Archive for the ‘Well being’ Category

Have been looking into & trying out some interesting applications:

  • Moozement – social training log  – recording basic info exercise with the friends – creating social support  &  pressure
  • Kiva –  micro lending community, where we have established a group with friends, offers possibility to directly support entrepreneurs in emerging countries
  • Thinglink – social application for design enthusiasts and rafters

Today my friend Kaisa referred me to an interesting blog post – related to changes in consumption and social media –  “Conspicuous, but not Consuming” – by Stephen Linaweaver, Brad Bate and Michael Keating. – how Facebook is more environmentally sustainable than solar panels.

Social media offers possibilities for us  to change how we communicate, interact with friends and strangers.  Social media  also can have an effect on  how we live, support others and what and how much we consume.

There are new applications emerging constantly – and existing ones are improving. Users and developers are invited to participate in creation, contibute with ideas and feedback. Active user and developer communities are important  for the continuous development. This can also become one form of self-actualization – instead of or in addition to consuming, we become co-creators and members.


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Midsummer is extremely important time for celebration for Finns. People flock into summer cottages and celebrate the long, light summer nights. No matter what is the weather, people leave the cities and head towards lake side cottages, festivals, camping sites – being close to lakes & nature, seems to be essential.

For nearly 20 years, we have spent Midsummer time  by Takajärvi, ” the Lake Taka”, by the summer cottage of my in laws, who have kindly offered a place for a crowd of  “Midsummer Orphans”.

This year the cottage become ours, and tradition continued.  And about 20 adults and 15 kids celebrated the summer again together. It was exceptionally rainy and cold – somehow it did not seem to matter, it was nice to be back to Takajärvi with friends. Some of our children have spend all their Midsummers here, with the “Midsummer Family”.

This year people shared their feelings also via Facebook statuses & discussions – and with Twitter, and with pictures in Flickr …

Merja … “observes nature’s cycles: the second generation of the Midsummer Family sits at the lakeside playing guitar. Suddenly we have a gang of teenagers instead of children.”  “… enjoys life …”

Kaisa … “ +10c and rain; several really new, fun-related innovations done. “

We were talking about social media, laughing to ourselves sitting next to each other, and posting comments on Facebook.  Social media enables us to stay connected also other times. Some are more active than others.  And we have been using social media for practicalities as well …  invitations are sent by -e-mail, including a link to Doodle – where we can see when people will arrive and leave. This year Rita co-ordinated responsibilities for various meals.  In 2007  we were using Kotikokki – for sharing menu & recipes.

This year my friend Kristiina was arranging at the same time “Midsummer Festival Simulation Party” in winter weather at Pretoria, South-Africa, which was far warmer than we had.  And we were also exchanging ideas how to simulate  Finnish midsummer into other side of the world…

Together we try out new things, share experiences and learn and enjoy life.   It is all about meaningful connections among people…  Even I enjoy experimenting with social media – I am also  already looking forward for the 20th Year Anniversary Midsummer Festivals by Takajärvi!

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Last year I spent Mothers’ Day in Tokyo enjoying gardens there. It was delightful, but staying at home with family and enjoying gardens here is even better.

So we spend a lot of time in our own garden, enjoying flowers – daffodils and blossoming  forsythia  bushes – in Finnish – is it called  Happiness Bush (Onnenpensas),  wild white anemones (Valkovuokko), the garden is filled with spring flowers.  The flower benches  I made last autumn all seem to be doing well.

Our neighbors decided to renew their backyard – so I got plenty of new plants from there. Some of them  I have no idea they are, exciting!  Now they are all planted in my planting  boxes, so that I can see what they are, how high they grow and then can decide what would be the best place to plant them for longer term.

When most of the today’s in garden work has done, I took a wheel barrel load of braches, weeds and leaves to compost. On my way back it started raining and I saw the whole rainbow. Little things in life can be very enjoyable even though temporary.

In the evening planted some sunflowers, three different varieties: Lion Sangria and Sol, will be interesting to watch them grow.

Ideas are like seeds – they need plenty of nurturing, before they prosper and even more time until harvesting is possible. Luckily with plants you can also enjoy growing phase.

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About a month ago my friend Elina blogged about free hugs in Helsinki and I commented that I could have one too …   Elina called me in Sunday morning, she wanted to do something around Hugging Monday and asked if I was in. And of cause I was excited  … so here started the idea to arrange something similar, but a bit different  for people at work.

Both of us have had our share of ups and downs and we we decided that we really want to do something – to cheer up our selves and others as well.

Elina ordered & created  the Hugging Monday website, I created a Hugging Monday  fan club to Facebook, and ideation continued…   with messages in Facebook, e-mails, phone calls etc.etc…

We wanted to keep things small – to remind us and others – that small things can make a difference.

And today was the official first “Hugging Monday” –  due to Swine Influenza, we decided not  widely share real hugs. Instead we decided to cheer up our fellow workers with sharing printed aphorisms, about life & joy&change &hope, piloted a small scale coffee corner event with chocolate, and sent out messages via e-mail lists and super hugs via Super Poke in Facebook.

In return we got nice comments and replies, smiling faces – also real and virtual hugs.  And life feels a little bit better!

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My family – in Japanese “Takala” means a treasure  and “Tomi” means “valuable& rich”  – so I’m married to Mr. Treasure and our son is  “Valuable Treasure” .  Ronja & Linda – our small dogs – spice up our living with their enthusiasm.

Gardening – some weeks ago  there were  Garden Exhibition in Helsinki – the signs of spring and summer are here…  The first snow bells are already here:-) And I see them from my armchair.  Gardening is a passion that I share with my sister & mom.

Friends – even we are far, and busy with our lives – it is inspiring to stay in touch, and share little moments &  joys – and gradually more friends are using social media as well and this is easier than ever…

Learning & sharing – small things, simple things, wide, complex and messy – always a joy…   as long as I live, I will scout out for new, weird, interesting, amazing things – especially related to human behavior & people. If my work enables learning & sharing in an appreciative context – I’ll stay, if not I’ll move somewhere else . Life long learner – still working on with my dissertation… when that is done, I will continue with pedagogical studies…

Home – chaotic collection of things, recycled furniture, – zen gardens – or sand boxes, 3 of them – large , medium and tiny, books, plants, and stuff – I’m definitely not a minimalist …

Summer cottage – The cottage by Takajärvi, the place that has been in my life nearly as long as Pete, is now ours. So many plans, for the yard, new terraces, changes inside, new peer etc. etc.  and after some years major renovation…   There I have finished my Master & Licentiate thesis, now its time to push through the final one – Ph.D

Well – being –  constant quest, looking for joy, spying hearts in everywhere. Trying out new forms of exercise, diets…   Looking for dynamic balances  in life – working & relaxing  – staying still & moving around – mess & order.  Enjoying living , the journey …

It is sometimes hard to stay true to your values – I need to regurlarly remind myself  – again, and  again, again, again …    I have done personal inventory of the well being for over 1o years.  Every year I revisit a long list a questions – self analysis – hmmm…  time to revisit them again.

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Special places and patterns can be very delightful.

In our holiday in South Africa – patio by Ivory Tree Game Lodge and peaceful place by swimming pool at Kristiina’s house offered special places for morning yoga.

The special places can be every where, but do we recognize them, do we take time to enjoy them and do we remember them ?

In Kristiina’s garden I spotted heart shaped “for-get-me-nots”,  like the one I found last summer in our backyard. Little special patterns can also be all around us, but do we perceive them, do we stop to enjoy the beauty – are we able to remember our past experiences.

Contradictions of summer and winter strengthen experiences – opposites of cold and warm, light and darkness. Lately we have been enjoying snow and winter, skiing, skating, making snowmen, long walks by the sea around the nearby islands.

Each season has their own specialties – places and patterns.
Appreciating and enjoying them enriches life.

Things have been a bit hectic lately – taking time to stop and think, percieve and feel, stopping for an experience, delightful sight, sound or smell is fundamentally essential for enjoable life and learning.

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Amazingly nice weather over last weekend. We went skating to Lake Bodom, in north Espoo, and the ice was so smooth and clear, that you could see trough it, and the reflections were so clear.  There were quite a few people, yet plenty of space for all.

The nature offered also artistic experiences – small, delightful ice
sculptures,  tiny dog & bird figures and bubbles, captured in the ice. Days like this – I remember why I love winter time, and actually the differences allow us appreciate & enjoy more each season.

In the area there is Oittaa Centre, where you can rent skates, and skiing equipment, and if you dare – have a swim in the icy water. Below is winter swimming area – very cool and very refreshing, sauna facilities and restaurant area are very nice.

Things will be rather hectic during this spring. However, as a new year resolution, I will try to find also time capture some special moments and thoughts in my blog.

This is the first blog post to this with the new computer Dell Latitude XT Touch  Tablet PC , the user experience is just wonderful.  After 6 years of using IBM Think Pad, I wanted to try out something totally new.  Still learning some things of touch UI and Vista … will take some time to get the best out of this new set up.  But now it seems, I would not like to go back to traditional laptop…  Yet it is  a bit annoying that I have  boot the thing rather often, but so far benefits have been exceeding the problems. Tablet is really great for  Social Media.

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