Live Well - Britt B Steele

I wonder, sometimes… when I am alone in the dark quiet of the mornings if I stand solo in my thinking.  I wonder if the way the world feels to me is just happening inside my little “skin bag”, or if you, too, feel like everything is just so hard… like the world is out there spinning madly out of control, wars and raids, guns and laws, drugs and exorbitant medical costs.  

Is it just me?

Listen, I am generally a superbly positive person, but I’m having a hard time seeing clear evidence that things are moving in a good direction, but that instead, the only way the world’s gonna get better is WE get better.  As if to say, we really really need to put our heads down and get to work — that we each need to realize that if this world is going to have any peace, it’s you and me who are going to have to be the ones to BRING IT. 

If you’ve been with me for a while, you know that I’ve spoken for a decade or more about “living your yoga”…. And I don’t want to lose you if you’re not into yoga… just hang in there, ok?  Because yoga isn’t what you think… it’s gotten all twisted (no pun intended)… but let me explain: The word “yoga” means to live in alignment — in accordance — not discord — with your values, your dreams, your visions for the future…. It means to bring your “inside world” and your “outside world” into some sort of harmony…. To “put your bones out”, as my teacher says — as if to say that the way you live in the dark is the same as you live when the lights are on… no split personality… no smiling for the camera and then yelling at your partner.  

No.  Living your yoga — in the truest sense is living in a way where everything you are and do are at in alignment with love.  

Now, to do this, to be clear, is no easy feat… and I can’t tell you HOW to do, but I can tell you (and you can bet that I will tell you) what works for me and helps me get through the dark.

First, the bad news:  You gotta know that it is fully and entirely an INSIDE job.   

All alignment worth having begins, exists, and ends WITHIN. 

Within YOU.  

So, I am going to share with you what I call the 12 Touchstones of Living Your Yoga…  I’m going to lay them out briefly here… and then you can download them as a graphic and I’ll teach you through a simple exercise that will help you figure out how to bring more alignment into your life.  It’s super simple, I promise.  

Ok.   These are the twelve touchstones.  Now remember — you can listen on the podcast or you can read on the blog — so you don’t have to hustle to write them down if you are listening via podcast… because its all in the blog (and if you’re reading this it’s obvious.)

So the first one is simple.   


#1.  MOVE YOUR BODY.  

It’s essentially that :: MOVE IT.  Hike, walk, practice yoga, dance,… but don’t just sit there…. You NEED to get yourself moving in order to move out stagnant blood, keep your bones and muscles strong, and flood your body with good bio-chemicals / antidepressants / oxygen and SO much more.  Movement is LIFE, y’all.  


#2: PURIFY MY VESSEL.

This one implies that YOU are the vessel… and to purify it you gotta eat clean, limit alcohol, caffeine, sugar, wheat, dairy and anything else that causes inflammation, numbs you out, dumbs you down, or wreaks havoc on your digestion.  Further, you gotta put REAL stuff on your skin and hair — no petroleum based products and no junk.   It may sound absurd, but your ability to digest food is the same digestive system that processes the craziness of this world… so you gotta be clean, clear and ready for whatever comes your way, and the way to do that is to get and to stay PURE.  


#3: JOIN CONSCIOUS COMMUNITY.

This one is two fold — you either get to look out into the world and start averaging yourself up by spending more time with people that you admire and are living in a way that you would like to be living — with more consciousness, presence, and alignment OR you gotta bring the consciousness where it is lacking… that dinner table, that fund raiser, that gas pump, that meet and greet…. This world isn’t always going to be full of all the good stuff you long for, so if consciousness is what you want, YOU, dear one… sometimes gotta  BRING IT. 


#4: FIND SACRED SPACE.  

This is a huge one… because anything that is sacred is right (or at the least it’s not “bad”).  Just because something doesn’t feel “right” doesn’t mean it’s wrong or needs to become something different, improved or fixed.  To truly be sacred  is to say something is enough as it is:  Whole. Holy.  Good…. And quite honestly, we could do ourselves a whole lot of good if we did a better job of loving what is — as it is.  

The second part of this is you aren’t “making it” or “creating it”. You are finding it.  Meaning its already there… everywhere… you just got soften your gaze and look for what is beautiful and all right, already, and everywhere. 


#5: ALIGN WITH NATURE.  

You, dear One, are made of the same five elements :: earth, water, fire, air and ether, of which, the entire cosmos are made— so what this essentially means is that when you connect to the earth (go outside, go barefoot, lie on the grass), the water (swim, take a bath, walk in the rain, anoint your brow with creek water), the fire (let the morning sun kiss your face, sit under the stars, light a candle in the dark morning hours), air (let the wind touch your skin, crack a window while you sleep, or take a deep breath), and ether (align yourself with the light of the day and the dark of the night, and pay attention to the moon cycles and your own cycles of energy and mystery) you  have the highest possible propensity to be grounded, fluid, able to digest anything that comes your way, inspired, and to truly trust the mystery of life.   We aren’t messing around here, peeps.  You are not living ON this earth, you are OF this earth (and all the other elements).   


#6: BE BREATHED. 

This is a great one!  This means that living isn’t a heavy burden you need to carry… it means that if you fall asleep (literally or metaphorically speaking) you are still held, you still have access — at the very least — to inspiration and to being held by something bigger than yourself.  You are not just the one who breathes… you are also being breathed!  So allow it!  Allow yourself to “be breathed” by that which is so much bigger than you…. And trust you are ok. 


#7: REST AND REFLECT.  

Some of our greatest teachers come between learnings.  When we learn to rest and to reflect, we learn that we are truly able to access our greatest wisdom not while packing our heads and hearts full of knowledge, but instead in the space and quiet moments between.  It is so rare for us to take pause between projects, experiences, even losses… and it is when we rest and reflect that we truly learn from our unconsciousness and move intelligently forward in our lives. 


#8. NOURISH MY BUDDHI.  

So this is a play on words… because we often say “nourish my body” but your body is merely a vehicle — a fancy ride that carries your “buddhi” as the yogi’s would say… through this life.  Your Buddhi is your “wisdom self” if you will — the one who always knows the best choice for you in every single given moment…. So, to nourish your Buddhi is to nourish the divine wise self within — always & all ways. 


#9: ALTAR MY CONSCIOUSNESS.  

Another play on words, for this “altar” is spelled “a-l-t-a-r” as if to say there is a physical place and space where you, then, go… each and every day to alter, “a-l-t-e-r” the trajectory of your life and the way in which you move through the world.   I choose to offer it to you this way because, as Joseph Campbell taught for decades, there is a sacred space, that if we go to it, every day, we will both be able to compare and contrast our energy, focus, and successes from one day to the next, but it also becomes the place and space where you will see yourself making shifts and changes and witnessing your very own evolution, and it is in the seeing that you awaken choice.


#10: SYMPHONIZE MY HEART.  

This is a sweet one, in so far as it connects us to sound, and to silence.  We live in a world packed sooo full of sound, and quite frankly so darn much “noise”.  To symphonize your heart is to bring your inner world in congruence with your outer world, and to move beyond cacophony (which shares the same root as the word chaos), into a state of integration of past, present, and future, what live has provided you, and what you hoped would have happened, and who and what you’ve been, with what is, and what is longing to move through you.  It’s sweet, really…. And we activate this one by singing, chanting, sounding and connecting to healing music.


#11: AWAKEN THROUGH ASANA. 

This one.  #11, circles you back to the first connect of “living your yoga”…. Because, as you notice, the first time I actually and consciously bring you to the yoga mat is on the 11th of the 12 Touchstones.  This is where you go to the mat consciously — not for fitness, not to get the yoga butt, or just to be able to do that fancy pose, but instead to truly use what you do on the mat to cultivate presence, calm, strength and stability in life, AND to be able to move through your life, knowing that if you are in need of something more… call it patience, focus, balance or stability…. That there is absolutely something you can do on your yoga mat to bring you just THAT.   


#12: WORSHIP MY WAY HOME.  

Finally, this is perhaps the most important and also the most mysterious and evasive.  Worship my way home is to acknowledge that absolutely everything in this life is divine — without exception. In the yogic tradition, there is nothing that is NOT part and parcel of a much bigger plan laid out by something that is not a “someone” with a name and face, but instead, a formless, nameless cause of the entire universe…. And when we enter into this awareness, we realize that we are also made of said, “god dust” and that everything that ever has been in this life and world, everything that is or could be, and everything that ever might or will be… is part of a huger than huge “divine” plan that our puny little brains simply cannot fathom. Therefore, to “worship” my way h{om}e is to recognize that this life is fully and undoubtedly sacred.


Ahhhhhh…. Take a deep breath with me, and let’s review these: 

Move my body.  

Purify my vessel.

Join conscious community.

Find sacred space.

Align with nature.

Be breathed.

Rest and reflect.

Nourish my Buddhi.

Altar my consciousness.

Symphonize my heart.

Awaken through asana. 

Worship my way h{om}e.


These are the 12 Touchstones…. And they are foundational for finding our way through this crazy, unpredictable world.   Maybe the words are different than you’ve heard before, perhaps the way and/or order in which you apply them is also different, but essentially — it is these ways of activating conscious presence of body, mind, heart, and spirit through our relationships, intentions and activities that we come to be balanced, steady, conscious and impactful good people in this world, and in this life. 

So, if you’d like to know more…. I invite you to head on over to brittbsteele.com/touchstones and get a downloadable graphic version of these 12 Touchstones.  There, you can cut them out, and literally organize them based upon what you feel are the touchstones that will make the biggest and most profound difference in your life…..

XOm, 

Britt


Next Steps::

12 Touchstones to Living Well

Yoga and Meditation

Live Well

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LOVE PREACHER.
TRUTH SPEAKER.
LAMP HOLDER.

Hi, I'm Britt.
I've been described as a "yogini with some serious chops -- a wholehearted devotee who walks in the world precisely as she teaches".

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Britt hosts retreats and online immersions for women seeking healing, heart and vitality. 

The hardest part is knowing where to start

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