Reviewing

Reviewing the Experience – The Yoga Festival

Last week I worked with my stuff right here on the blog to prepare myself for this yoga festival I was going to over the weekend.

Today, I’m reviewing the experience. Because processing what we go through is useful.

Reviewing

Sometimes you go on an adventure not knowing what the theme is going to be, and you only find out after the adventure is over.

Sometimes you go on an adventure and the theme is so fricking obvious it’s practically standing above your head in flashing neon lights, retro-style.

The them of this adventure was “Learning about help”

And yes, it was a success, in the sense that I learned a lot about my relationship with “help”, either giving it, ie: “I am not helping enough! People are going to get super mad at me and think I’m a useless, lazy person who is never good to anyone because I am not helping enough!!! I should be helping more!!! HOW CAN I HELP MORE!!!!!!” or receiving it, ieL “What?!? W00t??? People are helping me all around even though they don’t know me at all, and I can’t do anything for them?! WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!?!?!

Here’s some more stuff worth noticing.

People helping me. Strangers helping me. For no reason

This truly is the lesson that keeps on being learned.

Instead of taking the bus, someone offered me a tent. Out of nowhere. So I spent the night at the campsite (and nearly froze to death). A man pretty much set it up for me, in the dark. Complete strangers helping me out.

Out of nowhere, a lady offered me her blanket. Just like that. “Hi, I heard you were looking for a blanket. I have one in my car, and I’m not camping, would you like it? Here are the keys to my car, go and get it”. *Jaw-hits-floor*. Seriously, just like that.

The next day, I was in Serious Need for Coffee. At one point I smelled it and the person who had it asked me “would you like some?”. My eyes lit up. And I had some of their coffee.

Another lady let me nap on her tent. Because why not.

A super spunky lady picked me up at my friend’s at 7:30 am. In the pouring rain. Even though I didn’t know her at all. And without her, I couldn’t have got back as no buses.

And my friends came to pick me up at the festival. And we had a swell time.

Basically people kept being kind and generous to me all weekend, and it kinda shocked me to the core.
All my assumptions about how “I don’t have enough to offer and so can’t ask for help, because who would help me for nothing”, all of that was proven wrong, over and over again.

OMG, it was all my neurosis, my stuff. I was wrong about everything! It was all fear

People were kind! They weren’t neurotic middle-class “holier than thou” like I feared *at all*.

I did not end up in conversation with privileged middle-class people. Either they weren’t there (nah, they were there), or I wasn’t attracting them to my orbit. Either way, works for me.

People were wealthier than me, because everyone is wealthier than me at the moment, but even though I did notice and I did have stuff, it moved on without much turmoil. Yay, progress!

Other things worth mentioning

  • I had a long conversation with a woman who was in a similar life situation to me, and that helped me feel less alone, for which I’m grateful.
  • I did not have to talk about “what I do”, and the answer to “where do you come from” was no problem at all. Yays.
  • Challenging. People. Humans. Interactions. Emotions. Garh! Crying attacks: 2. Things can be challenging even with people you like. Argh.
  • Weather was pants. Horrendous. What the Hell?! I want a refund. I want sea and I want sunlight, dammit!
  • I held a baby! Twice! This makes it a grand total of… 2 babies I have held in my whole life.

Also, it’s becoming increasingly clear that, unless circumstances change dramatically in ways I cannot easily fathom, I wouldn’t like to move to Bolivia. The prospect of moving to Bolivia right now seems… not for me. At least right now. Clarity can be challenging.

  • A peek at a potential future.

I saw a group of single women, all friends with each other, who appear to be generally awesome and get around to doing all kinds of awesome things. They seemed to be in their forties.

You see, I am 31 years old. And I am single.
And so I worry about the future. I worry a lot.
But seeing potential role models rocking the life my monsters worry about so much helped me ease my fear a little bit.

  • The breasts!

During a workshop on working with energy, we were asked to tap on our K27 points which, in case you don’t know, sit right above the breasts. So far, so good.
Then, for the lolz, the workshop leaders asked us all to tap on each other’s K27 points.

Can I say, loud and clear, WHAT THE HELL, I DON’T WANT STRANGERS TAPPING DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO MY BREASTS!!! Especially since at one point everyone was partnered safe for the guy I had my silly crush on and me. Still! WHAT THE HELL!?!? Why ask us to do something like that?!?!

It didn’t make it any easier that everyone else (ie: almost all women) were super delighted to tap on each other’s points. Seriously. JUST-NO.

A breath for feeling like the only introvert with issues in a world of “normal people who are all issue-less”.

  • Speaking of which, there were a couple of other instances where the workshop/class teacher made things seriously introvert-unfriendly.

“Cuddle up to the person next to you” and “give them a foot massage”.

Dude! Just because I do yoga doesn’t mean that I am ready for physical contact with complete strangers!
And yes, I was fully aware of the fact that a) this is totally my stuff and more importantly b) I very much want some physical interaction with men, and this is showing me how much I panic at the thought.

  • My yoga teacher said to me: “some of us get a rough deal… it’s karma”, when I vaguely mentioned that I’m not having the best of times.

This comment has proven seriously traumatic at times (“omg! I am doomed forever!!!”) and liberating at others (“oh, right, it’s not my fault…”)

Tiny disappointments

The Widdershins philosophy is to do it the opposite way. Making room for all the feelings, the awesome and the “considerably-less-than-awesome”.

It doesn’t take away from the awesome that there were aspects of this experience that turned out “disappointing”. It makes it part of the vast human experience, which contains awesome and less-than-awesome. It’s like. And it’s healthy to embrace it all.

So. With that in mind. Here are my moments of “considerably-less-than-awesome” from this trip.

  • The talk did not happen. Slightly sad face.

We all forgot. Well, I kinda didn’t, but I could see there was no “mood” for it, and I didn’t want to do it in that kind of environment.

Another reason for not doing it was simple exhaustion. I get tired so, so easily, mostly due to “insomnia before events and trips”. And I feel I need to be in “top form” to do a talk, even if it is a tiny one.

There’s the worry that… well… I don’t know how to say this, but… I felt this wasn’t the best environment for my talk.

I wanted to talk about self-compassion, which is essentially the biggest life-saving skill I know.
And I was at a yoga festival… And I was surrounded by people who are all “yoga people”…
And, and, and… I still felt there was no “space” for me to talk about this subject.

And now the monsters at raging “BUT WE NEED TO BE PUTTING OUR IDEAS OUT THERE, OTHERWISE HOW ARE PEOPLE GOING TO FIND YOU AND HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GET FANS/CLIENTS/READERS/MONEY?!?!?!?!?!”. So. I’m working with that.

  • I didn’t make a single… “friend”. Not-one. More monster worries about how I will never meet people and will never have friends, and how I will forever be a social outcast, etc.
  • No man. Even though we were super close to an airport. This makes no sense!

(I am aware that this sentence also makes no sense to anyone other than me. Unless it makes sense to *you*, in which case, get in touch!)

  • The overall feeling of “I don’t fit in here” (and probably neither does Widdershins). *sad face*

This is it. This was my weekend.
I am very glad I went, survived, and managed to write about it. All the points for doing this!