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Embracing solitude: insights from a rendezvous with nature

Embracing solitude: insights from a rendezvous with nature
Yugen forest

In the heart of a lovely forest, I embarked on an extraordinary journey — a 24-hour communion with nature within the confines of a 5-meter square. Stripped of distractions - no food, no phone, no books, no music, nada. I embarked on a vision quest, where it was just me, myself, and the symphony of the natural world.

What did I learn?

  1. My fears proved insignificant against the grand tapestry of existence.
  2. The world reveals itself when we surrender to the present and truly open our eyes.
  3. Integration births transformation, allowing us to close one chapter and embark on a new path.

But how does this mystical dance unfold?

Picture a group of free thinkers, unconventional doers, and alternative feelers — a collective I am privileged to be part of. As part of the challenge club, we embark on monthly challenges, empowering ourselves to shift perspectives and journey deeper within. This month's challenge: a vision quest. Within a safe environment somewhere in nature, we sought solace in a self-created sanctuary, armed only with water and a mat.

And so it began...

Fears arose during the preparation. Would my water supply suffice? But not to worry (my grandmother's favourite quote), later I learned that if I would run out of a water, it would be replenished with ease. Concerns of the night's cold, appeared unnecessarily as layers of warmth provided reassurance. And even if the chill lingered, I would not freeze to death during this summer night... So was there even a problem? Amongst the teeming insects, the tiny ticks, initial trepidation gave way to acceptance (after a few hours..).

As the noise of the world subsided, mental clutter dissipated, making way for observation. Nature, a true masterpiece, unveiled its true essence to the perceptive eye. A glance cannot capture the intricate dance transpiring within each square centimeter. Life flourishes effortlessly, independent of our intervention. In witnessing this harmonious flow, we become one with it.

In tranquil meditation, I found myself entranced, as if observing a movie. Reflecting upon my work and contemplating my departure as it was my last week on the job; I witnessed a door swing open, finding myself in room that symbolised work. With a smile of gratitude, I gracefully said farewell to that chapter and a new door of possibilities unveiled itself. Integration bestowed the gift of renewal, igniting the next chapter of my journey.

Is it time yet?

The concept of time metamorphosed entirely. Absent was the ticking clock, replaced by the gentle caress of sunlight. In this space, where simply being sufficed, there was no need to measure moments. And in that moment, I felt at peace, being one with my surroundings. Yet, as morning approached and the impending return drew near, a whisper of restlessness fluttered within me, a reminder of our intrinsic connection to the outside world.

‘The next thing’ pulled and anticipation made my heart beat a little faster as soon as I heard the drum that announced the end of the vision quest. These two aspects on the spectrum seem like opposites, however this quest invited me to see not only the differences, but observe how these two aspects can emerge in one another. So how can I incorporate the lessons I learned from nature? In nature they (or should I say we) don’t need time to order their day, yet everything has its own rhythm and everything that needs to happen, happens. My most important take-away; I want to create my own rhythm, just like the waves. I gracefully recline, retreat, only to return with renewed vigour.

My little space in nature, protected by the branches of this lovely tree