ANINERGY

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


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Genuine living

Day 59
If you ask yourself – what more is possible for me to live a genuine, authentic life?

Do you know the answer?

We might have a deep knowing that more is possible – however we have perhaps become numb to our preferences after years of having accepted to compromise. If we for too long settle and live under circumstances that do not touch our heart, the very question, “what is important to me?” – can be hard to identify.

In order to find out how to live a more genuine life that makes our heart sing, we need to set off time for ourselves, and be alone with our own thoughts. Journal writing, meditation, going for slow walks and spending time in nature by ourselves, can help us get in touch with our inner voice, values, and and our heart’s desire.

“Know your worth, stand your ground and never settle for less than you deserve.” – Unknown

“Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.” –Unknown


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The wonderful pleasure of physical touch

Day 58Do you enjoy touching and being touched? Well, who doesn’t? (Except some of our teenagers, who want to distance themselves a little from their parents.)

Do you get and give enough physical touch to feel your best? Michelangelo said, “to touch can be to give life.” You have probably heard of the studies done in orphanages during WWII, where 75% of the babies died, not because they were deprived of security and nutrients, but because they lacked physical touch.

Today it is scientifically proven that physical touch prolongs longevity. We build a sense of security and trust through touching. And touching releases our “happy hormone” endorphins. We cooperate better and understand each other’s emotions better through physical touch. Touching is also one of the most soothing and compassionate acts that we can engage in and, as it releases oxytocin, it can even reduce blood pressure.

When I was growing up in Norway we would laugh at the studies that claimed that people on average would touch each other 7-8 times per day, while in Latin countries that number would be over a hundred. It is for sure nothing humorous that most people in the western cultures, where physical touch is uncommon, are touch deprived.

We can feel happier, healthier and more energetic and alive by increasing the quality and quantity of physical touch that we give and receive from one another! It is simple and it is free! It doesn’t cost one dime…

Touch your partner! Touch your children and parents! Touch your friends and your colleagues! And touch yourself!

If you are interested in studying the health benefits of physical touch for both children and adults; Matthew Hertenstein is faculty at UC Berkley and has studied and published numerous articles and books on the subject. http://www.depauw.edu/site/learn/lab/publications/


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Who are you…?

DAy 57Have you ever experienced people transform in front of you eyes – people you thought you knew, but realized you had no faintest idea of what laid inside them?

Well this is what happened to me today, as I was listening to a presentation by Blanca, a woman I have known for eleven years.

Blanca told us – and it was clearly visible – that she, and therefore her life have gone through a complete makeover. Her transformation was instigated one day when a man at a party asked her; “Who are you?”

Blanca could not answer the question. She had been giving of herself to everyone for years but in the process lost her own person. She had no longer an idea of who she was. She left the party deeply troubled, appalled that she could not say who she was; and that she had lost the sense of her genuine being.

In this painful despair, she got serious about reclaiming the woman she used to be.

She went about re finding herself through writing poems – which she later decided to combine into a book. She needed pictures for the book and began taking pictures of herself – many of them half naked – which are also part of the beautiful book she has published herself.

Blanca is a role model to all of us who feel that we have lost ourselves in our busyness of life. I feel reverence for her, as she took her life by the antlers, dared to get in touch with her raw, soulful, sensual real self. Today, she knows who she is, and she is also sharing her sensual and passionate self proudly and confidently.

Her book “Curves of the Soul” in Spanish “Curvas del Alma” can be bought directly from her: curvasdelalma@yahoo.com

PS -Blanca spoke at the networking and community event ETC – Expats Thriving Connect in Geneva, Switzerland


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Activities that suck life out of you

Day 56We all have talents.

We also all have weaknesses.

And then there are things we all hate doing.

I have a feeling that most of us experience activities that goes totally against our nature – that makes us wring inside just by the thought of doing them – either because it takes too much time as we are not talented within this area, or simply because the activity sucks out our life.

In order to thrive and have energy, we need to engage in the things that we are good at, and we need to manage our weaknesses so that they don’t overshadow our strengths. And I think that we ought to stop doing the things we absolutely detest if at all possible.

Sometimes we can simply stop the things that we have an aversion against because they are not necessary to function in life. Other activities require our attention and we need to be creative to find out how we can get help to avoid doing these things.

We are not meant to be great at everything. We need support from each other to deal with what exhaust us. There is no need to be stoic. Asking for help from a family member is one option, (doing a trade with our partner can even glue us closer together) and if that does not work, bartering or hiring someone that can help us, might be worth every penny.

Yes, it may cost some money, but on the other hand, we have some extra time and can perhaps use this to earn this money back – or more.

When we no longer have to deal with energy sapping activities, a huge load lift from our shoulders and we will all of a sudden feel so much freer, productive and happy.

Stop doing what you hate. Start doing what you love.


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Slow is fast

Day 55I am very much enjoying exploring what slowing down means to my life and wellbeing.

Over the years I have rushed and done a lot of things too fast. I have moved fast, walked fast, talked fast, eaten fast, and driven fast.

As I am learning to take more time, a whole new world is opening up to me.

In mountaineering they say that the fastest way to the top is a slow, steady pace. I have good hiking experience as a Norwegian and I am very good at pacing myself, which served me particularly well when I hiked to Uhuru Peak, Kilimanjaro 5,895 meter some years ago.

Hiking Kilimanjaro took “slow” to a whole new level. The guide was telling us that most people who walk too fast the first day will not make it to the top.

Since I know how important it is to move steady and slow on high altitude, it should be easy to apply this to other areas of my life – but it has not.

I wonder how much those of us who are moving too fast have been missing out in life…? Which peaks could we have reached, if we had slow down our pace?

When we are too fast we don’t make the best decisions, we don’t make the best connections, and we don’t enjoy as much.


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Your telephone voice

Day 54The energy in our voice is hugely telling – and perhaps even more so over the phone.

We can feel how important and dear we are to others by just by listening to their tone of voice. The presence and energy they carry in their voice makes a huge difference to how we feel after we hang up.

Have you ever thought of how your voice sounds when your spouse/partner or family member calls you? Do you sound like you really care, have respect, and appreciate the person you are speaking with?

Does your voice have a different tone and energy when a good friend calls?

Reflect back on various phone voices you have come across and the way they have impacted you. Who is your most and least favorite person to speak with?

What can you learn about yourself?

If you do not know how you sound, why not ask the people close to you?

If we have a tendency to sound bored, uninterested or even annoyed, irritated and impatient, we are most likely leaving the people on the other end uneasy.

We might think that – if we rush through a conversation that we will save time, but will we? It takes equally long time to say something in a positive voice as in a negative one. We may even have to invest time to re-build relationships if we have been unpleasant – so in the end we actually lose time…

Next time someone is calling you – why not put on a big smile – it will help you sound a lot more energetic. You can even fake it ‘til you make it!

PS My husband is a huge role model in taking the time to be pleasant when I call him at work. He is a super busy and occupied man but I never feel that I bother him. He either makes the time – to show his value and appreciation of me – and if he absolutely can’t talk, he will tell me very kindly when he will be available.


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Diminishing marginal return

Day 53Those who have studied economics have learned about the concept of diminishing marginal return. “The law of diminishing marginal returns states that in all productive processes, adding more of one factor of production, while holding all others constant, will at some point yield lower incremental per-unit returns.”

We can even apply this thinking to the things that we engage in and do during our daily lives; as everything we do also have an ‘energetic arch’ of diminishing return.

An interesting question to ask ourselves is – how tuned in are we to when we have reached our peak…?

Do you sense/know when – if you add one more ‘unit’ of whatever it might be that you are doing – you begin losing energy – simply because you do not stop what you are doing in due time? It can be related to anything; eating one more bite, drinking one more glass of wine, watching one more hour of TV or film, hanging on Facebook, working, exercising, staying up, sleeping in, or even spending time with friends – do you know when enough is enough and it is time to stop?

Why not think about how we spent this past weekend? What activities brought you energy? And what could you have done less of – in a way that would have helped you feel more content and energized by the end of this weekend?

What do you know about yourself, and about your unique needs to feel your most energetic self?

Based on the review that you just did, how would you like to spend the coming week and next weekend – to make sure you do what you love but also know when to stop because you have reached the top of your arch….?