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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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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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.

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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

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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

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Recognize that you don’t have to follow your biological imperatives

Hawk on poleIt’s important to recognize and understand our biological impulses and then choose to follow them…or not! Our body has biological imperatives that were necessary for survival in earlier times but that are no longer useful. In fact, following these impulses can actually make us pretty unhappy. For instance, we are wired to gorge on food even when we are no longer hungry because when food was scarce it was beneficial to store as much fat as possible because it wasn’t known when we would eat again. These days in the West, where food is so readily available, this instinct no longer serves us and it certainly doesn’t lead to our happiness. Today we may want to eat an entire bag of chips but we won’t feel happy if we follow that impulse. Not only will we feel queasy from all the chips, we’ll also feel physically and psychically uncomfortable when we gain weight from overeating.

Our bodies are also very strongly programmed to ensure the survival of the species. To this end, men are biologically wired to want to have sex with a lot of women, while women are wired to compete with each other to win the “head man.” From a purely biological standpoint, the male of our species can ensure the survival of his lineage by impregnating as many women as possible. This maximizes the number of progeny he has and the statistical chance that some will survive and go on to produce children of their own. For the female, the way to maximize the survival of her children is to have a person who can provide food and protection for her children while she is partially incapacitated by pregnancy or taking care of small children. The more capable the man is at providing and protecting, the more likely her children are to survive, thus the incentive for women to get the most capable or “head man.”

Certainly, there is much more behind our decision making and actions than our biology. There is our mind and its will, as well as our soul and its longings. However, it is useful to recognize that there are hundreds of thousands of years of conditioning hardwired into our species to act out these imperatives. The biological impulses to overeat, for men to have sex unlimitedly and for women to compete with each other, can still arise in our default conditioned behavior. It’s important to know our bodies have these impulses so we understand where the drives are coming from and then we can choose to follow them or not. For many, simply the recognition of these drives begins the liberation from them. 

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