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

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Develop your freedom to be

Day 112Learn to be free

Having the freedom to be ourselves is energizing and empowering. Feeling free is one of my highest values.

Being free, requires that we say yes to that which is important to us, as well as setting healthy boundaries, by saying no to those things that do not go in alignment with our values, believes and wants. This is not always an easy task because we often want to be nice. But nice doesn’t mean that we have to accept that people walk over us. Brene Brown, reminds us that “daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.”

Setting boundaries is healthy and a way of caring for ourselves. We have to learn to respect and take care of ourselves and understand that if we try to be everything for everyone else, we lose ourselves.

Take a look at your life; how often do you feel yourself becoming angry, resentful, or exhausted? If you visit any of those emotions regularly, you have most likely not been setting a healthy boundary.

Terri Cole, says that “at first, you will probably feel selfish, guilty, or embarrassed when you set a boundary. Do it anyway and tell yourself you have the right to self-care. Setting boundaries takes practice and determination. Don’t let anxiety or low self-esteem prevent you from taking care of yourself.”


Living our cultural heritage

Day 67My body and mind is a bit fried as I sit down to write today. I have been skiing for the first time the Engadina Ski Marathon, 42km ‘classic style,’ (not skating).

The marathon today reminded me of how much cross-country skiing is part of my cultural heritage, and something I can feel the cells of my body have missed. It was thrilling to be back on skis and amongst so many others who love the sport.

I grew up in Norway where cross-country skiing is a national sport. During my childhood our family cross-country skied quite often, but only leisurely. I was not passionate about skiing as a child and racing was for sure not my thing. However, the older I got the more I came to enjoy the tranquility of the sport particularly because I was mostly skiing in the mountains above the tree line.

It was while cross-country skiing in the Norwegian mountains I came to learn about peace of mind. Skiing in this wide-open, untouched landscape, above the treetops, with no or few people in sight, with the diagonal movement of cross-country skiing, harmonized my brain and touched my soul.

It is thirty years ago since I left Norway. I have missed my old love of being out in the wild and cross-country skiing.

I am grateful that my husband and friends encouraged me to participate in this ski Marathon. It was a thrilling experience to be skiing amongst 25,000 participants (some doing the half marathon and others doing the full distance). It felt like I had come back to my element.

Somewhere along our life journey we may give up part of our cultural heritage and who we used to be. If we meet a partner who does not share the same heritage or if we move abroad, many of us let go of cultural heritage and values we love.

If we reclaim the old ‘parts’ of us, these can bring loads of joy and energy to our lives.