“when one knows everything about the world one can only smile” – Amma


My wish is that through my contemplations and your comments we can increase the joy in the world. Read more of my thoughts on a joyful life on my other blog: Enjoying the Joy

 

THE DREAM ARISES

When I was a little girl we once sang a Finnish hymn at school that really touched me. The melody comes from South Africa’s national anthem, “Lord Bless Africa”. This hymn talks about blessing the whole world. I took it seriously when I asked God to bless the whole world as an eight-year-old girl.

 

INTERESTS

I began dancing classical ballet when I was five years old. During my childhood I was always pondering whether I should become a professional dancer or a peace builder. After graduating from high school I decided to go for saving the world. Dancing I have kept as an energy resource, but I have also used it as a tool for fighting against racism. Through dancing I have come to know and understand many different cultures.

As a young girl I had several pen friends around the world. I could sit for hours in my room and write letters in different languages to my friends. This has probably infused in me a passion for writing. I always dreamed of work involving writing. Besides dancing and writing I used to read a lot. I travelled quite a lot with my family as well: so far I have been to almost thirty different countries.

 

UNIVERSITIES

When it came time for full-time university level studies, I started studying sociology. I wanted to understand the logic of societal structures so that I would be able to change the ones that weren’t working. After studying a couple of years of sociology as a major subject, and philosophy, political science, arts education and languages as minor subjects, I went for a study placement to Italy, more precisely, to Florence. First I studied Italian for one month and then international relations (in Italian) for a semester. When I came back to Finland I quickly finished my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences majoring in sociology and applied for a one-year-study programme in international careers. I was accepted, and I loved it. It was a great opportunity to get a broad understanding of “the international world” in which we are living today. For example, I studied international organizations, law, economy, cultures, languages, and (what I liked the most) conflict studies. I wrote my Master’s Thesis on U.S.-Cuban relations (A Discourse of Threat? – A Textual Analysis of the U.S. Report Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba), and I graduated as a Master of Arts in Christmas 2006.

 

ORGANISATIONAL ACTIVITIES

During my studies in Finland I was very active in the international committee of the university, and I was the Chairman of the student organisation of the study programme in international careers. In addition to the activism at the university, I have worked as a volunteer for Finland’s UNIFEM and the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). For UNIFEM, for example, I have written articles on different topics. As regards to the YWCA in Finland, I have, for instance, been its representative in an on-line seminar on young women’s ecumenical leadership training.

In addition to the volunteer work for these non-governmental organizations, I have been very active in an international and inter-denominational church. Being interested in promoting tolerance among different religions and religious affiliations, I did an international and ecumenical training programme organized by the Youth Directorate of the Ecumenical Council in Finland (SENNJ). SENNJ is the Finnish member of the Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe (EYCE), whose seminar I participated in Strasbourg, France, in May 2004, and whom I have represented in a Youth and Globalisation seminar again in Strasbourg later the same year.

After my graduation my organisational activities continued as my work. In London I worked as an arts assistant at the Finnish Institute in London, which included working as well as an information officer. Back in Finland I worked as the Press and PR Officer for the Social Democratic Women in Finland. Then I am worked as a freelance writer. In addition to writing articles and book reviews, I have written a novel called Apsara’s Dance and a self-help book Lighten Up To Be Enlightened!. At the moment I’m work as a coach and a writer through my company Virtuous Arts.

 

THE MISSION

I think that all my life I have cherished a mission of world understanding and peace through increasing awareness through and for love. I believe that individuals can make a difference. I want to continue to make a difference by developing myself and contributing to a more balanced world by writing and coaching as well as being open to other tasks that can help me to achieve these goals. I want to travel this journey of life light; simple in outer and rich in inner possessions.

My Personality

Saint Teresa of Avila, the patron saint of Spanish writers, said in her book The Interior Castle that learning to get to know oneself is one way of getting to know God. Below you can read a result of a personality test I did as part of a young women’s leadership training.

The Portrait of the Counselor (INFJ)

The Counselor Idealists are abstract in thought and speech, cooperative in reaching their goals, and enterprising and attentive in their interpersonal roles. Counselors focus on human potentials, think in terms of ethical values, and come easily to decisions. The small number of this type (little more than 2 percent) is regrettable, since Counselors have an unusually strong desire to contribute to the welfare of others and genuinely enjoy helping their companions. Although Counsleors tend to be private, sensitive people, and are not generally visible leaders, they nevertheless work quite intensely with those close to them, quietly exerting their influence behind the scenes with their families, friends, and colleagues. This type has great depth of personality; they are themselves complicated, and can understand and deal with complex issues and people.

Counselors can be hard to get to know. They have an unusually rich inner life, but they are reserved and tend not to share their reactions except with those they trust. With their loved ones, certainly, Counselors are not reluctant to express their feelings, their face lighting up with the positive emotions, but darkening like a thunderhead with the negative. Indeed, because of their strong ability to take into themselves the feelings of others, Counselors can be hurt rather easily by those around them, which, perhaps, is one reason why they tend to be private people, mutely withdrawing from human contact. At the same time, friends who have known a Counselor for years may find sides emerging which come as a surprise. Not that they are inconsistent; Counselors value their integrity a great deal, but they have intricately woven, mysterious personalities which sometimes puzzle even them.

Counselors have strong empathic abilities and can become aware of another’s emotions or intentions — good or evil — even before that person is conscious of them. This “mind-reading” can take the form of feeling the hidden distress or illnesses of others to an extent which is difficult for other types to comprehend. Even Counselors can seldom tell how they came to penetrate others’ feelings so keenly. Furthermore, the Counselor is most likely of all the types to demonstrate an ability to understand psychic phenomena and to have visions of human events, past, present, or future. What is known as ESP may well be exceptional intuitive ability-in both its forms, projection and introjection. Such supernormal intuition is found frequently in the Counselor, and can extend to people, things, and often events, taking the form of visions, episodes of foreknowledge, premonitions, auditory and visual images of things to come, as well as uncanny communications with certain individuals at a distance.

 

Interestingly my personality changed from an introvert to slightly more extroverted as my daughter was born. I became more social for her (What wouldn’t you do for the ones you love?) and realised that I love being social in the right company. 🙂

 

Career for My Personality Type

The Counselor (INFJ) is a more private person than the Teacher.  They, too, can be found in the field of education as a professor , teacher, counselor, or educational consultant.  Sometimes they feel a strong calling toward the religious life as clergy, nun, or director of religious education.  Social service jobs, such as social worker, social scientist, or mediator can fit their needs.  Some Counselors work in human services, marketing, or as a job analyst.  Others are drawn to the arts as a novelist, designer, or artist.

Do your Jung Typology Test here and let me know what’s your personality.

 


My Novel

Apsara’s Dance is wholesome spiritual entertainment that will help guide people to purposeful, faith-driven lives. It is a contemporary, inspirational novel with complex characters facing the challenges of life, love and meaning in today’s world. The novel guides us to transformation with the help of divine knowledge that is revealed to us little by little.

What makes the novel special is the authenticity of the story and the combination of the characters. It leads us into the realm of infinite possibilities, strengthens good moral values, at the same time as it takes into consideration the diversity of life and the beauty of grace. My first novel is a triumph for the transformative power of love.

My Self-help Book

Lighten Up To Be Enlightened! helps you to lighten up to enjoy every day to the fullest and help others do the same. Discover the three building blocks of enlightenment and command your subconscious mind with 50 rules to live a sustainably joyful life that enriches your soul and blesses the world.

Yoga Teacher

“Health is wealth. Peace of mind is happiness. Yoga shows the way.”
– Swami Vishnu-Devananda 1927-1993

My first introduction to yoga happened during a dance lesson ten years ago. We did some sun salutations to warm up. I enjoyed its calm effectiveness right away. I thought about going to take some lessons but I never got into it before my first teacher drove into my life. I had just come back to Helsinki from Paris and was walking on the street on a sunny summer day when a car pulled up and a man from the car came to talk to me. I of course was suspicious. He told me that he had seen an aura around me and wanted to know if I was interested in yoga. And I was. He gave me a book he had written about yoga and invited me to his yoga school and that marked the beginning of my yoga training. Read more on my thoughts on yoga.

For my summer holiday I went to Italy for three weeks. It was just as I had remembered. The cultural heritage there is overwhelming. Every landscape in Tuscany is like a beautiful painting, every street corner has a long history, and one can sense the presence of many great minds of the past. One of the beautiful towns in Tuscany is Siena, a medieval town that nowadays is mostly known for its horse race in the town centre – the Palio.

On this visit to Siena, however, my mind and my heart were opened to a special woman in the town’s history: Catherine of Siena. This extraordinary woman has left her mark on Italian and Church history. Therefore, I thought that it might be beneficial to share this story of Catherine with others, especially in this time of renewed insecurity and wars. Read the article A Messanger of Peace or download it read the article with illustrations from here: St. Catherine of Siena.

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” -Albert Einstein

“The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” – James 3:17-18

“We have free will in our choices, but full freedom of action comes with full freedom of consciousness in enlightenment.” – Deepak Chopra

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” – James 1:5-6

“It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is.” – Hermann Hesse

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughful, committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

“Keep true to the dreams of thy youth.” – Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805)

“The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly – that is what each of us is here for.” – Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” – Carl Jung (1875-1961)

“Love and respect the saints of every faith.” – Sri Swami Sivananda

“I’ll tell them not to follow the manual of good behaviour but to discover their own lives, desires, adventures and to LIVE. I’ll quote from Ecclesiastes to the Catholics, from the Koran to the Muslims, from the Torah to the Jews, from Aristotle to the atheists.” – Paulo Coelho in “Veronika Decides to Die”

“Why should we all use our creative power…? Because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold and compassionate, so indifferent to fighting and the accumulation of objects and money.” – Brenda Ueland

Read more of my favourite quotes from here .

 

Dreams

I believe that dreams come true when they are genuine and in accordance with God’s will and when you don’t put a time limit on them. Read more about my dreams. I think that music and films are powerful instruments for inspiring people to dream. Read about my favourite music and films. Read the article “Unelmat käyvät toteen” and learn about my fulfilled dreams in Finnish.


Meaning of Life

“The meaning of my life is the constant expansion of awareness which happens through and for love.” – J.M. Davies

I very often contemplate on the meaning of life. I also am very interested in finding out your meaning of life. Please, do share it with me. An Indian sage, Sri Bhagavan says that the meaning of life is living. Listen to his talk on enlightenment from YouTube.

See categories below for the full list of posts.

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One Response to “Posts in English”

  1. Juha said

    Hi Johanna,

    I have seen you teaching bachata in a dance school a couple of times. My strongest dominance in the MBTI is also intuition (like INFJ´s) and I easily pick up the energy of people and things. Something on you took my attention and I checked your name on the website of the dance school and here I am reading your texts, up to the purpose(s) of life, so profound and interesting thoughts. Thank you for sharing them. I am inspired especially how bravely you live up to your soul, writing these texts publicly and what all you have done. Your example encourages me to follow my own path. And maybe your lifestyle is easy and normal to you, but for me it represents some kind of extreme courage. Is that so easy like it sounds?

    You ask your readers to share their thoughts on the topic – what is the purpose of his/her life. Maybe I might share you mine. A few years ago, on my work I often met patients who were dying. Some of them were anxious and some were peaceful – it is human. I often used to think about what could make me peaceful on those last moments, when some day it will be my turn to look back at my whole life. It was so hard question to ask or answer, and is still. And my ego easily wanted to answer it instead of me, but somehow I knew that I had to listen to my heart especially on that issue. But it does not tell the whole path in advance or the whole answer beforehand. It tells me mostly only the next step. And how frightening is many times to take those steps, let it go my ego´s vision of my life, hear the inner voice and just trust. And at the same time, how full of life are those divine moments, when I am able to let go of my own limited conception of me, others and life.

    I think that the idea includes some kind of paradox of life also, because the words escape it and in my weak English skills especially. It is so hard to capture that idea, because it is beyond the conceptual reasoning, but I believe that we everybody can feel it at least in those magical moments at the crossroads of our lives, where we should make choices. And I think that life is full of choosing, every day, although they often seem to be small at first. And maybe they are small from the views of others anyway, but the point is that it is the only me, who knows how important each step is. And the strangest thing is that often the smallest moment is the biggest one. Those moments when you are expecting hear that don’t do that, you are not good enough, you can´t. But at the same time you know I have to do it, and something on you say yourself: I welcome you, I accept, you are enough.

    Okay, what is my answer to your profound question on the purpose of life? For me it is life itself, such which is not something outside of me. It is the every moment, every step, every thought, every pain or joy and every breath, when I follow my inner voice and realize that I am life itself, I am part of it and the life expresses itself through me. And it is not the easy way, of course, but sometimes I wonder would I even want the easier one? I do not really know; it depends when I put that question for me.

    I was surprised when I read your texts, because you have quite a lot of same interests like I have, which are not so common. I made my bachelor´s thesis on identity politics and I have thought that it would be interesting to use the NVC method somehow in my master´s thesis in the two coming years. And that topic and degree are not really my ego´s choices. It would have wanted to choose some completely other degree, but you know, there was my inner voice and here I go.

    For the past few days, there has been a Yiddish song that has touched the existential part of me and it relates to the theme closely. When I listen to it, I know that something on me chose rightly. The historical event that relates to this song is me the symbol of all the pain that happens every day in the world, in our society or in my neighborhood, besides all the good things. And maybe my task in life is not to try to change the whole world or do anything so big things, but I want to do something, my part and you never know what it will be. Life might be so strange and I only know the next step. And sometimes those steps are painful, because letting go is, but at the same time they are full of meaning. That is my answer to your question.

    Juha

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