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September 11, 2012

Happiness & “The No Sh*t Experiment.”

Are you happy?

That’s the question posed by Gretchen Rubin in her book The Happiness ProjectOr more specifically—could you be happier?

I devoured this book in a couple of days, not because the writing was so good (it was okay), but because I’ve become obsessed with the idea of being happier.

A couple of months ago during yoga, as the class wound down into savasana, the instructor said to bring someone to mind that could use a little extra love. And you know who came to mind: me. Like a five-year-old version of me. I started crying. Luckily the class was online through myyogaonline.com and I was in the comfort of my own home enjoying a very nice pants off morning. Nothing like a good cry in your undies.

This got me thinking: a) I need more friends, b) I need to start taking better care of myself, c) I love what yoga can do.

This book came to me—recommended by a student of mine—at exactly the right time. I was breaking down.

“When the student is ready the teacher will come.” This is a Buddhist proverb that Rubin talks about in her book. This book, this idea of a happiness project has become my teacher.

This is how my happiness project is going to work. Or as I like to call it “the no shit experiment.”

As in eating healthy will make you happier. Uh, no shit. Or, taking better care of your finances will make you happier. Uh, no shit. Or, cherishing and having more sex with your partner will make you happier. Uh, no shit.

Each month will have a theme, and then within that theme there will be resolutions to help me to stay on track. This month is all about energy.

My resolutions (and these are daily) are to:

  • >> Eat three servings of veggies
  • >> Have a green smoothie
  • >> Listen to music while getting ready
  • >> Do yoga
  • >> Get outside for a walk
  • >> In bed by 10 p.m. (Monday through Friday)
  • >> Out of bed by 7:30 a.m. (Monday through Friday)
  • >> Floss

Rubin suggests making a resolution chart to help to keep you on track and to have a constant reminder of what your resolutions are for the month.

Mine looks like this:

But for those of you who are artsy or have any sort of computer skills it may look a little different.

So, who’s up for this “no shit experiment?” In the words of Jerry Maguire: “Who’s comin’ with me?”

Happiness project or not, here’s a great way to have some fun.

Put on your favorite album (album of choice for me: Ceremonials by Florence and the Machine!), leave your yoga mat in the corner and just start to move. See what comes up. The freedom that comes from moving outside the confines of your mat brings up some exciting new sequences/dance moves.

In my mind I look something like this:

I probably look something like this:

Hopefully it’s somewhere in between.

Amazing!!!!!

Cheers to happiness!

P.S. Pass it on to anyone you think could use a little extra happiness.

Themes to come: finances, relationship, friendships, work, no fear. So far that’s all I have. Any ideas??? Leave a comment!

Editor: Lynn Hasselberger

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Gloria Sep 18, 2012 2:44am

Great post, Shawna!! 🙂 Genuine, sweet & fun!! Thanks so much and congratulations for your project! 😉

maria Sep 15, 2012 8:40am

Thank you for the inspiration- I'm already doing some of these things, but not finding time for others (for me I need to find a way to incorporate meditation- slow myself down!). Your practice is soo beautiful!! I love free forming it- but I can't always remember the sequence I made up when it is time to do the other side- any suggestions?

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Shawna Turner

Shawna Turner. Aimless wanderer. Happiest with a book in one hand, glass of wine in the other, dreaming of down dogs, knitting, and really good cheese. Blog: a side of yoga..