Win two tickets to the RiSE festival, and learn why blogger Tiffany Mitchell can’t wait to meet you there.
Soon to make its annual appearance in the Mojave Desert, RiSE Festival unites a community while inspiring individual hopes and dreams. As their website states, RiSE embraces “a centuries-old idea that’s both simple and powerful. Thousands of lanterns, each representing a hope, a dream, a new leaf, or a forgotten wish coming together to form something beautiful.”
The festival’s significance, not to mention its beauty, captivated us immediately, which is why we’ve teamed up with RiSE and instagrammer and blogger Tiffany Mitchell to get you there. Scroll to the bottom of this post and enter your email for your chance to win 2 tickets, comped parking/shuttle (whichever you choose), a one-night stay in a Las Vegas hotel, as well as a RiSE festival merchandise package valued at $80.
But first, we’d like to share Tiffany’s story, her motivation for attending RiSE. We’re humbled, yet empowered, to share in her heartbreak, healing and eventual self-love. What would you like to achieve by visiting RiSE?
I’m about to open up a lot more than I ever have online. I’ve been wanting to for a while, but the final push came recently when I was invited to attend RiSE Festival in Mojave with Free People on October 10th. The timing was sort of miraculous…but I’ll get into all of those magical details in a bit. For now, here goes…
I grew up with a pretty positive outlook on life. I had good friends, played sports, got good grades and felt kind of invincible. That lasted until the end of high school, when I experienced real fear for the first time. I had become afraid to let people know me, which meant shallow relationships and seclusion. I crafted a socially acceptable version of myself that I sent out to deal with the world. I refused to take risks because they challenged me on levels I wasn’t comfortable with. I loved to create things, but only in secret because they threatened to reveal a part of the real me. Basically, I got really good at hiding.
I was protecting myself from so many experiences that people actually started to know me as “the scared one.” I filled dozens of journals with the confusion of living outwardly as one person – neat, tidy and safe – but with another person trapped inside. That person was an adventurer. Someone who loved people so much that she couldn’t wait to take the next risk if it meant connecting with someone more deeply or inspiring them to live more fully. Someone who believed that dreams weren’t meant to remain as such. They were to be chased and tackled. Someone who saw creativity as a language that could communicate love and inspiration more beautifully than anything else. Someone who saw moments as gifts and grace as a foundation. I started to wonder if that person was even real because I had no idea how to let her out.
The years following high school were a roller coaster. I developed some very difficult health issues, got married, moved halfway across the country, experienced a miscarriage, went through a divorce and found myself moving to Nashville with a bag of very broken pieces…but also, some hope. I felt like a failure in almost every way, but my shell started to crack. What seemed like an irreparable mess had actually made me see that my self-protection and steel walls couldn’t shield me from the hard stuff. I couldn’t earn or force a painless life. So if I was going to get scraped up and bruised anyway, why not be laughing and running while it happened?
And then I found it – freedom.
I’m here now, looking back on an ever unfolding journey of life and healing. I’m realizing that every forward step has been the result of learning to love more deeply or creating something true. Every backward step, fear and hiding. When I started my blog and joined the Instagram community a few years ago, my mission was to share the real parts of that journey along with simple glimpses into my daily life. I hoped all of it might inspire someone somewhere to realize how beautiful and creative he/she is — how precious and valuable life is, and that the big and little things are all worth sharing. I want to encourage people to try something new. Whether it’s learning how to make good coffee, picking up a paint brush, baking a batch of cookies, connecting with an old friend or flying to another part of the world. If any part of your heart has fluttered at the thought of doing it…it needs to happen. My most recent “new thing” was getting a motorcycle license. I finally got up the courage and now I can moto around with my mom who has been riding since I was tiny!
It’s a daily challenge. Things happen constantly that I’m afraid to do or open up about. I get discouraged and wonder if my own story is worth telling, or if maybe it’s safer to hide out for a season or two. I recently had a particularly discouraging day and was praying hard for some kind of affirmation, something to lift my spirit. Within 12 hours, an e-mail came through inviting me to attend RiSE Festival with Free People. I was stunned. I closed my eyes, let the tears fall and breathed deep. It was profoundly familiar — feeling so small and being loved so well, with such detail. RiSE Festival is all about togetherness, overcoming, letting go and celebrating dreams. I pondered how the picture of learning humility, sharing yourself with the world, becoming brave, creating true things, adventuring and loving fiercely looks to me like being lifted out of a dark and muddy place into beautiful light. Like rising.
I’m so honored to be continuing my journey at RiSE…to be surrounded by so many people, together releasing beautiful pieces of themselves into a glowing night sky. Magic. And I might even see you there!
Free People is giving away two tickets to the festival + a night at a hotel, free shuttle or parking, and a bag of RiSE Festival swag. Please enter and share a piece of your journey with me in the comments below.
Thank you so much for taking the time to learn more about me. I would love to know more about you and hear your story of life, creating, relationship and healing.
The world is too big to stay in one place, life is too short to do just one thing, and you are too beautiful to stay hidden.
Learn more about RiSE Festival: http://risefestival.com/