03 Aug Stripping Down with Strangers
They say that not all who wander are lost. I’d like to add that not all who attend a 3-day “Wanderlust” yoga festival are looking to find themselves. Alas, I think Dan found herself, or at least the intimacy-averse, highly-inflexible part of herself (she also speaks in 3rd person now, because she’s “enlightened”). I’m kidding, chill.
When I booked my ticket to Wanderlust, a 3-day yoga festival being held in Lake Tahoe, I didn’t ask many questions. I assumed we would engage in some downward dog type activities, drink a fair amount of Kombucha and socialize with bearded men- none of which I’m totally opposed to. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was excited, but I was up for a weekend with my girlfriends and the idea of roughing it in a condo fully stocked with premium tequila and extra-quilted toilet paper. As the festival grew closer, and life got more stressful, I started to grow more and more excited. Wanderlust was exactly what I needed. I would come back feeling recharged and totally Zen. Right?
After ingesting more kale than is humanly possible and a couple of really public ugly cries, I found myself feeling just the opposite. I felt drained. Vulnerable. Exposed. But why? Was dancing with half-naked strangers and singing in a tram full of random hippy-types out of my comfort zone? Apparently yes, and very much so. Turns out I can talk to a complete (but fully-clothed) stranger about the weather, my day, etc. but talking to said stranger about anything remotely personal makes me feel naked and afraid. While I can’t say I came back feeling recharged, I can say that I came back feeling extremely “awake”. I came back with a newfound awareness of those things that really make me squirm, those things that make my eyes well up with tears and my voice crack. And I really, really want to explore those things.
If attending a yoga festival, or getting naked with strangers in a densely wooded area isn’t your jam, I get that. But I still encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone (regularly). Look for the things that make you squirm, and start to ask yourself “why?”.
There’s something really raw and beautiful about feeling vulnerable. And there’s something really magical that happens when you let people in on that vulnerability. But I’ll let you experience that magic for yourself.