One of the things students frequently say to me is, “the way you live it’s so unusual… it’s like… most of the world doesn’t live like you.”
“Hhhmm ?? Really?”, I think to myself.
This is a classic case of “you can’t see the forest through the trees.” Or rather, I cannot see the forest through the trees. But when I take a step back from the life that I live on the day to day — where the entirety of my focus is on three primary topics: energy, work, and love — I realize there are some sort of weird and wonderful things that I do.
There is this phrase I use when I am talking to students and clients that feels foundational to me. It’s the thing I am perhaps most conscious of…This thing that is always ‘top of mind” for me.
It is three simple words: Purify This Vessel.
I’m going to unfold this and then speak into some of the strange and wonderful ways that I do just this.
The word purify isn’t about doing things good, morally correct, or in alignment with someone else’s version of cleanliness or rightness. When I say “purify” it is not a religious construct or concept. It is simply a word that helps me remember to clear out the clutter, get rid of the junk, and keep myself free and open to the things, people, life experiences, foods, words, music and media that do me and do this body good.
And before you think it… No, that does not mean in any way that I am spiritually bypassing suffering, struggle, deep and hard life lessons or big work.
In fact, it’s just the opposite. I find that when my vessel is pure, I see more clearlynwhat will serve me best, and I don’t run from hard work or hard truths.
Now, the next part of this phrase are the two words “this vessel”.
This vessel is this body-mind-complex in which I walk. Sometimes I lovingly refer to it as my “fancy ride” or my “skin bag”, but whatever you call it, the body is an open container, a “thing” if you will, that receives and holds whatever I either put into it consciously or what enters me when I’m not paying attention. If I’m not careful, my body-mind-complex, my “vessel “ if you will…. will find itself full of all sorts of things that do not serve me and that I don’t want in there!
So this is the whole phrase:
Purify This Vessel.
And it is my way of saying every day… Let’s DO this — and let’s do it right, shall we?
It’s like saying, “may I rise and shine today and everyday… May I bring into my body and mind, anything and everything that keeps me open and clear so that I may be happy peaceful and free… and so that I may do good things in this world.
Ok… Remember I said that I do everything for energy, work, and love? This is an important point to note because these are the three categories that I am constantly trying to optimize:
ENERGY — I want it stable, and I want a lot of it… but in the right amounts and at the right times. I want a lot of energy mid-day and then come night time, I want it to naturally turn itself down, so I can rest and recover in the night.
And then, WORK — I want to do good work in this world… for myself, for others, and for the world.
and finally: LOVE — I want to be a vessel for love. I want to be kind and clear — and sometimes that means a little “sharp”. It’s that I’d much rather “cut to the chase” and get straight to the point. My students and clients know this about me: I don’t dance around things. I go straight to what I see and I speak it. For me, this IS love. Love is direct, honest, and open. It honors the reality that life is short and we don’t have time to dance around Truth. Another thing about love, it is always what serves me first — at a soul level… because I have come to learn in my life that if something is TRULY good for me…… it is good for everyone and everything I touch.
So, let’s get practical:
Here’s an exercise you can do right now: think about it what you bring into your life, your body, your mind and your heart that is helping you — that is good for you. Do it now. Take a few deep breaths and think about your life and what is working for you.
Then take another breath and on the exhale let go of any preconceived judgment, and ask yourself what am I bringing into my life that is not serving me. This is not about being perfect. It’s not to say you never have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. But it gets really clear, really quickly, when you think about how many cups of coffee or glasses of wine you are consuming and how that leaves you feeling some hours after, or the morning after.
Ok, Pretty. Let’s talk strange and wonderful.
Here are five (plus) things I do that are not “normal” but make a world of difference in my effort to balance my body, mind, heart and spirit and optimize my energy, work and love.
#1: I eat my largest meal at the middle of the day. This means that when the sun is high in the sky and the world is experiencing the most activity and the most heat, I align my own body with the rhythm, the heat, and the light of the planet. If I eat my largest meal in the middle of the day — these things are true: I sleep better. I wake more rested. My skin tone is better and more vibrant. I have more energy. I’m happier and I do better work. I don’t need a scientific journal to tell me that this is good or bad or right or wrong. I am my own scientific experiment and I know that this works.
#2: I rise before dawn every morning. Let me repeat: every morning. Not just some of the time but all of the time. Now if I’m sick or something really strange is going on in my life – that’s a different story but on the day today, I rise before dawn seven days a week. Why? Because it is always easier to be 100% committed than 95%. Because if you hold back at all you, the mind is always looking for the exit. But if you say, “I AM IN. I’m doing this!” No exceptions. Amazingly, you just do it. Rising before the sun gives me time to myself, to focus my attention on what’s important to me, to practice gratitude, to prepare myself for my day and my students, and to also feel how my body mine complex feels in comparison to yesterday and the day before and the day before that. In doing so, I witness patterns of energy, vitality, inspiration, body aches and pains, and even anxiety or depression. And by catching all these things early and seeing how they are patterning, I can cultivate more of what works and tend to the things that aren’t working when they are small and insignificant so they don’t get out of hand.
#3: This one might feel morbid. I ask myself frequently, “what if I were to die tomorrow? Am I doing what I want to be doing the day before my death? Am I doing it with the people that I want to be doing it with the day before my death?” And I follow the wisdom that comes from knowing that every given moment is a gift. We never know when our last breath will be, so we might as well live as if it’s right around the corner.
#4: This next one is super practical: Moderation. I eat predominantly vegetables. I don’t eat after 7 PM. Even if that means I skip dinner. I move my body five or six days a week. And I’m not afraid to stay in my pajamas a whole day every once in a blue moon.
#5: I always have fresh flowers in my home. And I prefer ones that are smelly. I love to be surrounded by life, beauty, color, organization, nature’s wonder and joy.
So there you have it! Five things with a few other extra bits thrown in… very “Britt” style.
Here’s the deal: to purify your vessel you have to look at what you’re putting in your body, what you’re bringing in through your five senses: your eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. You simply have to pay attention and you have to choose what helps you rise. There comes a point on every person’s journey we have to drop the fairytale notion that everything we do is going to feel good while we are doing it. We have to recognize that sometimes we have to do what we don’t want to do in order to receive the benefits on the other side.
It is my deep knowing that every human being has within them absolutely everything they need already to rise into their next best and highest evolution . And you, dear One, are no exception. So, today I hope you turn your attention toward the sun. I hope you look at the ways in which you can purify your vessel, rise into your next best and highest evolution, and optimize your energy, your work, and your love… in this one precious life.
And THAT is everything.