Loving Life Blog

Spur of the Moment Reflections

Inspired… June 7, 2010

…by Iceland. Do I need to say more? Let’s go there!

Isn’t it an excellent example of a creation for a positive change in a time of economic crisis?

Go here fore more great videos, information and stories – don’t forget to add your own.

Inpired to travel to Iceland. Inspired to do something about any challenging situation. I hope you are too.

www.inspiredbyiceland.com I’m just saying…

Enjoy,

Johanna

 

Everything is Waiting for You June 3, 2010

I just finished a coaching call that had such a nice flavor. There was a calm peaceful clarity over the whole situation, role of self and the path forward.

One of the relief’s in the process for the client was the knowing of not being alone with the situation, the experience, the thoughts. That was probably the first step in breaking down one barrier after another to break free and get going on the path of creating what he wanted.

Witnessing the sense of freedom coming from the client, sticking hole in the bubble initially surrounding the old “reality” that no longer exist, is to me so beautiful and quite awesome actually. It makes my whole being smile.

After the session was over I came across a very nice and suiting piece from youtube on Facebook pointing out just that: Your great mistake is to act the drama as if you were alone.

This is an invitation to poetry as a life savior by David Whyte. An invitation to pay attention in a greater way. Everything is waiting for you.

Enjoy,

Johanna

 

My Word is Law. May 25, 2010

Wednesday night and I arrived in New York City. Staying on 50th Street and 8th Avenue, I was looking forward to finally getting my first chance to go for a morning run in Central Park.

Despite jetlag and getting to bed really late, I woke up at 6.30am EST. Was I tired? Yes. Did I think twice? Yes. Would it have been easy to go back to sleep? Yes. Did I still do it? Yes – and that was the best thing I ever could have done starting that day.  Such a beautiful sunny morning, so energizing, so many impressions…

How often do you say you will do something without following through? What impact does it have on you? At times when you do what you said you would do – how does that make you feel?

When running I thought of a recent conversation about this with a fellow coach who’s word of wisdom on the topic was:

“Commit Slowly and Complete Fully“. By consistently doing that, you will strengthen your muscle of holding your word and manifesting it as a habit. Your inner power is equivalent to the power of your word. Eventually you will get to a point where your word is your law.

Do I always do everything I said I would? No. And mostly something great comes out of what I end up doing instead. But absolutely – what a kick there is ‘completing fully’. Now – running was easy. It required a little will power, but that’s all. As I am writing this I am pepping myself for something much bigger. Because I do want to keep my word and have the impact that I am envisioning.

In what area would keeping your word have the greatest impact for you? What is it that you find daunting or continually try to avoid? And for what reason? What is the cost of doing that? What do you need to make it happen?

I am just wondering…

Let’s make it happen!

Johanna

Below are some photos from my morning run in Central Park. Enjoy!

NYC, Central Park, Loving Life Blog, Johanna Nilsson, Life CoachNYC, Central Park, Loving Life Blog, Johanna Nilsson, Life CoachNYC, Central Park, Loving Life Blog, Johanna Nilsson, Life CoachNYC, Central Park, Loving Life Blog, Johanna Nilsson, Life CoachNYC, Central Park, Loving Life Blog, Johanna Nilsson, Life CoachNYC, Central Park, Loving Life Blog, Johanna Nilsson, Life CoachNYC, Central Park, Loving Life Blog, Johanna Nilsson, Life CoachNYC, Central Park, Loving Life Blog, Johanna Nilsson, Life CoachNYC, Central Park, Loving Life Blog, Johanna Nilsson, Life CoachNYC, Central Park, Loving Life Blog, Johanna Nilsson, Life CoachNYC, Central Park, Loving Life Blog, Johanna Nilsson, Life CoachNYC, Central Park, Loving Life Blog, Johanna Nilsson, Life CoachNYC, Central Park, Loving Life Blog, Johanna Nilsson, Life CoachNYC, Central Park, Loving Life Blog, Johanna Nilsson, Life CoachNYC, Central Park, Loving Life Blog, Johanna Nilsson, Life Coach

 

Creating From Nothing May 10, 2010

I put a query out there today. What makes a beautiful day for you?

One of the responses I got back was “Creating from nothing”. I can ditto that – and this is my source of inspiration below.

If a beautiful wild flower can blossom in the middle of the dry desert – then you can bring your idea to life!

Loving Life Blog, Wild Flower, Create from Nothing

Wild Flower in the Desert

 

WIK-KED – Liberation of the Scandinavians?! April 29, 2010

I’ll be short and to the point.

Recently I have been introduced to the Enneagram. For those of you who use Meyer-Briggs: this is a personality test and tool that is much more complex and has much more to offer.

I had a very interesting conversation with Roxanne Howe-Murphy last week. She is author of Deep Coaching – Using the Enneagram as a catalyst for profound change, teacher and coach at www.DeepCoaching.com. Right now she is participating in a book competition The Next Top Spiritual Author, for her next Enneagram book “Deep Living”. Please vote here: http://bit.ly/NextTopAuthor I will tell you why.

There is a gift and a danger with personality type tests. You can limit yourself by identifying yourself with the type. Roxanne specializes in working with the Enneagram as a recipe for liberating individuals from the type. With other words, using the Enneagram stimulating real transformation by unhooking individuals from beliefs, behaviours and thoughts that are no longer useful.

I told her a little bit about the Jante Law and limitations existing in the Scandinavian culture. “Oh, it’s interesting – you could actually use the Enneagram on a National level”.

Are you serious? Wouldn’t that be hilarious – “Enneagram – A recipe for Liberation of all Scandinavians from the Jante Law” – would you co-write that book with me? “Yes, sure” she said.

Now – are you curious how that would look like? Unless you vote now for her next Enneagram book “Deep Living” you will never find out… http://bit.ly/NextTopAuthor Do it now, share it with everyone you know, and help her spread the word and knowledge of profound change. Absolutely do it before May 3rd.

It’s a quick action. Thank you for doing it. Enneagram – now I am very curious… This is wikked.

Enjoy,

Johanna

 

Transform a Lone Nut Into a Leader April 25, 2010

Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy: How to create a movement in three minutes…

Lessons learned:

1. As a leader you need to have the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous.

2. Remember to nurture the first few followers and embrace them as equals.

3. Make everything clearly about the movement, and not about you.

4. Be public, be easy to follow.

5. Leadership is over glorified. It starts with the shirtless guy, and he will get all the credit. But, it is the first follower that transforms a lone nut into a leader.

6. There is no movement without the first follower.

7. We are told that we all need to be leaders, but that is really ineffective.

8. The best way to make a movement, if you really care, is to courageously follow and show others to follow.

9. When you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to stand up and join in.

Which dance do you want to dance? Whom’s dance do you want to follow?

If you are unsure – there is a great event this week in the Bay Area: Bay Area National Dance Week. You can try all different kinds – for free!  http://www.bayareandw.org/

Enjoy,

Bay Area National Dance Week, Loving Life Blog, Leadership, Movement

Raisa - the only soloist performer at the Grand Opening flashmob. Would you have the guts to join her dance?

Johanna

Bay Area National Dance Week, Loving Life Blog, Leadership, MovementBay Area National Dance Week, Loving Life Blog, Leadership, Movement

 

Make Yourself Heard April 15, 2010

I quickly checked my email early this morning and had received one that ended with “Nu kör vi!” – Let’s do it! It got me so excited – no reason to even try getting more sleep.

So here is the story why. September 11 2001, I left Stockholm for a four, maximum nine, month’s assignment at the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce in San Diego (SACC). The actual timing is a different story. I loved the experience of living in San Diego, the people, the weather, and my job. As a Marketing Manager for SACC, the only full time employee for the organization, I got a chance to immediately dive into all aspects of the organization. Internal systems and information management, events, membership, website improvements, newsletter creation, branding, outreach, local and international networking, board meetings, managing team of volunteers. Excellent experience; excellent way to get a foot in to the US and establish a network. The only problem was: it wasn’t paid.  I guess the underlying problem to that was type of Visa.

Ericsson Mobile Applications, Make Yourself Heard

Ericsson watch: Make yourself heard.

I would have loved to turn SACC into a profitable organization, but that was a little difficult to do in four months with an initial membership base of 40 people paying $50 per year and some key corporate members. The survival strategy was to do really well and make myself a name. Is there any other good way to establish yourself?

On my hand wrist I had a watch that I had received as a gift from Ericsson Mobile Applications when together with Annica Andersson finished the masters thesis in marketing: “Wireless Advertising Effectiveness”, which was an evaluation of one of the first advertising trials done through SMS (text message) in 2000. The dial had the text “Make yourself heard”. That became the trigger for my own mantra.

So, why am I telling this? Because it worked. And it works. The advertising trial evaluation showed that the phone as a vehicle can work with merit as an effective advertising channel. We all know that today, with many different applications. And more importantly: do your very best, share with people who you are and what you want, and things will happen.

There is a difference in-between being full of yourself, and sharing with the world who you are and what you are up for in order to create something good. If you have a gift to bring to this world, which all of us have, then isn’t it your #*@%* responsibility to let the world know and make it happen? Seriously. I think we have passed the age of Jante Law. Thank God for social media and Web 2.0 for making it easier to get the message out there!

What trigger do you need? Join the ride.

Johanna

Oh – and the email this morning was from a real talent who had decided to step out of the box. Joy for the world! Nothing makes me so excited hearing voices/talents/idees that has been quiet far too long, eventually getting out there.

Also, SACC-USA has since then become J1 visa accredited, and offers a great internship program that American based companies can take advantage of and contribute to a unforgettable experience for an ambitious Swedish newly graduated young professional.

If you are a SACC Marketing Manager in any of the 19 regional chambers all over the US and want coaching on how to make the best out of your period here – please let me know.

 

Where did the Vikings go? March 17, 2010

Jantelagen – or, the Jante Law – I find it interesting. 1) How come that everyone in Scandinavia knows about it and refers to it as a limiting factor for self-expression and self-realization? 2) How come international analysts recognize Jantelagen as the factor holding back Swedish brands? 3) How come no one wants to be supporters of it, and yet it continues to permeate our society??? “A typical Scandinavian pattern of group behaviour that negatively portrays and criticizes success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate.”

Don’t think you’re anyone special or that you’re better than us. That is the bottom line.

Isn’t it time to revert this, once and for all? I know, I know – change is in the air. And that is good. But I did get the comment when I was home – “Well, if you want to start your own business – do it in America. It would be much easier over there than here.”

In a conversation with Michael E. Gerber about entrepreneurship and the Jante Law, he asked, “How did it start? Where did Sweden come from?” I laughed and said “The Vikings!” He responded “Well – that is one kind of an answer – so, where did the Vikings go? Are you one?”

As my friend from Leadership said when reading the laws: “the Chinese culture is also very much about putting the “we” before the “I”, it is about sacrificing the self for the greater good of the group, and in reading these “laws” – it sounds more like degrading the “I” rather than raising the “we”.” Now that is a perspective to think of.

Another comment was “This sounds all very related to Shame… and what is behind it. Particularly taught shame, passed down from shame-based parents. If it is at the very core of your community, it may be that healing is required.” Could there actually be a connection?! Do we all need to heal the scars from the behavior of the Vikings?

What would it mean to bring the Viking Spirit back? Not to steal and rape, but to honor and collaborate? A Viking Spirit that has evolved from “power over” to “power within”.

And if I am a Viking? Of course I am. Are you? New Age Viking. How about that?

(Click for the documentary) And by the way – here is an example of a team in training, with Viking Spirit – the Swedish cross-country skiing team. In total 2 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medals in the Olympic Games. Remarkably well-edited documentary by Johan Serrander! Click this link for Gröt Svett och Klistervalla. The film is available on svtplay until April 5, 2010

While on the go, I can also recommend the documentary “In the mind of Anja Pärson” (available limited time on svtplay). Did you know that behind every successful athlete stands an outstanding naprapath? Today I came accross the article in Aftonbladet with heading “Anja Pärson is flying in her own naprapath”. That was true – Carl-Fredrik Andersson resides at Spinex Naprapater in Stockholm. Always good to know good-to-go-to people.

And if you are too late for the films – the below is the alternative I can offer…

Which medal are you off to win? Let’s celebrate!

Johanna

 

Here is Your Life March 6, 2010

I came back from another movie by Jan Troell last night. The Spirit Awards that took place in Los Angeles had nominated the previous film I saw, “Everlasting Moments” for “Best Foreign film” – but Jan Troell himself was present with us in San Rafael.

The movie “Here is your life” (1966), taking place in the early 20th century was based on Eyvind Johnson’s semi-bioautographical books. The film was mainly in black and white and almost 3 hours long, with a built in 10 minutes break. Here are three things that stood out for me in the movie:

1) Business practice reminder. Olof, 16, was about to bike away to set up posters for the next movie at the Cinema graphic Theatre – the owner leans out the window and shouts, “The life of the nation is business! I want you to wear tie – remember that you represent the business.”

Not only is it important that you make sure your employees/colleagues have the same values and represent the company in a unified way – ultimately, you would also want to make sure that your 3rd parties represent the same values. That stroke me earlier this week when I went to yoga. Stressed from not finding parking and eventually finding out about the deal the yoga studio have with a garage close by, I pull up by the entrance to get a ticket by the gatekeeper. That man said “Welcome to your yoga practice” in a way and with a warm smile, so that I felt as if I had already come to the yoga studio. Brilliant. I’d be happy to park there again.

2) Make the Dream significant. As a special effect in the movie, there was a reoccurring sequence of a flying bird with a colored background, which gave a contrast to the otherwise black and white picture. In the Q&A Jan Troell gave the explanation why. The color was a symbol for the dream; the bird was a symbol for Olof’s longing for a new life and freedom; for this boy becoming an author or writer.

Intentional dreaming is powerful. Eyvin Johnson grew up from the working class up north, to receiving the Nobel price in literature 1974.

3) Freeze the frame. In a bicycle lecture scene John Troell had chosen to include a series of frozen frames. “The expressions in the face of the girl was so fantastic and they would just disappear if you did it the normal way.”

If you experience an extraordinary moment – take some time to freeze the frame and enjoy. Take a photo or a note to self, and make the moment last.

Coming home I researched the result from the Spirit Award and came over an article from New York Times with the below photo. I can’t help believing that there is no coincidence why Jan Troell is here right now. The man behind the masterpieces “The Emigrants,” “The New Land,” “The Flight of the Eagle” based on Vilhelm Moberg’s books. Just days after a conversation with Michael E. Gerber about the above, the Law of Jante in Sweden, and the question: where did the Viking spirit go?

Looking at the photos, I believe there are more things than the hat that the two gentlemen have in common. As the last comment was at the Q&A last night: “Jan Troell brings life [and soul] to the movie, and to us”. I would say: “Michael E. Gerber brings life and soul to business, and to us.”

If I can bring just a little bit of joy and love of [or in - or both?!] life to you – I would be happy. Ultimately, I would love for you to capture your journey. Here is your life.

Stay tuned,
Johanna

Michael E. Gerber - Author to "Awakening the Entrepreneur Within"

Michael E. Gerber, author of The E-myth and Awakening the Entrepreneur Within.

Jan Troell filmin "Everlasting Moments"

Jan Troell filming "Everlasting Moments"

Johanna Nilsson and Michael E. Gerber

 

Everlasting Moments March 3, 2010

May I introduce to you, one of the world’s greatest filmmakers: Jan Troell.

That was the beginning of a very impactful experience Saturday evening at The Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, CA. Had I known which treat I was up for, I would have let you know and spread the word ahead of time. And luckily I just realized that there will be a warmly recommended repeat at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley Thursday night. And more. Check out the above links for details of the complete program.

“Jan Troell is to me a genuine, outstanding genius…an extraordinarily singular, totally original and deeply inspirational director.” Ingmar Bergman (1997)

If I would add to this statement, there are three things that I have learnt about Jan Troell: he is humble, self-taught and his personal favorite among his movies is “The land of dreams” (1988).

Saturday night he said that the reason for the pick of that movie was 1) his daughter Yohanna had the leading role in it at the age of 3.5 and 2) it started as a need to express a feeling at the time being Swedish. In an article in SFGate where he was interviewed last week he said to explain what it was about “I tried to put it in one sentence and it was something like this: “the increasing absence of life in Sweden.” If the state interferes too much with the individual, with the best intentions, it can backfire. That’s to simplify it very much.”

It makes me think of a comment by Michael E Gerber, calling the entrepreneurial spirit in the American population: “We don’t need Obama, just as we didn’t need Bush – we need you”. And you don’t need to have an MBA or a high degree of some sort, to make a difference. Start with what really moves you.

Jan and Agneta Troell at Smith Rafael Film Center, February 27 2010

What made the evening with Jan Troell very special was the beautiful and touching movie, the personal introduction of it, and the presentation of its origination and Q&A together with his wife Agneta. At a deeper level it connected to what is important for me, thoughts about my deceased father’s family’s history that I wish I new more about, and to the product I am about to create. What if you can document your own history as you go? Not only in words and pictures, but also in a way that has structure and supports you in reaching your goals and dreams; and provides you with inspiration from your own progress.

I won’t tell you about the story. To quote Jan Troell: “I never read reviews of movies that I will see. I want to get my own impression. What’s good to know though is the name of it…”

The name is “Everlasting Moments”. And seriously – what if you can create them?

Enjoy,

Johanna

The Cinema of Jan Troell: Sat. through March 6, Smith Rafael Film Center, 1118 Fourth St., San Rafael. Troell will be present at several screenings. (415) 454-1222, links.sfgate.com/ZJEY. Troell will attend a screening of “Everlasting Moments” at 7 p.m. March 4 at the Pacific Film Archive, 2575 Bancroft, Berkeley. (510) 642-1412, bampfa.berkeley.edu.

The film series is organized by the California Film Institute in association with the Swedish Institute, Stockholm, and the Consulate General of Sweden, San Francisco

 

 
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