It's okay to leave. It's okay to say no.

Stay with yourself. Say yes to you.

You don’t have to stay at your job, or in the relationship, or in your hometown or anywhere you no longer feel at home.

You don’t have to say yes to the family dinner, or the extra project, to your friends or the worlds expectations.

It is okay to leave situations that no longer serves you. It is okay to say no to things that no longer fulfills you and that makes you say no to yourself.

“Well, that’s just selfish!” some might say. But the thing is: You were given this life. You are here and you are here for a reason. The only way you can honor and live that reason is by being true to you. To your inner voice. To your calling. That’s how you serve. By being you. By taking responsibility for your needs and your desires.

You were not only given this life, you were given a life with so much privilege. You have a free will. Most of you reading this have all the opportunities in the world to live and love and create. I don’t think that’s coincidence. But with all this privilege comes responsibility.

Playing small or making excuses is not how you honor this precious gift of life at this place in this time. You honor it by being true to you first and foremost. And when you tune out the noises of the world and tune in to yourself you will be given the guidande to the next step, one step at a time.

It doesn’t have to be big or extravagant, it only needs to be true. And only you know what is true to you.

You can do this. I believe in you. Stay in yourself. Stay in your power. And trust that all that you need on your path forward will be given to you when you need it.

With all my love,

Helena

ps. if you feel you need guidance on this journey, I’m here to serve you.

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Busy is a choice

Oh, I know, that’s a hard truth, and for many people, really provocative. But let’s be honest. You’re leaving early from one thing to be late to the next. Always rushing, hurrying, feeling inadequate and not enough. Why?

Most people answer: Because I have to! You don’t understand, I have so much to do!

Your life is a consequence of a lot of choices you’ve made so far. And you constantly striving for more is a choice you might still be making. A choice.

We don’t have to live in big beautiful homes. We don’t have to work full-time. We don’t have to have lots of hobbies and activities and friends that we need to fit in. All of this is a choice we make.

We choose when enough is enough. What’s enough for you? How much money, stuff, activities or medals do you really need? Really?

Honestly, guys, think about it. If you feel really busy in your life and you don’t like it, then change it. Choose again. It’s up to you. If you don’t want to make a change well, then, that’s also a choice you make. Sure, if your life is really crammed right now it might not go overnight, but if you’re committed to changing how things are you will change how things are.

Some people sell everything to travel the world. Some people choose not to have kids to be able to live more freely. Some people pay others to do what they don’t have time to do. Some people live a really minimalistic life to give room for more space and less work. Some people are really good at saying no to lots of things so that they can say yes to free time. Some people become monks, or nuns or move out into the woods.

Whatever choice you make, remember this, if you choose to be busy, it’s totally up to you.

Does this provoke or inspire you? I’d love to hear from you!

With all my love,

Helena

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The why's and how's to meditation

Everyone is talking about it but so few make it part of their lifestyle and daily routine. I’m one of the believers that meditation does change lives so this is my attempt to help you figure it out.

The most important part of any new endeavor is the motivation and having your personal why-power to make the investment in making the routine stick. There’s thousands of research articles and so many reasons to do it, but these are my biggest why’s a the greatest benefits I’ve witnessed in my own life:

  1. Meditation builds a space between your thoughts and yourself. When you meditate you practice non-attachment to thought. You don’t have to believe in everything you’re thinking. The mind is crazy at times. Over time, meditation increases this space in between your wiser self and the monkey mind. With this space you can choose your reactions and you take back the power over your life.

  2. Meditation activates your body’s healing ability. When you sit down, relax and tell yourself that it’s safe to relax you automatically activate the parasympathetic nervous system and the body’s healing ability. Your body is so wise, and cool, and good at what it does, but you need to give it the right circumstances to do its job. When you meditate your body can work its magic.

  3. Meditation increases your awareness of your inner guidance system. As you close your eyes to the outer world and open up to your inner world you also realize there is a wisdom inside of you that is constantly guiding you in life. This is your power. Whether you want to call it intuition, gut feeling, higher power or something else, this guidance is always available to you if you just learn to listen to it.

I could go on and on about many more of my why’s of having a regular meditation practice but I’ll stop there because each one of these three makes the investment of meditation so, so worth it.

So, if it’s so great, why don’t everyone do it? Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I think one of the obstacles people find is that they make it more complicated than it needs to be. These are my tips to get started.

  1. Start short and simple. It really doesn’t have to be fancy at all. Sit down in your sofa, close your eyes and count your breaths for ten breaths. So, that’s it. You’ve meditated. You can build from there. But you don’t have to. Just doing that a couple of times a day could work miracles.

  2. Don’t expect your mind to be blank. Your mind is a great tool for thoughts and that’s its job so it will most probably continue, whether or not you meditate. Your job is to not attach to the thoughts, just observe them and get back to whatever you’re focusing on, e.g. your breath. If you notice your mind is great, that’s awesome, you’re noticing!

  3. Be kind with yourself as you practice. Don’t expect miracles in a week. Be gentle with yourself as you trial and error. Try different variations, methods, teachers and techniques. Hang in there and trust that millions of people and thousands of years of practice can’t be wrong. Forgive yourself instantly when you miss a day and get on it again.

I truly hope this helps because I really believe that meditation can change lives and will change our society as more and more start looking inward and taking responsibility for their own life and well-being. You are not a victim of your circumstances but a creator of your reality. If you want a crash course I highly recommend Headspace and their free Take 10 introduction. It’s 10 minutes a day for 10 days with lots of instructions and cute animations to get you started. If you want a sustainable meditation companion over time I love Insight Timer which is a free tool with thousands of guided meditations and the ability to build your own.

So what say you, have I convinced you to get started? If you’re already a meditator, what’s your main why and best tips for someone just getting started? I’d love to hear from you.

With all my love,

Helena

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What Pure Personal Power is to me

We live in a society that is somewhat obsessed with external power. External power is obtained through resources, information or physical force. External power is unevenly spread across the human species. There are only a few people that hold a huge amount of the external power and can use this power to control others. But external power can also easily be taken away from those who possess it. This is not personal power. 

Personal power is authentic power. It exists inside each of us, but is not always fully tapped. Personal power is the internal source of strength that lives inside all of us. When I talk about Pure Personal Power it’s with reference to this internal power that has helped me tremendously on my healing journey. 

It is pure in its form since it derives from the Source. The Source from where we all come and to where we all shall return. Personal power is not depending on external power. Most often people with less external power have found ways to tap their personal power, but not exclusively. There are plenty of people with both external and internal power, and those are the people that use their external power for good. People who work to empower others to find their personal power, and often, as a natural consequence, also their external power. But people that possess personal power don’t necessarily need the external power. External power often works as external validation to those who haven’t connected to their inner strength. External power can easily be taken away from you by someone else or fluctuate over the course of your life. 

The Pure Personal Power that I refer to is the only thing that can give true and lasting satisfaction and freedom. It is the kind of power that you get when you take responsibility for everything in your life. And it provides a strength you might not previously have thought was even in you. 

Pure Personal Power is the true essence of who you are, if you learn to tap into it. If you haven’t yet found it in yourself, I will give the tools to start the exploration. 

Source: Pure Personal Power - tools to collect on a healing journey

With all my love,
Helena

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The simplest way of living your dream life today

I don’t actually remember how I was first introduced to Danielle LaPorte but I’m so glad that I found her and her work. I remember working through the Desire Mapping process in early spring of 2015 and slowly uncovering the feelings that I most value and long for. They’ve changed and evolved since then but I still use my core desired feelings as a daily reminder of how I create the life that I want to live.

The process is quite simple: you look at your dreams and goals and “if-only-this”’s and you identify the feelings that you associate with having achieved this. These are your core desired feelings. The underlying belief of this work is that everything we do is driven by a desire to feel a certain way. And that we attach those feelings with a desired outcome that may or may not let you feel what you want to feel.

The twist of desire mapping is that once you’ve identified your core desired feelings you can deliberately create circumstances and events that lets your feel what you want to feel. Easy :) Really, it is! Let’s work with an example:

Emma is dreaming of having a house by the forest so that she can be in nature everyday. She longs to work creatively and help people from all over the world in leading happier lives. She wants two kids, a dog and a husband that is also into personal development and has a strong drive to create good in the world. Emmas “if-only-this” is having a less critical inner critic.

Emma visualizes that she’s there already, having everything she ever dreamt of and having all her problems solved. The feelings that she imagines that she would get to feel at her desired outcome are freedom, creativity, connection, meaning and divine love. Instead of waiting to get to experience those feelings “over there” she creates ways in her daily life to feel them.

Freedom is created by walking outside, taking a deep breath and looking up at the sky. She feels creativity by giving space to expressing herself freely through writing, without judgement. She experiences connection every time she sits down with a colleague and engages in an interesting conversation. Meaning is felt by helping people in need in different ways. Divine love is part of her everyday through her gratitude practice and by deepening her spiritual connection.

Emma is not at her “end goal” today, but she does get to feel the way she wants to feel almost everyday. And by taking responsibility for getting to feel her core desired feelings she feels less attached to the outcome and more present in her everyday life. And, she’s also a vibrational match to more of what she longs for, because we attract what we are.

That’s it! I told you it was easy ;)

I’m currently training to be a Desire Map Facilitator with Danielle, so you’ll probably hear lots more about this from me in the not so far future. But in the meantime, take the example of Emma and try it out in your own life. It’s more powerful than you might initially think. Trust me on this.

With all my love,

Helena

ps. yes, Emma is me.

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Never stop learning, always be kind

As we’re on the home stretch of my online course the theme and common challenge for my participants is getting clear: Kindness as we learn. Change can be uncomfortable although it’s happening all the time.

The course participants are on a journey of discovering and re-discovering some of the most powerful practices of staying in the driver seat of their own life. Avoiding victim mentality, where powerlessness resides, and finding joy in the moment and gratitude for it all.

Our inner critic easily awake as we learn something new. She’s often resting as we go about our day, doing things as we use to, following the routine, staying in our comfort zone. But as soon as we get out there, stretch, live fully or try something we’ve never done before or something we might have “failed” at before, she becomes wide awake.

What do you think you’re doing?

You’ll never make it!

Who do you think you are?

What if you fail?

But truth is, these are your options: Either you succeed or you learn. Because everything is progress. Success can be sweet but truth be told, we usually learn more when we don’t. So why do we fear failure if we’re here to learn in the first place?

It probably has evolutionary explanations, as do all of our fearful thoughts. But remember this sweetheart, you’re all grown up now and you can take care of yourself. So the dreaded exclusion for the group that your inner child is fearing, that will probably never happen in the first place, is not the end of the world. It might actually be a blessing in disguise. Because that too, is an opportunity for growth.

What’s most important in life class is self-compassion as we practice. Self-compassion as we grow. Self-compassion as we “fail”. You can have your own back. And if you need some extra support, I got you too.

With all my love,

Helena

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How choosing your belief changes everything

This is really important to me. This is truth. To me. It didn’t use to be but I made a conscious choice to make it so and now it feels like it’s ingrained in my DNA. Because is nothing but a thought you keep thinking, So choose your thoughts wisely.

Everything that isn’t love is fear. Or as A Course in Miracles puts it:

Every loving thought is true. Everything else is but an appeal for healing and help, regardless of the form it takes.

To me this means that all Trump ever really needed was feeling truly loved for who he is. Or that a violent person could change by a warm hug. Or that the mean boss is just feeling really insecure. Because only hurt people, hurt people. And healed people, heal people.

This does not excuse any kind of evil acts. But it does explain a lot. Another way I love to think about it it:

I will never ever really know if people are doing the best they can, but believing so sure does make my life better.

This has been my experience. When I believe the best about others, my life improves. I realize that they treating me bad has very little to do with me and a lot to do with their own pain. Glennon Doyle always knows how to express things:

When I feel someone's been unkind, I know that all that just happened is they felt the hot loneliness. But they don't know how to be still with it. So they just treat it like a hot potato and pass it on to the next person.

But pain is not a hot potato. Pain is a traveling professor. And it just goes and nocks on everyone's door, and the smartest people I know are the people that say come in, and don't leave until you've taught me what I need to know.

This doesn’t mean you stay and take shit. This doesn’t mean you don’t have boundaries. This doesn’t mean that bad behavior is okay. It just means that right now, there’s a lot of fear in the world. And that the best way we can support each other, the world and ourselves is by spreading light. Martin Luther King Jr sure knew what he was talking about:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

I know this perspective is provocative to some. But it’s my absolute experience that my life quality increases exponentially the more I remember this. What does this bring up in you?

With all my love,

Helena

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Finding your people by being true to who you are

I’m blessed with a lot of really great friends. Some friendships have been with me since my very first birthday party and some are only a few months old. I’m grateful for all of them and I nourish them as best I can.

It took a long time for me to realize that one person can’t be our “everything”. We need to be that for ourselves first and foremost. Other people are the cherry on top, although a very cherished cherry indeed :) We need different kinds of relationships for different kinds of reasons and for different periods in our life.

For a reason. For a season.

Some friendships last for decades and some are very brief, that has nothing to do with the quality or meaning of them. There’s no comparison needed in any kinds of relationships, they’re all unique. Because you are unique and so is your friend, and the energy that builds between you has its unique structure and feel. That’s a beautiful thing.

I often hear from people that I work with that they feel lonely. Not that they don’t have people around them. Most have plenty of people in their life. But they feel like no one really gets them. Or they feel like they don’t have anyone to say the really important stuff to. Or to “trial talk” with. Or to just be with. Or to share everything with.

I get it. I’ve been there too. Especially in periods of really intense growth in my own life have I found it difficult to find people who are on the same page, with the same kinds of growing pains or the same kinds of insights or struggles or questions. But I’ve also felt so much community in recent years, more than ever, and I want to share with you what has worked for me, with the hopes of it inspiring you to find your own path to “your people”.

  • Give people a chance to be who you need them to be.

    We all know this: We can’t change other people. But that doesn’t mean that people don’t change. Ask for what you need. Tell people how you need to be listened to. Do you want advice or just a listen? What kind of topics would you pick over dinner? Try them out and see how they land. People might surprise you. I know I’ve been surprised plenty a time.

  • You do you and you’ll be easier to spot in the crowd.

    Who you are is enough. Who you are is important. Who you are is power. You, for being you, deserve to find people who you feel truly connected to. First, when you are being you, there’s no competition because there’s no one like you. And secondly, when you are being you you’re so much easier to find to the people who are searching for you. Show all of your quirkiness for the world to see.

  • Go out of your ordinary way to find them.

    There’s 7,5 billion people on this planet and they say that we’re never more than 6 people away from anyone, probably less now that more and more are connected digitally. Your people are out there. But depending on where you live and your current circumstances you might not run into them in your everyday life. Go to a meetup, start a blog, join a relevant Facebook group, take a course. Ask for help being connected to people who interest you. Ask a new acquaintance out for a friend date. Invest the time in researching where your people are and show up there.

All this is not to imply there are better people than others. It’s just about getting to spend time with the people who you vibe with, who challenge you to grow, to rest, to dream and to be, whoever you want to be. Life’s too short to miss out on great relationships! Go out and find your people and do whatever you can to help others find theirs. Together, we lift each other up!

How do you find your people? What are the qualities of a great relationship in your book?

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How my darkest moment turned into light for thousands of people

Years ago, just after a very dark period in my life, I wrote myself a poem. A few weeks later I published that poem on my blog because I thought it might help someone else too. A lot of my readers said it helped and made them feel more hopeful and less alone in times of hardship.

Almost one and a half year ago I decided to try and get an article published on the online magazine Tiny Buddha to reach new people that might otherwise not find me. Again, the poem was part of the article that was later named A first aid kit for when life falls a part. Again, so many people responded and contacted me and thanked me for writing it. People in different kinds of circumstances but with the same kind of longing for relief and community and hope.

Last week Tiny Buddha decided to share that post on their Facebook page without me knowing and yet again, it seems to have resonated. I just noticed an increase of incoming thank-you-notes in my inbox and finally figured out where it came from. The article was shared more than 9 000 times and commented on by more than 500 people. That’s a ripple, made by me sharing something I originally wrote because I needed to comfort myself.

You never know what ripples you might have in the world. You never know what move might be the one that changes everything for someone else. Be true to who you are. Share your light with the world. And trust that your love and authenticity is enough. Always enough.

And as for the poem, I didn’t even think it was good enough for publishing in the first place, but maybe it’s the simplicity of it that resonated with so many. Does it resonate with you?

To me, if I ever end up there again, and to anyone else, who’s ever been there, or are right now, in the black hole:

It will get better. There is a meaning to what you’re going through. 

You will feel like living again. 

If you can’t do anything else but breathe, do just that; you don’t have to do anything else.  

Don’t fight it. Let it be. It is as it should be and it’s okay. Just be. Don’t judge. Let go. 

Look at what’s beautiful. Listen to what gives you peace. Eat what tastes good. Do what feels nice. Even if it feels pointless right now, it’s good for your soul.  

Ask for help. 

Let other people help you. Let other people take care of you. 

Cry. Scream. Wail. Laugh. Sleep. Close your eyes. Do whatever you need to do. Let it out. And embrace.  

It will get better. I promise. 

With all my love,

Helena

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Join the gratitude challenge

New year, new you or new month, fresh start. Whatever, it’s only a week left of March and I think it’s the great time to start something new, or re-commit to something that might already be part of your day: GRATITUDE.

It’s never too late or too early or too busy or too difficult or too anything to start a gratitude practice.

Gratitude is the gateway drug to happiness.

This was one of the practices that my course participants practiced this week and it’s amazing to hear the shifts that come immediately.

The more I focus on gratitude the more I find to be grateful for….

The more specific I get in my gratitude the stronger the feeling…

Since I started with my gratitude practice I’ve had so many amazing synchronicities happening….

Life is never black or white, it’s never either or but both and more. No matter what you are going through right now there’s always so much more to be grateful for than not. Even if you’re struggling right now I bet you can find at least 1 000 things to be grateful for. I’m really not kidding! Your eyes, your ears, your lungs… water, air, sun… love, relationships, connection… trees, flowers, ocean… books, knowledge, free resources… freedom, safety, home… I could go on and on and on and on.

But I want to challenge you to start practicing being aware of all the blessings all around you. The practice is simple and you can try it out for the rest of March. If you don’t like it, drop it. We’re gonna write gratitude lists, morning and night. Five things. Three rules;

  1. Come up with new things all the time. No repetition.

  2. Be specific; What part of your home are you grateful for? Why is this relationship so awesome? What about your job are you liking extra right now?

  3. Feel the feeling. The trick is to really sink into the feeling of gratitude. I call is taking a dip in the gratitude jacuzzi. Enjoy the feeling of gratitude and watch how it affects the rest of your day.

I hope you feel inspired to try this one out with me! As you well know, nothing changes until you change and everything changes when you do so just do it and evaluate beginning of April.

With all my love,

Helena

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The one thing that helps me find magic in my everyday

It’s so easy to get caught in our day-to-day struggles, drama or to-do-lists. Longing for whatever break might come this weekend or next month “when things have calmed down”. Or maybe you’re the kind of person who, as so many of us are, gets trapped in “if only” this, that or the other, would sort out, then I will finally feel better. But what if we could break down happiness into much smaller pieces with much lesser demands?

I don’t remember where I got this mindfulness technique from but I do now it has helped me tremendously through hard times. Or through any kind of time, really. Moving my focus from the very big picture to the here and now, by collecting magical moments.

I know, I know, it might sound woo-woo or too far fetched but it really isn’t. Bear with me.

First, let’s define magic. Is magic even real? Well, to me, that’s a matter of choice. Either you spend all your time in logical thinking, or, you allow yourself, from time to time, to also dwell in the magical thinking.

I mean, we’re riding a rock floating through the universe in a galaxy with 100 thousand million stars. An average sized star is about 333 000 times larger than our earth! AND, there are about one hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe. Yet, you are here, with your magical presence, right now.

I can’t even grasp those numbers, even if I would try my very best. My solution to this mind dilemma is to simply give up, surrender to the fact that I don’t understand, I won’t understand and I don’t have to. All I have to do, is be here, and now, collecting magical moments.

A magical moment is a deep breath of fresh air, a smile from a stranger, a naked foot in the grass, a warm hand in mine, witnessing a beautiful flower, the feeling of drinking water when I’m thirsty, observing my mind come up with all kinds of interesting fantasies, feeling the feeling of gratitude rush through my body, sitting down my legs are tired, reading something that really resonates, opening my eyes in the morning, feeling the fabric of my comfy sweater, the first bite of my favorite food, the sounds of bird song, getting a sweet text from a friend, creating something that will help someone else, warm water on cold skin, feeling my heart rate go down after a good workout, lighting a candle, opening the door to my home…

I really didn’t plan to write that many examples, but that’s the thing, ones you start observing all the magic in your life, more and more will come to you and you won’t be able to stop.

When I first started collecting magical moments in my day, I would write my magical moments down every evening. Sometimes I would collect them in the notes in my phone during the day. We can rewire our mind, but it does take some persistence, especially in the beginning.

So if this perspective is new to you, be kind as you practice, and start off small. Notice three magical moments in a day, then five, then ten…

Because isn’t it so, we can spend our whole lives striving for things to be perfect, only to realize they almost always were.

With all my love,

Helena

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Invest in the help that you need

I see so many people spending money on clothes, or interior design or even travel, but not in themselves. Yet, they feel miserable in their clothes and homes and vacations because they don’t have the relevant tools and practices to befriend themselves.

Let’s be a part of that paradigm shift. When you feel good about yourself you don’t NEED any of that stuff. You might WANT it as a bonus but your happiness does not rely on it. That’s where we need to go.

I’ve never ever regretted investing in my own personal development, and I’ve done A LOT. Even if some investments have been deeper and some more shallow, they’ve still given me invaluable experiences that I’ll remember for life.

You are all you have. Spending time on getting to know and befriending yourself is the best investment you can make. Do you agree?

With all my love,

Helena

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