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Authentic living

There is only one option: go

Go, just go where your dreams take you, even if the ground is uneven and the sight is blurred. Any other option will keep you in that uneasy feeling of not really living, not really being you. “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. Thats why it’s your path.” said Joseph Campbell 👣 Do you know exactly what every step looks like? Then you are following too closely in someone else’s footprints. Steer off of other people’s visions, set course on your own! 🔮⚓️🌈✨🚀

Photo from Cradle Mountain, Tasmania (I absolutely LOVE Tassie, read more about my experience in amazing Tasmania.)

With privileges comes power. How do you use yours?

Under the stars we are all the same. But in fact – we are not. ⭐️ There are norms, discrimination and exclusion. Power differences created by privileges and injustice that sits so deep in our roots that we barely see them. This is what I’ve been teaching (or rather, creating a safe space for us to learn from each other) today. Learning to see when we are part of holding up a norm that creates friction for someone else. Because we all are. How to not feel guilt over your privileges but use your power to include those who meet more friction. Influence and power is like a battery, it’s a neutral source of energy without direction – until you use it. It’s what you do with that power position that matters. Over whom do you have a privilege and what can you do with that power to eliminate the difference? The topic is huge, scary and painful, but we need to see what’s going on to be able to change it. Now, we all have power and we’re all ahead of someone – so open your eyes, take responsibility and step up to make the world better! ⭐️💫

I love money. But here is what it’s NOT.

Most people can agree on that money doesn’t matter in comparison to the most important things in life: love, health, happiness and so on. Most people rather have those and be poor than the opposite. Ok, so let’s agree on that 💰 But what about the second most important things? What about having a job that is okey compared to one you dislike but earn a lot? What about an experience you really want? An adventure? A new hobby you feel like trying? The little nice things. Maybe that hobby is not what you bring up on your death bed, maybe that experience was not what your life was about. But it made you smile and feel good about seeing something cool or learning a new skill! 💰Somewhere in that range people seem to forget that whole “money can’t buy” reasoning. It makes me wonder… where is that tipping point where you start over-valuing money? When do you let money win over pleasure and passion? 💰 It’s love, happiness, health then money. But why not love, happiness, health, new hobbies, coffee with friends, snowboarding, ocean views etc etc then money? 💰Let me be clear: I love money because they bring me freedom. But I love a lot of things a-hell-of-a-way more! Lets remember what money are, and all the things they are NOT! Ok? Ok!

I am light. Remind me.

If you see me with my head down in the rain, gently lift my chin and help me appreciate the sensation of the drops. If you find me stressed, shake me and remind me to breath and look at the sky. If I walk without consideration, take my hand and propose a different path. Remind me that the choice is mine, and when I bend my neck and complain under the heaviness I have to go. Go where my heart is easy to carry, where my steps are filled with the energy of an explorer, where my eyes stay awake and my brain stays aware. Never to shut up and pull harder instead of looking up and reconsidering. Never to forget that I am here by choice. Always go where I am light. Because I am. Light.☀️

Thank you for letting me in

Saturday night. Feeling extremely grateful. People surprised me, reassured me, of their awesomeness, love and wisdom the past days. From unexpected directions, new friends, strangers, old acquaintances. This week has been all about relationships, people, connection – pure and real. It consisted of: spontaneously joining a birthday dinner tonight where I only knew one person (who was just an acquaintance and made a last minute bold move and invited me) – that turned out great with depth and intensity in every conversation 🌸Beautiful, wholehearted chats with my rad, lovely roomies 🦋 Moving stuff and having lunch with brother and parents ✌🏽Amazing work day with “colleagues” for the leadership course we’re hosting 🦁Randomly getting a seat on the train next to an old classmate I haven’t seen for years and talking for three hours straight – deep stuff 🦇Recording podcast with soul partner – always a blast of energy, always real, raw and true 🦄Climbing, hiking and hanging out with a fellow adventurer I just recently started getting to know irl after a long time of online contact 🦅Reconnecting by having a hard and developing conversation with one of the most important people in my life ✨Acrobatics with my favourite crowd 🤸‍♀️Conclusion: the love and beauty in people is endless, infinite. Thank you for letting me in ❤️

Is this the look of madness?

How wise can we become? How much can we develop? Is there an end to how much we can learn? Will we eventually – inevitably – go mad on our way to geniuses? Am I already? How do I know? If it does make me crazy then crazy is where I’m heading. There’s no way of stopping this train of thoughts – this philosopher’s brain, this dreamer’s heart. Maybe this is what convinced you – “she is going mad after all?” – or is it you? 🌀✨🔮

Moving work into a new paradigm

Burn out and over time is so last paradigm. So is entrepreneurs who work crazy-long weeks and so is putting pride in being “busy”. It’s a new era now. I’m proud of my slow breakfasts, my mid day yoga breaks, my afternoons out climbing, my ability to do what matters and skip the rest. I am better when I’m happy. Join the new way of working – take a break! Then work not because you have to but because you long to. ✨🌱🙏

Magnetism

I was listening to my friend Kia Helles being interviewed about the process of writing her book today. Her struggles, her doubt and her progress. And a truth bomb hit me: Success is not magnetic. Power is not magnetic. Looks or popularity is not magnetic. AUTHENTICITY is magnetic 💥 Be the uncompromised you, go all in – all out. Not for money, not for status, not for them – for YOU. Drop the bullshit, stop pretending. Do what it takes to make the difference you want to make, create what you want to create, be the change you think we need. If authenticity is your driving force you are bound to succeed. Be you and we will love you ✨💫🌟

A brief self study of racism turned into love

Here is something I hate to admit. I used to feel resistance or maybe even slight repulsion to Indian men. Not that I personally had reason to, but through media I’d gotten bad news from India and many of my friends (whom, of course, never been there themselves) would warn me about going. The information on Indian men stored in my brain was mainly negative. This suspicious feeling about a certain group or look (yeah, also known as racism) is something we all have. It is something we are programmed to by feeding our brain with certain associations, most of the time by actively or passively consuming media. The more we see a certain group, such as people with darker skin, related to something bad the more our brains will automatically relate people looking like that to bad traits.

This does not mean that we actively have those unfair values about darker people, it’s actually more often the opposite. No matter how openminded and equal-thinking and anti- racist we are, we can not stop this programming from happening and from controlling our brains if we keep on consuming the biased media we are surrounded by. Studies show that even people with darker skin feel more suspicion and fear when seeing darker people compared to light skinned ones. The sad fact is that as a result of the terrible bias in media; movies, series, commercials, news etc. the same programming is going on in all of us, and it does not matter how wrong or heavily biased this image is, it doesn’t even matter if the media we consume is fictional, associating a certain look to certain traits even when it’s obviously fictional and made up creates this programming of our brains and this is how we become racists – maybe you could call it the early stages. This means that most people in the modern world are ”light” racists, at least. But it is not our fault. However, it is our responsibility to be aware of how this works and work against it. The only way to change this is to feed our brain with more positive information/associations to dark skinned people than negative ones (this of course works the same for any group/look, but in this case I am using skin color as an example). And we need to get first hand information – experiential based. The deeper level of experience (thus memory thus information in the computer that is our brain) that is created when e.g. spending time and becoming friends with people of a certain look allows it to overrun the previous programming faster than for example just reading about it. But it will not happen unless you actively work on re-learning, creating new automatic associations in your brain.

Having explained this, let’s go back to me traveling to India. Despite knowing that I was wrong, having read and studied the phenomenon described above (it is called priming – read about it in the super interesting book Blink), I had this hidden feeling of fear and suspicion when it came to Indian men that was barely on the surface of my awareness. Like I said, I hate to admit it, and wasn’t it because I knew of this phenomenon I would probably have neglected it. After all, it is not very easy to realise that despite trying so hard to have an open heart and mind, despite having traveled a lot, despite knowing and loving people with all kinds of skin colors and looks, there was still this shameful, groundless racist in me.

What happened then? This year started in India, I came here in december 2016 and celebrated New Years Eve with a bunch of Indian students. In the middle of January I went on to Tasmania, Australia, and spent a couple of months down under followed by Singapore and Malaysia. During my travels India kept calling, kept reminding me of its’ existence. The first guy I couch surfed with in Australia was Indian, so was my teacher at Vipassana and I shared dorm rooms with great guys from India almost all the time. So many kind faces, so many caring smiles. They all gave me their best advice on India, they were all fun, sweet and openminded. I mean why wouldn’t they be? All in all I felt like India was sending me a message. I needed to go back. On the flight from Singapore to Mumbai, I couldn’t stop smiling. All those Indian faces, they smiled back at me. I felt surrounded by love, kindness, harmony. Instead of being suspicious, I expected kindness from them. Being back amongst Indian people made me feel calm and happy. And what is really amazing about this change of expectations is that I could feel it happen. The shift. My brain was finally re-programmed. The automatic response to typical Indian features that my brain would send me in milliseconds was positive. Don’t get me wrong here, I am not naive and I know that there are bad people here, just like everywhere. But that is not the point. The point is that unless you do something about it, you are probably a ”light racist” and you definitely have unfair, stereotypical ideas of certain groups because of the way you are programmed. It is how it is, this is brain science. It is not because of who you are, it is not in your personality or values, it is biology. Now – do something about it! Prove yourself wrong! Get out there, get to know ”them”. And if within your power, change the media stream as well now that you’re on it.

Let’s do our best!

Hanna

Being shy is just a bad habit

There’s nothing “wrong” with being shy, except for that many shy people would prefer to get rid of their shyness. If you’re perfectly happy with being shy, it’s not to be treated as a bad habit. But for the purpose of this post, I’ll aim it to all of you who’d prefer not being shy anymore.

 

Shyness is commonly misunderstood as a personality trait, “he is so shy”. But being shy is actually a behaviour, not some core part of who anyone is. Many people have been shy (or interpreted as shy) during parts of their life, or in certain groups or situations. Most shy people wish they acted more confident, because shyness is often read as insecurity and you being uncomfortable with who you are. When tending to act shy, we usually spend too much time evaluating how to act and react in our heads, adding loads of pressure to any social context and making interaction all but natural. This becomes a bad spiral, and ultimately we rather skip the whole thing, stick to our self and avoid the risk of failing.

 

This fear is normal, rejection is one of the most hurtful experiences imaginable. But when we get stuck in this spiral, we create a habit. We close our doors and stop putting ourselves out there. We avoid doing anything that requires anyones response for fear of being rejected, thus missing out of many opportunities. Most people feel this fear, and the difference between shy people and others is that shy people tend to more often than not completely avoid interacting in these situations. Confident people feel the fear to some extent, but know that it is probably misguiding them and that it is better to act despite it. Because this fear is actually a detector of opportunities. When something is important enough we feel a tension and a rush of adrenaline, indicating that there is something of importance here.

 

Thinking that we’re too shy to try is an easy way out. Like with any bad habit, they are easy to fall into and hard to break. But the first step is to see it for what it is;  a habit. It’s not a fixed part of who you are, and you can change it. To kill off a bad habit you need to replace it with a new one. This is a conscious choice and takes focused action. It’s not about not being shy, it’s about being open and social. Learning a new habit will feel uncomfortable and maybe even draining. It costs a lot of energy. But as you keep going, your new habit is slowly created, and soon enough you default behaviour will not be shying away but instead your new socially confident and outgoing habit will be your new normal.

 

My recommendation for you who feel like a little less shyness would be good is to practice. Give yourself “homework”. Such as; approach people at networking events. Talk to strangers in bars. Prepare questions and put yourself out there, ask the questions, have the conversation – even if it becomes awkward and uncomfortable. Being okey with being uncomfortable is part of the confidence you’re trying to build. Do at least 3-4 socially challenging “homeworks” per week, tell someone you trust what you’re up to and report to them after each task. This will hold you accountable and make it more fun.

 

Get out ant be awesome!