Festivals take you to your extreme – you find yourself in extreme heat and extreme noise, but also find extreme inspiration, extreme opening, learning and connecting. Festivals are a place where people come together to express themselves fully, to escape from conditioning of modern day society and begin to question everything.
Lightning in a Bottle, set outside Los Angeles in Temecula, CA gathers over 10,000 people together around music, yoga and a series of transformational speakers. Some musical highlights this year included Emancipator, Purity Ring, Nicholas Jaar and the Polish Ambassador while featured yoga teachers included Ashley Turner, Micheline Berry, Bryan Kest and Mark Whitwell. The list goes on with speakers such as Alex Grey, John Perkins, and David Wilcock.
My weekend started with a nourishing yoga class with Ashley Turner where we tuned into our breath and spirit. The gentle flow left the crowd quiet and meditative despite the electronic music blasting from camps nearby. I was lucky to chat with Ashley after class to gain insight from her personal journey. When I asked her what advice she had for those on their own path to raise consciousness in the world she replied, “I have great mentors and I couldn’t have done it without them. Find people in your life to look up to, to seek advice and insight from. Stay in community, stay connected, be bold and be courageous. Take steps you aren’t sure about because that’s how we continue to raise the bar for each other.” This advice set the tone for the weekend again and again. I was inspired to be bold, courageous, and live my dreams.
I was especially inspired by those I did not expect to hear at this kind of transformative festival: Dr. Lori, a holistic dentist, Laura Fredrickson a personal success and financial coach, and Dream Rockwell, an inspirational speaker and co-founder of the festival. These people prompted the audience to question all we’ve been told around topics such as western medicine, how to choose your career path and gain a healthy relationship to money. These speakers encouraged the audience to go after what they want in the world, (“I’m just here to tell you, you are the light of the world,” from Dream Rockwell’s speech) and to stop playing small in our lives.
There is a great desire for this encouragement in our society, especially in the younger generation as ticket numbers for festivals like Lightning in a Bottle and Burning Man soar. New careers are appearing from the ground up by those who decide to live their passion – to teach and speak at festivals. These people have chosen the work they feel called to do in this world, and people are showing up by the thousands to listen to what they have to say.
I connected to a huge sense of freedom at the festival. With three large music stages and multiple yoga tents, tea tents and cafes, it was hard to be content with exactly where you chose to be without FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). It was a spiritual practice in itself to just stay in one place! However, so much freedom and choice meant there was something for everyone. Whether your scene was to dance all night to electronic music or lounge in the hot afternoons in the Temple of Consciousness, there was a place for you.
Despite the hot days, long walk back to the parking lot and loud music from nearby camps, I left feeling uplifted, strong and inspired to get to work on my own dreams, be bold and shine bright.