Creating clarity, making choices, and loving yourself through the process – Diving into 2018

The days between Christmas and New Years Eve were for me a time to recollect and reflect on the year gone:
…Remembering important experiences and encounters.
…Giving myself credit for courageous steps taken.
…Sending out gratitude to the people in my life who have supported and given me guidance.
…Trying to give words to and create an understanding of the connection between the different sources of inspiration and influences that have steered and pulled me.

I notice how much power it gives me to take time to reflect back. To not just go on and on, but to stop and take a moment to recollect and engage myself with what was there.
It is like a process of digesting, and same as with food, it is an important part of being able to take nutrions out of my experiences – to be able to grow through and with them. It needs to be given time, space, calm, respect…

This year I realised that I also really appreciated all the fireworks on New Years Eve – a explosively impressive sign – a collective setting of a boundary between then and now that can’t be missed.

So the boundary is crossed – we have already entered fairly far into 2018.
During the first week of the year I reentered my working room and started to prepare myself for work to come. During this process of reorganising and structuring my working space my eyes got caught by a small part of a vision board that I created together with a friend at the beginning of last year.
Vision board may sound ambitious… for us at the time it was actually more a play with combining images and colours that attracted us on a big piece of paper without thinking so much about how it connected to our visions and ideas during the process.
But like any creative work with images, looking at the finished product we could find all kinds of important hidden meanings. And looking back at the picture over the year (- I actually taped it to our kitchen wall to have it in view :)), it was amazing to see how much of the processes I went through could be related to different parts of the picture. The human mind loving to search for meanings and connections in things surely. But this is also the beautiful part of using creative processes to make sense of what is going on in us – our feelings, thoughts, imagination… Finding images and words that gives it an expression. Something that could possibly even be shared with and understood by others.

So this is the image I want to share with you – the photo at the top of this accompanying this post: Pinguins in line on a huge block of ice waiting to take the leap into a turbulent, black sea.
When I look at this image I feel the anticipation before entering something new – the dark sea attractive and repelling at the same time – the fear and the excitement. I see the one pinguin in mid-leap, the tension in the little body, the belly and chest pushing forward, ready to hit the water surface. I feel movement in my own belly, knowing how it feels being in the air in the middle of a free fall. And I see the two pinguins next in line twisting sharply back with their bodies, as if trying to stop themselves from sliding – holding back and delaying the leap.
Connecting with my memories of jumping from the cliffs along the Swedish west coast as a child – always with the thought: „Is this not too high for me maybe…?“.
The same kinds of feeling before entering a new context or project: „Am I really ready for this…?“.
I’m thinking now, is this not the point where we are almost always at?
We don’t really ever know what is ahead of us or what happens later. We can only decide at that moment to leap or not, to cross a boundary, to take a step…
And we also don’t know what happens if we decide not to do it. Moving onwards and daring to do something new, out of our control and comfort zone is extremely important and often very strengthening. But stopping and turning back can also be an equally important and strengthening decision.
One of the most important things I have learnt this year is how important it is to accept and embrace yourself whether you take the leap or not, and whatever comes out of it – to see how you always have the possibility to land in yourself, whatever place you end up in.
In my view this is also one of the most difficult things for us to learn – to respect and love ourselves in the process.
The sense of not knowing, feeling vulnerable, making mistakes, learning, responding, moving…
It takes practice. I definitely do not always succeed, but slowly I feel like I’m getting slightly better at it.
…Stopping for a moment and feeling what is really there.
…Breathing in and feeling how things in your life move and excite you. Breathing out and allowing yourself to be moved.
…Breathing in and experiencing the force of the pull towards what you want to have and achieve in your life. Breathing out and resting in this moment that is now.
…Breathing in and allowing all your plans, visions, dreams, thoughts to fill you to the brim and extend you into space. Breathing out and letting yourself sink back with the trust that it is enough – that YOU are enough, even just through the mere fact of being here, being present, whatever you decide to do.

I wish each and every one of you an inspiring, empowering and creative start to 2018!!