ANINERGY

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


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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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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.


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When a man loves a woman

Day 139

How much love can you give?

Have you heard the touching song “When a man loves a woman,”sung by Percy Sledge? You can listen to the song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8raabzZNqw

The lyrics goes like this:

When a man loves a woman
Can’t keep his mind on nothing else
He’ll trade the world
For the good thing he’s found
If she’s bad he can’t see it
She can do no wrong
Turn his back on his best friend
If he put her down …

When a man loves a woman
Spend his very last dime
And trying to hold on to what he needs

He’d give up all his comforts
And sleep out in the rain
If she said that’s the way, it ought to be

When a man loves a woman
I give you everything I’ve got
Trying to hold on to your precious love
And baby baby please don’t treat me bad

When a man loves a woman
Deep down in his soul
She can bring him such misery

If she is playing him for a fool
He’s the last one to know
Loving eyes can never see

I think that many men can relate to the words in this song when they truly love their woman.

Men have a huge capacity to love their woman despite what women often think and say. They have the capacity to perhaps love a woman more than a woman can love a man. How do you like that perspective…?

So if men has this great capacity to love, why then do men fall out of love? As in the case in the story I shared yesterday, it is quite obvious. If we give our man no attention or affection, love will not and cannot grow. Men need to feel loved as much as women do, if not more – in order for them to feel satisfied and not “run away” and get busy with other things, such as work or sports, or even another woman.

Men often feel it is complicated to love a woman… and they often fall out of love with their woman because she has changed and become different in the relationship.

Too many women forget to love and show love towards their men, as they are so busy doing everything they “think” is essential… especially after having children. This is partly because mothers are genetically wired to take on the responsibilities to love and nurture their children. Mothers’ love for their children often satisfies women need for love, while their children are young. But then once the children are more independent, they wonder where their man went…?

Well he got busy doing other things….

But children are not the only “obstacle” to loving acts towards their man. When the initial romantic stage is over, and women do not know how to love deeper, they can exchange their need for love by investing their time at work or with friends instead with their man.

Many men rely on their women only, to fulfill their need of being loved. They do not have the deep connection with their male friends that women have with their girlfriends. Sadly, men do not have the same capacity to find love somewhere else, and therefore can feel very lonely and sad in their relationship with their woman.

Women often feel that their children’s and friends’ love fill them up, and in that case they do not need as much love from their man…, which makes them more susceptible to not be so loving towards their man.

I believe that most women do not know how to love a man. If you are a woman reading this, you probably are reacting strongly now…, because you feel that it is just the opposite, that your man does not know how to love you. That might be true as well, but I think that women, who have generally a greater ability to sense their feelings and put words to them, also have a greater capacity than men to understand their man and find a way to make him feel loved.

If it really is so that a man that feels loved will do anything for their woman… what more then can you do to love him?


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Dead or alive

Day 135“When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourselves in the world.” Echart Tolle

Today I had the most extraordinary experience while I sat in my garden fully concentrated on writing some reflections about the beautiful book I just finished; “I skymningen sjunger koltrasten,” – in English called ”The blackbird sings at dusk” by Linda Olsson. I heard a huge noise in the bushes and trees behind me. I quickly turned around, and out of the sea of leaves bounced my cat with a helpless little bird in its mouth.

I ran to see if I could save the poor bird. The cat let go of the bird when I insisted, and I gently laid the little bird in my hand. The small chest heaved up and down, and its little eyes looked at me and blinked again and again – and its stare almost looked human like.

Deep red blood seeped onto my hand. I had never studied a living bird up so close before. I felt so much for the poor bird, and with a desire to help and without knowing what else to do to, I stroked it gently while removing the few feathers that was ripped off. I felt the warmth of this creature in my hand. (This is the second time I see my cat having caught a bird in its almost 11 year lifetime. Thank God it is not a habit of our cat.).

After some time I decided to bring the bird into the house to show my daughter, but as soon as I approached the entrance of the house, the bird started to flap its wings and all of a sudden it showed so much life and seemed to have all this strengths. It first gave me hope that it might live. So I laid it down on a leaf hoping it would recover on its own. But when I went to check on it after some minutes I found it dead.

Day 135b

The blackbird is a symbol for magnificence and life in the very touching and inspiring book by Linda Olsson. She beautifully illustrates the hopelessness people can feel when they are different, rejected or alone. The common interest in literature between three neighbors – who are the main characters of the book – and the respectful, patient, warm and caring attitude they show for each other – help to turn all their lives around, as they develop deep relationships, and achieve a sense of purpose, love and joy.

This profound book spoke to me deeply because of the realism of the characters and how much people can help and give to each other by being interested, caring, supportive and generous. One part of the red thread throughout the book is the importance of living with a sense of purpose in order to feel fully alive.


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Ways to produce natural high energy

Day 130What does a life without stimulants feel like?

How much energy do we create through our activities (exercising, sleeping, things we love, time with friends etc), and how much energy is derived from what we eat and drink, such as healthy nutritious food vs. sweets, chocolate, coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol?

I am about to find out for myself how much energy I produce naturally, from just eating and living healthy, as I am today beginning a two-week ‘stimulant break ’.

I used to love drinking a couple of cappuccinos each day, before I became aware that caffeine was making me feel jittery. When I later made the connection, I exchanged caffeine for tea and mostly green tea, which is rich in antioxidants and have several other benefits.

At first, exchanging coffee for tea made a huge impact on my inner sense of calm and wellbeing, but this was until I became a heavy tea drinker…. Green tea also contains caffeine and little did I know that I consumed so much tea that it had a negative effect on my adrenals, which got triggered too often – and this rubbed my overall hormonal balance.

During May of last year, I decided to give myself a little cleanse by taking a couple of weeks break from black and green tea, plus coffee and alcohol and anything containing sugar, so no fruit, no white starches, no chocolate etc.

It was an interesting experience. I very much enjoyed challenging myself by being disciplined, and I was curious about the possible effect it would have on me.

What I learned about myself was important and not at all what I had expected. I realized that the main reason why I often woke up very early in the morning, around 4am, was my tea and sometimes coffee intake during the day – not that I went to bed too early or was thinking or worrying too much. I was positively surprised that one of the benefits of taking a break from these stimulants was that I would sleep sound throughout the night. It was a huge blessing for me.

I was so happy being able to sleep like a baby again so I extended the brake from tea and coffee and continued drinking herbal teas for months. I slowly got back into drinking green and black tea after several months and then less strong and fewer cups.

A year has gone by since my first experiment and I feel inclined to do one again. Springtime is a good time to do a little cleanse.

I am looking forward to a good night with deep sleep and feeling naturally refreshed in the morning.


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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.