Loving Life Blog

Spur of the Moment Reflections

I Have a Dream January 16, 2012

Filed under: coaching — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 11:12 pm
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One year ago I got the question asked: “Name three things you would do when you become a millionaire.”

I think we had 5 minutes – it was in a group setting. These were my answers:

1) Eradicate the Jante Law in Sweden and create an entrepreneurial retreat center at the farm house my father left behind in the middle of the forest in Småland, Sweden.

2) Realize the vision of the Herringbone platform, selecting a true Herringbone story from Africa and turn it into a musical on Broadway, NYC – with performing cast from Africa.

3) Enjoy life with family and kids.

Someone said you should Dream Big… Michael E. Gerber always says: “Dream big, think small, and act even smaller”. If you don’t, it can be rather over whelming!

What is your Dream? Start sharing it – otherwise it will never happen. And watch out – someone will ask you “by when” – and then you are hooked.

Enjoy the ride, and Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!



Me, a Fighter? January 14, 2012

Filed under: coaching — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 1:24 pm
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"Little Boy" by Martin Johansson, Malmo, Sweden

There were a few incidents last year, when I in response to invitations where I expressed my vision for something got in response a stream of comments of the kind:

“Oh, Johanna, you are so kind…”

Sweet Johanna,… ”

“Thank you Johanna, that is so nice of you….”

I guess, being seen as nice, sweet and kind is really good – and I am absolutely sure that all comments were sincere and well meant. However, it mobilized a different feeling in me. “Jävlar anamma” would be the Swedish expression. When searching for a good translation/explanation of the expression I found:

1) There is book called “Power Language – the book with “jävlar anamma” (“Makt Språk – boken med jävlar anamma!“) by Lars och Martin Melin

2) Boden Fortress Radio Bunker (Swedish: Radiobunkern i Boden) is a communications bunker, part of Boden Fortress, outside the city of Boden, Norrbotten, in northern Sweden. It was used for the first radio broadcast in Swedish history. […] At 15:00 local time on 12 July 1921,[6] the first radio broadcast in Swedish history was sent from the bunker.[3] Radio commissioner Axel Jenner conducted this historic broadcast, with the Swedish king Gustav V listening some 35 km away in Luleå.[2] Due to a misunderstanding between Jenner and his radio telegrapher, the first words uttered in the broadcast were “jävlar anamma”, a Swedish profanity in the style of “damn” or “darn”, literally meaning “embrace the devils”.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This week was the last of two weeks having a Swedish high school student for an internship in the Herringbone office. Read about her experience in the Herringbone blog – bone up! I am not sure what  in our conversation led up to her statement: “You are a fighter.

This week I also went through stuff from the office of my prior job of 8 years, and found the photo in this post that I used to have on my wall. I guess it was the fighter in me that was inspired by this piece of art called “Little boy” by Swedish artist Martin Johansson.

I think there is a fighter in all of us. Sometimes it is more present and visible than other times. Many of us let the fighter sleep. If need be, the fighter can be mobilized instantly. If well taken care of, the fighter turns more into a flow of force. More like an intentional way of being based on an embraced inner knowing. Still – a little bit of edge is always good and some “skin on the nose”, as we say in Swedish. So…

Here’s for some jävlar anamma – not to a fight, but to the fighter in you – for what you believe in. 

With love,



Coldplay from Heart January 4, 2012

Life is wild sometimes. These golden moments that pop up when you least expect…

So I am celebrating New Years Eve with the friends of Foster Goldstrom, in this beautiful Maybeck designed house, filled with exquisite art and interesting individuals. The New Year is greeted and toasted at 9pm PST and the music starts to play. There is maybe 10 people dancing in one end of the living room – so I join them. This groovy, almost 30 year older [outrageous, you would NEVER believe], African-American woman, dressed in black with a cool hat is starting to mirror me with a smile saying “oh you are so tall, and slim and can dance in such a cool way [stiff]”  – which is like pulling a Norwegian joke on me [pulling my leg big time] – so I let loose and start mirror her. Which makes her crack up and say “I need to leave for another party – but I need to give you my card – we should go out party in San Francisco!”

I am following up the next day with an email and she emails me back  – and calls me back next day eager to work on her social media. We decide to meet for dinner. “Oh – I had already committed to this jazz event, but if you don’t mind I can give you a free ticket.” So we go.

Entering this gem in Oakland – art gallery combined jazz club – I get the question: “Do you sing?” There is no way out – name on the list. #34 – probably too late in the game, so I am not too worried. [This is a love – hate situation – but for several reasons, I could not say no to this one.] This is a really cool place. Musicians are really good, and the majority of the singers as well. My dear new friend introduces me to a number of people passing by – and I start to realize that by now all the organizing people and half the band knows me [as number 34]. What the heck would I sing? And can I the lyrics? What happens if I don’t? The singer next to me, Lady Sunrise, responds to the last question and says “Just sing from your heart baby”. [At my dance school growing up in Sweden, we were always told “if you forget the lyrics, sing the Norwegian National Anthem” – not much love in that one…]

If you knew where I came from, you would appreciate the stretch and excitement this situation had. At Christmas we had a table card game going with various questions. One was “Which is the #one fear that you want to overcome?” My response: “Singing in public.” Solo that is. Hiding – and LOVING – singing in choirs is no problem. But I have had a desire and intent for a long time. Was I prepared now? Not really. But in some ways it felt like it. At one point my friend Valena and I was looking at each other smiling and saying in chorus: “This is not a coincidence”.

Second last at 11pm: “-Which song? – Summer time. – Do you know which key? – No”.  This is how it went.

It wasn’t perfect – but it was fun, and I have come a long way. If I can, you can. What is your dream and intention?

What ever that is – just come from your heart baby.

Happy New Year!



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