Soaking, panting, sniffling our noses not sure if it’s snot from the cold, rain, or waterfall mist. We made it to the top of a mountain to see a powerful, breathtaking waterfall in East Iceland.
My three friends and I stood in awe. One, because we made it in less than ideal hiking conditions. Two, because this was a majestic sight.
Throughout our week in Iceland we stopped and soaked in the magic of 10 waterfalls, each with their own beauty and history. Here’s what the waterfalls taught me: surrender creates power. Standing under, above, and next to these 10 wonders this lesson clearly presented itself. I noticed myself continually watching the rushing water gather and gain speed as it neared the end of a drop off, then complete surrender. The river didn’t splash back or cry out, it let go. It gave way to the edge. It let go trusting the best was on the other side. Then it roared down the cliff with a power like never before. Here, in the surrender, is where it gathered courage and made a splash. The mist of each waterfall told the same story: no signs of control, surrender creates power.
The glacier pieces at Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach taught me another lesson: Embrace your shine.
This was blue water and radiating ice like I’ve never seen. When the chunks of glacier washed up onto the black sand they looked like diamonds glistening.
I remembered that I too have my own luster about me. One that I too often try to dull down. Not these glacier babes. They didn’t care that it was freezing, raining, and that there were thousands of chunks all similar — they embraced their shine. They trusted their glow and their individuality, never afraid to take up space. Thank you Diamond Beach for reminding me to shine.
A third lesson came from the cliff where Pyrholaey Lighthouse sits. This was one of my favorite spots on the trip and the reminder I got was this: Be.
It was here, looking over the Atlantic Ocean with mountains behind me that I was present to the gift of being. I connected with the opportunity to breathe every ounce of beauty in. What made this spot so beautiful was not what was happening, but what it was. There was stillness, trust, harmony. The ocean was the ocean. The mountains were the mountains. The lighthouse was the lighthouse. The cliff was the cliff. I was me. No more, no less.
One of my favorite photos was taken here. A picture of me being me – silly, beautiful, joyful. I was brought back to a phrase one of my earliest coaching mentors often told me, “there is nothing to do, ‘Be.'” In the moment I understood, I embodied this wisdom, be.
The Blue Lagoon introduced another lesson – have fun! We said yes to ourselves and soaked up the heat in this hot spring. Complete with silica mud masks, raspberry slushes, and girl talk we had a blast. #livingourbestlife.
In the middle of an action packed trip we remembered to relax and let the good times roll (who am I kidding, the entire vacation was a blast.) I am grateful to the Blue Lagoon for reminding me to slow down, soak it up, and have fun.
My next lesson came of course, from the world’s most popular geyser – Blow off steam. It was so cool to see the geyser erupt 80 – 100 feet every 4 – 8 minutes, and reminded me that I get to let all that shit go.
It’s okay to feel. It’s okay to be angry, sad, ecstatic, and to express it, and it’s best to have a safe space to do it in. Here I had gratitude for my partner, friends, family, coaches, and sisters who create a container for me to share my truth, blow off steam, and be celebrated.
The volcanic crater we saw clued me in to another lesson that was a blessing to receive – celebrate transformation.
On our drive to the crater we read the best guesses of how this crater was formed 2,000 years before civilization in Iceland. The best guess is that a volcano once stood tall and proud, after erupting and giving out all of it’s lava the volcano crumbled upon itself creating a giant crater with an enchanting lake at the center. This is a transformation at it’s finest. A perfect reminder for how it goes for us as humans too – from one incredible being, we transform into another incredible being each time that we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. The universe always has a plan, we get to embrace our transformation.
My final lesson inspired by the magic of Iceland came from our attempts to see the Northern Lights. The lesson is this, keep the faith. On our last night we faintly saw the Aurora Borealis, though not the vibrant greens and reds, but a subtle white streak that grew across the sky. Sadly, not bright enough to photograph. And so, I will keep the faith. I will believe that the majestic lights are still out there waiting for me to take their beauty in. I will keep the faith in myself that I can source and create all of my dreams to come true. I will keep the faith that together we can create a world where women are equal, diversity is celebrated, and love always wins.
Iceland forever has my heart. I am grateful for the incredible women I traveled with and I know that these reminders were given to me for a reason.
It’s time for my next chapter of magic.