DO YOU TAKE THE ADVICE YOU GIVE?

I wonder if we as humans should ever be allowed to give each other life advice, except when someone is actually asking for it.

Because what do we know? Why do we try to teach each other how to live? Why do we believe that our own way is the best way? Why do we assume that people care about what we think about something, unless they actually ask?

Before giving anyone any kind of advice, I’m gonna start asking myself: Did they actually ask, and do they truly care about the answer? Otherwise, drop it. Spend that energy somewhere else.

BECAUSE I’M HAPPY

At the time I’m writing this, I’m having one of those days where all I can think is that I’m EXACTLY where I’m supposed to be right now. When you’re in that zone where everything is just absolutely perfect. All the troubles in the world are just forgotten for a day – and all I can really think about is how fabulous and happy I am.

Yes. I know shit is happening. But there’s nothing I can do about it. So you know what, the most helpful thing I can do is to value life to the extend that I make the absolute most of it. Not holding anything back.

As I’m walking down the street I can’t help but to just smile. Giggle with my friends, because it’s like riddiculous how good life can get. And when I’m stating the obvious and say things like “oh my gosh, can you believe this?” they don’t look at me like I’m an idiot. They respond by saying something like “I KNOW, LOOK AT THESE BEAUTIFUL OLD BUILDINGS!”

Ah, my kinda everything

I’m having more and more of these kinda days.

When I’m around the people that puts my soul on fire, when I stick to my values, when the sun in shining and I’m introduced to new fantastic lunch places with free re-fills of chai latte(!!!), walking home by the most wonderful lake I’ve ever seen – and chat with randoms on the street that are also just living the dream, at least today.

However, I do have a point. Happiness doesn’t just happen. It takes work to get to where I am right now, and it takes work to make it appear more and more often. For me, it’s been all about confronting myself, my spirituality, my values – all of it. It’s also been about being patient and finding the right people to share my time with. It’s about not giving a fuck about what’s not worth giving a fuck about. Btw, check out “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson. It’s spot on and you’re gonna love it.

It’s not like we can ever stop working. Because that’s the thing; the joy is in that work! That’s happiness. Overcoming problems by solving them, moving forward, listening to our inner guides and take actions based on that guide and not just what the whole world believes.

HOW DARK IS YOUR SHADOW?

Street art, Brick Lane

We discussed darkness and shadows, and what it meant to us. I was unsure how dark we were gonna go, so I chose to listen.

Darkness is so many things for me. I’ve used to look at darkness and light as opposites, but have lately started to think of them as intertwined, as something beautiful.

The darkness is neither a weakness nor strength for me, but both – depending on the circumstances.

Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up, that I look at the darkness as a part of the personality instead of a shadow, or the other way around. I never really knew which part was the shadow and which was the real version.

It’s kinda extraordinary now, because they’ve stopped fighting. They’re one and the same person.

However, when I heard what others considered as darkness, I was stunned. I wonder if we glorify pain. Sometimes it makes me wonder how I’ve been so lucky to avoid so much of it. Some is what happens to us, but I’ve also been raised to keep going. And when we keep going, something amazing tend to happen – new opportunities. I don’t dig my own grave of shit and stay there. I stay away from people that are toxic, and I make conscious decisions that aren’t gonna come back and haunt me in all different kinds of forms and shapes later on. At least, I don’t anymore.

I guess it’s luck that I’ve been brought up this way, and I guess it’s luck that I’ve understood how to avoid it – and I’ve had wonderful people around me. But I mean, at some point or another – we just gonna learn this on our own, don’t we?

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM RIGHT NOW?

In my own experience, it’s really easy to get caught up in the long-term dreams. The ones far out there, where we want to end up. Sometimes, I tend to forget the way there. How I’m actually gonna get there, and that the journey is the actual dream itself.

If I don’t want to do the work to get somewhere, that’s not my dream. It can’t be, because I’m not willing to live on the journey – which means I’ll never reach the destination and I’ll never truly enjoy the ride.

I do, however, believe there are many ways to the top. The top might change accordingly, but it’s still a top. So instead of thinking about where I want to end up, I’m gonna try to think about what I can do right now, to travel in the right direction of what continues to be my journey.

What can you do TODAY, that makes you happy, and that will lead you in the right direction for you? Found it? Now do it.

ART IS TRUTH

I was on my way to the underground and I looked around for inspiration.

As I was walking on the sidewalk towards the station, all of a sudden this person comes in from left, and walks in right it front of me!

SERIOUSLY! How cool is that!?

I couldn’t help but to wonder if this was a sign from the universe. If so, what kind of signs are we, as in you and I, putting out there for others to find? Something to think about, and perhaps have some fun with… Let it be good things though!

No matter what it was, I absolutely love this photo and I’m so happy that I was able to capture the moment!

SENSE OF SPACE

On the outside it looked like a metal box of nothing.
I lost my balance once I stepped inside.
Colours, fairy lights, cherry blossoms, mirrors and majestic music.
Part of an art installation or not, it was real enough for me.

So I started thinking about real and fake. I thought about perception of space, perception of happiness and of life.

Everything here was constructed, to make me feel a certain way – or perhaps just to make me feel something. But even though this was a pop-up, isn’t life always like that, like one pop-up after another? What’s the difference?

I mean, every street, building, room, person – is somehow constructed, aren’t they, and we? Either by society, nature or self?

Meaning, this isn’t really more fake than anything else. And if this makes me feel a certain way – why don’t we have more of this?

What happens if we keep adding on to these part of life that makes us feel this way? What if our whole inner world looked like this?

NOT YET

The apartment was heating up. The longest night in a long while had come and left, and I had distracted myself with work, as good as I could once the morning sun woke me up, way to early.

I looked out the window as he left, and it was like someone stabbed me. Watching someone you love being in pain is just cruel. You watch the pain, share parts of it, but it’s not entirely yours – so you can’t really do anything, except for being strong, trying to be there and say the right things.

I counted minutes until I would hear anything. Minutes turned into hours and once I closed my laptop for the day I had to get out. The walls were killing me, slowly moving closer to nothing.

I had to chase something and be somewhere where, anywhere but here.

I ran 5K and sat down so that I could watch over Thames with the sun in my eyes. I just sat there, wondering if the universe would answer if I asked. Nah, stop being superstitious. But as I sat there, I couldn’t help but to have a little chat. You know, just in case.

So as I looked over the sparkling water, I closed my eyes, let the sun hit me as I took a moment to be grateful. For everything that we got, and are able to give. I thought about life, and what it actually means to be alive.

I stood up again, and started running back, this time feeling every step I took. Appreciating the fact that I could, here in London, in 24 degrees and sunshine.

As I hit 5K again, I laid down on the little piece of grass right by Tower Bridge. There were people tanning, a couple flirting as it was their first date, and friends hanging out all around me – but I just got straight down on my back. Took of few deep breaths and felt like I was the only person around that was truly present.

I decided to run one more 5K, just to empty the can.

When I got home, the apartment was silent. In fact, it’s never been this quiet ever before. My swimming coach always used to say “it’s quiet before the storm”, so I always make sure to take a few deep breaths when it’s silent – because that can mean a storm is just about to surface…

I had been waiting for a call that never came, but I didn’t allow myself to try to analyse it, other than that it would call, when the time was right.

It rang, and as I yet again closed my eyes hoping for good news, I picked up.

“Good news…”

And just like that, the storm twisted and turned around us, this time again – and passed on into the horizon whispering “not yet”.

SHE MOVES MOUNTAINS

I’m super stoked to be part of North Face’s #SheMovesMountains campaign! And for the past few weeks I’ve also been attending She Moves Mountains talks, arranged by Never Stop London and North Face – and it lead me to to do something completely crazy.

I’ve realised that the timing will never be perfect to chase after my goals, so I concluded that the time to go after them is right now. So I’ve made a goal, a big one, which is absolutely insane – for me, right now.

In a few months, however, it should be possible to reach. But only if I do the work, prepare and go all in with absolutely everything that I’ve got of physical strength and mental madness.

I’m not ready to share what kind of journey I’m on this time. But I promise to share my learnings, no matter if I win or loose the individual battle.

The reason for sharing this, however, is to hopefully inspire you to set a big goal for yourself. To go after something that’s crazy! Perhaps there’s something you’ve always admired your friends doing, but never thought you could do yourself? Or maybe you’ve always known you could – but haven’t been bold enough to own up to it.

…Because if we always set goals that we already know we’re probably gonna reach, we’re actually just playing it safe, aren’t we? 

I’m ready to take the next step. I’m ready to take the risk to make a real change. I’m ready to challenge myself big time.

I’m going all in, are you joining me? 

A MASTERPIECE

When was the last time you saw a music video that actually shocked you? I enjoy so many forms of art, but it’s rare that I’m left with this feeling that I almost can’t believe what I’m experiencing.

This did though.

This video blew me away, and it’s packed with symbols and meanings. Make sure to watch the video to the end, and do some googling afterwards to learn more about the symbolism and theories! I’ll keep my interpretation to myself – so you can make yours.

WOW. 

SECRET SESSIONS

A friend of mine invited me to join her for an evening at The Hospital Club, where they have what they call Secret Sessions. Three artists gets a few songs each, and you don’t know who you’ll get the chance the hear before they get introduced on stage.

One of the artists were Marie Naffah. She has one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard, so I’m doing the good deed today and spreading the word! Enjoy!

It puzzles me how you all of a sudden find yourself in a room full of creative people, sitting comfortably at a table and drinking with people, that you just one year ago or less, didn’t even knew existed. Enjoying a moment of breathtaking live music.

My point is, all of these random walks, talks and events somehow lead us in the direction we want – even if we never knew about that road to begin with. But in order to discover it, you have to get yourself through the first few stages of complete confusion. I wish I could ensure myself that, one or two years ago. Though, I wonder if ending up right here would have felt as good, if I already knew.

DEAR GAIL LOVE SCHOCK

It was a busy Thursday afternoon in London. I was at an event in Regent Street, honestly not expecting to meet anyone special. But I went, because I might. If there’s a chance I might – I wanna take it.

The second I got in, a woman turned her head and looked at me, smiling. I smiled back, as I remember I had the thought that I liked her. I wondered who she was, and why she had noticed me. Nobody else there really did, so why did she?

I sat down, and thought about it for a while. It puzzled me up until the talks started. Two fabulous women talked about compassion and kindness. They were excellent. But as the seeker I am, I’m looking for something I don’t really know what is, until I experience it. However, this was before the third woman was introduced to get up on stage.

It was her. The one who had just smiled at me one hour earlier.

The moment she started moving around on stage, I knew that she was something else, and just what I’ve been looking for. When she threw in the words intuition and healing in one of her first sentences, I was obsessed. I leaned forward, and I couldn’t stop myself from trying to take in everything she was, said and did.

It wasn’t the content that made me interested, it was the aura she brought with her on stage – and all I could think about; was how I could become more like her. Or, open up the space inside of me, that I know is more like her. Does it make any sense at all? For some reason, I don’t always feel like it shines through. I felt so connected to her, even though by the look of us, no one would ever think I would be anything like her. Not even me.

When her talk was over, people started moving around. I told my friend that I was fascinated, and that I needed to know more about this woman. My friend, unlike me, isn’t shy. So before I was done talking, she just went over to this mysterious woman and started chatting. I followed, like the shy girl in the school yard, following her best friend over to where the boys are hanging out. She wants to be there, but somehow she looses all of her words in the confrontation. So she just stands there, observing, listening – with a heart full of things to say, but without the ability to say a single word.

A state I thought I had grown out of. But there I was again. 

It was uncomfortable being around someone who I knew could tell. But so exciting! She knew exactly how I was feeling, I think, and I could see her looking at me once in a while with her sparkling eyes, wondering if I could gather enough courage to say what I wanted to say…

I took a deep breath, organised a few words together and was able to get out; “I am extremely fascinated by you. I just wanna know how I can become more like you”. She laughed by my freaky statement, thank god. I got frustrated by my ability to be so weird, and I followed up by saying something like “I go to talks like these all the time, but it’s so rare that I see someone that actually see you as well, in the audience.”

I could probably have formulated that sentence a thousand different ways that would have made more sense, but again – she got it. She knew exactly what I meant and amongst other things said “Thank you for noticing that”, while she looked deep into my eyes.

That was a compliment, for me. Because I notice, too. And that’s my point. I do notice these things, even though I might not always know what to do about it. I feel like this is the “thing” about me, but I can’t figure out how to express it other than in words, images and other people’s music. Maybe that’s enough? Maybe that’s the whole point, of being me?

We chatted a bit more, or, they did, while I continued to stand there, just observing. Wondering when I could see her again. I had so many questions I wasn’t able to ask. Because they’re not concrete questions, but wonderings. She made me curious, and I, for some reason wanted answers to whether or not she could sense just that. I wondered if she got me. I wondered what kind of advice she could be willing to give me, and how that could change my life forever.

I have a feeling. I think she is supposed to be my teacher, in one way or another. I’ve signed up for her newsletters, followed her on Instagram and hopefully I’ll be able to go to more of her talks. I want to learn as much as possible from her.

Since I wasn’t able to tell her all this when we met, I’m gonna send her this blog post. She’ll get it.

ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES

I wandered around in the city, looking for lights – only to realise I was in the middle of the picture myself.

Once I stepped out of the picture, took a deep breath and looked up – I saw this.

Sometimes, it helps to do just that. Step out of the picture and observe for a moment.

Meg Mac kept me company as I let myself go, into my own fantasy world where the lights are brighter, the sounds are warmer and the opportunities are endless.

“Everything is gonna be alright”

PUT YOUR RECORDS ON

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favorite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans
I hope you get your dreams
Just go ahead, let your hair down
You’re gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow

SEND ME YOUR LOCATION

Sometimes I wonder about the people I’ve met in my life, that for some reason I’m not in contact with anymore. I wonder what kind of journey they’re on and what their lives look like today. I wonder if they’re wondering about the same things as I, or if they’re rather thinking about which sofa to buy next – or weather or not they’re going to redecorate their new house or apartment.

I wonder if they’re happy, or if they’re hurting. Perhaps they’re something in between.

I wonder if I’ll ever meet them again, and I wonder if they wonder about me too.

SLOW DOWN

Found this amazing little place just by Tower Bridge! The Norwegian mountains have always been my place of freedom, but when there’s no mountains around – I’ve found that water, parks and every little hint of nature also can make my heartbeat slow down, also working as places of freedom. And I’ve come to realise, this city have lots of those places.

Places where traffic, people and the fabulous atmosphere of the busy big city life fades away for a few hours.

As much as I love all that, sometimes it’s good to just slow down. Listen to the water, the birds, or simply just enjoy a moment of silence in gorgeous surroundings.

MAIN GIRL

– Who’s your main girl?

When 2018 started I made a choice. I would stop stressing about what I was supposed to do in this life, and rather focus on a few things that I wanted to become more of. My thought was, and still is – that if I can figure out who I want to be, what I should do will become much clearer.

As I lay here writing this, I’m having one eye on my vision board up on my wall. It reflects adventures, creative projects, practicing gratefulness, lifting weights, running in the sun, scented candles, mindfullness and colours.

I haven’t published a book, sold a painting, become a vegan, run a marathon or become the strongest chick in the crossfit box – but I’m further on my journey. And being “perfect” is not even the end goal.

I am, however, a step closer to the person I have a vision of in my mind, and I’m constantly changing direction as I realise how to make these big words and ideas a part of me.

I’m becoming my own main girl. I put myself first, with encouragement and so much love from the people around me on the same journey. We’re all trying to figure it out how to live life the best way possible. We’re not trying to copy what our families did, what the schools told us to do or what the media might convince us of. We know the world is changing, and we’re acting now – because we’re so incredible lucky to be able to.

WHY, WHY, WHY

Picture of wall art found on Aker Brygge, Oslo

How often do you sit alone with your own thoughts? To analyse, rephrase, discuss with yourself and others – all before you ask again?

Do you reach answers, or do you settle before you reach the point of truth at that moment?

“why, why, why”

What is the most uncomfortable question I can ask you, that you could think of?

Sometimes I meet people that seems to freak out about my openness, reflections or crave for total honesty. Of course, the weather is wonderful and I’m glad summer is approaching too – but what have you changed your mind about lately? Or which reflections have you made? Did something happen, to make you stop and think about what you’re doing in life and why? How did that make you feel, and how did it change you?

Just think about it for a moment.

It might seem like opening pandoras box – but isn’t that where all the fun is at? And wouldn’t it be exciting to dig deep and explore what’s actually there, and discover what you could add to the mix to make life just a little bit happier?

Ask yourself why. Don’t let life pass you by.

ONE DAY IN OSLO

One of the days in Oslo, I spent a few hours just strolling around in my own little world, trying to capture beauty.

One might say that the centre of Oslo isn’t very colourful. Most streets are centred around old buildings and lots of grey. But as Henry David Thoreau said so nicely once:

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

THEIR STORY

I’m always looking for something that will move me. Hidden corners, light, darkness – or some sort of sign from the universe. Isn’t it wonderful, how we keep leaving signs out there for each other to find and interpret in our own beautiful ways?

I wonder if these souls leaving out signs all over the world, spend a lot of time wondering how they will make other people feel. The artists that are colouring the world with gorgeous buildings, paintings, lights, bridges, parks, coffee shops and stickers on lampposts. What were they thinking? What was their purpose for leaving something out there for others to find?

The true adventure is to make them our own. To admire the art and use it to our own reflections and discover it in a way that means something to us. I can’t know for sure, but that has to be what a lot of these people want too. To leave something out there for others to find and enjoy – in whatever way that makes sense for them in that particular moment.

But sometimes I can’t help but to wonder about their story. Their perspective. Their reason for doing what they do, their reason for being who they are and for leaving it out there for everyone else to see.

“SO… WHEN ARE YOU RETURNING TO NORWAY?”

Every time I spend time somewhere else, I try to picture my life there – as in, if I could ever live there. I’m currently in Oslo, and I’m playing with the thought of settling down here one day. Previously, it made sense socially – as so many of my friends already live here. Now however, I’ve started to see Oslo as a city from another perspective as well. I’m starting to believe that this city has a lot of what I would like to have nearby.

It’s a safe choice. I know it would be good. But for some reason I feel like I’m not done feeling unsafe. Isn’t that weird? Why would anyone choose a life that is more expensive, more polluted and more crowded – instead of choosing the life that makes so much more sense?

I’m struggling with it. I think I am afraid to get comfortable. Afraid to get the feeling that I’m settling down. Afraid of not being afraid.

When I think about it, I love the uncertainty. I’m sure I could find ways to satisfy that “need” here in Norway as well, without doubt – I mean, look at my friends, they’re all living the good life.

But I don’t feel done abroad. It feels like I’m on a journey that just started, and that I need more in my backpack before I’m ready for Oslo. I need to collect more, explore more and do more without the safety net that Norway in some way is – before I can allow myself to feel safe.

I’m not sure if that will ever happen. I’m have no idea if it will happen next month, year or never. But I guess there’s no need to know the answer to that right now either. We’re not in a rush, remember?

But damn, how good wouldn’t life be here in Oslo! And more importantly, the question that I keep asking myself is: What do I need to experience before it would make sense for me to return to Norway?

I guess I’ll have to continue the journey to find out! I’m still looking for something that I know is out there. But is it a feeling? A career? A passion? A lifestyle? Maybe it’s all of it?

– What are you looking for, in your life, right here and now?