Last summer, I had the absolute pleasure of attending Wanderlust Festival in the breathtaking setting of the high Rockies of Colorado. Colorado is my home, but I am still continually amazed, grateful, and renewed every time by her unending and inspiring beauty. If there is anywhere that will split you open spiritually and allow you to tap in to the healing energy of nature, Aspen/Snowmass is the perfect setting. Now here we are again, one month away from this summer’s festival and I couldn’t be more excited.
My intention in attending last summer’s Wanderlust Festival was never related to improving my yoga asanas. (although that did play a part) My intention, after a series of intense personal losses and struggles, was to treat it like a retreat and attempt to heal myself from the inside out by learning from great minds, speakers, teachers, musicians, authors, and so-called “spiritual gurus”. But what I found instead was the most intense connection to the people around me, connection that surpassed age, gender, race, orientation, profession, religion, status, titles, appearance, or possessions. I spoke with 70-year-old Kundalini master, Gurmuhk, listened to Moby speak about being vegan and recognizing the divine in nature, I took an emotionally charged chakra alignment class with Boulder-based native teacher, Kate Mulheron, spoke briefly with author Noah Levine on a Gondola ride, stepped out of m comfort zone and tried stand-up paddle boarding at an alpine lake, chanted mantras, ate vegan food, and practiced yoga in a hip-hop-style vinyasa class with MC Yogi during which I felt actual, physical vibrations surging through my body. In every single one of those vastly different settings, together, in our unity of souls, we were greater than the sum of our parts.
Even within the same wavelength, there are often varying degrees of frequency, so even though some of us had waist-length dreads, and some of us were shaped like ballerinas, and some of us were adorned with tribal paint and bracelets, and some of us were Hare Krishna, and some of us were athletes, and some of us were stay-at-home moms, and some of us were Kundalini gurus, and some of us were covered in tattoos and most of us fell in to several of these categories, there was no sense of separation within the tribe. We were all one. We all shared the same wavelength. We all recognized the divine in the other. We were all there making a conscious choice to improve ourselves, to grow our minds, and to fully immerse ourselves in the experience. When we join together in purposeful intention and growth, it always benefits the whole. Our collective consciousness expends every time we intentionally choose to offer our highest self. Realizing you’ve discovered your tribe through shared experience like the one offered through Wanderlust Festival is an indescribable feeling. Choosing to dwell in that collective space of peace, acceptance, and awareness, forces all walls built by ego to completely crumble and it allows each individual’s truest self to step forth, replacing the false self with the highest self.
Once I was immersed in a huge gathering of like-minded people, not only did I no longer feel judged, but I also stopped judging myself. I instantly felt all facades melt away from both myself, and from everyone in attendance. Experience has taught me that we all tend to enter into unknown territory with a bit of an inflated sense of self, like going to a concert to see our favorite band and trying our hardest not to look like we tried our hardest but hoping that we look like we don’t have to try. There was no pretense. There was no judgment. There was no exclusion – only love.
originally written for We Are Wildness.
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