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

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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:

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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Day 128“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”  Thornton Wilder was an American playwright and novelist.

In yesterday’s blog, I wrote about various ways to be heartful. One great way to a heart full of love is GRATITUDE.

It is well recognized in positive psychology that gratitude alters our outlook of life and impacts our positive feelings and emotions. By simply recognizing with gratitude how fortunate we are for all the things we have (and have taken for granted), we can be both happier and respond to life in a much more positive fashion. With a grateful mind and heart, we will most likely also attract more of the things we want, wish or hope for.

We might be complacent and not very happy. Or we might have a mind that is often in a critical modus looking for what is not working. With a mind programmed to continuously change and improve things, there is a risk that we see life through a lens where the glass looks a bit half empty rather than half full. With this outlook, we don’t tend to take a pause and feel gratitude.

If you recognize yourself in this description, you may forget to stop and celebrate and feel grateful for the improvements you are making and the successes you have. As soon as you have achieved something, you look for something new to chase rather than stop, savor and be happy for what you have. When our heart is not full, we strive to accomplish and have more with a hope it will fill the empty feeling we carry in our hearts.

I used to be one of those people with a whole in my heart, striving to continuously change and improve. I did not sense gratitude often enough in my daily life. So when I one day woke up and realized that I had been looking for happiness in the wrong places, I instead began to notice all that I was fortunate to have, and all that was working in my life. With this simple shift in attitude my life took on another turn and gave me more and with less effort. The attitude of gratitude has brought richness into my life on many levels – among them, I very often feel heartful.

I also enjoy expressing gratitude towards my husband, which he of course appreciates – and I have noticed that the love between us has grown as a result of it.

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The majesty of the present moment

Day 123

Where are we… if we are not in the here and NOW…?

Today I had an extraordinary experience (on an airplane). To shift my position a bit, while reading, I leaned onto my elbow and placed my cheek in my hand. As my hand met my face, I all of a sudden felt my cheek so soft and silky – and it startled me. It was like I was touching my face for the very first time. I couldn’t believe that it could feel so nice – and why had I never felt it in this way before? I stopped reading and decided to fully allow myself to feel the pleasure of stroking my face gently, and leave my question for later. The experience was so wonderful and profound that I wanted to capture and savor it – not ignore it – or rush onto something else – and I am very glad I did. (I must have looked a bit funny as I stroked my face like one would stroke someone else’s cheek, but I didn’t care what people might have thought.)

How many times have I touched my face before…? I wash my face daily with my hands. I put on cream and makeup, but I have never before registered the feeling of my own cheek in my hand this way.

What I experienced on that plane was truly being in the present moment – I was there fully with my senses. My mind was quiet as I allowed this simple little experience to fill me with joy and gratitude.

I do not know what allowed me to have such a strong sensory experience. It could have been a combination of various things. I was just returning from the mountains where time stands still and the mind is calm. Or it could be the book I am reading, which touched me and brought tears to my eyes several times. Or it could have been served to me from above… I had decided earlier this morning that I would like to write about being in the present moment. The topic seemed so appropriate after the cross-country skiing experience I just had in the Norwegian mountains with my father where the vastness of nature brings me totally into the now.

No matter the reason, I got a glimpse of the beauty of being fully in the present; my heart was open and I felt fulfilled and at peace.

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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.


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.


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.


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.


Are you a tech and social media victim?

DAy 116The effect and consequences of the overuse of tech gadgets.

I wonder; how many families that are complaining about the lack of presence among their family members because of tech devices and social media?

Today, most families spend much less time face-to-face. Overuse of phones, computers, social media, and computer games can have large negative implications. The truth is – those of us overusing our tech gadgets are suffering consequences impacting the quality and energy of our lives.

We might feel we are in control…but are we not rather being controlled?

Which ones of the below would apply to you? Honestly…

  • Lack of concentration due to multi tasking
  • Getting less done because of tech gadgets disturbing your workflow (sound alerts, answering the phone, checking messages)
  • Not enough quality time with loved ones
  • Increased amount of arguments due to lack of communication
  • Social withdrawal
  • Waste of time on social media instead of progressing with what is really important to you
  • Lack of time to develop your strengths and talents
  • Feeling restless
  • Feeling anxious
  • Unhappy – because you compare yourself to all the others on Facebook?

How ineffective are meetings when people are dividing their attention between their phones, Ipads and the meeting?

How can we use the new opportunities provided by technology without becoming ineffective?

How can we be in control of the devices and the social media instead of them controlling us?