My first recorded song ever – a calming healing song in Swedish meant to remind us to relax and breathe when life is overwhelming.
A big thank you and a hug to everybody who has helped me!
Johan Borgström, Sasha Nielsen, Susanna Dalla-Santa, Fredrik Carlsson, Mirjam Wilby, Luma Nielsen, Irmgard Stünkel, Pétur Pétursson, Jonathan Nertlinge, Alexander Ravenna, Naysha Silva Romero, Sierenna Wilk, Molle Nifkin, Johan Malmborg and Patrick Bongart.
Today is the Spring Equinox which is a time for endings and new beginnings, death and rebirth. We lay old projects to rest and see the first seedlings of new ones.
Today I will climb to the top of a hill together with friends, light a fire and we will all burn something from the past that we no longer need or want in our lives. Then we will wish for the new things we want to invite into our lives with the support or the energy of the Spring. Afterwards we’ll have a meditation, eat and talk about our new projects.
I have a couple of new projects that are yearning for my attention and also a few old ones that need to come to an end to make room for the new ones. This blog is one such thing that will be coming to an end. I have been writing it for two years now and it has been a great therapeutic tool and also a way to share and connect with others. I am truly grateful for the healing it has given me and also grateful for the wonderful people it has put me in contact with. Thank you everyone who has supported me such as Naysha, Azarius and Zamnesia. With a smile and a light heart I will now move on to other even more interesting projects.
I wish you all the best of luck with your projects and please feel free to get in contact with me with questions, thoughts, bookings, new friendships and such.
The angel walk is a wonderful exercise that I picked up from Natha yoga. It gives the participant a sensory overload of loving touch which often leads to an opening of the heart and an abundance of loving energy. It is best if you are quite a few participants; at least 15 or so.
Stand on two rows facing each other. There should be enough space between the two rows for a person to walk through it. At one end there is a sender and at the other a receiver. The sender should be someone who is confident and calm while the receiver should be someone who gives phenomenal hugs.
Before doing the actual exercise, have the master of ceremony explain what is going to happen and clearly state which level of intimacy is acceptable. Then lead the group in focusing their intention on unconditional love. Awaken the heart and bring that energy out to the hands.
Performing the angel walk
The sender takes the first participant and holds him/her from behind, preferably with hands over the heart to give an opening at the heart level. Tell the person to close his/her eyes and to keep them closed during the whole walk. When the person is ready (don’t rush this) send the person off to walk down the rows of people facing them. Walk very slowly.
The people standing in the rows gently, lovingly and appropriately caress the person walking down the line. In the mean time the sender takes the next participant and holds in the same way with eyes closed. Be calm and take your time. Let there be plenty of space between the participants when walking so that they get the full experience.
When the participant has come to the end of the line the receiver gives the person a long closing hug. After a while the person can open his/her eyes and stand last in line, caressing the participants coming after him/her.
Repeat until all the participants have done the angel walk at least once. The sender and receiver can also. Just have someone else fill those positions when doing so.
I’m pretty sure that all of us have experienced contagious laughter. Someone starts laughing which triggers others to laugh and soon enough everyone is laughing. It’s the same with yawning. Seeing someone else yawning will very often make you yawn too.
What many people are less aware of is that it doesn’t stop there. It goes without saying that it is easy to get angry when someone is angry with you, but it is less obvious that someone else’s confusion might rub off in the same way.
All states can be contagious. Laziness is contagious. Dreams are contagious, as are depressions. This is especially true when you are less conscious, have a weak third eye or lack determination. Such people are more easily swayed by others emotions and visions, but very few people are so strong of mind and heart that they are immune. Therefore it is important to be aware of what you are picking up from other people and ultimately what people and emotions you are surrounding yourself with.
If you are in a state which you do not want to be in there is a very real chance that it doesn’t actually belong to you. Then you need to track the source and disconnect. Sometimes that can mean to get rid of the relationship, but it doesn’t always need to be that drastic. In some cases it is enough to become aware of where you have been picking it up and to leave that emotion with that person.
If you are in a bad state and you are the source, then be aware that you are contagious. You are contaminating the environment around you. You might think that how you feel is your own business but that is not the case, especially if you have children. Your confusion, laziness, anger, depression, anxiety, bitterness or whatever will rub off on them. Get your act together and take responsibility for the mess that you are creating. Change to create something different.
I found a wonderful talk on TED today where the psychiatrist Judson Brewer elaborates on using mindfulness to break bad habits.
He uses the example of smoking. When building the bad habit of smoking we have propped it up with positive feelings, such as the feeling that we are cool when we smoke. As the habit progresses the rewards that we initially gained become all the more subconscious. It becomes an automated behaviour; a habit.
What I found was really interesting was the way he suggested to break the habit. He didn’t tell his clients “You need to stop smoking”. In fact he did exactly the opposite. He encouraged the client to smoke BUT to do so consciously. Since the habit is an unconscious act bringing in consciousness makes all the difference. When the clients began smoking consciously they themselves found all kinds of nasty things that they were not aware of. Smoking mindfully they began noticing how their body reacted, how they felt, how it smelled and many other things that they had been totally unaware of before. That in turn motivated them to quit or made them loose interest all together, sickened by the insight of what they were doing to themselves.
So next time you want to break a bad habit you might want to try something very different from what you usually do. Instead of trying to cut it off, bring in consciousness and go into the habit. You might find that the key to solving it is right there in front of you.
I find that people are most often willing to fulfil your needs, but in order to give them a fair chance to do so you need to communicate them. Too many of us start complaining that our needs aren’t being met without ever having told anyone what it is we need. As if people around us were mind readers. As if they didn’t have enough to think about without having to try to decode our silence.
I was once in the awkward situation of being criticized because I bought and cooked food that another person was allergic or sensitive to. But when I asked that person what s/he needed instead s/he just couldn’t tell me, because s/he had no idea what s/he was sensitive to. It isn’t enough to say what you don’t want in order to have your needs met. You need to say what you do want and need. In the example above I was left without a clue, but I was still expected to buy food that suited the person, which was an impossible mission.
The clearer and more specific you are, the easier it will be for others to help you out. If I were to say to a teacher “I have a hard time following you”, that is quite vague. Your trouble might be that the teacher is speaking too softly, uses a language that is too advanced, isn’t taking the time to explain fully, that you have the sun in your eyes, or any of a hundred other reasons. If you say “I have a hard time following you because I don’t understand the structure of your lessons” you are being more specific.
If you have suggestions on how to solve a problem you are having that will often be much appreciated. On the same example, if you were to continue by saying “It would help me very much if you took a moment just before the lesson to tell us what we are going to do today” most teachers would be eager to meet that request.
In many cases you will need to educate people on how you work. And who better to do so than you since you are the true expert on your own workings. When you figure out how you work and communicate that to others it will be so much easier for them to help you out. Even if you communicate your needs very well it might take the other person many tries before they get it right. Be patient.
As you get better at communicating and having your needs met, please help others to communicate theirs.
Know how you work and what you need.
Be honest with yourself and others.
Communicate your needs.
Educate the surrounding to your needs. Be patient.
Show the same courtesy to others. Learn how others work and how you can help them out.
Photo: To eat or not to eat by daniellehelm on Flickr
You can only control what you are aware of. What you aren’t aware of controls you.
We often find ourselves being pushed around by such things like old habits that we are unaware of, past programming that is no longer relevant or blockages that we have managed to forget about. The only way we can change these old patterns is by first becoming aware of them. That is why raising awareness is at the very core of handling any change you need to do in your life. It is at the very beginning of the process and nothing can be done without it.
If you need to raise your awareness in order to work with change it therefore goes without saying that you should avoid drugs and medicines that numb you and lower your awareness. Common drugs that should be avoided are alcohol, opiates and pharmaceutical antidepressants. Caffeine, nicotine and cannabis are also numbing when used on a daily or close to daily basis. Junk food and sugar are also really bad for awareness.
Things that will raise your awareness include meditation, exercise, mindful sex, good food cooked from scratch, herbs, hugs and playing. This is of course also why psychedelic medicines are such powerful agents of change, because they drastically raise our awareness.
So do you want a tip for a New Year resolution that will help you immensely and that you can always find new ways of being true to? Promise yourself to be more aware this coming year. Instead of focusing in on one specific, such as exercise, see the bigger picture. It all comes down to awareness and you can become more aware in so many different ways. Give yourself a bigger promise this year, and at the same time make it one that you can keep.
Back when I was a journalist I used to think I had a good sense of what was going on, simply because I read a lot of newspapers.
But let me explain a little something about journalism.
Let’s say that I am going to write a simple article for a daily. I will begin by finding some sources. I will probably have some kind of document and perhaps two people to interview. By doing so I have already narrowed it down considerably. Few things in the world are such that they can fit into two opinions. There might be two or a thousand other people that would have something valuable to share on the subject and half of them might even be better qualified to do so than the two that I found. But shooting from the hip I chose those two.
The same goes for the document of course. There might be thousands of documents that are more relevant to the subject but I happened to get my hands on this one. It might have serious faults to it, but I wouldn’t know because in most cases I have no real knowledge about the subject.
Anyway, this is the document and these are the two experts I’m running with, so let’s question them no further. But for arguments sake, let’s say that the two experts I chose to interview actually know what they’re talking about.
So I go to meet them or I phone them. Let’s be realistic about this now. They don’t have all the time in the world and neither do I. We all have a job to do. If we were to measure these two peoples combined relevant knowledge on the subject matter they might be able to speak non-stop for a whole work day, because this subject isn’t really that complicated. I mean, it isn’t the situation in the Middle East or anything like that. It’s something simple, so eight hours would do. My interview with them will run between 5 and 20 minutes per person and how well I manage to understand the subject will depend on how good my questions are. So from eight hours of knowledge I have gotten my hands on 40 minutes, and that, I might mention, is counting really high. Most of that time will more likely be spent trying to find and get hold of the person.
But let’s say that we are really lucky and super productive today. What to do with these 40 minutes of pure knowledge? Well, I have probably written it down somehow and most of it is forever lost in scribbles that I can no longer understand. From the ones I can understand I will then choose to quote three, six or even ten sentences a person. So from 40 minutes down to 20 sentences. Hopefully I will have chosen the ones that are the most relevant to the subject, but to be honest again – probably not. I might have misunderstood or the scribbles of my quote might be totally backwards.
When I have written the article I will hopefully have enough time to phone the people that I have interviewed to check their quotes, but again, let’s be honest about this. Newspapers nowadays are streamlined with next to no time for fact checking, quote checking or even spell checking, so the article will probably run in the shape it was when I first finished it.
So what does that leave us with? If four people have even two hours worth of relevant information and opinion on the matter, that amounts to eight hours of information, or 480 minutes. At random I get my hands on 40 minutes of it, which I then reduce to 20 sentences, which is certainly no more than 2 minutes. 2 minutes of 480 is 0,4 percent. That is how much of the full story you are getting, and that is not even mentioning all the factual errors, the mistakes, the propaganda and the outright lies that riddle our newspapers. Of course I’m making all these figures up, but you get the point, don’t you?
Do you really think that you know what’s going on?
Hi, I’m looking to grow my own mushrooms for personal spiritual development. As they are ‘illegal’ I was wondering if you had any tips of where I can purchase seeds or baby mushrooms safely and securely?
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The very best mushrooms to work with are the ones that are indigenous to your area, so first of all I would suggest that you check if there are any where you live. In Sweden we have the Liberty cap (toppslättskivling) which can be found in old cow pastures roughly between September and November. It is best if you pick them yourself, since you infuse them with your own intention.
The next best thing to do is to grow them yourself. This is good for a number of reasons. You will know what you are growing, while a dealer might not know exactly what s/he is selling. You will also infuse them with your intention and care, which is good when working with your personal and spiritual development.
The laws surrounding mushrooms that contain psilocybin vary, so you will need to check what is applicable where you live. In Sweden the mushrooms are illegal, but not the spores. It is similar with cannabis where the plant is illegal, but the seeds are not. If you can get hold of spores you can start your own grow operation, but if the package is crossing borders I would suggest that you send it to a different address from where you will be growing it. In Sweden we have had a few cases of customs tipping the police about legal shipments, and then the police have come by a few months later when the grow operation is up and running.
Growing your own mushrooms is a little complicated for a beginner, but there are excellent guides to help you out. Browse Erowid for more information. You can also find good grow kits that contain everything you need. A much easier option is to buy grow boxes with ready mycelium in them. They are super easy to handle, but might not be legal where you live. In Sweden I am not quite sure. I have heard that the mycelium is actually legal, but I do not know of a court case that confirms it. If you know of one, please let me know.
If you can’t find a supplier that ships to your area I would suggest trying to find fellow enthusiasts that can give you some spores to get started with.
In Europe I would suggest one of the two shops that support me – Azarius or Zamnesia. I am not familiar with any shops outside Europe, but you should be able to google them easily enough.
I once listened to a well-known radio journalist who gave the following tip on how to handle insecurities and hubris.
– I have two boxes on my desk. I sort all of the fan mail into one and all the hate mail into the other. It would be easy to feed only from one, but that would make things quite unbearable in the long run. So what I do is that when I feel hubris coming on, when I feel like I’m too big for all of this, then I bring out the hate mail. That takes me down a few notches and sets my head straight. And then of course there are days when I feel very small, insignificant and worthless. That’s when I bring out my fan mail, which also sets me straight. I am good and I am loved. But you see, feeding only off of one of those boxes would be detrimental. I need the balance, not the one or the other, because it is the balance which is true.