The path to joy

We are walking on a life path, it is said. Some of us walk on similar paths and this is what often creates conformity. When something happens that disrupts your walk, is when you have a chance to choose a new path or go back on the same. It should always be your own choice and this is why Professional Lifecoaching is such an important profession to enable empowerment and enmancipation. It is through falling prey, we get the opportunity to rise and break through the comfortzones of conformity. Leaving an abusive relationship in the 90’s became the beginning of my conscious ambition to heal. And going through the passing of my mother, became one of my open doors.

Experiencing joy in life is to me the ultimate healing and self-realisation. My path to joy, and how you can find your own, is what I’d like my third book to be about.

What it’s like? It’s an anger that never gets closure and proper venting eye to eye to the person behind it. It’s an aching of the body, a creeping under your skin. It’s a saddening fright of being totally disrespected. It’s frustrating, stalling, stifling, delaying, annoying, sickening and totally exhausting.

It’s moments of loss, it’s joy taken, it’s ruined relationships, it’s ruined plans both online and in life.

It’s loss of money not only the actual things stolen or the cash, and what is needed to buy new, but all it’s worth and all the time and effort trying to replace it and yet being angry every time you see the unnecessary replacement, together with no income that also is hindered.

It’s pointless with lots of stuff put out that just is being trashed. It’s a total waste of my time that will never lead to anything good, or simply anything.

More than to get a gun perhaps, since the police has ignored all my reports of it for years. And why is that? Maybe because I’m not blonde and/or famous enough.

It’s how it is to be stalked.

Friend or fan?

As soon as I receive compliments for what I do differently than my Swedish friends, a distance is created between that person and me, for what I do and who I am in comparison to them. That distance also makes someone who could be my equal as a friend into a fan, sadly taking away the fun and play. And in this era of followers-culture with an even more pronounced need of fame for many, it has made me think of my own.

My Dad loved taking photos of me since the day I was born, some made into special portraits developed in his own temporary set up dark-room. And some soon became published whether I was horsebackriding or performing on stage with acting or dancing. I am even on the cover of his published dissertation.

At the age of 5, I was asked to give away flowers on stage when jazz-legends Stan Getz and Woody Herman both came to perform in the Swedish town of Lidköping we then lived in. I wore an orange dress with flowers on and a pretty bow in my hair. And I got to sit on a chair center-stage for his DaCapo. It felt so nice to feel the warmth of the spotlight and hear all the applause. I wanted that again.

After that as I grew up, I was often featured in the local newspapers and soon also got to publish my own columns and articles. I planned on becoming a newsreporter for TV, but was encouraged to become a copywriter in advertising instead to not have to make a profit on people’s traumas but rather be creative in a more positive and better paid way. So, I did.

And meanwhile I let dancing be my fuel, my secret passion and inspiration to write with flow. Until the mid 90’s when I stopped for 10 years. I shouldn’t have, just searched for another style or focused on showjazz.

I have been recognized by strangers on the bus several times over the years, more so after being on TV, so much it has become natural to be prepared to.

But with social media comes a certain secrecy, an unspoken assumption, that I don’t agree with. I am never only the person showing myself online, I’m a person posting things online that sometimes show parts of me.

Perhaps it’s a matter of different generations, or becoming too much stalked based on undiscussed assumptions. (The first time I became stalked by a Swedish man was when I was 17 for three years off and on, and now worse since 2009, besides by other women wannabes.) What always really matter is our literal lives, our live talks, not into a camera without answers, but always in meetings, a dialogue with mutual interest. And sadly this is what has become lost when the art of professional coaching has been put in the shade, while so called self-proclaimed, or simply by trend evolving, prophets aim to teach nothing and anything to receive applause.

Do I want to be followed? No! I do however want readers, comments, questions and discussions! Always feel free to share your opinion here. Am I someone’s fan? No, not at all. I simply neither have the interest, nor the money to.

How does someone then become my friend? By being reliable and showing respect for both me and yourself. The other day I asked someone here in Portugal about something and he simply answered that he doesn’t want to. What a relief to hear honesty! That was courageous by him. So, I can move on and ask someone else. Another person made me think about how a man “can’t” hug a woman unless they become friends first. It all depends on being clear about the purpose of meetings and getting to know someone.

We are all interdependent but nobody should have to always depend on another person. However, we need to be able to rely on others, especially authorities. And on our dancepartners. Can we?

Who do you follow, why and how?

Going alone or with someone?

Ever since my first trip to Hawaii in September 2004 (or maybe even before that), I have been asked how I can go anywhere alone. Why not? The other day, when I was chatting with Tom Cruise (!), who is in Turkey at the moment, I was asked the same question about being in Portugal alone. Then when I answered him, the essence of it became so easy to say, that I’d like to share.

I am not free to be how I really am with my preferences and priorities, when I am together with the majority of my so called former friends. It has always been me that had to succumb to what others want to, and most times, yet by my initiative to meet. But why hold on to someone who never calls, unless I call first? Or don’t want to answer?

I recalled my first trip without my parents with friends in Europe. It was fun, but it felt like it was the same as home, just in another setting, without us really getting to know neither the place nor the people.

And how I felt later in the early 00’s, for example visiting San Francisco, Miami and New York City on my own, became the path towards an exhilirating freedom. When I was in California in the mid 90’s, on a job with a Swedish photographer’s assistant, it was pretty good, since I got to lead our work, similar to how I have led a group of about 40 young Nordic exchange-students across the Atlantic when I escorted them to, and through, their transfer in Chicago to their High School year abroad.

When it comes to studying abroad, should I have my Swedish girlfriends waiting for me outside the university? Or “approve” my dates first?

It’s about meeting me halfway and for me not to always have to sink down to match another person’s level, especially spiritually and creatively, or simply by interest. Would you have fun if you felt forced to go to clubs where you don’t like the music? Who could you meet instead if you go where you want? I did!

Many times, I believe, we get stuck in a pattern of holding power structures and unspoken hierachical levels also with our friends, that we either not mean any harm with or don’t see, or do know of. These have to be changed with mutual effort like within all relationships. Or we have to find new.

Meanwhile we can just live in peace alone.

Making it safe to change

How come we don’t always do what is best for us? In terms of improving our daily habits, it seems quite contradictory to do the opposite instead of following through. Yet perhaps the initiative is imposed on us by others or we have to remain doing something in order to cope. There are two things getting in the way for change:

1. Our own instant gratification over long term satisfaction: The reward of doing a change must become greater than not to. It must simply feel better.

2. Others’ behavior towards, or affecting you, whether predictably or not.

It is in the dynamics of the individual, organization (group) and society, changes take place. Some rushed through emerging trends, whether fear-based or fashionable, and some as reoccurring patterns that are cyclic and common for both individuals and organizations (groups). It was this that I studied at Malmö University and Hawaii Pacific University, so that I can both lead and coach others through change, preferably by your own initiatives that makes it more positive to experience.

How do we then create change? I have found that the energy that is needed is developed through friction evolving through a conflict, creating a need to move. A need to create something new. This why, in turn becomes the motivation to change.

To make change a positive process, it must yet feel safe to, such as with support and resources, starting with getting feedback on your performance. It’s what coaches can do best. What do you want to learn and change?

What makes our inner child miserable?

Like all children do, we too cry and get upset when we don’t get the sleep we need or eat in a timely manner. It’s just that as adults, we have learned to suppress our needs, to hide them and save it for later. If we’re not careful, these needs might be too covered up so we don’t even feel them but rather medicate or lash out in angry outbursts, with even more upsetting obstacles to getting our needs met. Taking good care of them is the essence of self-care. What you think is an illness, might just be an inbalance that you can correct yourself and with professional help. So, how do you know what you need?

Here is what I know about myself. I tend to start eating something as soon as I come inside, but what I really need might to become warm, unwind and drink a glass of water. Unless it’s rather that I became hungry several hours ago but suppressed it. Only I can know and choose what is most important to do first.

Let’s then assume that our physical needs are met and that you have people around you. But are they the right ones for you? Is there someone that you can have fun with and play with? What is having fun to you?

What is then stopping you and how? Who are robbing you of having fun and getting your needs met? And why?

It is when we are both getting our needs met and having fun, we can make money in a good way.

Connecting with our own heart

Whenever we have encountered harsh words or belittling remarks, harmful behavior and ignorance from others, been ignored too much, or have been too hard on ourselves, it’s time for some self-compassion. If we don’t tend to our true feelings, it will eat at us and create more back in return, or an ignoring that peel off our true selves, our inner child. The way many feel separated from soul, comes from that, a brushing off of the cruel world that eventually either leads to a stronger negative ego or a separate personality – a role we play – where we don’t let our soul shine with us.

Then we need to first connect with ourselves and our own heart. By showing ourselves compassion the way we can towards others who we see have had it rough, we can begin to heal ourselves and rebuild our own trust and self-reliance. The best tool that I use for that is “Supercoach”.

I used to have a cuddly bunny growing up, as well as real bunnies as pets, wherefore this is part of enabling me a good connection to my inner child – soul – self. By hugging him I can console and create my needed reinforcement with an appeal to my Higher and Middle selves – inner adult and parent – to improve my self-care with healthy habits. I ask him what he thinks and he shows and says what I need to do, and what I feel.

Integrating these three levels of self, enables healing and wholeness. Then, I dance with joy!

Under the weather

A couple of days ago, while walking alongside a big road, I noticed that someone had thrown away two new cart of pills. I didn’t recognize the name but it made me wonder if it was some kind of necessary drug for emotionally unstable people. Soon enough, I noticed broken glass at the bus-stop, roadsigns that had been lifted up and a man outside the mall screaming loudly to himself. Perhaps autistic, I thought. Guards and police showed up a while later.

So, when do we need to take medicine and what for?

If you are into holistic health like me, you are probably reluctant to take conventional medicine. Popping white pills might not rhyme with your yoga-mat, yet it might be pointless with herbal mixes that is just another type of food intake.

For a while I was afraid that I would be, or could become, addicted to any of the medications I have taken, and take, when I need to, such as regular ibuprofen or medicine to calm down my stomach, since I get sick when others stalk and steal from me. However, it turns out that I usually only need less than half of the recommended dose. Yet, that one pill might save my day.

I have come to the conclusion that whenever we can’t control a symptom ourselves, or regain control directly after experiencing an out-of-control reaction, such as violent road-rage, it is necessary.

And as always, stress levels, our hormones and the weather, together with getting our regular needs met well, is what must first be improved. It is the real medicine.

Are you sleeping well? Drinking enough fresh water? Eating nutrious food? Getting a hug and getting things solved that are making you feel stressed? What if you can be the medicine to someone else, that needs help to cope?

Only you know what you really need. Dare ask yourself and get your own honest answer, regardless of what you have read about others!

Be the medicine.

The tutu

When I was 6 years old, I started taking classes in classical ballet in my then Swedish hometown Lidköping. My first recital was in two acts, first dressed like a green troll to this song and then in fully white with a tutu, that my mother had sawn for me.

I practiced doing cartwheels and stand on my hands on the green grass together with my classmate Fredrika. During the summer, I finally was able to do the split when we weren’t busy practicing a secret language for our missions taught by Astrid Lindgren playing the battle of  “Red and White roses.

My first encounter with classical ballet was at the age of 5 when my mother took me to see “Swanlake” being performed. I felt directly how the story resonated with me and I still can become moved when I watch it.

The next year, we had to move, but luckily the town of Lund, also had classical ballet. And now I got to lead the group onto stage, always placed first. After that recital, where I had seen the older students using pointed shoes, I went up to my teacher Birgit Wettergren, a hefty Danish woman with her own pianist, and asked when I could start learning to dance with pointed shoes. She said I could the following semester and then come to audition for her at the Copenhagen Royal Ballet, where she taught daytime. I was now able to do pirouettes across the whole floor and I have never been happier.

But the next year, we had to move again. And I had to stop dancing ballet…

More about this and what happened next, can be found in my book “The Call for Divine Mothering ~ applying the keys to paradise”.

Creating harmony in our relationships

It feels like I grew up with war inside my family. A war that I constantly wanted to stop so we could have peace, without stress, especially during our meals. On my mother’s side came refugee illiteracy, and on my father’s side noble scholars. Maybe it was even the foundation of my parents conflict, seeking the opposite in leading life from the heart versa the mind, female versa male, yet the source of conflict. To create harmony instead, one can however not let one side win, but rather let both sides stand on their own.

My parents’ divorce created much pain when I grew up, that I often fled from by going to the local riding club and got busy caring for the horses, who also were awesome silent listeners. Not to mention how easy it is to bestow them (and other animals) with lots of love, without envy or questioning by the other parent.

“Then Almitra spoke again and said: “And what of marriage, master?” And he answered saying: “You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness. And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.  Love one another, but make not a bond of love. Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone. Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart. And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.””

Life is always about feeding and love. And finding ways to do this without conflict, require a breach of patterns that we have learned growing up. In my case, to let my inner child do, feel and have, what brought me joy before my parents’ divorce.How was it for you growing up? Are your relationship similar to that of your parents? Is it how you want it to be? How would you like yours to be?

Layers

Early on, I used to wonder what I and my life would have become like, would my family not be forced to move all the time, which I loathed. I changed town and classmates in 3rd grade, 5th grade, 7th grade and 10th grade and thus became part of different young cultures, and dialects! Who could I have met or remain bestie with, would I have been able to stay? Luckily, I got to take the train a couple of times on my own between two towns when I was 11 years old to go back and visit my friends over the weekend. Early on, I had to become independent.

I think the opinions of others and simply our emotions concerning others, together with how we are brought up and the regular social conditioning, becomes like the layers of time that we can see in trees and soil. What if the foundation becomes poured over with negativity? Must we not then remove this before moving on? How much should we adapt to the changing environment and how much should we either just accept or resist whether the people or the place?

By cultivating and performing the same spiritual practices regularly everywhere, we can find the path into our heart and take out the direction from there, regardless. Or will we end up at the same destination anyway?

Life becomes like travel, a journey.

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!