Those of you who know me, both in my therapy practice and in my personal life, know how passionate, and excited I have been about Burning Man!!! This year was my 10th years on the Playa.
“Guided by the values expressed by the 10 Principles, Burning Man is a global ecosystem of artists, makers, and community organizers who co-create art, events, and local initiatives around the world. Most recognizably, tens of thousands of Burners gather annually to build Black Rock City, a participative temporary metropolis in the Nevada desert” (Burningman.org).
To me, it’s like an 80 thousand participant Kibbutz. Many of the Ten Principles of Burning Man remind me of the principles I grew up with in the Kibbutz culture of Israel. Some of these include: Radical Inclusion, Communal Efforts, Civic Responsibility, and Participation.
I also love Burning Man for it’s creativity, immense artistic expression, freedom and invitation to truly be who you are.
Years ago, after two years on the Playa as a participant and observer, I decided I wanted to give back and participate in a new way. So I started volunteering for the Black Rock City Emergency Services Department’s Crisis Intervention Team (BRC ESD CIT for short). Our nickname on the Playa is “Psyches on Bikes.”
It is hard to describe in words, or even express the feelings of how hard, challenging, hot, dusty, chaotic, and overwhelming my time in Burning Man over the last decade of participation has been. I am also without words to describe both the magic, epic, amazing connections and awe inspiring unbelievable beauty I have experienced as well.
Mid week during Burning Man 2022, when the temperatures soared to 108 F, and dust storms were creating a new level of whiteout, I was on my bike headed for a CIT call when I suddenly had that clarity, pit in my stomach sadness, grief, and relief, knowing that my time at Burning Man had come to an end. I was hot and exhausted, so I let the feelings go, waiting to see how they would settle out. But as the week progressed, ending on another epic note of “burning the man,” I felt complete, and I felt, “it is time to say goodbye, move on, and let go.”
My friends, colleagues, clients, and family inform me that I say that every year in September; And that when the CIT call for who is “In or Out” for the coming year arrives in February, I hear the call inside of me to say yes. But to me, this time feels different…We shall see.
In my 2015 blog, What do Burning Man, Psychs on Bikes, and Hold Me Tight® have in common?, (And why am I so compelled by both?), I explained how there are a lot of parallels for me between my work as a couples therapist, my Hold Me Tight® Couples Workshops and my time on the Playa volunteering for “Psyches on Bikes”.
This year on the Playa, there was an immense art installation (sculpture) called LOVE, and it answered the question of ‘why am I so compelled’ by both; the work I do at Burning Man, and the work I do at home with my couples counseling and psychotherapy, and the Hold Me Tight® couples workshops retreats, I hold a few times a year, here in Nevada City, CA.
This art installation piece called LOVE is a sculpture by Ukraine artist Alexandr Milov. It demonstrates a conflict between a man and a woman as well as the outer and inner expression of human nature. The figures of the protagonists are made in the form of big metal cages, where their inner selves are captivated. Their inner selves are executed in the form of transparent children, who are holding out their hands through the grating to each other.
Those two wire frames of two adults sitting back to back, with their heads in their hands in disagreement with one another, while their ‘inner selves’ lit up inside of them reaching out to connect with the other person, is a representation of our relationships.
In this powerful image we can see in huge dimension the inner conflicts of relationship. While the two adult figures (in the form of big metal cages!), turning away in sorrow from each other, the inner selves are longing for the connection. In many cases, art can show us concepts that are hard to put into words, and this piece is a prime example of how very deep ideas can be conveyed without speaking. What an amazing symbol and depiction of the work I do with my couples in the office and in my workshops.
We all fear that if we show our deep real primary emotions and talk about our hurts and needs, we will be looked at as weak, we will be dismissed or ridiculed, or worst of all, we will be abandoned and rejected by the person we turned to. That’s why it may feel safer to “close ourselves in metal cages” and turn away.
When we are in conflict with our loved one, we turn away from each other in panic, hurt, rage, anger, and pain. We do not know how to reach out and be vulnerable with each other, but there is another part of us, that inner self, that is longing for connection.
In our Hold Me Tight® Couples Workshops, we hold an intimate and safe place, where couples can find the opportunity to turn toward each other, open up in a vulnerable way, share their longing for connection, and talk about the changes they long for in their relationship.
What you and your partner will learn and experience:
• Affirm strengths in your relationship through understanding and bonding.
• Address negative cycles/patterns, learning why they show up and how to get out of them.
• Repair and forgive injuries, and how to become vulnerable with each other.
• Enhance your emotional and physical intimacy and sexual closeness.
I am also excited to announce that Owen Marcus, MA, author, workshop facilitator, co-founder of Evryman, and TEDxTalk presenter on Masculine Emotional Intelligence, will once again be assisting me in leading the workshop.
Owen brings with him decades of experience leading and facilitating men’s groups all over the country and helping men access their masculine vulnerability. Owen has been intensely involved in his new company Evryman, reaching men all over the world and helping them access and connect with their deep emotions and vulnerability. Owen’s presence and work with couples and men will enhance this upcoming Hold Me Tight® Couples Workshop.
We Welcome All Couples!!!
For more information, and to register please go to: http://daliaanderman.com/workshops/
We keep our workshops small to ensure privacy, safety, and personal attention.
Spaces are very limited.
Please Forward this information to anyone you think will benefit from this work, and please call or email me with any questions or for more information.
With love and gratitude,
Hold Me Tight® is a registered trademark of Sue Johnson.