• Vlog 11: Winter Solstice In My Cottage In Croatia


     

    Winter Solstice, snow, and a New Year’s day trip

    It’s been over a month, so there’s lots to tell! I spent a cosy festive period (actually, mostly at home, due to the Covid infection numbers where I live) but went for a drive to one of the most scenic places in Croatia on New Year’s Day.
     

    In between you’ll see the first snow of the winter, the winter solstice sunrise, and New Year’s Eve fireworks! I hope you’ll enjoy it.
     
     

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    I hope you had a lovely holiday season yourself, and a great start into 2022! Let me know in a comment on YouTube.
     

  • A Ritual To Close Out The Year


     

    Abstract:
     

    Have you ever planned on changes for the coming year, and then a year or two down the line you realised that things have stayed the same? It’s happened to almost everyone.
     

    I’d like to offer you an alternative: A way to consciously close out the year, that’ll help you let go of what you’d like to leave behind, preserve what’s good and beautiful, and learn what you need to learn in order to make 2022 amazing.
     

    Your mission today is to prepare a little ritual to close out the year.
     
     

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    Task 1: Close out the year: The good and the bad

     

    The first thing to do is to create a safe, comfortable space for your ritual. Light a candle, maybe put on some soothing music. Get comfortable and take one or two deep, calming breaths.
     

    On a piece of paper, write down everything that didn’t go well in 2021. Also write down what you wish to let go of. Re-read the list, feel all the feelings associated with it. Then when you’re ready, tear up the list and throw it out or burn it.
     

    Then write down all the things that went well, on a separate piece of paper. Spend as much time as you wish on re-living these things. Place the paper next to your candle.
     

    close out the year
     

    Task 2: The year ahead

     

    Now it’s time to take another deep breath and a third piece of paper. On it, write down things you’d like to do in 2022. Focus on things that bring you joy, that feel exciting.
     

    Also look over your list of good things in 2021 and include as much of it as you can. Then pick one step towards one of your goals, and take that step within the next 24 hours. Close off your ritual with a spoken affirmation, such as: “I work towards achieving these goals to the best of my ability and with the best intentions for everyone involved.”
     

    Then blow out the candle. Save your goals and review regularly throughout the year.
     

  • Vlog 10: Wild Croatian Seas & A Tour Of My New House

    Wild Croatian Seas

    I was incredibly lucky last week. It was a stormy day, but for some reason, there was also bright sunshine near the coast. And I happened to be driving along that coast! So I stopped in Senj, a small but beautiful town a bit South of where I live.
     

    The wind seemed determined to blow me into the sea, but I managed to keep my feet, haha! You’ll see the resulting footage (hence the title “Wild Croatian Seas”!) in the last minutes of the vlog.
     

    The rest of it is a little recap of 2021 and the long-promised tour of my new house! Don’t expect too much now, it’s only got two rooms for the time being. But it’ll give you a bit of an impression of my life up here on the mountain, and I hope you’ll enjoy it.
     

    If you prefer to watch on YouTube, you can do so here – and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel!
     
     

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  • Vlog 8: Mystical Autumnal Plitvice Lakes


     

    Would you rather watch on YouTube?
     
     

    Plitvice Lakes and the end of summer

     

    A month of slowing down, settling in, friends, meet-ups – and a trip to one of the most breathtaking natural sites in all of Croatia: the Plitvice Lakes! Let me enchant you with their mystical beauty.
     

    We’ve defintely arrived in autumn, even here in Croatia. The early September footage shows the last of the warm summer days, but by now the days are much shorter and the air has a bite to it, especially early in the morning here on my mountain. Go take a look!
     
     

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  • How A Life Can Change In 7 Years

    how a life can change
     

    Seven is a magical number. Someone once told me that seven years is a full cycle in terms of life phases. I don’t if that’s true, but the idea sounds intriguing to me!
     

    Today, I’ll look back 7 years to see exactly how much and in what ways my life has changed through a focus on passion and finding my purpose.
     

    Before I start: I know, I know. Here I am talking about passions and purpose, and you may ask whether getting financial security and organising the practical things in life isn’t more important. To which I say:

    1. These things are all part of building a life of passion and purpose.
    2. At the same time, they’re worth nothing without passion and purpose.

     

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    Flashback to 2014

     

    Holy smokes, I just looked for a picture of myself in 2014. Are you ready?
     

    how a life can change
     

    This is the only picture I could find, and that’s so telling. Here’s what my life was like:

    • I was high-functioning but depressive.
    • I had isolated myself and used junk food as my consolation.
    • Consequently, I was overweight.
    • I worked in a soulless job that required insane hours.
    • I lived in a nice place but one I had no emotional attachment to.
    • No time or energy to focus on my coaching.
    • The only one of my passions I pursued was gaming.*

    `*Honestly, it saved my life. The contact to and friendship with my gamer friends prevented me from becoming a hermit.
     
     

    What did I do to change?

     

    If you’re expecting a weight-loss story, then I’m sorry to disappoint. My story does involve weight loss, but that happened as a side effect, not because of any major focus on it. Instead, I’d like to list what I did to turn my life around.

    • I moved to a place my soul resonates with.
    • Quit the soulless job and got a work-from-home role.
    • Got lots of rest and took long walks.

    When I was healed (only then!), I added:

    • Prioritised pursuing my passions above everything else.
    • Started working on my business.
    • Put the focus of my coaching on passion and purpose.
    • Began to work out again (as part of my passions).
    • Ate delicious food that made me feel alive.

    butterfly
     

    How a life can change

     

    Looking over these lists, I’m in awe. I hardly recognise the woman on the picture above and I’m overcome with gratitude.
     

    I got this close to living out my life in limbo.
     

    So close to working for a living but not having a life.
     

    Where do I even begin to describe the changes in my life? Let’s try and summarise them into categories:
     
     

    Life and happiness

     

    I spent five years working a lovely job from home. It left me plenty of energy to build up my Coaching and my second business, my first love: working with language as a teacher and proofreader. 1 ½ years ago, I quit the job and became full-time self employed.
     

    Both my businesses happen 100% over the internet, so I’m location independent and can spend a few months a year in other places I love. This hasn’t been possible recently because of the pandemic, but it’s still very much on the cards.
     

    I’m rested, relaxed, and happy. Nothing gets me to rush around anymore. I’ve also just moved to a mountain village close to the Croatian coast and the peace here is indescribable. At the same time, I’m still close enough to the city to see my friends regularly.
     

    True, I’m no longer as slim as I got in the first rush of happiness after “waking up” to life. But I’m nowhere near overweight and still a good 17 kg (that’s nearly 3 st) lighter than I was in 2014!
     
     

    Passions and purpose

     

    My passions are front and centre in my life. This forms the foundation of the above – being successful, at peace and relaxed with no time pressure or financial worries. These things are the direct result of my decision to focus on the things that light me up: Music, piano, dancing, archery, literature, making videos, and of course, coaching.
     

    My life purpose became clear only months into focusing on my passions. It had been there all along, but suddenly it jumped out at me and became so obvious, I wondered how I had missed it all these years. Subsequently I shifted my entire life to align with this purpose, and that’s the connection between passions, purpose, and the happiness I described in the previous section.
     

    my new life
     

    How you can change yours

     

    Here’s the good news: It doesn’t take 7 years to accomplish this. in fact, most of the elements of my current happiness were in place 5-6 months after I had started changing my life. I have since repeated the process – in different ways, because every person’s life is a different story – with my clients, over and over.
     

    Basically, it can be broken down to two steps:
     

    The outside circumstances
    This is your job, your media habits, your everyday life, and it’s about simplifying and downsizing. Don’t say you can’t because you have three kids – I promise you, it’s possible, and my clients prove it. If you don’t know how, talk to me and we’ll do it together!
     

    The passion(s) focus
    Prioritising your passion does not mean to start earning money with it. You can do that if you wish, but if your passion is something you just like to fool around with, or in my case, some things you’re not even particularly good at, it should simply be a priority because it gives you joy.
     

    To learn this goes against all our society teaches, and it’s hard. Make no mistake. It’s a process, but it’s the most worthwhile endeavor you could undertake because your life is going to fall into place. At some point, things become easy. And easier. Suddenly, joy and bliss emerge where you least expected them.
     

    Life will be unrecognisable.