Burning Man & How it Can Transform Your Life


By: Gaia Staff  |  September 28, 2015

Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said, “…one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Alice in Wonderland

If you’ve never been to Burning Man you may not know that ‘gifting’ is a big part of the experience. As there is no commerce of any kind at the festival, everything you don’t bring yourself is either given to you for free or simply not going to happen.

The gifts range from handmade pizza to bracelets to tutus. It all depends on what you wish to give, and what you wish to receive.

I thought long and hard about what my gift could be this year and finally decided that I wanted it to be greater than a material object. I wanted it to create lasting change in the recipient. So I decided my gift was going to be:

To deeply believe in someone else’s wildest dream.

Now, this is not a gift that most people know how to give, but I do. You see, I’ve been doing it since the beginning of this year with my life coaching company, Smiling Heart Rebels.

If you’ve always wondered what a life coach actually does, in my estimation it’s essentially this: We get paid to create and share a reality of infinite possibility.

Everyone’s dream is different. Some wish to make 10 million dollars a year, or lose 12 pounds, or win a gold medal. Others want nothing more than to be able to forgive their fathers, themselves, or God. One dream is never more valid or important than the next. They are all perfect, and they tend to all have one thing in common: The dreamer does not yet dare to believe that the dream can actually come true.

That’s where I come in. See, really the only difference between me and most people is that I’ve learned to trust the POWER OF BELIEF. I have seen the magic that can happen when doubt is eradicated. I have reaped the rewards. I have created more joy, more healing, and more abundance in my life than I ever thought possible. But it didn’t happen until I recognized that…

BEING EXTRAORDINARY IS A CHOICE.

There’s a widespread misconception which claims that being extraordinary is something one is born with. I believe this is the single greatest reason why we habitually stifle our greatness.

When we look at people who have achieved great things – whom we admire for their accomplishments, their status, their skill – we usually attribute their success to a talent or a high level of intelligence. Sure, we can see that most of these individuals have tenacity, confidence and an unwavering determination to never give up. But we don’t focus on those attributes, because we think they are contingent upon a God-given talent or mental capacity. In fact, we prefer to see these attributes as a resulting BYPRODUCT of the latter. You either have it or you don’t and – well, most people don’t. Therefore being extraordinary is simply out of most people’s reach.

I am thrilled to say that I strongly disagree.

We take for granted that pretty much everything that surrounds us in our daily lives is the result of someone’s willingness to believe in the impossible.

iPhones. The Internet. Airplanes. Electricity. Running water. Television. Birth control.

All ludicrous ideas until someone decided it could be done. And it doesn’t stop at technological advancements, science, and gadgetry. The freaking tree outside my front door is a miracle simply because there once existed a reality in which trees did not exist. Therefore, the idea of a tree was at one time, still impossible. And yet – a tree came to be.

This to me can mean only thing: ANYTHING is possible.

Here’s where people fall off, though. Because although I absolutely believe that anything is possible if you truly believe it to be – I never said it wasn’t scary as all hell to actually do it. You see…

IT TAKES BALLS TO BE EXTRAORDINARY.

It takes commitment. It takes discipline. It takes courage.

Courage is another attribute that we think people are just kind of born with. You’re either brave or you’re a coward. That’s it. But what we fail to recognize is that courage can’t actually exist unless it’s happening in the face of fear{.inline-media .inline-video}.

Courage without risk, without danger, without mind numbing, toe curling, spine crippling fear becomes nothing short of extinct. Therefore, in order to be courageous, you must be WILLING to do that which makes most others run for the hills. You must CHOOSE courage. That to me is the single bravest thing anyone can do. It’s also why most people won’t. Because it’s so much easier to stay small. It’s so much safer to be ordinary. It really is.

Here’s the good news: You don’t have to do it alone. In fact, you kind of can’t.

Just as I brought my gifts to Burning Man, Burning Man gave me something in return. And I’m not just talking about unforgettable memories of glitter-soaked star dust explosions on every dazzling, dusty corner.

Burning Man allowed me to see how COMMUNITYis the ultimate tool to being extraordinary.

Because believing anything is possible isn’t crazy. Thinking you have to do it alone is.

Turn ‘I can do it’ into ‘We can do it’ and you’ve just increased your chances for success exponentially.

Just look at the facts. Every successful person you admire had mentors, guides, and coaches. Because the more minds, hearts, and souls that stand together in the firm belief that something CAN happen – it must. That’s how places like Burning Man come to be. That’s how men walk on moons. And that’s ultimately how we are going to heal our world from chaos and destruction.

By uniting. And BELIEVING. With every fiber of our being. That we CAN.

So ask yourself: What do you deem impossible? And what would happen if you met someone who told you that you’re wrong?


 

Melinda Cohen

For a long time I defined myself with one word: ACTRESS.
That was my ultimate goal in life. To make movies. So I did. I not only acted in film and TV, but also wrote, produced and directed vivaciously for many years.
Until one day I asked myself: WHY?
Why am I telling this story? What do I want to say? What does this world NEED? More than anything? How can my contribution alleviate the suffering that spreads like wildfire through our beautiful world?
For a while I really didn’t know how to answer that question.
I felt overwhelmed by the prospect of ‘making a difference.’ So I began to ask questions. Who am I — REALLY? What is my purpose? And most importantly: How can I bring every action I take – in my art, my craft and my daily life – into authentic alignment with that purpose – once I find it?
Asking these questions launched me on a path of self discovery which resulted in the decision to start a rebellion.
Now you must understand – this is a rebellion fueled by love, not hate. By compassion, not anger. By understanding, not ignorance.
You see, sometimes the compassionate thing, the loving thing is to stand up and say: We won’t tolerate a world in which all this beauty goes unseen any longer.
Here’s a secret that will change your world.
The real rebellion starts within.
If you want to find out more, visit my life coaching website, www.smilingheartrebels.com and film production website at www.straymongrel.com. I’m currently recruiting.
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