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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

Syttende mai

Day 136Today is Syttende mai (17th of May), Norway’s National day.

I grew up in Norway and the 17th of May, next to Christmas, was the far most exciting day during the whole year. The constitution of Norway was signed on this day in 1814 and the huge celebration the Norwegians partake every year is like nothing else, as it brings the whole nation out into the streets and touches the hearts of every young child (it is also called the children’s day) and to those of the elderly. As a child, I would look forward to this day for months. Not only in Norway but in every Norwegian community around the world is this day celebrated with great parades with music corps, speeches, loads of fun games for the children, traditional food, and of course the national anthem being sung with joy, pride and devotion.

I moved abroad 30 years ago this year, and I have only been back a few times to celebrate Syttende mai since then. Last year though, a dream came true when I was back to celebrate the 200-year anniversary weekend, together with close to 50 of our friends that my husband and I had invited, from mostly Sweden. We were super lucky with the weather and had the best time on a gorgeous sunny and warm day.

IMG_9590Today, one year after the celebration I have received so many thank you messages from my friends that all remember the day and weekend we had with such joy and gratitude. How sweet and kind of them to share and let me know! I am forever grateful that my dream to share my cultural tradition with good friends was such a success.

1 Comment

Trade Offs

Day 132Battling with YES, NO, or YES and 

Yesterday we explored the question; what would life be like if we could have it all…to stretch our imagination of what more is possible for us.

To actually have it all is of course impossible. If I say yes to something – I have to say no to something else. If I say yes to have dinner with friends, I cannot at the same time be home with the family. We cannot have the cake and eat it too.

However, thinking in terms of that ‘trade offs’ are always necessary can be limiting, because it is often based on scarcity thinking. “There is not enough” – not enough time, not enough for everyone to go around etc. This mentality may restrict our imagination and hold us back. We may think that by adding something new to our lives, we have to give up on what we have and that prevent us from stepping up and go after something new. Our minds do not like trade offs, which perhaps is why so many of us do less than what we are capable of.

Questions expand our mind and stretch our imagination. E.G. How can my life, or this situation etc, get any better than it is? By playing with the bold idea that we can have it all, we open up to possibilities that we did not imagine before. And since many of us have not reached our full potential, taking another look at how we relate to the concept of trade offs can be useful.

If we look back at our lives and our busiest time, many of us have had the experience that we can manage much more than we earlier thought was possible. (As the Obama campaign encouraged: Yes, we can! :)). With our personal experiences in hindsight, we can most likely add meaningful activities to our lives, without having to sacrifice or give up ‘too much’ of what we already have.

What is something that you would love to do that you have not thought was possible? Why not go for it and give it a chance – believe that you can do it – and I believe that your gain will be much larger than your pain.

Leave a comment

What more is possible?

Day 131
What would life be like if we could have it all…?

I believe that many of us can experience, achieve and have more than what we have imagined.

Living with the attitude that more is possible – will most likely give us more. In any given situation we can simply ask; what more is possible? And be attentive for the answer! By asking the questions, we are programming our mind to look for solutions and by doing this; we put something (energy) in motion.

Many of us live our lives on automatic. We are living under a paradigm with which we see the world, often influenced and learned from our parents, friends, culture and society. We have put a limit to what we think we are capable of, what we deserve and think is possible. We operate within limits that we ourselves have created! We subconsciously do not believe that we actually are choosing how we live our lives ALL THE TIME.

Whether we do, or we don’t – we choose!

If we really take a look at our lives and understand that we are making choices all day long; from the decision of when to get up, and how to be and spend our day, until we make our final decision for the day on when we go to bed. With the awareness that we choose – maybe hundreds of times during a day – we can become inspired to stop in our tracks – and give ourselves a chance to reflect on what we have chosen until now in our lives.

What more would be possible in your life… if you began to question your choices and allowed yourself to dream a little more?


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.

Leave a comment

Making a leap – part 2

Day 126Expressing ourselves

When we allow fear of other people’s judgment to stop us from expressing ourselves, it is a clear sign that we care more about the external world than our inner world. Opinions in the external world will not make us feel happy and alive – only our purpose, mission and goals will. Only when we live from the inside out, and feel good about the efforts, the progress and the difference we make, will we feel truly satisfied. We know what makes our hearts sing, and what brings music to our lives. We should not look for validation from others; we ought to validate ourselves.

Sometimes it takes time for other people to realize and understand what we are up to. They will validate us perhaps only when we have proven that we are serious about whatever we are on a mission to do. We need to be strong and we need to be determined if we long to express ourselves and perhaps make an impact. Mahatma Ghandi who fought many battles said well what it might take to walk our own path; “first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win.” It doesn’t necessarily have to be as brutal as Ghandi experienced his battles. However, if we chose to walk our own path, it is good to be prepared and ready to walk part of that path alone and without necessarily validation and support.

What I have learned from throwing myself into the world of blogging is that I had to let go of worrying about other people’s opinions and instead get motivation from my goal. It is liberating to feel that it is my goal that is driving me everyday – not people’s comments or likes.

What I have learned is that when I let go of worrying about other people’s opinions and instead get my motivation from within, it is very liberating.

Based on my own experience of having a goal, and the difference it has made to my drive and motivation, I would encourage those of you who want to make the leap and express yourself publically, to also set a goal for yourself. Find out why, and your purpose. The purpose and goal will help you feel more assertive and less sensitive to other people’s lack of engagement, comments or likes.

Don’t let fear of being judged stop you from expressing yourself. Live your life for you, not for anyone else.


Live your life for you, not for anyone else.