How the New Moon Festival in Yosemite changed my life last year

I returned from Burning Man last year feeling like I needed another retreat. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my experience there, but it felt like my chest had been torn open for emotional surgery and the doctor packed up and went home before sowing me up. I was having a hard time forgiving myself and my family.  Early childhood memories were coming to mind every day, but my busy life at work wasn’t allowing me the time to process and heal. When an email about the New Moon Festival landed in my inbox I knew it was the right place for me. For one, I thought that it was the perfect size--under 150 people--to facilitate intimacy. The gathering (more of a retreat than a festival) offered many healing modalities that I know and love like yoga, meditation, bodywork, and time in nature! I also learned of new ways to play and grow; attending workshops that featured EFT, acro-yoga, and a cacao ceremony.  

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“Be vulnerable. Dare to get out and meet people.”

At the New Moon Retreat, I immediately connected with a new group of friends on a deeper level. I felt myself opening to my own vulnerability and I continued to soften playfully in my first acro-yoga class and at dinner with my new friends. That night I attended a sound healing that transported me deeply into meditation. I imagined myself floating on a cloud with my family all around me. Unfinished business between us all floated to the surface of my reverie. One by one, in my mind and heart, I forgave where needed and received forgiveness where I had been aching. I wept.Afterwards, I knew I had found something very special.

Over the next couple days, I connected with more amazing people who were all doing some deep inner work of their own. They openly shared with me about their healing. I hiked and played in Yosemite, soaked in a hot tub, received bodywork, meditated, ate delicious food, drank tea, danced, and talked late into the night. The friendly presence I encountered in this community has stayed with me ever since. It is for these reasons that I felt the need to volunteer. I wanted to help create a similar experience of wellness and community in the upcoming year’s festival. So, here I am, as one of the organizers for New Moon this year.  I can’t wait to connect with my friends from last year and make new connections. I sincerely hope to see you there!

With an open heart,
Timothy Felkner

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