I woke up Sunday morning to an email message from my friends who were visiting from California saying, "I am so sorry that your event got rained out...." It did rain for the Yogathon and Blissfest. Hard, torrential rain. In retrospect, I am so glad it did.
On event day, at 10:15a.m. Saturday morning I took 3 steps on the field at Thunderbird stadium and my flip flops became 'slip slops'... It was a wet field worthy of a brutal rugby match or for a medieval Excalibur type battle, but hardly the type of weather that would ever inspire people to come practice yoga outdoors and listen to live music.
Feeling dejected, I asked myself, how this could happen. I know most people think of Vancouver as rain soaked, but in July the grass turns brown. In 7 years of teaching outdoor yoga 5 days a week, I have only been rained out 5 times. Why today would our luck change. After all the hard work we all put into this event.
On our way back to the event with a truck full of tarps, I asked Insiya, "What is the lesson here?"
I wasn't sure. What I did know is that I was looking forward to setting up tents and being around all the great volunteers who were cheerily setting up for the event despite the dampness.
It really hit me then, the lesson is this. How do we deal with Adversity in life? As the name, Blissfest connotes, the idea of the event is to maximize happiness. How do we deal with it? It is easy to be happy when the skies are blue but when the hard, gray days hit, what kind of strategies do we have to deal these down cycles?
People still showed up. We had almost 1,000 people attend our event and as we looked out into the rain-soaked crowd it was apparent that people were engaging in the best strategies for hard times.
You make the most of it. Mentally, you change the way you look at things and find that silver lining. What I saw was people who changed from doing yoga in apocalyptic conditions to a bunch of people magically transformed into joyous little kids playing in puddles.
We stopped cursing the rain and instead it became a 'celebration of water.'
Secondly, we realized that what makes hard times bearable is to surround oneself with the support from one's community. Too often when we go to our perfectly warm and cozy studio to practice, it is easy to feel content to be separate. In the pelting rain, the welfare of the people next to you becomes blazingly apparent.
I salute the human spirit for its ability to find resilience and generosity even in the face of adversity. The power of these forces rocked everyone to their core.
Keep good company. Take good care of each other and never feel alone and life's rainy "Mist" fests can truly turn into Blissfests.