Tag Archives: peace

All those little learnings add up

14269677_10153579724000834_1955684473_nAfter each day I think about what I have learned. It’s important to me and I make it a point to learn something every day, no matter how small or mundane.

The willingness to learn is how you learn, you start paying attention to both your surroundings and what goes on in your head. You try new things and test your borders – just to see if you can.

Along the way you collect all the keys you need to live that wow-life that everybody talks about. It starts in the little things.

Every evening, think of your day; what made you grateful? happy? …and what did you learn?

Every evening you will find yourself one step closer to what you want and you set yourself up to win.

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

TUBEROSE – queen of forbidden pleasures

Polianthes tuberosa

Polianthes tuberosa

Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) is native to Central America. Its native name Omixochitl means bone flower and was widely used by the Aztecs 600 years ago for its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Maybe they also used it in their chocolate for its heady and sensual effects? Mmmm, chocolate for lovers…

When first brought to Europe it was cultivated in Grasse for use in perfumery, now it is mainly cultivated in Morocco, China, South Africa, France, Comoros Islands and India. The clusters of flowers grow on a 50 cm high stalk. This is a night-blooming flower which is harvested early in the morning when the buds are closed. The flower gives off its scent over a long time, when cut and put in a room they will scent the entire room. The best way to extract the scent is by enfleurage which is the most time-consuming way of extraction but gives the truest scent. Another, more commonly used method is solvent extraction which gives an absolute. It takes 1 200 kg of flower buds to get 200 grams of absolute, making tuberose one of the most expensive scents.350px-Polianthes_tuberosa

The scent of Tuberose is extremely complex and changes over time; a cut flower will change its scent from sweetly floral with slight campherous notes to earthy and musky notes as the flower matures and finally the scent turns to rot and bloody meat as the flower turns brown and dies.  This dramatic change, thankfully, does not happen with the absolute 🙂 The absolute has a strong heady, sweet floral scent with a musky undertone. It is deeply sensual, relaxing, narcotic and exciting. The scent is considered to enhance emotional strength and depth by centering the mind, bringing peace and serenity. Its exciting and sensual properties makes it an aphrodisiac.

"Innocence" by Arthur hacker (1858-1919)

“Innocence” by Arthur hacker (1858-1919)

During the renaissance, young unmarried women were forbidden to walk in the gardens of tuberose as it was believed that the scent of the flowers would arouse their passions and give them instant orgasms. Women put tuberose flowers under their skirts to attract and seduce men.

There is a Right Place for everybody

I am Swedish, my papers say so and my parents are Swedish. I was born in Japan and lived there until I was seven years old when we moved to Sweden. I felt Japanese and considered Japan my home. My “mother” was my Japanese nanny whom I loved dearly , she was my “safe place”. Sweden was not a nice place for me to come to, I was treated like an unwanted immigrant and I kept waiting to “go home” (to Japan). Finally, at 11 years of age I realized that this would never happen and was thrown into despair. Life was unkind to me in Sweden, I was too different and just couldn’t fit in no matter how hard I tried.

As a young adult I traveled around Europe and felt much more at ease in other countries than “my own” and I “became” European. I lived my life in Sweden feeling constantly unsafe, as if bad things could happen at any time, I just didn’t feel comfortable. But I got on with my life. After 30 years in Sweden I finally went back to Japan for a visit and though I felt at home in my heart I realized that I did not belong there anymore, nor did I “belong” in Sweden.

Then life changed, as it does, dramatically and I chose to leave Sweden for good. With a little van I moved my entire life to Luxembourg (why and how is a whole different story). It was not very planned and the first years were extremely difficult, still I felt safe and happy here – as if the country embraced me in welcome and I felt happy even in my scariest and most insecure moments. I have now lived here 7 years and every day I thank myself for taking this step, every day I feel love and gratitude toward my new country. I don’t know if I will stay here always, I might find somewhere else I want to go, but I know for a fact that I will never return to Sweden (except for wonderful visits).

I have been judged and criticized for not liking Sweden by other Swedes, apparently you must love your country…These people will not give me the time of day, they consider me a traitor of the worst order. They also are not fond of immigrants. Lots of people love Sweden, and lots of people choose it as “their” country, living happy lives there no matter where they originally came from. Papers and genetics don’t define who we are, our personal selves do. Getting stuck on nationality and “MY country” is dangerous, this is what make people go to war. Nationalism was the cornerstone of Hitler’s political agenda and people bought it, lock stock and barrel.

Moral? There is a “right place” for everybody. Me and Sweden are just not compatible, it doesn’t make Sweden a bad place or me a bad person. I am compatible with Luxembourg. I have African, Turkish, Serbian, Indian friends in Sweden who are totally compatible with the country. Good for them. If you are lucky enough to find your right place, embrace it and stay in Peace.

JUST LIVING LIFE

My last child just left home. I have had children leave home for 10 yrs and have gotten sort of used to it. But each time before, there was still another child there…or a few. I knew, for many months, that this last one was leaving and I also looked forward to being just me, after 27 years of living a life that revolved around my children because, when they came, I wanted to be next to them until they left me and I wanted it more than anything else. I have used these many years wisely; learning craft and trade, patience and experience. Upon taking stock of those years I realize the staggering amount of knowledge I have accumulated and I wonder how it happened 🙂 I was just living life.

The last weeks before the Little One left, we spent much time together in conversation about all things between heaven and earth. She is as hungry for understanding as I remembered myself to be and kept pushing for answers, irritated by how complicated it was to get them.

“This is life”, I told her. “This, all of this. The answers to your questions; Life is the answer. The time, the frustrations, the understandings, all this is life and it takes a lifetime, no matter how short or long it may be. By living life we are answering our questions, life is what happens when we are living.” As I heard myself speak I felt a deep satisfaction over my life, about all I have done, learned and accomplished. And most of all I felt that deep sense of peace that I was looking for in my youth.

Experience and knowledge take time to collect and all phases in our lives contribute to who we become. From feeling impatient about the time everything took, I am now deeply grateful for that time so that now, when I enter a new phase of life, I have the tools and the knowledge to succeed in what I undertake. I am glad for all my years, for the overview it brings me and I am glad to see that every single thing that happened to me in life, good or bad, taught me something valuable. I was just living life.

SPIKENARD

Spikenard or Narde (Nardostachys jatamansi / N. grandiflora): It belongs to the Valerian family and has similar properties as its cousin Valerian (Valeriana officinalis). A flowering plant that grows to a height of about 1 meter, the rhizomes are distilled to produce the essential oil. It is native to the Himalayas; China, northern India and Nepal, mostly cultivated in Nepal and India. The best quality oil comes from Nepal. Spikenard is a slightly viscous, greenish-brown oil, darkening with age. The scent is deep and fresh, reminiscent of earth after rain, with a hint of fruity overtones.

History: Nard was (and is) used in the Indian tradition of Ayur veda. In ancient Egypt it was a luxury perfume and upon investigating the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1926, small alabaster vessels were found with a solidified, scented unguent (ointment, solid perfume) which turned out to be perfumed with spikenard and frankincense. Spikenard was also one of the ingredients in the ancient Egyptian perfume “Kyphi” that was burned at dusk to make sure the life-giving sun would return the next day. It was an important part of the Hebrew traditions where it was a component of the sacred incense, HaKetoret, wich was burned in the Jewish temple of Jerusalem. Spikenard in Hebrew is Nard and translates as Light. Most people recognize the name due to its mention in the bible (Song of Solomon, Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9). Spikenard was the oil used by Mary Magdalene to anoint the feet of Jesus at the last supper (John 12:1-10). At the time, spikenard was extremely costly and Judas Iscariot was outraged by the fact that it was used, seeing as the amount used was worth about a year’s wages for an ordinary working man. The Greek word for Spikenard means genuine and pure.

With such an illustrious history from ancient times, Spikenard is bound to tickle the imagination. Many believe that its claim to fame is due to the high cost it carried, but spikenard was not the only costly scent at the time; myrrh and  frankincense  were also extremely costly – even more so than gold. On researching the oil I find a red thread which points to the spiritual properties of the scent; Spikenard connects us to the divine.

USES:

  • SKIN: Balancing, regenerating and healing. Mature skin, psoriasis (1% blend), allergies, itching, skin-problems. Healthy skin maintenance.
  • DIGESTIVE SYSTEM: Antispasmodic and digestive: nausea, constipation, colic and cramps.
  • CIRCULATION: Harmonizes & stimulates circulation. Haemorrhoids, varicose veins. Regulates heartbeat.
  • NERVOUS SYSTEM & EMOTIONAL: Balancing, calming, grounding, harmonizing: Insomnia, migraine, stress, nervous tension, insecurity, anxiety. Deep emotional wounds. Can be of use in working through addictions, especially drugs.

Spikenard works on the solar plexus in a deeply calming manner. It is liberating and profoundly soothing. It releases emotional tension and being  at the same time grounding and opening it bring us in touch with our inner spirituality.

Personal: The word that comes to me is surrender. Spikenard brings us to a place of such peace and tranquility, enveloping us in a deep sense of safety. In this place we can allow ourselves to let go of emotional wounds, fears and insecurities. It connects us to the divinity within and lessens the stresses of the outside world. It shows us the way to heal from within. I mainly use this beautiful oil for emotional work. Its wonderful skin-care properties make it easy to incorporate as a releasing agent in the every-day life. Used as a facial oil you have the healing emotional benefits as well as excellent skin-care.

This oil resonates deeply within me. The first time I met Spikenard I was in the midst of a tremendously painful and difficult period of my life. It transported me to a place of such calm serenity, that all the difficulties fell away and I could see – for the first time –  solutions and possibilities. This moment brought me forever out of the worst trauma of my life. Till this day Spikenard is my doorway to assurance, peace and spirituality. It is probably the one oil I would always carry.

Considered a safe oil to use. As it has a ovary-stimulating action, I avoid using it during pregnancy. Spikenard is sometimes used in natural perfumery as a fixative.