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Meet Maria Lehtman - Author of The Dreaming Doors

4th July 2018

Meet Maria Lehtman, a truly inspiring Finnish author, digital designer and so much more.

My regular readers will be familiar with my passion for inspiring ‘authenticity’ as a means to well-being and personal freedom.  Following the ‘Authentic Path’ is what led to my connection with Maria, who I have never met in person (Ireland is my home) but who I’ve come to know through digital communication and our subsequent collaboration on Maria’s latest book ‘Dreaming Doors’ (published in June 2018).

I am excited to introduce you to this fascinating author and artist who is the essence of kindness and who has a deep appreciation of nature.

Maria comes from very distinguished creative family line which includes a famous portrait photographer and writers. The creative arts were well nurtured in her family and throughout her youth and adult life Maria displayed a natural talent and love of drawing, music and singing. As always, the practicalities of life took hold and Maria had to find work to fund her studies. From there she became established in the telecommunications industry with responsibility for international people management and programs in digital communications.

While Maria’s work provided many opportunities for travel she managed to cultivate her love of photography and writing, and at one time had her own on-line business in digital photography.

The Dreaming Doors

"I have always believed that digitalization liberates artistic skills for anyone to express their creativity."

Maria Lehtman

I invited Maria to share her sources of inspiration and give tips for book creation and insights into the world of digital communications (social media).

Maria, what have been the greatest sources of inspiration in your life?

Travelling changed my life. My first "solo-travel" experience sparked up a flame that never died and made a difference in defining my identity. It helped me to value what I have, and who I am, as well as understanding other cultures. In addition, nature and art are great healers and I always wanted to share that beauty and empowerment with others.

Maria, considering your work in digital communications, can you tell us how you navigate these channels to identify the people who are your audience?

I work with social media constantly in my day job. Advocating the benefits of it in developing professional, digital footprint for employees and managers, I feel that I need to be at the forefront of understanding it. Written context can be difficult as you meet different individuals and you cannot always tell their motives based on how they appear on social media. I call it the looking glass effect. You need to see through the looking glass.

Having worked in a multinational business for several decades, I trust my gut, the same way I trust my gut when I interview and hire people.

People that I consider "my tribe" are typically very genuine, positive, helpful and open. I can sense when people are not as they want to appear. I look at the profiles, the way they interact with others in social media and read the signals from how they communicate and express themselves. Later on, when I think of an issue, a task or a next step, someone's name or profile pops into my mind.

Maria what inspired you to create your latest book ‘Dreaming Doors’:

This book is a tribute to the many old towns I had the privilege to visit. They are a mixture of historical sites and buildings, sites worn out by time and yet, making a mark in history just by being there. Someone, at some time in history, valued the doorways and spaces behind them.

I wanted to make these stories come alive while sharing my own. Every time I visited an old town, I took images of doorways and windows knowing that one day I would transform some of them into a book. The poems come with the imagery and the feelings I go through during the journeys. I use a Nikon to photograph and an iPad to write the poems. I created most of the content while flying above the clouds. I always feel a certain freedom during flights and use that time to write or meditate.

Maria, what advice do you give to people who are curious about creating a book of their own?

  • The most important step is to get started. Choose a topic close to your heart, keep it simple and tune out the inner critique.
  • Choose a method you are most comfortable with. Digital communication tools give you so many options e.g. create a blog series as a book, join communities to work with, or publish videos, podcasts etc. Instead of writing you can create imagery and quotes. A book can be many things.
  • Sketch out an idea, and every time you have an idea, save it on your mobile or other storage device/notebook. I use my mobile voice recorder when I don’t have time to write down thoughts.
  • Work with the book idea as a project, with main milestones and a deadline. If you don't have one, it won't happen
  • I usually have several topics in my mind, and I choose the one that I feel is the most important one for me personally to share. I start planning ideas years before I complete a project, so there are always 10 more in the pipeline for whenever I have the time.

So Maria, how does it feel to have accomplished the publication of your second book ‘Dreaming Doors’?

It’s a relief :). I feel like it's something that needed to be processed inside my soul. It’s been a healing process after many years of travel and hard work. I have had quite a few challenges in the past years with my health. Even though I was working long hours, I've always loved my work and the versatility that global communication provides and sharing my experiences.

And what’s on the horizon for Maria Lehtman, more books more travel?

While completing ‘Dreaming Doors’, many other book ideas came to mind. I would love to write a book about digital and intuitive leadership one day. Writing a researched book is very intensive work, so I mostly write blogs in that area at the moment. I'm currently looking into drone photography and micro-blogging ideas; perhaps these can bring another angle to my next book.

With regards to travel, I am recovering from an illness impacting my immune system that has kept me off airports for three years. For someone in a global industry it feels like a life-time. I have learned to take things one day at a time, and travel through social media channels instead. Perhaps I will visit Ireland. I have never been there, would love to visit!

Thank you for sharing these insights with us Maria!

The Dreaming Doors are available in hard-cover, e-book and kindle versions. They are an ideal, special gift for a loved one or even for yourself. Maria's photography and graphical display within the book are breath-taking. I am honoured to be the featured artist in Maria Lehtmans latest book which included two of my art images and poems (which were especially commissioned for the dreaming doors theme).

Caroline Cunningham

Transforming your life is possible at any age, my own journey is a testimony to that. I believe authenticity and wellness are intrinsic to success in all areas of life. It takes courage and passion and they are within you, waiting to for the spark to set them alive. When you read my posts I hope you will get sense of my capacity to help you to succeed with your dreams and goals. Check out my books, online courses and personal wellness programmes designed to guide you towards the most powerful authentic version of yourself. Learn more about my journey here.

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