trees-and-flowers

when you are in need of a hero

you know, there are days when we feel strong and courageous, like we can take on the whole world. and there are days when we feel practically helpless, exhausted, and disheartened.

i, for one, am feeling the first right now. i feel peaceful and empowered. but i feel that even in the midst of uncertainty and confusion.

i ran across a quote the other day, i don’t know who said it, but it spoke to me. it was like a big fat kick in the ass, a reminder, a little pep talk, and a great motivator. and i think it’s appropriate no matter how we are feeling in any given moment. if we feel weak, then this quote reminds us that we are in control. that we have tons of power that we can tap into. and, if we feel strong, then this quote just pushes us to reach even higher. to go even farther.

ultimately, it’s just about claiming our lives as our own. taking control and believing in who we are and who we want to become.

so, friends, here’s your little pep for thursday:

hero-quote

onwards + upwards! xoxo

arrows

the lesson of the arrow

if i am honest with you, then lately i feel as if i have been completely unfocused. and, by lately, i mean about a year and a half. yes, i have been doing things that i have loved and living from my soul: writing, photography, blogging. and i have been doing it all with the hopes of making it my full-time way of making money. though, i haven’t been successful in that, nor have i known exactly how to make that happen.

the bottom line is, i have been doing things i love, but it feels like it has been without a clear focus.

what i have been lacking is a sense of purpose. that underlying, foundational thing that connects and gives meaning to everything i do. something that ties it all together. i haven’t felt that with me in a while… because everything i have been doing, i have been doing and enjoying and exploring and discovering, and yet, there has been a certain sense of emptiness under it all. i want my life to be a connected journey. not just flipping from one fun thing to the next without purpose.

i am not sure if i am explaining myself well, or if this makes any sense to you, but it is exactly how i have felt since moving to the states in the summer of 2013. it’s like being a little lost and unattached. like experiencing and trying so much, that i am going in a thousand different (fun) directions.

what i need is a theme.

you know, like on a blog, or in a paper that you have to write. what is that one thread, that universal thing that runs through everything that you write in that paper? or what is the image or focus that you want to have on your blog that determines your layout, design, colors, and content? i need something like that.

so, i’ve been bee-bopping around in life, exploring the things that i love, and now that i am in sweden it has become clear to me that i have been missing my thread, that somewhere i forgot my truth, even if i have been living it.

now, the thing is, i haven’t actually lost my thread or my theme or my truth. i just have ignored or forgotten it. it’s been there all along. and, as i perused through my journal recently and looked back over the past year and half, i began to see my truth, that red thread, weaving itself in and out of everything that i do and am.

and you know how i found my way back to my truth? my purpose? my “thing”? through updating my resume/cv, of all things. 

yep, in that most mundane and boring chore, i translated my resume from swedish to english, and thought about the fact that i seem to make myself fit into every job that i am applying for, instead of letting me be the center. and i realized that i need to shift my focus. to say “this is who i am and what i have to offer” instead of ” you have this to offer and i am going to prove to you that i can do this.” it’s really hard to explain. but, it returns the power to myself, as the one who will seek out something that matches who i am, instead of letting all of the employers out there have all of the power and i’m just little old me trying to squeeze myself into their place.

anyway, as i worked on my resume, i spontaneously decided to add a little introduction to the top of it. only 3-4 sentences. just an opening, stating my mission basically. i had no idea what i was going to say, but just clicked away on the computer keys and out popped my very own purpose statement – complete with a red thread that has run all through my life. and it felt suddenly like everything was connected. that even the past year and half made sense to me, and i saw clearly, once again, the thread that has been running through my life from the beginning. i just had to be reminded of it all.

it’s my destiny. my calling. my personal legend.

so, what this all means to me is that i feel calm inside. way calmer than i have in a long time. especially since moving. this process of rediscovering my truth has given me focus and clarity. it’s made me feel like i haven’t lost touch with who i am, and who i have been, but i have only evolved.

and now it’s time to spring forward. but, with a very grounded, clear sense of purpose.

and that purpose affects everything that i do. including this website. as i get a clearer sense of how i might be of use in the world at this point in my life, i have this deep feeling that i want to lay down belovelive. that i want to move forward from it. what that means or how that looks, i have no idea. but, i will just sit with those feelings and see what comes of it. just like i will see what comes of my active job search. trusting that everything will be grounded in my sense of purpose… my desire to inspire + educate.

arrows

like a arrow , pulled taught, and ready to be thrust forward, i, too, am aimed + focused + ready to be let loose.

you know, many nature-loving spiritual traditions see the drawing and releasing of an arrow is a spiritual, ritualistic practice. the bow, from which the arrow is released is the place where dreams, thoughts, and creativity gathers. it is where we harness our potential by filling our quiver with all of our talent, knowledge and passion. and, you can guess, what the releasing of the arrow indicates: the perfectly aimed, focused release of all of those goals, dreams, creativity, and purpose towards its target. it is the archer’s will being released.

some people went a step further and marked their arrowheads with their intentions. the ancient celts of ireland wrote spells, and the sioux indians painted symbolic geometric designs on theirs.

the symbol of the arrow is something powerful for me right now. it gets at the heart how i feel. intent, determined, focused. but, there is more to it than just releasing and hitting the target.

there is work to be done with the drawing of the arrow too. it’s the focus that is in pulling the arrow back. this must be a calm act. a place where we quietly, intentionally draw all of our creative +intellectual inspiration together. it requires patience, cunning wit, intuition, openness, and a completely relaxed, yet steady,  state of being.

and then, we breathe deeply + release our arrow. and our spirit takes flight towards its goal.

happy weekend, lovely people! draw your arrow back and gather all of your thoughts and dreams and desires, and then let your soul soar straight to it’s goal!

onwards + upwards! xoxo

the arrows in my photo are two cherokee indian arrows that my love and i bought in the great smoky mountains national park in north carolina. they’re the real shit! 

fika-reading

when life is like the movies

there is a scene in one of my favorite movies, ‘you”ve got mail’, that, when i see it, i think to myself, “i want that to be part of my life”. i’ve looked all over the internet for a photo of that exact moment in the scene to share with you, but i can’t find it anywhere. so, bear with me as i share a photo of just after my favorite little moment + describe this short snippet…

Youve-Got-Mail-Coffee-Shop

meg ryan plays a free-spirited, live from her heart, children’s bookshop owner named kathleen kelly whose business is closed down by the money-hungry, big business tycoon joe fox, played by tom hanks. seriously. a tom hanks/meg ryan movie. sooooo good. they are just magic together. anyway, in this scene near the end of the movie, kathleen has lost her store and is faced with reinventing her life. she is spending some of the newly acquired free time sitting at a window counter, sipping coffee, reading a book. all alone. just enjoying a quiet moment in busy new york city. soon, joe fox (spoiler!: they are now friends) appears outside the window, waving, and goes in to join her. that’s it. just a short, non-important scene in the movie. but, one that has stuck with me.

it’s such a typical nyc city scene, i think. and ever since i first saw that scene, crazy as it may sound, i found myself wanting to be her in that moment. alone. with my book + a cup of coffee. in the middle of the city. reading in the middle of whatever day it was. with a friend suddenly popping up to join me.

nelins-fika-sweden

today, i found myself doing just that. and, it wasn’t until i was in the middle of the moment myself, that i realized that i was living out that silly little scene from one of my favorite movies.

now, is this something that is petty + tiny +and really unimportant in the grand scheme of things? why, of course it is. i mean, c’mon, it’s me dreaming of living out something that happens in hollywood. something that wasn’t even real to begin with. it’s, as i’ve said… silly.

or is it? there is a part of me that thinks it’s not unimportant. of course, there are more important things than me finding the time to recreate a scene from a favorite movie. but, at the same time, this moment that i lived out in reality reminded me that movies make us dream + wish, and that’s a good thing. as long as we don’t go too far or get obsessed or forget to be grateful for what we have in our lives already. but, this was such a simple snippet of a movie, and i haven’t spent my life thinking about it, pining away for the moment i could be like meg ryan in ‘you’ve got mail’. this moment just happened. and it made me chuckle to myself and then give thanks for the crazy life that i live.

nelins-fika-piano

nelins-fika

here’s how it happened: today, when my love went off to fika with a friend, i decided to have my own little fika, but i had no idea where i would go. suddenly i saw a little cafe that was new – it wasn’t here when we lived here before, and i decided to go in. as i passed by its windows, i noticed a little window counter with some stools and decided i’d grab my coffee and plop myself down there to read and watch people. so, i ordered a blueberry muffin and a french coffee press, and made my way to this cozy space. it was not until i had cracked open the book, eaten my muffin, and drank half of my coffee, that i realized that i was leaning over, devouring the words on the page, resting my head on my hand, and completely enjoying this simple solitary moment in the middle of the day. however, i still had not even thought about the movie. just then, i looked up and saw a dear friend/family member appear outside the window, waving at me. he came in, walked over to me, we embraced, and then he joined me for a bit.

fika-window-seat-cozy

fika-window-seat

when he had gone, i turned back to my book and my mind drifted to the the movie… i’d just lived out that favorite scene of mine! which, in itself is no big deal, but in the scheme of dreaming dreams about life and creating the kind of life that you want, it is a damn big deal.

so, with a quirky little grin on my face, i gazed out the window at the people passing by, took another sip of coffee, and turned back to the words on the page on the counter. here i was, an expat living in sweden, once again. creating the life that i had dreamed of, and giving thanks for all of the simple little things that make my life what it is.

me-fika-reading me-fika

onwards + upwards! xo