55 – The age of Freedom

I am 55 years old and I feel like my life just started.

When I was a child and a young girl I had such dreams but I was also extremely shy and insecure, so the dreams stayed just that – dreams, my fears were very effective. The few times I voiced my dreams, I was told to forget it. “That’s ridiculous”, they said, “You can never do that. What if you fail?” Does this sound familiar? Fear of failure became the name of the game. And I was scared.

I grew up and had children, 4 of them, and became a full time mother for the next 30 years. I used the time wisely by educating myself and getting to know ME. It forced me to face my fears, to acknowledge that I had taken the easy way out by listening to the negative voices in and around me INSTEAD of just going for that dream, even if I would fail.

One day the children were all adult and had left home, I had only myself to answer to and I realised that now, NOW is the time, this is my chance to dust off those dreams and make them come true!

The world around me says that I am too old, but this time I am not believing anybody but myself. I’m old enough to not care. The only voice I am listening to is MY inner voice. And she tells me it’s time to rock’n roll!

One of my most attractive dreams as a child was to be part of a circus. I wanted to ride ponies and do funky stuff.

Well, guess what? Now I am doing just that; I am part of a troupe that do pony-shows and fire-shows. I do mounted archery; shooting arrows from a galloping horse. If you can’t join a circus – create one!

I also want to do acrobatics in the air, I feel passionate about it. And though I am fit as a fiddle it is far from enough. Besides which, I have a fear of heights. Am I going to let this stop me? HELL NO! Aerial acrobatics? Sure it will take time, who cares? I have all the time in the world and I am on this exciting life journey.

The most important thing I did to this point was bringing up the children. Was I a good mother? I have no idea, but I was the best mother I could be and this goes for everything else I have ever done and will do. This releases me from those oh so painful regrets that I struggled with all the time, I was the master of regret.

So to all you people, young and old; life is an ongoing journey and you never really know where it will take you. Don’t let anybody dictate your rules. And don’t for a minute believe that age is an issue: On the contrary, the older you get, the more freedom and choices you have.

Here some pictures of what I did this magical 55th year of my life

The Heart of a Woman

Men fight for power, women fight for life.

Woman fights to carry and give birth to the life in her womb. She fights to feed and keep safe the child she brought to life.

When men fight for the power, woman suffers the death of the fighting men, for all these men were brought forth through her body and heart.

Woman fights for life, because it is all she knows. She creates it, carries it, nurtures it and weeps over the loss of it.

The heart of woman is in pain as she watches the wanton destruction of the life she worked so hard to create and fought to protect.

The heart of a woman breaks as she is ridiculed, violated and thrown aside. When she is forcefully silenced by those who should protect her, those whom she loves.

A woman’s heart weeps as she arms herself to fight against life for life itself.

A woman’s heart is never silenced…hrtFotolia_36837226_Subscription_Monthly_XL-960x815

The difference between letting go and running away

The one thing I learned in my turbulent life was to let go – of everything. I was moved between countries, between homes, between schools and every time all was lost; not only friends and places but also things. My magic boxes full of little insignificant treasures, my clothes, my toys. The first time I was displaced I also lost the person I loved the most, she who was peace and security to me, I never saw her again. I was just about to turn seven.

That was the first time I was displaced; I found myself in a new country without any of my belongings except a teddy-bear and a school-book. I struggled to understand, to fit in, to learn the language, to not be afraid. I locked myself in a shell and lived in a fantasy-world in my head. I was beaten, mocked and un-loved, waiting for the day when I could go “home”, to a place that didn’t exist anymore. A place which it would take another 35 years before I saw again.

The same scenario happened over and over again, albeit in the same country. I went to 14 different schools and never graduated. I collected new treasures and every time there was a move, an upheaval, the treasures were lost. Finally this became my reality. I stopped having treasure-boxes.

I learned to trust nobody, I learned to not get attached, I learned to live in my head and I learned to be safe in insecurity. It formed me and how I would live my life. I watched but didn’t join in.

When, as an adult woman with children, I finally settled down into a safe place I was happy. I thought I was settled – for real. But then the upheaval came again and I left for another country, another life. I couldn’t stay. In my new country I spent years waiting, unknowingly, for the day of yet another departure, because that was all I knew. Keep going, leaving, letting go. I am an expert at letting go.

One day I realised that I didn’t want to do it again. I didn’t want to be a displaced person. I wanted to form attachments, I wanted to watch the future unfold around me, in one place. I just wanted peace. I wanted to build something that was mine, create a small niche in the universe where I co-existed.

I made a decision to stay and form that future right where I am. It was scary, it still is. I am not sure how long it will take before I find peace in my decision, but it has to be done.

There is a lot of talk about the importance of letting go, and it is important to know how to let go. But it is also important to learn to stop and be part. To accept and take responsibility for that. Because if you are an expert let-go’er, you never catch up with yourself. You end up living your life on the bylines, watching life rather than living it, never fighting for anything because it’s easier to walk away. Peace comes from within and no matter where you are, it is there.

I might be displaced again in the future, but today it is no longer part of my plan. I am thawing inside, unlocking my heart to let life in. I am still expert at letting go, but now I do allow and  fight for that which is important to me. I am starting a new magic box of treasures. Almost 50 years have passed since that first little death of trust and I am re-structuring my soul, having dreams, taking part and being there.cropped-hagen.jpg

I don’t have a television

I don’t and I never did. Yes, during the years when the children were growing up we had one though there were a few reasons why it never became a major part of our lives: We lived in the middle of the forest so reception was only good when weather was clear. Besides we lived in Sweden and only had the 2 channels that sort of come automatically, they don’t rock.

When I came to Luxembourg I planned to have one, sort of, but all the hassle, costs and my basic disinterest made it never happen. I had a cheap telly for watching movies, but that went out the door the moment I realized I could do it on my computer…I’m not picky, I just want to be entertained so screen-size, sound etc matters nothing to me. Besides, televisions are really big and ugly, even if they are fancy flat-screens hanging on the wall. Ugly!

And you know, if you are in a room with people and a TV, the people will constantly look at the TV, even if it’s not on and I find that irritating, weird and a bit crazed. There you are, chatting away, having drinks and snacks and the person you’re talking to is constantly looking toward the telly. So you start wondering if they are even hearing what you’re saying? HELLO, I’m here! The whole room is designed around that ugly thing, so wherever you sit (or stand) it’s the main focal point. My living room is a ….Living room. It’s made for movement, creativity and hanging out

I do stuff and I am a very creative person. I love doing stuff; sewing, reading, writing, dancing, drawing, gardening, studying and research…I love my own company and the conversations I, me and myself have are absolutely riveting. Since coming to Luxembourg “we” even do it in different languages…🙂

People ask me how I get so much done, they think I am this totally speedy doer. I’m not. I just have lots of time to do stuff since there is no disruption of a telly. I do watch YouTube tutorials for things I like to learn; lately I have learned to make silk-flowers and pearl embroidery and I have made some beautiful stuff. I learn to sew better and create the pretty stuff I have in my head but can’t afford to buy. This is what I do when others watch television. Last evening I finished a pearl embroidered belt to go with my beautiful New Look skirt that I sewed a couple of days ago. Practice makes perfect and practice takes time. So if you have creative ideas or want to get stuff done; chuck that ugly ol’ thing and get into action. You will never look back!NewLookBälte

Supercrooks and Superheroes

Super heroesWhen I was a kid I used to love comics. It started when I was just a wee girl in Japan back in the early 60’s, watching Manga animations on the telly. My favourite was the “Golden Skeleton” and I especially remember one episode where the boy and the girl were trapped in a steel box that was slowly filling up with water….Ah, the thrill of fear! At the very last minute the Golden Skeleton entered the scene, ripping the box apart, saving the boy and the girl. This might sound really random and sort of gross, but these comics left me with the secure notion that there would always be a Golden Skeleton (aka super hero) to save me and the world. I would always be safe. With time and growing up of course I realised that this wasn’t the case. But, on the other hand, there were no super crooks really, just the cold war…and that ended.

Now there are super crooks, like Monsanto, going for world domination. A real honest-to-god comic-book like super crook. Monsanto wants to control the food, our sustenance, wants to turn it into a chemical cocktail of poison. Monsanto is killing the bees, the soil, nature and us. And what about Nestlé and the water? Another super crook trying to control the very essence of life.

Where is the superhero? Where is Golden Skeleton?

Watching the reactions of people around the world, my conclusion is this:

We are all heroes, each and every one of us, and when we unite in one voice we become a superhero. When united, nobody can overrule us, not Monsanto, not Nestlé. We are the majority and as weak as we are on our own, as strong we can be when united.

 

THE MAGIC OF SMILING

Smile!

Smile!

“When you’re smiling, when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you”

So the song goes and it’s absolutely true. Smiling is contagious; other people who meet your smile will start smiling as well. Isn’t that a beautiful thing – that we can light up our world with such a simple action. A smiling face sends a message of peace and friendship, it opens to connecting with other people. You’d much rather deal with somebody who’s smiling and you have probably experienced how a grumpy person suddenly became a great deal friendlier when you smiled at them.

Smiling is so much more…

When you smile, the muscle-movement sends signals to your brain, making it release endorphines, the “feel-good-hormone”. The same goes for crying, that’s why you feel relief after a good cry. If you think about it; a picture of somebody crying can sometimes look confusingly like they’re smiling. So even though you don’t feel happy, you will feel better by pulling your face into a smile…Isn’t that great news! It might only be a grimace, but the endorphines will blow some life into that smile, making it wider as you feel better.

If you feel bad or low, try a smile and I can assure you that you will feel, not great, but better. Try using the vowel “e” and keep it long; “eeeeeeeeeeeeeee” and there you have it!

Research also shows that the impact is higher if you watch yourself in a mirror.

Besides, when you smile you use a lot of facial muscles which actually will make your face look better in the long run. As we age, our facial expressions become etched into our faces; worry, anger and disapointment can become your “default” look as well as happiness. Smiles will turn your wrinkles into something attractive and beautiful as you age…

Essential oils to bring some smiles into your life:

Citrus-oils, especially Bergamott, Orange and Mandarin brings sun into a grey feeling.

Ylang-ylang; very good when there is anger involved. Uplifting and euphoric.

Geranium; a great emotional balancer, especially good for irritation.

May Chang, also called Litsea cubeba. Has a sweet citrusy deep scent. Makes tensions fade away.

Lavender; Calming and clearing to the head. Can help dispel negativity.

The best way to use essential oils as mood enhancers is by inhalation:

  • 1-2 drops on a tissue that you can carry around, I usually stuff it in my bra, then I have the scent wafting up to my nose.

  • In an aromalamp or diffuser, be careful not to overdose…A little goes a long way. If you get a headache or in any way feel uncomfortable, breath some fresh air and lower the dose.

  • In a bowl of warm water.

Essential oils disperse into the air with the help of heat and movement (like using a fan). The amounts of drops you use depends on the space you want to scent and your own preference. Always start low, you can add more oil if you want to.

Remember: After 3 minutes your system has adapted to the scent and you can no longer smell it. Don’t add more oils, go outside and breath or smell fresh coffee to clean your “scent-palate”. Another good trick is to inhale through wool, that also helps neutralize your scent.

Consumer responsibility

Over the past couple of years I have watched the internet explode with posts and articles about multimillion dollar companies exploiting us and the Earth. There are outrageous outcries about cracking, GMO foods, chemtrails, cruelty to animals…Just to mention a few.

Yes, I agree. But it didn’t happen overnight, did it? We are all responsible for this, we allowed it to happen. I can’t remember hearing more than vague murmurs during most of my life. And the people who complained back in the 60’s and 70’s when it was still ”sort of” reversible, were stamped as hippies, new age-people and ”green-wavers” which, at the time, was not a compliment. They were idiots to not get on the band-wagon of consumerism…Who on earth would ever want to go back to ”the old way of living”? Only crazy people. The Brave New World had finally come to mankind…

No to atomic power

No to atomic power

On March 23, 1980 there was a vote about nuclear power in Sweden. There were 3 options, none of them was for keeping or expanding nuclear power. This was a really hot subject and I remember demonstrations all over the country. People were divided, a lot of people really wanted nuclear power and there was fighting in the streets. This was a massive happening.

The options were:

  • 1) Nuclear power is phased out at a pace that is possible given the need of electrical power for maintaining employment and welfare. (18.94%)
  • 2) Same as option nr 1 but with the addition of excess profits in hydropower production are redeemed through taxation. All future energy facilities of significance would be owned by the state and municipalities.(39.12%)
  • 3) No to the continued expansion of nuclear power and the decommissioning of the reactors in operation within maximum ten years.(38.65%)

Option number 3 won, people rejoiced…

30 years later, March 22, 2010 (note the date), the government declared a new proposition saying:

Nuclear power – more responsibility and opportunities for generations. Those old units shall, with the fulfillment of certain conditions, get replaced by new ones on the same site as the old”

I haven’t heard any complaints, people are not hitting the streets to demonstrate against this proposition which is actually overriding what was decided through a democrative vote…YAY democracy…

Where are all those people who were protesting back in 1980? The people that really thought it mattered, that cared enough to take to the streets to make themselves heard? Maybe they are all dead or maybe they are just mumbling in their warm houses in front of the wide-screen telly, I don’t know. I do know that they are being very loudly horrified by Fukoshima, even more than they were about Tjernobyl, which actually hit Sweden rather badly.

It’s a sad state of affairs, but the truth. 

It’ same, same with almost everything; if it’s there, we’ll use it indiscriminately…God forbid that our comfort or consumer hunger would be threatened. Water, anyone?