Happy-U Bloggity Blog

Holistic Approach to Positive Psychology & Yoga

Four Life Changing Questions

Are you familiar with

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If not, get ready. She is a fascinating woman, who admits to being one unhappy, miserable human being for much of her life. One day while lying on the kitchen floor with cockroaches crawling across her leg, she had an epiphany.

She realized all her suffering came from her thoughts about her situation, not from the situation itself. Leading her to the conclusion…

All suffering comes from believing your thoughts.

Based on this idea, she developed ‘The Work.’  A simple, quick technique for self-inquiry consisting of asking yourself four questions about a painful thought or belief.

  1. Is it true?
  2. Can I absolutely know that it’s true?
  3. How do I react when I believe that thought?
  4. Who would I be without that thought?

After you answer those questions, you apply a turn-around statement. The turn-around is expressing the exact opposite of your beliefs. Constructing a positive rather than a negative thought.

If this idea peaks your interest, you can dig in deeper by reading Katie’s book, Loving What Is.

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Can these four questions really change your life? I don’t know, but I do know that I am usually able to turn-around almost any negative thought I am having by asking myself Questions #1 &  #2.

Is it true? Can I absolutely know that it’s true?

My answer to that is always “NO” since there is very little I can know is ABSOLUTELY true.

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So the next time you have

THOUGHTS UGLYQuestion the thought by asking yourself…

#1 Is it True?   #2 Can I absolutely know that it’s true?

#3 How do I react when I believe that thought?

#4 Who would I be without that thought?

Apply a turn-around statement to make an ugly thought, into a beautiful thought, and you will become more beautiful to the world.

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Thanks to Roald Dahl for such deep wisdom.

Love,

Jan:)

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Five Fat Frogs Sitting on a Skinny Log

Okay, so consider this,

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You can’t really argue with that logic, but I think DECIDING is sometimes harder than DOING. When you start to think of DOING something, you can’t help but think of the risks that could be involved

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Our imaginations are really powerful, and sometimes they get the best of us. If we are able to “make-believe” the worst, it stands to reason the opposite is also true. What would happen if we “make-believe” the best?

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There is a lot of hard science to support the fact that we get exactly what we expect from life. It has something to do with our RAS (Reticular Activating System…google it...it’s a real thing, and it’s really interesting.)

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The RAS acts as a filter, so your brain doesn’t get overloaded with information and explode. It matches data in your environment  to whatever is on your mind at the moment. The RAS is really accommodating. If you have fearful thoughts, it will happily bring you more. The opposite is also true.

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So for today…NO DECIDING…only DOING.

 never give up something that you can't go a day without thinking about

As my old friend Theodore Roosevelt said:

“I dream of men who take the next step, instead of worrying about the next thousand steps.”

xo, Jan;)

ps…If you think I am old enough to be friends with Theodore Roosevelt, you are fired as my friend!

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One week down, 51 to go!

So just one week ago today we were celebrating the first day of 2013… Can you believe it?

Life picked right up after the holidays, and it feels like lots of things jumped onto my to-do list the minute the Christmas decorations came down. Luckily, I had written my New Year’s Goals down and have been reviewing them regularly, because I do NOT want to contribute to the stats for broken resolutions!

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And so I move forward… one day at a time… assembling plans and making lists, checking things off and celebrating my wins. It feels so good! And it keeps me moving forward… And knowing I have a coach and a blog to be accountable to prevents me from slacking off, no matter how much this baby inside my belly may make me want to take to my couch and watch Grey’s Anatomy 24-7.

It's the little potato inside me's fault!

It’s the little potato inside me’s fault!

How about you?!

What have YOU accomplished in this first week of 2013? Are you moving along with your goals, or are you using them as a coaster on your coffee table?

Well, since we have an Intro to Coaching Special going on this month, I want to be sure to give y’all as much info on what the heck coaching is, so you can take advantage! As we throw the term “coaching” around a lot, we’ve come to realize that most people don’t really know what it is that we do, and so I wanted to share a sweet little video that we love, that we find explains the process very well 🙂 Check it out! And then shoot us an email (coach@happy-u.org) if you’d like to talk about how to take a big step forward in your productivity and in making your Life Vision a reality 🙂

Have a great day!!

XO Karson 🙂

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Why Life Coaching is the Perfect Compliment to your Yoga Practice

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“From your heart, you’ll dare to devise a dream. With your mind, you’ll translate that dream into plans, and with your whole body, you’ll execute.” ~Elena Brower

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5 Reasons Why Life Coaching is the Perfect Compliment to your Yoga Practice

1) We feel amazing on the mat and immediately following class, but how to we bring “the work” off the mat and into our LIVES? Life Coaching helps us to translate what we’re experiencing ON the yoga mat into our daily interactions with the world around us.

2) If we truly want to live our yoga, we need to implement our core values into every aspect of our lives, which can often be easier said than done. Life Coaching helps us to clarify our values and our Vision (with a capital “V”) so that we can be sure we’re consciously living from a place of authenticity.

3) Both Yoga and Coaching help us to release resistance, whether it’s in our bodies or in our minds. We identify what’s holding us back, allowing us to move beyond our perceived limitations.

4) Both Yoga and Coaching will bring you more CLARITY in all areas of your life… In your job,  your family, your dreams & your inspirations. Clarity of mind & clarity of intention lead to SUCCESS.

5) Both practices provide you with tools for greater happiness 🙂 You become a proactive creator of your life, rather than a passive recipient of the hand you’ve been dealt. It doesn’t get better than that!

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For a limited time, we are offering a special Intro to Coaching Special to help you make your dreams a reality. People come to coaching for all sorts of reasons, from the BIG, BROAD STUFF (“I feel stuck”, “I’m trying to figure out my purpose in life”, “What’s my next step?”) to the SPECIFIC (“I want to lose weight”, “I want to start my own business” “I’m ready to move across the country”).

Personally, we feel that EVERYONE would benefit from having a Life Coach, as it keeps us expanding and growing at all times 🙂 We hope you’ll take this opportunity to consider amping up your commitment to your goals and joining us on the journey!

Contact us at coach@happy-u.org to get started 🙂

CoachingSpecial

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Laugh your ass off! It’s good for your health :)

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Here’s to laughing more… today and every day. It’s one of the benefits of being human 🙂

Have a great one, full of HUMOR and HAPPINESS! And remember…

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Hee hee hee 🙂

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Act Your Way to Sleep… and Joy

Last night I couldn’t sleep. I FELL asleep just fine,  but at 2am– BAM! Eyes open, mind going a mile a minute, couldn’t for the life of me fall back to sleep. I started going through my mental rolodex of sleep tricks… counting breaths, meditating, body scanning, counting sheep…

counting sheep

Eventually I remembered a trick my mom taught me as a little kid…
“Make your breath SOUND like you’re sleeping. ACT like you’re asleep, so that when I come back and check on you, I will think you were asleep.”

She was wise to use acting to get at my core 🙂

Eventually, 3 1/2 hours later, that was the trick that worked. But before it did, I contemplated WHY it was such an effective tool, and how it relates to everything else we do… (my mind was active– what can I say?!?)

We really ought to ACT the way we want to FEEL. If you want to be healthier, do things healthy people do. If you want to be strong, do things that require strength. If you want to be light-hearted, try ACTING lighter hearted. 

It reminds me of this quote I like…

“Nothing external needs for you to change to have what you want. If you want to be happier– be happier. If you want to be more relaxed– relax. If you want more friends– be friendly. Sounds simple. It is.” ~Cherie Huber

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I sometimes think about what I want people to think of me. I know, I know, I’m not supposed to CARE what other people think of me, but guess what- I do. And when I let my mind go down this road, it actually helps me to clarify my values and what’s truly important to me.

I want to be thought of as someone who follows through on what she says she’ll do.

As someone who is HAPPY, who is brave, outgoing, and kind.  

I want people to think of my as witty, creative, and fun. 

I want to be considered a good friend, an inspiring teacher, a loyal wife, a dedicated daughter & sister, and an all-around loving soul. 

And so, I behave as such… 

And last night, I wanted to be seen as someone who could SLEEP when she wanted to sleep. And so I slowed and deepened my breath. I let my body go heavy. I even drooled a little for effect. And before long I was out.

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So this week, I challenge you to go back to basics… to simplify your ambitions… Rather than coming up with intricate resolutions, just considered how you want to feel and act that way. Give it a try. And also so if I run into you and you’re an asshole, at least I know you’re doing it on purpose 🙂

Have a great one!

XO K

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Rampage of Appreciation: 10 Reasons Why my Workshop Rocked :)

Happy-U Guy

1. It was sold out 🙂 Seriously, we would have been hard pressed to fit any more mats in there, and it made the energy & the vibration SO incredibly awesome.

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2. The demographic was incredible. Men, women, older people, younger people, siblings, spouses, friends, and strangers. And of those people, half had taken my workshops before, and half were brand new to me, and had heard about it from a friend or on the blog. So rad!

3. My husband was front and center. Now granted, Mitch is technically part of the HAPPY-U team, but it can’t be understated how uplifting it is to have your husband right there, beaming with pride, totally into it, and supporting what you’re passionate about.

4. I managed my time! Two hours goes by SO quickly when I’m in the zone. When I’m flowing, grooving on this positive psychology stuff and on how it and yoga can make your life infinitely better, one hour seems like a minute. So the fact that I never had to rush, that I had done enough HAPPY-U workshops this year to know how long things would take, and I actually got everything done in exactly two hours was a tremendous sense of pride for me.

5. My playlist was effing legendary. Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Dave Matthews, the Beatles… highlights for me were the group sing-alongs to Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror (“If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change!”) and Sublime’s What I Got (“Lovin’ in what I got!”). And all while holding yoga poses, no less 🙂 Gave me chills!

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6. Laughter. Nothing raises your vibration quite like laughter, and boy, was this a fun bunch. Everyone was so light and open, willing to be playful but took the stuff seriously as well. Having been a high school teacher for 5 years in my former life, I know the distinct difference between a room full of disjointed laughter and a room full of focused laughter that improves, rather than detracts from what’s going on. This felt good in my soul.

7. I heard some great stories before and after the workshop. Everything from someone who had cleaned her fridge after reading yesterday’s post to one gal telling me about her elderly father having had silently participated in the Happy-U Accountability Group for the Meditation Challenge and how he’s now hooked on the blog! So great 🙂

8. I got to see people do headstands for the first time! (Well, I reminded everyone that we all did ’em when we were 3, but peeps were going for it for the first time in their adult lives!) At one point in the yoga portion, we partnered up and spotted/supported one another through an inversion of our choice. I had a few pairs flag me down to say they didn’t know what to do, but with a little guidance they did it! Little Tripod Headstands produced Big Fat Smiles yesterday. And I got to be witness 🙂

9. People came away empowered, invigorated, and prepared for action on how to choose happiness more of the time. People were standing taller, fully motivated, and armed with new information that could steer their lives on a clearer, more joyful, more positive path 🙂 It was wonderful to see.

10. And finally, when Mitch and I got home, we had a voicemail that a very special delivery we had ordered was on its way and will be at our door any minute.

And here it is!! SHA-ZAM! The new HAPPY-U MOBILE!!!!

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I am not even kidding.

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So yeah!! Basically, yesterday kicked major ass, and I am more motivated than ever to continue spreading the HAPPY-U word and jammin’ out whilst I do it. THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who came out yesterday and played with me. I had such a blast, and I can’t wait to do it again!!

Big love!! XXOXOX

Karson

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Flexing Your Willpower Muscle!

There are thirty-three days until the NEW YEAR!

Time to start planning (drum roll, please!) Resolutions 2013. 

Every year we seem to enter the New Year all eager and shiny eyed, biceps bulging, carrying lofty intentions and resolutions.
 
This will be MY year. I will lose weight and exercise more, drink less,  get my stress under control & meditate daily:)
 
I will be happy, damn-it!
 
Then all of a sudden, it is March and those resoultions have fizzled like stale Dom Perignon. Seems like the one resolution that’s a shoe-in year after year is failing at our New Year’s resolutions.
 
QUESTION
       Why, why, why, is failure the one thing I can count on?

ANSWER: Unrealistic Expectations

If there is one thing we tend to misjudge, it is the difficulty of breaking deeply ingrained habits. If you set the bar too high…failure ensues, followed by the dreaded slippery slope of “What’s the use?” “This is too hard.” “I’ll never change.” 
 
Leading to…

LOSER SYNDROME (and we don’t mean that in a good way)

 
Referring back to those nerdy researchers who study these things, they tell us:
 
The Willpower necessary for change is lost, when we fail to meet any part of our goals.
 
So with that piece of knowledge, we can begin to set ourselves up for success, simply by keeping a goal small and simple. 
 
If it’s your goal to take off a couple of pounds in the New Year, the time to start is NOW. This month. 
 
Remember, we tend to gain a solid, two pounds in the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we will be well on our way to being a lighter version of ourself, simply by declaring December a… 
Weight Gain Free Month. 
If that goal is too lofty, how’s about a weight gain free, week, day, minute? Downsize those goals, and you will make ’em every time! So let’s give the bathroom scale a little love every day throughout December. Appreciate its feedback, and adjust your goals as you go.
And remember, each time you accomplish a small goal you strengthen your WILLPOWER!

Flex Those Willpower Muscles!

Next week we’ll share some more info on the cornerstone of successful behavior change… 
Yep you got it, WILLPOWER!
You can do it! Love, Jan 🙂
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Why I’m Being So Selfish on Saturday

This Saturday, I’m holding my next HAPPY-U Workshop, an act of ultimate selfishness on my part.

Yes, I continue to be thrilled as ever to share with others what I’ve learned about happiness, positive psychology and yoga in the pursuit of living a fulfilled life, but I’m reeeeeeally doing it for me

I’ve long known about myself that when I’m teaching something I’m passionate about, I’m in my FLOW. Time simultaneously slows down and speeds up. There’s no resistance, there’s no struggle… it become effortless, and I feel at my best. Do you have something like that?

Now over time, the “what I’m passionate about” has changed forms… When I was little, I taught my babydolls and stuffed animals about cursive handwriting as I played School in our playroom. When I was 10, I morphed my love of painting with, err… fingernails… and set up a nail boutique in our basement in which I taught mock seminars on how to do beautiful nail-art.

Pretty.

In highschool and college, I started teaching dance classes, and in my 20’s I became a high school teacher of theatre arts. Now, I still love all those things (esPESH fancy nails, duh), but I’m most passionate about HAPPINESS and all things related to FEELING GOOD.

Happy-U is my new FLOW…

The truth is, preparing and planning these workshops makes me SO happy. Reading, coaching, doing my positive psychology research, preparing the yoga sequences, finding kickass, makes-you-wanna-sing-along music for the playlist… My sense of flow and excitement and enthusiasm starts well before the Workshop begins.

And so I consider it selfish. And wonderful. And exactly what I’m meant to be doing.

The research shows that when you are utilizing your top strengths, you are happier. And so, even now, as I demonstrate GRATITUDE (my #2 strength according to the VIA-Test of Signature Strengths) for the work I get to do, I am feeling better than I did before.

And KNOWING that my Workshop on Saturday is going to be fun, fabulous, and vibration-raising puts to use my #1 strength- Hope, Optimism, and Future Mindedness, so NOW, I feel even BETTER. And also, because EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. who has told me they are coming on Saturday I think is AWESOME and I really truly LIKE, I know it’s gonna be even better, because positive social interactions are among the top happiness-raisers for everyone, no matter who you are or what your strengths might be.

Yeah!!

So Saturday, December 1st, at OB Namaste in Ocean Beach from 1-3pm, come watch me be selfish.

And I’ll watch YOU be selfish. Because you’ll be doing something fun, healthy, mind-expanding, and positive for yourSELF. And you deserve it 🙂

Remember, the greatest gift we can give anyone is to be happy ourselves. So in the spirit of the holidays coming up, consider this a gift to your family, your friends, and everyone with whom you encounter. COME GET HAPPY WITH ME 🙂

VISIT www.obnamasteyoga.com and hit the Classes tab to register.

 

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Preference Makes the World Go ‘Round

“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”
~Claude Monet

“I hate flowers. I only paint them because they’re cheaper than models and don’t move.” ~Georgia O’Keefe

We don’t all have to love the same things. Having preferences strengthens our characters and personalities, whether it’s what you think God looks like, the type of peanut butter you buy, or what you look for in a mate… Preferences make the world go round.

The problem comes when we start judging that which is not what we’d choose. We judge our own choices, get annoyed with anyone who believes something other than we do, make laws against other peoples choices, and in extreme cases, engage in wars over them.

Now of course, I can’t control religious wars all over the world, but I CAN contribute an attitude of ACCEPTANCE & COMPASSION to this planet by embracing the varying array of choices out there. I don’t condemn them, because I know how scary the world would be if we all liked the exact same things!

Yikes.

Now, I jest… I love them polygamists– they spice the world up, with their intricate hairdos and high-necked frocks. I CHOOSE to be the only wife to my single solitary husband, and they can CHOOSE to do their thing! I don’t need to change them or be mad about it. I want to live in a world with lots of contrast 🙂

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One of my very favorite excerpts from Abraham-Hicks’ book, Ask and It Is Given, is called Do Not Put Those Unwanted Ingredients in Your Pie!, and it goes like this:

Imagine yourself as a chef in an extremely well-stocked kitchen that contains every imaginable ingredient. Let us say that you have a clear idea of the culinary creation you desire, and you understand how to combine these easily accessible ingredients in order to fulfill your desire. And as you proceed, there are many ingredients that are not appropriate for your creation, so you do not utilize them, but you also feel no discomfort about their existence. You simply utilize the ingredient that will enhance your creation– and you leave the ingredients that are not appropriate for your creation out of your pie.

Some of the ingredients in this well-stocked kitchen are harmonious with your creation, and some of them are not. But even though adding some of the ingredients to your creation would absolutely ruin your pie, you do not feel the need to push against those ingredients, or to ban them from the kitchen, because you understand that there is no reason for them to end up in your pie unless YOU  put them in it. And since you are clear about which ones enhance your creation and which ones do not enhance it, you feel no concern about the great variety of ingredients that exist.

Mmmm… pie….

So embrace the contrast in your world today… There’s enough room for ALL of choices 🙂

 

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