search instagram arrow-down

Join 898 other followers

Follow Andrea Hejlskov on WordPress.com

Support my work

You can support my general work via Patreon
and I hope you do, will.

Early morning, racing through the country, listening to Kristin Hersh (100% listener generated music)
I sing, I scream and I moan as the sun rise and the traffic jams get thicker, like clogged blood. On my way to work. A speech (“radical life choices”) at Krogerup Højskole (they are kind of steady costumers, they do a lot of good and I recommend them)

Car broke down (off course) spent the rest of our money at the mechanics, there must be some sort of poetic justice hidden in the fact that things break just as you need them the most, I go with the flow, I accept and embrace.
It´s cool.”Most of the time” as Bob Dylan would say.
I do love the car though. I actually love a car.

DSCF3411

Step into my office

DSCF3408

I don´t know how to convey the facts in a pretty way.
The facts are staring at me as ugly little creatures through the morning mist above the monoculture fields that this country has been tamed into being. Monoculture. Fields. Ugly little facts with yellow eyes.

I worry about my son.
There´s no question.
I need to be around him and thus I need to be in Denmark. For various reasons I can´t just take him and run to the hills.

HOW can I be in Denmark? How long and how much? How many travels? What kind of life?
And we have no money.
This is getting serious.
I feel afraid.

It smells weird here. It smells rotten and tucked away, I never even knew that Sweden is clear air, fresh, mountains, forest lakes, freedom. I mean, I knew, rationally, but I didn´t KNOW.
How much I have changed.
How different things look when you come back to the original starting point.

What will become of us, how shall we handle this, I miss thunderboy, I wonder what they´re doing in the forest right now, I feel unfree, I feel trapped, alone, my heart pumping, surrender, oh god, what about the things I believe in, agency, it´s all lost!
The ugly little creatures with their ugly yellow eyes, the monoculture fields, the racing on the highway, singing my lungs out as some sort of freedom of speech (and I havn´t even mentioned Greece (this is a coup!) or climate change (this is a coup!))

This intense feeling of powerlessness… I remember it.
This is why we ran…. back in the days.
This overwhelming feeling of powerlessness.
WhatcanIdoWhatcanIdoWhatcanIdo? And the answer is always “nothing”.

Only it´s not. That´s not the answer.
You can ALWAYS do something. This is what humans do. We do something. It´s layered into our existence, this is what the human race is about: wedowedowedo and wecanwecanwecan.
We´re great optimist bordering to insanity, right? We´re destructive in our constant trying to improve, we are beautiful in our never-ending…. hunt.

It´s funny for a “motivational speaker” like me to realize that in a situation like this I´ve forgotten all of my motivational speech.
I fell right back in… the pit.

The sense of powerlessness. Waiting for someone else or something else to change. Do something.
I realize that it is now, more than ever, that I have to APPLY what I´ve learned into action. My actions.
So I give to you: this is what I´ve learned about the feeling of powerlessness.
This is the Test Terror Zombie Survival Kit.

DSCF3409

TEST TERROR ZOMBIE SURVIVAL KIT (phychological edition)

1. You have the RIGHT to live according to your morals, ethics and sense of purpose. It is not a gift someone can grant you, it is not a privilege.
Every human being on this planet has a right, I might say obligation, to live according to their beliefs. None of us are slaves. Of others. None of us should be slaves. Of others.
This is not being spoiled. This is not “expecting too much out of life/we all have to do our duty”. This is not “a lifestyle project”. This is not being a dreamer. This is not ignorance. This is not an act of unsolidarity. This is the EXACT opposite to all of that.
Every one of us have the RIGHT to live as we believe life should be lived.
If people criticize you for expressing this right then they are criticising all that is good and noble about being a human being.

(So I´m going to do this thing in a way that makes sense to me, I´m the subject of external forces, yeah, but I can make it matter WITHIN this reality. All is not lost. Never)

2. “All problems can be deconstructed into practical problems and all practical problems can be solved”.
My neighbour Maja always say that. And when I do the speeches (I just remembered) I always tell people to turn away from the abstract and focus on “doing what you can with what you have where you are”.
Change comes from beneath. From the ground.
Thoreau said it too. “Simplify! Simplify!” he said and I wonder if this is some kind of forest truth that has sunk into us. If you live out there long enough…..

(I need a job. I need a place to live. These problems can be solved)
(ahem: so…. I´m a writer and a speechgiver, I´ve been a teacher at institute for psychology for a long time, worked as a coach and a projectmanager, I have reviewed books for Politiken and I swear to god, I´ve even been a communicationsconsultant plus I´m a bad ass gardener and know a lot about sustainability and such so if you have a job maybe? Or know someone who does?)

3. Life is a bitch and then you die (probably alone)
This is true.
No need to cover up the facts and the bruises, open eyes, forehead high, we are warriors, you do not have the luxury of surrender.

(So I shout in my car “wake up, wake up!” I shout)

4. Life is love.
This is also true.
We are transmitters of life, this means that we are transmitters of love. Let love flow through you, be kind. Being kind and generous can heal you.
If it dosn´t come naturally: fake it ´till you make it. Deep inside us all and even despite our differences and arguments… everybody do what they can and if they don´t (do what they can) then they feel like shit and you shouldn´t hurt them.

(I was thinking about shutting this blog down and stop doing what I do, only focus on getting some money- go work at the death star but I don´t think I will. I NEED to feel generous in the way that I feel when I share)

5. Self loathing and shame is the enemy. When people say bad things about you-  your immediate reaction can not be “Well, yeah, that´s probably true”.
You were taught in school. You were taught by society. This is the oppression. This exactly the oppression. The class war takes place inside of your own mind.
Free yourself.

(This is the hardest part. You are good. You are kind)

That´s that.

Five easy steps to a true and authentic life, eternal bliss, weight loss, success in the workplace and deep loving relationships, a bullet proof scientifically based cognitive model of zombie survival.

*

hjerte1

GENEROSITY ENABLER

If you´re one of the people who have wanted to donate for the continuing existence of this blog and our work in general but havn´t really had the time… now would be a super good time. We´re in a hard place right now.
I work in the gift economy.
These are the bank account numbers you can donate to

BIC/ SWEDSESS
IBAN: SE5980000833600130761489
Fryksdalens Sparbank

Also I would like to blatantly say that it would be great, needed and appreciated support if you buy or share my husbands freshly released album or my book about our first strange year in the forest.
Sharing our work is also a great way to support us! (tell you library to book me!)

POST SCRIPTUM

And now for the contours of a thought, something I have been boggling with for a while.
I need your thoughts, ideas and advice.
I think what we need, every single one of us, is to not feel so lonely (as most of us do).
Therefore I see a great need for a multitude of meaningful communities. Fighting the loneliness, learning how to stand together… seems important.

I´ve been looking everywhere, I´ve searching high and low for the movement of resistance, some organisation to join, somewhere to apply for membership but they all seem… I don´t know. Too big? Distant? Maybe we need smaller communities? How can we learn to trust eachother again? Right here, right now, maybe it dosn´t need to be that abstract, maybe it dosn´t have to include everyone in a universal way? Some communities needs to be rooted in the real world, but many of us are also using the technology of our age to try and find a sense of community that is not LOCATED as such (can that even be done?)

I know this has been one of the absolute biggest challenges about our life in the forest. Community.
Therefore I know that it matters. This is where it hurts.

SO: if this little corner of the world is a super vague community, then how can I contribute to make it stronger? Can I help you (in your singularity)? Can I help you as a group of readers? What would you like me to do now? Do you see a way I can apply my skillset in a way that matters to YOU?

I´m just going to post this now.

Love,

A

This entry was posted in Blog.

15 comments on “Test Terror Zombie Survival Kit

  1. Olive says:

    Hi Andrea! I was happy to see a new post from you….wondering how things are going. Regarding a sense of community, we are all at so many different places in the journey, and we can never really know ( ahead of time) how we will affect others. Your posts about winter cold helped me through a rare -15 C winter here, a winter where the woodstove pipes were catching fire and no one was able to help or advise us, and the girls and I just roughed it without heating in a concrete house. You probably did not think you would remind me of my german roots, and that we could manage….strength. Sometimes it helps to know you are not crazy, or if you are, it is good to be crazy when “normal” is so sick and deformed.
    I really like to read about other people who got fed up and tried something new (and old 🙂
    I am,in my way, trying to gather knowledge and resources to be self-sufficient. I enjoy benefitting from what you have tried out, and I think I relate to frustration…..why doesn’t everyone else see it or get it, it is so clear?? So many movements or groups come and go, become co opted to something else…..”how can we make money and benefit from these green types?” Sometimes I think only grassroots communities built loosely on similar morals/principles are beneficial. So you and I may be very, very different IRL. But we both share a very similar vision of love and sustainability, of a world that is healed and whole and right again. Does it matter that I am in my husbands country, a foreigner in the eastern Mediterranean mountains, and you in your own? You are spot on, though, about the love and kindness and generosity as healing. For all. This was revolutionary for me. Kindness for those who absolutely do NOT deserve it, all the while continuing on my way doing my thing. We do what we can where we are. I hope you dont have to go work at the deathstar, and that things improve for your family. It is hard to suffer with the ones you love, but maybe it is a chance to reflect or to see that you made good choices? For me, reading in this online community of sorts, I learn. I relate. Sometimes, it is just entertainment (distraction, of a positive sort), that lifts your burden for a bit, or helps you to re-center. It is good to know there are others who see the emporer naked in the streets….take care 🙂

    Like

    1. Tina says:

      Today’s article about you in the Danish newspaper Jyllandsposten: “Is this family one of the richest in Denmark?”
      http://jyllands-posten.dk/livsstil/ECE7627739/Er-denne-familie-i-virkeligheden-blandt-Danmarks-rigeste/

      Like

    2. Dear Olive,
      I read your answer quickly yesterday, on the go, thinking to myself that I would reply later and then I forgot. I always value your thoughtful comments and insights and I ´m rather intrigued by your life as you describe it.

      I´m reflecting upon our choices, true, and I am more convinced than ever that it was a good choice. I can see how it has changed our relationsships, there is trust, there is a strong sense of family… there is a common tendency to bring forth the monsters, look at them, talk about it, kind of solve it… together. And I´m proud. I see my children and I know we did good.

      I also see that “building community” or simply just engaging with community has been our number one challenge (besides all of the practical challenges, the practical comes first!). First we had no borders, no sense of self, no will, we were open and invited the whole world in. Then we were hurt. Now we are more selective and thus the community in the forest is growing stronger.
      I have just always had this sense of obligation. Towards “the greater good” maybe and I can see that blogs like mine and story like ours are getting more and more attention…. and I want to put that into play.

      I really appreciate how the comment sections on this blog have grown. I see that this has some sort of value. I used to get the same sense of forums; a sense of community allthough we are seperated in time and space. If we are to move forward as humanity I think we need to integrate these “new” ways of forming relationships and communities and I´m just, well, I´m thinking about it a lot. But it´s an abstract thought 😉

      Thank you!

      Like

  2. BeeHappee says:

    Andrea, it is nice to see that you maintain a sense of humor with all that you are going through. The survival kit made me smile.
    I think Olive pretty much said it all.
    I enjoyed the video of your forest corner in the Jyllandsposten.
    And last but not least, peace and love to you, and prayers for your son.

    Like

    1. Thanks. I´m feeling strong again.
      Looking at it from a practical perspective always helps. It´s kind of an opportunity. People alway ask me if this can be done (what we have done; trying to reclaim agency, trying to take it back) in a “normal” setting, inside the rat race. I never know what to say… but I guess I´ll know after a while.
      Will divide my life in two; half of the time in the forest, the other half of the time here.

      It is funny though, the timing of the world, that just today (exactly as I wrote my post) Jyllandsposten reposted that interview… weird world!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ncfarmchick says:

    My husband regularly wears a 20 year old T-shirt with Bob Marley on it. Below his face are the lyrics, “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.” I don’t think either one of us would describe ourselves as “quote people” but this one has stood the test of time for us and it’s one we really believe. Reading your #5 made me think of this. Doing the best you can with what you have where you are (and, I would add, with the knowledge you currently have) is about the best anyone can hope for. Kind of a “bloom where you are planted” approach. This is a philosophy turning round our heads a lot as we contemplate moving on. Do you go where you think/know there are others like you or do you stay and be the “change you wish to see?” Sometimes, I think it comes down to how much energy you think you have at any given moment. It can be so hard to swim against the stream – exhausting, really. “If people are criticizing this right then they are criticizing all that is good and noble about being a human being.” Oh, is that ever true. Our lives have so many strings attached and sometimes we don’t even realize that we are the ones tying ourselves up in knots.
    I loved the video. Makes me miss my Mormor and all my Tantes. I almost expected you and Jeppe to jump into that lake with a bar of soap as they would do.
    I don’t have any brilliant suggestions for your final question. I think Olive and Bee said it well above. And, I think by sharing your thoughts and experiences you are changing things and you are more motivational than most slap-happy “motivational speakers” I have seen. Peace and blessings to you and your family. And, thank you.

    Like

    1. I love that bob marley qoute too!

      You can´t read the comments sections because they´re danish but I can tell you this: there has been a huge change in the comments (generally) since we first started doing this media- work and now.
      In the begnning we got sooo many really angry comments (like: “here I am doing my duty, going to work and you´re just egoistical, this is nothing but some sort of self-realization dreamers project” or the simple and straight up “traitors!”) A LOT has happened in the last four years. One of the things being that climate change is now more or less accepted as a fact. In the begging we were radicalised idiots, fanatics bordering to some sort of terrorists when we mentioned climate change (or social inequality ect) but there is a great common sense of distress now meaning that when I do the speeches I no longer have to actually explain WHY we are (and were) worried and why we needed to act.

      I do a lot of speeches for people outside my own “segment”, I do a lot of speeches for “normal people” with normal jobs and it ALWAYS surprises me how much we have in common, how many dreams they have, how many thoughts about their lifes and lifechoices, this level of consiousness about the way the world is changing… they just don´t know what to do
      (and neither do I- I know what WE had to do but people are different and there is no ONE solution)

      I think it is extremely important that we talk together.
      Sometimes when I do the speeches people ask me about you. The commenters. “Who is that Bee woman, where does she live, what does she do?”. I know from regulars who don´t comment a lot (but who tends to always come to the speeches) that they find this development in the comment section fasinating. I wanted to let you know.
      And I wanted to tell you THE READERS that you matter too. You are not merely passive recievers of entertainment- what happens right here, right now, where we are (with what we can) MATTERS.

      I think I needed to hold on to that fact.
      So thank you again!

      Like

      1. BeeHappee says:

        Oh goodness, Andrea, this made me smile, the “who is that Bee woman”. Just a person like them, the “normal person” with “normal job” and many dreams, too many perhaps.

        Like

      2. ncfarmchick says:

        I imagine Bee is pretty extraordinary in her perceived ordinariness. 🙂 And I very firmly believe you can never have too many dreams.
        I never thought about the people attending your speeches being interested in those who comment. That’s a very interesting ripple effect of this community you have encouraged, something unique to this virtual world, I imagine.
        Fascinating to hear the change you’ve seen in the comments from your corner of the world. Sounds like something has happened to make people entertain the idea of breaking from the herd or, at least, not find it so threatening. Accepting climate change would do that but I imagine there’s something else at work, as well. Something to ponder…which is what you do so well. You get me thinking and I appreciate that.

        Like

  4. That´s my mission. I think too much. It´s a practical problem. I´m solving it by trying to put the thoughts out there, into space, somehow make them useful 🙂

    Ripples in the water, yes, but also a perfect illustration of what is going on.
    It seems to me that people are seeking answers, cleaning up in their emotions, reaching out… something is definetely going on (in both a really bad way and a really good way) and it occured to me that YOU probably don´t know about the effect you have. The ripples.

    What I can do is put something out there. Each blogpost is like a hypothesis (sometimes they´re not). What I can do is to try and facilitate some sort of conversation and then the schisma becomes quite visible: this blog is not at all about me.

    It is true that people ask me about YOU when I do the speeches. It is true that I hear from long time readers that they think something new and interesting is going on on this blog. A small, vague, fluffy, untouchable, not really obligating but still kind of “real” in a way: a conversation, a sense of “us”.

    It intrigues me. YOU are having an impact on people on the other side of the globe.
    They think about you. Who you are. They read your words. it´s a fascinating phenomenon. Maybe they even relate more to you than to me becuase your different backgrounds and ways of sharing appeal to different kinds of people. It´s beautyful!

    I´ve been having a really hard time for the last months. I´m still in a dark place, there are real tangible practical problems and I don´t know yet how to solve them… but I think I know now, following these last couple of days: I´m going to be better at what I do, I´m going to make this matter even MORE.
    It makes sense.
    I just have to find a WAY.

    Thank you. Thank you commenters and thank invisble readers. You are good. You are kind.
    a

    Like

    1. ncfarmchick says:

      I have always taken comfort from the psalm which talks about God being a “lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Even if your God is different than my God, I think most of us can relate to the idea of wanting to see what is beyond that little circle of light but having faith (in God, in Mother Nature, in oneself, whatever) means being OK with not knowing what is ahead and taking things literally one step at a time. I hope you start seeing a little more light very soon, Andrea, and if putting out your thoughts in this space helps you as much as it helps others, that is a beautiful thing.

      Like

  5. Deborah Gaudet says:

    Andrea, Hi
    Might I suggest thinking about using this technology a step further, this electronically connected, but very real — not virtual — community, to create workshops offered via the interwebs. I know Ben Hewitt is doing that. It seems like such a natural extension of what you are doing — could be philosophy book and movie club, could be practical skills like growing, preserving, and cooking foods. I know Ben offered a “bring a friend” deal, and that seemed like it worked well, people paired up from his e-community, as well as electronically attending with family and friends. It seems like a win-win for all. I would love a philosophy book and movie club, myself!!! Yes please!
    Best wishes!!!!!!!!
    Deborah (reading for a while, big fan, first comment)

    Like

    1. What a good idea! I´m working on something right now. I do think it is important with these small groups of sharing experiences, thoughts, relating. I think we need LOTS of small groups, communities (online, IRL) I think there is relief in ENGAGING and so I thank you Deborah, for your first comment, hooray, may it not be the last! 🙂

      Like

.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s