🧘 How do I achieve the positive changes I want to make in my life from meditating?

This touches on one of the biggest paradoxes in meditation. Although we always want to be happier and feel well, bringing strong expectations to the practice can often get in our way.

In general, if we try to create or prevent emotions from happening, we can get into trouble, since we're bringing an agenda to practice. You can check it out and see — are you meditating in order to become a better person? To change yourself? Become free of anger, addiction, boredom, procrastination? While we might still have these agendas, if we aren't aware of them, they can become obstacles to practice because we start expecting that meditation will make us feel better or else it isn't working.

It's helpful to encourage an attitude of open curiosity towards practice. Just seeing what is there, learning to see things as they are and not trying to fix it in any way. When you notice the tendency to control or fix, see if you can include that in your meditation by noting it and shifting back to the focus of your practice. In this way, the mind naturally finds its way to more well-being.

Natural interest and kindness are key here. As the psychologist Carl Rogers said, "The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change."