Meditation night

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On Tuesday, we were a few neighbors who gathered for a meditation night again. An hour of talking and then a short meditation with focus on the heart. We will try to do this every other week. I think this is a nice thing to do in a building. You meet neighbors in a different way. It can be scary to share things about yourself, but maybe that’s what we need to practice. Maybe opening up in front of others can help to open up to ourselves. It’s important to check in with ourselves sometimes. Even if there’s nothing that we are working on, if everything is awesome, it’s still good to take a moment and declutter our minds. We all have a lot of thoughts and feelings, and sharing experiences and stories with others might help them see something in themselves and vise versa. Don’t you think? 

Right before we left, I got to pick a tarot card. Goddesses on the cards this time. I thought about a question and picked a card that first scared the crap out of me. Ostara > fertility. Aaaahh!! What?! But, then I read the card and calmed down:) “It is the perfect time for you to start new projects, access new ideas, and give birth to new conditions.” Well, new ideas and projects sounds awesome! Cause there will be no babies (except for plant babies, which I have started to get in my pots)!

Alvin Ailey 

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On Friday, I took the train to Manhattan and met Emma at Grand Central. We walked over to Rockefeller Plaza, I wanted to see the big balloon ballerina by Jeff Koons. And then, we had dinner at Bar Bacon in Hell’s Kitchen. We haven’t spent time together since January and a lot have happened for the both of us. So nice to catch up with my friend.

At 8 it was time to see Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at Lincoln Center. I’ve never seen them on stage before so I was excited. The first out of three pieces was “Deep”. Lots of wonderful movements, I really enjoyed it. I did not care that much about the music though, part because it didn’t fit with what they were doing. 

The second piece, “Walking Mad”, was by Swedish Johan Inger, one of my favorite choreographers. I loved every second of it. It had an odd shift in feeling though. If it had been a full evening length piece instead of 25 minutes, maybe it had made more sense. It started off with laughter from the audience and ended extremely sad. But it was still great. And “Bolero” is music I enjoy. 

The third piece, “Revelations”, made me feel like I was in church the whole time. E had seen it once before. I liked the dance and the music was good. The last dance was super happy and got the audience in a good mood. After the applause they did the last dance again. E and I left when the second applause started. I wasn’t gonna make it to the train though, so we went for a walk down to the Times Square area. So. Much. People! Once we had left that area I got the same feeling of the city that I had my first summer in NYC. I love walking down Fifth Ave at night. 

I was back in Stamford after midnight and luckily my husband came to picked me up so I didn’t have to walk home. After an awesome afternoon/night in the city with Emma, I slept like a little baby:)

Too much stuff

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The happiest time of my life was the fall of 2011. It took me time to realize what it was that made me so happy then. I had just gone through very very tough months. It was a really difficult time for me. I separated with my boyfriend of 10 years, “broke up” with my best friends without knowing why and I came back to Sweden where I didn’t feel like I belonged. But at the same time I felt happy during these months. I felt guilty for feeling happy while I was depressed and sad. It was so strange but I kept going without thinking about it. Eventually, a year later, I started to think about what it was.

I’ve told you before that yoga, finding comfort from someone new (who’s now my husband) and letting go of these people in my life was the reason for this happiness. And yes, I still believe that. But there is one more important thing. I stopped carrying about stuff, especially clothes. I felt free when I let go of “wanting new stuff” all the time. For years I had thought that I had to like clothes, care about my looks when leaving my apartment, that expensive things would make me special. I lived with a person that only spent time with people who talked about earning more money so that they could buy an expensive car, bigger apartments, designer clothes and go on vacation to cool places. I had a hard time keeping up since I was a student with no time for extra jobs on the side. My friends didn’t necessarily spend much money since they were also students, but we talked a lot about fashion and similar things. It was all fun then. I was one of them. I too wanted to figure out a way to earn money so that I could buy cool stuff and I enjoyed dressing up and look nice together with my friends. 

And then I met someone who’s pants were too big, his work shirt was not the slimmer fit and he didn’t care if he did something differently than you were “supposed” too. I liked spending time with this new friend and I decided to let go of my thoughts about his baggy jeans (in Sweden, loose pants is a big no no on guys for some reason). I had fun with this guy, he made me laugh and he helped me crossing things off my NYC list before I went back to Sweden. It was such a relief to not constantly think about my looks and my clothes (and his clothes, hahah). He made me realize that other things are more important. 

This was the same feeling I had when I lived in Lisbon. I brought heels there but I could never wear them because their streets are not good for that. At first I was sad, and then I forgot that I had them. It was very warm during the days and sweaty in the dance studios, so thinking about my looks all the time would have driven me crazy. One night there, after I had washed my makeup off and wished to go to bed early, we suddenly had a full apartment of people. I felt a bit weird not having makeup on, but it was friends so I didn’t really care (just a little). Somehow my friends convinced me to join them to go out for a few hours. It had been probably 10 years since I had walked outside with no makeup. It was the only thing I thought about when we walked down to the party street (there is one street where everybody is hanging outside). I noticed that noone cared if I had mascara on or not and they didn’t care about that I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt and not a party dress, so why should I care? 

Both in Lisbon and my first years in NYC, my things could fit in a suitcase. Sure, I had things back home in Sweden, but now every time I have visited my parents I get rid of stuff. And it feels awesome every time. Why save things I don’t need or care about?

We are constantly fed with the thought that we should want more things in our lives. Buy this, buy that. You should look like this and eat this but not that. You should earn money, buy a big house and own a designer handbag. The latest iphone is soon out of style so you should order the new one and your new pc can’t make cool stuff anymore so go buy yourself a new laptop. 

I have been thinking about this a lot since we signed the contract for this apartment. I loved our old apartment. It was a perfect home for me, my husband and our puppy. For months before we moved, I had been kinda annoyed though. We kept getting new stuff and we had run out of places to put it all. People have been joking (but still meant it) about that we should get a bigger place so we can have more stuff. Our apartment was pretty big for being New York and we payed a lot for it, so I have felt that it’s a luxury to have “so much space”. This new apartment is almost twice the size for the same cost. We were both excited to move and we love living here now. But a bigger place means more furniture and more things. I really didn’t want much more, but we needed to get a sleeper sofa for when guest are staying over, patio furniture, a new desk for my husband, organization boxes and some more kitchen things. See,…more. And this is not all the things we have bought. We have bought a lot of other things to make this big space feel like home and not an empty storage unit. And then also, every time I go on social media, read blogs or read a magazine I see fashion trends and wonder if I should go shopping to fill up our walk-in-closet, even though I have enough clothes and most of it I don’t even use. And makeup, it’s something I definitely not wear every day anymore. 

Do we really need all this? Does it make our lives better? 

Our living room downstairs

Our weekend with friends

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Hope you had a wonderful weekend! Our friends Bob and Sarah came to us super late on the night to Saturday. On Saturday morning we left Thor with a neighbor and the four of us went for an early brunch at an Irish pub. Then, we spent some time in the sun on our terrace, the guys took a nap and in afternoon we took the train to Manhattan. First we went to the mac & cheese place in East Village. Directly after that we had some happy hour oysters at Mermaid Inn and then we ended up at a bar nearby Tompkins Park. So nice to just sit and do nothing and catch up with friends. And I love summer evenings in NYC! After a drink at another bar we went to Grand Central and took the train back to Stamford. We walked into a small bar with live music. We had so much fun! It was already pretty late when we got home but we sat on our terrace for a while. By 2am, I was done. I don’t know how late the others stayed up but I was exhausted and went to sleep.

The next morning we got up around 9 and went to pick up Thor. The guys went to get us breakfast. Omg, I was so tired. Two nights of staying up way later than we normally do. My body and brain did not work (I really felt like an old lady). We were supposed to go with B and S to Manhattan but J and I were both dead, so instead when they had left, he napped in the bedroom and I was on the couch watching whatever on Netflix basically all day.

Of course Thor had one of those nights when he needed to go out several times, so this morning I was still too exhausted to go take a yoga class. But that gave me time to clean up in the apartment. All the sheets and towels are clean and dry, the guest room is back to my normal office and the kitchen is clean.

It’s too hot for T to be out for walks a longer time, so I thought I could get him used to go with me on the bike (he wants to be outside and on the bike he can cool down by the wind). So I carried him out in my new basket, only to find out that my basket doesn’t fit on my bike. Bummer. So instead we are just hanging out at home waiting for hubby to come home.

no running for me today

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We are watching the Cavs kicking ass in the NBA finals game 4. We are staying up late tonight. Our friends flight is not getting to NY until closer to midnight and then I’m assuming it takes a while for the taxi to go all they way out here. 

Today we finally went back to warmer weather. Thor and I spent some time in the sun on our terrace. Then I decided to go to the gym for a quick run on the treadmill. I ended up staying there for 55 minutes and I did not even touch the treadmill, haha. Going to the gym with a plan never works for me. I like to do what feels right when I get there. And I always end up staying longer than planned.

There was noone there so I actually did my dance warmup in the main room (I usually use the separate room). Some plies, tendus etc. and then I started to move around in ways that felt good to engage the whole body. I used the weight machines, did some pilates with stability ball and then I was sweaty and ready to eat lunch:)

Like I mentioned, our friends are on their way here. So this weekend we are spending most of our time in the city probably.