Walking in nature was an essential part of my recovery from depression. Last autumn I read an interview about a Finnish woman who had found the power of walking. Referring to my personal experience I knew right that second that she would be the first one who I wanted to interview.
A walker and creative entrepreneur Finnish entrepreneur, Mirja Kärnä.
Mirja Kärnä follows her heart and does what she loves.
Between the years of 2013 to 2014 she walked for seven months, adding up to 3 650 kilometres from Finland to Spain.
Since then she has started her own business where she provides unique walking journeys from Finland to vivid surroundings. In the future, these journeys will be arranged from abroad as well.
Last year Mirja published a book called “Neljä valkoista koiraa Santiagon tiellä” (“Four White Dogs on the road of Santiago”). This piece introduces a theme of walking and the emotional growth linked with it. Right now the book is available only in Finnish but hopefully it will be translated to English in the future.
1. Tell about a memorable moment when being in nature has helped you in your life’s challenges?
– When I returned from my walk of seven months from Finland to Spain I worked as an entrepreneur, which had me totally sucked in. Stress became a continuous visitor and I felt my body overdrive itself. One night, as I returned from work, my car broke down and I had to wait for one hour for the towing service to arrive. To pass the time I went out for a walk in the nearby forest. I realized very fast how being in that forest made me feel calm, both mentally and physically. I also became aware of the visitor of stress in a very different way. It was unbelievable to notice that all that was needed for healing was a quiet forest.
2. What kind of relationship do you have with nature? Has it changed over time?
– Nature is a lifeline and worth protecting. There is no life without nature. For me, nature is a caretaker, pacifier and a teacher, who teaches the skill of being, in where there is no need to be anything else then what you are in each moment.
3. What’s your favorite thing to do in nature and why?
– I walk. Walking is a natural way to release stress, organize thoughts and get in touch with your body and mind. The walking pace can also be adjusted with your state and condition. You can walk without any hurry, enjoying the presence of nature, or release any pressure by walking with a rapid pace.
4. Have you got any plans how to develop your relationship with nature in the future?
– I don’t have any actual plans. I want to visit nature as often as I can during my working- and free-time. And one day I wish to live totally in nature.
5. Based on your experience what practical advice would you give to those who want to have more quality to their lives with the help of nature?
– Go in to nature and let it tell you that right now you don’t need to do anything at all. Everything is well and in its’ own place and time. In nature everything is in order all the time, even if they are in a natural chaos. Everything has its time and place in the nature’s cycle, as in a human’s life.
Mirja’s website you find here. (Unfortunately the site is only in Finnish.)