Back ‘in it’?

Many years ago, while sailing in the Mediterranean, an old Swedish friend of mine, Mats, told me how on returning to Stockholm, it was only a few days before you were back ‘in it’. Whenever I visit London, my memories of Mats produce a secret smile…

Back ‘in it’….

Love it!

How apt, unless of course you refuse to be ‘in it’.

Back 'in it'? I don't think so!

Back ‘in it’? I don’t think so!

Like so many before me and since, I came to London from the North to find work in the city that never sleeps, and struggled in the huge, heaving, unforgiving Capital of our great nation. While sitting on the train after a day’s work, I would feel as if I’d just been fifteen rounds with Mohammed Ali; unsmiling faces would stare back at me, immersed in their own story and probably with that old chestnut running through their minds…

Will I ever be happy?

On that nightmarish urban tread wheel, souls seemed to be drowning in a sea of despair, punctuated only by the thank God it’s Friday syndrome, a hedonistic splurge of weekend activity based on alcohol and sexual endeavour. Where was the serenity? Where was the hope? An endless abyss with a future that promised more of the same?

Crazy old London!

Crazy old London!

Folk sometimes ask me why I am so happy all the time. Trust me when I say that my life was just as murky as anyone else’s. 

All life is subjective until one steps into total awareness and transcends the little me, that grasping, selfish little monster, the ego self. Then one can see that we are all beautiful, like waves in an ocean; the same source in a different form. Learn to see like a child again… things as they are… no story and a fascination for the ordinary, which is in fact, truly extraordinary! Can you see how our collective little me’s dance like puppets to every little breeze that sweeps our experience? A disaster here, an injustice there; a religion here, a disagreement there… round and round we go, dancing to the ego’s tune. Nothing is ever enough…

There comes a time in one’s life when the question has to be asked…

Is this what I want?

Then the choice has to be made… and it is scary… of course it is. How do you think the Vikings’ felt when they left for Iceland? And yet they did, and found new lands away from the oppression of their kinfolk. Fear is okay, a fuel to make things happen. Of course I am scared when I’m sailing! There’s no Health and Safety where I go!

There are few very fortunate folk who can live their dream… to do something they love and have enough money to survive. For most of us, sacrifices have to be made.

Time or Money… Which is it to be? To be free or not to be? That is the question.

The big city can be fun too!

The big city can be fun too!

Every moment we have is full of awe and wonder! The miracle of being alive. One can step out of the heavy, dull mist of complaint and discontent. Just believe it! Your birthright is to be free, to be happy, to see through the lie of negativity.

Throw the newspaper away and make your own truth… remember that bad news is a minute part of the whole; good news is never reported. We are all beautiful as we are.

Get out there… be magnificent… because you are!

Be free and not ‘in it’!


About Viking Queen

I am a sailor and I live on my boat 'Free'. I have no home but originate from Tyneside. I have no allegiance, just a desire to do no harm and live with courage and an open heart.
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21 Responses to Back ‘in it’?

  1. Claus Højlund says:

    just love your way with words 🙂 looking forward some day to read your books 😀

  2. Hariod Brawn says:

    How lovely to read of your philosophical side Poppy; I had not come across this aspect of you here before. May I ask of you what, if any, your influences have been in the realm of philosophy and/or metaphysics?

    All best wishes.


    • Viking Queen says:

      Hello Hariod,
      Winter is a more philosophic time for me, a time of reflection, if you will.
      My main influences are the Norse Poetic Edda and non dual Advaita teachings. I am particularly interested in the Norse esoteric teachings before they became lost and perverted by the Judaeo-Christian desert religions. Apart from this my leanings are eclectic in nature.

      • Hariod Brawn says:

        Hi Poppy, thank you for your response. I am entirely unfamiliar with Norse Poetic Edda and will see what pops up online – it sounds as if it would be of interest to me. Advaita is more my thing (classical not Neo-Advaita), though I trained in Orthodox Buddhism for most of my life. Like you, I have a bit of a mish-mash formed more from experience than any adherence to doctrine. All best wishes, Hariod.

      • Viking Queen says:

        Interesting Hariod, I too, studied Buddhism in my thirties, but only in a non academic way through books and groups. Zazen interested me and I still use it for calming myself and dissipating excessive emotional stimuli. Mindfulness meditation on the question ‘Am I aware?’ is a constant companion these days.

      • Hariod Brawn says:

        ‘Am I aware?’ is a constant companion these days.

        And ‘Where is awareness?’ too perhaps.

        [ ]

      • Viking Queen says:

        Yes… I feel so much to be the watcher, but without the story. Where? Right here!

      • Viking Queen says:

        Having had a night to dwell on your fascinating questions, I needed to add: I wrote an article at the beginning of my blog last year called the ‘Viking Way’, which I withdrew feeling it was perhaps, a little pretentious. It was my attempt to pull together my philosophy into a coherent system, a way to live one’s life. It has always puzzled me on our need to resort to Eastern philosophies and religions for answers, when surely we must have a rich vein to tap into, more suitable to our Northern European culture and temperament. I must state at this point that this has nothing to do with racism or nationalism. Advaita, I believe has an ancient foundation predating ‘culture’ with tools that are crucial to growth and can be easily integrated into my own ‘way’. I have no problem in believing in the old Norse Gods because I have actually witnessed their presence and felt their guidance on the Northern Seas. They are not how we generally view the ‘One God’ or supreme being within, rather separate, beings themselves on other dimensions that have the power to work with us. I would never have believed this before sailing single-handed as I only accept what i experience and nothing on ‘faith’. We are all magnificent, yet dumbed down to being weak, over critical of our own divine nature, and quick to complain. My path accentuates total responsibility for one’s life period. ‘It is what it is’ but also ‘It is what you make it’!

      • Hariod Brawn says:

        Oh, that is utterly fascinating Poppy, and I would love to read your article ‘The Viking Way’ if ever you felt it appropriate to publish once again. Your views on the appropriateness of Eastern Philosophical doctrines to the Westerner’s mind were, as you may well know, shared by Carl Jung. And whilst he was deeply interested in Oriental teachings, and commented on Buddhist texts for example, he remained doubtful as to whether certain meditative practices could culturally be absorbed and applied with any great efficacy. I think he was proven wrong on this point in any case; though I share your disdain with the rather fawning fascination that some Westerners have for all things Eastern; it’s silly.

      • Viking Queen says:

        Wonderful reply Hariod! I agree completely. There’s no doubt about the value of ‘Eastern techniques’ I would never have had my present life without learning TM back at University. But the Indian ‘uniform’ can be wearing at times. Some of them think you’re a type of neo nazi if you delve into the Northern Mysteriies!

      • Hariod Brawn says:

        You are both a Viking Queen and a South Shields Buddhess Poppy!

  3. Wonderful post Poppy love, absolutely spot on and couldn’t agree with you more ❤ xx

    • Viking Queen says:

      Lovely to hear from you again my dear friend! I knew you’d agree! Hope all is good in your universe! Much love to you.

  4. christisn says:

    u can meet many different people in life some u never meet again others are friends for life. or even think u have meet them in another life before. we can all take different paths in life but know our paths will cross backwards and forwards. freedom can be found in many forms enjoy

  5. Viki Moore says:

    Love it! Look for the adventure – it is out there, regardless of if you are at sea or a commuter on the way to work in a big city. There is so much to explore in this world, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. These people need to discover themselves and find a passion!

  6. Harald Pobloth says:

    Hi there, new to your place after discovering an article in a Swedish sailing magazine that you have thank Milo for. It was fun to see you walk Southbank in this post where I walked myself last Thursday thinking about life and happiness with maybe somewhat different conclusions. I guess what I wonder or maybe to some extend disagree is if you have to get away from your “ordinary” life to gain happiness and experience the wonders of everyday life. I certainly experience a greater extend of freedom, calmness and mindfulness when sailing around Stockholm or in the Finish waters (which living in Stockholm I have the privilege to do regularly during summer). Still, I think one can be ‘in it’ without ‘disappearing in it’. Of course there are dull moments in that live, more so than in the one of a sailor but it can offer happiness and freedom as well. I think the key is the look from the outside of yourself, be aware of the compromises you make and accept them.

    Of course sometimes I wonder if this is just an excuse for not making a decision, who knows, but if the goal is being happy why not just be it instead of wondering if you could be even happier?

    I have to admit though that there is an infinite amount of more happiness during the summer season when the thanks god it’s Friday means picking up the kids, getting on the boat and spend the night somewhere on an island.

    Cheers and looking forward to reading your blog.

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hej Harald,
      Great reply, thank you!

      Let me clear something up…

      I don’t think you have to leave your job to be happy so I agree with most of your reply. If you read carefully you will see that I make reference to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. I am very clear about how being ‘in it’ is a choice we make and not due necessarily, to our chosen lifestyle. The ‘weekend syndrome’ is an escape, I believe, from discontent, otherwise why would one abuse oneself so much?

      I’m an all or nothing type of person so it was necessary for me. If anything my life has become much tougher, and freedom hard won.

      Just a point… I don’t believe I have to thank Milo for anything. She asked me for material for her job and I gave it free of charge. I’m not interested in fame or fortune from my sailing.

      I have a wonderful life but it isn’t easy, as you will see from my posts over the past few years. I hope you follow me and contribute some more. Maybe I’ll see you around the Åland Islands next year!

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hello Harald,
      I received and fully understand your mail and have respected your wish not to publish it.
      I hope we are ok now and that it was all a misunderstanding! Please do keep reading and contributing as i value feedback greatly. All the best, Poppy ;0)

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