Then the issue of boundaries came up time and again during the festival, not only for me personally, but also for us as space holders within the women's area. So much of the work we have to do on ourselves and as womankind in general is within the realms of finding where our yeses are and where are our nos. Then being able to articulate them powerfully yet gently, and be heard in our truth takes another stepping up of sorts. Several situations called us into listening and communication with full compassion. Some of those complex situations we navigated really well for others, some took a few days and some we are learning from. Lots of things can happen in small amount of time in the space of a few hundred tents. An intense snap shot of life really, but what is incredible is the willingness to open and engage that people have and call each other into. It is a delight to be a part of, this cracking open, the Being and the Becoming.
I also feel profoundly moved by the women that spent time in the Red Tent with their rawness and vulnerability, their story sharing and their processing, their wisdom and truth. The internalised misogyny workshop I felt drawn to create and offer just two days before packing to go to the festival allowed us to really examine some of the shadows within sisterhood. Owning and voicing some of it, meant it could, in a sense, die and be released, the sorries could be said and equally received at our core giving us new life. Sometimes old ways of doing and surviving have to go in order for us to access the being and thriving. It takes courage to do this, and a grieving of lost selves and opportunities, and I honour each woman that came to that workshop and offered it up as prayer and healing for all women. I am also glad that more and more women are finding their way to these spaces to give to themselves during all phases of their cyclical nature and life stages, connecting to the repeating life and death spiral within the physical or energetic form. I am bearing witness too to the integrity and gentle holding of some of the sisters for us all by the fire and in the camp.
Overall the blazing sunshine added to the intensity, liberation and brilliance. Everyone shined, radiant in smiles, laughter and colourful clothing, (or none at all as the case may be). Although we were offering lots in the Red Tent we managed a fair bit of playtime too. My personal highlights were the retelling of one of my favorite tales, that of Inanna's Descent in the Death Awareness Space; the wonderful Vaudeville of the Vulva at Word Up; Sexual Healing talk in the Women's Space; and Yoni Shakti exploration in the Yoga Dome. Add into that a puja, some gentle yoga, sacred sensuality work, dancing, rather good raw cacao, and my gigglesome sisters and you get a sense of my juicy time in the "field". And the Crew Cafe what can I say ... thank you for the love and joy that you served along with our food. I've come back feeling held and honoured and nurtured in my Dance of Life and Death, and a feeling of blessedness to be part of the giving. See you there next year.