In December I went up to Sweden to spend some time in a remote cabin. I had felt this longing for a place off from most of the modern noise and chatter, a place to listen inwards and really pay attention to what’s going on – both within myself and in the world around me.
I got the chance to spend a bit over a week in a small cabin together with a girl I knew a bit from before. She has decided to live life more on her own terms, in her own tempo. That means turning away from many things most of us take for granted, but instead she has the freedom to select her own pace for the day. Not an easy life, but I learned a lot from her.
Spending time with somebody living another kind of life gives new perspectives on what is actually possible, but also on what you have to give up to have that freedom. It gave me the time and space to question what is really important to me, what gives my life a sense of meaning.
It became crystal clear that I’m not living that life at home and that it is time to start making adjustments to reach that. I already knew, but I had to physically feel it and ask myself these questions in a place of silence and stillness. It will take courage and maybe some sacrifices, but I know it will be worth it.
My time in this small and rather primitive cabin gave me the chance to tune in to a different level of calm. In a forest which is mainly retained as a cultural landscape there is space for deer, weasels, birds, mice and for the first time in years I spent long moments sitting down and just watching them.
Listening to the trickling water drops from the melting snow whilst standing under a huge pine tree. Feeling the temperatures shift as I walked from shadow to light in the woods. Taking a shower outdoors with frost on the ground. Walking around without being headed a specific route.
Watching the sunrise over the lake. Myriads of shooting stars and clear night skies.
Spending time by the fire talking, crafting, writing, reading, contemplating and just following the flow of what I felt like doing in the moment. I have this fear of not doing things and tend to plan my days too packed with tasks, but instead realized that I will do things anyway because I want to – not because I feel like I have to.
The lack of stable Internet made it difficult to work, but at the same time I decided on accepting that and went out for walks while getting a well needed detox from social media.
Having the time to ask the right questions kickstarted the new year and gave me the energy and drive to start making the needed changes. It’s going to be a slow process, but one I have to go through to reach where I want to go.