I’m Marie. This is the page where I tell you a little about myself.
I’ve always lived with one foot in art, creativity and imagination, and the other foot in how we, as people, can be happy and whole in this world. My education reflects these parallel passions.
My basic education is a Bachelor in Social Services from STADIA, with a focus on social pedagogy and the creative process, as well as an art degree from Taidekoulu Maa. I studied to be a Life Coach in one of the first coaching schools in Finland. Marika Borg, who brought coaching to Finland, was my teacher. Another key part of the context I work from is the framework of expressive art therapy. I studied expressive art methods for two and a half years, both in Ihmissuhdetyö ry, at a symposium and in Inartes. These studies and the many wonderful teachers I had the privilege of studying with changed my life and the way I looked at creativity and art.
In my work I use a combination of the the artistic framework and methodology used in Expressive art therapy, as taught by Kirsi Lybeck, Steven Levine and Paolo Knill (among many others), with the coaching methods in life coaching. After my coaching degree I was in work supervision regularly to have support in building a framework for creativity coaching. In 2005 I founded my business, Crealife and in the following years I have developed a method of creativity coaching that I teach in Valmentamo, a Finnish coaching school.
I have worked with people and creativity, all in all since 2001, learning as I went along, and I’ve worked approximately with two thousand people around their creative needs and blocks in their expression. As a visual artist, I graduated in 2004, but struggled in the studio until I surrendered to the art that wanted to come through me, in 2010. After that I have exhibited my artwork regularly.
The challenge of being a multipotentialite/renaissance soul
For a long time, I struggled with the thought that I must choose either art, or working with people. Experience has taught me, however, that my work as a professional artist, my spiritual path, my writing and the creativity coaching and teaching I do, each nourish each other.
The way I do business
Since the year 2016 I have been studying marketing and selling at Heart of Business, with Mark Silver and Steve Mattus, among others. The way this company models doing business and teaches it has given me hope for our world, and shown me that it is possible to do business in a way that feels good in my heart, and hopefully yours as well.
I am committed to making business in a way that respects our shared humanity and is ethical and sustainable for us all, and to learning more about how to do this on a practical level.
Art has been a saving grace in my life
Whenever I’ve felt that nothing makes sense and that the intensity of living on our beautiful planet flows over in me, I have always been able to find enough space to express, explore and transform what is happening inside of me on the canvas. With time, I’ve come to trust what flows through me to the canvas implicitly.
From the personal comes the universal, and often my clients find solace in the paintings that have been born through my hands.
It is my conviction that art belongs to all of us and that anyone who feels the yearning to make art can build a relationship and connection to their own core expression. Helping people with this is my joy, honor and privilege.
The challenge and blessing of being sensitive
I’m a highly sensitive person, and someone who feels life intensely on many levels. I have struggled with my sensitivity, because it has impacted my life so strongly, forcing me to move slow, to take down my ambitions and to do things in my own way, even when what I really wanted to do was just to go along, and please the people around me.
At some point in my life, I painted Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken, framed it and gave it to my father. He has later said, that this was when he really got that the odd choices I made were going to be a permanent feature. (See! The power of art!)
For a long time, I sought to find ways to get away from the inner pain I felt so acutely at times. I equated happiness with being comfortable – and in a way this way of thinking served its purpose for a long time. I was able to make choices that helped me build a good, solid foundation for everyday life.
After engaging in healing work from many different contexts concerning many areas of my life, I’ve come to realize that I often experience overwhelm as pain (and as I write that, it is also important to state, that trauma-related triggers are different from overwhelm).
These days I think that the idea is not as much to get rid of the pain, as to find ways to be with the discomfort, discern what is happening and find access to support and love. The journey of self-compassion, with its twists and turns, has been important here as well.
Tidbits and fun facts
I’m trilingual, so I speak Swedish with my Dad and my two children, Finnish with my beloved and my sister. I think and write in English, before I translate everything into the other languages. Because my whole family is highly sensitive, the challenges of being a creative sensitive in the world are very familiar to me, from many viewpoints and in many roles. I identify myself as a multipotentialite, a person who is interested in many things (and finds it difficult to choose just one thing), which has made building a business an interesting adventure.
I have a quirky sense of humor, although sometimes my brain takes a while to process jokes, love to dress up for coaching, or spend time in coveralls in my studio. And I love gemstones. And colors. And eccentric people. (And using parenthesis in text.:))
Also, in order to keep my feet on the ground, I occasionally play Assassin’s Creed to unwind and go to Taekwondo class once a week with my firstborn.