Leave the kitchen sink behind – Body & Soul
Less than two days to go before my favourite festival of the calendar year. Body & Soul looks to be another epic turnout of beautiful bodies and souls coming together to celebrate in the grounds of Ballinalough Castle, Co. Westmeath. Were last year to be anything to go by, it will be another wonderful collections of grown up kids playing together under the stars and sun. Smiles beaming from ear to ear. Dressed in an array of colour festival clothing and dancing in to and beyond the hours of dawn.
After over 20 festivals under my belt at this stage, I can offer a few tips that might help those festival newbies and not so newbies. These lessons have made the whole experience far more memorable and enjoyable for me over the years.
No. 1 – Let go of ALL expectations – these things only get you in a lot of trouble. Go with the flow. You will notice that the people that smile the most at festivals are the ones who just let it all happen as it does. I have got myself so stressed and bothered by wishing, wanting, assuming and expecting. This has led to bad buzzes, indigestion, frustration, anger, fear and whole list of nasty nigglies that do nothing to serve me or my comrades. Even the most well laid out plan can go astray. Take a deep breath. Be grateful to be alive and let go. Move on and get back into the moment.
No 2. – Less is MORE – we have all heard the phrase, everything in moderation. Well this is the time to put this one into practice. On ALL accounts 😉 Less clothes, less stuff, less things scheduled, less indulgence, less thinking, less people, less sun. KISS. Keep It Simply Stupid for festivals. This means balance, Have loads of fun, brings wet and warm clothes, enjoy the sun whilst wearing suncream, see your favourite acts, although leave the kitchen sink behind and that means metaphorically as well. Find a way to feel and be as light in Body & Soul 🙂
No. 3 – Say HELLO and Smile – This one is pretty obvious and most people seem to have it down to a T at Body & Soul. You are going to be surrounded by a wonderful collection of humans who share the same bunch of doubts and aspirations that we all do. For me Body & Soul is all about returning to the child and being free. I adore when I go down the country side saying HELLO and Smiling at every random stranger. Body & Soul there is no better place. And you never know. You might just meet your soul mate or rekindle a friendship from another time. Keep your head up, your eyes open and your chest out. And breath.
No. 4 – Stay AWARE – keep yourself open to what is going on with you and around you. Eat when you need to eat. Rest when you need to rest. Talk when you need to share. Listen when the time is needed. Make sure to treat yourself like your very best friend first. Then you can be there for others that are in need. Some people, especially the festival newbies may need your assistance over the weekend. Whether its a case of covering someone with a blanket, getting someone water or chatting to someone who seems to be needing a chat. Be humane. Be a community and watch out for each other.
Anyhow, its too sunny to be sitting in here writing. I am off to the beach to roll down a sand dunne now. So, nice and easy to remember. Let go of all expectations, less is more, say hello and smile and stay aware. Apart from that just enjoy yourselves to the max folks. See ya there.
Thanks to the wonderful Body & Soul team for providing these Schedule for Friday, Saturday and Sunday and a Map of the Body & Soul Arena. Probably a good idea to download onto your phones, share with friends and print out.