This is PART 1 of the Magma series.
>>> PART 2 [THE REBIRTH] >>>

Magma, to date, is one of the most impactful experiences I’ve had in my life. It’s challenging to even think about everything that transpired or that I had felt; 4 days felt like weeks. Now that I’m back home, old ways and temptingly familiar habits are trying to crawl their way back in. Revisiting my memories and writing this series is a step forward in keeping my distance from the old and welcoming the new.

Before I begin this series, I want to thank Jamie Skagen for inviting me to this experience, despite all the times I said that I wasn’t interested or that it didn’t resonate. There is a level of gratitude that I have that I don’t think I can fully articulate here.

If I know you well enough, then the gratitude that I can pay forward (to you, or to others) is to use and embody what I learned and experienced.

Thank you for being such an incredible part of my life.

Love you.

This entire series is written with minimal edits. It’s hard to put into words what I experienced (partly due to choosing to keep some moments private). I’ll forget to have said some things I wanted to say, it might not all flow well, but it needs to come out instead of being held back for eternity due to perfectionism. I’ll do my best in encapsulating the top 7 personal shifts that transpired as a result of attending Magma.

The first:

The Lighthouse: Find Your Truth and Radiate Outwards

One of the most impactful moments of Magma (and life) is finding this inner state of self-connection, calmness, and bliss. It developed over the course of the 4-day experience, culminating into tangibility through two IMMENSELY powerful exercises unlike anything I have EVER experienced.

Throughout the event I felt this strange separation, likely self-induced due to preconceived notions about the event and the experience. As I warmed up to it and the community, I felt this self-inflicted pressure to “fit in,” to participate in the ways that others were. The more exercises we went through, the more I realized that it didn’t always feel authentic – and that it became an opportunity to step into my authenticity and own it, even though it looked different.

There was this imagery that floated through my consciousness throughout various exercises; red, messy shapes, lines, and scribbles in a circular shape with a smaller blue blob right in the middle separated from it all.

During some of the exercises, it was hard to concentrate with the sheer energy and verbal noise emanating from the participants. Noise and energy that was 100% welcome in this space. It was only when I went inwards, went insular, and focused entirely on my own experience that I was able to “block it out and actually hear myself.”

That chaos and noise immediately clicked in my head: THIS is a physical, real, tangible example of what my mind is like on average – craziness, bouncing from thought to thought, always involving “the outside,” rather than the quiet thoughts on the inside. It was so fascinating to see that parallel form.

Seeking authenticity in those experiences at that time made me realize that my method of processing and growing isn’t going to look like everyone else’s. Maybe in a different stage of life it will, but for right now, my method of connecting to that craziness we were going through – was crying quietly. Despite the noise, I kept to myself, I didn’t feel the need to fit in or make my evolution look like everyone else’s.

That added to the process of finding my grounding and calm during the event.

I later talked to two of the attendees/coaches about this discovery about myself and got what felt like conflicting input or perspective, later realizing that I can integrate both simultaneously.

The first was affirmation towards this discovery: of being quiet and calm amidst the noise, of finding that inner truth and self-connection and being present with it. That despite the call to be louder, to “give more,” that I simply need to listen within and acknowledge what was true for me, what was authentic, what was growth for me – and leave it at that. No self-judgement for my evolution and experience not “looking like theirs.”

The second was a similar affirmation and perspective that I may be a “gentle healer” in comparison to those that are bold and loud. Neither is right nor wrong. She added something after that challenged my perspective in a way that was uncomfortable, but intriguing:

“What can you do to make THAT authentic for you?” An invitation to look at “being loud” (or whatever the equivalent is in that moment) and figure if it’s something that serves me and what I can do to make it authentic. Maybe I -can- be loud and bold. Let’s not rule it out completely, but test the waters and see. Perhaps both quiet and loud can exist, and perhaps both can apply for me.

After the aforementioned experience, we discovered our new identities. My process, again, felt unlike others’. Lots of yelling, aggression — all these characteristics that didn’t feel authentic, but still forced myself through anyway – because I wanted to “step fully into it.” The experience was designed in such a way that we go through these stages until we get into the depths of who we are, deep within our heart and body.

Mine culminated in another quiet, isolated experience:
(this is a vast over simplification/summary – I owe lots of gratitude to many that were directly involved in the process from start to finish.)

My full attention on myself and Jamie, her hand on my heart, tears streaming down my face as I went through this clearing, liberating physical and emotional (spiritual?) state. For the first time in a LONG time, all the anxiety, the stress, the nerves – they were gone completely. I can still vividly remember the images and feelings I had when Jamie’s hand rested on my heart, where we were standing, her outfit, the powerful presence she exuded while I went inward.

My identity at this point was centered around COURAGE, FOCUS, and INDEPENDENCE/INSULARITY. All characteristics I wanted to cultivate (and still do). But Jamie, myself, and those supporting me through the experience all felt that this was not the truest, deepest part of myself.

Through the tears, the identity came out, one chills-inducing word at a time:

I AM A
CALM
PRESENT
CONNECTED
LIGHTHOUSE

Now the images and sensations from earlier during Magma resonated even more:

The red, chaotic mess with a blue blob in the middle? My soul and presence trying to find its grounding and independence amidst the chaos of others and life around me, a lighthouse trying to stand strong amidst the storms and temptations beyond itself.

While I still have room to grow in verbally being loud enough to be heard or bold enough to be seen, I found a certain level of resonance in being …

Calm, the state of liberation from nerves that allowed me an unparalleled strength to be myself and to see the world with a clearer focus.

Present, with what is literally right before me, the people, the experience, myself, my thoughts … and not fretting over the past nor the future. Just now.

Connected, with my inner truth and the authenticity of my heart, unphased by what others are doing; and also connected with others and their truth, unfiltered by my own expectations.

From here, I have the opportunity to go inwards even more. A lighthouse simply stands there at the edge of the shoreline, radiating its light as a beacon outwards, inviting in those that need the light, need the guidance towards shore – which can manifest in so many different ways, from simple connection, a comforting person to dance with, someone needing an ear, a segway to another meaningful connection, a central point for like-minds.

And to myself: realizing that I don’t need to go and do things the same way others do. My method of personal growth and inspiring others may be to simply be myself, pursue my “outlandish” ideas and projects, build my communities, and do it from the inside out. To evolve on my own and let my natural light invite those who resonate with what I have to provide and who I am.

Later at Magma, I went through a soul-shaking breathwork session lead by one of the coaches and it connected me to myself in a way I have -never- felt before. I can’t even put into words what it made me feel, but I was so light, felt so tall, so connected, so free of stress, so courageous, so independent.

With these two experiences – the identity and breathwork exercises – my level of courage has risen, the way I hold myself has shifted (subtle, but impactful), and I have an independence about myself and my life that I’ve been longing for for an incredibly long time.

I AM A CALM, PRESENT, CONNECTED LIGHTHOUSE …

FIND YOURSELF.
SEEK YOUR EXPANSION.
FOLLOW YOUR TRUTH.
RADIATE OUTWARDS.

Love,
Austin

>>> PART 2 [THE REBIRTH] >>>