Book of memories

When I packed my bags back in late August last years I packed an empty book that’s been lying in my drawer for some time. It’s lovely colourful one with beautiful butterflies on the cover and a little golden lock. From the first week of training and all way throughout my placement in England I filled it with memories. Pictures, quotes, receipts, tickets and drawings makes it a cool visual experience as well. Making this book is a project and a hobby in it self but the best is how it reminds me of all the wonderful and memorable things I have experienced. I call this a combination between a scrapbook and a diary and I recommend everyone who enjoys a creative DIY project to make one of their own. Let me share some pictures with you as well:

Ideas for pages

Pictures! Stick them on in your desired pattern and theme them or group them as desired. It is always simple to do a page full of pictures and write a little text with each one, if you have any…

If you lack of pictures maybe you have brochures, tickets or other visual paper stuff you can stick on a page to catch the eyes. There’s also something cool and nostalgic about having the very ticket you used for this amazing memorable experience kept and saved. This is true scrapbook style!

Drawing is always an option when you have nothing physical to glue in their, but it can be a time consuming. Grab the pen, draw some lines and figures with relevance for the content or just for looks.

A lot of words need to come out? Let a full page or what ever amount of space you need be like a page in a diary and just write it all down. Imagine a few years in to the future when you open this book and read it again. What thoughts and emotions would you like to bring up in your future self?

If your thoughts are just a mess and you feel like you need to organise them, then create a mind map. Split it in relevant sections and just allow yourself to add anything that comes to mind. Symbols and drawings can be added for a better visual experience.

Themed pages are great if you’ve done a lot of little things in the same category, but they don’t really seem to fit in any where else. Maybe they are just so cool that they deserve their own pages.

 

Teen now Tween

I’m thinking back at what happened as I entered my teenage years. Some of the events, processes and experiences are mixed up and I lost track of the order of it all. But let’s have a little recap and let me share some of the parts I do remember. A big part of it was my identity crisis that started here and haven’t quite ended yet.

Scouting

At the age of 14 the scout troop as I knew it and loved started falling apart. My two leaders was exchanged for two others. One of them moved abroad for a better job offer and the other refused to continue without him. This made me consider leaving scouting for good even though it was one of the few things I’ve always been extremely passionate about. The troop was incredibly appreciative and almost depending on these two amazing leaders and it all fell a bit apart when they left. For some reason I stayed, which was definitely the better choice. The following years were great.

One autumn almost 4 years ago the young leader course I signed up for got cancelled and I was not accepting a holiday without scouting. My previous leaders then convinced my to come and join a preparation and maintenance work camp on a scout centre they were volunteering at. That week was spent in one of the most comfortable, supporting and lovely company I’ve ever had. That was the beginning of my volunteering story on an international scout Centre. Still I keep coming back for as many events as possible on this beautiful place with absolutely wonderful people. My first boyfriend was even found here and even though the romance didn’t last long he is one of my most trusted friends today.

As I was finishing school (volunteer years but necessary for university) I was looking for opportunities for what to do with my future. My eyes fell on a temporary job as a “Give-A-Year Scout”. They called me in for a job interview and even though it was quite succesful I didn’t get the job, because someone more experienced was selected. All my plans fell apart and my self-esteem and high spirits suffered as well. At this point my dad suffered from depression so I felt terrible bringing my minor struggles home to the family who had enough struggles already. I felt as though the world around me was shattering. I had no idea what to do with my self and my life.

School

My 8th year of 10 mandatory years was a bit of a shock to begin with. The workload increased dramatically and it seemed impossible to keep up. They started to grade our work and it gave me the feeling that my effort work determine the rest of my life. I realised later that it didn’t mean much except it was obviously good practice to learn new skills and administering own workload and time. I graduated with some of the best grades in my class however that had no direct influence on my future. My teacher recommended “gymnasium” (high school/college necessary for university), but I had my parents convince to let me take a year on an outdoor and sports boarding school. That was living in the perfect place, with the ideal options for the experiences I’ve always dreamed of, but surrounded by people who couldn’t stand me. They made my time there seem like a living passive aggressive nightmare and I just wanted to run away. My supervising teacher convinced me to stay a little longer to participate in the skiing trip to Norway. That was the beginning of the pleasant few months of that school year. Later I moved in to a different room with new roomies which was much needed and much appreciated. I felt welcome and relaxed there opposite the slight fear, tension and disrespect that filled to previous room.

Eventually I took the 3 years of education to obtain my “university ticket” that everyone expected me to get. It wasn’t that bad and I made a few great friends, learn a whole lot and graduated with beautiful grades. But university was still not something I felt ready for at the age og 20. The summer holiday was fantastic, but when it came to an end I was clueless as to what the future held for me. I’d abandoned all job searching and education hunting and suddenly everyone return to their daily life of started a new daily life and I was just stood their not knowing what next week would bring at all.

Social Media

 

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Summer 2011, photo by PVC

Facebook… An efficient tool for online interaction with friends and acquaintances, but also terrible time killer. 2008 was the year I joined at an age og 13 and since then I’ve probably way too busy posting boring and useless post that no one cared about. There’s been many ups and downs on that road, but multiple times I’ve considered deleting my account with out actually doing it. It controlled me and I didn’t like it, but I was addicted and couldn’t give it up. Was staying a member the right choice? I don’t know but believe it or not; my Facebook news feed was where I found my current job. This is the best job I could have ever imagined to do for a gap year and 14 days after initiating contact I had moved abroad and initiated this new challenge.

 

Pinterest… Another timekiller for a million projects and ideas, one less realistic than the other. Incredibly inspiring and equally waste of time that could have been spend completing projects instead of looking for new ones I never get to do anyways.

WordPress… A media I came across more and more in simple webpage administering, forums and blogging. A few months ago I decided to join it myself and so far I like it a lot.

Response to One-word prompt

Why do you think you can’t?

Yesterday I took the 2nd video lesson of my INFJ Purpose Blueprint course. This time I feel more exited, energized and enthusiastic about the exercise than I did with the last one. What I need was a mindset reset and that is exactly what this lesson was all about. My mindset is what is holding me back. Now I just have to identify, uproot and replace those limiting beliefs I have with something better. Well this is most likely not gonna happen overnight, but I can barely wait to get started. After the last lesson I really doubted that this course was the right for me at all and I didn’t think it would actually make that much a difference. That attitude has now been replaced with a much more hopeful and optimistic one.

Why do you think you can’t?

This question is what I now need to answer. When I know the answer I need  to convince myself that I am wrong and that I in fact can. Previously I have worked with this challenge and had positive result. This time it will however be more specific, more focused and more conscious. Let me give you some examples of what I have done and achieved even though I initially thought I couldn’t.

  • Move straight from my parents to a different country. I did. I packed, I left and now I live abroad. Sure it is only temporarily but that doesn’t change the fact that my parents live more than 500 miles away and here they don’t even speak my language
  • Get a fulltime job before graduating with a master degree. Even though it is temporary as a volunteer I do work full-time here. I just send the application and less than two weeks later I started. No qualifications need, just the time and the interest to do it.
  • Dance salsa. My friend was really skilled and elegant in this style and I thought I would never come anywhere close to that and dancing was probably not really my thing. I was super awkward, offbeat and hopelessly stiff in the beginning. Now I learned to relax more, feel the music od follow the leads. Still I am just enthusiastic amateur for social dancing, but at least I improved A LOT.
  • Make friends that last after geographical separation. I used to be shy and isolate myself most of the time. I didn’t get close to people. Now I have friends that live more than 300 miles away, but we still keep in touch.
  • Learn all the ropes. I am allowed and able to run all rope session. The training took me through step by step, I quickly got the hang of it. After that I added a few other qualifications as well and I run sessions in (almost) it all.

IMG_4724.jpgThere are other examples as well, but I think these are enough for now. Doing something you first thought wasn’t an option for you is all about having faith and leaping in to it. Take that one more step that scare you and then the magic happens. The sense of success and achievement is so satisfying. What have you done that you initially thought you couldn’t?

Do you want to be carefree?

Are you worried? Why? What are you so worried about? How do you think worrying is gong to make it any better. Spoiler alert; it won’t. Let me share a quote with you: “In every life we have some trouble, when you worry you make it double.”I believe this contains an important truth. The problems tend to be bigger in our heads than in reality. Our imagination goes into overdrive and try to convince us that it is always going to turn out as the worst case scenario. That’s what worrying does. does this always become reality? Of course not. It might happen occasionally, but think about it. All your worries did not exactly make a positive difference in any case at all, did they? If you answer yes to this I think you might have mistaken worrying with planning, consideration or precautions. Many unpleasant, harmful and dangerous events can be avoided if we attempt to partially predict the future. Being considerate can save you a lot of trouble so it is a useful skill to have. Keeping it strong requires daily practise. If you like me wont to get rid of these useless worries try to follow these steps:

  1. Identify your worries. By accepting the fact that we are worried we have already taken the first step to help it from happening again.
  2. Phrase them. The exact reason behind the unpleasant feeling will be more clear to you if you phrase your thoughts and emotions related to it. Speak it loud to someone else or write it down to yourself.
  3. Imagine the worst case scenario. Force yourself to think about the worst that can possibly happen related to the cause of your concern. Is it really that bad? Sometimes it helps to realise that this situation is not even that bad. If it is still terrifying consider how you can affect it to turn out better.
  4. Take action. In most cases we have some degree of influence towards the situation which is making us uneasy. If we do our very best to prevent the worst and nurture the best, then we usually calm ourselves.
  5. Think positively. Now all you can do is hope for the best. Optimism towards it all will ease your mind and soul.

Don’t forget that being nervous is natural. Many people even claim it to be healthy in situations where the outcome is somewhat important. It sharpens your senses, your mind and your insticts which can be extremely useful. My advise: Don’t surpress your nerves, just tame them!

Don’t Worry, Be Happy“!

Response to Daily Prompt

The Feast of Life

Think about it for a second; Life is like a feast. You are surrounded by opportunities all the time it’s up to you to reach out and grab them. Some experiences are pricy, some of them are completely free. This year I’m on a 12 month placement in England as a volunteer activity instructor on a Scout Activity Centre. For just the price of a plane ticket and a bus ticket I got all this. With the weekly expenses they provide me I am even able to save money. I’m swimming in new, exiting and challenging experiences every day and I absolutely love it! All I did was grabbing the chance when it appeared right in front of my face. Just like spotting a delicious specialty on a buffet. I just needed to act and take it, then it would be mine. Part of it the adventure is the privilege of living just a few minutes from stunning views like this.

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By becoming a scout I’ve probably made the best decision of my entire life. It was my VIP ticket to the part of the feast that appealed the most to me. The scouts opened the door to the department of the outdoors, teamwork and independence. On the table in front of me I saw bushcraft, pioneering, team building, camping, hiking, problem solving, archery, sailing, climbing and so much more. I did not consume it all at the same time, but it was all so easy to access after I joined the right community.

Are you taking part in the feast of life?

Response to one-word prompt

Comfort Zone

Personal development is all about challenging yourself. You need to step out of your comfort zone and do something different. Improvement is largest when you are required or asked for slightly more effort and better skills than what you have already. Long ago I heard the quote:

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone

and I try to remind myself of this from time to time. Sometimes it can be a little too abstract. That’s why it’s combined with a more straight forward piece of advise in my head. It helps me to think of it in that way. So if the quote above doesn’t make much sense for you think of it like this:

Do one thing every day that scares you

Today I have definitely lived up to both of these and even more. Rarely have I had that much adrenalin pump through my veins in one day! By pushing myself to my limits and sometimes that one step further I know I will improve, which is one of my core values. I’m expanding my comfort zone and the sense of achievement I feel is incredible. Yes I was scared, I made mistakes and I even went in to shock due to part of the happenings. But this is the essens. Mistakes make you learn and concurring fear makes you braver, so it was all worth it. A detailed story will follow when I have the best pictures of my sailing adventures.

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My comfort zone now includes me being alone in a sailing boat

Did you do something today that scared you?

Let the purpose journey begin!

A few weeks ago I signed up for this course called the  INFJ Purpose Blueprint. It has now begun and I must admit my feelings towards it are still quite mixed. I’m exited, yet doubtful. I am determined, but also nervous. I want to find my purpose. I want to live a meaningful life and become the best edition of my self. My full potential is still to be unfolded and I want that to change. This process can not be rushed, but I can speed it up with focus, effort and honesty. Part of my process will be shared here on my blog.

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Taking notes

The course is built around the L.E.F.T acronym structure, which means: Looking in, Experimenting, Focused action and Time to Reflect. We start of in stage one: Looking in and this weeks lesson was exactly about that. For copyright reasons I cannot share the details, but I can tell you it’s not that easy. The questions they ask seem so simple, yet they are quite challenging for me to answer. There’s a lot of information and thoughts to digest tonight. I need some sleep before I dive to deep in to the focused work with this material I’ve now been presented for.

 

My friend Ashley is joining this course as well. Read her blog post about it here.

The Drive to Keep Moving

One of the key parts to a happy life is hope and positivity. Another one is the motivation to to carry on towards you’r goals and dreams. Essential for hope and motivation is belief or faith. “Whether you think that you can or think you can’t, you’re right” is a quote from Henry Ford and I believe it is very true. It’s all about mentality.

So how do you achieve this “Drive to keep moving” in life? Well, this is individual for everyone, but I’m sure I can list a few general essentials. One of them is determination and willpower. If you imagine yourself as a vehicle, this would be the fuel. But fuel is no good without a motor, so that’s why you need goals. When you poor the willpower in to the your goals great potential is ready to be released. In order to move this vehicle we need actions, these will be the accelerator. To slow it down or occasionally we need reflection. After all no vehicle can drive continuously for eternity without breaking down eventually. Your wheels would be your attitude and mentality. You know the right mentality makes everything go so much smoother, right? As for the steering wheel you must have your intuition in place. Let your gut instincts lead the way. Enough of this imagery for now. Now carry on with your ride of meaning and optimism called “Life”.

Response to One-word prompt

Unpredictable

I feel like this is the ultimate description of life. There’s ups and there are downs and it is impossible to predict when it turns over. We must enjoy the good times while they last and be strong throughout the bad times. Many things in life can be affected directly or indirectly by ourselves. We must take responsibility in those situations. Your health is highly affected by your lifestyle. Nutritious and balanced eating along with an active lifestyle can save you a world of trouble with health issues. But sometimes the matters are out of our hands.

Often people tend to have negative association about this word “unpredictable”. Surely things that are out of our control and beyond our knowledge can be scary. But imagine if we could predict everything that would ever happen to us? Life would be extremely boring in my opinion then. It would seem kind of pointless to try anything, because you’d already know the outcome. I’m glad that I don’t know what my entire future holds for me. I’m not that good with surprises and changes, but most of the time I’ve been lucky with these. Yes my past includes pain, darkness and wrong turns, but eventually I found the light again and got back on track. I don’t know what the future will bring and I’m not going to to try and predict it. I’m just want to say: “Bring it on!”

Response to One-word prompt

The Storm Inside

Overthinking is a typical INFJ trait and it is definitely happening to me. All the time this unstoppable stream of thoughts just rage through my brain. Most of if is questions. Did I do something wrong? Did I hurt someone? Was it good enough? Do they like me? Will they remember this mistake forever? Yes I know most of these questions are completely unnecessary in most cases. Combined with all these unstoppable thoughts comes the ever-shifting emotions. I tend to take on other people’s emotions especially if they are close to me and my mood can turn in an instant. When both pf these hit me with the high winds and huge waves it feels like a storm within. All kinds of reasoning and control fail for an unknown amount of time. My otherwise clear head and gentle heart is exposed to an overload. This is when i withdraw from the world. I pull back, hide alway and do not show myself until I’m somehow in control again. Often I cry it out. Not in a subtle quit manner. No I’m talking about endless streams of tears and loud screams of pain. Believe or not it helps. It is like an emotional deep clean of my soul. Another good way to toggle this is to meditate. The concentration and the calmness of meditation really gets the storm under control and it quiets down to a gentle breeze. Then I can carry on trying to find and outlive my purpose of this wonderful life. What do you do to quit your storm down?

Response to One-word prompt