Hello dear ones. I am here. I am alive. I am in Love. What else really matters? This is the question that I ponder today.
Hello dear ones. I am here. I am alive. I am in Love. What else really matters? This is the question that I ponder today.
I won't lie to you.
It's been a big, hard week.
I have found myself being asked repeatedly to integrate, rise up, and to shine extra brightly for others who feel as though a cloud of darkness has paralyzed them or rendered them lost. Now... I know that not all of my students and followers feel this way, and I know, at the core, that yoga is not political (and frankly, neither am I). I know that my role is to look at the places and spaces where we can see one another as equals -- soul siblings -- and where we can seek to understand one another first and foremost -- and it is my deep and unequivocal knowing that this is the place and space from which we grow and heal.
I know I am not alone when I say that I teach what I want to embody. Pilgrim is a blessing for me in this way. So, too, is my Yoga Teacher Training.
These are places where I am provide golden opportunities to share the honey I have been given. The "honey" of perspective, trust, and truth -- no matter how hard it is.
You see, I tend toward "tough love".
I tend toward calling it out. For myself and others.
Like it is. I tend toward asking the hard questions, and holding space for healing in the nourishment of the responses.
And yes, I do tend to touch my finger to the wounds, gently, and say, "does it hurt... here ?"
Because I know it hurts. We all hurt sometimes... and, I have found that when we acknowledge we are wounded, and that we are strong enough to claim our pain and our potential, we then can SEE we are FREE.
You know what else I have found?
IN CASE YOU WONDER, I WANT THE SAME THINGS YOU WANT. I WANT TO BE FREE. I WANT OUR LEADERS TO BE COMPASSIONATE AND GENTLE, WISE AND LACED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS. AND, MY JOB IS FIRST, AN INSIDE ONE, FOR WE CANNOT CONTROL OTHER PEOPLE NEVER COULD. CAN'T NOW. NEVER WILL. AND THINKING ANYTHING DIFFERENT WILL MAKE us all CRAZY.
1. Wake everyday and pray (set intention, send good juju -- call it what you want).
2. Practice. Go to the mat. Look for Yoga everywhere, and in doing so, you will see it everywhere.
3. Commit to Love: In thoughts. Words. Actions. (for EVERYONE -- not just those who love you back, get you, or think like you do).
4. And then:
SET IT FREE
Whenever light and darkness
both enter a space,
light always -- and in all ways
Here are a few more ways you can crank up the light in your life:
1. Read autobiographies and biographies of Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Gandhi, Victor Frankl, and Einstein. Their lives were way hard: and they shined BUHHHHHH-RIGHTLY in their lives (so brightly we are still feeling it).
2. Watch great movies: The Man Who Knew Infinity. Baggar Vance. Like Stars on Earth. Dr. Strange. Look for Yoga everywhere in all things, people, world events, and experiences.
3. Pray. Every. Day. I don't care who you believe in. Or IF you believe in anyone or anything. You don't have to do it this way: Lay it all down -- "ALTAR" your perspective, your position, and change out the lens through which you see the world (you just may be wearing the WRONG prescription).
4. Step in and Step UP.
And then go out there and fight a good fight -- with love and compassion as your backbone.
If you want your world
to be different,
it starts on the inside
I'm just saying. If you want to change something: change yourself first. And if you don't know how, it's actually quite simple: marinade in those that have what you want and and live as you'd love to live: and you, too, will change. Like it or not: you're a lot like tofu.
~ Good morning Beautiful ~
Some mornings I spend a couple of hours with recordings from my teacher -- laced with sanskrit, puja (purification ceremony), and the wisdom of India. But this morning was different -- and it's important that I let it be.....
It's been quiet at my house. Not because there isn't a lot to be done and that awaits my attention, but because the season is begging me to quiet the space between my ears and in my body. My yoga practice has been gentle. I've taken a lot of baths (and even got myself some lavender bubble bath because my Epsom salts, although wonderful, are a little too "adult" for me these days).
I pretty much always rise well before the sun. It's the way I deepen into my heart and set an energetic foundation for my day. It's also important to me because when my husband rouses he usually has a million things to share that have happened in the night and I want to be ready for him. Early quiet time helps me empty my own vessel for the day so I can receive whatever longs to move through me.
This morning, I found myself using my early morning time to listen to a beautiful hour long talk on self-care by a friend I met some years ago while we were both taking some time away from the US and living in Bali. During her talk, she introduced me to this amazing song -- and because it seems so true and fitting for these days of my life, I thought I'd share....
Enjoy Beautiful... and remember, if you get goosebumps... it's probably the real deal.
Sweet Day to you ~
It’s Never Too late.
It’s never too late to start.
It’s never too late to stop.
It’s never too late to wonder, or wander, or to say “yes” to the love
that is longing to possess you.
Close your eyes, you’ll feel it.
Take just one breath, you’ll find it.
There is a love that longs for you to be with you,
to sit with you,
move with you
walk with you
breathe with you
be with you.
This longing - this search - this discovery - IS you.
There is a space and place deep within
that can only be found by you
I just wanted you to know. Because it's easy to numb out, dumb down, and settle. I'm not in favor of doing those things -- largely because I've done all three and at the end of the day, it's like I've driven myself to the dead end of a really narrow road (where turning around is difficult and no fun at all).
I just want you to know you don't have to do it that way. You can stop. Right now.
And you can start the stuff that lasts. Just like that. Just like THIS.
"How?", you ask.
The "how" isn't actually up to you. Your job is to take a step.
Step outside. Step beyond. Step in. I have created ways you can do this -- and although I am partial, I'm not attached. I mean, I know these ways work because they are how I got here. But, if I pass you in the yoga studio or in the grocery store, I'll ONLY be happy to see you smiling and glowing and knowing these truths... however you got them is irrelevant in the end. (If you're happy, I'm happy you're happy!)
Here's what I know works....
Journey to a far away place
Not interested in those things? Try something else. Try anything that touches you and gives you goosebumps.
You see, Dear One -- more than anything I want you to pause and breathe and steer your monstrosity of a ship (called life) one tiny degree in the direction of your dreams... and in a month, two months, two years or two decades -- you will open your eyes and see how little steps TODAY completely shift what you see and how you feel about the view and the journey.
(you just might not know it yet)
... Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.
It doesn't matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times.
Come. Yet again... come.... Come.
Not long ago, a dear friend found herself down our gravel road... It's unusual to find yourself in "the neighborhood" soshe and her niece stopped by to visit the goats. We sat on the porch as the sun went behind the trees, and this poem came up.
I'll own it. I've broken my vows a thousand times. And then I lost count.
I've gotten lost in the weeds, thought the path on which I was traveling was "THE One".... only to wake up one fine day, heart-broken and uncertain of everything but my own skin.
Despite what we hear from the outside, your "living" is not intended to be straight and narrow. It's not supposed to be about "reaching goals". It's not about "getting it right" or "becoming anything."
Becoming, my dear friends... is a disease.
If you are always on the road to becoming something. You are never "there".
This is hooey. You are already there.
Here's what I have learned ~ and the words don't do it justice.... because what I am about to say is translated into English from the language of the heart... and much is lost in translation, but just the same...
Beneath masks, and hats and history,
You are already whole.
Enough as is.
What I want for you is for YOU to wake up every single morning knowing THIS. What I long for you to realize is that the path need not be hard nor arduous. It is simple. Clear. I know this and those who have walked with me before know this. It is about small steps, in community, in consciousness, in Love.
This living is not about perfection.
It is about mindfully inhabiting your days.
That is all.
Let me tell you about a sweet woman I have learned about and loved.... Her name is Kiki. She works for a huge, well-respected company in the pacific northwest and is on the VP track. She is gorgeous, inside and out (as are you, my dear) . She's a mom, and a wife, and a longing lover (just.like.you).
She told me this last winter...
"I remember when I first met you... tears welled in my eyes, as I felt the pressures to DO it all....
and then I felt your permission to be a human BEING, not a human doing...to just be,
that I was enough as is. THAT BLEW MY MIND. Changed me. EVERYTHING has changed.
My family, coworkers, everyone has noticed a change in me. But most importantly, I have noticed a change in ME. Awareness of my heart softening. Awareness of the beauty on my drive & walk into work. Awareness of what's going on in between my ears. And awareness of when something is not quite right and I need to slow down. Take care of myself. It's not a should anymore, it's a priority. A must...."
I tell you this -- I share her experience -- because YOU can have this too. You are just like her like me -- we are the same. This life is a wild, wooly, sometimes wicked ride... and there is a way to do it kicking and screaming, beaten and bleeding... or there is a way to do it in Love.
Someone asked me not long ago, "Why are you here?" -- It was a question about my purpose. (We all have one.) I am pretty clear on this these days.
I am here to teach.
I am here to help people.
I am here to help people BE HAPPY.
(the sticky little sweet part is that HAPPY is not an "experience" that comes and goes... I'm talking about the kind of happiness that softly, quietly rises up and bubbles forth when you are still... I'm talking about the kind of happy that oozes out of your being when the world is whizzing by and you slow down just long enough to feel the space and the very..... bottom.... of your exhale....)
Love you. Have the most wonderful day. BE Happy (it's who you are intended to be).
Email me if you have any questions.
Everyone you see, you say to them, "Love me."
Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect.
Why not become the one who lives with a full moon in each eye
that is always saying,
with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in this world is dying to hear?
It is Saturday... and in a short few hours it will be the full moon..... The full moon is a reminder that, just like the moon, we are each a reflection of something brilliant and sooo much bigger than we can fathom. From this brilliance, we are but a seed, a gestation, a birthing, and a growing, despite the outward impression of stillness and stagnancy. This time is so very, very important to us – and taking the moon (and the impending dark of winter) to heart is vital to unlocking the gateways within the yoga practitioner's body and mind.
The moon connects us deeply to our intuitive nature – the natural aspects within that are all knowing and wise, that drive our cellular intelligence and remind us that balance is our true nature. When we take pause, we unleash this intelligence, and reflect back to ourselves as elegant and holy.
The full moon this month is even extra extravagant: It is a super moon, which means it is extra close to the earth tonight, and tomorrow the viewing is the best due to its position in the sky.
So what does the full moon mean to you? It is a perfect time to turn off your cell phones, computers, televisions, and all other technology at sun down (like as soon as you finish reading this). Take a bath, make a creamy delicious dinner with a rich and sweet (organic and pure) dessert. Eat a smallish dinner and a larger dessert (yep… you heard me right).
And if you really want to crazy it up and bask in the moonlight, eat your dessert BEFORE dinner, over candlelight with your loved ones (four-leggers count), and take time beneath the moon – even it is cloudy - to breathe in the magnificence. The silvery, soothing, nourishing moonbeams shall find their way through the laced spaces in the clouds and bring you what is longing to come forth to nourish your life.
And if the evening ritual is not an option for you, the full moon (and even the next day if you've already got plans) is a perfect time to make ghee… Here’s how you do it!
What you will need: Heavy bottomed stainless steel potstrainer, flour sack kitchen towel (or a piece of cheesecloth), a clear glass, sterillzed container with tight-fitting lid, and1 pound organic unsalted butter
Place your butter in the pot. Bring the butter to a boil, then reduce the heat to a slow, steady simmer. The butter will begin to produce foam. Don’t remove this foam; it will begin to be absorbed into the butter and you will hear the crackling sound of moisture and liquid being evaporated. (Maya Tiwari tells us it sounds like rain falling.)
Let the butter simmer for 45 minutes to one hour. Keep an eye on it and keep the flame on your stove as low as possible. Be sure to have music on that stirs your highest health, and limit conversation. Let this process be a meditation and infuse your ghee with Love Love LOVE.
The ghee is done when you see browned butterfat caramelized on the bottom of the pan and the top portion of the ghee is clear and golden.
Cool down significantly (so you do not break the glass container into which you transfer it). Pour it very slowly, so the caramelized and browned butterfat remain on the bottom of the pan. (Yogi Tip: If you have a tendency to feel "weakened" by the winter weather, pour your ghee over a jar full of pitted dates and eat one each morning to increase ojas--internal life juice).
Store on your kitchen counter, out of direct sunlight. Always use a clean dry spoon for each “dipping”. Use in place of butter, drop a dollop in your coffee or tea in the morning, or add to turmeric and hot water as an evening "hot toddy". Om Chandrayah Namah!
I am SO grateful as I write this... My sweet friend, mentor, and goddess of writing the forward on my book, Pilgrim: Living Your Yoga Every Single Day, Dr. Deborah Kern has been staying with me for the last three weeks and our lives here at the YogaFarm have been enriched as a result.
We've laughed, danced, cried, walked, rolled around on the floor, taught each other stuff, shared our favorite music, and so much more.
As part of our time together, we realized one day, while washing dishes, that our conversations were worth a share to our collective listeners, readers, and students.
We promptly headed up to my office and nestled into my fancy "recording studio". We planned nothing except a single topic of discussion: What Matters Most. We made two recordings: each 20 minutes in length.
Enjoy! We love you!
"You were given a body for a very good reason. It is more than just a skin bag. It’s your vehicle, your very fancy ride. The better you take care of it, the more good clean joy you can pack in it for the journey, and the more amazing gifts you can share while you are out there enjoying the views. Moving your body is foundational to caring for the “anamaya kosha” or what we like to call in yoga, the 'modified food body’....
(excerpt from Pilgrim: Touchstone #1: Move My Body)
Here's the thing - I use movement to inspire me, to open any clogged channels in the body so prana (that’d be life force) can effortlessly pulse through every thought, feeling and action that moves through me.
Most importantly, you can use movement to stimulate juiciness in your whole life! No more thinking about burning calories, reaching some amorphous target heart rate or counting down the time on the treadmill. No more counting. It is vitality that counts. And... it is balance, joy, ease, health, and sustainable practices that you seek.... You can call this wellness if you want. I know it in my bones as Yoga -- Yoga isn’t only something that you do -- especially when limited to a rubber rectangle…. Yoga is ultimately something that you ARE -- beneath all the hubbub of busy, and the "too much of a good thing” andthe “not enough” of another.
Yoga is what you experience when you are aligned with what you want most — when your thoughts, words, actions are daily activities are all moving in the direction of your dreams.
And it is yours for the asking.
And it is yours for the taking.
All you gotta do is know you want it... and take the first step.
Beautiful Thursday to you...
Britt is a thought leader, love preacher, and spiritual activist. She is the author of Pilgrim: Live Your Yoga Every Single Day and is a guiding light in the yoga & ayurveda worlds, dedicated to bringing their powerful & simple teachings to the forefront of life today. She is a guide to discovering the hidden depths of yoga and to bring these potent teachings to day to day life. Britt lives with her husband at Deva Daaru YogaFarm, an hour outside Portland, Oregon where she lives her yoga, shares her teachings through online programs, facilitates yoga teacher trainings, and hosts Live Your Yoga events & Daycations. Follow Britt on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram
This morning while teaching a yoga class to a group of creative entrepreneurs from all over the world (who had little to no yoga experience prior to coming to the YogaFarm), I felt goosebumps spread like fire across my skin, and tears stream down my face as I realized (in my bones) what had been unfolding for the last nine days.
Watching them move through our 9th consecutive day of morning practice.... I witnessed them follow their own breath (instead of mine). I watched them move according to the direction of their own bodies (not mine). and I gently observed as they took pause to marinade in their own fullness, with eyes closed (instead of looking out at me as if I represent that "thing" that they want to be but are not).
I watched as they felt for the internal impulse of "yes" to rise... and I watched them follow it....
Again and again.... I watched them follow it.... deep into the reason they came here. To BE Yoga.
And it gave me goosebumps.
Of course it did.
I watched them become their own teachers, their own guides, their own guru.... after just nine days. This is what yoga can and does do.
Can you feel it?
It is happening.
The leaves are beginning to fall from the trees.
That means there is a natural letting go beginning to unfold... it's becoming time to release what no longer serves you.... to open the portals and exhale what once worked but no longer does...
Everything you have ever LONGED for.
Everything you have ever wanted your life to be
is within your reach.
LOVE A LITTLE HARDER
SPEAK A LITTLE TRUER
SHINE A LITTLE BRIGHTER