A life of great variety

You can read the Norwegian version of this blogpost here

On 18 December 2008, the 43-year-old IT entrepreneur Vegard was found with life-threatening injury in a parking garage in Skøyen, Oslo. He died pretty quickly from the stab wounds someone had inflicted on him. The police arrest a family man who is married with two children. Hanne Kristin Rohde is, at that time, the leader of the murder investigation. The accused man is charged but acquitted. That case is still unsolved.

A couple years later, the acquitted man’s wife contacts Hanne Kristin and asks her for a meeting. In a sense, the homicide investigation had ruined that family’s life. Hanne Kristin says yes to that meeting. However, she dreads expecting to get blamed.

When they meet, Hanne Kristin learns that their marriage had fallen apart and that they were divorced. The woman sitting in front of her is feeling down. She wants to know how the police follow up psychosocially with relatives in such cases. She has many essential and important considerations. They talk for a long time, and then comes the question; “I have to ask you one thing. I am sure of his innocence. Do you agree?”

–   As that question came, I heard a clear and distinct voice in my head. “Do not lie to her. You must never lie to this woman.” Although the ex-husband was acquitted in the indictment, I was sure of his guilt. I took a deep breath and answered, I think he did it. Then a few seconds passed before she replied: thank you for being honest with me.

After that exchange, we sat in deep contact and looked at each other in total silence, says Hanne Kristin. She describes the moment as a kind of timeless state.

– At that moment, I felt something I had never experienced before that we can in a short time connect deeply with a stranger, even in difficult conversations. But in our heads, we have decided that we need several years to experience that connection. Encountering this woman was, for me, teaching about meetings on a spiritual level, says Hanne Kristin, and relates to it as one of two significant events in her life.

The Hanne Kristin, I experience close up and hear talking about the soul, is different from the version I remember from the TV screen. Oslo police spokeswoman who from 2008 – 2014 led the Section for Violent and Sexual Crimes

You do not feel that there is a big gap between having faith in the soul and the role you had in the police, which is a control organ?

–  I have a law degree and have worked in a department that deals with evidence and facts, but I also experience the soul’s physical expression in my everyday life. I am both a spiritual and a physical human being, and I like that wholeness. We who relate to something greater, something intangible that we are a part of, are ambassadors for completeness, to put it a little boldly. Therefore, I’m not too fond of the term alternative, says the former police chief, and gets into the second major incident that impacted her life.

Right after Hanne Kristin had become a crime author, a woman contacts her. She wants to get her book signed. Hanne Kristin knew the woman, who was a highly educated musician. They arrange a meeting.

–  After she got the signature, we talked for a while, then she looked at me and said, “There’s one more thing, Hanne Kristin; I just have to say you are ready.” Yes! I exclaimed. I answered almost before she had finished her sentence. The next second, when the brain perceived the conversation, I had to ask her, “What do you mean? What am I ready for?

To Hanne Kristin, that moment was a manifestation of the soul’s speed, which is much faster than the brain.

– It turned out that this woman works with the development of the soul. And my spontaneous yes, became a significant turning point in my life because I dared to listen to something that I did not fully understand at that time. The soul knows the answer long before the head takes over and starts analysing. But we are raised according to rules and structures, and our thoughts shout the loudest and override. After that meeting with Siv Roland in 2014, I started the Soul Typing program in the organization called “New Equations.” There I have learned to rest my head into the wisdom of the soul. My brain is not as overloaded in the manner it was before, and I experience more peace/tranquillity and much more fun.

A whole human being

Some months have passed since I contacted the former police chief and asked to interview her for my blog. “I receive many inquiries such as this. What would you like to speak to me about?” she replied back. Yes, I wanted to talk to her about life—the part of the blog about life experiences. An urge that arrived after I had listened to one of her live broadcasts. I wanted to learn more about her. It was right after the AP politician Trond Giske reappeared under the spotlight of the media. Once again, accused of exceeding the limits with women.

“We gain very little by sharing guilt. If we are ever to overcome such attitudes towards women, we must begin to look at the underlying causes. And in this particular case, the patriarchal governing system and its way of viewing women. This system has ruled the world for thousands of years. If we want to change anything, we must look behind such behaviors and see what is hiding there.” It is how I perceived her message on Facebook- live.

Hanne Kristin knows how to focus on sensitive topics and lift them to another level from her police career time. After all, she was Oslo police’s spokesperson in many essential and heavy/gravitas cases. A role that made her aware of the importance of honest and transparent communication. It also taught her to stand up for what she said.

Many of her statements were even criticized, by female politicians who thought she was disclaiming/wrongly allocating responsibility.

Like when she addressed the women of Oslo directly and said: “If you go home alone between 23 – 06, excessively drunk, and accompany a man you do not know, then you are in the extreme risk zone, show our internal statistics.»

– I received a lot of resistance and was accused of placing the responsibility on the women. To this day, I still mean that I did not do that, but what I did was another part of my job: to educate the public. If these words prevented a single rape, then it was not in vain.

It costs to be the outward face. And the price came as criticism and praise, from inside and out of the department/institution. Experiences that have formed her into who she is today. Precisely the woman I meet in Nydalen (Oslo), on a sunny March day. She is wearing an ankle-long beige coat, sporty shoes, and sunglasses, which shield her blue eyes from the sun. But she is not blue-eyed.

– If I squeeze all my experiences together, they have made me a healthier person. I have been burnt out twice and have had lots of ups and downs. But without the total package, I would not have been the person I am today. I learned to look in the mirror and ask myself all the time, “who am I when it dawns on me? Who am I when things are going well? Do I stand for what I say and do?” I realized I could not control what was said about me, but I could manage my thoughts and decisions. These are the wisdom achieved from my years in the police.

A dream takes shape

After Hanne Kristin Rohde graduated in 1989, she starts as a prosecutor in Oslo police to get her lawyer license. And not long after, she had several severe cases as a prosecutor; however, the dream of becoming a star lawyer seemed more distant than ever. A vision that took shape on a sunny day in February or March. She was then 11 years old.

– When such coincidences strike in life, I follow them. I still remember that day very well. I sat well wrapped in a blanket on the terrace and read a crime novel in the old A-magazine. One of the characters in the short story was a lawyer.

This lawyer was excelled in court and had the judge and audience in the hollow of his hand. I became so fascinated by him that I decided I wanted to be like him — a star lawyer.

A goal she managed to keep alive, which later led her to a 5-year law degree at the University of Oslo.
A study proved to be more challenging than she imagined, and few subjects made sense to her.
But quitting was never an option. Perhaps because of her father’s friendly but determined attitude. “Whatever you begin, you should complete.” By the time she got to the fifth department, which dealt with criminal law, she had started to feel at home with the subject.

– When I graduated, I started working as a prosecutor in the Oslo police department. I enjoyed being a prosecutor rather than defending someone who was potentially guilty. But I felt that I was not good enough, and I was not happy to stand in court. The paragraphs that I had been sitting and studying for several years would not cooperate with me, and I got total performance anxiety. Gradually, I realized that I could become a lawyer, but hardly a star lawyer. You cannot become a star in something you are afraid of and do not enjoy. Slowly but surely, I began to realize that I needed to make some course changes. I had met a couple of realities with a bang and asked myself, what now, Hanne Kristin?

An unexpected visit

Then it happens. One day in the early ’90s, the former police chief, Willy Haugli, enters her office. He says that they are starting a management recruitment program and encourages her to apply. She goes a few rounds with herself before she decides to apply. Eight months later, she receives a laminated diploma showing that she has completed the leadership course next to a full-time job.

Not long after, she gets another visit from Haugli. This time he says that she had the best result of all in the leadership course. Now he encourages her to apply for a leadership position that they were going to advertise. Again, she goes into the “thinking box.” She knows nothing about leadership and has just started a career as a prosecutor, but then her thoughts go in a new direction. Maybe this is the opportunity she had been waiting for? She applies for the position and gets the job. A leadership career that lasts for a full 20 years until 2014, when she left the police.

– When you look back on your professional career with the police, what are you left with from experience?

-I am, first and foremost, left with a beating heart for the Norwegian police. We have a terrific police force in Norway. It became my identity for many years. I am very proud that I was allowed to work for a safer capital since it was the capital police I worked for. Remember, I came in as a lawyer. I knew nothing about forensics or crime scene investigations. I was neither an analyst, an investigator, nor a preventative, but I quickly realized that I was surrounded by many talented people, each in their field. It made me humble. I realized that I must never think that I knew best or had the truth in my pocket. There are as many truths as there are people, and we can put it together like a puzzle, she says and adds:

– I also learned a lot from being the police spokeswoman in many large and complex cases. I experienced what it was like to stand in uniform at press conferences and trust that the words came. I had to stand for what I said and deal with criticism and praise internally and externally. It was a steep and long learning curve, but I have learned to trust myself, says Rohde, who, after leaving the police, has dedicated her life to writing books, being a public debater, and giving lectures.

– Where do you get inspiration for everything you do in life?

-I find inspiration everywhere. I can get inspiration from you, especially your blog’s name with bullshit at the end—an unexpected, surprising word. My cats inspire me with their cheerful everyday bounces, or it can be silent eye contact with an animal. It could be the sound of water flowing in the river or a smile from someone in the street. It can be a word in an article or a good TV series and books. I’m fortunate. I wake up happy every morning, and it’s a gift. Still, I must say that I have, until now, not experienced any major disasters in life. And I do not know how I would react if it happened, answers the 59-year-old Hanne Kristin, shining vitality, and responds with a childlike joy when I ask her to complete my unfinished sentences:

  • I am grateful (That I exist and live)
  • What has made a significant impact on my life is (Finding the wisdom of my soul)
  • I look up to (“Little” Mother Theresa who went up to the pulpit and said, do you know your people, and do you love them?)
  • If I had a magic wand, I would use it to (Open the universe to all people on earth)
  • The soul for me is (My eternal being)
  • God for me is (No one)
  • I cannot live without (Standing up for myself)
  • Life can be (Everything)
  • If I got a new life, I would (Do a lot of the same things but listen more to my soul)