Before my first Burn over three years ago, my friends would constantly talk about the Magic of Burning Man. “The playa always provides!” they’d tell me excitedly while recounting tales of synchronicities that sounded too miraculous to be true. There was the traveling toothbrush cart that peddled by my friend Holly a few moments after she vomited in a port-o-potty. “That was the only time I ever saw it!” Or the time she was freezing cold, hanging out with a hunky Australian when they came across a lonely blanket on the playa… that happened to be a giant Australian flag. Crazy, right?! They wrapped themselves in their newfound warmth and set off to explore for the rest of the night. All of these stories piqued my interest. I set off for my first Burn enthralled by the possibilities and ready for anything.
The sheer beauty of the landscape took my breath away. It was like being on another planet. The sight of the cracked desert lakebed from behind my dusty goggles was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
Although I don’t recall any significant coincidences occurring my first year at Burning Man, I was still completely mesmerized by the magic of it all. The art, the vibes, the community. An entire city built purely for enjoyment and expansion, this was my kind of place! And my camp, Pretentious Fox, had so many public offerings- a bar, a stage, a swingset, parties, a lounge, and raised platform to catch incredible views of the city. I was so inspired to contribute even more to this amazing place. I came back to the default world ready to do Burning Man even bigger the next year. Sculptures were built, costumes were carefully designed, camp dinners were planned, handmade grumpy cat pasties were purchased. I couldn’t wait to get back to the playa.
My second year at Burning Man, I experienced a “coincidence” that blew my mind hard. My boyfriend at the time (now my husband) and I were having a very heated discussion (re: argument) about when he was going to propose. Little did I know, he had a ring with him and was planning to pop the question later in the week, but I digress. There we were, on the Esplanade, intensely talking about our plans for the future when a man ran up to us (and I mean sprinted towards us out of nowhere).
“I have a gift for you!” he exclaimed before shoving a small silver ring on my ring finger. I looked at him in shock, completely blown away. People rarely interject when they see a couple arguing, especially at Burning Man. But the fact that a perfect stranger put a ring on my finger at the exact moment my husband and I were talking about precisely that is CRAZY. We ended up getting engaged the next day and I finally had my first big synchronicity at Burning Man. My mind was reeling. But nothing could prepare me for what happened the following year.
En route to Black Rock City this past August, our camp truck caught on fire and burned to the ground. Our beloved Katyusha (the giant fur-covered work truck that also happened to be part of our infrastructure) was carrying nearly 30% of our camp and nearly all of our public offerings. Our sound system, camp sign, sculptures, lights, alcohol, food, swing set pieces, aerial silks, the bar– EVERYTHING on the truck was lost. Karina and Misha, our friends and campmates driving Katyusha, barely escaped the fire. They got out in the nick of time without tickets, wallets, phones, or even shoes. Miraculously, we managed to come together as a camp, replace nearly everything we lost, and rebuilt only a day and a half behind schedule.
After we rebuilt our camp, Karina and I proudly surveyed our land. Pretentious Fox looked better than ever. We did it! But we weren’t completely out of the woods. Being one of our kitchen leads, Karina handled most of the meal planning and shopping. “I’m worried about our camp,” Karina revealed, “we don’t have any more fresh food until Tuesday.” I nodded in understanding, but I was distracted by a woman riding a bicycle down the street with her daughter. She was headed straight for us. Neither myself nor Karina knew her, but there she was riding her bike directly up to us with a basket full of fresh, home grown, organic vegetables. Literally as Karina was worrying about not having fresh food. WTF?!
The woman seemed a bit flustered. Gathering armfuls of squash and zucchini, she unloaded the giant vegetables into our eager hands. “I just have way too much of this stuff. Do you guys need any? It’s organic!” Ummmm, YES in fact we need these vegetables desperately!!!! The kind lady peddled off with her daughter as quickly as she had ridden up. Karina and I turned to each other in awe and gratitude. The playa does provide. But why? That question got me thinking. There had to be an explanation for why there were so many magical coincidences on the playa.
Another friend shared a story about throwing a sandwich onto the second story of a passing art car. When the art car stopped a block down the road, my friend ran up and climbed onto the second floor yelling out, “Has anyone seen a sandwich?” A young man replied, “Yeah! I found a sandwich and I ate it! I just told my friend that I was kinda hungry. Then a sandwich fell from the sky and I ATE IT!” I had shivers down my spine listening to this story. What did it all mean?
This year, the Burning Man temple this year included lifesize wooden weeping willow trees with long fabric strips hanging from the branches. The strips were removable so people could write on them. Thoughts, poems, messages to deceased loved ones, any words to be released into the universe through smoke and fire. My husband saw the fabric strips and snagged one for us to write on. I grabbed a sharpie and wrote the first thing that came to mind. Something I wanted to explore deeper and needed the power of the Temple Fire to help me. “The place proves the power of human thought and intention,” I scrawled on the fabric in thick, messy black ink.
I had the most impactful and rewarding week of my life at Burning Man this year. My husband and I created our first interactive installation piece. (What a thrill!) We became friends with a neighboring camp (Shoutout to Northwest Mist!) Our camp, Pretentious Fox, pulled off all of our events without a hitch, despite losing so much in the fire. If anything, the fire helped bring us together and shed old skin. We danced, we drank, we hosted incredible live music and felt so much more involved in the community than previous years. It was unbelievably rewarding. I experienced so many moments of pure, unadulterated bliss, I was devastated by the thought of going back to everyday life. Tears streamed down my cheeks as we drove off the playa; I was comforted only by the fact that we were trailing an RV called Arctic Fox in the Exodus line and my campmate called my husband Arctic Fox at our white party when he was wearing a giant white furry vest. (!!!) There are so many magical coincidences at Burning Man. How could I keep them going for the rest of the year?
In the weeks that passed, I grew more and more depressed, as I tend to do every year after Burning Man. It’s just so fucking dreary coming back to a world where there are so many limits and expectations and requirements. But this year was different. I left seeking. A better life, a higher purpose, the true nature of reality, anything. I just wanted answers. Why do people experience so much synchronicity at Burning Man? And how do I experience more of that in the default world? I read a quote by Nikolas Tesla that caught my attention,
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”
Well Nikolas Tesla seems like a smart motherfucker, so I began researching more on frequencies and vibrations. I read a lot of books and even more articles and listened to Ted Talks and inspirational speakers. Here is what I came up with:
- Human thought is more powerful than most of us realize. It shapes our physical world through vibration.
- Positive thoughts vibrate at a higher frequency and attract only situations with a similar vibration.
- By consciously directing our thoughts away from negative patterns and focusing on having fun and enjoying life, we will be supported by the universe in ways we can’t even imagine. Like a sandwich falling from the sky.
The reason why “the playa provides” is simple. People are 100% focused on having fun and seeking new experiences, and everyone believes that things will work out in their favor. Even if you are going to Burning Man to work your ass off for your camp, the end goal is to have fun and help others have fun too. The Magic of Burning Man can be everywhere, all around us. All we have to do is tap into it. By aligning our thoughts and vibrations to the highest, best possible outcome, and constantly seeking FUN everywhere we go, we can experience those magical synchronicities that leave us feeling connected and 100% supported. And really, isn’t that what we’re all looking for?
I put this practice into place by creating a 30 Day Fun Challenge. I found that when I make having fun my number one priority, the universe shows up for me in ways that dazzle and delight. If you want to experience more playa magic in the default world, try the 30 Day Fun Challenge! Here are the details and the Official Rules. 🙂
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