All of a sudden I felt okay with my body

I’ve had two photo shoots this week. Not that I do a lot of photo shoots but for various reasons two coincided in the same week. And it made me realize: I don’t hate how my body looks anymore.

I learned to love the function of my body during my healing journey and I’ve grown to respect it tremendously. It works its ass off every day to serve me. It does the best it can. And since 7 years back I also do my best to serve it back. We’re a good team.

Still, I didn’t like how it looked. As many women learn to not like the way they look. We’re daily fed with the idea that there’s something wrong with the way we look and that we need to fix that, with various products or diets or fixes. There’s a lot of money involved in the industry of making women feel as if they need to change the way they look. Like millions and trillions.

I’ve been part of that circus and probably somehow still am. But it was a huge realization the other day when I noticed I was actually enjoying being photographed as I focused on the energy I sent out. I wasn’t focused on how my tummy looked or if the angle was good for my thighs or to tense the muscles in my arms. I was totally relaxed, knowing that my worth is not in my looks and that I’m okay.

Nothing has changed with my body. A lot has changed in my thoughts about my body. I’m not sure which have been the main causes for me healing my relationship with my body (and don’t get me wrong, it’s still not a completely uncomplicated relationship). These are a few of the practices I’ve put into to place and I think they combined and over time have helped:

  • I’ve dug into the areas of #healthateverysize and #bodypositivity and listened to podcasts like FoodPshych with Christy Harrisson and Insta accounts like @danikabrysha, @bodyposipanda, @aerie .

  • I’ve unfollowed all the triggering accounts online. Content that makes me feel unworthy or makes me compare instead of inspire are gone.

  • I read the book “Women, Food and God” by Geneen Roth.

  • I’ve started questioning all the “truths” portrayed in media or in the beauty industry. I look for the source, I ask my heart, I select my intake.

I think body love is a gradual process and that it goes back and forth depending on where we’re at in life. But one thing is clear to me; looking a certain way that external sources tell me to look it’s not worth my peace, happiness and mental health. That’s it.

What are your best tips for healing your body image and start loving every part of you?

With all my love,

Helena

It's much easier to cause pain than to feel pain

I do believe in the good of every human. When we hurt others it’s either because we’re misinformed (e.g. actually believing that what you’re doing is “good”) or because we’re in pain ourselves. Because it’s easier to toss the pain over to the next person, projecting it, than to actually feel it and transform it ourselves.

Other people treating you poorly has much more to do with them than it has to do with you. As the popular quote says: “Everyone is fighting their own battle. Be kind, always.”

No one in their right mind who are content in their own lives; feeling seen, heard and valued, wakes up in the morning and goes out into the world with the intention: Today I’m gonna make everyone around me miserable.

Knowing this does not excuse other peoples way of behaving in the world. But it might help you reach for a little more compassion for the humans around you. Because only hurt people hurt people.

It’s still okay for you to walk away, to say no, to set clear boundaries. And have compassion. This is another of those beautiful paradoxes in life, that I know we are wise enough to hold.

And as for yourself; work on your awareness and feel the pain that needs to be felt, transform it if you can, so that you can be the one closing the pain spiral down. No emotion can kill you. And as an adult, you can take care of the little child inside who’s hurting. You can comfort yourself, and ask for what you need from others.

What do you say? Are you ready to show compassion to those hurting even when they try to pass it onto you? Are you ready to deal with the pain you’re experiencing yourself without projecting it onto others?

With all my love,
Helena

This might be the most important lesson I've ever learned

I’ll give it away right away: You don’t have to believe in your own thoughts!

I don’t really know when I learned this but I do know when I forget. Yesterday I was feeling overwhelmed (it’s happened a lot lately, I know!) and completely lost in my own mind. Then someone asked me how I was and I stopped to actually reflect on her question. As I realized the truth my answer came: I’m really great, but my mind is really busy and overwhelmed.

She looked at me funny as if that was a weird way of answering a very common question. But for me that was the truth in that moment. And as I write to you now I think it still might be. I’m really great, I am. And, my mind is really spinning with ideas and to-do’s and what if’s and questions which is, at times, really uncomfortable and so tiring. Both can exist at the same time. I am not my mind.

Our minds are amazing. They can come up with really advanced fantasies, store so much information and analyze and dissect almost any situation. But we need to remember that it’s not the master of us and we can learn to master it. It’s a tool. An amazing tool. But that’s not to say it’s all that we are.

Just before our lunch meditation yesterday, at the co-working space where I spend most of my time, we all reflected on our experience of meditation. A brand new meditator was joining us and she was interested in hearing about what she could expect. My friend said: It’s simple, you just shut off your thoughts in sit in “blankness” for 15 minutes. I just laughed because I was sure he was kidding. Turns out he wasn’t. He could actually turn off his thoughts like that. That’s never ever been the case for me.

But I do know that I can be the witness of my thoughts. Sort of like an anthropologist just observing. Sometimes I actually say it out loud to myself: Hah, that’s a funny thought! Or, wow, that’s a strong reaction to that persons behavior!

I just want to tell you this: You are more than just your thoughts. And you can choose which ones to follow and build upon and which ones to drop. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I know it’s possible.

The greatest tool for the practice of witnessing my thoughts has always been meditation. If you’re a Swede and what some support in getting started you can download my guide here.

What are your best tools for remembering to not believe in everything going on in your head?

With all my love,

Helena

How to not lose your footing in times of stress

Don’t do what I just did ;)

Sometimes you really do teach best what you most have to learn. Meaning, all the things I talk about here, with my coaching clients, in my newsletter, on Instagram, at my talks, in my workshops and elsewhere are the things I most need to hear myself. And I guess that’s a good thing: I’m human too. Well, that’s a relief isn’t it? Haha!

I’ve been in a bit of an overwhelm for the last few weeks. It’s not really that I’m stressed, it’s just that my mind makes up all these stories of me not having enough control (=lack of faith in life in general), that I’m not enough (=forgetting my intrinsic value by just being born) or doing enough to better this world (=taking responsibility for things that are not mine to carry).

See the common thread of all those statements: enoughness. Some say that the core wound of every pain or problem in our life is the fear of not being enough. Not being worthy of being here. If we could just focus on healing this wound so much else would resolve as well.

I don’t have a one-size-fits-all-solution to this issue, cause there aren’t one. I just wanted to address it and remind you that, if you’re in a similar place as well, you are not alone. And to say I’m sorry for being absent last week due to above mind trap. And also, to let you know that I just opened the registration to my online course (in Swedish). It closes on May 15th - if you wanna know more - go here.

With all my love,

Helena

What it's like working with me as a coach

I’ve worked as a licensed coach for five years now and have had several coaches of my own through the years. Before I got licensed as a coach I thought, as many others, that coaching was only about asking the right questions. And I didn’t see the confusion in this space as clearly as I do now.

Coaching can mean very many different things, depending on the context, culture and person you’re talking to. There are football coaches standing on the sideline yelling at you to get your ass moving. There are business coaches telling you what to do, how to do it and when. There are coaches listening to your life story and feelings and occasionally giving you empathetic nods and hmm’s. There are health coaches giving you food schemes and workout routines. Then there are the general coaching conversations happening once in a while between employee and the boss who’s been to a course.

Don’t get me wrong, I think coaching is great, in various forms, but when I say I work as a coach, I mean something else. I’m certified according to the principles of the International Coaching Federation where coaching is seen as a method to create change and development driven by you yourself. Some of the characteristics of this type of coaching are these:

  • The coach is responsible for the structure but the coachee is responsible for the content.

  • It’s a continuous relationship where the coach supports the coachee to satisfying results through active listening, reflections and powerful questions

  • The coaching relationship is based on a deep trust in the coachees ability to accomplish their goals and step into their potential

  • The work is also based on accomplishments of certain set goals

It’s not like going to therapy. It’s not like having a mentor. It’s not like hiring an expert. It’s like having a cheerleader who pushes you outside of your comfort zone, who holds space when needed and who always empowers you to believe in yourself.

Here’s what people who’s worked with me say:

”Helena is the perfect coach to help you with whatever issue you may face. She is a great listener and asks the right questions that makes you reflect and act in ways that can change your life. I can highly recommend Helena!” - Cecilie

“Helena is an amazing coach who walks the talk. She's engaged and empathetic towards your unique journey. She supports and encourages you on your path and helps you celebrate your progress" - Malin

“To be coached by Helena is one of the greatest decisions I've made for myself. She's given me practical tools to implement what I "knew in theory" to enable me to live a life with more balance and harmony. She is truly inspiring and humble." - Annika

“With Helena we created a real connection. She helped me get perspective while I got closer to myself. After each session the insights were pouring over me. I highly recommend Helena as a coach!” - Maria

I currently have space to take on some new clients before the summer. If you are interested and want to know more you can always book a free discovery call to get all your questions answered and tell me more about what you’re looking for.

With all my love,

Helena

How to find the courage to take the first step

So many people come to me with the same longing to make a change in their life. Maybe they’re not fulfilled at their job, or their life situation is too stressful, or their relationship is not working or they just don’t feel at home in themselves.

They all have one thing in common: the fear of taking the first step. But the fear shows up in different disguises; excuses, inadequacy, laziness, fear of failure, what people will think, inaction, confusion or needing the whole map before they get started.

I don’t have the answers for your life. But I have worked with hundreds of people and this is what has worked for most.

  1. Honor where you’re at. Fall in love with the journey and not the destination. There is no there there. You will never be done. You will never have all the answers. Right now is all you’ve got so work with that.

  2. Embrace the unknown. I remember this beautiful prayer from a poster in my childhood:

    Guide me on my way Lord,

    I need not know the path.

    Just give me light enough, to see the next step.

    You don’t have to believe in a god to find solace in that. But you do need to trust life. And remember that you’ve survived everyday so far. So just know that all you need is light enough to see the next step. You will never find yourself at a dead end if you trust life. Cause maybe the one door closing is for you to notice the window you weren’t even aware of as long as the door was open. Trust.

  3. Take action. Yes, listen in first, ask for the guidance you need, and then, act. As Marie Forleo so wisely says: Clarity comes from action, not thought. You can’t think your way out of a practical conundrum, you need to try different things to see what works. And the beauty of action is that the guidance usually gets clearer the more we “error”. The more times you feel what’s not right, the stronger your pull towards what is. Right for you.

  4. Start in tiny steps. What’s one thing you can do today to get you started? Researching a topic, putting out your running shoes, sitting down to write for 5 minutes, making that phone call, downloading the app, starting with a glass of water, setting an intention, getting on your mat, posting that request on social media, hiring a coach, ordering the thing online, making the plan, booking the ticket… Every huge achievement or life change is made up of thousands of tiny steps. One tiny step at a time changes your life, changes the world.

What does this bring up in you? Energy, resistance, excuses, hope, fear, longing, movement, irritation, frustration, joy? Whatever is it, be curious. Your reaction to someone telling you to get started is usually a great clue to what you need to do next.

What will you do next?

With all my love,

Helena

The why's and how's to meditation

Everyone is talking about it but so few make it part of their lifestyle and daily routine. I’m one of the believers that meditation does change lives so this is my attempt to help you figure it out.

The most important part of any new endeavor is the motivation and having your personal why-power to make the investment in making the routine stick. There’s thousands of research articles and so many reasons to do it, but these are my biggest why’s a the greatest benefits I’ve witnessed in my own life:

  1. Meditation builds a space between your thoughts and yourself. When you meditate you practice non-attachment to thought. You don’t have to believe in everything you’re thinking. The mind is crazy at times. Over time, meditation increases this space in between your wiser self and the monkey mind. With this space you can choose your reactions and you take back the power over your life.

  2. Meditation activates your body’s healing ability. When you sit down, relax and tell yourself that it’s safe to relax you automatically activate the parasympathetic nervous system and the body’s healing ability. Your body is so wise, and cool, and good at what it does, but you need to give it the right circumstances to do its job. When you meditate your body can work its magic.

  3. Meditation increases your awareness of your inner guidance system. As you close your eyes to the outer world and open up to your inner world you also realize there is a wisdom inside of you that is constantly guiding you in life. This is your power. Whether you want to call it intuition, gut feeling, higher power or something else, this guidance is always available to you if you just learn to listen to it.

I could go on and on about many more of my why’s of having a regular meditation practice but I’ll stop there because each one of these three makes the investment of meditation so, so worth it.

So, if it’s so great, why don’t everyone do it? Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I think one of the obstacles people find is that they make it more complicated than it needs to be. These are my tips to get started.

  1. Start short and simple. It really doesn’t have to be fancy at all. Sit down in your sofa, close your eyes and count your breaths for ten breaths. So, that’s it. You’ve meditated. You can build from there. But you don’t have to. Just doing that a couple of times a day could work miracles.

  2. Don’t expect your mind to be blank. Your mind is a great tool for thoughts and that’s its job so it will most probably continue, whether or not you meditate. Your job is to not attach to the thoughts, just observe them and get back to whatever you’re focusing on, e.g. your breath. If you notice your mind is great, that’s awesome, you’re noticing!

  3. Be kind with yourself as you practice. Don’t expect miracles in a week. Be gentle with yourself as you trial and error. Try different variations, methods, teachers and techniques. Hang in there and trust that millions of people and thousands of years of practice can’t be wrong. Forgive yourself instantly when you miss a day and get on it again.

I truly hope this helps because I really believe that meditation can change lives and will change our society as more and more start looking inward and taking responsibility for their own life and well-being. You are not a victim of your circumstances but a creator of your reality. If you want a crash course I highly recommend Headspace and their free Take 10 introduction. It’s 10 minutes a day for 10 days with lots of instructions and cute animations to get you started. If you want a sustainable meditation companion over time I love Insight Timer which is a free tool with thousands of guided meditations and the ability to build your own.

So what say you, have I convinced you to get started? If you’re already a meditator, what’s your main why and best tips for someone just getting started? I’d love to hear from you.

With all my love,

Helena

The simplest way to living your dream life today

I don’t actually remember how I was first introduced to Danielle LaPorte but I’m so glad that I found her and her work. I remember working through the Desire Mapping process in early spring of 2015 and slowly uncovering the feelings that I most value and long for. They’ve changed and evolved since then but I still use my core desired feelings as a daily reminder of how I create the life that I want to live.

The process is quite simple: you look at your dreams and goals and “if-only-this”’s and you identify the feelings that you associate with having achieved this. These are your core desired feelings. The underlying belief of this work is that everything we do is driven by a desire to feel a certain way. And that we attach those feelings with a desired outcome that may or may not let you feel what you want to feel.

The twist of desire mapping is that once you’ve identified your core desired feelings you can deliberately create circumstances and events that lets your feel what you want to feel. Easy :) Really, it is! Let’s work with an example:

Emma is dreaming of having a house by the forest so that she can be in nature everyday. She longs to work creatively and help people from all over the world in leading happier lives. She wants two kids, a dog and a husband that is also into personal development and has a strong drive to create good in the world. Emmas “if-only-this” is having a less critical inner critic.

Emma visualizes that she’s there already, having everything she ever dreamt of and having all her problems solved. The feelings that she imagines that she would get to feel at her desired outcome are freedom, creativity, connection, meaning and divine love. Instead of waiting to get to experience those feelings “over there” she creates ways in her daily life to feel them.

Freedom is created by walking outside, taking a deep breath and looking up at the sky. She feels creativity by giving space to expressing herself freely through writing, without judgement. She experiences connection every time she sits down with a colleague and engages in an interesting conversation. Meaning is felt by helping people in need in different ways. Divine love is part of her everyday through her gratitude practice and by deepening her spiritual connection.

Emma is not at her “end goal” today, but she does get to feel the way she wants to feel almost everyday. And by taking responsibility for getting to feel her core desired feelings she feels less attached to the outcome and more present in her everyday life. And, she’s also a vibrational match to more of what she longs for, because we attract what we are.

That’s it! I told you it was easy ;)

I’m currently training to be a Desire Map Facilitator with Danielle, so you’ll probably hear lots more about this from me in the not so far future. But in the meantime, take the example of Emma and try it out in your own life. It’s more powerful than you might initially think. Trust me on this.

With all my love,

Helena

ps. yes, Emma is me.