Happy Monday! I have such a great interview for you all today. Britt Deanda and Tara Schulenberg, co-founders of Elevate the Globe, were kind enough to allow me to ask them some questions about their spiritual journey, kundalini yoga practice, experience with John of God and of course their new podcast that LAUNCHES WEDNESDAY! Grab a booch & enjoy their interview. xx Erica
I am so grateful to have you both on my blog. Can you tell the BYOK community a little bit about yourselves? Let’s start with you, Britt.
Britt:I’m Britt, and was born in San Diego and I grew up mostly in Temecula from the age of 3 until I left for college to Chico State in Northern California! I grew up spending all of my summers in Victoria, BC in Canada where my Mom was from and so I always said I was half Canadian ha! After my parents divorce I found healing in Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul and I would do seances with friends and play with candles and incense and tapped into my spirituality at a young age.
Tara and I met in ballet class when we were in middle school and dancing was my favorite thing to do and was a great place to get out all of my excess energy- I have always been full of it! In college I started drinking a lot and although it was an amazing experience overall and I am so grateful for it and all of my friends that became like family there, I developed some unhealthy habits and coping mechanisms in alcohol, some drugs and codependent relationships. After college I moved to LA and continued the party in the Hollywood club scene where I met my now husband, Justin.
Thorough a break up with Justin and my unhealthy habits getting the best of me, I found myself in a Kundalini yoga class at Equinox West Hollywood with my teacher Colin Kim, whose work changed my life forever. I started finding peace and noticing changes after going to a couple classes and I kept going every week, then twice a week, and then almost every day. I started to become less interested in partying and more interested in myself and yoga and meditation and a clean, healthy lifestyle.
Justin and I ended up repairing and rebuilding our relationship after we had both done a lot of inner work and healing and started a new beautiful path together. Personally, my journey of teaching and wanting to give back through teaching what had transformed my life began when I took Kundalini teacher training at Yoga West LA and I started sharing about it on instagram and started High Vibe Livin. Through losing my Mom to cancer 2 ½ years ago and giving birth to our daughter Everest and being a Mama, my passion for sharing and helping others has grown in ways I am unable to describe. Through a series of events and manifestations coming to life, Tara and came together to deliver Elevate the Globe to the world and here we are now, living a life I only dreamed of 5 years ago and get to connect with amazing like minded people all over the world through our community!
WOW! What a journey! And what about you Tara?
Tara:I’m Tara. I was born in Texas, grew up in San Diego and moved to Temecula where I met Britt in ballet class when I was 10. Dance had always been a huge part of my life, and I even danced competitively up through my mid-20s. Ever since I was a teenager I have been drawn to numerology, astrology, and how the planets influence our energy. I remember being fascinated and so excited that my mom had my astrology natal chart read when I was a kid, and I still have my first ever numerology book that one of my high school friends gave to me for a birthday.
In college I found myself with an urgent sense of adventure and convinced my parents to let me study abroad on Semester at Sea. I had really never been out of the U.S. and that trip, sailing on a cruise ship to 11 countries around the world, changed my whole perspective on life and the world we live in. After college I moved to Chicago, then to Scottsdale, then up to San Francisco where I spent about 5 years working as a marketing consultant. I went through a difficult breakup right as my Saturn return hit and I unraveled. I was taking a lot of medications and drinking a lot to get me through and going to lot of therapy. The whole unsettling experience sparked my interest in retraining my mind and led me on a journey of learning and growth.
I couldn’t get enough knowledge of spiritual practices and principles into my brain. I went deep into astrology using it to try to have a broader understanding of myself and to learn about those in my life around me. I had started practicing Kundalini Yoga, at an ashram in Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, and within months my whole world started changing and I moved to down to Los Angeles. I started reading angel cards and the tarot, taking astrology classes, practicing Kundalini 4-5 times a week, my mind was changing, my eating habits started to change, and my perspectives expanded. The journey through it all just snowballed to where I am today, one learning experience opened another, and another. Britt and I came together to start Elevate the Globe after seeing John of God in Brazil in 2016. We were delivered an incredible channeled vision of what we’ve created today. It’s a life a knew I wanted but was never sure how to get there!
It is so inspiring to see what a positive place you both are in right now after you both faced some pretty tough times in your life. Did I have an inkling yoga helped you get through those those tough times, let’s talk about your first yoga class.
Britt: I’m going to talk about my first Kundalini class because I had taken a ton of vinyasa classes in the past which I love, but nothing stands out to me like my first experience in Kundalini yoga. I went at lunchtime because I was on the verge of breaking down after just moving into my own apartment, getting a new job and breaking up with Justin. I sat in the back of the room at and I had no clue what was happening but I started balling crying and everything Colin said resonated with me so deeply. I felt an out-of-body experience and I started thinking differently and was so intrigued and happier after that one class and I felt better that whole next week! It was life changing.
Tara: – Vinyasa and other types of yoga didn’t really resonate with me much. I liked Bikram yoga because it was hot and sweaty but I really preferred pilates. Yoga just wasn’t really my thing until I tried Kundalini Yoga. I went to my first class on a Sunday morning at an ashram San Francisco in the Haight. It took me about 6 months to muster up the energy to go take a class but when I did I was blown away. I remember we were doing spinal twists where you have your hands on your shoulders and parallel to the ground, and you twist your spine back and forth, using deep breaths to go from left to right. I remember being buzzed from the oxygen I was taking in. I left with my whole body buzzing from that experience and it kept me coming back. I felt something that I had never felt before and with the mantra and the breath, it felt exactly like what I needed. There was something about that first experience where I remember just being in awe of the yoga and the technology. I felt like an ancient and sacred teaching that the whole world had largely forgotten about. I came back every weekend until I moved to LA.
For those who don’t know, what is kundalini yoga?
Britt + Tara: It is the yoga of awareness! It was the first yoga ever created and it’s an ancient tool that is scientific. It works with breathwork, mantra, kriyas, and meditation to change your body on a cellular level, clear out your subconscious mind and brighten your aura. If you are trying it out for the first time, have an open mind. There are thousands of kriyas (sets of movements) and meditations, so every class is different and some things might feel super weird to you at first. But then you realize how potent it is and how fast it works and how great it makes you feel – so you don’t care!
How did you turn this deep practice of intention setting and kundalini yoga into a career?
Britt: It started with sharing and wanting to express my true self and then I started receiving messages of ideas of ways I should teach what had transformed my life with other people. I knew I wouldn’t be able give the energy I needed and wanted to execute the ideas with my extremely demanding corporate career in ad sales. I started taking steps to release that career out of my life so I could focus on my purpose and share what I felt so called to put out into the world. I did teacher training, B School with Marie Forleo, the Spirit Junkie Masterclass with Gabby Bernstein and immersed myself in learning and reading, self love, and my practice and started teaching a lot at studios and sharing online.
I then started creating online programs and saw how many more people I could help. It started to grow and I left my corporate job after Everest was born and decided to me a full time Mama and entrepreneur and took a risk and followed my dreams. Tara and I received a vision soon thereafter visiting a healer John of God telling us to work together and together we have been able to create what Elevate the Globe is today! We created our Free 7 Day Raise Your Vibration Challenge and our 8 Week Course RISE UP: A Course in High Vibrational Living, The Elevated Mastermind, our podcast – The Elevator, and our new membership site 528 Academy launching this month. We channel and receive messages from our angels and guides and my Mom and continue to live and share this lifestyle. We attract opportunities and abundance that support us and our mission and are extremely dedicated to our work. It has been extremely hard at times but it is getting easier day by day and has always been so fun and rewarding and we are so thankful everyday that we are able to do this great work.
Tara: I manifested it! For me it started with wanting to share everything I was learning and feeling with the world in any way I could. I wasn’t sure how to exactly make that happen so I started in the best way I knew how and started my own blog. I think my mom was the only one who followed it LOL but I didn’t care because it was an outlet for me to start sharing what wanted to come through me from the the ethers. I was getting into the energy of finding my voice and sharing it with the world and I was having so much fun with it. As I started sharing I was asking the universe to open up a new path for me because I was feeling so pulled into the world of wellness and spirituality. It was all I could think about and so naturally over time my energy was pulled more and more in that direction. Part of that process was going to see the healer John of God in New York which then brought Britt and I to start working together…and that’s when things started to move fast for us both. I had a corporate job as a marketing consultant for the first year that we built Elevate the Globe, it was nuts! But as we grew, my energy was more and more pulled into the business and it became natural for me to step away from the the corporate job and into this new life. It’s not always an overnight thing and keeping your job that provides security so you can stay out of the lack mindset while creating where you want to go, is something you can never go wrong with!
Britt – you’re a mom, how do you balance this lifestyle, working mom, wife, inspiration to so many?
Britt: I owe it all to my practice and don’t know what I would do without my morning ritual and my kundalini yoga and meditation practice that allows me to release any anger, frustration, and fear and move up the emotional scale energetically into the love every day. When I raise my vibration and start the day connecting to my true self and the universe, I am able to stay present and trust myself and my decisions and find that balance much easier. Eating a vegan diet and this lifestyle gives me the energy I need to be able to handle it all with as much grace as possible. It can be challenging but I am so grateful my husband is so supportive and we work together to plan the schedule and make our house and everyone in it happy and healthy.
I do my best to respect him and not make him feel guilty for taking care of himself and doing yoga, meditation, exercising and spending time with friends so that he feels whole and happy and we prioritize family time all together. I include Everest in this lifestyle and bring her to yoga and am teaching her to make smoothies and she helps me make dinner, clean up, etc. I put in a lot of time into planning and scheduling and setting up the week and time blocking out my time to help balance it all, say no when needed and prioritize my time. It gets crazy and can start to feel overwhelming at times but I turn to my breath and work to be aligned first and find everything flows with much more ease and grace. I salute all of the Mamas and Papas out there because this job is not easy but raising a conscious child is a big part of my purpose and Everest teaches me and Justin things every day and I am so grateful to have her in my life. I think I am so passionate about Elevate the Globe and what we are doing that I want to do it and love it so much that it inspires me to keep moving forward everyday.
Tara – I really want to hear about your John of God experience!
Tara: So my John of God experienced changed the course of my whole life. It changed Britt’s too. I almost didn’t go see him either because I was a little skeptical as to what it would actually accomplish, but it was my birthday week so figured it would at least be a fun experience. I’m so happy I went ha! John of God if you don’t know is a medium from Brazil, he channels energy from a group consciousness and in the course of a few hours that day, we saw him twice, and I was able to sit in the room with him and meditate in the energy current he was channeling. It wasn’t until that night though that I had an incredibly vivid vision where I saw multiple entities, angels, energy forms, whatever you want to call it, in the cabin we were staying in. They showed me through a vision, the path to creating Elevate the Globe and everything that Britt and I were going to do with it. And no alcohol or drugs were involved ha! Biggest takeaway was to be open to these experiences no matter how ridiculous they may sound at the time, you don’t know where they’re going to lead you, and they’ve come to you for a reason. So just show up and have fun with it!
The Elevate the globe mentality is more than yoga, its giving back, self love, and plant based diet. Why are each of these important?
Britt + Tara: They are all important because it is the whole lifestyle we live that has given us the results we experience. We believe in a holistic approach. We didn’t want to just teach yoga and meditation because people have different ways/routes/paths of getting into spirituality. This is a high vibrational lifestyle and so when you follow what resonates most with you and start to feel better, you naturally attract more and more healthy things into your life, things that keep you feeling better. We teach about the things that are most important to us, how they have transformed our lives, and we continue to share what we learn on this ever evolving journey.
We are hosting a free series right now called Elevate Your Year where we are sharing all about this topic right now. You can hop in and sign up here to join! Our focus is really on going within and looking at what is not serving you as you grow, releasing whatever it is, retraining our minds to shift perspectives to focus on what it is that we want as we continue to move forward and attracting them vs. hustling after them.
Where do you see 2018 taking you?
Britt + Tara:– To the moon haha…traveling, lots of love, more speaking and teaching yoga, festivals, more writing, more connection, more fun, more transformation, growing our community, and continuing to become more and more authentically US!
How exciting y’all have a new podcast launching! What is its focus?
Britt + Tara: We hope to inspire more people by sharing stories of how people have elevated themselves out of the darkness and moved into the light. We share more about our high vibrational lifestyle too. We are so excited about this coming to life and seeing where it organically takes us!
Favorite flavor of kombucha? (Sorry, no interview with BYOK is complete without it!)
Britt + Tara: Right now we love Brew Dr. Kombucha Ginger Turmeric because we are all about the Tumeric and this brand is organic, has no artificial flavors or preservatives and has billions of live cultures so it checks all of our bucha boxes 🙂
Can you leave my readers with one last piece of advice?
Britt+Tara: Love yourself and if not anything else take some long deep breaths when you wake up in the morning and think about what you are grateful for. We are all so lucky to be alive and we want everyone to feel the gifts of this life. No matter where you are at, it is temporary and creating change starts with changing your thoughts and doing more things that make you feel good. When you put the focus within, your whole outer world will transform.
Want to follow Britt + Tara on social media?
Don’t forget to check out their podcast which launches Wednesday!!