Over the weekend I worked at the largest MBS event hosted on the east coast–the Mind Body Spirit Expo, in Raleigh, NC. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s gone on for almost 20 years, and it attracts certainly the most involved esoteric arts practitioners in NC, but a a great many from the east coast. It’s a huge undertaking, and this year’s spring event was no exception.
For starters, it came on the heels of our coldest winter week, which kept everyone housebound for several days. Expectation told us the warming temps over the weekend would lure seekers to the event, and holy cats, did it. Saturday’s numbers topped 2300, which was the highest number of sales in the history of the Raleigh event.
It was great fun. This time I shared space with my longtime friend, Teresa Mayle, Truthsayer, who is a gifted tarot reader and Reiki Master in the area. I did rune readings, sold books, and also ritual art items. We were the Modern Mystics, and we had a fabulous turn out.
You name it, and it’s at this event–healers of every modality known, art of just about every soul persuasion, readings, lectures, products. If you haven’t been to such a spectacle, this Expo is like most other larger cons or pride events, though they are intended to be an intro to all things metaphysical. Imagine a large room of small business introverts presenting their trades, amidst big corporations pushing products, in a sea of eager consumers who often aren’t sure what they’re looking for. Likewise, it’s a community of seekers and seers who for a couple of days twice a year become neighbors, comrades, and community.
In reality, it’s a bit overkill for me, of the New Age and mass chaos variety, and everyone who attends or vends it comments on how overbearing it can be. That teeth-tingling vibe is partly what makes this event special, and challenging. It’s difficult to weave through all of that etheric (and literal) chatter to meet attendees where they are, which is often in need, hurt, or curious to the point of vulnerability. In many ways I feel a heightened sense of responsibility in that dynamic, more than when I meet them in my space, which has been dedicated to soothe nerves and foster power. I’ve agreed to be among that public to create a space that does what it says it does, even if it’s not under the best of circumstances.
I guess we need those odd moments outside the norm now and then–the challenge of creating sacred space in challenging situations. It alters me to work that way–opening the elements that I need to do my work while not encroaching on anyone else’s space or ability to do theirs, and to be forced to find meaning and purpose in the work for attendees, regardless of whether others around me honor my boundaries.
Every time I leave this Expo I’m fried, a little frazzled–OK, a lot. It wasn’t because I felt worn down by the work, or the atmosphere. This time it was because I was absolutely affirmed that we’re all seeking the same release, clarity, and healing, regardless of which side of the table we’re sitting on. It may be a hot mess to bring such powerful introduction to a new audience. And somehow, it provides, even amongst all the fray and friction.
Thanks to all of you who came out, to all of the vendors who created the space, and to the myriad spirits of this region who conspire to make this be.