Orenda (n.): a mystical force present in all people that empoweres them to affect the world, or to effect change in their own lives.
I am in a frenzy. Standing naked in front of artists for hours on end, partying with feminists, rappers and sexologists, falling for bearded men and surviving the winter months thanks to the hot tubs… It has been a couple of months now since I started my new adventure here in Reykjavík. I have already encountered many wonderful and dreamy tales, each a whole story in itself that I might get into another time. However, for the purpose of introducing myself, I’ll start by sharing a simple, but for me, very effective advice, which brought me to where I am at right now, among all of you in Iceland.
During my third year at the University in Boulder Colorado, while I was half passionately studying psychology and philosophy, very much lost in a lack of meaning and direction in life (little relationship to my orenda), I met one of the first female triathlon runners in the U.S who had the impulse to share this wisdom with me:
“Create your path step by step, don’t fixate on the end, let yourself be directed by each intuition and passion, no matter how major or miniscule.”
From that day on I became more aware of all possible steps surrounding me, some more obvious, some less so. I started to give into my intuitions, interests and curiosities that I encountered on a daily basis. As corny as this may sound, I decided to fully trust life in all its confusing, unpredictable and non-judgmental beauty.
Soon after this realisation, I felt the calling to open up a guinea pig hospice. Back in elementary school I was the weird kid in the corner smelling like pee and sucking her thumb, always off in a faraway daydream. I had no friends. So animals and especially guinea pigs became my life companions. Later, as a full grown sexy woman I had the need to give back to my community, the guinea pig community. It felt right to adopt retarded and old guinea pigs and give them a safe and cosy home to slowly die in. I believe not every step has to be full of deep meaning, as long as you are true to yourself. (At least that’s what I tell myself during lonely nights.)
But don’t get me wrong, I haven’t mastered the skill yet between differentiating between when I am merely playing sexy mind tricks on myself to masturbate my ego. Reaching this awareness can be a confusing journey. So sometimes I believe the solution is to just not take ourselves our life too seriously at times. It’s all part of the game!
Next big step: I dared to recognize my potential. The reflection of the person that I could be if I would stop trying to control my life, but simply let life lead me. A path governed by trust and yes, love. The kind that returns you to your center, which makes all matter calm down and unite you with it. Every step that would go against my potential and path from now on felt like a betrayal of the person I know I could be. (Btw, this realization occurred while smoking a delicious Doobie with a person that brings my trueorenda out of me. I think we might have been doing naked yoga in front of the fireplace again, basking in empowerment and a fabulous high.)
Slowly but surely, I created my very own path. In my case, it lead me to Reykjavík. Or actually let’s take a step back, to Jón Gnarr and The Best Party.
A while ago I read an interview with Jón Gnarr and it became clear to me: whatever he is doing, I want to support and contribute to it. Even though I have no background in politics, I am a believer in his form of leadership and in his ability to call out the authentic inner leader in all of us.
I want to be part of an environment that creates space for people to change and grow into their true forms and not dominate creativity and individuality. I believe in surroundings that can look beyond borders of difference in order to become global ambassadors and citizens. I don’t want aim for a “better” world, but embrace the potential of the world we already live in and step away from the temptation to label everything. Jón Gnarr and other members of The Best Party seemed to be creating such kind of an environment.
To quote myself during yet another first time encounter with Reykjavíkans: “I am taking this new life of mine here in Reykjavík as an opportunity to materialize my intuition, to train the muscle that performs actual forms that can be used for our society and myself. I see Reykjavík as a city that has the potential to become a global peace city beyond borders.”
This is my dream. This is my orenda.
Words by Katharina Celeste Wiesinger