Living the Dream

4 women 4 cities 4 goals

October 15, 2014
by Carina
1 Comment

Things you need on a grey day…

…and they are all bargains. And they will all make you look like a million. At least. That’s the way I like it!

Lindex-coat

A coat that puts a little more glamour in to an ordinary day.

HM-T-shirt

A top that shows what a winner you are.

Gina-Tricot-pleated-skirt

A skirt that floats around your legs when you take those determined steps down the street.

Zara-bag

A bag that tells everybody that you have the speed and strength of a crocodile.

HM-boots

Boots with heels that help you reach for the sky. And the stars upon it.

Just basic things you need. For one reason or another.

 

C

 

October 7, 2014
by Viveka
1 Comment

Work, work, work

So it’s that time of the year again, when I have to shoulder the responsibility of representation at a rather large conference in Cannes.

First things first. I like to keep my work life and blogging separate. Kind of. That’s just my inner Swede, wanting to compartmentalize and keep things nice and neat in separate boxes.

But it has occurred to me that it may make sense at this point to clarify, that I actually do have a calling, or higher purposes, if you like, other than the endless task of self-improvement and visiting family and friends around the world. Subtle clues have been dropped herein, so let’s backtrack a little; what do we know so far?

Exhibit A – We know that this is not the first time I’m going to Cannes, somehow something to do with Sponge Bob Squarepants...

Exhibit B – We know that I’ve had to go to Amsterdam for a “’business trip” which involved going to a stand-up comedy show

Exhibit C – Further it was revealed that I went to Brussels for another comedy show, which was also deemed “work-related”.

And now we find out it’s time to go to Cannes again.

So there you have it.
Clearly and obviously I sell TV programmes.
Programmes of the standing-up type of comedy variety.

And there it is, the full truth and nothing but the truth.

Moving on then, yes?
‘Objection – I didn’t know that was an actual job’, you say?
And you wouldn’t be the first to raise this very valid point.
I often get this response.

All I can say is, it is, and it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it, and that someone is me. And about 11,500 other people on their way to Cannes for the 2nd week of October.

Which brings us back to reality, and the fact, that today, I am late in posting because I’m rushing to prepare my arduous trip to Cannes.

 

And now you know me a little better.

 

Cannes-Croisette-Palais-des-Festivals-expo-S-O

 

PS – Don’t worry if you hadn’t put this together yet. My parents have only just grasped what it is that I actually do.

 

 

October 1, 2014
by Carina
3 Comments

About being behind

I am very much behind with very many things. The reason for this is that I have been working very many hours, very many days of the week, for a very long time.

For example I am behind with sleeping, with spending time with my son and also with my husband. I am behind with running, which makes me end up behind a lot of people when taking part in a run.

I am very much behind with seeing friends. To be honest I don’t even know if I have any left or if I deserve them after neglecting them for quite a long time now…

I am also behind with every day things like:
- Cooking – Thank God for take away! (And for a husband who feeds the kid.)
- Cleaning – Thank God (again) that you can hire professionals who can take care of that. It has been worth every single Swedish Krona. And I wouldn’t have had the time to spend those dineros on anything else anyway. Even if I can think about more fun ways to spend them…
- Washing clothes – I guess you can buy a solution for that as well, but it hasn’t gone that far. What has happened though is that I have been forced to dig a bit deeper in to my closet. I found a lot of garbage, but I also had som ”Hey-old-friend!-Where have-you-been-all-this-time?” moments.

And that last thing is maybe a little plus-thing in all this ”being behind”, but there is also another BIG plus-thing that has turned a real down-thing into something I just don’t care that much about and that I know would have made me crazy if I had had the time for that.

My home has for the past… maybe five, six… or even seven weeks (you see, I don’t even know the time), been looking like this:

Behind

No, I have not been trying to add some industrial feeling to my interiors, we just had some really heavy rains this summer. Those tropical kinds of rain. Those we obviously are a bit unprepared for here in the land of down-pours in a more firm and solid consistency, a.k.a. snow.

The damaged parts are actually only the ones you see on the very depressing image above, but as you also might notice the parquet continues. To the left you will find the kitchen and to the right our livingroom. And since I don’t want to have a floor that looks like some kind of patchwork we will have to change the floor in the entire room. All 70-or-so square meters of it.

Obviously everything is dry now, which means they can start with the renovation as soon as we know what floor we want.

Then we just have to empty the place and find somewhere to live. From when, I don’t know. For how long, I don’t know. Where, I don’t know.

But all this is stuff I haven’t had the time to worry about. Because I am b e h i n d. With things. With life. With being my normal worrying kind.

With absolutely no foresight or planning we will probably end up in a one room apartment on the other side of the city with 2 hours to travel to W’s school and then 2 hours back every day. Or maybe we will have to organize our life in a tent on our terrace for a few weeks. Great when the winter is getting closer. Who knows what will happen, but at least I didn’t freak out about it before it did.

 

C

 

September 30, 2014
by Viveka
1 Comment

Bobo does Boho!

In between Mindfulness Practice, yoga classes and the overall project to build a more spiritual life, a girl’s gotta dream…!

I don’t need to dream very big, a few of these fabulously floaty frocks to take me through next summer will do nicely! This time from Paris.

Chloe-SS-2015-best-of-courtesy-of-style.com

Simply Beautiful from Chloé.

Elie-Saab-SS-2015-best-of-courtesy-of-style.com

Sensationally Striking from Elie Saab.

I am not saying I can afford any of these items, nor could I pull them off, but some of my modelly-tall friends could, so Tall Ladies, this is for you!

5 months and 20 days till First Day of Spring… the count-down has begun!

Hasta luego…

 

For those of you not familiar with the terminology herein, please refer to our dictionary below…

Bobo – Bourgeois Bohemian

Boho – Bohemian Hippy

Images courtesy of style.com 

September 25, 2014
by Viveka
2 Comments

Mindfulness Practice

By now you should know why you need this in your life, so let’s get to it!

To practice Mindfulness, first you need to prepare your body.

-       Start by doing a few movements on the spot, clenching and releasing, flexing and shaking out your arms and hands, legs and feet.
-       Give yourself a little massage to generate a bit of energy.
-       Stretch out your body.

Now get into position, sitting on a chair or in the lotus position, while remembering these 2 very important instructions:

 

RELAX YOUR EFFORT, WITHOUT LOSING YOUR ATTENTION.

KEEP YOUR ATTENTION, WITHOUT USING ANY EFFORT.

 

It’s like a balancing act between the 2. Relax so you don’t use any effort, but don’t go to sleep! Keep your attention fully focused, but without using any effort.

(Personally I see myself standing in the middle of a seesaw with Effort on one side and Relaxation on the other, trying to keep them both level…)

When in a comfortable position, with a straight spine and facing straight ahead, close your eyes 80-90%. This is really hard to do, but it works. Just leave a little gap, which you don’t see through, but which helps keep you alert.

Put your hands on your lap like ‘My Master‘ shows you here:

 

Mindfulness-Tulku-Lobsang

 

1. Mindfulness of your body

Breathing naturally, start by scanning your whole body, from your head, to your neck and shoulders, chest, arms, hands, legs and all the way down to your feet. Relax each part of your body as you scan down.

2. Mindfulness of your breath.

Next, focus on your breath. Breathe deeply, but naturally. Notice the movement of your chest and your belly as you breathe in and out.

3. Mindfulness of your mind.

Finally, focus on your mind. Imagine a clear blue sky. No worries – no clouds. Only a bright, shining, warm sun. When clouds (thoughts) appear, gently blow them away, to find your clear blue sky again.

 

Remember the instructions:

RELAX YOUR EFFORT. KEEP YOUR ATTENTION.

 

This is how you turn off your senses. Noises or scents around you don’t affect you. You may notice them, but like soap bubbles they deflate and disappear.

You’re closing the windows, to let your candle shine calmly and quietly.

By practicing this regularly, you will feel the benefits of a calmer, more rational you very soon.

For me, and I am only just beginning, I think it will help me be less flappable, more patient, less irritable and more grounded.

If that were what it said on the tin, wouldn’t you buy it?

Happy Shopping!

 

 

PS – If you’ve ever meditated you will recognize this practice. It is indeed a form of meditation. What I love about Lobsang’s version, is how he explains it all. He makes it so clear and simple. I know that I need this. I know why I need this. And now I know how to do it!

 

Image courtesy of Tulku Lobsang’s Facebook page.

 

September 25, 2014
by Carina
0 comments

Distracted

Need to work, but keep on getting distracted by net-a-porter where I just found the most perfect outfit for the season. How could I possibly focus on anything else?!?

Hat-Saint-Laurent-net-a-porter

Dress-Michael-Kors-net-a-porter

 

Boots-Tibi-net-a-porter

Bag-Jérôme-Dreyfuss-net-a-porter

 

Hat from Saint Laurent, dress from Michael Kors, perfect boots from Tibi and a bag in burgundy from Jérôme Dreyfuss.
Yes please!

 

C

 

September 24, 2014
by Viveka
0 comments

Mindfulness – why do we need it?

Before I finally go into the How, I just wanted to share a few more points that ‘My Master’ brought up, to illustrate why we need Mindfulness:

When we learn to be in the present moment, we’ll have fewer problems, and when we do have a problem, we’ll know what to do, because we have learnt to see things more clearly.

We’ll be free of pain, and will know how to reach a state of complete relaxation. This is not to be confused with laziness!

Laziness, he says, and I know he’s right… is why people come back from their holidays in a bad mood, because they have been lazy, but they have not been relaxed!

Real relaxation releases tension, and by releasing tension, we’ll have less pain in our lives.

Mindfulness also opens up the channels in your body, so you’ll have more energy and you’ll feel happier.

What made me chuckle was his example of what anger can do. When you’re really angry, you actually feel as if you see things really clearly. And you want to take drastic clear-cut decisions, because you see things SO clearly, because you are SO angry…

But mostly, when the anger subsides… and you’re in a calmer place, you realize you may have said and done things that you didn’t really mean. And the damage you did in those 10 heated minutes, could take 10 long years to fix!
 

‘When you’re angry – you are drunk.
When you’re angry – you are dangerous.
When you’re angry – you need Mindfulness.’

 
So, whenever feelings of anger, envy or jealousy arise, use the Mindfulness practice to CALM down, so that you can say or do the right thing, without any judgment.
 

‘Judgment is gambling.
Judgment creates Karma, consequence and suffering.’

 
Don’t judge. Just relax. And then you see.
I, for one, want to see!

So then… how’s it done?
Well, let’s finally, finally, look at that on Friday! One cannot rush these things…

Mindful-3-art-of-doing-yoga

 

Image courtesy of artofdoingyoga.com

 

September 22, 2014
by Viveka
0 comments

Boho is Back!

I am not our in-house fashion advisor, but I’m an avid amateur follower of all things chic. And as such, I am extremely excited about next spring’s prospects as displayed on recent catwalks during the SS2015 shows. Not because of its newness, more because of the floaty, fly-away, gypsy vibes… Boho is Back!

 

Etro-ss2015-courtesy-of-style

Etro

Matthew-Williamson-ss2015-courtesy-of-style.com

Matthew Williamson

Emilio-Pucci-ss2015-courtesy-of-style.com Pucci

 

All images courtesy of style.com

 

September 18, 2014
by Viveka
1 Comment

Mindfulness

The first time I heard the word Mindfulness, was when my good friend and personal spiritual guide (not to be confused with my spiritual coach) said, that Paul McKenna says, we must chew our food ‘mindfully’.

I think I might have coughed or sneezed or started crying or something, anything to detract from the fact that I had no idea what she was talking about!

Since then, I have graduated through a couple of beginners’ levels of spiritual enlightenment, and I now know that Mindfulness, is to be in the present moment.

Basically, whether we realize it or not, our mind doesn’t do anything we want. It’s like a naughty teenager, or as My Master says, a wild elephant. It doesn’t listen to you, and just goes ahead and does whatever it wants. Much to your dismay, and quite often, distress.

The purpose of Mindfulness is to educate your mind so that it becomes less naughty or wild, and instead it becomes functional. Because if the mind works, everything works!

Mindfulness also means to have a calm mind, to find stillness within.

My own metaphor for the noise that goes on in my mind is a circus, (I have the whole cast and crew in there, but they’re mostly juggling with shoes and wrestling with dresses, not so much lions and trapezes…) which is not a million miles away from My Master’s metaphor of a wild elephant, and I know he’s destined to be MY MASTER, because when I wrote about this my-mind-is-a-circus phenomenon on this here blog, I actually used a picture of an elephant, DESTINY! 

Viveka dismounting elephant at Circus Party Bordeaux.

… and we’re back!

The benefit of this calm presence of mind is immense. In the silence you will find wisdom and intelligence, but most importantly, in the silence you will see clearly. You will see everything as it really is, no more, no less.

To illustrate this, My Master (I’m sorry, I just love saying this!) likened the mind to a candle in the middle of a room with 5 windows. The windows are our senses. When the windows are open and the wind blows, the light from the candle flickers, and you see things that are not there.

When the windows are closed, and the candle is still, the light is clear and you see things as they are.

So a still mind is an intelligent mind, it allows you to see things correctly!

Great, I think we get the point. But how on earth do we achieve this stillness?

Find out in part 3…

 

PS. What Paul McKenna meant, I am still not exactly sure, but that’s a whole other story.

 
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