Being an Astronaut- Bristol Baughan

October 21, 2016

Bristol Baughan deeply inspires with her brilliance, soulfulness and vulnerability. She is an Executive Producer of Emmy-winning and Oscar-Nominated films, Author, and Private Coach. 

She has gone on pilgrimage with Tibetan monks in India, studied Tantric & Hatha Yoga in Thailand, and experimented with both ancient and modern healing modalities around the world. She reports from the front lines of inner space for Poppy + Seed and also facilitates vulnerability workshops for TED.  Bristol spent over ten years in the film and media business making relevant stories entertaining through film at GOOD for HBO, Paramount, Showtime, and Dreamworks. She is a TED Fellow and served as a delegate for the State Department Documentary Showcase in China. Bristol holds a B.A. in International Studies from the American University School of International Service and an M.A. in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. She founded Inner Astronauts to support people in becoming fully alive in service to the world.



LW: As a child, what did you think you were going to be ‘when you grew up’?

BB: I remember being around 7 or 8 and writing in my journal that I wanted to be a human rights lawyer, like Martin Luther King Jr., because that’s what I thought he was. I would dream of fighting for justice.

LW: What was the defining moment that guided you to filmmaking and storytelling?

BB: Growing up, my family and I watched movies. That was kind of like our church and experiencing the world from where I lived in San Diego and New Hampshire. When I would go to the theater and watch the trailers before a film, I would have moments of being in my soul resonance, an experience of feeling energy moving through my body and the feeling of being really alive. The story would transport me into a new experience. It was these feelings of aliveness that made me follow my resonance into film making and story making.

LW: At what point, did you make the clear decision to shift from filmmaker to private coach, writer and facilitator of workshops? Was that a leap of faith? Was it challenging, scary and was there a process of grieving?

BB: It was a terrifying leap of faith, when I knew that the old way of working and doing was no longer possible, like my body and spirit couldn’t play that game anymore, what I call “the old game.” I had no idea how I would make money or what I would do, but I knew it wasn’t the old way. I knew I wanted to write, but I didn’t know how I would live. It was scary and a total leap of faith. It was very humbling having to ask support from friends and family. From there, things started to open up. People started to call and ask to talk and then it was continuous. I said to myself, I think this is a thing. I had a friend that was a coach and she taught me so much. The experience was graceful but there were definitely moments that were unknown and terrifying.

    LW: What led you to doing the deep, inner work and your devotion to transformation?’

      Burnout on addiction to external validation and achievement as my primary way of being. Really healing from that which led me to the ground and having no energy. I had to get on my knees and discover the underlying assumptions for what I was doing here, what being alive meant to me.

        LW: What has been the most challenging experience in your life that turned out to be the most meaningful opportunity to your life's path?


          1. Death of my father
          2. Heartbreak of Soul mate in love
          The death of a dream or the idea of finding one’s Soul mate and it isn’t the one, burns off the illusion of control and ego power. It destroys your whole construct so you’re forced to be vulnerable and permeable in new ways. It expands us beyond where we are.
            LW: What teachers have you worked with and/or currently work with to inspire and support your evolution in consciousness?

              BB: Alyssa Nobriga was my first coach, Drs. Ron and Mary Hulnick, and Gangaji

                LW: To you, what does it mean to be vulnerable?

                  BB: It means to tell the truth in every moment about what I desire, what I want, what I am afraid of, what is real in the moment, and to be willing to keep my heart open no matter what. It means admitting the truth that we’re human and underneath all the armor, we are all vulnerable and innocent little creatures.

                    LW: In your words, what is Inner Astronauts?

                      BB: It’s constantly evolving. Right now, it is a coaching company for those seeking personal and professional mastery in service of the world.

                        LW: How did the name Inner Astronauts come forward?
                          BB: I was writing and I had the thought, buy the domain for So I did, then I forgot about it. Later, I realized it was fitting. It was a total surrender experiment.

                            LW: How are you serving the world and contributing your gifts?

                            BB: I am living all in, telling stories and offering opportunities for others to do the same. I have a one woman play called “Judge-a-holic.” It is a way that I serve by getting super vulnerable and sharing my story. I do workshops and offer people the opportunity to see what stands between them and their vulnerability. I just wrote a guidebook around harnessing heartbreak.

                              LW: What does living wholly mean to you?

                                BB: Living wholly to me means to honor both the light and dark as love. It is to embrace all parts of ourselves as part of this mystery that no one can fully explain and to play with all of it.

                                  LW: What are your top 3 tips for living a healthy, fulfilling life?


                                    1. Inquire within, whatever way that works for you. Whether it is writing poetry or working with a coach or therapist. Discover the beliefs you’re carrying and if you don’t like your reality then rewrite it.
                                    2. Take care of yourself. Put on your oxygen mask first kind of idea. Feed your soul. Find ways to do this and prioritize it.
                                    3. Get into your body and move your body. The only way you experience health and fulfillment is by feeling through body not mind. Connect to the body in movement, yoga or orgasmic meditation --- whatever serves you.
                                      LW: What are you reading right now?

                                        BB: I am reading "Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion" by Jeffery Kripal. and a lot of Rumi.

                                          LW: Is there something you’re currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

                                          BB: I am working on "Harnessing Heartbreak". This is my book that just launched. It is inspired by my experience of healing from a Soul mate that wasn’t meant to be my life partner. It is a 23-day guidebook/companion guide for someone healing from heartbreak.

                                            LW: If you could share a mantra from your inner wisdom, what would that be?

                                            BB: My value is inherent and consistent regardless of anything external.






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