Loving Life Blog

Spur of the Moment Reflections

Hang Loose… October 24, 2011

Filed under: Entrepreneur,Inspiration — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 4:52 pm
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Hi tech, low tech, try tech – preparing for live streaming from Tuesday’s (tomorrow’s) event: “From Wonderland to Country of the Future”, hosted by Futura Factory – a new entrepreneur organization in Sweden that I had the pleasure to start with a couple of visionary entrepreneurs back home in Botkyrka.  The most international municipality in Sweden, with the tag line “långt ifrån lagom” (“far away from “just right”).  The definition of “lagom”: Not too much nor too little, not perfect nor average. This word only exist in the Swedish language, and it is said to be a definition of the Swedish mentality, one of consensus and equality.

It is a pleasure having a vision and creating the tools to make it happen. It might not be that complicated, as first thought. Maybe you don’t need to create – but just find out what is already available, package it and voila!

Tomorrow we will test our wings. Futura Factory, will be live streaming and making the event available for all Swedes globally who would want to dial in. This event is about how we can collaborate and create more opportunities locally and across borders with Swedish ex-pats included.

The event is starting off with a presentation by Tove Lifvendahl, writer / social commentator and Communications Director at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise and her new book with the same title (From wonderland to future country: about national identity, development and emigration, 2011). “, followed by a panel discussion with colorful entrepreneurs.

Who else will join me  in the air? Register here. We will be able to comment and ask questions via chatroll directly from the streaming page! Come, try! And since this is in Swedish – I should really be writing in Swedish.But now you know. And should you want to try out a similar technology, you know who to ask! 😉

Hang loose, hang tight, hang out – tomorrow at 10am pst. 😉
Johanna

 

I have Always Wondered… October 18, 2011

Filed under: Language — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 10:47 pm
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Aha! I thought it was fashion!

So… can someone still explain this one…

Ok  – maybe I should add – I was initially looking through my photo library for that one photo of the skier, that would have proven the hypothesis on top wrong immediately. When doing so I found this one above. While it looks really really good in comparison – I took the photo just because it is a fashion that I really don’t understand. It is female pants too. Makes no sense to me. But now – comparing the two… I would wear these in a heart beat.

What ever you are comfortable in….just pull your pants up guys. 😉

Enjoy,

Johanna

 

Shared Happiness, Double…? October 17, 2011

Filed under: coaching,Inspiration,Yoga — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 6:51 am

Shared happiness, double happiness, that is – in most cases – an obvious outcome.

With one of my best friends in town, I was eager to share with her my yoga practice. :O  This time we went to Pradeep’s session. Level 1-2. But it was not a game. By the time we get to the bicycle crunches I had gotten both the questions of how long time the class would be (“TWO hours!?”) and “did you say this wasn’t called “POWER Yoga?!”. And these bicycle crunches didn’t seem to end. I was wondering what nugget would come – he couldn’t do the same as Rusty last time. But he just kept going. Movement in variations. The sound effects in the room started getting loud and varied. Suddenly I look to my right and my eyes meet Ylva’s. She stops – stares at me and says clearly:

“Johanna, I will never again come and visit you.”

The world stopped for a second. And then the next song started playing…

Killing me softly. We love you Pradeep. Going forward we were both laughing and singing, in a relaxed stretch. What can you not create with a little bit of humor and music?

Just as my friend Anna labeled the yoga last weekend: “Detox, Joy and Reflection”.

Make love, not war,

Johanna

Want to meet Pradeep?!

 

US Debut Documented October 14, 2011

Early August I wrote in the blog post Light Will Guide You Home: “I am sharing this song because I think it is beautiful, and beautifully sang by an artist I think who’s journey you would enjoy to follow from the early years”.

Little did I know then, that a US performance would be that close around the corner. I may have played a part in that happening, but you can only connect the dots looking backwards as someone wise said..

Enjoy this US Debut of Anna Bergendahl, together with her guitarist Joakim Tidemark coming for a 24 hour stop in San Francisco from Stockholm. They are performing three songs, in an intimate setting, at the end of the dinner and award celebrations at the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce San Francisco/Silicon Valley Annual Achievement Award Gala, oct 8 2011.

Here is a play list where you can do a fast replay, and catch up from the very start: Idol finalist 2008. “That is the most musically talented we have heard…. If you have that kind of caliber when you are 16 – then you can conquer the world… She will be our first star abroad.”

Good thing she followed her heart and pursued another audition to Idol in another city, since she got rejected for her young age the first time around… What does that teach us?

Enjoy,

Johanna

 

Smokin’ Hot October 13, 2011

Yeah – Smokin’n hot! And I am not talking about a man – I could, but I shouldn’t – I am talking about freak’n awesome Urban Flow Yoga with Rusty Wells. I know, I love this practice. It makes me high. And I am not the only one.

Yesterday afternoon a little email came out saying:

Just a little note to let you know that I will be teaching tonight (Wednesday) at 6:15 and then again tomorrow morning at 9. Yipee!

After that, I will be in Europe for a wee bit
(*see schedule below).

Rushing to the class after a conference call, a tid bit late, I sneak in when the chanting has just started. The room is already smoking of heat. The windows are foggy. (What expression would you use?) And I wouldn’t say the heater was the contributing factor. You could think it was Thanks Giving. The room was packed.

Ahh – there are so many nuggets coming out of this class. I’ll pick three.

First: being back in to yoga gives a great and powerful feeling. Suddenly in one pose, which usually is a stretch, the vision of the Blue Angels photo from Tuesday’s post comes up in my head. Feeling like a blue angels airplane breaking through the wall of sound – that is quite a powerful pose! And picture. It is good to have metaphors, whenever you use them.

Secondly: There is a parallel with yoga and coaching – more specifically your body in yoga and circle of life exercise. You go through areas that are strong, happy, flow with ease – and others that are totally stuck. That particular area could make you fall out of the pose instantly, unless you hear a voice saying “Don’t let life pass by you. Breathe through it.”

Thirdly: I wish I had heard all the 15 reasons what makes the perfect yoga bicycle pose – hopefully you can see the transition: you are lying on the back on the floor with 150 other people, pumping, almost rushing through with the rather fast music, this abs exercise of crunching while paddling a bike with the legs in large circles and meeting your elbows with opposite knee one after the other. By now you have already gotten quite a good workout. Your face probably say exactly that. (See the picture…) Right then the guidance come of what makes “the perfect yoga bicycle pose… because you love it, you know it is right, you believe in it, you feel every part of the movement, you slow it down…” AND then I couldn’t hear more! 😉

But I am sure it was smokin’ hot!

I am just saying… try it. It may not be for you. But try it. Below is the schedule in Europe, for all of you over sea. Working on adding Stockholm for the June visit.

Enjoy,

Johanna

Global Bhakti Flow
Join Rusty in Europe this October!

Paris – Rasa Yoga Rive Gauche
October 15-16 (Saturday and Sunday)

Amsterdam – Svaha Yoga
October 21-22 (Friday and Saturday)

Antwerp – Antwerp Yoga
October 23 (Sunday)

London – Jivamukti
October 29-30 (Saturday and Sunday)

 

In Taxi with Obama October 12, 2011

The quote of the day taken from  Facebook:

“I taxin på väg mot TV4. Sällskap i taxin : Obama, Armstrong , Jobs , Franklin , Dylan, Hemingway å winfery. 10.40 är det sagt i “efter tio”, jätteläskigt!”

with other words…

“In the taxi on the way to TV4. Company in the taxi: Obama, Armstrong, Jobs, Frankin, Dylan, Hemingway and Winfrey. 10.40 it’s on in”After ten”, super scary! “

Catrine Näsmark

It is always good  to be in good company.

You can read, see and hear more about the upcoming exhibition, “United Statements of America” on Catrine Näsmark’s website. (Translation available bottom left). Invitation to the opening below. You are invited.

Enjoy,

Johanna

 

Breaking Through October 11, 2011

Blue Angels by Roland H Slee

Blue Angels by Roland H Slee

When I took my coaching certificate through CTI, the Coaches Training Institute three years ago, we were asked to find a metaphor for our coaching style. The one that came to me was “Blue Angels”.

This is how I described the coaching relationship back then:

Blue Angels. We fly together – we are strong, extremely strong, and we have a common goal. We can go high and low and we can do magical things, and still safe. We are not afraid of anything – what ever comes up is good. Everything is top secret. Blue Angels see what is important.

I get especially reminded of that every year during Fleet Week, that just passed. Sharing this fantastic photo taken by a friends, friend of mine, Roland H. Slee.  An FA-18 Hornet approaches the sound barrier during during the air show, on Saturday 8 October 2011.

Breaking trough. Sometimes I do it for and with others. Sometimes with myself. We all have challenges, or “areas for improvement” – or just a deep wish, mission, quest (you name it) that in some situations be “on the other side”, where imagination is reality. What ever you can use as inspiration on the way, take it. It may be a coach, your own metaphor, a song, an incident, frustration over something you really want to have but can’t, someone who passes your path and inspires you… let it push you over the edge.

I think I absorb inspiration from everywhere. Those are the lenses I am wearing, most of the time these days. It’s quite a survival strategy when I come to think of it. Life could be miserable, if you let it. Really – where ever you look, there is a little nugget you can get out of it. One of the wizard principles say: “Every little present comes wrapped in a problem.”

As my beloved yoga teacher, Rusty Wells, put it Sunday: “achieving something great – it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to work very hard. It may just mean that you need to stay open, and curious, and present.” That rings exactly well with the philosophy of Herringbone – envision the future, embrace the present, achieve more than you ever imagined.

Are you ready for the break through? Really? Can you face it?

I am. Come join me.

Johanna

 

A Golden Moment October 10, 2011

Filed under: coaching,Inspiration,Social Media — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 4:09 pm
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Sometimes you just gotta stop and absorb the moment. It is easy to run run run – there is so much to do 24/7 to somehow make everything happen. Especially if you are working on something exciting, nearly approaching…

Last Sunday I finally got a moment with my client, dear friend and outstanding paintor, Catrine Näsmark – on the run. Quick download of all the updates and decision of which pieces of art to display on the website home page, and shouldn’t there be another color of the logo – which is really Catrine’s art signature. The invitation was to go out the day after. The new website had to be up. Right then and there I just had to stop. Co-creation on the run, with a smile. This is a golden moment. There Catrine is, running on the treadmill in Stockholm, skyping me with her iPhone – and here am I sitting in my yoga clothes ready to walk out the door to the next yoga class in San Francisco.

How on earth did we get things done before without all this technology? And how wonderful it is that we can share what we love through it. In Sweden we say “Shared happiness, double happiness”. Well – used with that intention in mind – what is the happiness factor you can create sharing your joy through social media? I like that idea…

And with permission: this is how it looked like.

Catrine Näsmark Johanna Nilsson Herringbone Co-Creation

#Freedom of creation with impact. That was the mantra for this year. How would that look for you?

Enjoy,

Johanna

Oh yes – the logo color chosen was red – you would really like to see it, on a painting in your own collection – or maybe your own portrait ;). And the impact? Change the world with colors.

 

RIP Steve Jobs October 7, 2011

Filed under: coaching,Entrepreneur,Inspiration — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 9:16 am
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RIP Steve JobsSteve Jobs commencement address delivered to the Stanford students on June 12, 2005 can’t be shared enough times. Below are some highlights, the video, a mind map creation, the script…  be inspired.

1) You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

2) Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

3) Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Stay hungry – stay foolish.

Rest in Peace Steve Jobs.

Johanna

‘You’ve got to find what you love,’ Jobs says

This is a prepared text of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005.

Stanford Report, June 14, 2005
‘You’ve got to find what you love,’ Jobs says

This is a prepared text of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005.

Video of the Commencement address.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

 

Saddened. Grateful. Inspired. October 6, 2011

Filed under: coaching,Entrepreneur,Inspiration — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 3:49 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Saddened. We just lost a very special individual of our time. Steve Jobs. You will be missed and forever remembered.

Grateful. The best thing that came out of having a burglary in my home 3 years ago, was to replace my PC  with a MAC. Grateful for how Apple has enabled me to run my own business  and do what I do – getting voices heard. Grateful for the expanded vision for the Herringbone software and platform. Herringbone, being a standard application on MAC and capturing stories of change worldwide. with an iPhone… in US, Sweden or… Africa.

Inspired. To create something wonderful and have the courage to follow my heart and intuition.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.

If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”

Read this article on Mashable and get a dose of Steve Jobs inspiration. Let us all be inspired and ‘put a ding in the Universe’. What really matters to you?

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”

Johanna

Your time is limited.

 

 
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