There are moments in our lives that define us. At the time we may not understand, see the full picture, or feel ready – however life calls you and challenges you to step forward into the life you have only before imagined for your self..
This is the moment I am experiencing right now.
I shared in my last blog that a couple weeks ago I was called to experience Burning Man in what could only be described as a stroke of a modern-day miracle. It was ultimately a test of faith by a higher power to let go of the life I was living and step into the life that I have dreamed of & deserve.
Prior to that calling I had been living a life that I could still say I was proud of in some areas, though I was no where close to the living the life I believe & know I am capable of. Since graduating from college in December 2011 I had experienced some heavy challenging patches in both my professional career and personal life. Especially in the area of relationships and feeling in harmony with the enviroment around me. It was as if I had yet to clearly discover what the right role was for me now that I was in the “real world”, and life kept spitting me out of the parts of my life that I was trying to force my self to fit into.
It felt like my whole world was crumbling all around me, yet instead of being brave enough to completely step out of it I saw my self clinging on to the comfort of staying in a world that I had known and was used to.
I knew something was bound to happen, and that it would have to happen soon. So with a week until Burning Man I was called to take a leap of faith. An oppourtunity presented it self for me to attend the Burning Man festival for a fraction of the cost (nearly free actually). I hesitated with the idea for a few days then after receiving support from great friends and reflecting on what I knew was a test of faith, I decided to finally take the leap!
With only a few days until the start of the event I quite my job – though I made sure to keep a good relationship with my boss/mentor manager – and started making last-minute preparations for this adventure towards a new self. I found a ride online, read up on what I needed to know online, borrowed things from friends, and positioned my self to be ready for a life transformation.
I’ll share more on my actual experience at Burning Man in a later blog because this was only stage one of my new journey..
You see I had another destination awaiting for me that I am about to step into today. The Digital Detox: A retreat into the Redwood forests in the backyard of the city I was born in – Ukiah, California.
This retreat had been postponed from August, though after I was called to Burning Man it all made sense.
- Burning Man would be an experience to represent the death of my old self.
- And The Digital Detox retreat would be the rebirth of my new self.
So at a time in my life that could likely not be more perfect that it is at the present time – I embark on this journey..
This adventure into nature – In the backyard of where I first entered this life.
This exploration of self – A journey to reconnect with my true self.
This next stage of the transformation – The rebirth of who I am destined to be!
The Burning of an Old Self – Burning Man (part I)
I’ve been brainstorming on this blog for a few days now and I’m determined to publish a piece of it before I leave the coffee shop I’m at in San Francisco today! That said, I’ve decided to break up this story into a few pieces – here is part one.
What is Burning Man?
I had heard of Burning Man from a few different people over the course of the past year. I heard stories and saw a few pictures of crazy parties, wicked costumes & art, partial nudity & full nudity, extreme weather conditions, and life transformations. Though the truth is that with a week leading up to the start of Burning Man I didn’t really know much about it, let alone did I imagine my self being a part of it this year.
In short, I can now tell you that Burning Man is one of the most unique experiences modern man is able to participate in today’s world. The experience of Burning Man takes you to an uninhibited desert in northern Nevada called Black Rock City. You are faced with extreme desert conditions that helps keep only the bravest of souls to join the community now 50,000+ strong that create the city of Black Rock City. For one week a year the Black Rock Desert transforms from an empty desert into the canvas for the 3rd largest City in the State of Nevada. Then it vanishes completely in accordance with one the primary values of Burning Man – “Leave No Trace Behind.”
The event and the symbolic burning of “The Man” represents uniquely different things for many uniquely different people. I have heard the burning of the man be described as “sticking it to ‘the man’ (or the institutional power of our society)”, as an escape from the reality of our current world, and even as a pagan festival in celebration of fire & earth. To me however, going into it Burning Man meant something different altogether from much of what I had heard.For my self Burning Man represented the burning of an old self. As I find my self where I am now in life and all that I am in search of I couldn’t imagine a more fitting experience to metaphorically recreate my self. To me, and as I’m sure for some others too, the burning of “The Man” was like the mystical story of the burning of The Phoenix. At a certain moment in the life of the Phoenix it would experience a transformation of self in which it would literally burn it self and from its ashes would bring the birth of new and evolved self that would rise into a new life.
This was the opportunity that my life presented to me with the chance to attend Burning Man 2012. It was something that I can now confidently say I manifested, though I can more faithfully share that I was called to experience…
Blog inspired by my virgin (1st year) experience at Burning Man 2012.
Written in San Francisco, California.