Wanderlust Squaw Valley: Learning To Live Like A Butterfly
Cover Photo by Chris Eckert
By Rachel Nichols
In the fast-paced, “do more,” “be better” world we live in, it’s easy to get lost in our days as we find ourselves operating on autopilot and checking things off our never-ending to-do lists as quickly as possible. Sometimes even doing our yoga or meditation practice can begin to feel like a chore, another thing “to do.”
When I notice that this is happening for me, I know I need a break—and one of my favorite ways to mindfully check out of the busy external world so I that can really check in with myself is to find the space to connect with like-minded community and be submerged in energy that inspires me. Hello, Wanderlust Squaw Valley!
One of the things that I love about Wanderlust, the four-day yoga and wellness festival in Tahoe, is that it provides a safe container to let go of our to-do lists, so that we have the space to not only tap into the present moment, but to explore ourselves deeply. Wanderlust challenges us to question everything we think we know; it asks us be open to new experiences and new ways of being; it asks us to expand, grow and evolve.
With an extensive list of yoga and meditation classes, hiking, wisdom talks, music, dancing and more, inspiration can truly be found in every corner of the magical Squaw Valley in Tahoe. And while I always love exploring new styles of yoga with amazing teachers at the festival, for me, a Speakeasy talk I attended by Kyle Cease left the biggest mark on me this year.
Kyle Cease is a New York Times Bestselling author, comedian and transformational speaker who inspires others to “evolve out loud.” While I wanted to be as present as possible for Kyle’s talk, I couldn’t help but start to type notes into my phone so that I wouldn’t forget all the golden nuggets of wisdom he gifted us. Kyle encouraged us to let go of our old beliefs and patterns that keep us living small so that we can fully step into the power of who we really are.
How To Live Like a Butterfly
Are you living like a caterpillar? Or more like a butterfly? And what does that even mean? “When you go in your head and say, ‘How do I make it happen?’ That is caterpillar thinking,” Kyle said. Instead of trying to be the greatest of all the caterpillars, Kyle encouraged us to live like a butterfly. This means getting out of your head and dropping into your body and living from your heart. It also means that you stop trying to change your life by changing your outside circumstances. “What I'm saying is, let's change YOU,” Kyle said.
Instead of asking, “How do I get this?” Ask: “What do I have to become in order for it to be totally normal for [fill in the blank] to show up in my life?” You change you and not the circumstance. Think of how little a caterpillar has to do in order to turn into a butterfly. It literally just has to stop and do nothing. It just has to be.
Butterfly thinking is always available for you right now, Kyle said. You just have to stop, take space for yourself and be patient. And the butterfly cant keep stepping out of the cocoon and checking on the old world. It has to say goodbye to the past as it prepares to enter into its new evolved version of itself.
What I love about this is that it vibes with my intention and more recent effort to practice living by the Wu Wei—a Chinese concept I recently learned about from one of my teachers that translates to “non-doing” or “non-action.” It’s about following the energy in life, going with the flow and feeling into life rather than trying to force an outcome.
How do you do that? “You listen to your body and let go of the things that feel heavy in your body. Become aware of what you are justifying keeping in your life but no longer aligns with the next version of yourself. Rather than trying to envision who you want to be, feel into it. “If you can’t see it that means it’s beyond the mind,” Kyle said. We have been taught to picture everything we want; but if you can see the result it's actually way too small for you, he said.
“You are so freaking amazing,” Kyle said. “Take that in for a second. And when you hear that habitual voice that lives inside of you that tries to prove that wrong—that is a caterpillar talking based on your old story from the past. And living in the past is just a way to block yourself from receiving this amazing thing that you are right now.”
Kyle’s Speakeasy talk was the last class of the weekend, which felt like the perfect way to end an amazing weekend of connection, community and expansion. The seeds he planted reminded me that it is time to weave my cocoon, get quiet...and await my wings.
And by the way, Wanderlust is expanding their Speakeasy programming into a whole weekend-long event this fall in Palm Springs. Named Wellspring, this wellness event will be full of practices, ideas and experiences designed to inspire and motivate. I am definitely planning to look into this! Learn more here.
Until Next Time, Wanderlust...
I absolutely love trips to Tahoe in the summertime. Getting out of the car after a mini road trip from the Bay Area and taking that first breath of fresh pine air is one of my favorite things in the world. And when I can combine a trip to Tahoe in the summer with yoga, hiking, dancing and like-minded community, my heart feels like it could actually burst. Wanderlust Squaw Valley brings all these together for sweet reprieve from life.
For more info on Wanderlust Festivals taking place around the country, visit wanderlust.com/festivals/.
About Wanderlust: Wanderlust Festivals are all-out celebrations of mindful living. In the midst of some of the most breathtaking natural settings imaginable, be surrounded by a dynamic family of one-of-a-kind instructors, musicians, speakers, chefs and fellow celebrants. Step into what’s beyond: new ideas, new friends, new foods, new moves. And at the end of all this blissed-out exploring you’ll find you’ve come home—to yourself.