What is healthy?

To have a good health is the foundation of having a good life. But what does it really mean? One of the best measures I know, is to not have to think about it at all, but just living in flow. Nonetheless, it can be defined as this:

Mental health – how you think and perceive your reality and how you act accordingly

Emotional health – how you feel and relate to others as well as to yourself

Spiritual health – how you establish a faith and belief system that you strive to incorporate in life

Physical health – how your body functions

Then we can add the aspect of compassion as the glue that makes it all stick together. Nothing will ever become worse if we exercise compassion, but only better. This also encompass Mother Earth. Thus, having green health, is to ensure that what you do, and use, are good both for your own body and self, as well as the environment.

Finding your motivation

One of the secrets to success, is to find what really motivates you, why and how. When you realize these driving factors, you can change more easily and learn how to work with yourself and not against. What feels rewarding for you, why and how?

There are two major ways to look at motivation. One is that we are driven by outer recognition and the other that we are driven by inner satisfaction. They can change over the course of your life, as well as in various situations. You might for example be driven more for outer recognition in terms of your job, while an inner satisfaction might be all you need for practising a passionate hobby.

Outer drivers are:

  • Salary
  • Status
  • Fame

Inner drivers are:

  • Purpose
  • Meaning
  • Satisfaction

We are driven by both inner and outer factors, where the key motivation is found in our needs. Problem arises when we are looking to satisfy a need in the wrong place, such as trying to feel loved at work and claim status at home. To find balance in life, you can clarify these drivers and your own values together with a professional life coach. Dare to ask yourself what it really is that you long for!

Mind maps: A tool for learning

Now that the fall is here and many resume their studies and work, I thought I’d share a tip for learning: Create mind maps! I have used these during my entire studies at the universities, as well as whenever I read something that I’d like to remember and get clear about. I also use them to jot down ideas to develop further, naming several aspects or factors to take into account, or in meetings. Mind maps are simply awesome for anyone who prefers visual learning. Here is how you make one:

Take a clean sheet of paper without lines or dots and turn it to landscape. Most does it on white regular paper that you use for printing and copying, but you can also use colored papers would this be inspirational to you, as well as colored pens, unless you want it all digital.

In the middle of the paper, write the main theme, such as the title of a book, subject, issue or topic and circle it. Now, draw lines outwardly from the circle and write down the minor themes, such as the table of content of a book. Draw another line, or as many as you like, under the main branch and state a couple of keywords about the specific chapter or outlined factor. In this way, you can summarize a book’s chapter on one page and altogether have perhaps only a dozen to repeat before an exam. Mind maps can also be used instead of flashcards for a speaking engagement, to enable an easy flow and a sharing of the content with your own words. This too, is part of learning.

Mind maps makes a lasting impression by its use of both words and drawings, similar to regular images that we tend to become more affected by. Using mind maps is to use this truth for your own benefit.

Going green

While learning about climate change and gas-emissions can be important, it can also produce a sense of hopelessness. All news can be frightening, or even create a greater divide of what isn’t happening here but only “there”. Then it’s important to funnel it down to what can really be done. To reclaim the important stance of thinking global but act local.

So, if curbing climate change is a cause you believe in, what can you actually do about it? How can you go green?

  • Change lightbulbs and be aware of how you use electricity, and where it comes from. Only buy it from trusted sources if you can.
  • Sort the trash. What can be reused and recycled should go into a different pile than your normal garbage can. Give away what you no longer want or need. And buy vintage too sometimes.
  • Buy organic and preferably locally grown produce, that avoids using pesticides. Make it into a tasting venue. Does a tomato taste different if it’s organically grown (I definitely think so!)?
  • Clean with consideration. Use detergents that are eco-friendly and soaps that are made of bio ingredients. A bottle of white vinegar and some water can be all that you need to keep your counters squeaky clean.
  • Use caring products. There is a saying that you should only put on your skin, what you can eat. Look into fabrics and origin, how things are manufactured and distributed, as well as actual ingredients.
  • Enjoy the outdoors. Go for regular walks and acknowledge the seasonal changes. Use them as inspiration for your own life journey if you like. Which projects have now come to fruition and what would you like to plant next year?
  • Travel less and more with trains. Commute together with others and save money as well.
  • Make your voice heard. Gather your neighbors for a clean-up day and write to your local politician about any issues you would like to improve.

Do you have any suggestions and ideas yourself? Comment here, talk about it with others, seek out more information and go for it! This could become an actual venture!

Care about yourself, others and earth.

Saluting the sun

My entire life, I’ve been very skinny. Even a little too skinny. I’ve had problem gaining weight as opposed to most others, and never dieted. Thus, I’ve never been able to relate to other women, except for dancers. Imagine the surprise, now that I’ve gained 15 kilos (30 lbs)! I’m forced to eat different than I normally do since two years, and I’m not as physically active as I used to, such as walking instead of taking the bus, and most of all, I assume it’s because I entered menopause. I’m hoping though, that this will become regulated, when I can move and get back into my normal routines. Nonetheless, I still take dance classes, and do yoga. Here is my sun salutation:

The important point is, to have a wellness goal rather than a competitive goal. That means you only use your own capacity and performance as a measure. To only use yourself as your comparison. My increased weight, becomes a weight, that I’m lifting.

Which changes have your body undergone? What do you do to meet them?

Led by beauty

Do I believe that I would have a more loving relationship, if I place two doves made of porcelain in a specific corner in my home? No, I don’t. However, we can choose to let two doves symbolise love, the way it is in Feng Shui, and let a pair placed in our home, remind us of a focus on loving partnership.

What goes wrong in our society, is the power we attribute certain objects, we give them a symbolic meaning and then seem to assume that the object would have power. It doesn’t. A tree is a tree. A necklace is a necklace. But, we can adorn ourselves and live a life tending to beauty. In fact, I crave beauty!

Beauty to me, has to do with design, style, shape, and color, of various things and how these are put together in ways, that feels matching to me in a specific order, or place, to create an aesthetic sense of harmony, in my home, office and the way I dress. It provides me with a certain strength and satisfaction, that enables me to maneuverer better in my world, simply because the organization helps me find things, prepare and execute various tasks with greater enjoyment.

So, the use of symbols can either be given power, thus go against the Bible, or be given a use of beauty and focus.

What do you believe in and why? How do you carry out these beliefs in your own life and surroundings?

Influencing society

“Be the change you want to see in this world.” (Buddha)

The founder of Telluselle Living Center is driven by a vision for a society that has become an extension of an eco-friendly, creative and artistic community. If you want to be part of this, if you have a sense, or a wish, of how you want life to be, you can make this happen in three ways:

  • Start a business – by making an innovation, whether product, service or a method, you can build a tool for improving people’s lives
  • Be part of media – whether you just focus on building and using your own social media profile, become a focused commentator, or take yourself into mainstream media news and talkshows, you can share your opinion
  • Step into politics – write to your local politician with your concerns and requests, become active yourself within NGOs, and above all, go and vote

More than ever, you have the power closer to you. Write down what you believe in and any ideas you might have to bring about more equality and sustainability. To care about yourself, others and earth. This will also be topics for some of our sacred conversation circles at TLC.

Would you like a cup of tea?

Whether it is to invite a special person, or to enjoy in your own blissful solitude, a cup of tea can warm both your body and heart. In Japan, they have a special ceremony where their green tea is prepared as an offering, while most assorted black teas are imported from China. And if you’re curious about herbal medicine, you can try it by drinking herbal teas. Just like with regular medicine, natural remedies can also be poisonous in certain quantities or combinations. By having them in tea, you can be sure that it’s digestible in a safer manner.

I prefer Echinacea against colds, sipping on as soon as any symptom appear. On a more daily basis, I like Ginger Lemon to soothe my stomach, Lime and Mint to refresh myself in the summer time, Cinnamon Green tea in the winter, and Eucalyptus against any chest-colds. All sweetened with some organic honey.

Which herbs are your favorites?

Dealing with fears

If you are someone who has struggled with anxiety or stuck in a stressful every day-loop, please read on. Rather than only succumbing to taking pills, get to know your anxiety, your stress, that in fact is fear. It’s sound, healthy and deriving throughout human history to have a flight, flee or freeze response. And it’s the same type of fear, that now has moved into our boarding rooms and offices. Being often online with self presented material, can also be a source of performance anxiety, that can be unhealthy, like stage freight. Both building a scare but dressed differently. So, what does our fundamental fear feel like? Go outside in nature, preferably alone, to find out.

First there will be sounds, you may or may not recognise. Birds passing by against a beautiful sky, or rattled by something moving on the ground. There may be other animals, whether domesticated cats, wild boars, or little dragonflies and butterflies. Then there will be mushrooms and berries, some poisonous, some nourishing. By the water and with the wind, you will meet real power. And at no time, will you be certain, or superior, if you are awake and present. Now, you’ve gotten to know real fear, and can thus understand better, where your own reactions are coming from, when it’s other people that are the threat, or potentially so. Your reaction is not an illness, it’s an instinct.

A bonus. How does it feel to pet a horse, cow or dog? Animals will immediately mirror your own emotions. If you are hesitant and a little nervous, the horse will also hesitate and become nervous. If you greet your dog with loud love, it will meet you with the same. And if they are indifferent to you passing by, you are in synch, neither threatened, nor threatening.

Nature puts us in our right place.

Create mindful presence

A good way to create mindfulness, I have found, is through body awareness. It started with my yoga teacher Anette, who instructed us to ask ourselves where we had our bodies. To feel our positions within the asanas. This includes things like noticing if your limbs are stretched and where you have your weight: On the front of your feet (like you should), or are you heavy on the heels? Posture in turn, is of course, also a dancer’s strength and focus. Close your eyes and find your center. Feel the rest of your body by going through each part. Next step, is to declare what you are doing.

Every thing that you literally are doing, whether performing a daily chore like doing dishes, or simply picking up a fruit to relish its taste, can be your foundation for mindful presence. Say out loud what you are doing, while you also are thinking and focusing on it. This enables you more presence and much more awareness. You become awake.

For more tips on meditation, go here.

Reconciling religions

How do we combine wellness practices that have their origin in various fields of religion? Can one practice yoga and still pray the rosary? I do.

The way I look at religion, is from a spiritual point of view. I like to see God as the highest power over all religions and languages. Sometimes, we might just be using different names for the same phenomena or power. So, to me, God is the boss, the umbrella.

Underneath God, there are several recognized prophets, awakened masters, and saints, such as Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed. To me, they are all on equal standing, and simply tell of various places and times in history.

When it comes to things like Mother Earth or Yin and Yang, they are impersonal and thus tell of the power inherent in the creation and its great phenomena.

So, wellness practices like yoga, qigong and meditation, are all to me, tools for my physical health and mental focus, for my life to improve and be a good person, and most of all, a way to understand myself and humanity.

Sensing the silk

Like a butterfly’s fluttering wings, the silk touches my skin with an airy quality of both lightness and softness. I become like the butterfly, when I wear it, letting it enchant me across the floor, as I dance Isadora Duncan. This wonderful woman who could portray both the raw wrath from the underworld, devastating grief and hardship, as well as the light of angels and dewy grass. I like to be reminded that I can do the same, with her lead.

Expressing my femininity. And my soul.

How often should we practice?

A key to become successful with a set intention to practice regularly, whether it’s dancing, yoga, going for a run, qigong, meditation or working out at a gym, is by seeing it as a need. You want to feel it become a need, and thus it will become much more easy to perform, instead of just deciding to, and perhaps failing, with your practice. You can also look at it as eating – something we need every day, and like to vary.

When I started lifting weights at a gym, together with starting to do yoga, in 2000, I learned from the fitness trainers and gym director, that the optimum physical training, is to do the same thing, every third day. This is to allow your muscles to “break” a little, then recover and rebuild with proper rest.

A good way, I have found, is to set an hour every day that is “me-time”, but let it become what is most needed, or desired, that specific day. It can be to read an interesting book, it can be to practice dance, yoga or qigong, or to journal. All depending on my shape of the day. This way, it becomes both scheduled and performed, as well as not mundane.

For it to work with a pre-set day and time, it’s crucial that the outcome matches, or supersedes, your desired outcome. You need to feel it. What kind of feeling is it that you long for and actually experience by your practice? Peace and relaxation? Becoming energized and clear minded? I, for example, become a happier person, when I dance, so naturally it’s easy for me to schedule, as well as actually do, in comparison to tasks I dread.

Find what gives you joy!

Photo of my planner from Paperblanks.

Detoxing through our feet

For many years, I have known and experienced that my feet are just as much of an energy outlet as my hands. I like walking barefoot on wooden floors, besides outside when the weather permits, because it grounds me. I have also felt how standing in the ocean can pull out unwanted energies. Then there is of course Reflexology, which perhaps is why walking in a pair of Birkenstock sandals feels so good.

This is why, I now have decided to try Japanese Nuubu’s detoxing foot pads, after knowing about them for a long time. They do work! Just put one on each of your soles and go to sleep! Through an herbal mix with ingredients like bamboo vinegar and tourmaline, our sweat glands become activated and thus release toxins. The pads did become black after my first night with them, which I believe is from environmental residues. According to Chinese Medicine, our skin is our body’s third lung.

So, whether it’s to relieve yourself from extensive walking by resting your feet on a chair while you lay on the floor, or giving yourself a pedicure, don’t forget to workout and tend to your feet this summer! And let yourself become cleansed. You can find more about Nubuu here.

Breathing in a square

There are certainly many ways to meditate with guidance, yet it still is in the practice you really are taught. Use your own experiences to guide you. Are these something you want more of or less? How does it feel for you?

The main goal for all meditation, is to calm our mind and find peace within, that we can carry out into the world to create a peaceful environment, and ultimately contribute to peace on earth. It’s possible!

One way to reach to this place in your meditation, is through breathing in a square. Start by sitting down and let your hands rest on your knees, palms facing up to let energy enter you. If you would like to add a Qigong twist on it, you can alter your hands facing downwards when you exhale, thus letting go of energy, and upwards when you inhale. Now, count while you are inhaling, such as to four perhaps. Use the same tempo for your counting while you pause, holding your breath for four counts. Exhale and count to four. Then pause again, and count to four. Then inhale, counting to four again, and so forth.

In the space between the exhale and the inhale, is where you can find stillness.

Hot tips!

Feeling hot? Even Sweden, where I am at, is having a major heatwave this week, so I thought I’d share some of my best tips to keep cool, based on my experience of living in Hawaii, and growing up with my traveling parents.

  • Keep your windows closed during the day and only open them early morning or late evening. Just like you don’t want it to become cold in the midst of winter, you don’t want the heat to enter either.
  • Drink your tea! Drinking something hot enables your body to naturally start cooling down, just as the opposite is true – believe it or not, drinking ice-cold drinks shocks your entire system, that instead will try to warm up!
  • Rinse your neck, wrists and ankles in cold water for a quick relief.
  • Add some salt to your food such as crackers or chips, and refill yourself with small sips of water continuously throughout the day. And don’t forget your electrolytes.

Enjoy!

Balancing the natural elements

During my journey to heal, I’ve found it paramount to really go by my own experience first, rather than just trying to follow a theory. Instead, I’ve wanted to explore and discover my own experiences and later find either my own explanations or others’, who also have walked the same path as I have. The latest contribution to my understanding is Karla McLaren’s book “The Language of Emotions”. I came across it, while I was detained in Honolulu on an immigration violation 2011-12, but never got to read all of it, so I am finally doing this now. Most resonates with me deeply, such as seeing our emotions as fluid and responding to movement, and how the natural elements can be understood as aspects within, that also other traditions, such as Hawaiian, Native American and Chinese Medicine, do. The question for me has been to feel which element represents which aspect within and to synthesize this. Of course, they all intertwine too, but still, sometimes it’s nice to get a clear view on life, with the help of both metaphors and mystique.

McLaren explains the natural elements in comparison to our different realms like this:

Earth – Our physical world, body and needs of rest, nutrition and exercise

Air – Our mental and intellectual world, in need of study and ponder

Fire – Our visionary and spiritual world, where we need to dream, meditate and be by the sea

Water – Our emotional and artistic world, where we need things like poetry and dance by nature

Wood – Our integrated self, soul, ego and personality, who holds the knowledge of the other elements and these realms

In Chinese Medicine, McLaren’s definition of Air is referred to as Metal and in the African cosmology, Wood is Ether. The point is to use these to create a better balance, which is at the heart of my plan for Telluselle Living Center.

My own journey started with a perceived discrepancy between my intellect and my emotions, a gap between the level of expression, where I had undertaken the role of my Parental self most often in my relationships, starting at an early age through my parents’ divorce. Healing this gap, has been my primary focus the last decade, when I’ve become able to feel completely centred and present, in short glimpses,

Something that might differentiate my experience and understanding a bit differently, is that McLaren uses the words Ego, Self, Personality and Soul, as if they were synonyms, which I don’t think they are. To me, the ego is our shell, our social conditioned self in dialogue with others, while the soul is connected through spirit and sits in a deeper seat, that connects us with others on a plane mostly non-tangible.

The freedom we seek, is what we can give to ourselves, by choosing perspectives and incorporate these worlds. Can you feel these different realms and see how they show up in your life?

You can find more about Klara McLaren’s book here.

Practicing outside

While the best practising is done indoors, where we can be more safe, it can also be grounding to practice barefoot on the grass, or sand. This is also why the floor should be made of wood, to ensure a proper balance for the energy being transferred through the soles of our feet. But now that summer is here in Sweden, I practiced Qigong outside today.

This motion is part of a “7 minutes” routine by Lee Holden, that I’ve practiced a little off and on since 2015. This qigong enables me to work out my upper body and breathe better. Here I’m showing “Pet the tiger, embrace the mountains” with proper inhale and exhale. It is through this combination of breath and movement, we can move energy.

Have you tried it?

Finding the right conditions

War is certainly not the kind of conditions anyone wants, or where someone can thrive, so naturally people need to flee. This in turn changes both the conditions that were left, as well as the new that one enters. At least after some time has passed, and if many followed suit. But, we don’t only flee from war, sometimes we also need to flee because of famine and poverty.

Our society, ie our culture, environment and laws, is the conditions we live in. So what do we want to live in? This is also part of lifecoaching. We don’t only clarify your goals and how to achieve them together with you, but also let you become more assertive when it comes to finding the conditions you need. This has foremost to do where you want to live and why.

Other conditions can be referred to as terms, such as salary, working hours and type of industry. Each comes with its own culture and type of leadership. What would you prefer? Now, after the pandemic, perhaps you also have the option to work remote. But is that what you want?

And finally, to be able to blossom, we also need the kind of people around us that will support you and your endeavour, as well as challenge you to not loose yourself in your own envisioning. How are you going to succeed? This is what making plans are for. To help you lead your life and not just respond to others.

Would you like to try? Contact me for your first free coaching session!

Competing to learn

While we aren’t supposed to compare ourselves all the time to others, since we don’t really know what others’ lessons in life are about, or what they had to do first, we can still use others for a healthy dose of competition. By comparing, we can see if we’re meeting a standard, and most of all, what we need to improve.

The best progress always comes from within, when we take off our focus from winning or loosing, to learning. This applies both to our sports and arts, as well as in our regular life. Whatever happens to us, can be seen as a lesson to learn. By this, we foster a humble attitude, and can open ourselves up for new solutions. Solutions that might not have come forth, without the lesson.

And which lessons do we need to learn collectively as a society? What can we do in our own communities? Both online and in real life. This can be the base for further discussions at Telluselle Living Center.

The leaves and tree showing in the photos are oak, a tree of wisdom.