Eyes of Sky.

Hi.  I am glad to see you here.  It's been some time since we met this way.  Four months ago, I boarded a plane and entered silence.  I can't say why, exactly.  But I just knew it was time, and it  was necessary. So, I'll go ahead and apologize in advance, for this isn't my normal "blog" style -- and I'm a little rusty, for this is the first time in the history of my teaching life (more than 25 years, that I've been in silence for months on end).... Here we go. 

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The earth asked me to listen.

The waves beckoned me to her belly.

The silence called me by name.

And so I packed my bags and I stopped asking a million questions.

I stopped telling myself that it didn't matter or wasn't important.  

It was important.  I was important.

I refused the voice of fear as my guide.

I just responded.  

I responded not only to what was, but to what was possible.

And so here I am, as we all are at some point in our lives -- standing at the edge of what we have been -- learning, growing, and gathering sticks and bones and old ribbons for something yet to come.

I see this now, with eyes of sky.

 

Eyes that reveal magnitude, mystery, and grace.

And until now, I have barely been able to describe this, for the words dissolve or turn to fire flies as they fall from my mouth.

A few months ago, I willfully entered the unknown. Blindly, I named this time my "spiritual sabbatical". 

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I call it my spiritual sabbatical, and you will call it what you will -- but know that somewhere, sometime, somehow, we are all called. 

Some of us are called to non-profits.  Others to the church or to the trees.  While others are called to the front lines.  

But, make no mistake, we are all called. And we hear the call when we make time and space to sit in the silence and listen.

 

And if we do not listen

something dies inside

 

Your unique response is crucial to your vitality and your impact in this life. 

Response, in its origin means to "pledge or promise in return".  This means that when you hear the call of your soul, you have a responsibility (an ability to respond -- to promise in return to act accordingly as one would, to the nature of your soul's unique calling). 

But we don't always fulfill the pledge or return the promise. 

We don't always respond, do we?  

In my experience, the "call of the soul" is frequently ignored, minimized, denied, or aborted.

Knowing this... how, then, shall you respond?   In Mary Oliver's words, what shall you do with this one holy life?  

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Wherever you are, you are here to respond to what is, exactly as it is.

Perhaps you are bored, disenchanted, or forlorn for thinking that your own soul has abandoned you?

Or maybe you stand in shock as you know the voice has spoken and you know not what to do?  

Or it could be that already you are utterly exhausted from wallowing through the thickness of complacency and comfort as you have taken laborious steps in the direction of your soul's deepest knowing?

Wherever you are is just right. Did you catch that?  

Wherever you are is just right  

You only need to know that much and that you are not alone.  And perhaps it comforts you to know that the fireflies that spew from my mouth on this day, from a small village in middle-of-nowhere Mexico are little tiny bits of love lightening -- here to remind you: please, please, please... do not fall back asleep.

fIND STILLNESS

Listen

Hear the call

 re s p o n d

Pledge and promise in return to do what is truest to your nature, in alignment with love, and that which brings you h{OM}e to your own vitality where your soul blazes through your eyes and you overflow with the gifts you have been given.

For I have been where you are, and there are others waiting for you:  waiting for you to respond.

You are stunning and useful and pure magic.

Now, get on with it.


Britt will be in Oregon, Washington, and Minnesota for the months of June and July.  If you would like to attend a workshop or class with her,  please join her mailing list below to stay informed of her teaching schedule. (And if you received this by email, you're already good to go!)  You can also schedule a one-on-one with her if you are seeking insight and her teachings resonate with you. 

 

  

Serve Love.

Ram Dass said, "I asked my guru to tell what I needed to do to become enlightened.  My guru replied, "Serve people.  Feed People."  

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A couple of years ago.... I was driving to the city to teach and found myself sitting in a "same old" situation with a completely different internal reaction.   Traffic was heavy and I was trying to get on the freeway.  I was traveling slowly enough to read the sign of the man sitting with his dog and grocery bag next to my driver door.  

"ANYTHING WILL HELP.  EVICTED.  IT'S COLD AND I AM HUNGRY."  


He looked tired.  Cold.  Vacant.  And I didn't have anything, even my purse was out of reach so I couldn't offer him cash.  I had seen this situation many times before, but this time I looked straight in his eyes and felt what it felt like to be sitting in a warm car, dry, full tummy, and offering him nothing. 


I thought to myself, "This will not happen again."  

I got thinking and found myself at the dollar store, stocking up on hats, gloves, tuna fish, toothbrushes, fruit snacks, apple sauce, granola bars, bandaids, anti-bacterial wipes and brown paper lunch sacks.  I packed them up and brought them to my Sunday morning Yoga class.  I walked in with three big boxes full of little brown lunch sacks and asked the students to stock their cars and spread the love.

We did it again this morning  -- our yoga community brought  "stuffers"   -- love notes, heart stickers, fruit snacks, gloves, hats, toothbrushes, socks, little baby snicker bar bits, peanuts, and juice boxes.  We huddled around and listened to music and shared the service of love by stuffing 120 bags and then distributing them to our community to share with people in need when the need arises. 

 Perhaps you are called to do this in your own home?  Your own community?   

 
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We are so wealthy.  You are wealthy. If you have a device where you can read this... Get a few friends together.  Take the kids to the dollar store.  Make cookies and package them up and keep them in your car and have the kids hand them out to those in need -- or you do it.  Isn't it true, we have SO much?


There is no kind of wealth we can share like that of our hands in seva,  selfless service, and karma, sacred action.

 

May we offer ourselves up in loving service -- our lives and life force as free flowing rivers -- where and when we can....  

love. Love. LOVE.  Today and always. 

Om.  B

My Unbecoming.

I hung up the phone after my hour long conversation with a soul sister of many years, Laure Redmond, and literally sat, stunned and grateful.   Tears streamed down my cheek as I nodded in compassion for how little we know about the trajectory of our lives, and how grateful I am for my own. 

A year ago, none of this had yet been revealed to me, although looking back, I imagine the seeds were likely planted months or years before I ever packed a back and headed alone to a foreign country for my "unbecoming".  

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Dear ones, we all come alone and we go alone... and there is a magic about entering into the wisdom of your own soul and reMEMBERing who you are "beneath masks, and hats and history".   ReMEMBERing that you are whole, holy, enough as is.  

Let's face it, buying stuff and doing stuff is fun and all, but these things don't and can't complete us.  

There is only one "thing" that can bring you true and lasting happiness:  YOU.  

 

HERE is our very intimate and real conversation about overcoming the addiction to "comfort", feeing the fear and doing it anyway, and seeing yourself as you are - essential and enough.  

Grab a cup of tea, snuggle in, and take a listen to our very intimate and real conversation.  

Drink The Wind.

I encourage you to first read UNBECOMING before proceeding...  --- as these are chronological recollections of my time spent in the mountains of Michoacan, Mexico alone in the forest, with a sheep skin, a feather and my prayers.... 

 

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Drink The Wind.

I had been on the mountain for approximately 79 hours when I realized that I was beginning to lose track of time and the boundaries of my own skin. I had been recycling the advice given to me by those who had journeyed before me, "Don't think about how much time you have left."  "Remember your practices and call on them when you get 'lost'."  And, "be sure to build a shade structure -- the sun can be brutal."   

I was told to use my sarong and the twine that held my sheep skin as materials for hanging a protective barrier between me and the mid-day Mexico sun.   Given I had come up the mountain immediately following a sweat lodge, and had not taken food or liquids for three days, others before me had learned the hard way that shade was imperative.   

I had identified a pole that encompassed my site and the one tree with which I shared my space.  I sat against the tree and looked up at the sun.  I probably had four more hours of direct light before it would set on the horizon.  Although I had no timepiece, I could tell by the position of the sun in the sky that it was just after noon.  And, I had begun to sweat.  

In my three days of contemplation, I had concluded that sweating, crying, spitting, and even peeing were not in my best interests.  The wets of my eyes no longer felt moist, and my mouth was parched, my lips cracked. 

I leaned over and grabbed the corner of my folded sarong and pulled it toward me, expending as little energy as possible.  The three yards of twine were neatly rolled and leaning against the tree behind me.  I realized that the first thing I needed to do was stand up.  This sounded simple enough, but I had been seated for most of the three days -- in prayer and reflection of my life, and standing felt foreign and unkind.  Although I had done nothing strenuous for days, I was exhausted.  I leaned on the tree I had been resting against all morning and slowly gathered myself to vertical, and began to walk the five feet to the corner of my space.  I took two steps, slow and deliberate, and dropped to a knee.  My mind went blank and I stared at the ground.  For a moment, I remember feeling like I was no longer in my skin.  I stood again, as I felt the perspiration dripping from between my breasts to my navel, and attempted, determinedly, to walk toward the corner post to attach the twine.  Again, I lowered to my knee.  This time, my hands also went to the earth and I desperately gripped the needles and leaves and dry ground in clenched fists as I gasped air into my lungs.  I was in a emotional storm of fear and helplessness.  My mouth fell open and I began to drool -- where it came from, I did not know, but I watched myself layer foolishness upon misery as my life dripped to the ground to pool.  Shamelessly, I lowered my other knee out of necessity and continued my descent to the earth, curling into fetal position.  There, I began to sob. 

I could not do it.  I did not have the strength to build my shade structure.

I was at the mercy of the sun and the sky and and the wind and the rains I had been begging for but had forsaken me.  

I knew  that all that was left in me was prayer.  I let the tears flow, remembering that I had been told that no one ever died on this mountain as they prayed, and so I let be what was, and I cried my weakened self to sleep.  

I awoke with tears and dirt caked on my cheek and the sun still high in the sky.  My body was drenched in sweat.  I crawled on hands and knees to the backside of the tree where there was a sliver of shade and leaned against the bark.  I was out of the sun and I realized two things.  This would be enough shade for me, and my mouth was very dry and tasted of metal.  I slowed my breath and looked up at the sky and noticed that even in lifting my chin that the air smelled different.  I was against the east side of the tree and turned my head to the north, again realizing that my senses seemed heightened.  I could smell the pine needles, and the dry leaves of the native deciduous trees nearby.  The scents were distinct from one another.  I turned my head to the south, where the clouds hung low off in the distance -- I smelled the rain... I turned my head back to the North -- no rain... The air to the north was dry and made mel thirsty.  For a moment, I thought I even smelled a snake.   I turned back, again to the south, this time not only smelling the moisture in the air, but tasting it.  I took long deep breaths and realized that my thirst was literally being quenched by the taste of the wind.  I tested my theory again and again -- head to the north:  thirst increasing.  head to the south:  thirst quenched.  I literally was able to drink the wind.   

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Now, I know.  If you have never done this sort of thing, you are thinking, 'That is impossible'.  I would have said the same thing had I not experienced it myself.  I found myself turning to the south and drinking the wind for hours, feeling my strength slowly increasing and my gratitude for life and quite simply, for absolutely nothing, overwhelming me. 

That was it.  I can tell you that now, because I have felt it again and again since my time on the mountain nearly six months ago.  Whereas in the past, I would reach for something -- anything -- to soothe me when desperation, lack of control, or fear would creep in, now I realize that what I want most in the times when I am uncertain or lost, groping or growing is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  

It is the deep and profound realization that the greatest gift I have ever given myself is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. For in it, is the hidden miracle of  EVERYTHING. 

You may think I am whacked.  That wouldn't surprise me and if I was you, I just might feel exactly the same way.  But the truth is that I have found a peace of me -- a piece in me -- that serves as my greatest ally in moments of utter unknowing.  And in these moments... I am safe, I have everything I have ever needed or ever could possibly need, and I am free.  

And that is enough.  

Om. B


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Intrigued?   These times are challenging... much energy is unconsciously being devoted to fear of the future, the unknown, frustration and alienation from the whole.  Redirecting your energy can be the best way to quiet anxiety, turn our hearts to consciousness, and realign ourselves with harmony, or what the great yogis called Sattva.  I am leading an online PILGRIMAGE:  108 Day Virtual Journey beginning Monday, September 11th, which will inevitably direct our hearts to gratitude, an openness to greater possibilities, and right action.  The world needs us to be devoting our hearts, minds, and life force in the direction of Love.    Come if you are called.  We are waiting for you to show up as strong and true and powerful as YOU can be....

Eclipse.

The upcoming eclipse is getting a lot of press, and I can't help but notice that most people are welcoming it as an "event" or a "spectacle".   As a yogini, I have found myself disinterested in taking the trek across the state to watch the eclipse -- not because it won't be amazing, but because neighboring cities are already running low on gas, there are as many as one million extra people entering the state to witness this once in a century event, and I heard (although I can't confirm) that the Governor declared the solar eclipse a state of emergency.

So, I'm staying home.   And the more I delve into how yoga perceives this magnificent event, the more I realize that home is exactly where I want to be.  

Here are few comments on the eclipse, through the lens of yoga...

 

We are the MICROCOSM to the MACROCOSM:  With the eclipse, the planet on/in which we live is literally going to have a shift in its electromagnetic field -- you could say that the "nervous system" of the planet is going to be shifting -- transitioning momentarily (in the grand scheme of things) into its receptive, dark, parasympathetic, rest/recovery nervous system.  For me, this means I do not want to be traveling a long way, in a car, with a guhzillion others in their cars.... arriving in a new place/space with a guhzillion people all excited and amped up.  I want a quiet place and space where I can quietly, receptively, marinate in the EMF of the planet -- because I am a microcosm of this great, big world, and I would very much like to recalibrate my own nervous system.

NATURE is YOUR Nature:  This means -- the best way you can receive the most from this extraordinary cosmically charged event is to "act like nature" -- no mood altering substances, no synthetic clothing, no busy brain or full tummy or over-excitiation, and take off your shoes....  Be like the grass, sit on the grass, lie on the grass, be the grass.  And receive.

ALIGN with the DIVINE:  In these next days and hours leading up to the full solar eclipse -- take time to set an intention for yourself that is somehow connected to the greater good -- whatever it is, see for yourself, in your imagination, that you are  intending something for yourself that is ultimately in service to others and the world.  It starts with you, so it doesn't have to be huge, but let it be about "we" not only about "me".  

RECALIBRATE: When the sun returns to its full light in the sky -- a complete and exemplary "recalibration" of the planet will have taken place -- this means you have just crossed a marvelous moment where you are fresh and beginning anew.  

So there you have it -- whether you were going to join the mass transit of humans heading toward the dark side of the sky, or you were planning to stay home and tend to your own little world, these are a few ways that yogis do the solar eclipse.....  And wherever you are, I hope you take the time to appreciate this phenomenally powerful event, for you are most definitely part of nature, and when you see this and "be" this -- life has a way of living through you in mysterious and majestic ways.

Love.

B

WANT MORE?  If you want to learn more about how you can "align with nature", Britt offers a 108 day virtual journey of simple, accessible practices that will amaze you and recalibrate your whole being.  LEARN MORE and fill your life with deliciousness and watch the muck and murky fall away.  

Unbecoming.

Unbecoming.

I kissed the ground and entered the sweat lodge.  These daily rituals had been preparing me for what was to come.  We crawled in, on hands and knees, taking our places in concentric circles surrounding the sunken center that would soon hold the volcanic “grandmother stones” used to raise the temperature of the sweat lodge to just below unbearable.