Loving Life Blog

Spur of the Moment Reflections

Rule #1… It’s Golden. March 2, 2010

Yesterday morning I took time to open an email from Simple Truths titled “Rule #1… It’s Golden”. Click this link to see the 3-minute inspirational movie, filled with powerful quotes, colorful pictures and moving music:

http://www.simpletruths.tv/store/movies.php?movie=tpoa

Dreams – A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. (Chinese proverb).

Purpose – your vision becomes clear when you look inside your heart.

Passion – Belief fuels passion, and passion rarely fails. (M. Anderson)

People are like sticks of dynamite: The power on the inside… but nothing happens, until the fuse gets it.

Courage – is not always the roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day that says, “I will try again tomorrow”.

Goals – take the long view, one day at a time.

Stay positive. You become what you think about. (Earl Nightingale)

Attitudes truly are contagious – so ask yourself one question: is mine worth catching?

Really – what is the impact of your attitude? Does it help you? Will that carry you to your goal? Business results? Create the ambiance you want? Relationships and interactions?

Rule #1: The power of attitude… This was a little piece of reminder that served me when kicking off my day yesterday. Hope it can serve you as well. Let’s make the journey enjoyable, and the impact mind-blowing. Why not? Go for it!

Enjoy your day!

Johanna

 

Toast for Spontaneity! November 21, 2009

I so wish I had had a camera to capture the moment… I just came home from an excellent brunch at Pamelo, a small cozy place in Noe Valley. Accompanied by Fran and Zack.

Fran I know through four different connections. She showed up at my a cappella groups concert because she knew one of the singing group members, she came with a colleague of mine and recognized me from the Nia class. Most recently I met her when she was performing in a singing workshop that I also did a couple of years ago. The world is very small. Apropos spontaneity and singing – without getting to far out from the story line – the singing workshop we both did was led by jazz, R&B and soul singer Jesse Foster. The concept is very cool – you work with Jesse as a vocal coach in individual sessions and four Sunday afternoons in a row you perform with his band at  Rasselas Jazzclub on Fillmore in the jazz district together with other vocal students of his. Prepared in the sense that you have chosen and worked on the songs to sing, spontaneous in the sense that there is no practice with the band ahead of time. You just do it. And it is fun! So talented musicians, wonderful people, supportive audience. Safe. I can warmly recommend it!  (Check out the links if you are interested to step out of the shower singing stage and do the same!) Soon you will see Fran on the music scene in San Francisco.

Zack is a multi doer. I participated in one of his first Nia classes at Dance Mission when I was just about to move to San Francisco. The theme was “Transition” – how appropriate. Today he had another excellent class – the fact that he is also an actor and brings in that spontaneous playfulness in the room makes it a lot of fun. And so to the story… towards the end of the brunch today he suddenly reaches for the spoon in my cafe latte, takes his water glass, clinks the glass while standing up. The murmur in the room stops and he has full attention: “I just want to toast for spontaneity!” he says with a steady voice and a big smile and raises the glass. Facing the wall, I’m turning around and every face in the room cracks up to a big smile and a common toast, laughter and joy.  There are many ways you can show up in life. Such a small gesture – such a great impact.

The sense of joy created in the room reminded me of the sense of joy created by the movie Validation (below). Take a moment to watch it – get inspiration and share the beauty! Who can you make smile today?

Zack and Fran, you are awesome!
Cheers,

Johanna

 

Cooking is an Art Not a Science October 4, 2009

Cooking is an art not a science! This was a statement that I heard (or was I told?) when spending two summers with a British family in New Jersey 91/92. And for some reason it stuck with me. Maybe because I am acutely aware that I am taking the more scientific approach when I cook… you got to start somewhere, right?

The reason why I was reminded about it this week is because I reached out to my old roommate Linda – the scientist and yet very artistic chef. I didn’t know of anyone else who could through together an excellent meal for the 20 friends of ours in a heartbeat. How often do you spontaneously invite a group of 20 – at least 10 – to a dinner in 30 minutes? She did. Several times. And it was a pleasure to be her room mate for that reason, and many many more. I reached out to her this week because I remembered the smell of the outstanding lasagna that she used to do. “Do you happen to have the recipe easily available so you can share it with me?”

Sure thing – five minutes later and I have a response in my inbox…

Lasagna: hm.. menar du en vegetarisk eller?
Röda linser (koka typ 8-10 min)
Lök
Tomatkross
kryddor efter smak 🙂 – spiskummin,salt o peppar är ju gott
Blanda dessa till en “tomat-lins-sås” som en fyllning.

Andra fyllningen kan göras på bladspenat, vitlök, Keso.
bara steka spenat o vitlök, o blanda sen i Keso.

Varva de 2 fyllningarna med lasagneplattorna, o lägg lite keso på toppen, så behövs ingen ostsås.

Done! Easy! Do you get it? Spices after taste!? “Red lentils – should it be 1-3 cans? ;)” “Ha ha! You can start with 1.5 dl dry!”

Suddenly I remembered my roommate in France, who cleary stated that she is “useless in the kitchen” before she diligently followed the recipe for chocolate balls and added “1.5 table spoon of [dry instant nes]coffee”! He laughs best who laughs last, as we say in Sweden.  That would be her now.

Being a professional living in San Francisco, with an unlimited number of decently priced outstanding restaurants, it is very easy to get a life style of eating out. Or bringing food home. Or order for delivery. The ones who are a little more conscious about what they eat and still put in the same number of ours at work, may choose the alternative of delivered food for lunch and dinner for the week (I have seen my neighbor receive that). But is there something nicer than a home cooked meal? In your own environment? Mmmmm. I so much enjoy that.

What if you are not the king or queen in the kitchen? Start explore! Get inspiration from others. I stumbled over and keep following the blog Chocolate & Zucchini. In this weeks newsletter Clotilde Dusoulier announced that she had published a translated and adapted version of the old best-seller on French home cooking from 1932: I Know How To Cook (Je Sais Cuisiner), by Ginette Mathiot. If you want to be inspired while doing it, I would warmly recommend Cooking with Julie in Napa Valley. I brought my visiting mom to the Farmers Market Tour and Cooking Class, which was excellent. You start off with a tour at the farmers market and taste and choose the ingredients for the 3-meal lunch. Have a cheese and wine tasting before you pass the bakery on the way home and cook. The Private Class for a special occasion (50th birthday for example with girlfriends) is also very nice, and a perfect gift. All in a very personal setting at the home of Julie’s. And then of course there is the Scandinavian Cooking on TV…! See here for a trailer relating to the Crayfish Party preparations with Tina. I hear the season isn’t quite over yet for that Swedish tradition. (Crayfish is still available at IKEA!).

Learning to cook is just like anything else in life – just do it! Practice makes perfect. Who will you invite for dinner next?
Enjoy,

Johanna

 

Who Sets the Limits? August 29, 2009

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!

Johanna

 

Wrapped in Love & Devotion August 18, 2009

Vacation is over, summer is soon gone, budget season has kicked off – the fall is here. The great thing with living in San Francisco is that the annual Indian Summer is soon to arrive (September – November is the best time to visit!) What a bonus! Also; Rusty Wells is back with some loving kick-butt yoga. Last night I attended the more mellow class.

Mellow Flow is an opportunity to connect with the interiorization of ones practice. There is a strong emphasis on connecting the breath with each and every movement and micromovement of the body. Students are invited to work as deeply as they desire. The environment is set to complement the quiet nature of this all-level flow experience. Come find yourself wrapped in love and devotion.

That can’t be wrong?! The door opens at 8pm and I am met by this heat wave from a slightly heated room filled with 100 students. The yogis are soaking wet, with a relaxed smile on their faces, people are meeting and greeting, the lounge type music is pumping in the back-ground while they leave the room and a new group of 100 students are finding their space with their mats on the floor. Yep – those classes are popular.

The class starts. It goes from heartfelt chanting to pretty intense poses. I am keenly aware that the strength that I have built up needs to be focused and present. I am wondering where or how will the feeling of being wrapped in love and devotion show up?

Suddenly I find myself in a position as if I am trying to make a knot of myself. Some kind of Marichyasana – a squat position with the left arm thrown around my bent left leg from the front side and back, and the other arm in the other direction around my back, fingers locked together in the level of my waist. Rusty guides something like: “let go of all the struggle and breathe into this place. Let go of the intensity and density. Breathe deeply, relax your jaws and smile. Open up and make space and rest in that you are exactly in the right spot right now.” Mmm… that’s what the class description related to. It totally shifted the experience.

In what situation in your daily life can this serve you?

Wrap your arms around your self and give yourself a big warm hug. Let go of any struggle, take a deep breath and know that you are exactly in the right spot, right now.

Enjoy!
Johanna

  blog it
 

39 Ways How To Break Bad Habits July 2, 2009

I was asked by The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur (TPE) to provide my number one input on “How to break a bad habit”, to change something that stops you in your life. That I did, and you can click here to see the full list – I am number 25.

Alternatively, you can search on “how to break a bad habit fast” were the article snuck up on the front page on Google! (Ha! I guess that was only for a day – I tried it now and it wasn’t… must figure out how this all works…) Now anyway – that is pretty cool, first week of being public with my blog. I guess, that is what happens when you give to others – what goes around comes around. You may have seen the reference to TPE in my previous post Detected.

So now I am really curious – what is your number one tip on breaking a bad habit? Or what is the number one bad habit you will break?
Johanna

 

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

 

And the Winner is… June 27, 2009

Earlier this week I attended the Big Success Business Pitch Summer Contest, organized by the San Francisco Entrepreneurs Meetup Group. These were the five contestants who all made a fantastic job presenting their companies:

  1. Bill Brobeck – Chief Technical Officer Brobeck Solar Energy
  2. Meghan Connolly Haupt – Founder of Sulusso
  3. Ben Lewis – Founder of Engage As You Age
  4. Hilary DeCesare – Co-founder and CEO of Girl Ambition and
  5. Dan Porras, Founder & CEO of Planetwize

The winner selected by both the panel and the audience was Ben Lewis– Founder of Engage As You Age.

At Engage As You Age, LLC, we offer far more than friendly companionship; we know how to rekindle an older adult or senior’s involvement with contemporary life.

We’re not a caregiving company. What we are is a unique organization that carefully pairs insured, bonded, and trained employees with clients who share similar interests and passions. We personalize all of our matches to ensure that you or your loved one’s temperament and interests mesh well with those of a carefully selected activity specialist.

Our 2- to 3- hour visits are a surprisingly cost-effective way to bolster intellectual and emotional well-being. Our services are based on our belief that seniors deserve more than a life focused on meds and maintenance.

That is very cool. Connect our elderlys to their passion, and make them live a prolonged happier and healthier life. Being a promoter of music myself, I think Dan Porras had an interesting solution with the Planetwize: promoting music for a cause, with a business model that supports the musicians. I was only there to listen and learn…

It reminded me of a presentation course I took with Dale Carnegie in Stockholm some 15 years ago. At every session we gave short presentations, and there were contests in different categories. The winner was guided to give a Thank you speech following their 3-step model, which as my memory recalls was as follows: 1. Thank you, and express garatitude/appreciation. 2. This prize/token/award will always remember me of… 3. Thank you.

I had the honor of receiving such an award at the last session of the course, and the “Dale Carnegie Winner” Pen that I received would always remember me of a story that the leader shared during the first session. It was about jumping grasshoppers. You can soon read the story in my about page – but basically, I would always thrive to and encourage others to live and act as free as grasshoppers naturally do. Hm. Maybe that is what I still do now, with the Dale Carnegie Winner Pen in a different format. OK – so let’s go…

Aim high, and jump! The winner is you.

Johanna

 

Carnegie Hall June 24, 2009

I have just finished watching the movie Buena Vista Social Club. My heart sings. Witnessing their journey, hearing their stories – from the streets in Cuba to a full house in Carnegie Hall, New York. Now THAT is what I mean with “sinking your teeth into what you really would love to do”.  Do what your heart calls you to. Wow. The energy, the pure joy, the rhythm in their veins and the happiness that they radiate is a result of just that. 

The great thing in today’s day and age is that it doesn’t need to take a lifetime to get there. But it does take dedication. Intention. Communication. And a dose of imagination. 

My most recent example of this is Kiril Kulish, winner of The Tony Award for Best Performance and Leading Actor in a Musical for his role in “Billy Elliot” on Broadway. Man! If you see this boy perform you would know why. 14 years old, first musical, best award – where will it end? True – he has been gifted with a number of talents – but he has given it his all. He may be young, but he has numbers of years of dedicated practice behind him. And as he stated himself when receiving the award: “To all you kids out there – if you may want to dance, never give up!”

What ever your heart calls you to do – never give up!
Use your imagination to paint the best picture ever. Set the intention and be dedicated to get there. Communicate and let the world know what you want – you never know who you may meet, who they may know, what random connections the universe is creating for you and what can be possible. 

I have an idea of a software that I have the biggest vision for. It will be one of the standard applications on Mac. That is my equivalent of Carnegie Hall. It is the picture I have in my mind today, and it may get there. It may end up somewhere else, equally good or better.  

What would be your equivalent of Carnegie Hall? 


Johanna

By the way: here is the full movie – enjoy! 

 

She quit her day job! June 18, 2009

I had the privilege to celebrate with one of my coaching clients yesterday. The invitation I got was for a “Thank-you-dinner” for the coaching received during my certification process, which was completed a couple of months ago. During the dinner she shared with me that she has fully transitioned to her own start-up. She hasn’t been to her day job in two months!    

Yay! THAT is something to celebrate! What an achievement, during a little bit more than 6 months build up the clientele and be able to stand on your own feet. I couldn’t help to get back to it several times; it made me so happy, inspired and proud.

Proud of her that she made it. Because SHE was the one doing all the work. Not giving up. She continued no matter what. Happy because I believed in her, and knew she could make it. Inspired, it’s just proved again, that if you sink your teeth into what you really would love to do, you can get there. Anyone can. That is my belief.

What would you do if you quit your day job?

Johanna

 

 
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