Note: This post was prompted by Cassandra Romashenko asking for people to define “Shambhalove” in their own words for a paper she’s writing.
I’m not so naive as to think that I came up with the word “Shambhalove” – it’s hard to say at what point it originated. Like all good ideas one comes up with, someone has probably thought of it before you, or will after you. Or perhaps even simultaneously.
But the word did pop into my head in the line-up on the side of the highway the night before the gates opened in 2004. And at that point, I had never heard anyone else say it.
I remember being pulled off to the side of the road with my fellow Grand Forkians, laying on a blanket in the dirt, staring up at the stars, and buzzing with excitement. I felt so overwhelmed, so joyful, so grateful for life, and just…content. My heart felt so full – like it might burst at any moment. And the only word that seemed to rightly describe how I felt was “Shambhalove.” And in that moment, I made it my mission to “Spread the Shambhalove,” I was feeling.
On my Shambhala journey that year, I made a conscious effort to share it with everyone I met, and encouraged them to “spread the Shambhalove” themselves. And walking down the pathways with friends, we’d spontaneously yell “SHAMBHALOVE!” at the tops of our lungs.
And after the show, I continued to use the term on the forums, where it became (and remains) a very popular term.
I think, after 2004, it took about a year or two for it to become a common word you’d hear at the Festival.
And, like I said, I probably wasn’t the one who “came up with it”. But I like to think I had a little bit to do with the popularization of the word. 🙂 And I know I had help spreading it – likely from both the people I passed it on to, and someone out there who had the same great idea as me.
Point is – I’m happy it caught on. It’s one of those words that instantly conjures up a certain feeling inside you – something we all can relate to.
It’s that feeling of openness. Of acceptance. Of community. The unity that can only come when you’re on a dancefloor with 1000s of other people, all connected by the same beat. It’s something really special we’ve got, and it needed it’s own hybrid word to really define it.
And even if we can’t all agree on what Shambhalove IS in the form of a standard definition, we all know in our heart what it MEANS and what it feels like.
Peace & Shambhalove. ♥