all these mountains you're carrying, you were only supposed to climb
Author: Monica Olivia
I am a 20-something woman born and raised in Sápmi. I am into art, music, photography/modeling, movies, food, dharma and yogic practice, travel, animals and anything else that might interest this mind and heart of mine.
Oh, and wine.
This leaf survived in my bag for 5 weeks, on planes and buses, just a little broken on the edges. I’ve run out of canvases, so I have started painting the things I’ve picked up that I said I would paint ‘one day’ 🍁
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, there is a rapture on the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep Sea, and music in its roar: I love not Man the less, but Nature more.” 💙💜💚
Pro tip from a veteran 😸 a lot of chronically ill people have to self isolate every year, sometimes for months, myself included. Especially in flu season or during a flare up in symptoms. So, my pro tip is to find something specific to concentrate on. For me it has been art and mahayana buddhist yoga. I am not exaggerating when I say it has saved me and given me so much out of life. Also, rest a lot. Don’t feel like you have to do something all the time. No one really cares what you do with your time and energy, so make yourself comfortable in the uncertainty. 🙏🏼🍀🤓
If someone asked you ‘why’ you love your SO, partner or a crush, you could probably list a bunch if their nice qualities and things about them that you appreciate. But that is not WHY you love someone, because you can list the same qualities in a bunch of other people you don’t love. In fact, someone you hate can be extremely talented or compassionate. Your feelings towards or for someone does not change them.
These qualities and traits is probably something you noticed *after* getting feelings of love and affection. Love is funny and amazing like that; it will open your eyes and heart, and is not something you can ever control with your will or thoughts. It will also make one go the extra mile.
As far as I can tell, love just happens based on factors I do not understand entirely. Also, I think love and compassion is our basic nature. Humans are complicated, relationships are usually difficult, not always compatible, but often worth it.
I realise being polyamorous and queer/bi is not the norm, but it is part of what makes me Monica, and I feel very fortunate to live in a time and decade with less judgement, but it’s still here. At the beginning of this year, a friend of mine told me that she had used me as a example while trying to come out to her parents. It flattered me in a sense that she used me, but it was quickly gone again after she told me her dad’s response, which was basically that I was not the type of person he ever wanted her to hang out with again for being polyam and queer. My “practice was sick”. In the end, she did not come out. Made me extremely sad, and I do not feel welcome in their home anymore.
Love is love. Not in a naïve way where everything goes, but in a very basic human way, and there are as many ways of expressing it as there are people.
Just some humour and relatable stuff 🤷♀️ and an old selfie from 5 years ago, which I quite like..🙃
Hope everyone had a nice peaceful christmas celebration yesterday. Those of you who don’t live in the Nordic countries probably celebrate on the 25th, which is so strange btw😅, hope your day will be filled with joy and with people you love ❤
So, I wanted to just write a bit about my chronic conditions/disabilities, just in the hopes of connecting with others in a similar situation.
I used to post quite a lot about it, but realised that maybe it came across as complaining. So I stopped. I never wanted it to come out as complaining or like ‘hey, my life and health is shit’, but just as me telling people in my life and others who might be interested what was happening, why I couldn’t work or study, why I am on disability benefit. And also as a way for me to raise awareness about these things, because it seems needed. Both in terms of judgement and in terms of getting adequate medical treatment.
Social media is such a big and important platform for chronically ill people. It connects us and we can use it as a way of still being in society, since we can’t always physically join things.
I have six conditions and it would be nice to connect with others in the same situation. So please leave a comment if you would like to share what everyday life is like for you!❤
(My conditions: myalgic encephalomyelitis, hypermobility syndrome, IBS, interstitial cystitis, migraine and I am on the spectrum. Being on the spectrum is absolutely not an illness, but it does affect how I function). 🤓
“The sight filled the northern sky; the immensity of it was scarcely conceivable. As if from Heaven itself, great curtains of delicate light hung and trembled. Pale green and rose-pink, and as transparent as the most fragile fabric, and at the bottom edge a profound and fiery crimson like the fires of Hell, they swung and shimmered loosely with more grace than the most skillful dancer.” 🌌
My little late night creativity painting.. Couldn’t sleep last night so I thought why not just spend my time wisely 😄 A bit unusual colour choices for me, but I like how it turned out. Was unsure if I choose the right colour for the mountains but I can always change that later if the mood strikes me..🌈🎨
Reading: Nothing actually.. I loaned a bunch of book at the library, but I think maybe borrowing/buying books is an entirely different hobby than actually reading them!
Learning: Finally trying to learn Northern Sámi. I am what you could call a “plastic sámi”; someone who is indigenous sámi by blood and flesh, but never learned the language because of the Norwegianazation process. So I often feel not “real” sámi but not “real” Norwegian either, it’s a bit of an identity crisis thing, and kind of an emotional wound that I know a lot of sámis have.
Watching: Random nature documentaries mostly..:)
Listening to on Audible: A wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin (got it recommended by a friend on Facebook)
Drinking every day: Coffee. And more coffee 😀 (should drink more water..)
Happy about: Made new friends lately, and also understanding my own “language” better, how I think and relate to the world around me.
Not so happy about: Being in constant physical pain, so much that I cannot function properly. And I struggle expressing how bad it actually is, because it doesn’t show from the outside. My back, neck, face and head is so painful, that painkillers aren’t working anymore, and I am at a loss what to do.
Thankful for: People who love me. Cliché but true 🙂
One of my latest paintings! It didn’t turn out how I saw it in my head, just different, but still good. I used only three colours on it; white, blue and brown. Mostly blue, as I do with 90% of my art 💙🤓 I rarely use black in mountain/rock paintings, it’s too harsh, I find it much better to use different pigments that makes it all look much more true to nature. You rarely see all black nature, unless you are in Iceland or somewhere else vulcanic😄
Also, I have two of my paintings at the Arctic Adventure center in Tromsø. They are for sale by the way 😄
Go towards the people that see you for who you truly are, in all your colours. For your badass kindness and fierce compassion. How we treat others reaches far beyond outer beauty and appearances; touching someone elses’ heart and helping them feel free and loved unconditionally is a gift that will never stop giving.
Some months ago I decided I was finally going to order myself one of those DNA kits I have been wanting, just for fun. It was on sale and I researched (by that, I mean one google search😄) to see what is the best company when it comes to privacy and storing of information, and I landed on FamilyTreeDNA. I am no (conspiracy) theorist who thinks they will use my tiny bit of saliva for anything sinister, but still, you never know. Although if they want to clone me or something, that would actually be very practical!
I have always been curious about anthropology, culture and history. I believe people are people no matter where we live or come from, all sharing the same basics in heart and mind, but these relative things like ethnicity and DNA can be quite interesting, too! There is so much to learn, and it’s fun to see the connections across borders.
I think it’s good to preserve culture and language. I am what you could call a “plastic sámi”; someone who is indigenous sámi by blood and flesh, but never learned the language because of the Norwegianazation process. So I often feel not “real” sámi but not “real” Norwegian either, it’s a bit of an identity crisis thing, and kind of an emotional wound that I know a lot of sámis have. Maybe this is a reason I wanted to test. I do feel proud and honoured though to carry on sámi handcraft traditions such as the gákti (kofta) and duodji and telling the stories attached to them and of Sápmi💙💚❤💛
I received my package, filled out the little form and swabbed my cheeks, one on each side. Next day, I shipped it off to overseas and waited for my results (which took some weeks).
Before getting them, I was pretty sure it would say mostly Scandinavian and some Asian (since the sámi peoples origins come from the East way back in the days, before settling in Sápmi (Sweden, Finland, Norway and Russia). Perhaps some percentage viking too would be cool, like 26% shieldmaiden, lol..🙌 Bad joke.
It showed 69% from Finnoscandia/Uralic (Finno-ugric/Uralic/Sámi/Kven)
23% Scandinavian, 1% unknown and the rest a quite small insignificant 7% East Asian/Siberian. (All results in pictures on the bottom).
The Kven people are a minority group of people who migrated from Finland to the north of Norway, mostly to Finnmark before the borders between the Nordic countries were official. Kvens are considered an official minority in Norway.
I found it interesting how it says ‘Finland’ instead of ‘Finnish’, but after reading a bit about the other indigenous groups and how many there are considered to be Finno-ugric or Uralic (15 in total with subgroups), it makes more sense. Different indigenous peoples coming from roughly same area, but mainly sharing language is the case here. Sámi, kven (Norwegian finns – one of the subgroups) and Finns are for example grouped as Finno-Ugric and have similarities in language, and is as we know nothing like the other Scandinavian languages.
Here are some facts about the kven language:
-In 2005 it was officially considered a minority language in Norway.
-The University in Tromsø now gives classes in kven.
-From the 1930s until the 1980s, the kven language was illegal to speak and use in school, and was considered a “bastard language”. Despite this, it survived.
Another cool thing about doing a test like this, is that you can match up with other relatives if you and they have agreed to be matched. I have found a lot of distant cousins, and have sent message to one of them, surprised to find out that she was adopted away from our family, and I am currently helping her find out who her dad was/is. Quite exciting stuff.
Learning all this about my Finnish/Kven ancestry, I instantly felt more inclined to buy more Moomin stuff, which I believe now is my cultural heritage 😅
Another cool thing I found was that two of my relatives, Isak Mikkelsen Tornensis and Berit Mikkelsdatter Tornensis (siblings), in 1898 was part of the reindeer project in Alaska. Read more about it here and here.
“The kīla is one of many iconographic representations of divine “symbolic attributes” ofVajrayānaandHindudeities. When consecrated and bound for usage,the kīla is anirmanakayamanifestation of Vajrakīlaya. He is embodied in the kīla as a means of destroying (in the sense of finalising and then freeing) violence, hatred, and aggression by tying them to the blade of the kīla and then transmuting them with its tip.”
For as long as this deluded mind identifies with this impure, illusory body, everything you do is a cause of saṃsāra, and the results never transcend suffering. Even though occasions of prosperity in mundane existence do occur, it is obvious that these unreal, illusory deceptions lead you astray. So here is advice on the meaning of identitylessness to be followed by those who recognize this and seek liberation. If you do not realize that all phenomena in saṃsāra and nirvāṇa are simply your own appearances, with no basis or root, by merely knowing a superficial emptiness, you will not achieve the Mahāyāna ārya grounds.
If you do not realize how to transform into the path the spontaneously actualized appearances of the radiance of pristine awareness of the essential nature of original purity, you will be overcome by the dust of transmigration among the three appearances, failing to see the original nature of existence.
Therefore, the sole protector of all beings, which is unrivaled in the realms of mundane existence and ultimate peace, is this one supreme path that has been and will be followed by all jinas. By the power of the blessings of great compassion and the great fortune and good deeds of disciples, this appears only this one time, so it is difficult to find and is even more rare than the udumbara flower.
Through thick and thin until enlightenment, may we always be accompanied by the unfailing affection and respect of vajra siblings with common karma and aspirations, and may we practice the Vajrayāna.
Some tips for making the most of your creativity/getting shit done! 🙂
1. Put on inspiring music while working. Inspiring is relative of course, whatever floats your goat. I personally like anything from Lady Gaga (her new stuff) to Guts to Enya.. Just make sure it’s not distracting.
2. Write a list of the things you need/want to do/make. As you cross them off, sense of achievement grows.
3. Take pictures. Sometimes when I paint, I take pictures instead of just looking at it to find out what to do next, because somehow I feel like the camera shows a slightly different reality which your eyes can’t always spot.
4. Use Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration. These are great platforms to look for creative work. I know Instagram specifically has this bad reputation of “giving” people terrible self-esteem, with all the filters and “perfect” pictures, but it all
depends what you look for. Like almost anything, it can be used in a healthy way.
Slik sier man pannebånd hvor jeg kommer fra iallfall 😄 En enkel d.i.y som jeg ladge for masse år siden; sydde et lite hårtørkle/pannebånd ut av et sjal med fint fargerikt blomstermønster. På midten av båndet er det et lite tøystykke som klemmer det sammen og gir sånn fin fasong. Enkel dobbelknute i nakken ✌ Nå som jeg begynner å få hår igjen (holdt det på 7 mm en god stund), så er det gøy å leke med litt farger, frisyrer og diverse hårpynt. Også må jeg innrømme at min naturlige hårfarge ikke er så verst, er nok ferdig med å farge det!💙💚❤💛
Having sewing projects going on like the one I am working on now (stay tuned😊), makes me so motivated. The more creative work I do, the more creativity flows. And it flows from a natural, not forced place, which I think is crucial for good results. One less positive thing about being in a creative mode though is how much money I spend on craft supplies 😅 I probably didn’t need to order all these ribbons/bands. But they all looked so cute. And I like having options. Sorry, wallet. I will make sure to use it all, somehow!
Handmade traditional form fitted sámi silk shawl for my Sea Sámi kofte made with Asian brocade fabric traditionally used in buddhism. Lotus and vajra pattern in yellow and gold 😊 Turned out so nice, very happy with the result, it’s glowing in the sunlight 🙌 My kofte (gákti) is green, which will look amazing with the yellow 💛