The Empowering Team gives the Rise Festival a 10 on the Empowering Experiences scale. A must do!
Over the weekend I was invited to the RISE lantern festival. I was not told where I was going, or what I was going to do, just that I was going somewhere “inspiring and special.” I was told to wear “something kind of festival like… white might be good.”
Well…..it’s October… and in Minnesota, where I am living right now, white festival gear is nowhere to be found! As a matter of fact us Minnesotans, with our practical Nordic beliefs, tend to be pretty grounded and not of the “festival” nature, but I was taking a trip to the west coast so I decided to be open.
I found a white lace jumpsuit, ridiculously on sale, and off I went.
RISE is an event that takes place in the Mojave Desert. The creator of the event states that he wants the participants to have the “freedom to define the festival in a way that is meaningful to them.” His thoughts are,
“RISE represents the human experience where you can see people experiencing joy and happiness, while others might be experiencing something hard and difficult.”
At the festival people were writing messages on their lanterns. Some were sending prayers to loved ones who had passed away. Some people were battling cancer and writing messages, asking for strength and help in healing. Some couples were there, to propose marriage… And there I was, in my white lace festival outfit feeling very vulnerable and very unsure about what to write on my lantern.
Oh…and It is not that I am free of struggle or happiness; it is just that I didn’t have one wish or one purpose for being there. So I left it untouched, simply white. As I stood there looking around at all the people who had come to this desert to have their personal joy, or feel their personal pain.
In a fast paced world, where many of us feel disconnected, I strangely felt a spiritual connectedness from this random group of people as all the lanterns rose. I realized we are all human and creatures of this Earth. We are hardwired for struggle. We are created for passion and purpose, and for giving and receiving love.
I learned from the experience that it is important to let yourself be seen; deeply, vulnerably seen. Feel connected with the earth, and all the living things that are a part of it. Live authentically, speak your truth, and don’t get caught up in the everyday struggle. Be real, be authentic. Love with your whole heart, even though there is no guarantee. Let yourself feel fierce about your passion. Tell your story with your whole heart. Have the courage to be imperfect, and the compassion to be yourself.
Our hearts are wild. They’re not meant to be kept in a box for safe keeping.
We are human and we are created for feeling. We are created to struggle and feel pain and we are created to feel joy. And as my pure white lantern rose into the sky I was reminded how we as humans continue to “rise” after we fall and we continue to seek. We need to remain seekers. Keep searching, rise like the lanterns, because as long as you keep your heart free for pure human emotions, you will always rise.
Learn more at www.risefestival.com