känn ingen sorg (shed no tears)

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sunday night i watched a movie. you know, a cozy sunday night movie with popcorn and people you love. there’s no better way to end a weekend i think – nice and slow, and hopefully inspirational. though, i didn’t really know much about the movie we were going to watch, so i didn’t know if it would be inspirational or not. i knew that it has been well received and loved by people here in sweden (it’s a swedish film) and that it is based on the lyrics and music of a very popular singer/songwriter/musician named håkan hellström. lina’s been in love with his music the whole past year, so i’ve heard it a lot. and i like it, but i think i’ve been caught up in my american, living in the mountains again, bluegrass/folk stuff lately, so i haven’t paid it that much attention. until now…

anyway, the movie’s title is känn ingen sorg (shed no tears), and the film is based on the breakout hit of håkan hellström in 2000 with the same title. it is a beautiful film – from the music to the scenery to the characters (who i loved and hated at the same time) to the colors…. just so lovely and special.

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it’s the story of a guy who feels music in his soul, sees it around him, hears it in every part of life, and yet cannot express it. well, he expresses it when he is alone. but, in front of people he chokes. gets insane stage fright, and truly makes a fool of himself because he cannot control his fear. he’s an awkward guy anyway, but trying to sing or play in front of someone makes it a thousand times worse. yet, the music is in his soul and he aches to let it out.

in the movie, pål (pronounced sort of like “paul”) tries to overcome his fear, so that he can let his soul sing. influenced, supported, inspired, and sometimes completely frustrated with and disappointed by his friends and a girl who becomes his muse, pål fights, struggles, and fails in his quest to be a musician time and time again.

sounds depressing, right? well, it was stressful to watch him fail and freak out. but, it was also so inspiring for me to see someone fight for what’s in their soul with such passion. it reminded me that, when we find that thing that we love to do, or when we discover exactly who we are meant to be, that we ought never give up – even when we make fools of ourselves, or no one understands us, or we feel completely alone in our quest.

in the end, it is always just about learning to love and accept who we are – and to never, ever let that go. no, my friends, it is our destiny, our fate, and our calling to live the life that we are called to live. to be exactly who we are called to be – without any apologies. because who we are – right now. today. is just fine.

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so, let’s make a promise, together, to be like pål. to discover our own voices and then never give up on ourselves and to always fight to let our voices be heard. because we each have so much to give and share with the world – in our own special and unique ways.

sending you lots of love and peace. xx

what are you doing new year’s eve?

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well, that’s a wrap. the last day of 2013 is upon is, and i don’t know about you, but i am ready for some serious celebrating! this year i wanna get dressed up and be all fancy & girly. i wanna dance and go to a party and ring in the new year with people all around me.

i think i’m in such a celebratory mood because 2013 has been oh so generous to me… well, my love and i have worked for it, but we’ve also expected and envisioned it. so, as we dreamed and believed, we also acted and the universe opened door after door, showering us with amazing moments. and i want to celebrate all of that. i want to shout to the world, and spread extra joy today to everyone i meet… because i am so grateful and blessed. it’s time to try to give back a little of the amazingness that has been given to me in 2013. it’s truly time to celebrate.

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all of the serious, soul-searching, reflection is done. last night i spent a few hours with candles lit, a glass of wine by my side, pens and journals open, and my soul-touching playlist playing. i reflected on the past year and envisioned and planned for the new one. i wrote on the last page of my 2013 journal and then put it away, with all of my other journals. it was a very special and meaningful ritual. but, now, these end of the year rites of passage have been completed, so the only thing left to do is dance & drink champagne!

as you read this, i am either currently on my way or already in atlanta, georgia to celebrate new year’s eve with some friends – lanie (a blogging buddy) and her girl, charlie. my love and i hit the road early, because we’ve got shopping, exploring, eating, drinking, and having fun to do before we meet up with the girls in the afternoon to begin our celebrations. and, boy do we have some celebrations planned! it’s gonna be so great! the perfect cap to one of the most amazing years (with plenty of both ups & downs) of my life.

here’s to 2014! here’s to turning 40 this year! here’s to living life & feeling alive! 

so, my friends, what are you doing for new year’s eve? 

i just had to. they’re so cute.

wishing you the happiest of new years! bring on 2014! 

peace and love. xx

enjoying the last few mysterious minutes of christmas day…

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are you stuffed? or satisfied? do you feel exhausted? or energized? was it a peaceful day? or a wild & crazy one? whatever your christmas day has brought you, i hope that it has been beautiful and meaningful… i hope it has been exactly what you wanted and/or needed.

i have been blessed with a very quiet, calm day. a little different from all christmases throughout the rest of my life, but change is inevitable. and almost always for the better… i’ll admit, i have had my share of sad moments today, but even in those, i have felt a certain peace. a kind of steadiness and security – something that comes from two things: one, is my complete acceptance and appreciation of myself. i’m in a really good place right now… strong, grounded, inspired. my steadiness and security also come from my amazing wife and the unconditional, ever-supportive, always-nurturing love that she gives me. so, those rougher moments were made all the more smooth.

still, as i lay in bed right now, with only the glow of the computer and the star lit in our window, i feel a deep peace within. and a twinge of excitement and hesitation as i embark on the last week of this year, and approach the first week of a new one. i have no idea what is in store for me for 2014… but i am breathless with anticipation and it feels as if the slate is completely blank. like anything is possible.

but, before i get on with those reflective posts about the new year (more to come in the next week), i want to revel in the magic and mystery of christmas for a few more minutes…

so, just to be a little different, i thought i’d share with y’all my christmas photos in video-style. there were many magical, peaceful, and wonderfully shared moments during this advent and christmas season. one thing is for sure… this has been the most spiritual, meaningful, powerful, and disciplined advent season i have ever experienced. interestingly, i did not step foot in a church or take part in any other organized religion’s activity the entire time. what i did do was devote at least 30 minutes every morning to myself for reading, writing, reflecting, and/or meditating. that time every day was perhaps one of the greatest gifts i received this christmas.

anyway… here are some holiday moments that i captured with my camera – some of them spent alone, but most of them spent in the presence of loved ones. enjoy!

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click on the photo to watch the video!

here’s to wishing you a very merry christmas filled with love & peace.