• The Discipline of Becoming Happy

    Happiness is in the right now, in the here. Happiness is a state of mind that needs to be cultivated from within.

    Happiness is a state of mind that requires discipline and the awareness that it is an internal process. His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, says that we can achieve happiness by training the mind. We all know from experience that training our mind is one of the most challenging things to do. Our mind likes to play peekaboo with us.

    Think about that time that you were confident about something and you were on your way to get it, maybe a job interview, a date, signing for your first yoga class, or meeting your guru and suddenly your mind starts peekabooing you into insecurities and fears. You start feeling a rush of thoughts, witnessing them as a herd of wild horses destroying any positive thought you had about the situation.

    “What if she or he doesn’t like me?”

    “What if I am not flexible enough (impression of yoga in the west, based only in the physical body not as a spiritual practice)?

    “What if…?”

    All the what ifs come at once.

    Most of those thoughts are manipulated by our ego that hates to be outside of its comfort zone. Disciplining the mind is one of the best investments for your happiness.

    Here are 5 practices that you can incorporate into your life to contribute to your happiness:

    Create daily routines

    Ayurveda teaches us how to live in harmony with nature and honor the place where we live by adapting our diet and practices to the weather, resources, and opportunities of our environment.

    Ayurveda calls daily practices “dinacharya” and in my next blog, I will explain in detail the practice of dinacharya. For right now, as a daily practice, maintain a sense of gratitude before you start your day; before you even get out of bed say a prayer of gratitude.

    Here is an example that one of my teachers Dr. Vassant Lad uses:

    “Dear [insert name of your spiritual connection], you are inside of me, within my very breath, within each bird, each mighty mountain. Your sweet touch reaches everything, and I am well protected. Thank you, [insert name of your spiritual connection], for this beautiful day before me. May joy, love, peace, and compassion be part of my life and all those around me on this day. I am healing and I am healed.”

    Practice emotional hygiene

    The same way that we practice physical and environmental hygiene, we must cultivate emotional hygiene to help us to get rid of anger, fear, anxiety and other low vibrational thoughts and emotions. The secret here is making sure that as we are cleansing our emotional system from those toxic emotions, we cultivate high vibrational ones; you’ve probably heard that wherever your attention and energy goes that is what you will create in your life. This part of the journey toward happiness is linked to the step below.

    Practice awareness

    Being aware of who you want to become creates a path to who you are.

    Find yourself a quiet corner, your car also works, and ask yourself the question, “Who am I?” Take a deep breath and allow the answers to come.

    Happiness requires trust, discipline, and most importantly self-awareness. So don’t expect to get the answer right away, keep focusing your attention on your breath and ask again and again. Trust that the answer will come to you. Perhaps the answer comes in a form of “who I am not” and that is ok; keep focusing your attention on the breath and shift the attention to “who am I” rather than “who I am not”.

    Self-awareness cultivates the gift of observation and non-attachment. In this journey of self-awareness, you’ll learn how to be observant of your own emotions and the reactions and attachments toward those emotions. Your breath is the vehicle that will transport you towards awareness.

    Detach yourself from expectations

    Expecting something from others is always a guaranteed source of unhappiness. We can’t control other people’s thoughts or reactions, neither do we have any control of situations that are happening outside of ourselves. We are conditioned to find happiness through outside sources and not through our inner being. It is normal to expect something from others, the same as others expect certain things from us. I am not saying that having expectations is a bad thing, but when we condition our happiness and wellbeing to other people’s responses then we can easily get hurt.

    Stay present

    Eckhart Tolle in his bestseller “The Power of Now” said “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” It is ok to remember the past to learn from it or to feel happiness from a past experience, nevertheless living in the past can be a source of pain.

    When you find your mind spending too much time in the past, use your breath to bring you back to the present; slowly inhale, retain for a few seconds, and slowly exhale.

    The other side of the coin is spending most of your present daydreaming about your future. In reality, the future is an absolute fantasy most of the time created by our ego, our desires, and our conditioning.

    Being absorbed by the past or the future could also create fear. Living in fear is based in our imagination. Fear isn’t based on facts. We allow our mind to go wild and create scenarios about situations that we think could happen. We infuse those thoughts with our insecurities, belief systems, and past personal experiences to create a story in our head that most of the time never sees the light. In the meanwhile, we live in fear, anxiety, isolation, and anger about something that is only in our minds.

    Happiness is in the right now, in the here. Happiness is a state of mind that needs to be cultivated from within. There is nothing waiting on the other side of a new car, a new home, a new job, or a new partner. Everything that we need to be happy is already built within but looking inside for the pursuit of happiness can be painful as we must climb tall mountains of conditioning, belief systems, disappointments, although in that case, there is something on the other side of that inner work, the gift of happiness.

    By Esther Rodriguez Brown

    Esther Rodriguez Brown was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain. Since a very young age, she showed her passion for helping others and got involved in several social justice organizations.
    She arrived in the United States in 2001 and in 2007 she founded The Embracing Project (TEP), a grass-roots non-profit organization that services children survivors of sex trafficking and gang violence. Until she opened TEP drop-in center, the first in Nevada for children survivors of trafficking, she served youth in the streets of Las Vegas using her car as her main office and many times opening the doors of her home for those youth who needed it. Esther traveled around the world to continue her service to humanity and in particular, children and women survivors of trauma, expanding services in several countries. In 2019, Esther merged TEP with a national organization to focus on her other passion, holistic healing, Yoga, Ayurveda, and Jyotish.

    Esther founded Ego Friendly Living in 2016, a company based on the principle of compassion, self-healing, and self-empowerment, focusing on body, mind, and soul, through the practices of self-care and self-love. Her experience working with vulnerable populations and survivors of complex trauma gives her a unique perspective to facilitate healing practices and to teach how trauma can affect our emotional and physiological bodies.
    Esther has a master’s degree in Psychology. She is an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, Vedic Astrologer, and a 200 YTT with studies in Yoga Nidra. Esther travels yearly to India to continue her studies related to body, mind, and soul to share that wisdom with others.

    She is the author of The Power of Your Hands. Mudras for your everyday life. Available in Amazon. She is a recognized national and international speaker and has been recognized in national and international media, documentaries, books, and film and has received many awards for her humanitarian work with children affected by violence.

    Find her on Instagram @Esther_Brown_Inspire
    and on her website, https://www.egofriendlyliving.com.

    Image by Адель Шарипова from Pixabay

  • 4 Ways to Raise Your Vibration and Frequency

    The higher the frequency of your energy or vibration, the lighter you feel in your physical, emotional, and mental bodies. You experience greater personal power, clarity, peace, love, and joy. You have little, if any, discomfort or pain in your physical body, and your emotions are easily dealt with.


    The end of 2021 is around the corner. Looking back, perhaps you feel like Bill Murray on Groundhog Day! Not too much of a difference from 2020. Everything seems uncertain, we realized that control is just an illusion of our mind and that everything that is outside of ourselves is being controlled by other forces. Seems that the cliché thought of “you only can control how you respond to situations” has been the mantra for many of us.

    Regardless of if these past two years have been a source of realizations and growth, or a source of desperate moments and pain, or perhaps both, we all can agree that we have experienced a great deal of stress and challenges.

    Stress is just a bundle of emotions rushing like a river, tearing everything in its way, and we all have different ways to cope with it. These emotions and how you deal with them will determine at what frequency your energy is vibrating. The higher the frequency of your energy or vibration, the lighter you feel in your physical, emotional, and mental bodies. You experience greater personal power, clarity, peace, love, and joy. You have little, if any, discomfort or pain in your physical body, and your emotions are easily dealt with.

    How can you raise your frequency and protect your energy? There are many ways you can do that. For instance, Ayurveda teaches us to live in harmony with nature, having a lifestyle that is aligned with our constitution, providing us with many tools to have a happier existence, but this is for our next blog!

    Let’s focus on some things that we can do right away.

    Be aware of your thoughts

    Our thoughts fuel our frequency, whatever thoughts you have will tint your reality. Think about your mind as a hotel and you are the owner, you choose who is going to be your guest, you have the power to open the gate of your mind for some thoughts and let them crash there for as long as you want, or simply say: “sorry we don’t have any openings.” Remember what Gautama Buddha said? “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” That doesn’t mean that we can never feel certain feelings or thoughts such as sadness, anger, frustration, jealousy, envy, guilt, shame, or fear but when we allow these thoughts or feelings to take all the space, then there is no room for high vibrational thoughts to be part of our mindset. All the space is already taken. So, it is ok to feel this way sometimes and as you process whatever is making you feel that way (most likely yourself and how you deal with external influences) take a deep breath in and out through your nose and know that everything, absolutely everything is temporary, including the situations that made you feel that way. Slowly create the habit to replace sadness for joy, anger for gratitude, frustration for patience, jealousy for self-acceptance, envy for generosity, guilt for accountability, shame for self-love, and fear for self-compassion.

    Start your day with gratitude

    Being in a human body is the most precious gift that your soul has received. Being human gives your soul the opportunity to grow, to be able to choose high consciousness, and to be aware of your actions. Only this way you can keep evolving until you achieve self-realization, perhaps it will take many lives, but nevertheless, you are on your way. Just acknowledging that, gives you a very important reason to be grateful, grateful for this human life. There are so many other things to be grateful for, your health, your loved ones, your wisdom, your teachers, being able to experience the sunrise, the sunset, the wind in your face, the music that you love, or simply being alive and being able to read this. Gratitude is not just a list of things and people, it’s a way of life, as you become aware of all the opportunities that you have in front of you and focus your attention on all those things that you have (rather than focusing on the ones that you don’t have), you are creating more opportunities and opening space to abundance in your life. You could open your day with a simple prayer or affirmation: “Thank you (insert here whatever resonate with you…God, Mother Earth, Divine Mother, Spirit, Universe, Krishna, Buddha, my Higher Self…) for allowing me to experience one more day in this human body. Thank you for providing me with everything that I need to evolve and fulfill my karma and dharma; thank you for abundance, for love, for health, wealth, teachings, and teachers; for the gift of appreciation. Thank you for making every encounter with every being an experience of love, kindness, and compassion.”

    Practice forgiveness

    Perhaps because English is not my first, nor even my second language, I tend to dissect the words. For-give, in my mind, means to give, to let go, to give it away. When you forgive, you are giving away your hurt, it doesn’t mean that you are justifying why someone hurt you or letting that person off the hook, you simply are letting go of the attachment created to that feeling of hurt that has been keeping you a prisoner of the action of that person who hurt you. When you give away the hurt, you start taking back your power. Forgiveness does not mean that you have to be buddy-buddy with the person or people who hurt you, you don’t even have to let them know, or create excuses for their behavior, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have any more feelings about the situation or forget the incident; forgiving is accepting the reality of what happened and finding a way to live in a state of resolution, and that, my dear, it takes time. So, in the same way, that “you cannot rush your healing” (love that song from Trevor Hall) you cannot rush forgiveness. Forgiveness is a journey, and like every journey, we must start somewhere, and as you start walking through that path, remember to forgive yourself as well. This is an easy-to-remember affirmation to start with “I forgive you for any intentional or intentional hurt that you may cause me, in this life or in past lives. I forgive myself for any intentional or intentional hurt that I may cause myself, in this life or in past lives. Please forgive me for any intentional or intentional hurt that I may cause you, in this life or in past lives.” Forgiveness, like gratitude, is a way of life. You are part of this community, call humans, living in this beautiful and generous planet, Mother Earth. It is many of us here, so eventually we all will get hurt one way or another, by ourselves or others; so being aware of that allows you to understand that hurt and suffering is part of our human condition, as it is forgiveness.

    Be kind

    Kindness, like many other practices, starts from the self. Being kind to yourself is as important as being kind to others. Think for a moment the way that you speak to yourself, the thoughts that you have about yourself, the self-judgment, the self-criticism, I am sure that you do not talk like that to your loved ones, perhaps not even to a stranger. You are unique and precious, the gifts and skills that you brought into this life are exclusive to yourself. So next time that your mind wants to bring you down, allow your higher self to be kind to you.

    Being kind can make or break someone’s spirit, the truth is that you don’t know what internal battles others are fighting. Some people feel invisible, unheard, unwanted; you can be the one who makes a difference in their day, just a smile or a kind word can shift someone’s life. When we practice kindness to others or towards ourselves, we experience positive mental and physical changes, this rises the frequency in which we vibrate. Some of you are maybe familiar with the Metta Prayer or Love & Kindness meditation, here is another version: “May all beings, including myself, be happy, be safe, be free from harm. May all beings, including myself, be healthy, be connected, be whole. May all beings, including myself, experience ease, well-being, and inner peace.”

    Raising your vibration helps raise the collective. Your thoughts, your intentions, your actions, create energetic waves that help with the rising of collective consciousness. We all are responsible for what happens in the world, by changing our world, we can change the entire world.

    By Esther Rodriguez Brown

    Esther Rodriguez Brown was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain. Since a very young age, she showed her passion for helping others and got involved in several social justice organizations.
    She arrived in the United States in 2001 and in 2007 she founded The Embracing Project (TEP), a grass-roots non-profit organization that services children survivors of sex trafficking and gang violence. Until she opened TEP drop-in center, the first in Nevada for children survivors of trafficking, she served youth in the streets of Las Vegas using her car as her main office and many times opening the doors of her home for those youth who needed it. Esther traveled around the world to continue her service to humanity and in particular, children and women survivors of trauma, expanding services in several countries. In 2019, Esther merged TEP with a national organization to focus on her other passion, holistic healing, Yoga, Ayurveda, and Jyotish.

    Esther founded Ego Friendly Living in 2016, a company based on the principle of compassion, self-healing, and self-empowerment, focusing on body, mind, and soul, through the practices of self-care and self-love. Her experience working with vulnerable populations and survivors of complex trauma gives her a unique perspective to facilitate healing practices and to teach how trauma can affect our emotional and physiological bodies.
    Esther has a master’s degree in Psychology. She is an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, Vedic Astrologer, and a 200 YTT with studies in Yoga Nidra. Esther travels yearly to India to continue her studies related to body, mind, and soul to share that wisdom with others.

    She is the author of The Power of Your Hands. Mudras for your everyday life. Available in Amazon. She is a recognized national and international speaker and has been recognized in national and international media, documentaries, books, and film and has received many awards for her humanitarian work with children affected by violence.

    Find her on Instagram @Esther_Brown_Inspire
    and on her website, https://www.egofriendlyliving.com.

    Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash