27 December 2016
Hello all of you, amazing and crazy infinite beings out there!
Does this greeting make you curious, skeptical or even provoked? Well then my intentions are on the right track. I dare you now to read on then, or actually, don’t read any more of this mumbojambo!
In the late summer of 2012 I was involved in an event in beautiful Sandhamn in the Stockholm archipelago, Sweden. I am a chosen mentor of Life Skiing at a company named Skiers Accredited. By 2012 we had only existed for two years. I will not go into details about us and instead move on to how my life as part of my family started.
For about five-six years before this event I had had a longing to belong. For over 50 years I had been a seeker in many areas. I was happy to live my life filled with adventures and different ways of developing myself. I never ever really felt lonely. I was neither a follower nor someone who bought into things without listening to my inner voice and own values. My lifestyle and choices in life mirror that.
Anyway, in September 2012 I was involved in this groundbreaking project Skiers Accredited. We were about to host this Skiers Gathering event and I was full of motivation and inspiration to meet all the people who also shared my passion for the mountains and skiing. We had clinics, lectures and gatherings with skiing as our main common interest. To finish my explanation of what this was all about; an invitation to ski nerds that live and breathe skiing 24/7 to meet and share.
On the main evening we had a big dinner on the Sandhamn Sailor hotel. A great dinner with lots of great food and great wine. To be honest my drinking days were over, but on occasions like this I was happy to let myself fall into joyful drunkenness. And when I enjoy wine and drinks I really love to finish the evening with ”hitting the heels on the ceiling”, a Swedish proverb meaning to dance your ass off.
We are a bunch of amazing colleagues and friends meeting up at these events and we were all partying and making this night a memorable one. We ended up a small group on the crowded dance floor that were letting ourselves loose a little bit extra. And I can definitely talk about myself there. I have loved dancing since I was little and I never had a problem to totally let loose and let my body take over and follow the music. I was kind of setting the energy level and it was fun and enjoyable to just let loose.
Among this group there was a red dressed, cute, blond, never ending smiling girl called Johanna. I had already been informed earlier that day that she was a really good skier, but was already taken so I did not have any illusions about anything, but I really liked her energy and her smiling face. Yes, and she had that kind of a smile that comes from the inside, not just a bleached smile.
I so remember that I challenged her to let loose more, because I had a little notion that she was holding back and not fully letting her body loose. I saw twitch in her eyes and she put her purse down and started to give up some of the control she had been holding on to during the night. So the intensity between us and the rest of the group reached another level. We all stayed on the dance floor until the place closed. Totally exhausted and drained with sweat I was a happy and my encounter with Johanna was just an extra fun part of that evening.
The morning after I met Johanna very shortly on my way leaving the breakfast table, and she was on her way to go back to Stockholm. I remember again that it was her smile, her sunshine smile, that was in some way making a lasting impression.
About three months later we had another Skiers Gathering. This time in Åre, on snow. By coincident I happened to ski with Johanna’s brother, who was joining her this time. He was a really good skier but as most self-taught people I encounter he didn't have a clue about how and why he should use his body a little bit more functional and efficient when he was skiing, especially since we were on the groomed runs trying to carve our turns as much as possible. This is nothing unusual, it’s actually very common among skiers. They haven't had someone to help them become more aware of their bodies to be able to help themselves. I helped John to get more conscious about his carving technique and I think he was at first a little frustrated, but in the end he was happy to see that little change can make a big difference.
At the same time my college Andreas was skiing with Johanna. What was cool about Johanna was that she was a Telemarker. An old way of skiing and a beautiful way to descend a mountain. It became popular again in the 80’s and the 90’s. I used to telemark a lot for a while, so I could really appreciate the way Johanna was floating down the slopes.
In the evening we had yet another wonderful dinner at Fjällgården. Once the dinner was over I headed over to the bar to chat with some of my friends and colleagues. It didn't take long until I saw Johanna coming towards me.
There was something about her appearance that told me she wasn't totally happy. We said hi and talked briefly about the skiing during the day. But very short into our talk, she looked very curiously and seriously at me and asked: ”Anders, isn't it very difficult to have a relationship with the lifestyle you have chosen?”. I was a little bit surprised by such a direct and a very personal question so short into our first real conversation. At the same time I’m not a person who likes chit chatting for too long, so why not go straight to the point? For the next hour I explained my way of choosing my path in life. During that time I also found out a lot about Johanna’s life and I started to understand why I had that sense of her not being too happy and how it could be so when this is the girl that is a walking talking essence of Joy.
When it was time to leave, I had a feeling that this was not our last conversation about life, so just before we left I told her that I would be glad to continue our talk in the future, if she ever felt that she needed to talk to someone with another perspective on life. I knew that we would be in contact very soon again, but what I didn't expect was how soon it was going to be. Actually I got Johanna’s first message on Facebook when she was on the train back to Stockholm. Neither did I have a clue that this meeting would totally change my life in so many ways.
”Ask and you shall receive!” I had had an inner wish for a few years to have a family of my own. At the same time I was content with the way my life was and was definitely not feeling it had to be so. Still there was that itch that I was missing out on something. ”What if this is the change I’ve been asking for, showing up in a totally different way?”. Yes, there was something very different showing up in my world. Something that I later would refer to as the ”50 Days of Magic”.
I had met this woman that in so many ways didn't fit in to my world, but every word and conversation we had touched and moved me deep inside.
”Everything is the opposite of what it appears to be, nothing is the opposite of what it appears to be.”
I have continued on my path, but now it is also a journey in togetherness. I feel blessed and have gratitude for my family and myself.
What else is possible?Read Johanna's version here.