ANINERGY

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


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Today I said my final goodbye …

Day 194

…and I did not shed a tear…

…as I handed over the keys to the house that our family have lived in for the past eleven years. We finished another chapter, ready to turn the page and begin anew.

I was not emotional as I said my goodbyes. For a moment I wondered why… In the past, I have been very emotional, often with big crocodile tears rolling down my cheeks! I realized that this time I felt different, because I knew that this day had been coming for more than a year.

I therefore prepared myself by soaking up for the last time the gorgeous surrounding that I have had the fortune to experience. Every season I knew would be the last with all that it had to offer and I have experienced it in its entirety.

I have seen my surroundings with new eyes and have been much more present. It has been very enriching and fulfilling to dive so completely into living life this way. Today, I feel complete with what I have had and where I have lived more so than any other place I have resided before.

I have learned that when we live to the fullest, there are no regrets in lost opportunities. It is easier to be grateful for what we have had, and also to let go and not try to hold on to things, when we fully appreciate and live out our experiences and what we have while we have it.


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One way to keep romance alive

Day 153
Celebrating lasting love

My husband and I have for the third time celebrated our friends’ marriage with a big party. The 1st time was when they got married the 3rd of June 1995.

The second time, when we celebrated their 10-year anniversary the 3rd of June 2005, and today 20 years later have we celebrated their love for each other once again.

Day 153dI think it is a beautiful commitment that our friends made to one other when they agreed to renew their vows with the same wedding guests every 10 years. It is for sure a great achievement to live with love year after year, and stay with one another and endure and work through tough and challenging years.

day 153cMost marriages are full of love, hopes and excitement initially. More than fifty percent eventually ends with the opposite emotions and in divorce.

What goes wrong…?

What if more couples decided to celebrate their love and anniversary in a more engaged way? Would fewer couple take each other for granted? Would more marriages be happy and survive?

Day 153e


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What do you do when you are bored?

Day 152How and when does boredom arise?

When a person has more energy and time – than engaging things to do.

Do you sometimes feel bored? There are for sure many students on school vacation and even graduate students that are feeling bored right now, unless they are vacationing with friends, have found a summer job, or something that feels meaningful for them to do.

A student’s life is most often completely packed with schoolwork (which also many think is boring) and extra curricular activities. When the daily routine is gone, and nothing is scheduled, many free students do not know what to do with themselves and their time, unless they are engaged in sports, or some hobby. Not only students feel this way…. many people who regularly are working long hours have a hard time doing nothing, or too little during their vacations.

To be bored can feel painful and like a real energy drainer, which is why most people get busy occupying themselves doing something, and sometimes mindless things, which are not necessarily fulfilling. To hang out with friends, shop, watch movies, listen to music and party are activities that most people default to, to avoid the void. There is nothing wrong with those activities, but done in excess, or as a Band-Aid, will not give true fulfillment. There may always be an undertone of boredom during these types of activities.

How about hanging out and allowing ourselves to be ok with emptiness and ask ourselves some good questions when we feel little bored? I wonder what impact this would have… Does perhaps boredom stimulate creativity?

PS The men in the picture perhaps seems to have nothing compared to many of us, but I hardly believe they often feel bored. Why…?


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Flower Power

Day 150Spring sprung fast into flowering.

Today is the last day of May, the last day of spring, and 150 days since New Year. Time flies. With 215 days to go before 2016, we still got the time to sprout with what lie ready to blossom within us.

For many years now, I have witnessed with great fascination, appreciation, and joy the transition from winter to spring. It truly feels like a huge gift each year as I see the first flowers poke out of the ground, and the fruit trees and flowers turn into blossom. I feel incredibly lucky to live with nature all around me, and to live in a region that has four seasons.

The bursting energy of spring makes us alive; to witness all which has appeared to be dead come alive and blossom. To witness everything that has appeared to be dead come alive. Have you been in awe of it all?

Day 150bI did not use to feel the same gratitude to the wonder of the seasons and understood later that it said something about me at the time. Goethe phrased it well, “man sees the world what he carries in his heart.”

My grandmother loved pruning her rose garden and it was beyond my comprehension as a child that it could give her so much pleasure to spend her time this way. I am still not an engaged gardener but I have developed a whole new level of appreciation for flowers and things that grow and blossom. I believe that when we do not pay attention to the wonders of life, it can keep us in a rut. When we do pay attention, life becomes more real and rich. As Alice Walker said, Alice Walker expresses it well, “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”

If a seed or an acorn has the potential to grow and blossom, so do we!

What actions can you do to cultivate the seeds within you?

It is time to bloom!


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Geneva is a great place to ‘leave.’

Day 147Less than 24-hour travel-dive – my new thing.

We jokingly say, “Geneva is such a great place to leave”. And it is true that, in addition to it being ranked this year as the city with the highest quality of living in the world, Geneva has another advantage, it is in the middle of Europe, which makes it so easy to – leave – and feasible to make quick trips to other places in Europe within an hour or two, either by car, train, or plane. Since Geneva is a quiet and small city, I find that leaving this little place from time to time and get a dose of some energy and pulse is very refreshing.

It is not always feasible, nor desirable, to be away for several days when traveling. Traveling often eats up a lot of time and it is easy to loose momentum with the projects one has going. That is why I decided to only do a 20-hour trip to visit a good old friend who has taken a sabbatical year in Paris from her hectic and busy life in Stockholm. She has lived in Paris with two of her children. This was a creative and courageous decision, and the year has offered her and her children tremendous value.

I spent 20 hours only in Paris, and I feel energized and inspired by this quick dive into my friend’s world in this mesmerizing city. I arrived yesterday in time to share a lovely lunch with her and another Parisian friend. We sat outside in a courtyard and had a glass of rosé and agreed, “this is life” – to have this opportunity to sip rosé on a Wednesday in lovely sunshine and eat a delicious French meal in Paris.

It might sound like too hectic to be away only 20 hours, but we truly spent quality time together (and I worked both on my way there and back, so I did not loose any time). One of the fun highlights was that we exercised with a fantastic personal trainer in a nearby park, which was filled with lots of people. It was great fun to be amongst all the local Parisians who were running and exercising or just lying around in the grass. We ate a delicious dinner outside in the courtyard/terrace at Costes, (we Scandinavians are very fan of eating outside when possible, for obvious reasons) a beautiful restaurant with super food, interesting people and an almost mystical ambiance, (rare to find in Geneva).

I had a good night sleep in my friend’s lovely apartment and even had time for a nice chat at breakfast before taking a 40 min flight back.

Short trips can quickly give you inspiration and energy, and can easily, and maybe even preferably, be done alone.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” St. Augustine


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The weight of your thoughts

DAy 146One day quite soon, I believe that we will be able to measure the weight of our thoughts; the things we talk about and the impact it has on us.

Science is great at measuring the impact of unhealthy living habits, such as stress, eating unhealthy processed food, too much sugar, hydrogenic oils, smoking, drinking too much alcohol etc., but to my knowledge the impact of our thoughts and chosen words and it’s impact on our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, has not yet been measured scientifically. I think that when scientific studies get publicized around this topic, then humanity will have a chance to make a leap in consciousness and human potential.

If people only knew how negative thinking, moaning and groaning and negative talk impact their energy and wellbeing, they would get scared, and begin to rethink and more carefully chose what thoughts and subjects that dwell in their mind.

I am convinced that negative thinking is as deadly for us as negative physical living habits. This could be negative thoughts about ourselves, our life situation, or about someone else.

Pay attention to your energy level next time you have a negative thought! Notice how light versus heavy you feel. Notice how powerful versus powerless you feel. Notice how happy and peaceful you feel as you are thinking those negative thoughts.

Heighten your awareness also around the things that you talk about with others, either directly to them or about others behind their backs. How light or heavy do your body and mind feel while and after having been critical and negative?


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The magic formula to reduce conflicts with your partner

DAy 143Have you ever been in a long heated discussion with your spouse?

Sometimes this can last for a full day or more, and none of the two can get out of their fighting positions?

How do you get to peace, without hiding the issue under the carpet and pretending that nothing happened, and learn from the heated discussion, so it has not been a waste of energy?

During the day after the fight, both partners can have distance and perspective and see what was so sensitive from both sides. It is worth to take the time to discuss and learn. Then we are able to articulate calmly what we want from one another in the future, to avoid similar conflicts. We can set a follow up plan, where we will check in once a week to track our progress and give each other uplifting affirmations when we show that we have made improvements in our habits. If we slip, we can talk about it, and give feedback and assistance to see what else is needed in order to achieve the needed and agreed changes.

Most couples have “hot issues”, that will be triggered from time to time and cause continuous conflict if we do not talk about these thoroughly. For each time the issue is triggered, it will feel increasingly energy draining. After many years of struggling with the same issues, our body can revolt to a degree so that it feels almost an allergic like reaction. When our body speaks to us so strongly, it is a clear sign that we have to address the issue; otherwise it can even impact our health.

It is very effective to be in movement when we discuss an issue that is sensitive. Conflicts carry with them pretty heavy energy. It is easy to get stuck in destructive arguments of anger, which brings no resolution but further distance and low energy. To be in movement while talking with the aim to understand and be understood, frees the body and mind. Take a walk next time you have an important and possibly hot issue to discuss with your spouse.

My husband and I try making sure that when one person speaks, the other does not cut in before the point is finished. We have found this to be crucial to avoid escalating arguments. To be heard and understood relaxes our bodies and open our hearts and allow for re-connection and closeness.

Healthy marriages without any conflicts are rare. Experiencing conflicts from time to time are part of most intimate relationships. In order to be intimate we need to speak our mind. Sometimes when we do, it can lead to conflict, unless both individuals are good at listening, understanding, and negotiating calmly.

Most of us carry with us some sort of “baggage” from our upbringing as we enter a marriage or partnership. Some carry small, others carry big loads, from our childhood. We are often blind to see our own dysfunctional patterns, habits, and other peculiarities, because we have most likely been living under circumstances during our upbringing that brought about these habits and tendencies and we consider them normal.

Being in a good and constructive relationship where we help one another to grow can be the most effective way to heal our childhood wounds and stop unhealthy habits and patterns. If we look at conflicts this way, as an opportunity to grow, we might become less conflict averse and take the time to do the work of listening and speaking and arriving to a resolution – “to a peace with progress”.