What is a mantra?***
I have a mantra.
I believe in the virtue of words.
I believe that there are words powerful enough to offer strength in time of weakness.
For me, these times are marked by insecurity. I begin questioning my talent, my beauty, my strength and I need a phrase to turn to, to repeat again and again. These words become my foundation. They become the force that drags me back from panic mode and sets me gently back on firm ground.
Of course, I am willing to share my own manta with you. But of course, it begins with a story.
Earlier this year, I experienced the most insecure, yet liberating two months of my life. Long story short, I needed to lose weight. While I’ve successfully done so, the weight loss came packaged with a paranoia—a paranoia so strong that it often distorts my visual perception of myself to the point where I am in absolute, emotional turmoil any time I consume the smallest amount of sugar.
This stress happened around the same time I received my 200-hour yoga teacher training and my teacher said something that gave mantra a new importance to me. She said:*** ***
WOW—am I right?
Here’s how I believe this works: Our minds shape our perceptions & we project these perceptions onto ourselves and others.
The result?*** ***
If you think: I am capable. I am beautiful. I am talented, artistic, compassionate, etc, you WILL be all of these things. The opposite is also true.
Here’s what I say when my mind is clouded by negativity. I close my eyes and repeat these words with insistent compassion:*** ***
I will not promise you that repeating this mantra for one day will exhume you from whatever troubles have buried you.
I will not promise that you will always believe your mantra. In fact, my mantra often begins in a questioning tone and needs to be repeated about ten times before it takes on any form of certainty.
I will promise, however, that over time your mind will become more invested in your mantra. Whenever you begin to pile negativity on yourself, this little ray of sunlight within you (your mantra) will peek out sooner and sooner. It will learn your patterns and come running, ready to to catch you before you’ve even fallen.
How to create your own mantra:
Of course, your mantra is incredibly personal to you. You have the will to follow or deny any number of these steps. You may already know what you want to say to you.
Choose whether you want to address yourself as I or you. This is a fascinating distinction. I use you because I like the idea that a more knowing, divine part of me is talking to the part of me that is simply human. However, I also see how the I could be an incredibly unifying way of combining this duality within ourselves.
Choose three (or more) adjectives that you would describe yourself as on your kindest day on Earth. I like:
Keep it with you always. Let it evolve with you. Be kind to it and it will be kind to you. Hold it dear to you. Let it be your most intimate companion. Realize that it is invaluable. Realize that you, yourself created it.
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