“Be strong, serve patiently, love generously, live simply. Enjoy fellowship. eat and drink modestly, celebrate the festivals. Breathe deeply, sing and make music, walk often, cycle and recycle. Be thrifty, prefer cash-flow to possession, give good measure. Let your work be your prayer.”

(An extract from Towards a True Balance by John P. Rogers)


Towards balance
Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 5 October 2012

We packed the green van with quilts, sheepskins, beer, firewood, lanterns, strings of white lights, thick socks, candles and wellies. We rolled mattresses, found a fruit crate for a table and disappeared into a park of rolling hills and ancient forest. We were there to give – time, love, food, fire, kisses, music, energy. And to spank that dance floor.

With only ourselves to consider, we ate and drank when we felt like it – Manchego cheese and quince paste, apple juice, vodka, slices of warm pizza, dark sea salt chocolate, grapes, croissants, curry, fresh mint and darkly roasted coffee.

We found orange things to dress up in and danced through the nights.

Rain fell. The dance tents filled with water, hot bodies, mud and hay.

We floated from one space to another to find the right rhythm and each other. There were moments when we stood quite still in the middle of a heaving dance floor, feeling the music pulse through us and finding the beat of each other’s hearts.

It was so good to share that wonderfully wild weekend – fifteen of us for three days – a small family in a big, beautiful tribe. All there to celebrate, play, dance, expand, explore, give and receive; for camp fires, silliness, morning coffee, joy and communion.

Before the festival, we were sent an email that quoted Bede Griffiths:

“We become more ourselves as we enter more deeply into relationship with others. In our ordinary consciousness we are all separated in time and space, but as we go beyond the limitations of time and space we experience our oneness with others. We do not lose ourselves, but we lose our sense of separation and division and discover our integral oneness in the One Reality.  This is essentially a mystery of love”.

And the power of friendship, fire, privacy, trust, awesome tunes and the odd outstanding menu.


Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 12 July 2012

If we’re lucky, we find our people, our tribe, our kin – those friends, and that can mean family too, with whom we share real connection. With them, we feel at home; we share meals, dreams, late nights, slow walks; exchange books, music, ideas; offer each other time, inspiration, energy, solace and a sense of belonging. We allow the rhythm of our days to align with theirs – even when they are hundreds of miles away.

This weekend in Tankwa Town, in the middle of the Karoo desert, South Africa, a good handful of the people we love have gathered for AfrikaBurn. Under a huge sky, they have set up camp together, danced through the night, shared water, warmth, food, fire, inspiration and love.

We try to go every year to step away from life as we know it, to be with our kin – to be part of the community that establishes itself there in the heat and dust. AfrikaBurn is created by the participants – we all subscribe to the belief that, ‘transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.’

That’s where the hygge is – the willingness to be there whole heartedly. Everyone is welcome. No one is greedy or critical. And each one of us comes with a gift – something to offer unconditionally without contemplating a return or exchange. You can’t buy, sell or advertise anything. You can give and you can receive. It’s not about consumption but participation. People come with kites, morning coffee, music, wigs, fire pits, giant lego, tiny Buddha, gardens of fluorescent flowers, hula hoops, lanterns, paint, paddling pools and cupcakes. They gift trance tents, yoga classes, healing, polaroids and friendship. Even an Ego Booth. Check in your ego. Let go.

Afrikaburn is about ‘community building, decommodification, creativity, self-reliance and radical self-expression. It is a chance to invent the world anew.’ Just for a few days. The experience is something that sustains us for the rest of the year. And when we leave, we leave no trace wherever we have gathered.


Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 29 April 2012