Brain, heart, gut, God.

Hi, friends!

Perhaps you've heard this joke before. The one about the Heart and the Gut walk into a bar, trying to decide what to order. And then the Brain shows up, drunk already — like always. And that's basically the whole joke.
Listen, I never promised it was a good joke. This is not a joke newsletter, I'm a yoga instructor. If I make students laugh too hard they'll end up farting and never come back again.

But it's a timely joke to kick things off for today, because we are going to talk about the THIRD EYE. OOooooohhhhh.

Do you feel it, ya know, the power of your wisdom just emanating from a mystical place, through the center of your eyebrows?

Of course you don't, because that is not how this works. I mean, it maybe does if you're Florence Welch, but not for most of us mortal beings.

The third eye's subtle energy comes across in the form of inner wisdom and spiritual insight. It is the power of visions, seeing connections in seemingly unconnected circumstances, and a sense of "knowing" what the proper course is or what's actually going on, even if others may not see it that way.

I would say that for most of my twenties, I thought I was having my "spiritual" experiences and insights while doing the activities that we often associate with pulling us out of our center. To experience extreme novelty was often a gateway to the "divine" — and the divine wants us to experience pleasure, right? Of course, I'm talking sex, drugs and rock and roll. To perceive something beyond my own experience would require me to basically pull out of myself through numbing or sensation. I hadn't yet figured out these insights were inside me already, as my perception needed fine-tuning. (Fun fact for you Myers-Briggs enthusiasts, I used to be an INTJ for years, and for the past few years have gotten INTP).

Mostly they are easy to overlook, these insights. But lately, I am less inclined to take the subtlety of the third eye for granted. I kind of imagine these insights mostly chilling from within, kind of generally rolling their eyes at my absurdity (that being doom-scrolling, comparing, getting caught up in the hustle, mulling my future as though I have any control over it). They are patient though, these subtleties, and they are happy to wait on their most regal mantle, for the times when I am willing to do the work.

So, what's the work again? It's when I get busy, moving my body (root chakra), playing (sacral chakra), honoring my routines and rituals (solar plexus), meditating on self-compassion (heart), and singing and writing (throat chakra) — these insights will join the party. In my experience, the third eye is somewhat of a misunderstood wallflower in the party of our subtle energy. It's like, no, this party just sucks. Play better music. Invite more interesting people. Serve better food. The third eye knows how to dance. But it's kind of not interested in your BS. That's why it's up so high in the chakra chain.

This brings me to the subject line of today's email. I think when we tussle with the brain, heart and gut dilemma when it comes to decision making, what we are looking at is a conflict of intuition. We hear voices from within, but we aren't sure if these are body-signals (pit in our stomach), brain signals (words that a trusted friend said that are rolling around in our head like a can of soda in the trunk), or heart signals (flutters and warmth). What I've found is that this is a false narrative on decision-making. No single one of these influences or voices is "correct." They all have a seat at the table. And also none of them have a seat, at least for the big stuff, the soul stuff. They all provide details that we can use to make decisions, though. And God is in those details.

I have no other way to think about accessing our inner wisdom other than looking at it as a form of the divine. This is also what Hindu and Buddhist philosophy suggests about this chakra. Every religion throughout the course of time has had some element of right or wrong, good vs. evil, shadow and light, and within that: discernment. This polarity only exists insofar as we can discern among it (and the more you look around, the more you can come to see polarity in nature everywhere which means it's ours for the discerning at every turn). In that sense, we all possess god-like intelligence if we are willing to step into it. "God" *gestures vaguely — however you choose to form a narrative around a higher power, even if that higher power is simply within you — would never have given us choices between right or wrong if she didn't believe we had discernment.

I'll share an exercise in the section below that you can try as you explore this concept of discernment on your own.

Inner wisdom I used to think showed up on the mountains I like to climb and in the various forms of beauty I've experienced, but that is also not exactly the whole thing. On my drive back from McCall, Idaho to Boise this weekend, I stopped at a hot spring and soaked for about an hour, just alone in a pool, staring off at little kids splashing in the distance. Nothing much happened but the soak. I felt the hot hot water, then the cold cold air, and I breathed and simply existed. I felt in that moment that I was exactly where I needed to be. 

But I also felt that sense last week, sobbing quietly beneath my mask in a Walgreens. I had spoken my truth and it had kicked me right back, and I was alive with a feeling of vitality, even in the discomfort of sadness and aching with longing. And I can't explain to you how but I think this is how divine spirit works, it lets the brain and the gut and the heart finally rest just for a brief moment so that you are able to understand why we are here in the first place. So I said, thank you, inner spirit light thing whoever-you-are that reminded me of my capacity to love, even if it brings sadness, because I know I probably needed that cry as a reminder. (Sometimes, the third eye lives in the tear ducts. You don't need to soak in a hot spring. You can have a spiritual experience in a Walgreens.)

And then, I got in the car, and I flipped on the Almost Famous soundtrack, and I hopped right back into my skin once again, to start the whole darn thing all over.


~ Virtual Yoga Offering: 7-Week Chakra Series ~

Tonight's yoga is focused on the third eye. Join us! 

TONIGHT - Tuesday, 7pm ET on Zoom:
Join for yoga at this link:
Passcode: 316377
Bad time? No worries. Send me a note and I'll share the recording.

If you haven't been to any of these, that's OK, you can still join! Last week's flow was on the throat chakra. You can find it here.

Suggested donation is $10/class. Pay what you can!
Venmo: @kelly-barrett or Paypal:
~ This week's Third Eye Playlist ~

Fact-checking your Intuition 📚

OK, let's assume you've done your work of fine-tuning your energy to the best of your human ability. You're grounded with a healthy nutritious meal, you danced around your room, you sang a favorite song, you journaled (I mean this is not an actual checklist but you get the feel pretty in balance), and now you're really trying to tap into your inner wisdom but still feel stuck on a decision.

Write down two of the options and GET SPECIFIC. Remember, God is in the details. Don't be vague and don't round out the edges. I listen to a podcast with Chris Hogan on occasion and he talks about "dreaming in HD." That's basically it, you need to to dream in HD, and then write in HD two of the possible options.

Then, sit down and read the first option in its HD version, and then sit with it and notice. Here is where your gut and your heart can join in (yay!!). How does your belly feel? Your chest? Write that down.

Now, at the bottom of the page for option 1, write two sentences:
Doing this is going make me feel small and limited.
Doing this is going to make me feel free and expansive.

Now look at both of those sentences and use your brain to fact-check them. Which is correct? And which is incorrect?

Scratch out the incorrect sentence, and underline the correct one. Repeat for option 2 just to be sure.

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.

We are ALMOST at capacity for this retreat and I'm getting really excited about it. There are three more spots, and I would love for you to join us!
Want to buy me a 🥑to keep these newsletters comin'?
Venmo: @kelly-barrett or Paypal:

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