How To Decompress After Burning Man

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For those acclimating back to reality after the Burn… here’s some sage advice on setting back to reality. And no, this does not mean quit your job to become a yoga instructor in Bali…

I posted this to a private Facebook group but thought it was relevant to all my friends who just got back from Burning Man, especially first time Burners

Don’t make radical life changing decisions in the next 30 days. Set a calendar invite on your phone. You may have feelings about: quitting your job, dropping out of school, breaking up with your girlfriend, moving to a beach in Thailand, or running off to Vegas to get married to that cool guy you shared smokes with at Tuesday morning Robot Heart. Or you may have an acute desire to party every day, or not party ever again. Don’t act on these feelings, at least quite yet. Burning Man may have opened your eyes to new ways to live and clarified reasons for living. However, living in the default world after Burning Man is about trying to find balance between the extremes that you experienced on The Playa. Spend the next 30 days not changing your entire life, but reflecting on those experiences and planning on how to integrate what you learned into your new post-Burning Man life.

Decompression is a real thing. What you are feeling is not unique to just you – every Burner, especially virgins, have a lot of weird, strong emotions in the days and weeks after re-entering the default world. Know that you are not alone! Talk with other Burners about their experiences and emotions. But this is also why Burners get a bad rap – now you will spend the next 365 days planning for and talking about next year’s Burning Man. Bottom line, now is a time for reflection. How do you begin incorporating the 10 Principles into your default world life? How do you plan to best use your experiences that you have gained at Burning Man?

Everyone will be asking you, “How was your vacation?” or “How was Burning Man?” or “What is Burning Man?” Every time I am asked, I find it hard to respond concisely and sincerely. Burning Man is everything. Every emotion and experience, good and bad, all at once. How do you describe this to a non-Burner? Depending on how much you want to re-hash any of your experiences, show them pictures, relate specific stories, or just tell them, “It was good”.

If you are recently deflowered Virgin burner, remember your first year is like Freshman year of college – everything is cool and new, but on the other side, you think you know how you will do it all better the second year. Coming from a now second time burner, Sophomore year is never the same – I planned better, slept more, partied harder, loved more, but the magic was not the same as it was magic that I knew. Don’t expect to have the same experience the second time – chasing that high will only lead you to disappointment. Chase what brought you to Burning Man the first time – new friends and new experiences – and you will continuously find new meaning in Burning Man.

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