Where were you born?
I was born in the very beautiful little town of Ruokolahti, in Eastern lake Finland. My family was living there at the time. Even though I was under three years of age when we moved to Helsinki, I still long for it and consider the move from there as something central to my fourness.
Where do you live?
I live in the capital city of Finland, Helsinki. I’ve had many adventures, starting from moving to Berlin at the ripe old age of 13 on my own for several months, as well as spending months in Eastern Africa at 20. I love to travel, but Helsinki is definitely home.
What do you do?
The latest few years have been all Enneagram, especially bringing the Enneagram Prison Project to Finland. I have been teaching the Narrative Enneagram for a number of years, and then became involved with EPP as well as the IEA association here in Finland. My background is in social studies, mainly in development studies, cultural anthropology and African studies.
How do you use the Enneagram in your life?
The Enneagram came to me early. My Mother Leila found it through IEA founder Andreas Ebert when I was in my early teens. It was a relief, I can remember the feeling of not being the only one out there. I would have lengthy discussions with friends on the subject. I had a very difficult time in my 20’s and just as I got married and turned 30 and had my first child, David Daniels entered the picture. So I ended up certifying in 2009 in the Narrative tradition. I had had lots of difficulty with anxiety and panic, but nothing had really felt helpful despite my family’s constant love and support, and therapy. Something shifted. I thought wow, for once this is relevant to me. Someone is actually asking the questions that need to be asked, and it was so relieving. I went on to have a second child and went back to university to finish my Masters’ degree in Social Studies. After graduating and having two babies I went to a narrative conference on a complete whim. And found myself saying, this is what I want to do, don’t know how or even how, but this is it.
What is your role of the IEA Board?
For now, I am mainly involved in conference planning, having been conference chair of an IEA European conference here in Helsinki very recently. I’m interested in all things affiliate, and also how to make everything more inclusive and accessible.
Why are you involved with the IEA Board?
The IEA Finland presidency three years ago came to me as not at all something I had ever considered. However, my mom having started the association long before there even was an affiliate system in place with the IEA, I, along with others, felt this was the time to step up. I feel what has happened in Finland in the last three years has been an incredible ride and we’ve done great. I felt it was time after my three years for someone else to take on the task of president here and for me to support IEA Finland in a different way. Being a part of the global community has been very important to me in the recent years. Growing into the community in so many ways, first having my family with me at conferences when my babies were little and then venturing alone after many years of being mom and studying and working has been very significant. Having the experience I’ve had, both at IEA conferences and at narrative meetings, I felt this would be a natural next step. (Plus: I just love the people.) I want others to have the experience I’ve had, especially coming from small countries or communities.
How do you see the future of the IEA?
I hope IEA can be more inclusive in many ways, and I know the board agrees. I see a generational change as well, something that also saddens me in the wake of David Daniels’ passing. But even as someone very recently joining the board and from a remote country, I know the dedication and heart that is there, having felt it so much myself. It’s wonderful to hear from new affiliates being created, and of old ones that are blooming that the whole Enneagram world can learn from.
Is there anything you’d like to share about yourself that would help us know you better?
I tend to think about myself as an anthropologist. I even love the word. A couple of years ago a friend found a newspaper clip, something that was written about me when I was graduating high school more than 20 years ago, Graduates were interviewed and asked the ”what’s next for you” questions. I said, and this I had long forgotten, that I want to be an anthropologist, because I want to understand what it is that makes us all the same and what it is that makes us different. I did go on to study anthropology and development studies, and then the Enneagram, and sometimes very painfully, life.