The Pandemic has opened up our eyes to how vulnerable we all are and how important good health really is. It might be hard to accept that we can’t just eat junk food and not move our bodies without it taking a huge toll on our health both physically and mentally. We are just not as strong as we can be to battle these new types of viruses that can hit us at any moment. It’s apparent after this year that no one was expecting the year to turn around to something so huge as a pandemic to hit the whole world. We’re all still trying to manage how this has affected our daily lives even if we haven’t had any near and dear ones being affected by the virus negatively. We’re all waiting to either get it and get it over with or trying to stay away from the risk as much as possible. There has not been enough conversation about how this has mentally affected us as individuals and as a society, the struggle to cope with uncertainties such as these.
I remember in the beginning of the pandemic we all thought things would turn to be better until the summer and everyone was convinced, at least in Sweden, that things will turn around. In hindsight, I think it wasn’t based on any data or evidence, it was just pure hope. We hoped that things would turn around until the summer, because in a cold country like Sweden and the Nordics, the summer is so precious to us. We crave the summer like no one else, because we’ve been starved of sun and heat for the rest of the year. Summer means freedom and it means that we’re off from work to hang out with friends and family. Sometimes it means that we travel and explore, go out for drinks and basically everything we’re not supposed to do in a pandemic.
The whole world was watching Sweden and if people didn’t know the difference between Sweden and Switzerland, they for sure know by now. We didn’t ever have any full on lockdown. Every store and everything has been open the whole year. There have been guidelines and common sense advice to the whole population of what to avoid and what to do, but there has not been any rules up until now.
Now we have a few regulations regarding public gatherings, such as parties and formal activities, for the amount of people meeting in such constellations to not exceed 8 people. It has taken the whole year for the Swedish government to take this type of “extreme” decisions and put them in place.
The online world sometimes seems to think this is an issue only for the year of 2020, and the common joke has been that things would somehow be normal after new year. I really hope people don’t believe that just because it’s a new year things would actually become normal. We have to hope for the best and that a vaccine actually can stop the spread. I pray for the world to recover from this.
However, one thing that I do notice as a positive effect of the pandemic, has been the focus on the importance of a good diet and have a healthy approach to exercise. When we all were confined to our four walls and many people had to work from home, it started becoming obvious how important it really was to move around. I saw so many people, often the same people, take lunch walks every day ever since March. I am thankful that there was no lockdown in Sweden, because we were able to move about and still get the essential business done. I think that each country has to find the ways that suit them of course, and for a country like Sweden it seems hard due to laws to have a complete lockdown. It would require some law changes from what I understand, and that’s a whole different issue. Forcing people to do something is not in Swedish nature, so I understand why it could seem off for other countries watching Sweden’s approach from afar. The media doesn’t always cover the reality of the situation either. It’s not as extreme as it might seem. People were mostly adhering to the advice of social distancing. We’ll see what the future will hold.
I have also been following India and their approach on how to handle it. I have friends and family in India, so it’s important to keep track of what goes on there. Keeping fingers crossed that the curve which has been going down will keep going down there and that the virus ends its spread there. It’s so much harder with a huge “continent” type of country like India, to try to get everyone to adhere to restrictions but also to make everyone understand why we have to. Education level varies so much in India, and it’s what makes it so hard to have one way that will fit all. Such a big challenge to tackle. I pray that things will be better there soon so we’re able to also visit India soon again. It feels like ages ago, even if I was just there in January this year. Before the madness began…
Next post: some things I’ve done to keep busy during the quarantine and staying at home this year.
Peace and Love,
Just heard this song again after some years, and it sparked an emotion in me that I recognise a lot. We need to stop being so hard on ourselves for not being enough. I need to remind myself every now and then. It’s not only about vanity and looks, it’s about people not recognising you for being yourself and doing your best even in the hardest times. It’s easy to judge from afar, but you can never know what’s going on in someone’s life and how they are dealing with their hardships. We walk around with a smile on our faces even in times of pain. Sometimes we just need to be able to take off that mask, and be free.
I rarely write about products on this blog, but today I am making an exception. I have struggled with severe winter depression half of my life (or more), which is also called SAD (seasonal affective disorder). It occurs to many people living in the darkest northern hemisphere due to the lack of light during daytime hours. The symptoms of winter depression or SAD is usually lethargy, tiredness, anxiety and depression. It slowly creeps in on you during the autumn months and when November hits I am usually so down in the dumps that I don’t know who I am anymore. Can anyone else relate to this?
I went to a salt spa with light therapy a few weeks ago, a session that lasted 45 min. The room was covered in rock salt crystals and the walls were filled with several light therapy lamps that were giving off “normal daylight” which one would get during the summer when it’s sunny. Walking out from that session, I had no expectations. It was dark and gloomy outside, it was even raining. I felt like the day had just begun and to my surprise I felt a bit happy (afraid to make that huge claim when I am not used to it). The effect of this lasted a couple of days, when I noticed myself not feeling as tired in the evening as I used to. It was too good to be true and I didn’t dare to connect it to the light therapy at all.
A week passed by and I did my research into light therapy lamps to buy and have at home. One side of me thought to myself, why should I have to go to this extreme just to get some daylight. But the reviews on the websites were telling me otherwise, they were all raving the lamp. I ordered it directly. I have named him, La Luz.
I sat with La Luz every day for 30-60min a day, sometimes when meditating and sometimes just having it on while I was on my computer. I didn’t think that anything actually happened within me at first. After the first week of using it constantly, I can honestly tell that it had made me changed. I felt lighter, not as depressed and lethargic as before. I had the energy to be awake much longer in the evenings and the energy lasted much longer.
I am just sharing this here in case anyone else is feeling the same and wants to give it a chance. Do your research and find the lamp that will suit you the best. I chose one from the brand Lumie, but I’d assume there are several other out there.
Who would have thought that light makes such a difference in our bodies, that it can totally change our moods?
Peace and Love,
Sitting here on the edge
Heart is skipping a beat
Of what if,
The pain would disappear
The heavy weight
Drags me down
Under the surface
Trying to catch a breath
Live to see another day.
⁃ Kimmi Madeline
In the end it’s the tiny little things that matter for us and makes us feel understood and loved. All we ever want is to be understood I believe. When we’re not getting the response we’re looking for when we tell about our day, about that amazing trip we made or a tiny detail about some delicious food we’ve tried, slowly but surely we forget to share. When we don’t share our excitement with the ones we love, slowly but surely our passions wither away. Unknowingly.
All you need to do is to listen more to people around you, what are they really saying behind the stories and the words. There’s a long lost child’s perspective, and children get hurt for the tiniest littlest things. That we carry on throughout our adulthood without always knowing. Just be mindful. Listen. The connection will come naturally.
If you can’t show this sort of compassion to the ones around you, you’re not really paying attention to what’s really going on under the surface. What’s true. What really matters in the end.
I’m sorry for the pain
I’m sorry for the tears
I’m sorry for what I did
Will you ever have the strength,
To forgive me?
– Kimmi Madeline
I just came came back from a Reiki session that went on for like 70 min. In the south of Stockholm there’s a place called Crea Diem which I found online in a spontaneous whim. I think my body knew that I needed this today. It was my birthday yesterday and every year has its ups and downs. All emotions were enhanced when I woke up this morning after. I always carry around a huge sorrow and melancholy in my chest which is hard to describe, and I guess I am not sure why either. Sometimes I think it’s just the combination of being a scattered Pisces with Libra moon. The struggle of the two fishes swimming in opposite directions for as long as I can remember.
The Reiki healing itself was exactly what I needed today to balance myself on these emotional days. After the session I was talking to the guy who performed the healing, and he was telling me what I should think about so I don’t get so low and all in my head with these thoughts and feelings. I didn’t need to tell him about my pain, it was visible in my heart. I should stop listening to what everyone else thinks and feels about my life and start tuning inwards and listen to what I want, because that is the hardest thing for me. I always get lost on the way of listening to other people who don’t even know the half of my inner true voice. Can you really expect anyone to ever know you completely? One thing I have noticed though is that the few people who have given me Reiki healing have always gotten to know my inner struggle and what I’m battling with constantly. It’s amazing how you can hide some things from everyone subconsciously but not at all from the ones who have practiced with the energy. He has my respect. The Reiki master. ??
When the pain in your heart is slowly dissolving and trying to go away, it doesn’t go quietly. Tears are needed to flush away all the pain and suffering from all the accumulated years. I already feel a little lighter today.
Peace and love,
It’s now become 10 years since I first went to my yoga and meditation class in Gothenburg. I remember how I used to love those 90 min classes late in the evening because it was a time that was only dedicated to myself and my practise. My teacher was from Norway but he lived and worked in Sweden. He had changed his name to an old Indian version of his own name, and he had practised yoga for over 30 years back then. I recently looked up if he’s still a teacher at the same place, and he is, isn’t that amazing. 40 years of yoga knowledge. He was the first teacher that inspired me to pursue yoga for my own mental health and spiritual evolvement. Years passed and I had some rocky years in my early twenties, but I still always came back to yoga, even if I had a longer break. I took classes of yoga at the gym, did some on my own in my student flat, whatever so that I didn’t totally lose the connection.
When I moved to Stockholm in 2014, I took some yoga classes at the gym and there were many different teachers there. Most are only into yoga as a fitness alternative and that isn’t the whole experience of yoga according to me and many other yogis, it’s a much more wholesome and spiritual and inward experience and development that is beyond anything physical. Out of all those average yoga gym teachers there was one that stood out in the crowd, he always used the right terms for all the asanas and always referred back to the ancient traditions of yoga; unlike many other yoga teachers in Sweden.
Although I didn’t stay for very long in that gym membership and for some reason got stuck in a 2 year membership at a place I didn’t enjoy as much.
I recently switched back and booked a yoga class and to my surprise the same teacher is still there and having classes. It seems that he’s been practising yoga for 30 years and is such a huge inspiration not only to me but everyone who comes to his classes. The class always begins with some 5 minutes of talking about the intentions, the planet movements and moon placement in different astrology signs and what it means to us. I love the feeling of being totally connected to the 25-30 people in the class and share the same experience as I do in the same time and space. That feeling is quite remarkable and powerful, it can truly change the world for the better.
I plan to attend a yoga retreat in the end of the year in India, although I haven’t decided on what or where to go for it. Would be nice with some place in south India, such as beautiful Kerala or similar. I will let that thought mature in my head through the year and decide on it until summer time.
Peace and Love,
I have experience of going to a physical therapist for what I would describe the condition as restless legs, although this was never diagnosed nor was it ever mentioned by anyone. While I’ve been having my sessions, I have tried to get to the bottom of the problem. It isn’t that big of a deal really, that’s why I haven’t prioritised it until now; it’s just been at the back of my head. We’re not meant to sit still all our day in front of a desk, and years of doing it has taken it’s toll I assume. I realised that I want my body to be as healthy as possible for my age, and sitting still is surely not going to help me nor is it going to fix the whole “restless legs” issue. I have now been able to connect three different areas of knowledge about the same isse; Ayurveda and the Chakra system and Western medicine.
It all started when I was coming back home from a trip to Paris, and we were sitting in a bus from the airport which was unfortunately located 80min outside of Stockholm. We were coming home late in the evening, which I didn’t think much of at the time of booking, but during the bus trip I cursed my former self for even thinking of booking such late tickets. I had this creeping sensation in my legs as if there were something crawling underneath my skin around my knees and thighs, I couldn’t even describe it properly. If I moved around my legs it became better, but only for 2 seconds, so I sat there forcefully trying to move around my legs for the entirety of the trip. If one doesn’t go mental then this might. I let this situation pass and didn’t think much of it until I found myself in a similar situation and I put two and two together. A cinema visit late in the evening, which was basically the same time, having to sit still in the same spot and not being able to get up (unless I wanted to be a pain and let the whole row know my pain).
Months passed and I started getting really frustrated, turning down friends’ offers to go to the cinema or anything that required late evening sitting still. The criteria for seeking professional help has always been, if it interferes in your daily routine, so I went to the doctor.
Said and done, tests were completed, results came back and nothing was wrong physically. Just to be on the safe side, CAT scans were done and some weeks later the results came back – nothing abnormal! The doctor suggested me to contact a physical therapist if my issues continued – I gave the issue a rest for almost a year.
During my first visit to the physical therapist she did a bunch of physical exams, looking at my spine, checking my legs when I’m lifting something, the flexibility etc. One of the tests involved massaging to the right and left of the navel while I was lying down. I am a very high pain tolerant person, but this pressure of her fingers in my stomach hurt like hell, more so on one side than the other. She said that it’s the hip muscle, more properly called Psoas muscle that seemed tense or short. I wanted to know more, so I have ever since read a lot about it, trying to massage myself, and doing the exercises that were given to me by her. Now to the interesting part.
Throughout my whole life, I have heard about the punjabi/hindi word dharn which is basically an imbalance in the solar plexus area, or what some call it a “navel displacement”. The Ayurveda and ancient Indian way to describe this has never really had a good equivalent in Western medicine and I believe that is why there isn’t a holistic view on this problem. I fully believe that the psoas muscle being strained and tense is only ONE way to describe the problem. The other connections to the same problem are the 3rd chakra, solar plexus being imbalanced which causes physical symptoms in the body after going long enough with the imbalance. How do we resolve this problem?
According to my physical therapist I only needed to do my exercises that she had given me, which I’ve done for a year and haven’t noticed a huge change in posture nor the core strength which is key here. Changing habits is the main key here. Being more active and not sit still for longer periods of time. Take breaks, walk in the nature, do yoga and stretch. Practicing mindfulness and meditate daily has started to create a shift in me lately. I can sense that when I incorporate both Western medicine and the old ancient Indian Ayurveda find solutions to dharn; it will work. It’s not an easy solution, I believe it’s more of a lifestyle change, back to how we used to be; hundreds of years ago. We’ve become too convenient and lazy lately, that’s only the truth. It’s harsh but if we don’t do anything about it now, the issues will just increase.
If you have an issue with restless legs syndrom or psoas muscle, try looking at your body as a whole. Listen to your body, what does it need that it so desperately wants you to notice? More movement, more healthy food and/or more calmness?
Peace and Love,
Jag måste få skriva ner lite tankar som dök upp medans Jonas Hassan Khemiri nämnde en sak på TV. Om en människa är vilsen eller förlorad, och inte har så många minnen kvar, skulle det synas på en kroppsscanning? Existerar minnen endast i min hjärna eller delar man minnen på en annan dimensionen med den man skapade minnena med? Om den person man skapat minnen med, inte existerar längre, försvinner även de minnena eftersom man är ensam om de nu?
/ Kimmi Madeline