Loving Life Blog

Spur of the Moment Reflections

One Thing Leads to Another February 6, 2013

Filed under: coaching,Inspiration — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 10:32 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

There is a hidden gem in San Francisco called Jazz in the Basement. That’s what it is. And it’s the best jazz, in a very intimate setting, and with a very friendly ambiance. The singer Jesse Foster and his wife Michele host one concert every month with top notch musicians.

Just about a year ago in conversation with the pianist, we started talking about Swedish music – there was this one tune he knew… I sent him something else to listen to… and one thing led to another. (more…)

Advertisements
 

I Have a Dream January 16, 2012

Filed under: coaching — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 11:12 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

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!

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

 

Finally Home February 9, 2010

Tullinge – the beautiful home where I grew up, where I as a 6 year old imagined living until I was 90 (seemed somewhat resistant to change of what I liked…). By then I would still have two long braids (I would never cut my hair short), wear black leather pants (my cousin who I looked so much up to had those), still be a practicing Idla girl (really – it would be possible!), and take my grand kids skiing. I was going to be an iron grandma. In a cool way.

I used to look back at that picture and smile at myself – cute thoughts by a young little girl – but reflecting over it now, I still kind of like it! The essence of preserving the connection to the roots, good self-care, a little danger or spice in life, dance, passing on knowledge and activities that has enriched my life to younger generations and be active with my grand kids.  How do you see yourself towards the end of your life?

All I know is that dreams do manifest. Reality may end up slightly different, the road there might not be what you imagined, but dreams do manifest.

An addition to my imagination was that my brother who had a great eye for design and architecture would build his own designed house on the same piece of land. The reality is that he and his wife just bought his dream house next to my parents. Fascinating…

Coming home, there is nothing much that has changed in the neighborhood, apart from a few new houses. Quite a few. It’s really beautiful with the dramatic mountain with a historic landmark from the Iron Age overlooking the lake. The majority of the neighbors are still living there. Younger generations have returned. Arne’s Livs for groceries has turned into Sabis. There is one really nice addition to the stores in “Centrum”. Auntie. A design and antique gift store with mostly Swedish and Danish design, right next to the library.

I bought a new doormat with the text “äntligen hemma” – finally home. It makes me smile when I arrive at the door. Of course I bought two – one for my U.S. home, and one for my Swedish. Making my current dream manifest…

Which dream do you want to manifest?

Enjoy the process and bring it home,

Johanna

 

The Most Beautiful January 26, 2010

Filed under: Health,Inspiration — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 7:49 am
Tags: , , ,

“Go Confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)

One of my prior colleagues had this quote in her facebook update a couple of weeks ago as she reflected over the past and new year. Sitting next to my Dad’s side at the hospital in Sweden, I thought to myself – “that is exactly what I did, but this is not what I imagined”. Spending week after week caring for my Dad who is fighting a life threatening heart infection. After a little bit of reflection, I do think I got exactly what I was looking for. With one exception.

The lifestyle that I am about to create will bridge the gap in-between Sweden and where I live. It will allow me to be more free in terms of where I spend my time in order to still live my life where ever it takes me, work with what I love AND be present with my family in good and bad times. (July 4 2009)

By the time I get back to San Francisco from Sweden, I have been present for:

–       five precious weeks with my Dad
–       my Dad’s 74th (belated) birthday
–       the first Christmas celebration in my brother’s and sister-in-law’s new house
–       my nephew’s first Christmas, first step, and first “high five”
–       my parents 40th anniversary
–       my cousin’s 50th birthday
–       my brother’s birthday
–       my nephew’s baptism
–       my Dad’s passing and funeral

At the same time I have been able to work part-time in the evening on PST morning time, or sometimes any time with a wireless connected hospital, iPhone and Skype, and experienced the most beautiful white winter I can remember having seen.

After a little bit of reflection – given the situation with my Dad – there is nothing more I could have asked for. There are no words for how grateful I am to have been able to be present with my family during this time. In good and bad.

As I told my colleagues: “Thank you for all of your support and understanding during this period, and flexibility with me working from here during irregular hours. Thank you for encouraging me to go or stay here when the uncertainty or work ethics seemed to take over. I will do the same to you if possible.”

We all need some support along the way. There are many other’s who have been of great support, even with small actions or words. The same goes for you.

Take really good care of yourself and others – that is the most beautiful thing we have got.

Johanna

This song is a tribute to my dear father who was nothing but positive, appreciative and loving to his family during the most difficult time in the end. We love you.

Det vackraste. (The Most Beautiful). To be loved by you is the most beautiful to me.

 

The Art of Making Out! July 16, 2009

When I was on vacation in Sweden two years ago, I went into my mom’s office at one point to use her phone. While being on the phone my eyes swiped over the desk, and there was a book with the title “Hångla mer!” MOM! What is she reading?! She being a fairly conservative Medical Doctor and politician, that title surprised me quite a bit. Or maybe it was me being conservative?! I learnt that she got it as a gift from work, and it pretty much was mandatory reading during the vacation. Pfizer, as many other companies, had hired the audience celebrated author Klas Hallberg as a motivational speaker.

I started reading the book and didn’t put it aside until finished. Very entertaining, thought provoking and inspiring. And I am so excited – it’s about to be published in English! “The Art of Making Out!” Click here to read the first chapters.

In this book, what I’m inviting you to do is to understand “making out”
more as a symbolic expression of surrendering yourself to a juicier
experience of life.

It’s a metaphor for letting go.

The thesis of this book is that letting go is the meaning of life itself.

To make out.

To let go.

Hook, line and sinker.

To experience both grief and joy. Both pleasure and pain

Experience life fully. Your way. Let go, dare to be disappointed and go for your dream… otherwise you will never have a chance to enjoy it.

Do you want to enjoy the full version of “The Art of Making Out!” and Klas Hallberg live in the US? – LET ME KNOW! We’ll send him a collective invitation. Sign up your company, sign up your parents, your partner and yourself. Did you read the first chapters? Do it. And I am serious, let me know through my contact page or comment below.

Let’s dare to be disappointed… and enjoy!
Johanna

[Update: the first chapter is not still available – but the full book is! Get it here. Enjoy.]

 

 
Steve Blank

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Thegoodplace.se

- where it all comes together...

Co-Creating Health

Creating Great Days!

NurseGrit

definition of GRIT: firmness of mind or spirit

one&onlyeva

From the heart of Silicon Valley

SanFranciscoVC

Phil Sanderson

PRōMENADE

WordPress Music Theme

NYVR

a community for VR developers and enthusiasts

David On Things

Musings on Fusing Virtual and Physical Worlds

withchris

A blog about life, myth, and the Hero's Journey