Lightning in a Bottle 2014: Top 10 Transformational Moments
Transformational festivals are a hot-topic of discussion right now due to their reputation of social activism, global change and conscious living; Lightning in a Bottle (LiB) sets the transformational festival standard high when it comes to creating a thriving community where attendees can grow through inspiration, self-realization and sustainability. The Do LaB, creators of LiB, are true visionaries when it comes to blazing a trail for events with deep-rooted meaning and substance.
LiB’s slogan of “choose your own adventure” couldn’t be more accurate. The festival’s 24-hour a day schedule made it possible to indulge in and seek inspiration from a plethora of different activities, speakers, live music and workshops. The theme of my adventure, along with many others within this year’s LiB community, was transformation through the festival’s offerings.
It would have been impossible to witness every amazing thing the festival had to offer with so many magic ventures dispersed amongst a full schedule on a large festival ground, but I encountered a long list of incredibly magic and transformational moments in four days. Here is my list of the top 10 most transformational moments at Lightning in a Bottle 2014:
10. Realizing Only Vegetarian Vendors Were on Festival Grounds:
I realized that there were only vegetarian food vendor options about half way into the weekend while searching for something with meat; the no-meat option ended up being a keen test of my discipline in a healthy direction, as I’m not accustomed to a vegetarian diet. A combination of walking between LiB’s spread out festival grounds, attending daily yoga workshops, and eating this clean vegetarian diet made me feel like I was in the best shape of my life after four days. I learned that my body can most definitely thrive from high physical activity and a no meat diet. This was transformation in the highest sense, being both mentally and physically.
9. Rejoicing the Sunset with Animal Noises during The Polish Ambassador’s Set
The Polish Ambassador had a gorgeous sunset set on Friday evening. As soon as the sun started to hit the horizon, the world’s funkiest diplomat stopped the music and asked the crowd to make the best and loudest animal noise to rejoice the sun. Although light-hearted, it was truly a beautiful moment to hear everyone make a primitive sound in unison and simultaneously watch the sun slowly set. The experience was a genuine reminder on how astounding it is to be a free agent rejoicing in the art of being alive.
8. Learning to Channel Feminine Power at ‘Art of Healthy Feminine Leadership’ Workshop:
Joanne Ameya Cohen’s Saturday afternoon workshop at LiB’s Mystery School was uplifting, empowering and inspirational for healthy female leaders. Joanne conducted the opposite of a boring lecture, as she led several exercises to teach the audience how to embody feminine power and transcend self-doubt. The workshop ended in a memorably empowering manner: the women were asked to line up in two lines facing each-other, then each individual screamed out her feminine leadership quality and ran down the middle to a rally of high-fives and cheers. I left this workshop ready to take the world by storm.
7. Channeling My Inner Sensuality at ‘Goddess of Burlesque’ Workshop
While roaming around festival grounds on Saturday night I stumbled upon Lilac Purple’s Goddess of Burlesque workshop, which was the most educationally sexy thing I experienced all weekend. Lilac taught the class how to channel sensuality through expression and performance. The workshop, held at the Yoga Om tent, was infinitely fun and left the crowd feeling confident and empowered. Additionally, this is the only time I’ve ever witnessed a burlesque class at a festival.
6. Meditatively Stretching at Patti Quintero’s SoulShine Yoga Class
Patti Quintero’s Saturday afternoon ‘SoulShine’ yoga workshop was a revitalizing integration of conscious breath, vinyasa flows and live music. The powerful practice incorporated the beautiful live vocals of Shawni and a live acoustic guitarist to create an unforgettably exotic outdoor yoga workshop. As the class name suggested, I left feeling like my soul was beaming and kept that soul shine bright for the rest of the day. I later learned that Patti founded a non-profit project “SoulShine Columbia” that is dedicated to bringing meditation and yoga to the underprivileged of Columbia.
5. Strolling through the Do Art Temple at the End of LiB
LiB hosted 50 phenomenal live painters who dispersed amongst festival grounds throughout the weekend. All of the paintings created during the festival were lined up on the last night at the Do Art Temple where anyone could take a walk through and admire the weekend’s creations. It was truly astounding to walk around and witness what each individual artist captured on canvas during their time at the festival, each painting had a different perspective and vibe portrayed. This project is actually put together by LiB’s own non-profit called the Do ArT Foundation, which supports artists in the community.
4. Getting Lost in Sound Immersion at the Gong Sanctuary
The Do Lab crew provided the ancient and meditative art of sound immersion at the gong sanctuary, which further added to the heart-opening and mind-expanding atmosphere of LiB. The sanctuary of gongs and singing bowls was surrounded in beautiful tapestries, and a humbling sign that stated, “There are 1,000 ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” Everyone who entered the sacred space was required to take off their shoes and cover their eyes in order to complete the immersion into a meditative sound bath. I drifted into a deep meditative state after lying on my back, with my shoes off and eyes covered while listening to the gong’s hum for several minutes.
3. Hearing Headliner Moby Speak about Music Therapy
There is something truly unique and humbling about listening to a festival’s headliner talk about a passionate topic in an intimate setting, just hours before their set. This is why Moby’s talk ‘Music As Therapy’ was not only educational, but also very uniting. Moby explained that he had actually come to a LiB as a spectator the previous year and decided that it was the only large festival he wanted to perform at due to its lack of frivolousness; he explained the gathering of community, awareness and growth was something he was eager to contribute to. Moby opened the discussion up to questions from the audience at the end of his talk, and answered each one openly and honestly. LiB’s attributes such as this genuinely unite both performers and attendees together as a community.
2. Blissing out at Random Rab’s Sunrise Set
I can honestly say that there aren’t many happier things in life than a Random Rab sunrise set where the whole blissed out crew gathers to celebrate being both alive and awake to watch the sun greet the festival for another day. This was absolutely the case during Rab’s meditatively soothing set in the wee hours of a glorious Sunday morning. The experience was worth every ounce of sleep I lost waiting for that particular set at the Drift Stage, which located in a valley between two large hills. I literally broke into chills as I witnessed a grown men cry tears of joy and the entire crowd flash huge smiles mid-way through. Random Rab is a wizard at creating sunrise happy sounds and smiles for days.
1. Finding Relentless Inspiration at Dream Rockwell’s ‘Riskier Conversations’
Stumbling upon LiB co-founder and Lucent Dossier director, Dream Rockwell’s talk at the Temple of Consciousness was the most moving thing that happened to me at LiB, and one of the more inspirational things I’ve experienced in my life. Dream openly talked about creating your own reality and living your own destiny by explaining it takes more than just manifesting thoughts, but also working hard to put those wishes into fruition. She explained that the only way to use the “law of attraction” is to get a collective agreement from others through your own hard work and excitement. In a completely vulnerable and open moment, Dream shared with the audience that she was sexually abused as a child, but chooses to no longer see that as a horrific thing to dwell in, because it is the strength that she now walks in. Dream’s story, vulnerability and strength are a testament of how big ideas and hard work can turn your dream into a lifestyle.
Lightning in a Bottle is the type of festival I hope everyone gets the opportunity to experience, as I would recommend LiB to anyone. The festival provided more stimulation, both aesthetically, spiritually and euphonically in four days than many people get to witness in a lifetime. Usually festivals are draining and hard on the body, but I left LiB feeling rejuvenated, refreshed and ready to change the world.