I wear crystals. I drink bizarre concoctions that would make most people gag. I have optionally eaten vegan versions of just about every normal non-vegan food. I make my own almond milk. 90% of my cosmetics are made of coconut oil. I chant in Sanskrit almost every day. I talk about vibrations, energy, and consciousness with total conviction.
But none of that could prepare me for the Envision Festival.
From the minute I arrived, it was clear that I was entering a space where anything goes meant everything will go. From topless women covered head-to-toe in blue clay to conversations about how Black Moon Lilith’s position in the sky was going to change everything, I felt as though I had time traveled to the original hippy movement.
And I loved it.
While to most eyes, including my own, the whole festival would appear as a little bit “out there”, it took me less than a day to pick up on the overarching theme of the festival, and it was a theme I could totally get on board with.
The theme was authenticity. Be your authentic self, speak your authentic truth, live your authentic life… whatever authenticity means to you, embody it.
My authentic self does not involve being topless and covered in blue clay for 4 days straight, but that didn’t matter. No matter what I did or didn’t choose to partake in, I felt loved and accepted 100% of the time. As I stood in line for a vegan “Luv Burger” on the first day, the guy behind me said hello and by the time I was placing my order we were deep in a conversation about attachment, identity, and the things that hold us both back in life.
That became the norm for my festival experience. Everyone wanted to jump right to the heart of who I was and what I was doing here. Not what I was doing at Envision—what I was doing in life. They wanted to shine a light on my raison d’être and help me wear it with pride.
The festival wasn’t just food and clay. There was fantastic music, uplifting yoga classes, inspiring lectures, and amazing workshops.
I did a little bit of all of it.
I went to talks about accessing creativity and authentic storytelling. I listened to a couple discuss alternative relationship styles for the modern age. I participated in a sacred art class taught by self-proclaimed witches. I danced mindlessly into the wee hours of the night.
But I didn’t do it all. I avoided certain talks and classes that didn’t appeal to me, even though some of them were considered the headliners of the festival.
Because Envision wasn’t about those talks. It wasn’t about the yoga or the music or the food.
It was about finding yourself and embracing yourself without shame or apology. So that’s what I aimed to do. In fact, it is what I have tried to do in the past and continue to attempt to master.
I’d venture to say authenticity is one of the hardest lessons to learn, but I also think it is the most important. Because if we learn to live 100% authentically 100% of the time, the rest will follow. For me, Envision was just a little taste of what that could look like, blue clay or not.