Lose yourself…..

Don’t be afraid to get lost. It’s often where the air is freshest and the mind can be clearest!

You often hear about how getting outdoors, into the fresh air and wilderness, can be a good way to “find yourself”, but I think what can be even more beneficial is doing the same thing, but focussing a little more on “losing yourself”.

The lockdown in Melbourne has really had an impact on me, an unfortunately, not a good impact. Now I know I’m not alone in that, but I can only speak for my own experience, so this is what I have decided to do.

I have been fortunate enough to retain my day job, which financially has been good and certainly helpful though this tough time, however, the monotony of having said job and working from home full time impacted me in a way I wasn’t ready for. The same 4 walls, the same routine, the same inability to do the things that are usually my battery chargers like camping, fishing and even spending time in the studio recording. The days started the same, and ended the same, with all the same goings on through the middle of the days, and, aside from my wife and kids, all without seeing another soul other than a quick flutter to the post office or petrol station where I might nod or exchange awkward masked facial expressions to a stranger. Now it should be said that if I never got to see another human ever again except for my wife and kids, I could certainly survive. Especially my wife Rikki, who is my best friend and we could tackle anything together. The kids, while extremely challenging at times and an ongoing rollercoaster ride, they’ve got my back, and I’ve got theirs….always.

The thing that has occurred to me and hit me throughout this lockdown period, is it’s the enforced inability to visit friends or family, or go fishing, or spend time with guests in studio on my podcast that has really disturbed me and effected me the most. I didn’t realise the significant impact that would actually have until now…..actually a few months back through to now. And if I’m honest, even with restrictions and lockdown easing, what this period has done to me personally is actually going to take some work to shake well past this hardest lockdown duration.

As I said, I am well aware that I’m not alone and there are many many people out there with similar or same experiences that will work through things differently. But I can only tell my side of the story.

Something else happened over the last month of hard lockdown which I wasn’t expecting. The desire and desperation to finally get out and about started waning. The anticipation of restrictions lifting to go and do these things I have looked forward to, all of a sudden wasn’t as significant and in fact, I wasn’t even looking forward to anything. It’s almost like I’d forgotten what it was that I wanted to do, but actually what I think it was, was that I’d forgotten why I wanted to do these things. That sucked. That sucked hard. I had to get back on track with finding why I love the things I do.

I’m fortunate to live in (a bias opinion coming up) one of the most beautiful parts of the country, and what makes it that in my opinion is it’s nature. We have endless amounts of wildlife around us and have amazing bushland a stones throw away. I realised I needed to go and walk around a bit. Get back into the bush and walk around. Breathe in that air and take it in. Surprisingly, a couple of decent walks in the bush was all it took to reignite the fire. There is something deeply engrained in me that seems to react to the openness, freshness, wilderness that is nature. Although it hurt that I still couldn’t camp or travel much further than where I was, it brought me back to being excited about the coming weeks of restrictions easing. I couldn’t believe what a couple of fairly straight forward hikes could do. But at the same time, wasn’t all that surprised too. This is what nature does. it is so powerful, enlightening and inspiring that even the simplest of strolls can bring back an urge to discovery and want more!

There was a moment recently though that caught me off guard a little bit. On a recent walk, which in itself was a great one, I managed to get off track a bit and was filming some stuff so was mucking around with setting up cameras, getting focussed, getting the shots etc and before I knew it, I couldn’t remember the way I had come in to the area I was in. It was fairly dense, albeit stunning bushland and I realised I had no recollection of where I had come in from. In that moment, aside from a touch of confusion on where I’d managed to get to, I felt amazing! I felt like I hadn’t felt in months, or longer. I felt this freedom, peace come over me and felt really happy. It was as if all the lockdown stuff, the monotony of every working day, the inability to do anything, had gone…..completely. I wasn’t expecting that at all. After soaking that up for a few minutes, I figured I better get back to it and find the track again before I really lost myself!!

To be honest, I wasn’t too lost, there was a stream that I was walking along and I could still hear it, so just walked back to the sound. In fact I wasn’t too far from the trail at all, but what happened made that point irrelevant. Getting “lost” was one of the best things that could have happened to my mind at that moment. I’m not suggesting people go out and get lost in the bush and let it be said that it can be a really dangerous prospect, but my point here is, get out, find yourself in a calming, open piece of nature and “lose” yourself for a moment. Lose your mind for a few minutes and let yourself be lost in the wild for just a second. It can be incredible.

If deep bushland isn’t your thing, find a safe place to do it. Honestly, I think this could be done even in your local park or open space that gives you some connection with nature. Forget it all apart from where you are and that your mind is lost to that. I hope it can be as beneficial as my experience.

You can check out part of that experience here:

Published by lukemccredden

Voiceover artist and podcast producer/creator.

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