“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.”

 

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“Let the world say you are crazy, then you are free to do what you want.”

 

“Paint the sky, make it yours.”

 

“Freedom is the oxygen of the soul“

 

“True detachment is not a separation from life but the absolute freedom within your mind to explore living”

 

“The root of suffering is attachment.” –Buddha

 

Universal Human Rights about Freedom:

 

Everyone has a right to liberty and security. Liberty means the power to act as one pleases without restrictions set by authority on your way of life, behavior or political views. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, home and communications. Everyone has the right to the protection of her personal data. The right to marry and the right to found a family shall be guaranteed. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. The arts and scientific research shall be free of constraint. Academic freedom shall be respected. Everyone has the right to education and to have access to continuing training. Everyone has the right to engage in work and to pursue a freely chosen or accepted occupation.

 

The more I have been exposed to different environments and cultures, the more I have learned to appreciate my freedom. In the Western culture, we are often fortunate to enjoy freedom to high extent. In Scandinavia, we are given equal opportunities in just about anything, from education, occupation, choosing your partner, living environment… This is a tremendous gift, and I pray similar freedom for every one in this world. We all should be entitled to choose our own path, make choices based on free will, detached from outside pressure or restrictions. We are meant to build our own reality. To make choices that serve our passions. We are entitle to get to do things that we find meaningful. To get to feel ourselves appreciated and loved. To live enjoyable lives. Yet, it is up to us as individuals to do choices that serve our deepest wishes regarding our lives. The range of opportunities are endless.

 

Which topics do you want to study? How do you want to make your living? Where do you want to travel? Where do you want to live? With who do you want to share your life?  How do you want to spend your time? What do you want to eat for dinner tonight? What would you do for living if all occupations would be equally appreciated and they were all realistic?
For me, freedom is about….

 

Choosing how I make my living, pursue an education and choosing how to use it

Expressing myself freely

Choosing how and with whom I spend my time, and giving others the freedom to do the same

Saying yes when I feel like it, saying no when I feel like saying no

Eating ice cream for dinner, because I can

Detaching myself from the virtual world whenever I feel like it

Not having to explain my actions for those whose business it is not

… And so much more. Freedom is there all the time, it is a state of mind.

 

 

Someone whom I admire for her internal and external beauty, Sofia Ruutu, writes about freedom:

 

Freedom. As an adult I’ve come to realize I have the freedom to do almost anything I want. Realizing that is something that has changed my life. It’s like the realization opened up doors that I never imagined possible for me. Freedom is of course not to be taken for granted, which is why I appreciate all the opportunities and choices I have. I have the freedom to build my own life, and even though it might be hard or almost impossible to get where you want, most things are possible and starts between your ears and within yourself. Changes and goals might take time to reach, and sometimes requires re-arrangement, hard work, giving up other things and a lot of faith and discipline. However, just knowing you have the possibility is freeing itself.”

 

How beautifully expressed, I cannot agree more.

 

“And so, she decided to start living the life she’d imagined.”

 

“As I walked out of the door toward my freedom, I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred and bitterness behind that I would still be in prison.” – Nelson Mandela

 

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others” – Nelson Mandela

 

“When you come to the point where you don’t need to impress anyone, your freedom will begin.”

“Vulnerability is the only bridge to build connection.”

That’s not the beginning of the end
That’s the return to yourself
The return to innocence
Love – Devotion
Feeling – Emotion
Love – Devotion
Feeling – Emotion
Don’t be afraid to be weak
Don’t be too proud to be strong
Just look into your heart my friend
That will be the return to yourself
The return to innocence
If you want, then start to laugh
If you must, then start to cry
Be yourself don’t hide
Just believe in destiny
Don’t care what people say
Just follow your own way
Don’t give up and use the chance
To return to innocence
That’s not the beginning of the end
That’s the return to yourself
The return to innocence
Don’t care what people say
Follow just your own way
Don’t give up, don’t give up
To return, to return to innocence.
If you want then laugh
If you must then cry
Be yourself don’t hide
Just believe in destiny.

I encourage us all to embrace our vulnerability. Return to yourself, look into your heart. What do you fear? Why are you sad? What is your weakness? Don’t be afraid to show it. My vulnerability is my sensitivity, feeling everything so deeply, need to share my feelings and thoughts openly to anyone who will listen, doing things my way. These are also my strengths. Vulnerability is the bridge to human connection, we are all vulnerable. The ones with courage aren’t afraid to show their vulnerability to others, and that is a gateway to deep human connection. This is what we all ultimately crave, isn’t it?

“When you show up authentic, you create space for others to do the same. Walk in your truth.”

“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

Did you make New Year’s resolutions? I did, and will continue doing. I love to set goals and write down dreams… That way they start to concretise in your mind and you make gradual, conscious or unconscious steps towards realising these visions. My resolutions consists of abstract things as well as concrete goals. Some of them are too personal to share, some not 😉

 

I want to keep growing as a person. Get to know myself better, and understand my closed ones better. Be happy and only let people leave from my company more inspired than they were. I want to be more present in the moment. I will cut time spent on my phone. I’m not afraid to go to flight mode. I don’t need to be available virtually all the time, instead I want to be available to people I’m surrounded by. Showing respect by listening is so important. I want to learn to recognise, accept, respect and embrace personality differences. We are all built differentially, communication is the key. I realise that I can learn something from every single person. It doesn’t mean you need to keep spending time with people that don’t energise you. Also realising when its time to let go and say no is respect towards oneself. I love the quote “You’d love everyone if you knew their story”. Let’s show compassion to everyone around us.

 

 

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My more concrete resolutions have to do with doing more what I love such as surfing and yoga, getting better at them, deepening my relationships,  exploring my current home city more thoroughly, travel to new as well as already been places, and start new work related projects. I want to take meditation to my days again, get more often to a creative mode, encourage others to pursue their dreams and do the same myself. In fact there is really no real line between concrete and abstract. Abstract becomes reality when you believe in it and build it gradually through small actions.

365 days. Let’s decide that this year will be the best one so far.

 

 

“When you come to the point where you have no need to impress anyone, your freedom will begin”

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My 2016 started with a yoga class. I’ve gone every day since. I am hooked by the feeling that the combination of being mindful about your body & mind, flowing asanas, powerful energy of the people around you, inspiring teachers, endless sweating, and just the right music gives to you. An hour of yoga makes me feel so alive, powerful, inspired, somehow unstoppable. I get my best ideas there and I often wish I had pen and paper with me. My new years resolution is to continue practising often.

I like the quote of the title and I feel like I’m on a good path. Spending New Years alone is only one example, I love the fact that I no longer feel a need to explain myself regarding how to spend my time. 90% of my time I love to live healthily, wake up early, exercise and eat fresh. But it doesn’t mean I won’t have a night out every now and then and enjoy a huge steak even more often. Balance is the key. Finding the balance is what I will continue to work on this year in all life areas.

Valma (and my wetsuit) landed safely on New Years Day. Arne with new visitors returned from their New Years celebrations as well, and turned out that the guys are super funny. The highlight of our day was meeting Maija & Luka for drinks. Maija also lives in London so was really good catching up. She is a girl with always a huge smile on her face, best people reading skills and a huge heart. With her I can talk hours about life, relationships, future and personalities. Love it.

Valma’s last supper was enjoyed at Charcoal on New Church Street. I was a bit nervous to take 4 of our visitors to a place I had not tested before but it turned out to be a needless worry, we all loved Charcoal. Romatic and minimalistic setting, delicious and beautiful dishes. The night continued to Village Idiot. Though I mostly stay out of night life here, I’m always keen for this place. Good music, cozy venue, great crowd. I even got to tick dancing at the table off my bucket list.

The day after brekkie took place at Truth, before it was time to head to the airport. My favourite avo toast still resides here… She is now safely back at London, the host is is happy and in need for some more me time 😉 I can’t wait to get projects started for the new year and plan how I will make the most out of my (too short) remaining time in this amazing city.

 

 

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Be fearless when it comes to life, and careless when it comes to what people may think or say about you.”

 

 

nye2

 

ENFPs are passion-driven ‘ideas’ people. They gain energy from interacting with the world around them, and become quickly excited over new possibilities. Though ENFPs loves being around people, they crave alone time much more than the average extrovert. ENFPs search for a deeper meaning in just about everything, and use their much-coveted alone time to decide how their experiences fit in with their system of core values. To be frank, it’s an exhausting personality to have.

 

Right now – the year changing in few hours, I’m home alone, using my “much-coveted alone time deciding how my experiences fit into my value system.” 😀 Though I get most of my energy of human connection and drain quickly when I’m alone for too long, I have a huge introvert in me as well. This part of me has been tested all December, hosting my dear friends, moving in with someone and suddenly sharing the everyday life, and all the social events that have come along. And I’ve enjoyed every day of it, in fact, the past month has been a period of my life that I’ll surely never forget. However, I’ve always needed a huge amount of time alone, time when no one knows where I am, what I’m doing. To recharge, reflect, create.  Lack of this kind of time escalated today and I felt like I needed a break.

We spent the past few days with Valma in Hermanus, with her friends from London. Stories of the past days will never make it to instagram or the blog but let’s just say we experienced another kind of lifestyle. I’m so grateful for Sarah & Gideon, our lovely hosts and all others who made us feel welcome to each event we got to attend. The reason why I drove back home  without Valma was that we had the option of flying back to Cape Town. As I had my car there I had to turn down helicopter ride, but I wanted her to have the experience. Though I’m by no doubt jealous, I’m so happy one of us gets to do this. So, after few nights of dinner parties and new people, I decided to skip the New Years party and head home today, to avoid the traffic and get some much needed alone time.

 

Instead of feeling lonely, I only find it funny and typical for me that the night I decided it was time for alone time happened to be New Years Eve. I guess this is what happens when I drain myself socially – end up spending new years home alone and loving it 😉 I had the option of meeting Maija & Luka for drinks but I simply couldn’t – I guess it also the result of weeks of sleep deprivation. I’ve been too high on life lately to sleep. 😉 Hope they can share a breakfast with me tomorrow.

 

Waking up fresh and alone to 2016 doesn’t sound to bad as I know I’ll be surrounded by my close people by the time of afternoon. If this was Christmas, I’d be shedding tears of sadness, but now I can’t help by smile to myself.  Embrace your weirdness, that’s what I keep saying and living accordingly. I hope everyone else is having a night surrounded with the people they want to. ❤ As ironic as it sounds, I am as well.

 

P.S. At times like these, I love to go back to my favourite articles,  finding it amusing how someone can drill into my mind so accurately. I can identify with every single one but I picked the ones relevant past days 😉

 

1. Getting your energy from social interaction, but disliking superficial conversations. Yes, I want to go to a party tonight. But a party full of contemplative people who want to alternate between taking shots and discussing the meaning of life.

2. Being very socially conscience but also fiercely individualistic. This means always wanting to fit in with a group, but never wanting to compromise your personality to do so.

3. The constant tug-of-war between ‘YES, I WANT TO GO EXPRIENCE EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW’ and ‘Wow, I need a lot of time to process these experiences, can I take a breather?’

7. Constantly contradicting yourself because you genuinely see multiple sides to most situations.

8. Everyone thinking you’re flirting with them, all of the time.

10. Getting bored 500 times faster than the average human being.

12. Stressing out friends and acquaintances who don’t like straying from the original plan.

13. Working towards a constantly altering notion of your “ideal self.”

My extrovert loves her different roles in life…. My introvert loves to learn new skills and create, be it any new project.

17. Needing significantly more alone time than other extraverts.

I have a fear of missing out for both time with others and lack of spending time with myself. My extrovert loves engaging conversations, meeting new people and hearing stories, my introvert loves to process these encounters and talks into writing, or new dreams and goals.

18. Others being surprised that you hold such strong opinions and beliefs, despite your easy-going nature.

22. Wanting to be alone… but like, with other people nearby.

23. Appearing shallow because of your tendency to flit from topic to topic in conversation, with lightening speed.

24. Having a fiercely independent streak… but getting bored without company.

 

25. Being a walking contradiction in almost every way, but knowing that you wouldn’t change a thing, even if you could.

newyear

 

 

 

 

“Can’t I stay a little longer? I’m so happy here.”

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For some reason I didn’t have any expectations of Lion’s Head, thinking that it can not be better than Table Mountain and our spot at Fresnaye Heights. Once again, I’m glad I have people around me who actually start checking things from bucket list and make things happen. We did the hike in say 45 minutes, just in time for sunset. As it was full moon, there were people up there but not too much. We found a great spot by climbing a bit further.

Overlooking Cape Town from this spot, I concluded that for me, Cape Town is the most beautiful city. The Table Mountain so close, coated with clouds reflected by sunlight, flowing towards the ground. The waves crashing to Clifton and Camps Bay and hilly roads below. Twelve Apostles standing there reflected by the sunlight, sun melting to the sea. This light before and after sunset makes the entire city feel magical. It cannot be explained, but I know I’ll miss these moments.

The point was to wait for the full moon after sunset. It is as impressive to move to the other side of the cliff to wait for the moon and see the lights of the city turn on. Cape Town often feels small in everyday life, but this is when you realise how huge it is. The lights of Khayelitsa, the township, reach all the way from Cape Town to Stellenbosch, and has almost 2 million inhabitants.

We didn’t have the patience to wait for what would’ve required an hour or two waiting for the moon to reach up. We did see it on our way down – it was huge and red, like super moon. Next time we will take a picnic and spend hours there to get the full experience. For now, this was beyond expectations.

The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.

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I never thought I’d develop such a relationship for surfing, especially here in the waters with sharks, but it happened. I crave for the Ocean, catching the waves and developing my surfing skills. Even if the conditions are more often too rough than favourable, every session makes me feel more free and connected to the earth. Surfing for me is the best form of exercising – you have to be totally present, dependent on how the earth has decided to serve you the waves on this particular day.

 
I don’t know if it’s my new wetsuit, new beach with easier waves (Muizenberg), or simply making progress, but I can finally actually surf on the waves. I always loved going out there, but it was often more about surviving through the waves.  Though I know the self-confidence I have now might change and your performance is dependent on so many things, I now feel like I am able to take the wave as it comes and choose to stand up and surf. This feeling makes all the inconvenience related to surfing (driving and sitting in traffic mostly;) so worth it. The Ocean really makes you realise how small you are, and how little you can control. For me, surfing and yoga are the best forms of therapy for the mind and body. There’s no way you can come out of the Ocean and not feel more free, more happy than before going there.

 

In Cape Town, the best spots for beginners are Big Bay and Muizenberg, in Stellenbosch, Strand. I also look forward surfing at Clifton, Lladudno, Hout Bay… one day 😉