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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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onwards + upwards! xo

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meditation mondays: i have a dream | from the states to sweden and everywhere all around

two weeks ago today i stood on the steps of the lincoln memorial in washington, dc. in the exact spot where martin luther king, jr. stood and delivered his “i have a dream” speech in august of 1963. standing in his footsteps was a powerful moment for me. inspiring and overwhelming, as i looked out over the national mall down towards the washington monument, seeing the exact same thing that MLK did as he shared his dream of a world of justice and peace.

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today, as you read this, i am a bundle of nerves. it’s moving day for me and i am making my way to the airport in newark, nj and boarding a plane, once again, to move and create a new adventure for me + my little family… in sweden! that’s right. today’s the day that i leave my beloved american soil behind and land on my beautiful swedish ground to begin the next chapter of my own dream. what that dream looks like, i actually do not know. the road that i take to fulfill my dreams is unknown. and all of the experiences – hardships + triumphs – that i will encounter, i cannot even imagine. what i do know it this: i am on my way… and moving forward is always right.

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but, what i want to remind myself + each one of us today, is that the best dreams that we have for ourselves, are not just for ourselves. they are shared dreams – they are dreams, like MLK’s dream, that are for everyone. because, if we are honest with ourselves, what kind of life is it, if we make our personal dreams come true and continue to let others suffer around us? how much will we enjoy, knowing that our brothers + sisters down the street and around the world struggle even to survive? is it even possible to make our dreams come true without others?

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no, our dreams need to be bigger. this is not to say that you and i don’t have specific gifts and abilities and dreams and visions for how we live out our lives, but today is a call and a reminder, that we live out our own dreams with the hope that everything that we do makes a difference in this world. that everything that we do brings about more joy, more, peace, and more happiness. that we continue to learn to share our lives with each other.

besides… aren’t we all equals? aren’t we all humans? and don’t we all – no matter what color, size, gender, religion, nationality, etc – deserve the same opportunities to live the life that we dream?

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so, this move that i am making today; this embarking on a new phase my dream, is not just about me. it’s about all of us, everywhere. and i truly, from deep within, hope that as i fulfill, yet again, another dream of mine to live in europe and expand my horizons, that i do so with the knowledge that i carry a responsibility to use my life for something good. to use this next phase in my life to make a difference and to further the dream that MLK once spoke about. and that one day… all will be equal. all will be lifted up. and i will have spoken up + done something to help make that dream come true.

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“And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black and white, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” – Martin Luther King, Jr. *

 

onwards + upwards to freedom!! xoxo

 

* of course, i include men, women, children, all religions and all countries in this quote. i believe that MLK includes all as well. i just wanted to note that our language and our world view has changed a bit since 1963. but, don’t you agree? MLK would include everyone in every place.

i’m a pro at building castles in the air

oh these dark days of advent… they’ve got me all messed up in my head. i am someone who is always positive and i have a pretty good level of self confidence. but, recently, i have started doubting myself. wondering if i will ever accomplish the things that i want to accomplish… and, the shitty thing is, i know exactly what i want, and yet, i don’t do it. well, in some ways i don’t do it. in other ways, it’s all i do. hard to explain.


my love is finishing her last final exam today and what that means is that this part of her journey is over. she has reached her goal and accomplished it all with an amazing amount of success. i have watched her over the past 2 years as she decided what she want, fought for her life to make it possible, made it happen, and then reached her ultimate dream. she is freaking amazing. i am so inspired by her. and i am so ready to celebrate her achievements with her!

she even said to me this morning, with a beautiful smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye, that she has made her dreams come true. and then, she told me that she knows that i will make mine come true too. and i saw and felt her complete belief in me in her eyes.

but i’m not so sure… right now, in these dark days, i’m wondering if i am capable of it (a thought that is usually so foreign to me).

i’m so big picture. so dreamy, with my head in the clouds. i have grand ideas and i plan them all out, but i have a super hard time following through. i cannot focus. i don’t work my ass off like she does. but, oh how i want to. and i know that all i have to do is actually just BEGIN. but, something is holding me back. something like myself. and something else takes my attention. like right freaking now – i am blogging this instead of reading through my journals for my book. what is wrong with me?

[ now, friends, this is not a “poor me” post at all. this is simply me reflecting and being totally honest with myself. i think it’s important to look honestly at ourselves, even if the truth is hard to see and it hurts, to admit. and, if you have read my blog for a while, you will know that this is how i process stuff.]

anyway, just as i was beating myself up more and more – yet so grateful for my love’s complete, unconditional belief in me, i decided to head outside to the balcony for a minute to snap a photo of this morning’s sunrise – something that i have now done every morning in december. when i came in, i looked at the photo for a minute and then stumbled across this quote that i have never seen before:

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.” :: Henry David Thoreau

as soon as i read it, some of the pain + guilt that i feel was released. i realized that there is nothing wrong with me, and there are things that i need to change all at the same time. i’ve got the first part of the quote down pat, i’d say. i’m a pro at building castles in the air and dreaming big dreams, believing that they will come true. the foundation part, the part where you work with the universe to create your dream into reality… not so much. still, according to thoreau, i’m on the right track. and i’ve got people behind me. i always have. my love, being my biggest supporter + cheerleader.

but, i need to figure out what comes next. how the hell do i get stuff moving to the next phase? why am i missing some integral, motivational thing that others have? why do i want something to happen and then don’t want to do anything to make it happen?

of course, i’ve had dreams before… and i have made them come true. and, of course, i know that there is such a thing as timing – that things will unfold in due time, and it will all be better that i had imagined it. so, i know that i must be patient and work with the universe to manifest my dreams. but, i also know that action is freaking required. and right now, for my current dreams, it is here that i am lacking motivation/energy/willpower.

so, i will just send this post out there into the universe. i am not asking for any advice or anything. i am just rambling and talking. what i do ask is that you send some vibes and goo energy out there on my behalf, or think of me. i can use the inspiration. feeling this way is very very strange to me. i never feel down on myself. but, as the season of advent call for, i embrace the little dark, not so great places inside of me. i will sit with them. because know that the light is stronger, and that i will find a way to make shit happen. thanks for listening, dear friends.

light + love xx

writing my memoir: researching myself

i’m doing it. i am making it happen. that book of mine… preparations are underway. i’m all alone this evening, so i am making the most of my time. and i am loving every minute of it. and i am telling you about it so that i am held accountable. i need that… so, push me + cheer me on anytime you want. it’ll only get me to write faster (and i’d be ever so appreciative)!

anyway, tonight i have pulled out all of my journals + my past blog posts, and i am researching myself. I’ve gone all the way back to 2007, the year that I “died” and began a new life. i am perusing through old memories, reading old words that i wrote, feeling old feelings that i felt, and putting it all together in my head. making it make sense. organizing it and creating my own memoir – my lessons on being, loving + living. everything that i have learned about stripping myself down to nothing, to becoming an empty shell of a human, and then, from the empty place, ready to grab life and discover my passion – ready to finally live a completely free + authentic life. a life that is true to my soul.

i am overwhelmed + extremely emotional right now. but, it feels so good. and from here on out, this is going to consume me. until I freaking get it done. because, in my soul, i know that it is time. it is time to tell my story.

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light + love to you all, dear readers.