Loving Life Blog

Spur of the Moment Reflections

Dandy Dandelion July 24, 2009

Filed under: Inspiration,Johanna Nilsson,Loving Life — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 7:48 pm
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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.

Johanna

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Sunsets are overrated July 20, 2009

Filed under: Inspiration — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 2:23 pm
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Someone told me once “Äh, sunsets are overrated. If you’ve seen one, then you’ve seen them all!” Ja, ja – I know – it was a joke. If you haven’t seen this one… here you go. The view from my summer house deck. Enjoy.

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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.]

 

Sweat Your Prayers! July 6, 2009

Filed under: Health,Inspiration — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 9:43 pm
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What a weekend. It’s such a treat to have really good friends. Even better to have them nearby. Even if it’s just for a couple of days. My room mate from 10 years back when I lived in Geneva and her boyfriend came visiting. They were up for an American experience… sort of.

The first thing I take them to is my favorite French restaurant Gamine (prev. Chez Maman). There are so many great restaurants in San Francisco – but whenever I get someone close for a visit that’s where I steer my steps. It’s warm, familiar, friendly, intimate, fun – great owners and great steak. The menu worked out perfectly for vegetarians too we learnt.

And so comes 4th of July! How American can it be?? Beautiful weather, sun was shining, and jazz tunes were playing at the Fillmore Jazz Festival. We got a chance to take a photo shot with Obama. The big question was – where are all the flags?!!? We really had to look for them – oops, and there was one! The one who searches he will find… 

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Finally!The one who seeks he finds...!
Celebrating the actual independance day on a boat with a melting pot of nationalities, right by Pier 39, with the best view of the fireworks – that’s how good it gets. Thank you Einar for hosting!  

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In order to calm our mind and deepen the experience I took them to something very “Californian” Sunday morning. Sweat Your Prayers! – Five Rhythm [The Wave] Moving Meditation Practice. We arrive at the gymnastic hall in Sausalito where it takes place. You need to be there an hour in advance to guarantee a spot – the two 2-hour sessions for 150 people each do get sold out. There is a beautiful crowd of people, from all different paths of life. By the entrance sits a group singing to the guitar “… love is our religion…”   

The intention for the day was Celebrating the Freedom of Movement. The medicine of the dance. To move through limitations of our body. And to celebrate the near and dear who have left us, celebrate that they are no longer captured in their bodies. The moving meditation begins. The wave created with the different rhythms is impactful and the experience is profound. The joy is present. At some point it feels like this would be the best warm-up for the carnival in Rio. But what do I know – I haven’t been there yet. Maybe it’s the other way around! :O “This was a very personal experience. A very special souvenir that I will bring back from San Francisco.” was the comment from my friend. 

After Dim Sums in China town, shopping around Union Square and visit to the Apple Flagship store we go for dinner at Café Gratitude, another local special. Vegan, live food. River of Abundance game. Everywhere on the walls is artwork with different special messages. “What you choose to focus on creates the experience. Choice Choice Choice…. ”  All the menu items are in the form of affirmations – we had among other items “I am rejuvenated”, “I am succulent” and “I am cheerful!”. It was a very cheerful day indeed. 

Coming home today, the house was empty. My friends had left. I walked into the kitchen to make myself some tea and cereal for a light dinner. Opens the cupboard and finds a new green cereal bowl! With the text in it: “What are you grateful for?” Imagine looking down in that bowl during breakfast every morning. What would you say?

I am truly grateful for dear friends. Thank you Simone and Ramun.
Johanna 

 

 

What are you Grateful for?

What are you grateful for?

 

 

Take PRIDE in who you are July 1, 2009

I took the sub downtown Sunday to see a little bit of the Pride Parade. (I guess it is called Bart, but I never use it, that alone was an adventure. Now I am getting side tracked – but using the map quest app on your iPhone, and checking how to go from A to B by train or bus – it is so smooth! It tells you what bus to take and when it takes off, and of course how long time it takes. You probably already knew this…). Pride. What a colorful folk feast, full with joy and celebration! “I am proud of my straight parents”, “I am proud of my gay son”, “Let the sun shine… ”

It reminded me of when a very good friend of mine stayed with me for a couple of months, while doing a leadership program together two years ago. I had turned my storage space/walk in closet into a combined guest room. He was laughing one morning saying “This feels like coming out of the closet every day!” He is someone who takes pride in who he is, and he is a great role model for others in his community. Recently he opened what has become the #1 bar for lesbians, gays and other positive people in Iceland: “Barbara Sunshine”, where people dance their way out of the recession. I would love to join the dance floor!

What are you hiding in the closet? What talents are you keeping for your self, not sharing with others? Which piece of yourself have you not given attention that is time to let bloom? Share the beauty! Have fun with it. Join a community. For my own joy and self-development I recently joined a few Meet up groups: 1. San Francisco Entrepreneurs, 2. Les Ami(e)s des Francophone and 3. SF Karaoke! Meetup is such a great thing where you can easily dive into your area of interest together with others who have the same passion. If you can’t find a group or live in a country where it doesn’t exist – create it!

Creating joy. Yesterdays issue of the Yoga Journal had an article about Meditation to Invoke Joy. I was happy to read a formal “formula” for it that I could share – I have literally just gone through the process, and it worked for me. My bottom line prescription would be slightly different: 1. Connect with a feeling of absolute joy and happiness that fills your whole body. 2. Repeat it for 5 minutes, 3 times a day, for a month. It works. You simply reprogram your system and your cells get very familiar and addicted to the feeling of joy. Do you want what I have? 😉 Try it!

Take pride in who you are, and let the sun shine!

Johanna

 

 
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