As I sat down to write my first blog post for KIND, I got wrapped up in the idea of new beginnings and the upcoming abundance of summer. Springtime brings more sunshine, more flowers and that tingling feeling of “school’s out” that even us big kids still get. It’s a particularly exciting time for us here at Wanderlust Festival, as we prepare for our crazy summer festival season. There’s so much work planning going on that I find myself doing a lot of personal planning as well.
A couple years ago, a friend and I started a loosely-observed tradition of setting summer ambitions somewhere between April and June (because it’s summertime, so let’s all chill out on the intense scheduling). They’re kind of like New Year’s resolutions, but with waaaay less pressure and jogging. Typical ambitions include things like, “spend more time at the beach,” and “take more afternoon naps.” You catch my drift? This is about straight chilling and enjoying life. It’s about being kind to yourself and focusing on activities that bring you joy.
As we ramp up to Wanderlust Vermont (June 20 – 23) I can’t help but start to plot out some Wanderlust Summer Ambitions. Because I spend most of my summer on my feet at festivals, on planes going to the next festival, or scrambling to stay on top of emails between festivals… it’s all to easy for me to forget to be kind to myself. I know that I feel best when I take care of my brain, my body and my spirit, so I’ve crafted some ambitions with that in mind!
LYDIA’S WANDERLUST SUMMER AMBITIONS
1. More Fun (Music!)
Last year at Wanderlust, I was so scared of losing steam half-way through the fests that I prioritized sleep over dancefloors and late night parties. GRAVE MISTAKE, LYDIA! Yes, it’s important to take care of your body, but nurturing your spirit is just as important. Some of the best Wanderlust moments are when you spot someone on the dancefloor that you took a class with earlier in the day, or when you’re heading back to your hotel and you hear someone singing in the tea tent so you decide to embrace the moment and stay up another hour. You’ll sleep during the wintertime! It’s summer, y’all! We should all be sweating, laughing and dancing! So this summer, I will do more of that.
At Wanderlust Vermont, the soundtrack to my fun will be Femi Kuti, MC Yogi and Quixotic, among other seriously fun music makers! I’m also planning on starting a jam session at some point, so bring your guitars, hippies!
2. More Kindness, to myself and others (Yoga!)
Probably the dumbest thing ever is how little yoga I do during festival season. The greatest yoga teachers in the world are just hangin’ around, waiting for me to walk into their classes (that’s what you’re doing all day, right Shiva Rea?). And I’m too busy running around, tending to festival madness? Nuh-uh. This summer I will make a concerted effort to tell the team that I’m going off-radio for an hour so I can go catch a class. I will focus on releasing that weird, New York-y instinct to be too busy to take care of myself. I know that no matter how busy I am, I need yoga. I need it so I can be kind to myself and to my team, my clients and the amazing Wanderlust community.
Practicing Asana (the physical movement part of yoga), Pranayama (the breathing part of yoga) and meditation are ways I can be good to myself. Practicing Yama (the ethical side of yoga) and Sangha (community) are equally important, and offer ways for me to be kind to others. Lucky for me, KIND is making Yama and Sangha super easy at Wanderlust this summer. They are setting up a beautiful flower wall with fresh summer blooms that anyone can pluck, enjoy, and then give away to a friend, class buddy, smiling stranger, or whoever! That little act of kindness is a perfectly light and breezy summer ambition—not too intense, no jogging involved, but still an effective joy-multiplier!
At Wanderlust Vermont, I’m planning to take Tiffany Cruikshank’s “Spark” yoga class on Thursday morning, and Schuyler Grant & Nikki Vilella’s “Kula Flow” class on Saturday afternoon. I’m also planning to stop by the flower wall several times to get in a solid dose of Yama, Sangha, and kindness!
3. More Adventure (Nature!)
It is seriously awesome that half of my job takes place in some of the continent’s most beautiful mountain ranges. I’m kind of a city kid, but Mother Nature’s glory is not lost on me. Even still, I have never splashed in Lake Tahoe (after five years of Wanderlust California!). I have never hiked in the Green Mountains of Vermont. When I’m on site at Wanderlust, I mostly just do my job and spend my free time recovering from doing my job. Not this year! This summer I will spend my free time taking advantage of the beautiful surroundings of my summer offices. I will feed my natural human need for adventure instead of my natural New York instinct to hang out in an air-conditioned bar. I will spend more time connecting with nature and with my own outdoorsy-ness, and it will be awesome.
At Wanderlust Vermont, I’m definitely not missing the “Hikeadellic” hike with my dear friend and hilarious half-hippie, Dan Wilf of Yoganonymous.com.
So what are your summer ambitions, people?? Let’s hear ‘em! Maybe you need to eat more popsicles (a past summer ambition of mine) or, I don’t know, go to more yoga festivals? Whatever your ambitions are, be kind to yourself and commit to them in a chill, light, free, summery way.