Rumour has it, that I have lost 35 kgs in total since January 2019. And I have gained a lifeskill I call ‘Intentionality’.
And guess what rockers? That rumor is true. Yes, it’s awesome, yes I am changed in my body, but more in my head and spirit. I have gone partly woo-woo, which I think, for a business badass like me, is badly needed. I must say I am quite proud of myself for finally doing this for myself and learning how to take care of: The Queen Rocker of This Universe (I mean this website) Henriette Weber (drumroll or sad trombone, it depends on who’s reading I guess).
BUT! This weight loss journey has taught me a life skill, a very handy one. A life skill I like to call: intentionality. I used to be really good at pointing at different visions items and things and say ‘I want that’ – and then I would add it to one of my many bucket lists… Now I am really good at (still) saying ‘I want that’ but now I know how I will get it – not only with setting the intention and trust that the universe has my back, but also walking slowly towards this intention daily small steps that would bring me closer and closer to where I want.
Each day I have Gossip’s ‘Moving in the Right Direction’ tune on repeat when I am wearing my headphones. Because I know I am moving somewhere I want to be. The recipe is simple:
Focus and follow-through daily.
It was sickening hard at first, but 2 months in, I got the hang of it, and it turned out beautifully. And now I am doing what I like to call ‘self-care’ step 2 – which is that I have hired a personal trainer for the next 2 months to get me to my final target weight and teach me how to make new yummy healthy food on the way.
Yesterday, the UN foundation ‘s campaign on #equaleverywhere was launched. As a Social Good Connector, I have known about it for a while and thought about what I wanted to do around it. I thought about doing an interview to showcase how far we’ve gotten. I thought about showcasing a female entrepreneur. But I decided to take another perspective and another route – a messy, hard, and honest route through your maternal mothers. And I challenge you to open up to be #equaleverywhere too.
I want to talk about the first women – from a personal perspective. The first from MY family. And I want to pose the question: ‘Have you ever thought about, you could be the first woman who did something in your family?’.
I am #equaleverywhere
Take my sweet ass as an example. I was the first woman in my family who stood up about my inner destructor. About my whole self, my fuckedupness, about my hurt, about my shadow side, my abuse, conflicts. And I was the first woman who said ‘enough’. I don’t have to hide my shadow. I will find it just like Peter Pan, and I will glue it back on with soap (Peter Pan style, of course). In my family, I was the first person (not a woman) who got through college. And I was the first who was a paid board member before I was thirty. I also wrote and self-published a book before I was thirty – a piece of art that I crafted and showed to the world.
I was the first woman of my family to create a ‘brand studio’, Toothless Tiger. A company I lived fairly well off, for 12 years. I was the first woman in my family that realized by the age of 40 that I didn’t need anyone else to make me happy, apart from myself. Everything else was a magic addition, a choice. I was the first woman in my family who could be financially independent and could own a house on my own.
My Mother – The World Traveler.
My mother was the first woman who took a tech education in my family, though it would be seen as “low-tech” these days. She was a telegraphist and she sailed the 7 seas, in the 1970s. She was also a woman who was beaten by her father for showing off – or as I would say, for being more than him. My mother was the first woman in my family to own a house on her own – bought it in cash when she came home from traveling the world as a telegraphist.
My Grandmother – My Most Nostalgic Childhood Memory.
She was very special. She died at an early age partly because her husband didn’t want to stop smoking his 60 cigarettes a day, inside of their apartment. Her alcoholic husband had always beaten her, but she STILL held space for me, my brother and mother. She lived her life in the center of the storm, with every breath that came to her. I think for the most part she was happy. She was really good at dancing – especially to 50s music.
My Great-Grandmother – So Special To Me.
She was born in the 1910s and she lived until 2003. Her mother was a spiritualist and a suffragette. Anyway, she had all the technological advancements the world had seen. Well, maybe not the last technological era of smartphones but a LOT of stuff happened in her lifetime – First World War (she was a baby though), and 2nd world war where her husband hid parachutes and guns in their garden (now my garden), without telling her. Happy she didn’t know about it, because then she might have been shot by the German soldiers. The 50’s. A man on the moon. She was also the certainty in my childhood, what I always could count on would catch me.
I was so protective of her and there are so many great memories of her. Her old soft skin on her lower arms at 90. Her favorite ring. Decorations from the 2nd world war of her as a freedom fighter. I still can’t talk about the last time I saw her without crying. She had dementia and she was 93. I lived in London and knew this was the last time I would see her. My brother and I drove her to the hospital to have her checkup and she wasn’t present apart from 5 seconds where she looked at me and my brother asking us what we were doing there, laughing a bit. Telling us how much she loved us. Told us she was proud of us and she wanted us to be happy and that was the last time I talked to her.
Why is it important to be #equaleverywhere?
I think the stories of the past are vastly represented in our present. The ‘women in tech’ represented in my mother are also represented in me. All the women before me were the first at something. All of them struggled with a life they were boxed into – and I truly believe that we, as women, are the first real generation with real choices to do whatever we want. So do that! Create your magic. Build your own world – but remember you have the privilege – both because of who came before you, but also because of everything else.
Me? I am a white, curly, Viking shieldmaiden in the richest part of the world, that’s a privilege I refuse to take for granted. You could use that privilege to gather people around you, to build a movement – to influence the women before you and the women after you. Make the world better with all the tools you’ve got. Give people the best opportunities for advancement, equality, and sustainability and make the world a better place by being #equaleverywhere.
Have you met all of you, yet? There is the “you” that you see in front of the mirror, but I’m referring to what you are inside. The different versions of you. The good and the bad.
Sometimes you surprise yourself. I for sure have in 2019. Everything suddenly pointed towards learning to take care of myself, and so that began sometime in the spring. Along with this extensive spiritual experience, a couple of monsters has also shown upsides of myself I didn’t want to see, and that I have covered up real good.
But I got to see them. I had to see them and hanging out with them haven’t been as bad as I thought it would. I am OK. Sometimes we make things worse in our heads than they really are.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook know that I have had a ruff couple of months. Everything has been up for revision. I am in the process of getting my health better, and I am slowly making progress. A lot of stuff has been put on pause. A lot of relations and projects don’t even matter anymore. All that matters is my health and my family. That is what happens when you suddenly get really ill. This is what I’ve learned so far:
Breathe in the good shit Breathe out the bad shit
Review everything. Do what’s truly you. Don’t waste time on people that are not important. Forgive. Forget.
All these clichés that people post on social media and poster types of things. All these health research and meditation practices and food diaries and taking health seriously.
These things that I have promised myself I will do one day when I have time?
Well now is the time.
I feel like most of these clichés are some that I have to live through. I have to trust the universe and get better. Try to keep up my positive thinking, eat healthily, meditate, and have my twice-daily training practice for the lungs. I have to live in a clean house without clutter because if I don’t do this, I am really sick. My hypersensitive lungs react. Yeah and that’s what’s the matter. I’ve got hypersensitive lungs right now, so I basically react to everything airborne. I don’t even know what conditions will put me in the hospital again and what won’t. It sucks, but it’s my reality these days and it’s slowly getting better.
Words without actions are… just words.
So my take on it? It seems like the universe is playing a game, a game that has been playing with me since childhood. It’s called weird lung-diseases and this is the third lung decease I have to battle and live with. The first one was legionella, I was 5 years old and possibly the first person in Denmark ever to get the decease and I survived. The second one was Asthma that I had as a teenager, and for 20 years nothing has really been wrong with my lungs. However, I knew something was up in November when the symptoms started. Everything is slowly getting better, but I have literally put myself under house arrest. Yes. I have locked myself in my own house and my garden where I know my hypersensitive lungs are not reacting to anything wild. And that’s where I’ll stay for the time being. Healing.
Thank you for your good wishes and comments across platforms. It truly means the world to me.
The last couple of months has been ruff on me. And I am ready to come clean. I have been hospitalized (twice) and I still deal with some hypersensitive lungs that are reacting allergically to something in my surroundings.
This is how I communicated my situation out over on Facebook:
It has been hard, but it has also given me time to think and stop the things I shouldn’t be doing to myself.
It’s morning and it’s International Women’s Day. It’s hands down one of the days of the year where I am most grateful. Where I give all my beloved mothers across the generations my complete love and blessings and whisper my deepest “thank you”.
Thank you for making my conditions so great that I am almost seen as an equal to and by a lot of men.
Here’s a bunch of my gratitude that I want to pass out to the world on International Women’s Day:
Grandma, thank you for the 40 years at the rubber factory in downtown Helsingør. You worked SO HARD just to make ends meet. And yes, you did…because I’m here.
Great-grandma, thank you for surviving World War 2. I know it came close. I’m so incredibly proud of you and what you did for me, and for all those people that needed to get to Sweden under the war. Everything else doesn’t matter. You and great-grandpa saved lives. You gave hope to those who were without hope and risked everything for a greater cause and you’ve taught me that your life doesn’t really matter if you don’t fight if you don’t change anything. And if you don’t dream and just want to maintain the status quo.
Great-great-grandma, thank you for being a spiritist and experimenting every day. I still think the 1930s must have been a fine time to be alive and I was lucky enough to have my grandmother telling me how you dealt with spirits in your house. I think it’s weird but still awesome.
Mom, thank you for being a telegraphist and sailing the seven seas before you had me. The best stories from my childhood were made from the east and I wouldn’t have been without them. I know you almost lost me and I wouldn’t have been if the captain indeed had sold you for a bunch of camels to that Arabian rich man, but mom, I’m so glad he didn’t. I’m happy you went home, found Dad, and created, well… me.
To the other grandma who is 78 and still rocks both a computer and an iPad and who has taken care of a business and 3 kids throughout her life: I love you, and I think it’s fantastic that you keep fighting the technology, keep learning and having it make sense to you. I’m proud to pick up the phone every day and answer where you need to put the USB mouse on the new computer.
To all my mothers, Thank you All!
Thank you ALL for taking care of me as a child. For fighting. Creating and not giving up. Saving and making a living. For making me an equal – in this part of the world at least.
A lot of places in the world aren’t the same as here. I thank you all for helping me get over the violent abuses I suffered as a teenager, made by teenage boys – simply because I wasn’t strong enough to know what’s going on, and those boys probably didn’t know how bad you can fuck up a teenage girl by stepping over her boundaries.
When everything comes to everything: You’ve shaped me. You’re my mothers. You’ve taught me so much – and I will pass it on to my own daughter.
And to darling P, my precious little girl. No worries, mommy will make sure that everything is cool with being a girl in this particular part of the world when you’re a teenager. I will load you with self-esteem, respect for yourself, and power. I am passing it all to you.
Women deserve an education too
It may sound weird ranting it out in this same article, but I got to plug it in somehow. I want to say that there are so many places in the world where women are still being abused violently.
Even here, though not as much as the other places. And I am not talking about every man. I’m not talking about the good men. I’m talking about men (and women!) who think it’s ok to abuse others. It’s not.
If you’ll do one thing today to fight: I think you should give some money to women’s education. Maybe even to the “More than me girls academy” It’s one of my favorite projects. Why? Because it educates women and it makes them believe in themselves. It makes them dream and create and make the world a better place.
Today is a special day for me. My grandparents have been married for 60 years, something that puts things in perspective. Something I am proud of and something that really wants me to run to the keyboard and write. What happened today reminds me of old school return on involvement; getting back from the community because you worked hard to make it better because you just couldn’t help yourself.
My husband and I often had conversations about what we want in life. This thing we both spend an enormous amount of time on, trying to achieve something worthwhile each day.
I want to admit, being the firstborn grandchild in a family with a local legacy like ours hasn’t been easy. It has been hard at times coming from a city in Denmark where everybody, more or less, knows who you are and what family you come from, simply because my family has been living around here since forever. However, one of the things I want to achieve in life is to have my actions count up until I become a local legacy like how both my grandparents are.
I don’t think they did it on purpose, they did it because they couldn’t help themselves. They didn’t do it because of the branding effect.
They just acted, did their thing, what was right for them. My grandfather started his carpenter business in Elsinore because he wanted to try it out. My grandmother helped him besides her job as a teacher of languages.
They were entrepreneurs and they were actively involved in the local sports clubs where my grandfather chaired HIF (the local sports union) and my grandmother sat on the board while my uncle and dad played handball and football like maniacs. They ran a successful business and they gave back to their community because they just couldn’t help themselves. I call that Return on Involvement. You can facilitate it on social media, but you can also do it old school like my grandparents and actually get something back from something you gave. You might call it legacy as well.
Legacy is the “thank you” or the return on involvement from the local community
It feels like good karma.
Today, on their 60th wedding anniversary, they got mentioned on the front page of the local newspaper and had a double-sided spread in the newspaper appraising them both and their work for the city. They got their standard letter from the queen and flowers from the mayor.
I think it rocks and it’s something I want as well – legacy.
Legacy as return on involvement.
I mean you just need to act, right?
Legacy as return on involvement is something I believe comes naturally to doers. To the rest, it’s something you should be strategic about.
Legacy is something I want because it’s impossible for me not to take action on the things I am passionate about. I felt like the whole city said thank you to them today. It felt like gratitude.
It felt like they got the legacy as a “thank you” in return on involvement.
And I am so proud of them. They make me want to be and do more.