People, We Need To Rest So We Can Push On With Our Dreams!

wp-1486894105825.pngI’m a massive believer in resting, mind body and soul. Without rest it’s nearly impossible to be able to push on with something that you find passionate for you, those dreams and goals. Always moving forward with the fastest speed isn’t bringing you closer to your goal, it might make you speed past it and forget to live while you’re at it.

Last year I took a long break of all I had done a lot the past years, running and writing. I didn’t feel inspired in any way, so the best thing I could do was to take a break. That was the best thing because I had time to listen to myself, fall to the depths and climb back, to remember who I am and what I want to accomplish now, and giving myself the moment to realize that it’s okay to change what you are moving towards. It’s okay to change your journey and goals, nothing wrong with that.

Looking back now, I started moving far from who I truly was the past year and that’s the main reason why I felt so lost and confused. I forgot to stay true to myself, no matter how much I wanted and thought of it. I forgot my strengths and power, the thing that makes me Me. For some reason I thought that I should change who I am to be able to get to where I wanted to head, though not even knowing where that was. So basically I was just aiming to nothing.

From the start of this year, or actually starting end of last year, something in me changed. Reminding me of who I am and that should never change. Maybe I needed to hit the wall of pain once again to remember. Sometimes that is needed, that’s it.

Now that I’ve been truly me, my life is filling with opportunities and insanely amazing moments that make me feel the biggest highs. Because I am me, I am radiating the possibility and what I have in me out of me, where others can see it and if they like it, give me opportunities to be me with them.

The reality is that once we realize that when we are true to ourselves the best things will come to our lives. It’s not easy but damn it’s good! It’s so worth it, trust me. Someone will see that and give you the chance you’ve been hungry for all these years.

But if I hadn’t taken the time out of my own life in a way, none of this would be happening in my life right now. I wouldn’t be confident enough to go after my dreams, I wouldn’t be even ready to say them to myself. So I really needed that break and to rest myself. Then and still everyday today.

Now that my life has taken massive steps forward I remind myself daily that I need to rest so that I can do what I want. I can’t let that intoxicating feeling of all the good get the best of me and realize too late that I am exhausted.

Rest is the time when you get to recharge yourself and be able to take what comes next. It’s different for all of us, but it’s equally important. And sleeping enough is one of the biggest, do not under estimate the benefits of sleep!

For me it’s meditating in the mornings with Headspace app, it’s simple enough and takes 15minutes, but the benefits are massive. I am able to start my day with a mindset that is ready to take the fast pace with calmness. I don’t have to drown myself in it anymore, I am able to stay calm and still be excited. When it comes to running, I take restdays to let my body recover, especially now that I am coming back from a long pause of normal training. I’m easing my body and mind to that all, letting that feeling come back when I yearn to run again and it feels good and is really something I want to do rather than have to do. I also keep a balance in my life with challenging myself with a new hobby, fly tying and soon fly fishing. When my life is now a lot about running and being quite social, I balance it out with time for myself in a totally different surrounding doing something that I have no clue from before. I’m also extremely grateful for this all, that I’m able to do what I am and have the opportunities I have. I do not take them for granted. I am really proud of the work I’ve done to be able to be here, but it’s taken me years and hasn’t been easy by any measure. There’s been a lot of tears, jealousy and negativity, but I wasn’t ready. I’m a working progress and always will be, now I just know and accept it. So I’m able to be ready for certain opportunities.

If we don’t rest the complex whole of our mind, body and soul, we won’t be able to do the things we want to accomplish in the end. Do not try to fool your body, that shit will always outsmart you, believe me!

And remember, really let this sink in, comparison will kill the living daylight out of you! What someone else is doing, doesn’t mean that you need to or should be able to do the same. We are all just one, and that makes us so damn special. ❤

So, rest up, ain’t nothing wrong with that! Find your way to do it and enjoy!

PMA ❤

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Running Away From Or Towards Something?

wp-1484591806749.pngOn my second run of 2017 today I was thinking of how differently we use running as a way to deal with things in our lives. Sometimes we run away from something, sometimes we run towards something or at times we just run. During my run I was thinking the different times of my running life and how different it’s been from one to another.

It’s funny to “go back” and think why and where it all started for me. Why this blog started, why I wanted to do something to change my life.

Back then I was so depressed that I didn’t have that many options to deal with it, and from all the things possible, I chose running. A thing that I deeply hated for almost 15 years before starting it again and finding it’s healing and therapeutic ways. The reason why I hated it so deeply was the fact that in my teenage years I ran track and it was all about getting faster and getting results that weren’t even close to where I could push my body, to the point that I got badly injured for quite a long time, even while I still went to my practices. It was the mindset that was planted by my coach at the time that “if there’s no blood, it can’t hurt” and other productive ways of coaching.

So with all that I started thinking how I wish to help others who run or have recently started running or struggle with their running journey. Because I’m never going to be the fast one, or the one with massive interest in all the schedules and number playing when it comes to running. I’ve gone way past my own limits with running so I know that it’s very much possible to “be more than you thought of possible” in your own body and mind. I’ve made few running dreams true and hope to have few more of those moments in my life still, but I’m not in a mindset that “I need to” because it just takes the fun out of it for me.

Something that I come across a lot and for some reason a lot in Finland, is that there’s this need to do more, push more, be more, not rest enough, do everything serious and super goal oriented. Yes that is a way of moving for some people and they get their kicks out of it, but for some reason the past years it’s been the thing that people drive themselves towards with consequences of injuries and nagging pain in their body that they rather ignore than listen. It seems and feels that if you’re goal oriented you’re doing it “right”, if not then you are just playing around.

Maybe this is only me, but seeing these images on IG of results and how much someone did and why they don’t need rest days, it just doesn’t make any sense to me. I’ve gone through my share of injuries with running, I’ve been the one posting only exercise and health food photos, maybe I needed to go through that phase of my life to find what really works for me.

Last year I basically forgot running, I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t yearn it, I needed a break from it all. Last year I was also in a place where I wasn’t able to run for quite some time, which also sparked the want to start a crew here, to start from the bottom and hopefully helps others in that same position, with the knowledge and experience I’ve gained over my few years in this all.

But the thing is, no matter how important something might be to us, sometimes we just need a break from it. We need to be honest to ourselves and listen to our gut and give our bodies and mind a break from something we’ve learned to lean to every possible time. It’s almost too easy to just run away from something through running, but does it serve a purpose then? Yes, it’s good to exercise and to get your blood moving and get rid of some of that stress that might cause the want to “run away” but it’s also insanely important to be able to stand still with yourself and go through the issue that causes those feelings. We can’t just be goal orientated in life and forget to make mistakes and learn from them and be honest and sometimes afraid or brave and take risks even with those. Being honest with yourself with what you are capable doing and what not, is not only really important but necessary for your well being. Sometimes it’s ugly and at times beautiful, but it’s necessary. None of us can plan our whole life and go with only those plans and never have to come in front of a situation that makes you think again, it would be insane way to live.

So if when I started my own journey with running, I was definitely running away from that feeling that was just like a empty hole in me, now I am running towards something I know already that I have in me, as I’ve done it more than once, but need a reminder. And if I get a feeling of being shitty or adequate next to more goal oriented runners, I try to remind myself that my strengths are in me being able to be honest with myself, being able to listen my body and mind and take those times of nothing when needed. And through my own journey and experience, I hope and feel that I’m easy to approach if needed from someone who is going through something I’ve gone through or just needs a little support or advice. I see that all as my power next to different kind of runners. I don’t need to look perfectly muscular to be “as good as them”, I need to be myself and with that I can help the most. Myself and others.

PMA ❤

Being Me Is My Crown

” ‘Cause if I don’t follow my heart this time,
I’m gonna forget what this life is all about,
I’m gonna take that path, I’m going in on my own,
I’m gonna take that fear and wear it like a crown.”

– Rebekka Karijord – Wear It Like A Crown

I’m not sure if I know how to write anymore… It’s been quite a long time since I last even wanted to write. I miss those days when I had this yearning and just needed to write, to get those thinking thoughts out of me. I don’t even remember the last time I felt like that, or maybe a bit this past week, like something is slowly bubbling back in me. I think I need to run those thinking thoughts back again…

It’s funny how two things that basically saved my life few years back are the two things I’m missing now the most and finding the hardest to get back to my everyday life. It’s like I’m afraid of them, and most of the time that is the exact thing that starting them again makes me feel, fear.

Most of 2016 I was afraid, afraid of basically anything. It’s like we’re so afraid of loosing ourselves in anyway possible that we forgot to live our lives. Whether it’s our bodies, or not wanting babies, or doing something out off the norm or being selfish and taking care of yourself while that also meaning that we need to “eliminate” the issue to feel better. Admitting your reality is hard, being selfish is hard, being able to stand in front of yourself and admit your limits is hard, needing time is necessary but means that you need to build and make boundaries for yourself and others. That shit is hard.

But then I decided that I want to start this year without all of that. Like one of my favs, The Staves, sings “No Me, No You, No More”. Enough of that now. I want to be me again, the one I know I have been, am and will be. And when I listened to my deepest self and did those painful decisions that are good to myself, I felt so good and this massive weight just got lifted from my heart and shoulders. I was free.

Too often we keep holding on to people, situations, ideas that aren’t good to us by the sheer thought that freeing ourselves makes us a shitty person. It’s human to be nice to people but being too nice with the consequences that you forget to be nice to yourself first. Sometimes working for it just isn’t the right thing to do, sometimes saying that “we’ve gone through so much” isn’t enough of a reason. Sometimes giving up for the better is the right thing to do. Sometimes we need to make room for better things we deserve in our lives. That’s it.

It’s weird writing again, for so many days I wanted to do this, but felt like I don’t know anymore. This whole thing started with me being extremely open and honest about everything. Then 2016 came around and I felt this need of pulling back with this all, I felt that for the first time I need to build some privacy around my life. I needed time for myself, only for myself to figure all that was going on. The last months of 2016 I needed that even more. But the last couple of weeks of last year I got the best reminders of love and luck while battling the biggest losses of my life. It doesn’t always feel fair but if you pull yourself back from the situation and think about it all with listening to your gut, you will find the answers that you knew to be there already.

I have no resolutions for 2017, no plans to do this or that. I pretty much suck with stuff like that. I hope to learn how to listen to my gut closer once again, it always knows the answers that I don’t want to admit. Admitting my reality is my key, that is what makes me stronger. Saying that I’m weak, is my strength. Being a human with all of it, is my power. Being me is my crown.

PMA ❤

Blips of Loneliness

wp-1480357086390.pngI noticed it last Friday, for the first time in a very long time, I felt lonely. In that way that swallows your whole being under it like a heavy blanket. In a way that doesn’t even really need saving but just to be there, let the feeling be “out” and move on. But it was still there, and it made me really think why it even came for a visit.

I’ve been so content with my lone life for over a year that this feeling felt just weird, like a unknown dark veil. Me being able to be on my own and liking the way I am capable of being alone a lot has always been a blessing and a curse for me. It let’s me charge my batteries, it let’s me think my thoughts which I really like to do, I love to be in my own head and just do some mind work. I’ve always been good at being on my own and figuring out what to do on my own, I don’t mind seeing no one in few days or more. I don’t need other people to make me feel whole. But there’s also the downside that I tend to be so good at this that I kind of over do it every now and then. And then I get this feeling that “will I end up being alone for the rest of my life, because no one even knows that I exist, as I really like to be on my own”.  And as the truth is that no one will come to your door and ask you out or “to play”.

The older we get the less we have these accidental places and moments in our lives for meeting new people or old friends, as we have been granted with the opportunity of making our lives the way we want them to be. Some like to be surrounded with friends or other people all the time, I tend to like my solitude to an extend where I feel lonely at times.

The more you learn to know yourself, the more you find ways that make you happy with your life. The more I’ve learn about who I am, that I am an introvert, that I happen to be an highly sensitive person, I’ve learned to accept the ways those help me understand myself and the surrounding world and how I need to listen to my body and mind closer than I did before when I didn’t know what those amazing and sometimes hard traits are that make me the me I am.

I’m no stranger to feeling lonely, I’ve felt that a lot in my life, but for the past year, I’ve been more or less really happy with who I am, being single and living my life with all that it’s thrown at me. And this year has not been easy, by any measurements. It’s taken more out of me than I knew could happen, but I’ve learned to know myself even more once again. For such a long time, I felt that I will just feel lonely and that it’s, but that was before I understood, really understood that before you love and accept yourself, you will never be content with yourself and your life.

But this past weekend, the loneliness really kicked in. I don’t know if it’s the time of the year, every possible ad and commercial is about being together and loving and all that squishy lovely stuff and finding that perfect present for “that” person. Is it that the age I am now that majority of the people around you, tend to have significant others and families, that people like me are the minority not majority. I haven’t even thought about that I would want to have someone in my life for quite some time, and that didn’t really come to me now either. And noticing and being honest about that makes me sure that I still need some “me time” before I can even really think about sharing my life with someone else. All though if I’m truly, utterly honest I do miss being close to someone at times, or that butterfly feeling in your belly or that cheek hurting smiling, BUT still it’s not enough for me to actually do anything about the whole thing. That’s how much I’m happy with my life right now.

And I also have to admit that me being pretty much always the one who has made the first move, and all my experiences in my past has made me extremely careful about even considering anything. I’ve noticed that I actually want the other one to make that first move, and make me feel special and wanted.

But the pure heaviness of the feeling last Friday was pretty overwhelming. It was so “right now”. I noticed myself just walking in the city with my headphones on and looking at people as they were rushing around after work, going to their company Christmas parties, buying frantically Christmas presents, or holding hands and smiling to each other. I don’t know why and how it was such a strong emotion all of sudden.

What I’ve started to do to challenge myself these days is to sign up for things that I haven’t tried ever before and with that having new experiences, meeting new people that I wouldn’t other wise, placing myself outside my comfort zone. I have plans like these for 2017, to really just do things that I’ve wanted for some time but just haven’t done anything to them.

But with all this, I also felt strongly that it’s good to feel lonely at times, if you would never feel that you would never think about if you wanted to change something or if it was just a moment or what. Loneliness isn’t the worst kind of feeling when it’s “controlled”, when you’re able to acknowledge it and sit in peace with it. It is an issue that you need to address when it’s eating you whole and you feel like there’s nothing you can do about it. But I really wish that you understand and remember that you’re not alone and there’s always someone ready to listen and be there with you.

As the year is coming to an end, a lot of thoughts and feelings raise their heads and make us think of what we’ve done this past year, if we’re happy with our lives and what we would like to change if there is something. The darkness outside is really pushing us down but we just need to breath few more times and push back and move on. It’s not hopeless, and you’re not really alone.

PMA ❤

Vegan, Vegetarian, Fish or No Fish?! Who Am I These Days?

wp-1480011837054.pngI’ve had a lot of thoughts about this issue for quite some time. Am I a vegan these days, or a vegetarian who eats fish? At times it feels like you “need to know” and be strict about it, because if you’re not there’s always that chance for those moments when the “meat eaters” go after you and smirk at you that why are you eating this and this and I thought that you only eat some tofu stuff.

There’s this weird mentality that if you “only” eat veggies and want to be a vegan or a vegetarian, without bothering anyone with it, it still does. It somehow gives the idea to people that it’s their place to judge the choices I’ve made. What is it that that is worth the ridicule and why it doesn’t go the other way around? Is it that veggies are more tolerant or accepting of other peoples choices? Why don’t we feel the need to make a point of what the other one is eating every time?

I’ve had my own journey with food. I’ve had my own struggles with food and how it affects my mental health. I’ve had my own journey with almost toxic relationship with food and how I use it to either comfort or the exact opposite. I still see my body completely different than what it really is, because few times in my life I’ve gained a lot of weight and still have that mindset that I’m fat.

But on that journey has also been the joys food can bring, I’m very fortunate to grown up in an environment where I was offered the choices of many different foods. I was a “I eat everything” kind of person for majority of my life, I went to culinary school to become a chef. I’ve been that one who says things like “vegetarians are the difficult ones” and that’s saying it very nicely. I used to love a good steak. I was all about junk food and still have and probably will always have my deep rooted love for chips/crisps.

And I’ve been a very strict vegan, wrote about it and how it has benefited me and my mental health. I’ve fallen off that wagon really hard and now I am climbing back up.

This whole blog started partly because I watched a documentary called “Hungry for Change”. It opened my eyes with how much the food we eat affects our body and especially our mind. I still remember this one man in it, who spoke about his diet choices and how they affected his depression and I just had tears streaming my face, because it was like he was talking about me. That made me want to change my ways, I wanted to see if I could really feel that much better with so little as what I ate. And it really did. It made a massive change for the best with me. So why have I stopped and jumped on and off so many times in such a short amount of time, as few last years?

For me, I tend to still be a people pleaser and in a way respect what they’ve cooked and eat that, even if it’s not what I would eat if I would’ve been the one cooking. I’ve noticed a lot that it eases the minds of those people if you still eat fish, it’s like you’re not that weird yet or haven’t jumped on the dark side fully. But lately, with Christmas looming and me going deeper and deeper back to my vegan ways I’m finding myself questioning how I will deal this coming Christmas and all the food. What should I cook for myself when others eat the traditional Christmas foods, for example all the fish dishes that used to be the best part for me. And how can I sit in that table with my Christmas tofu or whatever I’ll figure without someone pointing it out like it always happens. It’s starting to get a little tiring for me that it’s the joke or the issue that it’s okay to make a joke about. And to be clear, I haven’t been a strict vegan for quite some time so in a way “it’s starting to get a little tiring” can sound funny to some who know me close enough, but it still does because it’s just stupid to make those remarks. But I also have to point out that when you have people in your life who respect or just purely don’t care what you eat, it does make this whole thing a lot easier. Still those remarks are nonsense and better to left unsaid.

Also, just like my journey with my own mental health and how food affected it, my mind has broadened over the years about how much what we choose to eat effects the world we live in. I started my food journey purely on selfish reasons, but the more you read and research, the more you come across with environment and animal welfare, it would be impossible to not see, read, hear those while doing your research. And it would also be stupid to close your eyes from all of it only because it’s unpleasant.

The last 3 something years I’ve started to appreciate the natural world more and more, it’s for the first time for me, became this sanctuary like place. It’s where I found my love for trail running. It’s where I’ve found myself after breakups or loosing loved ones. The more I spend time in it, the more I want to do something to keep it as it is. I find myself wanting to read books, watching documentaries and doing research on the internet about this all. And the more I know, the more I ponder about it all, the more I lean towards wholehearted environmentalist attitude, I guess that could be what this feeling would be.

So it’s not only the choice of foods, it’s where I choose to buy my clothes, my cleaning products, my everything. I want to make conscious decisions on not affecting negatively on this world.

Back to the diet choices. Since I moved to my own home start of July, my diet has been basically vegan with few instants of vegetarianism. I don’t even think about it myself, but I notice it every time I for example go to my parents where I tend to eat fish or cheese or stuff like that. And the last time I was there I was just thinking why am I eating this fish if I really don’t feel it to be right, for me? I think it’s the easiness of it all. It’s there so you just eat it. It’s the fact that they’ve gotten the fish because they respect you not eating meat. But the last time I ate fish there, I just noticed that this feels wrong. And since then I’ve thought about this and especially this coming Christmas a lot. I’ve only been a vegan for one Christmas before and back then I was a funny, not knowing enough vegan, so this time I would like to make an effort in what I would eat.

It’s funny how Christmas makes this all feel so current, but it’s about eating in most homes, it’s about gathering around that table and eating, a lot. Being together obviously too, but food is a massive part of it.

But so, what am I these days? A vegan? A vegetarian? Fish or no fish?

I would say that majority of my time I’m fully vegan, and going more and more back to that direction. Purely because I’ve felt the benefits of it in my body and like before, especially in my mind. But I also feel like I’m okay to make an exception if something is vegetarian and not vegan. I still don’t eat eggs, I did during the summer, but then it started to feel wrong again, it’s like this is still a baby chicken, no matter how I look at it. Now that I haven’t eaten cheese regularly anymore, I don’t crave it, and it was the hardest for me to leave behind in the beginning on this journey. And damn now I just realized that there’s going to be so many delish cheeses at Christmas! 😀 And that fish is in the past too, it just doesn’t feel right. There’s nothing different in eating a factory farmed fish than any other animal.

Few good reasons why I chose to decide that I want to give veganism a good go again and to refresh my mind of what I already knew, was documentaries like Cowspiracy, Food Choices, Before the Flood, books like Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer which really opened my foggy and forgetful mind wide awake. There’s loads of great sources to get some knowledge about this and other issues that are all linked together. And that’s what it is for me, the stuff we eat affects the planet earth and we’re already cruising here like it’s going to last forever and not stopping and thinking that will our kids or their kids be able to play in the snow or see any animals in the actual nature where they are suppose to live.

What I really loved about the book, Eating Animals, was that the writer didn’t sugar coat anything, but that he also wanted to offer the opinion of all the sides in the arguments, so you were able to think them through yourself too with that help. It didn’t give a one dimensional look on what eating animals, fish too, does to our planet.

I think for me the most important thing about this is, that you should do your every decision with the fact in mind that it will affect someone somewhere, whether you like it or not. And on the bigger scale those decisions are hurting all of us, if we do them on a whim or with no thought. That does not mean that your life is supposed to be extra hard. For me it means that I have done my research and that I buy stuff with that in mind. I use products that at least try to make a difference. Because every little change is a change for the better.

And like I was happy to notice the first time I went vegan, this time I’m noticing it too. I’m calmer, my skin is way better, so is my hair, I don’t have stomach issues anymore, no more gassy bloated feeling after almost everything, more energy, my depression is a lot more balanced, I feel a lot more tuned with myself, I recover from workouts faster, I don’t have those sugar spikes as I did before, the food that I eat actually does me good. And that is enough for me to choose this path, once again, hopefully this time braver than before, not caring so much what others feel about it.

I respect your choices, so let’s respect each other in every way, okay :).

PMA ❤