Happy Moments: An Interview with Kathryn Budig

If you’ve ever read the delightful book by Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet In Heaven, you will know that sometimes it’s the people you meet in a fleeting moment that have the ability to change you the most.

For me, I think one of those people may very well be Kathryn Budig, a delightful yoga teacher who fluttered into my life via a backbending class, and who now, after reading her answers to my interview questions, has made a profound impact on me, and no doubt you too, Happies.

Whether you’re into yoga or not isn’t really an issue here, as Kathryn touches on the importance of loving, being grateful for what you have, and understanding the power of yourself, all of which resonate with each and everyone of us. I hope you enjoy her answers as much as I did.

Here’s a visual…

And here’s the interview…

Kathryn, how did you get into yoga?

I have a theatre background so one of my dance girlfriends introduced me. It was my 2nd year in college and I was immediately hooked. It was the highlight of my week so I started adding on more classes until I decided to learn how to teach to pay the bills in-between acting gigs. Turned out I loved yoga way more than the craft and switched careers.

What inspires you to continue on this journey and teach others?

My heart and my students. Teaching and practicing yoga has completely cracked my heart open. It’s taught me that everything takes time but is on time. That having an open heart encourages other’s to slide open and that being authentic and honest cannot only alter someone’s perspective, but completely revolutionize their life.

What is the biggest thing yoga has taught you?

What you want isn’t always what you need. Love is stronger than fear and that the only person holding you back is yourself.

How do you deal with hard times that arise in your life?

Extra long walks with my dog (she’s my therapist), phone calls with close friends, and a good dose of yoga. I often write my best articles during hard times which only reminds me that beauty resides everywhere—even in the muck.

What makes you happy?

My dog’s curly tail, my mother’s quirky sense of humor and my dad’s dry one. My best friend’s cookies and eternal optimism. Cooking in the kitchen and eating out with amazing food and wine. My student’s bright eyes, laughter and willingness to open up.

In terms of nutrition, how do you eat? What food ideals do you follow?

My number one rule is organic and non-processed. My body isn’t super chummy with dairy and I go easy on gluten, although I love a piping hot loaf of fresh bread. I’m a strong believer in balance—I’m very conscious about what I eat, but if I’m out at a beautiful restaurant I’m going to enjoy every bite without holding back. Life is too short to beat yourself up on the small things—especially if they bring you joy!

What do you think is the key to your personal success?

Honestly, my father. My father is the most accomplished man I’ve ever met. There really wasn’t anything he couldn’t or didn’t do. I grew up watching him thinking if you wanted to do something, anything—you could! There was no way of failing if I truly wanted it. He gave me eternal inspiration and trust that everything will fall into place as it should, and if a job doesn’t come to me—it simply wasn’t mine to start with.

What life ‘rules’ do you swear by and try to teach others?

Always choose love and keep my aim true. I stress starting everyday with gratitude—remember everything that makes you smile and your heart beat. Keep your intention strong and be true to who you are and what you want, regardless of other’s expectations. Love fearlessly, it will never steer you wrong even if it means going over some serious bumps.

What else is on your to-do list of achievements?

I already feel like I’m on the right track, so in that sense I take life one day at a time. My life is so bountiful right now, I’m just soaking up the beauty of it all. I hope to continue my journey around the world sharing it with students and inspiring others to live a full, healthy and joyful life.

Clearly, the world needs more people like Kathryn in it, spreading that joyful notion of awesomeness and self-awareness around for all to enjoy. Wouldn’t you agree?

Tell me Happies…

What do you think of Kathryn’s life philosophy?
Do you agree with her ‘beliefs’?

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What makes you happy?

Wouldn’t it be magnificent if we all had a little Happiness Dial situated in our bellies. Something we could adjust according to our moods and ensure remained on high, or extremely high pretty much everyday.

To an extent we do, Happies, because when we truly break down what it is that makes us happy, we are able to focus on bringing that positivity into our lives and harnessing its effect on our lives. The dial, in essence, can be turned up, or down, depending on what we do, feel, say, act on.

Thinking about what it is that truly makes me happy is something I’ve only just started to practice in recent months. Of course, we all have a general gist of what we like, and what we don’t, but to actually sit down and analyse these things, think about them without distraction, and plan on bringing these slices of happiness into our lives everyday, is something we could all do a whole lot more.

Happiness comes in all shapes, sizes, beliefs and truths. There’s no set formula to what makes each and every one of us bounce with glee, the only common ground is that these things, actions, people, emotions, need to be more present in our lives than its more unpopular cousin – unhappiness.

As far as I’m concerned, happiness is like calorie counting – as long as you’re putting more happiness in than unhappiness, you’re on the road to success. Same principle, different inputs, but the outcome is still positive if you come out on top.

For me, happiness comes in many forms. Be it little things, like lighting candles and having an Epsom Salt bath once a week, to enjoying a pot of green tea in the morning with my bf. Or bigger things, like knowing I’m on the right path in terms of my career, or planning an overseas holiday that will see me travel to new and exciting places that I’ve always dreamt of going.

What’s important though, Happies, is for you to listen to your wants and needs and appreciate that like anything in life, happiness needs to be worked on. So, I urge you to sit down, write a list of the top 10 things in life that make you happy and start crossing things off as you see fit. Enjoy!

Tell me Happies…

What makes you happy?

How often do you check things off your Happiness List?

Do you think you invest enough time in doing things that make you happy?

Stay Happy,

Yx

Sunday Best: Cold Day Chicken & Lentil Soup

As we farewell summer and embrace our blanket on these suddenly cold, wet, snuggle-friendly days in Sydney, there’s nothing more happiness-inducing than a pot of warming winter soup.

A firm favourite in my house, this chicken and lentil soup packed with goodness, is sure to give you a nice warm hug on these chilly days.

Here’s what you need to feed four hungry mouths…

1 x large free range chicken

500g x red lentils

1 x head of broccoli

1 x bunch parsley

2 x lemons

4 x carrots

2 x large brown onions

2 x garlic cloves

1/2 x cabbage

salt and pepper to taste

And here’s what you need to do to create said soup…

Turn the stovetop onto medium heat and boil the chicken in a pot of water for about an hour. Once cooked through, take the chicken out of the pot and set aside to cool.

Now, place the chopped onion, carrot and garlic into the water and let simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.

Next, place the broccoli, the cabbage and the juice of the lemons into the pot and allow to simmer for a further 10 minutes. While you’re waiting, start pulling the chicken apart, tearing into skinless shreds of tender chook. Mmmm!

Once you’ve finished shredding the chicken, the vegetables should be done, so now all you have to do is place the shredded pieces of chicken back into the pot, season with salt and pepper to taste (and add some tabasco if you’re into it) and serve that steaming delight up. Enjoy!

Here’s what mine looked like…

 

And here’s the part where you tell me…

What you think of this soup?

What soup makes you happy?

Stay Happy,

Yx

Signs of Happiness: Cupcakes made of chocolate

If there’s ever a moment to embrace the ‘health benefits’ of chocolate, now is that time, Happies. Especially when there’s a cupcake made of chocolate, filled with Smarties, Jaffas and Jelly Beans sitting in front of you. Hooray!

If  you’re looking for an excuse to treat yourself over the next few days, remember that chocolate (especially that of the dark variety) helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol, slow the ageing process, and generally make you smile and feel amazing. I’m sold!

Wishing you all a wonderfully happy long weekend, filled with chocolate goodness and lots of special family fun.

Stay Happy,

Yx

Are you a sucker or a booster?

There are two types of people in this world, Happies – Suckers and Boosters. You will know of the suckers once I explain them, in fact, you probably have one in your life, or after a little self-exploration, you might even discover you’re one yourself. But hopefully you’re a booster, and if not, you can absolutely work on becoming one if you so choose.

So, what is a sucker? Well Happies, a sucker is a person who sucks your energy. Your confidence. Your soul. Your life-force. They are those friends you try not to catch up with too often, and when you do, you’re instantly reminded of why you avoid them like you avoid bird flu. Or worse yet, man flu (it’s far more severe, you know).

Some time ago I read The Celestine Prophecy, it’s a wonderfully insightful read if you’re yet to pick it up. It talks about energy and the way that humans try the literally ‘steal’ each other’s energy through a number of sleuth-like methods. It sounds a little quirky, and in retrospect it probably is, but I do believe that there’s merit to this madness and it’s never more prevalent than when face-to-face with a sucker.

Suckers tend to prey in many different ways. Some of the more common methods include:

  • Constant negativity about everything from soap to sandcastles and no matter how much you try to pep them up, they can’t see the world in anything but bitter light.
  • Talking about themselves constantly. So much so, you leave the catch up realising that not only did you not have a chance to tell them you’re exciting engagement/pregnancy/house buying/insert amazing news here, but that they didn’t bother asking you about that rock on your finger/bump on your belly/declined credit card, anyway.
  • Putting everything you say or do down, in order to lift themselves up. These are the worst suckers of all, before you can say ‘I’m great, thanks’, you’ve been fleeced of your confidence, happiness and energy all the while being made to feel like you’re just not really that good. ‘Sorry, honey!

On the other side of the spectrum we have the boosters, those gorgeous friends you love to pieces and leave you walking away feeling more wonderful than you have in years. You laugh together, share stories, share information, loose judgement, and best of all, leave any form of competition at the door.

These are the friends you want to see every day, the ones you can turn to in any situation and know that no matter what, you will always feel better. Oh, I love the boosters, Happies. They make me smile just writing about them.

Of course, we can’t all be boosters everyday. There are times when things are, quite frankly, a little bit shit, and despite all the positivity in the world, you just need a whinge.

But I do urge you to take a look at what category you fit into, Happies, and see how you react to people, listen to people, compete with people. Be honest with yourself. It’s a work in progress for all of us, but if we become aware, surely we can work on fixing it if we want to. And if not, at least take the time to listen to someone else for a change. It can’t be too hard, right?

Tell me Happies…

Do you know any suckers?

What about boosters?

Which category do you fit into?

Is this something you’d like to work on?