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Midburn Series Part 2 / Lessons I Learned from the Desert

If you missed my first peek into Midburn, you can feel free to go back to Part 1 and read it here.

Otherwise, here are 4 truths I learned in the desert, all thanks to Midburn.

1. Home Matters

We always think of home as a place – coordinates on a map, a street address, a specific location deemed to one place in the world. What Midburn set into stone for me was this – Home is simply where you feel the most you.

Living in Tel Aviv for 6 years on my own, with crazy roommates, landlords, neighbors, etc. – I never felt I had a stable setting or place. I moved 8 times in 6 years. I realized the importance of feeling stable in myself and my body, before I could feel so anywhere else. I may not have always loved the four walls which surrounded me, but I learned to love my own kind of comfort.

I have my body – she moves with me everywhere I go. So long as I listen to her and stay in tune with her, my home can be in Tel Aviv, New Jersey, or the deepest valley of the desert.

My sense of home was not only in my body, my camp, or in the Red Tent. I feel like the Midburn community offers a sense of home for all the souls who want to live a valuable life - not a life full of valuables. Being at Midburn allows for a safe space to break down the natural human barriers which guard us as individuals and allow us to fully and unapologetically embrace our individuality. While it might not be the most “stable” space, it’s certainly comforting to know that Midburn always feels like a return to home.

Takeaway: Home is literally where your heart is. The more you feel at home with yourself and listen to your heart, the more at home you feel wherever you are.

2. Safety Matters

One of our first physical, psychological and emotional needs is safety and security. When we create a bubble of safety for ourselves and feel comfortable being ourselves around others who feel comfortable being themselves, a sense of paradise ensues. When we allow ourselves to be, we allow others to be too. When we trust in the fact that we are safe, then we create a cocoon of warmth, a womb of protection, and a safe space in both mind and body.

If you want the real secret of Midburn - here it is - in my perspective anyway :) The reason it’s grown as quickly as it has, the reason there’s a buzz of mystery around the whole experience, the reason why everyone feels like it is home? Because the community is created as a safe space to express yourself, explore yourself, and simply be yourself. We deal with so many boxes and expectations on the daily. We are forcefed feelings of judgement, for ourselves and others.

Enter Radical Self Expression, ie the mad rush of costume shopping when individuals have the chance to truly express themselves; however they feel like. Whether it’s a glorious unicorn leotard, a mermaid skirt, or a basketball jersey - everyone is welcome to express their various curiosities. We are all judged by appearances. It’s in our nature. At Midburn, we are free to express our external without judgement.

At Midburn, we are made to feel safe and secure to simply be ourselves, exactly as we are. With respect for each other, our community and the world around us.

Takeaway: When we feel safe and secure with our self, we allow others to feel safe and secure too.

3. Desire is necessary.

When I bumped into a friend at an amazing dance party, we joyously jiggled around for what seemed like hours. When I started feeling a bit heavier, I decided to go sit down on the side, and he joined me. We spent some time wandering together and he suggested we go watch sunrise. I knew I wanted to keep exploring, to keep wandering, and I wanted to do it on my own. Though it may have taken him by surprise and he continuously tried to convince me otherwise, I decided to follow my desire to chart my own path, instead of accept the one he was walking.

If we don’t know or focus on our desires, we have no idea what to go after, and often find ourselves just going with other people’s flows - instead of our own. We often do things because we feel guilty or obligated - not because we have a desire to. When we understand a craving or need, we know what to go after, and we feel better about going to get it. When we feel a sense of curiosity, we should trust ourselves enough to explore it. It’s how new ideas, thoughts, conversations - and even electricity was invented.

So often as humans, we are taught to hold back on our desires, questioning want vs need, pleasure vs pain, or wondering what the end results will or will not be, and fantasizing or becoming attached to them.

Should we feel able to release our need to the attachment of end results, tune in with our own desires and intention, and then trust our initial instincts, life may take a turn towards your true desires on every level.

Takeaway: Knowing what you want is to your advantage. The more specific and concise you are, the better. Follow your curiosity, and discover your desires. When we stay aligned with what we desire, we can at least make a choice if we are willing to compromise - or not.

4. Magic Exists

When thousands of humans gather to express themselves in movement, art, creation, affection and healing, the world shifts and all seems to align. The sun shines brighter, the birds chirp louder, and the streets are lined with the exact opportunities you’ve been waiting for. You end up walking down to the same spot on the sand as a long lost friend, hitting the bathroom at the same exact time, or peeking into an art project in the middle of the desert to find your birthday twin napping in the middle of it. When you relax into the flow of life and allow, accept and consciously adjust - you open yourself to receiving just what it is you need in that very moment.

Takeaway: Trust in the magic. If you choose to believe it, it will be. If you want to believe it and don’t know how? You’re invited to come float the playa with me darling ones.

All in all, it was a stunningly unique experience; and each year it keeps getting more and more enlightening. There’s always something to learn and explore. The ultimate takeaway? Forget thinking too much - it’s the time to feel too much - and shine however you choose to.

Want more on Midburn? Read on for the juicy Part 3 of our Midburn Series, What I Learned about Humans at Midburn.

If you’re interested in learning more about Midburn and what goes down, feel free to ask. Whether you choose to explore it or not, I invite you to read more about the 10 principles which started it all - and to try and practice them more in your daily life too.

School of Shine

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