female entrepreneur

Living on the hope and having a 30 years celebration!

Parachuting with blue sky and white, fluffy clouds

“I do everything the doctors told me would be impossible!”
See the movie with the interview here (in Swedish).

One year ago, the Swedish newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet, wrote a series of articles about pain. I had the honor to be interviewed and got a double-sided article about how I have managed to raise myself up and move forward after four different back injuries.

Today I am celebrating 30 years since my first back injury!!! 🎉💃🥂

How can I celebrate an injury that has given me 30 years with constant pain?!

It’s all about mindset, attitude, and the insight that it is my own choice how I handle it. Why wouldn’t I celebrate everything that injury has given me?

All these people I have met and will meet in the future. All the knowledge about the body and the brain made me niche my coaching to help other people manage their pain and share the tools, science, and knowledge I have gathered throughout the years and still keep on gathering through collaboration and curiosity to always learn more.
The things that very few within the healthcare system have shared with me through all these years. The journey with my own personal development started as a 16-year-old girl, where my life went from an elite athlete to a young girl with constant pain within a few seconds. When I early in life got the opportunity to reflect on what is important and valuable for real life.

I would never want to have that parachute jump 30 years ago undone.

Parachuting is still by far the most magnificent experience and the greatest feeling of freedom I have ever felt! 🪂

Skydivers know why the birds sing!

Before you start to argue about how dangerous it is to go skydiving, it is more dangerous to sit in a car than to skydive! I have also been in a car accident, and I had a whiplash injury since that accident, but I still continue to go by car, and no one ever questions that…

I have been through more tough injuries and experiences during my years so far than many people get to go through during a lifetime.

Am I bitter? Not at all!

I’m thankful! 🙏

Thankful to have the ability to see the small moments of happiness, thankful that I today can share my knowledge with others, thankful that I have chosen life!

I have three choices:

1. I can choose to finish my life and never ever feel the pain anymore. But I would also miss out on everything fantastic that life also offers me. Believe me, the thoughts have been there several times. But my curiosity about life has always been bigger!

2. I can choose to stay on the sofa, being bitter, angry, and sad. It would only increase my pain to be still and wouldn’t contribute to anything constructive or positive.

3. I can choose to focus on what I can do and enjoy life!

I have always chosen number 3!

Of course, I have bad days when I lay on the sofa, crying, I am a human being, not a robot! But I have always understood that it is my own choice to stay there or not, and I have always raised myself up, brushed off the sadness, and moved forward.

It has been a lot of tough years, financially, to be an entrepreneur, yet, I can’t even imagine going back as an employee. For me, the security to manage my own time, sleep, rest, training, and recovery is so much more worth than a paycheck every month.

I have never felt so good in my back as I am at the moment because I have the possibility to adapt my schedule to keep the pain at an even and good level. That is so much worth it for me. But of course, it is really tough to hardly have money to pay the bills or buy food, but I am also aware that I will earn more money as an entrepreneur than as an employee; I have my goals set and working my way up there.

Why do I write about these injuries and the pain?

The work to continue my ebook to Swedish has started, “The invisible pain – my faithful companion” will come out in Swedish this fall with the title “Den osynliga smärtan – min trogna följeslagare”.

The Swedish cover to my ebook: “Den osynliga smärtan – min trogna följeslagare”.
Pre-order it here.
🇸🇪

Do you want to read it in English instead? Purchase your copy right here, right now! 🇬🇧

This is a part of me, and I don’t talk about it to get anyone to feel sorry for me because it is not! I talk about it because 1 in 4 people lives with pain! It can be a cruciate ligament injury, arthritis, headache, long-term covid, endometriosis, back injury, herniated disc, fibromyalgia, CRPS, etc. But a lot of people get none or very little help to manage the pain.

Doctors focusing on medication and medical treatment, physiotherapists, naprapats, and similar focusing on physical treatments in the musculoskeletal system and training, and these treatments are of course vital. But very few of the people who daily meet patients with pain ever talk about one of the most important parts of pain management: the brain! The pain starts and stops in the brain, not in the foot, the knee, the back, the uterus, or wherever you feel the pain. That is where I come in; with my knowledge and experience, I complement doctors, physiotherapists, naprapats, etc.

Knowledge reduces fear, reduced fear increases the motivation to movement, increased movement decreases the pain!

This is my passion, my why, and my motivation to keep on working in my own company – to keep on helping other people to take back control over their pain again to start living a valuable and happy life again. ❤️

Read the article in Svenska Dagbladet here (in Swedish).

Have a lovely day and celebrate with me! 🥂🎉💃
With love, Cattis 💕

Is it really possible to control the pain?

Woman holding black Sony Ps 4 game controller
Wouldn’t it be convenient if we could control the pain with a game controller?!

This is a question I get quite often when I talk about how to be the CEO of long term pain. Many thinks that controlling the pain means pain killers. It is not. Read my last blog post, Science holds my back, to get more information about why pain killers doesn’t help for long term pain.

But it is possible to control the pain. Is it easy? Well, you probably have to do some changes in your life to get there, and changes doesn’t always come easy. But is it worth it?! OH YES!!!

A healthy human wants a thousand things, a sick human only wants one thing.
Confusius

So what can you do to control your pain? First of all you have to work with acceptance. And acceptance doesn’t come just like that. You have probably hated your part of the body that is hurting all the time. Frankly, I thought that acceptance is the same thing as giving up. When I realized it is not and I start working with my acceptance I finally could stop that ongoing war inside my body and I could make my pain to my faithful companion instead of my hated enemy.
Acceptance is about not valuate your feelings and accept that it is what it is today, it doesn’t mean it have to be like this tomorrow, or next week, next month, next year…
You will actually save a lot of energy and negative feelings when you start working with acceptance.
This is also one of the hardest part to work with, that is why I have it as the first module in my program, Become the CEO of long term pain. Because it takes time and you’re going to realize that acceptance is within most areas of life, especially the life with long term pain.

Everyday life

Do you have a lot of pain today? Does the pain increase by your job, hobbies, cleaning the house, cooking dinner etc.?
If your answer is yes on any of these questions, I will ask you further questions. Is it worth the increased pain to do the things you want to do? If the answer is yes, perfect, you have made a choice and that means you will accept the increased pain as well. If the answer is no, what can you do about it? Can you change something of what you do to decrease the pain instead? Do you have to do it like you always have been doing things?

For me I have realized that being an entrepreneur is a very important step in my own pain management. Why? First of all, my passion is truly to help people to manage their own pain in a better way and get a more valuable and profitable life. So that is one of my biggest motivators! But also, when I am in charge of my own time I can schedule physical activity and recovery time every day. I can lay down on the sofa and take a nap when the extreme tiredness sets in. I can sleep a bit longer, as long as I don’t have an appointment of course, because I know that my sleep quality isn’t that good. For me working from 8-5 in an office with lots of noice, impressions, stress and maybe not even somewhere I can lay down during the day isn’t good for me. It ends up with I’m coming home and have no energy to do anything. Maybe not even cook a proper dinner and that will make my pain increase because our bodies needs decent food to take care of itself. Of course there might be employers who can give you these opportunities, but I will tell you, my pain levels overall has really decreased during the last three years as an online entrepreneur. So the worst thing that can happen to me is that I have to go back to an employment. I know it might sound crazy, but honestly, if you could decrease your pain levels would it be worth it to have a lower income for a while? For me the answer is definitely yes!

Pain journal

Woman in cerise blouse writing journal by hand

To understand what triggers your pain it is a good idea to write a pain journal. By reflecting and writing down what you have done during a day gives you the possibility to see a pattern when the pain increases and when it decreases. It is a really great and simple way to get control over your pain. It gives you knowledge about what your body reacts to, you are probably aware of the bigger things you do that increases your pain, but in this way you will also get knowledge about the small details during a day that can increase the pain. It makes it easier to schedule your week so when you know you are going to do something that most likely will increase your pain you can also schedule recovery time after that, in this way it is easier to get a better balance.

And the last thing I want to give you in the way of controlling your pain is, be persistent. It doesn’t happen over a night, if you don’t get results within a week, don’t give up. Remember how long you have lived with the pain!

As one of my clients in my pain program told me last week, “I am so glad you changed your 8 weeks course into a longer membership, because I realize that it will take some time to work with mindset, acceptance and all the other tools you share. And what if I didn’t have a flare up during the 8 weeks I wouldn’t have known how to really work with all these tools when it happened.” You can’t imagine how thankful I was to hear this. Because I know exactly what what she means.

Long term pain isn’t a quick fix. But it is possible to control the pain, but it’s only you who can do the work. I can provide you with tools, inspiration, knowledge, coaching and accountability, but I can’t do the job for you, but I can assure you I will be there to help you in your pain journey!
Do you want to hear more about if I am the right coach for you and how my digital programs can help you? Book a free of charge Discovery Call, it gives us both a possibility to get to know each other and see if we are a perfect match for working together.

Talk soon,
Cattis

Can you see it?

One woman in pink blouse dancing in a luxurious environment, one older woman on a bench reading a book with the cane leaning on her knee

When you look at these pictures, can you see something special?

Can you tell the difference between these two women? Besides the age.
Yes, that’s right, you see a happy and powerful woman, dancing in a luxurious environment (that’s me). And yes, you see a peaceful lady, reading a book at a bench in a park, with her cane leaning on her knee. But there is something else. Still doesn’t see it?

Can you really not see that I am in pain?

No, of course you can’t see it. The invisible pain, you can’t see it just by looking at a person. This constant pain that I am always having, every single day for 30 years, 24/7. I can’t tell you how many times I wished I had a “snap-on-plaster” to a leg, just to make people around me aware that I might need a seat on the bus or just not run in to me. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, but I want people to be careful and respectful, because if someone push into my back can be devastating for me.

I made the pain to my faithful companion, but it took me many years before I was able to do that, to stop that inside war in my body where I had the pain as my hateful enemy.

I talked to a lot of physiotherapists and naprapats that I know, because I want to collaborate with them. I have a lot of knowledge about living with long term pain, they have lots of patients. But they tell me they don’t have that kind of patients. What?! Are you sure? You know that you have long term pain when you had the pain for at least three months, and it doesn’t even have to be pain 24/7. I think many people think of people with chronic pain as an older lady with a cane and having trouble to walk. I guess you could look at the picture above and some of you might say that the older woman has pain. Maybe she doesn’t have pain, she maybe has a problem with the balance and need the cane for balance.

I think actually no one of them thought of me as a person who lives with long term pain until I started to talk about it in public. Most of us who lives with long term pain doesn’t mention it very often. When someone asks me how I’m doing, I’m not telling them that I have pain, unless I have a really bad day having trouble to walk. The pain is a part of us but we don’t want to be defined by the pain.
I don’t know anyone who likes to talk about their pain, it is something that most people don’t want to be associated with. And for women it is even harder to get the right diagnose and to be taken seriously. I hope it’s getting better, but as everything else regarding women’s health we’re not there yet.

About 20% of the population lives with long term pain, not everyone is diagnosed with this and therefore not counted in the statistics so I think there is quite a large number of hidden statistics that we don’t see.

No one wants to live with pain and the impact it has on our physical and mental health, but we shouldn’t have to be ashamed and neglected by doctors, physiotherapists, families, friends and employers! I am tired of hearing people talk about us as whining old ladies!

I want to break the stigma about long term pain. Stop the shaming and let’s talk about it!
Join me in my free live webinar about how to be the CEO of long term pain. Register here!

See you soon,
Cattis

The real story behind her business show

A new week just started. Do you have the plan sorted out or are you just smashing it on volley? 
(Can you tell I’m watching Australian Open at the moment?)

Last Saturday I had the pleasure to be interviewed by Angelique at Social media love and The real story behind her business show. It was so much fun and I am so glad she asked me to join her live show!

This is actually one (of many) benefits from social media. We’ve followed each other for a while and a few weeks ago she asked me if I would like to participate in her live streamed show! Of course I said yes!  It is really an honor to be interviewed in a Canadian live streamed show! 

You can watch the interview at Youtube or you can listen to the podcast, whatever you prefer:

🎥 Watch it on Youtube

🎙 Listen to podcast

All the best,
Cattis

2020 The craziest year

Woman in cerise tied front blouse with a glass of champagne in one hand and raises the other hand in a happy hello

I know for sure that I am not alone of thinking this about 2020. It has really been a crazy year in many ways.

In late December 2019 it felt like a new beginning with a new decade. I set up high goals, my biggest one was to have lectures and public speeches at big international arenas.

I got booked for public speeches in Sweden, and of course that was good enough to start with during spring. I aimed to go international during the autumn.

In January I signed a contract as a health management consultant with Oxy Group AB. It felt so good, we had meetings during the fall and I was so honored to be part of this amazing start up with other consultants who also work within health management. The team is really wonderful and there is so much knowledge we can combine together to provide the best services for business who really wants health and leadership changes for real.

I had a goal to become a writer for a magazine and in February I signed a contract as an expert writer within human sustainability for Motivation.se, a Swedish leadership site. A huge milestone for me who always dreamed of writing professionally.

2020 – the year when anything could happen!

That was exactly how it felt. Anything could happen! But I was convinced that it was mostly good things that would happen. It felt like the world was ready to work more within healthy leadership and organizations and I was ready to get out in the world with my knowledge.

Then March happened…

During two days in late March all of my pre booked speeches got cancelled. Since I have worked mostly online the past three years I tried to convince them to have it online instead. But they were not ready for that at the time. It was chaos and panic and no one knew what was about to happen (I guess all of us are glad we didn’t knew what was expecting us this year…).
I saw the income for the whole spring running out of my hands. I tried to launch a membership that I worked with earlier and it was good at the moment, we met online every morning in the beginning to just check in how everybody was feeling during the craziest time. But it wasn’t really a good launch and I realized it wasn’t what I was going to do. But at least it was a solution at the time.

The clinic

Suddenly I got an invitation from a naprapat to start as a massage therapist at his clinic, Hel Friskvård, in Saltsjöbaden. I said yes! I came to an empty calendar but I started to contact previous patients and people started to come to me for massage. This really saved me. And I am so thankful that I have my education as a massage therapist and been working with that for about 22 years. Actually, I decided in December 2019 that I would stop working with massage since it’s really tough for my back injuries and I knew that I wanted to work more online and with speeches. But I’m not the one who can’t change from one minute to another if the situation demands it. That is what a strong mental resilience is about, the ability to adapt to the situation and finding solutions instead of problems.

Most of the people who lives in the surroundings of Saltsjöbaden work at their home office since March/April and as we all know, home offices aren’t the best for ergonomics, so a lot of people actually needs my help with sore neck and shoulders.

The interview

I was contacted by a journalist from one of Swedens biggest newspapers, Svenska Dagbladet. She wanted to do an interview with me about my life with long term pain. A double sided article was published a Sunday in late July.

After that article I got several emails and phone calls from people who also lives with long term pain. I got coaching clients from that article. Clients who I helped handling the pain with strategies, mindset and pep talks.
Can you imagine my happiness when one client contacted me to tell me that he was almost pain free and that without surgery. Thanks to my coaching and naprapat treatments he got control of his pain. I cried of thankfulness when I got that message from him!

Thankful that my own journey with 30 years and 4 different back injuries – 30 years of constant pain, could help someone else to shorten their pain journey.

Tjejmarathon – Run for Panzi

In the early spring I also set up a goal to run Tjejmarathon, 15 km on an extreme trail running course. The race was in October so I had plenty of time for training.

Except.

I did what I tell my coaching clients not to do. I didn’t write this goal up. So in confusion that covid-19 caused I forgot about my goal. That is actually what happens when you think you can have it all in your head, when something more acute/interesting/funnier/important etc. happens, the brain will not prioritize to think of that goal. Sometimes it’s worthy to try my clients way of doing things to remind myself of the importance of every step in the mental training to reach the goals!

Anyhow, I totally forgot about this goal until five weeks before the race. I had been training, but not specifically to run that kind of race. But I set up a training plan and held it strictly during those five weeks.

You know what?! I finished the race! I did it! I ran 15 km on an extreme trail running course. I did walk at some times, some of the uphills is quite steep so it’s actually better to walk up than to run and waste too much energy.
My goal was to finish. I didn’t have a time or place goal. I was only really, really happy to be able to make it.

The absolutely best part with Tjejmarathon is that is a charity race where most part of race fee goes to The Panzi Hospital, where Dr Denis Mukwege help girls and women who are victims of sexual violence.

The international dream

I couldn’t let go of the thought to work more internationally. I needed the challenge to use my English more and I also knew that it is a bigger audience if I work in English than only in Swedish.

In October I had a meeting with business developer Kristina Sundbaum. I have a lot of ideas in my head, but it’s not always that easy to get a straight up plan for myself. I guess it’s quite common as an entrepreneur to have this popcorn brain.

After that meeting I got a document from her with a plan what to do and when and questions for me to answer to getting forward.

This was exactly what I needed. Suddenly all the steps fell in place and I decided to write my first ebook. And I wrote it in English. My vision about taking my knowledge international was within reach.

In December I launched my ebook with a digital book release live streamed to Youtube. So the goal of having an international public and a big stage was accomplished, just in another way that I first planned. I had my friend and business colleague Ann-Sofie Forsmark (also founder of Oxy Group and Tjejmarathon) as moderator and I couldn’t have asked for a better book release.
And I am so thankful and happy for all the positive reviews I’ve got about the book.

2021 just around the corner

With only one day left of this year it feels good that there is a new year coming up. A year where we can get vaccin for the covid-19 and hopefully we can start to have a social life again to see family and friends. To just give someone a hug. Although I love to work online, but no screen can replace a physical hug from someone you care about.

But I am pretty sure that we will never go back totally to how life was before the pandemic. Lot’s of people have discovered that it is quite nice to work from home, at least a couple of days a week. Other people have discovered how much they really miss to be at their office every day.

We also learned that online courses, webinars, meetings etc. is really cool! I mean, we can actually learn things and get to know people from all of the world without travelling there. I’ve been in this digital world for a few years and I have several online friends who I still haven’t met IRL, but they have become some of my closest friends and really helped me during this challenging time. So yes, there is absolutely possible to build a strong and deep friendship through the screen.

It turned out that anything actually could happen in 2020. But I ‘m pretty sure no one had a pandemic in their year goals or business plan for this year.

I have huge plans and goals for 2021! Do you want to follow me on the upcoming journey? Make sure you have signed up for my newsletter!

Hey 2021 I’m ready for you – are you ready for me?!

With love,
Cattis

Woman in cerise tied front blouse with a glass of champagne in one hand and raises the other hand in a happy hello

Happy New Year!