Beglika part one: magic in the Bulgarian mountains, labor, and about motivation and beliefs (August 2022)

At the big lake, I decided to go one week early to the area where the Beglika festival would take place. I thought it would be nice to help build stuff that is needed for the festival and I hoped for some physical labor in nature and nice people that connect with nature, spirituality, and music.

When I arrived at the festival area I was stunned by the beauty of that place. It was located at about 1.300m and a wonderful hilly spot mostly surrounded by a mountain lake and woods. The whole place was not very big and not small nether. It was perfect. All that was already build-up, was made of wood and mostly natural resources.

A group of volunteers was preparing all kinds of things for the festival and a few locals camped at the lake. Everybody I met, was super nice, friendly, and chilled and I immediately felt that this place, the people were gorgeous and the festival would be like that as well.

I found a super nice spot for Rosinante. Next to the main area of the festival, there was a small forest up a hill. At the foot of the other side of that hill, Rosinante and I found home right next to the lake. A walk at the lake led me to my neighbors: two Bulgarians who were there camping, living, and working (online) for a week. They were spiritual topics and we connected very well. They even had a dedicated tent for meditation.

I went to the volunteers and joined them for most of the time before the festival started. We built big tarps, organized drinking water, prepared wood for fires and construction, cooked, washed, cleaned, constructed, ate, talked, and had a good time together. Some of the about twenty volunteers were already for weeks at that place. One group of French scouts had planned and organized their trip to and help at the Beglika festival for months. It felt good to work with them and the atmosphere was mostly harmonious and good willing.

Before I started my journey, I had been working at a software development company and had a lot of different tasks. One area in which I had been contributing a lot of my energy was the organization of working processes and addressing the people’s needs.

In Beglika, it was interesting to just flow with whatever had to be done. I did what had to be done and got not into optimizing or changing the way how it was done. This was a profound experience for me. I just flowed with whatever happened. It was interesting to observe how the motivation of the others was going up and down and what let them struggle. The organization was very loose and based on the engagement of everyone and I loved this approach.

This experience reassured me, that it is very easy to become encroaching. In the past, I had often been very convinced that I know how to do things. That doesn’t mean that I forced people into things. It just means that I had a strong belief and direction in the things I thought and did. And sometimes others welcomed this, I guess. It can give stability, hope, and direction. There have been times when that approach let me feel responsible for a lot and that turned out not to be healthy. At least for me.

At that time at Beglika, I felt that instead of giving stability, hope, and direction it would be healthier for others and myself to learn to keep up direction and the hope in it together. I mean less “this is the direction I’m believing right now, let’s talk about it, I’m happy if you believe in it too, take it” and more “let’s see together what direction we can come up with and develop intrinsic belief in it while doing so”. I’m wondering if I will ever build up/ work together at something in a group of people for a longer period. If I will, it will be very different for me.

I felt totally good to just do things. My favorite tasks were: cleaning tree trunks with a slicer and manually drilling holes for pillars. It was tough to drill into the hard ground, through stones and I loved it.