Picking up the petals

Seeing our own life in the framework of another’s, can provide a comparison that enables both perspective, comfort and inspiration. Not long after I learned to dance the choreography to Isadora Duncan’s Rosepetals in 2014-2015, I felt moved and inspired to continue her work.

No wonder either, since it feels like such an awesome synchronicity with my first book and photos, all with improvised poses before I knew the Isadora Duncan dance style, and in a way also my second book, since Isadora herself had to leave the United States just like I had to in 2012, it seems like a good idea to build something partly based on her work.Perhaps simply by picking up the petals.

Changing

Inevitably, whether we call it enlightenment and personal growth, or it’s something forced upon us, changes in our life can be both necessary and alter our ways of thinking. Change can be simply moving to a different place or even changing clothes. If we remain the same as a person it’s an outer change. If we adapt but reluctantly, it’s something that will eat at us, whereas letting insights create a natural will to alter our own behavior with a positive sense of discovery, it becomes a transformation, an evolution. At first it takes us into similar patterns of who we meet. When we are able to change our responses and actions, we can reach another level to move forward from. It becomes the spiral of evolution.

Becoming a regular church-goer has enabled me a much lesser need of spiritual seeking in self-help literature. And while I still have to use coping, it becomes a way of emotional detachment grounded in a positive way, rather than just the need to flee. Once I found my identity through faith and could start to reclaim and develop my authentic self inside and out, its expression becomes a simple matter of what I am doing when and how. In my case, how I handle money matters differently in the flow of life, since 2015 is one example. Another is when I choose to be quiet among others, or not, which in turn can be perceived differently according to language and culture. Left then, is our authentic self, dare we to remain being who we are regardless of. Letting the outside change.


The everchanging ocean is the ultimate church, showing us how to live in harmony.

Healing on time

I wouldn’t have PTSD if I had received adequate therapy in a timely manner. This alone makes me question what Sweden is trying to show the world. Are they that naive or simply evil?

I found an EMDR-therapist in Stockholm 2013, but was denied due to not having a longer apartment lease than 3 months, ie a more permanent place to live. In 2014, I found someone in Oakland, CA instead, but again I was stalked and sabotaged, and
therethrough stopped from remaining in the small studio apartment I had gotten through the Swedish welfare office, who pretends that Daniel Andersson is a paranoia (!). And any other stalkers and impersonators, based on my writing and publicity – I became stalked the first time when I was 17. How can they not communicate with the police?

In fall 2017, finally a great opportunity to get a long-term lease for a small studio, presented itself outside of Stockholm. And to the same rent I had had while living on studentloan in Honolulu! But the Swedish welfare office denied it on the basis of being too expensive and forced me to live in more expensive hostels that I had to beg on the street to be able to pay, while loosing my physical health.

All this has prevented me from sending in an application for a waiver to return to the United States, and receiving their answer. Or start therapy in Sweden.

And start working, get married and build my business. Or at the least be interviewed in the media about my cases, including my report to the UN, and my knowledge. And about my books that would provide me with an income!

 

Side effects of the soul

Lately I have noticed that I can suddenly dread, or feel it is too dark, to go down staircases. When I think back, this was also one of the issues I had when I started feeling like I had begun to develop exhaustion syndrome 20 years ago, when my sensitivity to earthquakes and similar became more prominent. And today it struck me, as I climbed down to the beach on rocky rails, that I’m simply afraid of falling again, whether tripped, off a horse, or walking down into a too deep swimming pool. Thus, integrating the healed soul implies going through similar things on the surface, without the same happening, but instead providing the safety now that we didn’t have or feel back then.

But it also is how we can develop necessary caution and care, rather than assume it would be due to hesitation. It’s the hesitation that can save us. Or hinder. It’s all about what is empowering and lifegiving!

Photo of me from Hotel Palacio’s pool next to the Banyan wellness center in Estoril, Portugal, where I got Lomilomi before I put my head under water for the first time in 2015.

The learning process

How do we know what to do and how? How can we develop a better understanding of ourselves, others and earth in ways that can let us also develop both compassion and creativity? The first thing we must learn is what knowledge is.

Everything we take in from the outside, such as what we read, listen to and watch, becomes knowledge. How we understand it all depends on what we have been taught before, and our opinion about what we read and have experienced. Thus, everything we experience becomes understood subjectively due to our previous experiences, and our upbringing, education, culture and norms. We meet in the inbetween of what we observe and react to. The best way to learn is therefor by observing and trying, reflecting, asking and trying again, just like the seasons bring phases. Read not so much facts and figures about the climate, go outside and have a look where you live and make a note. Then compare it the next year yourself.

Locals are not just people living in a city or area, but people doing so for enough seasons to know the nature of things in the immediate environment. How cold it gets, the cycle of storms or when to enjoy the sun outside and how to get sheltered and safe. What to eat when and how. And how to take care of ourselves and each other. It’s not about the culture, although this contributes to what culture is, but how we relate to our home. Our Mother Earth. The foundation for all life.

Our knowledge becomes pearls of wisdom when we try it ourselves, learn from it and improve, or change, the way we are doing something. This type of change is called transformation. And remember, whether we are black or white, blondes or brunettes, scholars or factory workers, we all walk on the same Earth. We all need the same things and we all share the same emotions. If good health is our joined priority, space to create will grow naturally to create even better.

We are born of light, and to light we shall return. Show yours!

The dancer of the future

“The dancer of the future will be one whose body and soul have grown so harmoniously together that the natural language of that soul will have to become the movement of the body. She will dance not in the form of a nymph, nor fairy, nor coquette, but in the form of woman in its greatest and purest expression. She will have danced the changing life of nature showing how each part is transformed into the other… She will dance the freedom of women. She will dance the body emerging again from centuries of civilized forgetfulness… no longer at war with spirituality and intelligence, but joining them in a glorious harmony.” (Isadora Duncan 1928)

What does it mean to live and express oneself accordingly? Can I apply this to my own life? It is the starting point for my next book: “The Call for Divine Harmony + collecting pearls of wisdom +”. More about that later.

Photo of me dancing on a beach in Portugal, similar to how Anna Duncan did.

My inner child reflected

I think it’s like that, our own inner child, can need real children to be reminded, or simply to connect with, to keep ourselves alive and kicking in a world too serious, yet not serious enough to be real about our needs.

Sometimes when I walk about and sit down for a while, a child close by starts to dance. On two occasions this past summer, even getting frustrated if I don’t dance with them at the beach. I take it’s my soul beckoning me to play, to seek and express joy again, that becomes reflected through them.

Video from an event in Oeiras, Portugal.

Room to improve

Each good dance studio have mirrors. It’s a treasure to dare look oneself in the eyes and feel good about it. For many years, I just felt weird and sick watching myself. Everything felt awful, but it was also then I realized how much the sexual assault in the 90’s and somebody’s continuing taking from me, had have an impact. Now, I can see myself dancing and smile instead.

The mirrors are there for both ourselves and our teacher to see our motions, so we can be corrected and be as one when we dance together. Preferably we see our own mistakes to improve. Or decide to change, interpret different or make new, which eventually make us into professionals. Each detail counts. Each detail a decision:

The angle and direction of each pose. Facing up or down. Pointed toe or flexed. Turned out or parallell. Each pose stand for one count, one note, one tone in a melody in a variety of rhythms and tempo. Sometimes more motions need to be fitted in, or done slower but still always moving.

The same can be applied to practicing other types of Movement Arts such as yoga, pilates or qigong. All to ensure that we use our bodies correctly to not harm ourselves and of course to tone and improve our strength, flexibility and balance. Then we add a desired sentiment and emphasis. Just like we can talk in different dialects and make it mean differently with the different emotions we feel, or add on purpose, we can dance likewise.

Photos of me and Isadora Duncan.

Clean eating

To enable my healing, I started to change both what I eat, and how, over the years, beginning in 1996 when I became a vegetarian with the add of fish. It would however take until 2008, until I realized I needed to bless my food and eat both glutenfree and lactosefree to soothe my stomach and get a clear skin. It does!

My diet is simple. I don’t call it a diet since I have no want to loose any weight, but rather gain. Nonetheless, to me it’s all about eating clean and real. Natural, organic resources in its original form, for example rather real fruit than smoothies to make sure it becomes digested and assimilated with all its proper nutrients and fibers in its unadultered forms.

Breakfast and cooked lunch as well as dinner. Spring water, herbal tea with honey and semi-dark chocolate every day. And chicken or turkey to help with protein and iron due to living under my current circumstances.

It’s all about season and simplicity – to eat what makes you feel well.

I used to grow my own orange tree inside my apartment in Malmö, Sweden, but couldn’t pollinate it to bear fruit so I donated it to a local greenhouse. Glad to see this in Portugal!

Walking with Earth

I like breathing and walking in a certain tempo and rhythm. I put down my feet fully but lightly on the ground as one with nature, focusing fully on being present. Bare feet on sand, cushioned in the forest with my sneakers on, or enjoying the sound of gravel on horseback, I have had nature as my healer since I was a teenager.

When I am warm enough and can walk as a dancer, I dance with Earth. It’s me and the ocean, me and the trees and me and the grassy hills. Other people may be around but I let them blend into the background. Sometimes I stop and notice the beauty of a seashell or a pine seed, scenting the air, letting it fill my lungs while my thoughts float away on the surface of the water. It’s a living meditation with a chosen presence.

I pick up the seashells with thankfulness and curiousity and go back inside.

 

What works?

A way to heal and feel happy, is to focus on what has worked before. Remember a time and place that was really good for you and try to find the components making it so. Then use this as a reference for choosing your next endeavor!

Naturally, I have gone through this coaching too and how to reclaim myself better.

An example is when I was in Los Angeles in spring 1995, everything was good with me, eventhough I was breaking up with someone and just had misscarried. In a way, that one week driving around California for a copywriting assignment together with a photographer’s assistant, proved to be lifesaving, just because it put me back into myself with the right kind of distance I needed from my relationship in Sweden, which was with another co-worker.

We were in California to prepare photoshoots and interviews for a promotional magazine about the California cuisine for a Swedish dairy-firm. Of course, we had already done both research and contacted everybody before we left but now it was time to ensure the travel itinerary would hold within budget. It did.

So, what worked so well?

* I led the project planning and booking with trust in me

* I felt equal with the photographer’s assistant and had fun, feeling welcomed as a media crew when we arrived

* I spoke English and used my American free spirited self, experience and outgoing personality without being shrunken

* I had everything paid for, within a budget

* I saw the project being finished with positive approval by both the rest of the advertising agency and our client

So, this can therefore be part of a positive reference in comparison to other assignments for work, what to choose to say yes to, or retract from.

When we are allowed to do our best and shine, everybody wins for our unique competencies to be contributing to the whole!

What do you really need?

Many are chasing the wind, as it’s referred to in the Bible, ie chasing what they think they want even because someone else does, instead of becoming clear about what is good for and important to you specifically.

To me, a safe, warm home is a must where I can get a good night’s sleep. To live in a walking distance from grocery stores and pharmacies that have what I need daily. And to have access to wifi and beautiful surroundings, while also being able to practice dancing, at least once a week.

I need spring water, clean clothes, biological hygiene products of my choice and glutenfree and lactosefree food. Then I am free to love, free to create whatever is needed and/or inspires me, for the betterment of others. When I get what I need, I am naturally grateful and happy. So, why make it complicated, or start conflicts about what is readily available for everybody?

We must try!

The principles of healing that I live by are these:

1. Focus on what works by your own, and others’, experience.

2. What is good for the environment is also good for your health, and what is good for your health is good for the environment.

3. The only thing you need to be happy is your needs being met.

4. To heal, the conditions for healing must be supportive.

5. Dare to believe in your own and others abilities.

Simplicity, honesty and solutions!

At home in our bodies

The soul can not inhabit our bodies without us welcoming it home, nurturing its home, our bodies. We see it in our eyes, looking inwardly at first, outwardly second, when we dare to meet others in authenticity. It’s a simple act of recognition, of non-judgmental grace and shared humility in front of a divine power that enables this.

Caring for our bodies therefore is a must, in a much deeper sense of honoring and meeting our needs than for superficial good looks, rather for a health that makes it safe to express joy. It’s life’s greatest reward!

Do you care for yourself this way and do you support others to? Look yourself in the eyes in the mirror and in your photos and see yourself, not to be a narcissist, but to be your true self fully, shining through your ego. Pull out a good memory and analyze what the conditions were that worked, after understanding when you were traumatized and what that led to. This way you can get back on the path that is your own, and not what others want it to be.

Dare to reclaim you!

Returning my inner child to heal PTSD

The first time I realized that I had PTSD, was when I was 9 years old and we lived in the town Lund in the south of Sweden. We lived in a beautiful house with a garden filled with fruit trees, close to the big university hospital. This particular winter, we had so much snow that the military had to fly out with food to people in the countryside or pick them up, landing on the flat roof with big, loud helicopters. It scared me.

It was then my Dad told me about how we once had to flee in Beirut at dawn in a military helicopter, right when the war broke out in 1972 and grenades were thrown at us.

Made more whole in Portugal

It’s my first memory, seeing the sky turn red, from the side fast, while he ran with my mother, holding me in front of him. Then, I understood it must be why I was so scared of helicopters and fireworks. This lasted until 2014.

In Christmas 2010, when I once again was awakened in the early morning by the sound of some, I looked out the window in Maunawili, Hawaii, and saw three Black Hawk, I think they were headed towards Iraq.

After writing about it in 2014, I realized and reframed the story of the one of rescue, that it could even be what any of the ICE-officers had had to do, why the United States so often seemingly go out to war, the questioning of their imposed right to I had had my entire life became released, as I understood what they are fighting for on a personal level.

Then a strong sun-glare projected through a reflection in my window a hot summer morning, after an exhausting spring of not only finishing the draft of my second book, but having had to deal with increased stalking. I collapsed and regressed somehow, and almost died from a severe bloodpressure fall, but moved instead of laying still.

I still have flashbacks sometimes of other things, but when I’m here in Portugal there isn’t any personal history of traumas, so they are much less.

Today, I saw several dragonflies and noticed a ring of turquoise color on them, while thinking about worthy causes like the book “Dreams of the dragonfly” had examples of, that I read at the Honolulu Detention Center in 2012 before I was deported. Maybe it was a dragonfly that inspired the making of helicopters? I would think so.

What can your inner child invent?

Finding joy!

Healing my soul, and body, is about to have dared to grieve fully and found joy with my inner child back, the person I used to be, so to speak, the glittery spark that children have with their beauty and kindness, as well as the flirting, creativity and charisma, which in turn is how we create healthy relationships and an income.

My joy is found in dancing, the anticipation of Santa Claus arriving is what I realized I felt that day in spring 2004 when I started taking dance classes again after a hiatus of 10 years. (Read more about this, in my book “The Call for Divine Mothering”.)

Healing the soul thus has to do with encouraging and embracing my own inner child that unfortunately others abuse, rather than healing their own.

I still feel it, the positive anticipation, whenever I dance Isadora Duncan, Modern or African, together with a deeper connection to my femininity with Hawaiian Hula. Using my natural curiosity when I’m out walking exploring new little paths, integrating the whole when I pick seashells at the beach, or writing in my diary, also brings back my inner child, after I have reclaimed my energy.

Do what brings you joy!

Overcoming fears

In order to heal, we must also do our part to improve both our health and our behavior, increasing care and kindness. This also becomes the way we can overcome fears.

Often, bodily symptoms are ignored, even by physicians according to my personal experience, which is why it becomes such an evil journey and soul searching to treat the origin, rather than placing a rug on top made of anti-depressants or other types of numbing medicines. I refused all, since I don’t believe it would be a mental illness to have low bloodpressure or become sick to your stomach when others call you bad names with the intent to harm and take your life in all meanings possible, or simply due to eating lactose and gluten.

Fear in turn affects the way we breathe together with the climate we’re in. Why should I take an anti-depressant for that, instead of sleeping my needed 7-9 hrs per night, eating properly and drinking enough water?

So, after surviving my dental procedures with improvement in 2013 and 2014, and realizing how stalked I was on making appointments, my next goal became to overcome my fear of water due to an early near drowning experience, which in turn might even have impacted my so called anxiety at the dentist.

In 2015, I did! I put my head under water in a beautiful pool in Portugal after receiving Lomilomi treatment (Hawaiian massage) and also in the ocean. I have continued since also in Stockholm, taking notice of my own reaction, learning to stay and do it slower, but not to become too cold. I even felt I became less cold than when I only dipped myself to the shoulders, the other day, also now in Portugal 2019. What if someone could teach me something about that?

Could I even learn how to swim now?

And the reward? The instant true feeling of joy!

Unfortunately my own spontaneous joyous giggle that I wanted to share, has been removed by someone intruding again in my phone filtering it, which is why I am waiting to start my business until that person has been removed for good.

Making our home ready

To have a place for our soul to live is both about having a home and a body it feels safe in. Many people who experience sever traumas have described out of body experiences or simply know a piece of their soul leaves temporarily, sometimes attached to the body but not grounded inside, ready to leave if a similar threat would occur again.

My soul retrival has been done in several sessions which has taken many years to integrate. It is through a combination of meditation, prayer, breathing and lomilomi massage, this is made possible, upon learning to eat, process emotions and sleep better with more awareness. Most of all, we must make ourselves welcome with self-love, which starts with forgiving and finding compassion for ourselves.

This in turn requires a safe place to eat and sleep, among other friendly people, and/or with solitude to be able to relax fully without any interference, together with joy and celebration.

And sometimes it’s given back to us through another’s exhale.

Healing our chakras

If I’m nauseous, then what chakra or place in the body, does it correspond to and why? The first clue is always found in our body and our posture. How am I sitting and walking? As a dancer I’m being made aware of this as soon as I enter the studio and the correction begins. Myself first and then a little extra by my teacher.

Outside the dance studio it’s different. I’m often too cold, sabotaged and trying to fight it off and soon it’s easy to forget. In my 20’s, I used to remember to correct my posture in the store’s waiting lines, always able to spot any other dancer by the way we can walk. Not dancing made me loose some of that straight back and outwardly natural welcoming expression. Could this affect how I feel? Of course!

It starts with breathing, but even before that, making room for our lungs to breathe. Is my body a room?

In the style of Isadora Duncan dance, we lead with our solar plexus in our motions and it was by learning this in 2014, I began to really heal for keeps. Emotionally, it’s about making room for us to feel, and spiritually to be connected to the whole.

How can this be considered a mental illness, which Sweden long has wanted me to have as a diagnosis? Am I then thinking in the wrong way about being cold, tired and hungry? Am I supposed to deny myself food, water, warmth and shelter? Why am I then being denied, or have it taken away from me, for almost 10 years?

The four phases of healing

Each trauma is a crisis causing stress. How we deal with this as human beings has of course been researched much and it was also when I read the book “Crisis and development” by John Cullberg in 2001 at Malmö University, I began to understand myself, my stress-level, coping behavior and my needs.

In short the four stages are:

1. Chock

2. Reaction

3. Processing/Treatment

4. Taking new direction

In order for us to heal any traumas, we have to be able to go through these phases, with adequate professional help and social support within reasonable time, ie the natural course of time. Any delays, shortages or obstruction will simply become another trauma.

It was when I read through the author’s list of examples in 2001 that I made the astonishing discovery that I had been through the majority of all the traumas he mentioned except for being incarcerated… then.

The traumas we experience must also be understood in the conditions and culture we are living in and the age we are in when it happened. Naturally what is perceived as a trauma as a child, might not be for an adult or even vice versa! Likewise some are national or international by their nature, impacting many such a hearing in the media about terrorattacks and how the Swedish primeminister and foreign minister were murdered.

The traumas I have endured that are more than the regular stages of developments we all face, are:

At the age of 2: Escaping grenades in Beirut while my Dad held me as a shield.

At the age of 4: Watching my mother almost misscarrying and bleeding with premature birth 7 months pregnant in Sweden after we hastily left Germany where we temporary lived.

At the age of 5: Almost drowning in a pool at a summer party with my parents in Denmark.

At the age of 7: Suffered a concussion including spending a night at a hospital alone in Sweden.

At the age of 9: Orally raped by a classmate called Jonas in Sweden.

At the age of 10: My first bunny called Skutt fell ill and had to be put to sleep.

At the age of 12: Submitted to an open children psychiatric clinic in Sweden for 3 months by my patents, without a diagnosis.

At the age of 13: A classmate died in a car accident after our Middle school class was split for two different high schools.

At the age of 14: Our family was threatened by KGB (and SÄPO) and my Dad wanted to sell me as a wife to Afghanistan, while I was called “the plank” in school due to being flat chested (and a year younger than my classmates).

At the age of 15: My parents got divorced.

At the age of 17: I was stalked the first time in Sweden.

At the age of 21: I was sexually assaulted at a dinner date in Sweden.

At the age of 22: My front knee ligament was torned off during an aerobics class and I had arthoscopy performed in Sweden.

At the age of 25: I misscarried and was laid off from work with unemployment to follow in Sweden.

At the age of 26: My mentor in copywriting died suddenly in a heart attack in Sweden.

At the age of 29: My mother got cancer in Sweden.

At the age of 30: My German step-grandmother died from Leukemia in Sweden.

At the age of 33: I saw the devastation at Ground Zero in NYC in the United States.

At the age of 34: My mother died and I had to undergo foreclosure in Sweden.

At the age of 37: I received hundreds of nethating comments and a couple of blogposts after I had tried to perform Hula on TV.

At the age of 38: I had teeth surgery under the needle in Sweden.

At the age of 39: I was stalked in person, while also made homeless, in Sweden.

At the age of 40: I was stalked in person in the United States and had to get a restraining order and go to court there.

At the age of 41: I was arrested by the local police for shoplifting in Honolulu and then detained by ICE for 338 days, including 5 months in the SHU.

At the age of 42: I was deported from the United States.

At the age of 44: I was severly stalked and intruded upon inside my apartment, learned about how three important people in my life (my former English teacher, my minister at Unity church and my Hula-sister and attorney) died within a couple of months in the United States, and I almost died after a severe bloodpressure fall and was thteatened by authorities who wanted to lock me up in a closed mental institution in Sweden after I had finished compiling my blogposts into my second book and sent to the UN.

At the age of 45: I was forced into a locked homeless shelter in Sweden where I was assaulted, after being called stalker on the front page of the evening news after going to Athens on a dance conference and suing a yogateacher for copyright infringement in Sweden and after going on a vacation to Portugal.

At the age of 46: I was made homeless several times, stalked in a hostel with rats, removed a pipebomb outside a Stockholm subway entrance that the police ignored, in Sweden.

Then of course, moving and changing schools, grieving the deaths of my maternal grandmother and grandfather, my mother’s half-brother, my paternal grandfather, my other bunnies and favorite horse, were also upsets.

When experienced traumas impair daily lives and/or are re-lived again, we get Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.