Hi beautifuls! WHEW, am I ever refreshed from my trip to New York last week and having my whole family in L.A. with me this weekend. Can ya tell by my daily blog updates that I am inspired & recharged to write, write, write?
A full recap of my NYC trip will be coming to the bloggy within the week — including the book signing I hosted at Gingersnap’s Organic where I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging with so many of my incredible readers (if you’re reading this and you were there…. HI!), and getting to see the beautiful TBB community of readers and how its blossomed over the years. You guys are the COOLEST, sweetest, most dynamic & compassionate human beings. It’s really, really cool to see.
But before I dive into the bevy of NYC recap-ness and editing the mountain of photos my mom and I took, I wanted to share my thoughts on mantras with you.
MANTRAS! What they are, & why they’re cool.
You’ve probably heard the term “mantra” before. If you’re into yoga, Buddhism or Hinduism, then you’ve probably spent some time either creating or repeating a mantra, and maybe you’ve noticed the benefits of it. Maybe you haven’t. Maybe you feel like you’re just chanting words that don’t mean a whole lot to you, and you prefer the physical practice of yoga instead.
To catch us all up to speed, a mantra is technically defined as “a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation.”
But to me, mantras are so much more than words used during meditation. Life can be busy, we don’t all make time to meditate, and we also don’t all choose to study Sanskrit words and get to the root of why chanting “Om shanti shanti” feels good & brings peace to our minds and the universe.
Let me modernize this for you.
So, I’m here to share with you the MODERN mantra. The types of mantras I’ve discovered and created that actually have done a world of good for my psyche, and make me feel calmer when I’m in the middle of a breakdown.
I’ll start by saying… I’m into the woo-woo side of things. I am one of the few people I know who actually does enjoy meditating and chanting “Om” — it makes me feel closer to the earth and to those around me… It makes me feel like even though there is so much hate, crime, negativity, and judgment in our world, we really CAN come together and make a difference by channeling good energy in our own minds + hearts and putting it back into the universe.
BUT, I also recognize that not everyone is going to feel the same way I do about yoga, meditation and mantras. Some people need more, some people need less.
After practicing yoga for 10+ years, it’s only been in the recent months that I’ve discovered a mantra that ACTUALLY works for me. It’s highly personalized, and it has been a GAME CHANGER in my life.
How to create a mantra:
Before I tell you what it is, I’ll tell you this:
When choosing a mantra, think about what you really, really, really need to hear every day. What is the one action step you wish you could be taking in your life, at a very base level, and what is holding you back from taking it? Is it fear, self-doubt, insecurity, low self esteem, time constraints, negative energy from people around you? Pinpoint what it IS that is obstructing you from reaching what you really want, and then create a mantra based off of how you can fix that. Subtly, each and every day.
I spent some time on my yoga retreat in Mexico working to get to the root of my biggest fears and issues. For me, I’d been having trouble with ANXIETY in lots of different situations. Definitely in my work life, my hectic schedule, and in certain situations that felt more corporate/formal to me where I just felt totally inadequate. (Hello, I come from the informal world of blogging that is 110% creativity-based.)
I would wake up some days with crippling anxiety about the day ahead. A lot of that came from overcommitting. And also from committing to things that I did not want to do. And then I would feel guilty about the thought of un-committing… Etc, etc.
I wanted to create a mantra that would help with all of that. Something that would make me feel comfortable creating the boundaries that I knew I needed to create in order to be my happiest, most comfortable self and kick the anxiety.
The issues I pinpointed that I knew I needed to get past were:
- trusting myself to know what was right for ME
- knowing when to listen to my gut, and having the courage to speak my mind about it
- having the self-confidence to know that I know best when it comes to my own life
- not letting others’ viewpoints or desires (or commitments I’ve made) get in the way of what I know I need/want
- having the courage to be 100%, entirely, me; no matter what that might mean for my relationships
So, here is the mantra I came up with that embodies all of that:
“I trust myself. I trust my heart, I trust my gut, and I trust my intuition. I have a voice. I have something to say. I am fire.”
(I added that last sentence in there for an extra oomph. I not only trust myself, I am also FIRE. I am a beam of light that deserves the utmost happiness and contentment.)
Mantras can be simple as ever. They don’t need to be fancy shmancy to get the job done. In fact, the simpler the better. It must be an action step, something you can DO. (I.e.: “I trust myself;” so I can begin to trust myself.)
I repeat my mantra all of the time. During my yoga practice, in the car, on the way to meetings, when I start to feel that anxiety rising, even in my head when I am sprinting on the treadmill at OrangeTheory.
It brings me an unbelievable amount of strength and comfort.
So… How Can I Create a Mantra?
Well, follow these simple steps. On top of thinking about what you REALLY need to hear every day, do this:
- What are your biggest fears, anxieties and roadblocks that keep you from getting what you want, and being who you want to be?
- Who are you in your CORE, and what in your current life circumstances is keeping you from being exactly that?
- Make a list of words in response to #1 and #2.
- Now, make a list of words that combat that. For instance, if “anxiety” is what is keeping you from what you want; and you are “CONFIDENT” at your core, then perhaps something like: “I am confident. I am more than enough. I trust myself, I trust my heart, and I do what is right. I am above my fear.”
- Remember that your mantra can be anywhere from a few short words: “I am love,” to a full paragraph statement like mine is. Find what speaks to YOU. Try on a few different mantras. See what fits.
- Also remember that you can always switch it up! You are ever-evolving. Your fears and anxieties may disappear one day then come back in a new form… You can always switch it up and try something new on!
Thoughts? Do you guys have your own mantras that you love? Would love to hear about them if you do! XO