Spiritual Gangster: Congratulations on becoming a new father! How has having a child had an impact on your idea of happiness?
YeahDave!: I remember when my brother became a father, and I asked him “What’s it like?” He said seeing his baby smile touched a place in his soul that he never knew existed. I have found that to be SO TRUE! All it takes is one smile from the little guy and I am blissed beyond belief!
SG: You have become a master of being happy. If there is one simple guideline that both kids and adults can follow each day to make them a happier being, what would it be?
YD: When you wake up in the morning, you can decide to be in a bad mood or you can decide to be happy. You can decide to have a good attitude or you can decide to have a bad attitude. You can decide that you look ugly or you can decide that you look beautiful. Here’s the chant to get things going in the morning... Be Happy Now! Be Happy Now!! Be Happy Now!!!
SG: Tell us a little bit about what inspired you to start Happiness for Kids?
YD: I had some difficult years when I was a kid. I put way too much hairspray in my hair, used a blow dryer, and kids at school would call me POOF. If only I would’ve had someone telling me to not worry about how I looked; to forget about the cool kids and just be true to myself; to think less and enjoy life more. That would have been HUGE! Think about all those messages you learned as an adult in yoga class.
SG: What if you knew that wisdom when you were a kid? How much easier would growing up have been?
YD: That’s the mission behind Happiness for Kids. Why do you think that American children (and adults) have such a hard time with being happy? We focus on the end game, not what happens on the way. Our culture is about competition, results, getting good grades, meeting your numbers. Add in the increased pressure of social media which pushes adults and kids to push harder, look better, get more followers. And it becomes very difficult to say, “I’m cool with who I am and what I’ve got.” Happiness is not an end game. If you are waiting to be happy until you lose weight, or sell your home, or get a promotion, you’ll be waiting for something else 10 years from now. Happiness is a NOW Game. How has yoga and meditation helped you to find your happiest, healthiest, and brightest self? One of my favorite yoga teachers would always say to his class during Savansana: “Nowhere to go. No one to be. Nothing to do.” That’s the secret to happiness. We don’t need to add to our lives, take a trip, make all these changes. That only complicates things. Rather, we need to let go of all we are reaching for, and enjoy the moment we’re in and the people we’re with.
SG: What makes you happy, Yeah Dave?
YD: Making these Happiness for Kidse videos because it gives me a chance to share what I’ve learned from 20 years of life in the yoga world...and be SUPER SILLY!!!!
For more on the Happiness for Kids classes, click here YeahDave.com .
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