We may not know it at the time but deep awakening is possible around every corner and on every new road that is traveled. When it came to my first Burn I knew about the journey and the benefits of positive surroundings. I was aware of the other possobilities as well. Those being fun, acceptance, and happiness. I was very much prepared for the beauty that was the desert and to share the experience that I already had as well as what I was about to learn. One thing that I was not prepared for, however, was the complete cleansing that took place in my soul. I was not prepared for the unstoppable tears that fell for hours on the night the man burned. I most definitely was not prepared for the sudden awareness of the pain that I was holding on to.
The day of the burn was a lovely day. Hot, dusty, and terribly fun; as most days at Burning Man are. Our fantastic camp (The Space Gnomes) gathered, we put on our matching space hats, grabbed our space ray guns, and hit the playa as one. The walk over was full of excitement and anticipation. I had no idea what to expect and was ready to cheer and dance and run around the desert in celebration of our new freedom. I was in awe of the fire performers and reveled in the fire works. But as soon as the first explosion of true flames erupted the tears began. Without warning they fell with such force that I could barely cheer when the man finally fell from his Spaceship throne.
I am incredibly content in my life, but I still cry. Most often in happy moments, at the end of yoga class, during a good song, or watching a commercial about how awesome the world is ( http://youtu.be/at_f98qOGY0 ). So it was disconcerning to be crying out of discomfort, pain, hate, and fear. I experienced all those emotions as they left my body. It was like the Playa dust filled every single nook and cranny. It was in every inch of my being, inbetween my breaths and my thoughts, surrounding my hopes and my dreams, and there was no room left for pain. No space for expectation. And when the last bit of microscopic volume in my cells was filled with dust there was no capasity remaining for fear.
The next day when I awoke… I was completely cleared of any of those emotions and was whole again with love, acceptance, peace, contentment, and dust… of course. I took a deep breath as I sat out on the deep Playa Sunday watching the sunrise and remembering the night before. It was amazing to feel that whole of a human for the first time in my life. Weightless, yet steady. Excited and calm. Loving myself and the man next to me who supported me the whole way to our home the night before. I realized then what a powerful and nessesary experience it was that I had and how lucky I was to have that experience along with 67 000 other souls. That everyone, not just my partner, supported me through that challenge of release. And I know that my energy helped sustain someone else’s journey as well.
I am incredibly grateful for this this moment in time. An unexpected release and the chance to return to the world with a new perspective and the inspiration to share and encourage others to take the 10 Principles of Burning Man http://www.burningman.com/whatisburningman/about_burningman/principles.html#.UjaKNxzkMjU into their hearts.
Life is full of spectacular moments, but we cannot plan for them. All we can do is wake up. Go outside and smile.