Don’t Follow Your Heart?

Many people interpret the expression “Follow your heart” to mean “Do whatever you feel like doing.”  But what following your heart truly means is:

•  NOT following society’s ideas of what you should do (duh)

•  NOT following other people’s ideas for you—including parents, friends and colleagues (medium-duh)

•  NOT following what your mind tells you (wait, really?)

Yes, really. Your mind has a lot of ideas about what you should do to follow your heart, but the mind doesn’t necessarily know what’s best for you.

Instead, following your heart means following your soul, which is your true heart. The deepest part of yourself is enlightened, is enlightenment itself and is super-duper wise. If you follow what your soul wants you’ll always be happy. If you follow other people’s ideas or your mind’s ideas of what you should do with your life, you will always feel off, not quite right and not quite at ease, even if you are outwardly successful. You will feel an undertone of depression or angst when you are not following your dharma, i.e., that which is spiritually correct for you.

So the challenge is how do you know what your soul wants? It’s simple, you meditate. You take time out daily to stop thought so you can feel your true heart. That’s all you have to do—why make it more complicated? A free guide on how to meditate can be found here.

© 2016 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.

True happiness isn’t about everything working out.

One of my favorite quotes from How to Be Happy NOW:  “True happiness isn’t about everything working out your way. It’s really about being in touch with your inner light.”

© 2013 – 2016 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.

Don’t own other people’s thoughts and feelings.

orange candy-polaA large portion of the thoughts and feelings you have are not yours, rather you pick them up from others. This may seem entirely shocking and untrue, but you can do an experiment to fact check this for yourself. Go for a hike alone on an uncrowded trail and take note of the number of thoughts you have. After you have been hiking for an hour or so, you’ll notice your mind is very still and that you don’t have many thoughts. Next go to a mall or someplace crowded and walk around for a while and observe how many thoughts are running through your mind. In a crowded place you’ll notice your mind becomes very loud and full of thoughts.

It’s helpful to be aware of this phenomenon because if you’re around an angry person, you’ll notice that you’ll begin to have angry thoughts. If you’re around someone who is worried about money, you’ll be worried about money. If you spend a lot of time with someone who is depressed, you’ll feel tired or hopeless when you’re around them. When you realize that a lot of the things that you think and feel aren’t coming from you, you can be an “educated consumer” and not spend as much time with people or in places where you pick up crappy thoughts and feelings. You can also learn to not act on the emotions that you pick up externally that aren’t yours.

© 2013 – 2016 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)

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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.

The way you don’t let troublesome people get to you, is to be indifferent to them.

CocoChThis doesn’t mean you become numb or indifferent to everyone, simply be indifferent and have no emotional openings to those who cause you pain, for example an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend or a relative who is a jerk.

Excerpted from the book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on AmazonAmazon UK and Amazon DE. © 2013 – 2015 Sara Weston.  A 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
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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.