isabelle thye

Closing the gap between Himalaya mountains and concrete jungle

The first day I came back from the Everest Base Camp trek in Nepal, I was in a hot shower when a thought suddenly crossed my mind: I am so, so thankful to have what I have!

For a few days, I walked around feeling immense gratitude and an urge to tear when I see beautiful things around me, and yet as a writer, I didn’t know what to say and how to say it.

Instead of coming home with interesting stories to tell, I found myself in a gap between the Himalayan mountains and the city I call home.

Existential void

From the mountain life to a city full of people, objects and noises, everything in my life was shaken as if the force that hold things together disappeared. I felt myself frantically trying to hold on to something, anything.

I fell into an existential void again — what do I want to do with life? What is important to me? What do I have to give? What do I want to create? How can I be useful to the world?

Anicca (the law of impermanence)

‘Anicca, anicca..’ I kept repeating this phrase in my mind and anchored myself in the fundamental principle of Vipassana meditation — everything comes and goes according to the law of impermanence.

The chaos in me was not permanent. I should embrace it, observe it, feel it, and let it pass. It was here for a reason, it was here to help me learn something, it happened and it was okay.

Contemplating death

When I was scrambling to make sense of my internal flux, I never expected words to have so much power until I reread the chapter ‘Contemplating Death’ in Untethered Soul by Michael Singer.

“What is it that won’t let us live our lives? What is inside of us that is so afraid that it keeps us from just enjoying life? This part of us is so busy trying to make sure the next thing goes right that we can’t just be here now and live life.” — Untethered Soul

We are born and we will die, everything in between is a gift from life — why did I take myself so seriously?

The cloud in my head dropped silently.

Appreciating the gap

I created a gap in life after immersing myself in 2 weeks of intense trekking surrounded by breath-taking Himalaya mountains.

Despite extreme discomfort, the gap gave me an opportunity to look inside myself, dive deep into the dark messy place to make sense of the contrasting experiences life offers.

Am I an enlightened being who knows all about life now?

Not really. What I realised is that the thing we want in life, what we call a goal, is often a moving target. With every new experience, new encounter, our mind stretches and our horizon broadens.

When we see the world differently, the important things that matter in life changes.

“If you just replace ‘know’ with ‘don’t know,’ then you start to move into the unknown. And that’s where the interesting stuff happens.” Humans of New York

Live deliberately

The grand pursuit in life is not about the end but the process of experiencing all seasons without resistance and create meaning out of it.

When I wrote this, I felt that the gaps in life serves a purpose because it gives me a space to reframe, redefine and recalibrate the things that give meaning to life.

By creating and closing the gap, I learn to live deliberately.


Hi, I am Isabelle, author of ‘The Art of Owning Your Story’, I write about conscious living and personal growth, building a podcast called ‘Own Your Story’. If you enjoy what you read, please subscribe to get the latest content delivered to your mailbox. Thank you 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top