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My dear listener,

this is just a reminder to be thankful for what's already there. And it's about the magical moments next to the sea. And it's also about the love for life and how thankful we can be when we wake up the next day and get another day gifted.

Here is a mini-outtake:

"Fire. And so I began to incorporate the element of fire more into my life. And then, when I stand there looking into the fire, it reminds me of my own fire. That I am allowed to fill everything I do with passion. That I can always release my inner fire and power.

The function of water is purification and regulation. It brings clarity and calm.

Fire, on the other hand, is a symbol of transformation, unbridled passion and for action.

I understand what the lady meant: contrasts bring balance."

Feel free to share if you like it, so that we can spread the love for life to others as well!

Duration: 15 minutes


Yours, Anna

163 views0 comments


DURATION to read this article: A LONG CUP OF TEA

My dear ones out there,

wherever you may be, I hope you are well at heart.

It's December. A perfect month for rituals and for the question: what did this year teach me?

The focus of this newsletter is more on my personal and emotive year. No tools. No clever advice. No ideas for a better life. It's a "lookback-with-an-eagle-view" on my 2022.

Here we go:

Congratulation, 2022 - you did it. You receive the gold medal.

I declare you, 2022, as the worst year of my life. It's said.

The funny thing is: I feel that the day will come when I will tell you: "Oh, 2022 was the year which taught me more important lessons in my life than anything before."


What happens when you realise that your biggest fear is going to happen?

I don't have any problems with my own death, but losing someone I love was my biggest fear. In January, it was pretty clear that this year might bring this fear to reality. The question was only: how much time do we have left with Dad?

And then you get on that rollercoaster. But you are not alone. On the same row are other passengers: To your left sits hope. And to the right sits fear.

On some days, hope is loud, and you think: yes, I believe in miracles. Yes, it's going to be okay. Yes, this new therapy will work. Yes, so many people survive cancer, and he will also survive it. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Hope always brought me some kind of energy. It gave me the feeling of "flying" a little. Flying away from reality.

On the other days, fear is louder, screams into both of your ears, and paralyses you. I'm not a big fan of fear, but this time, every time I feared the outcome, fear somehow cut the wings of hope and brought me back to the harsh reality, which was good.

Lesson learned: You will never be alone on that rollercoaster. In my case, it was hope & fear, and today I know they both had an important part in going through the blurry time of uncertainty.

Intuitive FEBRUARY:

You may already know the story, but I'll tell it anyway because I am deeply impressed by it: on February 16, I had a conversation with my grief counsellor. At the end of the conversation, she asked me, "What do you have in mind now, Mrs Jelen?"

I looked around, drifted off in thought and suddenly said, "I think I want to paint."

This sentence came from "somewhere". Since that day, I have been painting, and I am happy every time I do it. Pure therapy. These evenings in the laundry room (that's where my studio is), painting has given me the strength I needed. And every now and then, Dad would suddenly stand behind me. Watching me paint. Sharing a little comment. And just as suddenly as he was there, he was gone again.

That's when I learned: if the inner voice says something that seems to come from "somewhere", then I listen to it because it is 100% justified.


The time was filled with weekly chemo for Dad. And with the difficult conversations, where finality shows its face. I was so exhausted that my husband said: "Go away. See friends. Do yourself some good." This I did, which was balm for the heart. The trip also brought me unexpectedly to Brussels, where I had three fantastic days with myself. And caught up with my scar of life after falling into a window (long & funny story for another time...). Today I look at the scar, and know it is the scar of the long year 2022.

Yes, you can take time out in difficult times. In fact, you should. How the hell will you otherwise go through it? Think of it: you come back home with new energy. Ready to face it again.

Lesson learned: We often confuse that having a break from our worries has nothing to do with "running away" from the actual problem. Even if it's just the break of going out for a walk or going away for a few days- everyone has the right to take a break.

Photo: find the scar


Looking back on the year, there are months almost erased from my memory. April is one of these months. I know; it was Dad's last birthday on April 11. I remember all the conversations about testament, about what he wanted in case of this and in case of that and and and. I know why my memory was erased that month because it was almost unbearable.

I have one apparent memory: I gave a speech in Basel for Mercedes Benz. I remember telling me that day:

I need to have fun today. Otherwise, this doesn't work. Again I thought: I'm offering myself another short break. I also thought: these people are here to be inspired. And I remembered the participants' voices, telling me what my speech had changed in their lives - and I realised again that I had a task. So I went on that stage, and I had so much fun.

I remember starting my speech, sitting in a chair, reading a letter, beginning: my dear ones out there, when you read this letter, I'm dead.

Ha! You see: fully in my element! :-))))

That day I knew: I want to go back on stage as a Keynote speaker again.

Lesson learned: No 1: there will be a moment when your soul will put you into a bubble of protection. Thank you, soul!

f***ing MAY (part one)

It's okay to have regrets in life. It's normal. It happens. But believe me, I don't want to have many of them. It's not my style. :-)

That month, one of my regrets in life was born. I regret I didn't just take Dad in the car and drive him to the ocean. What he so deeply wanted. Just one more time. But there was too much fear. I didn't do it. I suppose it's okay.

Because we, the gang, decided to go on the last trip (not to the ocean) but to Ascona (just 2,5 hours away from the hospital, he had his doctors). Even though also these days are put into a bubble. I wonder when I can access that bubble without falling apart. Dad wasn't doing well, not at all, but as usual, he didn't complain once.

One day I'll tell you more about the unforgettable moments in the palliative care unit. I can't do it today. Only this: On May 18, in the afternoon, I sent Mum and my sister Siri home to rest, and I sat in the garden outside the hospital, staring at Dad's window without a pause to see if I could see an angel flying out. But no angel came flying out. Dad always took his time. Even with dying.

That evening, I wrote a message to our friends that it would be good to have a Gin and Tonic on Pappa in the evening. His favourite drink. Late at night, I sat next to him, drinking one, dipping his mouth care swab in the gin tonic, placing it next to his nose - hoping he could scent it.

On May 19th, Mamma, Siri and I were sitting at Pappa's bedside when he (typically) passed away at five past 12.

f****ing May (part two)

When the "administrative tasks after death" were done, I had the glorious idea to go to the tiny desert Island in Sweden all by myself for almost two weeks. Yes, it was my decision. I wanted to confront the grief alone. To throw me into it. I will never forget that time in my life. It was extreme. Holy shit.

Learned lesson:

Pain is a source of creativity. Because a few months later, I suddenly saw the potential of creating a project out of it. That's how my work, HIDDEN GRIEF came alive (more details on January 23).


This month has been erased from my memory. Just a few memories graved into my heart: the three jelen ladies starting the journey of "spreading Dad's ashes" at the places selected by him. Rituals, rituals and more rituals. Medicine for the soul.

I also got some ashes in the face because the wind turned when I threw it into the ocean.

We laughed.

Mum Siri and I will be travelling to the next place, selected by Dad, on January 6. We must go to Uruguay...

Learned lesson: Remember the podcast episode "the last letter"? What Dad did, goes in the same direction: he gave us a plan for "when I'm gone..".

We knew exactly what to do. From the photo for the grief card up to where we have to spread his ashes. This is the most significant gift you can give the surviving dependents.

Photo below: ashes in the face... we must keep the humour, and I know Dad would have shaken his head, but he would have laughed.


At special times in life, when it is the right time for both sides, you will meet. For me, there is no better term than magical encounters. Encounters becoming friends.

Lesson learned: Trust that you meet certain people at the right time. Not before and not later. But just at the right time. The incredible thing is: at first; I thought this was only meant for me and that these encounters had been sent to support me. Wrong. I should also be in their life for a reason. A win-win situation is given by the universe. Ha!


It was the first time I celebrated my birthday with one of my best friends because his birthday was the day after mine. Of course, it was his idea. I agreed, murmuring something like, "I don't celebrate my birthday because I have a few birthdays per year and anyway, I celebrate every day as if it was a birthday bla bla bla..."

Let's talk about friends. I have a few best friends. I'm one of them. But there are others, and this year, holy moly, they got the package of being my friend.

As one of my friends wrote a few days ago: "You are right, it wasn't always easy (he is referring to this year), but that's what friendship is all about. For me, it was the most intensive and also the most beautiful year of our long friendship."

I have no words for how I feel about having them around. I'm a fortunate girl filled with pure gratitude.

Lesson learned: I will always need my friends. For this, I want to take care of them because each one is a gift.


Milano Parte 1.

Another intuitive thought showed up in May when I sat beside Dad at the hospital. An inner voice said: "You should go to Milano."

I looked at Dad and said: "There is a voice telling me I should go to Milano."

Dad: "Well, then you should go."

A few months later, I wanted to work on the "hidden grief" project at a remote place. Suddenly I thought: Milano! Maybe this is the time for Milano.

I didn't expect what happened: Milano brought me back. Back to my core. More on this on the Milano Parte duo (November).

Do you remember that I wrote about fear in January? Now here's something fascinating, and this is what I've learned for myself: when the fear I have arrives, I'm free of fear afterwards.

I'm trying to explain it: what I had feared had happened.

So theoretically, the fear was gone because it had happened, right?

That's precisely what it was!

I remember sitting in a park in Milano, observing this strange new feeling showing up. More and more, it becomes apparent: "I'm not afraid anymore."

The learned lesson, it's a quote:

Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.

He, he, he...


In October, Samuel, Mum and I were invited to a funeral service at the place where I lived when I was 17 years old. Cirencester in England. Back to the past. Back to the family & home, I lived, back to the bus halt where I waited for my bus to go to college.

I know we often think: It's better to let the past be in the past.

Maybe because we are worried that it will not be the same as it was.

Of course not! We change. The place changes.

But I had a blast!

It was good to go back.

Learned lesson: Blimey, I didn't know Cirencester had that many pubs! Of course not, I wasn't old enough to go there when I lived there! But Samuel and I visited them. I think all of them. We laughed a lot.


Milano Parte II

Just imagine it: eat Spaghettis, drink red wine and speak about time. Is there anything more exciting? Not for me!

Conclusion: I must learn the Italian language.

I only had one big gig that month, so again I thought: let's take the opportunity to go back to Milano.

Being on my own is very important to me.

First: I love to be with myself because I think I am funny.

When I am all by myself, I always see my "core" again. Not that I lose it when I am with others, it just reminds me of who I am without any layers, and that's important. I do it regularly - so I don't lose myself. It's a ritual I also have in my everyday life, even when I am among many people. Even when I speak on stage or am surrounded by my lovely family and friends, I will always find myself alone at some time afterwards. Even if it's just lying in a bath for two hours, ears under the water, watching the ceiling, listening to my heartbeat. It's the miniature version of Milano.

Lesson learned: I learned to cook the best Spaghetti al Pomodoro.

But before we leave the month of November, are you ready for some magic?

The night before I left home, I thought: "Maybe that is a good moment to take one of Dad's diaries with me and to read a page now and then."

I couldn't do it at home without making me very sad, but I thought it might be different in Milano.

So the day after, I rushed to my office, where I kept all his 200-300 diaries.

I had to catch the train, so I had to rush.

I stood in front of all those diaries; I reached out for one, somewhere in the chaos and took it.

That night, after having unpacked my bag. I sat in my little flat in Milano, candles lighted, music in the background looked at the stack of my books on the table and saw Dad's diary lying on top. I took it, and I opened it.

This is what I saw:

For a moment, I was breathless.

Still today, I'm speechless.


I was doing so well in Milano.

Some say it was an escape. I disagree. I knew that I needed to get away. So luckily, I did. Milano brought me back to my core. It gave me energy and the knowledge that it would be okay.

But holy cow, when I came back home to Arosa, sadness came again over me like a wave trying to push me to the ground. I thought: "No, please, come on! Not again!" The incredible thing was; it beamed me back to the month of May. Everything came back again. Every minute. Every picture. Every emotion! My grief therapists told me it happens.

So I knew: back to what helps. Painting. #laundryart It helped.

Then Christmas was knocking on the door.

We all knew that we didn't want to spend Christmas at home in Arosa, where we usually are, so we went to our other home: Sweden.

The ocean and the big sky are medicine, and something has happened in the last few days. Something good. I feel a change. I feel a mounting strength. I feel an uprising heat inside of me. I feel a huge urge to turn my creativity into good work.

So this is what I will do.


  • Therefore many of you missed it, and you told me so (thank you!): the Monday Blues Rebell Newsletter will be back every Monday Morning in your inbox.

  • I have refreshed my speech "Let's talk about time", - so if you hear someone looking for a keynote speech, I'm ready.

  • Don't worry: I'm still writing the book.

My dear reader.

I almost feel bad because this was all about me. I needed to write this, and more than I thought (like a lot) wanted to read it. I hope it gave you something.

Thank you for taking part.

I know people out there who have lost loved ones and spent the first Christmas without them. Believe me; I am with you. And I am sure: everything is going to be okay. Keep the trust.

Take good care of yourself.

Sincerely, yours




DAUER: eine lange Tasse Tee

Meine Lieben da draußen,

wo auch immer ihr sein mögt, ich hoffe, es geht euch im Herzen gut.

Es ist Dezember. Ein perfekter Monat für Rituale und für die Frage: Was hat mich dieses Jahr gelehrt?

Der Fokus dieses Newsletters liegt eher auf meinem persönlichen und gefühlsmäßigen Jahr. Keine Tools. Keine klugen Ratschläge. Keine Ideen für ein besseres Leben. Es ist ein "Rückblick-mit-Adler-Blick" auf mein Jahr 2022.

Los geht's:

Herzlichen Glückwunsch, 2022 - du hast es geschafft. Du erhältst die Goldmedaille:

Ich erkläre dich, 2022, zum schlimmsten Jahr meines Lebens. Voilà.

Das Lustige daran ist: Ich spüre, dass der Tag kommen wird, an dem ich dir sagen werde: "Oh, 2022 war das Jahr, das mich mehr wichtige Lektionen in meinem Leben gelehrt hat als alles andere zuvor."


Was passiert, wenn du merkst, dass deine größte Angst wahr wird?

Mit meinem eigenen Tod habe ich keine Probleme, aber jemanden zu verlieren, den ich liebe, war meine größte Angst. Im Januar war mir ziemlich klar, dass diese Angst in diesem Jahr Realität werden könnte. Die Frage war nur: Wie viel Zeit haben wir noch mit Papa?