Tell Us How to Make It Better

Making the Most of Every Minute

April 19, 2022 George Siegal Season 1 Episode 34
Tell Us How to Make It Better
Making the Most of Every Minute
Show Notes Transcript

April 19, 2022
34. Making the Most of Every Minute 

Her name says it all, Katie B Happyy. Hear her inspirational story from personal loss and health issues to the inspirational message she shares every day about making the most out of every minute. 

Here are some important moments with Katie in the podcast: 

At 4:41 How do you share your "getting the most out of every day" message with people?

At 8:41 Katie talks about how she has taken her message worldwide.

At 15:30 Katie talks about what it was like having her dad read her book.

You can follow Katie through the following links: 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katiebhappyy/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/katiebhappyy

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katiebhappyy/ 

Here’s the link to Katie’s book: https://amzn.to/3Oaw2Xv

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Katie B. Happyy:

My mom died when I was 14. So, and I watched her take her last breath and as I was, had this really unique and awesome ability to watch her inhale and then watch her exhale. And then that was it. There was nothing past the exhale. I went off the deep end, if you would on being like, well, if that's all we get, if my mom's beautiful, 43 years on this planet ended with just an exhale, then how do I make the most out of what I'm given?

George Siegal:

I'm George Segal. And this is the, Tell Us How to Make It Better podcast. Every week, we introduce you to people who are working on real world problems and providing actual solutions. Tell Us How to Make It Better is partnering with The Readiness Lab, the home for podcasts , webinars, and training in the field of emergency and disaster services. Hi everybody. Thank you for joining me on this week's Tell Us How to Make It Better podcast. Every week on this podcast, I try to introduce you to somebody who in their job or in their life has recognized a problem. And rather than just sitting around and complaining about it has come up with a way to try to make it better. My guest today is Katie B. Happyy. She's a master Yogi that has always taken inner transformation seriously and with a healthy dose of humor, her global company has changed thousands of lives across over 30 countries. She's also a best-selling author of the book, Cheers to Chaos. Katie, thanks for coming on

Katie B. Happyy:

I'm very excited to be here. I appreciate it.

George Siegal:

So Katie, tell us what, what is the problem or issue that you have been working on

Katie B. Happyy:

In my book or in life ? George Siegal: In life? Let's make it broader than a book. Let's call it your, what are you working on that you figured, Hey, I'm going to go on and talk about this cause it's I'm changing lives. Yeah, I think I've always been a person who cares very deeply about making the most of every minute. My mom died when I was 14. So, and I watched her take her last breath. And as I was, had this really unique and awesome ability to watch her inhale and then watch her exhale. And then that was it. There was nothing past the exhale. I went off the deep end, if you would on being like, well, if that's all we get, if my mom's beautiful, 43 years on this planet ended with just an exhale, then how do I make the most out of what I'm given? And that is my constant struggle every day is, did I do everything I could? Did I give myself grace when I needed to? It's a constant process of self inquiry that is never ending almost to a fault because I live life like I don't get tomorrow. So there's lots of things that I take to extremes, like for sure.

George Siegal:

Yeah. I mean, I've lost both my parents. I don't think there's any age where you ever are okay with it. But 14 is very young to have to experience that. How long did it take you to move forward from that?

Katie B. Happyy:

I don't think that you ever really move forward. You just, it hurts less, you know, it's, there's the distance from it over time, her presence in my daily life wasn't part of my routine, right? So the older we get and the farther away from the pain that we experience, it doesn't mean I don't miss her. It's just that her being in my day to day shifted and, you know, being a teenager, you're so hormonal and everything's about you. And so it was not that there's a great time to lose your parent, but as a 14 year old girl, it was definitely not the best time because I was not nice to her and I, that took me some time to forgive myself. You know, she, she showed up to my eighth grade graduation in a stretcher and I was giving a speech and I was just so embarrassed of her. I didn't want her there at all, but if I was a little bit older and understood how important it was for her to be there, I don't think I wouldn't have cared. I would have loved that she was there. It was just the age. So when you ask me how long it took me to get over, I. As an adult when I moved to California, I went out when I was 18. I got even more distance from it that helped me, but I I'm never over it. I still we'd run an event for her every year in her memory on the Delaware river, in New Jersey, it's a tubing event and it's a fundraiser for my charity. And that always brings it to a head. All the holidays, you know, pain. Pain is different levels of it let's say.

George Siegal:

That's why I said get past it, not over it, because I don't believe we ever get over it. It's it's something very hard to, to just move on from. So when you, when you have this living life every day and getting the most out of it, how do you then take that from you and use that to benefit other people? Because you may have it. How do you give it to me? How do you give it to other people?

Katie B. Happyy:

I try to be the constant reminder for people that life is short, whether it's telling stories like my mom or I went about six years ago, I was diagnosed with Bell's palsy. So it's a facial paralysis about 40,000 people a year in America get it. And it's an inflamed nerve and most of us have inflammation. It's just, it shows in different ways. And the really unique part about my experience is Bell's palsy typically happens to older people with low immune systems or pregnant women because their immune systems are lower, but not to 27 year old fitness instructors. And I didn't think I was inflamed. I didn't think I was stressed or indices, but obviously my body was sending me signals. And so I had to show up for six months with a half working face. My eye was stuck open. I couldn't blink. My mouth was stuck open. I couldn't eat or drink without holding my lips together. And I couldn't say any of the words that require persing, your lips, so F, B's or P's, you had to like talk like that, or else you spit on everybody. And so over the course of that time, I still showed up to my 600 students a week. And part of that was me inspiring them. Like, I wasn't that happy, but I still showed up because maybe the reason I was given a paralysis or half of a smile was so that they could be grateful for their full smile, because at least I still had half of my face working. Right.

George Siegal:

Yeah. I mean, that's another tough thing to deal with. I've seen that I've had friends that have had that my son had that had to experience that and it it's difficult because you don't feel good about yourself when you don't feel like you look, right. So you have a whole bunch of stuff to deal with when that happens.

Katie B. Happyy:

I'm sorry. Your son went through it and he's has he healed?

George Siegal:

Yes. Yeah, he got over it. I know some other people that, that weren't as fortunate that they didn't just get passed it as quickly. So it's, you know, anything, anytime somebody has an eye infection, anytime you have a, a cold sore, I mean, anything that you get that other people are aware of can be very challenging to deal with.

Katie B. Happyy:

It's such an outward injury and it's so superficial. That's the thing is the rest of my body worked fine. I was, I just had to get over my own mental emotional insecurity of looking different and not being able, you know, because it's very visible. When people look at you, they look at your face kind of funny, like something's wrong, but we can't figure it out. And you really have to be able to stand in your power. And for me, it was this journey of saying to my 20 something self can you have people feel your smile without you smiling? Like I have a big mouth, I have big teeth, but I couldn't do what I used to do to affirm people. And so it was a big lesson for me to use my words and my actions a little bit more so that, that could be the smile I was giving people that the affirmation, instead of visually showing them.

George Siegal:

Yeah. I mean, you look right right now. You, so you have it under control. Is it something that you've gotten past? I mean, you always have it in your system, right? You don't completely get away from it.

Katie B. Happyy:

The Western medicine believes it's a virus like chicken pox. Like you could get it again. But it's not as likely. My face healed in about six months. I was very lucky, but you know, as someone who just woke up with it, I don't know how your friends and your son did, but I just woke up and I was completely paralyzed. Like nothing was telling me it was coming on. And so I went to the ER and the doctor was like, yeah, you have an 80% chance of getting your facial function back. You should be fine. And I'm like, but I have a 20% chance I don't? That's a high percentage of just waking up one day paralyzed.

George Siegal:

That is a, those are tough odds, even though, you know, you think, well, it's still 80%, but still that's. If, if that was in that 20%, that would be a very challenging, I know people that have had shingles, I got the vaccine. I don't think I've ever gotten sicker than from the vaccine for shingles. So I'm, I'm hoping I never get that. So, so tell me about the things you do. Do you want to talk about the book? Do you want to talk about as a yoga instructor, what you, what you give to people?

Katie B. Happyy:

Yeah. So part of my, my goal in life, my company is called be inspired because when I watched my mom take her last breath, That inhale it just something about it struck me as like, this is all we get, we get the inhale. We were coming to the life. We cry out of the mother's womb on an inhale, and then we exhale and that's it. The Latin root for the word to inhale is in spirit to inspire an exhale is XPO to expire. So it's this idea of how can we inspire with the few breaths that we get every day, every second, 1.8 people stop breathing. And there's gotta be a reason that I got another breath now, only I can define that. So I've kind of like made my life, this voyage of how do we not take life for granted? No, that there's something more to who we are and also have a little bit of fun while doing it. So I was working for nonprofits. I was working for Susan G Komen and, and United Way trying to give back. And I realized that I'd be making the same money. Cause you know, they don't pay that much. I'd be making about 45 grand a year. If I just started going yoga full-time like, if I just taught yoga 40 classes a week and I was young, I was like 23. It was like, I could do that. I could do that. So it just took off and I had a lot of fun in the first couple of years, it transformed into me as an international business major making what I love doing yoga and combining it with international retreats. So now I run these self development seminars across the world. We've done over 40 countries where it's movement and meditation in the morning, we do a self development workshop. We go see the country and the unique things it has to provide. And then we have some fun at night. I'm a big tequila drinker. I love all things, tequila. And it's a fun, safe way to see a country. And it's been my pride and joy to have people like get out of their own way. And for me, it's getting out of your world and getting into somebody else's. We always do a giveback component. And then I kept going, you know, I've been teaching now for 15 years full time and it started to be like, I would go to these classes. I would teach at these festivals and people would ask me, oh, what you said in class today? It spoke so much to me. Like I'm going through this divorce or I'm going through this job transition or this identity shift. And I was like, all right, well, all I'm doing in class is telling my stories and that's where the book came from. It's Eight Tools for the Puffy Eyed and Powerful. Cause it's just eight of my stories, hoping that people get a little semblance of feeling less alone in their journey. It's not, I'm not a therapist I don't claim to be. I don't want to be. I just realized that by me telling a little bit of my story, people felt less alone in their chaos. And every time people would tell me these stories after class, I realized we are, we all have the same stuff. It may not be exactly your mom dying or exactly Bell's palsy, but it could be aging and getting used to our wrinkles, right? An identity shift. It could be your dog died of 20 years that you just love so deeply. And you're trying to transition out to that grief, but we all experienced some, so many of the same pain bodies suffering in and of itself is the choice. Pain is inevitable. Everybody dies. No one gets out of life. Suffering really is our choice, how we, how we choose to see those obstacles. So the hope with cheers to chaos, EIght Tools for the Puffy Eyed and Powerful, the hope is it's a really easy read. It's only a audible says I read the audible it's four hours, but if you were to read it, Amazon said it's like three hours to get through. It's meant to feel, to help people feel less alone in their journey towards living their life a little bit more fully. All the good and the bad, especially the bad.

George Siegal:

Now getting back just before the book, though, with what you do, and you'd like to travel and get around COVID must have really put a dent in that for awhile and made it more challenging. And people probably were more in need of what you were doing than ever because of the isolation and the depression everybody was in over everything being shut down and having to live like that for awhile.

Katie B. Happyy:

Yeah, that was, I would say one of the hardest times of my life personally, because I thrive in, you know, I told you I was teaching 600 students a week. I was running these international trips 10 a year. So I'm like all over the place and very social and March 17th, 2020, I was leading my trip in India. I teach at the international festival in the Himalayas and we're all out there. We're kumbaya. We're having this great festival with people from 90 countries and we hear all of this, hubabaloo about toilet paper. Things happening in the west and we're like, nothing is happening. We're all fine. And then like the 18th, they were like, no, you need to leave India now. And that was the last time I internationally traveled for, I think, upwards of 18 months. And it was talk about identity shift. I've never been in my house as long as I was. I was never alone as long as I was because I was single and living alone, I, the isolation and that identity shift, it rocked me and still kind of does. I'm still now just getting out of that mental clearing, because it was a lot of COVID fatigue. I, I lost hope my finances tanked because I had all my deposits in these international trips. I stopped collecting payments from the people on my international. Like, you know, you do a payment plan. I was like, I'm going to put a hold. Cause I don't even know if we're going to go on these trips. So the whole business model I had made just stopped. Yeah. Everything I could ever depend on. I even always said to myself, if my business tanks, I could go back to bartending and make, you know, whatever. And you couldn't even do that. Like, it was one of those things where the security blankets, I thought I had set up for myself mentally and emotionally were totally ripped out from under me. And so now as we're opening back up I have four trips planned this year, but that's, that's very small in comparison to where I used to be because I'm taking it slow. I'm I'm really honestly a little bit scared. Not that I don't believe we're still going to open. It's just this residual fear-based that because of the past 18 months, two years of not being able to do it.

George Siegal:

Oh sure. I mean, there's a lot hanging over everybody's head. So I read a couple other reviews that people wrote about your your book. You know, a lot of times I take these reviews with a grain of salt, right. Because I didn't see any bad ones on there, but these were pretty good. Th this one makes you embrace your inner bad-ass and then use it for some good, a great read to start off the year. Couldn't put it down. And then another one says from the moment you dive into this journey with Katie and she has so much creativity shared with our audience, you will be hooked, prepare yourself for tears and laughter peppered with magical wisdom that only she can deliver a joyous blend of fun, raw honesty, pure emotion, and heartfelt gratitude. A must read for all those who are looking for soul connection. That's nice to get reviews like that. It's nice to have people love your stuff isn't it?

Katie B. Happyy:

It's nice because it was soul crushing and horrifying to publish some of the stuff that I did. It's very honest. Like my father is 68 in New Jersey and he, he read it. I sent him the manuscript first and I was like, I think you need to read this before it goes out in print. And it's like, you have to read it as if I'm not your daughter, because there's sexcapades and different various things that are very truthful about my, the way that I live life to the fullest. And It, it was so crushing for me to release it because in my profession, as a motivational speaker, I get to say my truth when I'm ready to it's on my timeline. But when people read your book and they just approach you and they're like, oh, so that time that you and your partner of six years broke up, and when he broke your heart and he broke up with you. Or, you know, do you want to talk about that time that you gained all this weight because of, of COVID or like, you know, they approach you with your issues that they have read. But I was, I'm not always ready to address all of that open stuff that I wrote about.

George Siegal:

Did your dad read the book?

Katie B. Happyy:

He did. He loved it. He said that there was two chapters he could have done without of the eight chapters.

George Siegal:

As a parent I don't want my kids writing books. I mean, I, I, I worry about that stuff all the time. Not for, you know, just as a parent, you worry about your kids anyway, but so, but he was okay with most of it?

Katie B. Happyy:

Yeah, the very first introduction is the most, I would say graphic. And I do that intentionally because if you can get through the first eight pages, then you either love me or you're like, this is not for me because it's very vivid with some sexcapades and fun international stuff. And so that part, and then there was some, you know, a little bit of intimacy with the chapter seven. Dating apps and being single and he could have done without that one I'm pretty sure.

George Siegal:

I, as a dad, I'll tell you, there's no doubt he could have done without that. I think we can all agree on that. So what obstacles do you find you run into when you're on your quest to make people feel better? What's the pushback you get from people?

Katie B. Happyy:

I think in my situation, personally, a lot of people know me because I teach them. Let's say, you know, today I had a class of 70 and a class of 60 this morning. So I'm telling my story, I'm sharing my heart with them. So every, they feel like they know me and therefore I also know their problems. And so I think that there's, I don't want to let people down in the way that I'm not a therapist and I'm not, I can sit and hold a little bit of space for you. I definitely come across often that there's this bond that they formed with me through reading or being in my class, but I don't know anything about them. Right. And so it is definitely something I wish I could, I don't know, unblock a little bit as to how I can be more helpful in that way, but it's just not, it's not part of, of my Dharma. It's not who I am. I'm not a therapist.

George Siegal:

That's true. And so are you in LA? What were you in San Diego? Yeah, I have family that lives there. They love it. It's a great part of a great part of California. So what would you say is the main takeaway you want people to get from the book? So I'm gonna read your book. What would you like me to walk away feeling when I'm done?

Katie B. Happyy:

I always, so with the publisher, he asked me before, before we even signed the contract, he said, Okay. I need you to do two things for me. Part one, figured out exactly what you'd want people to gossip about your book in the bathroom. Right? And then part two, you have to figure out the person that you're writing the book to. So I'll answer your question in two parts. The bathroom gossip like you asked was, wow. That book was really honest and it made me feel less alone in all of the things that I'm going through. Life isn't, it's not as big of a deal. The things I'm going through aren't as big of a deal as I was making them to be. And then the avatar, the person that I was writing it to was a specifically, a young girl who couldn't identify outside of the way she looks. But it doesn't mean that that's the only person. It's really for people struggling in transition. So if you need some tools and techniques to just kind of get over the hump, there's so many things in our life that feel like they're boulders in our way. And then when you get a little space from them, just like our parents death, just like your son's Bell's palsy, like the farther you get removed from it, the more you realize that that Boulder that was in your way, it was actually like a stepping stone to something else, but we have to just be patient enough. Believe in ourselves enough to know for, wait for everything to settle, but also to know that whatever's in our way might actually not be on our way. It's just a diversion to somewhere else. And so anyone who's in a rough transition that needs a little spark and specifically that girl, Ava, who I was writing the book to, who's an, you know, it's a fake person, but it's the person that you're writing to in that way. Helping her realize that she's not just defined by her outer shell and making sure she knows how to utilize the tools that are inside of you because that's, what's lasting everything else fades.

George Siegal:

Is it pretty much, is it mostly women that are buying the book? Do we do men, you heard feedback from men? What, they've, what they've taken from it?

Katie B. Happyy:

Men definitely by the book. I think when they hear about the sexcapades, that's more of why they buy the book. Yeah, but no, realistically my men students they've really enjoyed the book because there it's from my perspective, but it's, it's about anyone's heartbreak meets job transition meets what it was like to be in quarantine, all the stuff we all experienced together. It's definitely not only for women.

George Siegal:

Okay. Now, what advice would you have for somebody who wants to find a way to express themselves? I mean, you you're able to do it through your classes. You're able to do it now through writing a book, somebody who's entrepreneurial, they have an idea, something they want to do. What, what advice would you offer them to get them into it and get them going?

Katie B. Happyy:

One of the things. So I love gambling. I love like a little bit of blackjack or poker, you know, I think I max out at 200 bucks, but I love a little bit of table games. And I think about my chips when I've got $50 worth of chips to bet with or $200 worth of chips to bet with I'm still gonna play more. I'm going to bet more when I have a bigger money pile. I think about our life as acquiring success chips, a bank account. If every day, I'm doing little things that make me proud in the morning. I wake up and, and visualize my day, or if I take that 20 minute walk or run, or if I eat the salad over the pasta or whatever, the little things that we think contribute to ourselves. And a better version of us. It doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be little things each day that put into that bank account. And so when life rocks us, when life pulls us down and makes us transition, it's a breakup we didn't want to have, it's a job transition. We didn't want to have, it's a health scare we didn't want to have. You have more in that bank to bet on yourself, to take the risk, to do something different. And so for anyone entrepreneurial or not, you have to build your success chips each day. You have to build yourself appreciation. And some days I'm going to eat two boxes of nut thins and watch eight hours of Netflix. Right? Sometimes we do that, but most days I'm doing tiny things, at least 51% of my day. I'm proud of, and that for me, That's never wasted. That kind of stuff that, that self-growth and potential, it's all put into a bank account with exponential return on that investment. It doesn't go away. Even my breakup, I thought I was going to marry him. He, he basically broke up with me when I was 32 and I thought I was left with nothing in the beginning. I was like, what? This is where I put all my, I wanted to have kids with you. I wouldn't have a family built all this together, but now that I'm far enough removed from it. Well, actually all of the things that I worked towards with him, they're not lost. It sucks. And it hurts. I built a lot of resilience. I built a lot of understanding. I built a lot of persistence in myself, and that goes into that success bank that goes into the chips that I'm trying to bet on myself. So whatever your tiny things each day are giving yourself a little inner scorecard. That's what matters the most because you're your only judger. You're the only person that decides if your day was successful or if it wasn't. And if you can, at the end of the day, say I did some good things. Then when life rocks you, you have something to pull from to bet on yourself again.

George Siegal:

Very good. So what what's the best way people can get ahold of you? How can they get the book? How can they find you on social media? What I'll put this in the show notes, but is there a good way to get in touch? Yeah.

Katie B. Happyy:

Cheers to chaos is on Amazon ships within two days. And then it's on audible. If you like audio books and Kindle, and social media is katie b happyy and my company's B Inspired Life if you want to take any trips, I also do free retreats for cancer survivor. Because in my mom's memory. So I fundraise all year to take cancer survivors on a three-day retreat. We go to an orphanage, we go volunteer. We go wine tasting in Mexico. It's very, very fun. So if you're listening and you're a cancer survivor and you want to come with us you can apply at my website, b inspired.life.

George Siegal:

Excellent. Like I said, I'll put all that in the show notes so people can, can track you down. I'm looking forward to reading your book and not just for the reason that you think guys are reading. I love your energy and your positivity, and that would be the reason that I'm going to read.

Katie B. Happyy:

I appreciate that.

George Siegal:

So thanks for coming on. And I look forward to following your success.

Katie B. Happyy:

Thank you so much.

George Siegal:

Thank you for listening to this week's Tell Us How to Make It Better podcast. If you have any ideas for future guests, there's a contact form on our website. Tell Us How to Make It Better dot . Com. You can write me a note, tell me who you think should be on and I'd be happy to meet them and see if they would be a good guest for the show. And also if you liked what you were listening to please share this episode with other people so they can become listeners too. Thanks again. We'll see you next time.