Be Inspired

Be Inspired

Bored? Time for a new perspective

“I am so bored”. Do you sometimes utter those words? To others or yourself? It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Like everything else in life, it depends on how you look at it. What is your angle. 

Consider this: we are living quite hectic lives nowadays, working a lot, commuting a lot, planning, meeting, deadlines, friends, family and pets…Every single minute of our life is planned out.
When suddenly we get a moment of calm and quiet, a whole afternoon with no plans, no outside stimulation or entertainment, just us and our thoughts. One might “panic” and label it: boredom. Someone else might see these moments as true ways to reboot.

I am never bored, I always find a way to entertain myself. Whether through my thoughts or my never ending to do lists. I do have those moments where I feel more apathetic than others but even then, I see those moments more as little resting breaks in between periods of productivity.

Easy things to do when you start feeling bored and get out of it:

  • Create a playlist, looking for good songs will cheer you up and inspire you.
  • Write. Put your feelings in writing instead of letting them overthrow you. Write to yourself or to others.
  • Go for a walk. Look up at the sky, breath the fresh air.
  • Take a nap.
  • Call a friend or a family member. Don’t text, actually call.
  • Dig out that to do list and tackle the easy stuff first.

Usually one activity will trigger another and get you out of “boredom land”.

Bottom line is; change your approach to “boredom”. Don’t resent it. It showed up for a reason. Try and understand it, and then work around it.


By: Mo Oléron 

Be Inspired

The art of living in the present

How many percent of your mind space are you spending on the past? How much time is spent trying to look into, or plan for, the future? How often are you fully engaged in the present? 

When I did this exercise for myself, by observing my thoughts a bit more diligently, I realised that I spend far too much time in the future and not enough in the right now. It’s was a sad realisation but I know I’m not alone in this.

When I’ve finished my workday, and gotten the kids to bed, then I will relax. When we’ve finally checked in to that hotel on our vacation, then we’ll be happy. When I’ve finished my studies, and gotten my first real job, then I will start enjoying life. When I have that partner that truly gets me, then I’ll feel satisfied.

But we all know this; there is no there there.

As soon as we get there we’ll surely find something else to strive for, something in the distant future to long for that keeps us from living in the moment.

So, how do we do it? Move the there to here? Well, I practice being in the presence by noticing the small details in my every day; the taste of the coffee, the way my body feels when it moves, that smile from someone I care for. I also practice gratitude daily. By focusing on the things I appreciate in my life today I help myself staying present with whatever is, without wishing it were different or that I was somewhere else.

Awareness is a skill that we can improve. Meditation helps immensely in getting better at observing what is and noticing our thoughts and feelings so that we can make conscious choices of where we want them to go.

Tomorrow is granted to no one, so how would you live bearing that in mind? What can you do today to feel fully alive? How can you engage more in your current life, feeling the way you want to feel, today? When you do this, you’ll act in ways that will attract what you want also in the future. But that’s not the end goal, the end goal is not in the end at all, it’s in the now.


By: Helena Önneby.  Download the free guide: 5 steps to finding your authentic power.

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Q&A with Elin Härkönen

Meet Elin, the positive and energetic girl behind BREAK IT and you will MAKE IT. A girl who has overcome more obstacles than many other her age, showing that giving up is not the answer. And that has become her motto.
By: Henriette Danielsen Photo: Private

Elin is a former athlete in gymnastic, having won several championship titles. But four years ago, she broke her neck after being kicked off a horse during practice. Against all odds, she fought her way back and just recently became the European Champion in OCR (Obstacle Course Racing). But then another accident occurred. Just a few weeks ago Elin was in Canada to compete when she was kicked in the chest by a horse, hospitalised with severe heart injuries.

But Elin is back, and she is so much more than just the girl behind the accidents. We got to meet her in Stockholm for a little Q&A about health, wellness and happiness.

What does health mean to you?
Health for me is about balance, and I truly believe finding a balance that works for you, your personality, goals and ambitions is the key to life. Because balance and health goes hand in hand. If we get too much or too little of something, our health will be affected negatively.

What inspires you?
People who follow their dreams. People who dare to be different and do what they believe in. People who never judge, who are curious and want to live their lives to the fullest. Cause that’s exactly what I am trying to inspire more people to do.

What is your favorite workout? 
Gymnastics on horses. I still miss the feeling of doing handstands on a running horse. But since I must choose something else I would say…. No I can’t choose..A little bit of everything; boxing, gymnastics, running, yoga.

Best part about your job?
I get to help people change their lives to the better. I get to help people overcome fears, do things they never thought they would be able to do.

What are your goals?
My goals and dreams are to make a difference. I want to help people improve their lives to the better. I want to share my knowledge, experiences, mindset and positive personality. Training and health are my passion, so continuing sharing my philosophy through my company BREAK IT MAKE IT. 

What motivates you?
My job, my clients, my friends, my family and of course all the challenges life is full of. I want to become the best version of myself, and that’s a life-long journey. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. ”


Facts
Name:
Elin Härkönen
Age: 23
Lives: Uppsala, Sweden
Works: as a Personal Trainer and Exercise Specialist in Stockholm

Follow Elin on her blog and Instagram for more inspiration.

Be Inspired

A beginners guide to meditation

Meditation can feel intimidating to those who haven’t tried it before! The great thing about meditation is that it is something that anyone can do, almost anywhere.

There are a ton of different ways to meditate — there are even apps that walk you through it. One I’m trying at the moment is Headspace. Not only that, but there are a ton of health benefits to meditation;

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Lower heart rate
  • Less anxiety
  • Less stress

At the beginning of each morning, or at the same time every day, try just sitting still for two to five minutes.  Sit wherever you’re most comfortable and practice deep breathing. There are a lot of mantras available to read to see if one resonates with you.

It’s also fine to practice staying present, count your breaths, and try to remain aware of how your body is feeling. If you sense an area feels more tense, try to release the tension and relax the muscles. Zenhabits also has a great guide on different ways to start meditation that I highly recommend taking a look at if you’d like to learn more.

For now, I hope that meditation is something that you’re excited to try! If you meditate already, what’s your advice for beginners? Let us know in the comments below!


By: Samantha Thayer / Photo cred: Jānis Šaulis /Location: rebirth 

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Vulnerability: driving force or nemesis?

Vulnerability is defined as the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. 

Tempting right? We think not. Who would you want to be put in a position where you could potentially get hurt? Isn’t human nature to survive no matter what?

But then we ponder on Brené Brown’s quote:

Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.

One can argue that by building walls around you will protect the person you are today, but prevents you from becoming the person you could be tomorrow. By building walls you’re building your own prison. A golden one maybe, but a prison nonetheless. It’s only by letting people in, trying and experiencing that you will learn about who you truly are, tune in with yourself and develop.

But where is the limit? When does vulnerability get in the way of growth, of innovation and creativity?

When focus is lost. When in the scheme of it all you lose your purpose in all the physical and emotional stimulations. When you lose yourself in the whirlpool of the new and the exciting whether it is a project or people.

Like everything else in life, balance is in order.


By: Morgane Oléron 

 

 

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Feeling stuck? Me too

Feeling stuck, with writing or anything in life? Well, me too. 

Why is it that sometimes even the simplest things require such effort? Like writing, for example. It usually goes very naturally for me, like all these ideas forming in my head just need to get out on paper. It is all smooth sailing, until one day, I start feeling like the muses have left me and I can no longer write even a single sentence that I feel satisfied with. I’m experiencing a writer’s block – a nightmare that happens to everyone who writes and is simply inevitable.

Writing is just one thing in life that can feel blocked. We all experience being stuck in different areas of our lives. Sometimes, like with writing, it’s just a phase that you have to go through. However, other times in life, it can be a sign that bigger changes need to be made. As I’ve been struggling with my creative block lately, I realised that I’ve been too hard on myself.

Nothing in life is constant rainbows and unicorns.

My creativity is no exception. I can’t expect to constantly feel inspired and have new ideas. Those need time and are often a part of a process that requires one going through uninspired periods. Like the nature has its seasons, everything in life goes in similar circles.

Sometimes the leaves fall down and you have to endure some darkness before the warm sun comes back again. In writing, you have to put the pen down and give your mind some time before you can get back at it. I am learning not to fight it, but to accept these blocks as a part of life that I should embrace. After all, it’s important to learn not to stress about something you can’t really change. After I’ve embraced it, it seems like the muses have returned. My writer’s block lost its powers over me and I feel free. That’s the trick with life, sometimes it gets better when we stop fighting and give in.

How do you overcome your feeling of being stuck? Do you have any tricks that work for you, both regarding creativity and life? I would be happy to hear.


By: Ivona Josipovic 

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Overthinking

You’re lying in your bed and can’t fall asleep. You’re might thinking of an irrelevant conversation that you had during the day, about all the unhealthy food you ate or just about the meaning of life. Does this sound familiar?

We can all fall into the trap of our own thoughts, but if we can’t seem to get out of it we are talking about a phenomenon called ’overthinking’.

If we spend time analyzing everything – how we look, our relations with other people, what somebody told us, what we have told somebody and so on, we must become aware that we might be a bit off track.

You may wonder why overthinking is so negative? Here is why: when constantly questioning ourself, we eventually end up focusing on the negative aspects of our self image. Through such thinking we distance ourselves from our true feelings. Because of the excessive analytics we can easily forget about our authentic feelings and desires, which can lead to conflicts and anxiety.

Although overthinking can be seen as perfectionism, or just a harmless habit, it is not. When overthought, our life seems harder than it is, stressful situations become unbearable and we start to be unable to face new challenges.

To overcome this habit, we need time and patience. Whenever we notice that we are overthinking it is necessary to return to the present moment and focus on what we feel right then and there. This way we are able to come in contact with who we really are, not who we think we are. It is the contact with our true self, the part of us that feels and lives in the present, that brings us the feeling of peace and happiness.

Don’t forget, we will not be able to appreciate the magic of life as long as we are slaves of our own thoughts.


 By: Sonja Josipovic

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Give each moment a chance

We are all going to die. I repeat: no matter what, we are going to die. So why do we keep on living ignoring the elephant in the room? Spending so much time and energy caring about minor insignificant details? Shouldn’t THIS  (inevitable death) be our major concern? 

Ignorance is bliss they say. But I say if you have information you make more educated choices. This is not like hunching your back and looking down at your notebook in class hoping the math teacher will pick someone else to get up and resolve the equation. We will eventually all be called up. Wouldn’t it be better to feel “prepared” then?

One of my favorite singer once sang (roughly translated): “When the sun comes up and I am alive that is all that matters to me”. Grant you he is now a raging alcoholic, but let’s focus on the message here: What truly matters? What is really at stake? To live while we can.

Somehow we manage to ignore death for most of our life because it is “The Voldemort” of our story, “it who must not be named”. We call it something else to reassure us: passing, leaving this earth, departing… it’s like a freaking airport.

Monday, Friday, weekend, those are labels we put on spans of opportunities. Nine to five, happy hours, those are name we gave to slots of possibilities.

They all matter, they all have the same value, but somehow what we call them gives them more or less importance. Mondays are dreadful and Fridays are longed for. But anyone can see through the varnish, those are the exact same days, same amount of hours, same set up, same chances, it is only our mindset that differs, only what we chose to ignore and what we decide to acknowledge.

Things have to be fun, cool, awesome, exciting to matter and the time in between is often considered worthless. But remember, even a boring day at the office is a day you lived.


By: Mo Oléron 

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Never stop learning

I love to say that I learn from every place I go to and everyone I meet. And I mean it. The past couple of years I have been to more places and met more people than ever. And every time I thought I was in a rut I realised I could learn something new, get curious again, gain a new skill, a new interest, maybe a new passion. Maybe not, but in every fail attempt, in every activity that eventually bored me, I learnt something.  

So today I want to share with just a couple of things I put into practice and platforms I use to never stop learning:

  • Network! That might sound boring, and for all of us shy and socially awkward people, even dreadful, but networking doesn’t have to be! It basically means, talk to people! Share you interests, get out there, join events, there are tones around you just check your Facebook! Join a friend to his/her art show even if you’re not into art! Who knows who you might end up meeting there, and if no one, you’ll make your friend happy and get free appetizers. Win win.
  • Say YES (or NO depending of the way the question is formulated). There are two or three key moments in my life where I said YES when I would normally have said no and that turned out to be life changing experiences. Keeping everything in proportions of course, (I’m not saying say yes to cocaine!) if people offer you a chance to try something new, get out of your comfort zone, say yes. It will take you places.
  • Read and discuss. We are exposed to so much information every day, but knowledge of any kind is like learning a new language, you can be great in theory but if you lack practice you will never enrich your vocabulary and eventually forget everything. Use what you know!
  • Give “new” a chance. We sometimes are so stuck in our comfortable routines or just master at procrastinating that we are struggling to truly give something new a chance. Whether you registered for an online course and given up after the first class because “the teacher was a snooze” or ruled out Pilates because ” I don’t have abs“, we are quick to dismiss things that we find difficult, things we are not really good at and don’t immediately make us feel good. Give it a real chance. Try to commit for at least a few weeks before you decide it’s not for you.
  • Check out Coursera. It is an online platform on which Universities from all over the world share full study programs on endless topics with written and video contents. Pick the free option for personal awakening, and if you need that diploma you can purchase the course. I am now following three classes : Unravelling Solutions for Future Food problems from Utrecht University, Understanding Obesity from the University of Edinburgh and Cities are back in Town: Urban sociology for a globalizing urban world from Sciences Po. And I am super excited. Those are subjects I never even glanced over back at Uni, because it was not my interest then or not available and I find it so amazing to be able to take on new courses as my personality and interests evolve!
  • I am no designer and probably never will be but thanks to Canva I can feel like one and save myself time and money when it comes to designing some simple banners, posters, flyers and so forth. Once again, there is a free and paid option to explore further.
  • Yoga enthusiasts, but not ready to go out and take a class yet? Check out Do Yoga With Me.It’s free, it’s Canadian (not sure how that is relevant), it’s full of online classes for all levels and styles! I love it!
  • A bit of a geek or just curious about stuff and start-ups? Check The Hub for events in the Nordic start-up world as well as job and internship opportunities!

That is it for today, don’t hesitate to share your own “go to” platforms and tips to grow and learn more in the comments or on our Facebook page!


By: Mo Oléron 

Be Inspired

Learn to love Mondays

Not everyone is jazzed about Mondays, and for some it seems pretty unrealistic to look forward to the first day of the week. Let´s do something about that.

Dread Mondays and that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Love Mondays and Mondays will love you back. It´s as simple as that (ok, ok, don´t kill me quite yet!)  Here are some great and simple ways to inject some fun into your Monday, making it a good one.

Get organized
Most of us are usually in a hurry getting out of the office on a Friday afternoon, leaving a lot of loose ends that are left to be picked up Monday morning. By organizing your desk, write a to-do- list, highlight the projects you need to work on and answer all emails, coming in on Monday mornings feels more enjoyable.

Dress up
Dress up in your favorite clothes and/or accessories and feel like a million bucks all day long. Never underestimate the power of some red lipstick and high heels (or a tie and nice suit for that matter).

Monday morning playlist
Music people, there is little more motivating than that. Put together a feel-good playlist and blast the music in the morning. It will definitely get your mood up.

Get your body moving
Endorphins my friend, enough said. And what better way to start the week then “getting the workout over with”. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment AND you will get tons of energy and get in the right mood to tackle the day.

Plan something fun
Pack your favorite lunch, meet a friend for an early breakfast, plan an awesome activity after work or just go home and cook a nice dinner and drink a glass of wine. By planning something fun you give yourself a little something to look forward to, making Mondays a little less hard to handle.

It may seem like nothing, but give it a go and see if it helps. Monday is here and it is time to sparkle and shine peeps!


By: Henriette Danielsen