Happy-U Bloggity Blog

Holistic Approach to Positive Psychology & Yoga

Reflections of an unborn baby’s mama :)

It’s been a while since I’ve written… So much has been going on in my world, that the daily writing of the Bloggity Blog has become more of a weekly occurrence… but I’m sure you’ll forgive me 🙂 After all, you also know what it’s like to be busy…

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But here we are… a Monday morning, with me in front of the fire and and snoring pup at my heels. I try to keep my early Monday mornings free to catch up, plan my week, and to reflect on what’s happening in my life before I head off to teach some yoga.

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On this particular Monday, I’m gazing at the black & white profile of my already-perfect baby boy, in a photo taken on Thursday where we saw his face (and his penis!) for the very first time. We are ecstatic 🙂 We thought since the beginning that it was a boy, but to actually KNOW, and to conceive of having a SON, is just blowing our minds. We’re celebrating at every turn.

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Mitch has been finding specks of paint all over his body for days now, since painting Baby Boy’s room a calming blue. Knowing his love and excitement are in each brushstroke makes me love the color and the newly built room even more. In this next week, a carpet will be put in, soft enough for baby to crawl on, and the closet shelving system will be installed, organized enough for this mama to hang his sweet clothes that I have been dying to buy. Also this week, I get cracking on the ginormous stack of pregnancy & baby books that I own, as I’m now on the other side of halfway through. This is real. It’s happening. I’m having a SON 🙂

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Yesterday, I had the privilege of teaching the first of a 6-week Prenatal Yoga series at Happy-U Namasté, and I must say… it was awesome 🙂 Not because of me, but because it was literally awe-some to sit in a circle of a dozen glowing mamas-to-be, and to laugh and move and sing and see each other with familiar eyes. I felt blessed to be able to embark on that journey with these women… another moment when I have felt that although it has felt overwhelming at times to be pregnant for the first time AND buy a yoga studio and run it with my husband all at once, that this is EXACTLY the way my story is supposed to be unfolding. I am so grateful.

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Anyway, thanks for indulging me… It feels good to just write for the sake of reflection. I remind myself to find the time for moments like this amongst the hustle and bustle. We all must.

Big love!! XO ~Baby Boy’s Mama, Karson McG

 

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Kick Me

So I’m at that point in my pregnancy where I’m supposed to start feeling the baby kick. I felt the first one earlier this week, but Mitch was at the studio and missed it. So for the past few days, we’ve been trying to cajole our little one into kicking for Daddy on command. Strangely, he/she does not kick on command. And thus it begins… defiant little soul.

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In my pregnancy books (all one billion of them), it says that the best way to feel the baby kick is actually to– you ready for it?– be still. Apparently, when you’re moving all day, it lulls the baby to sleep (think a perpetual rocker). Then, when you’re still, the baby wakes up and is like, “Ma?! I’m ready to dance/kick/play/have a tantrum” whatever. The baby can communicate, and most importantly, you can hear the messages.

This makes so much sense to me, it’s ridiculous. I’ve been moving around so much lately, no wonder it’s hard to catch this baby on the move. It’s like trying to pinpoint a ripple in a rocky surf.

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And so, last night, we slowed down. Me, Mitch, and the babe. We breathed. We listened. We laughed. We let go. And lo and behold… WaBAM!

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Quite a solid metaphor for life, huh? Having trouble receiving the messages of the universe (or of your own gut, for that matter)?

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That’s right…SLOW DOWN. Quiet yourself. Meditate. Do some yoga. Settle your mind so you can receive inspiration. If you’re always thinking, you can’t hear divine wisdom. If you’re always talking, you can’t hear anything. And if you’re always moving, you can’t feel the subtle shifts that may be happening in your body (be it a baby, or otherwise) that are communicating to you the loveliest messages of all. Connect with yourself through some stillness and quiet, and behold the magic that awaits you. It could blow your mind…

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Grace as a Way of Life

Yesterday, I posed to my yoga class the question, “What does Grace look like to you?” When you think about a graceful person, how does she act? How does he conduct himself? How does that person interact with others and how does he or she move through his or her life?

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Now, I’m not necessarily talking about a Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers kind of grace (although that would be nice too), but more of the day to day attitude of love, kindness, and good will toward others. The ability to take life’s challenges with a calm & faithful heart. To trade the tendency to panic for the tendency to appreciate everything as a step toward something greater.

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Another more subtle form of grace came to mind as I read a short article in this month’s Whole Living magazine about thinking before you speak & act. Apparently, researchers at Vanderbilt University found that when monkeys were trained to make instant decisions , their brains changed the way they processed information to value speed over accuracy. This means that conversely, when we practice mindfulness to think through our actions and our words, we become accustomed to value accuracy over speed. And in this fast-paced world, I see mindfulness in our manner of communication as a sign of grace; one that usually falls to the bottom of the list in terms of priority.

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So this week, consider how grace shows up in your life. Worry not about being perfect, but about being mindful. About being forgiving, loving, and faithful in every moment. And if you CAN learn a few graceful dance moves, that’d be great too 🙂

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MLK Jr., the Yogi

It’s nice when the calendar provides beautiful inspiration for a blog post for me to write.

I’ve been so busy lately, what with the new yoga studio, baby on the way, and a completely new routine for myself, I’ve found myself ending many a day recently faceplanting into my bed at 8:45, with the apparent affliction of narcolepsy. I’ve been doing so much, that my mental reserves haven’t proven deep enough to provide me with much philosophical content for this here blog. I’ve considered taking a hiatus to let myself off the hook. Maybe I’ve got too much going on to try to produce a blog.  Maybe I should give up.mlk4

So, I have a choice. I can throw the towel in, or I can take some pressure off myself. I can get mad at myself, or I can dig deep (or not so deep) and just take one baby step in the direction I’d like to go.

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So I start with finding a quote, a reading, something to inspire me. And think, maybe just sharing something awesome I’ve found is enough for today.

And when my inner critic tells me that that’s stupid, or that I just can’t do it, or I’m not good enough or capable enough, I say,

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Even when that person is me.

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So I keep moving forward. Doing what I can not to succumb to insecurity or doubt. To listen to the messages of utter exhaustion, but not to overreact. To be gentle with myself and love myself even when I struggle. Even when I feel like I’m not at my best. I remind myself that…

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So I remember to LOVE. To love myself, to love others, to love the world. And that, my friends, is enough.

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Thank you, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for all your incredible insights… I see you as the yogi you were in your heart, and am grateful for the inspiration you provided me today, when I just wasn’t sure I was enough 🙂

Pass it on…

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My Single Haff-Caff Morning Latte

I like to meditate in the morning.

For me, I’ve found that I’m always at my best on the days that I took 15 or 20 minutes first thing in the morning to sit in stillness and empty my mind. When I can, I love to sit in my meditation chair, put on some ambient music, light a candle and breathe my mantra for the day. On my best days, I do this twice.

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But lately, with my new routine, a baby in belly, and a dog that is almost always looking at my to play, it’s not always possible for me to find that time for myself. And I anticipate once the baby actually comes, it ain’t gonna get any easier.
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So I’ve found another way.

I’ve softened my expectations of what meditation should look like.

Like this morning, for example… I fixed the single, solitary haff-caff latte I allow myself in the mornings, and decided that today, THAT would be my meditation.
latteI sat with it, allowed the Furry Happiness Guru to curl up on the couch next to me, and I “meditated” on the coffee. I felt the warmth of the mug beneath my hands. I stared at the little flecks of cinnamon I had poured over the frothy milk. I took teeny, tiny sips and really savored the flavors on my tongue. I observed the heat travel down my throat and into my belly (which felt particularly delicious on this cold morning). I appreciated the fact that before I was pregnant, I would mindlessly drink 2-3 cups of coffee each morning, and probably wouldn’t have know if there was a fly doing a backstroke in there– I just wanted it in my system; and now, that I’m ONLY having the single cup, I’m actually enjoying it so much more. I am SAVORING it. And that, my friends, was today’s meditation. It probably lasted 7 minutes. And my day will be better for it.

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So open yourself up to the possibilities today… Sometimes just looking out the window at the clouds passing by, watching the flicker of a candle flame, or even observing the spinning of the washing machine cleaning your clothes can be your meditation, if you choose to make it so… All it takes is mindfulness and the CHOICE to slow down and appreciate 🙂

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7 Reasons Why a Coach is better than a Spouse :)

1) When you talk to a coach, it gets to be all about YOU, ALL of the time. The attention is completely focused on you without any distractions. And you don’t have to feel guilty about it!

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2) You don’t have to get dressed up (or dressed at all, for that matter) for your weekly “dates” with your Coach! All calls are done on the phone, from the comfort of your own couch 🙂

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3) When you meet with your coach, YOU get to choose what you talk about– the agenda is set by YOU. It’s not considered selfish, it’s just the nature of the relationship.

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4) A Coach will hold you accountable to what you say you’re going to do, without giving you the silent treatment or dropping “hints”.

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5) There’s no power struggle! A Coach assumes you are creative, resourceful, and whole, and encourages you come up with solutions and goals yourself.

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7) And finally… A Coach doesn’t make you spoon afterwards.

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So try Coaching NOW! E-mail us at coach@happy-u.org to set up your FREE 30 minute coaching session to see if our January Intro to Coaching Special is for YOU!

Coaching is the BEST! (And so is marriage… we kid, we kid :))

XO Karson

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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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How to Be Happier in January than in July (Thanks Oprah!)

Came across this article from my dear friend Oprah Winfrey (she’s just some smart gal I know), and thought I’d pass it along here! Enjoy 🙂 XO

Click to Continue Reading

Click to Continue Reading

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Making it happen!

So maybe you’ve brainstormed some resolutions for the new year and are planning some goals… Good for you! Yesterday’s goal was simply to come up with a list of some things you’d like to work on in 2013.

Here are a few more we love…
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So now, here’s the message for TODAY…

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Make sure the goals you choose MATTER. It’s all too easy to set a goal you THINK you should set– because you or someone else made you think it was the best thing for you– but it’s even EASIER to FAIL on your goal by making excuses because it didn’t resonate on a deep level.

Why set resolutions just to break them? Don’t make the goal “Drink less alcohol this year” just to be pious because you think you should… only make it if it has purpose for you and you really mean it. (Or if the baby in your belly mandated that goal for you and you have no choice– cough cough, ahem ;))

So take some time to really reflect on what’s important to you as you set your resolutions. It sounds obvious, but it can make all the difference!

XOXO

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