How to Make Your Website Better

Correctly marketing your website is important now more than ever! For your website is the holder of your content. It is a key place for people to land after they’ve seen a video, social media post, or blog. We’ve introduced the importance of making sure these mediums link back to the source by linking to a website address. Thus, the next step is to be ready for your audience by assuring that your homepage or landing page is user-friendly! And one of the most important, yet often overlooked aspect of web marketing is website usability.

Website usability means that your site is navigable, user-friendly, and its capabilities and features are straightforward.

Your website is a reflection of your organization. If you can make a big impact with your website and build a happy group of visitors, you will be able to accomplish much more even with limited resources.

Here are some simple changes that will make your website more user-friendly so that can have greater success on the Internet, so that all the efforts you’ve made thus far don’t end when someone lands on your site:Continue reading “How to Make Your Website Better”

How to Meditate: Meditation for Beginners

The meditation technique of Paramhansa Yogananda is the one that I found to be the most effective for bringing me to a deep feeling of peace and calm focus. Yogananda is author of the best-selling spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi.

The name of this technique is Hong-Sau. “Hong” rhymes with “song” and “sau” is pronounced “saw.” Hong-Sau is a mantra used to quiet the mind and spiritualize the individual efforts of the meditator. Most meditation techniques from India use a mantra to help the meditator spiritually on a vibrational level, as well as to help the mind focus its attention on something so it is not to left to wander.

To begin meditation, first sit with your spine straight and away from the back of the chair, eyes closed, and slightly tilt your hips forward so that your knees are slightly lower than your hips. (If your legs are longer, you may need to place a pillow or folded blanket on the chair to have this alignment.) Bring your hands to rest on the juncture between the hips and thighs, so that your shoulders are brought back, taking the tension off of the shoulders and neck. Most importantly, find a position where you can relax comfortably.

Now relax the body by tensing all the muscles and taking a double inhale breath and then relax all the muscles on a double exhale breath. Repeat this as many times as you need to, focusing especially on the tension in your shoulders and neck or wherever you carry tension most often. Tense these parts of your body until you feel a vibration of energy, and then completely relax them. (To see more about the tension and relaxation exercises you may be interested in Paramhansa Yogananda’s Energization Exercises.)

Begin your meditation by focusing your attention at the point between the eyebrows. You may first want to find this point by holding your arm out in front of you with your hand in the “thumbs up” position. Now raise your thumb until it is about level with the top of your head. Notice the position of your eyes here and try to re-position them in this way when closed.

Now, with a sense of deep calm, begin to watch the flow of your breath—without controlling it. Watch it enter and exit your body. Practice this for a few breaths, until you see that you are not controlling the flow of respiration. Then begin to add the mantra: as you inhale, mentally chant the word, “Hong,” and as you exhale, mentally chant the word, “Sau.”Continue reading “How to Meditate: Meditation for Beginners”

How to Find Your Life Purpose and Live Inspired

What does it mean to be inspired? It means to breathe into, to infuse (as life) by breathing, to draw forth or bring out. If we break down the meaning even further, the root of the word inspiration (similar to respiration), means to draw in, or to breathe life into. Spiri—or Spirit—is the source of all life. To draw in or breathe into that which you feel inspired to create, from the source of all life.

To draw inspiration into yourself, begin by opening your heart to this flow of Spirit. Calmness and openness of the heart is an important part of finding your source of inspiration. It also helps to know what inspires you.

“You have the capacity to throw flowering branches of power and success all around you, that the inspiration of your life may waft its influence over the entire cosmos.”

—Paramhansa Yogananda

Introspection, is a way to know what is your natural inclination for creativity and purpose. Once you know what that is, you can understand what you have to give others in this world. Is what you are doing fulfilling and satisfying to your right? If not, begin to pursue that which your heart is guiding you to do, if you would find your source of inspiration again.

Let’s do an introspection exercise to discover your innate gifts, especially thinking back to childhood when your heart was able to more easily lead the way. Begin by writing down the answers to the following questions:Continue reading “How to Find Your Life Purpose and Live Inspired”

How to Stay Positive for Success

A positive attitude is a right attitude.

Have you you ever noticed that when you are positive, your energy is lifted? During such a time, you may say, “I feel high”, or “I’m on top of the world!” Now, reflect on those times that you were feeling negative. Did your body seem to become “heavy” and would you say you were feeling “low”?

This is a natural phenomena. When we are negative, our energy is heavy, and it is hard to face life’s challenges; to rise to the occasion; and to have the qualities and inner strength needed for success. When our energy is light and lifted, there is no challenge too hard. No obstacle too big.

“There are no such thing as obstacles: There are only opportunities!” —Paramhansa Yogananda

Seeing the glass half full is a positive way of approaching life, but in relation to success, positivity is known for its ability to attract solutions. When you hit a “block”, or mental struggle, that keeps you from moving forward, rather than seeing more and more problems along the way, a positive state of mind will help you clearly see just the right solution!Continue reading “How to Stay Positive for Success”

What Does It Mean to Be Enthusiastic?

Enthusiasm requires high energy to manifest. When you picture someone you know who is enthusiastic, you probably think of someone who could be described as joyful and energetic. Why is energy such an important part of enthusiasm?

The root meaning of the word “enthusiasm” is en or “in” and thus, Greek for “spirit”. More simply stated, enthusiasm’s root meaning is “inspired by God.” To be enthusiastic, therefore, one must be a channel for God’s inspiration to flow through them. That kind of inspiration gives potentially limitless energy to accomplish things, if we simply tune into what is trying to happen through us.

Love for helping others and the inspiration to share can also make one very enthusiastic! The energy of the heart, when opened and lifted upward to the flow of inspiration, has great potential for what it can accomplish. Inspiration is a gift, and it is our responsibility to do all that we can to manifest it. And by helping others grow and expand, we, too, grow and expand.

There is an ancient Sanskrit Proverb of India that says,“Where there is adherence to truth and right action, there is victory.” Acting only with the desire to help others—and without a desire for what your actions will do for you—is right action. Those who are enthusiastic about achieving great things, and sharing good ideas, will be successful.

“To be alive is to be on fire with purpose, to move forward with undaunted determination toward a goal. You must be enthusiastically active, make something of yourself, and give something worthwhile to the world.”—Paramhansa Yogananda

To generate enthusiasm, Yogananda said to raise your energy.Continue reading “What Does It Mean to Be Enthusiastic?”

How to Develop Courage and Become Fearless

Be willing to face any challenges or misfortunes that arise on your journey, and challenge—within yourself—any resistance that arises in the form of doubt or perceived obstacles. Change the way you think about things. View every obstacle as an opportunity for further growth, and greater success. Opportunities, moreover, must be met halfway. You can only have the opportunity to be successful if you try.

Every time we set out to start something new, we have to face doubt and fear in the face. On the outset of something we are deeply inspired to do, we may hear voices of negativity wonder aloud: “What if this fails completely?” “Is this even worth the energy?” “What will people think?” To overcome these questions, it is helpful to be reminded that we can only take one step at a time, facing each fear one by one, telling it to “Get out!” when it arises.

By trying, even if in the end we feel that we have not achieved our starting goals, we can at least be happy knowing that we did our best along the way.

“Meet everybody and every circumstance on the battlefield of life with the courage of a hero and the smile of a conqueror.” —Paramhansa Yogananda

Fear blocks the positive energy flow that we must attune to in order to attract success. It is like a wall of negativity that we run into and must overcome again and again in order to be free. Here is an exercise for overcoming fear:

Face fear head on! Practice imagining the worst thing that could happen with regards to your current “worry.” Now, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What fear do you most need to face in order to achieve success?
  • What is the worst thing possible that could happen if this fear came true?
  • What does it feel like to have the worst imaginable thing happen?
  • Is it as horrible as you thought?
  • What other fears can you apply to this practice?
  • Do you hold any fear of the unknown that lies ahead?

Continue reading “How to Develop Courage and Become Fearless”

Energy, Awareness, and Willpower

We are made of energy. Becoming aware of our energy; learning to direct it at will; and understanding the laws that attract a greater flow of energy, are all essential parts of living a happier life. Spiritual teacher Swami Kriyananda said, “There is no limit to the energy that we can draw from the Universe for any endeavor.”

Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi said that we recently began Dwapara Yuga (the age of energy). One example of this, is how within the past century we have widely begun to accept Einstein’s theory proving that all matter is a manifestation of energy. The science of yoga takes this even further, stating that energy is but a manifestation of consciousness.

Uplifting your consciousness allows a positive flow of energy to enter into your being. From there, learning to direct your energy using your will, allows the abundant energy of the Universe to flow through you.

Think of will as willingness. Your desire to give energy, and your faith in what you’re giving energy to, creates an attitude of willingness, and you become an open channel for more energy to flow through. “To will something strongly,” Swami Kriyananda said, “one must will it with one’s entire being. To draw anything to yourself, learn to put your whole self into the energy flow you are directing.” Yogananda’s axiom for this is: “The greater the will, the greater the flow of energy.”

When you do things with willingness and joy, energy flows freely. When willingness is lacking, suddenly there is no energy left! A basic principle of yoga states that awareness precedes control. By cultivating an awareness of the flow of energy in our body, we can improve our ability to control and direct that energy at will.Continue reading “Energy, Awareness, and Willpower”

Magnetism, Energy, and Success

Magnetism is the most important thing for success.

What is magnetism? Magnetism is a force that operates in the material world, on an energetic level. Like gravity, it is there even though our five senses may not perceive it outwardly. Though physically unseen, we know of its existence. For example, this force is at work from experiments with metals and magnets. Specifically, how iron filings on a piece of paper can be seen either moving toward or away from a magnet, based on the magnetism of the particular magnet.

When we see the poles of two bar magnets either attract or repel one another with subtle lines of force, this is the force of magnetism at work related to the power of attraction. And, in the sense that magnets can also act upon unmagnetized iron, drawing it toward them, we, too, with our magnetism, can act upon objects—even opportunities.

Magnetism shows us that our creative power is not limited to words or outer appearances, but that there is a subtle quality at work that affects us, affects others, and can be affected by others. The greater our awareness of this subtle level of energy flow, the greater our ability to control matter. And the greater our ability to control matter, the greater the ability to attract within the physical world what we need for success.

This law of attraction is the reason right attitudes are so important. Whatever one holds strongly in the mind, one attracts. Love attracts love. Fear attracts fear. However, the ability to attract circumstances, even inspirations—depends on the strength of one’s magnetism.

This magnetic field—whether strong or weak according to the strength or weakness of will—generates energy. Remember, Yogananda’s axiom: “The greater the will, the greater the flow of energy.” What follows? “The greater the flow of energy, the greater the magnetism.” Thus, if your will, and the resulting flow of energy, is powerful, there is nothing you cannot draw to yourself.

Every time a current passes through a wire, it produces a magnetic field. A strong current (energy flow) generates more magnetism, while a weak current produces little magnetism. So does our nervous system when it transmits electrical impulses.

Every human activity, which is based on an electrical impulse in the brain, such as a thought, manifests a magnetism of its own. To be successful, we must develop the type of magnetism needed by being confident in our success. This is because confidence and positivity keeps our current of energy strong, while negativity weakens it. Positive attitudes like willingness, cheerfulness, kindness, and all wholesome attitudes, increase our magnetism.Continue reading “Magnetism, Energy, and Success”

How to Develop Concentration

In directing all of your energy toward achieving a goal, one-pointed concentration is necessary.

The key to developing concentration is practice: practice concentrating on one thing at a time, and cultivating awareness: bringing your full awareness to whatever you do.

When we are aware of how we direct our attention to things throughout the day, we are more likely to notice when our concentration is broken, and bring it back. We have to practice this again and again before we can say we’ve got it.

To develop concentration, incorporate the following proven practices into your daily life:

Time outdoors, especially for fresh air and sunshine: Studies show that sunshine and fresh oxygen revitalize body and brain. Sunshine has also been shown to lighten mood. Sunshine and fresh air are the most natural form of pure energy. (See exercise below.)

Daily exercise: Like sunshine, exercise releases endorphins, which then stimulate a positive mood. Exercise also increases blood flow to the brain, thus supplying what the brain needs for focus, problem-solving, and getting things done.

Healthy diet: Eating foods that improve memory will in turn help your ability to concentrate. Foods containing healthy fats, such as almonds and avocados, give the brain what it needs to function at its best. Equally important is avoiding foods that make you hyper-active (processed foods, candies, too much caffeine or other stimulants) and foods that make your body sluggish and your mind dull.

Positive attitude: Consciously choosing to be happy and optimistic helps to attract success. It’s much easier to do any activity when one feels an upward flow of positive energy, which in turn will encourage creativity and draw inspiration.

Time management: Learn to focus in everyday life. Be mindful of the way you use your time. Prioritize your activities. Treat time and energy as precious resources to be used as efficiently as possible. You will find more about time management in the From Ideas to Action.

Meditation: Study after study after study has proven meditation enhances memory, focus, and concentration by activating the prefrontal lobe of the brain.

Meditation trains you for the mental marathon of setting a goal and working toward it day after day. Meditation also improves your ability to overcome challenges as they arise, and to do so calmly, with a positive frame of mind, and a feeling of inner peace and equilibrium—all of which are necessary for success.

“Meditation is a state of intense awareness achieved by stilling and concentrating the thoughts.” —Jyotish Novak, How to Meditate

Here is an exercise to help you on your way to developing concentration: How to get your daily dose of fresh air and sunshine:Continue reading “How to Develop Concentration”

How to Reduce Stress at Work

Staying balanced during the work day will not only help you to improve productivity by removing the barriers to focus and creativity, but can keep you more healthy physically and more centered mentally so that you can solve problems as they arise instead of reacting stressed and overwhelmed. Instead you can be the person who your co-workers go to feel motivated and to feel more calm when things start to get difficult.

Here are 5 simple tips for reducing stress at the workplace:

1. Take a worry vacation during your commute. Promise yourself that you will stop any worrying on the way there. If you feel like you really need to think something through, do it before the commute, and tell yourself you can thoroughly think it through just once, then you have to practice letting go of the tendency to re-think the same thing through again.

Remind yourself of your commitment and acknowledge that thinking it through again and again (ruminating) only uses up more mental energy.

Instead try putting your mind on other activities that are relaxing:

Focus on taking deep breaths with measured counting: Breathe in (1-2-3-4-5-6-) pause (1-2-3-4-5-6) and breathe out (1-2-3-4-5-6).Continue reading “How to Reduce Stress at Work”