Anyone can meditate

MedGal-soloWhen you meditate, you go into the light that is inside of you. That light is inside of everyone and everything, and it cannot be owned by any culture, country, religion, lineage or gender. Anyone can slow their mind down and experience that light.  It doesn’t matter if you’re fat or skinny, young or old, mediocre or extraordinary, a gal or a guy—anyone can meditate!

© 2018 Sara Weston. Sara is the author of How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com  or  Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE.

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Happiness Tip: Avoid Naysayers

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One tip in How to Be Happy NOW is to Avoid Naysayers, excerpted here:
There are some people who have limited perception and don’t think it’s possible to change your circumstances or make your dreams come true. Avoid sharing your dreams and aspirations with these folks because they can drag you down with their negativity and dissuade you from working towards your goals. Instead seek constructive criticism and feedback from people who are happy to assist you and don’t want to shoot you down.

The movie Maid in Manhattan is an enjoyable Cinderella retread, where the working class gal gets the prince/senator after running away from the ball, however what struck me as true-to-life and illustrative of the “Avoid Naysayers” tip was the relationship between the main character, Marisa, and her mother.  Marisa, played by Jennifer Lopez, works as a maid in a five-star hotel. She dreams of a better life for herself and her young son, and wants to move out of housekeeping and into management. When her mother sees the application she says:

Mom: This fell out of your bag.  Is it yours?MaidinManhattan
Marisa: Yeah, thanks.
Mom: Managment, huh? (raising her eyebrows)
Marisa: Um, hum
Mom: You’re fancy. (glaring)
Marisa: What?
Mom: I’m not saying a word.
Marisa: Can you not say a word somewhere else.

The mom doesn’t believe her daughter deserves to be anything more than a maid and completely discourages her dreams of moving into management. Later in the movie after Marisa is fired they have this exchange:

Mom: We’ll call Señora Rodriguez. She owes me a favor. She has–
Marisa: I’m not calling Mrs. Rodriguez. I love you, okay? I do. But I don’t want to clean houses. There’s nowhere to go from there.
Mom: Hasn’t this taught you anything? Wake up, little girl, you have responsibilities. And they come every month like clockwork. You want to end up back in the projects? Keep dreaming dreams that will never happen. You want to put food on the table? Call Señora Rodriguez.
Marisa: You’re right, Ma. I’m a good cleaning lady. I’ll start over. But not with Mrs. Rodriguez. I’m gonna find a job as a maid in some hotel. After some time passes, I’m gonna apply for the management program. And when I get the chance to be a manager….and I will, Ma, I know I will, I’m going to take that chance without any fear. Without your voice in my head telling me that I can’t.

I’m sure Marisa’s mom wanted what was best for her daughter, she just didn’t have the vision to see that more was available. There’s nothing surprising or wrong about a parent (friend, partner, etc.) having a limited dream, but we can’t pay attention to these people. Instead we need to seek constructive criticism and feedback from people who are happy to assist us and don’t want to shoot us down.

I like what John Tesh said about his transition in career from cohost of Entertainment Tonight to musician. He asked five people he knew well what they saw him doing with his life. Each said they saw him doing something with music and not one of them said they saw him reading celebrity birthdays on TV. He said, “The key is to ask the right people. These should be people who know you well or knew you well in the past and whose opinions you truly value. They should not all be close family members, however. Sometimes close family members point us toward the path that they consider stable or prudent, not to the one that can lead to our true passion.

“If I had asked my parents, they would have said that they saw me as a doctor—because they consider medicine a good profession, not because I have any interest in medicine or an aptitude for it.” Quoted in Bottom Line Personal, November 1, 2012.

© 2013-2018 Sara Weston.

How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way is available on Amazon.com  or  Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE.

Download the How to Be Happy NOW app

Download on the App Store

Reboot Your Spiritual Practice

If your practice feels stale or if you feel like you’re on the wrong track, it’s time to reset your practice. Check out the tips below for a start.

Clarify your intent
road turn-pola
Get clear on what you want, because that is what will manifest. If you’re really clear that you want the benefits of meditation and mindfulness, then you’ll do what it takes to make it happen. (It’s also helpful to get clear on not wanting a practice—if that’s the case—because then you stop wasting your energy with thoughts like, “I should be meditating,” “I should be reading spiritual books,”  “I should be, should be, should be…”)

Tip: For some folks who are trying to establish a regular meditation practice, sometimes all it takes is going to bed earlier because then it’s not such a challenge to wake up and meditate.

LettingTheDaysGoBy

“Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down.” Retreat from your everyday life occasionally, so this doesn’t happen to you 🙂

Get away from your life for a few days
When you’re looking to reboot your practice, it’s essential to get away from your life for a few days. When you’re in your everyday groove, it’s hard to see what is right for you. All the routines we have make it hard to see new possibilities. Getting away creates a space to see how to reboot your practice.

Getting away from your life includes an electronics fast. If you go on a retreat and check your phone or tablet frequently for Instagram and FB updates, emails, texts, Twitter feeds, the news, let’s be honest, you are in no way getting away from your life. So don’t waste your time and money going on retreat and then negating the chance of it working by staying connected to your life.

If you don’t think you have the time to get away, revisit the first point—clarify your intent. If it’s important to you, you’ll make it happen; if it’s not, you won’t.

Tip: Clean the heck out of your living and work spaces before you get away. Our home and work spaces are a reflection of our mind, so when we clean them up, we create more space to see new ways ahead.

Hit the delete button on the people, places and activities that discourage your practice. When you get away, you frequently get insight into what needs to be dropped or changed. Check out these posts for more on being empirical about the places and activities that either empower or drain you and avoiding naysayers.

Quiet-GalReinvigorate your mindfulness

Stop repeating your story in your head. Stop inwardly practicing conversations or debates. Don’t talk to your friends and relatives in your mind. Don’t inwardly “write reviews.” Instead, simply be in the moment—be in the experience without commentary. Mental chatter is draining and prevents you from both seeing what is correct and feeling calm. More on mindfulness as a core practice can be found here, and for a helpful trick with mindfulness, check out the 7-second rule.

Start something NEW and FUN
Whether it’s learning to cook, surf, paint, play an instrument, sew, etc., having something new and fun that excites you will give you energy and invigorate your life and meditation.

Read or re-read How to Be Happy Now. Almost every tip in the book will help you reboot your practice. A free excerpt is available here.

© 2018 Sara Weston.

Available on Amazon.com  or  Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE.

Download the How to Be Happy NOW app

Download on the App Store

Your Future Is NOT Set

Tips-Illus-Movies2Reposting this entry as it covers such an important topic. Some folks on the spiritual path can start to believe that there’s nothing they can do to change their destiny, that it’s all fixed due to their karma, but that’s not the case. The future is not set! You can change your “destiny” through the use of your free will!

Many folks believe that their future is set—that they are destined to continue on the track they are currently on. But while most people don’t do much to change their karma (their state of mind), so their lives do follow the track they’re already on, it doesn’t have to be this way—you can absolutely change your karma through the use of your free will. It is entirely possible to change your state of mind, change the way you react to situations, and change “you”!

PreCogsThe concept of using your free will to change your karma is illustrated perfectly in the movie Minority Report. In the movie there is an experimental “Pre-crime” police unit, which apprehends criminals before they commit their crimes. The unit uses three gifted humans called “pre-cogs” who see crimes before they happen. By monitoring these pre-cogs’ brains, the police know the criminal’s name and when the crime will occur, so they arrive at the scene of the crime before the crime is committed and arrest the future criminal.

The benefit of this method is, of course, that the crime is prevented. The downside is that it doesn’t allow for the possibility that the criminal may change his or her mind and not commit the crime. In fact, one of the more gifted pre-cogs, Agatha, occasionally sees a different future in which the crime is not committed. This seeing, which is divergent from the other two pre-cogs, is called the “minority report.” It represents the criminal’s use of free will to make a different choice and change her destiny. The two pre-cogs who see the “majority report” are seeing the criminal’s karma or default state of mind. Most of the time, all three pre-cogs see the same outcome. This is because most people don’t diverge from their karma. But occasionally, Agatha sees a different future, the minority report, which is when a person uses their free will to break away from their karma.

We all have the ability to use our free will to change our karma, to change our state of mind, our choices, and thus, our future. If you’ve always been bad at finances, you can use your will to make different choices and get your finances in order. If in the past you’ve had calamitous relationships, you can change your state of mind to choose healthier relationships. If you’ve always had an unhappy state of mind, you can use your free will to take steps to change your mind state to a happy one. Your future is not set!

p.s. One of the ways you can strengthen your will is by meditating on your navel center, which is the center of willpower. For instruction on how to meditate, download the free eBook on How to Meditate.

Available on Amazon.com  or  Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE.

Download the How to Be Happy NOW app

Download on the App Store

Don’t judge your meditation

SittingInChairIt’s important to not judge your meditation. The only bad meditation is the one you don’t do! The truth is even when you have meditations that don’t feel as “good” or “powerful” as others, the light is still transforming you. It’s still working, even if it doesn’t feel like a good meditation to you.

Excerpted from the book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way. © 2013-2017 Sara Weston. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

Available on Amazon.com  or  Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE.

Download the How to Be Happy NOW app

Download on the App Store

You Are Not Your Mind

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Your mind is an amazing and essential tool, but it is not who you truly are. All the thoughts and ideas that run through our minds feel very close, like “us,” so it can certainly feel like our minds define who we are—but if you put your mind on “Pause” for a moment and stop your thoughts, you will find that there is still a presence there. You find that you are still there even when your mind is not thinking.

What is that presence that is still there when the mind is gone? I can tell you that it is your true self, the light and consciousness that make up everything and everyone. But it’s not very transformative to read that. What’s powerful is to experience that eternality for yourself! What’s transformative is to start meditating and slowing down the mind so you can find out for yourself that who you truly are is beyond the mind and the body, is eternal and is good.

Everyone at their core is made of this light. Both the best person and the worst person have this light at their core. What this means for you is that this light is inside you and available to you all the time, but you have to slow down your mind to be able to see it. So, yes again, meditate! For instruction on how to meditate, download the free eBook on How to Meditate.

© 2013-2017 Sara Weston.

How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way is available on Amazon.com  or  Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE.

Download the How to Be Happy NOW app

Download on the App Store

Meditation Tip: Mix it up

 

Lakshmi-YantraDon’t get stuck doing your meditation practice the same way all the time. What works best for you will change over time!

Excerpted from the book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way. © 2013-2017 Sara Weston. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

Available on Amazon.com  or  Amazon UKCA, FR , IT, ES and DE.

Download the How to Be Happy NOW app

Download on the App Store