The weather looked promising, and the pop up tent had never been used. I really needed to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life and a job that although I love is sometimes stressful. So off to Conscious Camp I went with Phil.
Neither of us really knew anyone there apart from a couple of people we had met at Nettlefest, Lisa and Scot, and we didn’t really know what to expect. Would they all be so new agey that they would think we were a couple of city squares? Would we be the old fogeys? Would anyone talk to us? Would we have to knit yoghurt? How would I cope camping with no showers, no hot water, compost loos, not being able to wash my hair, no mirrors, no make up?
We arrived at dusk and struggled a bit with the tent, which provided some comedy moments for the other campers.
We were hungry and cold, but there was a big camp fire and fabulous bean soup available at the camp kitchen. Songs from Victor Chetcuti. Conversations with strangers who are now friends were struck up. We crawled into bed, in pitch darkness and sleep evaded us.
The next morning promised yoga and meditation, and the Awakening Dance in the marquee.
Despite lack of sleep I needed to get my body stretched and alive and yes it did what it said on the
We sat around and did nothing much. Chatted to a few people, tried Kombucha and just chilled. It was good. No wi-fi, no watch, no big decisions, no cooking, cleaning or responsibility. Various sessions we could go to. Or not.
After doing nothing for a while we had a huge second breakfast, joined the opening ceremony and the Council for all Beings – Connecting. If we wanted to we could go off and search for something we could connect with.
The weather warmed up and we decided to visit the nearby station to go and see the steam trains. And despite this…
…we visited this.
Amazing, run by volunteers preserving our past. And wonderfully low tech.
Now I am not sure that a signal box and trains were what we were meant to get connected with, but it occurred to me that yes, we got excited about this because it represents travelling. Slow travel, not the commuter rush, but a way of getting to your destination, eventually. And the journey is as much as the experience as the destination.
Yet all the people on the train looked miserable. The guard told me that the passengers were disgruntled as they were running late.
What? This was something they had chosen to do, an experience, something fun and different not the 7.50 to Euston for goodness sake. They need to get themselves to Conscious Camp.
We then joined Lisa for a session on Authentic Life Coaching. Again, just as helpful as the last one we went to at Nettlefest.
The next session we chose was A living Inquiry with Kzee. I was told it was very good, but snuggled up on my lazee boy camping chair and blankets, I fell asleep. Not deep sleep, more like what I think meditation would be like. I could hear her all the time, and aware of everyone around me, but I was in a sleep like state. I awoke refreshed.
Later we went to a talk about drinking your wee. Yes, no food, no water just wee. I listened, it was interesting, but me, drink wee? That is not going to happen.
More fantastic food from Simone, then the Singing Bowls. Wow. Just wow. Apart from the snoring Great Dane. Who had his own chair.
It was absolutely freezing and we crawled into the sleeping bags and piled on the blankets and tried to sleep. To no avail. I could hear someone snoring so loud, it sounded like it was in our tent. We were both awake. I blame the dog.
The next day, more Awakening Dancing in the cold sun. We were horses, trains, did we do dolphins? The kids thought the adults were behaving outrageously. We were all laughing and having fun being big kids, exercising and connecting.
Cold and misty, after much twisting and writhing, and then remembering to squeeze and fold, we managed to pack away the tent. We then sat and did not very much for most of the morning, apart from watching lunch being prepared.
Ate the fantastic food. Did a bit more nothing. Later, after doing not very much at all apart from lying on the grass, sun bathing and talking we joined in with the Laughter Yoga.
I am not a stranger to Laughter Yoga. Indeed in my former job in libraries, I brought laughter, yoga and vegetables into the library. Wellbeing in the library. Courgette and carrot cake and rude veg. I wonder could we have a Conscious Camp in a library?
This though, outside, with people really connected to the earth was amazing. And after an hour of laugh out loud exercise, we did this.
And then it was over and we went home, got stuck in traffic, and we really did not mind at all. We were still relaxed, happy, dirty. I wish I could spend a week living like that.
But it was good to be back to my big comfy warm bed.
Here is a bit more of what we got up to this weekend. (It is a bit long so it is ok just to watch the first bit). Thankyou to all who shared their photos and film.