Everything Is Going to Be Okay: Interview with Caren Baginski
Everything is going to be okay. Sometimes, those six words are all we long to hear, right?
To Caren Baginski, those six words are important. I know that because they’re the first thing you see when you visit her website.
Those six words are what she feels when she does yoga.
On this blog, I focus on living every day awesomely through creating projects that feel exciting and important. Part of what I love most about this blog is how it allows me to connect with people who are fulfilling their awesome life through projects that are always so incredibly different. Part of connecting with people is interviewing one person per month, giving all of us an insider’s view into how they’re making things happen.
Now, I’m bringing Caren’s work into the mix — it’s different and so healing. I can’t wait to share her with you today.
Caren is a certified yoga instructor and journalist who focuses on wanting to help you feel like YOU again. She documents her journey and her work over on her website, Happy Momentum.
I met Caren in Portland this summer, and I knew I just had to share some of her awesomeness here on TPV. And how could I resist? This is how she describes her work:
“I help people awaken to the truth that’s dormant in all of us: that you are exactly where you need to be. That you are more than enough. That you are Divine.
But I wanted to dig a little deeper and get to know Caren herself. What got her into yoga in the first place? What is it like to work at your “passion” every single day? What are the difficulties she’s faced?
Let’s find out all that and more.
1. What is your superpower?
“It was like you were speaking directly to me,” or “You know exactly what I’m going through!”
As a writer and certified yoga instructor, I hear these a lot, though I’m not quite sure how I manage to pull it off. If I were a super, I think I’d be the one who’s still learning about her power.
2. How do you use your superpower in your creative work?
Each Sunday on my website I publish the Weekly Dharma. This is a teaching that weaves life (usually mine) through the lens of yoga in order to make sense of the world and discern more okayness in it.
If nothing else, I’m totally honest. About the fact that I can’t do certain advanced yoga poses or that I don’t have it all figured out yet. Who does? I was always told to write what I know, and part of what I now know is that telling the truth trumps all.
3. What are the top 5 things you’ve learned so far in your work?
- On being worried if your audience likes you: If you have an enewsletter, turn off the automatic emails that tell you when and why someone unsubscribes. Trust me.
- On wishing you were more like someone else: You’re not that for a reason. Use it.
- On feeling like you’re not enough: Focus on feeling like enough for this moment, not for a lifetime.
- On launching a product from scratch: Expect to start, and stop, and start again. Far more times than is comfortable or practical, but just enough to actually get your creation out into the world. At the moment of feeling ready you will forget the long process of getting here, but you will also wish you had arrived sooner. Stop telling yourself you should have arrived sooner.
- On taking yoga photos with your dog: Always have a treat in hand.
4. Tell us about a time when you had to start an Adventure against the will of others.
Does my dog count? She hates when I go on adventures without her. Fortunately, all the people in my life are incredibly supportive and accepting of my choices; and if they aren’t, they aren’t in my life. It’s either that or I haven’t taken many risky chances (yet!).
5. What’s something people wouldn’t know by looking at you?
That I spent a good portion of my adolescence behind a computer, chatting away my isolation and depression with others who felt the same and making websites (yep, I coded my own online journal in the ’90s). I went through two major depressive episodes where I took antidepressants and deeply felt that stigma.
Then, I discovered yoga and meditation.
Now, I no longer identify with the disease and I’m medication-free. This continual triumph has defined my life and redefined my purpose, leading me to start my business Happy Momentum in 2012 to share this medicine.
6. What do wish you’d learned sooner (or not at all)?
As a teenager and throughout college, I wish I knew to take things less seriously. I managed everything — friendships, relationships, schoolwork — with the idea that I constantly had to level up or improve in order to get to… what? I found yoga after all that and probably because of all that.
A lot of us feel like we have to “arrive,” but the truth is we’re always arriving.
The less we push ourselves the more content we become.
7. What are you working on now? What makes it an Adventure?
I launched You Again Yoga, my first digital yoga and meditation product (aka labor of love) after having the concept in my head for nearly two years. The 30-day program offers the tools I used to breathe, move and think myself out of depression. When it came time to soft-launch to a small group, I was apprehensive and ecstatic. Would it help? Would they hate it? Thankfully, I can report that they loved it.
It’s my biggest adventure in teaching yoga yet, largely because I’m not in the room or in-person with the participants. When you can’t see, hear or touch someone and reassure them that everything will be okay, you have to surrender and trust that they will find their way.
One of life’s greatest adventures is creating and holding space for others to occupy as they please, free of judgment and free to love themselves.
I’d like to live in a world with more of that.
I’d like to live in a world like that, too! First of all, a big thank you to Caren for sharing her story with all of us. I’m struck by how calm and soothing her presence is, even through this written interview…
Personally, I have so much to learn from this…
So, I ask myself, how was Caren made her journey so peaceful, so successful, so wonderful?
Let’s take a peak…
She took a step inward.
Going from depressed to owner of a website with the word “happy” in the title wasn’t easy, but Caren did it by finding herself through yoga.
Here at TPV, we believe in becoming acutely aware of what’s going on inside, and Caren did exactly that through her yoga practice.
➜ Question for you: How could you become more aware of your thoughts and emotions?
She prioritized her support team.
Every adventure Caren recalls going on, she’s had the support of the people around her — and that’s exactly why they’re around her. The people who don’t support, don’t belong.
While it may be tough to cut out people who aren’t super-supportive, the first step for you might be to surround yourself with ultra-positive people who also want to make a change. They’re the people who help us do our best work.
➜ Question for you: What kind of support team do you have in your life? Is it what you need?
She stopped being so serious.
After years of taking things seriously, Caren took a step back to find a new perspective on her life. This yoga instructor has her limitations, too, and you know what? It’s no big deal!
➜ Question for you: How much better would you feel if you took yourself (and your projects) more lightly?
Everything is going to be okay.
After hearing Caren’s story and hearing her zen approach to life through yoga, it’s time for you and I to start adopting some more of her soothing awesomeness ot life.
Caren and I would love to hear from you in the comments:
Do you believe everything is going to be okay? If not, how come? Have you tried yoga? Is there something in your life that makes you feel zen? Is there something holding you back from being your best YOU?
Be sure to stop by Caren’s website Happy Momentum for more on how yoga can help you be your best YOU.
Wishing you awesomeness from Managua!