BURNING MAN! Wow. What a transformative experience.
Not just what happens there, but the "downloads" that continue as time passes.
Burning Man is so many things: a playground, a social experiment for a new society (more on this in another blog soon), an instigator, an invitation to release - connect - heal, and a mirror.
As a "virgin burner", I had no clue what to expect. I heard Burning Man was 70,000 people deep at a week long, love-based, "oneness" festival, equipped with sex, drugs, meditation, yoga, cooperation, stressed out porta potties, love offerings, loud music and exotic art in the isolated and harsh desert conditions of Nevada. An inclusive community where you pick and choose what suits you as you go. Ultimate freedom!
Since I wasn't into "partying" any more, I wasn't sure how comfortable I would be. As this years festival rapidly approached, and I didn't have my ticket yet, I shrugged it off as another year unfulfilled. Two weeks before it was to begin, however, events lined up for me to go. Initially unsure if I still wanted to, I was reminded that the highest and best events for my souls fullest expression would align while I was there - partying or not - and I would have a transformative experience regardless. It's part of the design - no one's immune. I felt the truth of this, and my inner 8 year old got fired up!
It was meant to be.
In the days leading up to BM, my excitement and enthusiasm kept building. I hadn't formulated expectations, other than releasing my inner child, playing, exploring, seeing my bestie from Florida, and calibrating to the only thing that makes sense to me: community love and realized oneness. A HUGGERS HEAVEN!
We're continually creating our life experience based on our inner beliefs / conditions / suppressed issues and emotions - period. It's a misunderstanding to think we're at the mercy of others. I received a large and powerful dose of reality this passed week. The "downloads" of insights continue - talk about chemtrails of the empowered kind!
The night we arrived, I was zinging with excitement and warmly received with love by everyone! The rumors were true - love and inclusivity truly is the order of the day at this place.
My first 30ish hours there, I was in complete alignment, eager to explore. Even felt comfortable taking off by myself when I felt called to. As is Universal design, being in this alignment introduced the perfect people / scenarios / and experiences to enhance my excitement.
This feeling continued until the night of my second day. A few events lined up, and one of my "shadows" began to bubble to the surface. One of my biggest and most ignored shadows (which always plays a huge role in shaping our lives, completely off our radar but mucking things up along the way). My experience began to shift.
I witnessed the uncomfortable emotional neediness and insecurity someone else was experiencing, which triggered my own suppressed feelings of abandonment / unworthiness / unloveability - the foundations of my own emotional neediness. I've never liked these feelings, and have never accepted it in myself - I've resisted and suppressed them as best I could throughout my life. As is the rule, if you detest something within yourself, you will be easily set off when someone else acts it out. It's the law of the land - life is a mirror, none of us are exempt!
To clarify any confusion, if I had compassion for this part of myself, I likely wouldn't even notice someone else having this type of flareup. Either it wouldn't be on my radar, I wouldn't attract this person / event, or I'd feel nothing but compassion for it in others. In any case, there would be no raw nerve discomfort in its presence.
Now that this vibe was activated in me, I continued to attract (or distort my perception of) events that fed it. My feelings were raw and I was incredibly uncomfortable. I knew it would only get more intense if left unattended, so I unveiled my discomfort to my friends, then excused myself to meander on my own. Since everything is just energy (including emotions), I knew it would pass if I allowed it to move through me (versus obsess over thoughts about it, which only feeds and sustains it).
Allowing these feelings to arise and move is cru-cial! Seriously. It feels like they'll eat you alive, but they won't! Lovingly accept the darkness, honor yourself and feelings, and the heaviness will float through in their own time. Often quickly. I knew putting my attention on things that felt good to think about (like kittens and puppies =-)), and checking out the art installations, hearing meaningful conversations, and witnessing love based behaviors in others, would help shift me back into alignment.
It worked, and I resumed 90% of my alignment for the duration of the week.
Reflecting on the personalities I had the pleasure of interacting with throughout the week, I began noticing the theme of emotional neediness in others. It takes shape in different ways: codependency, insecurity, entitlement, self-boasting conversation dominance, passive aggressive jabs at others, easily hurt feelings, expecting others to fill your voids, and manipulative control - to name a few.
I now can openly and happily admit I have emotional neediness issues. Mine hasn't taken on the form of codependency for ages, rather I internalize my pain and - out of disgust about it - suppress and deny it. Therefore, it grosses me out to see it in others.
Though I know the principles and power of self love, and I talk about it often, it's escaped my attention to actually *do it* myself: love my wounds. Love my shadows. Radically accept all parts of myself!
**Important reminder: Because I hadn't accepted these parts of myself, I've attracted people / places and things to mirror and / or aggravate this part of myself, so I can see, reflect, accept, and release it fully.
(Good time to take inventory of where you're easily triggered and how it may be playing out in your own deal, huh? ;-))
Having compassion for ourselves is the key to all things. That's the birth place of compassion for others. ONLY from that place can we meander through life, offering support / love / guidance and solutions to others. If we're irritated by the behaviors of others, the energy of irritation / disgust will MAKE! THEM! WORSE! Seriously. We're pouring salt in their wounds unless we have compassion for them. Thoughts are energy and FAKING NICE DOESN'T WORK. We're all a bit psychic, and if you're turned off by someone, they'll sense it and feel / behave worse. It doesn't mean we feed their neediness or placate their wounds - magic happens when we hold a non-judgmental space of love and acceptance, envisioning them as their highest and best self.
I wasn't able to do this because I wasn't able to have love and compassion for my *own* emotional neediness. Which is why I kept attracting that behavior in others. Which helped trigger mine. Life is cooperative and will always guide us toward awareness.
In the 24 hours since having this revelation, I've noticed my reactions to others is softer and less volatile where I would before be triggered and irked.
On the second to last night of the festival, they ignite the large wooden statue of "The Man". Ceremonially, you can include written affirmations and blessings to go up with him. I did just that, as well as 3 years worth of journals. I had written out "my story", pain, fears, blocks, and was ready to release that energy for good. An indescribable feeling of lightness <3
Burning Man's 10 primary principles are: "radical" inclusion, self-reliance and self-expression, community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy and leaving no trace. My heart and soul lives by this model for the most part, and I feel it will continue to shape our new society in the years to come.
Mid-week, I doubted I'd ever attend another Burning Man festival (mostly because the harsh desert conditions were undesirable). Now, feeling the magic of all that environment includes and supports, there's no way I couldn't. I see now that the harsh desert conditions play a valuable role in helping us radically accept the seemingly unacceptable. I heard there's other Burning Man events across the globe (Israel is one). My passport is ready!
Burns for the win!
With radical love and acceptance,
An east coast native, Nikki spent her college years and beyond as an activist for animals, the environment and social justice issues. Needing to make sense of and come to peace with everything along the way, she began her work on the spiritual level. When she realized that the conditions of our outer world are just reflecting the conditions of humanities inner world, her focus shifted to energy healing arts and yoga. Now a Reiki Master, yoga instructor, author and speaker living in Austin, Texas she hosts discussions on the importance of living a heart-lead life, inspiring steps for self love and personal mastery - the recipe for global peace.
Services offered listed under HEALING SERVICES tab.