When Everything I Loved Was Stripped Away

About three years ago, I was out working with my horse and a trainer. I ran into the house for a moment, and when I stepped back onto the porch, I heard the horse trainer screaming, “I need help! I need help!”

I started running toward the arena and saw my husband, lying motionless. Note: My husband doesn’t ride horses, so I had no idea what had just happened. What I did know was that he was 21 years my elder, and I immediately considered the worst.

As I neared them, I yelled back, “Is he conscious?”     

The trainer returned, “NO!”   

I didn’t bother continuing toward where they were. You see, I live in the middle of nowhere: no cell service; no internet; twenty minutes from the nearest small town; well over an hour to the nearest hospital. Things weren’t looking good. But here’s what happened.

As I ran, everything started to slow down and, as weird as it sounds, I felt soft and clear. I immediately slipped into a yoga practice I had done thousands of times—I started chanting a mantra.

I had been practicing “om namah shivaya” and it had been going through my mind and body for weeks. At that moment, I didn’t spin into thinking Holy NO! What if he’s dead? What am I going to do? Did he have a heart attack? What happened? Instead, I chanted “om namah shivayah. om namah shivayah. om namah shivayah.” I slipped into the sounds that translate into, “In the name of all that transforms beginnings, sustainings and endings of all things at all times into light and universal threads that connect all things in all ways.”

And my mind went there over and over and over again. I was able to split my attention between divinity and the wholeness at the source of all things, and do what needed while being spun into a centrifuge of chaos. I knew everything was ALL RIGHT (not just “alright’) no matter what happened, and my heart was wide open. I felt peace as the sweet container for all other emotions.

As it turns out, he did regain consciousness. And the peace I felt carried me down the road to recovery as I helped him regain his strength over the next weeks. But I was changed.

This experience was when I knew. This experience was when I realized that there was no handstand, no book and no weekend workshop that was going to do for me what my own practice could do. I needed to get to the mat.

I could talk about being peaceful and having it all going on; but it wasn’t until I was in a real life ‘WTF’ situation where the embodiment of my teachings was tested that I really got a taste of how freakin’ powerful I am and how freakin’ important it is to know WHO I am when everything I thought was mine was stripped away. Here’s what it comes back to: when you recall who you are, you will instantly forget who you were pretending to be. That’s all for now. And for me, that is enough.

Original publication can be found at Over the Moon Magazine.

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Bio:  Britt is described as a thought leader, love preacher, truth seeker, and yoga teacher.  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 works with students and teachers alike to discover the hidden depths of yoga and to bring these potent teachings into 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


Britt B Steele

Britt B Steele, USA