Bullet Notes: Why meditation won’t make you happy

 

“They thought: happiness comes when you are meditative. It was just the other way around: meditation comes when you are happy.” – Osho

 

 

Ah-ha or light bulb moments are my favorite part of life. In fact, it’s a quest of mine to have as many light bulb moments as possible. It’s why I teach and coach and read and listen to podcasts and interviews. I love the feeling of figuring out a new tool, strategy, or more importantly, a new way of looking at the world. 

 

I’ve been a consistent meditator for years, and I’ve read about and talked about the benefits often (intro here, walking meditation, meditation for biz, meditation for adrenal fatigue, and other thoughts). After all this talking about how meditation will make us more productive, present, and in general, just a happier person, I was in shock when Osho said in his book reading “The Man Who Loved Seagulls”  that meditation won’t make you happy.

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Pitta Reducing Blueberry Coconut Bliss Balls

 

I’ve been suspecting it for a few months, but I can’t deny it: I’m having a Pitta flare up. My skin has gotten red and sensitive if I use essential oils directly, my body odor has been a little extra…pungent… and my default crisis mode has moved from worry (a vata trait) to frustration (all pitta).

 

There are lots of reasons for this increase in Pitta. I already have a pretty strong Pitta constitution. I teach at a heated yoga studio 7 times per week. I’m running a business on my own, and I’m in the midst of planning a wedding. Life is a bit of a juggling act right now, and there’s a lot to exacerbate Pitta energy.

 

How I’m reducing pitta in my body and mind:

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How to Go with the Flow: Lessons from a Time Addict

lessons from a time addict picture

Do you going over your calendar in your head incessantly? Do you find yourself anticipating events hours, days, or weeks in the future? Do you like to make deals with yourself about treating yourself with food, purchases, or TV based on what your schedule is in the future?

 

Hi, I’m Samantha Attard, and I’m a time addict.

 

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Roasted Eggplant with Vegan Tzatziki Recipe

This roasted eggplant with vegan tzatziki is a perfect spring meal. This meal is quickly becoming a staple in our house because we love how the tangy vegan yogurt plays together with the warm roasted eggplant. Even though it’s simple enough for a weeknight, I also make this roasted eggplant for many of my cooking classes because the big pieces of roasted eggplant have a meaty quality, and you can eat this dish like you’d eat a steak – it’s a perfect entry point to plant-based eating.

Vegan tzatziki is actually incredibly easy to make, and it tastes just as great as the regular version. I usually make this recipe with plain (unsweetened) Forager cashew yogurt.  Kite Hill Plain Almond Yogurt is equally delicious (just note that the Kite Hill brand does have a few grams of added sugar, though it’s by no means too sweet tasting)!

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Is success available to you?

 

Your potential expands as you move towards it.
-Marisa Peer

 
Go beyond the immediate “of course!” Answer truly: do you think success is available to you? I was listening to a fabulous talk by the renowned therapist Marisa Peer, and she talked about how a woman she was counseling who lives in the middle of Nebraska felt like the ocean “wasn’t available” to her.
 
Many of us walk around feeling that SOMETHING isn’t available to us, whether it’s something concrete like the ocean, or something subjective like success, love, happiness, or health.
 
It’s rare for us to immediately feel what Deepak Chopra calls our “pure potentiality”: the feeling that we could literally be or do anything.
 
And this feeling – that there’s a primal need that is literally closed off to us – it can cause deep suffering and sadness.
 
In her talk, Marisa discusses the various ways that her clients or family have felt that things are “unavailable”, and how that can be not just limiting but also destructive.

 

She ends with a beautiful exercise: hold the newly born you in your arms, cradle him or her, and tell him or her that love is available. Success is available. You are perfect. You are significant.
 

Marisa believes that we are children of the universe, even more so than children of our parents, and as such, we have the right to everything the world has available.

 
If you do think there’s some truth to this statement…the next question is what do you do with this insight? Once you recognize that there are crucial pieces of life that feel unavailable…how do you start to turn the vacancy sign on and move in to those places?
 
My strategy has been to combine this question of “what’s not available” with Byron Katie’s The Work, which I introduced in this post.
 

Using The Work to make everything available to you.

The purpose of The Work is to interrogate your thoughts and ask if they are absolutely positively true. Let’s use the thought “success is not available to me” as an example.

 

First, ask: “Is this true?” and then you ask “Can I be absolutely sure that this isn’t true?”.

In asking this question, you realize that you don’t have a crystal ball to the future. There’s no way to say that success is not and will not be available to you.

 
Second, ask: “When I believe the thought ‘success is not available to me’, what do I feel?”

You explore how that thought can be ripping you apart, whether it’s physically or emotionally.
 
Third, ask:  “If I drop the thought that ‘success is not available to me’, what do I feel?”

You see what happens to your body and mind when that’s no longer your truth. You might find is that you feel relief, calm, hope, or joy.
 
The last piece of The Work is the most powerful: the turnarounds.

To complete turnarounds, take your original statement and negate it in as many ways as possible. For example:

  • Success IS available to me.
  • I’m not available to success.
  • I’m not available to me.

 
Then ask yourself how these three statements can be as true or truer than the original statement. For example:

  • Success is available to me: YES. I’ve gotten promotions, I have a caring spouse, I’m competent and valued at my job.
  • I’m not available to success: I turned away from that opportunity that would have allowed me to get an award because I was scared to apply.
  • I’m not available to me: I’ve been ignoring this need to feel success. I’ve been beating myself down when I could be building myself up.

 

It’s truly powerful and can bring up beliefs that have been buried as well as insights you were unable to see.

 

So ask yourself: is there something you feel is unavailable to you? Use Byron Katie’s Work to investigate these thoughts and see how they might not be as true as they felt.
 

PS: if you need help facilitating The Work – send me an email at sam[at]behappyhealthyhuman[dot]com. I regularly do The Work with my clients.

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig

 

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samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.

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Bullet Notes: Balance You to Balance Your Relationships

 

Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgement of others.
– Wayne Dyer

 

Relationships (of all types) are messy. Humans are unique, complicated beings. No two are alike, and no matter how “in sync” you feel with your bestie, your husband, or your co-worker, there’s going to be a time that you disagree. recognizes that we all have our subtly different forms of balance. That means we all use different lenses for understanding the world around us, for communicating, and for being fulfilled in our relationships.
 

Last Saturday, I taught a workshop at the beautiful Take Care Shop in Georgetown about creating positive, productive relationships with the people of all dosha (mind/body) types.

 

Give Vatas time to make decisions, for example. Communicate clearly and honestly with Pittas. Focus on small, manageable tasks with Kaphas.
 

But the ultimate conclusion of the workshop was an important one: Finding balance within yourself is the best way to communicate and be in peaceful relationships with people of all three doshas.

 

It came up many times through the workshop. We run into conflict when we feel that our needs aren’t being met. And while we think that it’s other people not meeting those needs….there’s often the possibility that we could be taking better care of our own needs, too.
 

That’s the crazy and cool thing: when we feel like we’re giving ourselves the love, attention, space, and care that we need, we don’t have to look to others to give it to us. On the other hand, we get really clear on what it is we do want from a partner, friend, or colleague, and are willing to wait to find it.

 

So ask yourself: is there something you’re not getting from a specific relationship right now? How can you give that same gift to yourself?

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig

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samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.

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Roasted Carrot Soup Recipe

You don’t have to cook fancy complicated masterpieces just good food from fresh ingredients.
-Julia Child

This carrot soup has been on replay since last November when we made a vegan (and gluten-free) Thanksgiving. It won the heart of our guests, and we’ve been dreaming about (and cooking) it every since.

 

Quick sidebar: vegan, gluten-free Thanksgiving was delicious. We all left the table very full, very satisfied, and grateful for darn good food. Shaun made two vegan cheeses from This Cheese is Nutswe made dinner rolls (made gluten-free using Bob’s Red Mill flour) and  pumpkin pie bars from Minimalist Baker, plus my favorite chocolate chip cookies.

 

But anyway – back to the Roasted Carrot Soup recipe.
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Quotes from “Real Love” by Sharon Salzberg

 

I recently read the beautiful book Real Love by Sharon Salzberg. It was a fabulous deep dive into how to express love for ourselves and for others in this crazy world, and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. The best part about this book (which surprised even me) was that it was the most practical book I have read in a while for teaching you how to express more love for yourself and others. It wasn’t just “you should” but “here’s how to think about this and put it into practice”.

 

More big ideas to come from Real Love (get the book here!)but here are some of the quotes I highlighted and loved from the book.

 

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Not a Silver Bullet: What’s holding you back from good deep sleep?

 

Sleep is the best meditation.

-The Dalai Lama

 

The wave was as tall as a house. It crashed into my body, sending me tumbling into the ocean. Underwater for 3, 4, 5, 10 seconds, until finally I found my footing. Within half a minute, there it was again. Me and my family, stranded in the water, unable to reach the safety of the shore.

 

Luckily, we’ve never actually been in that situation. But in the dream I had last night, it felt incredibly real.

 

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Vegan Chocolate Tahini Bites with Ashwagandha

Chocolate, I am sure, is the concrete manifestation of love.

-Geneen Roth

 

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today – a simple chocolate recipe that’s decadent enough for a Valentine’s Dessert but healthy enough for a simple mid-afternoon snack.

 

This recipe is based on a recipe I found at Mountain Rose Herbs, one of my favorite resources for tea and herbs.

 

This is a good recipe for those with a Vata constitution because it includes peanut butter and tahini. Pittas, you can have some, but kaphas, please skip this recipe and head straight to my dark chocolate popcorn

 

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