I’m Minna-Maria. I'm a life coach and mentor. I help empaths and highly sensitive people to find their place and stay empowered. If you want to know why coaching is my passion and how I created my coaching method, you can find my personal story below.
I have always been interested in personal growth and how to best support myself and others to be happy. In my university days I was enthusiastic about developmental psychology and philosophy of education. On the other hand I discovered personal growth through meditation and ancient philosophies.
Nevertheless, I struggled to bring all of what I believed into my concrete reality. For many years I worked as a teacher, although at the same time, I knew that this work and lifestyle was not what my heart longed for. I tried to change my career a couple of times, but always went back to teaching. My inner limiting belief at the time was saying that teaching was a good way, and perhaps my only way, to make my living. However my inner wisdom knew differently.
Through my intuitive painting and poem writing I heard that there was another lifestyle I wanted to live and another mission to fulfil. Moreover my body communicated with different symptoms that the way I was living was totally misaligned with my heart. It called me to see the stress, which I had inside as I performed and filled cultural expectations.
Abandoning the performative
2017 was my time to put in practice what I believed in and walk the talk. I finally resigned from my teaching work for good and embarked on a journey to follow my inner wisdom. I believed compassionately that I deserved to be more me, to stay genuinely well and do what I loved. Italy had always called me, so I rented out my apartment in Finland and left for a break in the North of Italy. I gave myself lots of time to walk, write, meditate and draw. I couldn’t figure out what I’d do and how to make my living, but I knew I wanted to live a more authentic life, and lead from the inside out. I surrendered to the thought that I had to hear my inner wisdom and follow it step by step.
...and embracing the authentic
During the following months I didn’t only connect with myself, but I also found a connection with my present partner. As the relationship developed, “my creative break in Italy” turned to “creative living in Italy”. At some point I came up with an idea to organize Creative Break -courses in Italy. So I took my first but very natural step towards helping people to hear their inner wisdom.
A year after my arrival in Italy I joined my partner, Alessandro, on his work trip to Japan. During the month I connected with a group of Japanese women, doing the same meditation as I do. After one of the sessions I had a realization that I’d do life coaching as my work. It was as if I had had the wish it a long time before, but I saw it now clearly and there was no reason why I couldn’t do it. Still in Japan I enrolled in the International Coach Academy.
Focusing on real internal change
After becoming a certified coach, I founded the company Coaching Atelier. The new work was a dream come true. At the same time uncertainty and vulnerability of solo entrepreneurship touched my fears and activated beliefs in my unconscious mind. Many of these had to do with high-sensitivity and an empath personality. The challenging situation gave me a chance, and the necessity, to look at the shadows, know my fears, and clear blockages that stood in the way of staying connected with my inner wisdom. These fears were individual but many of them also collective. I learnt techniques to release emotions, support myself with conscious movement, and bring myself to the present to take care of my energy.
Everything I learnt helped me to complete my service in helping clients hear their inner wisdom whatever situation they are in. Not everyone needs to feel so exhausted that they end up having a long break or change countries! So my mission is to help these other empaths who tend to give and give. Through my coaching, I put together three C’s: cultivation, clearing and coaching.
Cultivation and self nurturing practises bring us into the present and connect us to the body and our inner wisdom. They are conscious movement, breath work, writing, other creative activities and meditation. All of them help us to bring more of our authentic spirit to our body, and to every action we take.
Clearing is unlearning the thoughts and beliefs that we have learnt from other people and society that are not all helpful. It means letting go the emotions that we have suppressed and held in our body. Clearing work is necessary for us to hear your wisdom better.
In coaching we interact with someone who sees the complete and whole part of us and the skilled coach also has instruments to guide us to connect with that part. A coach is also someone who can hold the torch for us and make us feel safe, when we are looking to the dark and undiscovered caves of our inner world. It has been important for me to understand that we can and need to receive support. It makes the journey much lighter and fun.
The inner journey has brought a lot more ease and authenticity into my life. Ease doesn’t mean the absence of challenges—they are part of life as long as we are alive. But the beauty of life guided by inner wisdom is that we can face the challenges with more tranquility. They always offer an opportunity for more freedom and spacious living. Only philosophical thoughts don't often bring consolation when we are feeling stressed or worried in a real life situation. And this is when breathing exercises or qigong for example is a precious tool that brings us into the body and to the present moment. When we are in the present moment, we are free to choose, and back in magic again!
* The titles are from a quote of Aisha Ahmad, 2020
"Now more than ever, we must abandon the performative and embrace the authentic. Our essential mental shifts require humility and patience. Focus on real internal change. These human transformations will be honest, raw, ugly, hopeful, frustrated, beautiful, and divine. And they will be slower than keener academics are used to. Be slow. Let this distract you. Let it change how you think and how you see the world. Because the world is our work. And so, may this tragedy tear down all our faulty assumptions and give us the courage of bold new ideas"