“It Changed My Life!”

“Burning Man changed my life!”

I imagine that refrain must be annoying to people who have no interest in going. And it might be frightening to someone who is going for the first time. Maybe that change is exactly why you are going (or continue to go) to that wacky gathering in the desert.

I admit that I am one of the ones guilty of making that grand claim. After 16 years attending, I can barely remember who I was before I went to Burning Man.

I’ve had pink hair (year-round) for over 10 years. I help run a charity based on Gifting. I do a weekly podcast to recalibrate to my Highest Playa Self. Even my corporate job is linked to Burning Man: My CEO recruited me after watching some of my Playa Tips & Tricks Videos.

I’m not saying it will affect you the same way. But it might. Be open to it.
In fact, be open to the possibility that ANY experience in your life could dramatically change the way you see the world. A setback on the road. An interaction at a truck stop. A massive dust storm. A conflict with a campmate. These “obstacles” can be the very treasures that give your life meaning.

These “obstacles” can be the very treasures that give your life meaning.

Here is a short video answering the question of how Burning Man has changed me.

Side note: To everyone working their butts off to finish and pack up their creations: THANK YOU! I hope to be able to hug you, look you in the eyes and say it to you face…but please know I am GRATEFUL for your artistic spirit and your heroic efforts. I love you.

I hope you can join me on my Pink Ride on Thursday or enjoy some of the refreshing treats at my camp.

Halcyon's Schedule

About the author: John "Halcyon" Styn


Halcyon is a 21-year Burning Man participant and co-founder of Pink Heart camp. He is author of "Love more. Fear less." and producer of the Burning Man short film, "The Pink Path." He's won Webby awards for his over-the-top personal site & his "Love On Demand" video podcast HugNation.com. Halcyon co-founded the San Diego based "1st Saturdays" homeless outreach program based on Burning Man Principles and coaches people how to be radically self expressed in the default world. You can find his full Playa Tips & Tricks series at www.PlayaPrinciples.com

12 Comments on ““It Changed My Life!”

  • BerryBunny says:

    >I can barely remember who I was before I went to Burning Man.

    Not always a good thing. When you get immersed in the culture and after a year or so you look around and all your friends are Burners, that can be problematic if you decide to take a year off. Your friends will wonder if you’re having some kind of problem, or if perhaps you’re rejecting the culture. You will be talked about behind your back (maybe he’s jaded now) and you may even find yourself uninvited to certain parties.

    With many camps if you’re not all-in, you’re out. And being out can be a difficult time once you no longer remember who you were.

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  • Good point, BerryBunny. But I see it more like Plato’s allegory of the cave. Now that I see the flames, the shadows just look different. :)

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  • Peter Madden says:

    For those of you who are new it WILL change your life.

    You wont necessarily become one of those people who are exceedingly obsessive about being a Burner where their entire life revolves around it and spending a week in the desert.

    What it will do is break down your psychological walls. It will teach you to be a person more open to do new new thing or to explore new ideas in life. And it will break down walls you might not know you even had…..

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  • Alan says:

    Hay John,

    After following ya for a few months and seeing all your videos im really looking forward to going to Burning man, but henceforth i have a problem, im living in ireland and i have no idea the best way to get to the burning man and the most economical etc.

    I hear the tickets are near impossible to obtain unless you know someone in the US. Any advice would be a big help. Waiting four years (doing a PhD) to go and 2015 is the year. If you want to expand your Gifting ethos and semi-company in ireland we are a receptive bunch so dont hesitate :)

    Take care.

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  • Hey Alan! Tickets are via lottery. So you have as good a chance as most! Just make sure you are subscribed to the JackRabbit Speaks newsletter, so you register on time (in 9 months or so).
    As far as the economics of getting here? That is outside my expertise. It definitely is not an inexpensive hobby. :) But you have a year to prep and save! I look forward to crossing paths!

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  • Syd says:

    I’ll see you there. I hope you won’t being hugged to within an inch of your life. :)

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  • Syd says:

    …won’t *mind* being hugged… I keep thinking I’ve caught everything. ***rolls eyes at self***

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  • Joe says:

    I’m a coffeehouse slacker. If it doesn’t change my life, do I get my money back? If it does change my life are cult intervention programs available?

    Also, I can’t afford furry pants. Will this be a problem?

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  • Harinama says:

    My Life Changed BurningMan!

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  • Mark Nixon says:

    John, you are a REAL inspiration. When I first saw some of your videos last year, my initial reaction was my usual cynical self, “what’s his angle” “what’s he selling” Then I went to Burning Man and it blew me away. I sat on one of your pink couches one night and drank a beer and watched the world go by. All of a sudden a sixty something year old man appeared wearing only a white top hat and a flashing led piercing through the tip of his penis, He said Good Evening to a few people and as I was finishing my beer and suminging up the courage to ask him if I could photograph him, I turned around and he was gone.
    I hope to see him again this year and I would love to photograph you if you have some spare time during the week.
    Burning Man used one of my images for their Thank You card last year, so if you’d like to check out my photos from last year you can here. http://marknixon.com/Personal-Work/Burning-Man/1/
    I will come say hello and give you a hug anyway. Much Love from Ireland.

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  • Too much computer time says:

    @ Joe
    No furry pants?
    No problem, bring your furry birthday suit, and you will be fine.

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  • @Mark – Your photos are amazing! I LOVE the shot you took of me. Would love to connect again for a pic every year. :) See you at Home. Much Love. <3

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