I am an egoist and like it #ikaria

I am an egoist and like it #ikaria

Summer again and people are asking me: “Where are you going? Ikaria again?” They already know my answer – it is: “Yes, of course.” This is all I am willing to say about it. Perhaps they may get an additional smile, but certainly no more explanations or even an invitation to join me. I consider myself an open person, I like to spoil my friends, to share and to invite, but I also like to keep my secrets and my treasures.

Egoism can be quite helpful in this case … sometimes … especially, when it is a way to heal your soul. I like to adopt a positive definition of “egoism”, in the sense of looking after myself a bit, thinking of my well-being and being coherent in my actions and feelings. I lost this for a while, devoting myself to raising my family, building up a career, keeping friendships up, fulfilling all kinds of duties that people expected of me. In the end, there wasn’t much left of what I could consider “myself”.

So destiny did a good job, putting me on this island. A place that is teaching me to face myself. To reflect on my actions, allow time for my thoughts to develop. It is a long journey that I embarked on. On my way, I am peeling off layer after layer … all the layers I had piled on top of my feelings, my interests, my wishes in order to survive the life I was expected to live.

But Ikaria is a good teacher: nature is rich and is spoiling me. When I am up there in the mountains, I can sit for hours just watching the rocks and the sea. When I am strolling around the villages and people are curious to talk to me, I rediscover the beauty of small gestures, like someone picking oranges for me directly from the tree to give me food for the road. During the Panigyris I enjoy the pleasure of the gathering, laughing and letting go. All these impressions are helping to dig another hole in my layers, open a little chink and make more room for breathing in.

So every visit to Ikaria takes me deeper into my journey and I become more and more curious about where it will lead me. But on this journey I have to travel alone. I have to give it my full attention, otherwise I will miss the point. So I learned to say “No”. “No” to my friends who want to come, looking for a guided tour on Ikaria. I don’t think I am in a position to “explain” the island. Everybody has their own different definition or explanation of what Ikaria means to them. I don’t like to share mine, I don’t even want to discuss or explain it. I would like to keep it for myself. I am an egoist.

And I have learned that time is a very precious gift. So I am defending my time on the island against “time-eaters” and “time-invaders”. My time here means freedom – I enjoy both sides of it: the sometimes lonely part of by being by myself and the very positive part of having all those opportunities to follow spontaneous invitations. The island teaches me the positive side of having “no plans”, of how to go with the flow with no expectations and to discover what is happening around the next corner.

On this island my curiosity is growing, my ability to react spontaneously is becoming more profound. I feel more and more alive. I am learning to breathe again. I can feel my heart again. I am becoming more sensitive towards energies and people. And as all this is so fresh and new that it is not yet ready to be shown to others. These are my treasures, and I have to guard them. So the more I am asked to bring people here, the more my egoism grows. I am an egoist and I like it: Ikaria is for me and I don’t want to share it.