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

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“Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends….”

Day 119Are you making a difference “and helping your friends get by” with your expertise and knowledge?

Being a novice can many times feel a bit shaky. When we expose ourselves to any new territory, we have to face our fears and courageously explore them before we can relax into feeling adjusted and comfortable. New terrain forces us to learn new skills; and sometimes we might not even know where to begin. A project that for some of us feels exciting because it is second nature, can for a novice be loaded with fear. If the project we are about to embark on feels scary and uncomfortable we cannot relax, and therefore it is not as enjoyable. But with a little bit of help from a friend, the experience can all of a sudden be transformed into both fun and exciting.

We can truly make a difference to each other by extending a helping hand, and I have had the fortune in the past week to meet with several such good friends that have been totally engaged and willing to sit with me for hours to support me in the new cabin-building project I may soon embark on. I have done a couple of renovations in the past, but a building project where we begin from scratch is a whole new ballgame for me.

I take on this job seriously, since I am mainly responsible to design and create this meeting place and home where our girls and family can retrieve to and love for years to come. It feels exciting to design and create a cabin that will outlast my own life and that possibly future generations will also come to enjoy.

With the kind willingness of my experienced friends to help and assist me, I feel so much more at ease. Their new eyes, good questions, and advice have completely turned my confidence around. I am forever grateful.

So now in the shower I am singing, “Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends….” And looking forward to the next time I get the chance help a friend get by!

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Dress up your gadgets

DAy 118Stylish gadget accessories for men and women

I am a proud owner of the most gorgeous ‘smartphone cover’ on the market from The Case Factory, a company that my gorgeous Italian friend Angela Martarelli and her darling Swedish husband Mats formed a few years ago. Yes, I know that I committed in yesterday’s blog to not spend as much time on my tech gadgets and I have followed my commitment. But talking about gadgets does not go under my new rule…

I get hugely inspired by entrepreneurs and the guts and courage they show daring to go after their passions and dreams, which is why I would like to introduce Angela and The Case Factory to those of you who are into gadgets and who also appreciate quality and style.

What inspired Angela and her husband to form their own company in 2012 was her great grandfather, who himself started a business from scratch transforming leather into beautiful products in the early 20th century. Angela and Mats decided to follow in his footsteps and their company is selling gorgeous unique high quality leather cases all over the world from Japan to London and New York.

Angela and Mats have passionately invested themselves into creating an extraordinary leather accessories company where they design, create and sell handcrafted exclusive leather cases and covers for smart phones and tablets. Their cases are in; calf and nappa leather, printed animal cases, real reptile skins and even fur cases. These cases are beautiful, nice to hold, and also work as great protection; for example my phone has fallen on the floor many times and has never caught a scratch.

Angela and Mats won a Swedish award in 2014; The Best Accessory Price of the leading Swedish fashion magazine Damernas Värld – and I think that it is just the first of many more awards to come. I am so happy for them that their hard work has paid off and for their success..

Wherever I go with my phone, people comments on the beautiful case shown in the picture with the quote above. It is possible to view and order their products online at

I wish you the best of luck Angela and Mats in living your dream and with continuous success.


In control…or being controlled?

Day 117

My name is Anine Ekelund, and I am a tech addict…

Well that is perhaps an exaggeration … because I do have the ability to turn my gadgets off, and I am not on them non-stop. But still – I think that I do spend too much time on my phone and laptop. If I was to count how many times I look at my phone throughout the day, it would be many. Too many!

How about you? Are people complaining about you being on your gadgets? How efficient are you with your time? How about counting the number of times that you look at your phone or Ipad, and how many hours you spend on the computer daily! Then compare that time with how much undivided attention and time you give your family members and friends. Try guessing your ratio today and then write down the actual figure after you count tomorrow. I think that you will most likely be surprised – if you are anything like me, or perhaps most people in today’s tech dominated world.

I want to change my behavior to be more efficient with my time, and even more importantly – to be completely present with the people I meet – without checking my phone, texting or reading anything (unless I am with my father – who also loves to socialize and is as bad as me when it comes to being on his phone :)).

The only way to get a healthy relationship with tech gadgets, I think, is to have certain rules; in the same way, as it is good to set some guidelines for how often and how much we drink alcohol. And as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, when we get lost to our gadgets and they take over the control of our lives we will suffer consequences, which sometimes can be quite severe.

Children carry their teddy bear just as adults walk around with their phones, Ipads and other gadgets. Is there any difference to a teddy bear and our gadgets? They both give a sense of satisfaction and security. A teddy bear is soft and cuddly and quite innocent, but our gadgets – when used in excess – create a false sense of security.

Our ability to let go of our gadgets says a lot about our personality. If we cannot let go and be fully present with people or with tasks – without checking our tech gadgets often , we have a problem that can have dire impact – to ourself. It can also impact our relationships – who most likely suffers from lack of attention, attentiveness and courtesy..

To those of us who argue we have to be available and check our phones or answer them, despite being with other people, or when working, ought to rethink! WE DO NOT HAVE TO BE AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO CONTACT US. We decide when we have time and would like to be available to answer.

One rule in our family is that we do not use our phones during meals. We do not answer a phone ringing or send an sms while we are enjoying each other’s company and conversations. It is very hard to have a meaningful exchange with someone who is half there with their attention.

Some rules that I want to live by – from now on…:

  1. My phone should never be at table when I eat with others.
  2. While having a conversation with someone, I will not check an sms or answer the phone if it is ringing. ( or I will have my phone on silent  and in my handbag).
  3. In the evenings, I will not be on my phone or on the laptop – except for max 30 minutes to attend to urgent matters. I will remind myself, that there is always a tomorrow when I can answer people.
  4. In the evening, I make sure to spend time with my family or friends, read a book, watch a film or the news – in order to invest in my relationships and in myself.

Do you have ideas on rules which you would like to commit to?


Are you a tech and social media victim?

DAy 116The effect and consequences of the overuse of tech gadgets.

I wonder; how many families that are complaining about the lack of presence among their family members because of tech devices and social media?

Today, most families spend much less time face-to-face. Overuse of phones, computers, social media, and computer games can have large negative implications. The truth is – those of us overusing our tech gadgets are suffering consequences impacting the quality and energy of our lives.

We might feel we are in control…but are we not rather being controlled?

Which ones of the below would apply to you? Honestly…

  • Lack of concentration due to multi tasking
  • Getting less done because of tech gadgets disturbing your workflow (sound alerts, answering the phone, checking messages)
  • Not enough quality time with loved ones
  • Increased amount of arguments due to lack of communication
  • Social withdrawal
  • Waste of time on social media instead of progressing with what is really important to you
  • Lack of time to develop your strengths and talents
  • Feeling restless
  • Feeling anxious
  • Unhappy – because you compare yourself to all the others on Facebook?

How ineffective are meetings when people are dividing their attention between their phones, Ipads and the meeting?

How can we use the new opportunities provided by technology without becoming ineffective?

How can we be in control of the devices and the social media instead of them controlling us?


At the end of the rainbow you will find a pot of gold

Day 115Are you searching for more in your life?

Last evening, my girlfriend and I were fortunate enough to see this beautiful complete rainbow. We stopped the car with excitement to take pictures and were thrilled when we were able to capture the complete rainbow in a photo (thanks to IPhone’s panorama option). It is not very often we can see a complete rainbow and less often we have a chance to capture it in a photo, so I feel very fortunate and grateful.

The rainbow is not only beautiful, it is joyful to watch; and it represents some mysticism for me. As the legend says, those that arrive at the end of the rainbow will find a pot of gold. As a little girl, I hoped that I would once experience being in the right place at the right time, so that I would find the pot of gold.

Today, I see the pot of gold as a representation of the abundance I find in my life. I was for a long time searching for ‘more.’ More happiness, more fulfillment, more meaning, more love, more of everything. After years of searching, I did find it – all of it…

Was this because I was at the right place at the right time? Or did I find myself at the end of a rainbow? Once I did believe that I was driving through a rainbow and wished with all my heart that my life would take on a new turn – and one day it did. Working at improving our lives and not only wishing it intensely will eventually get us there.

I live in great abundance and feel forever grateful that I searched and found my rainbow and have learned how I can be happy, fulfilled and live with meaning and love.

In the end; I found that what I was longing for and hoping to find at the end of the rainbow, already existed inside me. Once I changed my view of myself and the world around me, then I was at the end of the rainbow, and I did find my own pot of gold…

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You can’t bullshit an old friend

Day 114A good friend from childhood is worth more than a 100 likes on Facebook.

In a way, society has become more superficial as we often spend more time connecting with one another in cyberspace than in real time. Social media can be a wonderful way to stay in contact and be informed, but most people benefit from meeting face-to-face when love and respect is present. Connecting with good old childhood friends can be extra nurturing, healing and fun.

My best girlfriend from childhood is visiting me now and it is just delightful. We met when we were nine years old and were inseparable until when we began different high schools. We have kept in contact and we see each other quite regularly despite that I have lived abroad for the past 30 years.

There is something very unique and special about spending time with old friends from childhood; friends who we grew up with and who know us inside and out, and that we share many memories with.

Friends from childhood can wake us up and remind us to reconnect with ourselves if we have deviated from who we really are. As we often know each other’s families, we often have an insight into one another’s lives that most recent friendships do not have. Old friends can also help us relax, laugh and have fun in a profound way that just good old memories can bring.