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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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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Taking off on too much coffee

DAy 151The mystery of indulgence

For those of you who have followed me for a while; you know that I took a sabbatical from any stimulants such as coffee, tea with caffeine and alcohol for two weeks.

It was – surprisingly – not hard to take this break and it did me really well. I noticed a shift in my sense of inner calmness, and I enjoyed my own company feeling wholesome. My energy level was good, despite not having any stimulants.

I reintroduced the stimulants again a week ago and have chosen to consume smaller doses of tea and alcohol to maintain the calm sensation. I normally do not drink much coffee as it often makes me a bit too wired.

I woke up feeling very tired from lack of sleep and since I had an unusually hectic program today with several meetings among them one long four-hour meeting as well as close to five-hours of driving, plus some important and pressing decisions to make, I felt inclined to have a cup of coffee to get me started. It did me well, so I went for another cup very shortly thereafter. When that cup also felt ok, I even went for a third cup after lunch and I can tell you, that this was not a very good idea. To drink that much coffee – for someone like me who only drink coffee from time to time, it meant going into a spin that felt horrible.

What was I thinking? Well, that’s it. I wasn’t really thinking. Was I avoiding something? Perhaps… It is known that pain lies at the bottom of any addiction, and that self-indulgence goes hand in hand with addiction. Was I hoping for a different outcome than what I was used to having in the past…? Isn’t that the sign of insanity, to make the same mistake all over again expecting a different outcome, according to Einstein? As I took the third cup I knew I was playing with fire, but I decided to go for it and deal with the consequences later.

Looking back at it now, I cannot understand what came over me. Why did I let myself loose connection with my body and mind and allow myself to indulge this way? What happened to my usual strong willpower?

When we do not get off to a good start in the morning or something challenging happens during the day, it can be easy to get off balance. If we don’t stop and connect with ourselves, but instead keep making wobbly steps, we will keep on going further off balance – instead of what we really need, which is to be gentle and kind to ourselves by bringing us back to balance and a state of wellbeing.

What effect does coffee and other stimulants have on you? Do you sometimes indulge instead of looking at your fear or pain?


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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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PMS & PMDD

DAy 145Hormonal mood swings can turn a woman very emotional and, in some cases, into an angry bitch.

I have for the last few days been writing about relationships, intimacy and love, and yesterday’s blog was about being a bitch – which jeopardizes many relationships.

What I did not mention in yesterday’s blog was that many women suffer from PMS or even worse, Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, PMDD. Those with PMDD can experience dreadful mood swings, which can last for as long as up to two weeks per month – puh – as PMS can begin 10 days before a period and last a few days into the period.

Most women do feel that their mood changes with PMS. Many feel that it is not their fault if they turn into a mini bitch or even a super bitch during their PMS. It is true that women truly have to deal with tough challenges with their PMS and period every month, but is this ‘an OK excuse’ to act out and behave badly? Is it possible to be more in control of ones emotions? And is there something that can be done to ease the hormonal roller coaster?

First of all, there are things women can do to alter their life style that can have a major impact on their wellbeing. Exercising can help a lot, as well as finding out which type of food that nurtures them the best. For some, eating small portions of carbohydrates throughout the day can help. Also taking supplements of Vitamin B-6, magnesium and L-tryptophan may help. Some take birth-control pills to regulate their hormones and in more severe cases, prescription drugs might be needed.

I also think that mediation and mindfulness can help to bring an awareness of ones emotions and provide opportunities to make conscious choices in the emotional responses. A committed willingness to be our best self, and consciously think and be positive, instead of giving in to our immediate emotions and acting them out, both strengthens our character and can ease the mood swings.