Thursday, 28 November 2013

How to cultivate happiness and say goodbye to negativity

Today one of our talented teachers, Wendy is sharing her love of Meditation with you and has even offered up a challenge perfect for the upcoming Christmas season. Something to consider on this day of consumerism, Black Friday! 

“You can live your life free from suffering. Meditation is a specific practice that can help you become free in this lifetime. ”   

How many times per day do you suffer from confusion, doubt, second guessing yourself and negative thoughts?  Do you want to spend your days experiencing these kinds of thoughts or do you feel like they are beyond your control?  

Meditation is a powerful tool that can help you overcome suffering and live in freedom.  

Have you heard a lot about meditation but you are not sure where to start?
Start by asking yourself – Do I want to cultivate & feed negative thoughts or would I rather cultivate positive, helpful thoughts?  Next question you need to ask yourself is – Do I want to be HAPPY or do I want to spend the majority of my time suffering?  

The answer to this question seems like a no-brainer but you may want to really take a look at the areas in your life where you suffer, often suffering is working on many levels for most people which is why they can get caught in it.

Do you secretly enjoy the drama of suffering?
Have you subconsciously decided that you don’t deserve to be happy?
At work do you feel like struggle & suffering is actually a sign of success?
Does a constant struggle make you feel like you are getting stuff done?
Is being negative the only way you can get other peoples attention? Has negative thinking become a habit?
If you constantly worry about something do you feel like you can somehow control it?  

How can a person become free from all of this misery?  

First you need to decide that you want the thoughts and suffering to end. Second step is to commit to a solution.  You may have tried many solutions and spent thousands of dollars trying to find the solution to unhappiness – new car, nice outfit, better job, gym membership – does any of this sound familiar?  But here you are reading yet another article on how to be HAPPY, sounds like the new outfit, better job & gym membership didn’t quite work out the way you had hoped??  

I have done quite extensive research in the field of suffering and have found one sustainable, guaranteed to work solution:  a daily meditation practice.    

By establishing a daily meditation practice you can cultivate stillness and create the time and space to let go of the suffering & let go of all the negativity.  

And here’s the best part: when you let go of all the negativity you make room for freedom & joy, you make room for thoughts that will serve you much better than the previous thoughts.  But most of all you create the space for your true self to shine (you know that part of you that secretly wants to be radiant, live wholeheartedly and enjoy all that life has to offer).  Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about we all have “it” some just choose to let it shine more than others.  

What practices would a person do?  Sit in stillness for 10 minutes per day and do some research: Become aware of the negative, harmful thoughts, figure out what situations trigger the negative thinking – is it from a reaction to something or some situation or has it become a habit?

Once you have given the busy mind some attention, begin to bring your awareness to the space between the thoughts, the space behind the thoughts.  Become aware of what is unchanging and pure in you (your true self).  Notice that it can be challenging to sit in stillness but know that you can always use your breath as an anchor, a tool to focus and bring awareness into the present moment.  

How does it work?  It works because you know you have a choice, you realize those negative thoughts can go on and on but you no longer have to react to them, attach to them or become the thought.  It works because you realize that you have cultivated the power to choose positive/helpful thoughts over negative/harmful ones.  

Feeling sceptical?  Don’t quite believe that sitting still for minutes per day will make you happy?  
Don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself.  I challenge you to sit still for 10 minutes a day for 6 weeks then sit back and observe the results.  Notice how the people around you react to you; notice how the tightness & tension in your body starts to relax, notice that you are starting to enjoy your life (even though it’s the same life you had before).    

Do one of Wendy's meditations here.

Wendy is a certified Padma Yoga Meditation Teacher, she teaches meditation classes and workshops throughout the lower mainland.  

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