Hello from beautiful Iceland!
I’ve been here since Monday, with Mr Strickers, for a 5 day get away.
It wasn’t part of our plan this year and it was only because I saw an offer about it that we decided to go. All seen, decided, done and arrived in under 6 weeks (making sure I do as I write!)
I’ve heard lots about Iceland from people who know how much I love Scotland and I had a wish to see the Northern lights and so combining the two seemed a plan.
I’ve learned a lot about me on this trip that I won’t go into right now, but the overwhelming experience has been one of great satisfaction.
Yes, it is indeed like Scotland. Some fabulous wide open spaces, big skies and expanses of water.
Yes, it is an outdoor lovers paradise. The Icelandic folk love their countryside, and have an appreciation of nature and how to work with it, they are a tiny population for the land mass and the extremes of weather and seasons all appeal to me.
But of course the Northern lights are what draw people here and, what also leaves visitors feeling most exasperated when they don’t see them.
In addition to people telling me how much I’d like it, I’ve heard how many people have been to Iceland and not seen them. It reminded me of when I was pregnant. Everyone had a terrible delivery story. No one told me, ‘you know what, giving birth was a doddle, I felt a bit of a twinge and out she popped’.
Likewise no one told me ‘oh the Northern lights were a breeze. We rocked up, stood outside and looked up and there they were’.
Which is good, because I can now be the person that tells you that can happen too!
No, I am not bragging. It’s not like I had much to do with how easy it was. But I would say that I just knew I’d see them (that could be braggy) I can’t explain why or how, I just knew we would.
Despite the guide telling us we may not see them, that it’s a lottery, that, as guides, they do their best, that we may need to be in and out of the bus all night to find new clear skies and we may see nothing…we literally drove half an hour, stopped and there they were!
But here’s the interesting bit and the learning from the evening.
You could be mistaken for missing them.
They are not what you see on photos or documentaries.
I was watching some for about 5 minutes before we pulled up and stopped and he told us to look at what I’d been watching!
These ephemeral shapes are not the green and pinks you see on TV. But a simple, shimmery white that could be mistaken for a low cloud.
It’s not until you watch them for some time that you notice that they change shape, and change form and grow tall and blow wide.
It’s not until you take a photo or film them and you look at what you’ve taken that you get the images we’re used to. And that’s quite a shocker.
You look at the sky and it’s beautiful and quiet and silently mystical – you look at your camera viewer and it’s bold and vibrant and expansive and very prominent.
And it made me think of my clients and colleagues who are the Northern lights personified.
How many of you go about your day, your week, your life in a quiet, unobtrusive, hidden version of yourself?
Only to on occasion burst out into this colourful, vibrant, exciting, changeable version of yourself that was there all along but hidden from view?
Maybe when you’ve had a drink and the guard is down? (Tony Robbins says that we are our true selves when we’ve had a drink or two).
Maybe when you’ve been completely in the moment at a gig or defending your kids or your rights, or when you’ve let yourself go to the moment without worry or judgement from others?
Or when you’ve gone with your instinct and done what felt right despite the odds and a new you shone through?
This week I want you to break free from your Willow the Wisp, naked-eye persona and be the colourful, vibrant, Northern lights exciting you. Try it out for size and see what happens.
I’ve seen this week how excited people are when they know that you’ve seen the lights? They love it!
It’s the same with people. When you see someone be themselves and in their full, confident glory it makes you smile and gives you pleasure because they’re being what they’re meant to be.
Shine bright dear reader, shine bright!
We need more easy Northern lights experiences not tricky to find ones.