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.

© 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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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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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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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.

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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

Download on the App Store