10 days off the grid. No phone, no watch, and no contact with anyone other than the people standing in front of me. Complete presence. Epic adventures. Self expression and soul expansion. These were the intentions I had going into Burning Man 2014.
So what the heck is Burning Man?
It’s like trying to describe the color blue to a blind person; sometimes life has to be experienced to be truly understood! So let me give you a glimpse into MY experience…
Imagine a place in the middle of the desert that has no water, food, or civilization to speak of. Then imagine 70,000 people coming together for a week to create a thriving community based on 10 simple principles.
After months of communication, planning, and then some last minute packing, it was amazing to roll into Black Rock City with an early entry pass to start setting up our camp. This was no ordinary camp site: we had two large geodesic domes, a 100 foot shade structure, a bar, a kitchen, and a lounge area ready to accommodate 110 people! The community and collaborative effort to put it all up (and take down 10 days later) was truly transformative. I got to meet new people, connect deeper with acquaintances, and laugh and dance while we “worked.”
Once everything was set up and everyone arrived a simple thought occurred to me: I can do whatever I want! This was a beautiful alignment to the mantra I had been practicing:
“Anything is possible!”
The Playa, as it is often referenced, had hundreds of theme camps from TEDx to the Orgy Dome. It was filled with beautiful art, crazy mutant vehicles, and amazing sound stages playing the likes of Carl Cox and Skrillex. You could get a healing session, play twister, and visit the human car wash all on the same street!
The diversity of things to do constantly amazed me…
Here are some of my highlights:
- Deep conversations in the middle of the night with complete strangers
- Giving massages to strangers in our Dome of Awesomeness
- Having a pillow fight in a giant hammock
- Watching the best fire spinners I’ve ever witnessed
- Visiting the Temple and crying my eyes out for 20 minutes
- Watching 50+ people take a twerking lesson
- Writing a letter to my future self to be mailed to me next year
- Receiving a reiki healing session and a guided meditation
- Watching the sunrise after dancing all night
- Riding in art cars and dancing all over the Playa
The beauty of the entire week was the complete randomness of it all. I never knew what time it was (except for sunrise and sunset), and I rarely made plans to meet up with people (and when I did they rarely worked out the way I planned). I was completely in flow and went whenever and wherever my heart desired. How often do we get to completely break free of structure and do whatever calls to us in that moment?
This type of freedom was an amazing blend of being a kid, and an adult all at once!
I felt so blessed to be surrounded by amazing people from all walks of life (our camp had 18 countries represented). I got to connect with entrepreneurs, visionary leaders, healers, and badass ninjas who are doing awesome work in our world!
The adoption of the 10 principles (see photo above) really brings people together and creates a container (albeit a LARGE one) for everyone to feel safe, play, and be accepted. I know personally I will never be the same!
I also got to partake in some unique life changing experiences that I will elaborate on in a future article…
If you’re reading this and have never heard of Burning Man before, well, now you have. And if you thought it was just some crazy drug fueled hippies partying in the desert, well, it is.