Power of a Personal Mantra
When I first started meditating I mocked the notion of a mantra.
I thought the whole idea was silly, contrived and sort of pretentious.
And then I (finally) began my morning meditation practice and quickly learned a mantra was the one thing that tamed my monkey mind.
Try as I might to quiet my thoughts the only way I could focus and empty my head was through chanting a phrase. A mantra.
Flash forward to motherhood.
While I didn’t mock the ‘hood as I had the mantra, I definitely entered this phase of life less prepared than I could have been.
I had zero clue parenting one tiny human would be as stressful as it was and I quickly saw I possessed few skills for self-soothing in this new situation.
I was overwhelmed and felt I had only two options: fall apart or fall back on what I already knew worked to calm me.
I knew this personal mantra would be different from my meditation mantra (I needed this one to soothe yet energize me) and still, in a small way, be the same.
A group of words capable of creating transformation. A snippet of phrase that empowered me to create the life I desired.
The profound difference with my new, personal mantra was it reminded me I could make it through challenging moments.
My first personal mantra was pretty self-explanatory: You got this.
It perfectly worked in all situations (colic, teething, colic, lack of sleep, colic, etc.) — until it didn’t any longer.
My daughter grew. I went back to work. Our lives were still hectic and at times stressful, but the type of frazzle had changed.
It was then I realized personal mantras need to be fluid.
You got this no longer worked. I needed more and I needed different.
My new personal mantra originated from my yoga practice. It’s a reminder for me to breathe into challenging situations and not to fight them. Its repetition-reminder no matter how challenging a moment in life may feel it isn’t forever.
My new personal mantra is: It’s just a hard pose.
Many days I use it more than I’d like. All days I’m grateful I have it at the ready to carry me through stressful periods.
Personal mantras are highly personal (hence the name, huh?) but there are three tips I offer when asked how I created mine.
1. Make it a phrase you’d actually say/use. No stilted, Shakespearean language unless that’s how you speak on a daily basis. Slang, etc. is welcomed.
2. Make it positive. Use positive phrasing (I’m a rockin’ mom instead of I won’t yell at my kids) makes all the difference.
3. Use your mantra consistently. Unlike some things which, when overused, lose efficacy personal mantras grow more powerful from use.
Do you rely on a personal mantra? How has it worked for you?
Are you now sparked to create your own? What might your words or phase be?
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