My love affair with Sweden always included notions of woodland sprites, fairies, trolls, and nymphs. It seemed to me that in this Scandinavian land, one could experience a special kind of magic found only in a Nordic wilderness.
The culture of Sweden, and her neighbors, has a long history of embracing the spirit of the forest. Nature, and access to nature, is important and it is one of the reasons Allemansrätten (the right of public access) exists, allowing all people to roam freely on any land with the exception of private gardens and homes. Preservation of the environment is nearly encoded in the Swedish DNA and evidence of this is shown through their systems of recycling and waste management.
This love of nature is one of the things which drew me here. But I have to admit, I haven’t taken advantage of the beauty that surrounds me. I have been too distracted with finding work, fitting in, and keeping abreast of the news on my social media platforms.
These are dark times and it is now more important than ever to grab whatever beauty and refuge we can find wherever we can find it. It is more important then ever to indulge in a little bit of fantasy, a little bit of imagination, and to release our minds from the constant onslaught of bad news. More than ever we need to allow our eyes to follow the path of a butterfly, find faces and castles in the clouds, and listen to nothing more than the wind in the trees. Here in Sweden, this can mean simply walking out your door.Read More»
If you were to think back over the years of your life … when was it that you felt most happy in your own skin? Who were you when you were the most confident? The most joyful? When was it that you were the best version of you?
This question came to me from a recent episode I watched on Grace and Frankie. If you watch that show, you know that the ladies recently went through a trauma and are in the process of reinventing themselves … at age 70. It’s down right inspiring and a lesson for us to remember that age is just a number.
I think somehow, over the years, many of us have forgotten the best version of ourselves … the essence, the thing that made us uniquely and unapologetically us. Do we try to cover up that uniqueness due to society pressures or because of layers of damage caused through the years? Have we just lost or forgotten who we really are?Read More»
I’m not sure what I expected.
That’s a lie.
I was expecting a metamorphosis – a transition similar to the changing of a butterfly or the Parisian sophistication of Sabrina.
“Come to Sweden and be with me, and I promise you, we will have a beautiful life,” he said.
It is only now, after four years of challenges, that I see the glimmer of that beautiful life. It didn’t happen in one week, as when the butterfly emerges from its chrysalis. Nor did it happen in one year as in Sabrina’s case.Read More»
The holidays are here and there is no better time to introduce a variety of fragrances and textures into our home. Aromatherapy is a wonderful and effective resource for lifting one’s SAD and reducing stress. Decorating with natural elements will not only make your home smell delightful but also adds a touch of Scandinavian design as well.
Pine, moss, saffron, mulled wine, burning candles, and a bounty of flowers are the aromas we associate with the month of Advent, but many of these ideas can be continued into the winter months serving as a source of enjoyment until spring greets us in April.Read More»
It’s been a hell of a week! And I couldn’t think of a better time to promote a little self care and suggest that we unplug for a few days. I think we all need to regroup a bit.
Here’s my proposal:
Take the weekend off. Don’t even think of logging on to Facebook or watching the news. Unplug from the negativity and hate that has been rampant in the world. Shut off the phone. Take time to be alone. To be quiet. Reflect. Stop typing. Stop talking. Just back away from the electronics.
Read fiction … not on a tablet but, you know, a book. With paper. Escape. Go for a walk in the woods. It’s magical. Nap. Take a detox salt bath. Watch a sunrise. Watch a sunset. Meditate. A lot. Exercise. A lot. Exercise until you feel like your body is going to drop. Get the bad energy out. Rehydrate with clean cool water. Eat good food. Honestly, do whatever floats your boat, but let’s all just take a break.
And when we come back to work, back to reality, on Monday – let’s all remember diplomacy. We don’t have to worry about “others” destroying us because we are doing it to ourselves.
Writer/photographer Lisa Mikulski. Available for print or online publications and business in the Nordic region, Europe, and the U.S. Editorial, features, marketing copy, and public relations.