Meet Maaret Auvinen, originally from Finland now living in Mijas. Maaret is a people person in more ways than one and is now using her skills with horses to help people reconnect with themselves.
I moved here 12 years ago with my family for health reasons. The last winter in Finland with all the eczemas and asthma was too much and the next summer when we visited Fuengirola, as we had done for years, we decided to stay.
Where do you live in Spain? Give us three reasons why we should move there too!
I live in Mijas, which is a big area ranging from beautiful, peaceful, natural mountain area to the busy coastal area with one of the best and most popular tourist spots on the Costa del Sol. Mijas is the best place to live as the town hall really wants their citizens to feel at home there. Also, the vast range of different opportunities for business and pleasure is worth moving to Mijas.
Now you have brought your people skills to Spain – tell us how your story to your current career?
I am economist and have been an entrepreneur for almost 20 years. I first started helping friends out in getting finance, writing business plans, helping them with marketing plans etc. Very soon I noticed that most of the business problems are personal ones. Hence, I started studying life coaching and the conscious and subconscious mind. The ability to understand the mind really raised my ability to help people to an amazing level. Along the years I have developed a useful toolkit to help people in their professional and personal lives.
Let’s talk about ‘How we Ruin Your Own Success’ (read the article here)
This article was born through frustration of seeing people waste their talent and resources, and the need to help as many people as possible. When I wrote this article I was working as a team manager and project manager at the same time in a telemarketing company. Telemarketing is very demanding and really shows what people are made of and gives perfect examples how people can sabotage their success. Being succesful is all about having a clear mind, self-knowledge and ability to take responsibility of one’s life.
What do you believe is the biggest challenge to people working in today’s world?
The stress and most of all the need to be stressed out – like it defines our importance. People have no time to really calm down, relax and have time for themselves or their families. This leads to all kinds of health problems ranging from emotional to physical problems.
Your own biggest challenge (whether business or personal) and what did you do to overcome it?
My biggest challenge is always myself. And this is the case with everybody else. We are all the root of our biggest problems in one way or another.
I think my biggest challenge is my shyness. I am an introvert by nature and shyness doesn’t really help the situation. Singing and being on stage have been my biggest help to overcome this. I started as a lead singer of an international vocal group when I was nine years old. I make sure I am on stage to sing or talk to people regularly to keep my shyness in control.
How are you using your voice now?
1) To express myself as I tend to bottle up my feelings. The biggest award is being on stage, connect with the crowd and make them feel a vide range of feelings, but mostly help them feel great. So, I use my voice to feel better and also heal myself and people around me – be it on stage or on vocal lessons or vocal therapy.
This leads to the second part of voice use: one can calm down and ease both emotional and physical pain using one´s voice.
3) The teaching: Nothing feels better than a person finding the joy of singing and seeing how she or he grows as a singer.
4) Singing is a great way to connect with animals.
You also have a passion for horses – when did that start?
I always wanted to ride a horse. As a child, my mom couldn’t afford riding lessons. Then I was too busy first with my career and then with my business and family. Although, I did have clients with horses with behavioural problems throughout the years, but I never ride the horses, only solved their problems. 2 years ago I decided it was time to really learn how to ride and here I am connecting the dots of my past and the present in my new business.
At Finca la Ventilla you are using animals to help people reconnect with themselves. Tell us more
Farm animals are very sensitive beings – they feel everything you do. If you are scared, they are, if you feel love they receive and give it unconditionally. Especially a horse helps a person to remember how to feel all the range of emotions in a safe environment, how to be sensitive and how to trust again, how to give love and receive love. A horse also teaches one tough love, which is setting boundaries with love. Finca is a safe place to reconnect with yourself -whether you’re a hardcore business person, a child, pensioner, disabled, etc.
Favourite quote and why?
”Mä teen, mitä mä haluan ja muut tekee, mitä ne osaa.” = ”I do what I want, and other people do what they are able to do.”
This is something my mom taught me. My childhood was difficult and this always helped me in challenging situations for two reasons: 1) As a child I knew at least one person (my mom) believed in me and 2) It helped me to trust in myself and to do what I had to do as no other person cannot do that for me. Sometimes I still find strength from within with this quote.
Something you will achieve over the summer?
Getting my new business running and successful. I can already see that we got Finca la Ventilla filled with human and animal clients by this Autumn.
The person you would most like to horse ride, or sing with and why?
Both – riding and singing with Irene Cara. She was my idol growing up and still is – many times when I have learned about a musical I like, she has had something to do with it. She comes from a modest home. She fought her way to fame against racial and gender odds. She is very talented in many fields – and she is known to have a passion for horseback riding.
If you were starting over again, what would you do differently?
That is a complicated question as we are formed by our past actions. Changing one thing could result in a totally different me. However, if there is one thing, I would change no matter what it would change in me, I would change this: I would always have gone for my goals for me and not for anyone else.
What book will you never give away?
That is a difficult one. Two are at the top: the first one, which taught me how to understand myself very well and not be ashamed of myself is “The Highly Sensitive Person” by Ellen N. Aaron, PhD. The other one, which I just recently discovered is “When The Body Says No” by Gabor Maté. This book has helped me to understand more profoundly why I created an illness called fibromyalgia in my body.
How do we find out more about the Finca and connect with you?
You can find us on Facebook: Finca la Ventilla – Centro de Equitación y Bienestar. Unfortunately, I do not have my webpage yet, but it will be out soon. One can also contact me on LinkedIn with my name Maaret Auvinen.
Or find my website maaret.es