At the grocery store this week, I was bowled over by a stranger letting me step ahead of her at the checkout line. It was such a simple gesture, but it made my heart swell with happiness. I try to teach my children about acts of kindness, and this reminded me of why they are so vital. This small act of kindness, bestowed upon me by a woman who saw a mother with a full cart and a tired two-year-old, changed the course of my day. It had little to do with me being able to check out faster. What I experienced was a stranger pulling me out of my self-centered point of view and reminding me that we’re all connected.
This month, I launched the brand-new Sweden With Love. We’re now a website designed as your favorite “glossy” monthly magazine — a first in online publishing — filled with original interviews and features. I’ve always believed in quality over quantity, and that’s why I currently publish about eight articles per month. Many of our features are also photographed exclusively for the site, and we’ve worked with some of the world’s top photographers including award-winning film photographer Elizabeth Messina, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer David Hume Kennerly and VII Agency’s Ron Haviv.
Throughout this site, there’s a theme I come back to quite often: finding your passion. I feel passionate about lot of things, and I’ve professionally dabbled in many in my spare time (teaching yoga, film photography and interior design to name a few). But while I love doing them, I’ve realized my greatest passion is still my love for journalism. Once you peel off the less attractive layers — entertainment and political journalism are certainly both spinning out of control — there is tremendous beauty and service in telling stories. At their best, they help us understand the world, reveal injustice and propel human rights. They also let us know we’re not alone in our suffering and joy. And that no matter who we are or where we live, we all want the same thing: a fulfilled life.
That act of kindness earlier this week? It made me realize that anything I’m going through, someone else has, too. That woman had probably also been at the store with her children, feeling overwhelmed and tired. Did I feel gratitude? Yes. But more importantly, I felt connected. • Ulrica Wihlborg
The February issue has come to an end. In case you missed a story:
• Editor’s Letter: Welcome To Our New Home!
• Giveaway: A Malibu Fringe Bag from Nylander LA
• Ask 3: “What Would You Tell Your Teenage Self?” Actress Poppy Montgomery, author Hollye Jacobs and interior designer Kathryn M. Ireland answer this month’s question.
• Cover Story: India Hicks’s Loud Island Life. With her witty sense of humor, the design guru and royal rebel opens up about her place in the sun, raising five kids (“It’s utter chaos!”) and living by her own rules. Photographed by Brittany Goetz.
• Healthy Treats: Our Yummiest & Healthiest Granola. This vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free breakfast staple has turned into our favorite after-dinner treat. Photographed by Em The Gem.
• Gutsy!: Beautiful Revelation. Janet Wieneke shares her uplifting and significant essay on how, after a lifelong struggle, yoga helped her find her beauty on the inside out.
• Homes: A Swedish Home in Pacific Palisades. An exclusive interior design feature on a sunny and beautiful cottage in California, owned by a creative Swedish family. Photographed by Ulrica Wihlborg.
• Curated: At The End of Her Comfort Zone: This month’s online art exhibit features the work of film photographer Kirsten Ellis, whose journey to Indonesia not only changed her work as an artist but profoundly changed her life.
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