Does hapiness come in waves?
Passionate water woman, surfer and nature lover, this is basically the way how I see myself. But besides that I also have a professional life which I am passionate about. I love my work in the office and my current training in becoming a systemic coach. They demand a lot of me and often tie me to my laptop for many hours a day. Integrating all these elements into my daily life has been quite a challenge. I have never felt the need though to put my passions on a scale to see which of these make me happier in order to make some sort of final choice between them. I have figured out for myself how to successfully embrace, combine and use all the "Me’s" that make me the person that I am today.
One important factor which helps me keep this balance is going on adventures with my little green VW van to discover empty and enchanting places. Spots that are still pure, radiate a kind of magic, and help me recharge my batteries with enough positive energy to get me through those cold winters at my permanent home in Berlin. I believe that when we go on a trip to places where you feel this special energy, we are also much more open to change, new ideas and plans which we can take with us into our everyday lives.
I love the minimalistic approach and the concept of Vanlife. This basic way of living may be challenging for some but gives me a feeling of complete freedom. Liberated from the imposed rhythm of “normal” daily life, allowing me to simply move my everyday life to any place I want, whenever I want: home is where you park it.
Last October, I decided to take my green van to discover Finistére; meaning “The End of the world”. This most westerly part of Brittany has an impressive 300 km long rugged coastline with spectacular bays, awesome beaches and picturesque villages. In those typical autumn colors this region really shows its splendor. Fantastic views from my favorite viewpoints Pointe du Raz or Pointe du Van can really let me reflect on life, who I am, what it is that makes me happy and what freedom means to me. There is no definition of beauty, but the spirit of Brittany turned out to be something unexplainably pure and complete magical to me. Waking up in my van surrounded by stunning cliffs reaching out far into the blue ocean or wide sandy beaches. Moments like these I become aware that, at any given NOW-moment you have a choice. You can choose who you wish to be. But making a choice does not mean choosing one above the other, it means deciding about how you want to live your life by what is important to you at that moment. And in my situation, this means a combination of my "Me’s". The NOW-moment contains all there is and what feels right for you. Making a hot coffee on the gas stove outside my van, facing the waves, and feeling the wind as it blows through my hair, is one of my favorite NOW-moments. But sharing my expertise in a business meeting or helping people to find their own NOW-moments with systemic coaching are others. This collection of NOW-moments helps me live life consciously, with intention, meaning constantly choosing who and what I am in any moment or in any given situation.
I have been, like many people, conditioned not to choose. Meaning that life happened to me instead of creating my life how I want to live it. But surfing and Van Life taught me that the more I focus on Who and What I wish to be, the more I got empowered to be just that. Discovering new places and empty surf spots, enjoying clean waves, sitting on my longboard focussing on the next wave to come rolling into the bay. All things, beautiful in their simplicity, that amongst many others bring balance to my life.
My goal for a surf session is not to surf as many waves as I can or finding the biggest wave of the day. For me it is all about connecting with the energy of the ocean, forgetting my fears, fully immersed in this feeling of energized focus and the pure pleasure I get from it.
I take this focus back to my home in Berlin and integrate it into my everyday city life by anchoring it and unpacking it whenever I need or want to. This all gave me the idea to incorporate the feeling, of what Vanlife means to me into my systemic coaching approach.
I realized I still owe you the answer to the question of the headline. Yes, happiness does come in waves. Your life is never going to be perfect. But the time in between waves is up to you. If you conserve the moment of a powerful wave at its highest point, and find a way to deal with the lowest, your life will be filled with incredible opportunities.
This autumn you will find me and my green van back in beautiful Bretagne again. Would you like to know more about my coaching then feel free to check my website at www.vanlifecoaching.de or follow my adventures at https://www.instagram.com/bonjanna/
Personal note: Vanlife only works in respect with nature. Thus, having respect for your surroundings and leaving places better than you have found them is what will truly enrich the experience for both yourself and future travellers. Maintaining nature, its rich animal life and marvelous opportunities of near magic encounters is, therefore, an intricate part of the Vanlife experience.
Written by Anna Wehage