Tuesday, 8 December 2015

About weddings and bride bouquets - white roses

Photo: www.italienskebryllup.no
I help Scandinavian people plan their weddings in Italy. I love this work! I love watching people looking deep into their eyes saying "yes" to each other's love. Love is amazing! Right now we are under "planning season" and it is fun and inspiring to help the couples organize everything from hotel, restaurant, music and - of course - flowers!





My favourite flower is the rose. A lot of brides actually choose this flower for the bouquet and the decoration of the restaurant. What do you think of white roses?



Tuesday, 13 October 2015

The power of our mind - Interview with Dr. Dain Heer

I had the great opportunity to meet the inspiring author Dain Heer when he was in Rome for his European Tour, A taste of Being. I had read his book "Being you changing the world". Dain is a great example of how a person actually can change their life. He started his journey in 2000 when he was depressed and thinking of suicide. Very few people really understood him, since he seemed to have a good life; he worked a doctor in Santa Barbara and had a beautiful girlfriend, but yet – he felt empty and sad inside. He actually explains the feeling like "dying inside". He decided to do something about it and found some really good tools from a person named Gary Douglas who had founded something called Access Consciousness.




I met Dain at the hotel where he was staying and he came towards me with an incredibly warm smile and it felt as if I had always known him. He took me to a quieter place and we started the interview talking like old friends.

Why Access Consciousness?

Gary Douglas founded it many years ago. In the beginning it was called Access Energy Transformation because we had the power to transform energy in any situation, but since what we were transforming the stuck energies in people's bodies and lives they had more choice for consciousness. The difficulties come from unconsciousness or from consciousness when we choose against it. The only thing we wanted to bring into the world was consciousness. Then we got the definition of consciousness as it is in our world: Everything exists but nothing is judged. This is exactly what we'd like to access. The name Access Conciousness really indicates what we want to reach. Consciousness is not only about seeing, as many people think. Consciousness creates ease, but most people are struggling.

Photo: Monica Soma


One of the tools you use is putting questions. Questions not answers – why?

Because a question always empowers while an answer dis-empowers. By putting questions you open up possibilities beyond conclusion. When you come to a conclusion, nothing that doesn't match that conclusion can come to your awareness. We have such power that when we decide that something is reality – that's all we can see. Even though it doesn't have to be that reality, that's what it becomes when we create it. Reality is something limited because we decide so. The universe naturally functions from questions. It's like the sun exploding and the molecules go where they are most attracted to, but without a plan. Some people think that our mind is our greatest asset when it often is our greatest limitation.

Can you give some examples?

Of course! Who thinks that money is a struggle will always see it that way, whereas who grows up with a lighter idea of money will feel ease about it and see it come and go. I have seen friends growing up with these different point of views about money, that have changed their feelings about money. It's all about the point of view that somebody takes. The question empowers because it opens up greater possibilities and gets you out of the points of views that you are functioning from.



I read these questions in your book: "What is this?", "What do I do with this?", "How can I change it?", "How do I change it?". Can you give me some examples of how these questions have changed YOUR life?

Oh! Literally, everything! I travel a lot and when I first started travelling, I was tired all the time and my body was exhausted. I asked myself: "What is this?" and I understood it was everybody else's projections and opinions, not mine. Then I asked "What do I do with it?" and I answered that I would get rid of it. In a couple of weeks my body started feeling better. I had more energy and felt better. I actually looked at a picture from 12 years ago and I could see that I looked dense and fat. It is weird because we are told we should get more wrinkles and get uglier as we get older, but it doesn't have to be this way!

A lot of thinkers talk about visualization, do you think that works?

If you visualize from getting the energy from what you want to create you are no longer limited to the image you want to live up to. You can visualize your goals, but by doing so with open questions will make it more powerful. Everything can come to you!

"Who does this belong to?" is one of your favourite questions. You talk a lot about us carrying around somebody else's thoughts and behaviours. Can you develop this?

Yes, of course. 98% of your thoughts, judgements, feelings and point of views are things you picked up from other people. There is a very powerful tool that helps us get rid of these. If you put the question "Who does this belong to?" and you feel lighter afterwards – this is because or thought the feeling was not yours. By doing this for three days you will stop believing that all this stuff is yours and get to know yourself better. We pick up a lot of things from other people during our path. That is one place to start. Then there are tools to clear this out. You are welcome to watch this video:



Can we keep things we like even if they come from other people?

Yes,we can! But it has to feel good for us! When a feeling is right it is light, when it is wrong it feels heavy. The same thing happens with truth and lies.

How do you cope with hindrance and objections? Does it happen that people say you are crazy?

Of course I do! If somebody says I am crazy, I just shut up. I am not here to convince anybody. I am here to help people you are willing to change and looking for a change in their life.

We always have a choice

The worst thing that can happen to us is that we have no choice. Believing you have no choice is a recipe for depression, for suicide – for total unhappiness. We have to start to change the lie that we have no choice. All of us have choice to a greater degree of acknowledgement that we have been choosing! When we have the courage to leave then universe supports you. This does not mean you should leave stupidly, but however we have to choose what is good for us.

How can people use this technique to improve their lives, for example to lose weight?

Every time you get hungry you should ask yourself: "Who does this belong to?" And if it lightens up at all, it's not yours. You have to be willing to do this, though. There was a lady who used to eat do-nuts at work and started putting this question to herself. By using this question she lost 25 pounds in a month! To lose weight we should also get our bodies moving, of course! Our bodies are not meant to be sitting. When we move our muscles we also get a better connection to our bodies. We often just stand and watch our bodies, judging it all the time. It is time to get connected to our bodies and stop judging ourselves! Also start asking your body what it wants! It will tell you! And remember that moving makes us happier since it gives us endorphins.

Ask and you shall receive
So few people really believe in the words written in the Bible "Ask and you shall receive", but it actually works. But if we ask without believing we can receive, we won't. We tend to ask but then just leave the question behind.

                                      Video: Monica Soma Adaptation: Leonardo Imperatori

Intimacy and relations. You talk about not separating from ourselves. What do you mean by that?

Very often we tend to do things that we think makes our partners happy. When we start a relationship we want to show how much we love them and we stop doing everything that is nurturing for us, everything that is fun, we stop hanging out with people that we like – especially if our partners do not like them. So we divorce from ourselves. This does not work. This is the recipe for the end of a relationship. It is like excluding yourself from your relationship. We should instead recognize that doing things that make us feel good improves our relationships! Ladies, if you have the feeling your partner suffers when you go to the gym, or something else you like doing – just let him know that you are doing this because it makes you happy. Tell him you can play when you come back. Have sex when you come back! Most men feel so appreciated when a woman wants to have sex with him! If a partner pretends you to do as they want and don't care about you – just leave!

About domestic violence and abuse. You have written and talked about these topics as well. Can you tell me about it?

Domestic violence is both about men and women. When talking about physical abuse it is more often men that are violent to women, but in emotional abuse it is very often women who are violent. If you are in a relationship where you are being abused, remember: there is always a better choice for you! I am saying this, because I know. I have experienced many kinds of abuse because I have experienced it myself. We have to make a choice and we need tochoose what is best for us! Projections are often used in violent relationships and can be a signal for you that something is wrong. If somebody blames you for their failures, don't take that. You will get a heavy feeling which means that it is a lie. Truth always feels light.

What about Dain? What are your passions? What do you do in your freetime?

Wow! I have a lot of passions! When I have time I love riding my horses. I also love riding my motorbike fast. I also like working out in the gym or go running.

Now you are in Rome. What do you like about this city?
I love history! And I actually like the mixture between new and old that can be found here in Rome. You can really feel the past here. And where you feel the past you can also feel the future. I also love the good food and wine here. I even love being driven here! Everybody uses each space of the road and has a lot of fantasy. You have to be a really good driver to drive here! There are also other places in Italy that I love as Venice for instance. It is amazing to think how such a town can exist. The whole town is built on wood!

And what about Sweden?
I love Sweden! The first time I landed in Stockholm it felt as if I came home. I also like the people and the architecture. Of course, I also enjoy the meatballs! I get amazed of how people in Sweden really are curious and dig into Access Consciousness. At first I thought that people in Sweden were used to live in a box, but actually they are very curious and open minded.

Photo: Monica Soma


Finally: You travel a lot. Do you think people are more open minded in some places than in others?
There are definitely cultural differences in different countries, but being open minded is about being curious and having courage. Brave and curious people are everywhere and a lot of them are willing to change. When a person has the courage to make a change in their life they most often create a path for somebody else. People who want this are everywhere.

Photo: private

Thank you so much for taking your time to talk to me, Dain. I truly wish you best of luck for all your endeavours!

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Believe in your dreams! - Graffiti painter Adam is only 22 and runs his own business

I love meeting people who let their dreams come true! Adam Algotsson is only 22 years but already has a very interesting story to tell and an exciting background. He is a graffiti artist and has his own company! I could not miss his latest art exhibition in Borås, Sweden.



Adam was born in 1993. He has always liked painting and while he attended high school he started with graffiti. In the beginning, he painted illegaly and he was caught by the police once when he was just 14 years old. After that, he began painting more and more on legal sites, while the paintings became increasingly sophisticated. His passion for the art grew and he also began to paint on canvas. He sketched, drew and painted every free moment he had.


Adam's wall at the Roskilde festival 2014

One day he received a commissioned work of a guy also named Adam. He was asked to write the guy's name on the wall of his bedroom, with silvery text and black outline. When the job was done the boys's father came to pay Adam. Guess Adam's surprise when he got to see who the boy's father was! It was the policeman who had arrested him! He had become fond of Adams art and wanted to show him that he could live on his gift instead of ending up in jail!

Adam is now happy that this happened. Since then he has performed more than 150 custom orders! He has provided his art to private companies as well as to the Municipality. He has also painted skating halls and private individual walls. A wall at the Roskilde Festival was also made by Adam's and he designs wallpaper to Mr Perswall and labels to Boras Brewery. He is also known for having painted a long gallery in his home town.



Adam hasn't studied art. He is completely self taught. He is meticulous and he paints never the same thing twice. My favorite painting is probably the one called the return of Vinyl. I said that it feels right for "my age". Adam says that people of all ages love graffiti. Today's oldest customer was around 70, he said, and the 40-year-olds like cartoon characters.

I asked Adam when he decided to open their own business. He says that he has his sister to thank for this. He received an order from a company three years ago and was then forced to open a business in order send the invoice. “I have never gone minus" he says proudly.



Finally, I ask Adam what message he has to give to young people worldwide. Adam smiles with his clear blue eyes and saying: Believe in your dreams! Do everything to achieve them! But be prepared to lose some friends. You do not have to hang out with friends every day. You have to work hard and be able to be alone. Previously buddies were important to me, but now my self confidence has grown and I also like staying on my own. 



Good luck, Adam!


Want to know more about Adam and his art? Please visit his website: http://appear37.com/en/

Monday, 6 April 2015

Mourning young people...

Violence is always wrong. It doesn't matter who does it or against whom. Violence should not exist in any form. The school attack in Kenya shocked me. Why does anyone want to kill young people who have done no harm? The youngsters are our future and they are studying hard to improve this world!


Photo: Reuters Herman Kariuki

I know, all violence is wrong. However, it is even more shocking when it happens against who has no involvement in politics or organisations we think could be targeted. 150 young students were killed at a university in Kenya some days ago and we cannot understand the chock that the survivors will have to live with for the rest of their lives. Neither can we imagine the mourning that the relatives will have to live with.


Photo: Moment Agency VU.Utøya survivor was shot in the shoulder. He survived by playing dead on the ground
This occurance has nothing to do with what happenened in Utøya in 2011, but I believe that the memory the survivors will have to live with will be similar. In the Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2315471/Andrea-Gjestvang-Images-children-caught-horror-Utoya-island-extremist-murdered-77-injured-200.html) we can read some of the stories of young people who survived Breiviks cruel deed.


In the US there were 13 school shootings recorded in the first six weeks of 2014 according to The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/12/school-shootings-newtown-study-gun-violence). In 2012 20 children were killed in an elementary school in Conneticut together with their carers.

In 2007 a Finnish young man killed 8 students in a school and injured 10 more before he killed himself (bbc). The killer did not have a criminal record and was from an ordinary family...

I could make the list longer but I don't want to. I would just like to have an answer to a question. Why does this keep happening?



take care

Annika






Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Happy Easter! - why and how do we celebrate?

How do you celebrate Easter? Do you celebrate it at all? Either you do or you don't you will probably say and hear the word: "Happy Easter", many times a day these days. But why and how do we celebrate Easter?


This picture can be distributed following the conditions here: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:GNU_Free_Documentation_License?uselang=sv
In Italy Easter is the most important religious celebration of the year. The message is clear: Jesus has resurrected and, thus, there is hope for all of us! Even people that aren't Catholic get involved in the merry feeling.

The first Catholic celebration before Easter is the washing of the feet. The priests wash some people's feed in order to remember what Jesus did at the last Supper. In this photo we can see Pope Francis washing and kissing the feet at some guests at the rehabilitation center St. Mary of Providence, founded by Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation. "Jesus is God", said the Pope,and he became a servant, our servant. And this is the inheritance: we also ought to be servants of one another." Strong message  from Francis.


On Good Friday the Italians work as usual, as happens in many countries. In the evening many of them walk in the procession "Via Crucis", remembering Jesus sufferings and death. On Good Friday many Catholics do not eat anything and live the day in abstinence. Almost nobody eat meat.

On Easter day the habits change from region to region. In some villages the habit is to have 7 breakfasts with eggs, salami and bread. What is common in all regions is that everybody has a big lunch with a lot of courses. Jesus has resurrected! The churches are full of people and you can rarely find a seat unless you arrive early. The Italians then spend hours at the table, eating, drinking and talking. Complicated cakes that are never eaten during the year are put on the table, such as the Easter cake from Naples "La Pastiera". In the whole country people eat the famous Easter cake "Colomba" Easter Dove. The dove symbolizes peace, of course. All the Italian children receive a chocolate egg, with a surprise inside.

On Easter Monday most Italians go out in the parks for a big pic-nic. Friends and families meet together, play with balls, run around, grill meat, eat and drink.

Photo: https://www.flickr.com/people/15216811@N06
 Eggs symbolize birth as well as the Easter rabbit. The nature is being reborn and so can we. I wish you all a very happy Easter, wherever you are no matter how you are going to celebrate it!
Photo: http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anv%C3%A4ndare:Grotte?uselang=sv
Annika

http://www.asianews.it/notizie-it/Papa:-la-lavanda-dei-piedi,-un-gesto-d'amore,-di-servizio,-per-ricordarci-che-dobbiamo-essere-servi-gli-uni-degli-altri-30865.html

Thursday, 8 January 2015

The Religions and me

I don't want to write about Islam even though  I read pieces of the Koran when I was younger. I have always been interested in human beings and therefore religions. I am religious myself. I call myself Christian, but I don't want to be put in a box because of this. I adore Christ and would like to follow his example and path.

Photo: http://www.quotessays.com/images/coexist-quotes-8.jpg

Islam is a religion similar to Christianity, just as Judaism. I am not going to talk about this now. I suppose you have done your homework and know about religions. What I wanted to tell you about, is my feeling and experience of religions.

A long time ago I lived in a Swedish town called Sundsvall. I was thirsty for knowledge regarding the world and wanted to know more about the thoughts flowing around. I talked to a lot of people. I invited Mormons to my flat to understand their view of life, I discussed with Atheist and Christians and I often went to the Protestant Church. To pray and feel.

When I came to Rome I prayed in the Catholic Church and came to understand their faith. Since Rome is an international city and I have been working many years now in an international environment, I have met a lot of different people from different religions. When Rahmadan takes place, there is nothing weird for me to talk with a friend who has not eaten at lunch time. We can talk about Mohammed, Christ, the weather or what to eat for dinner. When a friend is part of Jehova's witnesses does not celebrate birthdays, we can do something else together! We are friends!

Some people argue because they vote different political parties. Or maybe because they have different traditions. People get divorced because love ends. Some people kill for money, other for hunger of power, some....even for jealousy!

I am proud to tell you that I have friends of most religions! Muslims, Buddhists, Christians (Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox), Jews, Mormons and also Jehova's witnesses as well as atheists are welcome to my home.  Please forgive me if I forgot somebody! It is so interesting to talk to all of you!

The important thing is to COEXIST. We all have to understand that the world belongs to everyone! Nobody can decide for everybody else! What is dangerous is fanaticism! Hitler said he wanted to kill the Jews because they had killed Jesus even though it is written clearly in the Bible the we mustn't kill. Stalin too was fanatic and killed a lot of people, but went against religion. Bin Laden scared a lot of people. I remember people looking with suspicion at "dark-haired" people at airports.

Basta! Enough! We have to coexist. Be aware. I am not saying we have to love one another, I understand that is an utopia. But we should be able to coexist!

I remember a program by the Italian journalist Enzo Biagi, where he went to a school in Jerusalem. There were children from three religions there playing together. Outside adults were killing one another.

Why don't we learn from the children?

My thoughts today. Take care
Annika