Wednesday, October 30, 2019

"Breath holding is the yin to the yang"

"Breathholding is just not blacking out. Breathholding is the new black."

I watched the TEDxOdense talk, Breathholding is the new black by Stig Severinsen. I absolutely loved his talk and I think anyone with even a remotely slightly stressful lifestyle should watch it.

"When you hold your breath you open the gateway to your heart. And I don't mean this as a metaphor. When you hold your breath, you activate a natural response in your body, called the mammalian dive response. I like to call it our inner dolphin that we all have. When the dolphin wakes up, you trigger the Vagus Nerve, the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain to your heart. So you actually do get a physical contact with your heart. It also runs into your lungs, your internal organs and your intestines. It is a part of the nervous system called the parasympathetic nervous system, also called the rest and digest system. When you hold your breath a little longer, the diaphragm (pallea) starts to move and you build up carbon dioxide. Now you might think you are getting a good abs workout, but you are also releasing and dissolving stress, trauma and fear from the solar plexus region.

Breathholding as shown today is the natural part of breathing. It is very overlooked which is a shame because it has so many benefits. When done correctly, breathholding is power and magic. It can help you heal, it can help you change broken patterns and it can help you make better decisions. It can even help you transform stress into relaxation. We hear so much about meditation, mindfulness and conscious breathing. I say that just as important is holding your breath. Holding your breath can help you quiet your busy mind. It can help you get a shortcut to inner freedom and peace."

We hear a lot of talk about the Vagus Nerve. My friend Emilia Vuorisalmi explains the Vagus Nerves function really nicely in her article 'Hermoston kolme tilaa'. You can also watch this video from the Art of Living on the in order to understand more about this important nerve that links directly to the brain, the heart, lungs and other organs. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Sympathetic and Humorous Carl Hester Steals Everyones Hearts

Lovisa Degreef Beselin, Ingrid Sundqvist, me and Carl Hester
What an Amazing weekend we had together with Carl Hester, Swedish Lovisa Degreef Beselin and Ztables Ingrid Sundqvist a few weeks back. Lovisa is the founder of Equestrian Academy and she organized her third event together with Carl Hester in Scandinavia. 

Anna Kärkkäinen and 5 year old FWB Kiahan Duchess

After a few very popular clinics in Sweden, Lovisa decided to bring Carl to Finland to Ypäjän hevosopisto. Equestrian Stockholm has been sponsoring the events in Sweden so it was natural for them to be one of the main partners also at the event here in Finland. Since I work as the Finnish agent for Equestrian Stockholm I found out from my Swedish colleagues a while ago that Hester would hold a clinic in Finland. I was so excited because I have always looked up to Lovisas Equestrian Academy and I was so excited to get in touch with her. We really hit it off directly and we both felt that we have known each other always. During one of our talks Lovisa told me that she needed someone to moderate the day at Ypäjä. I did not think much about it and told her that I would love to do it. We also decided that they would stay in Helsinki for Friday night and we would all go out for dinner to Ravintola Teatteri in the evening.

Nipsu and Amazing 6 year old DWB Fürst Michigan

The dinner on Friday evening was fantastic. As soon as I saw Carl he gave me a big hug and I felt totally at ease and very good in his company. There was no stiffness that I thought an Englishman might carry with him.  I actually quickly found out that Carl is one of the most genuine, fun and of course handsome people that I have ever encountered. And his humour..... I don't think there was five minutes before he had us all laughing again. And the love he feels for his horses. Not only does he keep most of them outside all year round but he also wants to have them retired at home. Utopia and Valegro go out daily and since they have been together almost their whole lives they get to spend time out next to each other even if Utopia is a stallion. They go out only a few hours a day since they both get too fat and the girls that work for Carl get to ride them and learn from these amazing horses. 

Carl and Charlotte both ride four days a week and the rest of the time goes into training others and traveling to competitions.

Nina Dunder and truly flashy 11 year old FWB Floresco Sil

During the clinic I was so impressed by the way Carl gave room to all the animals and people. He was gently guiding them and when the young horses felt uncomfortable he brought other horses into the arena. He gave both the horses and riders time to adjust and when they started working he was really with them and very concentrated on the horses and riders. "If only I would teach like this at home", Carl laughed, when I told him how impressed I was with his teaching. 

Since I was moderating the event I did not really write much down but one thing that stayed with me was when Carl told Susanna Hyypiä who was riding beautiful 6 year old Ivemmo that she should let go of the rains. Since Susanna only lengthened the reins a little bit Carl told her to think about the movie Frozen and the song Let it go. After a while Susanna let go of the reins more and Ivemmo started to move really nicely and more supple than before. It was lovely to see that Carl could really help all the riders with their riding. I was also really impressed how important it was for Carl with the timing. With the more advanced horses he did not really give the riders any slack and the timing and riding every stride (as Margit Ticklén so well puts it, jokainen siirtyminen on tärkeä) was extremely important.

Carl Hester and Susanna Hyypiä that told Carl that she will be working on ´letting go´ when riding Ivemmo.

All in all it was amazing to follow such a legend work with both horses and riders. After meeting Carl I believe that one of the biggest reasons for his success is not only his talent but also his humble personality and positive attitude. He is a horseman in the true meaning and just being around him for approximately 24 hours made me feel happier and lighter. He is the kind of person that sprinkles a little bit of stardust around him wherever he goes. I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to meet him and moderate his clinic. 

When we entered the arena I told him that I hope that he picks me up because I just might faint from excitement. I think that the standing ovation video talks for itself.

Equestrian Stockholm had a wonderful presence at the clinic. 

Not every day do you get to see yourself on Carl Hesters Instagram.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Do NOT close your heart

I have just spent two days at the Nordic Business Forum here in Finland. As always the days were filled with interesting talks on various subjects and I truly enjoyed the success story of Spanx founder Sara Blakely. Not to mention Gospel singer, and Morgan and Stanleys Managing Director Carla Harris. What Amazing and Brave women. 

My key learning from this year and what I have been struggling with in my own life came from Brené Browns words on courage and how we so easily armor up because we don't want to get our hearts hurt. Because you see......

As Brown so well puts it:


Do you armor up when you fear things?  

This thing about the heart and the armor has been such a huge revelation for me in the past few months. As we go along this little path called life we tend to learn new things daily. What I had never ever before realized is that already from a young age I had been so insecure and uncertain that rather than just being afraid it was easier to shut down. It was easier to put on an armour that nobody can really penetrate. It is the kind of armor as my Dear friend Auli Nissinen says that always comes up whenever we start to get even a little closer to opening it up. That kind of armor that we are hardly ever aware of before we finally sit there at Nordic Business Forum and watch Brené Brown and realize: SH**..... That's the thing. 

That is the thing that stands in front of it all. It stands in front of my vulnerability, it stands in front of my heart getting to know another heart and it definitely stands in front of myself letting my soul believe in its own true calling.

So today I really felt that if there is that one message I want to teach my Daughter it is this: 
"Kom ihåg att alltid hålla ditt hjärta öppet." - "Remember to always keep your heart open". 

Because that is what it really boils down too. We can close ourselves down or we can stay open even if we feel scared. As Brown also said, it does not mean that we get totally naked. We can have strong boundaries and still have our hearts pure and unarmored.