I am looking out of the airplane window at the snowy landscape beneath me, brightened by an orange sky, and I wonder – what has my visit to this beautiful land of ice and fire taught me?
I set myself some really solid intentions for 2018. I was so ready for a new year, new memories, new adventures, and Iceland didn’t disappoint.
We’ve just enjoyed five days together doing all the things we love the most but don’t take enough time out to do.
We’ve walked to waterfalls, trekked across challenging snowscapes, drifted through water hand in hand, we’ve stood in shock at the bottom of giant icy structures, we’ve bathed, we’ve climbed, we’ve experienced being in complete awe of a country that really does take your breath away. I’ve never been anywhere before where you can stand in an area and not see a single person, building or car. In front of your eyes falls a scene completely untouched by man, how it would have looked thousands of years ago.
This holiday, I’ve also taken time out to do the things I want to be able to do every single day: morning meditation, evening reading and quiet, still moments sitting outside, just taking in what’s around. As life quickly moves forward, I have an increasing desire to find time for these ‘hobbies’, but my intentions and the executions rarely marry up. This is the year I wish to change that. To stop. To look. To go slow.
Yesterday, as I took a moment to sit outside in the snow, the final words of the voice on my meditation app stuck with me… “don’t analyse”. Headspace is teaching me to just completely let go – of thoughts, worries, anything that clutters my mind and prevents it from happiness. The whole point of learning to be in the present moment is that you don’t over-analyse it, add labels, milestones or achievements. It just, is. And I just, am.
Not analysing is very difficult for me. The educational system left me with an evaluative eye, especially studying English where you learn to read between the lines of every word. It’s why I share my thoughts online here. It’s why I love stories. Just appreciating and not analysing is something I am learning to bring into my day to day thinking but it won’t happen overnight.
Despite having such strong traditions when it comes to storytelling, Iceland has most definitely reminded me to just stop and admire the beauty of what’s around, without feeling the need to add commentary or context. What has this trip taught me? Nothing. It’s taught me that sometimes, there’s nothing to learn, and it’s OK to just… be.
We said goodbye to our Icelandic cabin retreat last night. We sat outside in the cold and navigated the sky with our eyes. After spending a few minutes trying to find the correct App to distinguish which constellations were which, we threw down our phones and shrugged.
There’s no better feeling than to look up at the stars and not worry about what they mean.