Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"smiler story" from Runa



Where is the gift in this? 
It was midnight US Eastern time, however my mind and body told me the time was 5 a.m. as I had just landed in New York from Iceland. I was on my way to Washington DC where I was booked to speak at the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) National Conference the following morning.   My trip had not exactly started as planned.  It started with a delayed arrival from Iceland, causing me to lose my connecting flight.  My only option to make it to Washington DC in time for my speaking engagements was to take the train. The second flip…mistake… event, whatever we want to call it, to delay my trip, was when I missed the train station I was supposed to go to catch my train to Washington D.C.
Tired and extremely frustrated at myself for making that mistake, finally I arrived at Penn Station, only to find out that I had missed the midnight train to Washington D.C. and that the next train was not expected to depart till 4 a.m. that morning.   With my train ticket in one hand, my luggage in the other, I sat down in the main entrance hall of Penn Station, still could not believe I had screwed things up so badly.  As I thought about my situation, my 4 hour wait ahead, my concern to be able to deliver my speech the following day, arriving in DC only few hours before I should be on stage, a question popped up in my mind, several times.  The question was: ”Runa, where is the gift in this moment?” Yeah, well, it sounded more like “Where is the so called gift in this moment?” 
As I tried to come to terms with my situation and figure out “the gift in that moment” a group of police officers entered the main hall at Penn Station and asked everybody to evacuate the building. They were ready to close the building for the night. As I looked around, I realized I was sitting with the homeless people of New York, and the police were escorting everybody out of the station.   People slowly moved out of the station.   I was terrified… “WHAT!?  It’s cold and dark and I don’t have any place to go to in New York!  How am I going to catch the 4 a.m. train if I’m not even allowed to be inside Penn Station?”  I turned to one of the police officer with my question, and he guided me to wait in a special waiting room by the platform.  “Uff… “That was a relief I thought.  Then I looked around me, I noticed that many of my “new friends” of New York (the homeless people) knew about the waiting rooms and accompanied me into the warm waiting-room.
As they entered the waiting room, they quietly lay on the wooden benches (which all had a sign saying only for people with valid train tickets) and fell asleep.  I however was determined that despite the time difference and long travel, I was going to stay wide awake till my train would arrive.  Still frustrated…and amazed by this situation I was in, I kept asking myself the question: “Where is the gift in this? Where is the gift in this situation? Why am I here?”
The night came, and soon I noticed there was a certain pattern of activities that took place inside that waiting room.  My new homeless friends who had found a place to sleep around me, only got about 1 hour of sleep, as the police officers came regularly and quietly touched their shoulder… the sleepy homeless person looked up… quietly stood up and moved out… as this happened, a new homeless person came into my waiting room… fell asleep, and in about 1 hour a pair of two police officers entered… quietly touched their shoulders… and the same routine started. 
As I watched this routine of quiet work from the police officers, and quiet acceptance from the homeless the biggest, most amazing, overwhelming “gift in the moment” appeared to me.   I felt the feeling of respect.  Deep meaningful respect.  I felt the respect that was in the air.  I felt the respect the police officers (who were just doing their jobs) showed the homeless, despite their situation, a respect that was clearly reciprocated by the homeless.  This experience gave me a new feeling of how we are all connected and told me how all human beings, in all aspects of life have deep desire to give respect and be respected.   
My night at New York Penn Station was a true gift.  It made me vulnerable, and at the same time deeply grateful for being able to witness and feel the mutual respect between human beings, a mutual respect which is so fundamentally important in human relations.

Runa Magnusdottir
International Leadership & Personal Branding Lecturer & Seminar Leader

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


                                                      CUT YOURSELF FREE

 Are you happy with where your life is heading? ... or not??

Most of the time you are your own obstacle. You do not let your dreams soar because you fear something imaginary – something awful that might conceivably happen.
For a very long time I made security a priority in my life. This was certainly true when it came to my finances. That is why it suited me well to work in the health care sector. I did it for years, collecting my wages at the end of each month. Yet I am also trained as a visual artist, and since graduating from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2001 I have dreamed about working exclusively on my art.

After Iceland’s financial meltdown in 2008, I summoned my courage and quit my job. Many people were astonished at my timing… but I followed my heart, without further hesitation. I made a decision to devote myself to my art and to trust what is written in the Scriptures: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” My life has been wonderful almost every day since then, and my level of material comfort has not changed.
I choose not to sacrifice my dreams for a “security” that is unreliable in any case. I would rather try my dreams on for size and find out how they feel. If they fit badly, I can always take them off – I hope.

Verily I say unto thee: Believe in the dream that fills you with passion, and follow it. Life is a lot more vibrant when you let go of your safety line and dare to climb new mountains.
     (from the forthcoming book: Be a smiler…)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


                                              WHY HELPING OTHERS TO FLY?

“It is better to give than to receive.” This old adage speaks volumes. The smiles you send out always come back to you eventually.

We all have hopes and desires, and the quickest way to get what you want is to give it to someone else… with sincerity and joy. This is true for all things, both spiritual and material.

“I am one with all there is,” that is, a part of The Creator, and therefore I consider it impossible for me to do something to my neighbour, good or bad, without getting the same thing back. If I break my little toe, all of me suffers, because even though the toe is small, it is connected to the rest of my body. Even your enemy’s happiness boosts your happiness, upon closer inspection. A happy person is less likely to do harmful things than the one who is unhappy.

Jesus was a wise man, and one of his best pieces of advice was to do unto others as you would have others do unto you. This is precisely the point. If you want the love and respect of others, give them the same… generously, with praise and approval. Instantly you will feel as though you are worthy and that you matter. Furthermore, others will think more highly of you, and will not want to be without you. 
( From the forthcoming book: Be a smiler... )

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


                                               THE CUTEST GUY IN THE CLASS 
Few days ago I was having a walk in a beautiful garden in my neighbourhood with my creator Gegga. This time Gegga was stucked in a little bit selfpitty because she felt her dreams were not coming true – yet! So she asked God to send her some nice guy to cheer her up.

     Suddenly we saw a man sitting on a bench. He was nice looking and somehow he seemed to shine. When we came closer, Gegga recognised it was a man who almost 40 years ago, not though fully, sounds better to say 38... was in school with her. He had been the most handsome boy in her class. All the girls agreed to that. He was always smiling which of course made him even more attractive.  Once upon a time Gegga had even kissed him! – in the good old days when she was only 14 :)

     Now, sitting there on the bench, they had a chat and he told her he’d been sick with a cancer for a few years now, and still wasn’t cured. But what a smile on his face! He was so positive and joyful that Gegga felt a little ashamed of her own selfpitty. She asked if he was able to work, knowing he had been working as a plummer. And he told her he worked now and then for “nice people” – doing just what pleased him.  And when the job was not fun enough HE JUST MADE IT JOYFUL AND FUN!!  He trained his mind in every way to be positive and creative.

     He told Gegga, his job was to take care of his mind – the doctors job was to take care of his body!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013


                  DO WHAT IT TAKES 


Gegga – my creator is a hero! She does everything – I  mean almost everything, for me... because I´m her BIG DREAM and she is my BIGGEST FAN. 

Two days ago we were travelling in the country side, visiting a wondrous place in Iceland called Talknafjordur.
One beautiful day Gegga decided to take a walk on the beach, that happens to be one of the most amazing places in the world, at least that is what she thinks. She was carrying me; smiler with her, as always. The day before we had seen a beautiful rock on the beach and I wanted her to take a picture of me with that rock (just love rock and roll). But unfortunately her camera had run out of battery. So now we were going to give it another try and take some  shots. We didn´t think it would be high tide - but clearly it was. So the rock was surrounded by ICECOLD sea! Still winter here and the sea is always very, veeeeeeeery cold!!

Some people in Iceland are known to be a little crazy because they go sea-bathing. But not Gegga ... until that day! She took off her shoes and trousers and walked into the sea – freezing - and screaming loudly – but she made that shot!!

Always do what it takes!!!!!