There, I said it.
And everywhere I look these days, someone is vying for my attention. They want my vote. They want my money. They want my commitment. And I'm tired of hearing empty promises (followed by big asks) from people who don't walk the walk. Talk all day long about how you can heal me, help me, coach me, teach me... but a little sniffing around on social media, listening to your podcast interviews, and reading every email you've sent me?
Yeah. It all feels empty.
That's the thing about yoga — as I've consistently practiced all aspects of movement and stillness, I've become sensitive to people around me. My discernment improves daily. My attention is mastered and re-mastered all the time. I've become more equanimous in daily life — like the eye of the hurricane.
With consistent practice, and increased sensitivity to truth, authenticity in marketing sings out like church bells on a quiet day. Fake news wears a neon sign that says NOT WORTH YOUR TIME. And sales pitches? I'll be blunt: I don't really care what you offer. I care how you — the teacher — live your life. And if I like how you live, and if I want what you're offering, then sign. me. up.
Sean and I watched Our Social Dilemma on Netflix the other night — and I relearned what I already knew: Social media is wild.
Our newsfeeds aren't filled with our preferences like a tack board or a scrapbook. They're carefully curated to keep us glued to our devices, and surrounded with stories from people who think exactly like we do. With algorithms designed with one goal in mind (to learn everything about us), lest we forget:
Our attention is our most valuable currency.
Sean and I had a conversation about goats' milk the other day. A day later, what shows up on Sean's feed? He was offered an ad for a book about...
Wait for it...
... milking goats.
NAILED IT. We know these things happen — we know the algorithms are working and we laugh when we get profiled in situations like this. (No Mom, we're not getting goats.) And yet, as people who know things about things, how do we approach this from a yogic perspective?
Last week, I dreamt worms came out of a tiny hole on my stomach.
Anytime Sean and I share our dreams with one another, we Google possible meanings. And although there are a lot of weird “meanings” of dreaming about worms, the one that resonated with me the most (yes, I get to choose!) is the release of negativity. As in, something that you were holding onto — that ultimately wasn’t part of your true nature — was finally ready to get the heck out of you.
Or me, I guess!
Today happens to be Sean and my 9th wedding anniversary (!), and I can’t help but think the worms, and this new chapter — especially our massive undertaking building guest cabins for Arctic Hive... it's our do-over.
In 2017, Sean and I built a small cabin on our property in Montana and filmed for a TV show, Building Off Grid, which still airs on Discovery Channel today.
One of our current teacher trainees described her mood this past weekend: She woke up feeling like a dragon, breathing fire… that so resonated with me. Fiery energy has been abundant in my emotional world lately, and unfortunately, it has been literally abundant in the Pacific Northwest as the wildfires rage on.
So as Blaine and I sat down this past week to plan our annual fall 21-day challenge for Yoga Hive, we were tossing around themes, acknowledging what had been coming up lately. What do we need more of as 2020 draws to a close? What turns chaos and fire into something useful?
The answer was simple: Joy.
Journey into Joy.
Because fire has been present in our day-to-day, it’s been burning up so many things we were ready to let go of, and we’ve found so much space for new things. New pathways. New adventures. Our willingness to detach and discover joy in every moment has never been so fulfilling, and necessary.
The truth is: Joy is power.
Mid-day in the arctic, as I was walking down our access trail, I heard a resounding THUD from behind me.
Then a groan.
Sean wiped out on a piece of muddy plywood, right on his tailbone. Ouch!
My instinct was to chuckle, ONLY because the same darn thing had happened to me just days earlier. What a mess! (Note: Sean is fine!)
At that point, we’d tried so many different solutions to patch together a workable access trail. When the permafrost is exposed without the tundra above, it melts and it's unstoppable. Likewise, tundra is important because it insulates and protects the frozen layer. The definition of an access trail is moving over tundra, so this is a natural obstacle. In the bottom photo below, Sean holds a chunk of ice we dug out from a few inches beneath the tundra as we were selecting the sites for the cabins — literally, a hunk of ice from a mass that can exist as deep as 2,000 feet beneath the surface!
With an abundance of water running down the hillside (which leads to mud) and so many trips back and forth hauling in materials (which also leads to mud), we created a bit of a (no surprise here) muddy mess.
Master Classes aren’t just for experienced yogis—they are for anyone willing to push their asana practice behind the scope of a standard class. These 90-minute workshops will help you understand the physical preparation that leads up to a pose — as always, yoga meets you where you’re at right now.
In this 90-minute workshop, Brittany will begin with a Vinyasa Flow to warm your body from head to toe in preparation for Wheel Pose! The flow will focus on spinal strength AND flexibility, demonstrating how each of us are made in a unique way and the magical experience that comes with connecting with a part of our anatomy — our spine — that holds us together!
After your body has been safely warmed up, Brittany will break down specific techniques you can use, many of which are against a wall, to work on opening up your spine even further as you prepare for wheel pose, or any advanced heart opener. Finally, we will work specifically with Wheel Pose and take time to observe the sensations and emotions that arise in our body and mind! We will close with a juicy Savasana to let all the back bending settle.
Cost: $25 for non-members and monthly unlimited members get 50% off! If you're a member, email Brittany@yogahivemontana.com and she will register you with the discount included using your card on file!
Sean and I have been making trips up and down Alaska’s Haul Road recently, bringing building materials to hand-build off-grid cabins for Arctic Hive guests up here in Wiseman, 63 miles north of the arctic circle. Driving 7 hours (each way!) away from civilization into the heart of the Brooks Range means I have to stock up on podcasts each time we make the trip.
Enter ZigZag, with Manoush Zomorodi. I love this podcast and earlier this week, I listened to an older episode where she interviewed Jennifer Petriglieri, author of Couples That Work. Although Jennifer was speaking primarily to marriage with two people who are both working, I believe her research supports all relationships concerned — business, friendship, family, etc. Her research proves that couples go through three distinct transitions together. And not just some couples — ALL COUPLES, across the board. If they don’t make it through one of three transitions, the relationship doesn’t work out.
Grandpa checked out of his body in the early morning hours of July 4th. He was NINETY years old, which is incredible — nearly a century of life! I was asked to write his obituary, so I was able to have an intimate conversation with my grandmother in remembrance of him and everything he stood for.
The whole experience got me thinking about the past… and how it shapes our experience of the present.
For me, one of my favorite parts of my past — specifically being from Wisconsin — is all the weird phrases people from Wisconsin say. When my own Midwest slang occasionally pops up in a conversation, I’m accustomed to the silent, confused stare and I quickly clarify. But when I first moved out west, I had no idea these phrases were so regional! I remember the first time I realized not everyone says “a horse a piece” or “geez louise” or calls a Pontoon Boat a “float boat.” I couldn’t believe it!
There’s a hilarious comedian named Charlie Berens that has built his career on this — I’m just going to link these words in case you want a good laugh along with instructions on my grandpa’s favorite cocktail, the Old Fashioned. That video is actually what family gatherings sound like sometimes! This week, I learned one of Grandpa’s phrases was “Sprinkle the Infield!” which he would use when instructing a bartender to buy a round of drinks for everyone at the bar. I love that, and I love how it speaks to the sort of guy my grandfather was.
I have a family member that I love to debate with. Whenever I visit him, politics come up — and normally this is where everyone’s heart skips a beat and the eggshells come out. Not for me! I love the opportunity to voice my view and listen to his. He and I know we’ll "agree to disagree,” but on a deeper level, both of us enjoy the chance to share viewpoints and be heard.
To me, those conversations with family (where I know my viewpoint won’t change anyone’s mind) are practice... practice for when I really need the words to make an impact elsewhere. As a yoga teacher and a writer, I know I need to practice getting my words out whenever I have the chance. The more often I try them out, the more likely they are to carry conviction when they matter most.
In those conversations, I’m detached from the idea of converting anyone, so I’m generously listening. Rather than mentally formulating my next point while he's talking, I’m hearing his view. When I speak, I try to speak to him (based on what he said), rather than AT him... I modify what I say so that he might be able to hear me. And regardless of the outcome, I chalk the whole experience up as a chance to brush up on my listening skills, practice tailoring my words, and ultimately learning how to love my family members for who they are with whatever beliefs they have in that moment.
It’s hard to know where to begin.
Things are hard and messy these days — there’s no debate on that. The current wave of urgency to act NOW is a familiar feeling for me. After I met Sean, I started my journey as an advocate for people with type 1 diabetes. (I am not comparing chronic disease to civil rights, nor am I implying this makes me some “authority” in today’s world… this is just how my story begins).
Nine years ago this month, Sean and I were on our first trip to Whitefish, Montana. I remember telling friends and family that nothing could stop us from moving there as soon as possible.
The only thing holding us back? We had to figure out health insurance.
Since I’ve known him, Sean has lived with type 1 diabetes — an autoimmune disease with no cure where your body doesn’t produce insulin, the hormone needed for survival and to take in nutrients from food. His pancreas is broken. He didn’t cause this for himself. It just… happens.
In other words: He has a preexisting condition.
Mollie Busby is the owner of Yoga Hive, and writes inspirational musings for our newsletter, which we post here, along with upcoming trainings and workshops. To filter, navigate using the links above to see the category you're interested in. If you have questions, or wish to get in touch with Mollie, drop in to a class, or connect online: