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 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.”

“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

Did you make New Year’s resolutions? I did, and will continue doing. I love to set goals and write down dreams… That way they start to concretise in your mind and you make gradual, conscious or unconscious steps towards realising these visions. My resolutions consists of abstract things as well as concrete goals. Some of them are too personal to share, some not 😉

 

I want to keep growing as a person. Get to know myself better, and understand my closed ones better. Be happy and only let people leave from my company more inspired than they were. I want to be more present in the moment. I will cut time spent on my phone. I’m not afraid to go to flight mode. I don’t need to be available virtually all the time, instead I want to be available to people I’m surrounded by. Showing respect by listening is so important. I want to learn to recognise, accept, respect and embrace personality differences. We are all built differentially, communication is the key. I realise that I can learn something from every single person. It doesn’t mean you need to keep spending time with people that don’t energise you. Also realising when its time to let go and say no is respect towards oneself. I love the quote “You’d love everyone if you knew their story”. Let’s show compassion to everyone around us.

 

 

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My more concrete resolutions have to do with doing more what I love such as surfing and yoga, getting better at them, deepening my relationships,  exploring my current home city more thoroughly, travel to new as well as already been places, and start new work related projects. I want to take meditation to my days again, get more often to a creative mode, encourage others to pursue their dreams and do the same myself. In fact there is really no real line between concrete and abstract. Abstract becomes reality when you believe in it and build it gradually through small actions.

365 days. Let’s decide that this year will be the best one so far.

 

 

“When you come to the point where you have no need to impress anyone, your freedom will begin”

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My 2016 started with a yoga class. I’ve gone every day since. I am hooked by the feeling that the combination of being mindful about your body & mind, flowing asanas, powerful energy of the people around you, inspiring teachers, endless sweating, and just the right music gives to you. An hour of yoga makes me feel so alive, powerful, inspired, somehow unstoppable. I get my best ideas there and I often wish I had pen and paper with me. My new years resolution is to continue practising often.

I like the quote of the title and I feel like I’m on a good path. Spending New Years alone is only one example, I love the fact that I no longer feel a need to explain myself regarding how to spend my time. 90% of my time I love to live healthily, wake up early, exercise and eat fresh. But it doesn’t mean I won’t have a night out every now and then and enjoy a huge steak even more often. Balance is the key. Finding the balance is what I will continue to work on this year in all life areas.

Valma (and my wetsuit) landed safely on New Years Day. Arne with new visitors returned from their New Years celebrations as well, and turned out that the guys are super funny. The highlight of our day was meeting Maija & Luka for drinks. Maija also lives in London so was really good catching up. She is a girl with always a huge smile on her face, best people reading skills and a huge heart. With her I can talk hours about life, relationships, future and personalities. Love it.

Valma’s last supper was enjoyed at Charcoal on New Church Street. I was a bit nervous to take 4 of our visitors to a place I had not tested before but it turned out to be a needless worry, we all loved Charcoal. Romatic and minimalistic setting, delicious and beautiful dishes. The night continued to Village Idiot. Though I mostly stay out of night life here, I’m always keen for this place. Good music, cozy venue, great crowd. I even got to tick dancing at the table off my bucket list.

The day after brekkie took place at Truth, before it was time to head to the airport. My favourite avo toast still resides here… She is now safely back at London, the host is is happy and in need for some more me time 😉 I can’t wait to get projects started for the new year and plan how I will make the most out of my (too short) remaining time in this amazing city.

 

 

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re-establishment of the feeling of groundedness

 The past year has been a happy one for me. I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot without burning myself out. Pretty much the opposite – I’ve taken better care of my mental and physical health than ever. A lot has happened since I arrived back home from Hong Kong 14 months ago. I remember how rootless I felt, not having a home or a clue of my future plans in terms of studies and work.
What I did have, was a bunch of loved ones I had missed during the time away. I needed time surrounded by these people to feel grounded again. Then, one by one, things started to fall into place. I landed a job that excited me every day. I learned more than I ever would at classes. The best part though was that I could maximise my time with wifey as colleagues, before she would head to new adventures for the Fall.
Fall, then, was time of studying, working and working out. Day flowing by with routines – which usually makes me feel anxious, but what I had missed in Hong Kong. Also the feeling of accomplishing small but meaningful goals makes you feel good. Spring was time of true self discovery for me. I was lucky to travel three times to Barcelona with Satu, and besides truly falling for the city, I learned a lot about myself. For me, traveling really is the best way to get to know yourself. I also managed to shift my studies towards psychology, which I loved after 5 years of business studies. Also, for the first time in my life, I integrated working out into my daily life. And there’s no going back, being physically active simply is a major part of well being for me.
A lot has happened in a year’s time. I’ve built a life that is comfortable and filled with nurturing relationships which I love, but not that exciting. And excitement is what keeps me feel alive. Seeing new places, meeting new people, hearing new stories. Being inspired. It is time to go and do something new again.
My destination: Cape Town & Stellenbosch, South Africa. My final year as a student will take place in Stellenbosch university as a MBA exchange student. At the moment I’m sitting at Istanbul airport, waiting for my connecting flight to my destination. Feeling: excitement. My wish for being inspired started in the plane already as I sat next to a gentleman who has worked literally all over the world as a consultant and diplomat for the past 25 years. I decided that I want to have as many stories as he does at that age
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I still remember this first meal with wifey at Sushibar + Wine
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Summer Fridays spent at Lonna island
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Catching up over high tea at The Cadogan with my Londoners Henni & Anne and Amanda’s surprise visit from Aberdeen
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Weekends at Hanko
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This cutie visited from down under ❤
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Our beautiful office building
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The perfect holiday at get together with my girls from London & Uppsala
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Getting this girl back from Shanghai ❤
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Elektro music brunch in Barcelona
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Beautiful Helsinki Summer nights
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High on hill sprints and Helsinki skyline
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Nightless nights
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My never-ending project
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Witnessing the tying of the most inspiring love story
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Next time from South Africa xxx

“If I’m honest I have to tell you I still read fairy-tales and I like them best of all.”  – Audrey Hepburn

I did want to make a film that was about courage and about kindness and about a psychological modernity in the middle of this traditional story. The Cinderella myth continues to capture our imaginations” Kenneth Branagh

Do you believe in fairytales? I certainly do. Not surprisingly Cinderella directed by Kenneth Branagh, the story inspired by Charles Perrault’s fairy tale, hit me hard. Although not a direct remake, the film borrows elements from Walt Disney’s 1950 animation.

I believe that good always triumphs evil. Dreams will come true as long as you can visualise it and believe in it. Cinderella, for me, was inspiring not only with its beautiful costumers, stunning sceneries, great cast, magical elements and touching music, but primarily because of its powerful message. A piece of advice and living up it to can have such a great impact on a human life. “Have courage. Be kind.” Living up to this made Cinderella be genuine, generous never give up chasing her dreams. Such a simple message for anyone.

A wonderful, truly inspiring movie that has the old Disney magic. The acting is great; Lily James as Cinderella who felt like the most beautiful, hearty human in the world; Cate Blanchett in the challenging role as the evil stepmother; Helena Bonham Carter turning the course for Cinderella in the film, boosting her confidence and enhancing her beauty to confidently go for her man. This film is truly the old storybook brought back to life.

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.
― Albert Einstein

CINDERELLA CINDERELLA CINDERELLACINDERELLA CINDERELLA

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photos: http://www.stitchkingdom.com/disney-cinderella-theatrical-poster-high-resolution-stills-73403/

This film went straight into me and my sister’s top one film. I recommend everyone to give it a chance and it won’t let you down. I for sure will watch it over and over again as the magic never disappears. 😉

xxx, S