Become financially independent

dsc_0101People make incredibly bad decisions that lead to a lot of unhappiness when they aren’t financially independent. They’ll marry someone they don’t love or stay with a partner or spouse they don’t like solely because they don’t have the financial wherewithal to do what they really want to do. When you are financially independent and are not beholden to a parent, partner or spouse’s agenda or idea for your life, you are free to follow the choices that are appropriate for you, which is an amazingly freeing and happy feeling!

The foundation of financial independence is a good career, combined with the ability to budget and manage your money. You need to be able to support yourself in the style that keeps you from making a bad decision you wouldn’t make if money wasn’t an issue. So while some careers may be easier or more accessible, they may not provide the kind of income you need long-term and therefore won’t allow you to be as independent as when you choose a more lucrative career. However, having a solid income is not enough, you also need the ability to save and grow the money you make. If you don’t save any of your money, then you undermine your independence and quality of life in your retirement years.

I’m not pretending that if you aren’t already financially independent that you won’t have to make radical changes in your life, such as going back to school, starting your own company, living on a smaller budget or stop letting your partner or spouse handle all the finances, but the payoff of not being dependent on anyone else financially is huge!

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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Meditation Tip

MedGalSitting

When you catch yourself thinking while meditating, be it about what you’re going to eat for breakfast, what you need to do today or even about how much you’re thinking, simply bring your focus back to the chakra, yantra or mantra. Don’t get mad at yourself because that’s just another thought! Just ignore the thoughts and be patient with yourself. Our minds are used to thinking and traveling all over the map, so it takes some time and patience to learn how to meditate well. 

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

Core Practice: Keep Your Mind Quiet

Keep-Your-Mind-Quiet3

Our incessant internal dialogue—all of the strategizing, defending, regurgitating and worrying that we do—covers our true nature. When you stop thought, you directly experience that you are made of light, Consciousness, God (you choose your favorite word).

Keeping the mind quiet won’t make you unconscious or an idiot. Rather you become wiser as you begin to see the vast wisdom that is at your core. You’ll find that you begin to understand things without having to think them through and that you have access to greater knowledge that isn’t available to you when your mind is a cyclone of thoughts and concerns.

But keeping your mind quiet is hard to do in our digital, socially-networked world, where we are constantly bombarded with information and never out of reach from…anyone! How do you do it? The answer is simple—you meditate. For instruction on how to meditate, download the free eBook on How to Meditate.

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

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.

Meditation Tip: It Can All Wait

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When you’re meditating, there is a tendency to let yourself think about the pressing issues in your life (because they’re important!). But the truth is you’ve got the rest of the day to deal with these things. Your meditation is not the time, and in fact, the quieter you are in your meditation, the easier it will be to see how to deal with these issues. So when you find yourself thinking about your problems, just remind yourself that you can think about later—after you’re done meditating.

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.

You Are Not Your Mind

Your mind is an amazing and essential tool, but it is not who you truly are. All the thoughts and ideas that run through your mind feel very close, like “you,” so it can certainly feel like your mind defines who you 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 silent? 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. If you need meditation instruction, check out the 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.

Be A Beginner

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When you have the state of mind of a beginner, you allow yourself to try new things and are open to new ideas, which is energizing and fun. When you are a beginner, you’re not afraid to try something just because you won’t be good at it or because it’s “not you.” You can have a great time at something and do it without the intent of becoming an expert. Who doesn’t love and admire the eighty-one-year-old woman who is picking up the piano for the first time or the fifty-year-old who is just learning to surf, both of whom are unlikely to become experts in these fields.

When you have the mind state of an expert and are heavy with success, you’re more likely to stay in your comfort zone and limit your experiences to those in which you can excel, and obviously that is not a fun way to live. And even in the fields in which you are truly an expert, it’s always great to not know it all. In being open we create room to learn new things and refine and improve our knowledge and skills.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, life is simply harder when you approach it as a know-it-all. When we think back on times when we “knew it all,” we invariably created more work for ourselves. I recall a time at one of my first jobs, the sous-chef saw me laboriously chopping an onion and said, “Hey, let me show you a great way to quickly dice an onion.” I replied, “I already know how” and summarily cut off the opportunity to learn how to do something in a more efficient way. At some point, I did learn the professional way to dice an onion and was amazed at what an idiot I had been. In “knowing it all,” I looked like an idiot to my coworkers by clinging to an inefficient way, but more importantly, I kept myself from learning a much better way of doing something. I’m grateful I had this experience so I could learn firsthand the beauty of being a beginner!

(Slightly amusing aside: after the book was published with this entry, several people asked me how to cut an onion.)

Tip 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 – 2014 Sara Weston.  A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.