This post isn’t going to help you pack.
It isn’t going to tell you how to prepare for dust or stay lit at night. You’ve already read (or watched) all about that.
But I do want to suggest some tips for the preparation of your state of mind.
I’ve talked to too many first timers who have stumbled upon snarky online conversations and become concerned that they won’t be welcomed at Burning Man. Or they’ve seen videos of gorgeous performers, acro-yogis, and go-go dancers and are not sure if they’ll fit in.
But, motivated by their bucket list, they’ve summoned enough courage to go “check out that thing in the desert.”
I’d like to assure you that you ARE welcome. And I’d like to reframe that goal a little:
Burning Man isn’t something that you “check out.”
It is something that you participate in.
There will be hundreds of people inviting you to play with their contraption, climb their structure, write on their wall, sing along with their song, eat their treat.
Say “Yes” to those opportunities.
Burning Man is a gift economy – not barter. People want to give you things simply because they want to make your moment better. They want to do this because it makes them feel good to share.
Have you ever made a meal for a table full of friends? And then had them glow about how much they loved the meal? Remember how good that feels? That. A gifting economy is like that.
Practice being a good receiver. Say thank you. Mean it.
Don’t take the gift for granted, but also don’t feel obligated to reciprocate. If you feel filled with appreciation and abundance – give a gift of your own. But resist the urge to return a gift tit-for-tat as a sort if transaction. (Although tits and tats are both interesting gift ideas.)
Maybe you are struggling to figure out what you should bring to gift.
It is important to expand your concept of a “gift.”
A gift is anything that lifts another person up. Sure, it can be an object like a bracelet or a beer. But it can also be a gesture. It can be volunteering, helping set up a tent, assisting an artist with an installation, doing dishes, picking up moop, or being of service in countless ways.
Maybe you are a dancer, sculptor or musician and you know exactly what personal gifts you have to share. Or you may have no idea. Don’t fret, Burning Man has a way of opening up your perspective to the many gifts you have inside you.
The reality is that WHO YOU ARE is a gift. If you act from integrity…if you act from your heart…if you radically express your true self…THAT is a powerful gift. Don’t get hung up on how that gift ends up being expressed.
Burning Man is a fertile petri dish. All you need to do is just let the spores of your spirit out – and then get out of the way. Always had a hankering to try puppetry? Pull off your sock, put it on your hand and start introducing yourself as “Susan and Sockita.” Or maybe you’ll stumble upon a camp of puppeteers who invite you to participate in their daily performance. Say “Yes!” It will be a gift to them, to the audience, and to yourself. And by following your heart, you are giving a gift to the world. The magic happens when we all let ourselves express from that deep, honest place.
Art is not defined by the result of the paintstroke. It is determined by the inspiration that drives the expression. Let yourself be inspired. Let yourself express in big and small ways. Say “Yes.”
You’re not going to check out Burning Man. You are a part of Burning Man. We’re looking forward to meeting you. Welcome Home.
Come visit me at 8:45 & Esplanade at Pink Heart Camp for iced cucumber water or vegan ice cream. Or join the Pink Ride Thursday at noon. Or do whatever it is that your gorgeous heart desires. I love you.