Journey to the Land of Fire and Ice

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This photo is from Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon in southern Iceland. What you can’t see here are the delicate ripples in the crystal clear water interrupted only by the loud cracking of ice breaking in the distance. When I took this photo the sun was setting and the rocks on the shore surrounding me felt like they were singing a high frequency of ice and light.

I flew into Iceland August 21st and commenced a 2 week long road trip through the northwest–the land of horses and turf houses to the south east part of the country–the region of volcanoes, glaciers and elves.

The first thing I noticed about Icelanders is they are deeply connected to their country, environmentally, politically and also keenly aware of the nations that surround them. Icelanders continually rank as one of the very top countries in the global happiness index despite the rough climate (18+ hours of darkness in the winter) and economic recovery partly because they are so connected and so present in every area of their lives–they love their work, their families, their country and their natural resources. 

Almost every one of the 323,000 inhabitants will go out of their way to preserve and educate others about the pristine integrity of their land and their cultural traditions.There is even a regular comedy sketch at Harpa, the concert hall in Reykjavik educating visitors on “How to be Icelandic in 60 Minutes” and touches on the history of everything from why Icelandic names are so long to the importance of washing your private parts before going into the thermal baths (and not to be surprised if a local calls you out on improper washing) and the importance of the sagas in everyday life. Icelanders are descendants from Vikings and the land is like the people–harsh and beautiful on the outside and brimming with life and a deep mystical quality on the inside.


Places call to you, and you must listen


I heard the call of Iceland over six years ago when a friend had returned from an archaeological dig near the town of Sauðárkrókur and all I can remember is the pure, clean and crisp energy I felt when I saw the photos. It was as if the wildness of the landscape had embedded a small seed in my mind that grew with time and completely blossomed in June of this year when, out of nowhere, I booked a flight without any plans or accommodations. I just knew I needed to be there and to breathe in the arctic air.

I believe places call to us because we are at the right frequency to fuse with that place and to accept the transformation that it offers (and we, in turn, also bring transformation to the people and places we visit.) When I made an unwavering decision to go–the path of opportunity opened up for me and everything began to click into place. Two new amazing clients signed up to work with me before and during my trip and people came out of nowhere to share their travel maps and insights about the country. I was being primed for the journey.I had never travelled alone and the more I released my resistance and fear around the idea of being on my own for my birthday in a foreign land, it became very clear that there was a strong need and intention to connect to this place and it’s people–and it has changed me forever.

Seeing things for the first time

As I am typing this and looking out the window at the familiar busy streets of Boston–there is a layer of density that has lifted. Almost as if my perception of reality has been cleared of the heaviness of the past. I feel as if I am seeing things for the first time rather than living in the illusion that my immediate reality is stagnant, that the people in my life are the same. Everything feels lighter, more pliable and ready for me to infuse my creative desires.

This trip has helped me to reset my receptors. I feel as if I can see things and people existing as they are–without story. And when people and things are simply existing, it means there is a blank canvas around them to create whatever it is they and I desire to create at any given moment.

Iceland allowed that for me–to be clean and clear of my story about who I am and what I do–and it gave me a beautiful opportunity to re-evaluate my life and let go of perspectives that no longer serve me so that I can hold space for a more expansive aspect of myself to arise. This, in turn, allows me to hold this blank canvas for others so that they can simply be who they want to be.

Energetically, most of us walk through life in deeply grooved paths–the carbon footprints of our past experiences and thoughts and feelings. They feel like a heavily walked trail where our feet sink into the ground and we almost unconsciously follow the footprints just because they are there. This is how most of us live our lives–being carried and lead by trails of the past.

Now, having gotten a clear perspective, I feel a lightness in my step and in my interactions with people. As a coach, this allows me to facilitate an even higher level of clarity and possibility for people to move into. Layers of potential stuckness and indecision can be bypassed and we can be greeted with the simple, pure experience of peace–an opening for our best decisions and creations to emerge.

This is the space where co-creating with life is possible and where we bring our inner most desires into the world.

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

T. S. Eliot

lake dimmu borgir
Lake at Dimmuborgir, the land of the “dark castle” lava formations.
2019-05-11T22:40:10+00:00 September 5th, 2015|

About the Author:

Anna is unrelenting in her search for truth and wisdom. She believes that all experiences in life move us toward our greatest strength and happiness. She is committed to living fully and enjoying the heck out of every experience and every person. She loves coffee, crystals and Fast Company.