“You do not have to be good. You do not have to crawl on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only need to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. … the world calls to you, like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over – announcing your place in the family of things.” – Mary Oliver
Heading home is what they call it when we go back to where we lived, before. But, for me, the places of my past feel more nightmarish than homelike. I didn’t choose to live in Minnesota, didn’t choose the slushy gray snow and biting prairie winds.
Going to the place that nearly broke me, or maybe did in some ways, was not a homecoming.
Spending time with my sister is home in ways that nothing else is. And I realize that, for her, the place is home. She has chosen it and built a life there. I hoped to see it through her eyes, to find beauty and joyfulness in that space.
There were moments of that kind of expansion, that kind of joy. Like my massage-healing-energy work session with Rachel at The Future. The place was magical, her room a liquid oasis of air and ether, glowing with elemental energy.
But then I returned to the home in which I spent six miserably formative years – only briefly, for a quick visit with my dad – and that flood of cold dread closed around my chest like a vice. I thought I had broken that hold years ago, but the nightmares poured into my mind and body with sickening ease.
We drove past my best friend’s childhood home, the place I’d run to with tears streaming down my face – even though that house had its own demons, it was a solace from my own.
We drove past the bowling alley parking lot where I lost my virginity in a drunken nonconsensual car encounter.
The house smelled like smoke and I swear it was in my hair and clothes immediately, like a thundercloud of misery from which I could not hide.
I was in control. I drove myself and my child, I kept my boundaries up high, I did the benevolent “right thing” for a man whose days are wasting away in a cold basement – let him feel our light for as long as I could bear.
You do not have to be good. But I chose to be, and then I got up off of my knees and went to The Future and healed my body and soul. The water of the room cleared away the smoke, washed me clean of nightmares – and the ether of spirit took its place.
And now we are in the air, my little golden haired orb-child, my Starseed, my home embodied. Above the clouds we are flying, and something about the cold crisp too-bright winter sky this high up makes me feel like everything is home.
It’s harsh, and it’s exciting, and it’s calling to me “come home, take your place, the Family is waiting.”
What is it that I love? This. This freedom.
My place is in the sky, among the stars, in the too-bright light. And, though it travels with me, there are some places only freedom can go …. and I belong there as often and as joyfully as possible.
You are so loved. This year has been an evolution, like the dissolution of the caterpillar so she can become. And, like that courageous creature, you too have grown wings.
Last year, you were so afraid. You didn’t want to be “thirty-two.” You were triggered by ghosts of the past, so afraid of losing everything.
You had closed the doors of your studio, the place you had created that was really YOURS. And that was heartbreaking. You didn’t know what your career would bring, didn’t know how to move forward following your dreams. You felt like you had come to the end.
But that’s not what happened – you found a “job,” but it became a dream. You found your soul mate friend and partner, Dawn, and have grown immensely with her. You have been elevated to a leadership position for the GOOD of the community, and have brought yoga and meditation with you into the venture. You’re making a difference every day in ways you didn’t even imagine were possible.
You stumbled. A lot. You drank too much at times, made some poor self-care choices, and had a lot of negative self-talk to heal.
But you returned to your values again and again! You started running, hiked – by yourself – a thousand times, and stayed true to your yoga practice. You spent your entire summer sober, meditative, awake. You held fast to your health and your healing and it has made you strong from the inside out.
You were in love – so deeply – but so afraid of that feeling because you knew it would end in heartbreak. And it did. You crumbled into pieces, yes. You cried yourself to sleep … often … and have been utterly despairing. You doubted yourself, the gods, your practices – yet you held on, blindly, and stumbled forward through the pain until you finally made it out of that cave.
You brought your god(dess)-son for a long awaited trip to see you. The time you spent together was magic for the entire world, from the conversations you had to the silence you shared – you will never be the same for that sacred connection.
You made a trip back to your roots, back to the place you were born, to parts of yourself that were wrapped up in your mother and everything you didn’t want to touch – and it was beautiful. You healed even deeper, reconnected with your family and your SELF. Spent time with a woman who embodies “strong,” and took that courage home with you.
The growth you’ve experienced this year has been nurtured by the crumbled pieces of what you released. Your pain led you into the woods, your tears broke open the faith you had lost … you learned to believe even when you couldn’t see the path, couldn’t hear my voice through the static in your head.
Did you know, before, how much faith it takes to become? Did you know, before, what it means to dissolve, in the dark, hoping for wings but not knowing how to fly?
And it dawned on you at some point that you did not need permission to become, didn’t it? One day you awoke and said, “I will not wait – not for my lover, not for an agent or a publisher, not even for my Destiny. I create this life. I love myself. I am more than enough.” And you began.
You hired an editor, and rewrote your story again (and again). You began sharing it with the world, and – to your delight and amazement – the world is responding with love. Your work is being seen, heard, rewarded.
You decided to love yourself the way you deserve. You date yourself, spoil yourself, continue to prioritize self-care, health, meditation, and your loves of skiing, running, hiking – solo and blissful. You are the one you have been waiting for your whole life, and you’re glowing with the love you feel.
Yes, Brittany …. it is happening. I know there are answers you still crave, dreams on the cusp of manifesting, and sorrow steeped in hope for things you are yet unwilling to relinquish. And that’s okay – these things are part of the journey.
You are becoming fluid in the way of Destiny, and each step or stumble forward is perfect.
The thing about flying is … it’s in us all along. You don’t need to fear, dearest, because your heart knows the way.
You were always meant to become; I am so happy you have come to believe in it, as well.
Your Highest Self
How long did it take you to write? – most asked question about Finding Starlight
The honest answer is that it took my entire life, and a few days, and a few years. I knew from the time I was a child that I wanted to write, and that the first book would be the story of the life I’d lived. I have been putting pen to paper, creating stories, poetry, and philosophies since I was seven years old; since I was nine, I have been reading and speaking these words in front of crowds.
Some people spend their lives trying to figure out their Purpose. Living my life, and telling that story, is mine. I’ve always known it. Of course, there’s more to this than just . . . talking about myself. Every fire I have walked through, every time I almost died, every tear I ever cried – these were all allegories of human expansion.
I’ve experienced many traumas with an air of separation from them. This is not necessarily like the traumatic response of disassociation, but, rather, the meditative objectivity of witness consciousness. People have told me that I’m strong, resilient, wise, and even lucky. But I think it’s something else, something more Destined than that.
Nearly everything I’ve endured, I have simultaneously experienced and witnessed. I have been the “victim” while holding onto compassion for the aggressor/abuser. I have loved those who hated me the most – and I still do. I have written about things immediately after they happened with forgiveness dripping from my pen. There’s hardly a piece of prose I’ve created that didn’t end with hope; the very telling of it heals me.
I believe I came here to live through these things on Purpose, as my Purpose, to be able to relate to millions of others – to reach millions of people in their darkness. Why that matters is only just now becoming clear to me
“Not all of us are as brave as you are to share such private moments and memories with the world. You are a strength for those of us who are not strong enough to talk about their issues. Thank you.” – direct message on FaceBook from a person I’d never spoken to before in my life
… and so, so many more like this have come through. People saying to me, “I’ve been through this, too, and hearing your story helps. A lot.”
How long did it take me to get here? Many, many years. My first attempt to start the book was in 2008 when I moved to St. Croix USVI; however, I wasn’t finished living it. When I moved to New Hampshire in 2012, I met a woman named Katrina who would take me on a past-life journey to the center of my soul. The transcript of that session became the basis of Finding Starlight.
I wrote the first 35,000 words over the course of a couple days in a very Hunter S. Thompson style inspirational rage, with clove cigarettes and Caribbean rum on repeat while I sat on my sunny porch, fingers flying over the keys. Then, a few years passed and I shifted my focus to founding an international nonprofit, having a child, and becoming a yoga teacher, healer, and business owner.
Finally, in 2015, I returned to those original 35,000 words. Telling the rest of the story took me a couple months, into the next year, and then I sent it out to my first round of readers. Twelve dedicated, contracted-to-secrecy, cheerleader & critic readers poured over my sloppy first draft and gave thorough feedback, which I would then sit on for a few months and incorporate into the second draft, which a second, smaller focus group reviewed. Another rewrite and I began querying agents in 2017.
The first dozen agents I queried either rejected or ignored me. I sat with my sense of unworthiness for a while, then ran an indiegogo campaign to self-publish. Many people, over two-dozen of you, contributed. I raised enough money to hire a professional editor, and did so.
That edit took place over the summer, and came back much more promising than I’d anticipated. I sat with those edits, then simultaneously incorporated them and came up with this Rupi Kaur -inspired “shameless publicity stunt” idea to read the entire thing aloud here on the internet one chapter at a time, while I continue to query agents and hope to get discovered.
“I don’t know exactly what a prayer is,” Mary Oliver wrote, “I do know how to be idle and blessed . . . which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done?”
I don’t know exactly what I’m doing or why. But I do know it’s moving people. I do know it’s healing my wounds even more deeply than ever before, and that when we heal ourselves, we heal the world.
Tell me . . . what else should I have done? What other story should I tell, than the one of my wild and precious life?
At one point in my life, I wondered why I had to go through so much sh*t. Now, I get it. People keep saying to me, “I can relate to your story.”
. . . and as awful as it is that you can relate (I am so, so sorry) – it’s also suddenly apparent to me that my endurance over these many traumas has become the very gift I have to offer the world.
If I had gone through just one or two things, I’d still be pretty relatable to tens of thousands – perhaps even millions – of people. But the statistics on what I’ve experienced are staggering (I just realized), AND suddenly my overwhelming desire to be on a global platform, telling my story to MILLIONS of people, makes a whole lot of sense.
Did you know:
1 in 6 women have been sexually assaulted? – so have I.
21 million Americans are addicted to something? – so was I.
140 million children in the world are orphans? – so am I.
2.9 million (reported) US children are victims of abuse each year? – so was I.
1 in 30 children were homeless (at the historic height) in America? – so was I.
43.8 million adults suffer from at least one mental illness in the US? – so do I.
And my book, “Finding Starlight,” tells the story of all of that and more. It’s the ultimate #metoo. This is the story of my darkness, yes, but also how I have healed through it all – and believe me, if I can heal, you can, too.
Why do I care so much? Why do I so badly want Reese Witherspoon and Ellen DeGeneres to discover me? Because MILLIONS of people are out there suffering, just like I did! And I just know – in my soul – that I can offer a different perspective, an opportunity to heal, some inspiration to look for the light. Or, at the very least, I can show them that they are not alone in it. None of us are.
I have risen, again and again, out of the ashes of despair, of my own mistakes, of all the sh*t other people did to me – and I wouldn’t take back a single experience. I wouldn’t un-cry a single tear. I would do it all again – and, in a way, telling my story, I kind of am.
Why do I care so much?
Because I love you. I’ve been there, falling apart in the dark. I’m not afraid of diving right back into the darkness, grabbing every single hand, catching every single tear . . . bringing every single person (who is willing) back to the light within themselves.
I have lived every moment of my life for this.
I’ve decided to take publicizing and sharing my book, Finding Starlight, into my own hands. It’s a little crazy. Here’s how I explained it on FaceBook:
🖤 I’m about to do something kinda crazy 🖤
My book, “Finding Starlight,” is just about done – final edit in progress. And I’m about to share it with the world, for real.
Do I have an agent? Not yet.
Is it published? Ha. Nope.
Will I still self-publish? Perhaps. Time will tell.
But I’m going to read it to you anyway.
Very soon, you’re going to see 🎥 live videos from me here and on insta.
Once weekly, I’m going to read an ENTIRE CHAPTER of “Finding Starlight,” aloud, on live video, to whoever is watching. Then I’ll post it to YouTube for those who missed it.
Now …. this is crazy for a couple of reasons, which I shall attempt to list here:
😴 a whole chapter is a long video; some would say too long. Idfc.
🤫 there are some deep dark secrets, including criminal activities, which are revealed in these pages. Talk about vulnerable, eh, Brené Brown?
🤬 ^^ I’m about to piss off some people.
🤑 then there’s the whole argument of money. Why would anyone buy a book they can listen to for free? (Uh …. because I doubt millions of people are going to listen to 29+ YouTube videos when they can just buy a book, but who am I to say?)
…. so why would I do this, you ask? Because:
🤩 I think this will help me build interest and even a bit of a … dare I say … cult following for the book (cult like Rocky Horror Picture Show, not like the kool aid guy)
😎 I’m ready to go viral and be discovered by my girl Reese’s Book Club already, and this seems just crazy enough to work, amirite?
😘 I wrote this book for YOU, the people! It’s not meant to sit in a computer file, not to be read until someone thinks it’s good enough – it’s time to share it NOW! Love fest.
So there ya have it. A promise from me to you. Stay tuned and let’s see what my risky obnoxious optimism and undying self-belief can achieve. 💪
You can find the replay of these videos now here on this website, or on YouTube, or on my FaceBook page. If you like it, please share it – especially with Reese Witherspoon. Thanks 🙂