Be Inspired

Be Inspired

The benefits of growing older

This weekend I realised that I was born to be wild, but only until 9pm or so.

Having left a party before 11, leaving both champagne and friends behind to go home and embrace my bed, I had a little freak out in the cab. I realised my birthday is around the corner and this will be my last year in my 20s. I could feel the anxiety hit me!

Turning 30 is something I am dreading, not because you´re so freaking old at 30, but then there is no way back. No excuses. You are, and will forever be, an adult. An actual adult. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t walk around acting or seeing myself as a child, but no more bad excuses to why you have spent half your salary on fun stuff, no more excuses to why you party a little too much, no more excuses to why you don’t have children, a house, a car, a husband. Dear lord, the pressure!

But having slept on it, I woke up this morning and realised, getting older is inevitable and there are actually some benefits to it.

Like wine, we only get better with time, right?

So, I hereby give you five reasons to look forward to getting older:

Broader perspective
The longer we live, the more experiences we gather and the wiser we get (at least that´s what I have been told). We learn and get a broader perspective on life and the world.

Stronger and more independent
I have always liked to call myself a strong, independent woman, and for each year I feel it gets more and more accurate. I grow more confident and stop worrying so much about what others think of me and just do my own thing. It is like the uncertainty slowly disappears with age.

Saying no
Saying no, without getting a bad conscience definitely gets easier. I dreadfully remember being a teenager, running around from one thing to another, terrified I would miss out on anything “important”. I guess the older you get, the wiser you become and learn that saying no from time to time is healthy.

You get more selective
The older we get, the more often we realise that there is no time for drama, bad friends or an unbearable relationship. I don’t know how often I have thought “I don’t have time for this, I am too old for this sh*t”. And it´s so liberating letting go of the crap and focus on the good things in life instead.

Socially accepted bedtime
There is nothing wrong with a 9pm bedtime guys! There are few things better and more important than a good night’s sleep and the older you get, the more socially accepted it is. Hallelujah!

So, that was it from 28-year-old me, looking forward to senior discounts and enjoying all of the above! My birthday can come now, I am ready to turn one year older!


By: Henriette Danielsen / Photo cred: letsmingleblog.com/

Be Inspired

Practice what you preach

This weekend has been very busy. Good busy. The kind of busy you hope for when you start your own business and want to live doing what you love: inspiring people to be the happiest version of themselves.

But sometimes you get caught up in the turmoil, the excitement, the stress, the pressure to deliver and reach expectations (your own especially) and sometimes, you lose touch with the meaning of it all.

It happened to me on Saturday. We were hosting a beautiful event for Yuhme. For this we were sponsored by Yogish Collective, who generously provided gorgeous mats and a stunning one piece for me to wear. At the end of the class, Janis, our photographer took some shots of Henriette and me. We figured we always take pics of everyone else but us. Later that day as I was working on the class I would be holding the following day, when Henriette sent me one of the pictures, asking if it was ok to post in our social media channels.

My first reaction was to scrutinize the picture around my belly area. My soft spot. Literarily. I immediately rejected it, feeling way too self-conscious about myself. (Just for the record, I know I am not fat. But no one chooses their complex, right?)

Later on, it hit me… what was I doing?

Didn’t I love myself just the way I am? Who was I to preach to people about self-love and all that jazz and later on censure my own body? I felt really bad about it. Guilty as charged.

The following day, as we hosted our second event of the weekend with The Yoga Story, I listened to our dear Life Coach Sandra Aggemo asking if we had anything we wanted to share with the group, anything we wanted to work on. I suddenly realized I had to speak up. I had to let it out because a fault confessed is half redressed, right? Because I realized there was something that bothered me more than my belly on that picture, it was the idea that I could come across as fake and hypocritical.

Today, before starting on this post I stumbled upon an article in Le Monde (in french) about the whole Yoga buzz and the fact that it is so trendy that it has completely lost its meaning somehow. It really resonated with me and what had happened this weekend. Every time I teach I hope to touch people one way or another, I hope they take something with them home. But I cannot forget that every time I teach, I learn something in return.


By: Mo Oléron / Photo cred: Janis Saulis

Be Inspired

How to overcome excessive worry?

We all worry and that is natural, because life puts ahead of us new challenges and tasks that we have to solve each day. By worrying we show that we care about our work, family, friends and ourselves.

Moderate concern is very useful, because it can protect us from the various inconvenience that we may face on a daily basis. If we are, for example, worried that we will be late for an important meeting, we can undertake a range of activities to prevent that from happening (we can get up and get ready earlier, leave home earlier in order to avoid traffic etc.) Excessive or chronic worry on the other hand is both physically exhausting and significantly affects the quality of our lives. If we worry to much, we encounter some of the following phenomena’s daily:

  • We imagine negative outcomes of different situations and we experience anxiety because of our own negative thoughts.
  • We worry often about things that we can’t change.
  • We are becoming more and more indecisive and we are making decisions more and more slowly, because we are constantly looking for an ideal solution to the situation.
  • Worry becomes a burdensome process that is difficult for us to control and which causes tension, anxiety, tiredness, concentrations and sleep problems.

So, how we can overcome excessive worry since it doesn’t bring us anything good?

I will give you some of my favorite tips that all of us can use when we feel that we have fallen into the trap of our own bad thoughts:

  • When we worry too much the capacity of our attention is limited and most of the time we focus on negative outcomes. Because of that, we aren’t able to notice the favorable opportunities provided to us. By systemically focusing our attention on positive things, we can reduce the time spent on worrying and see that life gives us a lot of good things.
  • We need to determine every day in advance the time and place when we worry. All bad thoughts, unnecessary analysis and fears that appear to us during the day we leave for ’the time when we worry’. This is a great technique, because this way we gradually gain control of our thoughts and become more and more focused on the present.
  • Life is unexpected and all of us have to accept that, even if this sounds a little scary. With excessive worry we can’t influence every aspect of our lives. Once we accept that we can’t control everything, our life will become so much easier.

Whenever you notice that you worry too much, try to apply these techniques in order to help yourself clear your head from negative thoughts. Your life is happening now and don’t miss it by worrying about the future or the past.


By: Sonja Josipovic / Photo cred: www.verywell.com

Be Inspired

Yuhme – a water bottle with a purpose

Approaching maternity leave with her youngest daughter, Alexandra Nash began questioning their family’s day to day existence. Why should she and her husband spend eight hours a day away from their children? How could they expect their children to grow up looking at the world in a unique way if they live the same way as everyone else? And most importantly, how could they make a difference? All of this resulted in the beautiful journey of Yuhme, the world’s most eco-friendly water bottle.
By: Henriette Danielsen Photo: Michelle Chavez

Alex & Alex, the Gothenburg based couple figured they wanted something more out of life, while at the same time do good, so they decided to start their own business. Since they are both former athletes it came naturally that it had to be sports related, and what better than a water bottle?
– Water is the start of everything. Water is the first step out of poverty, it allows children to go to school, it allows parents to start farming and being able to provide, and most importantly clean water means we stay healthy and alive. Over 500 million people today still don’t have access to clean water. And a crazy fact is that if we used all the money we spend on buying bottled water we could end the entire water crisis, they explain.

Yuhme is about showing that you can start a company that does good for humanity without compromising the environment.

Having decided on producing a bottle, it was important to keep it environmentally friendly.
– Yuhme is about showing that you can start a company that does good for humanity without compromising the environment. Because there is no point to give with one hand, but contribute to another problem (global warming), with the other. And the name, Yuhme, is an acronym of You Us Humanity Me Environment, Alexandra says.

They set out on a journey looking for the right material, and when they came across a special type of plastic, not produced from oil but sugarcane, they knew it was the perfect fit.
–  After researching the material thoroughly, we both realized that this was the only material we could make a bottle from, and even better after a lot of research and hard work we managed to start the production in Sweden.

What makes this particular bottle better than other eco-friendly bottles?
– I would say because it reduces C02 levels in its production. It is CO2 negative from cradle to gate, which means it actually takes CO2 out of the atmosphere. The bottle is also produced from sugarcane which is a renewable resource, unlike stainless steel, aluminum, glass and oil-based plastics, which other bottles are made from and are all produced from finite resources.

And for each of their handy and beautifully designed bottles sold, Yuhme provides six months of clean water to a person in the Central African Republic through Water for Good, an organization working to empower people with sustainable access to clean water.
– We work very closely with Water for Good and they are an amazingly transparent organization, so the figure of exactly six months comes from them crunching the numbers based on how much we donate. They work extremely hard on both maintenance and new digging, which is important as many new wells break down after a few years and no one knows how to fix them. They also train the local people so that they can do the work for themselves. And lastly all money donated goes directly to the cause. Administrative costs etc. are fundraised separately, they explain.

With their beautiful patterns, hand drawn by a Swedish artist, they sell not only a beautiful water bottle, they, together with their customers, give the best gift a person can give: clean water, while taking care of the environment.

How can we (the common man) contribute to reducing the impact of climate change?
– In making daily decisions that are thought through. Is it reasonable that something costs 30SEK for example? Do the research, just because someone says it is eco-friendly is it? Also, accept costs to a certain degree. We work a lot with new materials, and in order for them to get out there and reach mass production people need to use them, and in the beginning, they might not be the cheapest. Try to think of your consumption rate, recycle, be mindful of your food and travel choices.

Any tips on daily sustainable switches you can easily make?
– Stop using things that are made from oil. Don´t litter ever, especially not in the ocean. From my perspective, the problem is not so much what is in the ocean, but how it gets there. Always make mindful choices. And don’t waste water.

If you are interested in learning more about Yuhme, head over to their website or check out their Instagram account and the #betheyuhme. Alex and Alex will also be in Stockholm to talk about their mission on Saturday the 26th of August. Get your tickets today. 


Name: Alexandra and Alexander Nash
Age: 34 and 34
Lives: Gothenburg, Sweden
Are inspired by: Social Entrepreneurs like Blake MyCoskie, Caitlin Crospy, and Adam Braun.

Be Inspired Mind

Embrace yourself wholeheartedly

Emotional baggage; we all got it and kind off hate it. Sandra Aggemo on the other hand sees it as a gift and embraces it wholeheartedly. Why? Because she believes that is what makes a person unique.
By: Henriette Danielsen

I met Sandra for the first-time years ago in a small town in Sweden where she was studying Business and Finance. When our paths crossed again a few years later in Stockholm, she had quit her job to pursue her dream of working as a fulltime Life Coach. This awoke my curiosity!

Her whole adult life Sandra has been running from the feeling of not being good enough, even though everyone around her always spoke so highly of her.
– People have always said that I should be happy and proud; “You are such a talent, you have this and that… You have good education, good job, friends”. I could hear them, but I really couldn’t feel what they told me to feel. It was like something was missing, she explains.

Nevertheless, she is thankful for this, because it led her into areas like KBT and ACT (cognitive- behavioral therapy); reading all kinds of books, meeting therapists, doing yoga and meditation, talking to friends about it and finally, finding her path in life and become a certified Life Coach.

– I wanted to use all my emotional baggage to better understand me and my surroundings. To be a Life Coach, for me, is an approach to life itself; curiosity, openness, warm meetings and vulnerability.

But what does a Life Coach do exactly?
– A Life Coach will help you dig underneath the thoughts and feelings of “what if’s”, help you realize what’s important to you and explore those inner voices. Which one is the terrified and playing-it-safe inner-critic and which one is your bedazzling inner intuitive voice? As a coach, I help you clarify and sort it all out. During the coaching-session you are encouraged to find your own answers, your own truth. I have the questions, you have the answers. As a Life Coach, I act as an objective warm hearted friend, support, encourage and challenge you.

Sandra has always loved that spark in someone else’s eye when they realize something about themselves or their life that can help them overcome their fear and find their path.
– I have always wondered what people run from. We are in such a high pace all the time. Why? It’s like we need to finish a race, but the finish line is being moved forward all the time. We sweat and forget to recharge at the water station. One of my answers are that we are running from ourselves, our longings, our feelings.

As a Life Coach, I have the magical opportunity to meet people at the “water station” and help them recharge and/or change direction.

Sitting opposite to Sandra I sense a certain calm aura over her, but at the same time she feels playful and adventurous. She has that look in her eye!
– People often find me both humorous and deep. I truly believe that the most serious things could include laughter and the funniest things could include tears. In my company, you are very welcome to both cry and laugh, she says.

Having built up a client base both in Stockholm and other parts of the country, Sandra sees a recurring topic in her sessions.
– Many of my clients feel stuck, lost or scared of doing what they truly dream of doing. Some have high expectations on themselves and the people around them which causes a lot of disappointment and stress. Some are struggling to understand who they are or just how to be themselves. Some say they have low self-esteem. Some say they don’t know what they like to do anymore. And some clients are extremely happy and just keen on exploring themselves, she explains.

While I listen to her I nod my head, I can indeed relate to more than one of those topics. Which makes me wonder, how do we become happy?
– I believe that the way we today constantly strive for happiness and pursuing our dream is more a happiness trap than anything else. And I have been there myself, always seeking for that good feeling trying to erase the “bad feelings”, striving for that next goal that should fulfil my life.

– I’ve realized that it’s not about seeking happiness or achieving goals, it’s about finding a peaceful way of living. It’s about understanding that we are in constant change and so are our feelings. Happiness it’s not static – a goal does not last forever. I see it as highly important to understand that humans have all sorts of feelings and accept that. A life in joy is not a life without tears, fear or uncertainty – it’s the opposite, she explains.

Before we part ways, we hug goodbye. The last Sandra says to me before she leaves is:
– Maybe happiness is the same thing as self-acceptance, being in contact with the real you and not trying to change everything. Because there is nothing as beautiful as a person being in contact with themselves, without a facade and lots of filters.


Name: Sandra Aggemo
Age: 28
Lives: Enskede, Sweden
One thing that makes me smile: People dancing – being captured in the power of now and the music.

If you want to learn more about Sandra Aggemo and her services you can check out her website and follow her Instagram account.

Be Inspired

Five documentaries worth watching

Documentaries are a very fun way to see and learn something new from the comfort of your sofa. I really love watching them as they satisfy my curiosities about different topics. Documentaries also make me want to explore and discover new things about various issues, countries and cultures. What’s not to love about that?

With that being said, I share with you my top five documentaries that cover various questions. They will make you smile and some parts may even make you cry. But most importantly, they will make you think, and hopefully act, in order to improve your own and the lives of others.

THE TRUE COST
If you’re like me, you like fashion. You like playing with different styles and using clothes as a way to express yourself. However, you may not be aware that fashion industry is the second biggest polluter out there, right after oil companies. Our desire to democratize fashion and to make it affordable to everyone has come with a high price. Shining light on pollution and horrible working conditions that are part of (fast) fashion, this film will make you think twice before going shopping again.

MINIMALISM
Another story that will make you rethink your life is shared here by Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn. They decided to leave their precious belongings behind and simplify their lives. Minimalism may not be for everyone, but we can all look up to these guys and adopt at least a part of their philosophy. After all, do we really need this much stuff in our lives?

MISS REPRESENTATION
We all know that media is not exactly helping us  to have a healthy image of ourselves, but this documentary is still quite shocking and eye-opening. Women are treated like trash and often judged just by their looks, and not capabilities or intelligence. That is done by media even to the ladies that achieve a lot and hold powerful positions. What kind of message does that send to young girls?

GIRL RISING
While in the western countries we are very close to achieving true gender equality, in some parts of the world that is far from reality. Girls suffer as their rights are not recognised and they don’t get to make their own choices. They are declined future just by not having an opportunity of getting education. Watch some brave girls take things into their hands and fight for going to school no matter how big the obstacles they face. Warning, I cried during this one, so get your tissues ready.

FED UP
In the sea of health documentaries that explore food and diets, FED UP is still my favorite. We all already know that sugar is not good for us, but this film offers a deeper view on how the consumption of it sky rocketed and what the effects on our health are. It is focused mainly on the USA, but it’s still very interesting and worth a look.


By: Ivona Iwarra Josipovic / Photo cred: videoblocks.com 

 

Be Inspired Mind

Letter to myself

Dear myself, when everything you know crumbles, and falls apart. When you think this is the end, that you will not survive this because you just don’t know how, one thing will happen: you will survive.

Because whether you like it or not, whether you want to hear it or not (and trust me, I don’t) life will go on. You will put one foot in front of the other. Maybe you will stumble at first, but you will move forward. Even if it is at such a slow pace that it’s not visible to the naked eye. Because it’s not a choice. It does not matter how evolved we have convinced ourselves we were, we are animals and for thousands of years it has been fixed in our genes that we need to keep on going, find food, shelter and survive.

Don’t get me wrong. You won’t be happy. It will be tough and you will maybe even wonder what the point of all this is. I cannot believe I am quoting that movie but hear me out. In “Sex Tape” with Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel, Segel drives his kids to school and his young daughter in the back seat out of nowhere drops some pretty amazing insight: “Why do we keep having all these days and then going to bed at night and then having all these days and then going to bed at night?” Segel answers: “That’s sort of what life is” And her to respond: “But when will it end?” That is a pretty good sum up of how you feel right now. Which is crazy because three or four months back you felt you had your whole life figured out, a purpose, a goal, a raison d’être. You had your struggles, but everything was under control.

You like to think everything happens for a reason, but right now, you wonder what that reason might be!

Today you are not happy. But you put one foot in front of the other, and maybe you will take two steps back tonight when it gets dark and the aftershock of the heart quake that your life suffered will keep coming as you replay everything in your head and in your heart. But as sure as the sun will come up, you will too. And you will eventually find a purpose again, and maybe your hopes and dreams will be fulfilled. Or maybe you need new hopes and dreams, or maybe you just need to change your perspective.

There is only one way to find out: It’s to keep having all those days and going to bed at night.


By: Mo Oléron

Be Inspired Mind

15 motivational quotes to get you through the tough days

We all have those days where it just feels impossible to get anything done.

When you’re feeling low, unmotivated or discouraged, come back to these quotes to inspire you to look forward and get back to working.

I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within. It was there all the time.
– Anna Freud

Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
– Martin Luther King Jr.

Success is not permanent, and failure is not fatal.
– Mike Ditka

It’s difficult to follow your dreams, but it’s a tragedy not to.
– Unknown

Raise your words, not your voice. It’s rain that grows flowers, not thunder.
– Unknown

Draw a map, find a path, take a breath, and run!
– Unknown

By being yourself, you put something wonderful into the world that was not there before.
– Edwin Elliott

Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.
– John Wooden

It’s hard to fail, but it is worse to never have tried to succeed.
– Theodore Roosevelt

You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.
– Michael Jordan

The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that do.
– Anonymous

Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.
– John D. Rockefeller

We become what we think about most of the time, and that’s the strangest secret.
– Earl Nightingale

The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.
– Colin R. Davis

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
– Steve Jobs

Have a favorite motivational quote that you don’t see here? Let us know in the comments below what quote helps you get through the tough days.


By: Samantha Thayer

Be Inspired Body

Getting back on track

Long days of reading books on the beach, eating endless amounts of ice cream, drinking wine and sleeping during the day is now over for most of us. Back to reality, long hours at the office and back to… THE GYM (imagine horror music in the background for full effect).

Joke aside, getting back on track is not always so easy. Some of course keep up their fitness routine during vacation, but there is no secret that most of us prefer wine instead of squats on a sunny Monday in July! So, when we suddenly face our daily lives again, getting back to our normal routines may feel like a struggle. If it doesn´t then great, then no need to continue reading.

Since I have no idea and need an article like this myself I turned to Personal Trainer and founder of rebirth fitness, Michael Glover, for some expert advice. And we kind of love his tips:

  1. Get back slowly!!! Jumping head first back into training and better eating just opens yourself up for injury and failure. As the saying goes ”Crawl before you walk and walk before you run.”
  2. Re-establish your normal sleeping hours. Vacation time can be full relaxation, full on adventure, or a combination of the two. This usually results in sleeping different hours than your normal lifestyle when not on vacation. Establish a new, more consistent sleep routine to prepare you for work mode again.
  3. Water…water…water!!! The combination of red, white, rosé, and all the other colored liquids that you consumed haven’t been the best for you. The car, train, or plane travels also did a number on dehydrating your body. Proper hydration with water will do wonders for your body and mind.
  4. Continue living life to the fullest. Vacation is year-round. Don’t make it a yearly thing just for the summer. Make every day your own little vacation in some way. Relax, live, laugh, and keep striving to be the Best of You!

So, good luck peeps! And if you need a little help along the way, rebirth and Michael is definitely the place to go.


By: Henriette Danielsen and Michael Glover / Photo cred: Clara Mo 

Be Inspired Body

Run yogi, run!

A lot of runners are reluctant to start practicing yoga. Maybe because they fear they will not be flexible enough (number one excuse worldwide), or because they see it as something too gentle for them who like the contact of the asphalt, the race of their heartbeat and the wind on their face.

I started running before I started doing yoga, but it was not like that for me. Running has always been, and I have accepted the fact that it always will be, a love and hate relationship. Whereas yoga is just love. But somehow I need both. Talk about balance.

Runners out there, do not disregard yoga. It helps tremendously.

Things you need for running:

  • Muscle strength
  • Good balance and alignment to prevent injuries
  • Flexibility
  • Good breathing habits
  • Focus

Things yoga practice brings you: all of the above.

Do not be afraid to replace one run by a yoga class every now and then. You are not slacking, you are growing. Just like you will never evolve by doing the same thing over and over, just like you spice up your runs with a little “fartslek” every now and then, yoga will bring you the little extra to keep improving and reaching further.

Yoga teacher Denise Thompson once said “Yoga and running are the Yin and Yang of fitness”. I could not agree more, and I could not do one without the other anymore. When I feel too lazy to go for a run, I do yoga instead and it instantly makes me want to go for a run the next day. And when I have been running my muscles and my mind are calling for a delicious yoga sequence.

I’ll see you on the road…or the mat.


By: Mo Oléron