FORM Festival 2018

Since first hearing about FORM festival, at Arcosanti AZ, last year, I was immediately enamored with the vision that Paolo Soleri had in creating this sustainable living project back in 1970s. He envisioned a community designed to "maximize human interaction with ready access to shared, cost-effective infrastructural services; conserve water and reduce sewage; minimize the use of energy, raw materials and land; reduce waste and environmental pollution; increase interaction with the surrounding natural environment."  

From the materials, the structures, the design, and the functionality, my experience at FORM was living proof of the truly extraordinary microcosm of Arcosanti. 

With only 1,500 festival attendees, the weekend gave way to beautifully unique connections and experiences. I found myself rubbing shoulders, and sharing energy with some of todays leading innovators, creators and documentors. FORM Festival encouraged all walks of life to experience and enjoy the perils of Paolo Soleri's vision. The creative evolution of the weekend, the community, the lifestyle, the environment, all added to the individual expression of each attendee and artist.  

Not long after my arrival, I decided to #signoffscreen and really get present to the gift that was Arcosanti. As I've been embracing the journey of conscious technology consumption over the past two years, I've come to appreciate the sanctity of time and experiences, as more than just a social media "share" or tag. Instead, I find beauty in disconnecting from technology, as a way to full immerse myself in the current time and place, allowing me to embrace life, people, and emotions to their fullest degree. This was THE place to do it.

Sliding my phone into my backpack, I was ready to take on the weekend.  

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There were countless takeaways from the festival weekend, many of which were profound realizations about life, love, direction, and connection. It was just what I needed, and all that I had hoped. My intentions for this weekend expanded beyond "having fun" and instead, pointed to my ability to feel self expressed, connected and free. 

I found myself speaking up at panel discussions, sharing my thoughts on camera, exercising my creativity through my beloved Sony5000, enjoying deep conversations with semi-strangers, and enjoying the beautiful flow of life. This weekend nourished me, to say the least. 

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Over the past few years, I've come to learn, that investing in the things that make me happy, and surrounding myself with the people, the experiences, and the places that nourish me and bring me up has been the key to filling up my life with positivity. FORM Festival was one of those instances, that I knew would provide me a wealth of nourishment, ultimately bringing me up to a new level of self development and growth.  

FORM Festival was the type of event that assembled incredible forward thinking and creative minds, who are challenging, probing and expanding today's current way of thought, being and feeling. Experiencing emotions, alongside people from all different cultures and industries, really allowed me to feel connected to a greater power. One that unifies us, and brings us together each and every day. 

This feeling is one that ultimately propels me to move forward, creating the work, sharing my vision, and designing experiences to impact our collective future. 

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Each day was filled with more and more incredible presentations, art shows, musical acts, and discussions. It was a fulfilling experience that kept my mind and my heart wide open. I heard powerful women share their work of their activism and human rights. I heard artists speak their mind and encourage us to do the same. I heard friends inquiring about each other's personal challenges, struggles, and intentions. And most importantly, I heard my inner voice squeal with joy. 

It was clear that many of the festival goers were eager to experience life outside of their norm. Gravitating towards creativity and self expression, people were free to be themselves, wear what they want, meander the grounds, and even take their shoes off. :)  

For me, this weekend was an opportunity for me to intentionally let go of the wheel, enjoy the natural flow of life, meet friends, make connections, get inspired and to gain clarity on my future pursuits. And I wasn't alone.  

Most of my new friends had gone in to the weekend having set some intentions and work through challenges that were currently keeping them stuck, and plans for the future they hoped to find clarity for. A rare sighting for the typical "festival crowd" I'm used to. 

This last bit was a beautiful realization. 

Normally, I am used to festivals where people go to escape their everyday. They go to tune out their life, and all the "issues" that come with it. But here, at FORM, people were taking it on. They were eager to share, and discover, learn and become inspired. This festival was filled with pure intentions, and I am so grateful I was able to enjoy the experience along such conscious-minded people.  

Meeting friends from all over the country, gave me an interesting perspective of how, why, and for what reason they chose to enjoy FORM Festival. In the asking and learning about my fellow festival goers, I was surprised by the distinct focus on uncovering clarity in each of their lives. 

The staff, artists, residents, and attendees, created a sanctified space for each of us to truly flourish and enjoy connecting with one another. It was an intimate and connected crowd that really allowed me to be my best self. 

Needless to say, this was a weekend for the books. 

Until next year... 

#strikeabalance

@alexa.eden