One of my favorite books growing up was a story of a baby bird who upon being born doesn’t see it’s mother. So the baby bird goes on an adventure searching for her by asking various creatures and things this one all important question: “Are you my mother?”
Most of my life has felt like I am wandering around asking a question:
“Are you my people?”
“Are you my tribe?”
Our need for connection and belonging run so deep for so many primal and societal reasons.
I realize that much of my pain has come from not feeling that I belong, not feeling like I fit in, and not feeling understood.
Being at Burning Man brought all of this up for me so strongly and surprisingly.
My first day I found myself wondering how I could be with 65,000 + people from all walks of life and still feel like I don’t belong.
My second day, as I was waiting for coffee, I was looking around me feeling a mixture of regret and anger.
Perhaps I didn’t try hard enough…
I started cataloging my disappointments and judgments about how I chose to show up.
The truth is, I went into a bit of shock.
I arrived in a dust storm and as the clouds parted I found myself in a reality unlike any other I have ever seen.
I have heard so many stories about Burning Man.
Stories full of magic, heart opening, connection, beauty and passion.
And I was comparing myself and hating my experiences in comparison to what my friends have shared or what I thought I should be experiencing.
Mine was a quieter burn.
A burn where I could not escape myself and where I knew I had to wait for something to happen instead of trying to make something happen (which is normally what I do).
I am all about making sh*t happen, but I just couldn’t this time
By Friday night I was ready to run when two women walked into our camp, and after a 5 minute exchange, I knew this was why I was here…
We instantaneously connected.
We laughed, cried, shared in such a genuine and deep way, it was as if we had been friends for a lifetime.
It was effortless.
Now I am all for efforting when necessary, and I am not afraid of hard work, but I am seeking more ease in my life, especially in relationships…
Part of this process for me has been getting how we can truly be so so different In terms of how we can think and relate.
The clearer I have become around this, the clearer I have become about the types of people I want in my world and especially who I allow into my most inner circle.
I used to have little discernment about who I become friends with…
Literally the only pre-qualification was:
“Do you like me?”
As my work has become more and more important to me
As my mission has become clearer and clearer to me
My time has become more and more precious to me
And so the time I do spend with friends so much more dear to me
I am committed to being in relationships that feel as natural, good, enlivening, and enriching as this interaction did.
And when it comes to relationship, my new mantra “less effort, more trust”
So thank you Burning Man for helping me see this possibility
My world is opening
My heart expanding
❤ Emily Joy Rosen