I give thanks…

… to myself. Since learning to be gentle with myself, life is just a wonderful adventure, in all it’s glory, through up’s as well as down’s.

… to those close to me, my family and friends. You make me a better person, and I love the way you enrich my life. Being in communion with like minded souls!

… to those who are aware. Aware of themselves, as well as their surroundings. Aware, and acting out that sense of awareness. You all help make the world a better place for us all.

… to those who struggle. With disease or mental anguish, with terror or impoverished circumstances, with relationships or loneliness, with life or death. I give thanks to you, because I learn from you and your struggles, in the same way I might have helped someone through my own struggles. At the same time, I wish your struggles would not be. My heart goes out to you all.

… to all those who knows and acts from the understanding that one person cannot do it all, but every person can do something. We all have the possibility to make a difference, and together, we can move mountains.

… to all those who stick to their worldview, even when times are tough. Who see the need to act according to ones values, treating a fellow human being as a fellow human being, whether or not she’s the first or hundredth who comes knocking, desperate, in need of a hand’s up.

… to life, to love, to laughter. I give thanks that I get to live a life and do work that matters, in these exciting and challenging times where the possibilities as well as the difficulties are endless. Together we determine the future of humankind, through our beings and actions. Imagine what might happen if we all started to act more like a kind human, living, loving, laughing? What if, we would shower ourselves, our fellow human beings and the world we live on with kindness?live love laugh

Beauty surrounds us

I don’t think I’ve ever experience the beauty of fall as I am this year. And I don’t think fall has gotten more beautiful – I think the change is in me. I’ve never been so aware, never taken the time, to look, to see the colors, the contrast, the smell, the vibrancy. The energy!fall love 1
I’ve become better calibrated. It’s like I’ve been fine tuned. My senses are functioning, on a whole new level. Whole heartedly.
I notice. I take it in. All of it.
For the first time, it feels as if I fully n o t i c e all the beauty that surrounds me.fall love 4

It’s been there before. Of that I am certain.
But it was never a part of my reality, in the way it is this year.
Because this year, my eyes have opened.
They take it all in, all that is, and always has been.
The texture, colors, smells, movement.
Wind. Sunshine. Dark clouds.
The heaven and earth.
fall love 5The withered hops in the allotment.
fall love 2

The horse chestnut leaves, glowing orange.fall love 7

The black walnut tree. The bark, the lichen, the leaves. And the fruits!fall love 6

The last holly hock, smiling at me, as I pass it. I have to stop. I ask if I may take its portrait. Of course, it tells me, smiling.
I smile back.fall love 3

It feels as if a view has lifted off my eyes. And my heart.
As I take it all in, I can feel myself expand, my awareness, love and gratitude for the beauty of the world fill me up, every cell of me.

I love it.
See it.
And live it.

Do you notice the beauty that surround you?

Podcast 38/52 – Stillness

I remember the first time I came across Pico Iyer. He gave a TED Talk on The Art of Stillness that captivated me. His words, his way of showing up in the world, his message. All captivating, and performed in such a way, that something opened up within me.

Stillness was never a word I used to describe myself. Before. Perhaps I’ve been more still in a bodily manner, but definitely not mentally. Mental chatter, constant, busy busy, chatting away at all times. Never knowing how to shut it up, or to stop paying attention to it. Never a still moment. Almost.

Now. I revere the stillness that I find, now and again, often on a daily basis. Meditating for instance. But also in micro moments throughout the day, discovering something beautiful, sensing a smell, or a sound, or even the absence of sound. Captivated, for just a microsecond, as if time stops, ceases to exist, like pressing a pause-button.

Pico Iyer also had a conversation with Krista Tippett, On Being, on the Art of Stillness, and I thought it would be an excellent companion to the reflections on being aware, that have dominated the blog this week. Pico Iyer travels the world, and then travels within his inner world, deciphering the first kind of travels through the second. In a sense, becoming more aware of what goes on outside, by a raised awareness of what goes on inside. travel to be moved

This is what my life journey have started to feel like, a travel, a journey of discovery, of expansion as well as stabilization, of awareness. And the more I travel, roaming the landscape and continents within, the more I am moved by moments of pure presence, in me, as well as outside of me.

Today I will be traveling, and Pico is spot on. I am not traveling for the sake of moving around, I am traveling with the hope of being moved. And I know I will be.

Why do you travel?


Being aware – reflection #4

Last and final day of dipping my toe into being aware, as a warm-up for the Summit for Human Potential Realization, which starts tomorrow in Netherlands. It’s been a ride already, just these past four days of immersing myself into being aware, so I’m very curious as to what wants to happen these coming three days as I will be diving headfirst into human potential realization with all the participants of the summit..

What is made possible when you live life out of a place of heightened awareness?
What happens to you? Those around you? The world?

Today I’ve had an experience that certainly gave me a glimpse of what a heightened awareness means and makes possible. I’m not sure I can describe it though. But I can tell you this, it certainly whetted my appetite for experiencing more, experimenting more, discovering and going deeper.
What happens… clarity and calmness. Leveling. It’s as if the components are all in place, only the settings change. Like classical greek dramas, all containing the same main ingredients/characters, only set in different surroundings. Life is like a multitude of greek dramas, in other words. On one level of awareness a specific play is enacted. When I drop down to another level, as my awareness is enriched, another drama enfolds. So what ever I’ve encountered on one level, will, in a sense, reappear on all the other levels, only in different costume. I truly sensed that today. My inner judge has been a verbal judge, and to a large extent I don’t hear it anymore. Today as I dropped down to a deeper level, the judge reappeared, but not in the same form as before. Today my inner judge put on another costume, communicating with me through my body, rather than through words in my mind. That’s a first. Interesting experience.

greek dramas

Is anything made impossible when living life out of a place of heightened awareness?
Is anything made impossible? That’s the same as asking if everything is possible. And yes. I think so. I actually already think anything is possible, we just don’t live life out of that starting point. With a raised awareness perhaps more people would? And as a direct result, they would embark on journeys to create the impossible, which would stretch the boundaries for what we now to be possible, push the edge of possible into the impossible, expanding, expanding, expanding.

What would the world look like with a raised awareness in humankind?
Different I believe. And as I’ve decided to believe in the good of humankind as well as truly believing the universe is a friendly place, the image I paint of a world with more aware human beings, is a world I’d love to live in, to experience. With love, generosity, care, humor, laughter and joy. Not a ”perfect” world. Not a world without sorrow, angst and pain, but a world where we are so much better equipped to live life, fully, to truly live a good life, regardless of the external circumstances. Because it’s possible. Perhaps what’s stopping us is the demons in our minds, as Måns Zelmerlöw sings in Heroes?

We are the heroes of our time
But we’re dancing with the demons in our minds

Are there fewer demons to fight when operating from a heightened awareness? Or are they simply in a different costume? And if there are demons in our minds, wouldn’t there also be angels? Why not dance more with them instead?

Being aware – reflection #3

Am down with a cold. Feeling very unaware of most things outside of the discomfort of a sore throat, raspy cough and an aching head. But still, why not just move ahead with the reflections on being aware

Does being aware have a color?
Instinctively, what comes to mind is transparency. Any color, but transparent, not being a hindrance for going past it, through it.

A symbol?
A symbol…. does being aware have a symbol? Just the one?
I don’t know. Possibly the third eye? But then again, isn’t than an old symbol, with a lot of different connotations, with awareness (increased perception) being one?

What is the language of awareness? Does it exist?
Or will we – together – make the language of being aware come to form?
The language of awareness cannot be a language of but one component, such as speech. A language of awareness must be a multifaceted language utilizing all senses, opening up for an experience of sound and silence, visual and intuitive aspects as well as movement and touch. If it exists? Who knows… But yeah, I would like to think it’s out there and probably has since the beginning of time. Not sure if it’s come fully into form yet. It’s more like something wanting to happen, popping up here and there, in quick bursts of connection and awareness. Wanting to be seen, felt, heard, sensed by a larger number of humankind. Do you think we can help it come into form, making it easier for more people to discover it?

opening up

Are there any rituals connected to being aware?
Or might we – together – create some?
I’m certain there are a multitude of rituals. Some widely shared and spread across the globe, some might be absolutely unique to a specific individual.
A wise woman told me yesterday of the eternal circle of expansion -> stability -> expansion -> stability and so on. She explained how there’s expansion, with intake, new learnings, input and information, expanding in all senses…. and how there’s a need for all those new sensations to stabilize and sink in, enabling me to become grounded in what I know. And once stability has been reached, a new expansion phase can begin. I’m sure we could find rituals for both phases, expansion as well as stability, but am equally certain we could come up with new rituals around these phases.
Personally, I know I have some rituals that have definitely helped me be more aware, and I’m doing one of those things right this minute. Blogging for me, is both a self-coaching tool and a way for me to reflect and discover myself, my beliefs, my understanding. Blogging is one way for me to stabilize what I take in during the day.

Do you have any favorite rituals you’d like to share with me?

Being aware – reflection #2

Sticking to my awareness-theme, I pick up the next set of questions from my original post. Now let’s see what I might discover today.

How do you Do awareness?
What a relevant question. And such a difficult question to answer. Because how Do you Do awareness? *pause to reflect and sit with the question*
Well. I guess, for me, doing awareness isn’t really visible on the outside, it’s more something that goes on within me, which then might manifests visibly, in my actions and the way I show up in the world.

What is the relationship between being and doing awareness?
Being aware comes before the doing of awareness. I don’t think it can be the other way around and they don’t work in parallel either. Being precedes doing. It’s as simple as that. Do you agree?being precedes doing

How can you tell when another person acts out of awareness? Or when he/she
doesn’t? Is it visible somehow?
These questions all belong together. And yes, sometimes I can tell if a person acts out of awareness or when he/she doesn’t. Sometimes I can’t. I guess it varies. However, I actually think I can sense it, intuit it, more often than I can actually see it with my eyes. Whether or not I use my intuition to sense it, or I use my eyes to see it, I guess what I spot is incongruencies, when there’s a mis-match between being and doing. Something that is un-synchronized, out of tune, not as it should be.

Is there a limit, a point where you are fully aware, saturated, unable to become more aware? If so, can human beings reach that point? Is it even desirable?
Another set of questions that belong together.
And no. I don’t think we can reach that point, at least not staying a human being.
Actually. I have a sense that once a person is 100% aware, saturated with awareness, unable to become more aware… he or she will cease to exist, revert into godhood, no longer having a place in the human realm. Being human and living the human experience means there is always more to learn, to grasp, understand, discover, be curious about. There is no such thing as a comprehensively aware human being. Because once we reach a point of all-knowing, we are god, pure and simple, and the need for our human form will be no more.

Do I know this last to be true? Heck no.

I haven’t got the faintest idea if this is the way it is, or just a figment of my imagination. But it’s as far as my reflections on awareness and humankind have taken me. To this date. Who know’s where I will be on this subject tomorrow. Perhaps my awareness will have taken me somewhere completely different?

Being aware – reflection #1

True to my word, I’m immersing in the concept of being aware today. As I sit here I look at the post from yesterday, and figure I might just as well just start at the beginning:

What does being aware make you think?
First off, that it’s something I know much more intimately now, compared to before. I am much more aware today, both of myself, but also of what goes on outside of me. And I like that.

Well. Since I like the feeling of being aware, it really makes me feel good. Thinking about awareness gives me a warm feeling, and a strong sense of calm. It’s not always easy to be aware of this and/or that, but generally speaking, it’s as if the world becomes clearer, more well-defined, with a heightened awareness. Hence, the sense of calm.

What do you associate with being aware?
Let’s see…
Wisdom. Clarity. A greater presence in the world – seeing it for what it is. Not placing a lot of extra stuff on top, but rather stripping down to what is.
A gentleness towards oneself, as well as to all other sentient beings, but also to everything else, non-sentient as well as sentient.

being aware reflection 1

Do you think of yourself as being aware? Or not?
Yes. I do. Now. Before, not so much. For me, it’s very much linked to the fact that I’ve learned how to be gentle with myself, which means I am curious about myself. Curiosity and awareness go very well hand in hand, because unless you are curious, and gentle with yourself, what you might discover about yourself through an increased awareness will get you in trouble. With yourself, no less.
What I mean is, before, I was afraid to see me. Because when I found something within that I didn’t like, didn’t approve of, wasn’t proud of…. I beat myself up over it. And that really isn’t a very good way to encourage more awareness and discovery. Nowadays, when I find something within that I previously would have labeled as something not likable, something to disapprove of etc, I see it. That’s all. I can embrace it for what it is, a part of me. Not judging it. And definitely not beating myself up over it. Makes me much more prone to being even more aware.

Do you have a role model, someone who personifies being aware for you?
There are quite a few people that I look up to when it comes to being aware. People who model it for me, simply by being. And I’ve been smart enough to make these people an integral part of my life. Friends, partners in various endeavors, coaches. So yes. I definitely have role models, and by hanging out with them, my own awareness get’s a boost. It’s a good trick, I definitely recommend it.

What, or who, boosts your awareness?

Mirror mirror on the wall

A few weeks ago I had lunch at a café I’d never visited before. Before leaving I stopped by the restroom and got totally perplex, but couldn’t really figure it out… until I washed my hands. Because what I saw then was NOT myself, which is what I’ve gotten used to seeing. Why? Well, simply because there’s always a mirror above the sink in a bathroom. But not here, here I just saw red checkered wallpaper.

mirrorIt’s an insignificant observation, because I had absolutely no problem washing my hands without having a mirror to stare at. (Otherwise I’d be getting really worried about myself!). But it made me realize something which I believe to be quite significant:

When something is so common to us it is just automatic, we stop noticing it.
Not until it disappears, do we notice the void. 

Which means that I go through a lot of life running in automatic mode. And that might absolutely have its merit, but sometimes I think it can turn quite dangerous to my ability to truly live life.

With each passing day, I experience a much greater awareness to the experience of life. An ever-growing consciousness that makes me see, feel, hear, smell, touch, taste and sense more of life.

That way to experience life is there for us all. All the time. Every day. Constantly available. The only requirement to this ordinary everyday miracle is being conscious to what goes on within and beyond you. Are you?


Checking my Facebook feed I stumbled upon this short videoclip:

It’s a long time since I learned to not keep the tap on while brushing my teeth, and when I meet someone (when sharing living accommodations or staying at the house of family or friends for instance) who keeps the water running I find it very hard not to rush into the bathroom to turn the tap off. So far I’ve managed not to so just that, as I’m not so sure it would be welcome, but then I never really know how to bring it up in a way that might actually raise awareness. Now I do. A one-minute clip, with all the arguments necessary.

We’ve cut back quite a lot of our water usage at home, because there’s quite a lot of water preserving steps one can take, but turning off the water tap while brushing teeth is such a simple first step, that I strongly recommend you try it.

Have you ever given any thought to this equation:
(the amount of water being wasted while teeth are being brushed with tap running) x (the number of times you brush your teeth every day) x (the number of residents in your household) = ?


everchangingWe are made to love, to live, to create, to laugh, to cry, to eat, to sleep, to connect, to caress, to be and to do. Journal

In a wonderful mix. Ever-changing.

The Headspace meditation series on CHANGE has really helped me become even more aware of the ever-changing state of mind and body. I often meditate lying down (Heresy!, I hear you say… but hey, whatever works right?). And then I observe that my neck is tense. So I relax, letting my head sink down into the pillow. Continue with the meditation. And all of a sudden my neck is tense again. So I relax. Again. And so it continues.

So far I’ve never been able to spot the moment when I begin to tense up in my neck. It’s just suddenly tense. Even though I know that it’s not like that. There is a beginning to that sensation, and perhaps, with raised awareness I will be able to spot it. One day. Some day. Perhaps. Or perhaps not.

Everchanging. Isn’t that fascinating?

PS – I have three months of free access to Headspace to gift someone. I was thinking I’d give it away to one of my blog readers. Interested? I really want it to come to good use, and Headspace has a ten day free trial, so please download the app and try it out. If, after your trial, you are committed to using it for another three months, give me a holler. Ok?