“Sometimes we need to stop analyzing the past. Stop planning the future. Stop figuring out precisely how we feel. Stop deciding exactly what we want and just see what happens.”
When I jumped on the plane to Indonesia, my first goal was to get lost in the wild and my second was to find myself again – hopefully, somewhere between the sea and the sun.
When this trip started, I had my best buddy by my side and all we knew is that we had 45 epic days ahead of us: the world was ours!
In the beginning, I had only vaguely envisioned the fact that she would eventually have to leave the island.
At that point, I would be left alone, happy & free. I’d probably end up settling down in the town I had preferred. From there, I would simply have to determine what my next great desire would be…
Sounds like a pretty cool and easy plan, right?
Well, it didn’t unfold as smoothly as expected…
My time with Marion went perfectly well. Like soul sisters, we shared more laughter than you’d think an average adult could handle.
During our travels together, my mind was finally free. The past was already far behind, yet the future seemed untouchable. Our ultimate quest was to make everyday memorable.
Then, she left… and I was suddenly felt totally lost.
For the very first time in my life, I found myself without a quest, a project, a plan, a home or anyone waiting for me anywhere… It felt like I was floating in emptiness – struck by vertigo –I had absolutely nothing to hold on to and it was very frightening.
We’ve been raised in a world where we are always running after something- Achievement. “So what is your next project, your next destination or the next great move you’ll make?” We spend enormous amounts of energy planning, predicting and preventing. Somehow, we have mastered this stressful art. Doing “nothing” is rarely a legitimate answer. Being in control makes us feel safe…
So I was here completely overwhelmed by fear. I was upset at myself for not knowing what the f*ck I wanted and my thoughts were spinning in circle. Somehow, I even had forgotten that my original plan was simply to settle down and surf everyday for a month or so. My GOAL was to get comfortable in this wild ocean, improve my technique and rock this sport. Now, all I wanted was to find a plan to swim back to surface.
I had lunch with my friend Max who had been travelling with us for a few weeks. I told him about my anxiety and he just kept telling me “go with the flow, flow with the go” with his legendary free-and-easy attitude.
Straightforwardly, I answered: “I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS BRO, I’M FREAKING OUT!”
Why was I so afraid of losing control? What was the worst that could happen if I just let go of my obsessive desire to find an ultimate life quest?
I pressed pause for a second and thought about it. “…Euh… Hum… Yeah… I don’t know…”
The truth is, there is nothing to be scared of!
Nothing is going to happen.
“When I become aware that I’m in control mode, I imagine that I’m in a small canoe padding upstream, against the current. It’s hard. It’s a fight. When I choose to let go and surrender, I visualize the boat tuning around, me dropping the oars, and floating downstream”
Here, in paradise, all I have to do is spend my days doing whatever makes me happy: surfing, eating, practicing yoga, running, sleeping and loving.
This is enough… More than enough.
Finding happiness in stillness in fine. Being happy right here, right now, with NO OTHER GOAL than enjoying life.
The Western culture promotes hard work for progress and perfection in order to evolve towards something higher.
The Easterners believe that personal elevation is about letting go of ego, seeking fuller consciousness and ultimately reaching inner peace.
So let go.
Take a chance.
Give up the fight.
And simply place your trust in the universe.
Just smile to everybody that crosses your path. You’ll realize how friendly and beautiful people actually are. Try it, just for a day. It’s amazing to see how suddenly everybody is smiling to you! Hostility and hate are conceptions of our own mind, a reflection of our insecurities.
This world of ours is surprisingly well made. Listen, be open minded & receptive, you’ll start acknowledging so many coincidences or synchronized chains of events. This makes me believe in something more, something stronger than the human force, something operating from above and leading the way.
I’ve discovered that visualization is a simple yet very powerful trick.
Focus on sharing your wishes & intentions with the universe. Send your positive energy towards this greater power. Be happy. The future will come soon enough.
Following this belief, I decided to commit to a 30-day meditation challenge. It’s really basic and only takes 5 to 10 minutes to accomplish. Basically, I try to picture the best version of myself. I’m smiling from inside out, glowing and loving. My heart is wide open; I’m vulnerable, like all of us, but I’m also worthy. I’m ultimately grateful for being alive, being healthy and for living such an amazing life. I simply visualize myself shining!
You can also use this exercise to optimize your day by visualizing the best way it can turn out: picture every moment, how you will interact and how you want it to unfold.
Meditation is also about embracing the beauty of the present moment, stepping out, stopping time for a few minutes. (I highly recommend this cool TED Talk about it.)
Why don’t you give it a shot too? You’ll see how naturally well things will occur.
In the end, finding and keeping inner peace is a journey in itself. But ever since I decided to drop the oars, it’s pretty incredible how wonderfully light I feel.
And you? Are you ready to set yourself free?
Namaste my friends. And don’t forget to smile!