BE WELL

Dance to me is the foundation for my wellness. Wellness is to create the conditions we need to feel well; regardless of whether we have an illness, disability or are upset in any other form.

waterPhysical wellness is to ensure that I receive the fresh and clean nutrition, sleep, rest, oxygen, sunlight, temperature, touch, water and home that I need so that I can dance, and live.

Mental wellness is to use my mind wisely in terms of time management, communicating boundaries, needs and allow for creativity to flow while taking responsibility for retrieving information and founding healthy decisions and actions, appropriate for me.

Emotional wellness is to be able to have my space free of intruders and invite guests in when I choose to. This refers both to my physical space and my heart-space, to be moved by circumstances and be part of life, as well as rejoice in personal memories with gratitude and expressing myself and connecting to others with mutual support.

Spiritual wellness is exercising my faith freely, whether in a church or outside in Mother Nature, to pray without interruption, correction or judgment, wile receiving inspiration.

In other words, what makes us feel free, also ensures a sense of wellness when our needs are met, so that the coping with stress doesn’t spill over but becomes less and personal leadership becomes more. Do you allow others to lead their own lives?

MOM AND DAD

All our conflicts stem from the patterns we have been conditioned to in our childhood, until we become aware of them and learn how to behave differently. Each generation also have its own pattern, based on the collective theme of its time. These conflicts arise from the beginning in each individual family, becomes extended to the rest of the community, city and nation, based on our needs, whether basic needs like food and be loved, or self-realization through our identity and creativity.

When I grew up my parents often argued about money before we had to downscale to a smaller house in another town where my mother had a full time job as a teacher, while my father was freelancing as a journalist, ending in a divorce a couple of years later. In Sweden, a country much founded on the ideal of equal opportunities, this doesn’t always work literally, where for example an independent contractor or someone who has been unemployed or on leave, will loose all benefits, as opposed to having an insurance. So, where do we turn for our provision and safety?

At first we might turn to the police, the way I received help from the HPD and the FBI (previously referred to as Mom and Dad in my blog) five years ago in Honolulu, when I was physically stalked by a guy from Sweden and thereby hindered from finishing my degree, start working and continue normally with new and former relationships. They inspired me to understand their perspective of trying to take on the role as parents for those who need it when our own failed to teach us how to set proper boundaries or when others violate them. Often this type of parenting becomes solemnly governed through a sense of correction, discipline and guidance, forgetting the most important thing which is love – accepting, respecting and loving like a parent should with compassion while allowing honest vulnerability to permeate one’s expression with a sound Ego to define one’s personality.

The authorities, such as government agencies, law enforcement, church congregations and the like, become our stand-in substitute for our parents to enable us guidance to heal and ensure our own self-sufficiency. But very often this too fails, based on a patriarchal model of gender-based oppression and abuse of power. This is why we should, according to my opinion, define and exercise a greater tolerance in terms of always founding our decisions, communication and action with compassion, urging each grown-up individual to take responsibility for his/her own healing and ability to grow self-love that makes the need to harm others lesser, if protected from being taken advantage of.

How is a parent a good parent? How can a grown-up behave like a healthy adult? How does it apply to you and your relationships? If you compare your findings to the rest of the community, workplace or city where you live, what is the same?

Mother Earth and Father Heaven meeting in our Collective Heart.

Photo from December 2010 by Desirée Seitz.

THE BOOK WORM

My mother’s ex-husband Christer likes to call books for our “quiet friends”, referring to the way we can get to know a character in a novel or simply open our minds to new adventures that we can live through reading. I am pretty sure I have read at least about 300 books, I think, since I first learned how to read when I was about 4 years old when I was bored and annoyed with my father Carl-Johan, who is an author, who would sit and read the newspaper and I would demand him to teach me, which he did. At the age of 12 I had the unforgettable phone conversation with Astrid Lindgren about “Ronia, the Robber’s daughter” upon my Dad had booked her for a reading. She had a very specific voice that she used for her storytelling also orally which made me feel very special, grateful and included by, given her focus on kids who often felt left out either by their peers or due to their family feuds which I could relate to. As a teenager I used to be allowed to go down into the archives at our local library to explore old books, ranging from Cherry Ames to Swedish sagas. Growing up, I read all Agatha Christie’s books, followed by a decade of immersing myself into New Age literature and books by Carlos Castaneda and Lynn Andrews. So, which ones did I really get inspired by for my own living and writing, even consisting of getting my own green notebook? Here is a list of some of my other favorites:

Harriet – the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Anne Frank’s Diary by Anne Frank

Britta and Silver by Lisbeth Panke

Talking with Horses by Henry Blake

Words for sale by Jan Cederquist

The Ninth Insight by James Redfield

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

The Unmistakable Touch of Grace by Cheryl Richardson

The Right Questions by Debbie Ford

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

Shakespeare’s sonnets and his other works

Karin Boye’s poems and “The Waiting Room” by Niklas Törnlund

Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut

A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

Half a sheet of Foolscap by August Strindberg

To Kill a Child by Stig Dagerman

Crisis and Development by Johan Kullberg

The Dream Society by Rolf Jensen

Co-Active Coaching by Kimsey-House and Sandahl

The Skilled Helper by Gerard Egan

My Father Had a Dream by Barack Obama

The Diffusion of Innovation by Everett Rogers

The Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer

The Thesaurus (with which I used to kill spiders, making the cover nasty, bad decision ;-) )

The Bible

I think we all become affected by what we read, sometimes consciously and sometimes subconsciously, so what do you read?

In loving memory of my two English teachers: Rose-Marie and Deborah, without whom I would never have been able to write this good in English.

SECRET PROMISES

That feeling. The feeling of lightness and strengthened integrity that comes from keeping a promise we made to ourself in regards to setting boundaries, meeting a goal, fulfilling a desire and standing up against injustice. It is a matter of deciding when to let go and when to have patience and for what or who, with faith and trust. Like every similar thing, it has to do with our values that we must examine and define in the process of becoming who we are, which in turn becomes the way we relate to others, so that we can choose our partners, colleagues and friends accordingly while perhaps remaining faithfully loyal to our family if they provide us with the loving support we wish for. When we live according to what we hold high, we are loyal to our own heart. But what is it then to be loyal towards another person, organization or a country?

When our personal values become scrutinized and then developed into a collective way of behaving, it shows up as an ideal worth fighting for. But is the ideal something that is good, honor the greater community with dignity, freedom and respect for all or is it a result of group-think based on subconscious fears and anger? I think, loyalty forms from a sense of shared experiences if we look back, and from a similar vision about the future if we look forward. To have these discussions openly is what creates mutual trust based on an increased tolerance and understanding so that we can choose what and who to be loyal to, based on our needs and sense of righteousness together.

And sometimes it is just a matter of the loving energy in personal relationships. That feeling.

DANCING FOR ENLIGHTENMENT

One of the most important abilities as a dancer is to feel connected to the ground (earth or floor) from which we move in different directions regardless of our styles. Some may be more “airy” like Isadora Duncan who has a light and flowing sense of motions, whereas African is more grounding and passionate in it its nature, while Hula has the motion of the ocean in our hips and hands, being one with Mother Nature.

At the same time we must be grounded in our own personalities to be able to express ourselves in harmony with the music and to be giving something to the audience.

While practicing Modern Contemporary, there is always a lot of floor-work; meaning motions that we do sitting or laying, going down to and back up from the floor as part of the dance choreography. One of my weak spots have been just that, for example back-rolls have frightened me before and it wasn’t until yesterday I realized that it is probably due to that I once got a concussion when I fell on the floor in Elementary school with the add of falling of horses as part of my teenage years, making me cautious of getting hurt on the floor (or ground), instead of trusting that it is what carries me.

Contemporary Modern is to me an art-form that enable us to express our not so nice emotions (like betrayal, anger, grief, disappointment etc), to release that what is holding us back from peace and harmony in our relationships with ourselves and others. This process of releasing our own luggage is also essential to Hula ‘Auana; in order to find a sense of aloha (expressing more emotions like love, joy, happiness, gratitude etc) where our history can be used as a foundation for understanding and moving forward – to imua.

Our bodies are our instruments with which we can play for fun or to be serious.

LOOKING FOR OUR TRIBE

crystal_vaseThe beauty in connecting with other people online is the opportunity to communicate across national borders which enable us to find new perspectives, share and explore, but also to manifest and express our own values to see if they match. It can be built on an interest, a shared experience in real life or a desire, ideal or simply the need to talk. This becomes the foundation for communities online which in turn both can reflect what already exists in different locations, but also function as a spring-board for new combinations to occur when enough people join together to realize a vision.

But who do we let in to our communities? Do we allow everybody to belong regardless of our geographical location or nationality? Or does our own prejudice of discriminating factors come in the way? It seems to me that our lives online and offline have merged more for those of us who use social media frequently, but the pitfall is the purpose behind the activities that we share. Do we put up pictures of what we have done or are we doing things to put pictures up of? What then happens to the credibility and integrity if we have to “prove” ourselves all the time? Or in my own case, where I feel like I am not “allowed” to apply my knowledge at real life venues in some shape or form to contribute, at the location where I am currently in Sweden due to the structure of the society, so how do I market myself then? Or when my marketing becomes abused and taken by another person for their gain without compensation?

The communication we do, all have the common ground that we are looking to belong in a positive, life-giving, healthy way which is a search for a tribe. When we don’t have what we need, whether it is financial objectives not being met or spiritually acclaimed customs we don’t feel supported in exercising, we migrate to find a new.

Will you let me in?

ROLEMODELS OF LOVE

The first time I received a bouquet of flowers from a guy I liked, was when I was 20 and held a house-warming party at an apartment I had just bought in the south of Sweden. It was from a guy named Fredrik Ohlsson who spent his year as an exchange student in High School in Rhode Island at the same time I did in New York. During our time as exchange students we wrote handwritten letters to each other a couple of times, flew together back and forth where he turned into a man and we remained friends upon our return to Sweden. I was later told that he was a soccer-playing guy who never wrote letters to anyone, but for me. We used to sit and talk for hours over the phone but he still chose to have a beautiful blonde as his girlfriend. Years went by and our contact became more sporadic and I had someone else to be my boyfriend. Nevertheless, he came to my party that time with a small bouquet of snowdrops that he had picked himself. Without his girlfriend.

What is a good loving relationship? I have described Divine love much before in my blog and books, but Human love is something different in its form that it always comes with conditions in relationships, and is always subject to change, based on our needs, phases, environment, finances, maturity, shortcomings and preferences. What is it that we hold most important – adventure or safety? Good looks or a shoulder to cry on? Or both? A hot lover or someone who can become a good father to our children? The list goes on and our perception and understanding varies according to our own patterns and desires.

My parents divorced with turbulence and while my father found a new femme that he has remained faithful to, my mother ended up having affairs with several married men, until she remarried the last couple of her years. Neither of them has shown me the kind of loving relationship that I want to have. However, my grandparents Hanna and Åke, did.

Hanna was his second wife, thus my step-grandmother and they met in Yugoslavia on a vacation to where they both had traveled alone, she from Germany, he from Sweden. They met once more after that week and then she decided to take the leap and move in with him to a country where she didn’t know how to speak a word of the language but learned on her own. She kept a small red notebook where she wrote down little prayers and words of gratitude in German that my grandfather never knew about until much later. They were inseparable for some 35 years, hiking and often holding hands. After she had passed away in 2002, he used to put a fresh red rose standing in a vase at the table beside her portrait while he ate alone the following years until he joined her.

Hanna could never have kids but I soon became like hers and she was my role-model for how I want to be as a woman and a wife, with a family of my own. Åke was quite authoritative given his profession as a Firechief and a history of being in the Swedish army with sabels and swords filling up every inch of their walls, mostly from the 1700 and 1800’s. He paid my grandmother a small salary to have of her own for being a home-maker, which she did with pride. She cooked the best meals, even out of modest ingredients, made raspberry jam with a special jar just for me, and went with me to pick berries sometimes and of course gardened and knitted wool sweaters and socks every Christmas that lasted longer than any you could buy in a store, and was paid a small salary by my grandfather for her to feel appreciated, independent and worthy. She would put on a little lipstick and perhaps change her blouse for dinner even if it was an ordinary Tuesday, just like she did for me that last time I visited her on the hospital in Hudiksvall, not just to feel good about herself, but to honor and respect the ones she met and carry herself with feminine pride and humility. I think we argued once when I was a teenager, that’s it.

Their greatest wish for me was to find and have that same kind of real love, wherever that might be.