All posts by Maya Kiusalaas

I’m orange. Mostly the palms of my hands and souls of my feet. It doesn’t bother me but the doctor said I should chill out on the carrots. I'm also from sweden, 25, and live in Melbourne.  This is a blog about my failures in life. And what I’ve learnt from them. I’ve cut down to two carrots a day. Mostly because my boyfriend says that no one will take an orange person serious and that he doesn’t want people to think that I’m stupid. Sometimes I have more than two though. Sorry Adrian.

Feel. Live. Be.

Ever since we got back from our holidays, Me from first two weeks in Sweden and then another two weeks in NYC with Adrian, friends and family, I’ve been feeling more down than up. It’s like I am not really settled in my life, I’m restless. I do what I do but there is a lack of joy and engagement and I am having a real hard time just being in the moment without constantly worrying or thinking or planning what’s next. I wonder if it is because of the fact (and I hope it is) that I have started to cut down even more on my antidepressants? I take it slow and it is so frustrating to do something without feeling any kind of reward from it. It’s like I’m peddling water. Like I’m standing still and all I want to do is just jump up and down and be involved in my life.

In Sweden I felt absolutely fantastic. I had been sick for a month, I think it was from cutting down  – apparently you can get physically sick, like the flue, from cutting down, who knew that? Honestly, I had all the symptoms; nausea, cough, temperature, blocked sinuses, panik anxiety etc, etc. It was like ‘it’ moved around in my body and settled down at a new place every day. I literally got well again on the flight over to Stockholm, which is another reason to why I think it was a mental reaction gone physical, and well there I felt so perfectly balanced. I didn’t stress over small shitty things that I let take control over me now and I didn’t constantly over think and analyse every single decision I made. I didn’t plan every minute of every day and I tried to make sure to be where I was and with whom I was with 


So comes NYC and I managed to bring that flow into this jack-hammering-city everyone loves, for a while. Sometime after the amazingwedding in Connecticut, where we got a break from the jack hammers and flashing signs, I somehow threw myself out of my own balanced flow and I haven’t really been able to settle down with myself since.  

I am stressing a lot about the small and the big stuff at the moment – which simply needs to stop because stressing and worrying is the opposite to living. I stress about money because I want to be able to plan trips to Sweden without having to let the bank decide for me – at the same time I am not willing to sacrifice my freedom of living a hippie-life with not too many musts – unbalance. I have to accept that trying to discover and engage in a life I love it is going to be a little work since I’m not quite sure what that would look like, yet. I am testing different ways and I know that I will stumble across something I love soon enough, I’m just not patient enough.

I have all these forces inside of me that all want different things – a lot of them contradict each other;

I want money but I refuse to do work I don’t enjoy. I want to feel like I am good enough and I want to feel like the life I live is amazing but I often find myself comparing my life to other peoples lives, thinking they’ve got it all sorted because I see what people are up to. I think that because peoples lives are scheduled they’ve succeeded. I am not super busy by normal western standards, and my mind thinks that because I am not busy every hour of the day I am useless and not worth much. But when I am busy I am not happy. When I have a job to go to I get really bad anxiety, almost panic; it is like my organs forget how to support me and I feel like I have to give up and quit. If I’m not aware I could easily pull my own hair out in panic. I am starting to believe that I not really made for the calendar life. Then my question to myself is; Am I just a pussy? Have everybody got screaming anxiety when they “have to” be somewhere? I feel like such a failure when I wake up to a mood and emotions that just hammer me with complete resignation.

Theoretically I know that I am very lucky – I really am! But why can’t I feel it? Why can’t I be in it? Why have I got such a hard time just living and enjoying it? (I really hope this is just my anti-depressants numbing…the real me. And as soon as I am done with this shit it wont be such a struggle just to land and be present in a moment).

I get it down to the fact that my mind is caught up in the doing and I am trying to find a way towards the being, that’s the mission I am on. I want to explore, enjoy and experience but at the moment I do too much planning, thinking and worrying.

I have to stop planning and start feeling, stop worrying and start living, stop expecting and just fucking be a part of my own life.


Hot tip!

I thought I should share this big but little Hot tip that really has improved my health and wellbeing here as well – time restricted eating.

Maya Kiusalaas | My Monday Love

“If I could recommend one thing that would help anyone and everyone it would be to check out time-restricted eating. Coming from a person who has tried all the diets and nutritional shake programs out there – diets are crap. At least if you think long term. Instead, I’ve adopted a time restricted eating where I make sure to eat and drink within a 9 hour time frame. The rest of the time I allow my body to rest.

When the body gets a break from food and metabolism it cleans, maintains and repair (things it cannot do while there is food in the system). Adapting a lifestyle where I give my body 14-16 hours of rest every day has had such a huge impact on my health and wellbeing. I feel lighter, and more aware of what my body is signalling. When I stick to my 9-hour “eating-window” I have so much more energy for working out, my mood is better, my stomach feels under control. Instead of eating by routine I now eat when I am hungry, which before I was always hungry.

I also notice that when I eat late at night I wake up feeling more tired than usual which has taught me to eat my last meal two to three hours before I go to bed.” Find out more about Maya Kiusalaas by following her on Facebook and Instagram.

For a more information about time restricted eating – Dr Satchin Panda and Rhonda Patricks breaks it down for us in this podcast;

<3 <3 <3



One of the most beautiful things with this movement is, for me personally, the feeling of release and relieve of seeing people let go of their own shame and guilt –  with pride.

It might sound tragic to see beauty in the unity of something raw and wrong, but in some way it seem to ease that pressure I’ve carried around on my chest. That pressure that comes from wishing that I would have made “better” choices in life, and that pressure that comes from believing that because of my past I will never feel complete; that I fucked up and it’s not reversible.

Sharing what we are ashamed of leads to a combined realization that there is nothing to be ashamed of, not from our side. Sharing what we are feeling ashamed of is finally helping us, and others, to let go of that useless shame. That pressure. over the chest.

Me too have things to share, things that I today find it hard to speak of. It’s not so much what others have done to me, but what I’ve done to myself. I am ashamed of the fact that I’ve been weak. I’m ashamed of the fact that I’ve been sacrificing love for nothing other than misery. I’ve sacrificed love for friends, family and myself and for that I feel so guilty. I’m ashamed of the fact that I didn’t allow myself to ever feel like a worthy human – and what I, through that mindset, put myself through.

To me, its not just about sharing what people have done to us, although for so many that is the biggest pressure many are carrying around. For me it is about realizing that you and I are worth living life without guilt for the past or anxiety for the future no matter who or what we have been through.

I constantly try to share my demons, so that someone out there might be able to relate and get that pressure of their chest, if only for a minute – because I know how valuable that minute can be. That minute of realising that you are not alone. That minute of completely feeling that who you are is who you are and that will never change so whatever your past is carrying – it doesn’t have to have anything to do with the rest of your life. That minute of feeling that right here and right now – all is good.

There is a lot of anger attached to this movement. A lot of blame. And although I do wish that people who have exposed others to fear, shame and guilt really feel that guilt for themselves so that they can share and educate others on how to avoid it, (through respect and care(!)) I believe that the most important thing here is to realise that this type of shame that us, mostly woman, put ourselves through, is in fact shit and useless and I think that everybody who share things that they’re carrying all by themselves in order to help others should be so proud. Because sharing really is caring. Relating is fantastically supporting and it is really what this world needs.

It is in fact the main reason to why I wrote the book Free the girl; so that those girls out there who are ashamed of how they treat and think of their own bodies and minds can find someone to relate to, and realise that they are not alone. And then, through that experience they can see how one person realised that being ashamed, full of self hate for simply being a human is not at all what life is about. With my shame and guilt they are given one of many perspectives on how to break free from that destructive mental prison. It is my way of helping. My way of sharing. So yes, Metoo – in more than one way.

If you would like to get my book, you can get it here: 

Either order it to your tablett or as a hard copy.

If anyone is interested in writing tips from…. writers:

Maya Kiusalaas | My Monday Love

Stay true to yourself
“The absolute hardest part with publishing a book, for me, was to ask people to use their valuable time to read something that I have created. In other words: the overwhelming self-doubt and the feeling that what I have worked so hard on, and passionate with isn’t good enough for people to invest their time in.
You have to have an ongoing conversation with yourself where you stop thinking about how every individual person will “receive” the book and just focus on staying authentic to yourself and to your purpose with creating the book. No matter what – you have to find a way to be proud of the work and the passion you have put into the process, and humble for the fact that you have left a timeless part of yourself with the rest of the world.”

<3 <3


Kids party tips

“Indulge their curiosity

The most memorable adventures your kids will have are the ones that get them thinking. Create a mystery at the party and send them on a scavenger hunt to figure it out. Maya Kiusalaas from My Monday Love had this idea:

“Stick objects (toys, keys, an apple) in jars filled with different contents (slime, spaghetti, frozen peas, oats – anything that feels funny). Have the kids cover their eyes or go in a dark room and guess the objects in the jars through sticking their hands in them and feeling the objects out. Creepy and makes them think. It works best if you build up a story around it; The theme of the party can be “Magic forest” and when you arrive you will be told that something terrible has happened; something important has disappeared and the kids [have] to figure out what it is and how to get it back!”
For more on Maya check out Facebook or Instagram.”

I cried for 48 hours (or more) after I published my book

The critics inside of me are telling me to stop whining and excuse myself constantly. They are telling me that what I love to do and feel alive doing is useless, worthless and a waste of time. The insecurity inside of me are telling me to stop ask for peoples time – you are not good enough, they say.

Understanding the world and myself is one of my greatest interests. I have always been one of those people who respond “but why” to every answer I get. I want to go deeper and not settle so easily. I also love the magic of experiencing things I simply can’t explain and where the restless “but why” is exchanged with a fascinated “how the fuck…” My interest in writing comes from a combination of wanting to understand the why but also to express the lack of understanding.

What started off as a psychology assignment called “write about your life” turned into a dream about…a life. The relieving and revealing experience of simply trying to explain to a blank paper what is going on in your mind and body soon became my therapy and I felt like many people would be able to relate and maybe feel less alone on their own journey if I shared my experience with eating disorders, alcohol abuse and an overall lack of self-love.

The lead up

It had been a big week and my hormones were clearly supporting my emotional ride down towards that fear of how many people that wouldn’t read it, or even scarier; how many people that wouldn’t like it. I thought I was prepared for this. I wasn’t.

I mean, I had self published this book and if you have done that you might know that feeling of seeing yourself as a somewhat “fake-author”, no matter how passionate you are about writing. But I had worked so damn hard on this book, I knew that the book wasn’t fake, the work I had put in wasn’t fake – still I couldn’t separate myself from that feeling. Every word had come from my heart and bones – but right now I hated it.

Seeing it on the Amazon website with one review (from my partner) I felt the self-doubt just overflowing my body. My alibies for being a shit-fake writer was everything from; English is not my first language, nobody is ever going to find this book because it is self-published- to believing that I am too crazy and people will not be able to relate at all.


I mentioned earlier that it had been a big week, and it had. My caffeine consumption was through the roof even though I know it contributes to my PMS and I hadn’t prioritized sleeping. I basically hadn’t prioritized myself at all. Just this stupid book I’d ben working on since I was 17. Now I am 26 and it was finally time to click ‘publish’. I felt a little nauseous, my palms were sweating and I didn’t know if I was exited, scared or both.

The book isn’t stupid, I know that. It is actually pretty cool. It has a soul quite like mine; a mix of dark and light and a reverse-magnetic- will to spread love in this world. Not just by doing random acts of kindness, but through helping people find out for themselves how they can make their own life a little lighter, and at the same time also the world around them.

The only thing I could think of now was ”who the fuck am I to help people connect to their inner emotions?” I am sitting here, 24 hours after publishing the book on Amazon crying so much my partner had to shove me into an ice-cold shower to try and snap me out of my mental breakdown. Add on another 24 and I am out for a 10km run, still crying, sometimes so much I have to stop to be able to breathe. Who the hell am I to talk about love, health and helping young teenage girls to see their own self-worth?

 What happened next?

I watched some Netflix and felt sorry for myself, believing that I forever had lost my passion for writing. I drank some tea (chamomile mainly), cried a lot, felt like I was useless a lot, wondering if I ever would find motivation to do anything ever again, a lot. When I aimlessly scrolled through my Facebook feed I came across an interview with Ada Calhoun

( ).

In the interview she shares the ups and downs with the craft of writing and she made me realize that I am not the only one feeling like this after publishing something. In fact, it seems to be playing a big part in being a writer, or any type of creative person, to feel this vulnerable when sharing your work. Sure, I can probably learn how to deal with my publishing-anxiety to not scare my partner (and myself) to death every time I publish something in the future, but listening to Ada speak about writing made me understand that it might not be such a bad thing feeling like shit about this whole publishing thing after all – because it means that I care for this book. A lot.

Of course I am scared that it might fail me, and statistically it should, I mean, isn’t that what they all say? But I don’t like statistic – I like emotions, and deep inside, in my gut, I know that I have put in everything I mentally and physically could in this book, never have I worked harder on completing something and doing it properly. Never have I cared about something like I cared about this. And now when it is out there I stopped caring for it. Why?

I was too scared to care because if I care I might start to cry again, and I have cried and walked around all shriveled up (you know that cry-walk) for so long that another 24 hours later I completely pinched my neck in my morning stretch and probably need to wear tiger balm and a flannel scarf for another 48 hours. I cared so much I couldn´t care anymore. Whoa, all of this felt so good to say, and it actually gave me back the writer inside of me who I 48 hours ago didn’t know if I would ever see again.

That’s the beauty of writing, isn’t it? It helps to pick us up when nothing else can…

CHAPTER 10: Family ties

Following is a chapter from my book Free the girl – a story about (finding) self-love that DIDN’T make the cut. For obvious reasons; It was by far the longest chapter in the book and quite a bit too much off topic. But I really love this story so I thought I’d publish it here instead. <3

This chapter is indirectly about me. I’m talking about judging people without trying to understand them first and how you can connect with your past in a healing way and get to know yourself through your family.

I didn’t understand that a past that I wasn’t born to be apart of could have such an effect on me, until suddenly, one day when I learnt about my grandmother, Emma, my dads mum. This is a background to why, on one level, I am the way I am and why my parents are the way they are.

When you read this, see if you can connect to your own family history and see how that might have helped shaping you, and maybe you can reach a deeper understanding for and of yourself, your parents and/or grandparents.

Learning about my grandmother, really unknotted my soul in a way I cannot really describe. It was as if she needed me to understand her whilst I have only been annoyed that she never understood our world and me. When I finally put my ego aside I started to understand that some things can affect you even if you would’ve never believed they could. On a spiritual level I needed to connect to my past to understand the energies that was flowing and living through me. On a surface level I needed to understand not to just judge people without actually trying to understand where they are coming from and why they are the way they are. If I knew earlier I might’ve been able to just hug her like I loved her and remind her what love and connection means. I could maybe have been a person that gave her the joy she lacked. Instead I cried most times my parents left me with my grandparents and I blamed them without ever getting to know the people I blamed. I’m jumping ahead of myself here, this is my family:


My mum had nothing, emotionally, when she finally took her stuff and moved to Sweden. She didn’t even speak the language. She was dependent on her sister and her husband to help her settle in and live. When she met my dad, she was in a lot of emotional pain, filled with the same lack of self-love that I later experienced. Mum had been exposed to a lot of emotions growing up- Anger, guilt, shame was taking up the majority of her time, but there was also times of love and excitement. My dad grew up in a very emotionally restricted family where too much of anything wasn’t encouraged.

Mum gives a lot of love all the time, and when she is worried about something she cannot hide it. She is the million-question-woman and has to know that everyone around her is feeling good, then she can relax. My dad doesn’t share emotions; he will leave you to be until you ask him for advice or share with him how you are feeling. I learnt as I grew up that he has got it in him too, you just have to open yourself up to him first. Every time I show him love or excitement, he jumps in and shares those feelings with me, but rarely will he try and bring other people into his own emotional experience. You don’t notice the difference between when he feels rotten and when he is excited; it is like he has been taught that emotions are private. At the same time my mum was shown that privacy doesn’t exist.

My parents learnt how to connect  through being each other’s emotional opposites. Mum gave Dad some emotional chaos and dad returned some emotional structure. They argued about many things, like most humans do, but most arguments brought them closer to some kind of emotional balance. To this day I still hear them teach each other ways of handling things – like they are still getting to know one another, even though they have been together for almost 40 years . Around us kids, they never used the word argue. If they spoke loudly, and any of us kids asked them why they were angry, they said that they were just discussing loudly. They then tried their best to make us kids understand the balance they had found over many years of searching. They did that through freedom and love. Sometimes I flew out in space with all my freedom. I felt lost.

From the day I was born until today mum always want me on her lap, and from the day I was born, for some reason, I kept resisting that comfort. I wanted to walk by myself, not hold hands, not sit on laps. But once I got a bit older that was all I was afraid of; being alone. Not a day has gone passed without my parents telling my brothers and me how much they love us and I knew that they meant it with every cell of their bodies. My lack of self-love must have come from somewhere else. Somewhere deeper rooted than that.

I remember my mum as the most confident person on earth. She always wore ugly clothes and self-made beanies, and she wore them with pride. Like that black and white beanie with earflaps that she had made. She loved that beanie and wore it until the fabric was no longer a fabric, I am pretty sure it was just stardust in the end. I’ve never seen her in a revealing garment that exposes her tits or bum. Although she had a smoking body, she has never felt the urge to show it off to get attention. All her clothes were second hand bought, baggy and not your typical “feminine” style, she shopped more in the men’s’ department. Today she walks around in my older brothers clothes. He is a clothes hoarder, and as soon as he cleans out his wardrobe, mum always picks out what she likes. She often wears loose pants and even looser shirts. I can’t count on my fingers how many times I’ve seen mum rip off the legs and sleeves of her clothes when the weather has been too warm. She is like a Summer Hulk. When the sun comes up, she rips her clothes in the unsexiest way possible. Sometimes she doesn’t even bother to cut the legs off, she just rips them open on the side, so the fabric waves like flags in the wind from her legs. When she came and picked me up from school, waving her arms in the air with her black armpit hair showing I was so happy to see her until I understood that women should not have black armpit hair in this society. I cried and cried until she decided to start shaving her armpits and her legs. She had black hair on her legs and used to spray chamomile on them to bleach them. She then had golden leg hair with a touch of orange.

She didn’t have a lot growing up, not much money, not much material shit nor did she get much love from her parents. She made her own clothes and toys and survived on love from friends and neighbours. She describes her teenage years as darkness.

It’s easy to say that my mum grew up in a real shit hole, up in the far north of Finland. I’m talking a village with like 3000 people, if that. There was nothing to do there. Absolutely fucking nothing. In summer the sun was up constantly, and in the winter you rarely see it, and temperature could get down to minus 40 degrees Celsius. At my grandfather’s funeral, mum told me that her eyes froze together with tears.

Alcoholism wasn’t out of the norm in this village. My grandmother, Liisa, who was a schoolteacher went from being sober to an alcoholic quite soon after she moved up there with my granddad. She was an orphan. Her mum died when she was born, and her father died not long after in the Finish Winter War. She got raised by her three aunts that all felt so sorry for her that they spoilt her rotten. She never had to really grow up, never had to make decisions for herself. And when she met my grandfather she apparently was madly in love with someone else. My grandfather basically told her that he wanted her to move up to the shithole my mum grew up in, and she was so insecure and scared that she just went along with it. And my grandfather never heard the end of that. From the stories, my mum told me there wasn’t much love between them except from rare occasions.

The shithole of Ylinampa was and probably still is a place with a very incestuous aura. Everyone is related to one another in one way or the other. There is one tiny little shop where you can buy lollies and Muumin soft drinks. That’s about it. Without imagination, anyone would go crazy or turn alcoholic there. Everyone loved drinking together, and I don’t blame them. What else could they do?

One midsummer night one of the severely overweight neighbours got so drunk he passed out with his head in a ditch. He was too heavy to lift up that no one could get his head up from the ditch. If they wouldn’t have found a truck that could lift him up in such a short amount of time, he would’ve drowned. Faced down in the ditch. The truck went off and dumped this huge passed out man onto his back yard, sprayed him down with a water hose and then got him dressed in his mothers pink night gown – because that was the only thing around that fit him.

I’m actually named after one of the mums in the village, Maja.  She was a woman with many kids, and my mum felt comfortable in her company. Maja always sat at her desk, looking out through the window in front of the big highway that divided the village in two. She was sewing or knitting, staring at the clouds. One day in the school my grandmother taught in they run out of sewing needles and Grandma sent one of Maja’s daughters to borrow some from her mother across the road. Sitting in the window, Maja saw her daughter running across the street and get hit by a bus. She didn’t survive, and grandma blamed herself for that forever. Imagine living so closely together, everybody knew one another, and something like that happened.

This road was a horrible road. My mum’s cousin died there too, run over by a truck. And one day six year old mum got hit by a car without a horn. Maja sat in her usual spot in the window and saw mum as well, getting hit in the same place her own daughter had died. She ran out to carry my mum into her house. It was a big hit and mum got blood all over her new dress, but they didn’t know how bad it was until they got to the hospital. Before they got to the hospital mum begged Maja not to tell grandma Liisa about the accident. She was too afraid that grandma would find out that she had stained her new dress.

My grandmother had a very explosive temper, like myself, and you didn’t know what could set her off, but I’m pretty sure that she wouldn’t have gotten angry with that.

For a month mum was strapped onto a bed in the hospital. She had been hit on the head and wasn’t allowed to move at all. The big hospital was quite far away from where they lived, so her visits were quite irregular and not very often. The kids in the beds next to her always had someone there, and they got a lot of presents, flowers and attention. Mum was so jealous that she stole some of the gifts from the other kids. When she finally was released from the hospital; she had forgotten how to walk, and her big sisters had to carry her around for a while.


From what I’ve understood, my grandfather was a beautiful person. He was an introvert who loved fixing things. He loved all animals and let them into their house, the house that he had built for his family, in the shithole called Ylinampa. So many times my grandmother came home to a house full of squirrels. She got fumingly mad and chased all of them out, together with my grandfather. When he was fighting in the Second World War, he shot up in the sky instead of at the Russians because he couldn’t hurt anything alive. He hated to work a normal job, doing the same things over and over again. Instead of working for somebody he had his own projects going on. He was a good mechanic and always worked on old Mercedes’s and Citroens. He sold fish from Norway and built whatever was needed around the house. My grandmother always made fun of him for not having a real job, but she also praised him for being such a genius when she was in a good mood.

My grandmother blamed him for a lot of shit she went through. She blamed him for bringing her to the shithole, for becoming an alcoholic, for stealing her from the love of her life. Mum grew up in a house where you screamed and humiliated each other and where guilt was passed around like plague. Like the one time, my grandmother chased after a neighbour with her dirty undies on a stick, for example. Through the whole village. The village where everyone knew each other.

Liisa wasn’t a bad person. Me myself, I loved her. I loved her floppy excess skin on her underarms, and the way she constantly circled her tongue under her top lip. I love all the stories my mum has told me about her. Like the one when she was so mad with one of the neighbours because he hadn’t been visiting her for a while. (The fact is that he had been visiting, but she started to become more and more demented that, her short-term memory wasn’t as sharp anymore.) Anyway, the neighbour called in to check on her, and she said not to bother coming back again “You obviously don’t care about me anyway”. Then she threatened to throw her silicone fake tit, which she kept in her bra due to a breast cancer tumour, in his face if he came back. He did come back, because he too knew that that was just her defense mechanism acting. She was scared of being lonely, and as so many of us do, we tend to push people away even more when that happens.

She is the cutest, most childish woman I’ve ever met. And although I couldn’t speak her language we always had fun with her when I saw her. And mum’s siblings don’t all have the same bad memories as a mum. My mother was the second youngest, and she reckons that by then after already having raised four kids, they were both so tired and worn out that they had done enough raising.

My mum doesn’t hold any grudge towards her mum. Even when she tells me about how she hit her and her siblings or when she tells me about all the arguments when grandmother threw out the Christmas tree granddad had spent so much time decorating. She shares these stories with me so that I can understand, but I never hear any accusation in her voice. Mum knows that grandma did the best she could. For a long time, though, even after she had been with my dad for a couple of years, mum was determined never to have kids. She was too weak, too depressed and didn’t have enough confidence to give a child the upbringing and attention she knew and believed a child needed. She didn’t consider herself a worthy mother.  And when mum later decided to have kids, she wanted to make sure that her kids had the opposite of upbringing. No yelling, no humiliation and all the love in the world.

When grandmother Liisa passed away, my mum cried when she told me that the cinnamon buns she had baked when she was there visiting six months before, was still in the freezer. My grandmother loved cinnamon buns. <3


Dad, a pot-smoking law student with war damaged parents, and mum with no confidence, no self-love and a lot of anxiety, met through my mum’s neighbour in their early twenties. Mum was convinced that they were gay and hung out with them quite a lot. She wasn’t a big fan of the pot-smoking, at least so she tells me, but I have my doubts. One night, December 23nd my mum found dad under a Christmas tree. Dad is allergic to Christmas trees and has always struggled with eczema, but this night he looked worse than ever. His whole face was red and pussy, and he itched real badly. That night mum and dad became a couple. Under the Christmas tree, they fell and fell in love.

Dad was willing to do everything for my mum, and he put up with a lot of shit. He saw her and took her for what she was, and he went along with it. At the same time, he did everything he could to understand and support her. He let her fight her battles but was always there to support her. Even when she stole his Stereo, sold it on the street and bought tickets to run away to her aunt in Finland. He didn’t he get angry with her and give up. Instead, he followed her and, like in a movie, called her name out in the speakers of the boat terminal, telling her that he loved her for who she was, she didn’t have to run away. Even when she told him that she didn’t want to have kids he didn’t leave her. With or without kids my dad wanted to be with her. See my mum never run away from my dad because she didn’t love him, and she didn’t want to have kids because she didn’t love kids. She didn’t love herself, and she didn’t want to force anyone to be with her. She ran away from herself so that she didn’t have to deal with her. She thought that she did my dad and all the children in the world a favour when she ran away.

I believe that our parents and their past life play a big part in our own thinking patterns. Our thinking habits that create our reality. I am created with this family history behind me, and that must have its effects on me. I believe that if we just accept our thinking habits without questioning them, our reality will never change. We are brought up with our parents believes as guidance, but we can choose to question all of them if we just realise how. I won’t be able to do things I’ve been telling myself I can’t. I am what I tell myself that I am and choose to believe myself to be. Sometimes it can be hard to believe that you can be anything else than what you are based on the believe system that are passed onto you by your parents. We adopt or get effected by our parent’s way of living. When we are young, we see the world through their reality, through their values. And by the time we start questioning things, we have already created so many habits, and stories that we believe are the truth, many of them we are not aware of. But we can bring them into light, by questioning what we are doing and how we are acting and reacting in this world now. Today. Why do I value different things? What did my parents think about that specific thing? How are my thoughts connected to my parent’s thoughts about something?

I love my parents more than anything. My mum who secretly dream about slitting tires of big SUV’s because of their effect on the pollution. Every time she crosses the road in front of a big car she gives them the middle finger and walks super slow so that they will have time to think about what she is doing. She doesn’t care about what they think. In her mind she is saving the world from pollution. Even if she is angry with the cars and saying fuck you to the person driving it she is doing it with love for the planet, in the best way that she knows. She thinks that they would know why she is giving them the fuck you finger and doesn’t understand that they just think that she escaped from a mental institution. I love that she cares so much that she is willing to make a fool out of herself. I think that is something to look up to. But I question the way she does things and I know that she can put that energy towards something else once she realises it.

She also loves cutting trees, working in the garden and creating things out of concrete. Mention concrete to her, and she will go off for hours about how raw and real the material is. Today she makes the most amazing concrete artworks and furniture in her studio in Stockholm. We grew up in a rental property in Stockholm’s first suburb. If you have ever lived in a rental property, you know that there isn’t that much you can do to the property without breaking the rules. You’re more or less only allowed to paint if you agree to paint it back to its original colour once you are ready to move. Well again, my mum didn’t care. When we were ready to move out, she had teared up the floors in every single room (no joke). Once every six months dad got home to chaos mum had started. If it wasn’t tearing up floors, she pulled down walls and built in cupboards.  And every time dad walked into the chaos his eczema flared up again. Mum promised that he didn’t have to do a thing, but in the end, we all saw him carry things to the bulky waste storage room we had in the back yard.

When we later had the apartment inspected the landlord came with his notepad. As soon as we opened the door and he could see the wooden floor in front of him he just said: “Jesus I need to get my camera”. Mum had built this scenario up for months, she knew that it would happen, but she wouldn’t let him go through the apartment without knowing that she had made this to a better place and that it now, according to her, was worth a lot more (and to be fair I have to agree with my mum, she had made it beautiful, but it wasn’t up to us to decide).  The inspector walked through and scribbled things down his notepad with mum fumingly breathing in his neck. I remember how embarrassed I was. How could she speak to a stranger like this, when she knew that she’d broken the “rules”. 200,000 Swedish krona (roughly $22,500 US dollar) it would cost us, and mum didn’t know what to do. We didn’t have that money. She refused to shake his hand when he left, so I did it instead. I left to school, but before I did, I told mum to call my deeply religious aunt and ask her to pray for us. How could we come up with that amount of money? I have never seen myself as a religious person, but this called for a miracle.

We needed all the help we could get. My mum actually took my advice and called her sister. My aunt then called her friend from church, and they prayed for us together. Apparently, my aunt has told me, you have a lot bigger chance to get response from Jesus if you pray together. In panic of being alone with her thoughts, my mum left the apartment to go to dad’s work. When sitting at dad’s office wondering what the hell they should do the landlord called. He apologised for how he had behaved, although I still believed mum was the one who owed him an apology and said that he had approved of the apartment. We didn’t have to pay anything. Even though I do not identify myself as a Christian, I’m pretty sure this was all Jesus doing. Jesus, my aunt and her neighbour and church friend Sirpa.


My dad (Arvo) could probably be described as my mum’s opposite. He is the most unspiritual person but at the same time is the most spiritual. It’s a challenge to explain. He talks about himself in third person. One holiday, at dinner, dad raised his glass to “apologise on behalf of Arvo that he was acting so stressed at the airport”. Everything for him is complicated when travelling. His eczema flares up, and his voice travels up to his chest. It’s like an electric field of stressed energy is surrounding him at airports. But outside of the travelling situations, he loves meditating and listening to enlightened people. He loves soul searching.

My dad believes that Arvo lives in the carriage that is his body. If you ever see my dad, or his carriage and him, your first guess wouldn’t be that he is a person who talks about himself in third person and believes his body to be a carriage. At the same time he lives in the carriage, he also doesn’t exist. He is and isn’t at the same time. He is super cute and super confusing. His ears are hairy like a silver monkey if mum doesn’t trim them. They are the cutest couple. Mum is like a hurricane. Dad is like… mud. Mud in the most beautiful way. Maybe he is earth.

What they have done for me, and how they have put up with me and all my shit throughout the years, is to me fascinating. I mean, I was inside me. So I know. I was in the storm, I was the storm, and I couldn’t escape it. But they had to live with the storm. Day in, day out. And try to dance all kinds of sun-dances around me. They tried to calm the storm. But in the end, the storm could only calm itself.

My parents have done everything for me. They have loved me, trusted me, and believed in me. They have spoiled me, cared for me. They have been angry with me, and I have been angry with them. Oh, how angry I’ve been. Phones have been thrown into the wall, books have flown out the window, and doors have slammed regularly. But they have never stopped trying to figure out how to turn my anger into love. Self-love. And love for life.

I know that soon enough I can give back. I give back already. With love, and understanding. I give back with the fact that they can now be calm. But I’ve got a lot more to give. A lot more to do for, and with my parents. There are no actions in this world that can show how grateful I am for these two freaks of nature. Or three. Mum, Arvo and the carriage he is in.


I believe that my parents did everything that they thought was right for me, but that doesn’t always mean that they did everything “right”. In hindsight, I wonder what they could’ve done better, and what would have pushed me towards peace of mind earlier in life. Sometimes I wonder if I needed more rules, more rewards and more “punishments”. But then I wonder if that would have turned me into a robot who just follow the rules of society. And I don’t want to follow the rules, I want to do whatever I truly want to do. I don’t want to be disconnected from my emotions. I don’t want to do shit for a reward, or not do shit because I am afraid of being punished. I want to be free and connected to who I really am.  Maybe if my parents would’ve known all that we know today about nutrition and what a huge difference it can make with kids and their behavior I might’ve found some calm earlier.

I’m not trying to find the reasons for what went wrong in my childhood to put any blame or guilt on my parents, because I know that they have done everything for my brothers and I with love. What I am doing is figuring out solutions and solves for the future of my own children and for all people in the world who are in imprisonment in their own bodies.


My grandmother, Emma, on my dad’s side wasn’t the happiest of people. Neither was her husband, Ants or Hasse, my grandfather. You can see that their lack of emotions (or lack of showing them) got passed on to my dad. Remember how I said that my dad was emotionally stable and my mum was emotional chaos? Dad’s parents didn’t find the modern culture at all fascinating and exciting. They owned a lot of land just outside of Stockholm where they grew a lot of vegetables, fruit and berries. When we were there, we were only allowed to pick the ones that had already fallen from the trees. My grandmother was super strict and held back. She was the opposite of my Mum’s mother. I think that I inherited the chaos from my mum’s mother with all her anger, alcoholism and insecurity, and the imprisonment like rules, order and routines, from my dad’s mum. It’s as if both their energies have been living in and through me.

I have paid so much attention on my mum’s side of the family when it comes to the inheritance of destructive behavior that I completely forgot thinking about my Dad’s side, because nothing emotionally ever happened on that side. I cannot say that I disliked my dad’s parents because they were his parents, but we have never shared much joy and love with them. My grandfather had bullet holes in his body from the Second World War, and my dad is convinced that my grandmother was raped by Russian soldiers when she was running from the bombs in Dresden. It would be unfair of me to judge them when I can’t even begin to understand what they had been through in their life, and it is only now, when I am in my mid twenties, that I have started to realise what a life they both lived before they came to Sweden.

I don’t remember seeing them genuinely smile ever, but this photo somehow make me feel some kind of love. Mum told me that they didn’t smile at all when they hid meat in my mother’s curry because they couldn’t understand how somebody could be a vegetarian or when they found out that my father actually took on some of the laundry responsibility in the family. “What the hell is he doing in the laundry room?” my grandfather asked my mum when he got wind of his son running with IKEA-bags full of dirty laundry to the communal washing space a couple of houses down the road.

My uncles wife later started to look into our family history and learnt that Grandma – Emma’s own mum also died when she and her three siblings were quite young. Not long after their mum’s passing, they witnessed their father being shot by Russian soldiers. They had to run away from Estonia and got split up. Emma ended up alone in the Netherlands while two of her siblings went to Germany. One of the brothers got left in Estonia.

Through letter exchange Emma communicated to her sister that she was hungry and had no food. She asked her sister to look after their brother. He was only a teenager and angry at everything, rebelling, but who wouldn’t in that situation? He was stealing and refusing to work. Emma was in Berlin when it was bombed by the Russians. When I think about all the destruction, fear and emotional loss she has suffered, I am sad that I grew up thinking that she was boring and unfair. I wish I could’ve known all of this earlier so that I could’ve shown her love and curiosity, and not judged her. Finding all of this out, even too late, has taught me never to judge anyone because you never know what he or she is carrying in their soul.

When Emma had a stroke, she couldn’t stop smiling. It was like all the sadness and rules got sucked out of her. Like she forgot about the past and found peace in the present moment. She lost her speech, but I have never heard her talk so much, even if it wasn’t real words to us. She spoke emotions, for the first time in her life. She called daily to chat, but no one could understand her. I think that she felt a need to connect to what she had left of her family. At least once every second day she just rocked up unannounced, opened the door and just sat down at the dinner table. Sometimes it took a while before we actually realised that she was there. If she wasn’t at our house, she went to my dad’s brother. They usually sent her off to one another, her sons, when they couldn’t be bothered. So many times you just felt starred at, and there she was. Just starring at your back.


One day I was sitting home with my friend. Noone but us was at home, and then I saw her, grandmother Emma walking towards our apartment building, with her purple head scarf and her bag with god knows what in it. I liked stroke grandmother more than emotionally damaged grandmother, but the more social she became, the less she was able to look after herself. We found her eating cake with her glasses; she couldn’t shower or make food. She came with an odor, so mum usually stacked her in the shower as soon as she arrived. This time I just couldn’t be bothered with her. I just wanted to hang out with my friend without a speechless greasy grandmother breathing in my neck. I know this sounds super selfish, and it was, but it is hard to really care for somebody who has given you no effort to make an emotional connection until she had a stroke. If we would have laughed genuinely together once before the stroke, maybe I wouldn’t have told my friend to quickly run down the stairs and escape before she rang the doorbell. We met her half way down the stairs, and I explained to her that no one was home and we were going somewhere else so she couldn’t come home to us. She had to go to my uncle, I said. When she turned around and started walking towards my uncle, I felt relieved and guilty. She was just living her little life the only way she knew.

After never have really been able to connect to my dad and his sibling she now needed their company, every day, all the time. We walked to a hamburger bar near my house when we thought the coast was clear and were just about to order when I felt the stare. You know when you can feel somebody observing you? My grandmother was looking into the hamburger shop, palms glued to the window. I am ashamed to say this, but I jumped on the pokies machine to try and hide in panic, but next minute she was there, clucking like a Chook (her new language), trying to get something across to me. She pointed at the hamburger, but I pretended like I didn’t understand her, I knew that she just wanted a burger too. That might have been the lowest I have sunk through shame, admitting that I pretended not to understand her. To this day I wish I would have treated my grandmother with a bit of love and respect, and ordered her a fucking hamburger with fries and let her sit with me and my friend. I think I was 11 years old then, but I still hold on to that.

Emma and my grandfather Ants (Hasse) met after the war was over. Ants had met Emma’s sister Vera before the war and fallen madly in love with her. Ants sent out announcements in the newspapers looking for Vera after the war, but couldn’t find her. Emma accidently saw the announcements in the papers and contacted Ants. It turned out that Vera had found love in LA by then so Ants thought that Emma would do the job. In the letters he asked Emma to come to Sweden; he had found a job as an engineer with LM Eriksson and said that Sweden was full of opportunities to start over. Emma had been working as a sewer in Berlin and got a job in Sweden at a fabric store not far away from where I grew up, as soon as she arrived.


Hot tip

There has always been one extremely happy and loving side of me, one very depressed, panicked and destructive, one angry and frustrated and one controlling. I suppose that we all have bits of this inside us, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that I have carried both my grandmother’s energies along with me. And just realizing this make me feel as if I have been able to release them. Free them. I feel connected to them in a way that I have never done before because I have never really had a relationship with either of them.

When I went to my mum’s friend who feels energies, she told me that she could feel a young lady’s energy standing next to me. She was heavy, sad and lonely from memory, and both my mum and I was convinced that it was the energy of her mum. Now I have got a strong feeling that that lady was my dad’s mum, Emma, and something within me feels a lot lighter after that connection.

I have carried with me the energy of two lost orphans, trying to live life the only way they have been able to, and I have judged both of them. But now, in realizing that I have no right to judge either of them, it has healed me and made me feel stronger in myself than ever before.  



1. Look at your own family; try to imagine what it was like for your parents and grandparents to grow up. Write down:

5 things they didn’t have (first your parents and then your grandparents) that you have today (e.g. smartphones, money, computers, internet, TV, friends, parents, schooling)

5 things that they (first your parents and then your grandparents) had to go through that you haven’t had to go through (e.g. War, working before they were adults, raising their siblings, growing their own food, your grandmother mightn’t have been allowed to vote or work just because she was a woman!)


2. Try to put yourself in their shoes. What would a normal day look like, what would they have to go through to get to where they are today? (War, school, moves, jobs)

3. Write down 3 things that you believe that your parents or the people who raised you, and your grandparents don’t understand about your life today. Maybe they don’t understand smartphones and how teenagers communicate today, or a TV show you are watching, maybe they don’t understand your friends or who you would like to date.

4. Based on what you have just thought about, the differences in the worlds that you grew up in; see if you can understand where they are coming from when you disagree.


Just by trying to understand another person’s point of view and why they might have a different opinion about something, you 

might find a new way of communicating things with and to them. Maybe you will learn how to accept the way your parents/grandparents think, and understand that they might not understand your world completely in the same way you mightn’t understand their world completely. Just by trying to understand each others worlds you might get rid of some tension inside of you.  

SIGNED, SEALED & Free the girl – Ready to be delivered!

Get it here (only available as an E-book at this stage, hard-copy lovers have to wait a few weeks. The only difference will be that the E-book contains photos the hard copy lack): or

Free the girl can easily be described as a letter to my teenage self from an older sister! I’m sharing my journey to hopefully make hers make more sense a little quicker.

In this book I give you the story of my destructive ego getting silenced by love, craziness, common sense, hope and a lot of stubbornness. You will go along for a trip to emotion-land, with me and maybe learn a new way of interacting with, and get to know yourself. It is a heavy read, but also filled with a lot of light, fun, “is this actually true?”, honesty and questions for you to reflect over.

Today, almost 10 years after starting it I am finally able to publish, move on with my life BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY – help young girls (and boys) out there who have lost the ability/forgot how to love & respect themselves.

After completing this book I know this about my life;

I have never, ever, in my life done anything this properly. I didn’t actually think that I had it in me. Or, let me rephrase that; I always knew I could do things properly – I just didn’t think that I would ever feel bothered to put in that extra work into something to make it the best. I have always settled with the first ok or good result to then rejected it out of my life like a little deer child. For the first time in my life I feel that I have done the absolute best I can in producing something I am proud of. That doesn’t mean that I am not scared of showing the result. It feels very revealing; because now, I share with you my absolute best! And, I am presenting you the hardest times of my life and my thoughts about how I could’ve made my life a bit or a lot lighter.

Free the girl – a story about (finding) self-love is out there for you, or for that teenage cousin of yours who seem to be a little more down that you think she/he has to be, to read.

This book is a perfect tool for parents who have teenagers that might seem a bit down, are drinking too much, battling with eating disorders, lack of self love or who might just need a bit of perspective on life. It is a perfect book to have and communicate through with your teenager (and they will most likely love it too since it is written in a raw but still optimistic language).


ALL THE THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (also to be found in the book)

I am filled with a lot of gratitude to all the people who have encouraged me to keep working on this book when I sometimes doubted if I am actually the right person to shine light on these self-destructive subjects. Today, thanks to all of you, I know that I am, because I feel so much for everything I share in this book, and I truly wish that it will end up in the hands of those who feel a lot, and those who know people who feel. A lot.

THANK YOU Adrian who I have accused of not believing in my capability of actually finishing something (which I realised when writing this, is just my own fear of not being capable, and my own self doubt projected). Thank you for pushing me to create something that inspires and feels good, even though my story is quite heavy.

Thanks to my brothers for letting me share our story, through my experience and to use your documentation.

Thank you Mum for providing me with so many emotional drawings (some I heard you drew balling your eyes out) and being able to stay positive, never blaming me for treating you like shit and holding my behaviour against me – because you always knew that I had, and always will, have endless love for you.

Amber Weller & Zandra Zbinden for thoroughly going through and helping me see things with a new, educated perspective.

Anthony Ross for helping me realize how shit the book once was, which made me step up and not just lazily reject it, like I normally do – before I had actually put in the hard work of editing it properly!

Temi Katonis, Tali Morgan, Isabel Westrup & Ellika Fenno for reading this in it’s early stages and give me some really good feedback and confidence to the story.

I have to give my biggest thank to someone I have never met in person but who has taught me so much about the art of writing and composing a book; Honey Reither, who I would’ve never gotten in contact with if it wasn’t for beautiful, wonderful and supportive Josephine Tang. Thank you too for helping me see and feel the value of my book and believing that it will truly help all the lost souls out there! Sometimes I almost think that you don’t live on this earth….

I also feel as if I should thank my dad for something too …for just raising a thunderstorm child without letting it get to him (almost at all).









De-stress in the moment

I contributed to an article about de-stressing on Mydeal:,

Below you can read the whole article;

De-stress in the moment

Do you know what stress feels like? (That was a rhetorical question). It is hard to avoid stressful moments in this day and age. Even if you are not particularly stressed yourself I am sure that you have ended up in the crossfire of someone else’s adult-tantrum. You just have to put your bum behind the wheel and get out in traffic to be sure to witness at least one questionable turn made by someone who probably should’ve left their house ten minutes earlier. When in rome…

Try one or all things that will reduce your stress immediately;

  • The Wim Hof breathing method: Lay down on your back and breathe in – all the way down your stomach and up to your brain – and out. Repeat 30 times (I know – that’s a lot of deep breaths but stay with me!). When you reach 30 breathe it all out and hold your breath with no air in the lungs. When you need air – inhale deep and hold your breath. Then relax and enjoy any tingling feelings in the body.

    But to simply stop and take three deep breaths whenever stress is oozing out of your ears can do miracles.

  • Get present in your body: are you living all in your caffeine buzzing head? Try to feel your way into your body and connect the mind to the amazing body of yours. Is it trying to tell you something? Maybe it is trying to tell you to stop and enjoy the moment…


  • Essential oils: Just the sound of the dripping water and air breathing out of my humidifier calms my mind. Imagine what a bit of lavender and chamomile oil can do on top of that tropical sound… There is a whole science to essential oils when you are ready to learn more, but for de-stress purposes; lavender is all I need to remember.

  • Feeling overwhelmed with a situation or a person? Stop and say to yourself three things in this exact moment that you are grateful for (bonus; if you try to come up with three things about the person you are frustrated with you might experience something I almost would describe as magic). It sounds lame, but it can really kick frustration in the ass. When we are feeling grateful there is no room left for frustration.

  • Is your head buzzing or are you having a hard time focusing? Go out for a run or pump your blood in any other way (bonus if you get out in nature) has rarely made anyone more stressed than before! Kick the resistance in the butt and just do it. It doesn’t matter if your run looks more like a shuffle or if it is raining outside, if the blood is pumping you will feel better!

Maya Kiusalaas |


I am done with all my past shits.

The last couple of weeks memories of excitement, curiosity and happiness are starting to come back to me. It is as if I have totally forgot that my life has not been all shit. I look back and feel that there is no other life I would’ve wanted to ever live – I just know that I could’ve done so many things better and had an even greater experience and I haven’t been able to leave it be until I could figure out how.

(I had to go through a lot of old photos to go with the book. Some are more charming than others.   This one didn’t make the cut/ 14-forever!)

I have learnt and gotten introduced to many, many emotions and that’s so cool, because I survived them all. Today I woke up and was reminded by a thought and a feeling to remember and be grateful for all those fun times I have been through, all my real, supporting, fun, loving and fantastic friendships I have and have had throughout my life. I have lived a fun life, as well and it is like I have pushed all of those good memories aside. I had to, in order to write this book. Even when I was in my deepest depression, an emotional wreck I still had many good days surrounded by good people. That is not to be forgotten. Really, those are the memories I want to keep popping up in my mind from now on. I am done going over what was shit back then. With this book it feels like I am finally getting ready to let go of all those anxious memories that I have let define who I am. I have got this feeling in my body that tells me that I don’t need them any more. Everything I have ever learnt from them is in this book and now it is time for me to move on and start dedicating my life and writing towards something new. What that is I am not quite sure of, but I think that it can be pretty cool.

I want all those people, my friends, who I have been spending time with in the past to know that I love all of my happy memories, more than the shit ones. With this book I hope that I can help teenagers navigate through their emotional shit a little easier so that when they look back they have even less shit to go through until they can truly just enjoy the good things. I hope that with this book teenagers can understand that we create fun memories with everything we do. Finally, I hope that with this book I can remind myself of that, so that I stop taking “life” too seriously, over-analyzing everything I do and just start enjoy living more and more with each day that comes. It is time for me to move “back” into the present moment and let the past be…

I need that to get to know what my body and mind need today, because living life constantly thinking what I wished I could’ve done differently is living the opposite way of how I wished that I was living then anyway.

I am so proud of my book now and I know that it is capable to help a lot of teenagers who overthink life a little or a lot. But, even if it doesn’t help anyone, it has been worth writing it because the process of writing it has helped me, a lot, and I never thought that I could actually be really helped.