Try on the happy tail!!

Have you heard about Cesar Millan? The dog trainer that “rehabilitates dogs and trains humans”. It became a favourite of ours for a while: our family loved watching his show, getting nasty dogs to change behaviour because of his ways – and then him teaching the humans how to be and do. Anyway, I vividly remember one episode with a literal UNDERdog, afraid, weary. Do you know what he did to get change happening? He tied up the dog’s tail! So it HAD to have a happy tail all day, and after a while it worked! Imagine us handing out back & head stretch gears to every person entering our house or workplace with looming, sulking shoulders and eyes stuck to the ground. And why not add a bit of duct tape to secure a permanent smile on their face as well? All fun and games – but they would feel happier after a while (if it wasn’t for the embarrassment of walking around with a stick tied to your back… hrm… I need to come up with an invisble invention..). But you get the point? The great news is, our mind can do this for us. Don’t need sticks … More Try on the happy tail!! »

Feel happy – NOW!!

When at Uni, we were setting up a big show, and had hired a famous “Theatresports” actor to come and train us. We were walking around in a circle, him shouting out commands: “Sad”! And then you immediately felt sad, feeling the drooping around your eyes, your mouth sagging, heavy, empty eyes. “Happy” he shouts, and your eyes light up, a big smile fills your face, your shoulders go back and your steps suddenly have a bounce. Then the next command was fired at us: “Angry”! Nothing. No reaction in my body. No memory jumping out from any drawers in my brain. At 23 – I just didn’t recognise that feeling. I of course faked something, but it made me silently thank my parents for having brought up my brother and I in a nearly Buddhistic way (my exaggerated take, reality: we were a totally average suburban, middle class family, dressed normally, eating normally – salt and pepper being exotic spices. Side track!!). Anyway, thanking them for always having talked nicely and respectfully. Anyway, had the command been “Frustrated” or “Annoyed”, boy, would my body and mind have remembered that instantly, but anger didn’t turn up. Stay assured: through the … More Feel happy – NOW!! »

I LOVE my morning jog – you what?????

Yep, getting up half an hour earlier than needed. Getting into the half smelly gear from yesterday morning. Jogging through the surrounding streets and then doing 10 minutes of stretching in the street when I get back. Highly recommended!! Do you need me to start listing the advantages? Having ½ hr to yourself, at the beginning of the day, no one asking you questions. Aaaaaah. Then it’s actually healthy, you get your body to wake up – it could even just be a 5 minute walk up and down the street. Some of your great thoughts and solutions to stuff will appear out of the blue – literally. And then you actually get to know all your neighbours – the wave, the hello while you stretch that leg on a street pole more or less graciously. Ha-ha.. at least you give them a smile and something to laugh at to start their day! Weekends I jog into the bush. No phone. Just my space. So peaceful and good for the soul. And then I’ve actually come to explore a few native plants and animals as a free combo. Even talking to the wallabies now and then (kids, sorry – did … More I LOVE my morning jog – you what????? »

Snorers wanted! I mean it… seriously

Snorers wanted!! Female snorers, that is. Well that’s a first. Normally you only hear about snoring men, as their wives complain about them at dinner parties. Well we are quite a few females who snore as well, why don’t we ever hear about that?? A few suggestions: it’s not feminine, it’s embarrassing, it blows your perfect self-image to pieces, it would make you sound like a man, keep going – more suggestions? Anyway, a parent night at someone’s house, meeting really great people – talking about all sorts of things, not just chit-chat – the subject came up, and quite a number of us confessed!! How liberating! And it didn’t really bother me, I was never fazed by sharing room with whoever at conferences, pretty relaxed about the whole body image and sharing thing. But then, one excruciating day a year later, my friend at choir said she didn’t want to share a room on our upcoming trip, because of my snoring. What?!!! Snoring, me??? To the extent that you refuse sharing??? I did know that I had a discrete, heavy breathing. But this was BAM, in my face. Rejection right there. For your peace of mind: we are still … More Snorers wanted! I mean it… seriously »

Young GIRLS out there – listen to that inner voice!

Listen to your inner voice. When things go wrong for you, when you get a dent in your car, drop things or hurt your finger: it’s a gentle nod to you that you’re not listening to that inner voice. That you have been caught up in thoughts or actions that are draining you more than giving you energy, that it’s time to stop and listen. Do something good for yourself, something that grounds you. Go for a walk in nature, be silent (NO – Facebook friends do NOT need to know, this one is for YOU), just be open to what messages your inner voice is trying to get through – you have powered through not listening, so it needs to “trip you up” in bigger and bigger ways and shout to you, as long as you’re still not listening. Meditation sounds like such a Hare Krishna thing, I know. I only tried it out last year – and it’s not that dangerous!! It’s really just forcing you to be absolutely still. What is that inner voice telling you? Are you chasing fame and others’ approval, where really you could be doing all the same things you are doing, but … More Young GIRLS out there – listen to that inner voice! »

WORKING mums – why does that combination of words even exist??

Growing up in Denmark, I was very fortunate to never think of myself as a girl a such, or what girls could or should do. Denmark is so egalitarian (seen from the other side of the globe), both men and women drop off and pick up kids, they all work, they all cook, do the washing, become prime ministers or nurses. And kids grow up as kids, not as “girls” or “boys”. It had gone so far, that I started feeling sorry for the Danish men, having no turf left to be just men, having become so understanding of their women’s needs and thoughts, not taking space to be REAL men (what is that anyway?). But at the same time I admire them highly – for within generations to have morphed into a new species of understanding humans – not just understanding women, but understanding life and what’s important. I felt SO offended when moving to Australia and learning combinations of words I had hoped to never know: Class mum, Working mum, Soccer mum… And I nearly complained to the head master when we at Mother’s Day got a pre-printed Thank you card from our daughter from school, where she … More WORKING mums – why does that combination of words even exist?? »

Washing clothes – is it that time of YEAR again?

We do 2-4 loads of washing on the weekend. That’s it. You may think we wear dirty clothes. Well no, we just dig deeper in the drawers and the kids wear the smaller size uniform they don’t really like wearing until the next sunny day. We’re also smart using layers, so you only change the small tops underneath and re-use the outer layers. And some weekends we don’t wash at all – by choice (see my prior blog!) You will also survive not having clean linen on the beds every week/month/quarter (insert your current benchmark). Believe me. And you can live a healthy life with some dirt and spots in your life. As for sports clothes: some can be worn twice (yes!), and if it’s the kids’ sports clothes piling up: teach them to put a load on themselves. Much better. Four years back or so, when colleagues on a Monday were discussing which amazing cafes or outings they had been on for Mother’s Day, I (proudly!) proclaimed that I had made it the BEST Mother’s Day ever – by getting the kids to do all the washing. They had tried it before, but this Sunday I sat on my … More Washing clothes – is it that time of YEAR again? »

Just STAY HOME one weekend – just one!

How come some people think it’s OK to say yes to an invite – and then comes the day, they drop out? I’ve seen this happen quite a lot here, and my Danish heart goes: that’s not ON! When you say yes, it’s a yes, no excuses. Even better: say NO. It’s OK – you probably know you won’t have time/energy/feel like it, so be honest up front and decline. Do you know what’s much better? PLAN for a weekend with nothing on now and then. And driving kids to this and that doesn’t count – teach them to take the bike/bus/walk or ask another parent to car pool and take turns. You don’t NEED to be at the sideline every weekend. Really. You don’t. And I’m not mean here – I enjoy watching my kids’ activities, being there to support and see how they’re doing. But don’t ever use it as an excuse. It’s your choice – and it’s OK to plan for a weekend without you there. You may have guessed my kids now have started having 2 digits in their age. But still with small kids, you would be amazed how they would enjoy watching and joining … More Just STAY HOME one weekend – just one! »

Letting go – or GO AWAY for a week or two!

Little did I know that all my (well intended) efforts to get the family to eat healthy and exercise more were in vain. I pushed, I was the example, I poked and annoyed them all. And then went away for two weeks for work. Leading up to my departure, the rest of the family was having hallucinations about a dinner plan alternating McD, Subway and pizza, NO carrots in sight (read my previous blog and you will know why), eating in front of the TV every night and on they went. Returning – with a slight fear of seeing a family with their teeth falling out, pimples all over their pale faces – I was amazed to be welcomed by the most happy bunch ever! They had had no one harrassing them, had kept a smooth flow. I realised that you can only set goals for yourself and lead with your example. But you can’t force the horse to drink. You can help them put words to what healthy means for them – and what they could fancy doing that would be fun. But don’t think YOUR world and ways are right for everyone else. Point taken. The happy ending … More Letting go – or GO AWAY for a week or two! »

CARROTS are good – but stints of CRAZINESS even better

What’s this thing with carrots? Making dinner – having some meat, some pasta and then VOILA some cold, peeled carrots, and I actually feel that I haven’t failed totally as a parent, that there is some healthy angle to the plate. Peeling a whole bag of carrots, slicing them and leaving them in a tub of water in the fridge is my personal contribution to the family health. When not peeled, they go old (except for the odd one offered to a horse or bunny) – but when ready-to-grab, magically they evaporate within days. I’m NOT good at cooking. It’s not a passion of mine. Unfortunately not my husbands either – but how we deal with that is for another day. But I do care about what we eat, and I know we are more happy when we eat good food. Carrots were my first statement. I’ve recently discovered kale – because it was our bunny’s favourite feed (and she knows quality, will always choose fresh over supermarket veggies). You never know where your inspiration will come from, right? And this is the point, I know I’m not normal. But how good is that to show your kids? That carrots … More CARROTS are good – but stints of CRAZINESS even better »