Coaching tip: Level with the opposite

A secret way to increase our creativity, is by doing something the opposite way, or simply think of the opposite. This opens up a broader spectrum with room for more nuances, as well as more ways to interpret the situation and find more possible solutions. This way can also be used for a life coaching purpose.

My own current example that I’m going through, is dealing with the changes my body is undergoing, partly because of others’ imposed stress and partly because of arriving menopause and health challenges with some needed surgeries to be done (healing my teeth and removing skin cancer). The natural response to this is of course to be afraid. While I in no means think that one shouldn’t be afraid but take this fear seriously, an opposite thought and emotion can prove to be helpful. What if instead of being scared you became excited? Excitement paves the way for a positive outlook and expectation, with an open mindset to not know for sure what is going to happen, when or how, but to see it as something new to grow from. Therefore, I’ve decided to remember to seek a feeling of excitement to be led by.

This way of using the opposites, can also be used to find and heal any other negative thought or emotion. Anytime you feel dread, negativity, envy, jealousy or so, and want to move away from that, make sure not to try to escape it, but transform it with the help of its opposite. If you feel stressed, how can you transform this into calm?

To read more life coaching examples of how to transform things into its positive opposite, click here.

Children of the land

It was through the Hawaiian organization Kanu Hawaii, together with dancing Hula, that I got to develop my connection to Mother Earth in a more tangible way, yet spiritually founded, in 2010. But it started already in 2004, when I was there the first time and became in total awe of the splendid beauty of the volcanoes and had such an overwhelming experience. There is something very profound and existential to witness first-hand how Earth is made, how the volcanic lava creates new ground, and how a tiny red flower called ‘Ohi’a lehua, becomes the first to grow on it. It was the beginning of Earth being birthed right there in front of me, and the beginning of a new life for me, after my own mother had just passed away. (More on this can be read in my book “The Call for Divine Mothering“.)

I had long before this, always felt attracted to the shamanic way of living and beliefs, wondering if it would be possible to integrate this into an urban lifestyle and in Hawaii, I found this more possible, thanks to their way of life, incorporated in the Aloha-spirit and the ideology Huna. A way to become a true warrior, but of peace and beauty, rather than only battle (which of course Hawaiians also are quite capable of and have been throughout history). The Hawaiian history is simply somewhat younger and therefore, there still are remnants to cherish and continue with.

One of the symbols of Hawaii is the turtle, which often is said to symbolically be the one carrying earth on its back, and called Honu in Hawaiian, which together with lulu, means a safe place to gather for turtles.

We’re all her children and we’re all destined to find our place in the eco-system as a worthy species, put in place. As soon as you realise this within yourself in relation to the land, you too can realise oneness.

This song is entitled Keiki O Ka ‘Aina, which means children of the land and remind us to uphold the stories and myths in Hawaii – and elsewhere.

The latest news about the volcanoes in Hawaii can be read here.

Healing with the angels

Whether it’s to mend a broken heart or a physical ailment, praying for healing always make us feel better. While the Holy Spirit is said to come to inspire and comfort us, I like praying directly to the Archangels with my concerns. Angels are usually accepted in most traditions and faiths, wherefore they indeed can be our messengers. Here is how my prayer goes:

“Dear Archangel Raphael, please poor down your healing green light to help me heal, restore, revive and integrate my inner child in a safe and lasting manner, as well as healing my teeth and my skin. Thank you, Archangel Raphael.”

And what can you see in the photo above? Dare to believe!

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

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

I’ve practiced Ashtanga yoga for 20 years. It enables my body to feel rejuvenated and stretched out. And I don’t do it for any spiritual purpose, although I have great respect for its traditions and see certain poses as ways to pray. Here is my sun salutation and how to do it:

1. Stand with your feet apart as much as the width of your hips.

2. Inhale and stretch your arms up

3. Go down (jump or walk out), either in one long inhale, or stop in the plank, do a small inhale, and then continue to exhale into the cobra

4. Inhale and roll over feet into the upward dog position

5. Exhale and inhale three times with a straight back, weight in the middle, aiming to push up your but as the highest point

6. Inhale and look towards your feet

7. Jump (or walk) to inbetween your feet, exhale

8. Inhale and raise yourself while you raise your arms

9. Continue and do the sun salutation again or close to prayer mudra, exhale.

The important point is, to follow protocol how it’s done so you can receive its benefits over time. If have a wellness goal rather than a competitive goal means you can use your own capacity and performance as a measure. To only use yourself as your comparison and note how you’re doing.

Why do you practice yoga?

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 and try different techniques to breathe. Do you prefer silence or to have music on?

The main goal for all meditation, is to calm our mind and find stillness and 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.