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

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How sweet it is to be loved by you

Day 141How sweet it is to be loved by you

I have a lot to celebrate today and even this year.

Today May 22,nd is the 22nd wedding anniversary for my husband and I.

We have been a couple for 25 years – so a quarter of a century this year.

I have spent More than 1/2 of my life with my husband.

This year, it is also 30 years since I left Norway and became an adventurous expat.

My recipe for living in a happy, loving, and fulfilling relationship:

  1. Being real with one another
  2. Speaking our truth
  3. Sharing things with one another that feels heavy in our heart.
  4. Supporting one another.
  5. Taking responsibility for our own happiness
  6. Taking responsibility for our own growth and development
  7. Praising one another
  8. Showing and expressing gratitude towards each other
  9. Consciously giving the love our partner long for to feel loved.
  10. Understanding that intimacy and connection is of primary importance in our relationship when having a conflict and argument – not that of being right or bright.
  11. Having understood that love is a verb. Love is engaging in kind actions, which brings about feeling love for the other.
  12. Giving one another freedom to be ourself and to do our own things (from time to time).
  13. Family meals
  14. Quality one on one time almost every day.
  15. Spending a romantic weekend away at least ones per year.
  16. Dancing together
  17. Sharing positive experiences together and also sharing the family work-load
  18. Intentionally being positive and uplifting towards one another.
  19. Having the heart to say, “I am sorry.”
  20. Warm hugs, sex and physical touch.
  21. Being happy, proud and grateful for one another and for what we got.

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When a woman praise a man

DAy 140We all have an innate need to be seen, appreciated and make a difference.

Our work can bring us a great sense of meaning and purpose as well as recognition. At work we often engage in activities where we have strengths and talents and where we make a difference. If we are lucky, we have colleagues, or a boss, that see and appreciate the work we do, and deliver praise for the contribution we make. Many of us connect our identity with our work. We relate who we are to what we do. Perhaps men do this more so than women.

I just came back from a wonderful classical concert in The Victoria Hall in Geneva. As we all applauded the vocalist and musicians, I reflected upon that there are few professions that receive as much applause and praise as performers and professional athletes. They often bathe in praise and I’m sure they appreciate it. They also get publically criticized when their performance is not to the level or taste of the audience. Performers often suffer when judged negatively. But don’t we all…?

We all like to feel competent and strong. But that is not often the case as we return home after a day at work. Many men feel out of place when they come home, where domestic activities are being performed. Women to this day, even though it has changed radically over the past 40 years, often take on a larger share of the work at home with children, keeping the home tidy and clean and preparing meals – despite also having a profession. Since women for generations have done more of this type of work, men don’t feel as competent, and this might hold them back from engaging more, especially if they are criticized for the efforts they do make. How a woman treats her man will most likely determine his future engagement.

Many women get tired and in a bad mood when they end up with double work. This imbalance often creates conflict and distance between partners and can be one of the major obstructions to a loving connection.

What can be done to bridge the gap that often arises between couples?

What can we do to stop fighting over imbalances?

In environments where we feel valued and receive praise, we become inspired and motivated to change our behavior and actions. A woman can truly make a difference to inspire her man by giving more praise.

If both partners become more conscious of and notice all the things that each one contributes with – both outside of home and within the home – as well as recognize the qualities they each one has and give more praise, we can bridge that gap and take the relationship to the next level. When we notice and share positive things with our partner, it inspires more of the same behavior. It also makes us grateful and happy, and we feel more love towards our partner when we think about their positive characteristics.

How much praise verses criticism do women deliver to their men at home? I think that men thrive on praise and will be more inclined to take a greater share to make a difference at home, if they feel that what they do is appreciated and valued. Women may need to get used to giving more praise than what they receive, if they want to share the work at home. Women might not think this is fair and reasonable. My advice is to eat your pride and just do it. It will be so worth it!

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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?


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.

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A heart full of love – heartful…

Day 127“A loving heart, a heart full of love is the precious essence of human life.” – Maharishi Mahesh developed the Transcendental Meditation technique and was a leader and guru.

In my world, there is no greater feeling than being ‘heartful’. Heartful is not a word in the dictionary yet… but I think it soon will be. I think it is a beautiful word that I often use; as it has great meaning to me. I define heartful as feeling whole, fulfilled and loving. Being heartful is a state, or an experience of a feeling that nothing is missing in life. We are at peace with who we are, with our current and past experiences, with where we are, and with what we have. When we are heartful, our heart feels soft and free to fully live, love and be.

How do we become heartful? There are several ways to get there….

First, we feel content with the essence of who we are – we see ourselves, we accept ourselves and we love who we are.

We accept and love our body with its beauty – and equally important – its limitations.

We are grateful for the talents that we have been given. We don’t dwell on our weaknesses. Instead we are accepting of ourselves and of the fact that we and everyone else have our limitations. We understand that we are not super women or men, but that most of us are doing the best we can with what we know.

Second, we engaged in things that have heart and meaning to us. In other words, we spend our time in ways that fulfill us (rather than deplete us).

Third, we spend time with people where we experience mutual acceptance and kindness towards one another; and authentic, honest and open communication.

Fourth, we are in touch with our ‘love language’ – meaning, we can articulate what is important to us in order to feel loved. We do not feel ashamed to ask for what we long for and need in order to feel loved in our relationships. (We do not play games, such as being stoic and swallow our feelings and then later feel victimized because our needs have not been met.) We realize instead that no one can read our mind (and that the best way to have our needs met is to articulate them, first to ourselves and then to others – we do not expect people/our loved ones to find it our for us).

Fifth, we strive to live in balance. We don’t do things to please others, unless it also feels good to us. We realize that giving without joy will deplete us in the long run.

Sixth, we seek to know ourselves well and live in accordance to what builds us, supports us, and make us strong.

Seventh, we refrain from doing anything that will break us down over time.

Eight, we are not defensive and we do not take other people’s emotions personally.

Ninth, we accept our own emotions and are not afraid of them but go into and feel them fully rather than trying to understand them.

Tenth, when our heart is full – it “spills over” and we are generous, warm, loving and kind.

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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.


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.