On August 26, 2016, I met Kristin (pictured below), a young, hot mama expecting her second child. We met through a mutual friend and asked if I could teach hip hop for her baby shower. Mind you, I've never been to a baby shower so I thought, why not? Let's teach dance at this hip hop baby shower! Without expectations, I thought the shower came out better than expected and truly believe I brought happiness and dance to these wonderful women (pictured below).
A couple of weeks later, Kristin then reached out again asking if I would teach at another's friends baby shower. This time, I had prior obligations and couldn't commit. She then reached out again...and again..and one more time asking to meet over coffee to discuss a dance project she had in the works. We met, discussed, and came up with a plan. Introducing Cut Loose Dance...
During our first Cut Loose Dance class, I was so nervous. I wanted to make sure these Orange County women would like me and that I was a good fit for the program. Upon my introduction to the class, I didn't really know what I was saying...I believe I said "Try to feel like a dirty white girl gettin' it in da club" or something about going down on a stripper pole. My heart sank to my stomach as I knew I messed up my words. I quickly shut up and started teaching, got into a zone, and danced. After an hour and 15 minutes, the hot mamas and I created this lovely number to Major Lazer's "Wind Up" (below):
The first class went great! But, I knew I had to bring in my road dog and secret weapon, Esteban. A former dance student of mine at Western HS (Anaheim, CA), I knew Esteban would be the perfect compliment and fit for these ladies, if I ever was away speaking for Happiness is NOW. We taught to J Lo's "Booty" and really got the ladies to commit and feel their inner JLo booties! See for yourself (below):
I didn't quite understand what Cut Loose Dance was about or why these ladies/moms/women came to dance with us on a Thursday night. What I realized from the past 2 weeks is that this is one night out of the week where they have no kids, no worries, and finally have a chance to CUT LOOSE. I now understand the importance of these classes. My job is to make these ladies feel good, empowered, and energized for the long week ahead of them. I must say that I'm honored and impressed with the dancers so far. You can't tell from the videos, but most of our dancers are at a beginning level and certainly have never taken hip hop dance with me before.
Looking forward to this wonderful journey with Kristin, Esteban, and this group of dancers. If you miss dance and want to join us, please come!! We dance every Thursday night @ 7:45p; the information is below or visit: www.cutloosedance.com and follow us on Instagram @cutloosedance. See you soon :)
Meet River James Yuge (my first-ever nephew) and his grandma, Mathea Cline (my mom). River was born on January 20, 2017 from his loving parents, Meli (my sister) and Daniel (my brother-in-law) Yuge. Note: Mathea (my mom) had to wait 68 years before holding her first grandchild...I think it was well worth the wait.
January 20th was a special one for me personally, not because of the Trump Inauguration (haha), however it was the first time in my life that "family" moved to the #1 spot on my priority list. Prior to River being born, my list was as follows:
When River was born, everything changed; the universe changed and aligned for our family. For the first time, in a long time, we had a common purpose...to take care and protect River, who was born 4 weeks too early. It was quite a surprise because Meli and Daniel had been planning the natural birth since the very beginning. Why did River "come out" early? The answer was soon to come...
Meet John Cline and his wife, Mathea Cline (pictured below). Yes, that's my mom again...can you believe she's 68 years old?? She's gonna kill me for announcing her age to the world, however if I looked like her I would be so proud as to share it. Anyways, back to John...he's my step-dad and they've been married for over 12 years.
In the early years of their marriage, John was vibrant, energetic, positive, and even got my mom to ride on his Harley Davidson motorcycle. All I remember from the early days is they use to travel around the U.S. and my mom was very happy to be with him. A few years later, a fatal motorcycle accident led to John losing function of his lower body, making him paraplegic. This left them both devasted, but not defeated.
At this moment, I'm finding it emotionally difficult to write this blog post so I'm going to share what I wrote on Facebook (below):
I was struggling late last year, turning 40, and rediscovering my purpose for the next decade. On Monday, January 30th it all made sense. River James was born early to help us prepare for the passing of John. The Universe (or God) had it planned all along and making sure both lives were taken care of in the best possible way. Welcome River James Yuge and rest-in-peace, John Cline.
I've rediscovered and adjusted my purpose in life. To take care of my loved ones and to finally move "Family" to the top spot of the priority list. Looking forward to the journey ahead...
Next stop: Reconnecting with my dad :)
I give up world, you have won
Just too much pressure, I'm only 21
Negative thoughts, deep isolation
Can’t get out of bed, no motivation
I am numb...feeling dumb
Is this all that I've become
Alcohol, pills to numb the pain
These are my vices when I feel shame
Dead inside, lack of sleep
Finding it hard to even eat
Mind is racing, confidence is low
My life, my happiness, where did it all go?
Depression, anxiety, and fear all take a bow
For today my Happiness is NOT now
When I was 21, I made a decision to move to the Philippines. Family and friends thought it was a career move, however I knew the real reason...I needed to find myself.
This week was for many, the start of the school year after Winter break. For many youth speakers, like myself, I was excited to begin 2017 with a bang and focus on reaching out to potential clients/schools for the upcoming HIN tour. As I wrote in my first blog post, I was inspired to expand our scope to Elementary school and continuing to inspire both middle and high schools as well. Tonight around 5:00p (PST) I was hit by a massive brick, which affected my mind, body, and soul. It was the feeling of un-happiness, defeat, and failure. My inner-voice (let's call it the 'ego') was taking over and was asking questions like...
I've read about the ego many times in books like "The Power of NOW", "Unleash the Power Within", and "Outwitting the Devil" to name a few. In reading these books, I've learned how to cope with the times when I'm feeling down, sad, defeated...(fill in the blank). Back in the day, when I was younger and let my ego get the best of me, I would turn to alcohol, shopping, or watching TV to numb the pain. The most effective was alcohol as the feelings of pain would diminish with every sip. At the time I didn't know that the ego thrived on me drinking because it took over my mind and spirit. It craved drama and the 'ugly' Danny came out to play. To this day, I don't really remember my 20's; it seems like all a dream.
Tonight, I could've turned to drinking, eating fast food, or shopping online, however I knew better. Instead, I knew I had to change my 'state' (as mentioned in the blog "PEAK: How are you able to engage and get students up and dancing?"), change my energy and/or my environment. I went down the checklist of options:
*Note: Mom, if you're reading this, please don't be worried. I'm not depressed or going to hurt myself in any way. I just felt that writing this post would help me and someone else out there who was experiencing a similar kind of emotion. I'm feeling much better and am looking forward to eating your Filipino egg rolls and chicken adobo. Thank you and I love you very much :)
Thousands of people have seen or been a part of the Happiness is NOW Experience, notably learning the YOLO Flash Mob dance. Some even have the courage to come up on stage, teachers too, and perform for their peers. At the end of the presentation, most everyone is up-and-dancing the YOLO Flash Mob, which is then shared via social media. Upon watching these videos (see below "Nevada Student Leadership Conference 2016"), people always ask "How are you able to engage and get students up and dancing?"
The answer: I create positive energy for sustained happiness by putting them into 'peak state'. WATCH (video blog) below:
Tony Robbins - Peak State (one of MANY haha) below:
WATCH: Tony Robbins Priming Exercise
What do you do to put yourself into peak state? Meditation? Coffee? Yes, I love coffee too, however you tend to crash after a couple of hours. Please share your insight below.
It's been a few days since I wrote my last blog post and didn't want to skip another day. So I decided instead to do a video blog instead in which I discuss a quote you've probably heard a hundred times, "Get comfortable with being uncomfortable." What does that mean? How do I apply that? Enjoy the video blog!
Does this quote resonate with you? Have you conquered any fears lately? Please share below.
As a teenager, I've also had a fast metabolism and would eat anything and everything. I'm Filipino-American so the mix of all that greasy food along with McDonald's and KFC probably wasn't very Bulletproof. Now thinking back, it wasn't the food I'm concerned with, rather the poor habits I acquired during that time leading to adulthood. At the age of 25, I noticed the metabolism slowing down and at the age of 32, I was fat, tired, and at-risk for diabetes. The bad eating habits finally caught up...so what did I do you ask?
I became vegan. FOR almost 4 years (2012-2016). I was rail-thin and weighed 125 pounds (from 178 pounds). Again, looking back I'm not impressed about the weigh-loss rather for the good eating habits I was able to develop. I started eat VEGETABLES (foregoing fast food)!
This was just the beginning...I started MOVING again; dancing Zumba and working out at the nearby 24 Hour Fitness. I was starting to look good and feeling myself (below).
Progress pic: January 2013 (on left) --> June 2015 (on right)
Now that I was eating a more plant-based diet with moderate meats and high quality fats, I was starting to feel a difference in both mind and body. Adding the exercise and MOVING component for at least 30 minutes everyday catapulted my seratonin and well-being. MOVING consisted of dancing, jogging (around the neighborhood), playing basketball, and teaching YOLO Flash Mobs around North America. MOVING along with eating quality foods started a new Bulletproof Lifestyle (www.bulletproof.com).
My point is not to tell you what to eat or how to exercise. You're going decide that on your own since everybody's bodies are different. What I'd like for you to create for yourself are HEALTHY HABITS (when you're young) so when nature takes it's course, you won't be affected as much as I was. And for you oldies...you can still do it! It's not too late!! I see these middle aged men and women (especially) killing it in my Zumba and Body Pump 24 Hour Fitness classes. Even my 68-year-old Filipino mother is on the fitness kick, waking up every morning @ 3:30a to run, lift, and kick @ss before she goes home and takes care of my step dad. NO EXCUSES.
What's my motivation for 2017??? Vegas Baby! Pool parties, dancing, and fun-in-the-sun!! I know it's sounds ridiculous, but whatever keeps me motivated..."Work hard, play harder!!"
Above: My bestie (Thuy) and me (age 40) taking a selfie before heading out to the Encore Beach Club last Summer 2016. We were in the best shape of our lives here. She's currently preparing for her first fitness competition! You go girl!! I'm currently working on my increasing my lower body strength. Here we come 2017 :)
Let's get motivated together and MOVE! What's your motivation for 2017? Comment below.
Do you ever notice the things you do when you are "unhappy"? Why is it that when I'm stressed out (or feeling depressed) I head straight to the mall or Nike.com? For a long time, I never put two and two together until a few years ago. I have unhappiness triggers, which tells me something isn't aligned in my life. Here are the triggers below:
When I have the urge to engage in these "fun" activities, I look at the 4 things or "areas" in my life, which lead to (my) personal happiness:
In terms of relationships, I ask myself a series of questions:
How are my thoughts and emotions feeling? Sharp? Groggy? I'm a Type-A, morning person who usually feels awake, sharp, and motivated to start the day. A cup of Bulletproof Coffee (thanks Dave Asprey) and over 30+ vitamins help initiate the process! Then there are some days when even the BP coffee, vitamins, and exercise don't help. Everything seems out-of-whack.
Do I feel sore? Bloated? Weak? Probably stayed out too late (10:30p for me), didn't eat the right foods, or partied too hard the night before. This is usually the easiest one to identify.
Do I have a clear mission, purpose, or goal(s) I'm trying to achieve today? This week? This Year? Usually when feeling unmotivated throughout the day, it's due to a unclear purpose or goal. This usually is the hardest area because the word "purpose" has different meanings to everyone.
(Drew this diagram during a leadership/coaching session with my close friend, Jeffrey Viray, co-founder of TM Juniors.)
The way to achieve personal happiness (for me) is to get the surrounding elements in a healthy and positive state. There isn't a particular order, however they're all interconnected; relationships, mind, body, and purpose. If one of them is off, say "mind" then my happiness level can still be high (say 80%). In order to increase the percentage, I would try to increase my state of mind through food/water, exercise, or simply changing my environment. If all 4 of them are out-of-whack...watch out! Here I come South Coast Plaza (a fancy mall nearby HIN headquarters)!
Personal happiness is important for me so that I can continue to flourish, grow, and spread happiness. If you'd like a boost in your personal happiness, try looking at these 4 areas in your life: relationships, mind, body, purpose; and figuring out how you can improve your personal happiness :)
You have any tips or recommendations? Please comment below.
by Danny V. Batimana
Back on November 20, 2011, I stepped on the TEDxYouth stage in San Diego, California to share my story of overcoming my biggest fear...essentially 'coming out of the closet' and coming to terms with being gay. Fast forward six years later and I'm taking another huge step in the fear department and sharing my thoughts, not verbally, however through writing (and fearfully creating this blog). I call 2017, the year of "Overcoming My Fears 2.0".
This strong fear of sharing my thoughts through writing is comparable to the time I went to a rave back in college and basically hid in a speaker the entire night. You think I'm joking? No, really...I hid in fetal position in the corner of a bass speaker until my friends finally found me and carefully removed me from my terror. I can laugh about it now and am taking that experience in moving forward with this blog. (By the way, I'm working on my OFFICIAL Blog site so this spot will have to do for now). I'm not quite sure what this will become, but writing makes me uncomfortable and during my Happiness is NOW (HIN) presentations I encourage everyone to start being comfortable with being uncomfortable. SO HERE WE GO!
So last week, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts "The Tim Ferriss Show" (author of the 4-Hour Work Week) and came across episode #210: Becoming the Best Version of You, which served as an AHA "Oprah" Moment for me. (I'm not going to go into detail with the episode, however feel free to listen to it.) Tim Ferriss mentioned how the founders of Uber took the basic idea of the "taxicab" and turned it into a need and demand; essentially a multi-billion dollar business. Tim says he knows entreprenuers who took really simple ideas and changed it to make it unique, wanted, and a necessity for millions around the world. This idea got me thinking about my passions: Happiness is NOW and inspiring.
My audiences are generally middle school and high school students. There are hundreds of youth speakers vying for the same audience and when you look at college students and professionals, the number gets exponentially larger. So how can I take my passion for speaking and dancing and put a unique twist on it? The answer hit immediately. I was going to focus (2017) on the people who are (deemed-by-many as) the happiest people on earth. That's right...I'm planning a nation-wide tour with Elementary school across North America! Can I do it? Hell yeah!! I (along with HIN) have already been doing it for years now. Proof: Watch the HIN Elementary School Promo (below).
Do you remember what life was like as a child? For me, it was awesome! These kids fire me up and make me the happiest (even though I don't have any of my own.)
2017: The Year of Overcoming My Fears 2.0 will be an extraordinary one as I will focus my energies on those who are the most impressionable ones AND the happiest ones. Elementary school was a time of kickball, naptimes, learning your times tables, and being FREE. The energy and positivity in the video is real folks. I would like for this energy and happiness to start in early childhood and continue throughout their lives. It's not about message rather about the experience. Follow as I continue to create positive energy for sustained happiness! Bring it on FEAR!!
Interested in bringing HIN to your school? Please click HERE