How does one describe "a shape of a body" in a world?

Hi, friends!

I had written something last week to share in the aftermath of the U.S. election, but decided not to share it. I wrote it Sunday morning and thought, "COOL, CHECKED THAT BOX," and then I numbly stared off into space without blinking for a while and realized exactly how fried my nervous system was—which is how it stayed for several days. So when I re-read it on Tuesday morning I just knew: "Whoa. Whoa whoa whoa. Slow down. Let’s simmer. Let’s marinate. Let’s just be for a moment." So I'm not going to share what I wrote and here's why.

If you are reading this right now, if you open this newsletter that I have been cobbling together week after week for seven years, it's likely that you are hoping to find some peace of mind or maybe some inspiration. I also think that you trust me, or at least I hope that you do, to always be as honest as I can be. And I do not know if there’s a single sentence I could write regarding the political state of the world ~gestures broadly~ that would come authentically and honestly from my literal actual body that might provide inspiration or peace of mind right now. I am so bundled up with conflicting thoughts, emotions, hopes and anxieties that are largely unprocessed, such that anything I could put out there would undoubtedly come from my brain in a vacuum. That shit goes in my journal only.

What I would prefer not to feel after I hit send on this email is pleased with myself. A little scared is OK, it tells me I'm taking risks. Exhausted is good too, it tells me I was writing in a state of flow. Relieved is also OK, it probably just means I'm too busy though. But the ultimate is connected. I want to feel connected to you all, to all of this.

I keep thinking as I sit down to write: It's such a weird time to be a human. We have such unnatural expectations of each other and it makes it hard to connect. But I also reallllllly want to believe that we are being presented with an incredible opportunity right now and I don't want to go back to sleep even though it's all pretty confusing.

So I went back to the somatic basics. The only technology that hasn't failed me yet, even as it has aged. I have been dancing more, and hiking twice a week, and I went on a somewhat unplanned solo road trip over the last three months that took me out of the desert and into the mountains, to the Redwoods, to the ocean, through the farmlands, and I’ve watched my body take different forms. I don’t mean my physical body shape (like muscles and fat and bones). I mean the shape of my body in the world. I'll explain:

When I first quit my job a little over a year ago (also without a fully baked plan for what exactly I would do), I woke up in the middle of most nights feeling mortified by the shape of my body in the world. It felt like a blob, like a buoy bobbing in an open sea. I wrote this so many times in my journal these words: buoy, bobbing, blob. I felt anonymous, and disconnected and I cried ~all the time~. I'm only starting to understand why I needed to experience this.

Since about July, that shape and context has started changing slowly. My body is beginning to feel more like a node or a synapse, and I've woken up in the middle of the night several times now with the words, "zip zap" in my head, and friends, I don't think those are even words, I think technically they are an onomatopoeia. But to describe the feeling as roots just wouldn't be accurate. I definitely don't feel like I have roots. But I feel like I am picking up more readily on signals, and I'm expanding in relation to them in an organic way. Obviously, I tend to become aware of these shifts in the middle of the night because that's when my rational mind has a backseat. Like, I definitely still get in my head about WTF I am actually doing right now, and will I ever find a place to live for more than 5 weeks at a time and when will I own my own bed again, but I tend to more readily relax into the notion that I'll figure it out and miraculously, abundance seems to chase down those who clearly aren't chasing it.

So that's what's going on with me.

Oh, so back to the somatic basics! I was on a hike the other day in Twin Falls, Idaho when the idea arrived of what I'd like to extend for my next yoga offering. Here is my vision:

You simply show up at the time we meet and your body will move in a way it was designed to hundreds of thousands of years ago. It’s exactly that simple and also that hard. Sometimes we will do a little breath work first. Sometimes we will dance. Sometimes we may do jumping jacks at the beginning. Maybe we will shake our butts. Maybe we will hang out in pigeon for a deliciously weird length of time. Honestly we will just have to see. Your heart rate will probably go up, and you'll definitely use your parasympathetic nervous system.

My approach as a yoga instructor has always been thus: you are your teacher, I just provide a space (and maybe some fun tunes). If I am doing my job correctly, you will leave having not recalled a single word I said, and a deeper sense of knowing. At the very least, you will have spent 45 less minutes scrolling your Twitter feed for the latest news.

What is the goal? To embrace consistency rather than perfection and showing up rather than accomplishing. To become acquainted with the many ways our bodies can move (I tried to Google this number, no answer, let's research it together), and the subtle power of doing it together, primally, which is to say now digitally and virtually even though that part is pretty new to our brains. And yet the power of imagination is not new. So if you’d like to imagine we are all in the same room together, feeling the heat grow a bit with each minute that passes, you can also do that.

I'm calling it "Practice, Not Perfect" because everything needs a name.

If you are down, I'd be freaking delighted to have you. Please fill out this form so I can figure out what days, times and all that jazz makes sense. This is an all-levels, all-bodies, all-degrees of skepticism offering.

See you on the flip side!


~ Virtual Yoga-ish: Practice Not Perfect ~

The format of the class:
- 50 minutes
- Begin with an opening reading/quote/theme 
- All-levels accessible movement with lots of options to build heat, increase blood flow, raise heart rate, followed by savasana
- Close with a guided journaling prompt
- Recording sent if you need to practice at a different time

Fill out this form to join the list and learn more details. Pending interest, I would love to offer the practice 3-5x/week at a rate of $50-75/month to kick off next week. Let's see if stars align! 🌟
~ Yoga Playlist for the People ~

Worth a Listen 🔊

I am all about the audio lately what with all the driving around. A few podcasts I have been loving:

Retreat for the Spiritually Curious 🏜️

My friend and co-host Catherine and I are leading a group of women through a 5-day retreat experience in Sedona, Arizona — complete with Tarot, yoga, meditation, nature hikes, red rocks, delicious food and more.
There are only two more spots, so join us!
Want to buy me a 🥑to keep these newsletters comin'?
Venmo: @kelly-barrett or Paypal:

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