If you're really 'in the now', they say, you can enjoy each moment; just don't chew upon the past or worry about the future and you'll be able to revel in the here. Let me tell you: it's hard. And I think it makes sense, that this doesn't come so naturally in our society. That it's not easy drinking in a ten-minute break.
When you step into a tiny room and you are supposed to relax in that space, it feels quite different from standing on a wide beach. With literal space around you it becomes much easier to take deep breaths and let go of everyday life. In the tiny room, the wall on your left represents the activity you just finished up and the wall on the right are the obligations you're supposed to tend to in five minutes. But right now, this minute, you have space; you can try and close your eyes, pretend the walls aren't there, imagine you hear the sea lap against the beach, notice a seagull softly screech in the distance. I guess when you're mindfull (or should we call it mind-less?) you enhance your ability to pretend, but no amount of fantasizing can replace the real thing: actual space, idle time in which you don't have to force yourself to enjoy it.
That's what made me really happy on our worldtrip: you're relieved from the 'duty' to savor every empty minute, 'cause there are many more to follow. So you enjoy when you really do, and otherwise it's okay too: you haven't wasted your chance of chilling and relishing; more rambling will follow. All's good when it actually is good; the chase has stopped, you just have to pick up the precious moments when they present themselves on your way. It's like living the other way around from 'normal life' and I feel it's the only natural way; nothing is forced and that's when you can experience it's all there.
To me, space equals getting in touch with your true self, which allows creativity to flow, which equals freedom. In short: space = freedom. Travel is the ultimate expression of space.
Space is a precondition, within it, there are many roads to the heart and root. During travelling, I've found some wonderful ways to bore through to my core and get the creative expressions running. Besides staring out a buswindow for ten hours straight or gazing at the sun setting into the ocean.
In my view, you have two kinds of struggle. Real struggle, in a physical manner, or mentally getting challenged to adapt or open up a bit more. And then there's the artificial struggle, of plowing through life's routines without joy.
Actual corporeal struggling (like climbing, trekking, biking, kayaking) works in the same way as being creative: it removes the layer of day-to-day and brings you a little closer to the essence. You elevate yourself and from high above the world always looks glorious, even so literally; even natural forces like a volcanic eruption; as long as you're not physically in the middle of it, you can see the beauty razor-sharp. The same goes for writing, drawing, reminiscing, running and travelling: the bigger picture reveals itself, places itself above your minor gripes. You appreciate the vastness as part of you, so your trivial suffering pales into insignificance.
Art, books, movies, music, distance in time and space; all tend to bring fresh perspective, overturning your paradigm.
What all experiences have in common, is that you're allowed to enter this imaginary world, a more translucent state, which to me is more real than 'real life', as long as you express yourself through your bodily senses, which connect us to the earth. Switching between inspiration and hiking, between revelation and putting out something through your pencil, between elation and singing a song, between exaltation and actually touching someone. Yes, I wish to travel between those worlds; between the soul and the hand. And with the head taking up so much space, that's tricky.
Now I have to find tiny moments to reflect, to bring myself to that 'other world', real quick, before the next incoming telephone call or task tugs me back.
Hundreds of birds performing their synchrone dance against a candyfloss sky while I cycle to work, help. The typical Texel winds, that force me to gasp and take a deep breath, cleansing my mind, allowing me to reach deeper into myself, help. Wearing flipflops in October in Holland helps. Taking ten minutes from work to lay in the meadow, staring at the infinite blue, helps. Jogging on the beach, passing a fishingboat reeling in its nets, a flock of seagulls in its slipstream, helps. This balmy indian summer sure is helping!
So my challenge for the next couple of months will be to keep finding freedom within the confines of so called normal life.