Summer 2022 is just getting started, and the year itself so far has been a challenging one for people across the planet. Now more than ever we need a road map for overcoming obstacles and creating a brighter way forward. What better place to start than with an author and journalist who resides in a country that has been voted #1 as the happiest people on earth for five years in a row. Finland! Yes, you know the place where Santa Claus and his reindeer live! I’m not kidding, Rovaniemi is the official hometown of Santa Claus in Lapland, Finland. Just in case you are thinking of writing Santa this year, you can feel confident there is an official post office where Santa picks up your letters! Okay I digress, so now back to the Summer 22 Book Wise pick.
I am thrilled to select ‘Everyday Sisu’ ~Tapping into Finnish Fortitude for a Happier, More Resilient Life by Katja Pantzar as the Summer Book Wise pick! This the second time Katja’s book has been selected. Her first book ‘The Finnish Way’ ~Finding Courage, Wellness, and Happiness Through the Power of Sisu was the WWB Winter selection in 2019. Go take a peak at her photo (via the link) swimming in the icy baltic sea! Today at 90 degrees here on the East Coast of the U.S, I could definitely consider it!
“It’s Okay Not to be Okay.”
What I really appreciate about this wellness guide is the author’s willingness to share her own personal journey finding sisu mindset, and employing it through several wellness practices to overcome her own struggles with clinical depression. People that have experienced clinical depression and fight for their mental health are people you can learn so much from. To come out of the depths of despair and function in the everyday world is no small feat. We need to begin to think of depression and mental illness in general as like ‘hurting one of our limbs’ and having to gain our strength back to move forward in life. It is not until we lose our ability to move physically or emotionally, do we understand how important resilience and fortitude is. Katja doesn’t spend too much time on her illness in the book, but you can tell from both her books that she fought to develop her sisu muscles and her own personal fortitude.
What we learn in Katja’s new book ‘Everyday Sisu’ is that the power of Sisu is more than just ‘bravado’ or ‘pulling your bootstraps up’, it is about building a daily sisu/wellness practice, so your mind, body and spirit can endure life’s storms better and even flourish despite them!
So the next time you face a challenge in life, no matter how big or small, try the following Sisu inspired mind-set on. Your perspective will change and you will feel more empowered almost immediately.
“Instead of “I can’t or “I won’t” how about “How Can I?”
This is not to say we deny our difficulties or pain while working through the hard stuff, it means we have inner resources that can we can rely on, and everyday sisu habits we can draw strength from. I highly recommend this book for anyone at any age! It’s for you, it’s for your teenager, it’s for your grandmother. We all are living through challenging experiences life presents. There is no need for comparison, but just try to have an awareness that we all don’t always have the same tools ( internally and externally) to persevere. The Finnish culture and government gets this and we can glean so much from them as we think about building a healthier society here in the USA. Read on for my Q&A with Katja Pantzar.
STAYING IN TOUCH:
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2- Reach out personally if your are interested in working with a Certified Integrative Health Coach (me) who is passionate about vitality and longevity! Integrative Health Coaches are trained in the art and science of motivating positive change holistically. The empowering takeaway of working with a highly trained coach is you develop a healthy, lasting, and trustworthy relationship with your own beautiful individuality so you can make the best choices for living life well. This in invaluable, because the truth is no-one can live your life as well as you!
Laura Connolly, Founder of World Wise Beauty, CHC
Lauroly Q- Welcome back Katja to World Wise Beauty. I am thrilled to select your new book ‘Everyday Sisu’ as the “Summer 22 ‘Book Wise’ pick. So much has happened to the world since your last book and I believe we all can benefit from the Sisu philosophy and practice. To refresh those who did not read your first book ‘The Finnish Way’ can you give the WWB readers a simple sense of what Sisu is?
Lauroly Q- How is Sisu different then let’s say the Anglican “pull up your bootstraps and carry on’ way of thinking? It seems to me when it comes to human survival modes where we just muddle through, we also do a lot of repressing and emotional shutting down. Depression and ‘burnout’ are manifestations of this, which you explore in the book. There is always a cost to survival without the conscious effort of what I call ‘nurturing your nature’. It’s like we need to remember what nourishes our human existence. It’s not necessarily found at the bottom of a bottle of wine or a box of sugared donuts. Sadly some will die trying it!
Lauroly Q– Continual learning in all its forms is another key to resilience, vitality, and happiness. You say in the book ‘Everyday Sisu’ that an invaluable resilience building skill is training ourselves to be in the current moment, without worry or concern for the next moment. We can relate to you when you say, “this is easier said than done!” What aspect of the Sisu practice did you find allows not only for people to survive difficult times but to flourish as well?
Lauroly Q- With a great interest in culture and specifically wellness culture, I loved how you drilled in to explore the overall mindset and culture of Finland. People should know that Finland has topped the World Happiness Report for fifth time in a row, highlighting trust, well-being, and freedom as key driving attributes. You mention your current Prime Minister Sanna Marin quite a bit in the book and she deserves the acknowledgement from my perspective. A young female (age 36) representing the social democratic party is an amazing feat even in a Nordic country. You shared the following quote from her New Year 2020 address:
“The strength of a society is measured not by the wealth of its most affluent members, but by how well its most vulnerable members can cope.”
Fortunately for your country, this Finnish mindset prepared the citizens of Finland for the covid crisis that was still yet to come after her speech. Tell us more about how ‘wellness values’ anchored your country through a crisis like Covid.
Lauroly closing: Thank you so much for joining me at World Wise Beauty Katja! There is so much wellness wisdom to be found in your books and I hope the readers begin to connect the dots for living a more resilient and happier life. Happy Summer to you and it may be filled with “blue’ and ‘green’ wellness therapy!
Katja Pantzar closing: Thanks for having me, it was a pleasure!