• Birgit Ohlin

Reborn in Finnish Lappland - Christine shares her story

The past year was very moving for Christine, because many things in her life are in upheaval. A big change is coming.

She knows that she wants to go new ways, but she doesn't quite know yet what her next steps could be.

And this search ties up a lot of energy. So she feels tired and lacking in energy again and again in everyday life.

"I felt tired and lacking energy"

When she sees the announcement for the favorite week in Finnish Lapland, she is immediately excited. For a long time it has been her dream to travel to the north in winter.

But she is not sure: is it the right time to fulfill this dream of one to the north? Can she get involved with a group now and enjoy being on the road with strangers? Is she stable enough is for this trip. Can she manage the effort?

After all, her health has not been good over the past year either. Her body showed her that she could not continue her life like this. That it was time to put herself first, instead of always overdoing it and getting carried away. She feels that old patterns have had their day and something new is allowed to emerge.

"It's time for me to put myself first"

And so she signed up for the trip.

A few days before departure, she was struggling with nausea and other physical symptoms. Her body clearly showed her that this trip was far outside her comfort zone. And she accepts the challenge.

Once in Lapland, she quickly notices her body calming down. And when her soul also arrives in the cozy log cabin, she is ready to fully engage in the process.

Even before the first snowshoe tour, she explains that due to physical obstacles, she is not sure if she will be able to participate in sports activities. Gingerly, she takes her first steps up the mountain on her snowshoes.

It is mindfulness day and I guide the participants with various exercises to be mindful on the road. At the top, Christine is a changed woman.

"I no longer have cramps in my foot!" she declares, beaming. "Before, I always had problems jogging. And since I did the mindfulness exercise I can walk up the mountain pain-free with the snowshoes, wow." She is visibly amazed and full of joy. What a change!

"Wow, I can snowshoe without feeling any pain!"

Later, we women sit down in the typical Finnish smoke sauna. Outside, a frozen lake awaits us. By means of an artificial water stream, a hole in the ice is kept free so that we can cool down. Christine has great respect for this. She checks what could happen.

That is ok. Everything may, nothing must.

But after coaching in the cozy room with fire place, she takes heart. Already after the first sauna session she walks in flip-flops towards the hole in the lake. She puts her bath towel aside and then slowly, step by step, walks down the stairs. Dives into the icy water.

And as she feels the icy water on her chin, she is overcome with emotion. "I feel like I've been reborn!" she says as she stands on the frozen footbridge again. And she feels: now a new era has begun! "If I've done this, what else can I do?!"

A short time later, Christine is sitting in the coaching room by the fire, a cup of hot berry juice in her hand. She is radiant. Her face has taken on a calm, a glow. She has arrived at herself. And she feels that there is so much more waiting for her in this life.

"I dived into the icy water and felt like I was reborn"

A few days later, the participants are asked to bring an object from nature that symbolizes an obstacle in life. Christine brings a beautiful piece of tree bark. It symbolizes the "old skin" that she wants to shed. "It's time for something new" she says joyfully.

During the snowshoe tour she carries the "old skin" with her. We take a break and she puts the bark in front of her in the snow. "Beautiful she looks," Christine says thoughtfully. "And yet it's time to put it down". She decides to look for a nice place and put down the bark during the tour.

After a short time finds a beautiful tree, which is completely covered with snow. She puts the bark under it. But after two steps she goes back and picks it up again from the ground. "This is not the right place" she thinks.

We continue walking. And on a big white snow field she puts the bark down again. Only to pick it up again shortly after. "It's still not coherent" she says.

As she continues, she stops abruptly. "I'm having trouble letting go of the old skin!" she states, aghast. What a realization!

As she continues walking, she takes time to appreciate what the old skin has meant in her life. What it has brought her. What it also prevented her from doing. And what it means to discard it.

The group has already moved on when Christine suddenly stops. "It fits here," she says, and places the bark on a split-off tree trunk.

She looks devoutly at the tree trunk with the bark. Walks back a few steps, turns around again. "That's good," she then says. "Very good."

"I suddenly realize: I have trouble letting go of my old skin!"

She trudges a few steps with her snowshoes, turns around again, and then feels that the moment has come. With a loud cry she says goodbye. The liberating cry sinks into the snowy nature. A redemptive smile appears on Christine's face. The relief is to be seen to her.

Then she goes on. She has let go. She is ready to give space to the new skin in her life. To get involved in new ways. To shape her life differently. To take herself more seriously and write the next chapter in her life.

Even during her favorite week, her friends write from home that she looks so happy in the photos. "It's me! I'm really happy!" grins Christine as she shares the news.

The week still holds much in store for Christine. She takes away insights and finds a new approach to the issues in her life.

"I am happy - and deeply touched"

Back home she wrote to me: "Dear Birgit, I would like to thank you again for the wonderful vacation! I am convinced that this trip will once again contribute significantly to my healing (and has already done so). So many valuable impulses from you, such beautiful encounters and so many wonderful impressions and experiences... Thank you for everything!"

Thank you, dear Christine, for your trust. And for allowing me to tell your story.

If you want to be part of the trip to Finnish Lapland in winter 2023, contact me now: info@birgitohlin.com.