Don’t judge your meditation

Lakshmi-Yantra

It’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.

© 2013-2019 Sara Weston. Excerpted from the book 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. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

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Wait—I’m thinking more now that I’m meditating!

Since I started to meditateA concern I hear frequently from folks who’ve recently started meditating is that they feel like they are thinking even more while they’re meditating than they did when they first started.

What’s really going on is that when you begin meditating and practicing mindfulness, you become aware of the quantity and quality of thoughts that flow through your mind. You’re not really thinking more, you’re just more aware now of what is flowing through your mind.

Be patient with yourself. The number of thoughts that go through your mind will slow down the longer you practice meditation. You may always have thoughts flowing through your mind at the beginning of your meditation, but what changes is that they begin to slow down more quickly the longer you practice.

© 2019 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. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

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Meditation Tip: Meditate Correctly!

SittingInChair

When you begin meditating, the most important thing is to establish a daily practice—you need to focus on just showing up and doing it! Once you are meditating on a regular basis, then the focus shifts to meditating correctly.

You won’t experience the benefits of meditation if you just space out and let your mind wander. In order to meditate correctly, it’s important to not think about other people or talk to other people in your mind. Don’t work on your to-do list or ruminate on projects at work or school. Instead, when you notice you are thinking, simply bring your focus back to the area of focus (chakra, breath, mantra or yantra). Don’t fight the thought or get frustrated that you are thinking—be patient with yourself and just return your mind to the area of focus.

Also keep in mind that a shorter, completely focused meditation is more effective than a longer, spaced-out one.

© 2013-2019 Sara Weston. Excerpted from the book 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. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

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Happiness Tip: Remove emotionally heavy items from your house.

House1-polaObjects can have people and memories associated with them, and if these associations are sad, depressing, angry or make you feel bad for any reason, then get rid of those things. When you have items in your house that have heavy associations with them, a part of your mind feels that heaviness every time you look at them, and it drags you down. Getting rid of these items is one of the quickest and easiest ways to feel better on a day-to-day basis.

Some examples of emotionally heavy items to get rid of, such as jewelry or gifts from old lovers or the bed you shared with an ex, are pretty intuitive and most people get rid of these naturally. Less obvious are items that have associations with people you love, but don’t make you feel good. For example, one woman I know always felt sad in her living room, where she had a lot of family photos. They made her feel nostalgic and sad about the passage of time. I suggested she box up the photos and put them in a closet as an experiment to see if it would make the room feel better. She put the photos away and was amazed at how much lighter and more enjoyable the room felt.

You know there is no rule that says you have to have pictures of your kids or relatives or any other thing in your house. If something makes you feel weird, for whatever reason, then get rid of it. There are social conventions about what the house of a good friend, mom, partner, etc. looks like, but these are just imposed ideas that you don’t have to follow. If something makes you feel heavy, get rid of it!

If you feel too attached to an item that you think you should get rid of, put it in a box in an out of the way place and see what it’s like to live without it. You might find you don’t miss the object at all and end up getting rid of it.

Excerpted from the book 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. © 2013 Sara Weston. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

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Reminder: Take a break from the news!

dsc_0032There is a spiritual principle that what you focus on, you become.  In other words, your mind takes on the vibration of the things you think about. These days the news 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!

© 2019 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. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.

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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.

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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.

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