Last weekend we finally moved into our newly build house where Rune has put so many hours of co-building during this last year. It was only a 3 meter move from our caravan-home to the brand new house. We had been longing for this for months, but I think it´s mildly put when I say we were completely overwhelmed by the impact such a small move can have.

(pics above from the first evening, before we filled up the place with a lot of stuff and boxes with no place to put- yet.)

By how much time and work it takes to settle in a new house, even when it´s a fine new house with an actual kitchen with drawers and hot water and all. And me, I have had such an incredible hard time finding a place inside and outside of me to relax since moving. Like as if I was here but none of my patterns and ways with good things were build here yet.

(We are all in love with the spaceious/friendly feel of our big kitchen/living-room…and with the color of the back-wall!)

These last days I have done a lot of running around myself, waiting for things to settle, for order to appear – so that once again I could move forward with my life and gracefully handle the challenges at hand, so I thought.

But then I realised: Hey, this is it! I am right here, in the middle of my life + learning opportunity. And if I grump and put my life on hold until we have put all into place, then I am really missing out on some BIG learnings.

After accepting that, here´s what I am learning, right now:

  1. That in a situation with a lot of pressure/ stress, I have to settle the nerves and the physical needs first, before even trying to fix the mess. To insist in time to write, to sleep, to eat well. And then to allow space for a laugh together, a chat or a little dance on this brand new floor.
  2. Then, simply pursue the task at hand one step at a time, accepting that it will take a while before this place is fully funktioning.
  3. To do nr. 1 over again every day; insist in time to write, have a nice talk, eat well and healthy, and get enough sleep. And also, to listen to this brand new possibility that a new home holds. Who knows how we will all grow and flourish in this wonderful home….

“Quiet now… allow the pieces of life to settle in their own way and time. Even a shaken world can be transformed to a wonderful mosaic – with time.” Original sold. Print available here.

Above: before the house got filled with us + all the business that a move involves

Here is the space that is going to be my working space, soon! I am sooo looking forward to create a space for painting and writing and doing office-stuff.

Did you know the secret: It´s not all about YOU!

(New work: “Moving balance”, mixed media on canvas, 50 x 60 cm)

I feel a bit overwhelmed these days. So many things are happening right at the same time: We are a few days away from moving into the house we have been building. Rune will start in a new job tomorrow. And I am busy learning how to adjust to my business slowly growing. Making prints in new sizes, sending out boxes with cards and posters to new shops. Figuring out how to pack. Balancing finances. And all the time trying to see to the well being of the children, of me and Rune, and also just of me. Tempting to blame everyone and everything else since this is clearly too much for one person to handle in one week!

In all this I know that my most important responsibility is to keep my own balance. Like a mother putting on her own oxygen mask before helping her child. It´s my responsibility to take care of me.

But that doesn´t mean it´s all about me! About me handling MY portion,  squeezing to get MY load done. It´s about all of us doing the very best we can with what we have got. Alone when we must and together when we can. To light our light  and to look for the light in people around us when we can´t feel our own.

In the big picture I am just a little brick in the puzzle. I am also the only person responsible for handling the balances in my life. And that´s important.  Many small balanced lifes can make a BIG difference! And that´s why we could sometimes do everyone including ourselves a service by taking a walk or making a bath, or calling in ill to just sit and stare and nap or whatever it takes to regain a sense of balance. We have to decide to do that, it won´t likely happen on it´s own. The nature of To-do-lists is that they never end!  Sometimes we serve the world best by doing whatever it takes to add a little balance to the day. That way we can be a better version of ourselves.

So, the secret I am learning is: this life is not about YOU, it´s about what you DO with what you´ve got whilst you are here. And I truly believe that keeping good balance is important in that picture. Even when it means dropping some balls on the way!

Finding peace inside the great puzzle of life

“Quiet now. Allow the pieces of life to settle in their own way and time. Even a shaken world can be transformed to a wonderful mosaic – with time” Mixed media on canvas, print available here.

The painting “Quiet now” was recently sold. The woman who bought it wrote me the sweetest mail where she told that she had to own it because it gave her a deep and serene feeling of peace. It made me truly happy to hear that.

Happy, because like most people, I sometimes wonder if my contribution to the world really matters.

Happy, because that´s exactly what those words caused in me too.

And happy, because I swear I did not think out this painting and words on my own. They came to me as small parts of a puzzle one day and landed on my canvas. Small soothing pieces from somewhere. And they simply asked me to be there and put the puzzle together. Still today if I have a day of feeling chaotic and without understanding of my road ahead those words give me peace.

Thanks to that angel or fairy or Inspiration who whispered just the right kind of soothing words that day when I needed it. And thanks for being allowed to create and pass it on, and to feel the deep joy of how we are indeed connected to each other during our time here. And how each of us is needed and have  an important part to play  in this puzzle called life.

Julia Cameron + morning pages rock!

I recently posted a photo of my morning-pages-journal on FB, and a creative soul wrote “morning pages rock!” in the comments. Another wrote “Morning pages are fabulous! And I thought: yes and yes and YES!!!

(The latest morning-pages-journal got a cover-make-over, which makes it even more tempting for me!)

The author and creativity coach Julia Cameron has managed to create such a popular and almost embarrassingly simple tradition amongst creatives over the world. The fact that I can write the words “morning pages” and someone from another country know exactly what I am talking about made me so happy. A truly good thing that heals the creative soul has spread around the globe for good….YES!

(Me, my beloved morning-pages- journal and coffee!)

Why are morning pages so special?

They work like a shower for the soul and mind, cleaning the systems before a creative working day. They leave you more at ease with what is, and therefore more open to what else is there that want to play that day. Like inspiration, visions and passion. And that is a BIG thing for a creative person, that makes the difference from misery to magic!

And what are they, how do you do them?

1. Get a journal, preferably biggish.

2. Set aside about 20 min´s in the morning for writing.

I prefere the time just before starting my working day, with coffee by my side. Some do them in bed when they awake. They work best if you do them every morning, but some is also good and will surely make a differece.

3. Now write 3 pages, longhand.

Start anywhere, ex: “I am tired today, must try to go earlier to bed tonight. I hate to have to wake the children in the morning. Maybe it´s time to look at our family´s timings again…..I am keen to paint but actually wished I had more time, worried it will affect me…..Amazing how that scene from the movie still sits in my system…..bla-bla-bla….” sweet nothings will get you going. It´s not important WHAT you write. What matters is that you WRITE, and without judgement, 3 pages at a reasonable pace. Don´t be surprised if some of your best ideas show up some days on the pages. And don´t worry when they don´t. Just DO them.

(Often it is during the morning-pages I get ideas for images or words to my paintings like in the one above)

That´s it. And maybe remember that it is ok to make notes for your do-do-list, but be careful, only notes. To do-lists are not Morning pages. The pages are you listening to the sound of you, right there in the moment.

(From a café-visit in the company of another of Julia´s books, “The sound of paper”)

Try it out, or even better, get Julia´s book “The artists way“. It totally rocks too!!! So does her other books, but I recommend starting with this one.

If you already write morning pages, please share how it is in the comments below, I would love to hear!!

The dance of the cards and paintings

(“Dancing with life”, mixed media on canvas)

I want to share a sweet experience that came to me  on a walk through the field a few months ago:

I am walking quickly through the high summer grass on my way down to the stream to call the children home. For weeks I have been working intensely to get my first webshop ever ready for selling my cards and posters.

It has been like waiting to give birth – heavvy, almost unbearable here towards the end. Like bubbling joy, turning into impatience and then into doubt if this child will ever be born at all.

Still walking, I speed up to half-running pace my eyes on the path where I see how it moves and transforms under my feet as I run. And then at once I am inside the sweetest bubble of a vision. I see how finely wrapped cards and posters are flying easily and safely from the area on the grass filled ground around me, up into the air – and like magnets they are drawn to their destinations….and they land softly and safely in caring homes all over the world. The whole thing happens very fast, but without any sense of rush.

(“Collecting thoughts” one of my favourite motives by the artist Fran Evans)

Immediately after this, still half running, I see my paintings. They are also drawn out to their recievers, a little slower though, as if it takes stronger magnets to attract them. There is a graceful charm and dignity in the way they move, and a deep happiness when they find a matching reciever.

The whole thing is like at dance unfolding right there, under my running feet and in front of my eyes as the high grass is passing by.

Then I reach the stream and the children and the next task in life. But with me I now carry a certainty that the right elements will always find each other in the dance of life. And that as long as I listen to that inner voice and do what I love doing, then what I do will find a place and function in the world. Attracted by the right places and people like giant magnets in the joy of recognition.

(Dressed up envelope, heading out from my shop into the world)

That day, I thanked the muse who was kind enough to slip this vision into that small crack of consciousness under my running feet, helping me remember that all I can do is my best. And then the rest will be reveiled as life unfolds. Just like you can decide to invite pregnancy but you don´t know if you will become pregnant or how your child will be until it´s there. And that´s part of the beauty of this weired and wonderful dance called living.

Listening behind…

(From creative quickie book, image used is a Flora Bowley-visit-card!)

Who knows what this day will bring if we listen more to all the underlying things, listen to what we see when we rise on birdwings and watch the world from a little distance?

The greater understanding doesn´t  come as a point on our to-do list. It sneaks in and sits down at our side when we smile at the sun and watch the wind lift the leaves.

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