

When we are aligned with our calling – with something that engages us, connects us with our passions and values and where we get to use our talents – we feel energized, alive and excited to get up in the morning.

When we live according to our purpose, it gives our body, mind, heart and spirit a great sense of wellbeing. For this reason, I think that what brings us the greatest sense of joy and happiness is to identify our purpose and live in alignment with who we truly are.

It takes courage daring to walk our own path and following our heart’s desire.

Remember, “you were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to life out your purpose and to do it fearlessely.” Dr Steve Maraboli


Do you flip and lose it sometimes?

Day 29
I think this happens to all of us: We step into overwhelm when exposed to the unfamiliar – areas where we lack competence, confidence or feel out of control.

It’s interesting to look more deeply at why we feel stressed, as stress is very personal and one of our absolute biggest energy thieves.

Most of us are triggered by the same things – over and over again – without taking the time and effort to learn to handle these situations differently in order to avoid this repetitive stress.

Sometimes simply shifting our mindset can help us deal with challenges. We decide to no longer let the same old things bother us because we realize stressing about them doesn’t help and even makes the situation worse.

If you are feeling stuck in stressful situations, it might be worth reaching out for help to learn to see your triggers in a different way.

When we learn to effectively handle our life stressors, it brings such relief and a feeling of great strength and inner peace.

What are your stress triggers? Who would you be without them?


How critical are you?

DAy 28It is easy to be critical of others. Especially when people look different, dress different, act different, live differently, have different values, opinions and beliefs from what we are used to.

The psychology behind this is quite simple; there is a very primal survival mechanism in us that is operating to protect us. The reptile or most primitive part of the brain instinctively attempts to keep us safe from possible danger.

Most often though, other people’s differences poses absolutely no threat to us, so why do we complain and criticize? In my opinion, we do this because we are unaware of what we are doing, and why we are being critical and the impact it has on ourselves as well as others.

I think Bob Marley said it well; “Who are you to judge the life I live? I am not perfect and I don’t have to be! Before you start pointing fingers make sure your hands are clean.”

Think about last time you had a negative thought about someone. When was it?

Ask yourself, how being critical helped you? What difference to your life did it make to put someone else down?

When we are not aware – we associate being different with not being as good as, or with being less valuable than us. Isn’t that really being quite arrogant though?

There is nothing wrong with wanting to belong to a tribe that makes you feel strong, but let’s not judge those that don’t belong to this group. Why?

There are many reasons, but one of the most important motivators, is that being critical of others is an energy drain. Not only can it deflate the people you criticize – it sucks the energy out of you!

Why not pay attention next time you think a negative thought about another – how it impacts you!? Turn the headlights towards yourself like Carl Jung recommends – “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

From now on, instead of criticizing and complaining, let’s celebrate diversity and live with high energy.

“Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.” H. Jackson Brown Jr.


Intuitive eating – what on earth is that…?

Day 27Intuitive eating – what on earth is that…?

Last night I had a wow experience – related to food and eating.

I organize events in Geneva where I promote expat talents and skills within the community. Yesterday, Hiba Giacolletto, food coach, psychologist and blogger in the Huffington Post were one of the presenters, and she provided us an aha-experience.

Hiba asked the question: Is it possible to love food too much? In her family, this had been the case – where everything was celebrated and happened around meals. I understood that I also perhaps have loved food too much, but realize now, that I perhaps have loved eating even more.

I eat fast. I know it is not good for me, or my digestion, and that it is not good manners to finish before others, but I have not had it in me to stop this behavior. Until now!

What shifted for me yesterday was the sensory experience of eating along with understanding better how the body and digestion works. Hiba reminded us that digestion starts through our senses before we put anything into our mouth. First through our eyes, which is why it is important to serve the food in an appealing way. By truly taking in the food with our eyes we can already sense our mouth watering. If we in addition smell the food a little before putting it into out mouth, the saliva increases further.

If we prepare the stomach for the food coming this way, it will aid the digestion, and the food also tastes better. For me, it was a real AHA experience to prepare the eating with my senses. Try it!

Also – It takes 20 minutes for our body to assimilate the food we have eaten and to tell us if we are full. It is easy to eat too much when we eat too quickly.

If you find that you have a hard time slowing down your eating like me, put on some music and dance a little before a meal or try another way to connect with your body.

The philosophy of intuitive eating really speaks to me. When we learn to tune into our body, it will tell us what it needs. By simply being more present to our meals, we can reduce overeating by up to 30%, eliminate cravings, and boost metabolism and nutrient absorption. I like that!

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Body wise

Day 26

We only feel as good as our bodies.

I would like to repeat that – we only feel as good as the wellbeing in our bodies.

Have you noticed that your daily variations in happiness are often directly linked to how you feel physically?

It is hard to experience unlimited joy if our body aches or feel sluggish.

Pain, or lack of energy easily draws out attention away from being present with what we are doing and with whom we are with.

“Auch, that hurt!” “I’m too stiff.” “Oh, I can’t do that any longer. I’m too weak.” “It is simply too painful.” “I just don’t have the energy to do this.” “I am so tired in the morning.” “I feel tired all the time.”

If you are carrying pain, are feeling weak or sluggish, your attention will go inwards towards how you feel, rather than to being focused on enjoying and moving your life forward.

How well you take care of your body is key to the energy and capacity you have to invest in your life.

If you make a scan from top to toe right now – how do you feel in your body?

I find that the older I get the more creative I need to be in order to keep moving and taking care of my body. I am simply not as keen on exercising as I did in the past. I used to have such a surplus of energy that I had to exercise to feel happy and at peace. Today, I need to be more determined and disciplined.

When I have motivating challenges, or when exercise is being shared with friends, I feel much more inclined to want to spend the time. You can invest time in two important needs by combining the two.

For example, we are a group of girls that are doing Pilates at one’s home and afterwards we eat breakfast together.

As John F. Kennedy said, physical fitness is not only the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic an creative intellectual activity.


Dancing through life…

Day 25
I love to dance! Don’t we all?!

But why?

In addition to that it just feels really good?

Is it the music, the movement, spending time with others while moving?

To me, it has been all of the above. Dancing has made me feel happy and alive, especially when shared with others to really good music.

Last Friday I made a realization that came from an experience of body mind connection.

I tried for the first time a dance form called NIA. It was such a lovely flowy and free dancing style and at the same time with very powerful moves. The dance helped to still my mind.

A still mind is pleasant and effective and gives clarity of thought and creativity.

Einstein claimed that we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Are you aware that we have between 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day and about 95% are the same thoughts that we had yesterday?

It is pretty clear that in order to create any changes in our lives, we need to begin thinking new thoughts.

How do we stop repetitive thoughts and going on automatic? Connecting to our bodies gives us an opportunity to slow down our mind as well as to become much more attentive of our thoughts.

Let’s dance!