LETTING GO AT BURNING MAN
What is Burning Man?
A friend recently posted this question on his facebook wall and received plenty of humorous replies, including my favorite - "where all the questionable people go to give the rest of the world a break".
This was my first time and from the beginning my attitude was to enjoy it more as an observer rather than as an active participant. I knew there would be a lot to take in, including getting used to difficult conditions such as the long trek to Black Rock City, Setting up camp, bathroom conditions, severe sandstorms and getting used to no sleep for several days. It was not until I decided to " let it go" and accept, in fact embrace these conditions in order to make the best of it that I started to feel the magic and transformation take place.
Personally, I don't believe BM is an experience for everyone. I think of my friends who have a hard time getting out of their comfort zones and who get uncomfortable to break their routine. They would benefit of course but only if they go willing to change. People with oCD would probably spend more time focusing on the conditions rather than on the experience as a whole and i'm not sure they would be able to ever let go. The point is to free yourself from expectations or limitations and open up.
People also come to BM for different reasons, some are searching for answers, social acceptance, spiritual fulfillment, creative inspiration and a many are hedonists looking to continue the Ibiza / Tulum party Circuit. I would fall under the "curious" category that went there with no expectations but with an open mind. its been a few days since Burning Man ended and I am still digesting all the lessons. I wouldn't say I am a different person since , we as humans are always evolving, so I can't credit BM for that, but perhaps i have a new awareness on my self.
As I mentioned before, it was not until I decided to consciously " let go" of my hang ups which took about two days that I began to really appreciate my surroundings and feel an overwhelming sense of joy and freedom. As much as I loved exploring and venturing out on my own, knowing I was coming back to my camp was something I always looked forward to because i felt connected.
" Letting Go" also means something different to everyone. To some it means releasing negative thoughts, or severe emotional baggage and in some cases even letting go of people in our lives. For me Personally " letting go" meant dealing with my anxiety of being completely disconnected from my every day real world and all my responsibilities for a week, which was probably the biggest challenge and was tough to get used to. But once i came back to the real world, i realized it wasn't so bad. I Had to constantly remind myself to be present in the now and to stop thinking so much because at the end there really was nothing to be worried about. Fortunately I didn't need to be alone so much with my thoughts, because at BM you are constantly engaging with like minded individuals who happen to be sharing the same experiences as you therefore incredible connections begin to form. I learned to make an effort to really listen, to really engage and to be more present with people. The harsh conditions at times, can bring people closer and you get to see a side of people you probably wouldn't anywhere else in the world. Many say at BM, people show the best of their true selves, Also at BM, if your not engaging with others your either too busy being blown away by the art, and of course the music specially at:
- Disco Knights,
- Ibiza camp, (where i discovered acid pauli,)
- RobotHeart for sunrise
- or CAMPI camp's Dee Dee's set
For many, watching the man burn is a similar to New Years. I actually don't like New Years and never have. There is so much pressure to have fun, to come up with resolutions and to think about the changes or goals you want for the year ahead but now having been to BM, I realize that watching the man burn is simply celebrating the present. Being fully aware of the sensory overload and in tune with the profound happiness of being in the company and sharing that precise moment with very special people was my lesson in letting go of my past, my future and learning to just enjoy the now.
Thank you Burning Man, thank you to the hundreds of artists who worked so hard to create such spectacular art installations, to all the volunteers who worked so hard to make this event happen, thank you to my Campi Camp and to all my friends new and old who made this one of the most amazing and unforgettable experiences of my life. x Leila