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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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!

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

“You happy?”

When walking around in the villages in Weligama on the Southern coast of Sri Lanka in the past couple of weeks, it often struck us how open the hearts and smiles seem to be of locals we’ve met. Even if we come from a different environment, climate and social rules, we’ve been invited to come inside people’s houses and share a moment together. Often we had a cup of tea or were served a meal.

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Out walking, met by smiles

For most people living here in Sri Lanka, leading simple lives and earning money from one day to another, it’s hard to understand the concept of long-time travels and the time and money the two of us have decided to “spend” traveling rather than saving for later. And we, Anders and Wivan, certainly have a hard time to explain our situation, sometimes because of language difficulties and sometimes just because our way of living is so very different from most people’s.

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Happy fishermen

Often we are surprised by the Sri Lankan’s loving and happy spirit no matter what their living conditions are, and some locals seem a bit confused of how on earth we can go traveling without having a job that gives money day to day. So we, both sides, have some sort of unspoken agreement on not understanding each other’s situations fully and just be friends anyways, accepting our different situations, lifestyles and the not-understanding part.

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Tea time

That “agreement” is a lovely thing. At times we just shorten our story a bit, making it all about being in Sri Lanka for a month or three and telling people how much we love this beautiful country, the people, food and the weather. Other times, when language and time to talk is not a problem, we try and explain a bit more, part of it being a way to say that it’s possible to dream big and make things happen if we dare to step into the void every now and then.

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Adventures together with Mona

Now after arriving at our next house sit, staying in a very big and nice house, it’s again hard to explain when our Sri Lankan “brother” Mona calls to check how we are after the trip here. Yeah, we get to stay for free in a huge house, taking care of two dogs while their owner travels abroad…
Mona is a lovely guy though, and simply ask his regular question:

You happy?

And when we say ‘yes, we’re very happy’, he goes on:

You happy, me happy.

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This lovely guy, Mona, always caring

See, it doesn’t have to be more difficult than that. We’re friends and “family”, and if the other is happy, so are we.

With love and gratitude,
Anders and Wivan

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Train station in Weligama

Temple time and tuktuk

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Temple visit outside Weligama

Yesterday was another day of wonderful experiences together with our new friends and the family that has taken us on as part of them.

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Prayer flags at the temple

In the afternoon we went to one small and one big Buddhist temple nearby.

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Always a tuktuk

Surfer Mona has a friend who owns a tuktuk, ‘Tuktuk Man’, and he drives us to the good surf beach in the morning, drove to the temple and also in to town.

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Big Buddha and small Wiva

We’ve been snorkeling at a great little beach with a wonderful reef, had tea, fruit and cookies at the family’s house, and last night they cooked dinner for us again.

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Tea tray, bananas and cookies

It’s something very special to experience this community of friends, families and the local life and we’re so grateful for the opportunity.

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Fish bbq on the gas stove

The kids in the neighborhood are always saying hello and sometimes want to do a high five with us, most people are curious and smiling when we come by, and we try and learn a few words here and there.

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Anders in front of the family's house

Till next time!
//Anders and Wivan

A little bit lonely – travelers’ life?

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Breakfast on the street

Over the past weeks, pretty much since we left Bali, both of us at times have missed having people to talk to and to get to know. In Bali we met so many warm, kind people caring for us, interested in getting to know us regardless of if we speak the same language or not.
In Thailand there were other tourists and travelers and they rarely seemed interested in getting to know new people, and most of the locals were more into “selling to tourists” than open to becoming friends with a couple of Swedes.

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New friend!

Now, being in a large city, it up at moments – we are a bit lonely. The big plus is that this city is wide open, welcoming and easy to get around. But most people have their lives going already and are in the middle of something. Meeting strangers on the street isn’t really on their agenda. We would need to be part of something, take a course or get into a community to make others notice us here.

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Our great duo

We guess it’s different too, since we’re not staying in hostels where it’s usually a more sharing atmosphere and people traveling alone also go there. Since we’re a couple, we always have each other and that might close us off to some who don’t want to interfere or get in the way of our twosome.

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Bathing an elephant and talking to the others

In Thailand, when we went for some tours, both of us were the smiling, chatty people trying to strike up a conversation… It was a bit funny when we realized it after a while!

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Reminder

This has also made us realize that as humans it is important to be part of something, to be recognized every now and then, to have someone to talk to. For us that are traveling for a long period, it’s very good to see this so clearly as we do now, because then we can act on it. We want to find places and activities where we can be part of something, and our new-found interest for diving might be one of those. To be able to meet with friends, like we did the other week, is awesome. And our Skype sessions with friends and family members, the messages and e-mails that we send and receive really mean something and are precious to us. And, as a matter of fact, this blog is important. We know you are reading and following our journey, it is an outlet for thoughts, insights, creativity, sharing and questions we have. And every now and then there is a comment or an e-mail from someone who wants to talk about a subject, or who just wants to say hi.

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Great fun cooking with Ploy in Khao Lak

So, to all of you who read this: to all of our friends, to our families: Thank you! You are important, you make a difference and we are grateful for you being part of our lives in one way or another.

With lots of love,

Anders and Wivan

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Morning boat ride in Bali