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Lifestyle Meditation Mindfulness Yoga

How to Be Happy

I was recently asked to consider the question, “Who are you?”

I thought, “Damn, that’s a loaded question.” And a real good journal prompt, so I took the pen to paper…

My immediate reaction was to associate who I am with what I do, so I thought, “I’m a yoga teacher, web designer… blah blah, etc.” But that’s not who I am. That’s what I do.

So I sat with it for a few more moments and eventually words started appearing on the page before me…

I am simply a human on this journey called life trying to figure it all out and share my experience as I go. As a passionate yoga teacher, web designer, artist, and lover of humanity, I desire to help others find happiness through becoming fully present with life. To reconnect with the wisdom of our bodies, step into our power, and create a joyful life doing what we love.

When we are connected to our body we become present with life. Life happens through us – starting with our breath, our bodies are this incredible vehicle for the miracle of Life.

The question is, how curious, loving, and open can we be to this wisdom in our guts and our hearts? Is it possible that this can fully guide us into living the fullest expression of our lives possible?

The answer is a big, fat, juicy YES.

How? We have to train ourselves to be present with life. It doesn’t happen automatically – we are conditioned otherwise. We live mostly in our heads, in the past and in the future. We are constantly bombarded with messages telling us how to live, how to love, how to look, eat, speak, and be.

The truth is, happiness and joy are not in any of those things. They exist in the small moments happening right now.

I like to think of life as a collection of moments. Why is it that we remember certain things? Isn’t it interesting how specific moments stand out to us? We may even recall sounds, smells, tiny little details of these events. Why? Because we were fully present in those moments.

THE UNIVERSE WANTS US TO BE PRESENT WITH LIFE. It wants us to be happy and feel that joy deep in our core.

So, with our awareness bouncing all over the place 24/7, how are we supposed to be present?

The key is to be connected to your body. In yoga we speak of prana, which in Hindu philosophy represents our vital life force energy. This flows through us at all times and we connect to it using our breath – we refer to breathwork in yoga as pranayama – control of our vital life force energy.

We have to train our awareness by shifting the way we pay attention. This is a practice. You have to look at your awareness like a muscle. Just like you would strengthen any other muscle, you have to strengthen your awareness muscle. The stronger your ability to shift your awareness is, the easier it is to be present with life.

HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE that we choose everyday. It is a practice.


Everything starts in your mind. Start paying attention to the effect your thoughts are having on your physiology. For example, a stressful thought comes in… Your heart rate increases… you feel a tightness in your chest, maybe your palms get sweaty. Your stress level rises and your body starts to prepare for battle (fight or flight!). But wait, is this truly a life-threatening situation? Usually the answer is NO.

We live in a world where we are in a constant state of stress most of the time, always prepared for battle. Our sympathetic nervous systems are on OVERLOAD. We need some parasympathetic tone to bring balance. We have to wire in new reactivity patterns in order for anything to change.


Mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation have been proven scientifically to actually change the structure of the brain, specifically the middle prefrontal cortex – which houses our ability to relax, calm down, and actually assess whether something should require us to gear up for battle.

When you sit and meditate or practice yoga you simply place your attention on breath or body sensation. When your awareness is on those things you have no room to place any awareness on busy thought or be caught up in the story of your life (which is all in your mind and is the cause of stress). In these moments are you are fully connect to prana, your life force energy… you bring yourself to the present moment.

This is a practice. And it’s not always pretty. Uncomfortable feelings and emotions arise, and we have to be courageous enough to allow ourselves to feel them.

There is nothing more powerful than connecting to the wisdom of your body. Your heart and belly have just as many neural pathways as your brain! YOUR BODY is the most readily available tool to practice mindful awareness and, in turn, experience the joy of life happening right in front of you.

So, breathe and move your body today. Engage all of your senses with whatever you are doing. Be loving and compassionate with yourself when you catch yourself stuck in your head or in the story of your life. It’s ok.

Make the choice to be present with life. With all the little moments. The highs, the lows. Love it all. Embrace exactly where you are at in your process because it’s exactly where you are supposed to be.

Here is a free 10 minute guided meditation I made just for you. Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel!

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The Perfect Body

“True beauty comes from within.” We’ve all heard that shit a million times.

Let’s be honest, we all want to look good in a bikini! But at what cost?

Looking back on my 20s, I was a complete shitshow. I did some awesome things, but the way I felt inside… I absolutely never want to go back.

I used to be so hard on myself. I would spend so much time obsessing over the perfect set of abs that it quite frankly consumed most of my thinking, actions, and daily choices. Gym, what I was eating, what I wasn’t eating… I absolutely hated seeing any fat on my belly. It’s always been the most critical part of my body. When I’d look in the mirror and judge myself, I’d look immediately to my belly as the indicator of success. What a terrible existence and waste of time…

Current statistics show that approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape.

Unfortunately, only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media… which is 5’10” and 120 pounds. The National Center for Health Statistics reports the average American woman as 5’4” and 169 pounds. (

Simply put, we are being setup for low self esteem, eating disorders, and overall unhappiness as women in this society.

I am 5′ 10″ and about 150 pounds. I realize I have been blessed with genes that gave me a long, lean figure but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had a messed up body image most of my life. I used to be obsessed with weighing around 125 and was bulimic for about two years in my 20s.

All I can say is, God I love 30. It’s the feeling. Maybe it’s just the years that have passed and the experience gained. Maybe it’s having carried a child and seeing my belly stretch huger than I ever imagined it could. Maybe it’s my rebellion against society and all the sick bullshit that’s projected to us on a daily basis. Maybe I’m just tired of women being portrayed as not good enough.

Whatever it is, I love it. Since grounding back home after my Peru trip, I’ve gained some belly fat and whole lot more confidence at the same time… Interesting, right? In my 20s I would have been purging my food at the sight of this perceived disaster.

The truth is, no matter your age, a rock hard set of abs does not equal happiness.

It may be a byproduct of what makes your soul happy (exercise), but getting your body to match an insane ideal of beauty as projected by society is never going to make you happy.

True happiness is within your soul. It’s a feeling. A feeling of balance… of softness… that comes with relaxing into life, letting go of what society tells you you should be doing, looking, saying, acting, and LIVING.

Imagine how much you could do with the energy you use obsessing over your body! Just take a moment and really let that sink in.

Eat foods that nourish your body and soul. Sit down to eat. TASTE your food. Eat slowly, let it be a sensual, pleasure filled experience. And remember that true happiness comes from listening to the calling of your spirit. Go within. Love yourself exactly how you are. You are beautiful and perfect. I see you. And your belly is SEXY!