If you follow my Instagram account you’ll know that I don’t write like most do. Social media today is a result of our society where everything gets more and more selective and superficial. It’s a facade we take on. If we are having a bad day, we post a “throwback” (#tb) photo of a vacation we’ve been on or last time we went out and dressed up. Now, you might think that you don’t do it, but the reality is – that even though I’m exaggerate it – you probably know what I’m talking about.
If you are used to my feed and stories, chances for you believing me is minimal when I tell you I used to run Scandinavia’s biggest nightclub for 4 years. I also lived in Oslo for 2 years after that where my surroundings required me to be different than I was. Combined that’s 6 years where I felt I became more and more a different person than I was suppose to be. Everything was about facade, image, networking, money, parties.
When it got combined with a personal life that also gave me big challenges on the private side, it came to a point where I had to break free. I felt like my soul and mind was buried in all this and I had to make a big change to get back to myself, remove all the shallow stuff that had gone down on my. Obviously I let it happen, but when you change a little bit every day, you don’t always feel it before it’s almost too late.
I guess somewhere in my I knew and something got me to participate in the competition where I could win a spot on the 330km polar expedition. It took me 3 years to win, but finally I was ready. I didn’t know for what, but I was ready – it was done – I won. Between the competition and the expedition there was several months of waiting time. I used that time to get myself in better shape. It was hard a first challenging you to take a walk every day – coming from working behind a desk and a body that had adapted to being idle and only use the mind. But if we start slow, just take one step at a time – suddenly you’ll realise that you’ve come further than last time. And so we progress, one step at a time.
That process would be enough to get the feeling of what nature does for you. It would take some time, but I would have gotten there just going for walks and enjoying the local scenery. But what I experienced got me so much further.
Out in nature
The 330km polar expedition threw me out in the extremes at day one. Everything was white, the wind was eating small parts of my lips and chins. The quietness was loud, the landscape soft and rough. It was all about contrasts. My body was working to fight the cold, all irrelevant thoughts got automatically thrown away and the only focus was getting from A to B and staying safe. It was magical.
I didn’t know what my body was able to withstand and how much I could endure. I had never been in any situation like that before. And when I say that I would get there slowly by taking walks in my local area – getting thrown out in extremes will take that progress and accelerate it tenfolds. I felt more alive than ever before, I was focused, I was one with nature and saw things far more clearly.
The landscape was open, all white. Sometimes you couldn’t even see the next team member. I went more out in nature than ever, but I also went more inwards at the same time. When standing on the sled and you had a second to reflect over things, you could sometimes feel very, very small inside. Like you where inside a big body and full aware of the fact that you where standing inside of it. You got aware of your soul, your mind, your feelings. Everything got boosted. It was like standing at the bottom of a well and looking up, seeing the light. I could suddenly see the person I wanted to be, the father I wanted to be.
This is not a story from the expedition, so I won’t go into details – this is a story about how I changed. What I felt and how I got there. If you wanna see more from the expedition, you can see my full movie here.
I was a changed man when I got home. I started editing my photos from the expedition and many of the feelings came back. I had to get them out. I started my instagram account and posted my thoughts and feelings as captions to my photos. I decided that I wanted to pursue more feelings, experiences, be more out in nature. Obviously it’s a difficult process as we all have to make a living and have obligations we have to attend to. But I started slowly.
I started taking more photos and challenging myself to better at that. And the more followers I got and feedback on my photos, the more it inspired me to get more out. It was a win-win really. People getting inspired by my change, inspired me even more. That journey is never ending and I’m still pursuing new things, new ways, new areas in me.
I’ve been through a lot in my life. Things I never should have seen or experienced – but I did. I’ve been in several life and death situations that I had to deal with. In other words, there’s so much you don’t know about me and actually a lot that my closest family even don’t know.
When I’m out in nature, I can sort things out. I get the same clarity as I felt extremely on the polar expedition. Now that adventure wiped the mind clean in a brutal way – you had to – but being out in nature in general is a more gentle “treatment”. And as many of us have forgotten – actually it’s where we are meant to be.
The more and more our society is getting automatic, the more and more we need to stay grounded – being in touch with our roots. It happens so quickly – we forget who we are and just the amount of time we spend behind a screen (iPhone, tv, computer, iPad) is so far from what we are meant to that I can’t even express it. We all know it, but society is making it hard to change.
Dont get me wrong; I like technology and I’m not some sort of hippie guy that wants it only the natural way. But I think we are using technology in so many wrong ways and often we loose touch of the right way. Balance is everything.
Being the best version of yourself
Not everyone is interested in hiking, adventures or sleeping outside in a tent – I get that. We are all different and that’s exactly how it’s suppose to be. But pursue the best version of yourself, no matter what that is. But how do we get there? I would state that in order to function our best, we need to give our body and mind the inputs and activity it need. We need to be in touch with our original purpose. Again, balance is key. The more you sit on a chair and work, the more you have to move afterwards.
We need to show our kids and our future that way as well. So many kids are afraid to get their hands dirty, to play outside. It’s getting more and more sterilised and no wonder we are getting more and more sick. Our bodies need bacteria to uphold a proper defence. But it’s not only our bodies – our minds need to be outside and get some fresh air. Our kids need to explore and learn about the world through their hands and feet. Sitting with an iPad or watching Netflix is fine if they have been out playing. And you’ll notice a big change, more balanced kids, more relaxed and happy.
I’m quite sure you’ve never experienced being in a bad mood and going out made it worse? Of course you can get wet and cold, and that will make the experience some what negative, but you’ll still feel refreshed and reborn in some way. Doing all these things is essential to be the best version of ourselves.
Having a tough time?
You can read as many quotes you like, eat as much chocolate as you can – you’ll still feel shitty inside, right? You might think that you are so down the drain that there’s no point of even trying anymore. I get that – I’ve been there. Trust me. I’ve seen more negative things that I never would have wished for my worst enemy. I’ve experienced more negatives than positives and I’ve come through it. And so will you – I’ll tell you why: You are meant to be. Just like me. The fact that you are reading this is actually a living proof that you have made yourself. It’s the first step. Now, what comes after the first step? Yes, the second – you are on fire right now!
This might seem unserious, but it’s the direct opposite. If you are in a big hole that’s been dugg recently, it can take some time. Let it. Dont fight it too hard, there’s a natural process. But then comes the hardest time, the time where your mind actually starts working again. Maybe you’re done crying and you just feel down and hopelessly lost. This is the hard time where we can’t even do the most simple tasks. This is where you need to slowly do something that you know you like. Watch a good movie, read a book. Now when you are done with that and you’ve paused the bad mood just for a second, go for a walk. Look at the beauty around you. It’s everywhere and it will affect you instantly. Just sitting here behind my desk and writing this while snowflakes dance outside my window is incredibly beautiful. Instead of just looking at them, I become them. I watch their movement, their path towards the ground where they transform into mother nature’s white duvet. Go out, become one with nature. If it’s in the forest – stand still in the middle and close your eyes. Take a deep breath and listen. Smell. Feel.
One step at a time you’ll get there. Not speaking about a destination in the physical world, but a destination in you. I know you can do it – I could – I can. Life is a set of so many obstacles for us to overcome and to learn from. Some more than others. But there are no professionals in life. We all learn – nobody has the answer for you. You have to find that yourself as we are all different and unique.
Be a part of the journey
If you have gotten anything out of this or think you might be inspired some day, I invite you to take part in my journey as well. I’ve been doing this for almost two years and I’m only at my first steps. I’m learning every day and I’m still struggling with a lot of things. But I’m determined never to quit. I’m convinced I’ll see it through and so will you. So in other words, I hope you’ll follow along and take part. Dont hesitate to write feedback or questions, your thoughts or just let something out. I hope you will follow my journey on Instagram as I post there most frequently and you can get a more visual story as well. And of course I hope you’ll share this article if you think others would be inspired as well. I’ll try to write more here – mainly because it’s doing me good and I’ve gotten a lot of comments on my Instagram from people asking me to write a book, haha. These articles have to do for now.
Thank you for reading, liking, sharing, commenting and hopefully I’ll see you on Instagram as well.