Right now, people in continental Europe are starting their summer vacations. And at the same time, I'm back from mine. Along with many (most?) people in Finland.
I'm writing this post to close my summer vacation chapter. To be able to move onto the next one with (relative) ease.
TL;DR: What did I do?
Here are some holiday photos to show and tell what I did (among other things).
Visited beautiful places in Finland:
Penny for my thoughts
A vacation is also a good time for oneself to take some time to think. I found my thoughts to gravitate towards the state of our planet, the idea (and practice) of community and fruitful constraints.
Let's listen to our planet
The extra-ordinary weather events that we experienced and that were reported all over the world seemed to grasp everyone's attention. While I'm not happy about the floods, droughts, or heat waves, I'm happy that we're finally paying more attention to what our planet is trying to communicate to us.
I just hope that this listening leads to greater understanding. And that this understanding would lead to swift action. We don't have time to waste in the face of the climate crisis and biodiversity loss.
Co-hosting a week-long family camp with my friends was once again an experience that reinforced the importance of healthy communities to me. In my work life I spend a lot of time working on self-organised teams and communities. This yearly family camp tradition that has been going on for 10+ years (15 maybe?) is the perfect example of self-organisation.
We schedule the camp together. One of us volunteers to book the venue. Before the camp we share the information on when each of us is going to arrive and leave. The only stable routine we have is the daily meal together. People reserve a day to cook the meal for everyone in small groups.
Otherwise everyone is free to do what they want. What happens is lots of swimming in the lake, going to sauna, taking walks and/or jogs, alone or together. Playing games, barbeque, outdoor games. Or just talking and having fun.
For our kids this is one of the best weeks of the year: they see their friends and get to spend time with them quite freely, with lots of adults they know around if they need them (they mostly don't).
For me, this is also one of the best weeks of the year, of course.
This kind of community cannot be built. It grows if the conditions are right. Maybe I will expand on the conditions on another time.
And I think we need more of healthy communities in practice in our lives, in our society, in the world. I have a hunch that much of I want to see less in the human kind is happening because of unmet needs related to the universal need for connectedness and healthy community that people are trying to serve in other ways.
Growing healthy communities is difficult, committing to gardening communities is a tough choice, there are a lot of unhealthy communities in our shared past etc. How might we overcome these difficulties?
Fruitful constraints for a vacation
During the summer it has been a delight to check out on my Finnish friends' activity on social media: people have been all around Finland, in small towns and villages, in the nature etc. Having fun, enjoying themselves, discovering exciting locations and services quite close to them.
I really like this aspect of the constraints that this horrible pandemic has put on us. It has forced people to discover if less might be more in terms of going on a vacation. And for me, it certainly feels that way. I just hope it continues.
And that got me thinking: in what other ways I could redefine things that feel like they are restricting me as fruitful constraints? So that I could try to see how creativity and curiosity could help me benefit in those situations.
What I take with me going forward
The past spring has been a time of letting go and recuperation for me. I've embraced natural movement practice. In particular through Kellen Milad's (Movement Parallels Life) movement flow practices have helped me heal and perform close to 100% after debilitating period of ails from working too much on my computer.
In the summer, I've been able to do the things I love: move in the nature (kayaking, cycling, walking) and immerse myself in game design (purely as a hobby).
At the same time, it seems that in terms of my work life, something old is going away. As Mirette Kangas, the founder and head of Yle's Agile Culture Accelerator and my boss and co-creator at Yle for many years, leaves Yle and moves to Kone, my future as a coach at the Agile Culture Accelerator at Yle is unclear.
This is a good time to look at the future with fresh ideas. Two things I want to take away from this summer and keep close to me are moving in nature and game design.
Let's see what else comes up!