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What's it All For?

4 Simple Ideas to Help You Stay On Your Journey

Written by Sujata Shah

Did you get on this spiritual journey and now wonder, what is it all for? Why am I doing this? Maybe no tangible benefits or changes are apparent, and so it feels like you want to give up. Sure, it seems great when long-time practitioners like Andrew or ardent seekers like Jen talk about it, but maybe you are not feeling the joy, the contentment, or even just the relaxation one is supposed to feel from practicing yogasana or meditating. We are not supposed to have expectations, but that almost feels like an excuse to give up when you are not feeling motivated.

Here are 4 simple ideas to stay with it even if doesn't feel like you are seeing any benefit. I came up with the acronym SWIG. SWIG stands for Short meditation, Write, Inspire yourself, and be Grateful. Maybe think of it as a SWIG of Inspiration, haha.

  • Meditation Shorts - Long meditations can seem daunting if you are not feeling inspired. Instead of forcing yourself into a long meditation, try facing the wall and taking 5 long deep breaths in and out through your nose. That's it, no fancy mantra, way to sit, or trying to clear your mind.

  • Write or talk about the benefits you may have seen in the past. I like to write in my journal or log answered prayers in a spreadsheet I maintain (geeky, but it works).

  • Inspire yourself - when you start feeling discouraged, make it a point to connect with something that inspires you. For me, it is listening to podcasts or watching short videos from people with positive messages and spiritual stories. Some of my favorites include Oprah's Super Soul series, No Expectations (of course!), or Sadhguru.

  • Find things to be grateful for. I like to start thinking about how grateful I am to be waking up in a warm, comfortable bed in a beautiful home each day. Once I start my day with that thought, other thoughts of gratefulness automatically follow.

Remember, everyone gets discouraged from time to time. It is okay to give yourself a break. You don't have to do everything perfectly every time. As a bonus, I want to share a guided meditation that got me through some of the valleys in my path. It is called a Loving Kindness Meditation, posted below. Let me know how you like it.

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About Andrew

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At the age 17, through the guidance of his older brother Chris, he discovered the path of Buddhism. His journey with the practice has taken him across oceans and deep within himself. As a Zen bodhisattva, he works towards helping others find their own path without reward.


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