Support my learning journey to US

I’m traveling to Manofarm in Ojai, California in the spring 2013. I’ll spend there 1,5 months, helping the organic farm to grow it’s seed selling business and learn about Community Supported Agriculture.

This has been a dream of mine, and through many coincidences it is now possible! It will be voluntary work, so I launched a crowdfunding to make this happen with your help.

You are wery welcome to follow the journey through this blog:

Have a look at the webshop too, see if you find something, or be in touch if you want to support this in some other way!


With much love and gratefulness,


Sharing personal stories through time creates the container for true learning

I drew this picture on a warm afternoon at the balcony of KaosPilot School in Århus, when we sat there with Benjamin, collecting the photographs, insights, key points of the process, the whole harvest from Art Of Hosting training in August 2010.

My question was different in the beginning than it is when we part. Looking inside the mirrors, being seen by you, through our travel in time together I learn about being a human being.

There is No Time!

In a few other groups, I have experienced a huge resistance towards any other meetings than those which are strictly related to decision making by intelligence and measurable facts. I named it “There is No Time!”. It can also be recognized from the words: “We must Do things! and “Achieve!”

I do know, that sharing experiences of personal growth, feelings or painful moments of your life is extremely rare in work organizations, but I wonder – where is all the learning then? Where are the moments we feel alive and fully present and learn to understand ourselves, others and the world better?

I think this is also a question of accountability and trust, especially on times of uncertainty and insecurity – if we’d know each others a little bit deeper, if we’d know the story behind and goals forward, open some of the mystery – then it would be easier to count on each other and the future ahead.

Time is there, always. The magic is in how we use it.

On a Personal Journey
As we walk through our lives, we are always on a personal growth journey. It is very delicate story, consisting of vast variety of small details, experiences and constellations. We meet challenges in our lives, which raise questions: Who am I? Where do I come from? What am I here to grow? What does this darkness mean? The learnings and capacities may evolve from these challenges. And as you know, often the plot of the story cannot be fully understood until the whole book is written.

Sharing the Story
By sharing what is moving inside of us, speaking from our own perspectives to the empty space in the middle, slowly we start to share an understanding of the deeper meaning of the words we use as symbols. We begin to sense the differences and nuances in the expression of each one of us, and thus carve symbols that have a special meaning for all of those who are present. Maybe even new words are born. When we meet again after years, we have a culture in common: we have shared a journey together.

A beautiful foundation for sharing is a circle, established as a safe space where all the participants are introduced and recognized as part of the group: this is we – let’s see who we are right now. Arranging space and time for the circle to meet in different phases of a process, creates “a vessel” through time, a container, holding the space open between participants. It holds and releases: the feelings, experiences, stories, questions. It opens a possibility to witness others and to be seen as who you are in your constantly changing vortex of energy.

As we learned in AoH Århus, holding this space requires both aspects of leadership from the hosts: warrior and the midwife: the fierce swordsman ready to defend the space and hold the aim, and a skilled helper, preparing the circumstances for what needs to be born. And as we learn to use these skills and expand ourselves to contain and sense others, the group is able to align itself naturally towards common goals.

True Learning
What do I mean with “true learning” then? I think true is something that lifts us, moves us so that the original challenge, question seems a little bit vague, and the new one is so vast that it makes your heart tremble. It may not be so easy to remember yourself in the stage of the first question, but once you have been seen, the memory of the group can send you back in time to see who you were then.

True learning can also mean “the great stories” the myths, the unchanged undercurrents, that we all human beings walk through in our lives. When we are able to speak our truth, and witness others – pattern breaking youth, established adults, wise elders and bright children – we can see a glimpse of the pure essence of a human being – we are able to recognize what connects us.

When we are moving again, ungrouped, in the world, the circle can be remembered as warm glow of fire in the back, the ability to empathize with other similar-yet-so-different human beings and cultures. And then it’s easier to understand and celebrate the diversity – the special gift each and every one of us is on this timeless journey.

a collective feedback loop and how to do it in practice – part one: corporations

I’m learning through benjaminaaron how to show my appreciation by tagging people in texts, to add references and reveal a little bit of the underlying thought process, how it bounces around and grows in unpredictable directions. This tagging resembles a little the reference policy used in university research, but added the quality of appreciation and love “hey, I’ve seen you, you touched me” – the so very valuable recognition, a basic need of a human being and the tribe, and frees the actual thought for evolving.

Here we go – this has been growing a little while already 🙂

a collective feedback loop and how to do it in practice – part one: corporations

(Mushin Shilling, thanks from the provoking question some time ago – I’d love to hear more of your thoughts on this)

While having Breakfast at Hub Helsinki, I heard a talk of a former executive editor of women’s beauty magazine. At some point of her career she started to realize the dangers of chemicals in the beauty products. As she grew more aware, she also noticed how fiercely the beauty chemistry industry was defending their markets – by silencing any voice trying to question them. Even as a representative of the press, she was under control of the money. If you have not yet seen the Story of Cosmetics by Annie Leonard, I recommend – this same issue is finally brought to light there.

The same thing is happening everywhere, as we know, in all kinds of huge corporations make collective mistakes. And it’s not very wise, in respect of planetary health. But who is taking care of the planetary health? Who is collecting this feedback from the silenced, wise and accountable people, who have understood something important and are worried?

Who learns from mistakes we make? How to engage a massive research industry, the capacity of universities to learn and give feedback in the same speed as the new inventions grow with power of capitalism?

Now if you were an owner of a corporation, having your amount of power and influence in the world – would you not be interested on what is the influence of your actions? Are you actually poisoning whole generations? Doesn’t it worry you? What if there’s something you’d personally never even thought about, but still it appears to be a very, very important for the whole?

Open source -thinking offers a beautiful approach: crowd sourcing of bugs and problems. If the structure is open for many different kind of people to bounce around, and while enjoying the product, they will develop it further by finding all the mistakes – and possibly contribute for the whole by actually repairing that mistake themselves. Wikileaks -way to go 🙂

Since capitalism works by the principle of offer and demand, money can actually function as a way of feedback. Now the the capitalism -vote offers two choices:
1) Buy
2) Boycott (which is a lot weaker than Buy, because the corporation does not necessarily (want to) hear the most important thing: the reason why)

There could be a third one, where the feedback would be weaved right in to the system: (Regards to John Croft & Dragon Dreaming):
3 a) I do not buy, because, [and then all the reasons why not]

Or the appreciative inquiry -way:
3 b) I love this in your work/product/your values/production methods because: [ ] but I would make it better like this: [ ]

And this would be taken seriously.

Then that responsible corporation would know a little bit more what are the effects of their products or production methods – and have huge potential to correct it’s course with the help of everybody who are somehow influenced. It would be using the potential of collective intelligence 😀

Looking forward for the feedback and all the bounces 😉

becoming aware

“Know youself”, it is said, as a beginners guide to spiritual growth. The better you know yourself the better your actions with the world are aligned. You are the form, and what you do are are your seeds.

But I think we have come to a time where we need to “know the other” too. Know who WE are, recognise our form and carefully sense what kind of seeds are growing from us, a far more complicated entity than yourself, but still working with same principles.

Knowing yourself is quite challenging, because we do change all the time, with the world, by outer and inner movements. And through that movement we actually find the edges and formations, a stillness would not reveal them. Moving, living in the world, observing that beautiful you, you find who you are – or were one moment ago.

Now how does a group then learn to know itself? By moving and observing. Aha – that’s how we work! Hmm, we just did that, did you notice? We have these qualities, but maybe we need to learn something more? And observing not only the hot middle, the center of action, but also the very subtle edges, the dreamworld, the field of opportunities and paths that are not so obvious, the culture that builds on itself.

Can a group learn to cultivate the edges? The diversity, the unlikely, the enlargening? And still keep the clear aim, the middle hot and affective, so the group holds together?

Village of the Wind – one kind of structure creating resilience

This is the speech I gave in my childhoods community’s 25th anniversary: Tuulenkylä, “Village of the Wind” (What a fancy way to start blogging!)

” I know most of you know me, though we haven’t met in a while. It’s good to see you again. I’ve grown up here – there’s my home *pointing out to apartment 25*

I was almost five years old when my family moved here. It is said that children learn best by observing and imitating – and in my case that has certainly been true. I’ve earned my living for instance by waitressing, which I have learned right here, in this same kind of parties we’ve had here at our common house many times a year.

And now when I’m almost 30 years old, I’ve found myself becoming a professional in community building. You see, this life what you live here, is what many people in the world want to learn in these times. Some even say all the problems of the world can be solved in the level of a village.

It is not hard to believe, I think. But how to do that? That’s quite a question, and it has been quite an adventure for me to become aware of what makes this community a community.

When I describe the community of Tuulenkylä, I usually need to start quite far: No, we don’t have religious leader. Not even a strong ideological backround. And I can’t really tell if my parents were more hippie than others.

But when I get to clarify that Tuulenkylä is actually quite a normal bunch of terraced houses, which have been built in a form of a circle (so that on darkening evenings you can see the light in neighbors windows), and that we have a common house (where we quite many years used to eat together every Saturday, because it was practical and fun), and that there is a sauna in the middle of the circle (and we take care of it in turns).

People quite often say: that is Genious!        Then I go deeper by telling two little stories of my own life:

The first one (this is the one my mother always keeps telling) is from the days in the very beginning, 25 years ago, when the construction was finished and all the families moved in. Here is 28 apartments, and at that time at least 40 children. While the adults focused on building homes, decorating, we children were sort of left on our own – found the treasure of the circle-formed yard, and started to get really wild.

Quite soon the adults realized what was going on, and they came together to make a decision: everybody can command everybody’s children. That –  I think – is quite extraordinary, given that normally that is the thing causing many argues in normal neighborhoods. But that was a decision that applied to everybody’s life in Tuulenkylä, and the adults made it together.

The other story is about the sauna, of course (regards to Silveri who every year gives a speech of the sauna – so will I now): I just love the fact that still, as a 29 years old woman, I can run across the yard in the winter, barefoot, testing my braveness, to the sauna on Saturday –  and little bit out of breath, with red sore feet, laugh together with other adult women who have known me all my life. These women have helped me so much by sharing their own life story with me, being there every Saturday, in the sauna – sometimes talking a lot, sometimes just silently sharing the sacred space.

These stories include the four dimensions, that point out from my research of the secret of the community. In this case they are:

  • being empowered to make decisions together
  • sharing physical work, taking care of the common property
  • having a common space to eat and celebrate together
  • being silent together, the sacredness, the rhythm of life

Tuulenkylä has been and is our own yard, own life own culture – own piece of the world.

From that point of view – solving the problems of the world – does not look so difficult.

You mean a lot to me, everyone. Thank you.

28th August 2010 Tuulenkylä, Jyväskylä, Finland