Idyllic Sweden

Posted by on November 10, 2013

Nancy and Brandon enjoying Swedish Apple Bounty

I am happy to take some time and share some of the beautiful experiences that have been happening in my life recently, and not so recently, as it’s been a long time since my last update.

I’m currently residing in Southern Sweden in a very small town called Vejbystrand, not too far from Copenhagen, Denmark. I’ve met my spiritual partner and love, Nancy, which is a gift beyond anything I could have imagined. For that, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. It’s a new level of relationship for me with a deep sense of ease, naturalness and comfort. It’s been beautiful to form a relationship with a focus on seeing the divine shining through one other – seeing beyond our forms as individuals to something more essential, while at the same time being madly in love.

Chef Violet making lunch

Nancy and I met in Mexico in January of this year and spent a few months together there before reuniting here in Sweden in July. Nancy has also brought a beautiful, 5-year old girl, Violet, into my life. It’s ironic that I always said I didn’t want kids, but now have a 5-year old in my life who has completely changed my perspective on children. Violet is truly an amazing being and one who teaches me so much each day and brings joy and light into my life.

Besides starting a new life together, Nancy and I have also started a new business, focused on bringing “Superfoods” to the European market and especially to Sweden. If you’d like to check out the business and see a picture of Nancy and Violet, see www.superfoodsubscriptions.com.  Since I’ve been here, I’ve spent a lot of time working on the new business and website and have learned a tremendous amount in the process. We’re excited now to be moving to the next phase of getting the word out and letting people know about the incredible nutritional value of Superfoods, something that Nancy has brought into my life in a big way.

Sunset over the ocean from our apartment

Nancy and Violet in the Troll Forest

Perhaps the best word to describe our life here in Vejbystrand is “idyllic.” We live in a small nicely furnished apartment with a view of the ocean. Most mornings I walk about a block to take my morning jog on our beach, which is surrounded by wild rose bushes, all pushing out their big, bright red rose hips. I never knew that the fruit of wild roses was so big and incredibly nutritious. Directly adjacent to our apartment is a small forest that they call the Troll forest because of the magical shape of many of the trees whose trunks often first grow in a complete loop before finally shooting skyward.

From the perspective of food, we have an incredible abundance here of sane, healthy, nourishing foods. We get raw milk from a small dairy down the street; sometimes I ride my bike there to pick up milk, wave hello to the cows and try to calm down the manure-covered dogs. (If you’re curious about the safety and benefits of drinking raw milk, check out www.realmilk.com. I was amazed at the lies and fear we have been fed for so long around this topic.)

A bit farther away, we’ve found another small farmer (a Danish couple) who have chickens running around on their property within a generous enclosure. They produce about 30 eggs / day, and I think we’re their best customer. Our family probably consumes about 10 eggs / day! Usually we get some amazing veggies from them as well – leeks, fennel, zucchini, beets, carrots and pickling cucumbers. I’ve been making my own yogurt and herb cream cheese from the raw milk, and Nancy has been making sauerkraut and pickled beets. Nancy’s ex-husband, Sandro, drives up to the nearby ridge and brings us back big jugs of spring water once a week. The spring is tucked away in the forest and he collects the water directly from where it bubbles out of the ground. Sandro is a wonderful guy and has really welcomed me to his family and community.

Mushroom Foraging

A few weeks ago, I went out mushroom picking with a friend here and came back with about 17 pounds of mushrooms! It was a long process to clean, cut and dry them, but we feel very fortunate for the bounty of the forest and fields. July and August were our “berry months” and we collected lots of wonderful raspberries, blackberries, currants and cherries. Apple season is now ending, and the other day, I picked about 20 pounds of apples from trees in the neighborhood.

Life here is particularly sane, where our friends in the community all help take care of one another and one another’s children. Whenever someone is going to get food, milk, water, fruit, etc., they bring back some for their friends. We don’t lock our bikes outside of our homes. When the weather is nice, we take Violet to school on our bikes, riding through small forest trails and along the coast. Friends pop in frequently to visit, usually unannounced. We rarely lock our door.

I feel particularly grateful to the new worlds that I’ve been opened to in the last year in my 9 months in South and Central America. Getting to travel with my brother was an experience I’ll treasure for a lifetime. I deepened my practice in yoga and meditation. I explored Shamanistic rituals of Amazonian origin. I cannot say enough good things about the way these cultures use sacred plants to open consciousness in ways that are extremely powerful, beautiful and healing. More on that in another post.

On the dietary side, I’ve had so many paradigms shifted – raw milk, raw eggs, fermented foods, Superfoods, the incredible benefits of wild meat, and the wisdom of indigenous traditions on so many fronts, but especially related to food. (See the very interesting and useful book on indigenous nutrition called Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nigel). Of course there are many perspectives on nutrition, but what feels right for me now is that as humans, we have known for a long time how to eat in ways that are healthy and nourishing. In our modern civilization we seem to have traded this wisdom for convenience or fad diets. It’s been fascinating to “go back in time” and see how much our ancestors actually knew about nourishing our bodies, and how much of that we’ve forgotten or discarded.

Rainbow over the farms of southern Sweden

I feel as though a fog has been lifted from my eyes, and that I am learning to see the world and my life in a whole new light. I can see the deep challenges our world faces and the true insanity that modern life has brought us to – the disconnection from our wisdom traditions and essential knowledge that has been cultivated over millenia. Yet, somehow I am able to hold this suffering with less attachment and more love. Imagine what life would be like if everything you believed to be true simply wasn’t, or didn’t have to be.

Over the last year, I have experienced a massive shift and opening consciousness, and have seen many around me also opening in beautiful, amazing ways. We are truly living in fascinating times! What I seem to keep learning over and over again at ever deeper levels is to continue to listen and surrender to the wisdom of Life – to realize that “I” don’t have to figure everything out, and that if I stop long enough, I can experience a connection to an intelligence that is far greater that the “little me” I sometimes imagine myself to be.

I feel like I’ve lived 100 lifetimes in the past month let alone the past year. Perhaps what feels most relevant is that when I stop and am still, I feel an infinite depth of abundance and gratitude. This is such a beautiful gift. I want to thank all of you for your generosity over the months and years, whether in large or small ways.

May you all be well and really happy!

Lots of Love,

Brandon

One Response to Idyllic Sweden

  1. 1
    Christine says:

    Dear Brandon,
    Thank you for this lovely story about your life. I feel very privileged to read about your new step into this happy direction. You have done so many inspiring and beautiful things in the last years. It seems that you are developing and growing continually into a more refined a full you. All my love and best wishes to the three of you. Thanks for reminding me with your blog about what is important and good in life.
    Christine

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