Happy-U Bloggity Blog

Holistic Approach to Positive Psychology & Yoga

Take a Stand: Raise Your Vibration!

From “Yeah Dave”‘s Blog about Livin’ in the Moment…takeStand

The awful news hit you like a sledgehammer.

The media kept replaying the video of that older man about to finish the marathon…

…until that vicious wave of bad energy from the explosion, knocked him to his knees.

Let’s turn this evil on its ear!

As there is bad energy, so is there good!

According to Dr. David Hawkins who studies human energy…

…one person who emanates a high vibration of pure peace has the ability to counterbalance 10 million people who have low vibrations.

Hawkins uses the example of Gandhi, a 90 pound man who single-handedly overcame the British Empire, which was then the greatest force in the world.

We might be a far cry from Gandhi…

…but if we as individuals want to take a stand against sick, twisted, evil people doing terrible things like the Boston massacre, what can we do?

LIFT YOUR VIBRATION.

Stand up to bad by focusing on GOOD.

–In honor of the victims in yesterday’s bombing, bless this day with a full sortie of grattitude, with an extra ‘t’.

–When you catch yourself listening to all the bad news from Boston, take a moment to counter it with some good news (ie watch the video below…it will lift your spirits)

–If you get depressed or angry about our sick and twisted world, do something nice to make your little corner of the universe sweet and beautiful.

This is not about turning a blind eye but OPENING A LOVING HEART.

This is not about being a wussy peacemonger, but UNLEASHING AN OFFENSIVE OF GOOD VIBRATIONS.

Last time we were struck by terror almost 12 years ago, it made us a scared and angry nation.

That’s not who we are.

This time let’s turn to Power, not force.

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Cleanin’ Yo’ Fridge

Yesterday, I went to the grocery store, and made a pretty big purchase. It was one of those trips where I needed to buy things like olive oil… you know? I needed to buy the things you only need to pick up every 3-6 months and one of those visits where the checkout total made me clench my butt a little bit.

1266199720Sw2qfU

Anyway, I came home with my groceries and had made a mistake. I crucial mistake that I’m usually really good about not making. One that caused me time, frustration, and a mess.

I hadn’t cleared out the fridge before I went shopping.

Dun dun DUN!

I opened the fridge and there were still take-out containers, half-full tupperwares, a little bin of tomatoes that were growing beards… Dammit.

Not my fridge, but this is what it felt like. Interestingly, on Google, this photo was titled "Day after Thanksgiving". Look familiar?

Not my fridge, but this is what it felt like. Interestingly, on Google, this photo was titled “Day after Thanksgiving”. Look familiar?

Well, you know the rest. I’m SURE you’ve done this before. Your FroYo starts to melt on the counter because you can’t find one square inch in the freezer to shove the damn thing. Why do we do this? Why do we let this happen? All it would take is a little forethought. A little planning to make some SPACE.

My brain is the same way.

 

brain-was-full

I know that if I “clear out the fridge” and make some space, I have room for the things that are freshest. If I get rid of the the junk that’s expired, I don’t want anymore, or is growing fur to keep itself warm from neglect, I have plenty of space for the new stuff on my list. I can walk through the grocery with my list of desires, put them in my basket, and EVEN have room for that Pirate’s Booty I was craving but didn’t know it until I was looking at it on the shelf. I can come home, fill my fridge, and have enough room to really see and enjoy each thing in there.

Until it’s time to go shopping again.

So for me, yesterday served as a reminder of the importance of “Cleaning Fridge” regularly (since I am most comfortable working in food analogies).

Meditating, yoga, walking, running, living room dance parties– these are all mind de-clutterers for me, and they are crucial to living at my best. Empty that brain of the old thoughts so you can make space for the new. Empty your body of the stagnant energy to make space for the vital. Rid yourself of the limiting beliefs to make room for the expansive ones.

Sometimes it takes a bottle of 409, but sometimes all it takes is a breath.

Aaahhhh….

perfect_fridge    —>     lotus_brain

 

 

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Conquering Fear & Jazz Hands

I KNOW I was taking a break from the stage, (and I DID– it’s been like, 6 months, which is like 6 years in Karson-ville), but when a role comes that you’ve dreamed about for decades, you gotta drop what you’re doing and go for it.

Even if it scares the ever-loving shit out of you.

So this last week, I started rehearsals for CHICAGO, in which I’ll be playing the role of Velma Kelly…

Gulp.

YAAAAYYYY!!!!

Shit.

WOOHOO!!!!!

Oh man…

THIS IS GONNA ROCK!

I hope I don’t fuck it up.

LET’S DO IT!!

I LOVE this fear. This is why I do it! I’m ready for it. Even though I have to do, like, 97 high kicks in heels, I CAN overcome the fear that I’ll fall on my ass in front of everyone.

Even though I’m gonna have to sing my heart out (and still don’t consider myself a “singer” despite my experience and awards that consider me otherwise), I WILL FIND CONFIDENCE that my voice won’t crack and I’ll break a mirror.

Even though I’ll have to wear teeny-tiny dance clothes on stage during holiday season, I WILL put it all out there in spite of my fear of muffin top. I CAN DO THIS!

 

So whatever it is for YOU that you’re fearing at the moment…

: a new job

: a new relationship

: a new dynamic

: a new experience

: a new chapter in your life…

SUMMON UP YOUR COURAGE, IGNITE YOUR JAZZ HANDS, AND MAKE IT LOOK EASY.

and be glad you don’t have to do it in fishnets.

Love,

Karson 🙂

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Accountability Check!

When the world is swirling all around you (hurricane, anyone?!), it’s the PERFECT reminder of the importance of meditation. Usually when you “don’t have the time”, “can’t possibly conceive of finding the time”, or in any way don’t feel like meditating, that’s when you need it the most.

When your life feels like this…

…you REALLY need this 🙂

Friday’s post introduced the next Chopra Meditation Challenge, and this weekend, we came up with a great way to commit to meditating TOGETHER. Since we are both the type of people who are motivated by checkmarks, credit, & gold stars, we decided to create a fun & light-hearted ACCOUNTABILITY GROUP that will keep us all on track to meditate for 21 days straight for 15 minutes a day.

If this DOG can do it, surely WE can!

Let’s get our Meditation on!!

How will it work?
1) You register for the FREE meditation challenge at www.chopracentermeditation.com. Then, starting November 5th, you’ll receive in your inbox the audio link to the 15-minute meditation for the day, every day, for 21 days. (Remember, it takes 21 days to develop a habit, so the idea is we’re going to become full-fledged meditators by the end of this thing! Yeah!)

2) E-mail Karson at karson@happy-u.org and say “I’m up for the challenge!” You’ll be added to the list and will receive the link to the accountability page.

3) What’s the accountability page? It’ll be a separate blog page where we’ll each check in once a day to say “I did today’s meditation!” and receive your gold star! It’ll be a place to chat about what we thought about the meditation that day, but more importantly, it’ll hopefully be the kicker we need to JUST DO IT!

 

GET PUMPED, this is going to be a fun & motivating way to follow through on a worthwhile intention. Hope to hear from you, and please, tell your friends! There’s MORE than enough bliss to go around.

All our love,

Karson & Jan 🙂

 

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I heard it through the Grapevine: Beginning Anew

This weekend at my Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training, our teacher, Melissa Booker, was leading a section on the importance of mindfulness– well, always– but particularly in pregnancy and through childbirth. As an exercise in mindfulness, she gave us each a raisin, and had us hold it in our hands.

We were to:

1. Really LOOK at it. Its color, its texture, its size, and its shape. We were to look with NO JUDGEMENT, which made us laugh because we all sort of found ourselves judging our raisins inadvertently… “Mine’s so small”, said Lena with a smile.

2. SMELL it. Amazing what memories smell triggers. I suddenly remembered eating boxes of raisins as a kid, and sticking my finger down into the cardboard to try to free that last, baby raisin stuck in the corner of the box.

3. Hold it up to our ear, roll it between our fingers, and LISTEN to it. Surprisingly, its stickiness made sound. Gretchen said she could hear hers talking to her, “Don’t eat me!”, we laughed.

4. Look at it again, and THINK about the fact that we were about to EAT it.

5. Put it in our mouths and roll it around the tongue. FEEL it with our mouths.

6. Then slowly, slowly, eat and TASTE it. And boy did we ever. Surprisingly, the flavor of ONE single, solitary raisin was stronger with mindfulness than a mouthful of raisins consumed without.

I thought twice before I shoveled handfuls of popcorn in my mouth later that day…

___

This morning, I was reading about the Art of Mindful Living at Thich Nhat Hanh‘s Buddhist monastery in Plum Village, France. On their site, I came across this line…

“To begin anew is to look deeply and honestly at ourselves, our past actions, speech and thoughts and to create a fresh beginning within ourselves and in our relationships with others.”

Beautiful! Yesterday’s post was all about shedding our leaves and making room for new growth; exactly this idea of beginning anew.

 

There are so many incredibly inspiring mindfulness practices on the Plum Village site, and I encourage you to visit when you can (http://www.plumvillage.org/mindfulness-practice.html)

In the meantime, keep reflecting on the ways you can practice mindfulness, simplify your life, and start again with more awareness, purpose, and love…

With or without raisins 🙂

 

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No, I’m not drunk- I’m a beginner!

Complete this sentence:

The above picture was drawn by someone:

a) who is drunk

b) who has taken ambien

c) is being mindful

Those of you who have known me for a while realize the answer could really me any of these, but today, the answer is C! I drew this picture this morning with my LEFT hand (I’m a righty), as a practice in MINDFULNESS, and more specifically, the Beginner’s Mind 🙂

_____

I’m transcribing this from my journal, after a full day of using my non-dominant hand:

Today, I began an adventure in mindfulness. A practice in Svadhyaya that will help me to live life more fully & joyfully.To be more ALIVE in every moment.

Rather than letting my MIND take over the moments in my life, I choose to rest my awareness in the ACTUAL moments as they happen. The sounds, the scents taken in through my nose, the sensations on my skin in my body, the colors and shapes I see with my eyes. I will slow down and BREATHE.

In this mindfulness practice, I USED MY NON-DOMINANT HAND. By using my left hand as much as possible (or at least becoming aware of how and when I don’t use my left hand), I am practicing PATIENCE and cultivating the BEGINNER’S MIND.

It is my gift to the world and my immediate environment to be present and calm in my energy 🙂

It’s so crazy to realize… My right hand thinks it’s RIGHT! It knows how to do things better than my left, and wants to jump in and help every time my left hand struggles with something. There were times I just didn’t have the time to wait for lefty to accomplish the task. In that moment, I recognized how much I take for granted, how quickly I tend to move, and the power of slowwwwwing things dowwwwwn.

Highlights from the day: Eating with a fork. Awkward. Tying my drawstring pants. What?! Brushing my teeth. Ridiculously awkward. Putting mascara on (which, for the preservation of my vanity and eyesight, I allowed my right hand to do). 

Overall, I felt refreshed to allow myself not to do something well. It made me appreciate my skills a little more. And it made me laugh to feel like a newborn baby fawn stumbling around for the first time.

___

So, I don’t know, give it a try… See if you have the patience to slow down enough to let your non-dominant hand lead the dance for once. If not, what does that say about your mindframe in the moment? Can you use your experience to dig deeper and learn something about yourself? Can you acknowledge that Beginner’s Mind and see things from a new perspective?I did. And then I got over it and decided my right hand was the leader for a reason 🙂

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The sky poking through the clouds: A short story on Perspective

I’m walking the Furry Happiness Guru this morning, and inhaling that beautiful post-rain smell that is few and far between in Sunny San Diego. The clouds are multi-colored, and bits of blue are poking through assuring me that this will pass by the time the rest of this sleepy beach town wakes up from their slumber.

The grass is wet, and so is the sidewalk, which makes Sophie do her funny drunk walk where she bobs and weaves around the wet spots to avoid getting her lady-like paws dampened… I later remind myself she’s a “lady” when she eats some poo along the way, but that’s neither here nor there in this story…

The FHG and I walk happily along, breathing deep/panting, and feeling happy that the heat has lifted in this moment. It’s starting to feel like Fall. What a beautiful morning…

 

Oh, a man is walking my way… I’m still on my kick of saying “Good morning” to everyone I see on our morning walks– not just “Mornin'”, a smile, or a head nod, but a full-eye-contact, smily-eyed “Good Morning” to try to engage in a small moment of positive connection with my fellow OB-tians. Surely he’s enjoying this moment as much as I am, because, look at this place, it’s beautiful! The just-rained smell is better than cookies in the oven, and we’re being served a big plate of delicious right now.

“Good Morning” I say. And before I can make a quick quip about the rain smell, the guy grunts.

“Huh. Nice weather we’re having.”

Record scratch.

What the what?!?

He’s at my back now, and I really wanted to turn around and say, Hey, you grump! Good luck having a nice day when you can’t even appreciate THE RAIN SMELL! What are you, a robot?

But I didn’t. Instead, I looked down at the FHG wagging her tail, playing hopscotch in the puddles, gleefully searching for another piece of poo to enjoy, and just raised my eyebrows while shaking my head, as if to say, “Ah well… that’s perspective for ya.”

 

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Wanna get to know yourself? SvadhYAYA!

I remember two times in my life when I really “got to know” myself, when I did the dirty work, dug deep, and was forever changed.

The first was in high school, when I “broke up” with my best friend. I remember being super emo and playing my Fiona Apple CD while I wrote poetry by candlelight in my bedroom. I felt rejected, angry, betrayed, and alone… and it was the first time I realized that I could only truly count on myself. “I had better get to know me,” I thought. And I did. I learned then that I’d rather have no friends than shitty ones.

Angst

The second time was about 6 years ago, before I moved to San Diego, when I got dumped hard by a cheater who blindsided me and broke my heart. After I picked myself up off the ground, I turned to writing once again… this time in the form of journalling rather than poetry. I discovered Angel Cards and Grace, started reading spiritual books, collecting inspiring quotes, and writing like crazy. I prayed a lot and learned to meditate. From here, I had an idea to move to San Diego, aka the greatest decision of my life.

From my Facebook Profile Page since 2008 🙂

When I think of the 4th of the Niyamas, Svadhyaya, or Self-Study, these are the times I think of first. The big turning points in my life, when a self-determined catastrophe caused me to sit with my emotions, sort out my perspective, and figure out which direction I wanted to face. And strangely, those times were somehow some of the best. Some of the realest moments of being ME. They were the times when I dug deep past the facade, the outer trappings, the image I was portraying, to see the gem at the center of it all. It may have been ugly trying to find that gem, but once I found it, I discovered I was more beautiful than I had ever given myself credit for.

Now, I engage in Self-Study all the time. I meditate and write, pull my Angel Cards and interpret them, keep journals and draw pictures, and talk to myself in the car. To me, these are ways that I get to know the Divine Karson within this Karson Meat Suit. I always “knew” myself– like, I could pick myself out of a group photo, but did I always KNOW myself, like I could love and accept every single part of who I was at every turn? No. But I’ll tell you something, when I took the time to try to FIND OUT about me, I was the happiest. And I still am.

At this point in my life, when I get crazy busy & stressed, my introspective Svadhyaya practice is the first to go. I forget to write. I don’t meditate. I can’t find the time to make it to my mat. And as I result, I eventually feel like shit. I separate myself from ME and I identify myself with my MIND instead. It’s easier, and my mind is just SO MUCH LOUDER.

But when I remember to to turn within, to coax the inner workings of myself out into the world, I suddenly line up. It’s like all the grooves realign and I can see myself for what I really am… a magical, expanding, beautifully imperfect soul, who’s doing the best she can 🙂

Yup!

So go deep. Don’t just live scratching the surface of who you are. Be WILLING to find out. Be WILLING to fail. Be WILLING to ask yourself the hard questions and see what happens… You might just find your purpose hiding in there, and it could be the greatest thing this world’s ever seen 🙂

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Adapt with Grace

Change is inevitable. Grace is a choice. Here are some of my mantras for the Second Chakra with regard to change 🙂

I adapt with Grace to any situation.

I adapt with Grace to the changes in my life.

I adapt with Grace to the circumstances of the moment.

I adapt with Grace.

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This week in yoga: TAPAS :)

No, not THESE tapas, sorry…

This week, we delve into the third of the Niyamas: TAPAS, or Self-Discipline 🙂

The word tapas means HEAT, and can be translated as self-discipline, austerity,  transformation, catharsis, or inner flame. The root of the word is also “tap”, which means to apply one’s heart. Tapas, then, takes form in the day-to-day choices we make to burn away that which is inauthentic in honor of that which we are moving towards. 

Burning away the laziness by consistently showing up to the yoga mat, the fitness studio, the gym, or the running path.

Burning away habits that derail us from our goals.

Fanning the flame of our inner fire by dedicating ourselves to that which is most important to us.

Not just going through the motions, but showing up to all we do with burning enthusiasm.

Having the self-discipline to show up and do the things we know we should do, even when we don’t want to do them.

But he knows he should do it anyway.

Tapas is about  digging deep to strengthen our internal fortitude to become all we are capable of becoming.

It’s about taking charge of our lives, reclaiming our power, and moving from passivity to ACTION. You wouldn’t just watch someone exercise and expect to get fit yourself. Similarly, why would you just learn about living a powerful, active, happy, healthy life, and not put it into practice?

So ask yourself this week… are you making choices that are indulgent, or are you making choices that build your strength and character? Are you following through on the life you WANT to lead, or are you pooping out with excuses because you’re “too tired” or “don’t have enough time”? Are you willing to prove to yourself that you are stronger and greater and more brilliant than you ever thought you were?

The greater your commitment, the greater your reward. You have all the tools, your power is truly limitless. So strike that match, light your inner fire, and illuminate the world with your radiance 🙂

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