As festival season is upon us I cant help but notice my FOMO coming up here and there. Last year I was lucky enough to go to two life changing festivals, Desert Hearts and Lightning in a Bottle. So much to say about my experience at both of those. Too much actually. There is a reason I bring up festivals though. As me and my roommate discussed our festival going experiences I realized that our favorite thing about the festivals were the same. The love and human connection.
The other day I was listening to someone tell a story about their new puppy and how the puppy needed to meet every new person that walked their way. He was curious about them and also wanted to express his love to them. She brought up a great point. Why do we breeze past people and not even so much as smile or say hi? We look down or we avoid eye contact or avoid touching. What if as we sat down at a bus stop we looked to the person to your left or right and said, Hi, how is your day? They may label you as weird because not everyone is wanting to talk or is used to that kind of behavior. We are walking around the streets closed off. The reason I bring up festivals is because thats how it feels when you are there. Strangers saying hi, offering you a piece of their orange, or they share a hug, a smile, a beer, a joint, whatever it is, they aren't stingy or closed off. I am sure you are saying well of course everyone is happy and loving, they are all on drugs. Wrong. Not everyone is on drugs and maybe some people are but in the morning when we are walking to the showers most people are sober, when we enter the festival, most people are friendly. In the parking lot to enter, people are making friends. I just remember walking in to Desert Hearts and taking a Gigantic breath out feeling like I was home. To be around that many people who were loving and friendly and non aggressive was a breath of fresh air.
At the time of this first festival I was reaching my limits with my job as a server. I was burnt out and done dealing with angry customers, being talked down to and belittled by them. I had just about enough of it but couldn't seem to leave. When I stepped onto the festivals dirt floor, that was a true game changer to me. Everyone was so nice, it allowed my closed off heart to open up so much more. I wasnt on edge at all, I felt complete bliss. It wasn't till after my next festival, Lightening in a Bottle that I realized I was seriously living a lie. Waitressing just wasnt my truth. I was meant to serve people but not their food. I was meant to serve them in a way that was truthful to me. It is to share my journey in hopes that they may be able to relate and in turn not feel alone. Right after this I quit my job and went back to teaching yoga. I realized that my natural state wasnt someone who wanted to gossip all the time, be mean, defensive, closed off, and hard. Unfortunately that was all I knew at the time. My softness has really come through and I feel so much lighter because of it. The more real I get with myself the lighter I feel. I teach the things I am practicing, not the things I have perfected. I used to feel like such a fake being a yoga instructor because I still had a lot of anger inside and a lot of work to be done. I thought I needed to be completely healed in order to help others. Boy was I wrong. The lessons will keep coming, they never stop. It is impossible to master everything, so on this journey I share my experiences not my perfections.
Although a part of me wants to be at those festivals this season, I realize I am right where I am supposed to be. At home doing the work. Those festivals sparked the change, allowed me to see the real me and for that I am forever grateful.
Dont wait for a festival to talk to the people around you. Show some love. Connect, connect, connect!
Life is ALL about the human connection.