ANINERGY

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


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Walk & Talk

DAy 129

An impactful walk we will remember

Walking is one of the healthiest forms of exercise for the body. It can also be one of the nicest ways to spend time with your spouse, a child, or a friend, as conversations can flow freely while we are moving our bodies.

Today my husband and I took a beautiful walk in gorgeous weather with spectacular scenery on the plains outside Geneva. There were breathtaking views of the snow-covered Mont Blanc massif on one side, and the Jura Mountains and Lake Geneva full of sailboats on the other side. In the middle were fields all vibrant in different shades of gorgeous green and blooming yellow colza flowers.

In this beautiful environment we both decided that we would not talk about anything that got us into problem solving or organization mode. Instead we explored some interesting questions that were enriching and brought insight to ourselves and about each other – while also stopping many times along our way to just take in the gorgeous scenery and sunny, warm, clear day.

DAy 129bWhen we returned from our walk we both felt it had been one of our best walks ever…

Among the topics we explored where the following:

  1. I shared the content of a great book that I am reading, which was fun to do. I love to share experiences.
  2. We went on to explore which books that have had the largest impact on our lives. This was very interesting, surprising and revealing. (We have been together for 25 years this year and we are still discovering things about one another).
  3. We also talked about the things we each want to have done before we die…, also inspiring to explore.

To discuss current issues, solve problems and plan are all necessary for couples and families to run smoothly – but if most conversations we have with our partner or spouse ends up discussing children, their school, activities, organizing and or planning, it leaves very little room to just be with one another or discover topics that touches our heart and soul.


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Understanding your family’s genogram

Day 122What character traits do you appreciate in your parents?

Your parents’ positive characteristics did perhaps not stand out, or even cross your mind when you were growing up. Your parents were your parents and you were ‘wired’ to love them. Their weaknesses perhaps scared, irritated or saddened you, but you couldn’t do much about changing them.

As we meet life’s challenges, and experience our own struggles through adulthood, we have an opportunity to look at our parents with new eyes. We can allow ourselves to be inspired by their strengths and learn from them with a new openness. We can also develop greater empathy for their weaknesses; especially if we listen to their stories and hear what they have experienced and endured. We can also understand that certain negative patterns and behaviors they had or have, we have carried on, even though we perhaps were determined to be different.

In one of my university studies we explored our family’s emotional relationships through what is called a ‘genogram’. “A genogram is a graphic representation of a family tree that displays detailed data on relationships among individuals.” It allows the user to analyze hereditary patterns and psychological factors that punctuate relationships.”

I interviewed my parents and asked about their parents, grandparents and their great grandparents life stories and emotional wellbeing. It was very interesting and valuable for me to get insights into my family’s history. To go beyond the family tree with names, dates and professions and instead learn more about the person, and understand their history helped me understand what formed their personalities and why my parents have certain values and characteristics today.

I can highly recommend becoming more curious about your parents and family psychological history. It can help you gain a greater appreciation for your parents and even give you a better understanding of yourself, your own challenges and struggles as a result of your family heritage and inspire you to stop family patterns that do not serve you or coming generations.


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One thing I love thanks to my father

Day 121I value freedom highly, and I think this value was born in the Norwegian mountains – above the tree line.

I had the great fortune to grow up in Norway with a father that took me into the wild from the time I was born. His love for nature, and his passion for cross-country skiing and hiking in the wild above the tree line, captured my heart from an early age.

You can feel a huge sense of liberty and freedom cross-country skiing above the tree line with hardly any people in sight. Today, I had the fortune to experience this together with my father, 79 years old and still strong as a youngster.

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These mountains bring about a sense of freedom and peace like nothing else. It is pure euphoria to ski into the wild, with complete stillness all around.

During this time of the year, the snow is hard enough to walk on without going through. We are free to create our own tracks and go anywhere we like. If there is a little bit of fresh snow on top of the hard snow, which is the ultimate and what we had today, the skiing both uphill and downhill becomes a particularly velvety ecstatic experience.

Since I have lived abroad for the past thirty years, I do not have the opportunity to revisit this scenery as often as I would like.I feel incredibly grateful and happy for having shared this moment with my dear father. It will be captured in my heart as a peak moment forever.

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It is healing to heart, body and soul to re-connect to our roots and to engage in our favorite childhood activities. I imagine, or at least wish, that we all have childhood experiences, which bring about great memories and when revisiting them we feel completely at home and perhaps even at peace.


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Adding spice to your life…

Day 108Are you alive and having fun?

To find the balance between certainty and ambiguity in our lives can make the difference between feeling dull or alive. Most of us enjoy the certainty that daily routines bring. Yet, a life without ambiguity and surprises often becomes boring. Perhaps we cannot place a finger on it, but our lives seem to be without spark and zest when one day goes into the next, as we get up the same time in the morning, eat the same breakfast, take the same road to work, perform similar activities and go back home at night to watch the same programs on TV.

I know I am not alone in having a need to experience the sparkle that variety brings. I consciously try to spice up my life by adding something new. It might be as simple as walking or running a new path, meeting new people, traveling to new places, listening to new music, reading books, and learning something new -all these things add zest to my life.

One real expert at living on the edge and with plenty of ambiguity – both trying new things and pushing his and perhaps other people’s limits – is Håkan Roos, who just hosted a surprise party for his friends in honor of his own birthday (not the other way around). All we knew was that we needed to show up at the airport early Saturday morning and that we would not be back before late Sunday evening. All we did for the rest of that weekend was outside our plans, routines, ordinary lives or traditional birthday parties. We landed in Marrakesh and experienced some magic days that we will never forget.

Håkan is creative, bold and wild, which keeps him young in body and heart.

His recipe to add spice to his life is being curious to try new things, bold enough to make decisions, and implement those decisions, not worrying about problems or negative outcomes, and fixing the issues as they come, as well as not regret the mistakes and the dead ends that he inevitably sometimes will face.

We don’t have to be crazy, or wild and go off on dangerous limbs to add spice to our lives, but by deciding to add more variety and have the courage to brake our routines and welcoming ambiguity, I’m sure our lives will bring much more excitement and energy.


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The force that stops you from being yourself

Day 102Being self-conscious

If you were not self-conscious, how would you feel and what would you do differently?

Being conscious and self-aware is good, but being overly self-conscious, which means that we are not at ease with who we are, and what we do is limiting, inhibiting, and I would even say harmful.

We are meant to express ourselves and be who we are. However, most of us are holding back much of our energy and light.

Children are wonderful because they are naturally free to be. Before they develop their self-consciousness they express themselves and radiate pure joy. They are not embarrassed about being different and unique. They even seem to thrive on being different. Children are often strong and opinionated about what they want to do and want to wear. Some girls insist on dressing like a princess or wear pajamas to pre-school. Boys perhaps want to dress like Spiderman day and night for months and even years. Many know what they want to be when they grow up.

However, as children approach teenage years, they develop self-consciousness, which is suppose to help them function in groups, as they are getting ready to leave the nest and live on their own. Humans depend on belonging to a community – something greater than ourselves. Most often those that belong and function well in groups are stronger than the ones that have difficulties to assimilate.

By being tightly knit to a group however, has a price. We become more concerned about being liked, than about being our true self. After years of adapting, we end up not knowing our own preferences and that which makes us feel exited and alive. We lose ourselves.

The concern about being accepted and belonging seems to hold a grip on many of us until we arrive in middle age – late forties or fifties – when something again changes inside. Our soul wakes up and calls us forth – something inside us feels urgent. We can feel the clock ticking and many of us begin taking our lives and our own preferences more seriously. We long to claim our true being and to express ourselves again like we once did as a children.

“When you are your authentic self, you fulfill the dream that lives in your soul. “ Trudy Symeonakis Vesotsk


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Social arousal…

Day 94

The joy of gratifying social connections

I am feeling energetically high and alive after a very nice lunch and birthday celebration with good old friends, recent friends, as well as totally new connections.

The older we get, the more intimate we become with our friends.

As we approach mature adulthood, friends relate to each other without comparison and competition. We do not put ourselves above or below anyone – but connect in an accepting, warm and loving way. I love that!

The beauty of maturity is that we feel and are comfortable in our own skin. When we accept ourselves, we open up and share who we are without inhibitions. We become givers of our authentic selves and all what we value and are passionate about. We dear to be real – to share, to laugh, to cry, to hug and to speak our minds. Together we establish a easy going and free-spirited atmosphere with an expanding energy.

How sweet it is!


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Let’s never lose our party spirit!

Day 74There are certain nightclubs that carry a unique spirit, where people ‘dare’ to party. Where people transcend their minds and completely let go of their inhibitions, giving themselves the joy and freedom of being their wild selves.

Last night I partied with friends in such a place; one of the most legendary nightclubs in the Alps ; Farm Club, in Verbier, Switzerland.

It was jammed packed with people of all ages, which add to the fun. You find parents and children between 18 and 70+ partying together.

Many nightclub owners are dreaming of having a reputation like Farm Club, which draws people from everywhere. Farm Club has been the place to party in Verbier and the Alps since it opened by the Berardis; two Italian brothers who have been running the club for forty years (until last year).

What differentiates Farm Club, is the easy going positive spirit of all the guests, the many ages, and that the club has kept its original lay out, so people feel a sense of familiarity when they return year after year. It has the best DJ’s, who play very good music, and are sensitive to the audience and understand what music to play and mix depending on the age of the majority of its customers for each night. The sound system and lighting is all ‘top notch,’ and it is hard not to want to move, let lose and have fun in a place like that, (especially when you party with lots of people you know.)

I had such great fun dancing last night, being surrounded by people with spirits so high. It became a wild and crazy night and as one of my friends said, “it felt like we were at an animal farm.”

“You can’t be old and wise if you were never young and crazy.” So set yourself free and party from time to time!