Itselleen pitää antaa huomiota. Jos se unohtuu, tulee ongelmia. Alkaa nimittäin ajautua kurjuuteen. Itsen kanssa kannattaa olla kaveri, jotta elämä on mukavampaa. Kun itsestä ajautuu erilleen, elämästä tulee turhan synkkää ja yksinäistä. Ei se ole sen kummempaa. Irrallaan on kurjaa, yhdessä on mukavaa. Joskus yhteiseen eloon riittää kysymys; “Kuinka voit tänään?”. Jo se voi olla itselle tarpeeksi huomiota. Huomionhakuinen kuin on. 😉
Jos se ei riitä, muutama pitkä ja hidas hengitys voi auttaa.
Sitten kun on mennyt liian kauan siitä, että on ollut itsen kanssa yhdessä, voi kehossa alkaa tuntua ilkeältä. Kuin jokin olisi vinossa. Se on oikeastaan aika hyvä juttu, sillä silloin voi pysähtyä ja jutella itselleen. Se auttaa jo.
Itselle kannattaa antaa huomiota. Itse tulee surulliseksi ja kärttyisäksi, jos se ei koe olevansa arvostettu. Mutta sitten taas, kun itsestä on pitänyt huolta, se näyttää elämän hauskuuden. Jopa kauneuden. Se voi näyttää ehdottoman rakkauden merkityksen!
Sillä siellä se on koko ajan, sinä, itse, sinussa. Se loiste, joka vahvistuu huolenpidosta ja pienenee välinpitämättömyydestä. Käsi kädessä elämä tuntuu lahjalta, kun taas siitä irrallaan elämästä tulee kuin taakka. Itse ei tarvitse paljoa, mutta kyllä se jotain kuitenkin tarvitsee; huomiota.
Why do I feel so annoyed? Or why do I feel annoyed that I do feel annoyed? This resistance is not nice. So what if I don’t feel nice. Can’t I let it be that way then? Some days are like that. So what.
The part of me that is basing my whole well-being into conditional love is like; you can’t enjoy your life IF you haven’t exercised enough or eaten healthy, don’t you even dare to like yourself IF you’re not perfect. It’s such a cruel voice that still gets me. I let it ruin my days, because I believe it… It’s never really satisfied… And it really freaks out if I am happy without everything being perfect…
Maybe this wants to come out now. I kinda was face to face with this side of me last night before falling asleep. I saw it as a screaming and aggressive child, who was tired and anxious about everything, and what it just really wanted was to me to be strong enough to handle that tantrum. Not to criticise or shame it for being so difficult…
I see hope in integrating this part back to me. It just requires patience, strength and courage. And willingness to see it. And I want to see it. I want to feel it as me again and not as a separate annoying part.
Dear fearful, conditioned part inside, I see you, I feel you and I hear you. You are important to me and I will never forget you. But I will not let you decide over me. I take care of you, not the other way around. I am stepping into my power and I am taking you with me.
And as scary as it might be; welcome to unconditional love.
Everyone has their good and bad sides. We are human, that’s our nature. Nobody is perfect and nobody is the opposite. It seems to me that when we are in a good place, the other side of us is starting to sabotage us. And when we are not in a good place, we feel even worse because we know that some days we aren’t like this, why am I like this now?
When the two sides of us are constantly fighting, it is creating resistance and energy that is stuck. Instead of resisting what we naturally are, if we could just let it be, we would release a lot of energy to our lives. Suddenly we maybe wouldn’t be so low or tired. Suddenly we would find inspiration easier and joy would be more familiar than anxiety. Because everything is eventually about energy… Our energy determines everything in our life. How we see ourselves is also how we see the world. We are huge goggles that we see the world through. And when there is dirt in the goggles we might not know how to let ourselves be happy.
Beatles had it all figured out. Just let it be (happy).
Fridays feel different nowadays. After being a student for six years and living a pretty unroutined lifestyle, the step into working life has brought many changes into my life.
One of them being the friday feeling! I could be lame and not enjoy it because it’s lame to live life for weekends and we should live and love every day like it’s our last and basically shame myself for working in a 9-5 job (because its so last season, according to my inner voices), but I have decided to enjoy the classic friday feeling to the fullest. It feels pretty amazing after a week to wake up to the tickling morning of a Friday, there is just something different.
In my years of studying I would have probably cried my eyes out if I could have seen to the future – me, basically betraying myself, taking the “easy” road, “just” working as an employee. Gosh Maija, you should reach for the stars and just become an entrepreneur, try anything else but not working for someone else! Sure, lets be honest, I am still very familiar with this voice in my head…
But, instead of following that voice, I have decided that I wont let it ruin my experiences. Those voices are immature and making me doubt myself, insecure about my life and ultimately, just a whiny person. There is already enough of whiners out there, so I am just asking, do I want to become one too? I could easily become one if I listened to that mean voice that finds mean and negativity in ANYTHING, but I don’t WANT to. And so, the voices in my head that tell me that it’s lame to work a 9-5 or enjoy a Friday Feeling are getting a bit old.
They are getting a bit old because;
-When I am focusing on living my life now, I am very happy.
-When I stop and reflect back and see where I am now, I am very happy.
-When I realize what I get to do every day, I am very happy.
-When I stop listening to the mean voices inside of my head, I can really realize, that damn, I am working as a teacher and get to see the development and impact on the children every day, the highs and the lows. I am supporting myself economically. I have a job in general. I am happy doing my work and it gives me free time to do my other passions as well. And I realize… I am actually so happy! I am happy when I am focusing on my LIFE, not the voices in my head.
Then, when misery comes into the picture it talks through some self-created expectations, and seeks to make me unhappy by shooting messages through my brain like a sniper; “You are nothing if you dont at least do this this and this”, “What youre now doing is so lame”, “Are you actually enjoying Fridays now, gosh, get a life”. Yes, it is mean. It is so mean! And when I am tired or low, the saddest thing is, I am believing that evil inside of me.
On the other hand, when I am not tired and not low, I can see the voice just as it is; a mean girl only trying to upset me and make me change my life forever, because it would actually never be satisfied or happy. I can even have empathy for it and let it continue its journey.
The Friday Feeling is something I choose to cherish. Dear Mean Girl inside of me, it might seem lame to you, but I dont actually care. I have worked hard the whole week, and I am going to enjoy this freeing feeling of having the weekend ahead of me. Dear Mean Girl, I am choosing to enjoy my life instead of letting you tell me how I should live it. I am strong enough to regocnize when you are getting the best out of me, and I have the tools to stop and breath and choose another road.
Because Friday Feeling is not just about the Friday Feeling. For me it’s actually a feeling of freedom; not because of the weekend ahead. But because of the empowerment with myself; giving The Mean Girl inside its own medicine; I am nothing special, I am just a regular employee enjoying her 9-5 and fridays and free weekends, and that has the power to make me happy. To the mean girl nothing would be enough anyway, so I might as well start enjoying my life already. Not asking the Mean Girl for permission, but letting it be. That way, I can see; I am already happy.
Life moves all the time. In our minds it might move forward, but what if it just doesn’t have a direction? What if it just moves?
It’s a stressful environment to live in a mindset where we are all the time going “forward”. Or think that we have to go forward. That makes life just a means to an end. What if instead of “moving forward”, life would be just “moving”. No direction needed. The movement is already what is needed. Because since we are made of cells and cells are made of atoms and we know that atoms consist of protons, neutrons and electrons that are all the time vibrating and living and they are happy like that, why are we making life so complicated by thinking we need to move forward? We are already moving! All the time!
Everything in our body is moving all the time and that’s the purpose of the body, the cell, the atom.
Why is it then that our mind makes our life miserable every now and then? By making us believe that we are not enough, we don’t have direction, we need to do something different or we need to change? When our whole existence is already happy just being alive? Or maybe it’s not even happy, but just neutral, doing it’s thing, moving. Not forward with a goal in mind, but just moving. And that’s the whole “goal”. Just moving…
Not moving forward or backward but just making one motion after the other. Because when we really think about it, there is no forward or backward, there is just moving.
Our bodies are wiser than our minds, but we are letting the mind often take over a little bit too much…
Today I am going to stop myself every time I realize I have gotten into the mindset of “moving forward”. I am going to stop and take a breather and remind myself that everything is okay, electrons and protons are circling around the atoms in my body, and I am moving. That gives me peace. Imaging and feeling that the body is alive. Starting from the atoms…
I love writing. Without any rules, boxes or needs, other than my own need to pour it out. It feels freeing to be able to see your own words on paper. Or maybe they are not even your own. Maybe they are just coming through you waiting to be expressed through someone who believes in them. I want to be that believer. I believe in words and in people who write words. They give words a chance to be seen. And a chance for themselves to be seen. And it’s not about the receiver anymore. It’s just about the action itself, being able to accompany words into this world.
Word. World. Maybe all words are small worlds and our world is just made of those millions of words…
I’m leaving for work soon. Another day as a second grade teacher. Yesterday my colleague told the class that he had lost his mother last week and that’s why he had been away for a while. I was touched by the responses from the 7-8-year-olds. As my colleague was telling more about his mother, how she had been suffering from dementia for years and how she was old and now in a better place after all and despite the sadness he was doing okay, one of the pupils raised their hand and said; “It sounds like she lived a happy life.” That comment made my heart stop for a while.
How was she so wise. Just a comment like that connected the whole class in a new way. Another pupil asked how old she was and another wanted to share his story of what he had learned about death and close people passing away. And one of the children said; “My great great great great great grand dad used to live in a boat and he died and now he is still in the bottom of that boat.” He very well might still be. How would we know.
Work as a teacher is these moments at best. To be blown away by the wisdom children so genuenly portrait that makes you remember conversations maybe forever.
Conversations that can later on become word worlds.
It was the end of 2018 when I visited Bali. It’s funny to reflect on it now, two years after… But somehow I’m drawn into that trip right now. Bali seemed a bit blurry to me. It was a time in my life where I couldn’t let go of my inner struggles and actually ENJOY the place. I was stuck in my head and it gave me blurry goggles. Seeing the Bali island in its true glory wasn’t possible.
Instead of feeling bad about not being able to enjoy the trip to the fullest, I have come to peace with it. It was a trip that was ment to be like that for me. I was in my own bubble, wanting to, or actually, NEEDING to control many things. But regardless of the mental absence, I still feel I went through many important lessons during that trip. Be it in my mind or in the physical.
For example, every time I felt anxious or bad, or uncomfortable feelings in general, I let them dominate my life. Those moments could last for hours or even days. I let myself stay very low. And I can understand it now. I didn’t have the skills to rise above those feelings. Maybe that’s why it feels so nice to go through this trip now. Because I have come a long journey from that! Being in those downs, lows, unpleasant feelings, it is impossible to see the bigger picture. And now, two years later, the picture has become clearer.
Due to my description, it would be misleading to leave the text here. Because it was not the only experience I had at Bali; feeling miserable or suffering. I had also great times. But the general energy was low, and I let that be the canvas for my being. Taking unpleasant emotions too seriously led me into believing them. That there was something wrong in me, or in the trip, because I wasn’t just happy all the time.
And that is why I will let this Bali trip always be my teacher. It showed me that like the trip, life is not supposed to feel happy all the time. I experienced and outlived weird growing pains and lows, and it was still (or maybe just because of that) an important and amazing adventure.
I was walking to the grocery store. I had my headphones on and I listened to good music. I was in a good mood. Just enjoying the music and the upcoming food haul. I love food shopping!
The next thing I know, two people are approaching me. A man and a woman, and they started talking to me. I am usually quite open to chat with other people, but this time, I didn’t feel like it. I didn’t feel like stopping and I just passed the couple and continued my walk. I smiled and tried to show them the basic “not now, thank you” -gesture (the one useful with face-to-face fundraisers, heh…).
It was a bit weird situation. I sensed some tension from them when I just walked by. I think I was too deep in my world to react quickly enough for them, and since the situation was kinda over after my gesture, I just thought that the best thing to do was to continue walking away.
I still had my headphones on and I kept on walking when I started to hear shouting. I did think that maybe it’s them, shouting, but I didn’t really react.
The shouting continued and I took my headphones off and turned around. There was the woman. She had gotten pretty close to me and she was yelling at me. On the street, full on yelling at me. I was surprised of that aggression but managed to ask her “What is it?”. She yelled back at me some kind of a question.
I told her that “I don’t speak Swedish, I am sorry”. She looked at me sarcastically, and said, “Du ÄR svenskt” (a.k.a. you are swedish). With some sort of pride of apparently looking like a Swede I told her again that “I don’t understand what you are saying”. She continued to yell at me: “Var ligger —-“, (“where is—“), so, she was asking for directions. (I understand Swedish to some degree, but I’m still quite shy with it..:D.)
I told her once again, “I don’t speak Swedish, I am not from here, sorry” and she started to quit. I put my headphones back on and she went away.
The reason I am writing about this is, because, well, it was an interesting situation, and to the contrary of my previous experiences, I felt amazing after this encounter. I’ll explain why.
Five years ago when I had just moved to Helsinki, I had another yelling incident. I was traveling in a tram and I had unconsciously sat on a seat which was for handicaps, elderly, and pregnant women. An older woman started to yell at me because I was sitting in a wrong seat. I got so embarrassed and I told her “I am sorry, my mistake, I am so sorry…”. I felt like the worst person on earth. (Dramatic, not at all.)
When I got home, that incident was still very strongly alive in me and I cried. I felt like I was bad to the bones. For making that kind of a “major” mistake! “You should be ashamed!” It was very difficult for me to experience doing something “wrong”. I took her words as the truth, and even further, to the point where I thought my whole identity was purely just BAD. I felt so shameful.
For me, the reaction from any confrontation has always been an intense feeling of shame. Even with things I haven’t had anything to do with. Because, maybe I did do something…? I have always admired people who are able to defend themselves in an intense situation. People with “thick skin”. Who can just understand that they don’t have to take any sh*it from others because they have boundaries for themselves.
Why I felt so good after this yelling encounter was because I realized that the unnecessary weight of shame or fear of not doing everything like a good girl is now welcome to exit from my life. I am allowed to have my boundaries.
What I also realized from this latest yelling incident was that it was not about me. She had all the rights to be upset with me but she didn’t have the right to yell at me. My part was to realize this and not lower myself to be the one to blame, because I wasn’t the one acting mean. I didn’t have to take that. In this yelling incident, contrary to the others, I could see more clearly. I could see that, hold on. I am not responsible for the other person’s anger. Of course, in this situation I could have been more sharp and stop and help them out, but I didn’t. Does that make me a bad person? Am I obligated to always help? Am I alive to be there for everyone, always? Someone could argue and say, well, yes you are.
But when a person is choosing not to engage with others, are they deserving to be yelled at? Of course not! I realized that we are all responsible for our own emotions. She was angry at me, but was that a reason or a justification to yell at me? No.
We make different kinds of decisions all the time. Maybe they are not always the best ones, or maybe they are! One way or another, we can always learn from them! But while learning, it is not necessary to be yelled at, or to be the person who gets others’ emotions projected onto them.
When that happens, it is our right to understand that you are not responsible for others’ reactions to emotions. You are responsible for doing your best and choosing when to be there for others and when not to. You are not obligated to fulfill random obligations from others. You can, and to some degree, that’s even admirable. But you are not a bad person if you don’t always feel like doing so.
The world keeps giving us situations to practice our boundaries. And I saw this incident as a true life lesson.
So, random person projecting your emotions on me: thank you for teaching me an important insight.
I am not a bad person if I am not always the most helpful person on earth. And it is not a reason to be yelled at, or a reason to feel bad about myself.
I visited Åland a couple years ago for the first time and I fell in love with the place. The small island between Finland and Sweden charmed me with its carefree vibe and rustic beauty. Last year I traveled to Åland again and I was just as delighted.
Me and my boyfriend spent our midsummer biking around the pretty island and sleeping in cute accommodations.
We took a boat (Viking Line) from Stockholm to Mariehamn on a Friday morning. The trip took approximately 7 hours. After arrival we rented our rides for the weekend from a bike rental right opposite to the boat terminal. We strolled to Mariehamn’s cozy city center where we enjoyed ice creams and soon started our biking journey to our first destination.
Our first adventure was to bike 20 kilometers to our first accommodation. It took us only about one and a half hours, which gave us lots of time to enjoy the surroundings of our first home for the night. We stayed in a guesthouse called Amalia. We had cows as our neighbours and fields as our yard.
In general, during our trip, we saw lots of cows, and I discovered that they are really calming animals. And curious. They really want to know what’s going on when you get closer to them! Animals are amazing.
Anyways, in Amalia we had a small room, just with beds. Everything else was shared with other travellers; toilets, showers and the kitchen. In the morning of Saturday we ate a fulfilling breakfast from their breakfast buffet and I found my new favourite drink; pasteurized apple juice, straight from the applegardens of Åland. It’s so good! ❤
After the breakfast, we continued our biking and headed to the harbour of Långnäs. As we approached the destination, we soon understood that during midsummer (and the weekend) the ferry schedules weren’t that vibrant. We had planned to spend the day island hopping and seeing Åland from the coast, but our plan changed as we discovered that we would have to wait the ferries for looong times. This meant that we would reach our second accommodation only quite late in the night. So, we made a choice to stay on the mainland and biked right back where we had just gotten from… 😀 A little detour and some extra kilometers didn’t luckily bother us. It was a beautiful midsummer day and we had a lot of time to bike towards the next accommodation with a new plan.
This turned out to be a nice option, as we stopped at my old favourite little cafe on the way, Brobacka. We had coffees and pastries. Rhubarb pie and Åland’s pancake. I stayed at Brobacka the last time I visited Åland with a friend, and it was so nice to stop by this time again. It is the coziest little B&B!
After our little fika (coffeepause), our route took us to a restaurant called Smakby, and to a medieval castle right next to it; Kastelholm. These are both popular tourist attractions which were so nice to see! And we got to taste probably the best ice cream on earth; Smakby’s home made old vanilla ice cream. Ridiculously amazing. Btw, Smakby is the “dream project” of the famous chef Michael Björklund, and their focus is on quality local produce. I have been wanting to go there for a long time, so this new “detour” we took was clearly a better route Universe had in store for us. 😉
After eating and enjoying the beautiful area of the old castle Kastelholm, we started our last part of biking that day and eventually arrived to our second home for the night, Stalldalen. This was a hotel close to a brewery called Stallhagen, where we went for a dinner that evening. These two were walking distance apart from each other. (But of course we biked there.) We ate good meals in the evening and had a little craft beer tasting as well. And for dessert, another rhubarb pie with vanilla ice cream.
Came Sunday morning and we were spoiled with an amazing breakfast, homemade kombucha included! After the luxury, we hopped on our bikes and started our last day of biking and headed towards a beach which was recommended to us by the owner of the hotel we stayed in.
There we went on our bikes again, and arrived to a beautiful spot in the middle of solitude. We settled on smooth rocks and enjoyed the peaceful place.
We still had around 20km to bike towards Mariehamn, so we decided not to relax for too long. It was time to jump on our rides again. We drove by cute villages and went from biking in the middle of forests to suddenly biking on Mariehamn’s airport streets. (Google maps isn’t always a friend. :D) Finally we found our way back to the city and rewarded ourselves with yet again tasty ice creams before handing the bikes back in and heading to the boat.
We ended up biking around 75 kilometers that weekend. In Åland the biking is quite pleasing because the roads are in good shape and it is not that hilly. Here is our route in total: Mariehamn to Amalia 20km, Amalia (with the detour) to Stalldalen 35km, and Stalldalen to Mariehamn 20km. In summary, we biked, we ate, we biked, we ate, we biked and we ate 😀 ❤
In the boat on our way back to Stockholm, tired but happy, I couldn’t help to think that Åland had a pretty special place in my heart.
Till the next time then, Åland!
Would love to hear your thoughts about Åland if you have any experiences?
I feel like that place is full of magic and it is full of food for the soul. 😉 ❤
Recently I bumped into a really interesting video about THE spiritual awakening. I wanted to write about it here to reflect on my own journey with it. I find it awesome to be able to talk about this awakening process and its stages by actual names! It helps a lot, at least it helped me a lot.
Some time ago I came up with the term “second puberty” about the whole awakening process, because it truly feels like it. It’s also just as normal and different to all of us like puberty. The reason I wanted to reflect on this topic is that awakening is nothing special, really. It is maybe displayed like it. But it should be more widely talked about, so that maybe it could help a lot of people who go through sudden feelings and shifts in their being. We are growing and it is not always pleasant. Our brain is LITERALLY changing to shift perspective. And it’s something to talk about!
Spiritual awakening, or just awakening, is not something fuzzy, only-for-some-people, it is a part of the human evolution. Some of us just go through it younger and some of us older. We are now living the times where it is possible on a collective level to develop spiritually. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a good example of this evolution (more about it here).
Self-actualization (the highest stage in the hierarchy of needs) is ultimately the spiritual awakening. What it simply means is that we as humans become aware of ourselves, our behaviour and our individual needs. We no longer seek approval from the expectations of society for example, but we start to seek internal balance. We simply start serving our souls instead of our egos (if this sounds weird spiritual hoo-haa, I get it! But, I truly recommend researching more about the topics of the human psyche, ego, awareness, etc. It is such an interesting world!). And, you can always just stay tuned for posts later on covering those topics! ❤ They are coming, I promise! 😉
Anyway, for now, let’s get back to the topic: awakening.
Christina Lopes, The Heart Alchemist, lists 6 stages in the spiritual awakening (here), and I will use them as a base here too, because I found her stages very helpful. The explanations are my own reflections and experiences of those stages.
The wake-up! You kinda just wake up. This can happen slowly or just like that. I started to realize that hold on, there is more to life than the external world we are born into. There has to be! We are not just ment to be robots that go to work, struggle, and die. What happened to me was that I for example didn’t really want to party anymore, I started to be interested in terms like soul and universe and I just felt different. I got curious about self-development.
The Bliss. You start to see life trough lenses of bliss. You get glimpses of bliss, connection and happiness. I started to understand that everything is connected. I wanted to spread positive vibes only and I remember being amazed by how everyone else seems not to understand the beauty of life. Like all we have is this moment! Can’t you see!
The Dark Night. After the bliss times, you are eventually going to face some darker times. This is the time where I started to go through my baggage. From childhood until the current life. It can be heavy. But we have to face the things we haven’t yet so that we can free ourselves. It can feel like the shittiest time of your life, but it is necessary for growth. Maybe you feel like you’re depressed, anxious, loosing it. Or maybe you are growing. You can look at hard times from many perspectives, but ultimately they are in your life to bring clarity and to free you from yourself. I personally felt like wtf, what did I do wrong here? Where did the happiness days go? I was blaming myself about feeling shitty, but now I understand that it was a part of this journey. Of course you need to dive deep for a while. And the more you resist it (like I did by blaming myself), the longer that period is lasting.
The Void. The Void is here to give us a breather. It is the time where we are probably loosing our identities, just feeling like we are completely lost in life. It is the time where you have gotten out of the dark times, but you’re still just feeling very weird about life. Like what is this really all about? Does anything matter? Or does everything matter? I have personally felt so much frustration in this phase. And resistance. This is the time to calm down and give yourself time. Patience.
The Groundedness. You start feeling peace in yourself. You are more accepting and you have more empathy not only for others but for yourself, too. You are more mature. You are coming out of the “second puberty”. You are more emotionally stable and you can handle the highs and the lows of life with strength and understanding. You are grateful.
The Purpose. You are finding deep meaning in yourself which leads to meaningful work in the world. You are finding the things you like, are skilled at and are motivated towards. How cool! You realize you being alive has a purpose and you want to share that. No matter what you do as your work, you are enjoying it to the fullest and finding meaning and joy. You have deep roots in yourself and your light shines not only for you but for others as well. You are basically a perfect human being. Ha! Nope that’s not true. It is just that, you truly realize to take full responsibility of your life and handle things with calmness and joy.
What a ride, huh?
Maybe I am in the midst of the stage 3, 4 and 5. Definitely experiencing all of these stages anyway every now and then. They don’t go linearily. But, as I grow, the line seems to go like this:
So there are dips, but the resilience from the other stages is there to continue the growth again. This whole experience is really personal and not everyone may even go through these stages. Some of us also feel these stages more deeply, and for some it can be very light. So again, like a puberty! I felt puberty heavily anyway!
This was my reflection on the “spiritual” awakening, or the “second puberty”. Would be great to know if you are going through it, too. I really liked the whole concept of the stages. It’s a nice tool to reflect with. And, if you want a deeper take on this, I highly recommend the video from Christina Lopes. She is amazing!