Loving Life Blog

Spur of the Moment Reflections

Are you excited? April 18, 2012

Filed under: Herringbone,Inspiration — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 7:28 am
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I got the question yesterday from a visiting, fairly new, friend of mine: “Are you an excited person?” “Me? Yes… I am smiling – can’t you tell?”

What type of question is that? I should have asked: what is the perception of me? I will ask him. Later. What do you think?

Right now, the answer would be clearly: hell yeah! How could I not be?

Waking up 6am after 5 hours of sleep with this song in my head:

If I didn’t have a guest sleeping in the other room I would put it on speaker and sing it out loud. And if this video didn’t have the lyrics I would make up my own.

From now on I am not going to say “could I bounce an idea with you?”… Or “I’ve got an idea…” – because that is not how it feels like.

From now on I will say “Please, speak with me – I have a bomb – and it’s a darn good one”. That is, how it feels like.

Thank you Rakesh and those of you else (Thomas Fogdö, Rosh Khan, Gerome, Dorian, Will, Sturdy, Laura, Carlx2, Helene, Emma… The list start to grow) who thinks it’s a great idea. I’ve started taking “that’s a crazy idea” as a complement. It has got some power in it!

Feel the excitement – keep the momentum – and go do it! Maybe I can go and sing that song quietly in the shower?! It’s gotta come out… 🙂

Good start of a new day. Hope it rubbed off on ya’!



Well, that flight was interesting! April 12, 2012

Filed under: coaching,Entrepreneur,Herringbone — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 5:36 pm
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Love flights. Just had an open conversation with the woman, entrepreneur and coach, next to me on the plane to Utah. We spoke about my Herringbone software/platform – supporting and capturing journeys of change worldwide. Even pulled up the two year old investor pitch.

This was the reaction:

“People need this. The world need this. This is heart and soul. And future.
You can give me that!? I want that. Get some funding this weekend. I want to be cutting edge with my coaching. I’m a California girl now – oh yes – that’s what you got to be!”

Anne Martin, who went from lawyer, to 18 year entrepreneur, to reinvention coach and recently moved to San Francisco.

Well, that was an interesting flight! What an injection of inspiration and confirmation.

Want to invest in me!?


The Baby or The Bone April 9, 2012

Filed under: coaching,Herringbone — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 6:04 pm
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Yes, No or Always?

Life is full of choices. Some choices are easier to make than others. For some people it is easier to make a choice than others.

At the end of the yoga class with Rusty Wells this past weekend we, the students, were given the choice:

1) Happy Baby’s Pose


2) Fish Pose

It made me think back of the time when I chose my business name. Herringbone. Symbolism is of importance to me – that name is loaded with symbols and “the reason why”. I wanted to make sure that it also made sense for the yoga community. What I had in mind to create with Herringbone did also apply to them. In the middle of a yoga class back then, we were guided to some movements – I misunderstood, and thought that another name for Happy Baby’s Pose was Fish Pose. What a perfect coincidence! I thought. Even better is that, Fish Pose has an impact on the fifth chakra in yoga which is located in the throat and focuses on communication. Herringbone is about communicating, and making voices heard for positive change.

And to quote Rusty: “If you choose Fish – don’t eat one – be one.” The good thing with being a foreigner in another country is that you can make sense of things, the way it relates to you or your language. This one fully does. Be a Fish – communicate well. It’s obvious – no?

If you have difficulties to make choices, one approach to get out of that is to simply make powerful choices. Make them fast and clear – feel how they feel – stay with it, or make a new one. This is – by the way – coming from the practicing master ;).

Or Happy Easter Pose?

If you want more choices than the Fish Pose or the Happy Baby – check out this image – it’s all yours, it is Easter after all.

If you want them all – go for it! Why cut ourselves short if we don’t have to?


The story about The Bone – I might have to save for later…


Lady in Red | Come with me and I’ll take you places March 10, 2012

In 15 days I will celebrate my 5 year anniversary on YouTube. You know – it’s nothing I really have thought of celebrating – but there are a few reasons why.

  1. When I created the YouTube account 5 years ago, the reason was to share a rehearsal recording from a wedding ceremony with a friend in Paris who was inquiring for singing at her wedding, and the file was too large to email, and I decided to try a new channel…
  2. When uploading the video I had the option of making it public or private. I remember selecting the public setting, with a mixed feeling of excitement and fear. This was the first time I had performed in a trio – and that was a very big thing.
  3. When viewing the videos on YouTube I hid behind the computer screen, almost underneath the table – the few people whom I showed it to can attest. And yes, my face turned red, blushing, too – that is part of my signature at times.
  4. In a conversation on this topic with video marketer expert Dan Safkow at Blog World in LA in Nov 2011, I realized that I have YouTube to thank for partly getting over my stage fright.
  5. My first video uploaded today has 27,652 views. My channel has 63,309 views in total. 23 Subscribers. And I am not hiding below the table 😉

I joked about that I would start a YouTube channel or video series called Lady in Red. Lead the way and show others that they could do the same thing. Break through stage fright. So here it is. I say as my Norwegian room mate in San Diego – actually – the man who got married in the wedding we sang at: “Come with me and I’ll take you places”.

Please join me in the celebration by doing 3 things… 😉

  1. Subscribe to my channel: click here
  2. Create your own YouTube Channel – and announce in the comments below what the link is so, that we can subscribe to yours.
  3. Ask for Herringbone’s services for help, if you want to optimize yours. YouTube moved all accounts to their new profile set-up this past March 7. There are quite a few nifty things you can do.

This is the YouTube Debut Song, Ulf Lundell’s “Kärleken förde oss samman” (Love brought us together) featuring Helene Vik (now 3rd team – not yet announced – member at Herringbone) and Ylva Elias (Biotech Sales Professional and Singer, San Diego).




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,



A lot of dough December 19, 2011

In my past days I have successfully made cinnamon roles that were pretty – but small and hard as stone, so you could almost hurt someone with them, should you want to…

This year, would be my first year of five in San Francisco that I actually have a traditional Glögg Party. Along with that goes saffron bread. Now, scarred from the memory of the past I wanted to make sure that these were presented in the light they deserve.

Off I went to get the ingredients. One thing remained on the list. Fresh yeast. Trader Joe’s – no. Safeway – no. Whole Foods – no. [Shame the one who gives up!] Rainbow Groceries – YES! I don’t know how you guys (Americans) do it. Baking with dry yeast – ain’t working for me. Or maybe it was because I got the advise to heat the liquid (milk, butter…) a little extra for the yeast to have effect – and by the time I added the egg and turned my back away, it had coagulated… It became pancake of everything, as we say in Sweden.

This time… I got a lot of dough. Cha-ching!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Practice makes perfect.

Hubedubedo – signing off,

The Swedish Chef

Btw – I got the comment when I started this blog “Why should you write a blog? Who would read that?” At least I am having fun. I hope you get a smile out of it too. Maybe get inspired. I hope the one who said that initial comment do. He has a pretty amazing story to tell. I am sure you do too. Just saying… [#herringbone.fm 2.0]


May I BRAG? November 17, 2011

Silicon Valhalla:

There are just SO MANY SMART SOLUTIONS coming out from Sweden. I am so proud that I can explode at times.

You may know of the safety match, screw propeller, cream separator, telephone handset, zipper, household vacuum cleaner, Hasselblad camera, tetra pak, three-point safety belt, airbag sensor, pacemaker, Losec, digital hearing aid… the list is long. You may not know that Anders Celsius (1701-17444) created the centigrade thermometer and Eva Ekeblad (1724-1786) invented the process of producing potato vodka. And there is a new generation of Swedish inventions coming!

How many of you are aware of the Swedish invention Solvatten and the impact it has just started to have on health, wealth and community involvement in places where there is very little or no access to clean water? See this informative video from CNN.

Solvatten is one of 20 innovations selected for the “Innovative Sweden Exhibition”, with a kick-off event that took place at Stanford Nov 2, 2011.

Be Curious. Change the world.

Sweden may be a small country, but we are full of great ideas. Our curiosity, creativity and desire for change have made us innovators. We lead the world in innovations in a variety of fields. Our curiosity has enhanced and upgraded the way we all live.

Every day more than 25 million people use Skype to communicate. And Spotify will revolutionize the way we enjoy music. These ideas build on a history of Swedish Innovations, including the three point seat belt, the pacemaker and color graphics technology.

Now it’s time for a new generation of innovations from Sweden. Innovations that will improve  lives.

Get a glimpse of the latest in the fields of clean technology, information and communication technologies, life science and gaming. From hydrogene fuel cells to eye tracking devices. From cleaning water with sunshine to cameras that see in the dark. You’ll find these innovations in hospitals, schools, at home and all around you.

Feel the power of curiosity. Join us and challenge yourself to change the world. Welcome to Innovative Sweden.

See the exhibition Innovative Sweden – showcasing 20 cutting edge Swedish innovations.

The event was live tweeted by my team member Anna at Herringbone; filmed and live streamed by topnotch filmmaker Tobias Elvhage – you can see it here on Bambuser – yes, another Swedish innovation. The next stops for the Innovation Sweden Exhibition will be Toronto, January 23- February 12 2012, Washington DC, March 1 – April 30 2012, Rio de Janeiro, May 21 – June 24 and São Paulo, July 9 – middle of August.

Puh – feel so much better to have shared. 🙂


Thank you to Life at Just Another Fucking Startup and Peter  @poppetotte Sandberg for the web comic strip.


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.



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?



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.



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