There’s one thing we can know for sure: this too will change.
Whatever it is, yes.
Some days will be easy, others hard.
The morning could be bright and sunny, and by evening there might be rain.
Just a quick reminder:
Whatever you are feeling right now is ok.
You’re allowed to feel it.
You can open up to it. A little, or a lot.
You can make space.
You can take a moment to feel how the body feels. Places you feel any tension. Places where you feel relaxed.
Connect to the breath.
Follow it for a few moments.
Allow it to be as it is.
For as long as you wish.
For as long as you need.
Then choose a valued direction – set an intention.
Return to it when you need to. Or set it again.
Make space for the weather, and remember the sky.
Yesterday was the full moon. For me, the moon is a reminder of life’s flow and the ever-changing nature of it, – of everything, including myself. The things I was carrying yesterday – my thoughts, feelings, the stomach ache – they have dissolved into the past. I woke up to a new day, to new and different energy, and new thoughts and feelings. The night gives us that passage, the shift into a new day. But, the shift can also happen from one moment to the next. I’m constantly being reminded of this.
My wish is to not cling to any of it. To trust in the flow of life, and move with it, breath by breath. To let old things die, and new to be born when the time is right. To trust in the moments that feel like they are in-between the old and new, moments that might feel confusing, uncertain, or like there is nothing happening. I trust that there is always movement, even if we can’t always see or feel it.
My wish is to trust in the ache, and also trust that joy will return. Knowing that whatever is happening, this too will change. To be ok with not knowing – to still feel safe, because my safety is within me. While things around us can and will change, we can lean into our inner presence that is there to hold it all. To me, this is freedom.
Tonight we shift into a new year, with hope of something good around the corner. I believe we all have the strength and wisdom in us to meet whatever awaits us. And if there’s anything I wish for in this moment, it’s that we can know freedom. The freedom of being ok in uncertainty. Of feeling safe no matter what is and what’s to come.
Lately, I’ve been writing about remembering.
There is this voice that I hear. The more I unplug from the many voices around me – the many distractions.
This voice grows stronger. Steadier.
It sits in my centre, like on a throne. And it is ready, at all times.
It is ready to bring me back.
To remind me. To let me know when I begin to drift.
It tells me: “No. That is not your way.”
It says: “No. We don’t go back. Those are old ways.”
It reminds me to return.
To come back.
To come back.
To myself. To here. To now.
To what I really know to be true.
It is my anchor. My lighthouse.
It says: “You have forgotten again. It’s ok. Just come back.”
Every time we forget, we can also remember. And we can return.
Breath by breath, we can begin again.
This is the practice.
And breath by breath, our foundation grows stronger. And that voice gets clearer.
Things will still happen. Feelings will come and go. We will have beautiful days, we will have bad days. But we can remember, and we can always return.
We can rest, knowing that there is a truth inside of us at all times.
It is there to hold us.
And that it will never let us down.
Wishing you a beautiful winter solstice. ❤
As we’re moving into the darkness of the winter months here in Sweden (heading for that sunset at half past two…) I’m choosing to be here for it all.
Allowing the weather, the world, any feelings and sensations, to be as they are. At the same time reminding myself where I want to direct my attention. And let it guide my actions. Never easy, never perfect, always a process. And an ebb an flow from day to day.
To be present for what arises doesn’t mean we have to stay in it all. We witness, we feel and we release what needs to go. By staying open, but getting clear on our intention.
Presence is the alchemist, always there as our real strength, like roots of a tree holding us through all the shifting seasons. 🌘🌗🌖🌕
I know that in many parts of the world we are going into a second lockdown or having to follow stricter restrictions. We can’t change what the circumstances are right now. But we can connect to our presence and let it nurture and guide us.
We can remember that there’s strength in our inherent connectedness, even if we are physically apart for a while. We can still share all the things that were always meant to be shared, be it moments of joy, our love, our worry or our hope. 🖤
You are far more than the sum of your thoughts, ideas, opinions. Rest into what lies beyond, and feel it nourish you, give you life.
Pause, pay attention to the breath, feel into the space around it, and rest there.
Wishing you a beautiful weekend. 💕
“What we call obstacles are really the way the world and our entire experience teach us where we are stuck.”
This quote is by one of my favourite Buddhist teachers Pema Chödrön. It’s from her incredible book When Things Fall Apart, which I highly recommend to anyone looking for wise words on how to meet difficulties in life.
These particular words encourage us to practice befriending what we see as an obstacle, instead of viewing it as the enemy. Pema Chödrön tells the story of how Buddha was sitting under a tree, on the night he was to attain enlightenment. While sitting there, he was attacked by the forces of Mara (illusion, desire, death and rebirth). The story goes that they shot swords and arrows at him, and because of his power of awareness, their weapons ended up turning into flowers.
She reminds us that we call obstacles, are really the way the world and our entire experience teach us where we’re stuck. What may appear to be an arrow or a sword, can turn into a flower, depending on our relationship with ourselves. The first step is being able to acknowledge and willing to meet whatever discomfort or pain that is arising. If we are not open to it, if we just push it away, it will be hard to find any teaching there, and to move through that place where we are stuck. Sometimes that is needed too, and the flower in that situation is just being aware of what and how we tend to push things away.
Mindfulness gives us awareness about when and in what ways we try to escape those difficult emotions (a natural thing we all do). It’s not something we should be hard on ourselves for, but instead see as very valuable information – it’s how arrows turn into flowers. Most importantly we will notice that we can fully meet all these experiences, which are a natural part of life. And that to be truly alive means to never really arrive. There will always be new arrows – but we learn that we can let life have its natural ebb and flow, and still rest in our presence and find wisdom there.
Living a mindful life means waking up from a kind of slumber. The slumber of living solely in the mind – of moving through life on autopilot. To wake up from that autopilot-state, we practice paying attention to, and truly allowing and feeling, everything that arises in us – specifically paying attention to the body. Because the body is always in the present moment.
Meditation and mindfulness are, in a sense, a deeper kind of listening. We listen, not with our analytical mind that wants to come up with solutions, new ideas, or stories. But we listen in a way that connects us deeper to what we are experiencing. In this way, we also get more in touch with the body and its intelligence.
Through listening deeply, and our willingness to sense and be present for it, we create space for all that is arising, for any emotion or sensation that is stopping by. Can we welcome even what we judge as negative, instead of following the impulse to push it away? Can we allow everything to come and go – as it does?
We practice fully observing all that is arising, without trying to change anything. There is no outer goal to attain.
We are simply gifting ourselves our full attention. This in time gives us a bigger perspective, an even greater sense of presence, and courage to meet things that come our way.
This practice also expands our awareness of how we relate to different sensations, maybe wanting to hold on to the pleasant ones, and to avoid the unpleasant ones.
The beauty of mindfulness, is that it is meant to be practiced in our daily life. And essentially, the more we practice the more mindfulness becomes integrated into all that we do.
You can choose any daily activity, like doing the dishes, taking a shower or taking a walk, and practice being as present as possible for it. Pay attention to the sensations or feelings that you are experiencing, especially all that you are sensing in your body. If you notice that your thoughts begin to wander someplace else, remember your breath is always there to guide you back to the present. It can also be helpful to pay attention to the sensation of the soles of your feet against the ground or floor reminding you to come back to your body and here and now.
Explore how you feel throughout your day. See if you notice when you are feeling present in your body, and when you feel less so. Are there moments or activities during your day where you perhaps feel less present? You can always use breath anchoring to deepen your presence in those specific moments.