As I write these words, I am alone on my canoe, watching the burning sun vanish slowly behind the pine trees. In my hand, I have my pen and my blog, I am writing. On the surface of the water, I see the reflection of the gloaming sunset, it looks like there are two horizons, and I feel like I am flying.
Although I had an amazing day with my friends canoeing through the nature parks, I needed some time for myself. I wanted to recharge and manifest the profound experiences that I made today. Although I seem very extroverted, at heart, I am a loner, and being around people too much, to a degree also exhausts me.
Today, I learned many things, one of them is that apparently, mosquitos are really into me, good thing malaria is not a thing in Europe. Sleeping on the floor is a different experience from sleeping in a made bed. My core intention of this trip was to liberate myself from materialism for a few days and to practice poverty.
My thinking was to internalise that the worst condition, which for many is to have no money and no house, is actually not that bad. I am a person who is sometimes very driven but also very anxious. For me, understanding that the very condition that I feared so much is actually not that bad, liberated me to a degree from the process of inner turmoil and fear that was buzzing inside my head for far too long.
The reason that I started to write was that I wanted to portray my weird journey around the world of trying to get my stuff together. I was just tired of messing up, and I wanted to start my own pursuit of investigating unhappiness. I wanted to share my findings with the world in order to add some value this way. Hence on this blog, I will write about habits, tools, books, and real-world case studies and adventures that have helped me to battle depression.
So, while other travel bloggers might focus on the best spots to party, I want to gather natural antidepressants. I want to engineer myself away from lethargic and depressed, and towards happiness, contribution, and adventure. I feel that if a weirdo with my background manages to overcome his demons and make his dream come true of becoming a digital nomad, that this will show others that transformation is possible, necessary even.
Sleeping hungover in a tent, however, as stoically romantic as it sounds also has its price. Waking up, I feel a bit like the guy from Full Metal Jacket who was beaten by the other soldiers with socks full of soap.
My inner demons particularly love mornings, and voices of self-doubt and fear are the loudest when my body is the weakest. For some time, I was looking for morning habits, in particular, those that help me to keep those voices in check, or at least turn the volume down a bit.
So, I was walking around the camp, looking like a zombie from the walking dead, lethargic and moody.
My friend spots this and insists, that instead of showering, I need to swim in the cold lake first thing in the morning, naked, free willy style.
I have no choice he tells me.
As my friend pulls down his shorts, he walks/dangles into the lake majestically. I told you guys in the last article that my buddy looks like Patrick Swayze from Point Break, and I do not know why but everything he does looks kind of cool. I am the opposite. If there were a goof scale, I would be at the end of it.
So, I pull down my pants also and run, giggling like a little girl (a 2m and 105 kilos little girl), into the cold water.
What follows is a profound experience of freedom. My body and mind are refreshed, renewed even. I am unable to think; I am just there.
I decide to backstroke slowly, and as I dip my head into the water, I unplug. As I dip my ears in the water and glide slowly backwards, the only thing that I hear is the lake, my own breath, and my heartbeat. It feels like I am floating in space.
I am fascinated by this simple but deep experience. Diving into a world far away from my normal daily trance of paying bills, worrying, and stressing out about if other people like me or not.
As I float in this lake, my eyes wander around all of the surrounding pine forests. I feel at home. I cannot help but think about the many people who are plagued by pain and depression that could be healed here. What if the epidemic of global unhappiness is founded by our lost connection to nature.
What if the missing puzzle piece for treating depression and suffering lies in nature. Modern psychological medicine is always looking for new ways to treat people. But what if the direction is wrong, what if we need to look backwards.
As I swim in the cold lake, I dive into the green water; I stop breathing. My emotions stop. I am just surviving. There is no conditioned mindset in my brain anymore today; I am free.