Forgive. Give.

Forgive.  Shmergive.  Who needs it.

We all do.  

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And I have come to realize a few powerful little (life changing things) about forgiveness.

1.  We all could use a dose of it (because whether we know it or not, somewhere, somehow, buried in our past, there is something that we are holding onto (or perhaps more accurately, is holding on to us).

2.  If we feel even the slightest held back, restricted, or shut down, ultimately we are each confined by the walls we have built ourselves.  Forgiveness crumbles said walls.

3.  Forgiveness is the most powerful gift we can give ourselves.

So, dear ones… here’s a little ditty…. from one of my favorite artists and devotees on the planet — Perhaps it will help you make some sense of any anxiety, dichotomy, or discomfort you are feeling in yourself, with others, or the world)

Perhaps you’d like to read along… sometimes it goes a little deeper that way…

 

Sun coming up on the earth
Open up strong and we learn
Never done, never do we waver
Who is the one that we seek?
Who is the one within we?
I don't fear, I don't fear the answer

I know hope, it has wings
I can see a rest with the king
Let it shine, let it shine unbounded
Out of the mouth comes the water
Out of the earth came a daughter
All I hear, all I hear is to forgive... give
Forgive, forgive

Out of the hands of creator
I call out my heart day
Lead us in, lead us into patience
They drew the mist on the ceiling
Let it rain down for our healing
I know this, I know this is ancient

Well, I love you and I mean it!
Hey little child can you feel it?
Let it come, let it come full circle
Giving up on separation
Now it's time that we face it
All I hear, all I hear is to forgive... give
Forgive, forgive

Burn the sage and the cedar
Oh grandmother we need a -
A way home, a way home
With the swell of the river
Watch it come and carry us home

Burn the sage and the cedar
Oh grandmother we need a -
A way home, a way home
With the swell of the river
Watch it come and carry us home
Forgive

[Poetry Interlude: Luka Lesson]
Forgive everything that has ever happened
Life is everything we can imagine
Laid out in patterns of pain and passion
You cannot control it
So keep your compassion
There are no accidents
There are no factions
There is no us or them
Nothing to borrow or lend
No enemy or friend
And only forgiveness can make that happen
The only battle worth the fight
From the Rwandan genocide
To the Seven Sisters forgiving Orion for how he chases them across the skies every night
Forgiveness is for giving
So give yourself this gift from time to time
And let all of your mistakes
Become all of your greatest gifts
In disguise

Forgive. Forgive.  Give.  Forgive. Forgive. Forgive.  Forgive.  .... Give. 

That’s all, my dear Ones. The words of the day from my heart to yours.

Forgive. Give.

Om. Love. B

Let Your Life Speak.

Sometimes I wake at night, unable to sleep… plagued by questions that sometimes rise to the surface, and sometimes settle in my bones. Questions like,

How, then, shall I live?

Shall I live in fear?

Shall I live in the chase?

Shall I live exhausted?

Shall I live in the shadows?

Shall I live at the top? Or the bottom?

Shall I live simply?

Shall I live peacefully?

Shall I live quietly?

Shall I live well?

For me it is almost always the same, I listen and feel the anxiety well and remind myself it will pass if I turn myself in the direction of my dreams and trust and trust and trust… and then I remember.

I shall live well.

I have had in all - this lifetime. As far as I can see, everything I have set my mind or my heart to has been made manifest in my life, and I have been very very blessed in this life. But the bittersweetness of this has taught me that after ALL THAT, I realized one day when walking to the barn in the drizzling autumn rain that NONE of that would make me happy — nothing I owned, posed, offered or presented as my life would or could make me happy. Not until I was willing to settle into the solitude of my own soul and feel content in the simple, quiet well of my self.

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If you haven’t noticed, this is NOT the American dream, dear Ones.

Not even for a second are we taught to be happy with a simple, below the radar, life. Instead, the push and the strive are the norm. And as you may have heard me say in the past (to quote some old long-gone yogi), “It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick world”.

I am not saying the world is sick - in and through - I am just saying that “becoming” is a infliction, from which many of us suffer, and sometimes it is worth the struggle to stop with the seeking, the searching, the aspiring, the evolving, and just flat out love your self and your life exactly as it all happens to be in this sweet little moment. THAT in itself is a MEGA accomplishment.

But how do you do that? You do it by putting on the brakes; and when you do that, you will (I repeat) you WILL feel the friction.

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But, still, you must apply the brakes. And then, you look inside. You take the time you need to look, listen, and feel. And one day, you will reMEMBER (which is to bring all the “members” of your sweet soulful self back together so all parts and pieces, thoughts, feelings and actions are all moving in the same direction)… and then you listen UP. You pay attention to what the inner voice says. You put your heart at the helm, you ask your sweet self the important, and sometimes, the most difficult, questions, and you offer your life back to the “one who brung ya”….

And then… you dance; You dance with what you find…. and you listen… and you cry or talk or bow down as you must…. and perhaps you offer prayers to the moon, or the trees, or your ancestors, or your children’s children…. and again, you listen. And slowly, but surely your life begins to speak. In the words of Parker Palmer:

“Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it,

I must listen to my life telling me who I am.” 


If you need a little nudge in the direction of your heart, I’ve got one for you… myself and ten other women (perhaps one is you?) are going to be meeting up under the first new moon of the new year in 2019 and setting our intentions for listening, learning, letting go, and living right. We would love to have you join us — there are a few more days of early registration pricing.



Listen Up.

Once I had a teacher ask me if when I crawl in bed at night if I had ever asked myself, “do you deserve a standing ovation for the way you lived your life today?”

It wasn’t a question designed for me to assess my accomplishments, but rather, to ascertain if I had been fully present to the details of my life, if I had lived my life with attentiveness, heart wide open, steadfast, confident as possible, and true to who I am.

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I like to ask myself that question when I crawl in bed. Realistically, I am not expecting a standing ovation every day, but something grows in me when the answer to this question is, “Yes.”

What does it take to deserve a standing ovation? For me, it means I fully acknowledge that I am both the one presenting and I am the one in the audience - the ONLY one in the audience. I am also the ONLY one who gets to decide if I deserve that standing ovation. Applause? Yes, always (because a little self-love goes a long way), but I’m talking “above B average” — I’m talking both feet on the ground, butt out of the seat; standing ovation.

Isn’t it true that when all is said and done, we come alone and we go alone? None of us get out of here alive, and not all of us are called to be front line warriors or priests, or teachers, or laborers. We each have unique roles that we play in making this mighty world turn, and in knowing that and doing our best to show up and present our best selves, the best we can at any time for as long as we can, is truly all we can do.

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The trouble is, many of us don’t slow down long enough to listen up. (And I do mean, listen UP). There is something bigger than us within each of us that invokes our passion and desire to move in a particular direction of service or work or role in life, or even more practically — there is something bigger than us that gets us out of bed each morning. And when we listen inward and upward, we find that the voice is not only an impulse that turns our eyes in a particular direction, but it is also the greatest source of energy and balance in our lives. THAT voice is our medicine. It is our treatment for anxiety, depression, lack of clarity, lethargy, apathy, angry outbursts, curl-up-in-a-ball-melt-downs, and the inability to get out of bed in the morning. THAT voice calms us, inspires us, awakens us, and invokes us to listen UP and rise UP.

And we can ONLY hear that voice when we are willing to slow down just a little — to make time and as I like to say, to “dance with the one who brung us”. Energy follows attention and this stuff doesn’t just “happen” for most of us. Instead, you need to devote time and energy and heart space to “dance with the one who brung ya”.

We’re doing that in January if you’re feeling the pull: For 8 days and 7 nights on the ocean shore… at the exact same time the first new moon of 2019 graces us, with less than ten women, all here, there, and everywhere, for the same reason: … and it dawned on me, just this morning, that what I want to say to you is this:

If THIS year isn’t your best year yet

and you wish it WAS

Then what are you going to do to plant the seeds to make NEXT year the best year of your life?

Dear Ones, I’m not married to you going with me on this soul-awakening retreat… I’m married to going myself and providing you with wide open choices so that if you are called, you have built-in, easy peasy, plug-and-play opportunities to join us… because the world is hungry for more of us free of anxiety, depression, lethargy, apathy and instead filled with clarity, wisdom, energy, and the capacity to love deeper and truer than ever.

Loving you deep and strong, and hoping you search for inspires you somehow every day.

Om.

B







I Believe.

I have a vision for you. 
Do you have a vision for you?

I believe that we can manage the storms and struggles that come our way... not by fighting, scrapping, struggling and barely making it, but by facing our self-limiting perceptions and our small idea of who we are and what is possible on this mighty, mighty journey called life.  I'm not talking about lofty goals or accomplishments.  

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I AM TALKING ABOUT LOVE

Yat Bhavam

Tad Bavati

::as you worship so you become::

Every breath, every word, every song you hear, every choice you make... every taste, every conversation... every thought, action, intention and perception has brought you to THIS point. 

This point you call your LIFE.  

YOUR LIFE.

 All these things are how you "worship".

Don't fall back asleep.  
Make manifest YOUR vision of your life
so we might all shine bright and true and clear
for ourselves, others and the world.  

Because my heart and my eyes have been telling me that the world needs this little light of mine, and yours, and yours, and yours.... 

Let’s light this boring place on fire, shall we?

Love.Britt

******************

This time each year, we walk… hundreds now from around the globe. Living our yoga, practicing, loving a little deeper, speaking a little truer, finding grace and beauty in all the corners of our lives and in the world. It’s yummy, and it’s time. Learn more about Pilgrim

Heart to Earth.

Happy Sunday Beloveds.  

I hope this finds you with sweetness in your heart.  I hope that you are taking deep, long breaths today -- if only amidst the wilderness of your life.   I hope that you are seeing at least glimpses of who you are -- and that all that you have to do, your responsibilities, your identity, and yes, even your name.... are not you at the end of the end... for you are so much more than that... lest you have forgotten, I am here to remind you.

You are the breath.  

You are the breather.  

You are the one being breathed.


That Lives in Us

If you put your hands on this oar with me,
they will never harm another, and they will come to find
they hold everything you want.

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If you put your hands on this oar with me, they would no longer
lift anything to your mouth that might wound your precious land-
that sacred earth that is your body.

If you put your soul against this oar with me,
the power that made the universe will enter your sinew
from a source not outside your limbs, but from a holy realm
that lives in us.

Exuberant is existence, time a husk.
When the moment cracks open, ecstasy leaps out and devours space;
love goes mad with the blessings.

Why lay yourself on the torturer’s rack of the past and future?
The mind that tries to shape tomorrow beyond its capacities
will find no rest.

Be kind to yourself, dear one - to your innocent follies.
Forget any sounds or touch you knew that did not help you dance.
You will come to see that all evolves us.

If you put your heart against the earth with me, in serving
every creature, our Beloved will enter you from our sacred realm
and we will be, we will be....  so very happy.

~ Rumi

Perhaps this sums it up.  Why I teach.  Why I practice.  Why I have found that shifting my consciousness from the mundane to the spiritual in the most ordinary tasks of life changes everything, and that ultimately what is "real" has as much to do with the way I see things than the things themselves.  Perhaps this is why I embark upon "pilgrimages" -- literal, virtual, in my living room, kitchen, or the forests of a foreign land.  It's because I have learned of their power, and I can't help but feel the impact ripple out into all of the crevices of my world.   

Enjoy your Sunday... and when in doubt, return, again, and again, to your sweet, sacred breath.  For it is there, you will find yourself, again and again.  

Love, B

Please Remember.

Sweet Sunday morning to you, Beautiful.

This morning I am reMEMBERing.  

The words of my teacher... who learned from his teacher.... and said to his teacher...

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Please remember for me how your heart became free.  I also would like my heart to be free. 

 

 

We all long to remember how to be free... We want to remember our roots, our ancestry, our faith - when times get tough.  We want to remember what to do when we don't know what to do, and we want to remember who we are when everything that we thought we were... falls away.  

To reMEMBER is to bring back all of the parts and pieces into a natural state of wholeness -- to bring all "members" of the community of one - one soul - one life - one being.... back into the fold... back into this one holy life.

And on this sweet Sunday morning, I want to share a remembering with you... that happened for me, some ten years ago, when I sat with my teacher, in Bali.

I remember it like it was yesterday.  Sitting in a thatched roof, open-air hut, perched at the end of a narrow path through rice paddies, surrounded by frogs and ducks and birds...  

Thunder began to roll as twelve or so of us sat on the floor of our teacher's hut.  We sat as if we were in an ashram, erect and attentive, but we were in his home... and something about that felt really rich.  It was as though we were marinading in all that he was, not just what he was there to teach.  I remember feeling safe.  I remember feeling free. 

He guided us slowly into a meditation and we followed, the world worn layers of hurry and worry slowly dissolving...

We sat for some time in silence, listening only to the music of the people, the land, and the rice paddies.

And then, I remembered, as his voice penetrated something deep in me :: 

Oh Lord, infinite intelligent being, who is not separate from myself,
please bestow upon me the inner peace and serenity to accept gracefully all that I cannot change...
Like the past, other people, anything that has been
said or done to me.
And may I have the strength and courage to change what I can change.
What is within my power to do so... such as certain habits, or what I say in each moment, my words... and what I do.
And may I understand and see clearly.
May I have the wisdom to recognize what I am able to change, and what I am not able to change, so that I do not waste my will... so that I do not waste my energy... or the energy of another... trying to change what I cannot.

Om Shanthi. Shanthi. Shanthi.

It was this poem, this prayer, that hung on the bedroom wall of my parent's room... catholic style.  But on this muggy tropical day, I remembered that my catholic roots were not separate from yoga...

You see, Dear One... Everything you want to pray about, and all the ways in which you want to pray are given to you  by that "all infallible One".  It is the longing that is the prayer, and the answer.  And there is no way, when we soften, surrender, listen, and open our hearts that our whispers go unheard. 

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It doesn't have to be fancy. Or in a church or temple or synagogue.  And it need not necessarily be directed to some particular guy in the sky.  Our prayers are rich and real and whole... when we are sincere, honest, loving and kind.

Take a breath, dear One, and may you know you are loved.  May you know you are heard.  May you know you are seen, and may you know you are remembered.

Love, 
Britt

It's Time.

A few weeks back, I spent three days by myself going through papers, files, photos, journals, and old stuff I planned to read, study, do or make for the last twenty years.  I decided it was time to get real and to let all that stuff that had been hanging on — just go.   

It was time.  

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So I put everything I planned on keeping into a bin and everything I planned to discard in another four bins.  

I stood looking at the stuff I was getting rid of and decided it was a good idea to have a puja… a purification ceremony where I could bless where I’ve been, where I’ve walked, and in turn stand tall in what is most alive for me today. 

That was the 4th of July. 

And so, I took a shower, dressed myself up pretty, made myself a beautiful dinner, poured a kombucha in my best wine glass, and headed outside to start a fire.   I offered the first of my meal to the fire and to the power of transformation, and then, said a prayer of gratitude and turned my attention to my piles of stuff I was about to burn.  Paper by paper, life experience by life experience, dream by dream, I blessed, crumpled, and tossed what was no longer — into the fire.   

It was time.  And it felt incredibly liberating.

And now, dear ones, once again, it’s time . . . 

It’s time to share a few things.

I’ve danced around writing about the details of my personal life, because I don’t know what is pertinent or necessary, quite honestly. I am not sure what part of my life story can be of service to your life, so I’ll say just a little.  

The last two years have probably been the most difficult of my life.  I have gone through some of the greatest internal changes to date, and at times I didn’t know how to show up in my world, so I opted to remain silent.   For those who may not know, or have heard in the ethers, Larry and I ended our fifteen year marriage, and I signed the Yoga Farm over to him, where he continues to live and offer a beautiful retreat space for all sorts of healing to occur.   I will not speak for him, but from where I sit, we continue to be very close, loving, and I consider him and his family to be my own family.   I also feel that the Yoga Farm is one of the most beautiful gifts I have ever been given, having dreamed it and created it with heart and hands. I trust that what Larry and I built together will continue to serve others for ages into the future.   

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When we built the Yoga Farm, Larry suggested I sign the concrete platform before installing the front porch. 

I did just that.

But I didn’t sign my name, nor his. 

Instead, I inscribed, big as possible, “Love Lives Here”.   

And it did.  And it does.  And I have complete confidence that Love will continue to live on at the Yoga Farm.  

Because, well . . . when all is said and done, Love is all there is.     

I won’t say much more about the nitty gritty of my life at this point.   But I will say that what I have gone through, feels strangely like an initiation into my own soul, where all of the perfect plans I had made for myself slowly began to dissolve, regardless of what my mind wanted… and my soul began to whisper, and when I did not listen, began to speak more firmly to me, revealing a different sort of life path.   A path, that with the help of some tremendous teachers and mentors, has reminded me that the life I had been living was ready to be surrendered to the life that was wanting to be lived through me.   

And so, what I know now . . . is that . . . It’s time.

Despite the darkness I have walked through (that we eventually all walk through), I feel inspired, present, and committed to continuing to walk, however the Divine asks me to do so. 

On this day, I am living in a village in central Mexico, and I trust that I am being watched over and guided, every step that I take. I feel safe, peaceful, whole.  I can't ask for me.    

And I trust the signs.  I trust when things are easy and feel right, and this feels like both of those things.  My work is blooming in new ways and given that, I am deeply inspired to share the God-give work of Pilgrim in September, with much more depth and breadth than I had within me to offer in past years.  

I also have plans to return to teaching Sunday Satsangs in the Fall, with a little twist :: as they will be offered virtually, for easy access from the comfort of your own home, wherever you may live. 

But more on all that in coming days . . .    

For now, I leave you with three little things:  a song, and a prayer and promise:

The Song . . .   I trust you'll understand once  you listen... 

The Prayer . . .   for your well-being, your peace of mind, your health and clear-heartedness as you walk your own soul's path, may it be through the shadows or beneath bright open skies.

And the Promise . . .  the promise that I am here, once again . . . and I am so ready to love you and offer the best that I can in the way that I can for as long as I can ... as a servant leader of good ol' fashioned luv.  

Because, well . . .  It's time.

Sending you soooo much love wherever you may be today.  

Om. Amen.  A Ha.  

 

 

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