Embrace the Dust

Friends and I were thrilled to arrived for our first time to Black Rock City in late August 2014. Our first Burning Man experience out in the Nevada dessert. One week surrounded by dust.

As we approached the city lines, we were greeted by gatekeepers who invited us to step out of the car and into the dusty dessert to be welcomed. 

One of the gate keepers began to talk to us about the dust: "it is everywhere" he said. He clarified that no matter what we did, we were going to get dusty and thus we should just embrace it, right now, in this moment. His exact words were these: 

"The dust is just waiting for you to embrace it". 

With a smile on his face and arms lifted to the sky he instructed for us to dive onto the dust and roll around. It was our invitation to embrace the dust.

One by one my friends threw their bodies onto the dusty earth, rolled around and got back up covered and smiling. 

Watching my friends eagerly dusting themselves, I noticed in body a resistance. I actually didn't want to get dusty. Thoughts rushed through my mind about wanting to stay as clean as possible considering we were going to be there for days with no access to showers. 

"The dust is just waiting for you to embrace it". 

The gatekeeper's words reverberated in my head - just embrace the dust, it is everywhere. I took a deep breath and moved around a bit to get out of my thoughts and into my body. I noticed the resistance right in chest. Once it was my turn, feeling this resistance inside of me, I decidedly dove onto the earth, rolled around with some hesitation and jumped back up to standing. 

The resistance was not gone in that moment, but it was acknowledged. 

The gatekeeper and his words gifted me the awareness of a resistance that I was bringing with me to this experience, without me even knowing it. 

Without awareness of my resistance, I could have gone through the Burning Man experience holding back without even knowing it. 

Instead, in that moment when I noticed my resistance, met it with curiosity - leaning into it without trying to get rid of it. I simply stood with it, embraced it.


EMBRACE, defined

: to hold someone in your arms as a way of expressing love or friendship

: to accept (something or someone) readily or gladly

: to use (an opportunity) eagerly


The rest of my time at Burning Man was a wonderful (and challenging) process of continually leaning into this resistance as I noticed it and slowly softening it with breath, slowly carving out more space for possibility. 

By becoming aware of where we are resisting, we can begin to embrace that resistance. 

Your resistance is just waiting for you to embrace it. 

From the bottom of my heart, thank you Gatekeeper.