I cannot believe an entire week has passed since I experienced one of the most magical moments of my life. Who knew that road-tripping it to the Mojave desert to light up a bunch of lanterns and release them up in the air would prove to be such a fun-filled, sister-bonding, rewarding experience???
Although I admit that the stunning photos and videos of last year’s Rise Festival was what initially drew me to go this year, ( with all those gorgeous lanterns lighting up the night sky), what really fueled my interest was to be part of this tradition. Rise isn’t just about illuminating the sky with the light of the lanterns. Asian tradition calls for you to make a wish as you release your lantern. I wanted to write my intentions for the year, my hopes and dreams for the future, any negative feelings I wanted to release, and also perhaps write a note to loved ones who have passed on. I imagined this experience of letting go in such an ethereal way would be so surreal and invigorating, maybe even therapeutic.
I was in complete awe of what I saw that night, which was what I expected, though I did not come close to imagining what it was going to be like. My jaw was to the floor the entire time. IT WAS LIKE A DREAM…
I was so excited about all the things I wrote on my lantern! I wrote down things I wished for the future, things I wanted to manifest, but also wrote down feelings and thoughts I wanted to release and let go of. I even wrote a little note to my father, to whom I had no real relationship to, but has since passed on. You could say a lot was riding on the initial release of my lantern!
|Super blurry but I HAD to include a pic of me and my lantern. 🙂
Sure enough, while a lot of lanterns took off without a hitch, I had a lot of trouble with mine. Both of my two allotted lanterns had trouble taking flight, and of course I took that personally…like it was a sign that all my dreams and hopes came crashing down…or that anything negative I wrote down was never going to be truly released…and also that…my father wouldn’t get my messages of forgiveness for being absent my whole life. 🙁
But with every negative comes a positive. What was truly magical about the experience for me was with all the trouble I was experiencing, how I was completely surrounded by such beautiful, supportive, strong women who helped me (and my lanterns) take flight. What I thought was supposed to be my own personal release to the world, the universe…only became more rewarding and fulfilling done as a group. Had my lanterns not failed, I never would have experienced such love and bonding moments with such an amazing group of women. I truly learned first hand that life isn’t perfect, and will test you along the way. How you handle these tests truly defines who you are, and that while it’s important to stay strong, it is completely okay to allow others to support you. There is a strength and beauty to unity, to community… for it is truly together that we RISE. 🙂
So grateful for this beautiful group of women, my Rise Tribe Sisters!!
*All photos taken were a group effort. Thank you to Tina Clara (whose photography site can be seen here, ) for capturing the dreamy photos of my outfit for Rise, and to Karen Herndon, Chris Caparro and Erik Borzi for all the breathtaking pictures of the sky we collectively lit up that night. From the bottom of my heart, I’m so grateful for all your beautiful captures.