My Transformation from Lightning in a Bottle

Lightning in a Bottle, LIB, transformation

Lightning in a Bottle has some serious staying power

Four days is all it takes to experience a transformational awakening. To expand our minds, consciousness and explore our own power. I know this because its been close to three weeks since coming back from my first experience at Lightning in a Bottle and my world has altered. I knew during the car ride home there was so much I learned and wanted to share. My thoughts were fuzzy and hard to make sense of though because everything was so fresh. I wanted to take what I learned into action. Instead of posting my bulleted list of aha moments that weren’t yet stitched into my soul, I went to work on myself using my new tools.

You see, for a few weeks prior to Lightning in a Bottle I’d experienced something new for the first time. A bout of anxiousness and a type of sadness that sliced the happiness right out of me at times. I didn’t know what happened. It was like my perspective of the world and myself shifted about three degrees to the left and I felt stuck and scared. And, for all of you that know me, we all know that’s very uncharacteristic. I share that last piece because I want people to understand that even the happiest of all humans can experience a period of doubt and emotional turmoil. It’s like getting the flu. No one wants it, but sometimes, boom, you’re hit hard with something shitty you weren’t expecting. But also like the flu, it’s only temporary and a weekend like Lightning in a Bottle and putting in the work, can help shake things up and awaken your soul.

I know you know this already, but I’ll still say it anyways, the biggest opportunities for growth occur outside of your comfort zone. I’m not going to lie, I was a tad bit nervous to go to LIB, but not for any other reason than those I made up in my head. Perspective is everything you see. There really isn’t any good or bad but our own thinking makes our reality. The moment we come up with a better story than the negative drama we’ve imagined in our head, the impossible becomes possible.

Now for the good stuff. The stuff I took away from the weekend and have been practicing in my own life the last three weeks

Lightning in a Bottle, LIB, transformation, music festival, acro yoga. festival art

Always, Always Give What You Have

If you want to live a full life, a great life, and a life that has true meaning, then focus on what you’re giving, pay no mind on what you’re receiving. Do this everyday even if you think you don’t have much to offer. By the way, I promise you that’s just a negative story you have running through your head. Believe you me my friend, there’s so much to you that makes a difference for people in this world. Whether that takes shape in putting up a friend’s tent, sharing your himalayan salt rocks to help your friends recharge their electrolytes or making people laugh with your outrageous ram onsie – yes all of this happened – do it and do it consciously.

Receive Appreciation

How do you feel about receiving appreciation? You love it, right? Well, while most of us enjoy and even crave being appreciated, it can actually be challenging and quite vulnerable to receive the love and gratitude that others have for us at times. When we receive appreciation, we usually quickly hand it right back in a compliment, or even worse, diminish or discount ourselves. It’s crazy how instinctual it is bat away a good compliment or love. Truth is, it’s so important to receive appreciation and gratitude even when it feels uncomfortable. Trust me, you’ll notice a massive difference in the way you feel about yourself and the world when you allow yourself to receive.

Today is Not Yesterday

Lightning in a Bottle Soundbath
Sitting underneath the tents at my first sound bath of the weekend, I was surprised with my experience. Laying on the ground, fully open, I noticed a tiny pressure point on top of my third eye. Ok, I’m not trying to get all hippie on you, but this really happened and it zapped me into the present moment. The person leading our sound bath kept repeating,

Today is not yesterday. We create ourselves every day and our ideas change us further.

When you’re able to shift your perspective and recognize that yesterday already happened and that it has zero impact on the type of day you’re going to have today, freedom emerges. Every day is another 24 hours to write your own story. It’s so beautiful and empowering. You’re truly the author of your own happiness. I suggest a little dose of creative writing in the morning to get anything that’s weighing heavy on your mind down on paper so that it’s cleared from your head. From there you can really start fresh.

Mindfulness is No Joke

Lightning in a Bottle, LIB, transformation,  music festival
Ok, I’ll say it. I’m addicted to thinking, overthinking and marinating in my thoughts. Well, I was. I’ve always thought that no matter the challenge, I could always arrive at a better solution if I insistently thought of the “why.” I’d become addicted to asking myself and others, why. Why is this happening to me? Why am I feeling down? The truth is, that level of over thinking often interferes with your ability to make a decision and obstructs reality. You’re no longer in the present and into speculation or fantasy. By the way, nothing ever “happens to you.” You choose everything. The idea of mindfulness is to slow down and to be present, rather than thinking too many steps ahead or over complicating things.

I used to wake up and worry about what I was going to do that weekend or about a deadline a week away. Gosh, did that send me into a tailspin and remove me from what could be a fabulous morning snuggling with my fiancé and pup. I named my worry, Wanda, lol, and can now acknowledge when she pays a visit and quickly tell her to go on vacation. See ya, Wanda!

Openness Leads to Connection

Lightning in a Bottle, LIB, transformation, music festival, acro yoga
It’s engrained in every ounce of our being to connect with others. Admittedly, I used to confuse connection with romance. I would steer away from giving my whole self to people in fear that I was giving the wrong impression – protecting my image and caring too much of what other people thought of me. To weave an even deeper tale, I thought that if I connected with someone else, it took away from my connection with my fiancé. Well, I was so wrong. To quote a lyric from Haywyre…

“when we’re open to connection, the world becomes a collaborative web of interdependent pieces.”- Haywyre

Try it. Open yourself to share a deep conversation or lunch with someone you typically just say hi to and see how great you feel afterwards.

Lightning in a Bottle, LIB, transformation, music festival, dance party

That wraps up my list. Because of everything I took away, I’m having a hard time saying that LIB is festival just for hippies. Instead, I’ll say LIB brings together genuine, free spirited people open to exploration, connection, love and shared experiences. I hope that’s everyone.

Believe me, you can push and change into the person you want to be. We are all free to create our own reality. Practice grace, patience and love with yourself. Dive straight into the uncomfortableness, try new things and reframe your thoughts to see the world differently. Give yourself, open yourself for appreciation and connection and stay present. All of this will be a big domino effect that will continue to lead to results.

You are strong, positive and powerful. Remember that when the weather changes.

A big shout out to all my friends from LIB, both old and new, I appreciate you.

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  • I went to Lightning in a Bottle in 2012. I had a bad fall in the dark. I went to the medical camp where they had no other patients and 6 workers. One of them was the head of the Do Lab who put on Lightning in a Bottle. I was polite and humble. For an unexplained reason (to date) he had me falsely arrested for trespassing eventhough I had a legitimate wristband on. He had me taken by the meanest and nasty (believe me) police to the worst jail in Southern California, the Orange County Central jail. They put me in a 4 person cell with a self-proclaimed white racist and his two friends. My live was threatened. It was a living hell. I got out in 4 days. There is a group of wonderful people who do hundreds of festivals. Their motto is: “never” turn anyone wno is tripping over to the police. I was not tripping. I was not high. I was not drunk. But the head of the Do Lab put me through this torture and has never apologized to me.

  • This is the article I will show to people who ask me what makes LiB a transformational festival. Thank you so much for putting your experience into words!

    • Thanks, Ethan! So many great things came from that weekend. Thanks for sharing your experience with us 🙂

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