Happsters Gratitude ABC’s Challenge

WELCOME TO THE (2)

Raise your hand if you’re in for a gratitude challenge!! It’s all going down August 15th-September 9th.

Why gratitude? Here are just a few reasons. Gratitude:

  • lowers stress levels
  • helps you sleep better
  • improves self esteem
  • and can even help you manifest your dreams. 

Will you join me in giving thanks?

All you have to do is write down one thing you’re grateful for that starts with a different letter of the alphabet every day. That’s what it’s called the ABCs challenge :).

This free challenge starts next week! Every day I will post a new prompt with the letter of the day and ideas for words that go with each letter in case you can’t think of anything. You’ll also have the support of the Happsters community to help get you through the challenge.

Fill out this form if you’re in so I can send you all the details:  https://goo.gl/forms/d3orTpZifQ6jI3H43

Tanya from Embrace the Light on Reiki, Photography and Getting Through Loss

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I happened to come across Tanya’s work a few weeks ago and was hooked in an instant. I wondered “how does she take such amazing photos with the light coming through like that?! I need to learn her ways!” The more I looked at her aura photography, the more I wanted to know about her. I love how unique her work is and that she infuses reiki into her photography. Enjoy ♥♥♥

1. Tell us a little about yourself!

I have lived in Los Angeles for the past 13 years, though traveling is becoming more and more a part of my life lately. I currently share my love of photography with the beautiful souls that I am fortunate enough to call friends, and clients, all over the world. I teach yoga ridiculously early in the morning at Yogala Studio in Echo Park (an eastside enclave of Los Angeles) and I am a certified Reiki Master. I may have a small obsession with healing crystals.

2. What does a typical day look like for you?
At the moment, I am incredibly grateful to have a life that allows for me to take the time to nurture my soul. At the moment, a typical day can look like waking up early to write morning pages, meditate and/or run reiki on myself. I have some incredibly supportive and loving oracle and tarot decks that I may pull cards from to gain extra insight for my day. Then I’ll jump into work. That may be a photo shoot or waiting for film scans from my lab or the always fun paperwork. Yoga. If I can end the day seeing friends, it’s been a good day.

3. What has been the biggest learning experience in your life?
Loss. I’ve lost a lot of people I love very dearly. I came to the realization that these losses could either break me open or break me apart. I chose to open myself up and this choice helped me heal myself, forgive myself and others, and love myself more. Even though this cycle of loss began three years ago, I continue to learn knew ways of seeing the world on what feels like a daily basis.

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4. What did you want to be when you were young?
A photographer. But I was always scared that I wasn’t good enough, so I went into film/movies for a while, but I never stopped loving photography, and eventually, I let go of my fear and focused on my love of pausing time, of creating images that express the way I see the world.

5. For those unfamiliar, how would you define what Reiki is?
The thing I love the most about Reiki is that it is channeled directly from the source, so it can do no harm. You are either open to receiving it, in which case you can receive it or if you are not open to receiving it…you won’t.

Paula Horan gives a beautiful description of Reiki in her book, Empowerment through Reiki. It is an excellent read for anyone interested in learning more about this healing energy. I have pieced together a few lines from her description. Reiki is the Japanese word for Universal Life Force Energy. Reiki is a wonderful tool to help one develop conscious awareness.

6. Why did you decide to get Reiki certified?
It was a part of my choice to open up and heal myself. I decided to get certified so that I could run Reiki on myself, so that I could tranform some very deep pain into something… else.

7. What has Reiki changed you?
Regularly running Reiki on myself or having others run it on me has been a game changer. It allows me to be more at peace and more balanced in every day life. It has helped me open and heal old wounds, release old energy that no longer serves me, plus my cat cuddles with me more because she LOVES reiki energy.

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8. I love your aura photos that you take! Can you tell us why you started taking these kinds of photos?

The more I heal myself the more I have begun to feel a pull towards helping others as the embrace who they truly are…the person they have always been. One year after my partner passed, I went to the place we spread his ashes, to pay my respects, to take photographs, to grieve. The next day when I went to drop the film off at my lab, I opened the bottom of the camera thinking the film was rolled up. It wasn’t. I quickly closed the bottom, heartbroken that the images were going to be ruined; they weren’t. Instead, I discovered something new to me, a way to create beautiful effects that expressed how I felt.

It would take another year before I did this intentionally. I was photographing a dear friend who happens to be a healer in Los Angeles. I felt compelled…my intuition strongly suggested…to expose some of her film to light, to see if I could mix her energy visually onto the film. It created some incredibly powerful images, and I knew I wanted to create more images like this, but I didn’t know how to make it work as a session.

About 9 months later, I photographed another incredibly powerful Los Angeles Healer. This time, I wasn’t worried I was going to ruin the film. I just went for it, and after I saw her images – even thought my belly was filled with butterflies – I knew it was time for me to create a way to share this experience with others. It was time to encourage others to see their beauty, their strength, their abilities, and to help them share those aspects of themselves with others.
What is your process for creating these aura photos?

The aura adventure begins at a location where you are your most authentic self: in your home, at the ocean, in the woods… anywhere you feel joy! We will find a quiet spot and you will spend 15 to 20 minutes receiving Reiki (a healing energy) channeled through me.

After your healing session, we will spend the next 40 minutes photographing you at your most peaceful, at your most joyful – meditating, dancing, twirling, moving your body in any freeing manner that makes sense to you in that moment. During this time, I will shoot 36 frames of film.

Following the session, you and I will sit together while I rewind the film, holding an intention of authenticity and love. When the time is right, I will open the bottom of the camera to let the light in, to let your light in.

One to two weeks following our session, you will receive 3 to 7 beautiful color photographs*. They will be yours to keep as a reminder of who you are, your vibrant spirit.

*These photographs are not photoshopped. They are purely a mixture of film, you, me, and light.

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You can follow along on Tanya’s journey on Instagram at @lightleakauras and email her at lightleakauras@gmail.com. She is currently booking in Embrace the Light Sessions in Los Angeles and building wait lists for sessions in NYC and London and everywhere.

This interview is part of Happsters Happy Questions, an ongoing series of interviews that take a peek inside the lives of inspiring women around the world.

Marie Coté on Gratitude, Coaching & Loving Yourself

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Happy Friday, friends! Today I’m excited to introduce you to Marie Coté, an inspiring holistic coach who uses her natural intuition to help others transform their lives for the better. I’m so excited to share her interview with you today – I think you’ll see her genuine soul shine through! Enjoy ♥♥♥

1. What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day for me would be to wake up feeling grateful for another day of life! I did not always feel this way, but I truly do now. It is not because my life has gotten so much better, it is more about my perspective being changed on life. I wake up early to meditate most mornings because I have two young boys, a dog and a husband. A quiet house for my morning meditation is amazing! I try to always get exercise and eat a healthy, protein rich breakfast with lots of water. I choose to take excellent care of myself everyday because I believe I am worth it. That does not mean I do not have indulgences like chocolate, bread and wine, but it means I try to have balance. Typically I am then busy getting my boys to school and working on my business. The day ends with a simple dinner and some tv or reading. Unless I have fun plans, I typically enjoy relaxing at night!

2. How did you decide to become a holistic coach and how do you describe what a holistic coach is?

The call to do the work I do came to me at a very young age. I observed so much suffering around me and within myself that I knew deep down there had to be a better way to live. Through much of my studies over the years, I have grown and changed so much, but the lasting changes came when I saw my own anxiety and depression leave my life completely. I came to discover that my suffering came from my thoughts and beliefs about life. Once my perspective changed my whole life changed. My mission with holistic coaching is to help guide others to find their own freedom from suffering as well. Holistic coaching is a powerful form of life coaching that approaches every aspect of a person’s life – body, mind, and spirit – in relation to the whole. It can help you access your full potential and make transformational changes.

 
3. What book have you suggested the most to friends and why do you love it?

Loving What Is by Byron Katie and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle would be my two favorite books of all time. They both teach you to love and accept this moment as it is. If you can love life as it is in each moment, you can do anything!

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4. What has been the biggest learning experience in your life?

Becoming a mother made me feel more vulnerable than ever before. It was terrifying to love someone so much and know you could not ultimately control their future or keep them always safe. It really opened up some big questions for me and helped me learn how to trust life on a deeper level than ever before.

5. It’s often said that life is about enjoying the little things. What are the little things that you appreciate?

I really appreciate laughter, sunshine, exercise, good food and good company simply because I didn’t always appreciate these things. To say that I do now, feels really good.

6. What gives you energy? What depletes your energy?

It gives me energy when I do something positive for myself and others. I am depleted of energy when I am being negative towards myself or others and when I say “yes” to something that I wanted to say “no” to.

7. What is your favorite mantra right now and why?

“I love myself.”  If I love myself, I can truly love others. Life also finds a way to love you when you love yourself. It is simple, yet it can be so challenging. It just takes consistent practice!

8. Do you have any upcoming retreats or courses coming up that you’d like to share?

You can go to www.miraculouslyyou.com to find more about what I do and how to work with me! : )
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You can follow along on Marie’s journey on Instagram at @miraculouslyyou and at her website http://miraculouslyyou.com/.

This interview is part of Happsters Happy Questions, an ongoing series of interviews that take a peek inside the lives of inspiring women around the world.

Carey from YYoga on Joy, Curiosity & Adventure

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I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Carey Dillen, the President of YYoga in Canada. She is so committed to her work and you can tell she truly loves what she does. I hope you enjoy! ♥♥♥

  1. Do you have a favorite style of yoga that you generally gravitate to?

I enjoy all kinds of yoga – it depends on my day and my mood. During the week, I gravitate to Hatha, Flow or Power.   On weekends I love do take a YHot yoga class in the morning.   If I am feeling like I need a good slow stretch and go inward, then I go to Yin or treat myself to a Sage Aromatherapy Yin class.

  1. What does your typical day look like?

I don’t think there is a typical day! I get to work with so many amazing people in different areas of YYoga and I get to tackle different challenges and opportunities every day. One day I could be meeting with external retail vendors; the next day working on solving facility issues; the next day looking at potential new locations; the next day bringing our management team together to talk strategy.

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  1. What has brought you the most joy during your time working with YYoga?

Joy for me is a choice and created in each moment. It’s our people and our product that make me proud and fill me with joy each day. At YYoga, the majority of our team are women. Every day they get to see women in decision making roles, being authentic, and making a difference. I love being a leader and hope I inspire them as a role model to be fearless and happy!

  1. What book have you recommended to friends the most?

First Break all the Rules – Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman

  1. What do you think is the key to a happy, joyful life?

I approach the world through curiosity and adventure. I am happiest when my body and mind are strong; I am fully engaged in my relationships with others; I am exploring and learning new things; I am smiling and laughing; I am being fearless and going for it!

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  1. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Do something that scares you – it’s called growth.

  1. What is your vision for where you want to take YYoga? 

The dream is to take YYoga across Canada, in every major city and suburb, so that we can touch as many Canadians as possible! It’s about making people healthier and happier in their daily lives because I believe we can all benefit from what physical movement and mindfulness can do for our body, mind and spirit. It’s about empowering the people around me to grow in their careers, to learn about themselves, to collaborate as part of a team, to support each other along the journey and to embrace a big vision that brings YYoga to all of Canada.

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You can follow along on Carey’s journey on Twitter and Instagram at @cld604 and LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/careydillen.

This interview is part of Happsters Happy Questions, an ongoing series of interviews that take a peek inside the lives of inspiring women around the world.

 

Kristy Malone on Nutritional Therapy, Mental Health & Using Your Intuition

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I’m so excited to share this interview with you today that I did with my new friend, Kristy. She has such an interesting background with experience as a mental health therapist and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and I loved how she shared practical and helpful advice about happiness, intuition and so much more. Enjoy! ♥♥♥

1. What has your journey been to becoming a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and mental health therapist?

I first received my Master’s in counseling, and I had been working with military sexual assault victims for several years when the stress of my job took a massive toll on my health. Doctors offered me diagnoses like PCOS, hypothyroidism, and autoimmune disease, and while they were quick to prescribe medications to manage my symptoms, they weren’t interested in getting at the root cause of these conditions. My intuition told me that I needed to dig deeper and I suspected that nutrition was a big piece of the puzzle. This led me to study nutritional therapy, and from there everything clicked for me. I was able to heal my body, reverse all diagnoses, and most of all I gained a deeper understanding of the powerful connection between physical and emotional health. I now combine these two skillsets to help my clients find optimal wellness and happiness!

2. Do you have any tips on tuning into your intuition?

Absolutely! Our intuition always tells us what we need, but oftentimes we forget to listen, or we rationalize it away. Sometimes intuition manifests as something you just “have a hunch” about; but I have found that intuition more frequently speaks through emotions as opposed to profound epiphanies. For example, anxiety shows up to let us know that something isn’t right in our environment or in our life balance. Conversely, we feel peace and happiness when things are in balance. Sometimes you just have a certain “feeling” about someone or something… start to pay attention to how you feel around specific people and in your daily situations.

If you feel insecure in a relationship or in your workplace, something is off and needs further investigation. You feel that way for a reason. If your romantic relationship is creating more stress than happiness, then something has to change no matter how desirable that person is or how perfect they “could” be. If you are filled with dread every Sunday night in anticipation of going back to your job on Monday, you need to ask yourself if that job is truly serving you, no matter how great the pay is or how good it looks on paper. These emotional cues, if we pay attention to them, can connect us to our intuition and guide us towards that which is good for us, and away from that which does not serve us. Ultimately, listening to your intuition is the blueprint for happiness.

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3. What are you looking forward to most in the next month, personally or professionally?

So much! This season of my life has been one of tremendous growth in all possible ways. Professionally, I have just been invited to join a private therapy practice in Carlsbad with an amazing group of people, and I couldn’t be more excited about that. Personally, I am finding that new people continue to come into my life who bring positive energy, inspiring ideas, and new experiences. I greatly look forward to deepening these relationships and opening myself up to more meaningful connection.

4. What is your go-to breakfast?

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and it’s also truly the most important one in many ways! My go-to breakfast is sweet potato ribbons sautéed in coconut oil, two fried eggs, sliced avocado, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. It is SO tasty, well-balanced, and keeps me full without weighing me down!

5. What daily rituals do you have that help you stay positive and happy?

  1. Nourishing food. Eating right for my body as well as treating myself is a huge key to my happiness. The foods we eat can impact our mood and wellbeing tremendously, so I feel my best when I’m giving my body what it needs and avoiding foods that trigger a negative response.
  2. Positive self-talk. Anxiety shows up for me from time to time, and I have learned that the content of my thoughts has a huge impact on how severe it is and how long it stays. Rather than letting my thoughts run away with me (“Things are falling apart”, “I can’t do this,” etc), I intentionally keep my thoughts positive (“Everything will be ok”, “I can handle this”). Thoughts have power, so what you say to yourself is really important!
  3. Human connection. Connecting with the people I love is a daily practice that keeps me grounded and optimistic even during challenging times. I have a wonderful support system and knowing that there are people who truly know me, and who will be there to celebrate the high points and have my back through the low points is more valuable than anything money can buy.

6. What has been your biggest learning experience in life?

There have been MANY, but the common thread in my most profound learning experiences has been finding the courage to let go of things that don’t serve me, and trusting that better things will follow. It is so hard to risk leaving a job, a relationship, or even a belief system without knowing what the next step will be. Sometimes even when things aren’t making us happy, mediocrity can be a comfortable place to stay because things will almost certainly get harder before they get better. However, it is SO worth it to take the risks, and to pursue a truly fulfilling life as opposed to a tolerable one. I suppose I could sum it up as “NEVER SETTLE!”

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7. What do you think is the key to a happy, joyful life?

I subscribe to the idea that happiness is more about the journey than the destination. Goals are extremely important, but ultimately, a joyful life comes from the people and experiences you have along the way. Genuine connection with other human beings, to show your soul to someone and have them show you theirs, to love and to be loved… to me, that is the essence of a happy life. We are all in this together, and that is a beautiful thing.

8. What is your favorite mantra?

I tend to adopt different mantras based on what’s going on in my life, but recently my mantra has been “Everything is figureoutable” (by Marie Forleo). It’s true- it is! It’s the limiting belief that we cannot overcome challenges that is the true obstacle.

9. Do you have any courses or retreats coming up you’d like readers to know about?

Yes! My business partner and I have a group for women called “Cravings & Connections” which focuses on un-complicating the nutritional and emotional elements of wellness. We talk about the emotional components of eating, why we have cravings and how to respond to them, exploring our relationship with ourselves and with food, and we also break down some complicated topics like blood sugar balance and digestion in a way that’s fun, actually makes sense, and provides tools for better health. More than just a group, we have created a community where profound growth, connection, and transformation occur. The feedback has been tremendous, and our next group starts Thursday June 29th, followed by another group starting Tuesday July 18th, and we are now taking reservations for both! Space is limited, but we do run these groups on a rotating basis. You can find more information about the group at www.paleotherapists.com, or reserve your spot by emailing paleotherapists@gmail.com.


You can follow along with Kristy’s journey on Instagram @uncommonwellness and visit her blog at https://www.uncommon-wellness.com/.

This interview is part of Happsters Happy Questions, an ongoing series of interviews that take a peek inside the lives of inspiring women around the world.

Bri on Creativity, Self Care & Following Your Heart

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Bri is a truly amazing woman who juggles motherhood, blogging, and self care so gracefully. She opens up in this interview about if she believes in “having it all,” how she takes time to enjoy the little things, her favorite self care practices and so much more. Enjoy ♥♥♥

1. You’re a creative director, lifestyle blogger, wife and mom. Do you think it’s possible to have a perfect balance in life and “have it all”?

I’m not too sure I believe in balance. I believe people need to make time to take care of themselves, pursue their passions and determine what is working in their lives and what is not. When people are fully in tuned with who they are than I believe they are able to create “balance” in their lives. I think when people do things for the wrong reasons than they do not feel balanced. I believe we should love our jobs and all aspects of our lives. If there is something that we don’t love than that’s when we need to stop and take the time to figure out what needs to change.

2. When you feel overwhelmed, how do you practice self care?

I practice self care by doing things I love. Self care for me usually includes one of the following: painting my nails, coloring, painting, going to the beach, stepping outside for fresh air, mindful breathing, yoga or a brisk walk.

3. I love the concept of your painting and wellness workshops! Can you tell us a little bit about how those came about and what they entail?

Thank you! The Painting + Wellness Workshops came about from a few different aspects. I wanted to try something new while also creating an event that could help women thrive. My regular workload typically consists of a lot of computer time and I want to be more in person with people. I have also attended so many events as a blogger where we are treated so well that I wanted to bring this style of event to any woman who wants to take a little time out for themselves. Each workshop includes information about self care and following your heart. I’m working on figuring out the details for the next workshop but I’d like them all to include an activity, a learning aspect and relaxation time. My purpose is to follow my heart and to encourage others to do the same. I want people to love their lives. I want people to take care of themselves, figure out what they love and do it! I have a lot of passions and I believe the workshops tie together all the things I love to do while encouraging others to thrive.

4. It’s often said that life is about enjoying the little things. What are the little things you try to take the time to enjoy?

I take time to enjoy nature. A lot of people seem to take it for granted. I will sit in my backyard sometimes and just watch the birds, the trees and the clouds. I also take time to enjoy little moments in my kids lives and try to be as present with people as possible.

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5. What is your favorite mantra right now and why?

I have a lot! I often say Follow Your Heart. I believe we can get stuck in our heads when trying to make decisions but I think we really need to listen to our gut, our heart or our intuition more. We usually immediately know what we want to do when we follow our hearts. It’s our thoughts (or ego) that sometimes make us think we can’t do something or try to hold us back from what we really want.

One of my other favorites is She believes she can, so she does! I believe we have the ability to create our own reality. Many people hold themselves back because they don’t really believe in themselves. I think the first step into believing in yourself is loving yourself, faults and all. I know this can be hard but not loving yourself is so much harder. I want people to embrace who they are and love who they are so they can fully thrive. When you fully believe you can do something than you will. This mantra keeps me going because if I don’t believe in myself, nobody else will either.

6. What does a typical day look like for you?

During the week I get up with my kiddos, eat breakfast and take my daughter to school. Then my babysitter will come over for 2 hours in the morning to watch the little guy while I work. After she leaves I play with him than he takes a nap and I finish working for the day. When he wakes up we have lunch and play. Then we pick up my daughter from school. Typically we come home or on half days we go play with friends. We do household chores and play than make dinner. I usually take some downtime once the kiddos go to bed. Occasionally I will attend an event for work in the evenings or catch up on any projects with deadlines. Weekends we usually spend with friends and family or exploring San Diego.

7. Do you have a book or podcast you’ve recommended to friends the most in the last year?

I’ve enjoyed “You can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay. I also watch Gary Vee videos often.

8. Finally, are there any courses or workshops you’d like readers to know about?

I will have the next workshop date available on BriGeeski.com within the next week or so. I am also finalizing some plans for painting classes coming soon!

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You can follow along with Bri’s journey on Instagram @brigeeski and visit her blog at http://www.brigeeski.com.

This interview is part of Happsters Happy Questions, an ongoing series of interviews that take a peek inside the lives of inspiring women around the world.

Zen Girl Mandy on Community, Purpose & the Power of Laughter

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Mandy Burnstein thinks of herself as a “yoga teacher, writer, event planner, part-time mermaid, and full-time zen girl.” That’s quite the list of jobs she juggles, not to mention that she’s also a wife and mother! Her beautiful Instagram account filled with yoga poses, fun with friends and family, and lots of beaches is what initially drew me to her and I’m thrilled to get to share her story with you today. Enjoy ♥♥♥

1. Do you have a favorite style of yoga that you generally gravitate to?
I’m a Vinyasa girl, through and through. Coming from a dance and movement background, my body craves the creative free flow of the Vinyasa style. I was trained in Vinyasa in 2010 and that is definitely my roots and foundation, but as of the last year and a half, I’ve embraced Kundalini yoga and also Bhakti yoga. I have fallen in love with the concept of healing yourself from the inside out, using your breath, chakras, energy lines, and sound medicine. There are many paths to healing and growth, and I’m open and down for all of them!

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2. What does your typical day look like?
Well, I have a 10 month old baby girl named Luna Wild, so life these days is free flowing and quite unpredictable. There is always something exciting going on! Mornings now start around 7am with big smiles, cuddle fests and sing-a-longs. We make green smoothies and breakfast, then around 10am, our Nanny comes over and I start my “Mandy” part of the day. I take a yoga class, run errands, catch up on emails, then teach yoga either in the studio, on the beach, or at the home of my clients depending on the day.

I allocate time each day to plant seeds for the future: my next workshop, goddess gathering, and my next yoga retreat. When it comes to work, I’m a big planner! I love to have my next 6-9 months of events mapped out so I can continually have new and creative offerings for my students.

As the day winds down, my husband comes home from work, we take a beach walk and catch sunset together to decompress from the day. Then we make dinner, put little Luna to bed and have a few hours together to connect.

Weekends are all about fun adventures! We usually explore around San Diego or hop down to Mexico for a few nights of being off-the-grid and more present with each other.

3. What gives you energy?
Community. Passion. My purpose.
A few years ago, I felt lost and a little confused about my purpose on this planet. I did a lot of deep healing work and learned a great deal of useful information about myself and my journey. I now know that I need a strong sense of community, with positive friends and family around me, as well as passion and purpose (and lots of delicious food in my life!) to feel energized and function at my highest.

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4. What book have you recommended to friends the most?
Modern: May Cause Miracles by Gabby Bernstein. This 40 day meditation and journaling “workbook” changed my life.
Ancient: Tao Te Ching — a classic.

5. What do you think is the key to a happy, joyful life?
Laughter. Authenticity. Purpose.
You must laugh every single day. You must feel comfortable and loved/loving in your own skin. You must identify your purpose and pursue it passionately. These are my 3 non-negotiables and have helped me create a sense of deep happiness and daily joy.

6. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
You are your own Medicine Woman. Quiet the outside noise, tune into your soul. Listen and all the answers will be revealed from within.

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7. What is your vision for where you want to be in 10 years?
I just turned 31 years old, so in 10 years I’ll be 41. My dream life would be to continue being happily married to my husband Devin, with 3 kind, loving children. We split our time between our home in San Diego and our home in Mexico. We work hard and are passionate about what we do, but we balance it out with lots of time for play and taking care of ourselves. We surf, swim, eat lots of veggies and laugh often. I’m still teaching yoga and working intimately with women. I offer three yoga retreats each year which evolve and grow as I do. Perhaps there is a boutique hotel or yoga retreat center in the jungle that I am the creator of. My heart remains nourished by my tight-knit family and an amazing tribe of friends around the globe. This is my dream life. Simple and sweet 🙂

8. What is your favorite way to give back?
Corazon de Vida Foundation. This organization is amazing! They oversee 13 orphanages in Baja Mexico, which is only 30 minutes away from San Diego. I’ve been involved with them for years. From the first orphanage visits where I fell head over heels in love with these children, to helping throw the annual fundraising Galas, I love every aspect of what they do and how efficiently and effectively they use the donations. If this type of service speaks to you, please join us!


You can follow along with Mandy’s journey on Instagram @zengirlmandy, and for more in depth life lessons, travel stories, and yoga tips, visit her blog, Zen Girl — www.zengirlchronicles.com

This interview is part of Happsters Happy Questions, an ongoing series of interviews that take a peek inside the lives of inspiring women around the world.

Ellen (The Apron Lady) from Hedley & Bennett on Food, A Happy Life & Farm Animals

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Have you heard of Hedley & Bennett? If not, you’re in for a treat! This brand is changing the apron and chef gear industry for the better. Ellen Bennett (fondly called The Apron Lady) started Hedley & Bennett in 2012 when she saw that kitchen workwear was bland and generic. Now their aprons have turned into a nationwide movement. Ellen is such an inspiring entrepreneur that I couldn’t wait to share her story with you all today. So without further ado, here’s the interview:

1) For anyone who doesn’t know you already, how would you describe yourself?

I think of myself as everybody’s cheerleader, I think everyone can do more than they think they can. I have hope for everybody and want people to be the best version of themselves. I’m very community-oriented and really want to make the world a better place through my company.

2) Why did you decide to start Hedley and Bennett?

I have always loved design and food. I love looking at something and thinking of ways to make things better. I ask myself how I can make people and things better and more functional all the time. I used to work in a professional kitchen where the uniforms didn’t make us feel unified because they were such low quality. That’s where the idea began. I used to wear uniforms that had straps falling, the pockets ripping off, and the bottom fraying. I wanted to make them better so that people had a uniform that made them feel pride when they wore it.

3) When you picture a happy life, what do you see? 

I’ve learned that happiness is about the journey. When I landed my first big account, I thought “this is incredible”, and then quickly moved onto “OK, now what?”. I’ve found that it’s the steps along the way that make you happy. Happiness isn’t one finite thing. Rarely is happiness about the materialistic items. Those are awesome to have and money is something you need to sustain yourself, but for me I’ve realized money doesn’t make someone happy. It’s other things: It’s seeing my staff excited in the office or rolling out health insurance for our entire team, which we’re doing next week. That’s a big deal.

Happiness is going for your goals and not standing on the sidelines. You have to jump in. There’s a ton of bad that happens along the way, but happiness is in jumping in. You have to “do” to find that happiness. Not all of it will be pleasant, but you have to feel the lows to get the highs.

No one becomes successful over night. If it’s just for money, that peak high would be very short. You want to go for something bigger. So with Hedley and Bennett, I’m on the journey to being happy because every day we’re accomplishing a goal, all while hitting 15 bumps along the way.
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4) What does your typical morning consist of? 

It’s a little bit varied, but if I’m in town, I get up and feed the farm animals (chickens and a pet pig). I take turns with my boyfriend on who deals with what animal each morning. Sometimes I’ll go do boxing or yoga or spinning at 7:30am before work.

Both of us work from 9am to 9pm when we’re in town. We’ll get home around 8:30 or 9:00 at night so the morning is the only calm time.

Once I leave for work, I will typically call my assistant or have a scheduled call. If I’m not on a call, I’ll listen to a podcast. My favorites are:

How I Built This
Pardon My French with Garance Doré
Seth Godin’s Startup School
The Tim Ferriss Show
Radio Cherry Bombe
Mentoring Moments (Forbes podcast)

6) When you’re having a bad day, how do you pull yourself back up?

Typically if I have a really bad day, I’ll find time to go exercise. I get through a bad day with a combination of exercise, vitamins (liquid as opposed to caps), and random extreme sports that I’ll sign up for like marathons or a 300 mile bike ride for charity. I sign up for something like this every 6 months or so that I have to train for. It teaches you that you can do more than you think you can.
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7) What is your favorite mantra that continues to be relevant in your life and why?

My two favorites are “Don’t give up because you got a no. Keep persisting.” and “Wake up and fight.” We’re so lucky to be alive and have arms and legs and ears and eyes that work. Sometimes we forget that little significant detail that’s so apart of us. You have to remember the things that you do have and not just the things you don’t have.

8) If you could tell your past self something 10 years ago, what would it be?

I don’t have a lot of regrets because I’ve done most things I’ve wanted to do. I always say “leap while looking.” Jump into the pool, but look around while you’re leaping. Figure out how you’re going to land, but leap no matter what. Don’t sit out just because you don’t know what’s going to be on the other side. I’ve always taken that approach to life. I’ve gone through amazing and not-so amazing situations, but at the end of the day I’ve done great things because of this mindset.

I would say to my past self: Don’t stop. Keep leaping. Don’t slow down.

9) Do you have any tips for others who want to turn their passion into their career?

Make sure that you’re really good at whatever your passion is. If you’re not good at it, practice a ton and get good at it. Get feedback from a lot of people who would be your audience in the future. Focus groups can include the people around you every day. I also recommend doing internships at different places that’s similar to what you want to do. Learn from the best and add your special sauce to the mix.

Make sure you’re creating something special and different. Bring something different to the table instead of copying. Copying is an exhausting route. I’ve seen plenty of people try to copy ideas and they run out of ways.

I created something that didn’t exist. We created a niche and made it what it is now. You have to find something you really love and that you care about enough to push the rock up the mountain even while it’s hailing on your head.

Lastly, don’t feel like you have to be a business owner. The truth is that it’s hard to own a business. You can be an entrepreneur in someone else’s company.

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Thanks so much, Ellen, for the great interview! You can find her aprons and chef gear at www.hedleyandbennett.com.

Follow her on Instagram at @ellenmariebennett.

This interview is part of Happsters Happy Questions, an ongoing series of interviews that take a peek inside the lives of inspiring women around the world.

Britt & Tara from High Vibe Livin on Kundalini, Mantras & Spirituality

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I recently heard Tara and Britt from High Vibe Livin when they were interviewed on the Soul on Fire podcast and could not get enough of their incredible energy. They seem so fun, but also have the ability to dive deep into the spiritual realm. I’d heard a little bit about Kundalini yoga before, but the way they described it on the podcast made me want to look up a class immediately. They seem to have “High Vibe Livin” figured out and I’m excited to share with you a peek into the lifestyle they live! Enjoy ♥♥♥

1) If you had to describe who you are in one sentence, what would you say?

High Vibe Livin spiritual babe warriors.

2) How did you decide to start High Vibe Living and what is it?

High Vibe Livin is a lifestyle. It’s about the tools we use (like Kundalini Yoga, Meditation, Mantra, clean and non-toxic living, and more) to elevate the mind, body, and spirit daily so that your energy is vibrating on a high frequency.  When you feel positive high vibe emotions you feel great and will attract more health and happiness into your life. We look at everything from a vibrational standpoint and we are all about spirituality and wellness and want to share it with as many people as possible. We decided to start it because we both went through transformations, changed our habits and are now the happiest,  healthiest, and most spiritually connected we have ever been and we feel BEYOND passionate to inspire others to do the same. We feel it is our purpose and our mission to spread these messages and we are so thankful for the people who delivered pieces of the messages that changes our lives to us. It’s why we are here on the planet and we are so dedicated to being a part of elevating the consciousness of more humans!

3) When you picture your happiest life, what do you see?

Doing what we love, continuing to spread the messages of wellness and spirituality. Growing, learning, and evolving more everyday and sharing our journey with others along the way. Having time and location freedom, fulfilling our purpose, and living as our true selves.

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4) What attracted you to teach Kundalini yoga?  

It completely changed our lives and so it was the natural next step.

5) Is it important to have a morning routine? What do your morning routines consist of?

Absolutely, we think it’s THE most important thing you can do because it starts your day in a high vibrational way so that you can be in the best possible emotion available for you and then you will attract that throughout your day. It also allows you to clear your subconscious mind and be more present. In Kundalini Yoga tradition it is done between 4-6am (ambrosial hours when the energy of the day is creating and when your conscious mind is the most calm). Our routine consists of tuning in to ourselves and the universe (Kundalini Adi Mantra), Gratitude, Breath of Fire, Kundalini Movement, and Meditation. We then drink smoothies, eat healthy breakfast and love to get outside and walk!

6) When you’re having a bad day, how do you pull yourself back up?

Step 1: We become aware of the EMOTION we are feeling (emotions are our best guide to measure our vibration)

Step 2: Ask the universe for guidance

Step 3: Practice tools to raise the vibration of our energy and emotions. We teach many of them (breathwork, meditation, grounding, etc.). The fastest way through is with feeling strong gratitude for what you currently have, bad days and all.

Step 4: Celebrate where we’re at and know every “bad day” is an opportunity to evolve. Repeat steps 1-4 whenever you need it.

7) What is your favorite mantra that continues to be relevant in your life and why?

“Today, no matter where I’m going, or what I’m doing, or who I’m doing it with – nothing is more important than that I feel good.

Today, I will look for what I want to see.

I am the creator of my own reality.

Right now, I will reach for the best feeling thought that I have access to.

Thought by thought, and feeling by feeling, I will focus the vibrations of my mind into alignment with my inner being.

I will feel for the true vibrational essence of my being, and I will guide my every thought into alignment, for that is the true meaning of a balancing of energy.”

So be it!

Esther and Jerry Hicks, from the teachings of Abraham

8) If you could tell your past self something 10 years ago, what would it be?

Everything happens in perfect timing and in perfect order. Everything that you are going through is for a purpose to take you where you need to go to fulfill your purpose in life. Challenges are opportunities for growth. Focus on yourself, your health, happiness and connection to this universe and you can and will manifest a beautiful life beyond your imagination.

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Raise-Your-Vibration-Challenge

To get started living the high vibe life today join Britt and Tara for their FREE 7 Day Raise Your Vibration Challenge! Sign up here.

They also just came out with an Intro to Kundalini Collection for the Spiritual Babe Warrior! Save 10% with code “Happsters10” Grab yours here.

Follow them on Instagram at @highvibelivin.

This interview is part of Happsters Happy Questions, an ongoing series of interviews that take a peek inside the lives of inspiring women around the world.

Emma Seibold on Her Superpower, Barre, & Being a Mom

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I’ve known about Barre Body for a long time and just recently stumbled upon its founder, Emma Seibold. Once I learned a little bit about her, I knew I had to interview her for the blog as part of the Happsters Happy Questions series. She is an incredibly inspiring business owner and mom and I’m excited to share her story with you. Enjoy ♥♥♥

1. Why did you decide to start Barre Body?

Barre Body was born not long after I had my first baby, Xavier. I had been a yoga teacher for a long time and then started incorporating barre into my post baby yoga practice and noticed incredible effects with very little effort almost straight away. I loved how the small, controlled movements at the ballet barre made me feel stable and toned and shaped my body in a way that no other exercise ever had. It really is the most effective workout you’ll ever find and the blend of yoga, pilates and ballet barre conditioning means that it’s always creative and varied and you never get bored.

2. What does a typical day look like for you?

I wake up at 5am so I can fit in meditation and yoga/barre practice before my children wake up sometime after 6. Then it’s a rush to get everyone dressed and fed and out the door for school and day care. Then I sit down at my desk and get to work. I do a lot of phone conferences and create a lot of online content now that I live in Byron Bay away from our studios so I have to be really creative about how I manage the team and how I connect with Barre Body clients and social media followers. I work until about 2.30pm and then we pick the little ones up and often go to the playground before coming home and starting on dinner. The afternoon and evening is for family and then I’ll often do a little bit more work and/or connect with my husband (who is also my business partner) after the kids go to bed. Then I get ready to do it all again the next day! I try to fit in a yoga class here and there and some me time when I can. I also travel a lot for work so I’m often in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane visiting our studios.

3. What book have you recommended to friends the most?

A Return To Love by Marianne Williamson is a beautiful guidebook for how to live a life that is guided by love rather than fear. I also really like Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert which is all about nurturing creativity.

4. What gives you energy?

Alone time. I really need quiet time by myself every now and again to fill me up. A walk on the beach or a yoga class usually does the trick.

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5. What depletes your energy?

Too many demands on my time or feeling anxious.

6. What’s your super power?

I fall asleep the minute my head hits the pillow which means I get to make the most of those precious sleep hours and get up nice and early the next morning.

I would also say my power of positivity!

7. What is your favorite mantra that continues to be relevant in your life and why?

Live in joy. Be present. Do it all with love.

This came to be at the beginning of this year and it was like it was to be my mantra or my guide for the year. I want to live joyfully and be present in everything I do and make all of my decisions and let all of my actions be guided by love.

8. How has being a mom changed how you’ve run your business?

I was a mum before I started my business or rather, the two happened at the same time so I’ve always had to juggle the two demands on my time. I would say that as my business has grown and matured, I’ve been able to step back a little and give more focus to my children, which is a lovely way to be. It’s always a juggle though and so I just try to really BE wherever I am. If I am with my babies, I am 100% present and likewise for Barre Body.

9. If you could tell your past self something 10 years ago, what would it be?

You are in for one hell of a ride. Trust yourself and amazing things are going to happen.

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10. Do you have any self care rituals that you’ve found recharge you?

Absolutely. Daily meditation and movement practices are central to my wellbeing and a peaceful state of mind. I also love baths and cups of tea! And walking is a favourite way for me to both exercise and clear my mind and allow my creative energy to come through.

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You can find Emma and Barre Body online at: www.instagram.com/barrebody (brand) or www.instagram.com/emmabarrebody (personal), www.barrebody.com.au and www.facebook.com/barrebody

This interview is part of Happsters Happy Questions, an ongoing series of interviews that take a peek inside the lives of inspiring women around the world.