There is something about hoar frost that I have always loved. It is so delicate yet so beautiful as it sparkles and shines in the beauty of the sun— even as it melts away. I love the fact that most people don’t know what it’s called, and that it is created by a beautiful blend of moisture, temperature, and light. In my memory it comes in late winter or early spring as the earth is coming out of it’s hibernation phase. Some of my favorite winter memories revolve around a ton of snow or a beautiful landscape of hoar frost.
I almost didn’t go hiking. I cut my foot, I had blisters, and I felt a little tired because I didn’t sleep well. Yet, I was restless and disappointed about the thought of staying home, and was feeling cooped up after all the hubbub over the holidays. I REALLY wanted to be in great nature and have a challenging hike instead of one along roads in towns. The previous time I hiked the trail disappeared, including all markings, just as it left town via a housing complex under development. I backtracked my steps because it was too late in the day to wander into the woods without a clear idea of where I was headed—especially since I was on a timeline to catch the last bus home.
I am so amazed that the hoar frost stayed all day. I am on the bus ride home with frost on the ground, some fog in the air, and a fantastic lengthened sunset (at 3:18 pm.) I also feel empowered, because the movement and peace helped my mind to clarify how to combine all of my skills into a lovely and beautiful healing process for everyone. I also worked through some beliefs I held about what is possible in my life (and what others expect from me) using EFT (tapping) as I was walking. Peaceful fields, hoar frost, and calming my mind by tapping easily moved me out of a place of feeling stuck and fearful back into a place of power and strength.
I am excited to come back to Minnesota to visit. I have two job offers in Sweden, so will be returning to Minnesota March 23rd to do massage, homeopathy, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT/tapping) in Red Wing and in Mahtomedi. I am finalizing dates and times currently, and will be in touch with anyone who has mentioned they are interested. I will also be holding a few free classes on EFT for those who want to learn it and use it for their own growth. It can help with many things, but the focus of these classes will be around daily use for stress, cravings, and fear.
Now that spring is coming fast, I encourage you to use the energy of growth and extended sunlight to challenge yourself in some way. What is it you want to do this year? How can you be a bit happier, a bit more peaceful, a bit more “you?” I have challenged you in previous newsletters and blogs to search within yourself and see clearly what beliefs you hold that drives you in life that do not suit you anymore. What do you do that has become pattern or habit or expectation, but does not really make you happy? Let’s work together in 2019 and get rid of that so you can be peaceful as you move through your days. With age comes wisdom and the power to dump all social expectations and step into our true selves. I wish this for you!
To continue the playfulness of last blog, and my friend who asked me to take a picture of something odd every day, I have not been finding anything odd, beyond myself, and the pronunciation of the Swedish language. No new fun toilets or anything!!
Hello everyone! My last few blogs and newsletters have been way too serious or philosophical, so I thought I would lighten it up and share some things that I am finding interesting and/or amusing.
(I apologize in advance for the picture formatting/sizing and placement. WordPress changed how I can work with pictures. They publish different than the back end shows, so I currently cannot get the pictures to do what they are supposed to. It looks great on this end!! I swear!!!)
1. Toilets. I know…who starts a business newsletter with toilets? I am having a strange fascination with the structure of toilets and flushing buttons, and finally used my first in-floor toilet in Italy. (Is that TMI??)
2. Spelling. Before I flew to the United Kingdom, I was considered great at spelling. But words are very different there than in the US, and I was reminded of that often. Even my computer picked up that I was in the UK and told me I was was misspelling words such as: theater (theatre), color (colour), neighbor (neighbour), license (licence) and so on. They actually use the word “whilst,” yet Americans avoid the word as much as we can. (Like swum… we much prefer to say “went swimming.”)
3. Enunciation. Training one’s ears to a different language can be challenging. My friend Martina, who is Italian, and I were taking turns reading to each other and I read the word “quarrel.” She suddenly stopped me and exclaimed “squirrel?!” while proceeding to take a squirrel pose and make squirrel-like noises. (It still makes us giggle!) We also had a great miscommunication about “leak” versus “lick,” which sound very similar to non-English speaking ears, as well as “hate” and “ate.” In Sweden, I am often corrected when I think I am pronouncing something PERFECTLY and my friends tell me it is completely wrong. I cannot hear the nuances of some words…yet!
4. Knives. Did you know it is illegal to carry around a knife that has a locking blade (think multitool, camping knives, etc) at all in England unless you are going camping? I didn’t. My friend’s 11-year old told me when he saw it lying on my bed. In Sweden, I also found out it is illegal to bring knives out of the house, so one cannot just grab the kitchen knife and go get it sharpened at the local grocery store. It is a good thing I know how to sharpen my knives myself! It does explain all of the extremely dull knives I have dealt with at hostels though.
5a. Bonfire night/ Guy Fawkes night. This holiday in the United Kingdom commemorates a failed plot to assassinate King James I of England back in 1605 (Catholic vs. Protestant.) There are large bonfires (often with an effigy of Guy Fawkes in it), fireworks, and toffee apples. It is cerebrated November 5th, and overshadows Halloween (which is barely celebrated here.) I found it delightful and community-oriented, and I managed to eat just as much junk food as usual.
5b. Armistice (Remembrance) Day. November 11th is Remembrance Day, and, unlike the US, it is taken very seriously over here. Many people start wearing their poppies a month in advance. One town I was in had structures all over town decorated with poppies, some of them handmade by the local artisans.
5c. Sant Lucia. This Italian Saint is also celebrated in Sweden on December 13th, although they have different traditions. In Italy, the kids bring letters to her, asking for what they want as a gift (like we do with Santa.) In Sweden, there are no gifts given, but often kids dress up and wake their parents with singing early in the morning dressed as Saint Lucy. There is a traditional saffron bread made as well. Here are the pictures from a concert and the homemade bread (I helped!!)
6. Strange Things in the Streets. My friend, Trish, asked me to post pictures of odd things I find as I am traveling (travelling??) She showed me her favorite butcher shop, who, for Christmas market, hangs pheasants, ducks, and other animals you can purchase outside. This shop also sells squirrel, which I have never eaten before. Maybe next time!
These water bottles strapped to a post are supposed to prevent dogs and cats from peeing there. I saw many framing doorways as well.
7. Navigating Trails. I am pretty good at navigating, but I find that not all public trails are marked thoroughly. For example, while I was in Italy, I decided to take the long version of this trail around a couple mountains. It is marked very well, just past the blue split to the north. Then, the trail splits about 4 times, none of which are marked. I thought I found the trail later, but it turned out it was someone’s property markings. After bushwhacking for about an hour straight up a beautiful mountain using a compass and Google Maps, I found my way back to the trail.
To be fair….perhaps sometimes I lose a trail because I get sidetracked or I think I’m smarter than Google (just because an unmarked-by-Google hiking trail crosses a road…. it doesn’t mean I can get on that road,) but I have seen a huge difference in the ways trails are marked in different countries and the resources available to find them. Hands-down Scotland had the best preparation information online, including length, bogginess, difficulty, pictures, descriptions, and a variety of ways to download the trail information. Sweden’s big trails are very well marked, but I have to buy a map/book/guide for each one.
8. Silly things that Make Life Easier.
I love these automatic light switches in pantries and closets that turn the light on and off when one opens and closes the door.
I also loved a garbage can, whose lid popped open when you opened the cupboard door under the sink. It’s truly the height of brilliance, as I am easily impressed.
This may not make life easier, but I loved the concept of a bunch of trees growing out of buildings. These buildings in Milano caught my attention, and I have been told I missed some that were better.
9. Seemingly Innocent Yet Dangerous Spots. The Strid, near Bolton Abbey in England, is a stream that goes from being about 6’ wide to about 1’ wide. The water rushing through it looks and seems fairly peaceful, but it is super dangerous, and has a 100% death rate for those who enter it. Cameras, cages, and anything else placed in the water here for research disappear. My friends jokingly call it “the babbling brook of death.”
10. Coming Home. I have two job interviews in Sweden in January. One on the West Coast in Gothenberg, the other on the East Coast in Stockholm. The outcome of those will determine when I will come home and for how long. I may be coming back in February or March for a few weeks when I accept a job. If I do not take one, I will not be home until June or July. Once I have my tickets and have confirmed with the spaces I rent, I will be booking people who are interested in massage and healing appointments. If you are interested, please let me know by replying to the newsletter, Facebook messaging me, or by texting me via my old Red Wing business line/mobile number.
11. New Certification! I am over halfway through my international certification process for Emotional Freedom Techniques a.k.a. tapping. It’s really amazing and I am seeing great results with my online clients. If you are interested in learning more, I am still offering it at a huge discount. **Note: Those who are seeing me for homeopathy and/or EFT also get first pick at massage appointments when I return.**
12.Other updates. if you missed my past blogs, you can find them HERE. One is a story of me thinking my tent was going to blow off a cliff with me in it. Quite exciting??!!
I miss you all and I miss Minnesota, but I am learning valuable and interesting things over here! I look forward to hearing from all of you. (BTW, if your plan is to come to Europe in the next 6 months or so, I might be able to meet you to say hello if you give me notice.)
In my last blog, I shared about some of the people that inspired me that I met on my hike. The majority of the rest of the hike was spent in contemplative thought about my own life and how to achieve my purpose and passion. If my mind started looping, I would talk out loud to myself in order to stay on track. Except of course for the 3 miles that the itsy-bitsy spider was stuck in my head. I sang it over and over again to the rhythm I was walking. It would not go away. Maybe my body wanted me to do the hand motions that went with it, but I was trying walking sticks with this hike to see if I liked them. (I do when my pack is too heavy and I’m going up steep stairs or up steep hills, but on flat or easy spots they’re just kind of annoying for me.) Then I started thinking about how I wish I knew it in Swedish so at least I could practice my Swedish. See….the ego is so good at keeping us safe instead of exploring deeper meaning and purpose!
What I really want to share with you today is about limiting beliefs. As I pondered how I can help people on both an individual and community level while make a bigger positive impact in the world, my ego, limiting beliefs, and societal imprints all kept trying to get in my way. I decided these are variations of the same theme. Little things that the mind tells us to justify/explain/prove WHY things are or are not happening. Why relationships aren’t working, why finances are tough, why “x” cannot happen or why “y” keeps happening.
“We learn our belief systems as very little children, and then we move through life creating experiences to match our beliefs. Look back in your own life and notice how often you have gone through the same experience.”
-Louise L. Hay
When I was taking my EFT (emotional freedom techniques/tapping) courses, one of the techniques we learned was how to tap on affirmations in order to uncover the mind chatter/subconscious belief/limiting belief that prevent us from embodying the affirmation. It’s a really fun exercise, and if you are doing affirmations and it doesn’t seem to be helping, let’s do a session together and I can teach you the technique!
Back to my point though. I re-uncovered a limiting belief that I have to work hard to make money. In other words, if I’m not physically pushing myself, it has no value. How interesting that when I had my practices in United States, I attracted all of my lovely clients that love deep tissue work. As soon as I moved to Sweden, I averaged two calls a week for people looking for lighter touch therapies such as craniosacral. My goal was always to have about a 50-50 practice of deep and light, yet somehow I thought it wasn’t possible. In fact, the belief was so strong, I found myself doing deep work sometimes on people that didn’t even want deep work.
I share this because I’m encouraging you to find where in yourself is there a limiting belief that is preventing you from achieving your goal, fulfilling your passion, finding happiness, or healing from the past. When I worked with my EFT practitioner last week, She helped me uncover a memory from fifth grade, when a friend told me that I had to make a choice between her and other friends in order to be accepted. That had turned into a limiting belief that was impacting how I showed up in the world for others, and how I was holding my own boundaries.
If you want help uncovering your beliefs, I encourage you to go for a multi-day walk by yourself. If that’s not possible, let’s set up an appointment. I would love to help in anyway I can. You can always set up an appointment from the homepage of my website. Enjoy this next series of pictures.
I just finished hiking the West Highland Way in northern Scotland. I’m going to split my trip experience into two blogs so I can share more of what I learned, as well as more pictures.
My intention for this hike was to do as much of the 96 mile trail as I could before going to work at a hostel in Fort Williams, Scotland. I thought that in the 6 days I had available, I would get through six of the eight sections of the trail. No problem. However, since I was wild camping, which means that I was camping wherever the heck I felt like it, I was able to go a little bit farther every day if I had the energy, which I often did, so I finished it all . I met up with people on the trail and got to talk about life, the world, and everything. This blog is about the people that inspired me.
One couple that I met on day two of my hike was 836 miles into their 1180 mile hike that they had planned over three months. They were hiking trails from England to the north of Scotland, and their fun goal was to not hike on any paved roads. They had planned out their full adventure ahead of time, and with only a (fairly) small backpack on each of their backs, they managed to do an average of only 4 miles on a paved road for every hundred they traveled. This means that they often go out of their way and do trails that are not well-marked. They sometimes have to use GPS or hike through bogs. They were happy and joyful and exuberant to be together, and to see and explore so much on their time off. They shared their fire, their tea, and some port with me as we talked. They were mostly wild camping as well, but every 10 to 12 days would splurge for a hostel or a bed-and-breakfast. They told me great stories about people in England letting them camp in their backyards or in their gardens, as wild camping is not as acceptable there as it is in Scotland. I loved their playful adventurous spirit, and the trust that they had that everything would work out. And when it didn’t, they would find a way to make the best of it. It’s what I strive to do, and it was so lovely to see a couple who was making this their journey for so many months together.
Another man that inspired me is one I ran into on my last day of my hike. I did 21 miles the day before, and was pushing through 15 miles with a 22-year-old from Amsterdam who was studying yoga and trying to figure out what to do with his life while finishing an economics and computer degree. But the man in question was living in Chicago, originally from India, and he was on day nine of his hike. What makes him so special? He was 76 years old, and full of smiles and joy. He was by himself, and was just going at the pace that he was comfortable with. It inspired me, because my goal in life is to keep moving for as long as I can. I’ve met 80-year-olds who downhill ski still. It is easy to say that someone is too old to do an activity, or that is too dangerous. But if we keep our bodies moving, eat with some reasonable degree of healthiness, and keep our mental attitude young, we can do anything. Especially if we find a physical or mental activity that we are passionate about. Movement is life, and when we keep our minds curious and open, our bodies moving-at any pace, and keep healing and growing, I really believe we can embody more peace and happiness.
The 22-year-old from Amsterdam that I mentioned was hiking by himself. We talked about philosophy, and how to embrace peace within ourselves and in relationships. We talked about serious and sad subjects such as the Holocaust, and the type of separation and dissociation that needed to happen for that event to occur. We talked about the separation happening in current cultures, and the power of the words that are used in the news and the impact they have on our view of others. We talked about Gandhi, philosophies of peace, and how different generations viewed and currently view relationships of all kinds. He inspired me to think about peace and violence in a different way. Many religions/spiritual teachings encourage nonviolence. But how do we practice non-violence towards ourselves? In other words… be compassionate and forgiving for your own actions and your own supposed shortcomings. Most of us are harder on ourselves than we are on others, including yours truly. My goal now is to remember to be as forgiving to myself as I am to others, and to remember that I’m always doing the best I can. I even read that in a book called The Four Agreements many years ago! But for me it’s an easy one to forget, even with the healing work I do with my practitioners.
I hope this blog inspires you to be kinder to yourself, more loving and compassionate to others, and to move through life with ease and grace, no matter your age, no matter your circumstances, and no matter your struggles. Everything can be overcome because you are strong and powerful human. And if you need a reminder of that, just read that sentence again or ask your best friend how awesome you are. 🙂 Following are some pictures that I’m sorry I can’t label right now because I’m using my phone as my only computer.
These last few weeks have really challenged me on how I communicate clearly to other people while also understanding what they’re saying. Not only have I had to learn a lot about how to pronounce words in Swedish, but how to understand the words being said when they are spoken casually and quickly. Luckily, I have found a couple of friends who really encourage me to pronounce the language correctly, down to every last syllable. It’s been amazingly helpful, and something I hope I retain easily while I’m traveling in Scotland. But even when we use the same words in the same language communication is not always clear. For example, I was talking to someone in Stockholm about something being a mile away. And they asked me if I meant an American miles, or a Swedish mile! I didn’t even know Swedes used miles, as the metric system is what is used throughout Europe. It turns out that one Swedish mile is 10 km. Even speaking about something as basic as distance, we had to be attentive to what we were actually talking about.
I’m in Scotland. I was warned by some of my friends that the Scottish language would be challenging to understand, even though they speak English. I was pretty proud of myself when I was hanging out with my new friends Jan and Terry and could understand 95% of what they said. But then waiting for a train one day, an elderly gentleman came up and started talking to me. I didn’t understand a single word he was saying. His friend had to translate for me. The interesting thing is, they could both understand very easily. What wasn’t my ear catching? It made me very curious. Yes, they do use different words and phrases , such as “you ken?” meaning “you know?” I won’t even start the word comparisons between pants and underwear, as it seemed different then how my British
friends use them as well. I will have to actually clarify and write it down later.
But my point is, when I listen to my friends, when I work with my clients and their stressors, and think of many of my own challenges in life….so many issues start with a problem in communication. Tones and words are misinterpreted, intentions are misunderstood, or we use an inappropriate medium to send a message. We all know this of course. It’s the subject and therapy books, television shows, Work trainings, and so on. Why is it still such a challenge? And we all know this of course. It’s the subject and therapy books, television shows, pork trainings, and so on. Why is it still such a challenge? I think much of the energy we carry around communication is based upon how we were communicated with as a child. Who are you allowed to communicate clearly? Did you feel heard? How did the adults in your life communicate with each other, and what did you subconsciously learn from that? I know that some of my own healing work has been about clearing and understanding issues around what I heard when I was a child and how I interpreted it in my own self. What they said versus what I actually heard. Doing that has helped me be able to listen to my friends, my clients, and my parents in a much more clear way. I take things much less personally, listen to what people are trying to say versus the words that they may be using, as well as having more patience around communication.
If you are having communication challenges in your life, I invite you to sign up for an Emotional Freedom Techniques session with me. To see how this blog shows up, I am just going to email in this and some pictures and see what the web does with it. I figure it fits the communication theme. 🙂
Today is a high-energy day and I am glad for that. I have had a few in a row that were more challenging as I merge myself into a new culture. I am being well-guided and am finding just the right people to get me to my next opportunities! I will be hiking the Sörmslandsleden trail for a few days, then will be housesitting for 3 weeks. That will give me even more opportunity to immerse myself into one area and be present with the people and the culture. I have learned/remembered these few things over the last few days.
Park trails outside my hostel in Stockholm
1. Every interaction with another human is important because opportunity is everywhere. For example, saying hello to a person in the shared kitchen led me to an potential business opportunity as well as reviving my will to learn Swedish. Borrowing a pencil from a woman led me to a conversation in which I learned the best place to start my upcoming hike.
2. There are people in every city looking for a deeper connection. I think we all want to connect deeply as humans. It is part of our drive to feel loved, accepted, and part of community (no matter what community means to you or what aspect of community.) I know from experience personally and through helping others that when we feel strong in ourselves, we can feel stronger in our relationships. As we let go of fear or insecurity and gain self-confidence, relationships of all kinds become easier and more fulfilling. By loving ourselves, we accept others as well as feel love they are returning to us.
3. Doing my own self-care in the morning is doing something. I got into this space where I felt I was
The courtyard at the Stockholm hostel
“wasting time” every morning by stretching, working out, and studying Swedish. I would think “OMG-the day is half over and I haven’t done anything!!” It is a good reminder that even though I hadn’t checked “things” off my list, self-care should be on my list. At the top. Every day. It’s part of the beauty of having a flexible schedule. That also means when I am feeling discombobulated, I do some tapping work for myself. I really love this Emotional Freedom Techniques process. It’s so powerful. Because I am still working on my certification, I am also still offering sessions for $62.50 for an hour. I encourage you to schedule your self-care as well! You can book here, or contact me if you need a different time.
Enjoy the pictures of the spaces I have been working in Stockholm.
I just finished about an 18 mile hike on the ice age trail, which runs from Taylors Falls, MN/St. Croix Falls WI to Michigan. The purpose of this hike was to test out all of my gear that I’m bringing to Sweden with me for camping, make sure I’m okay carrying 30+ pounds on my back over rough terrain for a long distance, and to try to settle my mind.
A small waterfall on the hike in MN
I picked up the trail at Highway 8 and 35 in Wisconsin, hiked 8 miles into a camp near Lions Park, and spent the night there. It turns out all my gear works wonderfully, and I have enough strength and stamina to handle excursions such as this. On the way back I took a detour on the Trail of Myths. This was a 2 mile up-and-down hike through some lovely old values with ferns, rivers, and lots and lots of up-and-down hill stretches.
Just another stream along Sweden’s hiking trail
One reason I wanted to post about this as well as posting pictures is the similarity of landscape between here and Sweden. As I’ve mentioned to many of you, there’s a reason why our Swedish ancestors my Swedish ancestors settled here. I included couple pictures of my previous hike in Sweden, as well as my current hike here in St. Croix Falls. It’s lovely to feel so connected to both places at once and realize that the similarities if I get homesick, all I have to do is run out into the woods and pretend I am back in Minnesota.
Unless it’s snowing. Then I can just look at the snow and pretend I’m in Minnesota. I’m on the countdown and have 8 days until I fly out. It’s been hard to leave my massage clients and close my offices. I’ve started saying my final goodbyes to many of my friends and am facing the final goodbye to my family and those closest to me soon. However, I am confident this transition will go smooth. I’m excited to share with you everything that I’ve learned and am learning about as I explore culture differences in aspects including health, healing, and relationships. It’s become very clear to me that one of my specialties is to help people emotionally reengage in their personal, professional, and societal relationships.
Guess-Sweden or Minnesota?
I’ve started studying how we view touch as an American culture and am curious to remind myself and to get a deeper understanding of how touch is viewed in other countries. Touch is so important for physical, mental, and emotional growth. I am clear that I will have to do my own healing work around what happens when I am suddenly no longer able to receive the same level of touch that I am accustomed to (hugs from family, friends, massages, and so on). I know it’s a challenge for many people when they break up with significant others, have a death in the family, move away to college, and so on, but this will be my first real experience in many years dealing with a sudden shift in close relationships.
Until I am there, I can only guess at what I will experience, how the meaning and feel of home will shift for me, and how much I’m going to have to use my EFT (tapping) tool to help process. It
Me & my gear after 16 miles
makes me happy to share my experiences with you as I travel, and look forward to the continued journey together.