On December 1st last year, I took a big leap out into the world. I had bought myself a one-way ticket to Bangkok not knowing when I would return to my home country. The events that happened prior to making this giant decision was simply that I was fed up with what I was doing. I had worked my ass off for the family business for 5 years and wanted to do something else. At the same time, a relationship that seemed just right turned out to be an illusionary fling that only lasted a couple of months. In addition, a project that I’d worked so hard for no longer gave me energy but drained me instead.

Many of these factors made me question what I was doing with my life, I started pondering and reflecting on what I really spent my time on in my life. I had followed the norm, followed the path that my parents paved so well for me, and I’m still grateful for the opportunity and the circumstances they have created for me.

But I wasn’t truly enjoying life, so I made the radical decision to quit my job, sell my apartment, and go traveling to south-east Asia. During the entire fall, I was packing my stuff and untangling all loose ends so that I could leave with a clean consciousness.  A friend bought my apartment for roughly 32000 $ and that was my budget for my trip.

But what was I supposed to do on this trip? I hadn’t really decided more than I wanted to go to Thailand, do some yoga, meditation and meet new and interesting people. Widening my perspective of the world and growing along the journey.

I had followed this “longhaired charismatic astrology hippie” for almost 2 years and saw that he was going to host an astrology class for beginners in Bangkok the beginning of December. I had by this point understood that astrology is more than the bullshit surface level sun sign astrology that you come across in the newspaper.

This guy was American but for some reason, he had adopted a new name. His original name was Tom Lescher from Chicago, Illinois. And now he referred himself as ‘Kaypacha’.

His way of describing and teaching the information of the stars and planets was very appealing to me and deep down I felt: “Hey, this guy is on to something.”

Astrology is a practice that is looked down on by the western, linear, logical world as humbug and with me coming from that world it still is a bit taboo for me to express myself about thinking it’s a legit science. But there are so many things in life where we need to listen more to our gut feeling and follow our hearts than listening to what is logical.

Because life is logical and cyclical but not in the ways we humans comprehend that it should be sometimes. We think about how we want something to end up and try to secure that way of how it will happen through life by creating this sense of security. So many times in life when we think we have our shit together something smacks us on our blindside.

Trying to do the right thing often stops us in our tracks. We get stuck in our heads and instead of taking the first step we sometimes never even take that step. When I set out to do this trip I set an intention to move more into the flow of life, acceptance, allowing and giving way to the magical way of spontaneity. To live more in my heart and body rather than being in my head. To shift from thinking to acting and just do what feels right in the moment.

Starting my trip doing this workshop with Kaypacha felt right. Little did I know that I would follow this guy to 2 other retreats on 2 separate continents the following year and in the process meet new friends, soul connections, inspiring people and learn so much more about myself and astrology.

To do this kind of journey by yourself is one of the most powerful things one can do.

Because when we go out on our own traveling the world, we can let go of whatever peer pressures and masks that we’ve put on in our home environments. No one knows who we are, therefore we can choose in every moment who we want to be. Sometimes we are so stuck trying to please in our regular environments with an image that someone else has created for us.

That was one of the hardest thing for me to face when I got back home, trying to fit in back in to the box that I expanded out of. It has been a real process to come back, a kind of “honeymoon depression”. This past 6 months for me have been a lot of trying to process all the expansive things I’ve done and experienced. From being out in the world to coming back living with my parents outside a small town in Sweden.

So many things had happened to me on an internal level but so many things seemed to be unchanged in my external home environment. Therefore, I felt as if there has been a slight glitch and disconnectedness ever since I got back.

And I’ve gone from being very open and expressive while traveling to becoming more introverted and wanting more solitude as I’ve gotten back home (to be honest also very often dealing with depressing thoughts).

One year ago, I was staying at the bungalows at Benjamins Hut on Koh Phangan with my bank account filled with plenty of savings. Today I’m sitting at a Burger King at Stockholm Central station waiting for my train home to my hometown. My bank account balance is at almost 0. Everything is gone, and instead of wearing nothing but a pair of shorts I wear a winter jacket, gloves, and a winter cap. My bank account may be empty but my soul has been nourished well the last year that has passed and every penny has been worth it.

It’s been a year of contrasts indeed and that has been one of my greatest challenges coming home. To be okay with where I’m at and not get nostalgic and for example wish I was doing a Vinyasa class at Radiantly Alive in Ubud with James Mattingley (If you’re in Ubud you have to go there, seriously).

To be okay with the moment, to be curious about what it will bring and what feelings that will arise. To accept and love whatever shows up, to “Move From Love” as the great yoga teacher Meghan Currie (That I had a great pleasure to practice and hang out with, check her out.) would have put it.

All pain that we experience is often a result of us resisting the present moment. Wanting a different circumstance than the one we’re in, or longing for a past moment that will never return. That was one huge thing that I learned from my stay at a Buddhist temple during a 10 day Vipassana experience in northern Thailand.

And from being very active, expressive and extroverted during my travels I had a hard time coming back to less stimulating circumstances. I forgot how much I had done and needed to remember to take pride in what I really had accomplished. The bravery and assertiveness to actually sell my apartment and go out into the world.

Because when I sum up all the things I’ve done, people I’ve met and places I’ve gone to I realize how much I’ve done. I’ve been to 8 countries, done a yoga TTC, got my life-coaching certificate, started my own podcast, attended an Astrology conference, done a Vipassana, done my first Ayahuasca ceremony, ran my first marathon, travelled through Sweden for 25 days with my best friend without using any money and so much more.

When we’re so caught up in the business of our lives we tend to forget to stop and be grateful for the ride because we’re so focused on the end goal, the next summit to climb and we get stuck in comparison mode. If you read this far, I would like you to take a few moments to breathe and just ponder what you’ve actually managed to do this year. Just for a moment be grateful for the process of this year and what it has taught you. Let that feeling of not being satisfied with what is go for a second and acknowledge the things that you’ve done.

Everything that happens has a meaning and you might not like the next sentence but: You are exactly where you need to be. There’s something right now in this moment that you can learn and embrace.

And lastly, as I ponder about my year of 2017, the beginning of it was joyous and very liberating whilst the other half of it has been filled with a lot of sorrow, doubt, and tears. But we need that in this world of duality. We need contrast to feel. And we need to honor that, even though the going gets tough sometimes.

Before I sign off I also want to thank everybody that has been part of my year, thank all the beautiful souls that have crossed my path and affected my life in any way. Like this “longhaired charismatic astrology hippie” that I mentioned. So many good things have happened because of one guy, Kaypacha. A man who I now can call not just a teacher and inspiration, but also a friend and brother.

And if one guy can have so much impact on others by just shining his light and truth, imagine what you can do.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a transformational 2018.

Love & Light.