Alvastra has to be experienced

I am an incredibly professional person. I’ve got loads of energy, paired with excellent leadership abilities. I can see the big picture and put the right person at the right spot in it. Or outside it, if that is what it takes. I can coach, I can delegate; I can amuse and I am honest. I can even claim that I have a passion for business – and people will really believe me.

 

But all of this doesn’t come naturally for me. I have to be on my toes at all times and suppress parts of my personality, while highlighting other characteristics.

 

Those are some of the things I’m thinking about while I swoosh through the countryside on my bike, which I have dubbed the Steel Steed. Every year, the same time – and without telling anyone, I take the train to Linköping where my bike is waiting for me in an old friend’s garage.

 

Then, I race through Östergötland at a speed that makes ordinary road rage seem like a pleasant Sunday drive. Usually, I like to swing by Mantorp Park to catch a race, in order to feel energized and inspired to take on the rest of my trip. Then, I pass Mjölby where I plunder the vintage shops. In Ödeshög, I stop at the chocolate factory and get my fill, in the most indulgent manner imaginable. Because why not? I am so incredibly tired of how women eating chocolate always try to be so mild and sweet. I mean, come on! We’re talking about a truly powerful aphrodisiac here!

"I am a warrior. A heroine. A shield maiden. A guardianesse of the monastery, with full metal armor and a sharp blade. Maybe I am the Holy Birgitta’s own bodyguard and entrusted one?"

- Ingrid, HR Manager

Anyway, after a while I start approaching my final destination: The Alvastra monestary. And this is the one place where I can truly let go of my inhibitions and let go of the things I’ve kept inside for a whole year. Here, among the stones that French monks and local farmers pushed in place – hundreds of years ago.

 

For I am born in the wrong time and era, given my personality. I am great at what I do, professionally and personally, but I would be truly greater at something totally different.

 

I am not really an HR manager at a mid-sized medical company. I am a warrior. A heroine. A shield maiden. A guardianesse of the monastery, with full metal armor and a sharp blade. Maybe I am the Holy Birgitta’s own bodyguard and entrusted one?

 

I sneak around the old monastery walls and jump over the stony grounds – always ready for battle. I gaze over the area, fearlessly focused on impending danger. I am always ready to undo my enemies with my sword. I feel the wind in my hair, the same way that my ancestors once did – with my feet firmly grounded on the same grass and soil that they once stood on.

 

And suddenly, I can go back to my highly professional 21:th century existence – with everything from big pictures to micro management. Calm and at ease, with the warrior spirit tucked away inside my heart. Honestly, I urge everyone to find their inner warrior. And let it out, every once in a while. Perhaps at Alvastra? But not during the first week of August, because that’s when I’m there. And it won’t be pretty.

 

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