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Day 22 - Lose Yourself

Jul 02, 2024

The past few years have been difficult for many of us. I forget this sometimes. Not because they've been easy for me; because if I focused on all the challenges, I'd fail to see the opportunities. And, I'd get lost in a downward spiral of anxiety. I was reminded of this today while listening to a chat on a podcast. One of the speakers hinted a few times at the joy of getting lost in fantasy so as to get some relief from the challenges of reality. I felt for him. 

We can become shackled by the binds of society, our brains blinkered, eyes focused forwards at all times, feet marching on to the same beat, one foot after another, never stepping off the path towards career, marital, and financial success. When the road blocks, we grind on, cutting through the blockages, hell bent on hitting the target - no matter how much friction we might be feeling along the journey. 

When I walked the Camino de Santiago in 2022, I learned very quickly that friction meant pain was close on its tail. Friction when you're averaging 25 kilometres walking a day means you're getting blisters. Too many blisters means you're getting an infection. Getting an infection means you're gonna collapse at some stage. Collapsing means you may have to give up your Camino. And nobody wants to give up on their Camino. 

Just Like Life

Life friction is no different to the friction that causes great, big, dirty, yellow, bulging bulbous blisters. (I shall spare you the images of mine here. You'll get them with my book when it's published...well, when it's fully written and published). Back then, I was in full friction mode, grinding forwards, slowly learning as I went along how to stop and ease the friction. It's taken until this year for me to fully regain my trust in absolute flow, a state I lived much of my life in up until my early 30s. 

Release to the Rhythm 

I am severely hard on myself. If you're new to my content, hello and thanks for reading first of all. Secondly, you will learn if you keep reading and eventually listen to any of it, that I dip in and out of sharing some fairly raw stories about my life experiences. I do so with the eye of my 30-year-old self in mind and the hope that if someone of that age is reading - if you are that someone, part of what I share may help you ease the blow from the challenges you will undoubtedly face along your journey. 

You are currently reading Day 22 of a 30-day blogging commitment I made to myself at the beginning of June. However, you are reading Day 22 on Day 23. I've fecked up the publication time a few times over the month and there are two published on the same day, but that was due to being late once and not understanding the time zone settings on my laptop. Yesterday, however, I did not publish. That's it. No messing about it. 

Today, I have not been able to forget that I didn't publish yesterday. Every moment I haven't been occupied, I've been thinking about it - but, and this is a big BUT - I have not beaten myself up negatively about it. I have not been unkind to myself. I have acknowledged it. It feels like a fuck up, and for me, it is a fuck up because I made a promise to myself and by extension to anyone who is following my 30 days. How-and-ever, it has also led me to be able to write what I'm about to put below about releasing to the rhythm! 

Flowing Like a River Through a Forest

I didn't write yesterday because this weekend, for the first time in, 5 or so years, I wholly and completely lost myself to my rhythm of life. This purpose of my sharing it here is to encourage you to try the same. I'm gonna try to bullet it so it's an easy read. 

Tuesday - Thursday:

  1. I got good news about a health issue I've been having. 
  2. I got sad news about the loss of a loved one in the family. 
  3. I learned my Dad had been taken into hospital. 
  4. I realised how fragile life is (again.)
  5. I decided I'd go down the country for the weekend, exploring some places I wanted to visit. 

Friday:

  1. After the funeral, I packed and left.
  2. I stayed in my sister's empty house for the night (the halfway mark). 

Saturday: 

  1. It was lashing rain.

Now this was where I could have packed it all in. Many would have. I aimed to find an ancient monastery out on bog land in the middle of the Irish countryside and go walking in a muddy forest through which a river rushed. I'd planned to start early, getting to the forest in the middle of the day. 

Because of that plan, I'd said no to meeting someone I only knew from Instagram for a coffee - a real life coffee. Flow had other plans! 

When I saw the rain on Saturday, I released to the journey 100%. 

"OK, fuck it. I'm going anyway, weather." I chat to the weather. We generally have a good relationship. (I've a mark of magic in me, reader. Actually, on me, but that's a different story for a different day.) I called on the weather to lash as much as it wanted to lash until I got to where I wanted to go. 

I released to flow, putting no pressure on myself to leave early. I enjoyed my morning, pottering about getting a few bits and pieces done before setting off. When I landed at the bog and started walking, the weather broke. The rain stopped. (I shit you not. I have video evidence). I found my monastery and ballaun stones (again, another story for later), chatted to some semi-wild horses, and watched a sparrowhawk hunt. Then, I messaged my mate from Instagram to see if he had time to meet. He did, and we chatted like we'd known each other for years. 

Flow 1 Friction 0

I've 5 minutes left to write this before I need to publish it. It might go out half done. Feck it. Flow is up! You've got to lose yourself to the rhythm of life sometimes - to ease the friction.

Next up was the forest, just under an hour's drive away. When I got there, it was half 8 in the evening. I hadn't booked accommodation yet. Mental you might think that, and for some, it is. But in flow, it's not an issue. A couple of times, I'd almost stopped to do it, but every time I did, I felt friction, so I left it go. 

Before going into the forest, I figured I'd better book something. I wasn't concerned about sleeping in the car if I had to. I could also have driven back to my sisters a few hours away. And, if worse came to worst, I had family not too too far away I could land on, though I haven't seen them in a good while. 

I called a BnB about 30 minutes from where I wanted to go and felt like Mary and Joseph. 

"I have no room, sorry." 

As I closed the call, my eyes landed on a place closer to where I wanted to be the next day. It was cheap, included breakfast and had 24-hour check in. Happy days! Blessed and booked, I went into the forest, in the splitting setting sun, overlooking the stunning countryside of Limerick in Ireland, river water rushing around me, birds chirping overhead. Their song in my ears, louder songs in my heart. 

Find Your Flow

The rest of the weekend was equally as blissful. It wasn't the perfect dream I'd have liked it to be, but dreams take time to realise, and I never give up on the ones I truly want to make happen. Had I forced trying to realise those dreams this weekend, I'd have missed out on the joyous realisation that I have once again regained trust in my journey, in the signs that lay themselves in front of me to follow, and in the knowing that all I truly desire I can realise if more than every once in a while I lose myself. 

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