life lessons from festivals
Hi again -
This is the counterpart to my previous email, which shared some life principles I apply to festivals. This one is about things I've learned at festivals that are quite apt for life in general.
Consider the implications of your living space. In some festival circles, it's a big deal to feather one's nest, so to speak. In other words, to have a really glamped-out place to hang out, sleep, and such. I'm all about having a safe, cozy space to land. I appreciate a space where I can retreat when crowds and noise become overwhelming.
Beyond that, though, I don't do much in the way of luxurious spaces. The full disclosure is that I'm a bit lazy. But the more important reason is that I've realized I connect and engage more when I don't have the perfect landing pad in the form of my camping space.
Instead, I rely on the event. Many festival organizers work really hard to create intentional spaces, such as lounge areas, temples, altars, domes, fire pits, and so on. Not to mention that many of these events are held on beautiful properties. Rather than schlep gear to make a temporary living room, I pack a tarp and a blanket so that I can lie on the ground somewhere.
Many of the best moments I've had at festivals were because I didn't have a luxurious camping setup. The lack of it pushed me out to the actual event, where I participated more. I've been pulled into impromptu dance parties, drum circles, life-altering conversations.
the festival and life lesson:
Don't let your home space be so comfortable (physically, energetically, etc) you never leave it. Get out and about. Take advantage of the spaces available to you. Or just sit outside. Read a book. Watch clouds. You'll encounter people. You have the option to engage.
Don't feel beholden to a schedule. Lots of the events have big schedules of music, workshops, parties, and other gatherings. Where I tend to go, the choice can feel like deciding among Kundalini and Zen meditation and ecstatic dance AND sacred geometry AND homesteading ANDplantwalksANDmindfulnessAND AND AND....
It can be a lot to take in. The tendency is to make yourself choose a single option, often in advance, for the peace of mind of not having to decide anymore.
And what seems to happen is that you second-guess that decision, agonizing about all the other options, all the way until the moment the workshop starts. I've done that enough times to recognize it's not helpful!
Now I have a different approach. I look at a schedule in advance, and I note whatever options are most interesting, knowing that it's impossible to attend all of them. Once I've done that, I DON'T CHOOSE. I just sit with those options.
When do I make the choice? Usually in the moments, or maybe hour(s), leading up to the workshop. Why? Because I stay more present that way. Once I'm at the event, I might see a beautiful workshop space where I feel inspired to spend a lot of time. I might meet someone who shares something compelling about a certain facilitator—or even meet a facilitator who is very compelling. I might decide on a certain band, but then find that the crowd is really unpleasant, so I go somewhere else. I might have a conversation that changes my perspective. I might be so content lying on my blanket that I skip all the workshops I considered as options.
You get the idea, right? I don't pressure myself. Not to mention that in this whole process, I've wasted absolutely NO time or energy on second guesses.
the festival and life lesson:
Allow yourself to be in the flow. You don't have to commit to everything in advance. How often do you force yourself to choose when you're not truly ready, and before the choice is actually necessary?
Sometimes committing to something is a great way to support an intention. I attended a workshop recently, for which I'd registered a month in advance. I had an amazing time, finally experiencing something that was really important.
But, if you feel pressured about having many, many options, and you don't have to commit in that moment, just...don't. Allow spontaneity, just as you support intention.
What have YOU learned from festivals? I like to learn.
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