The Whole Truth

Sep 10


Deep Abiding Trust … Burning Man 2010

by Alexis Neely - Posted in Burning Man, Life |

I left for Burning Man this year with an intention … deep abiding trust.  And yet as I landed in Reno, I didn’t feel full of trust.  I felt worried and tense, on edge.

My first year there without the kids and up until a couple of months before I thought I was going to Burning Man to party it up.  To revel in the shadow.

And then I met Russell.  Well, I didn’t just meet him; we’ve known each other for a few years.   But, I just met him in a new way a couple months ago after Dave and I broke up.

Oddly enough, we had all been at Burning Man together two years ago – me, my kids, my ex-husband Todd, Dave, and Russell.  Back then, I thought Russell was a nice guy and all, but not for me.

I mean he plays an instrument called the didgeridoo for God’s sake.  (Now, I see what an incredible instrument of healing it is; but then, I just thought it was weird.)

Anyway, I went to Burning Man with Russell and I wasn’t feeling trust.  I was feeling tense.

I felt as if I wouldn’t have enough.  My body felt like it was in survival mode, preparing for a week in the desert with only what I could carry on my back.  Oh right, it was doing that.

I was worried about running out of food.  I was worried about not being able to be my fully expressed self.  I was worried about Russell holding me back. What it would be like at camp – this year we were camping with people I highly respected in the business community – Joe Polish, Eben Pagan, Bryan Franklin, Cameron Herold, Michael Ellsberg, Lisa and Michael Sasevich – and I was worried about that too.

And as we got closer my intention began to seep in.  Deep abiding trust.  What would happen if I just stopped worrying?  If I let go and really trusted completely?

So I did.

And guess what?  Shit still happened.

We got to Burning Man late Monday night, scoped out what we thought was the PRIMO spot, parked and went to sleep.

We awoke in the morning to annoyed people wanting us to move the RV.  I was immediately tense and on-guard.

Thank God Russell is a modern day shaman and within minutes he brought me to clarity,  presence and back to deep abiding trust.

As we moved our RV we discovered that our camp had saved us an even better spot than the one we scoped out and it all worked out perfectly.  Until we went to plug the RV into the bio-diesel-fueled generators our camp had running.

I was back in the bedroom and heard a big POP.  I looked around the door and there was smoke pouring out of the refrigerator vent.  Uh-oh, that’s NOT something you want to see on the first day of Burning Man.

Within minutes it was clear that we had no air-conditioning, no refrigerator, no water pump and no lights.

Really uh-oh.

But not really uh-oh.  I saw it so clearly.  An opportunity to practice my intention.  Deep abiding trust.  And I did.

Miraculously two men appeared, Eric and Jeff, our saviors.  They spent the entire day and much of the next several days ensuring our RV had as much services as possible.

They managed to get us back to water pump, refrigeration, and lights for most of the time we were there (just a few hours the first and second day without).

And we lived without the AC (the weather was just perfect for that this year – no duststorms all week until Saturday and not too hot at all).

It all unfolded perfectly.  As it always does when we trust.

The first couple of days there we didn’t leave the RV much.  We spent a lot of time sleeping and loving and just being together without a timeline.  And it was great.  Just what I needed.  I didn’t mind a bit that I wasn’t out partying.

Shocking.  Deep abiding trust.

On our second night at the Burn, we woke up at 3am, spent about 2 hours getting ready to go out (because that’s just inevitably what it takes on the playa), getting our bikes lit (and by the time that happened it was of course light out), and we headed out onto the playa.

We biked out to the Temple.

Now, before I tell you what happened.  I have to tell you this – 2 days before Burning Man I saw a dress in a store in Boulder and thought “I’m marrying Russell in that dress” and bought it and brought it with me to Burning Man.

That morning at the Temple, he asked me to marry him.

And I said yes!

Within a few hours, an engagement ceremony had been suggested, which then quickly turned into a wedding ceremony.

And in the most extreme practice of my intention of deep abiding trust, we got married surrounded by our beautiful, supportive, loving Burning Man community.

Two of my best girlfriends Joanne and Lisa were there and two new sisters Meghna and Kamala.  I felt so deeply loved and held and supported.

Hitch walked me down the aisle.  And led by one of Russell’s dear spirit brother’s Scott, surrounded by our sweet Burning Man community, we wed.

We wed!  Married.


What does this mean?  How will we tell our families? How will I tell Dave?  Todd?  THE KIDS??? You.

And Russell loved me through it, my fear.  He has showed me how to be with my truth in the boldest of ways.  How to say yes to my yes and yes to my no.  How to know the difference.

He has shown me how to let go of “what will people think” and start living the life I really want.

How to feel into my heart to determine what’s real for me.

How to get beyond doing things because I want to look good, get a certain kind of attention or be thought of in a specific way.

He helped me see my fears of not having enough food, not being able to be myself, being held back and all the others came from a feeling that I wasn’t enough.

As I “burned” (through those fears), he helped me see that who I am is enough – just as I am, without needing to do anything – ahhhh.  Really? I can just be who I am and that is enough?

He has guided me to integrate this awakening that began a few years ago and has been bubbling up under my skin so that it has felt uncomfortable when I’ve been anything less than my full self.

Integration.  Deep abiding trust.  Letting go.  Living my truth.  Without shame.

Since I met Russell a few years ago, his number has been in my phone under the name Russell Love.  Now I know why.  Meet my husband.

Deep abiding trust and building an extraordinary life … we’re going for it!