Lessons of in-between situations

I decided to live my dream, and travel to the UK for 40 days. I started my journey by taking part in the Narrative Coaching retreat for three days in Bristol. At the moment I am in-between jobs, in addition to somehow living in-between countries. Now that the first quarter of the journey is behind, I would like to share my story.

I have often been in in-between situations througout my professional and personal life. Sometimes several circumstances have somehow mixed up (work, studies and life situation). My turning point was when I decided to further develop myself by moving from the engineering industry to adult education in my forties. Before that I was blessed to spend several years at home with my four kids, and also live in the US for four years.

My intention has always been to hurry up to new situations and next stages in my life. Even after twenty some years, I have found myself in pretty much the same situation, stepping into the same hole again, and again. During the past couple of years so many changes have happend in my work and my life, I could say the speed has even increased.

So, it happend once again! Last weekend I was in an in-between situation taking part in David B. Drake´s heartwarmingly led @NarrativeCoach workshop style retreat in Bristol. I also read his book during this week. It is amazing how familiar it felt thinking back to theories and my earlier studies in adult education, psychology and social psychology, and over twenty years of experience guiding adult students in their changing processes. The retreat experience was so eye-opening and it felt so great to step over my next threshold – finally a long step forward.

Most of all lessons of the last weekend rose out of my own stories, and my readiness to meet my own shadows and to leave something behind. We all have our own sufferings, paths, timing and space which is suitable for us. I noticed that to move forward it is good to have support and help from other co-walkers, but they can´t take our pain away. We need to meet our own shadows once in a while and be aware of them to continue our path freely. I feel so released and calm after this amazing experience with my peers from so many backgrounds and nationalities.

A good question for myself and for everyone else is what is the meaning of past, present or future for oneself. Which one holds the most energy? For me the most break through experience of the retreat was that I could really be totally present, start to move forward and trust the future, after I was ready to leave something behind. Sometimes it can be harder than other times, and it could take longer, but that’s okay.

I am now eager to move forward on my coaching path which I started a year ago, do things my own way and take my next steps to work as a freelancer. My mission is to use my long experience to be a mindful and compassionate coach for coachees on their trasformation process. I would love to walk alongside a coachee when they tell their story and move across their professional or personal threshold. At the moment I need one or two pro bono coachees with whom to practice futher the use of narrative coaching model and my recent learnings and insights. Please let me know, if you feel you could use some help with your story and transition!

I would be happy to support you!



Energize and make new plans!


21.3. – 20.6.

Do you feel yourself irritated or angry? Work out what it is and face it head-on. Begin the day with a brisk walk. Take up meditation at least once a day. Be kind to someone every day!

 Spring brings warmer and brighter days and shifts stored energy upwards for the movement and new growth. This time presents a whole new beginning, an opportunity to make new plans, make desicions, determine our direction and take action.

The element of Spring is wood and it is the season when sap is rising in the trees, just as we have this rising energy within us. If this does not happen we can feel depressed or stuck and unable to move forward. We can use this season to look at ourselves with greater clarity, to see where we need to do changes and understand that there may growing pains in the process. In this season we work on new challenges and personal growth as we stretch ourselves out of Winter towards new beginnings.

The gallbladder and liver are the organs that belong to the wood element within us. These organs ensure the smooth flow and distribution of energy. The liver has seen to be a strategic planner and the gallbladder allows us to make appropriate decisions. Emotions are linked to organs. Emotions and subject which belong to spring are anger, impatience, gentle kindness and purpose. Highest expressions are humour and patience!

The smell of spring morning has a freshness that you do not get in any other season! Spring is a good time of goal setting, motivating, organizing, being creative, and having a clear vision of how things will look. It is the time of the emergence of the new, and a time to be more energetic, flexible, spontaneous, thoughtful and sensitive.

Way of life

  • Do something toward detoxifying your life (a choice of five areas: food, thoughts, physical, home or outdoor environment)
  • Start something new at home, work and in yourself
  • Keep life flexible, free and active
  • Choose activities that motivate you

Excercise and training 

  • Use each move/posture to feel rooted
  • Twists can assist in detoxification
  • Do side bends
  • Be aware of what is still and what is moving


Anna Maija, 2018-2019 – Seasonal Yoga, Teacher Training (RYT 200)

Discover your true potential!


21.12. – 20.3.

Do you feel you need plenty of rest? Cut down on areas of stress. Get plenty of sleep. Take up meditation. Have periods of relaxation in the day to recharge!

 Winter emphasises the essence of life, like a seed with its potential deep inside. We can use this coldest and darkest time of the year for self-reflection and meditation. It is the season to find our true self.

The element of Winter is water and it is the season of concentration and self-reflection. The winter’s energy has the capacity to rejuvenate and discover our hidden depths and intelligence.  We can use this season to understand how to maintain our energy reserves and how to gather and store it for the year ahead. In this season we work on our ability to listen and sense where balances and inbalances exist, and how to respond them wisely. Its type of energy is change!

The kidneys and bladder are the organs that belong to the water element within us. Emotions are linked to organs. Emotions and subjects which belong to winter are fear, anxious and lack of direction. When we confront our fears and regain our courage, and in doing so winter will teach us how to be calm and balanced.

Winter is a good time of going to bed early and sleeping later, for stillness and looking inwards to develop our inner self. We can find a place of inner peace and fullfilment where the process of healing can beging. Be awareness of the whole movement and flow with the tide of life so you can discover your inner direction and purpose!

Way of life

  • Regularly re-evaluate your values and priorities
  • Start the day with a five-minute meditation
  • Recharge your batteries by going to bed early, rise late and sleep for 1-2 hours longer
  • Maintain your body temperatue by rubbing your kidneys one hundred times every day with the backs of your hands made into soft fists

Excercise and training 

  • Move your spine in many ways to mobilise all the joints and your lower back
  • Synchronise movements and breath
  • Feel the alignment of the spine, and a sense that the head is being held up
  • Use forward folds and back bends


Anna Maija, 2018-2019 – Seasonal Yoga, Teacher Training (RYT 200)

Do you belong to yourself?

”Our identities are forged in the crucible where our internal desires meet our external demands and our need for becoming meets our need for belonging.” Brene Brown


For me one of the biggest lessons of the year 2018 has been “Things happen when they happen.” It was challenging to accept that because I am often impatient and want to lean forward. I wanted to write this earlier but it took what it took and is now ready to be shared. I had to experience my vulnerability, which is the birthplace of love, joy, trust and courage – everything that brings meaning to our lives; as Brene writes.  Hope you find something to learn about this and we could start a discussion about  these kind of issues face-to-face!

“All of us will spend our life constantly strengthening our back, softening our front, and trying to listen to the whispers or our wild heart.” Brene Brown

In March 2018 I asked myself in Narrative Coaching workshop in Bristol interesting questions and got meaningful answers. What did I want to leave behind? For me it was important to get rid of roles, fear and tiredness. And then, what did I want to move forward to? I longed for freedom, joy, energy and wellbeing. I wanted to be proud of myself and do things on my own way.  What would you like to answer to these questions?

Someone said it is very important to belong to someone or something that you could be you. What do you think about that, is it really so? I have tried to belong to many work places and family, tried many study and hobby groups and so on. Sometimes I have felt that I belong to and sometimes that I don’t. Am I different than everyone else? I don’t think so. I have tried to fit in and belong to as many other people do, who want to be similar as the others and forget their true self.

What is the difference between belonging to and fitting in? True belonging is belonging to yourself, and to be yourself instead of copying someone else. Is it really possible to belong to yourself? How does it feel and how someone else notices the difference? One answer could be that you do your own decisions and choices, it doesn’t matter if you are at work or somewhere else.

“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.” Brene Brown

Do you really have courage to follow your heart? What is your purpose in this world? What kind of things makes your heart ticking?

I have been around these questions during the year 2018. I started to work as a full-time entrepreneur and as a professional coach. Do I really trust my capabilities…  and the most important, do my clients trust enough so that they would like to make an agreement with me?  I have to admit standing alone has sometimes felt scary and it has been easy to suspect my own ability to move forward and meet the uncertainty courageously.

Trustfulness is especially important in this kind of sensitive business as coaching always is. Even when we start to discuss about work related changes there is always a whole personality in the situation, which has to be met with care. The other very important issue is identity. Work identity is a very important part of adult identity. The truth about who we are lives in our wild hearts. Longing for to grow as a human and experience things bravely keeps our hearts fresh and live against constant evaluation, especially our own.

“You are only free when you realize you belong no place – you belong every place – no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.” Maya Angelou

– Braving the wilderness. The quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone. Brené Brown (2017) –


#awareness #identity #growth #purpose #meaningful #leadership #transition #transformation #vulnerability #happiness #joy #businesscoaching #turncoaching @turningheadscoaching


Withdraw and find your space!




21.10. – 20.12.

Do you feel you need a change in life? Exchange and eliminate. Breath in and out and get your practice moving. Calm yourself!

Autumn brings freshness after warm summer. The amount of light decreases little by little and air feels clearer. Trees reveal their bright colours; amongst them the pace of the rhythm of our life calms and slows down, and thoughts turn inwards. The season of growth has ended and we have to meet the reality that nature gets ready for winter.

The element of Autumn is metal and it is about gathering energy inwards with the focus on breathing using opening and closing postures in the upper torso to stimulate and increase lung ventilation. Use breathing exercises to focus and balance the gathered energy to cleanse, regulate and stimulate your respiratory tract, gently encouraging the whole system to detoxify and ”let go”.

Emotions and subjects which belong to autumn are sorrow, braveness and forgiveness. Sorrow affects the wellbeing of our lungs. If we have difficulties to give up our emotions our large intestine can show symptoms. Those symptoms can tell us that it is time to let go in many levels.

Autumn is a good time to finish projects started in Spring and Summer and bring things to conclusion. Autumn is also a perfect time to start self-examination. Practice letting go of what you no longer need in life to make more room for what sustains you. Start an improvement or a clarification of something by  making small changes!

Way of life

  • Be consciously positive and open, because in Autumn it is easy to feel depressed. Give up any thought which doesn’t serve you anymore.
  • Accept your weaknesses and work with your strenghts.
  • Clean, give away and recycle your belongings. 

Excercise and training 

  • Observe your posture so that your chest doesn’t go inwards and keep your head up. Remember that your neck is the straight bridge to your brain and its’ wellbeing.
  • Be consciously enthusiastic about your training and manifest effectiveness with trying as little as possible.
  • Release tension from your body and breath. Enjoy lots of fresh air during regular walks!


Anna Maija, 2018-2019 – Seasonal Yoga, Teacher Training (RYT 200)

The Art of Fearbusting



Feel the fear and do it anyway! Enjoy for yourself❣️

Susan Jeffers: A guided vizualisation, The Art of Fearbusting.
Read by Anna Maija.

#goal #change #growth #purpose #values #awareness #identity #empowerment #selfleadership  #businesscoaching



Lisää kasvun varaa – joustamaton mieli joustavammaksi?

Tarkastelen tässä kirjoituksessani työelämässä ilmeneviä toimintatapoja ja käyttäytymistä. Erityinen mielenkiintoni kohdistuu siihen, että miten erilaisen asenteen omaavat ihmiset suhtautuvat muutokseen ja toimivat muutoksessa.

Erilaiset asenteet ja ajattelutavat
Ihmiset omaavat joko joustamattoman tai kasvun asenteen. Kasvun asenteen sisäistävät uskaltavat ottaa riskejä ja ponnistelevat tavoitteen eteen, rakastavat haastaa itseään, keskittyvät kehittymiseen ja pyytävät tarvittaessa apua. He uskovat, että mitä enemmän he käyttävät luovaa aktiivisuuttaan niin sitä suurempi on menestys. Vaikeuksia kohdatessaan kasvumyönteiset ovat periksi antamattomia ja heillä on erilaisia selviytymistaitoja. Heillä on myös erityistaitoja arvioida omia vahvuuksiaan ja heikkouksiaan. He pystyvätkin kääntämään elämänsä vastoinkäymiset tulevaisuuden onnistumisiksi. Kasvun asenteen omaavien tarkastelu muuttaakin kokonaan epäonnistumisen määritelmän, merkityksen ja vaikutuksen. Se muuttaa siten ponnistelun syvimmän merkityksen.

Epäonnistumiset koetaan pikemminkin luonnollisina kasvukohteina ja vastaan tulevina haasteina.

Asenteeltaan joustamattomien henkilöiden täytyy puolestaan todistaa itselleen uudelleen ja uudelleen olevansa fiksuja ja kyvykkäitä, kun asiat menevät vaikeammiksi ja haastavammiksi. He juoksevatkin usein siten tavallaan kuin paikallaan, sillä he eivät pysty käsittelemään virheitään, kritiikkiä tai vastoinkäymisiä. Joustamattomat eivät menesty, sillä heidän uskomuksensa ovat joustamattomia. He uskovat mm. siihen että heidän epäonnistumisensa mittaa heitä ja että sellaisten henkilöiden täytyy ponnistella jotka eivät ole kyvykkäitä.

Kasvun asenteen omaavat puolestaan uskovat, että ihmiset voivat kehittää kykyjään, kasvattaa ja vapauttaa siten potentiaaliaan. Se mahdollistaa sen, että ihmiset rakastavat sitä mitä tekevät ja jatkavat sitä vaikeuksia kohdatessaankin. He pääsevät huipulle sen seurauksena, että tekevät sitä mikä on heidän syvin intohimonsa ja todellinen rakkautensa. Se mahdollistaa sen, että he arvostavat sitä mitä he tekevät tuloksista huolimatta. Se voi olla ongelmien ratkaisemista, uusien suuntien näyttämistä, työskentelyä tärkeiden teemojen parissa tai sellaisen etsimistä mikä on heille syvästi merkityksellistä.

Kasvun asenteen omaavan ei kuitenkaan tarvitse muuttaa kaikkea mikä voidaan muuttaa. Muutoksen lähtökohdaksi on hyvä päättää sellaiset asiat, jossa ponnistelut muutosta kohden olisivat todennäköisimmin arvokkaimmat.

Joustamattoman asenteen omaavat jäätyvät kehityksen ja muutoksen kohdatessaan, sillä heidän täytyy pyrkiä säilyttämään itseluottamuksensa ja suojella sitä.

Omaa ajattelutapaa on kuitenkin mahdollista kasvattaa kuvittelemalla omat aivot muodostamassa uusia yhteyksiä haasteita kohdatessa ja uutta oppiessa. Kannattaa myös jatkaa tekemistä ja etsiä rakentavaa kritiikkiä lähipiiristä sekä asennoitua, että mitä voi oppia kyseisestä kokemuksesta ja miten voi hyödyntää sitä pohjana uuden oppimiselle. Menestys voikin tarkoittaa joko oppimista ja kasvua tai kyvykkyyden, älykkyyden tai erityisyyden osoittamista riippuen henkilön ajattelutavasta.

Masennuksen kohdatessaan ajattelutavaltaan joustamattomat henkilöt antavat asioiden vain valua käsistään. Kasvun asenteen omaavat puolestaan toimivat aktiivisesti selvittääkseen ongelmansa. Kannattaakin luoda ympäristöjä jotka opettavat ja vahvistavat kasvun ja oppimisen ajattelutapaa, mikä edistää molempien mielenlaatujen oppimista ja kehittymistä.

Työyhteisö ja coachaus
Olenko joustamattomassa vai kasvun ajatustavan työyhteisössä? Koenko, että ihmiset arvioivat minua vai auttavatko he minua kehittymään? Ehkä voisin yrittää tehdä työyhteisöni enemmän kasvun asenteen paikaksi aloittaen itsestäni. Olisiko tapoja joilla voisin olla vähemmän puolustautuva virheitä kohdatessani? Voisinko hyötyä enemmän palautteesta jonka saan? Olisiko keinoja joilla voisin luoda enemmän oppimiskokemuksia itselleni?

Työntekijöitä voidaan auttaa kehittymään ja oppimaan heidän tehtävissään mm. antamalla arvostavaa palautetta ja tarjoamalla tarvittavaa tukea sekä tarjoamalla ulkopuolista coachausta. On hyvä lisäksi muistaa, että ihmiset voivat olla itsenäisiä ajattelijoita ja tiimipelaajia samanaikaisesti.

Kuinka luoda työyhteisöön itsekokeilun, avoimen kommunikaation ja tiimityön kulttuuri? Kuinka palkitaan ryhmäajattelusta?

Coach voi tukea coachattavaa kehittymään omassa tahdissaan. Fokus on aina coachattavan oppimisprosessissa älykkyyden ja kyvykkyyden sijaan. Valmennuksessa keskitytään strategioihin, ponnisteluihin ja valintoihin sekä rakentavaan kritiikkiin, joka auttaa korjaamaan jotakin coachattavalle merkityksellistä. Tavoitteen asetannassa keskeistä on taitojen ja tietämyksen laajentaminen kykyjen sijaan. Keskitytään siihen mitä coachattava ei vielä ymmärrä ja mitä oppimisstrategioita hän ei omaa.

Uskomusten muuttaminen

Muutoksia kohdatessa uskomukset ovat avain onnellisuuteen ja toisaalta myös kurjuuteen.

Kasvun asenteella on mahdollista päästä pidemmälle ja menestyä. Ajattelutapa on tahdonvoimaa ja onkin hyvä pitää yllä muutosta keskittymällä kasvuun ja kehittymiseen. Tärkeää on oppia ja auttaa oppimaan sekä kysyä seuraavia kysymyksiä niin itseltään kuin ihmisiltä ympäriltään. Mitkä ovat oppimis- ja kasvumahdollisuuteni tällä hetkellä? Milloin, missä ja miten toteutan suunnitelmani tai toimin uuden suunnitelmani mukaan? Mitä voisin tehdä säilyttääkseni ja jatkaakseni kasvua? Aina valitsen joko toisen tai toisen reitin, joten voinkin yhtä hyvin olla se joka päättää ja määrittelee suunnan.

Muutos saattaa olla hankala, mutta matkalle lähteminen ja siihen sitoutuminen palkitaan. Kasvun asenne viitoittaa polun tulevaan, vaikkakaan se ei ratkaise kaikkia ongelmia. Se voi mahdollistaa asioita ja tapoja tuntea toisin, jotka eivät olisi olleet mahdollisia ilman kasvun ajattelutapaa. Elämä voikin olla erilaista ja rikkaampaa sen johdosta. Henkilö voi kokea olevansa enemmän elossa, rohkeampi ja avoimempi pitämällä kasvun asenteen ajatuksissaan.


Todellisuudessa me kaikki olemme sekoitus sekä kasvun että joustamattomuuden mielenlaatua, joita siis vuoroin käytämme.

Tärkeintä onkin ymmärtää mikä laukaisee joustamattomuuden asenteemme. Mikä on se jokin tapahtuma tai tilanne? Epäonnistumiset, kritiikki, aikarajat, erimielisyydet? Sellainen jossa koemme, että meidän tai jonkun toisen kyvyt ovat joustamattomat ja missä arvostellaan pikemmin kuin kehitytään. Mitä tapahtuu kun joustamaton asenteemme näyttäytyy ja varoittaa meitä välttämään haasteita ja arvostelee epäonnistuessamme? Mitä ajatuksia ja tunteita sellainen herättää? Miten toimimme itseämme ja ympäristöämme kohtaan? Kuinka voimme estää näitä ajatuksia häiritsemästä kasvuamme?

Tutustukaamme joustamattomaan mieleemme ja viekäämme se kasvun matkalle kasvun asenteella, samalla opimme myös kuinka voimme auttaa toisiamme heidän matkallaan!


* Mindset: The New Psychology of Success –How we can Learn to Fulfill our Potential, Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., 2016



My Experience of English Culture and Language

Culture or language? Which one or both? Which one is leading my thinking at the moment? It is usually said that you can not know the word if you do not know the context. I think it is the same with these two issues.

When I used to live in the US I had a discussion with someone about a topic that was related to that context, but If I use the same kind of language and words here in the UK, I could be misunderstood quite often.

What have I learnt so far here in England? I have been on my personal study trip three weeks and continuing my journey still almost same amount. I started my trip in Bristol by participating in a narrative coaching workshop. The group of twelve consisted of people from different nationalities. The most interesting thing for me was that the group was led by an American guy and there were also two younger ladies also from the western part of the US. Only one third of the participants were from Britain. It was pretty much the same when I signed up for the English course this week in Bath, everyone else beside the teachers were from all over the world.

I would like to now point out two main things of my experiences of this trip so far. First of all it does not matter wherever you are, there are people from different countries besides native speakers and second you really have to know the context and culture before you can use some words. It really helps you to be better understood and as well understand others. Always something interesting to learn about social interaction!