Self coaching and getting help

A friend of mine use to tell me she thinks I am good at coaching myself in life. And, yes I am – at times. Other times I am no good at it at all.

View on a bike ride the other night.

During those “other times” I take help from friends, family and professionals to remember who I am, what I need, want and how to continue taking care of myself. 
Most of us get out of “balance” or alignment ever so often throughout our lives. Another friend called it to be ‘out of sync’ last week, and my experience is that it really can feel like that. So most people need some guidence from time to time.

A book, a podcast or an interview by/with a person we are inspired by can be a great reminder or help for us to ask the questions we need or do the basic things for us to get back into sync sooner rather than later.

To make a fire is like meditation to me.

Earlier this year I had a rather negative attitude towards… Well, pretty much everything, so I started going to several of my guides more actively again.

  • I listened to the audio book “The monk who sold his Ferrari” by Robin Sharma during daily walks.
  • On Youtube I watched/listened to talks and guided meditations with Mooji and Eckhart Tolle before going to sleep.
  • Started (again) to read newsletters by the Swedish coaches Anders Haglund and Olof Röhlander. Both are former professional athletes.
  • Checked out one of my body movement inspirations (Naprapatjonas) on Instagram more frequently and started reading his blog again.

You might have your own guides and mentors already, or you feel inspired to find a new one. They’re all around us, and we need only to be open to see and hear when someone or something makes us feel moved in a good way to understand we might have found something valuable.

Nature is always a good place to be!

When I am extremely tired or in some other way put out of natural physical balance, my inner guide usually goes away to someplace Nice and it’s more important than eder for me to ask for help to stay friendly towards myself and keep my priorities right.

Good groceries to inspire to eat good food.

I literally make a short list of my basic needs or ask someone to help me stick to the basics: sleep, eat, have fun and move my body. If nothing else works – that’s a good base to just stay above the surface. Then I can add small goals like eating more vegetables, going to the gym or call a friend.

One of our chickens enjoying life outside.

Love and sunshine – allways.

//Wivan 

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When enough is enough

Regarding the money: we will not send you any money. If you are looking for economic help you need to find someone else.

Usually I prefer to be polite and nice when writing letters, but today I had enough and went for the very clear line above.

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We payed for this roof repair

Since leaving Sri Lanka we have kept an e-mail conversation going between us and “our” Sri Lankan family. They asked us for money (€500) to celebrate their New Year in April, and last week we recieved another e-mail where they asked for money to buy a three-wheeler/tuktuk.

Living in the Western world, under circumstances not  possible to compare to how the locals in Weligama live, it was very hard for us in the beginning not to give money every day when we were there. But bit by bit, we learned about the culture, their habits and thought a lot about what actually would help in the long run.
And sorry to say; giving money is most likely not a long-term solution for people in a developing country.

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Some fishing boats are owned by Europeans

When speaking to help-organizations and finding out how they work, it’s seldom money but education that helps over time.
For us, it seemed like teaching English to  locals was a good thing – when they speak better English, it’s easier for them to go into the tourism industry that’s about to boom.

Another thing would be to talk about saving money, to have a small amount at hand when something unpredictable happens (or when the rain period comes, as it does every year). Many people in the villages live from day to day. Regarding teaching people about economy, we got stuck in language difficulties. As we did when having ideas of different ways to make money.
So it seemed to always come back to the language.

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Food market in Sri Lanka

Anyways, today I decided to be very clear about our view of sending money. Usually Anders and I discuss this before sending, but today I just had enough and wrote an answer directly.

We are now realizing why some people asked us in the beginning if these family members were taking such good care of us just because they wanted our money. Many Westerners have had experiences like ours, and ended up giving, giving, giving. And I would prefer to actually help the development in some way, maybe by finding some good material for learning English that we could send them. Perhaps something on DVD so they not only read but also can hear the language.

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The English memory game I made for practice with village girls

Today I practice saying ‘no’ when enough is enough.
//Wivan

Ready for take off

Or as ready as can be. Bags are packed, we had a swim in the ocean before breakfast, yesterday we gave small presents to the closest friends here and we will get a ride in a car to the airport this afternoon.
It’s both nice and sad to leave, as it is most of the time in life. Ups and downs,  good and bad, happy and sad.

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Out bying spices to bring

For us, it feels like we’ll come back to Sri Lanka in the future. But life here, and the look of things will most certainly change a lot over the coming years – tourism is yet in the beginning of what’s to come.

We are so grateful for the possibility to be here this time, with the people we have met and to experience a place so beautiful and nice, yet unspoilt. Genuine, that probably is a good word to describe it. Experiences, people and the food feels genuine.

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Last night with the family

So, what awaits us now? More than 24 hours of traveling; car, planes and train.
And then we arrive in Karlskrona and take the ferry out to the small island of Aspö where we’ll be living the coming 6 months. (as the plan looks now).

How it will feel to land in the +1 degree weather? We don’t know. Sweaters are packed to access easily in the hand luggage, and we have asked mom to lend us some hats and socks as we arrive on the island.

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Yesterday I went with a friend who got a haircut

In the bags we bring memories and presents from people here in Weligama, and our wet swim suits!

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After surfing a few weeks ago

Resetting; creating new ways

After the blog post last week, with more questions than answers, we’ve let ourselves off the hook for a while. We’ve relaxed into the mood of tiredness, confusion and tried to “live the questions”, like the quote by Rainer Maria Rilke that Helena wrote in a comment.

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A butterfly of some kind

For a couple of days we simply didn’t answer any local calls – we simply decided to have a vacation and change our pattern of doing things. No planned events, no promises and no set times or saying yes just because it’s too hard to explain why not.
In this time, and the following days, we’ve also made sure not to make any big decisions, but to let ourselves be in a space of not knowing what we want to do of all of this. Just be.

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Sunday morning surf

The people working at and running the guest house where we stay have been very nice and helpful during this shift, taking special orders for foods we want, letting us be a bit more flexible and make sure we’re doing well and get what we want.

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Wivan love string hoppers for breakfast

Anders have spent time watching movies in the room, I’ve taken walks on my own and slipped away from some of the many conversations that are easy to get into just by looking at someone one second too long. Surfing together a couple of mornings, reading and asking for separate dishes for breakfast and dinner – not always eating the same food just to make it easier for others, but to get what we really want to have. And we’ve eaten some of the meals in our room instead of in the restaurant.

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Sunrise in Weligama

In these few days that have passed, a new calmness have started to settle, and also an understanding of how tiresome it is to adapt; to try new foods, places and to most of the time try and make sure we don’t insult anyone by saying no to their invitations. We’ve had great experiences with many people along the way thanks to them letting us be part of their lives, and it’s also taken a lot of energy to try to understand, to be around people and to communicate without having a complete shared language.

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Surfing Sri Lanka

With help from friends and family memebers, we’ve also started to see more clearly how used we’re to having time and space for ourselves, to be able to retreat into a quiet house or nature, to simply not having people around – something that’s common in Sweden and parts of Europe, but very rare in Asia.

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Not many people in the water early mornings

These are cultural behaviors and ways of living that we’d like to mix, but that up till now have been totally separated, and that’s also part of why we feel tired and overwhelmed at times.

Now we’ve settled into staying here in Sri Lanka, for now, and take one day at a time, not planning or booking too much and letting others “kidnap” our time just because we try and say Yes more often. We still want to feel that we’re able to choose what we want and need rather than to be nice to others.

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Happy and tired after surfing

This has been a good reminder of patterns we’ve had since long time, patterns and behaviors that are easy to fall back into. To do things out of habit rather than out of choice. It takes for us to slow down a bit, to build new ways of communication with our friends and the family here, to reset the way of approaching invitations and also to be clear about what we want, and make the space for us to do more of what we want and feel good about. It can still be to spend time together with others, maybe not so often though. If that is to be a bit “awkward” or different, so be it, it’s time to be grown up in that too and just be comfortable in being different.

Take care and see if you can listen a bit more closely to what you need today.

// Wivan and Anders

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Surf's up!

This is to…

… missing people and places we have met during our lives, to family and loved ones we think of, to missing Sweden and all its lovely weirdness, to nature and beauty, to tears and laughter, to love and loss, to life and death. This is to all the things that are part of living and still not understanding one single thing.

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Lotus flower

Last night we stayed up late, talking about what we want and need right now.

All of a sudden we realized we easily get caught up in what is happening around us here, and that we quite often do things when what we really need in that moment is to take a deep breath and ask ourselves what we want to do or what’s most needed for us right now.

Saying yes to invitations, or to take another step into local life in order to learn and understand more is at times extremely tiresome and challenging. Lots of fun of course, and tiresome.

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Moon and palm trees

We start to understand how used we are to having time on our own, to be able to walk out a door without meeting a single person (yes, in Sweden one can actually be alone rather often), how we are longing for the sometimes isolated life many Swedish people live – that we also not always like – it is nice when people come together to help and care for each other.

We start to wonder how to get the mix we’d like to have – to have a place to stay where we can choose when to meet with others and when to be alone. Where people greet and care for each other, are willing to help and still give one another privacy. Where it’s ok to say yes to dinner today, and no thanks tomorrow. Where there are less questions about how we choose to lead our lives and more acceptance for differences. Where the climate is good and there is an openness to views if life we’re not familiar with. Where love flows and there’s a big acceptance for people.

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How did we end up helping to repair this roof?

Sure, we’re the first to say that we are all responsible for creating a way of living and an surrounding environment that we like and can thrive in. And yet there are certain things we as humans can not control, and most certainly we can not change others – only ourselves. So who are we, Anders and Wivan, in the middle of all these thoughts and longings?

Right now I think we have more questions than answers, and accept that fact. Who knows what will happen today or tomorrow. We’ll take our responsibility for ourselves and see to our needs, and from that we see what happens and where we end up.

With love, gratitude and many questions,
Wivan

Creativity at play

Do you remember?

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Starting a game of memory

An idea came and I took action right away. Created a memory game for us to play with the family – a combination of doing something fun together, and to practice words.

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A box of crackers, a cup and a pen

At bed time I often play a game or two of memory on my tablet, to practice my memory before sleeping. And now I realized it could be a fun way to work with English and Sinhala for all of us.

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21 pairs of pictures

I had fun making it, getting to use my pens and creativity to draw all the different pictures.

So tonight tried the game with the daughter of the family after dinner, and it worked out rather well.

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Not matching

She’s willing to practice, and we all learn things together – and have fun! This game also strenghten our overall communication skills and our relationships. So, for the next “lesson” we want to find something else to do, play or use as a help. Mostly, it’s spoken English that needs to be improved, and to have a few pictures to use as a base is good for small conversations and role plays.

So we’ll see what we come up with!

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Pineapple, boat, house, cup, chair...

Back in…

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Jungle beach

Both of us are a bit tired after a day of discussing, packing and changing plans yesterday, and a long day of traveling today. Now we’ve arrived in… Weligama! (again)
Yes, there was a plan of going inland to Kandy, Ella and other places, but when thinking of seeing new places all the time, learning about history and move every two nights, we realized what we really want is to settle down a while.

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Colombo Fort Railway station Sunday morning

Train rides here are always a bit humbling to us, and filled with learning about cultures, people, ourselves, heat, comforts and luxuries in the West.

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Inside Colombo Fort Railway station

After an hour’s delay even before departure, and with us standing in the isle and no fans onboard, it was nice to roll out of the city and watch the ocean outside of the train.

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Walking from the train towards Weligama city center

When arriving in Weligama, a couple of tuktuk drivers tried to give us tourist prices for a ride, but since we know the area and what’s a reasonable price, we walked down the street and found another driver to take us for the price we offered.

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View from a beach close to the hotel

We got a room at our favorite hotel for the coming night, and tomorrow we’ll go house shopping, hoping to find someplace to rent for the coming month or so.

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Happy to see Mona surfing

The family we’ve spent so much time with here were very happy to have us back and soon had arranged a wonderful dinner for us at their house.

Now our “challenge” is to tell them how much we love them and all of their care, and that we still want to do some cooking for ourselves and that we like to have some time on our own too.

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Did you know that four backpacks and two people fit into one tuktuk?!

Ok, time for some sleep – hopefully without noisy roosters and village entertainment in outdoor speakers!

Lots of salt water and sunshine,
Anders and Wivan