What I have discovered is that it *is* possible to live in the “zen bubble” of Wanderlust in our every day lives but it takes work and self-awareness and presence and purpose. It won’t just happen on its own. We are in charge of our own peace, our own zen, our own Wanderlust.
I have been back from Wanderlust Squaw Valley for a week and was listening to MC Yogi, looking through pictures and notes and feeling excited and envious of those attending the rest of the summer’s festivals. Wanderlust is a *must* if you are in to music, good food, yoga, friends, beautiful venues, a body of people hell bent on making our world a better place and a little shopping. ((wink wink))
Prior to getting sober, I would never had attended this type of festival. I was fearful, self-conscious, uncomfortable and downright judgmental. I would have had my unfounded opinions, my contempt prior to investigation and feelings of “less than”. And I am not sure that I would have attended Wanderlust the first year of my sobriety, either. But the longer I am sober, the longer I am connected to myself and my life and others, the more I am willing to be *daring*! And going to Wanderlust, for me, was D-A-R-I-N-G!
And like most things that I am totally freaked out about and do anyway, I find out there was nothing to freak out about and that Wanderlust ROCKS and I kick myself in the arse for not experiencing this sooner… and then I get over myself and marvel in the glory of it all. Same thing happened to me (over time) when I got sober. Nothing to freak out about; self-awareness is a good thing, presence is beneficial, dancing is actually fun and not having a hangover is a total bonus.
7 things we can do every day to create our own Wanderlust:
1. Embrace change.
I have operated for the majority of my life under the assumption that change is bad and that I must try to control as much as possible to not allow that to happen. Yes, I know, silly. I see change as evolving and fluid and happening all the time. Change of scenery, change your mind, change your location, change your job, change what you eat, change your marriage, change your general way of living. And guess what? You can always change back. Change is constant and fluid and always happening; embrace it, get on the change train or spend your life pushing against it.
2. Try New Things.
I had never been to a Kundalini class. I had no idea what I was getting in to but we jumped in with both feet; got in to the front row and then proceeded to dance around a tent, with our eyes close, shaking every body part imaginable with 400 other people for 24 minutes. Want to smash your ego? Kundalini is the class for you. I enjoyed the festival *that* much more after I took two Kundalini classes from Gurmukh. ((Staring in to your friends eyes and chanting while holding hands for 35 minutes will do that)).
Go to the front of a class with 600 people. You won’t regret it. Dance like no one is watching. Participate in classes that challenge you emotionally and physically. There are 200 to 600 people getting their groove on in your class… they don’t care if your alignment is right or if your earrings match your spandex. They are drinking in the moment… not paying attention to you. Go to a meeting, sit in the front row. This is your sobriety, your recovery, your life. No one is watching you, they are taking care of themselves, they are holding on to their recovery.
At Wanderlust, there is music everywhere. You have an opportunity to dance all day. Take advantage. And when you get home from your trip, load up your Spotify account with all the artist you saw and dance. Dance in your car, dance in your kitchen, dance in the shower, just dance. Close your eyes, take yourself back to the front row of your MC Yogi and DJ Drez class with your besties on either side of you and dance. Your Soul will thank you.
4. Eat well.
You will be hard pressed to find anything processed at Wanderlust. Smoothies, and bowls and vegan deliciousness abound. Curry and coffee and Kombucha. Try it all. Check out the local favorites. Savor each mouthful, each conversation, the buzz all around you. Do the same as you walk the recovery path. Cigarettes and caffeine and your smartphone are just other distractions, other addictions other things that take you away from *you*. Eat a good meal. Drink water. Slow down.
5. Write it Down.
Keep a journal. Things are said. Nuggets that you think that you will remember but you won’t unless you write it down. They will change you. They will change others when they hear it. Doodle. Write down how you felt after a class. Write down how you feel as you leave to go home. Write down the sights and the smells and the beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Write down the themes and the stories and the connected-ness of 10000 people. Write it down.
I never wanted to do this. Not while using and not in early sobriety. I was *afraid* of someone actually seeing my thoughts. I, apparently, got over this. ((wink wink)). It’s cathartic. Write it down and burn it if it makes you feel better but write it down, write it *all* down.
Nap in the afternoon sun. Close your eyes and really rest in savasana. Stay in bed another 45 minutes. Get an iced coffee in the Wanderlust tent and sit on the comfy cushions and rest. Be still, even for just a few minutes.
Stay a minute or two longer in the meetings you attend or come a bit early and chat with the person pouring the coffee. Baby steps. Look them in the eyes. Keep it simple. Smile.
7. Take what you need and leave the rest.
At Wanderlust and in recovery, you will come across some things that really stick with you and some things that really just don’t. That’s ok. But take it all in. Then take what you need home. The other stuff you may want later… or not. Notice what you are in judgement of, notice what makes your heart and soul sing. Take it all in.
Wanderlust and life and recovery within both of those things is a journey. Seasons change, we change, circumstances change. I really did my best to be present for those 5 days. To embrace all of my emotions, to rest and to take note. I embraced my friends and the meals that we had together and the absolute belly laughter and all that we experienced. I didn’t need my smart phone to capture everything. Although much has been erased from mind after years of drinking, my week at Wanderlust is not one of them.; the freedom and the joy and the smells of a cool, alpine summer evening. I can’t wait to get back.
What is your next adventure? Where are you going to sit in the front row? Where are you going to be more present? I can’t wait to hear.