We were invited to and inspirational evening at Ecoist cafe in Stockholm, to listen to Maria Mattsson talk about her book “A life formula”, where she focuses on the importance of the flow of life. An evening that made us reflect upon the choices we make in our everyday lives and how they affect our wellbeing.
When we arrived at Ecoist we encountered an excitement in the room, everyone seemed curious of what the evening would entail. We hurried to our seats when Gabriel Förde, one of the owners introduced Maria Mattsson. With a bright smile and calm voice she started telling her story.
She took us back 11 years, back to the time when she had become CEO for a subsidiary of a large international concern. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs and having a degree in Business Economies, working hard was sort of expected of her, and she enjoyed it! However, with a full time position and taking care of her family, she didn’t have much time left for herself. Without really knowing what to do next, Maria eventually decided to quit her job. Not because she didn’t like it, but the stressful environment just wasn’t for her anymore. Stress over a longer period of time leaves you drained of energy. It was time to change, to move forward. It was a tough decision, since she sort of gave up a given career. A month later she decided to start her own business, and one thing that was important for her was to create a working life that gave her time for herself every day.
After some time she met a woman with extensive knowledge about digestive health. Together they found out that Maria actually had an inflamed gut, which caused all the symptoms she suffered from, like headache, joint pain, abdominal pain, fatigue and insomnia, even the hair and skin was affected. This was one year after she had left her position at the international firm, which surprised her. She didn’t even realize that she was exhausted. Maria explains how she after this started focusing more on finding her happiness, and live a life that felt right for her. Because sadly, to many of us live the life that is expected of us, a life society finds fitting. Many people may want to change parts of their everyday life, but don’t dare since they don’t know what awaits them. We need security and stability. Sounds familiar? But sometimes the best thing to do is to take a leap of faith and close a door, without having opened another. Like Maria pointed out: there and then, in the middle of everything, it’s impossible to know what you really want.
After a few years, Maria started to write down all her thoughts, feelings and insights, and realized this was something she wanted to share with the world. She knew there were people out there who felt like she had done, and who live a life filled with stress and sickness. And that’s how the book and her new company was born. In the book, Maria is presenting a formula for how you get what you want in life. How to get more time for yourself; find more balance and a wider sense of meaning. The formula for a perfect life is a formula for how you can live your life to the fullest, how to have the courage to take the step and reach your dreams.
Maria’s story makes us reflect upon the choices we take every single day. I choose to go to my workplace every day; nobody forces me to work for exactly that company. I choose to go home to my partner every night, nobody forces me to be with him, and I choose to be happy or sad. Life is made out of choices, so if something is making me unhappy, I can choose to do something different. Sadly, many of us don’t.
Maria reminds us that we are completely in charge over our own lives. If you’re unhappy, you’re the only one who can fix that. You know best what you need to do to be happy, because happiness comes from within. Don’t like your job, then maybe you should quit or change? Don’t like the relationship you’re in, if the energy is gone, then maybe it’s time to move on? Don’t like your life, well, change it! You hold the power. We are gifted with one life, let`s not waist it just because we are scared of change. Sometimes the smallest step in the right directions ends up being the biggest step of your life.
When the night came to an end, we had to admit, much of what she had been talking about wasn’t exactly rocket science, just like she had told us as well. We know all this, but like we told her; sometimes it’s just nice to be reminded of it. Listen to someone who dared to take that step, the step towards a healthy and happy life. Because far too many of us get stuck, and when we do, it’s nice to get a little kick in back. By sharing her insights, Maria hopes that she can inspire and empower people to find what makes them happy and free. And by sharing her insights with us she makes us reflect over the power we hold over our own lives. She doesn’t tell you how to do it, because you know best how to get there yourself. In some way we felt she instead had awaken us.
Before we headed home, we took Maria aside to ask her some quick questions.
When you hit the wall a few years back, how did you pull yourself up again?
– First of all I didn’t understand that I was, like many people out there. We are sort of conditioned to take white pills, like Aspirin, to take out all the symptoms we feel. When in fact all our body does is try to tell us that something is wrong. It’s like we shut off our feelings when we stress too much. And we take the easy way, a pill instead of listening and trying to understand. It all begins with giving yourself time. Do you only have five minutes, then take five minutes, if your have 15 minutes, then take 15 minutes. Go for a walk or sit on a bench in the park. Just take some time to just be alone, because it’s when we give ourselves time that we have a chance to think and reflect on our lives, and on what it is we really want. I go for long walks every single day, because nature gives me energy.
What would you say happiness really is?
– Happiness comes from within. It is about your inner peace. Happiness is a choice and an approach to life. It’s about your heart, your self-love and your love for life!
And what makes you happy?
– Happiness for me is to live in the present moment. To really live and enjoy every day, with the ones I love. And waking up each morning being healthy.
How do I feel when I am in my flow?
When you are in your flow and live your life to the fullest, you will feel that life has a bigger meaning. A sense of lightness. Even if you work hard and feel happiness toward life itself. Every day! You become the best version of yourself.
Do you want to know more about Maria Mattsson and her book? Take a look at her webpage here.
By: Henriette Danielsen Photo: Private