...Faith makes the power of belief, and where it is invested determines its reward. For faith is always given what is treasured, and what is treasured is returned to you.

~ A Course in Miracles



I slept and dreamt
That life was joy.

I awoke and saw that

Life was service.

I acted and behold,
Service was joy.

~ Rabindranth Tagore

Okay...I gotta poke fun at my homeland. Make no doubt, I'm happy about my American upbringing. I wouldn't have it any other way. But, you know...you can't see the picture if you're in the frame...

Right now, we have various media political talking heads that scare the American people into thinking we are headed into Socialism since President Obama has taken office. They tout the fact that we may...(gasp!)...become like Sweden. This I find amusing, since I'm in the country they speak of. Very ironic.

Now, let me clarify, my reasons for relocation have nothing to do with being deeply unsatisfied with the United States. Not at all. The reasons are solely because my boyfriend is Swedish. However, I must admit, once getting a feel the country of Sweden, especially the city of Stockholm, I have to say, it adds the icing to an already lovely, delicious cake. The cake being my boyfriend, of course. This place rocks on so many levels.

For one, Sweden is a country where basic freedoms are no different to our own in the States. If anything, this country is highly Americanized, with the exception of having many successful socialized programs.

A country that offers free elementary to higher education, health care, ten weeks paid vacation a year, and 16 months paternity leave per child, that can be split between both parents, let me ask...do these sound like such awful things? Sounds like progress. What do we have to be afraid of?

With that being said, something must be working because the literacy rate is 99%, and Sweden has one of the lowest infant mortality rates, along with having one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world. Hmmmm...something must be working. I just call it like I see it.

Today, Forbs.com posted the Worlds 20 Best Places to Live based on several distinct criteria. Surprisingly, with Forbs being an American outlet, not ONE U.S. city made the list. Not one. In North America, alone three cities came from Canada, and the rest from Australia, New Zealand, and Europe...with Germany having the most cities, and Stockholm rounding out the list at number 20.

I state these facts not as a criticism, but as a way of saying we have room for improvement, and shouldn't be scared by the world Socialism. If anything, there are those who are making it into a bad word to harbor fear...and I say, don't fall for it. There is always something to be learned, and we can no longer ride on the coat tails of simply saying we are the leading nation in the world while we're being beaten in several key areas, not even making the top ten in others...there needs to be action. Fear only paralyzes, and nothing gets done as our fears grow.

Just as countries, like Sweden, have taken many great things from America, we too can look toward other nations. We can learn something from a nation that hasn't been in a war in over 200 years. That says something. That's not a weakness. That's a strength.

Once we get a grasp, on a deeper level, when one person suffers we all do, we can then not become fearful of taking care of each other. Dunno. Call me crazy...but, I think it's crazy not to come to terms with the possibility of a Win Win situation for the whole. Nothing will be lost. We can only gain from this way of thinking.

Think about it.

Fool's Gold


A miracle is never lost. It may touch many people you have not even met, and produce undreamed of changes in situations of which you are not even aware.

~ A Course in Miracles

I've come to a place where I realize that when I pass from this life I will take nothing with me but the love I've held, expressed, given and received, in this world of form. Of course, there is nothing wrong with the material. Nothing at all. There is no need to have a heavy stake in judging it. Why not enjoy and have fun? Play. All the while, keeping in tune with the reality that things will come and go.

The great equalizer is the fact we can't take our college degrees, houses, cars, designer bags and and other baubles with us. Then it crystallizes, why put such a heavy importance on it? Where I struggle, is continuing to be okay with myself in a world that stresses such importance on the outer reality. One day, instead of exploring space, maybe we will then become fascinated with the inner reaches within ourselves. I haven't yet begun to fully understand the full magnitude,
and something in me makes me afraid.

It must be true that we are far more afraid of our light than our darkness. However, I've come to a point where I can no longer deny the truth of who I am. I try to run...but, I cannot hide...the truth always finds me. However, it is my own ego that wants to punish and judge the fear that I hold...feeding on it like a malignant cancer. Breaking free is where I want to be, but with this, I have to admit how comfortable I've become imprisoned in my own chains and conditions. No one has done it but me. No longer do I want the comfort of these chains, but also I'm scared beyond belief of stepping into another unknown. I guess, it's better to acknowledge this than to act as if it isn't there.

I can feel inner resistance, and I tire of it. There must be another way. Oh, how hard I am on myself at times...and how confused I become when trying to understand.

I still have desires. Plain and simple. A fool's gold. However, once taken a hold, is it all it's cracked up to be?

I tire of chasing.

Often I feel as if I'm wearing a heavy armor that is 3 sizes too small. No longer useful as it once was, I simply want to break free of it, and release every care in the world to that is of utmost importance to me.

I'm ready to answer the call.

Love. Now.


We live in amazing times.

We can build big buildings.
Invent the internet.
Send people walking across the moon.
Create fancy iphones.
Keep breasts young forever.
Manufacture vitamins to give you energy.
Formulate Viagra to keep it up.
Create drugs to combat depression to keep it Down.
We build bombs to wipe out millions in a second.
Launch 500 channels on the flat screen.
Create complex car navigation systems.
Invent new weight-loss programs.

Yet we still live in a world where children are starving!
millions are homeless.
We don't teach kids how communicating.
We have lots of sex but don't make love.
Bigger banks accounts, but less fulfillment.
Faster cars but no time.
More options but less patience.
More education and less sense.
More technology and less touch.

You can clean the air.
But the pollution is in the soul.

This is the real hole

The most important resource, isn't time, oil, money, gold.

It is love. Without this we may have everything but
life is nothing.

So what is your life about?
So what is your life about?

You can travel the world. Go to great temples, or churches to pray. You can worship the most beautiful statutes, and read the most profound scripture, yet right
in front of you is a living expression of divinity.

Take a look: Your children. Your spouse. Your parents. Your brother Co-worker. The homeless person. Your friend. There is no end.

Yet we wait to meet the Dalai Lama, the great Guru or the Pope. For some kind of hope. Waiting for the right moment or special person. When right here in front of you is a living Buddha in the form of your child, or a living Christ in the form of the man that's staring at you.

The whole world is your temple, synagogue, or church. Remember, it is in your heart. This is where we must all start. In each moment is the opportunity.

At least once a day: Forgive. Reach out. Hug. Cry. Laugh. Connect.
At least once a day: Trust. look. Sing. Dance. Make a fool of yourself. Risk.

At least once a day: Give. Touch. Taste. Smile. Wait. Communicate.

At least once a day: Smell. Relax. Joke. Feel. Yes. Serve.

And most of all say "I love you."

When you dare to open your heart and love, you're free. This is living infinity.

Is there really anything else to do?
Is there really anything else to do?

Love now.

~ Kute Blackson

Thank you for sharing this with me, DF. I Love your heart. I Love your spirit. I Love you.

What truth, what light through my mind's window breaks?

It is the east, and the Holy Spirit is the sun

Arise my Friend, dissolve the ego moon

who is already sick and pale with grief

that thou the truth art far more great than he

Oh It is the Christ Child, yes It is my Love

and if I knew What I was, the brightness of my mind

would shame the stars as daylight does a lamp

My Mind in Heaven would through the unseen regions stream

so bright

the world would sing and knoweth not the night

~ William Shakespeare



...the Holy Spirit sees everything in the world as either an expression of love or a call for love.

~ A Course in Miracles

Spring has sprung in Stockholm, and it's beautiful.

I've done a ton of walking since arriving, and one startling difference in comparison to any other place I've been is how pristine the air is. Breathing air this fresh makes taking in an inhale a religious experience. Nice.

It hasn't taken long to feel at home. There's an ease to the city along the hustle and bustle of daily life...a calm steadiness amidst the buzz of activity. Feels good to experience this balance.

I don't feel the need for much outer stimulus during my excursions in and around Stockholm. I find joy with a simple ride on the train as I read a book. The views of the city are enough for me to soak in. The architecture, the quaint walkways, the parks, the museums, the shops and cafes can fill the day in ways I hadn't expected.

I love it.

Learning to Breathe

Learning to Breathe

Hello, good morning, how ya do?
What makes your rising sun so new?
I could use a fresh beginning too
All of my regrets are nothing new

So this is the way
that I say that I need You
This is the way
This is the way

That I'm learning to breathe
I'm learning to crawl
I'm finding that You and
You alone can break my fall
I'm living again, awake and alive
I'm dying to breathe in these abundant skies

Hello, good morning, how ya been?
Yesterday left my head kicked in
I never thought I could fall like that
Never knew that I could hurt this bad

I'm learning to breathe
I'm learning to crawl
I'm finding that You and
You alone can break my fall
I'm living again, awake and alive
I'm dying to breathe in these abundant skies

So this is the way
that I say that I need You
This is the way
That I say I love You
This is the way
That I say I'm Yours
This is the way
This is the way

Heart & Soul


Fear binds the world. Forgiveness sets it free.

~ A Course in Miracles

Like a light bulb being lit after eons of darkness I've come to a place where I want to do nothing unless it leads with my heart and soul. From the simple to the most profound experiences there is always a place of sacredness to behold.

I'm not talking about being over the top with everything I say or do. Often, a steady, quiet, heartfelt presence is enough. Leading with the heart isn't always about sentimental talk and long drawn out conversations or sagas. When in tune with the heart, I feel as if there's a deep sense of honesty that comes with it. A balance of reverence and irreverence for what is. We can stand in awe to the profound beauty that envelopes us, and also not take it all too seriously.

When standing in this place of being, there is no need to take offense or feel threatened. We all share the same oneness, on a united front, even though we are filled with messages that point to separateness, which is an illusion. A simple illusion.

One thing I've learned, when on a spiritual path...whatever that means...one must be mindful of not standing firm in righteousness. I've come to a point where does it really matter if my voice is heard? Does it benefit me to point out the wrong doings of others? My responsibility, my piece of the pie, begins with me. I can lead by example, by staying true to my heart's calling, but that's about it. I can live in gratitude and service. I can tune into the stillness within myself. However, the moment I condemn another what does that serve? Don't I then become a part of the problem?

I admit, when I hear the Rush Limbaugh's of the world I can feel my blood start to boil. Hahaha..what a practice it is not to be affected by the outer agenda. Why make it real? And, if I condemn someone for condemning something or someone I feel positive towards, isn't it all the same thing? Why take offense? Why join in the same game that has been going on for a millenia? Why worry about what other people are doing and saying. The focus needs to stay steadfast on the Truth. For, if always taking offense, and taking the side of left or right then I fall into the constant push and pull.

I wanna fly beyond those chains.






What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.

~ Richard Bach

It's the simple things.

It's the little things that I've grown to appreciate. Simple, subtle uncomplicated, words to live by. Words to be inspired by. In a world where complication reigns supreme why even go there?

The ego loves when life becomes complicated. The ego loves to search and seek for external fulfillment that is found out there, somewhere.

If there's one thing I've discovered through the years of yoga practice is the most important point to come to, is here...is now. If anything, beyond the outer performance of asana, what keeps me coming back to the mat is the opportunity to get out of my head and into my essence. Get out of the rat race and into my heart...get out of the societal standards of where I should be, or what else needs to be done... or what else needs to be achieved and acquired and into the Truth.

When I leave all external messages behind I enter into a realm of timelessness. Where nothing else matters but my connection to the One source that fills us up beyond anything this world can give. Everything else is impermanent...illusory...fleeting.

True confidence lies in this connection. No amount of self-improvement books, self-help programs or full body makeovers will get you there. Because again, anything external is naturally impermanent, illusory, fleeting...only lasting for so long. When the newness wears off, again, we must face ourselves in the truest sense. No matter if it happens this lifetime or the next.

Even though our ego would love for us to continue to believe that we still have more to attain, and the constant state of dissatisfaction will only be relieved from an external source, there is no need to fall into the trap.

Of course, it's easier said than done, but a practice I've taken to heart. I need to constantly remind myself to bring it back to the source. All it takes is vigilance...and, puts the intention, when it comes to my daily Ashtanga practice, into a higher vibrating perspective.

When I let go, as hard as it is to trust at times, things have a way of coming together. Grace descends as I ascend to a higher place within myself.

Interesting how it works out that way.



Under the Holy Spirit's thought system, the proper response to any situation is always love. When you think with the Holy Spirit, you're consistent in your attitude, which is love.

~ The Disappearance of the Universe, by Gary R. Renard

Since arriving, I've been soaking in the Swedish history and culture, and in the beginning stages of learning the language. I might as well let the cat out of the bag, and report, I'll be relocating here in the late Fall. Whew! No tropical beaches. No hot, humid, steamy temperatures. (Sigh). I only kid. Stockholm is a beautiful place. I've already fallen in love, which makes it all the more exciting and worthwhile on every level imaginable.

Gathering the places I've traveled to, one comes to notice how there's a collective vibe to any given area. The Swedes have a steady quietness to them. Which I like. But at the same time are often open and friendly. Most are excellently educated and have well rounded tastes and ideas regarding life and culture. What has struck me, is there's a gentle humbleness to them, while at the same time, backed up with excellence in all they do. Refreshing.

Sweden has definitely been influenced by American culture, which citizens will easily admit, and most speak fluent English. You can find your McDonald's (blech!), but then again, there's no Starbucks (gasp!!). Have no fear, superb cafes, cozy coffee houses and baristas are all around.

In closing, there's really something to putting yourself out there...getting out of one's comfort zone. I haven't totally put my finger on it, but I must say, it's taught me a lot about myself and extended to understanding others more completely. I've learned much through these experiences, and welcome them. I mean, how can one really know what one is made of if not willing to enter into the unknowable and unthinkable? Really.

I don't claim to know much, but what I do know is, life becomes more profound when truly understanding...knowing...getting a feel of what is steadfastly within. Can I still connect when everything on the outside is different from what I've already experienced? Can I look at things with new eyes? Can I project this innocence in any given moment? Can I be open when doors close? Questions I continue to ask...and I'm so thankful I have.

Drottningholm Palace


Drottningholm Palace building began in 1662, after the first palace on this site burned down to the ground. The present palace was commissioned by the dowager Queen Hedvig Eleonora and the architect was Nicodemus Tessin the Elder. Since 1981, Drottningholm Palace has been the home of the Swedish royal family.

Walk the Walk


The last several days we've been touring various museums in Stockholm. Make no doubt, there is an abundance of cultural centers in the area. Personally, my favorite is Stockholm's Museum of Modern Art. A complete, and impressive collection.

However, one of the best things, though simple, is the fact the city is made for walking. The last time I walked this much was when a student at The Ohio State University. This I love. There is something about an environment where people are out and about, milling around, versus being boxed inside steel and metal all the time...meaning our cars. It's interesting. Even though, obviously, I don't know many people here, there is a vibrancy and energy that takes place with interaction. Even with the cooler temps, people still manage to sit outside a cafe and sip on a cup of coffee with friends. I appreciate this as a mere observer. I enjoy observing varying styles and diversity. When walking, I become more present, like an active participant. Pretty cool. Completely refreshing in comparison to the strip mall phenomenon I've been exposed to most of my life.

Life should be lived like a dance musical.

Ashtanga in Scandanavia


Both times I've ventured to Mysore, India I've been pleasantly surprised regarding the amount of practitioners from Scandinavia. Dare I say the percentage is higher compared to American Ashtangis who make the trip and continue with the practice. Impressive. Which is significant, when in fact, the total population of the Scandinavian countries could easily reside inside many single states back home.

My practice has gone through an adjustment since arriving. All positive. A new internal muscle has been flexed when finding center along with external changes. All in all, it goes back to breath, bandhas, dristi. I've gotten used to the cushiness of practicing in warm humid climates. The joints are juicier. Muscles warm faster. The weather right now in Stockholm is nice, however it's definitely cooler and dryer than I'm used to. My vata is much stronger. Interesting to say the least. But a good thing in the end.

Our external environments will always vacillate and change. Life naturally has it's ups and downs. But with change, can I still tap into the eternal part of myself? The part that is contant and all encompassing? THAT is where the practice of yoga truly begins.

The yoga community I've been exposed to is extremely warm and welcoming. I guess I wouldn't expect anything less. Yogis are usually open and kindhearted no matter what country they are from.

I never, never, never thought I would visit Sweden. Kinda funny. It simply wasn't on my radar of places to see and visit...and, in my mind, I thought it was a big, massive iceberg or something. Yes. I was definitely wrong in my assumptions. Haha. This country is absolutely lovely. Not just the beauty of the environment, but also the beauty and diversity of it's people as well. However, life has a way of offering up little surprises, and what has brought me here goes way beyond what words can describe. Love, laughter, and lightness has breathed new life into me, which has inspired my soul and purpose. All I had to do is be open to the experience.

And thank God, I did.



Stockholm. A jewel of a city, exquisite and culturally vibrant...a must see for those traveling to Europe, or Scandinavia for that matter. I've been nothing but impressed since arriving.

Can cities really be like this?

Stockholm is considered one of the most beautiful capitols in the world, built on 14 islands connected by 57 bridges...elegant buildings, lush greenery, and the proximity to water is what makes Stockholm, Stockholm. A true walking city one can reach many of the world-class museums and attractions on foot...and, if walking isn't your bag, the public transportation system is top of the line.

I'm loving the cobble stone walkways of Gamla Stan...winding streets lined with quaint little shops, cafes, and galleries give the city such a genuine feel to it. A mixture of old and new...balanced perfectly.

Ready to come visit?



Next stop. Sweden!

Yes, home of the Nobel Peace Prize, Volvo and ABBA...but, there is much more to this great country than meets the eye, and the fact there's a really great guy from there, who I adore and love with all my heart, makes the place all the more lovely.

Quick Sweden Facts

  • Sweden has one of the highest life expectancy rates and one of the lowest birth rates in the world...and a literacy rate of 99%...(Wow!).
  • Sweden is located in Northern Europe, hosting over 9 million people, and the capital is Stockholm.
  • Both IKEA and H&M are modern Swedish retail stores.
  • The far north of Sweden is sometimes called "the land of the midnight sun." During midsummer the sky becomes light again once twilight has been reached.
  • Geographically, Sweden is characterized by its long coastlines, large forests (55%) and numerous lakes.

Okay. I've only listed the bare minimum. But, I'm sure there will be more to follow. Will be in Stockholm, and I'm beyond excited to discover this fascinating city. Stay tuned.

Remaining Photos

"Not all those who wander are lost."

~ J.R.R. Tolkien

Last Day!

In ancient times India did not exist as one country, but still, the land south of the Himalayas was considered one entity, despite many cultural differences between peoples. There was some sense of unity because of the common spiritual ethos they carried in them.

Spiritual ethos means, no matter what you "are," whether you are a king or a peasant, whatever is the nature of your activity, there is only one ultimate goal for everybody--liberation. Today, even the simplest farmer in this country will talk about mukti. This is a result of the phenomenal amount of spiritual work done in this country.

~ Sadhguru

' I am neither detachment nor salvation. Nor anything reached by the senses. I behold all thought and form. I am everywhere and nowhere at all. I am Consciousness and Bliss.'

~ Prayer from Lord Shiva

Photos by David Fredriksson

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.

~ Martin Burber

The above passages were sent from a dear friend who is also leaving India. So, I had to share them, as well. I feel pretty ready to head out...I know I'll be back, so feelings of sadness aren't entirely present. Time to move on.

However, I did have a bit of that melancholy feeling when I rolled out my mat this morning. Simply put, it has really come to mean something to start my day in the shala. Leaves it's mark. Resonates my being. Can't explain it. Good thing is, I can carry the feeling forth as I tread new territory. Really, it all starts there, with a feeling. With the proper focus and truth.

Change is always present. I've had my taste of impermanence. This is the reality. But also, there is a place inward that never ceases in it's steadfastness. As we yoke all the parts of our being, we join and unite and enter into the spark that revives our spirit with passion and purpose...and it's all right here.

All we have to do is remember.

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