Archives for category: Learning

Sometimes I find myself thinking without taking any active part of it myself. My thoughts are being thought for me, all thoughts are just reactions to my surroundings. You might also have felt this way, because it’s thoughts you’ve been taught to have. Many times people around you and society teach you that you have to get angry if this happens, and you should be sad if that happens etc.

When I find myself thinking on reflex like that I try to take a break. Feel my surroundings, look at my hands, really be there in the moment being aware that life and everything is now. It’s a really powerful and energizing feeling when you manage and it gives you the feeling that you have the power to choose. More than a feeling actually, the truth.

You’re free to choose how you act on things, how you react, how you think, how you want to do things. Maybe some people will disagree with your ways or try to make you change into reacting “the way you should”. Because even if it makes you feel worse, it’s the “right” way to think.

Is it really? I propose that it might just be a common way to think. But then many people today are unhappy or stressed out. Considering that, breaking from the common way of thinking might just be a very good idea and may have many good effects on your mental and physical well-being.

Many things today we think of differently than we did a couple of years ago, not not to mention a 100 years ago and even further back. Not just as persons but as humans. People’s and society’s way of seeing things have also changed throughout the years. The way we think isn’t decided for us, it’s dynamic and we’re free to choose.

Try to observe your thoughts in situations where you usually think on reflex. Situations when you usually get sad, irritated or angry, and just pause. Take a deep breath and ask yourself if you can’t react in a way that would make you feel better. This does not include thinking of how to take revenge on something bad something did to you, because it might feel a bit better for a second but anger will eventually create guilt, and guilt does not make you feel better. Instead think of how you could change your thoughts right now to make you feel easier on the inside. Maybe you won’t feel happy, but at least at peace.

If you don’t succeed this time, forgive yourself and apologize if you got angry or irritated to whatever or whomever you got angry at, even if it’s just silently inside your head. It will release a lot of stress and you will feel easier on the inside. Then try again the next time.

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I just came home from a 4 km barefoot run in pitch dark. The bus wasn’t coming before another 20 minutes so I decided to use the opportunity to run. It had rained a couple of hours earlier, so the asphalt was wet and cool.

When I got home I took a cold shower. We have to make fire to get heat in the water tanks at home, and many times when I get back from a run, we don’t have any hot water so it’s just to step into the shower and get it over with. I didn’t mind though. And it was when I was standing in the shower, not minding it at all, that it got to me that there were many things I don’t mind today that I would’ve gotten very irritated by, just 2 years ago (or even more recently).

First off, just a couple of months ago I didn’t like cold showers at all and avoided them at all costs, even on hot summer days. But one day when I was in Korea 2 months ago, someone forgot to tell me about the hot water switch when I was alone in the apartment, so I stepped into the cold shower. And started laughing. It was such a funny situation that it was all I could do. If I’m gonna do something less enjoyable, I might as well make the most of it! And since that day I sometimes even willingly take cold showers even when there’s hot water in the tanks.

One other thing, is being barefoot. Until 2 years ago I really didn’t like being barefoot. I wanted my foot armor in shape of a shoe. It felt safe and stable. But at some time I started to enjoy being barefoot. Being more natural, not wearing shoes or socks (when it’s not too cold of course, that is), and lately I’ve been more and more into barefoot running. From not liking to be barefoot to prefer running without shoes even when I have them! It feels fantastic and I smile when I think about it.

It feels really good having made this progress in attitude towards things in life. Big ones and small ones. I don’t even sigh when I on rare occasions spill my cup of hot coffee over myself in the morning (don’t ask why I spill my coffee, I can’t answer), I just laugh over the silly situation and clean it up, feeling almost better than before!

Being able to laugh about things that might seem bad at first glance, but really is just silly or funny, have helped me relax and feel better. Good or bad is all about attitude and perspective, and you can chose whether you want to look on something as good or as bad. If something’s happened, it’s happened, and it won’t change because you don’t like it, so make the best of it and find the good or funny parts and laugh at it!

Peaceful moment in silence.

Enjoy being. Being present.

I used to have music in my ears at all time except for when talking to other people. Really, to and from the bus I used my mp3-player. On the bus I used it. At work, school, home, in the car. The times when I just got to work and realized I’d forgotten my mp3-player or my ear phones, my day was ruined! I mean, who can work a full day without listening to music?

Well, I can now. And I even prefer to do it without music (at least my current job).

Since I started to actively trying to get to learn myself better, and be more present, the need for constant distraction has reduced greatly. I focus on what I do, and wether I have music or not while doing it doesn’t really matter any more. Being present in silence is spending time on yourself, whatever you’re doing. And also my ability to be present and focused increase  when I’m not distracted by music and sounds.

I write this even though I love music. I’ve played in several bands and I’ve been to lots of live shows, but there’s a time for music, and there’s a time for silence. My default mode has switched from listening to music to listening to and enjoying silence. Of course I still listen to music, but when I do, I put on music to listen to it, not to keep it as background noise, as a distraction.

The few times I get home by driving a car, when I stop outside the house and turn off the car, the silence is almost magical. It’s so intense and calming. It’s just you, coming home after a probably lively day (or just from having spent some time in a noisy car), and silence. I sit and breath deeply for a while before I get out, almost as getting ready to face the world again. But actually, I’m almost more present in the world in the silence and presence within the quiet car because there are so few distractions.

I believe that many people listen to music all the time during work and on the bus etc. because it feels like you’re a part of ‘it’ that way. That other people are listening to the same thing and that makes you connected to them the moment you also listen to it. It’s just that it doesn’t matter if you listen or not, you’re always part of the world. I think my ability to enjoy time without music has grown from having gotten to know myself better. Simply starting to enjoy spending time alone, or just being. The need for getting feedback that I’m part of ‘it’ is not there anymore.

Try spending some time in silence, intently forget your mp3-player,  try to spend just an hour without music at your work, or ride the bus without your ear phones plugged in! It might be a really pleasant experience! And also, it’s a very, very simple form of enjoying the moment! (And it’s cheap!)

Maybe you too enjoy spending time in silence and being present? Share this post, and feel free to subscribe yourself! And also feel free to follow me on twitter and retweet this post!

"Deep inside, it's always my time" - Cry of a Restless Soul, Lost Horizon

Yesterday I dropped my wallet. It was about 40 000 yen (about 3000 sek) and my room key in it. I  was just about to enter the supermarket when I took off my bag and opened the outer pocket on my bag. Strangely enough, the wallet wasn’t there, so I searched the other pockets as well but didn’t find it. My thoughts went something like: “Oh well, I guess I dropped it. I’d be nice if the manager was home so I can get into my room when I get back”, and started walking home. My heart didn’t even flinch.

This might sound a bit careless, but really, I feel great about having acted so calmly! 40k yen is quite some money, but worrying wouldn’t have helped me getting them back. If I’d worried, the only thing that would’ve happened is that I’d be poorer AND feel worse. My general thought of the situation were: “I’ll do what I can to get it back, and if I can’t, I’ll just have to live with it”.

When I got home I told some friends in the living room that I’d lost my wallet, one of them checked up the number to the café (excelsior!) where I thought I’d lost it, I contacted them and told them that I’d probably lost my wallet there, and they said they’d look for it. Then I used my friend’s window to cross over the roof over to my window and into my own room, so at least the key didn’t turn out to be a problem!

I fell asleep later that night without a thought about it.

I know many people that wouldn’t have been able to do that, and some people  even told me I was crazy for not worrying about it. But why? Accept the moment as it is, and make the best of it. It’s really the ONLY thing you can do! Even If you worry about it, or if you accept it as it is, it doesn’t change the situation. It’ll be 100% the same either way, except for your mental and physical well-being. And I prefer having my mental and physical well-being in good shape. Accepting the moment doesn’t mean that you just drop it, not trying to change it, not at all. You can do that all you want to fix it (probably even should, if you don’t like it), but with energy and calmness in your mind and heart.

Having a clear mind without stress or worry is probably also gonna help you do the best of the situation. You can think clearer, act clearer, and you can sleep soundly at night, giving you energy enough to fix the problems you might have.

In this case:

  • What about the money I would’ve had if I hadn’t dropped it!? – That’s a fantasy future you’ve made up. It’s in your head, and it’s not real. Stop worrying about it.
  • But I HAD them! – That’s in the past. It’s not the truth anymore. Drop it, accept the moment as it is and act mindfully and appropriately the way you think will most likely get them back.

In the end, I got my wallet back. I went to the café after school, they remembered me from the phone the day before and returned it to me. I thanked them heartedly and celebrated by getting a coffee. It was really tasty! Even if I hadn’t gotten it back, I’d still be happy for not having worried about it, and for having made my present more important than my past and my fantasy future!

Every moment of your life is your life, moments of awesome and moments of not awesome all the same. Honor all moments of your life by not worrying about moments that are not!

If you feel you can accept the moment and not worry, or if you like the idea of feeling calm and peaceful all the time, feel free to subscribe! And also feel free to follow me on twitter and retweet this post! Tweet

This is a normal morning train in the Tokyo area.When I went to school today, I didn’t get very far at first. When I arrived at the station the first sign that the trip was gonna take a bit longer than normal was that it was quite crowded. That is, you had to push yourself to get through the crowd of people to even get to the station. I heard in the speakers that the train wouldn’t be up and running for another 30-40 minutes, so I thought, why not take a walk to the next station? Instead of getting stressed out, angry or irritated, I just started walking to the next station, enjoying being outside.

But wasn’t I going to be late? Oh yeah, big time. It took me 3 hours to even get to the school, and even though I usually get there 1 hour before it starts, I missed the first class by getting 1 hour late. But there was nothing I could do about it. I texted my teacher saying I was gonna be late, and then I started practicing being present and calm, some mind practice. Why feel stressed out and angered for getting late when it’s gonna happen anyway? Just be present, adapt to make yourself feel better and calm and you’ll get where you’re going anyway, feeling refreshed and happy instead of tired and having a worried stomach.

When you find yourself in a stressful situation, try to focus and turn it into a practice instead. Be the master of the moment! (“Moment Master”, it sounds pretty awesome to me). If you like being in control of things, then this is just perfect for you! I know it isn’t easy, and it might not work in all situations for everyone, but in most cases of stressing moments, like the example I just brought up -being late-, it will work just awesomely. Try focus on your breathing, the feeling of air going through your nose (or mouth if you prefer it). Try thinking of awesome things, or how great your breakfast tasted (if you had one. If you didn’t, you should start having it, you’ll feel less hungry, and it’s easier to get stressed out on an empty stomach). Instead of thinking how stupid and annoying the people around you are, just because they’re in your way of getting on time, try to imagine their situations; They’re probably getting late too, and they probably got to the station well on time, just as you did, to get where they’re going. They’re all in the same situation as you, and they’re not trying to piss you off just by being there. No matter how angry or irritated or stressed out you get, you won’t get there faster. And being stressed out and angry requires energy, so you’ll probably end up hungry as well, and no one likes being hungry. (Maybe some people do, but I don’t know anyone who does).

Just compare these pictures of me:

Me being calm, at peace, one with the world :')

Me, being calm, at peace, one with the world :')

Me, being angry, mad at the traffic and all the stupid people around me! GRR!!!

Me, being angry, mad at the traffic and all the stupid people around me! GRR! >: (

Which one looks like he’ll be having the better day? I don’t know about you, but I’d be betting my pot of gold on the calm one.

If you also got stuck in the traffic but stayed calm and peaceful, or if you like the idea of feeling calm and peaceful all the time anyways, feel free to subscribe! And also feel free to follow me on twitter and retweet this post! Tweet

Look how nice this forest is. How could you possibly enjoy it if you were away in thoughts at the same time? You probably wouldn't!

A little more than a week ago I was sitting at a café with a friend, having a talk about ideas and thoughts of life, and he brought up that he’d read an awesome book, which was one of the things that got him started to really think about life and living in a new way. Since he mentioned that it was one of the most important and interesting books he’d ever read, I felt I had to read it.

I’m in the middle of it right now, and it’s hard to express how awesome it is, because I don’t think that I quite understand even myself how great it is yet.

It’s about the present moment. To fully live and understand the thing about the present moment, that everything that happens in your life happens now, and only now, and you will only experience things in the present moment. Not in the future or in the past, those are things in your mind, but all you really will experience is your now. It sounds so simple and so obvious but it’s at the same time so damn hard to actually grasp that your life is, always has been and always will be NOW.

If you think it’s obvious and easy, try to stay focused for just one minute in the present moment, without slipping away with thoughts about the future, the past or some other fantasy. I tell you, it’s pretty darn hard. You would think that it should be the easiest thing in the world to just sit or stand or do anything at all, and at the same time not think about something else, but it’s surprising how much harder it is than you imagined.

Sometimes I think I have grasp of the present moment, but then I find myself thinking of things far away from now, like what I’ll do when school in Japan is over, what I want to do in the future, what I’ve done the last couple of days or even years ago, even though I thought I was fully present at the time. It’s scary, and it’s something I’m trying to pay attention to every day, every moment.

How much time do we waste thinking about things that’ve already happend, or that might happen (but probably won’t, at least not in the way we’re imagining it), instead of focusing on what’s our real lives, that is, the present moment?

(Btw, there’s a fat earthquake going on while I’m writing this (NOW!), I love how it gets my adrenaline pumpin’!)

If you also feel weirded out the idea of the present moment (or maybe you’re already there?), (or are experiencing earthquakes right NOW!), feel free to subscribe! And also feel free to follow me on twitter and retweet this post! Tweet

Do weird things! Stand upside down!

Do weird things! Stand upside down!

I’ve been in Japan now for almost 10 months now. I took a trip to Korea for 18 days not long ago.
Since I started to live abroad I’ve started to appreciate lots of things I never even thought of before when I was in my old life with the perspective I had back then. Since I moved away I’ve gotten perspective on my own life, on the world, and insight in many other things. I’ve become interested in improving my self, my way of thinking, my mind, my life, the world and in nature.

I’ve become aware of habits and mindsets that I have that I thought was common in the world even though they’re not, and because of that I’ve begun to appreciate them too. Things my parents told me and taught me when I was younger have suddenly sunk in through the thick layers of my own “perfect ideas” I had when I was little, and I’ve started to see the value in them.

I love that I’ve become aware of these things and I love that I’ve started to appreciate them, and I can’t express well enough the awesome feeling of having lived abroad and get perspective! It’s amazing, and I feel that my life has become so more interesting since I came here!

I’ve started reading books that’re contributing to my life, and not just for fun (that doesn’t mean they’re not fun, I enjoy every second I spend reading them!).

Small things I’ve suddenly become thankful and happy for:

My parents’ teachings:
– I chew with my mouth closed. Not everyone in asia does that, not even many.
– I clean up after me. As we all know, people in the world who cleans up after themselves are pretty rare
– I believe in myself.
– I like myself
– I cover my mouth with the crook of my arm when I sneeze. This is common for people in general, at least in Sweden, but I haven’t spent much thought on it before. In asia people mostly sneeze in the flat of their hands which they later use for, well, everything; opening doors, holding on to something to keep their balance on the train etc.. I’ve heard that it doesn’t matter much in asia because people don’t greet each other with handshakes… unless they greet a foreigner. I feel a bit of terror every time I grab on to something on the train or when I shake hand with someone here. At least I think it helped me to finally stop biting my nails!
– I cook my own food. My teachers have been impressed even by a egg+salad sandwich I made myself. I was embarrassed ^^
– I keep my room and my possessions clean.
– I take time for myself to just be.
– I value myself over mindless work.
– I say no to things I don’t want to do (unless they’re really unavoidable).

Other things:
–  I get filled with joy when I see children playing and often wave and smile at them.
– I often seek eye contact with strangers, just for a moment, and often offer them a smile.
– I try to help others as much as I can.
– I’ve been inspired to live my life.
– I like watching nature.
– I get shivers when I hear about nature friendly energy sources (solar power <3<3) .
– I’ve started sleeping regularly.
–  I’m me.

These are things that came to mind just now, but I feel now that I am way more aware of small things now, that I didn’t spend much thought on when I was still in Sweden, and had no bigger thoughts on life itself.

I’m so happy that I’ve come in contact with the people and blogs that changed my life, and are still changing it!

Love your life! Pay attention to things around you and feel inspired by them! Enjoy life’s moments and don’t settle for something you don’t feel is right!

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