Interview With Elisabet Lahti About Gentle Power

“Life is an ultramarathon. The best path is to access your sisu and keep your heart open.”
– Emilia Elisabet Lahti, PhD in Spirituality & Health Magazine

Are you looking for a gentle but powerful start into the new year? Then we have the interview for you! Our author Emilia Elisabet Lathi was interviewed by Spiritualty and Health Magazine about her book GENTLE POWERA Revolution in How We Think, Lead, and Succeed Using the Finnish Art of Sisu (Sounds True, Jan. 2023). 

In the interview, Emilia Elisabet Lahti explains:

Gentle power is the choice about how we do what we do. For example, to deliver a “no” with energy and grace and power and an open heart is one of the highest expressions we can have. Learning to do that is a worthy life’s work. It’s easier to say yes, to avoid conflict and then build an inner grudge. A powerful no with an open heart is going to benefit me and it’s going to benefit everyone around me. Someone’s going to witness it. Maybe it’s a child, maybe it’s a teenager, maybe it’s my boss, maybe it’s someone else. At some point, they’re going to remember that example in a key moment. It’s a seed and it’s going to sprout and go toward the light.

The interview also features an excerpt from her book:

“The Magic of the Belly: An Excerpt from Gentle Power

To start with, sisu comes from the word sisus, which translates as “the innermost part” or “the guts.” In 1745 Finnish theologian Daniel Jusenius defined sisucunda as the specific location in the human body where extremely strong (and even violent) affects originate. The ancient Greeks had much earlier proposed that the source of personal power lies with the intestines, and Greco-Roman poet Persius mused, “Magister artis ingenique venter” (“That master of the arts, that dispenser of genius, the belly”). Even so, after centuries of contemplation and research, the belly’s full function remains a mystery to most of us. … Isn’t it paradoxical that although the belly is considered the seat of strength and power in various cultures, it’s the softest and most vulnerable spot of the human body.

As I began my research, I discovered that the link between the gut and resilience is more than just a series of anecdotes on ancient scrolls. Recent research in gastroenterology suggest that gut microbes are part of an unconscious system that regulates our behavior responses to stress, pain, emotions, and other people. Researchers have been able to influence the brain chemistry of mice by changing the balance of bacteria in their gut, causing them to become bolder and less anxious.

Furthermore, transplanted gut microbiota between strains of mice transmitted behavioral traits along with microbiota. Recipients would take on traits of the donor’s personality—for example, relatively timid mice would become more exploratory. Recent microbial transfer therapy in children with autism spectrum disorder showed significant improvement in behavioral systems.”

You can read the full interview here.

Congratulations, Emilia Elisabet!

GENTLE POWER will be published by Sounds True in January 2023 (World English) and rights have also been sold to China and Thailand. Rights for all other languages are still available – join the gentle revolution!

Happy New Year 2023!

Download the materials for GENTLE POWER here!

GENTLE POWER: A Revolution in How We Think, Lead and Succeed Using the Finnish Art of Sisu

Original publication: Sounds True, January 24, 2023, 194 pp.

Rights sold:
WORLD ENGLISH: Sounds True (orig.),
CHINA: Cheers Publishing Company,
THAILAND: Amarin Printing and Publishing


About author

Emilia Elisabet Lahti

Emilia Elisabet Lahti (PhD, MSc, MAPP), who goes by Elisabet, is an awarded educator, applied psychology researcher, and founder of Sisu Lab that helps create communities and work cultures based on everyday leadership as an expression of courage and compassion. Elisabet holds a master’s degree in social psychology from the University of Tampere in Finland and a master’s in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied under Professors Martian Seligman and Angela Duckworth. 

Since initiating the research on the Finnish construct of sisu in 2012, Elisabet’s doctoral work has involved exploring the limits of her own sisu through ultra-endurance running and Eastern martial arts. Her work on sisu has been featured by The New Yorker, Business Insider, BBC, Forbes, and more. Born and raised in Finland, she has lived and taught internationally and given talks at Fortune 500 companies, TEDx, Stanford University, and UC Berkeley.