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Miss Best's Blog

About Miss Best's Blog

Journaling my thoughts and experiences in this life journey that I am taking with consideration to the environment, animals, fellow humans and myself.

Along this path I am excited by vegan food, raw vegan food, personal development and good health and by being an alternative and passionate entrepreneur, idler and thinker.

www.miss-best.com

We Are All Adventurers!

Life Posted on Thu, August 06, 2009 11:13:49

Through
listening regularly to a BBC 2 radio show I came to learn of Sarah
Outen’s challenge to become the first woman, and
youngest and fastest person, to row solo from Western Australia to
Mauritius. A journey of 3,100 miles across the Indian Ocean rowing
her tiny boat ‘Serendipity’ “up to 12 hours a day under a scorching
sun, riding 30ft waves, battling winds and currents, sharks, capsizes
and shipping traffic.”
Just reading those words from Sarah gives
me the tingles. They are just words, but we can try and visualize her
experience. However, set our imaginations free and I am sure we still
have no idea of the intensity of this journey.


Image of Sarah at sea: René Soobaroyen

On Tuesday 3rd August, after
124 days at sea, 24 year old Sarah made her very rough but
successful landing on the island of Mauritius, thus achieving her
goal to enter the record books as well as helping raise money for
charity in memory of her late father.

Following Sarah with her regular chats
on the radio show when she always seemed upbeat and positive despite
her progress, and through her blog, then finally hearing of her
arrival thrills and chills me to such a great level I had to take a
moment and ask myself why.

On a basic level the thought of being
alone in the middle of the ocean at
the mercy of the elements and fellow sea dwellers such as sharks and
beautiful but giant whales sends my head spinning almost as much as
when I try and grasp the concept of the vastness that lies beyond our
galaxy. But on a deeper level I am moved by the challenge she set
herself. It reminds me of the adventures that we all embark on. These
adventures may not be as perhaps as huge or as physically risky as
Sarah’s journey but they probably feel to us just as daunting and
exciting.

To
me, her journey at sea mirrors those times when you are on your
adventure; some days you are smiling up at the blue sky, gazing in
marvel at the things around you, rowing along with the tide almost
effortlessly. A flat sea bringing wafts of foreign and exciting
things. But like Sarah you also experience those times when the sea
is raging, the sky is black and you can’t even try and plod onwards.
Your only option is to just drop anchor to try and not get swept too
far away from your path.

We
are often alone on our own personal adventures, and though sometimes
only we can make the decision (on either a conscious or sub-conscious
level) whether we have the balls to continue with our adventure, the
hero/ine of your story will always have the equivalent of Sarah’s
radio back-up. Though they are not in the boat with you, your support
crew of family and friends – people you have met in person and on
line, and those who you don’t even know exist but are rooting for
your success anyway – will be there for support, motivation and to
send out the search boats should you send up a distress flare. I am
sure that knowing this brought Sarah to those safe shores. Knowing
this maybe even gave her the strength to come up with her personal
challenge, put it into action and to slip in to the ocean in her boat
on the first day of her voyage.

This
was a huge adventure to embark upon but it should not overshadow our
own challenges. What was the biggest adventure you have set sail on?
Does it make you tingle now thinking of your journey: of the unknown,
the actual voyage and the outcome (be it as you planned or not)?

I
am sure that this adventure was just something Sarah had
to do. Perhaps in order to progress in her life and to grow. I would
be very surprised and impressed if I did anything on that level (I am
pretty reserved when it come to physical danger) but my own journeys
have been just as big to me. And the exciting thing is that when one
has journeyed along one adventure and jumped nervously outside of
one’s comfort zone the next adventure is probably even bigger and
perhaps even more awe inspiring.

We may well take time in between
each adventure to appreciate our efforts (regardless of the outcome),
re-assess our lives and our ways of thinking and doing things, and to
gain the inspiration and energy for the next challenge. Sarah will be
writing a book about her experience before she plans her next
challenge, and I for one am looking forward to what can only be an
inspiring and thrilling read.

Wishing
you courage and joy on your journeys, you wonderful spirited
adventurer! Give me a wave when we cross paths out there in the vast
sea of life.

Read
about Sarah’s journey here: http://www.sarahouten.co.uk/



Forget the Celebrity ‘X’ Factor – it’s our ‘Appreciation Factor’ that counts!

Life Posted on Fri, July 03, 2009 14:35:40

I have to admit that I avoid reading and listening to the news. I
feel that it delivers us just a teeny tiny fraction of the world’s
events and are highly manipulating. I prefer instead to read
optimistic and inspiring news such as Ode magazine.

But since I am hard-core Facebook user it’s hard to avoid hearing
what’s going on the world. To be honest that’s good in a way as it
would have been a bit weird if in 5 years I discovered that Michael
Jackson had left planet Earth back in 2009. It would have been like
that part in ‘Dumb & Dumber’ when Jim Carey’s character sees a
framed article of man landing on the moon and runs out of the bar
shouting ‘We’ve landed on the moon, everybody!’

I have to admit that Michael Jackson (MJ) was probably my first
crush. Back in the late 80s he was much hotter than of late, and I
have fond memories of listening to him in my bedroom as a kid,
dreaming of seeing him in concert. I never did, and by the time I was
old enough for such a possibility I felt his best period had passed
and never made an effort to go.

I don’t know much about MJ but if anyone who isn’t causing harm to
others dies – famous or otherwise – then it’s a sad thing. And
regardless of who he was or wasn’t in his personal life, he did bring
the world some great music. But guess what? So have so many other
people. And guess what? So many non-famous people bring us fantastic
things every day, but are not appreciated on the scale that people
like MJ are.

It’s just the mass scale that intensifies the appreciation of these
people. Take this little anecdote for example. A few weeks ago I had
a naughty celebrity dream. Come on hands up who has NEVER had one of
those dreams? I know you have! Well, me being me, didn’t dream of
steamy passion with the latest heart-throb. No I dreamed of , let’s
call him ‘Mr Celebrity’, serving me cake. Yes, it’s true! He was
making a big effort to score me some vegan cake. Fully clothed. Cake
– that’s all it was. Nothing to make the vicar blush what so ever.
Nothing. But when someone gives a girl cake in her dream, it’s hard
for her not to wake feeling rather fond of that person. Funnily
enough a few days later my friend was having a cat-fight on Facebook
about who gets to ‘have’ this celeb. I refrained from joining in on
this public declaration of fondness for ‘Mr C’, knowing that he had
served me cake and all was good. I knew where his loyalty lay.

And being the loyal girl that I am myself, I started to feel guilty
for going around feeling fondness (and that’s all it was) for a chap
that wasn’t my Christoffer. So my little mind went into analyze mode
and I realized that Christoffer was actually very much like this
celebrity. The character this actor played is a slightly nerdy but
funny, kind, smart and handsome young man. He is the celebrity
version of Christoffer! And I thought that if Christoffer and I had
never met and he was a celeb I would definitely be having cakey
dreams about him.

And am sure I wouldn’t be the only one. I am certain my friends would
be fighting over him on Facebook. So what stops them from doing that
now? Well, apart from the fact that I would scratch their little
beady eyes out for lusting over MY man 😉 they don’t really know who
he is! It’s all a numbers game. If you are a non-celebrity and say
you score an average ‘appreciation factor’ (how much people appreciate your gifts to the world) of 7/10 then
your total ‘appreciation rating’ would probably be (bearing in mind I
am a creative person and not a numbers girl!) n x 0.7
where n is the number of people who know about your existence. The more people who
know about you, the higher your total score will be.

So what’s my point? Well, let’s look at people’s ‘appreciation
factor’ rather than the total score. Let’s look at our partners,
friend’s, colleagues, neighbours, family with the same adoring eyes
as we have when stroking pictures of our celebrity idols. Let’s
assess our own ‘appreciation factor’. How can we better deliver our
gifts to the world so that people can benefit from what we have to
offer. How can we up our ‘appreciation factor’ to live a more
fulfilling and giving life?

And since we are suddenly being bombarded with MJ songs on the radio
when we hadn’t really heard much about him recently let’s remember to
celebrate people now. How many people make a special effort to go to
a funeral, but wouldn’t make the time to go and see that person when
they were alive and well? Let’s appreciate the gifts that are given
to us by others (and ourselves) on a daily basis – now! Let’s not
allow ourselves and each other to become ‘famous after they died’
figures. Let’s love life now!

Oh, I guess you may be wondering who ‘Mr Celebrity’ is? Well, if you
hadn’t already figured it out, the chap who was going to great
efforts to bring Miss Best vegan cake in dream land was in fact Adam
Brody, who played Seth in the series O.C.

Now if I can just get Christoffer to bring me vegan cake in
real life then that would be something to make the vicar blush
😉

My Lovely Christoffer – better than cake!

Vegan Cake!



Investing in Today

Life Posted on Fri, June 12, 2009 08:41:31

I invest a large proportion of my energy and resources into my health
and well-being. I prioritize good quality, healthy, home made organic
food over many things. I would rather forgo a few trips to the
cinema/pub every month in favour of ensuring that what I eat makes me
feel well, happy and healthy both physically and mentally.

Much of what I read helps my personal growth, and I try to exercise
and stretch regularly to keep myself in reasonable shape, and to
avoid stiffness and back pain which I can get from sitting at a desk
all day. (Notice the ‘try to’…there honestly are days when I can’t
be bothered and so my little body scrunches up in to a crippled chair
shape until I am literally forced to un-scrunch my self again with a
brisk walk and some yoga!)

I know that not everyone has these priorities in life, which I
respect. But also know that many people have looked at my lifestyle
choice and wonder why I bother. I mean I do spend a silly amount on
fresh, health giving food, I go without many things for sake of the
environment, and I seriously narrow my job prospects for the sake of
not working for obviously ‘evil’ companies that harm my health, the
health of others, the environmental or animals.

I think that some doubt the usefulness of investing in their physical
and mental health for the future. One person justified their lack of
investment in their health by saying ‘Life’s too short – I could
get run over by a bus tomorrow’. Indeed that is true, and we must
live with this in mind. Not to be depressing, but we need to remind
ourselves that life is short and the years tick by so quickly that if
we don’t live the life we want to live now, then it may be too late.

But I am not just investing in my future I am investing in my now. If
I eat non-supportive food today and don’t exercise for weeks then I
feel the negative effects immediately; not just physically, but also
emotionally and mentally. It’s not just about giving myself the best
chance to avoid illness later in life. It still may happen, but if my
todays are good then my tomorrows are more likely to be good too. If
I have a clear mind (which eating mostly raw food and plenty of
greens does indeed give me) I will more likely make better life
choices today. Today is my future.

The ironic thing is that when this person told me that life was too
short – that he might get run over by a bus tomorrow, so there was no
point in stopping smoking – he was working as a cleaner in the office
where I worked. My instant thought was: if this guy thinks he may die
tomorrow then why the hell is he emptying bins and not living his
life to the max spending time with his kids or fulfilling that dream
he had always had?

I fully appreciate the commitment and challenges it takes to shift
one’s life from a place of bad health to good health, but if we
discover that the benefits will be felt immediately then perhaps we
would be more motivated to make these changes. After all, someone may
live a healthy life and feel great on a daily basis and still get
seriously sick at age 80. Someone may abuse their body and mind with
bad food, cigarettes and lack of self respect and live till they are
100, but every day might pass with them feeling low in energy,
unenthusiastic, unhappy and with a foggy mind. Thinking short term and looking
forward to a shift in our well-being in the immediate future may seem
more motivating than doing it to prevent an unimaginable, bad thing
that may or may not ever happen.

Personally, I know that if I am looking after my physical and mental
health it gives me more clarity, strength, creativity and passion to
get on with the things I really want to do in life. It’s an
investment that gives amazing returns. So even if I end up having to
empty bins to earn a living, at least I can do it with a spring in my
step and a smile on my face. 🙂



Blimey! Best Baffled by Backed-up Blog

Life Posted on Fri, June 05, 2009 10:34:44

Apologies for the rather tabloid-like play on words. In fact during
the past few days it seems that most people we have spoken to have
managed to come up with some amusing toilet humour. It’s not that we
have suddenly starting hanging out with a bunch of Viz readers
(http://www.viz.co.uk/) or
anything it’s just that we have had a – shall we say –
less-than-fully-functional toilet for a short while.

All of Christoffer’s colleagues all know about it; the guy at the
hardware store who sold me some unblocking tools knows about it –
‘Skitkul’ was his gleeful reply to my problem; the guy who we bought
from the house knows about it; and now you, dear Reader, know about
it. (Am sure my
translator friend would come up with a good English equivalent for the Swedish ‘Skitkul’, but
I have a pot of green chai to drink and so will have to leave you
with a literal translation of ‘Shit fun’. ‘Skit’ is often used in
Swedish where us Brits might use the word ‘Bloody’ like ‘skitbra’
meaning ‘bloody good’ or in this case ‘skitkul’ meaning ‘bloody
fun’.)

It all started last week when I noticed a strange flapping sound
coming from the toilet. The next day things weren’t disappearing as
quickly as they should, and soon after began our five-day long battle
of the bog. (For the
benefit of those of you not familiar with the British vernacular,
‘bog’ is a rather inelegant word for ‘toilet’!)

Day 1: We started with buckets of water, and random stabbing with the
toilet brush. We couldn’t see anything that was blocking it, and
things would gradually flush away, but our ‘special thinking seat’
certainly wasn’t working like it should do.

Day 2: Christoffer bought a plunger. Then Christoffer needed a
shower. No luck.

Day 3: Christoffer found a number of a local plumber, but I didn’t
want to book one until we had had a proper go at resolving it
ourselves, for financial reasons as well as wanting to save face. I
mean how silly does it feel to call a plumber to poke around in the
household poopments when one can have the pleasure of doing that
oneself?

I had a go with the plunger and quickly found out why C had needed to
shower afterwards. I rummaged around the house and created myself a
‘plunging mask’ consisting of a pair of workshop protective goggles
and an old vest top that I used as a bandanna to protect my mouth
from…well, you get the picture!

No luck. Another evening of tentative toilet trips, multiple
flushings and prayers to the Bog God.

Day 4: Determined to fix the problem without the need of a plumber, I
went to a hardware store near work and came back with a 7m wire
thingy, and a can of ‘environmentally friendly expanding gas drain
cleaner’. I also tried to call the previous owners for advice in case
it was the septic tank, but I couldn’t get through to them.

No luck with my new fancy gadgets, though I did learn a handy trick
from the internet. When plunging, cover the toilet in a large plastic
dustbin bag…didn’t unblock the toilet, but it did save me from an
icky shower!

Day 5: Finally get hold of previous owners. We check the septic
tank…looking a bit damp around the extraction pipe…good sign that
it should have been emptied – oh about a month ago!!!

Call the kind folks who dedicate their days to driving out in a big
truck to suck clean the giant poo tanks of us country dwellers. An
emergency call-out would cost 4.000 SEK (approx. £300 / $500 / 370
euro) but if one was to come within 24 hours it would ‘only’ cost
about a third of that. If you book one in time so they can come
within 5 days, the price sinks to a less depressing figure.

1.500 SEK to empty our septic tank!! Shit! When you work part-time
there are not a lot of pennies left over for such ‘fun luxuries’ as
spending 1.500 SEK on getting your poo removed. But they had the
upper hand, and there was not much we could do about it, except learn
from the experience and realize that the previous owners’ estimate of
emptying the tank once every 3 months (we have lived here just 2
months) only applies to households of people who don’t eat quite as
much fiber as we do.

A friend confided in me that before he turned veggie he would only
poop about twice a week. Now he visits the little boys room twice a
day! If most other people go around with 3 days worth of food (mainly
meat and processed cereals) rotting in their bowels no wonder there
are a lot of glum faces around!

Anyway, between us and our fellow ‘regular’ guests we managed to fill
up the tank pretty quickly, and even if the regular price of emptying
the tank is around a third of the price we had to pay then we would
still be paying rather a lot every year for, let’s face it, nothing
but shit.

So out came the calculator. And what followed was a rather
‘interesting’ conversation. Christoffer calculated the volume of the
septic tank, estimated the amount of water per flush and the cost per
toilet visit and cooly gave us a ration of 4 flushes a day each.

Horror!

‘Why, how many times a day do you poo’? he asked.

Horror!

Now that I have already shared so much personal information about our
toilet, I may as well share with you the fact that I am a little
toilet shy. Some couples are quite comfortable peeing in front of
each other. Not us! Or rather, not me. We have been together for
nearly 7 years, and I still maintain that some things need not be
shared.

And number two’s?? Well since I am a fairy princess from Planet
Avocado I expel my waste products through my leaves that I cleverly
hide under all my hair and don’t ‘do number two’s’…

… so this question left me with the beginnings of what could have
turned into a fit of hysterical nervous laughter.

God! 4 flushes day!?? I am fine about ‘letting it mellow if it’s
yellow’, but let’s say for arguments sake, that I was a mortal
human and do pass the occasional solid, would 4 flushes a day
cover it? And what happens when we have guests? Whose rations do they
get? Do I start having to find friends and families with lazy bowels?
How do I find that out – issue a poo questionnaire? I could see it in
front of me: ‘You are invited to a party at Miss Best’s house – but
only if you don’t intend on having a poo while you are there’. Or do
we start charging them per flush? Make them go in the garden or the
forest??

Horror!

And we were still going to have to wait 24 hours before the tank was
emptied. Rations or no rations, we had agreed not to flush again
until it was emptied to save any more toilet water overflowing in to
our beautiful garden. When you know you can’t flush the loo, that’s
when your body starts to mess with you. ‘Ha ha, Miss Best…remember
all that fruit you ate this morning, it’s got to come out some
time…’ ‘Is that a poop, or just a bit of wind lurking? Well
whatever it is, do you dare try and find out?’…

Horror!

And so I went to bed and dreamed of blocked toilets and laughing
neighbours, and pipes and drains.

But joy! At 9.30 this morning a truck pulled into our driveway, and I
had to stop my self from running downstairs and covering this hero of
bowel relief in grateful kisses. Fifteen minutes later I was happily
wasting 25% of my daily flush ration to test if the toilet was back
in business. And it was! All is good again.

So life in Miss Best’s home is back to normal. Well, apart from the fact that we still have to work around our flush rations. Maybe it’s time to get eco (and wallet) friendly and switch to a compost toilet. Then we can have the pleasure of dealing with our own shit. And we and our guests can poop all day long if we so fancy.

Oh, by the way, if one of my neighbours ever tells you that they saw me sneak in
to the forest at 7.30 this morning, with crazy bed hair and a pair of
blue flowery wellie boots and a pocket full of tissue, then you know
that they are just talking crap.



Who ate my Sunflower Seedlings?

Life Posted on Thu, May 28, 2009 10:28:48

A couple of weeks ago, I planted a packet of sunflower seeds. I
imagined these beautiful yellow giants swaying in the breeze all
summer carrying in their pretty heads handfuls of edible presents for
me to plant and for the birds to enjoy. One day some of them peaked
through from the damp soil, squinting into the bright Spring sun, all
green and fresh and a glorious example of life. The next day, they
were gone. All except half a leaf. Who had eaten them? My
investigation went a little something like this:

‘Did you eat my sunflower seedlings?’, I asked the Deer. ‘Oh no’,
replied the stag with a shake of his antlers. ‘It was not me. But I
do know that my dear wife is partial to a nibble of sweet things. She
can’t help it you know. It’s terrible awkward. All the neighbours
complain.’ ‘Oh, no, it wasn’t me!’ protested Mrs Deer, her shiny
hooves pressed to her velvet cheeks in exaggerated horror. ‘Really,
it wasn’t. I admit that I do like a little succulent sprout in the
afternoon, but I really can assure you that I am quite innocent in
this case. See! There is one here that is half eaten. I know I am
quite a delicate and gracious grazer…’ (She was not. In fact if she
were human, she would buy her clothes from the ‘Plus-size’ range and
dine at the ‘eat all you can’ buffet), ‘…but I think you will agree
that even my dainty ivory-coloured teeth…’ (a euphemism for her
buck-toothed mouth that never ceased to move for she was either
eating or talking about eating, and didn’t come from the best stock
in the first place – a sad genetic fact that did not support her
claim to be dainty in the oral department) ‘…are not capable of
removing half a leaf from this tiny – but may I say rather
delicious looking – seedling’.

She was, I hate to admit, quite right. The facts spoke for
themselves. The tiny half-eaten leaf did not look like the work of
the deer. Blaming it on them would have been nice and easy, making
this a simple open and shut case and I could have gotten on with my
day and rescued the remaining un-sprouted seedlings by placing them
out of the way of Mrs Deer and her ‘dainty’ mouth.

‘If you ask me’, coughed Mrs Deer peevishly, ‘I think this looks like
the work of Miss Rabbit. She’s not one to pass up a little nibble of
new seedlings, you know. ‘Ah, Miss Rabbit’, I sighed. That tricksy
little lady. One moment you have a nice green lettuce plant, the next
moment you have a bare patch of soil and a white blur of her cheeky
little tail. ‘Yes, this does look like the work of Rabbit. There are,
after all, no hoof prints to suggest that you deer have sabotaged my
sunflowers’.

‘Ha, of course not, my dear’, scoffed Mrs D, ‘with these
delicate hooves? I tread with the lightness of a butterfly. My
balance exceeds that of the squirrel. Why, my hooves are as shiny
as…as…’ here she stopped for poor vain Mrs Deer couldn’t think of
what had shiner hooves than she, even though the beady eyes of
Woodpecker and the shell of funny old Mr Beetle outshone her
over-polished hooves. The above claims to her ballerina-like poise
were sadly unfounded and though I could see that the deer were
actually innocent (this time) such exaggerations reduced her
credibility during this unofficial trial.

‘Mr Deer, would you be so kind as to keep an eye out for Miss Rabbit
on your travels and ask her to pop by when she can?’ I asked as I
stroked his toned and glossy back.

Silence.

‘Mr Deer?’

‘Miss B’, he said slowly. ‘I am as you know, completely loyal to my
wife, as a good husband should be, but I am not able to support her
on this occasion. I would hate to undermine such an – ahem-
intelligent and credible creature, but though I am certain she is
quite innocent, I do not believe this is the work of Miss Rabbit’.

‘Really?’, said Mrs Deer and I at the same time. ‘Then who…’ but my
question was answered before I could even pose it, for right before
our eyes came an ant. A single little ant. A tiny teeny little ant.
No bigger than a freckle on the face of Mr and Mrs Deer’s new fawn.
And upon his teeny tiny little ant back was the remaining half of the sunflower leaf.



Underselling our dreams and the power of visualization.

Life Posted on Fri, May 15, 2009 08:13:14

Do we sell our
dreams short? I think I do. Not wanting to sound like like I am
asking for sympathy, but I have been feeling a slight unease since
moving in to our new house. I have been so completely blown away by
the surrounding nature that I hadn’t felt like I could completely
accept it as my new life so that I could settle in.

But I recently
managed to put my finger on this feeling. I felt like I was actually
having to become comfortable with my beautiful new home because it
far exceeded my expectations. I think I had been imagining just an
average house in the country not the amazing location we ended up
with. In fact even the estate agent under-advertised the house,
highlighting the work that needs doing rather than the potential and
the incredible surroundings. So while we could see it was a nice
area, it was only after moving in that we discovered how beautiful
and peaceful it really is.

I don’t think I
was quite prepared for the extent of this beauty I see every day.
Maybe I didn’t visualize it because I didn’t think we would find such
a place within our budget. Maybe I thought that I didn’t deserve such
a nice place.

I think the power
of visualization is very strong so I am grateful that we didn’t end
up with just an average place in an average rural location. This
insight has recently lead me to correct my ambitions in other areas
of my life. I have, for example, decided to keep an eye out for a
new part time job. I thought that I would be able to see my current
one out until I can support myself completely with my projects, but
it’s becoming increasingly difficult to work there now that the
contrast between how I feel in my free time and my work time is so
great.

Instead of
visualising my dream job I have caught myself visualising what I
think is reasonable to find. I would prefer to work locally but I
haven’t been able to imagine an authentic and ‘alternative’ place for
me to work. But it occurred to me ‘Am I selling myself short?’ If I
don’t aim for anything better than ‘it will do’ how can I expect to
be content with my future new position?

One certainly has
to be careful with what one wishes for. I remember hearing of someone
who had wished for years to become a millionaire. Eventually he did –
but not in the way he would have hoped. He had been involved in an
accident which left him paralyzed and had been awarded $1 million in
compensation. So not only must we not sell our dreams short, we must
also be slightly more specific to ensure what we receive serves us.

I can confirm
this. I have dreamed about a home in the country for so many years.
In fact I did buy a house in the country about 5 years ago. It was
certainly an amazing experience, and the location was wonderfully
peaceful, but I hadn’t visualized the scenario that would best
satisfy my needs. I bought the house solo – it was just me and my
cats. But I have since discovered it’s so much more enriching to
share the experience with someone – it makes a house feel more like
a home.

I don’t regret
buying that house for a moment. It served as a cocoon for me giving
me the time and space to become more authentic. It was incredibly
inexpensive to buy and also very cheap to run. The low outgoings gave
me the confidence to quit a very uninspiring and almost damaging job
and just take time out. Time to heal and time to grow. There were
good times in that house, and there were almost freakish movie-type
moments, such as when the house was attacked by a swarm of hornets,
which I discovered after I saw them squeezing themselves through the
wooden shutters in the middle of the night!.

But the house
lacked something. It lacked Christoffer. We had only recently become
a couple when I bought the house, so it wasn’t even considered that
we should live there together. I didn’t know I needed to visualize a
house AND someone to share it with! Dur! But now, second time around,
my vision for my new home included My Love.

Interestingly,
during our search for a home I discovered that we also need to really
tune in to our partner when aiming for something together. Towards
the end of our search for a home, I got quite specific about what I
wanted. Suddenly we saw a place that had the precise details of what
I have envisioned. It was almost creepy how tailor made this house
was for my wishes. I say my
as we were of course two and
since Christoffer hadn’t really imagined the house to the detail like
I had he didn’t click with it on the level I did. In the end we were
out-bid, and bought the beautiful home we have now, but it just blew
me away how the universe can deliver what we ask for. Down to the
tiny details.

So with this in mind I urge you to not under-visualize your life. You
deserve to be blown away with beauty and fulfillment! You deserve a
life to love.

-Thanks to Christoffer for the beautiful photo of our neighbourhood!
You can see more of his photography here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/10211031@N03/



Transparency – My Story. Your Story.

Life Posted on Sun, April 19, 2009 19:48:43

I plan to write a blog post someday
soon that tells my story. My life isn’t any more noteworthy than any
one else’s – I haven’t been kidnapped by pirates, or walked across
continents – but I do have a story that routes where I am today.

I
haven’t always been transparent about my life. Not that I have lied
about anything, but I haven’t really been very open or public when
times have been dark. I just didn’t think that it was worth
mentioning at the time. Everyone has their own issues.

But over the years I have come to the
conclusion that we do need to tell our story, and be transparent
about our lives.

One reason is so people can get a real
perspective of who you are, what you are experiencing and how your
life is. I have had a few people say to me over the years “Oh, you
are so lucky”. And yes, I am blessed – we all are in some ways.
But what they are envying by saying ‘you are so lucky’ wasn’t
something that was handed to me on a plate, and not chewed without
choking or burning myself.

I remember one time a friend had said
something along the lines of ‘you are so lucky, I can’t imagine you
having any problems’. She was at the time lacking self confidence
about her physical appearance and perhaps wasn’t in the best place in
her life for that moment. I had met her in a coffee shop and I was
looking unusually sharp and well dressed. I was on my way after our
meet-up to sign over the house I had bought the previous year. It had
been a tough few months: I was living in a town I didn’t fit in, my
dear sister (also my best friend) had recently moved back to the UK,
leaving me almost alone in that foreign town, my darling cat had
unexpectedly died, my house had been broken into twice, and I was
going through a major shift in my life that left me feeling very
alone and misunderstood. That day I had decided to pick myself up,
put on a suit and start a new chapter. But she didn’t know that!

By being transparent (and by that I
mean open, and not boring people to death with constant moaning
without action to remedy your problems) not only can people learn
from our experiences, but it also helps them feel less alone. They
are not the only ones suffering, or finding life a challenge. And if
they admire your life, they may feel inspired to see that you have
actually had to work to get where you are at. Not just ‘born lucky”.
Which means that they too have potential for great things.

A great example of this was when I read
the blog of Selma Melngailis, co-author of Raw Food Real World, and
owner of Pure food and Wine restaurant in NYC. Looking at the book,
one can be led to believe that gorgeous Selma has a good life, with
her equally gorgeous boyfriend/business partner, working with things
she loves, surrounded by healthy raw food (and therefore has no
problems with sticking to a healthy diet). But Selma’s blog revealed
that her life was not quite like that. And indeed people had said to
her ‘you have the perfect life’, not knowing of the issues she faced
and the challenges she needed to overcome.

I certainly do not rejoice in other
people’s suffering (far from it) but it is encouraging to know that
we all have challenges to overcome, and that people we perceive as
highly successful are still human. They do still have issues to deal
with, and despite their success they can still be unsure of
themselves and do appreciate to hear positive feedback on the work
that they do.