Worry less. What has worked for me

Worry is an interesting thing to me. Most of us spend a lot of time doing it, yet it doesn’t change anything.

“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere”

-Emma Bombeck

I love this quote, I think it’s brilliant. But it might not help very much. If it’s really so unnecessary, why do we spend so much time doing it? Well, it has to have some evolutionary purpose, right? Forecasting worst case scenarios help us be proactive and change what needs to be changed before something bad happens. That’s awesome. And it doesn’t take very much time. It’s a quick calculation of risks and then deciding to change a course of action based on the forecast.

But spending most of our brain bandwidth fantasizing about terrible things that might happen and not doing anything about it is not so awesome. That’s a waste of life quality and time.

I’ve trained my brain to worry less over the years (doesn’t mean I’m totally free) Meditation has been my greatest tool to work with my worry, because it helps me be the observer of my thoughts so I can notice when I go there and make an active choice whether I want to keep doing it or not.

Also, realizing that worry is just imagination and fantasy has also helped. Because that’s positive words for me and realizing I’m using my vast creativity for bad really was an eye opener for me. Why am I putting so much effort into creating scary future scenarios when I could use the same process creating visions and have beautiful daydreams about something wonderful?

But of course, the main thing is that worry doesn’t live in the now, it lives in the future, and that’s not where you are so when you worry you separate from yourself which is painful in itself. Being with what is, right here and now, 99% of the time, we will realize that we don’t have a problem or worry in the world, in this very moment.

It’s a practice. I practice everyday.

How do you handle your worry? What are the tools that work best for you to worry less? I’d love to hear your take on it.

With all my love,

Helena ÖnnebyComment
My take on Ikigai and finding your passion

I work with a lot of clients on exploring their Ikigai. Not with the aim to help them to working full-time in their Ikigai, but rather to get inspiration for finding it in different areas of their life.

Skärmavbild 2019-03-11 kl. 10.25.13.png

A lot of people have a profession; doing something they’re good at and that they therefor get paid for. Maybe they also work for a company that do good in the world and so work also feels meaningful although not necessarily fun. More and more people spend their free time doing good work for the world, hopefully loving that and using their talents for the good of others but they’re not getting paid for it. Some people climb the career ladder doing things they love, are good at and they get good money for it, but it’s not a company that really makes the world a better place and so there’s a nagging feeling of having more to give to the world.

You can look at the Ikigai in a thousand different ways but for me it’s more about finding a balance in between the circles. Spending our life chasing money doesn’t bring lasting satisfaction, only focusing on having fun doesn’t bring depth and meaning, doing things others wants us to do because we’re good at it usually leads to frustration and helping everyone else but not ourselves finally will deplete us. One doesn’t work without the other. We need a little bit of everything. In our whole life picture.

What my clients usually struggle with most is their passion or what they love. Finding it, keeping it, living it. But what is it really?

Many people are really frustrated because they don’t know what they want. And when you don’t know what you want, how can you know your passion.

I heard Elizabeth Gilbert talk about this in a similar way. She had been talking about finding your passion hundreds of times when someone from the crowd asked her to please stop because she felt really excluded. The woman in the audience had been searching for years but only felt drained and confused from not finding it. She writes about this a lot in her amazing book Big Magic: Creative living beyond fear but I also found this short blog post with her conclusions on it.

“Passion is a tower of flame, but curiosity is a tiny tap on the shoulder — a little whisper in the ear that says, "Hey, that's kind of interesting…"

Passion is rare; curiosity is everyday.”

What if we would just lower the bar and go for curiosity. Find it, keep it, live it. Everyday. Go where curiosity leads you and don’t worry about what will come next, because when you’re there the next step will be right in front of you. But not yet. Trust that it will be.

Looking at the Ikigai related to your life today, what comes up? Where are you lacking and what can you do to get closer or creating a better balance? And if you don’t know yet what you love, follow your curiosity to the next thing and trust that that will take you to where you want to be.

With all my love,

Helena ÖnnebyComment
Is there unconditional love?

I’ve been tackling this question for as long as I can remember. Whether or not there is such a thing as unconditional love? That we can trust that we’ll always be loved by some people no matter what we do. The reason I think it’s been so big with me is because the option, love being conditioned, has been hard for me to swallow.

It’s particularly been in periods when I’ve been really sick and not really having anything left to give to someone else that this has come up for me. I was scared that I would stay in that state for too long and that people eventually would start leaving, simply because I didn’t have anything to offer.

I definitely don’t have this figured out yet, so this is me reflecting on the page, but some things feel quite clear today. Also after having this conversation with so many people.

  • Some people will love you for who you are and not for what you do. That means that if you are incapable of doing things for them, they will still love you, for being the soul that you are. And probably just because of that, you have a soul connection, that is deeper than this physical form.

  • Unconditional love between humans does not exist. If you treat people like shit for years and years, they will eventually leave you. We love people conditionally, either because of what they do, who they are or how they make us feel. If all this turns into fear, it’s no longer love.

  • Love is always there for you. And therefore unconditional love between spiritual beings does exist and love never ends. It’s an energy that is always there, at the core of who and what we are. It might shift and change, but love is love is everywhere.

To turn this into everyday. We love each other because we do. Sometimes we stop loving each other, because the love exchange is no longer there. But love is still there for us, always. Sometimes it moves through people that we surround ourselves with. Sometimes it move within. Sometimes it moves through nature, or animals, or the sky. Love is unconditional. You are love.

If you would reflect on the page on love, what would come out?

With all of my love,


Helena ÖnnebyComment
We're more alike than different

I recently spent a few weeks working from Bali. Meeting so many new people for all over the world. And this is always my reflection when I travel; we’re all so much more alike than we are different. We all long for the same things; love, respect, connection, truth, joy, safety… The only difference is how we go about getting that which we feel we are longing for.

Some approaches or methods may be more or less effective. Someones who’s really hurting might go looking for respect by provoking fear in another, someone else might do it by trying to be the very best and kindest version of themselves. Both think that their way will be the most effective way of getting what they need. It’s not right or wrong, it’s just different.

Focusing rather on understanding than being understood and you might just realize, that the person next to you, have the same hopes and fears, dreams and longings as you do.

With all my love,


Helena ÖnnebyComment
I don't have it all figured out!

Someone came to me the other day, wanting to learn from me, since they were under the impression that I had it all figured out. Spoiler alert: I don’t! No one does.

I know I said the same to my therapist years ago and she said something that I often repeat to myself and my clients: You teach best what you most have to learn.

Everything I write about here, in my book, on Instagram, LinkedIn or anywhere else, are also reminders to myself. We’re never done. We’re always still learning and growing. When we’re done with that we will be dead. So I prefer it this way. I believe that we come back to similar lessons over and over again but from different levels or perspectives, until we really learn. Like a spiral constantly moving upward.

There are no enlightened people, there are only more and more enlightened moments. We’re always a work in progress. All of us.

With all my love,


Helena ÖnnebyComment
Loving the mind but not being controlled by it

I love my mind, it’s so cool. And sometimes I hate it, it’s too imaginative. It makes up all kinds of different stories that are not true. It constantly fantasies/ worrying about the strangest thing. And at the same time, I’m trying to be gentle with it. It’s staying so busy because it’s trying to protect my heart. And it thinks it’s doing a really good job.

But truth is, I’m an adult now. I can take care of myself. And even if my feelings might be hurt from time to time, I will be okay. I can take that little girl inside in my arms and hold her when she’s hurting. And I know, whenever I do that, she will, sooner rather than later usually, want to break free from my embrace and run and play again. She’s not holding grudges or staying stuck in the past. She just feels whatever she needs to feel whenever she needs to feel it and I love her for that.

So, dear mind, I love you too. But you’re not the boss of me, you’re a tool I use sometimes. It’s okay for you to take a break sometimes. And I know that you freak out whenever you feel like your losing control. That’s okay too. I got you. You’re safe with me.

With all my love,


Helena ÖnnebyComment
Evolution happens in small steps

Sometimes we look to others and compare ourselves to them when we measure the progress in our own life. That’s a trap because evolution happens in small steps. You don’t go from a fear of public speaking to doing a TED talk, or speaking up for yourself with your parents to running for president. It’s one step at a time.

You’re doing the best you can. Everything is progress. Even a setback is teaching you something new, something valuable for your own evolution. Be kind with yourself as you practice. You are enough.

What has one small step you’ve taken so far this week that you’re really proud of?

With all my love,


Helena ÖnnebyComment
It's never about the situation

In life, we so often strive for things to change. For situations to be different. For our circumstances to be better. But in reality, what really makes a shift in our life quality is never the situation but our thoughts about the situation.

You can have everything you ever dreamt of and still be miserable inside. You can live on the street with nothing and still feel abundance. It’s not about the situation but your response to the situation. You have all the power you will ever need inside of you. And you can train your mind to calm down, you can practice being the witness of your reaction before you act on it. You can choose how you want to react if you free up some space in your mind.

I know I’ve quoted this hundreds of times before, but it’s what I live by:

Between stimulus and response, there is a space, therein lies your freedom.

- Viktor Frankl

Don’t work on so much on the situation being different but your respons to the situation and you will truly step in to your power. You have everything you need, right here.

With all my love,


Helena ÖnnebyComment
The joy of missing out

I’ve spent the last three weeks in beautiful Bali. Writing, creating, experiencing and enjoying life in the sun (and rain ;) ). And it hits me, as always when traveling, there’s so much to do and see in this world. We truly live in an abundant universe. I’ve been feeling the FOMO. What if I’m not making the best out of this workation? What if that event, or that place or that person is what I should do, where I should be or who I should meet? What if I’m missing out?

What is meant for you will never miss you and what misses you was never meant for you.

I recently heard about the opposite of FOMO which is JOMO. The joy of missing out. I really love that. And as a high-sensitive ambivert I really need it on trips like these. There’s so much input all the time, it’s okay to unwind, relax, miss out. I will miss most things in life however I work it. And yet, that which is meant for me will never miss me.

Where in your life could you use a little more JOMO?

With all my love,


Helena ÖnnebyComment
My journey to the worklife of my dreams

Here I am; sitting in the shadow by a pool in Bali, looking out over the ocean, doing work that feels truly meaningful. I still pinch myself sometimes when I realize that this is my work now. I’ve created the worklife of my dreams. I want to tell you my journey to here, because I now how much stories like these have inspired me. And yes, of course, it hasn’t all been shiny roses although all worth it.


I've always been a high achiever. All throughout school and university I worked hard to get the best grades, at the same time being blessed with a passion for learning and quick to process information. When I’d finished my university degree in Human Resources I dove right into building my career. I thought that what you where supposed to do. I had promised myself that I would be an HR Director before 30 and I was. I told myself I would specialize and continue climbing and I did. For a couple of years I worked as a Career and Talent Manager in Copenhagen with 13 000 people in 7 different countries within my scope.

Having a lot of influence, working with the “hot-shots”, traveling almost 200 days a year with the salary, the car, the bonus, everything. I even got a coaching certificate and was career coaching people inside of the company. I thought I had made it. And in some ways I had, I had made it to the top of that career ladder at least. Even though everyone encouraged me to keep climbing, I was no longer feeling as if I was making enough of an impact, that my work really mattered as I was too far from the people I was trying to help.


Meanwhile I had started blogging about my health struggles back in 2012. As I slowly healed myself my blog grew and I got some traction, was invited to a couple of podcasts and from them came a lot of people wanting my help, my first private coaching clients. I trained myself to become a “Balansinspiratör” helping people find daily balance through mindfulness and MediYoga. As I needed to get paid for my services I started my first company.


My inner voice was getting louder and louder, telling me to take the leap, as I, in parallel, to my corporate job, spent all my lonely nights in hotel rooms helping people for real. I spent the time in transit, in taxis and on flights, learning more and diving deeper into the field of personal development, coaching and holistic health.

Still, I couldn’t vision my next step. I felt as if I was being pushed into a wall. I only saw two options; either I move into the woods writing books or I get another similar corporate job, but closer to home with less traveling. Neither option felt right. As my frustration grew I asked for a sign of where I should go, I asked for a door to open.

The door showed itself about a week later, after a particularly straining day in Oslo, with meetings and interactions, clearly showing me I was not supposed to be there anymore. I was no longer living my values, I was not being true to myself. In the taxi on my home, I got a phone call from a woman who’d heard about me and that I might be looking for something new. She worked for a small HR consultancy firm that were looking for new people to collaborate with.


As soon as we hung up the phone my decision was made. I was going to combine HR consultancy with building my own business of coaching, writing, speaking and teaching. I still call her, the woman who called me in the taxi, “my door opener”. I waited until after Christmas break, out of consideration for my boss, to resign, and I prolonged my notice period to help the company out. But as soon as my decision was made my heart was so much lighter and I could use the extra time to build on my savings and continue building my own.

So in the beginning of summer of 2017 I was finally free and I decided to use the summer writing my first book. And as fall came I created my website, published the book and continued growing my company and coaching business. In the beginning of 2018 I started working as an HR consultant for real, working 40-60% on different HR projects.


I now feel I have the perfect combination of HR consultancy, which I honestly really love, coaching and “the magic box”. The magic box contains all of my passion projects, that I dream of doing sometime; writing books, doing online courses, starting a Youtube channel, a podcast, more speaking gigs and a lot more teaching. I’ve learnt the hard way that I can’t do everything at once so for now I’m picking one big project at a time. First it was the book in English, then my website, then translating my book to Swedish and now I’m focused on creating my first online course here in Bali.

It hasn’t always been easy. And, I’ve for sure have had to work a lot with myself as I’m so integrated with my work nowadays. Finding things to share when I feel totally down and out. Taking breaks when I’m somehow always “on”. Finding the courage to follow my intuition in every business decision. Learning all the roles of a one-person business; finances, marketing, sales, tech… Finding collaborators and community as a solopreneur. Sometimes it’s been rough but I’ve never ever regretted taking the leap, and I honestly don’t see myself ever going back to having a boss other than myself again. But of course, I had no idea I would sit here, in Bali, working as a digital nomad, so I’m wise enough to stay open to the future being whatever it will be.


From having had longterm career plans I now feel totally comfortable with having no idea what I’m going to do in two months time, if I will have an income or new clients coming in. I just trust. Intuition guided me here, and I now it will continue guiding me to the next right action when it’s time.

I wanted to tell you my story to give you inspiration for creating your own journey onward. No matter if that’s in studying, working for yourself or for someone else, having multiple project or focusing on one thing at a time. If it’s one thing that I’ve learned from all the people I’ve met on this trip it’s that; there’s no right or wrong way to live your life, only you know what’s right for you. You do you. I hope me doing me and sharing about my life empowers you to have a create the life of your dreams.

With all my love,


Helena ÖnnebyComment
Only hurt people hurt people

No one being fully happy in their own self ever gets anything out of being mean to anyone else. Only hurt people do that. And not because it’s the smartest thing to do but rather because pain is scary. So we try to pass it on to someone else to not have to bear it. Not realizing it doesn’t help, and usually just feed the pain even more because hurting others is not pleasant for either party.

I’ve written about this so many times before but I only just realized that this of course goes for ourselves too. The hurt parts of you can hurt you. If you have an inner critic that is super loud, consider how it might be hurting. How could you love that part of yourself even more? How can you show understanding to its inability to do better?

I’m just on a new round of self-love discoveries, coming back to the same lessons I’ve learnt before but from a different perspective, another level, a new angle. And this is what I’ve come up with so far. Love everything. Welcome everything. That’s the only thing that works because what you resist persists so you keep the spiral going. Be with you, lovingly, however you show up today.

With all my love,


Helena ÖnnebyComment
Know yourself and love what you know

This life journey is a constant course in self-awareness and self-knowledge. Once we think we have ourselves figured out something new happens and we get totally surprised by what we find out. (When I say we, I mean me. I can’t know for sure that this is true for anyone else but I have a hunch I’m not alone in this.)

There’s this Swedish poem by Tomas Tranströmer that I love, translated here:

Romanesque Arches 

Tourists have crowded into the half-dark of the enormous
Romanesque church.
Vault opening behind vault and no perspective.
A few candle flames flickered.
An angel with no face embraced me
and his whisper went all through my body:
"Don't be ashamed to be a human being, be proud!
Inside you one vault after another opens endlessly.
You'll never be complete, and that's as it should be."
Tears blinded me
as we were herded out into the fiercely sunlit piazza,
together with Mr. and Mrs. Jones, Herr Tanaka and Signora Sabatini;
within each of them vault after vault opened endlessly.

It’s about the fact that we’re never done and that we are ultimately, as all of life is, a mystery to ourselves. “You’ll never be complete, and that’s as it should be.”

To me it also speaks to the importance of never assuming we know anyone else fully either, because how could we if we don’t even know ourselves. Curiosity towards ourselves and others is key, as we discover vault after vault. And compassion for whatever we may find.

Ultimately, maybe that’s what self-love is all about. Being open and curious about the things we not yet know and compassionate and loving towards what we find on our way.

What do you think?

With all my love,


Helena ÖnnebyComment