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My 40th Birthday 🎈

Two days ago, the earth finished its 40th lap around the sun since I exited my mother. I was at the week-long wedding burn of Franzys and Inez whose beautiful ceremony took place the day before. I was woken up by drumming, and a group of friends coming into my tent giving me breakfast in bed. Viola was sleeping by my side but had been up early, getting only 3 hours of sleep, to prep it for them. Being in a space where a lot of my friends were was really great. They sang for me and each expressed a wish for me in my next decade to come. I was also asked about what I would wish for myself. I’ll get to that wish farther down. When 11.15 approached, the time at which I was born, the five people remaining gave me a soft massage. Eventually we got up and headed for the breakfast table. There were more people there and the three Swedish speakers led a birthday song for me in Swedish. Pontus cooked some salmon for me when I felt that I couldn’t eat the normal vegan breakfast available, for reasons I can only tell you about if you ask in person.

Then Viola and Sarah took me to the ocean. Halfway there Viola asked me to close my eyes and she walked me the rest of the way in blindness. When I arrived some new people sang for me, whose voices or number I couldn’t quite make out. Then I was undressed in front of them, and led into the sea. I kept my eyes closed until i entered a swarm of jelly fish with felt too weird to keep my eyes closed. Then I played with Viola and Saga in the water for a while and then sat down on the beach and had a really nice conversation with Johannes; about friendship, safety and how we see each other.

We made it back just in time for the closing circle, where everybody shard about our experiences at the wedding in smaller groups. I was with Johannes Asmund, Kiki and Morten. Then we all helped pack down all the stuff with some breaks for hanging out and talking.

Eventually we ate supper. During supper everybody sang for me which was really touching when I allowed it and stood up to see everybody. Anežka announced that after food they would be birthday circling me and whoever wanted to was welcome to join. About a dozen of my friends and acquaintances joined.

We sat on mattresses in a cosy big room. My friends formed a sort of half-circle with me in focus. Before we started with the birthday circling Peter handed out papers and pens and asked everybody to write down three words that capture who I am. I also got a paper and was asked to do the same. Then the papers were collected in a pile and I was asked to read them out loud:

Deep, Complex, Intense Courageous, Handsome, Embodied Honest, Caring, Growing/Expanding Beautiful, Wise, Tender Complex thinker, Generous, Strong Stoic, Stable, Kind Innocent, Adventurous, Shy Attentive, Trustworthy, Explorative Harsh, Adventurous, Caring Calm, Kind, Quiet Solid, Cool, Explorative, Intense Adventurous, Deep, Present

One paper was blank and one participant panicked but said he wrote “stoic” before giving up.

It was very touching to read the papers. They paint a picture of a person I want to be, if perhaps less harsh, intense and shy. After that Anežka handed the circling leadership over to Peter because she was a bit ill and very tired. We started with a short meditation and then Peter asked me how it was to be me. Still touched by the attention, and by all the words I’d gotten I had spent the meditation feeling into how difficult it was for me to really let that in. Tears came to my eyes and I shared how dangerous it felt to be loved. The whole session became an exploration of that. When I tried to allow myself to feel the truth of people there loving me I felt panic rising in my chest. Chris asked me about the finer quality and details of that and I could notice that there was some sense of “I can’t allow that, because then…”, but I couldn’t quite catch what the “because then” was about. Morten expressed confusion, and helped me see that the panic wasn’t really about being loved but about loving. It became clear that if I allow myself to really love somebody, then I open up to be left, betrayed, disappointed, and there is a young child in me that once upon a time was too much betrayed and too much left. He now panics if I move towards letting something or somebody really mean something to me, to protect himself from overwhelming pain. Peter asked me what that young boy would need to feel safe. It was hard to feel into. I sat quiet for a while. I could almost catch it, but it resisted formulation. I started talking about the fragments I could see instead of trying to catch the full truth of it. There was something about frames and stories and something about allies. Speaking about it made it clearer, and what I really would have needed was somebody to have my back. Somebody that stayed on my side and held my dignity when I was humiliated. Dignity was the key word here. I cried for my lost dignity, and then I cried for everyone who lacks dignity in the world, my thoughts stretching to Kanzeon. Peter offered to sit behind me to “have my back”, but I could feel that he, and several others in there, already was for me what I needed, if I allowed myself to trust it. Sitting with that, I could hold the panicking child and allow myself to love these amazing people in front of me. It was very beautiful.

In the morning when my friends had expressed their wishes for me I was asked what I wished for myself for the coming decade. I said “I wish to be courageous enough to love more. It is hard for me love, it feels very dangerous”. My first chance to embody that came swiftly.

After the circle everybody shared about what impact it had had on them and I felt seen, valued, listened to and that I am very lucky and happy to have such friends.

I ended the evening by sitting by the fire with Kiki, having slow conversation while some people played and sang softly. After some time, Viola came and we went to bed.

The next day, i.e yesterday, I woke up and checked messages and Facebook on my phone and found many beautiful birthday wishes. Thank you for writing me. I love you, and I promise to become better at daring to feel it and express it ❤️

I got a lot of beautiful response to this on Facebook.

Thank you for reading 🙏

I hope it was useful for you.

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