Practicing with pain

Our bodies are like glass, both fragile and strong at the same time. We can stand strong for decades, yet break in a moment’s notice.

Since a couple of months, I’ve been experiencing pain in my shoulders, knees and groins, without really knowing why, more than perhaps due to weight gain and not walking as much as I usually do. Since I was told in my early 20’s that I have a bit too flexible ligaments, I went to see a physiotherapist, who now has helped me with some exercises to build strength in my specific areas. While we were talking, he said that I shouldn’t take any painkillers before my practice and explained to me how most of them simply block the paths to our brain so we don’t feel the pain, but it’s still there. We can even hurt ourselves by overdoing it, since we feel less pain. So, yesterday evening, I did yoga without any. I had to go slower, be more careful and do the easier versions of asanas than I normally do, but perhaps this is a good thing – acknowledging my body’s abilities at this time. After all, I’m also passed 50.

For many years, I have taken non-prescription drugs, mostly because of tooth-ache or headache, but maybe I’ve pushed myself too far and thus not been in balance with the strength and stability to match my flexibility; common for dancers.

How is your body feeling and how can you help it feel better with gentle practice?

Finding forgiveness

Forgiveness is the key to moving forward in life with a lesser burden. We need to forgive ourselves, forgive others, and be forgiven. This is how conflicts are finally resolved and how we can improve as human beings. The way to find forgiveness when it comes to others’ treatment of us, is by finding common ground and relate to the accusation.

Let’s say that your boyfriend or girlfriend feels jealous and accuses you of cheating. He, or she, might have taken your phone and gone through your text messages, including some that are private about your relationship. You become furious, and soon mistrust is brewing. To stop this cycle, ask yourself if you have ever been jealous of someone, or judged another with a prejudice assumption. You probably have. Thus, you can relate. By relating, you can instead use compassion when you communicate with your significant other, and let him or her feel better heard, more seen, validated and loved. In turn, you will feel more respected.

Sometimes, our hurt and pain stems from feeling bad treatment throughout generations against another family and thus calls for even more forgiveness. This is why the Hawaiian prayer in their Ho’oponopono practice encompass both past, present and future.

Who, and what, do you need to forgive?

You can read more about the Hawaiian practice Ho’oponopono and prayer here.

Creating harmony in your home

How do you look at where you live? Is your home a place where you mostly relax and wind down, or is for entertaining guests? Do you want it to inspire you towards more creativity? Consciously choosing how we live, enables us a more rooted stability in all our endeavours.

To me, I like my home to feel like an extension of myself, that my furniture and fabrics are like an extension of my clothes and daily style. This goes both for colors, and the way I place my things. To my assistance, I sometimes use the guidelines for Feng Shui, which is the Chinese way of interior design as a foundation for a more successful life. By placing certain objects in areas corresponding to our wishes in various areas of life according to the compass, called Ba Gua (that the logo for Telluselle Living Center is inspired by), it’s said our focus therethrough, easier can attract what we would like to have. It’s a matter of placing the furniture so that we feel safe, secure and enjoy a good flow of energy. To invite it in.

And this doesn’t need to cost a lot! I found this cute candle holder depicting Yin and Yang in beige and brown marble, that are part of my favorite colors, in a local thrift store for 50 cents! And the tealights are made of wax from rapeseed oil which is eco-friendly. What little things can you bring into your home to create more harmony? And what can you remove?

Humans are like plants

Sometimes, I like resembling humans with plants. I think it’s an awesome mirror for understanding how our true needs must be met and how they all have an effect on each other.

We need to have soil for our roots to grow in. The soil is our society and where we physically live.

We need to have nourishment. This is water and food, and to breathe.

We need to have light. This is the essence of our connection and oneness with all earthlings. We need both sunshine and shade.

We need kindness. Harsh words hurt us like abuse on the skin, while kind caresses us. Plants answer the same with green growth and lushness, or drooping and shrinking.

What if it’s this simple, that our spiritual channels in fact are the channel which air and light goes through and this is what we’re affected by? That, when it’s dark and cloudy, our minds grow weary, while a sunny day brings forth more clarity of mind? I think it is so.

Which plant would you be? How can you understand yourself better by comparison?

Conversation circles to improve society

One of the things that I’d like to host at Telluselle Living Center, is sacred circles for conversation. In Sweden, we have a tradition called “study-circles” that are subsidized by our government, that pays out a sum to non-profit organizations having them. This can be for dancing, yoga, meditation and qigong, as well as actually studying and discussing various books or topics – like night-classes or book-circles for culture, crafts and the arts. It’s this concept that I’d like to bring with me to the United States and adjust to the market here, perhaps even suggesting a subsidy too. And as a professional life coach, I’m trained to lead these kind of conversation circles and have done so, both during my university education as well as taught Beginner’s English for senior Swedish citizens (and some Hula). These groups usually consist of 5-15 people and here is how they work:

Let’s say that our topic is Equality with the purpose to lessen discrimination. We will sit comfortably in a circle and let each person speak. The first round will be introducing ourselves and sharing our own purpose for participating. The second round we’ll discuss how we define our topic. The third round, we’ll all give examples of our own experiences and the fourth time around, we’ll discuss improvements that we would like and how these can be done. All concluded with an open discussion and a summary.

These group discussions may be only once for each topic, or developed into a semester course with literature and news-clippings to go with, and perhaps a brainstorming session, where we’ll come up with various solutions and ideas on how to proceed, whether it would be to write a bill and invite a politician or attorney, or start a consultancy business. We’ll have various exercises that we will do in between our meetings, to try various approaches at home, in our schools or in our workplaces, to implement our desired change. Then, we’ll reconvene and share how these exercises went.

This way of discussing, when properly disciplined with presence and real listening, not only enable us to learn more from each other, but also see how we can develop a topic with synergy around the circle. And we’ll find likeminded souls fostering a mutual sense of support, to improve society.

What would you like to discuss?

The rhythms of life

Yesterday, when I practiced Isadora Duncan dance, we were focusing on various technical details and noticing the difference between regular Modern and Isadora. How we hold our arms or lift our legs, is not the same. How we accentuate and express ourselves. Another thing Sam taught, was the various rhythms we must learn to navigate and communicate with.

We have the physical rhythm – how we move our bodies

We have the emotional rhythm – how we let ourselves be led by the sentiment imbued in the melody or the emotion we would like to express

And we have the musical rhythm – the variations of tempo and the dynamics within crescendo and diminuendo

All these rhythms must be incorporated and balanced throughout the choreography and the phrases.

Can we apply this to our regular life too? Which rhythms are we following when we are out and about in society? This was something that I specifically noticed upon returning to Stockholm, Sweden after having lived in Honolulu, Hawaii for several years. In Hawaii, people walk leisurely and take things slow, while in Stockholm people rush to even be on the right end of the train, to arrive at the nearest exit, and become ballistic if the train is late for 2 minutes. In Honolulu, one should be happy if the bus shows up within 2 hours. Thus, this is society’s rhythm.

The natural rhythm is a bonus to be part of. The way the ocean crashes on the shore or how the storm makes us rush inside to be in harmony with the seasons.

Which rhythm are you following and can you sense that there are different ones?

Living in harmony with Mother Earth

When terrible earthquakes happen like the one last night in Turkey, or the tsunami in Thailand, I become reminded of the greatness of power, how we in front of Mother Earth, are all equals. I’ve felt small tremors in the south of Sweden and in San Francisco. I’ve evacuated due to tsunami warnings in Hawaii, twice, besides watching lava flow into the ocean. And I’ve seen crashing waves and storms in Portugal. The question though arises: Is it foreseeable and even preventable what happens with our climate? Are our casualties not in fact due to mans’ own mistakes, of building homes and businesses in areas that are more prone to earthquakes and tsunamis? Would so many tourists have died in Thailand in December 2004, if they weren’t all so keen on laying at the beach by the ocean? Would so many people gotten killed in Turkey, would there not have been built so many high-rises in that area?

When I lived in Hawaii, I learned that tsunamis often happen during December-January and during full moon. Is that how it is for earthquakes too? Do they have seasons? We can measure Mother Earth’s movements and thus prepare for a volcanic eruption, a tsunami or an earthquake, but can we ever predict them?

One simply has to succumb to one’s conditions, or move to where they’re different.

Keeping a fun-account

We all know how well we can feel, after a good belly laugh. You know one of those, when we almost can’t stop, or even cry happy tears? Having fun is also a sure way to tend to your wellness and self-care, even with small giggles. So take out your journal, or have a cup of coffee with a friend, and come up with at least 5 things that you think is fun to do and make you laugh. Bring out the list regularly to ensure you also do one of them, such as once a month. And always add more things, when you feel it!

My list goes:

  1. Watching old Pink Panther movies with Peter Sellers
  2. Watching Fawlty Towers with John Cleese
  3. Skipping barefoot as part of dancing Isadora Duncan
  4. Having a glass of white wine and reminisce silly moments
  5. Daring to put my head under water in a pool or the ocean

Laughter brings forth joy!

Contributing to the eco-system

What if the actions we do, in fact are the seeds we sow? In one way, we can see it as karma between people, that we create through our communication and actions. All things have a consequence. So if you want love, sow love. Not to get, but to share and to be.

One of the most important thing for humans, I believe, is to recognize and remember that we are part of the eco-system and not greater than. We become reminded of a power greater than us, when storms, floods, fires and earthquakes happen. But, we should remember this always. What kind of effect do we create with our own individual actions?

We can see our actions and communication as seeds we plant into Mother Earth. We know this to be true for what we consume. If we buy eco-friendly products, and recycle or reuse what we can, we litter less. If we produce with care, we also contribute to a more healthy eco-system. It’s all about what we use. To clean, to eat, to live with. But, what if our services and our communication also can be seen as seeds? If we hold for a truth, that everything is energy, we always affect each other and Mother Earth with our energies. Think of every action as a touch. Be gentle.

Many of the seashells come in different kinds, depending on which beach they were found. These are from Estoril, Sao Joao, Carcavelos, Oeiras, Costa de Caparica and Caxias, in Portugal.

Wellness contracts for businesses

Would you like to ensure that your employees are healthy and fit for the job, thus have less sick-days? Would it be helpful to increase motivation and performance? To assist in creating more life-work balance?

In Sweden, employers can offer their employees a benefit in the form of a wellness payment up to 500 USD per year, tax deductible, to be used for regular fitness and wellness activities, such as for a membership at a gym or a dance studio. The question is, if the United States, especially the state of California, is in need of this? Would it be possible to implement here too? Not only to serve me as a prospective owner of Telluselle Living Center, but for all business and organizations to be able to offer!

The way it works, is simply an add into the employment contract alongside salary. Most often, the employee receives a bill from his/her desired workout place and then the employer pays that directly. Neither employer, nor employee, needs to pay taxes for it.

Everybody can use a better health…

Would you like to work at Telluselle Living Center?

My hope with this plan, to build and host a combined dance and coaching studio, with other activities too, is to create a shared co-op, so that people working with me also can be included in the decision making, profit and responsibilities. I’ll work as the manager and life-coach, including leading some of the groups for conversation circles, and of course introduce our guest lecturers and consultants and group leaders for those in need of space. Nobody will be able to work full time, but everybody should get the same salary per hour, whether employed or charged through their own organization (ie there will be two ways for earnings with different levels depending on taxes). And I hope to have a couple of classes at various levels of each per week, fostering cultural arts with a care for Mother Earth.

These are the staff members I’d like to hire, or have a contract with:

Qigong-instructor: Someone who has studied with a real Master like Lee Holden; Chinese heritage would be a plus

Yoga-instructor: Someone who has studied with a real Master; Indian heritage would be a plus

Hula-instructor: Someone who has studied with a real Kumu; Hawaiian heritage would be a plus

Isadora Duncan-instructor: Someone who has received teacher training by Lori Belilove

5rhythms-instructor: Someone who has studied for Gabrielle Roth or a student of her

Ecstatic dancing-instructor: Someone who has taught this previously

West African dance-instructor: Someone who has been a student to a renowned teacher, preferably from Mali or Guinea, with live drummers; West African heritage would be a plus

Meditation-instructor: Someone who has studied several schools and/or is a devoted Buddhist or Hindu

Pranic healer: Someone who has studied for Master Stephen Co

Lomilomi practitioner: Someone who has studied for a real Kumu; Hawaiian heritage would be a plus

Acupuncturist: Someone who has studied Chinese Medicine; Chinese heritage would be a plus

Life-coach: Someone who is certified by ICF and/or use the Co-Active coaching model

Organic café – Someone who already is running a cafe and wants another one or move

Receptionist / Staff scheduling

Accountant / Marketing assistant

Cleaners / Janitor

And lots of happy customers!

Send me an email at if you feel so inclined, and I’ll get back to you, when it’s time in San Francisco.

Art made by Anne Solveig that can be purchased here.

Life-coaching as an approach

Life-coaching is a method designed in two ways. It’s a professional conversation technique with its emphasis on posing open ended questions, so that you as the client, can let your own answers emerge from within. This enables you, a safe place to try various perspectives and discuss various solutions, to discern which you’d like to follow up, with action towards your desired change; your goal.

Another way of looking at coaching, is that its inherent value is the approach which we meet our clients with. Our core values are that we believe that all people can bring forth good and be part of their own problem-solving with our neutral and positive support. A life-coach is like your own cheerleader for your work, hobbies, finances, health and relationships. This approach, thus constitute an outlook on life, where we deem that people are resourceful and creative by nature. And by founding our practice accordingly, we can make these abilities grow. This is also why many leaders take to coaching for positive reinforcement that can help employees to be more productive, efficient and happier.

You can also begin to practice this yourself in your own conversations. Next time someone asks you of your opinion, or when you simply feel inclined to offer yours, pose a question instead, to let the conversation evolve into more understanding and creative suggestions. This also enables more confidence to develop.

Would you like to try? Contact me here.

A dance for every emotion

Feel angry and disempowered? Dance West African dance to live drums.

Feel nostalgia and awe? Dance Hawaiian Hula to songs and ukulele.

Feel soulful and passionate? Dance Isadora Duncan to classical piano.

Feel curious and want to liberate yourself? Dance 5rhythms to five different melodies.

Feel a longing to merge with nature? Dance Ecstatic dance to soft electronic beats.

Put your bare feet on the floor, and let the music lead you with your emotions as fuel for your expression.

Create work-life balance

What do you have much of in your life? And what would you like more of? Using a wheel of life to map it out, is part of life-coaching. We can divide our life into 8 parts: Physical, Mental, Spiritual and personal growth, Finances, Social, Romantic relationship, Career and Physical environment. Then you make an estimation of how satisfied you are with each area as well as clarify how much time you spend on each, where 10 is fully and 0 is none.

Now, you can draw an inner circle to see your own chart. While all these areas are in constant motion and changes, you’d be surprised how well they all feed each other. For example, if you see you haven’t been much social lately but dread working less because your finance area needs more too; daring to spend more time with friends anyway may make you more relaxed, inspired and connected with ideas for improvement, as well as grow a better emotional detachment to your job, that in fact will make you more productive and efficient.

You can set a goal to just have more balance or for each area, but you can also choose one to focus on. With a professional life-coach, you can discuss the ingredients and needs for your chosen area, which will enable your to come up with some ideas and strategies to improve how you spend your time.

Another perspective to gain balance, is by using the natural elements to help symbolise each area:

Air – spiritual – faith

Metal – intellectual – mind and thoughts

Earth – environment and finances

Fire – emotional – romantic relationship and passion

Water – physical – health and body

Wood – social – family and friends

Ether – soul and self realised

How would you like to divide your areas?

Avoid hitting the wall

In Sweden there is a health phenomena that has been on the increase for the last two decades. It’s called Burn-out syndrome and is often referred to as hitting the wall. While many athletes might know of this danger if one doesn’t compete well enough trained and prepared, not many other countries share cases of the type of mental fatigue that envelops the Swedish diseased. Most people collapse also physically, but it’s seen as a mental disorder with a depression to follow.

Luckily, me and my fellow classmates in Workscience at Malmo University, were taught another perspective in the early 2000’s before the institution was closed. And I can now stand fully behind this, through my own experience. As you might have noticed online, I keep one foot still firmly planted in Hawaii, or at least the United States. This is to prevent me from hitting the wall, more than I already have some years ago. The Swedish sociologist Johan Asplund made a study and concluded that it was the lack of response that created burn-out. It’s the lack of relating with depth and sincerity, that isolates people and make them miserable, while often still busy at work. He called it dissocial responsitivity and it might be quite controversial as it pertains to the Swedish culture and our law of Jante – to not believe, less say, that you are someone.

Sometimes we may put up a wall, or a facade, against other people that we don’t like or out of our own lack of self-confidence perhaps. Imagine if this wall comes up by professionals who simply refuse to answer and solve problems? As a means for ostracism? Swedish people have often thought of Americans as superficial with their quick banter with strangers. I, myself, has grown to like it, to see it as a form of validation that builds the foundation of really being seen. Perhaps it’s even a spiritual thing, because a Swedish minister or pastor is often also good at confirming one’s true value. Why don’t people in Hawaii become burned out as easily, if ever? They might even be working two jobs. Because of the palm-trees and the temperature? Not only. I’m sure the daylight also plays an important part in having health, but of course it’s thanks to the Aloha-spirit, which in fact also permeates most of the Americans from elsewhere, that I’ve met during my various travels.

That love is the answer, sounds like a cliché, but it isn’t. It’s by opening our hearts, the wall becomes transformed. And this is why coaching is essential for a healthy society since coaching is about validating and empowering our clients, as well as hosting small groups that meet and talk in sacred circles. Preferably in person, at Telluselle Living Center.

Read more about hitting the wall here and here.

A pledge for 2023

What would you like? Quick! Just answer the question without overthinking. What is important for you to feel? What is it that you need more of, to guide you forward this coming year? Letting our intuition and instincts take the front seat, often provides us with an answer that really is resonating true on a deep level.

We can’t predict what is going to happen in our lives or when, which is one of the reasons why it can be so difficult to reach goals or simply to keep a promise that we make on New Year’s Eve. As a life coach, I advocate to make a personal growth theme for the coming year instead.

Year 2022, I had Posture as my guiding light. To be more aware of how I sit, stand and walk to be less stressed. Now that this year is soon coming to an end in our planners, I try to evaluate how this personal growth theme has served me. I have become much more aware of my posture and how adjusting it can both help me present myself better and be able to feel more present in my body. Continuing to learn more Isadora Duncan dancing, has of course also really enabled me to claim my space. Which theme did you have and how did this work, or not, for you? What did you learn?

Next year… 2023, I’m going to pledge to let Enthusiasm be my guide. I want to feel enthusiastic about what I do and if I don’t, examine why, and see if I can make another choice. To enable me to fulfil this pledge, I will look into what naturally makes me feel enthusiastic and thus seek these type of opportunities and relationships, while I work towards fulfilling my goal: To move to San Francisco. I have also already taken some steps towards moving, by applying for a couple of jobs, looking into the best route for me, made some contacts and an estimated time schedule and budget.

Read more about making a personal growth theme here and here. You can also contact me for a series of coaching sessions to help you set, and fulfil your goals.

Asking Santa or pray?

Now that Christmas is upon us, what better time of year than to practice real generosity of heart! Yesterday, I heard two acquaintances talk about their Christmas gifts that they had received from each their employers and this brought me to think of what I’d like to give my future employees. Swedish gingersnaps of course! A little basket of goodies, and a tea light holder made of glass. If you were an employer, what would you gift your employees?

Take this exercise further and consider what you really would like to give to your family, friends and loved ones, if money was not a problem and you could get them anything you would like. Make a list!

Check the list to see if it’s things that you really would like yourself. Then make a special wish-list for that. Continue the list for others, and really think through what you know in your heart that they long for. Write it down. Offer your wishes to God, or to Santa… Share it too, if your want.

Merry Christmas!

A Mayan Cacao ceremony

There seems to have become a trend that westerners want to hold cacao ceremonies, but few have learned about its true purpose and the symbolic details the way the Mayan Indians do it. I’m very grateful to have participated among 200 others yesterday through Zoom with a pair from Guatemala; W’ukub K’at Saq’ik and Kajib’ Tzik’in Chuj, who taught us about their traditions.

The purpose of the Cacao ceremony, or “Chinimital del Ka’kaw” as it’s called in Spanish, is to connect with the energies of creation through the honoring of the natural elements and hold a dialogue with the same. To always be aware of that the Sun and Mother Earth is what brings us life. The one yesterday was only a sneak peak, referred to as a Kotzij’. The real Cacao ceremonies can last for several days.

You start by ensuring that you have cleansed yourself and passed on any emotional charge to a tree. Then you attune a respectful and grateful approach to Mother Earth as sacred, by acknowledging how our ancestors lay buried beneath us (much like in Hawaii!) and therefor do this barefoot. Kneel and ask for permission to enter.

Then greet the four corners with their symbols:

Turn to the East for honoring the Sun and the element of Fire. It stands for light and red is its color.

Turn to the West for honoring the Earth and the element of Earth. It stands for darkness, our body and black is its color.

Turn to the North for honoring the Wind and the element of Air. It stands for mind and yellow is its color.

Turn to the South for honoring the Water and the element of Water. It stands for cleansing, our emotions and white is its color.

We do this with our prepared table in front of us in a place that we’ve designed it for. It’s not an altar, but a table for dialogue. You can use incense to help prepare. And rocks are here to help us recharge ourselves directly with Mother Earth’s energy.

The Cacao is farmed according to tradition to ensure that it is kept in its rightful place of the biodiversity and eco-system, and holds a feminine quality used here to reconnect us to humanity, to the center and heart for us to live in symbiosis with Mother Earth (Pachamama). It’s therefor also a time to do a conflict resolution when the day is right. Each day holds its own energy and goes in 20 day cycles. Now that we have passed 2012, the Mayans believe it’s good to share some more of their knowledge.

To learn more about this and other ways of Mayan traditions, click here. And hopefully this too can become shown at Telluselle Living Center in the future.

Dealing with stress

You know that old saying that you can see a glass as either half-empty or half-full and therethrough see whether you’re a pessimist or an optimist? An other way to look at it, is that the glass could be overflowing. When it’s too full with positive experiences (like for me when I lived in Hawaii), it can feel overwhelming. And when it’s too full with negative experiences (like not getting your needs met, others’ bad treatment of you that you’re depending on etc), it’s too much stress. So, the first thing you need to do, in order to manage your stress better, is to decide what is in your glass:

  • List all your positive things going on right now
  • List all your negative things going on right now
  • Lift out and say no to things that you either can postpone or simply turn down
  • For every positive but overwhelming item, think of what your also need to tend to
  • For every negative and stressful item, think of what you can do afterwards for fun

The point is, that when we live with our glasses too full, we don’t have the necessary inner space to make good decisions and take positive action in a calm and deliberate way. This also means that we will react much stronger to whatever more is coming our way, whether positive or negative. To gain a better balance, make sure you give yourself what you need, that you can do, such as enough fresh air, sleep and good nutrition. It can also be to not push yourself and rather re-schedule. If you think about it, the people you have agreed to meet with, deserves the best of you, both for their sake and your own!

And breathe.

Choosing a cause

To take yourself out of a rut and become more energized with a purpose, choosing a cause to advocate can do the trick. While it can be scary to go against something, or even against authorities, focusing on promoting what is good, emphasizing the desired outcome and gather with others who feel the same way, infuse you with good energy. And a cause that is always timely and concern the wellbeing of many, is of course tending to Mother Earth.

We all need clean water to drink, clean and nutritious food to eat, safe homes with well regulated temperatures and transportation that doesn’t pollute our air. Having the environment as your prioritized cause can enable you to connect globally with others on the same journey, as well as keeping you grounded in what to believe in regardless of neither political, nor religious beliefs. Both politics and religions are much about how we should live our lives, while instead really focusing on the actual issue at hand, can open up for new creative solutions, where yours can be one.

Protect what is beautiful, places of origin in nature. Go find your own local treasures and document them to the world. Join organizations that promote wildlife and care about these habitats. And educate yourself more about our conditions for living a good life on planet Earth.

Where is your favorite spot?