“Can’t I stay a little longer? I’m so happy here.”

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For some reason I didn’t have any expectations of Lion’s Head, thinking that it can not be better than Table Mountain and our spot at Fresnaye Heights. Once again, I’m glad I have people around me who actually start checking things from bucket list and make things happen. We did the hike in say 45 minutes, just in time for sunset. As it was full moon, there were people up there but not too much. We found a great spot by climbing a bit further.

Overlooking Cape Town from this spot, I concluded that for me, Cape Town is the most beautiful city. The Table Mountain so close, coated with clouds reflected by sunlight, flowing towards the ground. The waves crashing to Clifton and Camps Bay and hilly roads below. Twelve Apostles standing there reflected by the sunlight, sun melting to the sea. This light before and after sunset makes the entire city feel magical. It cannot be explained, but I know I’ll miss these moments.

The point was to wait for the full moon after sunset. It is as impressive to move to the other side of the cliff to wait for the moon and see the lights of the city turn on. Cape Town often feels small in everyday life, but this is when you realise how huge it is. The lights of Khayelitsa, the township, reach all the way from Cape Town to Stellenbosch, and has almost 2 million inhabitants.

We didn’t have the patience to wait for what would’ve required an hour or two waiting for the moon to reach up. We did see it on our way down – it was huge and red, like super moon. Next time we will take a picnic and spend hours there to get the full experience. For now, this was beyond expectations.

The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.

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I never thought I’d develop such a relationship for surfing, especially here in the waters with sharks, but it happened. I crave for the Ocean, catching the waves and developing my surfing skills. Even if the conditions are more often too rough than favourable, every session makes me feel more free and connected to the earth. Surfing for me is the best form of exercising – you have to be totally present, dependent on how the earth has decided to serve you the waves on this particular day.

 
I don’t know if it’s my new wetsuit, new beach with easier waves (Muizenberg), or simply making progress, but I can finally actually surf on the waves. I always loved going out there, but it was often more about surviving through the waves.  Though I know the self-confidence I have now might change and your performance is dependent on so many things, I now feel like I am able to take the wave as it comes and choose to stand up and surf. This feeling makes all the inconvenience related to surfing (driving and sitting in traffic mostly;) so worth it. The Ocean really makes you realise how small you are, and how little you can control. For me, surfing and yoga are the best forms of therapy for the mind and body. There’s no way you can come out of the Ocean and not feel more free, more happy than before going there.

 

In Cape Town, the best spots for beginners are Big Bay and Muizenberg, in Stellenbosch, Strand. I also look forward surfing at Clifton, Lladudno, Hout Bay… one day 😉

Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual.

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Christmas started with a pool party at Hout Bay, overlooking Chapmans Peak. Such a stunning view I could easily stare every day. 

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December this year is all about enjoying this stunning city and its surroundings with dear friends from home. I got another missed visitor here on Christmas Eve. We’ve known each other with Valma for years but as she lives in London, we never got the chance to become too close. I’ve always admired her outgoing and super social yet hardworking character. She was the youngest I knew to graduate and start her career in London years ago. Her attitude and persona takes her to adventures which I love to hear. Last May, we had a rare encounter when she had flown home for the weekend for our two dear friends’ graduation party. At the dance floor of Pörssiklubi, while singing and dancing along with Chandelier and saxo tunes, I wanted to hear update from London life as always. I told her of my next destination, and we agreed she should visit. She flew back to London the next day, and texted me Monday morning if she can book flights. That’s my kind of way to handle things 😉

Now she’s here and what a better way to get to know each other better. I always knew we have quite a similar mindset. I admire her on many things – she’s done a lot at such a young age and is my definition of a career woman who knows how to enjoy life to the fullest. She also makes me inspired of living in London at some point. I was prepared for everything for our ten days here, but I’ve been really happy to see how she enjoyes the active and healthy lifestyle I try to live here. Our days have been filled with yoga, barre, hiking, surfing… Eating healthily yet enjoying the steaks this country does the best. We both share the dream of combining a healthy lifestyle that is easy to live in Cape Town, yet living in a European city where you can walk around and enjoy the excitement of a big city.

 

Our Christmas was nothing but traditional, yet cozy anyway. Christmas Eve dinner was grilled ostrich at Black Sheep. I still swear for this place, also the tomato goat cheese salad, a lot of red wine and chocolate brownie make a perfect meal. We headed to Kloof Street house for drinks afterwards – such a cozy bar making me feel like I jumped back in time to historical Paris or New York. I’ll definitely come back here.

 

On Christmas Day we hiked up Table Mountain. I’m very proud of my Londoner, we did the hike in 1h 3min which I can say is quite a good time for a first timer. Dinner took place at Carne SA, which is a safe bet for a meat lover. We can recommend the fillet with various sauces, and safari game platter for those who want to try South African specialties. I love the interior and atmosphere and the food is over the top quality for the price.

 

We took a barre class this morning, and are soon heading to Kirstenbosch to enjoy a picnic at the botanical garden. Later we’ll hike up Lion’s Head to see the sunset and then enjoy the city lights in the light of full moon. Hope everyone have had happy holidays ❤

 

xxx

 

My practise is my time to feel alive, loved, free.

I never forgot yoga, but facilities in Stellenbosch made me focus on other sports like gym and pilates past months. I guess it is good to rotate sports as well to find new passions and rediscover old ones. Now it is time to rotate again – new city and season, new sports. In Cape Town I am focusing on surfing, yoga and barre. Maybe some running and outdoor gym whenever my PT is involved. 😉

 

Yoga I want to keep in my life throughout though. Never have I stepped out of mat after a session and felt somehow better than before doing it, be it clarified mind, relaxedness or the endorphin of challenging your body physically. Here in Cape Town I can recommend the power yoga classes in Yoga Life. The feeling when you’ve given your everything and sweated like a pig, and realised the progress you’ve made since last time is just worth it, every time. As with surfing.

Also, we started doing short classes with Satu at home from yogaglo.com whenever short in time for exercising. I cannot praise this service enough. Last Winter, I did yoga almost every day at home from yogaglo. It was the perfect balance for the Kayla Itsines workouts I was doing back then. Some days I took a 20-30min morning yoga to wake myself up, or a 60 minute as the main workout of the day. I love that you can filter a class suitable for yourself based on what kind, how challenging, how long, held by who, and what part of body / mind needs attention.

 

My favourite kind of morning starts with a 30min Better Than Coffee flow by Kathryn Budig. I try to finish yoga with a short meditation.

My favourite classes so far:

What Do You Value Most? Chelsey Korus Level 2 45min Vinyasa Flow

Better Than Coffee Kathryn Budig Level 2 30mins

Deep Breath, Calm Mind Vinyasa Flow with Chelsey Korus Level 1-2 60min

Smooth It Out. Vinyasas Flow with Elena Brower. Level 2 20min

Outward Vision, Inward. Vinyasa Flow with Chelsey Korus. Level 2 60min

Learn Dancer’s Pose. Vinyasa Flow with Chelsey Korus. Level 2 15min

Focus and Flow. Hatha with Elena Brower. Level 2 45min

Love For Your Lungs. Hatha with Elena Brower. Level 2 60min

Your Strong, Innate Grace. Hatha with Elena Brower. Level 2 45min

Connect & Create a Beautiful Day. Vinyasa Flow with Jo Tastula. Level 2 45min

Creative Core. Vinyasa Flow with Chelsey Korus Level 2-3. 30min

Inner Stability, Outer Fluidity. Vinyasa Flow with Chelsey Korus. 60min Level 2-3

Twist for Rejuvenation Vinyasa Flow with Chelsey Korus Level 1-2 30min

Rediscover Your Heart. Hatha with Elena Brower Level 2-3 60min

Cultivating Presence. Hatha with Elena Brower. Level 2 90min

Liberate Your Breathing, Strengthen Your Body. Hatha with Elena Brower. Level 2 90min

My favourite teachers are Chelsey Korus, Jo Tastula, Elena Brower and Kathryn Budig

 

My inspiration. The whole setting. 😉

 

 

“She’s a mess of a gorgeous chaos. And you can see it in her eyes.”

Referring to the title, I’m being subjective with the word gorgeous but it’s all about attitude right? 😉

I believe that dreams come true for those who believe and have the courage that is needed. How do dreams come true? Or better, how to live a life that already feels like a dream? I believe that there is nothing can’t have or be. I also believe that the only thing that is limiting us to live to our fullest potential is our own mind. Those people who possess vivid imagination and creativity, combined with courage and self-discipline to work for their dreams and express themselves, can live to their fullest potential.

I believe that new ideas, creativity and expanded imagination are born when you make a conscious effort to expand your horizon, your mind, question your beliefs, observe your thoughts and importantly, getting out of your comfort zone OFTEN. There are endless ways to do this, and it is up for everyone to find the best ones for themselves.

I love to write my vision down. Actually, I write down lists of just about everything: to do, current projects, future projects, skills to gain, languages to learn and how, how to use my time daily, things that I am grateful for, important people in my life, dreams, exercises, books to read, important learnings from whatever I’m reading. The list goes on and I come up with new ones daily.

I also eliminate. Going into flight mode every now and then to avoid notifications, avoid TV, most news. Anything that does not serve my vision or contribute to my or others’ well-being. Same goes to learning to say no. We have the right to say no without explaining ourselves. We don’t need to attend every event just because our friends are going.

Even if the vision is not perfectly clear, I find it important to keep exploring. Saying yes often enough to experience new things, try everything at least once, closing doors to things that does not serve our passions, opening new ones. These broaden our mindset and imagination and help us find our passions. Meaning comes from doing things we are passionate about. Going with the flow of life, keeping the sense of reality there, at least every now and then 😉 This is a valuable skill – to combine spontaneity, ambition and ability to make things happen.

How I see it, the most important assets we possess are our creativity and ambition. Thus, I cannot think of more important skills to develop for someone who is looking for a passionate, productive, meaningful life. I know I am.

 
For me, the best way to expand my horizon, foster creativity, challenge my existing mental models is by  getting out of my comfort zone, trying out anything once, saying yes to new adventures, spending time with myself, exploring my body mind connection, making deep connections with other people, travelling… It can be anything that inspires me, makes me feel good and learn new about the environment, myself or others. Never stop exploring and stay curious.


For me, exercising is essential – nothing makes me more inspired, free and happy than a great yoga class or an hour in the ocean reading the waves and catching them. This as well is something you never should stop exploring. During the past year, I’ve found a passion for hiking, surfing, pilates, barre, yoga over and over again, gym, swimming… And list of sports to do more when time is right is long as well.

Traveling and exposing myself to new places and new people have made me the person I am today. Though Hong Kong, for example, is not the place I see myself living for years, I am grateful of everything I learned about the culture, not to mention the people that delighted me with stories from their cultures.

Also, spending a lot of time with few special people and being in a relationship, even if for a limited time, enables forming a deeper connection, learning about each other. I love studying personality differences, in theory and then applied to practise. 😀

Music is a powerful source of inspiration. I am either touched by the lyrics or the beat of the song. Important is either to want to sing along or dance along. 😉 Writing, for me, is one of the best ways to reflect and express myself. I love sharing my experiences through my blog and social media in case someone can be inspired of my thoughts, tips or photos. I also journal every time I feel like I have  a lot of thoughts in my head. I write about my experiences, thoughts, sources of gratitude, current projects and about my important relationships, to be better aware of them and perhaps learn and grow.

 
Dreams and visions change and that’s perfectly fine. Nothing is permanent. If I would – I never will – take a tattoo, it would say “ This will also change”. Just as a reminder. This is both good and bad news. Enjoy what you have now because that will also change. Don’t worry about the unpleasant things, because that will also change.

Getting to know yourself is the single best way to eradicate any unconscious miseries. To be able to feel inner peace, inner harmony, love and compassion. First towards yourself, then spreading this around you. Whenever I meditate (too rarely), I end my meditation by sending the peace I am feeling at this moment for all beings in the world, and making a wish that every being will get out of their miseries, so that we cn enjoy mutual peace and harmony.

Besides experiences, I love to be inspired by other people, close or far away. Every day, I’m inspired by the people around me – be it falling asleep easily as this person does not overthink as much as I do, or having the self-discipline to do a good workout. But also from people far away – I smile everyday when I open Snapchat or blogs and see my friends wondering at the streets of some of my favourite cities, and some where I’ve never been. I can’t believe every day I can get a glimpse of what my friends are doing, though physically world apart. Playing with their dog at their cottage, or my friends spending a night together whom I miss deeply.  Snapchat is the best invention to follow friends world apart from you ❤ Though social medias like Instagram, snapchat, blogs and pinterest only show the best sides of one’s life, its fine as their task is to inspire.

Sources of inspirational people change over time. Every now and then I list down the people I admire the most for, and then think about the qualities that make them so inspirational. This way I can consider if I should develop these qualities further in myself, or make actions towards similar lifestyle or mindset. By doing this, I also realise how blessed and grateful I am of all these amazing people in my life. You know who you are ❤ My body inspiration often comes from VS models, getting a daily inspiration doze from instagram. Also thank you for pinterest for inspiring me in interior, wanderlust, style, beauty, exercising, visuality, photography, quotes (!) and beyond… For educational and entertaining articles I want to go back to, I drag them to Pocket, and read them later either from laptop or phone.

 
I only read few blogs nowadays as I only want to follow people that I can be inspired of in some way. Elisa’s blog is one of my favourite – she shares such a similar mindset and beliefs towards life that my jaw often opens when I read her texts. If so often feels like I have just come across the same topic in my mind, she just knows better than me on how to put these thoughts and mindset into words. I also notice that our thoughts go in similar cycles. When she wrote about starting painting hobby to express her creativity, I had just being inspired in the kitchen to explore my imagination. Just like she believes in taking time in the mornings, I also believe in starting my mornings with mediation, yoga, listening to my current favourite music, writing diary or my ideas down, before even turning off flight mode in my phone. At least on the idea level, I’m not this self-disciplined every morning. 😉 She’s truly an inspiration for me and lovely reminder that I’m not the only one in this world who dreams big and believes in trusting the flow of life, doing decisions with intuition and courage, accepting the uncertainty. I’ve known Elisa personally only for a short time but I based on these conversations I know that we could easily spend hours and hours talking about future and dreams.

Funnily, Elisa did exactly what I did three years ago – decided that it is time to move to New York. She faced the same questions and doubts from people asking about handling practical things, and worrying them herself as well, like I did too. Later, you smile thinking about all these worries – things turned out just like they were meant to. I have learned this over and over again, in New York, Hong Kong, Helsinki, South Africa – practical things will always turn out fine, when you are willing to do the effort and be proactive and be persistent. You only need few seconds of powerful courage and action, and the rest will take care of itself. Believe in yourself and have the courage to build your life exactly the way you want it to be.

I can’t believe how long post this ended up being. Now it is time for me to finally get orientated and realise that Christmas is just around the corner. I have another much missed visitor flying in tomorrow, a home to clean and decorate, groceries to do, hopefully some presents to hunt and find at town. Make the most out of Christmas time loves, spend it with your loved ones and relax. That’s the essence of Christmas – not making everything perfect.

 

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Borneo

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Hong Kong

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Live for the little things, they will make you realise that they are what life is about. This is what it means to feel alive.

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I met Leeni last Summer at Jenna’s bootcamp, and we quickly learned that we share similar interests and mindset. She is here in South Africa for few weeks now with her husband so we met up for lunch at Plant cafe, a new spot for me. Their raw pasta with avocado, basil, cucumber dressing and tomatoes was divine, as well as the chocolate brownie… I need to take A and others here asap as well. Was really good catching up with Leeni and we’ve shared many more lunches since. I also got a million dollar tip from her and headed to Rip Curl store to “just take a look”. As said, I’ve been hoping to a miracle happen and find myself with an own wetsuit and board to be able to join A for surfing at closely beaches. Well, I tried on a wetsuit and I immediately knew that this is the one.

It fit perfectly and is the thickest possible with an inside ‘fur’ as the Atlantic Ocean is freezing, and as a cherry on top it was on great discount already. After a quick calculation with the (extremely weak) rand exchange rates, I decided that this is the best possible Christmas present I can give for myself. I was a bit nervous of the feedback I’ll get at home of the spontaneous purchase without consultation, but it proved to be unnecessary worry. As we have some plans to hit the Atlantic coast at Norway later this spring, I also made sure that my suit is suitable for the ice water. Wifey, what’s the status of your suit? 😉

The next morning we hit Bloubergstrand for AM surf. I’m still very much a beginner, the waves were quite huge but I enjoyed the ocean as always. I simply loved to wetsuit as well. So warm too. Afterwards we headed to Oranjezicht market for breakfast with Leeni and Paul, A and Pia stayed for another surf session. This market… Everything a health foodie can hope for. Choosing a cake among the most delicious healthy option was the toughest choice I had to make. I went for chocolate quinoabanana cake and brought a chocolate brownie home. Both were divine and even mr liked the sugar and gluten free version. Me happy 😉

xxx

“There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on.”

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Yesterday we were sitting on a rock below Lion’s Head, overlooking a view of Twelve Apostles on the left, Atlantic Ocean on the right and lights of Camps Bay and Clifton in front of us. This view is simply breathtaking and I will most likely spend sunset after another sitting here on a rock and staring the sun melting to the ocean.
We had agreed to meet up here with Arne and his sister for sunset (19.54) as they were coming straight from a surf. Well, we were both too late, they even more leaving me there alone on a cliff. But there was no way I could be mad for a surfer who wanted to catch one last good wave.
Sitting there on a huge rock, watching the waves hit the beach on the spot he had just surfed, we realised something. We are living our dream now. A always had the dream of surfing but he didn’t see how it could be combined with a career in law in Europe. Well, he figured out a way, even if only for a year for now. This day was special as we had just left Stellenbosch behind and settled down in Cape Town. Now he can go for a surf using same amount of time than gym would take. Though I’m not AS ambitious with surfing, this period is very special time of my life indeed. Every day I step out of the door, I can’t help but smiling when I realise where I am. Cape Town is breathtaking and it offers so much to explore. I am every day grateful of the freedom I have right now, and on the other hand that I have someone special to share my everyday life with. And though life feels especially amazing right now, I’m not worried of its impermanency. This period is very special time of my life, but I believe life will only get better. Its a matter of mindset.
I realised this yet again the next morning while doing a vinyasa class. Chelsey encouraged me to think what I value the most in life. It is people and experiences that make life worth living, not possessions. I believe not only for me but for everyone. For me this means gratitude towards the people I share my life here with, but also knowing that most of my loved ones and friends are in Europe. And though South Africa is stunning and inspiring, so is many other places in this world, including my home city. I recommend doing this yoga class in yogaglo.com (called What Do You Value Most?), you might just feel very inspired and grateful after.

Enjoy your Sunday night and Christmas time ❤ I am home alone since I don’t remember when. Though I love sharing home with someone, these rare moments are much needed for a person like me who easily gets overwhelmed and needs time to reflect 😉

P.S. I love searching quotes for my post titles from my pinterest archives – this time I didn’t have to search for long as I spotted something that I liked in the feed. I then noticed that it was tagged by Satu – we often share some sort of mind connection and similar mindset, though at times physically world apart. 🙂