On today’s Full Moon, I invite you to redirect your energy inward. Embrace the journey with the tools and rituals I recommend: crafting your Soul Map and enjoying a soul-nourishing bowl of Potato Soup!
As I write this newsletter, the setting Sun paints the sky outside my window with shades of yellow, purple and blue. Delicate pink surrounds the Full Moon, which has just ascended as a round ball over our little village. The sight is so beautiful it brings tears to my eyes and makes me feel happy and sad at the same time. The temperature is just below zero, making the snow crunch under my feet as I walk through our yard to pick some firewood. Soon, I will light the fire to our old wood stove, “pönttöuuni,” as we call our masonry stoves in Finland, and start creating my Soul Map for the year.
In my last post, I introduced a tool called History Mapping. It’s another ritual I like to do at the beginning of the year, looking back on what has happened and listing things I want to bring to my life this year. Soul Map is a ritual that helps you visualize your dreams and directs your energy toward the right things.
The visualization of dreams is crucial – it renders them slightly more real and tangible. At times, our dreams may not truly be our own; we might have adopted them from our parents, partners or societal values surrounding us may guide us more than our inner needs. Therefore, it is vital that the starting point for visualization is your own self, your soul.
While there are various techniques, creating a soul map is a simple and fulfilling process:
Large cardboard, scissors, glue, a pile of old magazines, fun stickers, and good music. As an option, you can also use Pinterest or other image services and create a collage using Keynote, Photoshop or other visual program on your computer.
But first, take a moment of silence. Light a candle (or fireplace) and meditate a bit on a question: “What do I need to invite into my life to be authentically myself and live true to myself?”
Begin flipping through the magazines and cut out images, words, or phrases that resonate with your heart. Don’t overthink it; let your subconscious guide you in choosing and building a collage on the cardboard.
If you wish, you can organize the map and allocate areas for aspects such as work, love, family, and home.
Once the soul map is complete, place it in a visible spot at home to remind you of who you are and what you aspire for in life.
Does it really work? Oh yes it does.
Here is a true story about the power of visualization and learning to ask the Universe for exactly what you want. The story is a shorter version of my old blog post, but it’s by far my favourite example of the importance of visualizing your dreams.
A few years ago, before returning to Finland from our four-month trip in the USA and Panama, we were homeless. We had moved out of a beautiful wooden house in the garden district of Helsinki, sold our car, and left Finland, thinking we might find another home somewhere abroad.
After four months of travel and temporary homes, we were at the end of our adventures and started thinking about what kind of home we might like to have in Helsinki. (To be honest, I personally started panicking that we had no home to return to…)
We are nature lovers, but our older kids’ school and friends kept us in Helsinki for a few years (until COVID changed everything, and we moved to the countryside. But that’s another story!). I have always loved the sea, but spending some time on Ocracoke Island surrounded by the ocean, I realized that I need to live in a place where I can smell the sea, feel the strong winds, and rest my sight on a horizon while having morning walks with our dog. My husband, on the other hand, was missing the city life of his former hometown, St. Petersburg. So, we decided to move from the cozy and green garden district area to the city center of Helsinki, near the sea, cafes, and urban culture. I had the ideal home and area of the city center in my mind, and so I described it carefully, both visually and in words… and shouted that to the Universe with the help of Facebook.
This is a mood board I made to describe our dream home,’ and I posted it to Facebook:
Do you know of an old, beautiful apartment where the light streams in through aged windows, and the wooden floors squeak as you step into a room with a high ceiling? Picture its kitchen, where everyone wants to gather during parties, and you can grow a pot or two of herbs in the window. The sea is nearby, and in the summer, you can hear the seagulls screaming. In the winter, you feel the cold air attempting to push in through the old windows, while hot water circulates in old radiators, and the ancient hearth in the corner keeps you warm. This cozy home takes good care of its people, and that’s the home we are in search of.
This was the 31st of January, less than a month from the date we were coming back. One day later, on February the first, the Universe answered with a Facebook message from a friend: ‘I think I might have the apartment you described sitting empty…‘ and sent me these pictures:
See the photos? This is the home we moved into only a month after I had sent out my wish. The name of the house is ‘Hoppet’ (Hope in Swedish), and it was built in 1903 when Finland was still part of the Russian Empire.
We simply loved it! It had three original tiled wood-burning fireplaces, high ceilings, deep, wide window sills, and old wooden floors painted white. It was a few blocks away from the sea and the entrance to a bay that reminded us of St Petersburg with its canals and bridges. The area features beautiful old art nouveau buildings, cozy cafes, and a wonderful dog park on a little island nearby.
A really good reminder and example that you should never underestimate the power of visualization!
The Recipe of the Month: The Farm’s Potato Soup
Fitting beautifully into these cold winter days, this delicious and simple potato soup brings joy to your soul and warmth to your body.
This recipe was adapted by my husband Thatcher for our former restaurant, Cafe Bar Pesula Fiskars, from a cookbook called ‘The Farm Vegetarian Cookbook,’ published in 1975 – coincidentally, the year of my birth. Thatcher’s mother had made this soup several times, and our entire family fell in love with it. But what makes it very special to us is also the origin of the recipe:
The Farm is a community in Lewis County, Tennessee, near the town of Summertown, based on principles of nonviolence, vegan diet and respect for the Earth. It was founded in 1971 by Stephen Gaskin and 300 other spiritual seekers from California. The Farm was established after Gaskin and his friends led a caravan of 60 buses, vans, and trucks from San Francisco on a four-month tour across the US. One of those young hippies in a bus happened to be my dear friend John, whom I became friends with about 20 years ago when we were both working for Habbo, one of the first online virtual worlds for kids and teens. John ended up being my “American hippy father” in our wedding since my own father could not travel to the US, and he also acted as the secular officiant who married us.
But also my husband happens to have connection to the Farm: my dear mother-in-law, Elizabeth, had been visiting The Farm and learning midwifery from Ina May Gaskin, a midwife described as ‘the mother of authentic midwifery.’ She and other midwives of the Farm created The Farm Midwifery Center, one of the first out-of-hospital birthing centers in the US. My husband was a home birth baby, as well as our youngest son – my mother-in-law being one of the midwives in our son’s birth.
So, when we eat this soup, we will always think about those invisible threads that connected us (way before we even met each other!) through the Farm, our American-Finnish family, home births, and this delicious potato soup.
- Approximately 1 kg of potatoes
- 5 large carrots
- 1 big onion
- 5 cloves of garlic
- Salt, black pepper, dill, and bay leaf
- Wash the potatoes thoroughly and cut them into pieces without peeling. This way, you’ll retain more nutrients and enhance the flavor.
- In a pot, cover the potatoes with well-salted water and boil until they are just tender. Remember to save the water after cooking!
- In another pot, sauté the chopped onion in oil until golden brown.
- Add the chopped carrots and fry for a few minutes.
- Introduce the blended or finely chopped 5 cloves of garlic. Cook until aromatic, but be careful not to burn, lowering the heat if necessary.
- Combine everything with the potatoes, ensuring to retain the water.
- Partially blend the soup with an immersion blender to achieve the desired texture.
- Add 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, and a handful of finely chopped dill (only the soft part). Taste and add salt if needed. Stir well and turn off the heat.
- Serve the soup with fresh herbs, and for an extra kick, add some hot sauce.
- If you desire added protein, consider incorporating vegetarian sausages. Oven roast the sausages (200 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes), chopping them into thin rounds with oil. Our kids love it and so do we!