What is the definition of success?

180374_1687781788541_6341673_nRebecca Rogers in discussion with Bristol Baughan on the power of vulnerability and redefining success.

+ Don’t Miss Rebecca & Bristol at Light Your Fire & Keep It Lit
New Year Retreat at Ratna Ling Retreat Sanctuary (Jan 15 – 17, 2016)
A few spots remain! Learn more & Get Your Spot.

RR: In full disclosure to our readers, I am excited to be co-facilitating a New Year Retreat in Northern California together with you that combines yoga with goal coaching and life coaching. To give people a little background, you and I have known each other since freshman year of college (almost half a lifetime ago! Oops, did I say that out loud?). You’ve come a long way since your corporate days and I am curious to know what success looks like for you today.  

BB: I am sure there are similar moments in every generation where we get to a certain age and collectively give the middle finger to convention. Right now I see this happening all over and I believe the definition of success is undergoing a pretty radical makeover. Success has traditionally been defined by another person’s perception of you (and it’s all good… “likes” are nice). I had a blast for most of my 20s while I was on a mission to change the world. Then in my early 30s, I experienced a profound sense of disconnection and loneliness. It is amazing how life can break us open to what is possible. As I tried out things like yoga and Buddhism and orgasmic meditation, somewhere deep down I knew that life wasn’t just about getting “likes.”

Today I consider success as playing your best game, at your highest level, with an open and loving heart, and without any misunderstanding that what you do is who you are. Success is about letting your heart break open again and again to love. Success is about letting all of life touch you: the dark and the light. The only way to do this is to inquire within, to surrender your armor, and practice vulnerability in every moment.

RR: You are now in your third year of a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica (USM). Has this played a role in your own personal healing process and how has this informed the work you do? 

BB: I usually describe my master’s in Spiritual Psychology as learning how to do therapy with myself. I also call it AA for Judgeaholics. USM is a school where you can inquire into the beliefs you carry and figure out what is working and not working for you. I love this quote by Rumi: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” I’ve been healing the barriers within myself (this work is ongoing, of course) and now this is what I support others in doing for themselves.

RR: What does “getting vulnerable” mean to you and why is this important when we are looking to create change or a shift in our lives?

BB: Vulnerability is the language of the soul. The armor we build up inside ourselves actually blocks us from the connection that all of us seek in our jobs, our relationships, our personal or spiritual growth, etc. but if we learn how to speak the language of vulnerability, it can be a powerful cure for whatever ails us (Brene Brown’s TED talk, The Power of Vulnerability, has over 22 million views for a reason).

RR: Many people coming on our New Year retreat in Northern California are especially intrigued by the “Inner Astronauts coaching sessions” that you will be leading. Can you give an example of what they can expect and what they might hope to get out of it?

BB: A life coach, like any athletic coach, works with people who want to play their best game. That is what I do. I use a combination of modalities including self-inquiry, mindfulness, visualization, therapy and somatic techniques to support people in harnessing their life experience and applying it to their purpose in the world.  I’ve worked with tech entrepreneurs to own their power and successfully raise millions of dollars, as well as men and women transitioning from a job they dislike to a career of purpose. As a life coach, using the tools of spiritual psychology and also drawing from my own personal experiences, it is my greatest honor to witness people take off their armor and get vulnerable.

RR: Do you personally have a regular yoga or mindfulness practice? How does yoga fit into the work that you do, or how does this work fit into a yoga framework?

BB: I try my best to do yoga at least 2-3x per week and believe that our body and our senses are how we experience the world. For all of my clients I cannot stress enough the importance of getting into your body.

I believe we are spiritual beings having a human experience, and how we experience life is em-bodied. Yoga means union, union with yourself and the divine (same-same in my opinion). What you do on your mat during a yoga class is totally up to you. Honoring your body, checking in, uniting with the quiet voice of love that is always there just waiting for you to pay attention.

RR: For people who are interested in learning more, do you have any resources, lessons or advice that you would recommend to them?

BB:

Oh Jeez, so many. Yes, my favorite book right now is “Who Dies?” by Stephen and Ondrea Levine. Check out Byron Katie at the TheWork.com. You can watch my TEDx talk on Surviving the Cult of Hard Work. I also post random resources online, on Facebook and Instagram.

+ Don’t Miss Rebecca & Bristol at Light Your Fire & Keep It Lit
New Year Retreat at Ratna Ling Retreat Sanctuary (Jan 15 – 17, 2016)
A few spots remain! Learn more & Get Your Spot.


About the authors:

picture-5REBECCA ROGERS is an experienced yoga instructor in the San Francisco Bay Area whose classes are often described as strong, fun, and inspirational. Rebecca believes in the power of yoga to awaken each of us to a greater sense of purpose, and in the power of nature to help us connect more deeply to the world around us, engage in more meaningful relationships, and experience life to the fullest! Rebecca’s classes build strength, body awareness and flexibility through an integration of breath work, creative sequencing and precise alignment. Classes are safe for newer students and challenging for more experienced yogis, and include hands-on adjustments, descriptive cues, and individualized attention. Rebecca is also Director of Program Development for Off the Mat, Into the World, which is the premiere nonprofit organization working within the yoga community to develop effective and sustainable leadership skills and bridge yoga with service and activism. Learn more about Rebecca at www.rebeccarogersyoga.com

Bristol-113BRISTOL BAUGHAN is an Emmy-winning and Oscar-Nominated filmmaker, author, and private coach. She spent her 20s hustling after external validation, got it, and realized it wasn’t so fulfilling after all. She then went on a journey around the world sampling what she calls the Souplantation of spirituality, from Buddhism, to Tantra, to Spiritual Psychology, in an effort to discover why we are here. She reports from the front lines of inner space in an effort to create a more loving world. Bristol is currently writing a book with her mother about freedom from inter-generational patterning called “Permission”, a coffee table memoir called “Judge-a-holic”, and facilitating vulnerability workshops at TED and like-minded conferences and retreats. Bristol believes we are all here to learn and wake up to our personal legend. Learn more about Bristol at www.innerastronauts.com.

 

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