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

Reminder: Take a break from the news!

dsc_0032This post is relevant for us all, but is particularly aimed at those in the United States.

There is a spiritual principle that what you focus on, you become*.  In other words, your mind takes on the vibration of the things you focus on. Right now the news in the U.S. has a very strong undertone of anger. Even when the anchors, journalists, pundits, or experts aren’t seemingly angry, there are waves of anger coming from the news. So when you consume the news (in any format), you are taking on a lot of angry energy. Sensitive people need to take a break from this barrage of toxic energy or it will build up and make you feel angry (at best) or sick (at worst). I’m not advocating putting your head in the sand, but rather to give yourself a break now and then so you can maintain equilibrium.

* A fun post on the principle of what you focus on you become, can be found here.

© 2017 Sara Weston. Sara is the author of the book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com and Amazon UKCAFR and DEA FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

How to Combat Depression During the Holidays (or Anytime)

IMG_0517

It’s a spiritual truth that the mind takes on the “vibe” of wherever you put it. When you’re depressed, you need to pull your mind out of depressive environments and put it in brighter places.

For Immediate Relief

  1. Get outside.
    Go on a hike (preferably), take the dog on a walk, or walk around the block.  Clear air and exercise do wonders for lifting you out of the swamp.
  2. Turn off the TV and video games and stay off the Internet.
    Both TV and the Internet can make you feel really dull and uninspired. They sap you of energy even though you are not physically doing anything. While it’s not practical to avoid the Internet entirely, when you’re depressed you’ll be well-served to avoid it as much as possible. Limit your Internet time to necessary shopping and banking transactions and then get out. Here’s more on how to fact check for yourself that the Internet is a depressant.
    Video games are worlds that you immerse your mind into, so when you understand that where you put your mind determines how you feel, you understand that you need to protect where you allow your mind to go. Most video games are not bright, happy places and should be avoided when you’re trying to escape depression.
  3. Get away from toxic people.
    We pick up the moods and energy of other people, so hanging around toxic people will make you feel tired, angry or depressed. When you are mired in depression, it’s imperative you get away from these people.
  4. Get to work—whether at your job or on a personal project.
    Staying busy keeps you from focusing on yourself and your predicament.
  5. Read a spiritual book.
    Immersing your mind in bright energy will make you feel so much better.  Here are some easy reads that will lift you up.
  6. Believe in yourself.
    Absolutely everyone is worthy of happiness.

For long-term relief, you need to get in touch with your soul.  This is the way I recommend.

Here are a few related posts: What You Focus On You BecomeRemove Emotionally Heavy Items From Your HousePractice Mindfulness.

Note: While I’ve helped many people successfully overcome depression through meditation and mindfulness, I have no expertise nor experience working with addiction or severe mental illness. The above steps are not intended to treat those illnesses.

© 2013 – 2015 Sara Weston. Sara is the author of the book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon.com and Amazon UKCA, FR and DEA FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

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 or buy on Amazon (US, UK, DE).

Let me know if you have questions or want more detail on any of the above. 🙂

Woofs and LOVE,
Sara

© 2015 Sara Weston.

Core Practice: Love a lot and laugh a lot

MedGalReading2When we love, light comes through our being and brightens us, lightens us and makes us feel happy. The love you express doesn’t have to be towards another person, it can be towards a great number of things—pets, plants, your artwork, sports, challenging experiences. In fact, love has very little to do with a person. It comes from us and it grows the more we love. We are happy when we love. We are unhappy when we stop loving.

Similarly, when we laugh, we relax and light flows through us more easily. It brightens us and makes us feel happy. Laughter and lightheartedness are great balms for our body, mind and soul. When we laugh a lot we are happier people. (It should be pointed out however that laughing at others, their misfortunes, sorrow or pain, will in no way make you happy. This lack of compassion actually decreases the amount of light flowing through you.)

© 2013 – 2015 Sara Weston. Sara is the author of the book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on AmazonAmazon UK and Amazon DEA FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

When You Don’t Love Yourself

Only-with-the-HeartWhen you don’t love yourself, it’s because you are misidentifying yourself as your body and your mind. And indeed the body and the mind have things about them to not be crazy about. Our bodies can fail us on a spectrum from perceived failures (thighs too fat, not good at sports) to the literal failures of disorder, disease and death.  Likewise, our minds can fail us on the same spectrum from frustration at not being smarter or wittier, to the literal failure of mental disease and degeneration.

But the good news is you are not your body or your mind. Who you truly are is the eternal light that makes up everyone and everything. And if you make the effort to directly realize your true nature, which is love itself, you will never not love yourself again! And all the petty frustrations with the body and mind will dissolve, and the true issues with your body and mind won’t be quite so overwhelming because they’re seen to not be the entirety of your existence. So once again, I encourage you to silence your mind on a regular basis so you can experience for yourself the eternal brightness and love that is at your core. It is by stopping the chatter of the mind that we can begin to see the light inside us.

Click here for a free eBook on how to meditate.

© 2014 Sara Weston. Sara is the author of he book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on AmazonAmazon UK and Amazon DEA FREE excerpt of the book is available here.