December 8. Would have been my fathers 75th birthday. As I visit my sister in-law’s Facebook page I find this rare photo of Elvis Presley and his father. Mm… will pick an Elvis song for my dad today.
So there are beautiful ones to choose. Bridge over troubled water, Love me tender… but the first one we played at the funeral, and the second one… I think he does feel the love and appreciation from me, my mom, my brother and his family. I think he is ready to move on. To move on with us. So the song I chose was this one:
A little less conversation, a little more action please. Time to rock ‘n roll! Get things moving.
Let’s get groovy! And hey – if you would create your own video with One True Media – what would you do?
Welcome! I thought I would become a journalist – what do you think of my headline? Seriously, please read on – there lies something in it, as we would say in Swedish…
I started writing this last time I came back from yoga. Relaxed and happy – the session ended with a nice Savasana – dead man’s pose. Apparently it is the most challenging pose of them all, although it’s the one that seems the easiest.B.K.S. Iyengar wrote:
In this asana the object is to imitate a corpse. Once life has departed, the body remains still and no movements are possible. By remaining motionless for some time and keeping the mind still while you are fully conscious, you learn to relax. This conscious invigorates and refreshes both body and mind. But it is much harder to keep the mind than the body still. Therefore this apparently easy posture is one of the most difficult to master.
Keeping the mind still. It is good to practice. Not only to learn to relax, and refresh your body and mind, but also to allow things to happen. As Rusty put it at that time: “the biggest favor we sometimes can do to ourselves is to step out of our own way. To stop thinking, forcing or manipulating something to happen. Sometimes the quickest way to create what we really want is to step out of the way and let it happen. ”
The following evening I attended an entrepreneurship event organized by TiE – The Global Network of Entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. The title was “Wisdom From Past Entrepreneurs – The Dirty Little Secrets that No One Talks About” presented by the CEO Freedom Fighter Christine Comaford. Christine is a business accelerator referred by individuals such as Bill Clinton and Bill Gates. She has track record like few – check this video for a taste of her wisdom to help you as an entrepreneur avoid the mistakes that keep you overworked, underpaid, and feeling trapped by your business. As aformer Buddhist monk (aside from software engineer, geisha trainee, entrepreneur and venture capitalist) one of her key tips at the end was “keep the mind still daily”. She recommended Eckhart Tolles latest books “Stillness Speaks”, and she reiterated what I have said before – it is so often in that stillness that you find a great idea or the solution you have been looking for.
Next morning I receive an email from my leadership group where one individual shares along the same lines on a personal level: “Awareness is just that…staying without judgment, feeling without adding shoulds, and in the end, being able to look into my own eyes and see the joy and strength and beauty of the moment – awareness of the moment is the connection to the heart…. connection to the heart is connection to everything else that exists in the Universe. […] I have gained quite a swatch of grey hairs over the past year – and the peace I feel in my heart is allowing me to step into my role as an elder with courage and incredible enthusiasm. While I have lost what I thought was the love of my life, I have gained what I know to be the life of my love.” So beautifully put. It made me think of the introductory words of a book I had just come across: Enchanted Love, by Marianne Williamson. “Forget logic. Forget your head. Open your heart, and come with me.” Now I am curious what more it has to say.
Dead man’s pose in reality – how attractive is that? Maybe more than you think.
During my five years living in San Diego – nothing could beat kicking off the weekend with a 9am Saturday Nia class with Rocco Ragano at Eight Elements West. Outstanding Nia teacher and excellent dancer. Rounding it off with a Cafe Latte from Vahik’s Coffee brought down to Windansea Beach to breathe in the ocean breeze, watch the surfer pro’s and catch up on life with the girlfriends or myself. Unbeatable. Keep your eyes and ears open – Rocco will be visiting San Francisco to teach Nia this fall. I’ll let you know the details.
Rocco posted the below youtube movie on his Facebook wall. Beautiful and very touching. It is quite an inspiration and great reminder of: What is really possible? Who sets the limits? Take a moment to watch it!
In your situation right now – what is really important to you? What would you like to achieve or create? With a beginners mind, what do you commit to?
You set the limit. Don’t let anyone else do it. Lift the bar! You can do it!
Low fares in the air!!! SAS has sales on tickets to Scandinavia – if you have a little extra time for vacation before December 16 – do check it out!
Just an example: San Francisco – Stockholm from $247 – THAT is hard to beat! I checked, and it is only one way… it is still a good price though. Pretty much half the normal cost. Clickhere to see the complete list of destinations and departure cities.
Two years ago my acappella group Keeva went to Portland to sing at Chris’s, one of the members, wedding. The day after we were strolling around and enjoying the city. To avoid the rain we stepped into a bookstore – and there is this book starring at me: “This Time I Dance! Creating the work you love.” If you’re this successful doing work you don’t love, what could you do with work you do love?
Move mountains. I know. I continued reading – “If you’re ready to make the journey into the life of living your dreams, Tama J. Kieves is the tour guide you’ve been looking for… Tama gives voice to the fearless spirit within each of us. If you want to wake up to your own passion, read this book. It will open your heart and guide you home.” Very nice – I recommend it!
The author Tama J. Kieves is an honors graduate of Harvard Law School who left her practice with a large corporate firm to pursue a writing career and embolden others to live and breathe their most meaningful self-expression. Today there is the book, workshops, study groups etc – look it up on meetup.com, I’m sure you’ll find some. Or read the book and start one.
Start dance to your own music, or just add the instrument that is missing, and trust the journey. If something like this would happen – then we know what to do. Break down, get up, and move on!
Shake it babe! 😉 Hopefully the dance looks more like this:
I am just telling ya – get ready wedding party! (Imagine that – “Wedding party audition, this direction->” OK, let’s not get too excited – no pressure anyone.) THIS was the actual wedding we attended in Portland. (HAPPY BIRTHDAY Michell!)
Whatever situation you are in – keep dancing through life!
Oh – you want more?! OK – go for this – some real “Dirty Dancing!” Nobody will put Baby in a corner…
A student peer of mine got assassinated in Sweden in front of his two-year-old son.
My friends grandpa passed away unexpectedly leaving his wife behind after 68 years together.
In memory and honor of those, and sympathy and support for the ones left behind, I am sharing a poem that touched me at the memorial service in loving memory of my friend’s husband who also recently passed away.
When I’m Gone
When I’m gone from our side,
And all our tears have been dried…
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am the diamond glints of snow;
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at nigh.
And when you stroll in the evening hours
And smell the aroma of beautiful flowers;
There’ll be no need to sob and cry…
I am not there, I did not die!
Fine, Fair and Hot – that was the weather forecast in Croatia last week when I had the privilege to join the crew on Geja sailing. Thank you Andrew and Henkku for an awesome week together!
The sailing adventure in the northern part of the Adriatic Sea was fine in every which way. Beautiful sceneries, excellent sailing, high quality crewmembers, and fine dining… on board. It’s such a pleasure to sail with someone who makes every meal to a feast – breakfast, lunch or dinner. Actually – not only when you sail. And I don’t think that attitude only relates to food. It is an attitude about life, to enjoy. I like. I guess I teamed in to add what I could as well.
Of course – the treatment of flags was fair. “You must respect the flag!” both the Finnish girl and myself said seriously in chorus and pointed with our fingers as if “don’t you dare do anything else”, and then laughed. This was evidently something both of us had been brought up with – the flag should be raised at 7am, and taken down before sunset (9pm at the latest), it must not touch the ground, and should be neatly folded. Yes, there are flag rules to follow. What I didn’t know was that on a boat, the country flags of the crew members had to be at the same level, otherwise the upper one would be seen as more superior. So of course – we followed. The fact that the Swedish flag was torn was a different story…
Everything was hot. The weather was hot, the red wine was hot, the beach was hot – and so was the crew…
At work today I waved and tried to make contact with a couple of colleagues in the cafe at lunch. They looked at me from a distance, but they did not react. I waved more and starred at them. They did not react. They didn’t recognize me! Is three weeks away that long!? Or does a little bit of suntan make THAT big of a difference? Eventually they came over and shockingly said, “You look different”. Anyway – someone told me that a suntan makes everyone look more attractive, so I hope it is for the better. 😉
By the way – on a slightly different note – having learnt the expression “pun” during the sailing I was curious what I could find and googled it. This was the first picture that came up:
The last brushstroke got done on my own little summerhouse (for now). It’s beautiful. Such a treat. I am enjoying every second in it. Right now I am hearing the rain pouring, the wind blowing and the waves from the bay. It’s pitch dark outside – strange in the middle of the summer in Sweden. Must be the clouds of course. And it’s midnight.
I have given this little house different nicknames. Pärlan (the pearl) and Smultronstället (Wild Strawberry Place) in particular. After having assembled the lamp “Maskros” from IKEA today, which became the “dot over the i” (the finishing touch which makes something perfect) in the glass room outside the 10 square meter house overlooking the bay, it was clear: the name of this place will be given after the lamp. Dandelion. Dandy Dandelion.
The meaning of Maskros will never be the same again.
I heard a discussion about vacations on the radio the other day. The lady who was interviewed always went for reading vacations to a sunny beach with a carry on suitcase filled with books. That way she could experience everything under the sun that she wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. My vacation so far has more been like a work camp with gourmet food and great company, or … yoga retreat. I have listened a lot to the radio, and there are three hits that seem to reoccur constantly:
1. I’m in love in a fairy tale by Alexander Rybak. I guess there is no secret that all Swedes secretly love the Eurovision Song Contest. This years winning song from Norway goes warm on the radio all day long. Last week when the singer Alexander performed at the Allsång på Skansen (Sing Along at Skansen) in Stockholm it also seemed like all Swedish girls are in love in a certain Norwegian fairy tail…
2. Hope and Glory with Måns Zelmerlöw, the Swedish counterpart who apparently also competed with this song in the Swedish Song Contest, but didn’t quite make it to first place. “Don’t stop – I’m still standing for hope and glory, I’ll be fighting for my love story, I’m still standing for hope and glory now. All the battles I lost and the battles I won, this will be the one, this will be the one…” Looking at youtube I find that also Måns apeared at the Sing Along at Skansen – this video made me laugh out loud – it shows more how a classical catchy “schlager” song would be back in the days when I would have recorded the program, written down all the lyrics, learned the choreography and dreamt of winning the contest (and that is a looong time ago… – still dreaming though 😉 ). See here for the 3rd and more soft version:
3. Radio ad for Bauhaus – I can do it myself. Or is it that they talk about the ads for Bauhaus and make parody of the painted idyll picture and a comparison of the families and couples who dogged maintain their summerhouses because they should be able to do it themselves… This week my mom and I have done it ourselves. I found myself standing in a backbend leaning out of the window towards the water grabing in the windowframe inside in order not to fall out, reaching higher, stretching my other arm, raising up in relevé in order to paint the whole area on thefacade above the window and under the roof. The pose made me think of my yoga teacher back in San Francisco, Rusty Wells. I heard his voice, as he often state when we are in the more advanced unfomfortable poses: “if I took a photo of you now and sent to your mother she should not be afraid that you were dying – SMILE!” So I smiled. And my mom took a photo. If this had been at a yoga retreat they would have called it karma yoga, I’m sure.
This was a litle report from Sweden, or as they say on the radio show from Minnesota: “the land where the men are beautiful, the women are strong, and all children above average”…