What do you think about mantras? We share them all the time in social media so my guess is we like them, right?
Pre-cancer I was often over-scheduled, over-stressed and repeated my mantra, “Breathe, Just Breathe” because I felt like I was too busy to breathe. I shared with you in the past that my world stopped when I received my cancer diagnosis. Everything stopped except fighting cancer. I then had a job to do! I had to fight this lousy disease…AGAIN. My mantra continued to be Breathe, Just Breathe. I was head down and pressing onward, focusing on my breath and getting the job done. Post treatment I felt like I was ready to grow and I left behind my old mantra and replaced it with “find inner peace and everything else will fall in place”. I held onto this pretty consistently for the better part of last year. It helped me reconnect to my ultimate goal each day. Every challenge I faced, every decision I had to make was influenced by my mantra.
Recently I went on vacation with my family and discovered the power of mantras at a new level. My vacation mantra was, “not my vacation”. I had the most amazing vacation. I steered what I could with very loose reins knowing it was not all about me. It was also a vacation generously provided by my amazing parents; a cruise for all their children and their families. That’s a lot of family in one place for a whole week. This was their vacation and any time I might have wanted things to go a different way I reminded myself “not my vacation”. It helped extinguish any disappointment or frustration I might have felt at any given time and brought me back to the purpose of the trip. My parents wanted to give us this cruise to share something they love with the people they love. How amazing is that? It wasn’t my vacation and reminding myself of this fact allowed me to just sit back and enjoy everything.
I didn’t make these mantras intentionally, but now I am realizing the power that they have to keep me grounded. The mantras helped me focus on basic needs for the long haul and for short periods of time. Realizing the past effectiveness I am wondering what could happen if I chose a mantra intentionally for something I want to work on. This is a great way to keep propelling myself forward and creating the life I want.
I decided to google mantras and find out what the all-knowing internet had to say. Turns out that mantra is intertwined with meditation. I find this very ironic as I have been doing more meditation or meditative activities to quiet my mind and un-clutter my thoughts. Mantras are explained as the sound and vibration of the words more than the actual words. Not exactly how I use mantras for keeping on my course. “So a mantra is not something that you utter. It is something that you strive to become”- Isha.Sadhguru.org
As you can see, it is different than the definition I had in my head, but the purpose and outcome is similar.I’ve been calling it a mantra because I repeat them to myself over and over, but maybe it’s really just inspirational words and not actually a mantra? Hmmmmmm. So I googled inspiration and found that inspiration is literally defined as "the action, or an act, of breathing in or inhaling".-Oxford English Dictionary (also ironic given my original “just breathe” mantra) The figurative meaning: "A breathing in or infusion of some idea, purpose, etc. into the mind: the suggestion, awakening, or creation of some feeling or impulse, especially of an exalted kind".-Oxford English Dictionary. I’m going with a blend of the two. My new “inspirational mantra” will involve discipline. Something I have almost completely lost over this past summer!
I challenge you to not just click like on the next inspirational quote that passes your way on social media, but to make it your mantra for a while. Repeat it to yourself for a day or a week and see how it changes things for you. You have tremendous power to tap into. Tap into it and see how much more control you have over your life than you ever thought.