Creating a healthy lifestyle requires an open mind, qualified information and personal effort. I’ve spent years researching food, fitness and mental health habits to optimize well-being. And although I’m not a trained health professional, I’m passionate about sharing tried and true resources with you.

Our family gravitates toward a heavy-on-the-veggie diet. I try my best to encourage meals that are mostly vegetables seasoned with a smidge of grass-fed meat, organic and pasture-raised poultry, or wild-caught fish. As much as I want to be vegetarian, I’ve learned through trial and error that my individual health needs require a smidge of animal protein.

It’s important to keep in mind we each metabolize differently. One size does not fit all. Most of us need only a palm-size amount of protein for each meal. This means vegetables should take center stage. I choose foods that are organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised and wild-caught because I’ve learned way too much about pesticides and antibiotics in conventional food. I choose my battles and healthier options are an easy win.

When it comes to mental health, I’m a mixed bag. Some days are better than others. Sometimes I have my s#!t together and there are plenty of times I’m a scattered mess. I’m constantly seeking habitual techniques to help calm the mind.

When my mind is noisy, I often lean on The Psychology of Meditation by Naval Ravikant. It helps slow the mental pendulum and bring it back to center.

“Mediation is your natural state. It requires no one, needs no thing, and has no technique. If something requires a guru, a mantra or a teaching, it isn’t universal and it won’t free you.

We say we want peace of mind, but what we really want is peace from mind. No technique of the mind will free you from the mind. All chases, whether flow, drugs, thrills, orgasm, or devotion, are attempts to escape from the mind. Meditation is the direct path in an age of mental gluttony, it is fasting for the mind.

Before paying a therapist to listen to you, listen to yourself. Before clearing your inbox, clear your mind. Just as the sky rains when clouds are heavy, and the body sleeps when the limbs are tired, meditation arrives when the mind is calm.

Prepare for meditation by sitting quietly in the morning, with eyes closed and back upright, in any comfortable position that will minimize movement. Sixty minutes are easier than thirty, as it takes time for the mind to settle down. Sixty consecutive days are needed, just as it takes time for the body to go from unfit to fit.

Realize at this moment, you are the only person in the world and there is no one to instruct you, praise you, or judge you. Make no effort for or against anything. Whatever happens, happens. Surrender to yourself in the moment. Resist nothing and reject nothing—including the urge to resist and reject. Meditation is not going through thoughts, but rather letting thoughts go through you. The thought “I am meditating” is also a thought.

Meditation isn’t holy or spiritual or magical. It’s literally nothing. No focus, no mantra, no dharma, no chakras, no Buddhas, no gurus, no gratitude, no scripture, no temple, no music, no gadgets, no apps are required. Some may be helpful, but eventually all will have to be left behind. Start simply, because that’s where this all ends.

There are many meditation methods, but “no effort” is the universal method. Every creature at all times can choose to do nothing. There’s no need to get up to record a thought. If the idea was good, it’ll come back. If it doesn’t come back, it wasn’t that good.

Meditation is a single player game. There is no point in comparing to other meditators or to even your own previous meditations. If meditation was easy, you’d do nothing else. The point of meditation is not to become “a meditator”—in reality, there’s no such thing. If it doesn’t bring lasting and effortless change, drop it before it becomes another struggle and another chase.

There is nothing to say and nothing to offer. No one is taking you anywhere, selling you anything, or making you promises. Reading or talking about meditation will do nothing for you. You cannot fail at meditation. Meditation is good for nothing. That’s why you do it.

The closer you get to the truth, the more silent you become inside. The ability to be content and at peace, by yourself, is freedom.”

“Eventually you will see that the real cause of the problem is not life itself. It’s the commotion the mind makes about life that really causes the problems.”

—Michael A. Singer