Traveling with my husband to Burning Man (BM) was a life-changing journey that opened up new possibilities for more love, deeper connection and higher-level relationship.
Built in Nevada’s Black Rock desert, this annual event attracts over 70,000 people from all around the world. BM is a temporary city that disappears after a week. You can find anything here-inspiration, love, growth, connection, fun, pleasure, adventure, beauty, healing, purpose…
What we discovered here was beyond any of our expectations.
BM turned out to be a key milestone that took our relationship to the next level. In fact, I don’t see how this experience could have simply a neutral affect on a couple in a committed relationship; you either break up because your core values, desires and dreams aren’t aligned or grow stronger together after experiencing it.
I’ve talked before about the importance of the total immersion experience when you get into a relationship with someone. BM is like a PhD of total immersion, because all that stuff you can try to hide in the “real world” comes to the surface – pain and pleasure, fears and dreams, masks and vulnerability.
The 10 Principles of BM that reflect the community’s ethos and culture can teach a lot about love, because relationships are at the core.
I’ll share my thoughts on just a couple of these principles from the perspective of a love coach and someone who has been in a loving, committed relationship for almost a decade.
1. Radical self-expression. “Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine the content. It is offered as a gift to others.”
What this principle teaches is self-love and unconditional acceptance. It’s been an incredibly beautiful and gratifying experience to see the people of all ages, shapes and colors embracing who they are at the core level, and sharing their uniqueness with the others. We saw men dancing in tutus. Naked people riding bicycles. Women wearing majestic crowns and robes.
How would your love life be different if you embraced this principle as one of your core values?
Really owning who you are. Loving yourself like never before.
Stop hiding your true self and your unique gifts! Instead, show the world your authentic self, with all of your perfect imperfections.
Imagine how much more attractive and irresistible you will be to your man when you completely embrace and accept yourself, just as you are. The cool thing is, being irresistible to someone is not even a goal-it’s just one result of your radical self-expression.
It has nothing to do with your physical appearance (although your your appearance may alter when you practice it). More than anything, it’s a shift in your energy and how you show up in the world.
It could be a simple switch from an oversized sweatshirt that hides your body to a sexy red dress that makes you feel like one of those girls who runs the world.
You can do it right at this moment.
And it costs you little to nothing.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt as ALIVE, FREE and fully self-expressed before, as I was at BM. Besides the incredible feelings of absolute freedom, self-love and self-acceptance, my husband and I also experienced the real high of falling in love with each other all over again. Everywhere we went, from being held in his arms as Black Rock Philharmonic performed in the desert at sunrise, to riding bikes across the Deep Playa at sunset, he kept saying that I was more beautiful, sexy and desirable than when we met 10 years ago.
And it didn’t matter that all around us were some of the world’s most beautiful women, 10-20 years younger than I.
That’s the power of radical self-expression; it translates into unconditional self-love and then multiplied love between two people who are already in a relationship.
I can guarantee you that if you take on radical self-expression, you’re going to eliminate 90% of bread crumbing, ghosting, benching and the like.
Men will either be turned off right away (which is great, because you don’t have time to waste on the wrong guys anyway) or magnetically drawn to you (ready to commit to you on one of your first few dates).
2. Gifting. “Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift-giving. The value of a gift is unconditional.”
To me, this principle is love in action. Unconditional gifting comes from a place of sharing without expecting anything in return. It’s a way to express love by making another person feel loved, appreciated, special, cherished, seen, taken cared of.
Gifting is a way of living in love and tapping into infinite abundance. When you give, your heart is open. When your heart is open, love is easy to come around.
My husband and I embraced gifting as a away of being at BM in multiple ways, to each other and to people of all ages, colors and backgrounds. From basic giving, like food and water, to intangible giving, like words of acknowledgment, encouragement and appreciation.
I believe that no matter if you show up on a first date, or in a 1-year or a 10-year relationship, gifting paves the way for love to enter into your future. As you embrace this principle as a way of being, you’ll be amazed at how much love you have to give others.
Imagine how the world will change around you when you consistently show up as an authentic giver.
You give the gift of your beautiful smile to a stranger walking by…
You give the gift of your words of appreciation to a man you’ve just met…
You give the gift of your vulnerability to a man you date who “failed” at something…
You give the gift of an item you made by hand to a man you’re in a relationship with….
All of these can mark the beginning of an epic love story. YOUR STORY.
Gifting is the ultimate love force that creates something that wasn’t there before. A new connection that can lead to a friendship, and ultimately, an intimate relationship An opportunity to feel and experience something beautiful, moving and profound. A breakthrough moment that can shift your identity at its core.
I can’t tell you how many moments my husband and I experienced at BM of being in the “gifting flow.”
People were coming to us and gifting us in multiple ways too. It was amazing to hear from both singles and couples that they see our love, that we inspire them, and that they wish us to continue to love each other. They approached us and told us that simply because they felt like it. There was no hidden agenda. That’s the magic of selfless gifting.
You can apply this principle in your daily life on any level. It could be giving a compliment to a stranger.
There’s so much more I could share on what BM can teach about love, but it’s something that you have to experience for yourself.
The best part of this journey is that, while many people talk about “surviving BM”—given the harsh conditions of the inhabitable desert—I can say with 100% certainty that we didn’t just survive—we thrived at BM.
Now, closer and stronger than before, we look forward to a new decade of our relationship that is based on love, and shown through radical self-expression and gifting, among other principles of living a life full-out.
Please comment here and share with me if you have had a BM experience and what you learned about love. If you haven’t experienced it yet, let me know how you may apply these principles I’ve described here in your life.