August 9, 2015
by Kiri Weimann
0 comments

Do you believe in ‘organic’?

I have spent the past month and a half in South East Asia. Every time I’m here I realise new aspects of life, I talk to people, I listen more than I talk, I take it in and ponder. I do my best not to judge or try to convince anyone that my perspective is more correct or not, because who am I to make such a distinction? It is all about what we have been exposed to, which glasses we view the world through, and how ready we are to face reality.

About a year ago, I made a conscious decision to eat real organic food in order to nourish my body and take as good care of it as I can while doing my part in supporting Mother Earth. I had been reading a lot about additives, artificial aroma substances and factory made foods. I was (and still am) puzzled by the fact that people spray poison on crops and eat them afterwards wondering how they got sick. I myself was not aware about what I was eating. I didn’t realise that the name of a product didn’t reflect the main ingredient, but that most products are based on water, starch and artificial aroma.

Watch this video of the Swedish author Mats-Eric Nielsson who wrote the book The Secret Chef about how the food industry is creating food-like products for us to eat. 

I am very grateful that i found out and that I can now be a conscious consumer and choose real food. I always look at the label on the back of products – if there are ingredients in the product that I don’t know what is, I don’t buy it. I simply leave it. If the vegetable or fruit I want does not come organic, I don’t buy it. I find something else to eat. It is a choice. I choose to be aware when I roam the super market. I used to to grab things and never read the ingredients. Never again…

Unconscious eating

The majority of people I know and have met in South East Asia eat more or less anything. It is very common to use factory made sauces, sweeteners, stock and tons of white refined sugar. In some countries it is even impossible to find a natural yoghurt without added sugar. My friend told me that when Nestlé made its entrance in the market (Malaysia), they made sure to add sugar to all their products – even milk (or, particularly milk). They were the only or biggest player in the market and they wanted to make people addicted to their products. At that time it was impossible to get unsweetened milk. Can you imagine that?

Even with the added sugar, the milk is promoted as a great source of nutrition and the banners promise that children’s brains will develop faster and they will become smarter by drinking it. They just forget to tell the parents that their kids will be overweight and addicted to sugar for life. But who cares, right? As long as there is profit and people don’t die immediately after eating it, there should be no way to link it all together. In my view it is a matter of taking advantage of people. They use people’s innocence and ignorance to drive consumption and take absolutely no responsibility at all.

So when people don’t think twice about the sweetened milk, why would they even consider that their bread is full of chemicals and air? Why would they worry about whether crops have been sprayed with pesticides and lived solely off fertilizers? Fortunately, critical consumers are blossoming everywhere and it will hopefully drive demand and empower small local farmers to keep producing organic crops. But there’s still a lot to be done. And a lot of it is in the mindset.

All that plastic

When you buy a smoothie in Vietnam it comes in a plastic cup with a plastic lid and wrapped in a plastic bag to hang on your bike. When you go to the market, you rarely see anyone carrying reusable bags to carry their crops, everything comes in separate plastic bags and if you’re lucky they even give you a big one to hold on to all the small ones. You can imagine how much plastic you bring home in one day, huh?

Even organic vegetables are wrapped in a plastic tray and covered with plastic foil. Same story in Denmark even. Why is that? To make you buy more lemons than you actually need? Ridiculous.

Consumerism has become so easy. Just use it and throw it out. No need to clean your table cloth or do dishes if the glasses are disposable, plates too, takeaway boxes, chopsticks and even the table cloth itself can be folded up and it all can go straight to the bin. So easy. But where does all this plastic come from, and where does it go afterwards? Are you sure you want to eat your dinner that was wrapped in petrol? Im not too sure myself..

Is organic a religion?

My teacher once told a story before the yoga class started. He was in New York with some friends. They were at the super market and naturally chose organic products and put them in their basket. When they were in line at the counter another customer looked at their basket and asked, ‘Do you really believe in ‘organic’?’. For some people (me for instance) that question is hilarious. How can you not believe in naturally grown vegetables, well treated animals and no pesticides?

I have met this skepticism several times in South East Asia and my mindset has been challenged in many ways. I have had to compromise quite a bit and close my eyes to what I was actually putting into my body. Talking to my friends and their families and friends, it naturally becomes a conversation topic because everything I bring home from the super market is labeled ORGANIC. In most cases (fortunately not all) they ask me why. Why would I pay three times the price for a carrot? Why would I spend so much on it? Some people even say that nobody died from eating conventional crops. Are you kidding me?

It seems that there is consensus about the fact that people who have cancer should eat organic vegetables, because they are good for the immune system and help beat the cancer cells. People generally agree that organic food is better than conventional food, but in my experience they would rather wait until conventional food gives them cancer than change their priorities and stay healthy in this moment. Lobbyists don’t make it any easier to get the message through either. They come up with scary stories about packaging companies spraying the organic crops before packing them. Some stories might be true, but there must be a bit of trust in the certified organic products, since they feed them to cancer patients ….. right?

Do you believe in organic? 

Personally, I believe that real organic food is the only way to a sustainable planet and sustainable health. There’s isn’t really an option for me to go back to eating conventionally grown vegetables and additives. Of course if there isn’t a choice of organic, I will have to eat something. So for me it isn’t religious or strict, really. It is just a continuos conscious choice that I make every time I eat and every time I shop for food. For me it is simply to raise my awareness.

If you still need to hear a bit more, this is one of the most interesting and alarming documentaries I have ever seen. Make sure to watch it. I have seen it on netflix. I don’t know if it is on any other platforms. GMO OMG is a fathers hunt to find out the truth about GMO’s for his children..

Related posts:

Do you support the cutting down of trees? Maybe you do…

Value 1 – Health and peace of mind 

May 18, 2015
by Kiri Weimann
0 comments

Do you support the cutting down of trees? …maybe you do.

On my walk today I came to think of how lucky I am to live in a country where we plant a tree every time one is cut down and where I can choose to buy organic products and live a healthy lifestyle if I want.

Then my thoughts ran to a conversation I had yesterday. My friend who just returned from a long trip in Asia told me about how they cut down forests there. She told me that she was disgusted when she saw a man in the field with a chemical bottle strapped to his back spraying it all over the crops and that she didn’t realise until then that it was that bad. She told me that almost everywhere in Asia ‘organic’ is just not available. I know of a few places where it is, but for the most part I have experienced the same thing all over Asia.

One word keeps resounding in my mind; why? Why?? What creates this need to cut down trees and spray chemicals on our food? Am I supporting this without knowing I am? These are just a few of the things happening, but let’s stick with them to make it easier to comprehend.

If I asked you straight up if you like the idea of all these trees being cut down, you would most likely look at me as if I was from Mars. If I asked you if you support this cutting down of trees, same reaction. Of course you don’t. Right? ……wrong.

Sorry to break it to you, but we are all in this together. Do you ever buy the cheap notebooks in stead of the expensive ones made in bamboo? Do you choose the conventional cucumber over the organic cucumber because it is almost half the price? I know…. You are not rich. You can’t afford to always choose the most sustainable item. Can you? Can you afford not to?

I fall into this trap sometimes too. I forget to think about it and need a notebook, run down to the shop and find myself buying the one half the price. I have made an important decision, though. I have decided never to buy conventionally produced food anymore. It is possible when I shop for myself, but it gets more difficult when eating out. I have to bite my tongue and eat it.

It makes me sad to know that farmers’ children in Argentina are born with birth defects and handicaps because of pesticides in the air. I am speechless when I learn that the pollution in Beijing is so bad that people suffer health risks if they take their children outside in the ‘fresh’ air. I feel like a coward if I close my eyes to all that because the air in my country is clean and because we have moved almost all our polluting factories to China. Pollution is not too far from us, though. It is recommended not to eat more than 100 g per week (or so) of salmon caught in the Danish Sea Kattegat. The sea is polluted by the factories along the cost dying paper white.

Think about it. Everyday, you make a difference. Everybody makes a difference. It is up to you to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.

Could you buy organic food? Do you really need that magazine? Could you recycle it in any way?

Remember, almost all plastic items in the world are made in China. Factories making plastic items pollute and keep Chinese children indoors. Some Chinese children have never seen a blue sky.

It’s up to you.

April 10, 2015
by Kiri Weimann
0 comments

Don’t push it. You were not meant to be angry, frustrated, or anything like that

This post has taken a while to get here. It is a little long, sorry, but I didn’t seem to be able to make it any shorter. I am writing it as a reaction to the focus of our schools and society in general. It is about my transition from following the unwritten rules of societal credit to following my heart. May sound a little cheasy, but do read it before you judge…

WORK ETHICS FROM SCRATCH
Being born into a family with high moral standards and never bending work ethics, I naturally adopted these values at a very young age. I may even have taken them to even higher levels since I, like any other child, wanted to do my best and make my parents proud. Only later on I have realised that they meant it when they said that they were proud of me and my sister from the day we were born. We didn’t have to do anything or be in any certain way in order to be in the center of their hearts all hours of the day, every day.

I guess this longing to make others proud or be recognised spread to other areas of my life pretty quickly. I don’t remember how I felt towards my first nanny, but if I asked her today, she might be able to fill me in on how often I used to show her drawings and make an effort to tell her what I had found out, accomplished etc. I have felt this urge to do so well or be so good in somewhere near ALL teacher/student relationships I have ever had. Even with my yoga teachers where its all about doing it for myself.

THE SECRET TO SOCIETAL CREDIT
I remember when I was about 11 years old, I had just started learning English and I had had a cold the weekend before my class. I remember looking it up and asking my parents how to say it. I had practised it over and over again only to be able to say it to my teacher. I came to school and when she stepped into the classroom, I went over and gathered my courage and said: “This weekend I caught a cold”. You know what she said? She just said “Oh, right”, not even in English… I felt stupid. Why should she even care about that? I don’t remember exactly what I thought and what I took in from this experience, but looking at my inner dialogues now, it could be something like; do better next time, this wasn’t interesting, you have to come up with something better, or even you don’t matter anyway. 

My mum often told me that I demand a lot from myself. She also said that having such high standards and expectations for your own behaviour and performance, you will meet disappointments along your way. You will meet people who don’t share these high standards or who have high standards in their own opinion, but not in yours. What I did to avoid this was to work a little harder. It goes way back to my first job even. If the other employees didn’t do their job well, I would do their part too. I wouldn’t walk away from a dirty floor or a messy shelf on my shift. It paid off. I became a Manager. If my staff didn’t do what I told them to and as well as I expected, I would work a little faster and do their part over again. This pattern continues and no matter where I found myself, I was being rewarded for working harder than they expected.

I reckon some of you recognise this pattern in yourselves. It might not even have to be rooted in your parents’ behaviour and you may not even have been exposed to any visual ideals about this during your childhood. Maybe you just decoded the secret to societal credit. Children pick this up very quickly, you know..

1/ If you do as you are expected to do nobody really notices.

2/ If you do less than you are expected to, you might get special treatment or worried eyes (sometimes better than not being noticed, I guess).

3/ If you do more than expected, you are praised, recognised for your performance, the teacher might use your report as an example in class.

This is what ‘Employee of the month’ is for. High achiever special treatment in high schools and universities. Bonuses. Growth indicators above 100.

INTELLIGENCE IS NOT ABILITY TO REPEAT WHAT THE TEACHER KNOWS
I recently read an article about a mother who introduced a few hours of ‘time to do nothing’ on Sundays at 11 am. Her children hated it at first as they were used to entertainment and endless activity, but after a while they started looking forward to Sundays of quiet mind-listening. I also found a talk by a teenage boy with higher IQ than Albert Einstein. He was predicted unable to ever live a normal life by health officials when he was a toddler, but is now the youngest astro physics researcher in history. If he hadn’t been taken out of the special education system early on, they might have been right. His motto is: ‘Stop learning and start thinking’.

What is remarkable about this is that we are all different. We understand the world differently and we all need space and time to discover the world and find out what we are passionate about. If we keep focusing on having to learn certain things at a certain time, trying to be better than the person next to us, we lose perspective. We may think being ‘employee of the month’ is what we aim for in life, but honestly….. Nobody came to this world with a mission to be able to repeat what other people said or beat anyone else’s score in math.

When we let the brain rest and be curious instead of pushing it to learn, we suddenly come up with original ideas. We become creative and we may find out that we learn differently from the girl next to us in class. We may find out that we weren’t less intelligent after all, we just saw calculous as images and not numbers for instance.

THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE
In 2010 I was forced to shut down. If I was a computer, someone definitely pressed the reset button. I went from being a busy, extrovert, ambitious, career-oriented communications professional one day to being a sensitive, dizzy social security number with a memory like a goldfish the next day. It all happened so fast and for a while I actually managed to convince myself that it wasn’t happening and that I could go back to my old life in a few days. But as it happens sometimes, the computer kept searching for signal. It was horrifying until the day I realised that I could learn from this.

And BOY did I learn! This has opened my mind, my heart and my soul in ways I never thought possible. I spent hours, days, months trying to focus as little as possible on nothing at all. This made me feel better. Physically. Mentally. When I got that one figured out, I started playing with happy thoughts, positive energy – and what I found was that those thoughts didn’t make me feel bad, not phyically or mentally. I became this annoying happy-ball completely consumed in staying happy no matter what, because unhappy meant PAIN. I have evened it out quite well now, if you ask me, but sometimes I do wish I could find my way back into that state of joy…

Well, this wasn’t the only learning I did. Another thing that comes with post-commotio syndrome (which is what I have – longterm symptoms after a concussion), or at least with my version of it, is bad memory, low energy levels, short attention span to mention just a few. This means that I have a need for shorter workdays, lots of breaks and relaxation during a workday, no stress whatsoever and a constant focus on the signals my body is sending to my brain… As you might have noticed, it doesn’t match very well with my hard working, achieving, ambitious former work ethics. I had to restructure completely. And the funny thing is that all my best ideas have come to me while lying flat on my back on the floor. They never come when I push it. I can’t really plan when I am creative and when I will be able to quickly fix my finances.

WHAT I AM SAYING IS
…..don’t conform and try not to fall into the trap believing that you need to be good at all the things everyone else is good at. You need to find your special ingredient that can attract all the goodness, love and happiness you need. Think about how you encourage other people around you. You don’t have to be like everyone else. Who is everyone else, anyway? We are all different and we are all awesome in our own funny way. And don’t let society decide what you will be or do. You can be or do whatever you want.

January 18, 2015
by Kiri Weimann
0 comments

Fear is a choice, isn’t it?

I was inspired to write this post a few days after New Years Eve this year. I was walking down the street in my neighborhood, my yoga-mat on my back headed for a charity event when I heard a loud boom sound. I immediately understood that it was just somebody shooting off the last New Year’s fireworks somewhere nearby. It didn’t scare me at all and as I was walking to my destination I thought about how grateful I am to be able to choose to live somewhere where I don’t have to fear anything, really. Note the ‘I don’t have to’ which is critical in this sentence. 

This post could take so many turns, couldn’t it? I could choose to write about all the awful bombings around the world or dig into all the fear people living there must feel everyday. I could make it all about gratitude, which is getting very trendy these days – HOW AMAZING IS THAT?! However, I feel that the most appropriate and intriguing subject to talk about is our will to choose how we will let circumstances affect our lives and what it is that makes it so hard sometimes.

I think most of us have tried getting stuck on a thought or spend days thinking the same thing over and over again. These mind games often happen if the thoughts we think makes us worry or makes us feel sad, lonely, unworthy or guilty, but it actually happens with uplifting, positive, happy thoughts as well! We just rarely notice because it makes us feel wonderful, inspired and enthusiastic about what we are thinking about – and this feeling is natural to us.

The state of flow

This experience can be called ‘flow’ and others call it being tuned in or in balance or in alignment. Highly creative people can work for many hours in a row without even getting hungry or thirsty, because their mind is so focused and inspired. Flow is when the math report you were dreading doesn’t seem difficult at all and it feels like all the answers are lining up in your mind ready to be put on paper. Or when everything comes to you in perfect order – you hit all the green lights on your way to work, there is an empty spot for your bike just outside the door, someone bought you coffee to make you happy, all the things you need is on sale at the supermarket, and the entire day goes on like that.

The Law of Attraction

One very common way to explain this is a physics theory or law and it has been used proactively by amazing people like Albert Einstein, Oprah Winfrey, and Louise L. Hay. It is called the Law of Attraction. Just like there is a Law of Gravity making us fall to the surface of the Earth if we jump, the Law of Attraction makes equals attract each other on an energetic level. If two waves of energy are at the same frequency, they will connect. This is the reason why we can build houses and roads and this is also why we crave cake and sugar the day after we just had a small bite. And yup, it is the same with chocolate and coffee!

However, you might be wondering what this has to do with our will to choose and how all this talk about thoughts and chocolate cravings can impact how you let your fear control your life.

“Everything is energy and that is all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help, but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.” – Albert Einstein

It may not be news to you that you are not just bones, muscles and skin. You have an intelligent mind – whatever that means – and a heart that beats on its own!! Incredible! And then there’s this thing called energy and what about emotions?!? What IS that? Whatever it might be, it is flowing through our bodies and minds all the time. Sometimes the energy is low, sometimes high. Sometimes we feel good, sometimes not so much.

I don’t know when exactly I started wondering about this. I know just about when it culminated for me and I know that before it did, I had been reacting to my circumstances over and over again and I had let other people’s energy and actions control my emotions. Even at times when they didn’t mean to. I didn’t know that I could decide not to react to anger with anger. I didn’t know that I had a choice not to let a sad or worried colleague’s mood drag me down and I didn’t yet understand that getting things done and reaching deadlines is much easier if the energy is good.

Start looking for things to enjoy

If I had kept reacting to my circumstances and if I hadn’t taken control and decided that I wanted to enjoy what was there to enjoy, I would most likely have been extremely depressed by now and unable to see my way out of my life as a ‘patient’. Fortunately, I realised that looking for things to enjoy, looking for beauty, looking for happiness made a shift in my energy. I started to feel better and it made me feel hopeful and grateful and I started actively changing negative situations into positives. I know that some people found it quite frustrating at times because I was so obsessed with the thought of being happy and positive all the time that I didn’t allow anyone to affect me negatively. But the matter of fact is that I managed to choose to feel better and feeling better made my symptoms fade away – most likely because the energy of the positive emotions align with a healthy body.

If you want to, you can start making links to your own life. Are there times when you seem to react and let situations, people or circumstances get you down or stress you out? Do you blame the weather or the shop assistant? Do you let your fears guide you and keep you from the life you want? Even if you do live in a place where bombs might fall from the sky when you leave the house, you can choose how you let it affect you. You don’t have to …. (enter whatever is appropriate)

Everything is just a process – Have fun with it

Don’t expect this to be something you can change in one day. Consider it a challenge and remember that it’s a process and you can have fun doing this. If someone is angry with you, let him be angry, but choose your response wisely. If you are afraid to face your boss and demand something, picture her sitting on the toilet.

I am no pro, but I do my best. I work on this everyday. I have amazing teachers pushing me to the limit in every class. If I reacted to all my students’ moods and emotions by mirroring them, boy would I be worn out!!! In stead I work on making them mirror me. Most often you get a smile in return when you send one. And if you smile more than once a day, it’s already doubled!

Have fun and find your flow….!

June 17, 2014
by Kiri Weimann
0 comments

Mainstream Medical Paradigms vs. Ancient Chinese Methods

I was inspired to write this post while I was talking to my Chinese doctor before my treatment today. I have been wanting to make my views clear about this for a while – actually ever since I experienced how Chinese Medicin works on my own body. 

These days I am gaining more and more insight into the health and medical industry – well, yes, it is an industry. It is one of the largest and most profitable industries in the world. People get sick all the time and there will always be helpless and ignorant patients who will do or eat whatever the doctor says will help. As my Chinese doctor said today: “The hospitals have to give patients medicine, if they didn’t what would the patients be there for?”.

Medicine for……. what?

When my father went to hospital for the last time, I remember how the nurses and doctors gave him loads of medicine. Something for the pain, something for digestion (of what? He hadn’t eaten for weeks), something to stablise his heart rythm, something to neutralise acid in his stomach causing ulcers (but wait, wasn’t it all the pills that were causing this?) – you get the picture, right? Don’t get me wrong, I understand why and on which grounds they did it. I understand that in their perspective there was a need for all this medicine.

But…

What if the doctor many years ago had been looking for the cause of my father’s heart fibrillation in stead of giving him pills to stabilise it? What if the doctors had told him to cut down on e.g. fatty cheeses, alcohol and empty carbohydrates long before he was diagnosed with diabetes in stead of observing him passively and once the diagnose was in place, start treating it. What if doctors, just like my Chinese doctor, would be advising their patients on their diets and lifestyle?

…..oh, right. We don’t get into each other’s business, do we?

It’s all about balancing

I have been listening a lot to what is going on behind the curtains in my Chinese doctor’s small clinic. Lying there pinned up with needles, there’s not much else to do. There are elderly people being treated (and cured) for arthritis, low blood pressure, pain in muscles and bones, and there are young people with allergies, digestion issues like myself, insomnia, stress – you name it. No matter what issues the patient has, Ancient Chinese Medicine believes that it comes from an unbalance in your system (the system being a combination of the physical, energetic, mental and spiritual). This unbalance can be something that has slowly developed over time or it might be a certain life event that has been the tipping point.

The thing is, if it is an unbalance, it can get into balance again.

Getting into balance may take a while if the unbalance has built up over time or if the life event was drastic. For me, I am still getting there. It does take time, but I have been at stages where I felt in balance and I believe that this balance-thing works far better than painkillers, ‘happy-pills’ and acid-neutralisers. I have felt it work. Acid forms because you’re out of balance or because you eat or drink something you shouldn’t. Pain is your body telling you that something is wrong – and you better listen and find out what it is in stead of shutting the body up with a pill and ignoring it.

What your taste-buds want vs. what your body needs

You knew I was gonna get to this point sometime, didn’t you? Don’t worry, I am still struggling with this daily too and as long as we don’t gorge hamburgers and cakes everyday, I am sure we’ll be fine. It is all a balance, right?

Let’s say you had a dog, some of you may have dogs, actually. You go to the pet shop and they have a blend of dog food which is filled with nutrition perfect for your dog and more or less designed to make your dog’s fur shiny, it’s muscles and bones strong and give it energy and a good digestion. Why don’t you shop this way for yourself? When you go to the supermarket, do you pick organic products, raw food, real food without pesticides, preservatives and E-numbers? Do you consider if the food you are about to buy will make your hair shiny and healthy, your skin glow and your bones strong?

I hope some of you think that way already. I hope all of us will start thinking that way soon. Life without pesticides, preservatives and E-numbers doesn’t have to be boring or less colorful. Many organic brands have started making wonderful products that are affordable and yummy containing real food. Nutrition.

How about that? A snack that is nutritious and not a raw carrot… What do you say?

A note about this Medical Industry stuff

You see, it is one of those endless (hopefully this one has an end somewhere) circles. Hospitals buy medicine from medical companies. Medical companies are funded by investors from e.g. the pesticide industry (okay, I don’t know that, but it is very likely). People eat pesticides and fall sick and end up in a hospital which buy the medicine from…….

I recently had a meeting with two members of a patient association. We talked about pain killers and how we were all against the use of them and knew that our own symptoms had worsened when we were taking the pills. However, in order to be recognised as a reliable patient association in Denmark, it needs to run along the mainstream medical paradigm and finds it impossible to advice against pain killers without being viewed as some alternative hippie-cult and being kept out of the loop in the larger medical brotherhood.

It is one challenging circle we’re in. I would love to hear your views and ideas as to how to change this paradigm.

Thanks.

June 5, 2014
by Kiri Weimann
0 comments

Value 1 – Health and Peace of Mind

This group of posts are meant as inspiration and motivation for you to work on making your values and goals achievable. Sometimes we want something for ourselves, but we set the bar so high that we strive all our lives and never seem to be able to reach our goals. I don’t want to spend my life striving for something that I may reach when Im 80 when I can change the wording and enjoy reaching it everyday. I’ll tell you how.

It is interesting how long it has taken me to sit down and write the last of these 10 blog posts. I have noticed this tendency in my life a number of times before. When I need to do something that means a lot to me – it doesn’t have to be anything big – it takes me forever to get my act together and do it. It can be an important phone call or an email, booking a ticket to a place I am dying to go to or contacting my most favored business partner or customer. The longer I wait, the more tension I build around whatever it is I need to do and it keeps getting harder and harder to get started.

So, here I am, more than two months after my last value-post writing about my most treasured value – Health and Peace of Mind.

What happened was that the week I had intended to write the post, I had neglected and down prioritised my health and peace of mind. I was pushing myself to finish something – don’t remember what it was, so it probably wasn’t even important. Actually, nothing is more important than my health. Nothing. And still, I find myself choosing tasks before health, I noticed how I had ‘forgotten’ to do my yoga and meditation because I had ‘more important’ things to do.

BUT. Instead of slabbing myself in the face and yelling at myself for being mindless and caught up, I eat a healthy meal or stretch my body. I do something that makes me feel good. I meditate and acknowledge how it makes me feel. How it makes my brain calm down, my body calm down, my mind calm down.

Being healthy and valuing health and peace of mind does not mean that I need to reach a certain body fat index or that I cannot react and show my emotions. I can do something very simple in this very moment that makes me live up to my value. The more I do it, the better I feel about myself because I keep being reminded that I can do these little things and live up to my values at the same time.

I live my value Health and Peace of Mind whenever I stretch and strengthen my body, whenever I allow my mind to rest, whenever I get fresh air and move around, whenever I eat food that is benefitting my body and whenever I fulfill my need for sleep, peace and quiet.

Sometimes living up to your values can seem difficult even though you have made a list like my own. You might be traveling and find it hard to get your sleep, eat right, exercise or whatever it might be. Last month I went to Panama and found myself eating a lot more junk than I am used to, I had difficulty sleeping some nights and I didn’t take as much time for yoga and meditation as I normally do. But then I remembered that I could celebrate the times when I DID eat something good, or when I DID my yoga, slept well, prioritised peace and quiet etc.

It flips the picture, doesn’t it. It makes it all easier and less stressful. Living up to your values does not have to be one more measurement of your performance. You can make yourself a winner everyday. And the amazing thing about this game is that there doesn’t have to be any losers.

March 23, 2014
by Kiri Weimann
0 comments

Value 2 – Happiness and Fun

This group of posts are meant as inspiration and motivation for you to work on making your values and goals achievable. Sometimes we want something for ourselves, but we set the bar so high that we strive all our lives and never seem to be able to reach our goals. I don’t want to spend my life striving for something that I may reach when Im 80 when I can change the wording and enjoy reaching it everyday. I’ll tell you how.

When talking about happiness and fun, inevitably most people will think that it involves other people. Some may even claim that it is something that depends on other people. That you cannot feel or create or maintain happiness and fun in your life by yourself. I would like to challenge this view a bit.

Imagine the feeling when you put fresh flowers in a vase. Imagine the feeling when you prepare a lovely dinner, light a candle, set the table and enjoy every bite. Imagine how you feel when the sun kisses your skin and you take a deep breath of fresh air. I could continue endlessly with all the things that make me happy.

I agree that happiness often involves other people, but I think that the moment you depend on other people to make you happy you’ve missed the point. Or at least the point that I am trying to make here. You don’t have to agree with me, but I wouldn’t be writing this if I wasn’t convinced that I have some insight on this.

If you have read some of my previous posts, you know that I have been – and still am – challenged by PCS, long-term symptoms after a concussion I had 3 years ago. During my tough periods, I learned a lot about how to bring happiness and fun into my life on my own and enjoy life fully even though most of my days were spent alone. It is a practise like any other. You need to try and you need to fail many times before you truly master it. I remember how my dear, dear sister literally exploded during my ‘fake it till you make it‘ period. Thankfully, I have reached a point now where I don’t have to fake it anymore and where I can be authentic in living out this value.

What I have realised while working on bringing happiness and fun on top of the list is that when I take ownership of my own happiness and when I decide to engage in things I enjoy, it makes the practise much easier. I don’t sit around at home waiting for a call that can make me happy, or wait for a friend to buy me flowers. I make the call, because I want to make someone happy, I invite my friend for dinner or buy her flowers. For me, it is crucial that I can make myself happy first. I am the best person in the world to know what makes ME happy. I love to buy myself flowers, make myself a foot bath or make myself a lovely dinner. I consider it an extra bonus if someone joins me or if someone else buys me flowers. I will never expect it from anyone. Their mere presence is a gift in itself. It may sound like a thousand violins playing in the background, but having spent months on end alone in my apartment with very little energy to have guests, I am extremely grateful for every visitor I get.

I live my value Happiness and Fun whenever I do something to make myself or others happy, whenever I smile or laugh, whenever I fill my mind with good memories and fulfilling experiences and whenever I believe in myself. 

Having happiness and fun as my value number 2 also means that I use it as a criteria in my decision making. I always ask myself if what I am doing or what I am deciding to do or spend time on makes me happy or will be fun. If not, it has to be life-saving important before I do it.

This focus has made me stop putting random work ahead of my dreams – or before a coffee with a friend. For me, it means deselecting frustration, anger, worry and a number of other negative emotions. This doesn’t mean that I disregard any negative emotion or that I don’t experience difficult situations. I just choose to view things differently and I avoid this type of situation as often as I can.

Happiness and fun is my priority. I do this for me..

March 16, 2014
by Kiri Weimann
0 comments

Value 3 – Honesty and Trust

This group of posts are meant as inspiration and motivation for you to work on making your values and goals achievable. Sometimes we want something for ourselves, but we set the bar so high that we strive all our lives and never seem to be able to reach our goals. I don’t want to spend my life striving for something that I may reach when Im 80 when I can change the wording and enjoy reaching it everyday. I’ll tell you how.

Having honesty and trust ranking this high on my values list is only possible because I have made an enormous effort the past few years in telling the truth (even when it’s uncomfortable) and in daring to trust other people much more than I used to. Going through life is a journey filled with expectations, hopes and pursuit for happiness and love. However, this road I have taken sometimes takes unexpected turns and reveals to me that even with the deepest hope or the highest expectations I am not in control. I have even learned that control is not the point, either.

My mother always said to me that with the level of expectation I have to myself and my own abilities to create whatever I want, I am bound to get disappointed sometimes. Expecting much of myself inevitably means that I expect the same from others and demand a great deal from the world around me. Learning to let go through yoga and meditation practises have started a change in me. One of the main learning points in teaching yoga to kids is letting go of expectations, trusting that yoga will do it’s magic for the kids either way. Things don’t have to go according to my plan and everything is perfect just the way it is.

I have learned to trust that whatever happens happens because I need to learn something from it. Good or bad. Often, I learn more when whatever it is that happens makes me realise how much I am disgusted about something or hurt because of something. This learning experience has made me so much stronger and one of the things it has made me realise is that most people, myself included, tell little innocent lies all the time. And it has made me realise how much I hate doing that. I feel like I am cheating myself and the other person equally when I do that – I feel disconnected. Hence, ever since I realised this, I have been actively working on eliminating even the smallest of lies in order to fine-tune my honesty and trustworthiness.

I live my value Honesty and Trust whenever I am honest to myself, whenever I show other people that they can trust me, whenever I speak my mind and whenever I give a compliment to someone because I truly mean it. 

Mahatma Ghandi said: ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. I am trying my best.

Honesty and Trust comes from within. If I am able to be honest to myself and trust myself I will end up surrounded by honest people whom I can trust. It is the law of attraction, isn’t it? Smile seeks smile. Love seeks love.

On a final note, being honest doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to say everything that is on your mind. Sometimes silence is better. I like to combine my attempt to be completely honest with one of my favorite quotes:

‘Si lo que was a decir no es mas guapo que el silencio, no lo digas’ 
(If what you are about to say is not prettier than silence, don’t say it)

Sometimes it is better to just rest my case.

March 14, 2014
by Kiri Weimann
0 comments

Reaching out for help and accepting help from others – scary?

I recently joined a group on facebook. The group is a place where people with PCS (Post-Commotio Syndrome) can share experiences and help each other at whatever stage they are in the illness. PCS is the long-term illness you can end up with after a concussion – the limitations I deal with daily and which have shaped my life for the past 3 years. A small debate in the group inspired me to post my opinion about reaching out for help and thereby encourage you to do it more. 

Living with PCS can mean a lot of different things, but for many people it means that it is harder to deal with big social events and that we get tired VERY easily. How much this affects the social life depends where this person is in his or her illness. Some may be able to withstand a whole day with music and people around, others may only be able to sit with one other person for 30 minutes and talk.

However, this woman commented on a post that this weekend it was her oldest child’s birthday. She had planned for a family birthday with 14 people one day and a birthday party for the child’s classmates the day after. She mentioned that she didn’t want to let her limitations affect her child’s birthday, so she would push her limits and arrange all this for him even though she knew that it would make her feel awful for days after.

Reading that made me think about how many people think that asking for help is embarrassing. Or how many people don’t want to trouble others by asking and, hence, stand through hard times on their own. I can’t help to think that this woman should ask others to help her with these awesome birthday parties in order for her to get her rest and be able to be there – for some of the time – for her child. I don’t see any benefit for either her or the child in her pushing herself to throw these huge parties for everyone – cooking, cleaning, being the game-host and this crazy energy-mother that she thinks is the only good way to be a mother.

What she doesn’t realise yet is that her children are incredibly lucky to have a mother who has room for quiet times, peace, rest and love in the present moment. So many other mothers run around and try to entertain their children all the time, but her children will always know that being with their mother means peace and quiet and connection. I think she should leave those awesome birthday parties and all the preparation to someone else, or even a bunch of other people who can handle it wonderfully while she is resting and getting herself ready to just BE in the moment with the family and with the classmates.

I know that I am not here to judge or tell anyone what to do. I just feel that asking for help is a community thing. It is ok. Everyone needs help sometimes. Everyone! I am not always the best practioner of my preaching in this aspect, but I do try. My reaching out has given me so much and I will continue to do it, because I will not be able to live my life alone and I desperately need help sometimes.

At the moment for instance, I need help translating 8 documents from Danish to English. If I have to do it myself, it may take 2-3 weeks, because I need rest so often. If a few other people dip in, it may take only one week. Who knows?

Lifting life alone is just not right in my eyes.

Ask for help. Involve others. Most people would love to help. I am incredibly grateful for all the help I have received through the years. I will do everything I can to give back – and I know that all of you fantastic and awesome people helping me know that. However, I will never stop asking for help. Everything is abundant. Help too.

LOVE.

March 9, 2014
by Kiri Weimann
0 comments

Value 4 – Optimism

This group of posts are meant as inspiration and motivation for you to work on making your values and goals achievable. Sometimes we want something for ourselves, but we set the bar so high that we strive all our lives and never seem to be able to reach our goals. I don’t want to spend my life striving for something that I may reach when Im 80 when I can change the wording and enjoy reaching it everyday. I’ll tell you how.

I don’t know if it is only common in Denmark to always expect the worst outcome possible? Some even call it being realistic and make a great effort trying to make us, the optimists, turn the volume down and consider all the pitfalls as well. We are often called dreamers and considered a bit naïve, because we choose to focus on the bright side of things.

Have you ever had one of those days where everything goes wrong? In Denmark most people would say that they got out of bed with the wrong leg first. I wonder which leg is the wrong one. hmm. On these days you might start out cutting yourself on the bread knife or spilling your coffee on the newspaper or something. Later on, you forget your keys, miss the bus and right there, you’ve got the avalanche rolling. The whole day seems like a disaster-magnet and very often the accidents get worse and worse throughout the day and you return home (after paying the locksmith way too much for opening your door) exhausted wishing you hadn’t even left your bed in the morning.

Do you wanna know what I think happens?

Im not going to wait for your answer, but I assume you want to know since you’re here reading this. I think that on those days you let the events around you shape your focus and your mood. When you cut your finger on the knife, you curse at yourself and say something like ‘…I am always so clumsy’ or ‘….why am I so stupid and careless?’. Once you’ve said that (or thought that), your brain will start trying to help you figure it out. That’s when you drop the coffee. Again, you get even harder on yourself and might even make angry sounds at yourself even though you’re alone. Your focus is on these two small accidents and you keep thinking about them all morning which results in your brain forgetting the keys …and so on.

Something interesting happens on the mornings where you cut your finger and laugh at it. Smile and say ‘woops that was deep’ and put a plaster on it. Quite remarkably, your coffee stays in its cup, you remember your keys and catch the bus. You might remember the small cut later in the day when your finger feels a little sore or the plaster falls off, but you don’t focus on it. Instead you focus on the lovely smell of coffee in the morning, or the sun shining through the window. The nice bus driver who held the door open for you or whatever else makes you feel good.

I live my value Optimism whenever I look for the positive side of things, whenever I believe in myself and laugh at myself, and whenever I remind myself that everything is perfect just the way it is. 

Optimism is not only about taking chances and hoping blindly that your new idea will make you rich or famous. It’s a choice you make all day. You can decide how to experience every little thing. I agree that some days it can be harder than others, but since I started practising this consciously, I have had only good days. There is always something to be grateful for. Even on the toughest of days.

I am alive. I can reflect. I feel. Awesome!