Be Inspired

Be Inspired

Insider tips: courage to start a new chapter

This month our four amazing coaches are giving you some pointers to make this year your best one, and third one up is Christine Nord. 

Christine is a Career Coach with a background in HR & recruitment. Her mission is to inspire and challenge people to find what a truly meaningful career is to them. Whether it’s about how to find meaning in your current job or find the courage to start a new chapter in your life. Here are her five steps to find more meaningful work in 2018:

Are you feeling stuck at work? Or maybe you feel like there should be something more meaningful for you out there? Don’t worry, you are not alone! A lot of people get frustrated from being unhappy at work and there is absolutely no reason to stay put in a job that doesn’t fulfill you.

Accept your feelings
First of all, try to accept your feelings – it’s quite normal and you’re not alone in feeling confused career wise! Most people do it sometime or several times during a lifetime and it’s rather healthy to stop and reflect on your current situation at work. So instead of trying to push these feelings away, welcome them and listen to what they have to say.

Identify your frustration
Has it gone so far that you feel frustrated and maybe even angry or bitter about your current job situation? Believe it or not, that’s great! It might not feel great, but this is what will help you do something about your situation. Make a list of all the things that is frustrating about your current job. Identify the aspects of your current career that does not feel aligned with, who you are and what you are ready to leave behind.

I encourage you to see your frustration as a gift.

Find out where your values ​​and strengths meet
Take some time to reflect on what values are important to you in your life and career. Maybe it’s not status and money that will give you a sense of meaning? Instead, start exploring what values ​​that do matter to you and what strengths you have. What skills and talents have you accumulated during your career so far? Even if you absolutely do not want to work with this anymore, you can safely pick up several of these experiences into a new profession. To do this you can start by asking friends or colleagues about how they perceive you, take online assessments or personality tests or you can start working with a mentor, coach or therapist to start discovering more about who you are and what is important to you.

Take action!
Don’t wait until you have the whole vision ready before you take the first step. A career change can take several months so it’s better to start right away than to wait until you know exactly what you want. Think about what could be your first step to take? For example, you can register for a course and learn something new, contact a friend who inspires you and invite them for lunch or maybe just read an inspiring article. Simply, what practical actions can you do today to get started? Expect to start a snowball effect just starting somewhere.

See your career as a lifelong experiment
In today’s society, we rarely choose one career and then stick to it until it’s time for retirement. You have the possibility to make a new career choice whenever you want! It’s also very common to find multiple and parallel careers, for example you can be both an accountant and a jewelry designer at the same time.

It’s really difficult to try to figure out what kind of career that suits you just by thinking about it, you have to go out and try it! Perhaps you don’t have to switch jobs right away but can find some way to test a new career while still at your current job. If you try to guide yourself by trying to feel as good as possible and find joy in what you do instead of trying to fit in or meet someone else’s expectations, you will have a much bigger chance at finding what a meaningful career means to you. So, go out there and try to look at your career in a more playful and experimental way than many of us do today!

By: Christine Nord 

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A journey to take back her power

Having dealt with several different autoimmune diseases and finding no cure, Helena Önneby took matters into her own hands. On her journey to take back power over her own life she learned to take full responsibility for her health: body, mind and soul.  Which all led to her publishing the book: Pure Personal Power. 

What inspired you to write this book?
I first got inspired to write this book at the age of 13, after having been really sick for a longer period for the first time. I wanted to write a book about my experience to be able to help others in a similar situation feel less lonely. Later on, when I found a way to heal from the root of the problem, I started blogging about my journey. When I quit my corporate job last summer I finally got the time to write a proper book about it and the tools that I want to share with others.

The book is partly about your journey healing from different autoimmune diseases. Tell us a little about that.
For more than 15 years I trusted my doctors above all else and never listened to my own body’s wisdom or what actually made sense. About six years ago I was really sick and had collected six different diagnosis over the years. The doctors started calling me “autoimmune” and I realized there was a link between all of the different diagnosis and wanted to know more. When no one in conventional medicine could answer my questions, I found my own path in functional medicine. So often we shut off the fire alarms (the symptoms) instead of extinguishing the fire (the root cause of the disease). In functional medicine you do just that, find the root cause and start the healing from there.

How would you say this has affected you and this book?
What started as a physical healing journey soon turned in to something much bigger than that. I realized I had to work on my self-worth, dealing with fear and stress, and start focusing on identifying with what was healthy in me and being grateful for that.

What do you hope to achieve with your book?
I hope this book will be what I so desperately needed when I had lost all my power; being caught in victimhood and trusting everyone else but myself. I want it to be a guide for anyone who has lost the power over their life.

Personal power is authentic power. It’s the source of your strength!

What is true personal power to you?
Personal power is authentic power. It’s the source of your strength and you can tap it once you start taking responsibility for your life and everything in it. It lives within all of us and it’s when we live in our power that we can create the life that we truly want and the world that we want to live in.

How do you help others on their journey to find true personal power?
Today I guide people to find their power by coaching, mentoring, teaching and writing. I’m on a mission to help people live up to more of their potential by living a more authentic life.

You are worth living the life of your dreams!

How does self-love and personal power connect?
When we love ourselves we also believe we are worthy. If we don’t believe we are worthy we will always resist our power and block our own self-expression. You are worth living the life of your dreams!

What is true health to you?
True health is holistic health. It’s about body, mind and soul. They are all intertwined, and they need to balance for us to find true health. There is no one size fits all or quick fix, it’s a life long journey of trusting, listening and adjusting when we need too.

Helena is as a coach, writer and teacher on a mission to help you find your personal power. After more than 10 years in corporate HR, she now supports people to live up to more of their potential. Are you curious about how you can take back power over your life? Order the book or book a session with Helena.

By: Henriette Danielsen / Photo cred: Olliver Photographers/ Marie Olliver

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Radiating and healthy skin while working out

Hitting the gym can often lead to dry skin and breakouts. Turns out a few extra moments in the bathroom or locker room can make all the difference. We met with Skin Care Expert Linda Hölling to talk about does and don’ts when it comes to taking care of your skin while working out. 

How can I best prepare my skin for exercise?
The best thing you can do is to take off all your makeup and exercise with clean skin. Because while you´re sweating the skin will absorb the makeup, which can lead to blocked pores. The key is to never “shut” sweat in, especially if you have dry skin. The acid in perspiration can cause irritation and, in worst case, inflammation. The combination of sweat and makeup is therefore a big no-no!

And if you exercise outdoors, it´s important to use SPF. When we sweat, the skin becomes more light sensitive and susceptible to sunburn. This applies to both summer and winter activities.

Is using moisturizer good or bad before sweating? We have heard both.
The skin should always have a moisturizer that works protective when exercising. It can be wise to choose a thinner cream, since fatter creams can make your skin feel sticky when you sweat.

Should I wear a headband to collect the sweat from not dripping down my face?
That is not necessary, since the little time the sweat is on your face is not harmful for the skin. Sweatbands are on the other hand good for avoiding sweat to run into your eyes.

What kind of effect does sweat have on our skin?
During exercise we sweat more than usual, which is an excellent opportunity for the skin to sweat out all the products and toxins that evaporate. Sweat itself cleans the skin in a positive way. However, you helping it on the way with a good peeling and cleansing face mask is always good.

Is it ok to leave sweat on our skin for a prolonged length of time?
When we sweat, salts are forced to lay on the skin which can be dehydrating for the skin. Bacteria in other people’s perspiration can also cause infections. So make sure to wash the skin both before and after exercising and you will be fine.

When we get warm our pores open and let dirt and bacteria out. It is therefore important to clean your face afterwards.

What kind of impact does drinking water have on our skin?
Drinking water is important, especially when we train. The fluid goes out to all the organs and muscles in the body, which again, together with the exercise, has a fantastic effect on our skin. It makes us look healthy and happy!

How should I care for my skin post-workout?
When we get warm our pores open and let dirt and bacteria out. It is therefore important to clean your face afterwards. A facial mask after a workout, while the skin is still warm, 1 or 2 times a week can do wonders. If you have dry skin, you can choose to add a moisturising face mask. To strengthen your skin and get the best results, I recommend that you always have a good skin care routine with cleansing milk, eye cream, serum and day/night cream. This, along with your training is your best investment for a healthy body and skin.

Does and don’ts at the gym?
Keep in mind that machines and spinning bikes can be full of bacteria, so wash your hands before you touch your face while at the gym. And if you have small scratches and wounds, make sure to cover them up while working out with others.

Do you have any questions for Linda, feel free to leave a comment in the comment field below!

By: Henriette Danielsen / Photo cred: Pinterest

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The strive for perfection

Surely you have called or heared somebody be called a perfectionist? This is often taken as a compliment, but in the tendency of perfectionism actually hides insecurity, shame and negative self-image.

Perfectionism is the unrealistic aspiration of a person to be perfect, especially in those aspects of life that are important to him or her. Such a person is chronically burdened by his/hers behaviours.

Perfectionists are never satisfied with themselves, no matter how much success he or she has achieved and how many compliments they may have received. Despite all the efforts and good results, they strive for more. Perfectionists aren’t suitable for team work either, since they don’t trust anyone and always doubt others competence, always convinced that only they can do the work properly.

Nobody is perfect! That’s the truth we all know so well.

At the core of perfectionism there is an attempt by a person who tries to compensate the negative image of themselves. With a thought of being worth enough if only they achieve whatever goal they have set. Unfortunately, no matter how successful and good a perfectionist might be, he or she will never feel better because of just that.

So, what can you do? First of all, perfectionists don’t want to change this tendency, so its important to work towards strengthening the positive self image and accepting and overcoming shame. Working on these aspects helps a person to get rid of the need to do everything perfectly.

Nobody is perfect! That’s the truth we all know so well. And, of course, it’s okay to try to be good at everything we do, but not always strive for perfection when we all know that it does not exist. Do your best and that is more than good enough.

 By: Sonja Josipovic

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Innsider tips: Personal Power

This month our four amazing coaches are giving you some pointers to make this year your best one, and second one up is Helena Önneby.

Helena is a certified Career Coach, HR professional and author of the book Pure Personal Power – Tools to collect on a healing journey. She’s on a mission to help you find your personal power by taking full responsibility for your life and health; body, mind and soul.

Here’s her five tips for more personal power:

Practice self-love
To access your personal power, you need to take full responsibility for your life. This requires a lot of self-compassion. You’re not meant to judge yourself for anything in your life, you’re meant to take ownership of your circumstances so you can find the power you need to change whatever you want or need to change. A self-love practice looks different from person to person, but it could involve writing down things you appreciate about yourself, taking the time to do what your body loves or saying no to others so that you can say yes to yourself.

Shift your focus to what is working
We tend to keep our focus on what we feel lack in our lives. What we don’t yet have, what we wish would be different or what we envy in others. When you shift your focus to all the abundance in your life you not only feel better, you also create the momentum for more of it in your life. Start a simple gratitude practice, where you every morning and every night write down three things that you’re grateful for; my bed, my lungs that breathe, that smile from my friend today, a warm cup of tea, that I feel safe, how my body feels when it moves, fresh flower.

What you focus on grows.

Explore spirituality
Religion sometimes get a bad rep in our society today. But what if you could believe in something bigger than yourself and a meaning to everything that has happened in your life without subscribing to any of the major religions? What does a higher power of your own understanding look like? What if you would allow yourself to explore what that means? Maybe you would find a lot of power in the guidance that is always provided to you and relief in the meaning you see in your challenges in life. It has brought you here, and you are exactly where you need to be right now.

Deal with your emotions
Find the tools that works for you when it comes to dealing with your emotions. We’re feeling machines with an intellect so emotions will for sure effect our lives in major ways. But as long as you’re unaware of them they have power over you. Develop a practice of dealing with and really feeling your feelings, not just thinking them. Flow write first thing you do in the morning, invite your feelings to say what they came to tell you and meditate to create some space between you and them, because, you are not your emotions, you have them.

Take care of your body
We’ve been given one tool to express ourselves in this lifetime, and that is our body. Take care of it the way it takes care of you every day. When you take care of your body and listen to its needs it will serve you. But if you neglect it, its signals and needs it will soon take from your power in order to stay in balance. Nourish it with clean food, move it every day and let it rest when it needs resting.

Personal power is about living up to your own potential so that you can do what you’re here to do and help make the world an even more loving place. Go on your own exploration to tap more of your personal power.

By: Helena Önneby /Photo cred: Pinterest 

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Flowers for happiness

Flowers create a positive presence no matter the setting. From offices, to homes, to restaurants, medical facilities and gardens alike, flowers can bring good energy and make people feel better in an instant. Research even supports that flowers can significantly improve your mood and health in a number of areas.

Here are some of the top ways in which the power of flowers can contribute to your total well-being.

Flowers & improved air quality
One of the greatest ways that flowers can improve your health is through improved indoor air quality. Indoor air can quickly become contaminated with toxins like mold, dust, and even lingering chemicals from household products. However, flowers can make an impact by cleansing the air and removing these harmful elements so that you do not breathe them in. One such flower is the gerbera daisy which is known to remove trichlorethylene which is sometimes used in dry cleaning. Gerbera daisies also remove benzene which is used in ink, glue, and paint.

Chrysanthemums are another great flower that improves indoor air quality. These brightly colored flowers also help to filter out harmful benzene from the air, keeping you safe and contributing to your health. Just be sure to give your chrysanthemums plenty of direct sunlight to encourage them to bloom. Similarly, azaleas help to fight formaldehyde which is sometimes present in plywood and insulation.

Flowers for happiness & positive energy
Research also connects flowers with improved mood and psychological benefits. First, flowers are pleasant to look at. With all of their colorful petals and visual variety, flowers help to stimulate the senses, energizing those who witness their natural beauty. Flowers also have sweet aromas which can promote a sense of calm and tranquility. For instance, the mild scent of the geranium plant promotes peace of mind. The same is true for the aroma of lavender which has been proven to promote a sense of relaxation and happiness. The lovely fragrance of peace lilies is also associated with improved well-being as they can also encourage deep sleep.

Gifted flowers are representative of so many positive feelings to include love, joy, gratitude, kindness, appreciation and well wishes.

Furthermore, flowers are symbolic. Presenting someone with fresh flowers is a kind gesture that has meaning behind it. Gifted flowers are representative of so many positive feelings to include love, joy, gratitude, kindness, appreciation and well wishes. For instance, think of the practice of sending notes with flowers—this sentimental act helps to create a total experience for the receiver, often stimulating an emotional reaction as they become overjoyed by your thoughtful gift.

Gardening for physical health
Having flowers is not just about having a pretty bouquet in a vase to admire, there are also physical health benefits to planting beautiful flower gardens. Gardening is an excellent way to improve your physical health. The act of gardening is often considered low impact exercise but it can certainly help you stay in shape. From bending down often, to using your arms to dig and rake, to stretching your legs so that you do not step on delicate plants, you can improve your body in a very practical way. What’s more is that gardening can help to lower stress. It can reduce feelings of anxiety and can help you clear your thoughts for improved mental health. Plus, getting regular doses of fresh air is always a good idea for your improved lung, heart and circulatory health.

Having flesh flowers around the home is more than just a symbol of beauty.

Flowers can have a positive impact on your mood, health and overall well-being. In other words, flowers are a proactive step towards improving your health and happiness. Delicate flowers are some of nature’s best kept secrets when it comes to feeling better. They can improve your mood, give you renewed energy and instantly put a smile on your face. This is the true power of flowers.

By: Freelance writer Ashley Smith / Photo cred:

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Have your pick and regain focus

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with choices? Doesn’t it seem like there is an endless list of things we could decide to concentrate our attention, time, money and life on? 

Where I come from, we are asked very young to decide what we will study, and basically become and work with for the rest of our lives. I was always really frustrated with that and grew up to be a Jack of all trades, master of none. Or so it feels. Jumping from one activity to another, falling in and out of love with piano, dancing, theatre, english lessons, rock music, historical biographies, tennis, sign language, swimming…and the list goes on. It was, still is, fun to want to try it all, but it also feels unsettling to never go into the depth of things.

Wanting to do it all also inevitably adds on to your stress level and let’s face it, it doesn’t matter if it says so on your resumé (like it does on mine), no one ever properly master multitasking! And so, at the old age of 31, I felt the need to finally pick.

I decided to start training my ability to focus.

Focus on a few key area for me to explore and grow in this year.

So I gave myself one exercise over the break: finding out what to focus on in 2018. What are the three or four areas I feel I need to improve, explore, discover, learn from.

I sat in front of an A3 sheet of paper for a good 30 minutes with a pen in hand, drawing a blank. I had nothing. Or too many things. I just could not pick. So I chose another angle. Instead I “drew” my year 2017. I pointed out the key events, key people, and next to it, I wrote down the feelings, causes and outcomes that went with them. And through that, I eventually was able to identify those 3 or 4 themes. It was exhilarating! Afterwards, it also reminded me of my friend Kenneth’s awesome article about finding your purpose.

Regardless of whether you will use the outcomes and put something into practice, I would definitely recommend anyone to take some time to reflect on what you really feel you want to work on as the new year starts instead of just listing ready-made and never-kept new year’s resolutions. “Go to the gym” is great, but how does “discovering what health truly means for me” sound instead?

That being said, better focus for me is a work in progress. As I am writing this, I have 19 windows open on my computer, my phone is buzzing next to me while I am listening to a TED talk. Bad habits die hard.

By: Mo Oléron

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Time to skip the excuses

Excuses – words we use to justify ourselves. Sometimes it seems that there’s never a shortage of those.

I once read a quote that said: ”If you want something done you find time. If you don’t, you find an excuse”. I’ve been trying to implement this piece of wisdom into my life ever since.

It felt very liberating admitting to myself that sometimes things don’t get done simply because of my laziness, or simply because I don’t prioritise them. Being honest with myself instead of trying to find an excuse felt very satisfying.

I also started implementing this with people. If I caught myself coming up with excuses to justify myself I would stop. Finding excuses felt like such a normal thing to do for so long that it had become a habit and they came automatically. It felt like my brain was on autopilot-mode and I wasn’t in charge. But, once I started thinking about it and recognising the patterns in my behaviour, excuses seemed just wrong. It became clear that anytime I looked to justify my actions, or lack there of, I was trying to fool myself, and others instead of just admitting the truth.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There are many situations out of our control that can come in the way of us doing what needs to be done. Real excuses do exist. Sometimes traffic really is horrible. And everyone can have a hectic day when time seems to fly by before we get to cross everything of our to do lists. Those reasons are legit. When I say excuse I think more of this type – I didn’t wash my hair last night because I wanted to go to sleep early. In reality, I stayed late watching Netflix, so washing my hair wasn’t really a priority. It’s a silly example, but it paints the picture.

So, in the light of the New Year and everyone making their plans and resolutions, how about we all try to do this – more honesty and less excuses. I promise that you’ll feel great about it and others will respect you for it. We can all see through others’ excuses anyway as we’ve all been using them. So, this year let’s find a way and not an excuse!

By: Ivona Josipovic / Photo cred: Pinterest

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How about a slow start?

In popular culture the term “slow” seems to have a pejorative connotation. Until Carl Honoré and the “slow life” movement started to create a following more than 10 years ago. So how about a slow start for 2018?

I’m a yoga teacher and for some reason people just assume I therefore do yoga every day, seven days a week. Last time I did yoga? December 17th 2017. Yeap, almost a month ago. Do I feel bad about it? Nope. Do I plan on changing this? Yes. But on my own terms. I’m taking it slow.

I am tired of the pressure of constantly delivering. I have stopped thinking that “fast and further” is the best and only way to go. I’m going slower and expanding my horizons instead.

The best tip I can give you is to actually take the time and watch Carl Honoré’s TED talk from 2005 (yes, it’s that old and more true than ever) because no one explains it better than he does. At first I didn’t even want to bother watching the whole thing. I mean, 19 minutes, I don’t have that kind of time! I’m a busy woman. Thankfully I was quick to realise the irony of the situation, so I sat there for 19 + minutes receiving my first life lesson of 2018.

Funny enough, just as he mentions, my vision of time has always been cyclic. I usually visualise the year as a wheel with my birthday always being at the bottom part (end of July) and New Year on top, on the opposite side. But lately, as I grew older, I came to see time more and more linear. A line that is going so fast ahead I can’t keep up with it. Almost like a have been forced on a very fast moving walkway when all I want to do is walk on the side of it.

During my Christmas break I spent five days in an old farm in the middle of no where, with no internet and no access to much more than my own thoughts. And I felt trapped. I felt like I was suffocating thinking of all the things I had to do, all that time I was wasting. Until I got to my sense and decided this was good for me. More than anything I needed to slow down. And with that, rethink my priorities. So bring it on 2018, I have a feeling you and I will have a great ride, but please, let’s take it slow.

By: Mo Oléron / Photo cred: Pinterest 

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Insider tips: Making 2018 your year

This month our four amazing coaches are giving you some pointers to make this year your best one, and first one up is Sandra Aggemo. 

Sandra is a certified Life Coach, Kids Yoga Teacher, Qi Gong and Meditation Instructor. She is passionate about exploring new things, building meaningful relationships and breathing wholeheartedly. Here are her five best tips for the new year:

Be vulnerable 
Tell someone how you actually feel, break down the walls and be brave in your relationships. Dare to go deeper into them. Dare to say: “Hey, I am not perfect, I lack self-esteem when it comes to networking”, or “I am afraid of talking in front of people”. Simply be more human and dare to say: “I am sorry”. Express yourself and be free.

Just breathe
When feeling upset or stressed: slow yourself down by listening to your breathing. Put one hand under your belly and feel your breath deep down. Just lie or sit, and appreciate your breathing and use the breath as a bridge over troubled water. Guiding yourself into calmness, one inhale and exhale at a time always being with you.

Try not to compare yourself to others
This is a big challenge for many of us! My mantra is therefore: choose love over fear. Fear is always chosen when you compare yourself to others and when you tell yourself you are not good enough. But remember that love is always available. What can I do to feed myself with compassion, not hate? Practice love, not fear.

Open your mind
Meet new people, see people, things, taste your food, take in the smell of fresh air, simply look around you. What new things can you experience today? People to talk to, old friends or new ones. Let yourself talk and listen. Let them teach you and you teach them. Be the teacher and the student, always. Experience the reality and learn about life.

Process feelings through your physical body, let them transform you into something bigger than your mind. Express yourself. Love what your body can do. Embody your feelings.

Feeling inspired by Sandra and would want to learn more about her services? Take a look here.

By: Mo Oléron and Sandra Aggemo /Photo cred: Pinterest