“The Summer Festival of Love is an event that you will experience on many different levels: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually… Dr Marc Gafni passionately brings the dharma, and gives you the very best of his heart, mind and being. His teachings have their roots in cutting-edge scientific knowledge and developmental theories. The mind, soul and body work that you will do throughout the day will help you digest all the impressions. This personal story gives you an idea of the effect the Festival can have, helping you to discover and live your Unique Self, and create a better world. Erik Decolvenaer, intimacy & embodiment coach, psychotherapist and business coach from Tessenderlo, Belgium, shares his experience.

There is a strong cultural taboo on intimacy

Erik Decolvenaer guides individuals, couples and groups in their search for intimacy and sexuality. “If I look back, my life started changing in 2000 when I completed an educational programme in bodywork. I used to work as a business coach in the IT-world and re-educated myself to be a psychotherapist and bodyworker. Now I support people with individual trajectories and workshops, to live as the person they truly are and to make real contact with others. Bringing that into the world is a challenge. I am working a lot with men and have noticed that there is a strong cultural taboo on the theme of men and their sexuality, on being intimate with themselves. Everyone has emotions, everyone is longing for intimacy, but somehow, it is a heavily charged topic. Showing your vulnerability is not easy in today’s society. How can we change that in a positive and conscious way? How can we move from a head full of opinions to the wisdom of our heart and gut? How can we experience our emotions and feel confident in expressing them? That is the path I am following, with my clients and for myself.”

Trust your body’s wisdom, even if your mind says otherwise

“My consults are attuned to the body and I have learned to take those bodily signs very seriously. Take for example the participation of my partner and me in the Festival. Micky Masset and James Bampfield, dear friends of ours were very enthusiastic about it and invited us to come along. Going for that community of Love, the co-creation and real contact in a large group of people, felt good. I could feel that it was something special. I needed to be there, also if I could think of so many reasons not to go. Finding someone to take care of our five-year old son for example, was not easy. Yet the Festival and its community were drawing us into this experience. So, we went and had the most wonderful experience. The universe is all about this allurement, this force of attraction.”

“Trust the signs of your body and give your mind the role it should actually play.”

The Festival is bringing an important shift in the mind-body field

“Many of us are used to making decisions with our mind, but it’s our body that indicates if we’re truly ready for something. The Festival is bringing an important shift in this mind-body field. It helps you to make a change, become whole, connect to the energy of your being. My own body did not always resonate as much as I experienced at the Festival, even if I am working very physically in my daily job. I believe it is the combination of Marc Gafni’s teachings, his style of communicating from the heart, the connection with Eros as the driving creative force of our universe, the experiential dimension, and the field co-created by all of us at the Festival. It is so valuable and invites you to be open. The Festival teaches you to trust the signs of your body and to give your mind the role it should actually play.”

I want to join the co-creation process and give back

“This year, we’re going back to participate in the Festival. Why? Because it is so special, that we want to deepen the experience again. The Festival has impacted us on so many different levels. Besides the intellectual aspect of the teachings, there’s something special coming through on a whole new level too. That touched me so deep. I felt many different layers within me opening up and receiving the messages, even if I could not always understand them on a mental level. That vibration is attracting me again, making me want to join the co-creation process. So, now I am going as a facilitator. The Festival is not only about consuming the knowledge and the energy. It is also about giving back, and that is what I like to do.”

“Even the most common things can resonate love.”

Love in Action gives you a different perspective on daily chores

“I want to share my experience of the daily Love in Action ritual. Besides the activities that we undertake as a whole group, we also retreat in ‘family groups’ of 10-12 persons. In this smaller setting, we share more private things, in confidence. And we perform ‘Love in Action’, a form of seva, selfless service to the community. This can for example be cutting vegetables or washing dishes in the kitchen, tidying up the class room, or cleaning. But it is not just that simple physical action. With the guidance of the facilitator, it is becoming a meditative experience, a workshop in itself. That gives you profound experiences and insights. For example, I was cleaning the toilets every day. And although that is not my favourite hobby, I discovered that it is a chore in which I could bring a lot of love. By doing that, cleaning each toilet in silence, paying meticulous attention to each detail, being fully present with my attention, it became a meditation of love. For myself and for the people coming there. It changed the vibration of that space, made it more hospitable. You could also taste it in the food, that was prepared so lovingly as well. Still, I am taking this different perspective with me: even the smallest, most common things can resonate love.”

“We need to change the world.”

Life is living itself through me

“The take-aways from the Festival have changed my life. I used to work more with a programme, a planning for my workshops. Now I feel the freedom and confidence to feel and act upon what the group needs and what is born in the moment. It is okay to allow things to happen. Life is living itself through me if I am able to let go and surrender to it. If you place that in a wider perspective, then I believe that we should do that on a world scale. We need to change. Homo Amor resides within each and every one of us. We can and should change the world. Not by doing something far away from home, but by placing yourself into our world in a different manner. That is the wider perspective at play at the Festival.”

Trust your feeling

“If you are considering to come to the Summer Festival of Love, don’t overthink it. Feel if it triggers something within you, an excitement, a longing, a vibration. Feel the attraction. It is not for everyone, but if there is something that draws you, then follow that sign. Trust your feeling.”

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