10 months ago. I’m landing once more onto my favorite Island; Bali. I know I’ll be here for a quite a while this time and this is only day 1. I’m ecstatic.
I remember that night so clearly. This homecoming feeling. The joy of getting reunited with this comfortable exotic bubble, with the people to whom I had said “see you later’’ a few months before, in my favourite festive spots. The magic in the air.
I remember it was a Sunday, because those are the ultimate best nights in Canggu. And I also remember that night very clearly because I met someone special.
I met that guy who is one of those rare human beings with whom I had great conversations from the first instant. Who didn’t look at me strangely, burst a laugh or made me feel like a wierdo all the times I spoke about energy, coincidences, or higher level of consciousness…
In fact, he is the one who first told me about Envision Festival.
How fascinating it is to think that all the people we meet have been put on our path for a reason. More likely, our universes collide for a minute, a day, or years, so we can both exchange a set of directions, which will guide us to the next place we are meant to go…
Looking back, it’s pretty incredible for me to realize that this encounter, 10 months ago, has very clearly painted the path that brought me to be sitting in Costa Rica at the moment. I came down here because when he told me about this festival something inside of me just clicked: I knew very deeply that I needed to get my ass there, no matter what.
So what is Envision ? It is a 4-day event taking place in the jungle of Uvita, Costa Rica, and that unites Yoga, Inspiration Talks/ Workshops, Music, Artistic Performance & Installations.
It is what we call a “conscious” festival and they are rising up all around the world (the most popularly known at the moment is probably Burning Man, taking place in Nevada’s desert).
Conscious festivals main focus is to immerse their crowd into interactive and thought-provoking environments, filled with inspiration to spark creativity, self-realization, awareness and grow the sustainable living community.
And so, Envision transported me to another era. To another world. I really felt like I had woken up right into the heart of a fairytale.
A mix of the 70’s and the gypsies. Or furthermore, the temporary village of a travelling circus…
7000 people. Camping in the forest. No internet connection. No power outlet to charge your phone or camera.
It was hot, wild, dusty, excessively sweaty, and I must admit that from staying there for a full week, my tolerance to discomfort has been heavily challenged… But we went back to the roots. Back to our connection with Mother Earth. With Pacha Mama.
How time flows at the festival is that there is basically yoga classes and workshops during the daylight hours, and music + performances on 3 different stages from sunset to the morning light. I think that everybody get a really different experience from these kind of events. Some people like to experiment and reach higher level of consciousness through psychedelic drugs, some others through yoga, meditation, powerful breath work and shamanic practices… The exploration is totally yours, and there is no right or wrong way to live it up.
In the end, what matters is that this journey will undoubtedly shift something in your mind, in your vision of life and of where society is heading… or not heading.
By creating these alternative villages for a few days, it creates communities. Or rather reinforces those communities of people that want to live differently. That want to live more simply, more in-tune with nature, with what truly makes them vibe. And that’s pretty beautiful to experience. It just makes us see more clearly, that there is a different way to be together as humans.
“ I wish we were all hippies and we did yoga, lived in cottages, smoked weed, accepted everyone for who they are, and listened to wonderful music. I wish money didn’t make us who we are. I wish we could redo “society.” – Bob Marley
And so I ask myself; What was the shift for me ? How is my vision of things slightly different from before it ?
Perhaps for me, it was a conscious (re)connection & appreciation of the elements…
Fire. The sun, the burning sun shining over our head and heating up the whole place. At night, fire jugglers all around the place. On each side of the DJ booth of the Electronic scene, there was stages with performers of incredible talent! People swirling around burning accessories that I had absolutely never seen before and that I can’t even describe in words! There was a man fire juggling naked. There was a trio of women performing with high heels boots and totally killing it like Charlie’s Angels! And at some moments, there would just be those massive fire balls being launched from the top of the stage and blasting up the whole dance floor with light and heat.
Wind. The breeze, as delicate as it was, just felt like an absolute blessing. Sitting or standing still, and just enjoying it’s sensation on your skin and in your hair. Air in your lungs, at every inhalation and exhalation of the practice. Have you ever notice how much of a sweet sensation it is to consciously let some air fill you in… and how equally enjoyable it is to finally let it out ? Pranyama – control of the life force, of the breath.
Water. Oh man. The source of life – or rather of survival. Most exquisite liquid in such heat. The sweat, sliding down your spine, slowly… constantly. The ocean and it’s incredible refreshing and purification proprieties. Always there to wash away your worries. Both powerful & soft, flowing & enveloping. The waterfalls located 20 mins from the festival site, only freshwater source around aka the place where you just want to lay in the stream for the next 4 hours. And the showers. Wow, the most incredible drops of water that have ever fallen onto your head – water pressure was absolutely non-existent but it still felt like a proper rebirth ! !
Earth. Sleeping on the ground, in the middle of those large trees. Craving their shadow… Feeling their roots -_- !! The absolute best food available all week long; fresh, locally sourced, seasonal, nourishing and mostly various !! An incredible display of the richness of the products that grows on the oh-so-fertile Costa Rican land. Think of your favorite exotics fruits and superfoods, and the ones you don’t even know exist, all available and prepared with different inspirations of the world. Eating on the ground. Yogiing with no mats. Walking barefoot. Grounding. Rooting. Sensing the heat and aliveness of Pacha Mama.
And in that line of thoughts, what I personally thought was beyond amazing is that it is a “Bring your own reusable dish” event; which means there is absolutely no trash created by consumption. No plastic plates. No plastic cups. No plastic utensils. No bottles or cans all over the place. If you don’t have your own dish, ‘cuz you didn’t get the memo, there is a rental service :). Drinkable water is available for free everywhere on site (which is pretty incredible since we all know that tap water is normally not drinkable in Central America).
In the end, this experience, like any experience really, has brought me exactly what needed to be learned and felt at this moment. It exposed me to the richness of the grounds here (this is exactly what ‘Costa Rica’ means after all) and that sparked new ideas for Salty, into directions that I hadn’t expected. And left me with that one beautiful thought :
What is “Imagination”…. ?
“The possibility to mentally create and feel things that are not present to the senses, that haven’t happened (yet), and that therefore only exist in our own mind…It is our capacity to Envision.”
Was this all a dream ?
All photos by Véronique Dubé