I’m sitting on a park bench somewhere in Prince George, Canada. It’s a nice park. Directly on a hill. A lot of trees. Quite. Except all the cars passing.
In rough 3 hours, I continue my bus ride. In 24 hours I’m — hopefully — getting picked up. Finally after 40 hours of traveling by then. Taking the bus is definitely not the fastest way to travel a long distance in Canada. Well, maybe it’s just not if you are going to such small place like Terrace.
I already spend several hours here in this park. Some reading. Listen to music. Some walking. Actually, I should move much more since I’m going to sit on this bus for a while again.
Anyway, the hours pass and I’m getting closer to finally arrive. I was waiting for this moment to come for years. As long as I can remember I was dreaming about going to a monastery. More accurate a Buddhist monastery.
I’m not directly going to one as far as I can assess. The place I’m going is an Ashram. A meditation center. So it’s pretty close. At least this is what I’m expecting. Since I have no idea what I’m going to do there I can just guess. There will be a lot of Yoga. I’m looking forward to this.
While I’m waiting, this feeling slowly rises. This feeling of resistance. There is this part of me which doesn’t want to go there. First, because have no idea what’s expecting me. Second, what I am expecting could come true.
This experience could change my life. Every experience does change you a bit. But there are these experiences which completely change the way you be and tackle life. This might be one of them.
Feeling resistance isn’t new for me. I guess, everyone does feel it from time to time. By now, I interpret it as a good sign. A sign that I’m on the right track. It’s my ego being afraid of change I’m feeling. Preferably, I would just leave and go somewhere else.
What am I going to do about this feeling? Nothing. I’m going anyway. This time it’s really easy for me. There is no other place — in near distance — I could go and I already bought the ticket. Situations like these aren’t always easy to handle. Therefore, it’s important to become aware what’s important to you and where the rising resistance is coming from.
I have to admit, there isn’t just this feeling of resistance about me going into this Ashram or not. Again, I’m asking myself if the things I’m doing right now are the things I really want to do. I don’t know. However, I surrender to these feeling and thoughts.
There is no point in asking these questions right now. I will spend some weeks at the remote place. There will be enough time for asking questions like these. Actually, maybe not. Maybe I spend my days fully aware of what I’m doing. Don’t ask questions at all. I doubt it. I’m going to find out.
Today, I experienced once more how quickly all your plans can change. Better, how quickly you are forced to change your plans because of the circumstances.
After spending some days in Vancouver I wanted to go further north in British Columbia. I found a really great place where I’d like to stay for some time. The bus ticket to get there had I already bought some time ago.
Since the bus should take off at 6:30 am I had to get up really early. After merely 3 hours of sleep, I didn’t feel awesome but ready to go. This is actually a strategy I often do. Whenever there is a really long bus ride or flight I sleep way too less, therefore, I can sleep during the ride. This works quite well for me since I mostly can sleep several hours then.
Not this morning. When I arrived around 5:00 am there weren’t many people at the station. As soon as I tried to pick up my printed bus ticket the person behind the counter just looked at me. The highway got locked due to forest fires. The bus ride got canceled.
He offered me an alternative route to get to my destination. Taking a bus approximately 12 hours later. Making a lot of detours. This would take me around 50 hours. Instead of arriving Saturday early morning I would arrive Montag morning. Spending the weekend on the bus or waiting for the bus.
Doesn’t this sound lucrative? I mean, who doesn’t want to do this. Definitely, me not. Luckily, I was able to make another agreement with them. I’m taking a different bus this evening to get to Edmonton. On Thursday I’m going to continue my journey to my original destination Terrace.
What am I going to do I Edmonton, you might ask? Actually, I have no idea. All I know there is a place where I can stay for some days. A place from a person I don’t know at all.
I don’t even know where Edmonton is. Somewhere in Canada. Not in British Columbia. More East. That’s all I know. Guess I’m going to find out more about this city.
Isn’t it fascinating how fast we sometimes have to change our plans? Most of the time we aren’t aware how fast circumstances can change. How fast we ‘lose’ control. The omnipresent illusion of having control of your life. Moments like these remind you, you never had the control the first place.
These moments challenge you to surrender to what is. You can’t change it anyway. Make the best out of it and stop complaining. Sure I’m not pleased by the incidents but I do not resist them. I’m trying to find a solution — just an alternative way.
I can feel the difference.
It’s already 2 nights I spent in Vancouver. 2 days mostly walking through the streets. Walking through the streets to see what’s going on. To see what there is to see. Trying to get a feeling for the city. Trying to get a picture of it.
Vancouver is an interesting city. A modern and kind of beautiful one. Directly at the ocean and surrounded by mountains. I imagine it’s a good city to live in. Even I won’t want to live here. I mean it’s a nice city but somehow I don’t like it so much. There is no spirit here if you know what I mean. It’s like the city doesn’t know what it wants to or should be.
For me, it’s always interesting if you go to a completely different environment. Like from a small island to a big city. You are much more sensitive to things you might miss otherwise. Sure, you will likely notice a lot the differences.
On Savary Island, there were just a few people. In Vancouver, there are some more. The infrastructures and stuff like that are completely different, too. No surprise.
Moreover, the feeling for the places is completely different. Life feels different. I instantly noticed the people are much more anonymous. Everything is much more anonymous.
I consider Vancouver a relatively quiet city compared to other big cities. However, you can feel the omnipresent feeling of stress. There is stuff to do. Always. There is this feeling of dissatisfaction. Of not being, having or doing enough. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe not.
Saying this doesn’t mean I feel it myself. This is not what I’m talking about. It’s more the atmosphere I’m talking about. I don’t think this has much to do with Vancouver itself. You will experience this in every big city — or just living the western lifestyle?
Anyway, I’m still enjoying my time here. I don’t want to say I don’t like big cities anymore. Indeed, I still prefer nature more.
I never saw a place where there is the ocean, mountains, a modern city and even a little forest. It’s always fascinating how differently people live in big cities. Your environment has such a big impact on you and your life. So choose wisely where you spend your time.
Vancouver. So I finally made it to the city.
With ‘finally’ I mean it took me some time to come here. Actually, I didn’t want to come here really bad. More like since I’m in this area why not spend some nights in this city. Moreover, I had to come here to get somewhere else with the bus.
I decided to start in this cheap Hostel in Downtown. It’s really good located but that’s it. Even considering it cheap isn’t really appropriate. Definitely, I don’t need it super clean, luxurious or fancy. Sleeping here doesn’t bother me. I don’t mind. However, I never experienced a place where you have to pay for toilet paper. Seriously?
What’s nice the one bathroom with a shower can’t overflow since it will just flow truth a hole in the ground downstairs. What’s more, the light bulb didn’t work therefore we were sitting in the darkness for some time. Asking for a new one didn’t work since the office has special open hours. I just switch the light bulbs with another room. Luckily I travel with my headlamp.
Anyway, I have a roof on top of me. I will see if it’s waterproof as soon as it’s starting to rain.
Being in a situation like this will happen more often than we like. I guess having the right attitude and making the best out of it is crucial. Don’t let drag yourself just because of such external factors. Life is too short and wonderful to do this.
Have a shower and move on. OK, made don’t have a shower here… move on anyway.
Whoah. Wanted to end the post here. Then I wanted to make some breakfast. Maybe I should have checked the kitchen before. I don’t want to make this post about me complaining about a bad hostel. Nevertheless, I guess I won’t use the kitchen. Too bad, I already bought some stuff yesterday.
Isn’t interesting? As soon as nobody feels responsible everybody gives a fuck. I just can’t imagine the people staying here living the same way at home. Sure there are these people living literally in trash at their home. However, I think many people behave completely different when they don’t feel responsible. Too bad. Isn’t this one of the reasons we have so many problems? Because no one gives a fuck?
Indeed, many people care. It’s not that nobody gives a fuck. There are people who care about what’s going on around them. I hope you do too. Still, I won’t use this kitchen…
Harsh wind wakes me up.
The sound of the ocean. Waves. Continuous. Never ending.
It’s chilly. No wonder it’s not even 6:00 am. I open my eyes. Nothing above me. Just the sky with some clouds. I take a deep breath inhaling the fresh air.
The sun is just rising. Covering the mountains in the distance with wonderful colors. Definitely not the worst place I chose to sleep.
The day before I was leaving Savary Island. The people I was staying with brought me to Powell River. The drop me off near the ferry station. Unfortunately, the next ferry wasn’t coming until next morning.
I knew this before but it didn’t bother me. Without much thinking, I decided not to stay in a hotel or hostel. The tricky part is to find a good place to sleep.
Actually, this was kind of easy this time. I just went along the beach. Just rocks. No one there except for some seagulls. Since it was still early afternoon I hid my backpack and went exploring. I definitely didn’t want to carry my big backpack with me all the time. Even I am capable of it’s no fun.
Luckily there was a forest close. Really nice trails. Old trees of many different kinds. It felt really good to keep my body moving. I returned to my backpack. Still there. God for me.
For a while, I was just sitting there and staring at the ocean. Peaceful but lonely.
At moments like these, I’m always trying to just notice everything around me. Just observing. Feeling the moment. Without thinking.
This just works for a while. Then I’m starting to daydream. Thinking about other moments like this or what I’d like to do in the near future.
As soon as the sun was setting I prepared for the night. Sleeping mat and sleeping bag. Nothing else I needed.
I enjoy doing this from time to time. It reminds me how little I really need. There is more than just the knowledge I want to experience it myself. It’s a great feeling. This way I feel more connected to nature. Even somehow more connected to myself.
So here I am the next morning. Enjoying the sunrise. The day is just starting. It’s going to be a day full of moving. I’m going back to Vancouver. Back to a big city after spending the last weeks on this little Island. I won’t stay there for long. However, I’m looking forward to exploring this city.
It’s coming to an end. Today was my last day on Savary Island. I stayed over 5 weeks here. Time went by really fast. Still, I can’t believe it.
The last day was a really good one. We went out with the boot for lunch at Lund. After that, we were heading to Desolation Sound, a natural reservoir. Unfortunately, it was only a short trip, therefore, we didn’t see much.
It still was fun. 5 person in a small boat. Kind of windy. Definitely shaky. Luckily on the way there, I was sitting in the front — therefore I stayed try. One of the girls who also stays at my place got completely soaked. It was sunny and warm really no one cared.
It was fun. Seeing nature from a different perspective — this time with a boat — is always great. However, I have to admit I prefer staying on the ground. I am not afraid of the water at all, still, I like to be on firm ground.
Doing a tour like this reminds me every time how different life can be. I mean living near the ocean — maybe even on an island — and having a boat is completely different to live in a city like Berlin. It just is.
Tomorrow I have to leave the Island and I look forward to it. I really enjoyed the time here but it’s time to see something else. Maybe not an island just for diversion.
Is having routines and habits preventing you from doing stuff? I mean good stuff? This question just popped up in my mind. How much structure and routine is good?
Obvious there is no universal answer to this question. Everyone has to find this out by himself.
For me, it’s really hard to answer. I lived both. A completely structured day with appointments with myself in the calendar when I would train and eat. On the other hand where I had no plan at all and just do whatever I feel to do this moment.
I’m more a guy who prefers routines and regularity. Having a morning routine and a plan what to do this day. I like to know what will happen and then make an impact. Why is that? Is it that I don’t like uncertainty? I guess, yes. I surely prefer certainty. It’s an illusion. There is none. Still, I hold on to it. Is it wrong?
What’s more, routines and regularity might be boring for some people. However, doing the same thing, again and again, has their advantage. You ‘save’ a lot of energy and time. Repeat the same daily task give you the opportunity to optimize them and do them much quicker without much thinking. This is why habits — good and bad — are so powerful. You just do them without much thinking.
I found, having routine and regularity allows you to me much more productive. You get more stuff done. Having a good system in place was crucial to so many successful people. You might argue that this might work for some people but not all. What about creatives? Let me say this, I believe everyone is more productive with some form of routine. You only have to find a system that works for you. Especially for creatives, it’s crucial to get in their ‘space’. Habits might help.
Anyway, there is way more than just being productive. Being productive alone won’t make you happy. Even you know what and why you are doing what you are doing. Even when the stuff you are doing is fulfilling you. Can routines get into your way to actually live? By this, I mean to enjoy life? Well, sure it can. This is exactly what I’m asking myself.
Maybe there is no answer to the question. There are many ways to become happy and live a fulfilled life. However, I ask myself if it has become self-evident to achieve something? If so, why? All the pressure. Intellectual we would all say no one has to achieve something. Do we really believe and feel this way?
Do we always have to be productive? Most of the people aren’t — all the time productive. However, do they feel if they should? I often do.
There are much more aspects you can argue about. Routines might help you completely focus on what is right now — the present moment. Instead of always thinking about what you do you could just be.
Anyway, this didn’t bring me any further. I guess I have to try out and do whatever feels right — as most of the time.
Sleeping well is important to me. I’m not in a bad mood early in the morning. Not even if I didn’t get enough sleep. If I don’t sleep good or enough I just don’t feel really good the next day. I notice a huge difference.
There are many things you can do to improve your sleep. Having an evening routine might bring your sleep to the next level. You want to prepare your body and mind for the night.
I don’t have a long list of stuff I’m doing. Actually, there are just a few thing I’m trying to do. Like no screen at least 1 hour before bed.
Last night I wanted to have a really good sleep. Not because I was tired and exhausted. It’s the feeling of being fully rested I like.
So here I am, 1 hour before I want to sleep. No screen for 1 hour already. Already brushed teeth. Doing some relaxation exercises.
Slowly it’s getting dark. There is no wind. Everything is really quite and peaceful.
I go into my room. Close the curtains. Windows still open. I love fresh air. Even in the winter when it’s quite cold I sleep with open windows. This gives me the feeling of being more connected with everything. Not being locked up in a room.
There is a special trick I have to fall into sleep much easier. It probably won’t work for most people. For me, it’s a secret back when I was a little child. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work always. Sometimes it’s just relaxing and that’s it.
There is this song. It’s not just a random song. The name of the song is called ’sleeping through the rain’. I first heard it when I was 5 years old. My mother and I were in this bookshop.
I can’t remember why we were there. Neither can I remember how I suddenly had this CD player in my hand. It had this CD in it. The CD with this one song. Just this one song. The song goes for nearly 30 minutes.
I remember being in the bookstore and hearing this song. Some minutes later I’m sleeping. Deep sleep. Lying somewhere in a corner between bookshelves. My mom instantly bought the CD.
For the next years, I was hearing this song nearly every night falling into sleep. I loved it. I still do.
Now over 20 years later I’m lying in my bed hearing this song. It’s so relaxing. My sleeping mask is already on. You want to have it completely dark. If it’s not possible at least get a sleeping mask.
As soon as the song is over I take off my headphones and fall into sleep. No thought. No movement. Nothing disturbing. Right into deep sleep.
This would have been a really great night. I mean I felt already great and rested falling into sleep. Now imagine how I would have felt the next morning.
Well, 10 minutes later I wake up. It’s knocking on my door. I guess already for some time since I also used earplugs.
I’m going straight in the vertical. Like Dracula out of his casket. My facial expression probably looks more like the one from the monster of Frankenstein. What just happened! Am I alive? How? Why?!
The two girls I’m staying with. We are out of power. I have to restart the generator. Get some shoes on. Walk to the generator. Restart the generator. Walk back. Keeping quite while hearing apologizes from the girls. Going back to bed. Put on my sleeping mask. Put in the earplugs. Slowly exhale. Everything is good. I’m totally relaxed.
Slowly inhale. And exhale.
I’m fucking awake. Not tired at all.
Maybe next time…
I want to be happy. Don’t we all want to be happy? I believe we do.
Even most people say this themselves, they don’t act like they would. There is so much self-sabotaging going on every day. Self-destructive behavior is quite normal nowadays. Furthermore, most people looking for pleasure, not for happiness.
There is nothing wrong with this but is it going to make you happy? I don’t think so.
Aren’t you experiencing pleasure just for a short moment? Something is happening and as a reaction, you feel pleasure. Just for a limited time. As we all know there are plenty ways to experience pleasure. Eating, social acceptance, sex, experiencing something exciting etc.
I still think these feelings are good and enjoyable. However, they will always leave you unsatisfied. Leave you wanting more.
I once read about an experiment where they stimulated a certain point of the pressure centrum in the brain of a chimpanzee. Furthermore, they gave him the control to stimulate himself by pressing a bottom. The result? The chimpanzee was spending all day long pressing this bottom experiencing pleasure. By that I mean, all the time. He didn’t move, eat or drink. Eventually, he was completely exhausted and fall into sleep. As soon as he awakes he continues. If you let him he would die this way. Killing himself.
I wonder how many people are actually acting this way. Sure, they don’t have a bottom, therefore, they don’t forget to eat and drink. Still there life is all about finding pleasure.
You can have a lot of pleasure in your life and still be unhappy.
Don’t get me wrong I love pleasure and joy. I don’t want to miss these feelings. However, we should see them for what they are — and what not.
I love taking baths. However, this time I exaggerated.
Since I can remember I’d like to take baths. This feeling of being in your own world — just you and the bathtub full of water. It’s really relaxing. Nothing you have to do. Not much you can do.
I like to take really long and hot baths. Usually longer than 2 hours. Since I don’t refill the bathtub the water has to be hot otherwise it’s going to be cold too fast. Some time ago I was always making sure the water is between 41-42°C (105,8-107,6°F). The trick is to be in the bathtub right from the beginning then you slowly increase the temperature.
People always tell me I shouldn’t do this. It’s not good for me. And they are right. I totally agree. It’s way too long for that high temperature. Sometimes when I get out I’m completely exhausted. The next morning my eyes even stick together at times. This doesn’t happen often anymore. Most of the time I feel really relaxed and good afterward.
To reduce the negative effects I’m always trying to drink enough. At least 2 liters of water. Some salt is good. Other electrolytes would be even better. I’m trying to make it a habit to have a cold shower afterward.
Even I know I should probably not do this I’m still doing it. I can’t help it. I really like it.
However, this time I exaggerated. I stayed in the bathtub for approximately 4 hours. It was great. I was reading and just lying there. Thinking and dreaming. Forgetting time.
Right after I got to bed and slept for 10 hours. Feeling good this morning but still, I guess it was too much.
Even I know it’s not good for me — much stress for my body — I definitely going to take a bath again. Even a long one. I just can’t help it.