Loving Life Blog

Spur of the Moment Reflections

Whirl Open – My Way September 28, 2013

Intentional Art by Johanna Nilsson - Workshop by Donna Marchesano

I had the pleasure of being invited to do a 3 hour intentional art workshop with artist Donna Marchesano. Her program Wellness4Art launched this past Sunday with the opening of her art exhibition “Courage to Create”, September 22 – December 31, 2013 at Dolce Amore, 1477 Van Ness (and Pine), San Francisco.

Donna herself has a unique story to share, where daily intentional art for 6 years has been key to the cure of her severe Crohn’s Disease and through the journey of chemotherapy and healing from Cancer. Given her own experience, she is a strong believer in intentional art – whether you are wanting to cure from a disease, wanting to change or manifest something in your life. And me – I love her art, I find her story fascinating, I wish for more patients to find the path that she has taken, and I love to try the creative process – with intention. The fact that I also have been working for 8 years in a pharmaceutical company, for the majority of time dedicated to managing the finances for the development of a drug for Chron’s Disease, doesn’t make me less connected to her story.

I put together  a little video showing the process. (more…)


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!


Happy New Year – with Umph! January 10, 2011

Happy New Year.

That was the status update on facebook that I powered to make after a very long day, and a fun celebration in the evening counting in the new year with a dear old friend and many new.

But really – Happy New Year! [UMPF!] With other words: to read with power, energy and excitement. I can’t wait for 2011 to unfold. How about you?

I had a conversation with the gentleman next to me at the New Years eve dinner table about intention for the year. Or statements. For example: his girlfriends statement was was “Enjoy” in 2010. His was “Gilla läget” – e.g. as a consultant, whatever the clients situation was: like the situation. Mine the last two years has been “Freedom of creation”.

Now: what about 2011? For my neighbor, we talked about singing. As a fun part of the evening’s program they had listed a statement per guest and the names separately, so that you could make guesses and figuring out who is who. My neighbor was “the best piano bar player in the room”. Did you sing too? I asked. “No, who would want to listen to me? I am not schooled enough”. The guy had a great authentic and personal voice – that is what people want to hear. Start singing – show you! [Gosh! It’s so easy to push others!]

So the search for 2011 intention/stake for him was around singing. I was looking for an expression – what is it we say…? Sing with full lungs? Sing with your heart. Sing from the belly? There is something else that is an expression with umpf. It didn’t come to me at the time – but this is what we say in Swedish: Sing for full cups! (sjung for fulla muggar!). How come I didn’t remember that one??? It really means sing with full speed, with all the power you have. No holding back.

What is your intention for 2011? What is your stake that you can hold on to, whatever you do? Really. Share it in the comments! Inspire others.

I like my old intention. If I would add a little umpf to it I would say Freedom of creation – with impact. This year – can’t wait for it to unfold. One day at a time.

Happy New Year dear reader!



Successful Authors Secrets August 25, 2010

A year ago I wrote  This Time I Dance” – a blog post about the book with the same name that instantly called my attention as I was in the period of transitioning from my full time job.

The fact that the author shared her process in going from a practicing Harvard lawyer to Writer wasn’t the pull – it was the dance, which I love. And the subtitle – “Creating the work you love”.

I have never seen myself as a writer or author. In fact the OTHER Johanna Nilsson in my business school is the author. However – after one year of blogging I have three ideas to books brewing in my mind. The last one I got during the past weekend as I read Webify Your Business, by Patrick Schwerdtfeger whom I met last week. Yes, that book idea is social media related…

Since a few of my Social Media Marketing clients with my business Herringbone are authors, I have attended a few different authors success webinars. The speaker of the Successful Author Secrets Program Monday was Marci Shimoff, author of the New York Times #1 best seller Chicken Soup for the Woman Soul, and the new book Happy for no reason.

Her key message was: Success comes out of happiness and it is something that you can create yourself.

To stay on track during the process of creating your bestseller book, or what ever your mission is she advised the mantra: Intention, Attention, No tension.

Intention: have a clear and specific intention for what you want to create

Attention: put all your energy and focus on creating that

No tension: let go of the outcome and relax – enjoy the journey

Now- what is your intention with what you want to create? Are you ready to spell it out?

Enjoy the journey. It may be better than you imagined. 😉

I introduced myself to new participants at the Young Scandinavian Club happy hour two weeks ago. “Oh – you are the writer!?” one of them said. “Me? No… I write a blog? Loving Life Blog?” “Yes, exactly, I am following that!” That gave me a kick – still riding on the wave…

All the best,




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