30

I turned 30 years old over the weekend and my head has been filled with a lot of thoughts these days, and may I add, lovely thoughts. For me, with the support that I have received, it feels only a blessing to move on to the next decade of beauty.

Today, the 6th of December, it is the Independence day of Finland, a country that shaped my heart and soul. According to my parents, I have behaved independently since a very young age, and to strengthen it, Finland gave me amazing opportunities to continue so.

In my opinion, independence is all about having the freedom to choose. It is a great word to describe the state of being Finnish, and also my state of being 30 now.

To be able to be in this state today, I am grateful for so many things I have experienced over the years, so I decided to take a challenge to write down 30 things I am grateful for. Making this list took quite a while, but I urge you to do the same, it puts everything in perspective. So here we go.

Today, I’m grateful for …

1. the 101-year-old Finland that has given me countless opportunities along the way, eg. in education, health care, social system and safety

2. my loving parents that have always believed in me and given me the freedom to realize any of my dreams

3. my siblings that have given me their unconditional love and support

4. my extended family for providing me a support network

5. irreplaceable friends around the world that have always been there for me

6. comfortable homes over the years that have given me shelter

7. food that has nourished me to be strong and healthy

8. our globe Earth, an unbelievable beauty of species and provider for our basic needs

9. fresh water that keeps me alive and clean

10. my teachers, coaches and supervisors that pushed me to learn and become wiser

11. Team Academy for making me believe I can do whatever I want in life

12. all forms of music that give food to my soul every day

13. the dance organizations that have let me discover my passion for dance

14. the countless books I’ve read that enabled me to experience different settings in life

15. the modern technology that gives us channels to create and communicate on another level

16. diverse cultures that enrich our interaction

17. art, in whichever form, because it allows us to understand our life and world in a deeper level

18. caring strangers that have helped my day one way or another, kept the last metro’s door open, smiled at me in a funny situation, picked up what I had dropped by mistake

19. entrepreneurs that keep our societies running and interesting with their incredible persistence

20. peace warriors that keep fighting for our common justice and well-being

21. history that has taught us lessons how to be better humans

22. big city rush that, with its’ changing faces and monuments, reminds me that I’m part of a bigger entirety

23. the modern travel industry that has made it accessible to move easily to explore our incredible Earth

24. cabin crew colleagues that were my company in discovering all those foreign lands

25. outstanding motion pictures that have inspired me to become a maker myself

26. filmmakers in Berlin that have given me the privilege to be involved in such incredible projects

27. time because its’ changing speed makes me understand the important things in life

28. realness, because in these times of virtual connections and fake news the realness reminds us to live in the present

29. love and kindness that I have been and I am privileged to share

30. last but definitely not least, I’m grateful for a very special person by my side that reminds me to be my amazing self and made turning 30 such a beautiful event for me.

Thank you all for shaping my life so far!

Happy Independence Day Finland,
let this remind us all that peace gives us opportunities to build something extraordinary.

Creating New Culture,

Satu

Flow Of Life

This past week has reminded me of how life can flow when you just let go.

From the beginning of this year, I wrote down healthy rules and goals for my life. After having absolutely no rhythm nor healthy habits as a cabin crew member for years, I wanted to focus on getting a proper sleeping pattern and a more regular exercise program. I wanted to keep eating healthy and now living in one stable place, I feel I have a better opportunity to really keep it going. Most part I’ve gone vegan, but I don’t keep it as strict as I could.

Well, this past week then.. I have slept way too little and haven’t followed the rules what comes to exercise and eating, at least not on purpose. What surprised me though looking back now, is that even by letting completely go and flow, I’ve lived mostly according to my ideals and goals. I’ve danced and moved even more than I normally do. I’ve eaten pretty healthy, choices that I’ve made subconsciously.

Fresh-food-salad-vegetarian-quiche-cafe-healthy-life-creating-new-culture
Fresh subconscious habits within flow // Aprilkind Kaffeebar, Berlin, Germany

Even though I’m still catching up some of the missed sleep, I have realized it is healthier to let go of those rules at times to enjoy life as fully as you can. A regular day will come again, and when built in strong enough, the rules of a greater and healthier life will follow.

Most of all, this flow state has given me energy and joy of life. I have got things done that I have kept planning in my head for way too long. Letting go of the rules you have set for yourself mentally, will keep you flourishing. Whatever I set myself to do in that state, I succeed in it.

Don’t be afraid to let go, trust the flow of life!

Creating New Culture,

Satu

Don't-be-afraid-trust-the-flow-of-life-art-quote-creating-new-culture
Quote of life – trust the flow // Berlin, Germany

Countdown For The New Year 2018

Instead of the holiday hassle and the so called ‘holiday stress’, I see more people taking time for themselves and relaxing these days. Our lives are full of chaos as they are, so it is a great idea just to be and let the thoughts fly for a change.

Xmas-christmas-joulu-jul-lights-noel-natale-snow
Holiday feels like a fairy tale with snow ❄

This extra free time also gives a good break to take a look of the year passed. It is important to list the moments you were your happiest, and the moments that didn’t go so well. Remember why you were proud of yourself, and learn from the downfalls.

Personally, I have had an eventful, rough, happy and sad year of changes. I made myself proud by finally obtaining a driver’s license and by being brave enough to change my life completely again. I have learned to know that I am strong because of my travels and adventures since a very young age, and I don’t have to doubt my survival when in pain. I have also realized that deep down inside me, I know what I ultimately want in life and I can make it happen by believing in it myself.

As there have been positive and negative surprises during the year, it has all taught me once again to always stay open to unknown. We never know how the events are going to turn out, so let’s give them the chance to make our lives interesting and worth living.

Star-blue-kompassi-jyväskylä-finland-suomi-tähti-
Sparkle and stars to your New Year ✨

Have a wonderful and eventful year 2018 to remember everyone!

Creating New Year,

Satu

Escape To The Sun – Gran Canaria In December

Beach holiday in the south, culture in the north. This is a rough generalization that I made during my visit to Gran Canaria on the Canary Islands this week. It it now the darkest week of the year up north in Finland, so I decided it is my turn to check what the Canary Islands have to offer.

To be honest, I didn’t expect much other than touristic beach holiday but I was pleasantly surprised by the life on the island. Part of it was staying in an apartment of local Canarians and getting to know them, partly I discovered new favourites on my own.

PUERTO DE MOGÁN

In the south side of Gran Canaria, you can find long beaches such as Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas, which are always sunny though windy this time of the year. Warmer options in December and winter times are definitely Puerto Rico and few beaches around, such as Playa de Amadores and Anfi del Mar.

I passed by all these packed beaches but my own cute finding this side of the island was Puerto de Mogán. Also there, the international tourists are inevitable, but the small size and the remote location give a little more peace in the paradise.

Puerto-de-mogan-gran-canaria-canary-islands-flower
Flower Power // Puerto de Mogán, Gran Canaria
Puerto-de-mogan-gran-canaria-beach-sea-rock-heart
Remote paradise // Puerto de Mogán, Gran Canaria

DUNES OF MASPALOMAS

As I mentioned before, the area of Maspalomas is quite windy in the winter. The dunes are still an experience you shouldn’t miss. As it is a small area, you can make a little hike barefoot and enjoy the calmness of the raw nature. Definitely a must for sunset. PS. A pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes from the flying sand.

Maspalomas-dunes-desert-gran-canaria-canary-island
Maspalomas Dunes, Gran Canaria

VEGUETA AND LAS PALMAS

The Spanish culture and the history of the island live strong in the north side of the island. While the weather is not the best during the winter, there is plenty to do inside as well. Gran Canaria was a home for Spanish realist novelist Benito Pérez Galdós and a temporary home to the explorer Christopher Columbus on his travels. These homes offer a good option for a cloudy day in the old town of Vegueta.

Benito-perez-galdos-casa-vegueta-las-palmas-canary
Casa Pérez Galdós // Vegueta, Las Palmas
Christoffer-columbus-casa-de-colon-vegueta-palmas
Notes of Christopher Columbus in Casa de Colón // Vegueta, Las Palmas

What comes to the traditional Canarian and Spanish restaurants, it is good to follow the local’s updated suggestions. Few words of Spanish can also help you that extra notch in Las Palmas in the north.

Paella-el-tipico-espanol-spanish-food-las-palmas
Paella, por favor // El Tipico Español, Las Palmas

This trip taught me that in every place, you can find the world you personally love and enjoy. I found an authentic and cultural experience on a promised island of touristic beach life.

Creating New Mindset,

Satu

How Do I Set My Mind To The Mode Of Entrepreneurship?

It has definitely been an autumn of changes for me. From flying to the ground, from Middle East back to Europe, from the eternal sunshine to the promised land of freezing temperatures and from a relationship to freedom (as you could see it). I needed a quiet moment for myself, a break from running around the world, literally and mentally. I took my time back home in Finland and used it to find my path stronger again.

Personally, whenever I have that idle moment to think, to think again and to overthink even, my mind starts to travel. A wise person once said that creativity needs its’ own time and space.

Moment of silence entrepreneurship mindset to set goals
That moment of silence to find yourself

For me, those inactive moments always turn themselves to new ideas and an internal need to plan projects and businesses of some kind. This week, I had the privilege to join an intensive short course to develop my thoughts forward, and get the support for my ideas. The week has given me so many questions to answer, and I will definitely share my findings in the near future.

Maybe the mindset of an entrepreneur in its’ sense we know it today, is at least partly built in. As long as I can remember, I was always the one organizing various things, from countless clubs as a child to more professional events at later stage. But more importantly, the way we choose to spend the extra time and space on our hands is crucial towards a mindset of an entrepreneur.

The world, Internet and especially social media is full of inspiration and good material to catch, but can be quite overwhelming. I tend to use too much time on social media, which – I am pretty sure – is the case for most of us. Instead of pointless scrolling, I have tried to add more educational and enriching content to my days.

Speaking of, now I have stuffed my schedule quite full with countless courses and material, but it is the aftermath of that quiet moment and it is filled with motivating and inspiring points. Above all, I have the control over the material as I choose to.

Mindmap-work-ideas-for-future-entrepreneurship
Mind mapping my ideas

 

Take the time to get to know yourself, your goals and your motives.

Make the plan.

Along the way, remember to listen to yourself.

Be intuitive and passionate.

Authenticity will do part of your work.

Do your own thing and focus on it!

 

Branch-of-a-spruce-snow-stardust
Imagine the stardust to your branches

I tend to forget these points at times, but those moments of silence work as magical reminders of keeping my path. The world will continue to scream but keep your mind clear and on your own path!

Satu

PS. This following article explains the topic super well: ARTICLE IN CAPITAL BBC.

 

The Light In The Darkness

As promised, here we go on a Friday again. On a particular Friday, that I have definitely realized it is autumn time. Time, when the day gets shorter, temperatures colder and life moves inside the houses here up north of Europe.

The darkness of the season can be overwhelming, whatever form it takes. I have just moved back to the north part of the globe from year-round sunshine, and the shortness of daylight had to remind me of itself.

But as in anything, we have the chance to pick our side, pick our way of approach. This week of the autumn I have picked the colourful leaves, all those artistic lights that shine in the dark, pumpkin spice and coziness made of candle light.

Colourful autumn maple tree
Colours of the wind. Maple tree in Finland.
Bright lights in the darkness
When the leaves get dark, the other colours shine brighter. Valon Kaupunki (The City of Light) -event, Jyväskylä, Finland.
Lights bring the darkness alive
Lights bring the darkness alive. Valon Kaupunki (The City of Light) -event, Jyväskylä, Finland.

The light in the darkness is our being. Our light that shines from inside. We can present it as art, as in this last weekend’s light festival in my home town Jyväskylä in Finland. We can spread warmth around with flavours and smells such as famous pumpkin spice and make ourselves cozy at home with candles and our loved ones, to enjoy and to make most of the season.

I have heard myself say so many times that the darkness can be tough during the winter season. This time, I throw myself to embrace it. It is time for change. It is time to lay something so bright on a dark canvas.

Be creative!

Yours,

Enlightened Satu in the cozy dark

Change for 2014

It’s been a while that I haven’t been posting. For me this pause was most of all time to search something new in myself. I felt the need to understand me more, and through this process, simply get new power on sharing new stories again.

IMG_20131231_102727

The last sunrise I saw in 2013

I had awakening times over the holidays. During one week, I visited all the three places I consider my homes. Jyväskylä in Finland, Paris in France and Frankfurt am Main in Germany. Three different cultures, languages, lifestyles, group of friends and stages of my past life.

snails-escargots-french-cuisine.jpg

French stage – delicious snails

They say you need to know your history to understand the present and to plan the future. The important thing is to understand these points in all levels, starting from the largest one – the history of the world, to understand the dynamics around, the situation of your own country and culture in this frame. The knowledge of your own culture will teach a lot about behavioural aspects and give the power to be proud of your roots.

IMG_20131129_163613

Wild berries is one of the privileges in Finnish forests, I learned to bake a berry pie à la Mom

Knowing the history of your own family, will help you realize partly how you have become the person you are, and the reasons behind your parents’ and other family members’ choices. It is important to remember that regardless of which choices your family has made, you are you, the only you in the world, and in today’s world you have the ability to choose the change if you wish so.

That brings us to the final one, our very own personal history. Which way have I developed during my life? Which kind of choices did I make? Which mistakes did I make? How did I overcome them?

eiffel-tower-paris-france

Sometimes the light blinds you, sometimes guides
Eiffel tower in Paris, France

Staying in my childhood home in Finland is always awakening experience. Every single time I learn new about my past. Seeing the world, grows my respect towards my roots, and all the people who have walked part of my path with me.

Paris put many questions in my mind. Why did I do certain decisions in life? What came out of them? How did I grow up during those periods of time? Answering these taught me about my decision-making and behaviour in a big picture.

paris-france-street-view

Re-living your past path makes you know yourself more

I finished the travelling week in the present. I see my path, I see this place and time that I have ended up in. There are things I like, and things I want to change for the future. I have ideas, plans and energy again but as we all know, only the future itself will tell the result.

frankfurt-am-main-hessen-germany-skyline

Find the balance of the presence and the future – enjoy today, building your future

Happy new and very successful year 2014 for everybody!

Your attitude to changes?

Changes in life – such a natural thing. Nature changes every second, the trees grow, the ants die and a new panda is born. We change too, and so does everything around us. But at times, we act as something unnatural would have happened.

I take an example from the weather, now that it has definitely been the main topic in all conversations around.

So let me remind, at the moment I live in the central Germany, in Frankfurt Am Main. One week ago (as I posted as well), the spring arrived. The warmth came as a big wave, melt every German’s and stranger’s heart and put our hopes up. +15C and the sun up without the usual company of clouds. The grayness is over, let’s start the summer times! Or so everyone thought.

But sometimes a change comes overnight, unexpected. This business city got conquered by the snow, followed with a freezing wind. Everyone’s face seemed to have even more depressed expressions than before any sunny days. Snow was back, the winter continues.

I heard comments that it’s not possible to have snow and this cold in March anymore. Maybe they forgot that just one week before there was snow and the temperature was as low.

frankfurt-am-main-snow-storm-winter

Snowy street after the night of storm.

frankfurt-am-main-snow-winter-car

Snow snow snow. Work before work to dig the car underneath.

Unfortunately, we can’t control all the changes. We can only control our attitude. If an unwanted change appears, we can choose to curse it with our companion or accept the situation as it is and take the best out of it.

There’s always another day. There is always another possibility for a positive turn, a new change.

frankfurt-am-main-germany-car-snow-melting-spring

The sun warming the snow away again.

frankfurt-am-main-bicycle-spring

This bicycle will also get back on road soon..

Sometimes the life goes as we expect. Sometimes it takes a turn down. But there will be a day that it turns back towards the sun again, and it’s all up to us if we believe it before the turn. We can control some changes, but when we can’t, we have always the opportunity to change our attitude.

frankfurt-am-main-spring-converse

With my Converses on a dry street in the sun. Still cold, but I have already the summer in my mind.

Who decides what it is proper for you to wear?

This morning I was wondering how many shirts should I wear under my winter coat, since it’s been getting colder and colder again. I ended up putting on three. True, I’m not really a winter woman. Most of all, a very good protection for face with a scarf happened to be the most important one, since there was a huge snow storm!

frankfurt-am-main-winter-snow

No signs of spring anymore.
Frankfurt Am Main / Today 12.03.2013

The temperature is one of the factors that we consider while choosing the clothes for the day, or night. The style differs if we are going to the school, to the office, to the gym or to a party. Then again, in parties there are variety of dress codes, black to a funeral, never white to a wedding, different shades of fanciness.

But one thing differs depending the culture, country or/and religion – how much it is proper to show. Western world seems to be quite limitless, except rare occasions with tight dress codes. Nudity and pale skin are not that much of taboos anymore, so a miniskirt and a tube top is a perfect outfit for a hot summer day. From someone’s point of view.

In Islamic culture on the other hand, the women traditionally cover their body, and as an extreme example of other end – with burqa, that covers the face and even the eyes. In many places these days, the Muslim women wear only hijab, a scarf that covers the hair.

The first time, that I experienced Islamic culture, was a trip to United Arab Emirates in the spring 2011. To be honest, it was a bit shocking to see the women walking with burkas, since I come from a country where the religion is not shown in everyday life with different dress codes.

After some days, I also tried Chador myself, a cloak covering the head and body, leaving the face open. I went to see Sheikh Zayed’s mosque in Abu Dhabi, and it was obligatory for the women to cover their body and head while visiting. This experience gave me very variety of feelings that I hadn’t been expecting. Before the visit I thought I would be very anxious with the black dress in such a hot day, but it was actually very cooling material. Also, the men around stopped staring. In the end I found it very comfortable and safe.

CIMG3091blog

The following days, when I saw the women with abayas, I started preferring their beauty and ability to make the outfit so classy with accessorizes to the tourists who were sweating in their too tight and revealing mini shorts.

Then again, I think everyone should have their own possibility to choose how they dress, how much they put clothes on and which style. It shouldn’t be any authority, law, rule, religion or a fashion queen to force people in one form. One day I feel covering all from top to toe, and another one I prefer the shoes that leave those toes open.

Which brings me to a discovery of today: I came across with a blog that publishes pictures of toes around the world, one part of the body that in some cultures is considered as a very private one.

I have always loved toes, as any other part of the body, and I think with the right amount of the pale skin the look can still be proper and beautiful. Dress codes for special occasions and proper taste to other days and nights. Let’s put our own consideration to this mad world.

san-vito-lo-capo-sicily-italy-beach-toes.jpg

Here my toes all in sand. As I think very proper way on the beach.
San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily, Italy / May 2012

First days of spring

The spring has arrived! Yesterday afternoon, I felt the first time that my heavy and so lovely warm winter coat was way too much. Degrees rising suddenly over +10C and sun burning my eyes, after so many dark months – a surprise attack, but oh so nice! This is Central Europe, there are few months of grayness and then we realize that the sun actually exists.

In Finland (or in Nordic countries in general), where I originally come from, the winter is Looong. With a capital letter. Months and months of snow, and total darkness of a little while. Then again, the summer and its’ nightless nights differ so much from the blackness of the winter that the amount of light always comes as a surprise. Everyone seems to enjoy the spring-summer times 200%.

I have been thinking over the few years of my life, how much the sun, the light and the warmth change a person. Do we feel happier in the lightest times? When the autumn comes, darker nights on a cozy sofa with my candles and darling, makes me very happy. So do I need more light or hot air?

Yes, I need. I have realized that I (as maybe many others) live in seasons, there are seasons to explore and try, and seasons to reflect and relax, and yes, also sleep.

When the sun shines, I feel lighter. Everything seems to go to their places. Maybe it’s the positivity that comes naturally these times that makes me do things in a certain way. It makes you take risks, makes you jump more. Risks and jumps take you to places you otherwise wouldn’t go. Maybe that’s why summer is the time to explore, go crazy and just let it go. Time to live full after sleeping.

Spring is the time to wake up from the long (or a bit shorter) sleep and start opening our eyes towards the sky and our next destinations. And so to say, the spring is definitely here now! I feel to jump somewhere. Just, let’s see where.

frankfurt-am-main-spring

Early morning with a beautiful sunshine, that has been waiting a long time to appear!
Frankfurt am Main, Germany / March 2013

frankfurt-germany-main-river

The strongest feeling of spring for me make always the late sunsets.
Main river, Frankfurt am Main, Germany / March 2013