See what others don’t see.

Oh, how much I’ve missed the blog and writing here. The reason why I have not posted lately, is that this page is under construction and about to transform.

Often, when I get an idea, I act immediately without much consideration. This happened the other day. For years, I’ve settled for a layout designed and developed a la myself, with limited developing skills. I’ve dreamt about a blog that looks like me, more simple, more white, better structured, fresh categories. Few times I did try developing, but got frustrated and settled.

Europeans have been truly fortunate during the past months with rand-euro exchange rate. The other day, someone told me to check the exchange rate that had weakened yet again, becoming favourable for europeans. I got an idea – now or never, I would hire a developer, while here in South Africa. Well, after some research I ended up hiring a guy from India. He is great and we’ve been working the past weeks to redesign this site. As I am not happy at how it currently looks, I have withdrawn from posting. It’s not been easy at all.  For someone who feels the need to reflect life events, feelings and thoughts, not being able to post during the past eventful rich weeks has been draining. 😉  But I believe it is worth a wait. Meanwhile, I’ve been writing a book. Mostly for myself, but surely I dream that someone else will be inspired by it as well.

Cape Town is treating me well. Living in a fresh, new place is a tremendous gift. I meet inspiring people every day. People have such interesting jobs here. People are active, spiritual. There is so much going on here – people are not afraid to try out things, create. I love it.

P.S. Book tip: Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. For anyone who craves to live more creative life, a life driven more by curiosity than fear, do yourself a favour and read this book. Based on Eat Pray Love and the movie Coyote Ugly, I knew that Elizabeth Gilbert has similar mindset with me. Yet again in this book she manages to capture beautiful thoughts about creative, ideas and inspirations that I could have not said better myself, or even put into words. For me, she is a genius. In her words, a genius visits her every now and then 😉 Read it and you know what I mean.

xxx

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Like in Hong Kong, in Cape Town as well you can experience 4 seasons within a day. Not right now as the Summer solidly keeps the degrees above 25 degrees constantly, but I’ve learned something about the wind lately, that can truly blow you by surprise. This happened to me yesterday when I left home in a flowy red dress, about to walk for my lunch date, since I don’t have a car anymore and I love to explore by feet. But there was no way, I had to take an uber to avoid running around with my dress in ears. Note to self: never leave home in a dress without checking the wind. It is quite high chance these days that the wind is really powerful, as I later yesterday witnessed while hiking up Table Mountain. Which is  a different story…

 

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We tried out a new lunch place Sexy Food, which I cannot describe with enough superlatives. The owner has suffered cancer, tried chemo for years, and then finally decided to give up with Western medicine and instead heal himself with food. He succeeded and once again proved that dood truly can be your medicine. Sexy Food describes themselves as:

“WHERE ANCIENT METHODS MEET MODERN MINDS

Sexyfood is the Nelson Mandela of Modern Day Eating Habits: A Lifestyle of Multi-Food Culture. It’s where Herbivore and Carnivore meet for lunch, where eco-awareness exists behind every food choice. Its a flexible mindset measuring ingredients that work best for individual.

THINK: DIGESTIVE, BLISS, HEALTHY ATTITUDE, FULL CIRCLE, ZERO WASTE AND THE RIGHT TO FEEL SEXY.

If you don’t recognise the ingredients or feel good about the way it was prepared, neither will your tummy or metabolism. You might be an eat-everything kind of person, animal eater, vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, fruitarian, breatharian, but the real deal is the conversation you have with your body. Listening to the body is key when mastering the sexy food lifestyle.

LEARN TO LOVE THE PLANT KINGDOM AND EMPHASISE FOOD THAT IS FRESH AND ALIVE. BE AT THE PLACE WHERE BUSHMAN AND BUSINESS COME TOGETHER AND CONTRIBUTE TO A NUTRITIONALLY NET-POSITIVE VIBE.

Mission: The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

 

With experience I can tell that this is not exaggerating. The lunch buffet consists of living fresh foods, prepared with care and consideration. You feel nourished and alive having eaten kimchi, sprouts, greens, veg patties, beans, organic vegetables, essence bread and so much more… The dressings are probiotic ranging from miso to pesto and gazpacho an many more that I didn’t manage to squeeze to my plate. They serve buchu water, a South African herb leaf. As always here I had trouble choosing between the raw desserts which all looked divine. I ended up with peanut butter brownie.

Wishing these kinds of places built with love and care will spread around elsewhere as well. ❤

Chakra system

My notes of Anodea Judith’s great book Chakra Yoga that I am currently reading.

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If the outer world is to be transformed, the process must begin within. If the inner world is to be transformed, it must be understood in the light of the outer forces that shaped it. These realms are interconnected, yet we lack a way to tie them together. Understanding the chakra system, you learn to ingrate your body, mind and spirit.

Eastern and Western cultures can both learn something from the other. East possesses a vast spiritual wealth. Yet despite the spiritual wealth, there is a predominance of material poverty in many of the Eastern countries. In contrast, most Westerns live among material wealth, but spiritual poverty. Greed and violence dominate our news, burnouts and heart attacks take place within our circle of people and we consume mindless material without further thought. I believe it is possible to have both material abundance and spiritual wealth. My finding balance in our body and mind, we can transform ourselves and find realm happiness, joy and peace from within. By transforming ourselves, we transform the world.

 

 

A chakra is a center of organization that receives, assimilates and expresses life force energy. There are seven chakras in the body from the base of the spine to the top of the head. Chakra patterns are programmed deep in the core of the mind-body interface and have a strong relationship with our physical functioning. Just as the emotions can and do affect our breathing, heart rate, and metabolism, the activities in the various chakras influence our internal processes, body shape, chronic physical ailments, thoughts and behavior. By using techniques such as yoga, breathing, bioenergetics, physical exercises, meditation and visualization, we can influence our chakras, our health and our lives. The lower chakras, which are closer to earth, are related to the more practical matter of our lives – survival, movement and action. Physical and social law of our bodies and our societies rules them. The upper chakras represent mental realms and work on a symbolic level through words, images and concepts. Each of the seven chakras represents a major area of human psychological health: 1. Survival, 2. Sexuality, 3. Power, 4. Love, 5. Communication, 6. Intuition, 7. Consciousness itself

 
In order to understand a human being, we have to examine the flow of energy through the system. We can think of this energy as excitement, charge, attention, awareness or simply the life force. Every one of us has a unique and dynamic energy process that shapes our bodies and behavior, and consequently our environment, life path and relationships. Understanding and addressing imbalances of our chakra system can be used to find balance, health, peace and happiness from within.What activates any and all of our programs is the energy we pour into the system. Hunger centers are activated when the stomach is empty and sexual centers awaken with certain stimuli. In order to run any of our programs, we have to activate our energy currents. Our major energy pathways run vertically while subtler currents run in other directions, leaving us with two essential poles: the pole of consciousness, which we experience through our bodies, and the poles of consciousness, which we experience through our minds. Between these poles runs a dynamic flow of energy that we experience as our life force. Grounding happens when our body makes energetic contact with the earth, making us feel safe, alive, centered in ourselves and rooted in our environment. Consciousness, the other pole, comes through mind. It is our inner understanding, our memory, our dreams and beliefs. When consciousness is connected to the body, we have a dynamic energy flow throughout our entire being.

 

 

The seven chakras are created by the combination of consciousness and matter. The downward energy flow can be called as the current of manifestation. Manifesting is the process of turning our thoughts into visualizations, then words, and finally into form. The upward current, moving from dense earth to consciousness, is the current of liberation. As we move upward through the chakras, we become less restricted and more liberated. Human being needs a balance between both of these currents in order to be whole. If we cannot liberate, we cannot change, grow or expand. Unfortunately, both currents are affected by negative experiences. Physical pain, childhood traumas, social programming, and environments or activities can cut us off from the ground. Fortunately, information and experience are stored in both physical and mental states. Bringing consciousness into our ground activates various memories and experiences that reveal the lies and misunderstanding blocked from memory. Likewise, sensation can return to the body when attention is focused in certain mental material – the elements of a dream, characters in a novel, or images in a picture. Integration of mind, body and energy makes healing possible.

 

 

 

What blocks a chakra? Childhood traumas, cultural conditioning, limited belief systems, restrictive or exhausting habits, physical and emotional injuries, or even just a lack of attention. For each one, we develop a coping strategy, which then become chronic patterns, anchored in the body and psyche as defines structures. Eventually these defences create holding patterns in our muscular system that restricts the free flow of energy. It affects our posture, breathing, metabolism and our emotional states, as well as our perceptions, interpretations, and belief systems. Obviously, since the body-mind system is affected, we see manifestations in our relationships, work, creativity, and belief systems, all of which tend to perpetuate the pattern. It is important to recognize the blocks we carry, find ways to understand their source and meaning, and develop tools to heal them. Unblocking a chakra requires:

 

  1. Understand the dynamics of that particular chakra
  2. Examine the personal history related to that chakra’s issues

For example, someone who grew up in isolation and neglect may not have learned how to create relationships and will close down their heart chakra and withdraw socially

  1. Apply exercises and techniques
  2. Balance excess and deficiency

 

As we develop through life we are likely to become excessive in some areas and deficient in others. If a person is deficient in their first chakra, it is likely they will be excessive their upper chakras. If they are excessively attached to power over others, they will have trouble in relationships. Both excessive and deficient chakras restrict the flow of energy through the system, and block the complete expression of both the liberating and manifesting currents. Eventually, they both result in dysfunctional behaviour and health problems. These imbalances can be approached verbally through discussion, physically through work with body and movement, spiritually through meditation, emotionally through exploration of feelings, visually through images, aurally through sounds, and actualized through outer world tasks that strengthen certain areas of our lives.

 

In honoring the full spectrum of human aliveness, this book is a contribution toward the restoration of your wondrously divine potential. With map in hand, may you enjoy the journey”

 

 

Seek… Find.

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Since landing to South Africa, driving to Stellenbosch, surrounded by mountain, I had been craving to watch Lion King again. This feeling only got stronger when we drive across the country and witnessed surroundings exactly alike. Thus I was thrilled when Spier Wine Estate organised an outdoor movie. There’s something magical setting a blanket to the ground, watching your favourite childhood movie, and seeing the stars light up and eventually covering the entire sky. I have said this since arriving here, but I feel like the stars are much brighter here than in Europe. Though it felt like it was yesterday I last time saw the movie, all the facial expressions being so familiar, however we realised that probably we never saw the movie in English before. Funny.

Otherwise last week was time of realising how much I love yoga. It’s been on and off for me for years, but now I crave to do it every day. I’ve always known I want to become a teacher one day, and now I am making plans to actually do it. Alongside writing my thesis, which I still find motivating, I see myself reading few pages of Chakra Yoga (by Anodea Judith) or wondering online seeking experiences of the teacher training. In short, when I get excited about something, I will go all in, and now what inspires me is yoga.  I can’t wait to develop, deepen my understanding of yoga and mind body connection, and eventually teaching to others. If all goes as planned this will be sooner than later 😉

I was also introduced to a new hidden gem, Orchard, on Long Street. A couple that I got to know at Saturday am outdoor yoga took me there for a juice and I was impressed by this place. The variety of healthy food options keep surprising me in Cape Town, I seem to find a new pearl weekly. I’m also happy of my new friends, Anni is Finnish and she’s here as an expat from a large corporation, yet she has the most exciting job. It is really rare to come across the Finnish people here which I love, but I also wish to get to know the few around.  Later on Saturday we went to Oranjezicht market. I munched vietnamese rolls, and traditionally had trouble choosing a cake. I went for banana quinoa chocolate cake and bought mint chocolate brownie home. 😉

 

On Sunday we hiked up Lion’s Head. This is probably my top 1 favourite activity to do in Cape Town, and I wouldn’t miss it as a visitor. It only takes max an hour, and you get to see   360 degrees of this stunning city. Cape Town feels small, but when you look it from another perspective, you realise how widely it reaches out. Khayelitsa township covers almost all the way from Cape Town to Stellenbosch and accommodates almost 2 million people.

 

 

“We must take adventures in order to know where we truly belong.”

 

Caution: This text is all about my love towards Finland, if you do not wish to know more then please skip this post. 😉  Though I wish everyone can feel similar pride about their country.

 

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These stunning photos are from wifey Satu’s instagram archives. Despite traveling around the world, she always sees the greatest beauty at home and knows how to capture it. 

 

For long, I had a attitude problem towards the Finnish language. So different from any other, isolating us from rest of Scandinavia and Western cultures, also making it more challenging for us to learn foreign languages and vice versa. Bla bla. Here, I have started to enjoy having our ‘secret’ language. Watching the reactions of others when I record and listen to whatsapp voice messages is amusing. PJ always told me that Finnish sounds like singing. Can’t be too bad then.  I also enjoy the fact that I can write notes to my notebook that no one here would understand. 😉

 
The world is so connected today. It feels like it becomes smaller and smaller the more you travel, meeting a total stranger and so often turning out that you know same people.  I personally think the six degrees of separation theory has become much less. Thus, belonging to such a small community, having our own unique language, space, ways of doing things and traits is really comforting. I wouldn’t change it for anything, to be a Finn, having a home base there. I love that we are only 6 million people. I never thought about it this way before moving abroad, but we are unique, exotic. Finland is a huge mystery to most people in the world, yet a fascinating one.

 

Our nationality is valuable in concrete terms as well. I have got this feeling endless amount of times during the past years, both at home and abroad. I will never forget how incredible amount of effort we had to do in order to obtain a chinese visa in Hong Kong for my friends from other countries, and how easily they gave me one. Just like that, without asking any further questions, just because I was a Finnish citizen. In these kinds of situations I realise how valuable my passport is. I aim to not become attached to possessions, and I can honestly say that I do consider my passport my most valuable belonging. It is my identity, and the stamps and visas only build up on this.

 
Even more have I learned to appreciate our country. Yes, it is cold and dark there for a slightly too long period. Thus I encourage everyone to travel. Last year, a four day escape to Barcelona just before Christmas made miracles for me, and the rest of Winter was easy to handle again. Time or money are no excuses, the employers will understand and even a destination like Barcelona is a totally different story regarding the amount of light and warmth.

But only thinking about the good sides makes me smile. Our nature is stunning, there’s no way around it. I’m sure everyone has their favourite places and activities. I personally find my mom’s hometown Punkaharju one of the most beautiful places in the world with its crystal water and narrow eskers. There our huge, international family will always reunite for summer celebrations. Levi will always have a special place in our family’s heart. Also thinking about flow festival, Hanko weekends and Tahko getaways make my heart beat faster. Helsinki is the dearest for me, I simply love exploring and wondering down my favourite streets. Cycling from Arkadiankatu to Mestaritalo in Punavuori every morning for months and seeing how the seasons change… Being in Cape Town now, unable to cycle anywhere but instead having to uber or drive everywhere, these rides have now become a great memory. I know how much I’ll appreciate my bike and being able to cycle across my home city again next Spring. It’s all about the little things.  And yet there is still so much too, at least for me. I am inspired by my sister and some friends who have packed their bags and traveled to North instead of always escaping to the South. Exploring Northern Finland, doing a Summer road trip and doing a proper summer weekend in Turku are high on my bucket list.

 
I can only speak for myself, but the more I travel, the more I learn to see the beauty of my own country. I could continue talking about this topic forever, but I’ll stop it here for now.

Wishing an inspiring and beautiful week for you ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The distance between dreams and reality is called action.”

Anyone else out there who wish to bring even more meaning to our day?

1. Be passionate about something bigger than yourself. It inspires growth.

And remember that it is not selfish to be passionate about growing yourself, as your growth reflects to others. Right now, I am passionate about writing and yoga as I wish to learn and grow, to now and later teach and inspire others.

 

2. Be proactive about your dreams. Stop waiting, get started.
“If you wait for the perfect timing, you might just wait forever”

3. Be patient with people. Give the love you wish to receive.
“You would love everyone if you knew their story”
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 Wishing you a relaxing, peaceful Sunday. ❤

“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.”

 

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“Let the world say you are crazy, then you are free to do what you want.”

 

“Paint the sky, make it yours.”

 

“Freedom is the oxygen of the soul“

 

“True detachment is not a separation from life but the absolute freedom within your mind to explore living”

 

“The root of suffering is attachment.” –Buddha

 

Universal Human Rights about Freedom:

 

Everyone has a right to liberty and security. Liberty means the power to act as one pleases without restrictions set by authority on your way of life, behavior or political views. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, home and communications. Everyone has the right to the protection of her personal data. The right to marry and the right to found a family shall be guaranteed. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. The arts and scientific research shall be free of constraint. Academic freedom shall be respected. Everyone has the right to education and to have access to continuing training. Everyone has the right to engage in work and to pursue a freely chosen or accepted occupation.

 

The more I have been exposed to different environments and cultures, the more I have learned to appreciate my freedom. In the Western culture, we are often fortunate to enjoy freedom to high extent. In Scandinavia, we are given equal opportunities in just about anything, from education, occupation, choosing your partner, living environment… This is a tremendous gift, and I pray similar freedom for every one in this world. We all should be entitled to choose our own path, make choices based on free will, detached from outside pressure or restrictions. We are meant to build our own reality. To make choices that serve our passions. We are entitle to get to do things that we find meaningful. To get to feel ourselves appreciated and loved. To live enjoyable lives. Yet, it is up to us as individuals to do choices that serve our deepest wishes regarding our lives. The range of opportunities are endless.

 

Which topics do you want to study? How do you want to make your living? Where do you want to travel? Where do you want to live? With who do you want to share your life?  How do you want to spend your time? What do you want to eat for dinner tonight? What would you do for living if all occupations would be equally appreciated and they were all realistic?
For me, freedom is about….

 

Choosing how I make my living, pursue an education and choosing how to use it

Expressing myself freely

Choosing how and with whom I spend my time, and giving others the freedom to do the same

Saying yes when I feel like it, saying no when I feel like saying no

Eating ice cream for dinner, because I can

Detaching myself from the virtual world whenever I feel like it

Not having to explain my actions for those whose business it is not

… And so much more. Freedom is there all the time, it is a state of mind.

 

 

Someone whom I admire for her internal and external beauty, Sofia Ruutu, writes about freedom:

 

Freedom. As an adult I’ve come to realize I have the freedom to do almost anything I want. Realizing that is something that has changed my life. It’s like the realization opened up doors that I never imagined possible for me. Freedom is of course not to be taken for granted, which is why I appreciate all the opportunities and choices I have. I have the freedom to build my own life, and even though it might be hard or almost impossible to get where you want, most things are possible and starts between your ears and within yourself. Changes and goals might take time to reach, and sometimes requires re-arrangement, hard work, giving up other things and a lot of faith and discipline. However, just knowing you have the possibility is freeing itself.”

 

How beautifully expressed, I cannot agree more.

 

“And so, she decided to start living the life she’d imagined.”

 

“As I walked out of the door toward my freedom, I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred and bitterness behind that I would still be in prison.” – Nelson Mandela

 

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others” – Nelson Mandela

 

“When you come to the point where you don’t need to impress anyone, your freedom will begin.”