Here comes the good news.
I’ve been back for over a week now and while I’m still processing what happened, I am also busy looking for my next trip where I will be able to disconnect.
There is this amazing thing that happens when what you see and hear is limited to blue skies, white snow, the swish of your skis, and the crackle of the tip of your ski poles breaking through the snow surface. You automatically fall into a state of mindfulness and ‘being in the now’.
Last week, I talked about the emotions that bombarded me on the trail and I also mentioned that at times, I fell into a flow. That flow was this rhythm, this ease that allowed me to sail along on my skis and just be very much in the moment. Once I detached myself from the emotional torture I was putting myself through, I was free and open.
As a self proclaimed facebook addict, I can tell you that I honestly did not have even an inkling of a desire to look at facebook, check my email, or read the news while on this trip. The sense of disconnection from everything except that which was right in front of me was one of the most freeing things I have ever experienced. And, for a week, it cured me of anxiety and pain.
Upon our return, I had 2 days off before heading back to the office. First day back, I was getting organized and feeling pretty good. Then, I laid down to sleep. And my normal anxiety set in. All of a sudden, I was under this spell of pressure to do, be, perform. I was thinking about my patients that I would see in a day and a half, these blog posts I would write to share with you, the state of my online business, and a whole host of other things that I had as much control over in my bed as I did while I was cruising the Highway to Halti in Finland – NONE.
But here was the difference. I was connected in again. I check facebook 1487 times in a day. I read some news. I was ‘in the world’. Driving down the road, there are road signs, advertisements, lights, trams, and noises galore. Radio, people talking, groups to participate in. Noise. Color. This constant plea for my attention from the outside world. It took just 24 hours for me to fall right back into the space that makes me feel like I am under constant demand.
Finland asked nothing like that from me. Finland asked me to just be. To clear my head and be in my body. To listen to the sound of my skis and feel proud of the distance I was covering. To look up and see the way the sun’s rays spread through the clouds. To breathe the fresh air and then to keep on going. One ski, then the other. One ski, then the other. That was all.
And I am so grateful for it.
Since my return and noticing this HUGE difference in my emotional and physical states between my trip and my life, I’ve disconnected a bit more. I have stopped using exercise as a way to ‘keep fit’ or ‘lose weight’ and started using it as a mindfulness practice. One foot in front of the other. Run around the park. Clear your head. Notice the grass, the trees – feel the beat. It makes me feel like I can keep a piece of Finland with me and hold onto that sense of peace I had while I was there.