Finding Happiness at Shambhala

Banner Photo: Blake Rupert

Our society is obsessed with chasing happiness, but there are so many misconceptions about what happiness is, where it comes from, how to find it and hold onto it. While many may think happiness comes from a successful career, finding your lifelong partner, or acquiring material things they’ve always dreamed of, writer Emily Esfahani Smith says differently. In her TED Talk in 2017, Emily says there’s more to life than being happy, as happiness comes and goes. The key to a life worth living is finding meaning and purpose.

Our Shambhaloves have always said you need to experience Shambhala Music Festival to understand what it truly is. Why do so many return to the farm every year? What is it about Shambhala that makes it so different? Why do we call it HOME? As we unpack the four pillars Emily has laid out to finding meaning and purpose in life, you’ll understand why the farm is such a special place we hold so dear in our hearts.  


Being Appreciated For Who We Are
A sense of belonging is something we all search for in life. That belonging comes from a feeling of radical acceptance and being appreciated for the gifts you have to offer the world. Shambhala is just that – your place to be free and loved. You’re welcomed with open arms and celebrated for who you are, and small acts of kindness are around every corner. Whether that kindness is in the form of a fellow Shambhalove handing you a peanut butter sandwich on the dancefloor, gifting you a piece of art they’ve made, or simply sharing a personal story. The bonds these small acts create between people on the farm are infectious. They ripple through the dancefloor, the campgrounds, and beyond the festival, because that sense of belonging and appreciation you receive feels so dang good.

Photo: BeeDee

“When you lead with love, you create a bond that lifts each of you up.” – Emily  

Photo: Insomniac Media


Our Ability to Make a Difference
Why were you put on Earth? What is your purpose for being here? While finding your “why” in life can be a long and difficult journey, Shambhala is a place where many people find their “why,” or at least begin their journey to it. Through acts of kindness, discovery of new things and ideas, and connecting with so many incredible people,  you begin to find purpose. Each one of us have so many incredible gifts to offer the world, and Shambhala is your place to share those and make a difference in the lives of others.

Photo: James Coletta

Photo: Akailah Yocom


Inspiration For Looking Beyond Ourselves

Life can be stressful, fast-paced, and in turn, draining. Every day, you have responsibilities and personal difficulties to face, and sometimes it can become overwhelming. The farm is your escape, your chance to reset and connect to something much bigger than yourself. There’s nothing quite like being amongst thousands of people who are all there to be a part of what Shambhala is. Shambhala isn’t a place, rather it’s our Shambhalovelies who come together to create the magic of Shambhala. It’s all about you – the people on the dancefloor. On the farm, you have the ability to discover, learn, grow, and love, and while dancing your butt off. There’s something very powerful about what our Shambhaloves have created after 21 years – much larger than anything we could have imagined.

Photo: Banana Cam

“Transcendent states are those rare moments when you’re lifted above the hustle and bustle of daily life, your sense of self fades away, and you feel connected to a higher reality, losing sense of time and place.”

Photo: James Coletta


The Narrative We Create About Ourselves

Society often tells us who we’re supposed to be. We’re taught to suppress our emotions and our creativity to fit into a box. When we don’t conform to society’s ideas and beliefs, we can sometimes feel lost, and in turn, create a negative narrative about ourselves and our life.

Shambhala is your safe haven away from society’s expectations. You’re free to create your own story, one of purpose and positivity. No matter what hardships you’ve faced in life, on the farm, you’re encouraged by your fellow farmily members to change your narrative into a positive one, and give purpose to the difficulties you’ve faced. Shambhala holds no judgment. It’ is a  place where you can take what life has thrown at you and turn it into something beautiful.

Photo: James Coletta

“We need to build these pillars within our families and our institutions to help people become their best selves,” Emily advised at the end of her TED talk. If life is about finding purpose, then Shambhala Music Festival’s purpose is to be that place where you come to discover these four pillars.

Watch Emily’s TED Talk here.

Ready to find your sense of purpose? Tickets for #Shambhala2019 are available now and we can’t wait to share this incredible experience with you.


By: Talia Smith
 loved Shambhala Music Festival long before she began working as the Entertainment Assistant two years ago, and that love only grew stronger when she was adopted into the farmily.
 She now works in several areas of the music industry, returning HOME every year to be a part of the Shambhala magic. 

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