What Your Personal Mantra Reveals About You

No Ordinary Moments

Image courtesy of Leland Francisco at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

I have lived by mantras for almost twenty years now, after my dear sister-friend Glenna took me under her wing and taught me how powerful they could be. Since then I’ve always had a primary mantra that I’ve made a part of each day, serving as reminder for what I wanted to manifest in my life.

At the Chopra Center for Meditation website, a mantra is described as having two parts: man, which is the root of the Sanskrit word for mind; and tra, which is the root of the word instrument.

An instrument of the mind… for the mind. Who couldn’t benefit from that?

Interestingly (though not surprising), as I evolve spiritually so do my mantras. Looking back I can easily see how past mantras reflect where I was in life. The “instrument of the mind” perfectly tuned to my needs and desires at various stages in my personal and spiritual evolution.

My first primary mantra, and one I kept for many years, was a simple word: Success.

This one word had many levels of meaning. I embraced it at a time when I was going through a hostile separation, divorce, and custody battle. At the same time, I was beginning a new career in a new industry. I was starting a new life in a new place, with no extended family to support me. I was making new friends. I was redefining the woman I was to become.

I wrote my focus word on little pieces of paper and tucked them into pockets, taped them onto the computer, and made them part of my password system. This one word was a simple reminder of all I desired at the time. Every day I read the word whenever I saw one of my notes or had to type it to unlock my computer. Each time I would repeat it silently and feel it become a part of me.

Needless to say, my mantra brought me all that I desired. It gave me the success I sought in my family life, career, and social circles.

Then one day I began to feel as though I had outgrown it, that perhaps it was too materialistic. So I shifted my primary mantra to another inspiring single word: Gratitude.

Behind that word was one of my favorite phrases: An attitude of gratitude. Around me I had observed that people I knew who always complained, always seemed to manifest more to complain about. By contrast, I realized how quickly my life shifted when I practiced feelings of gratitude for even the smallest things. The more gratitude I practiced, the more I had to be grateful for!

Again my mantra of gratitude became core to my daily work and personal practice. Each time I recited it, I would pause to consider: what am I grateful for in this moment? And there was always so much to appreciate!

A few years ago my mantra shifted yet again, this time to the phrase: “Thinking leads to feeling.” 

What I most appreciated about this mantra was its constant reminder that whatever I allowed to consume my thoughts, would also consume my energy. It guided me to focus on the good I wanted to manifest instead of focusing on what I didn’t like or enjoy. It reminded me that feelings flow naturally from our thoughts to our emotional center to create feelings; and, if I wanted to feel good, I had to “think good.”

Now I’m in a new place of spiritual development and growth and hence a new mantra for daily living has emerged: There are no ordinary moments.

Every. Moment. Is. Special. All by itself.

When I consider this beautiful truth, my heart feels lighter. I feel a warmth flowing through my body. My face relaxes and my lips curl into a soft smile. My inner wisdom reveals herself.

Delicious!

I didn’t pick this mantra, it picked me. In the recent process of relocating my office, I’ve been going through lots of papers. And there it was — a note I had saved from a fortune cookie with the words There are no ordinary moments. When I read it, I felt a new awakening. Instead of tossing it in the trash bin, I taped it to the top of my computer screen. The words resonated so strongly within me that I knew instantly my mantra had just been revised.

photo 3Each day as I work, my eyes eagerly reach for the wise words. When I read them, they echo in my mind, in my heart, and in my soul. There are no ordinary moments because I have the choice to recognize the beauty and mystery in every second of every minute of every hour of every day.

“Ditto, until infinity!” as my youngest son would say. Ahhh, I can’t imagine how life can get any richer than this!

Reflections

If you have a personal mantra what does it reveal about you?

How has it impacted your life?

If you’re considering a mantra, you’ll find lots of examples on this wiki page

 

 

 

Likely is One Thing, Messi is Another

You'll never guess

From the series: Life on Dog Hill

Confession: I’ve spent uncountable hours over the last month watching television. Everything on my priority list, including the upcoming publication of my young adult adventure trilogy, was made second to one thing — the FIFA World Cup.

Having just watched Argentina defeat the Netherlands in the last semi-final, I admit I was biting my fingernails for ninety minutes before the game went into two fifteen minute overtimes. Afterwards, when the score remained 0 – 0, it was time for the dreaded penalty shots. The Netherlands kicked first and was unsuccessful. First up for Argentina was Lionel Messi, the team captain. I loved the comment from the announcer just moments before Messi sank the first penalty shot deep into the net, spiking excitement for Argentina, and adding increasing pressure to the Netherlands team.

“Likely is One Thing, Messi is Another.” 

This statement was made in the context that most players were predictable, except Messi. Which got me to thinking, how predictable am I and is that a good thing or a bad thing?

So I texted my husband, who was traveling.

Me: I’m working on my blog posting and I have a related question for you: Am I predictable?

Hubby: I am able to predict you better these days. More predictable than unpredictable.

Me: In what ways am i predictable?

Hubby: You yell at boys then give in.

Hubby: You make quick decisions without looking at prices.

Hubby: You like being hippy.

Me: I have a reliable warning system.

Me: I don’t get hung up on technicalities.

Me: Love, peace and happiness.

Hubby: So I just have to think: What would a hippy do?

His response made me smile. Rather accurate on all counts. Next I texted my son Nate who, of the seven kids, knows me best.

Me: Quick question related to my latest blog post I’m working on…. Am I predictable?

Nate: Sometimes, I think we all are. Like… I might have to call you multiple times because you’ve left your phone in some random place.

Me: Ha!

Nate: I know that you will be playing piano and singing Christmas carols before Thanksgiving.

Me: LOL

Nate: I know that you will always support me.

Me: Indeed!

Nate: I can’t predict when you will adopt a new dog…

Me: That last dog was NOT ME!!!!

Nate: Lol! yeah I know.

I realize there is comfort in predictability when it comes to family and friends. Knowing that you can be authentic, bringing your whole self into the room every day, and being loved for who you are. Knowing that you can share your opinion openly and honesty and that your words will be received with the positive intent with which they were meant. Knowing that you will be forgiven your shortcomings, like misplacing your phone on a daily basis. It’s all good.

Likely is one thing when it comes to building and maintaining healthy relationships — trust, good communications, and mutual support. Messi is another when it comes to winning a world cup game and not giving away to the goalie where you plan to put your shot.

Likely is one thing when it comes to building good habits that support your daily happiness — meditation and prayer, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. Messi is another when it comes to being playful and spontaneous.

Two great things came out of my spending another afternoon watching soccer:

  1. The team I wanted to play Germany in the final won!
  2. I learned that when hubby wants to know how I will respond he simply asks himself, “What would a hippy do?”

Big smiles all the way around.

My smile will be even bigger when I watch Germany defeat Argentina in the World Cup finals on Sunday! Sorry Messi, the love ends here…

world-cup-germany

 Feature image credit

Deutscher Fussball-Bund image credit

Celebrate July with Five Happiness Practices

Image courtesy of Danillo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Danillo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’m always curious to see which of my posts generate the most traffic. In the three years I’ve been blogging, last year’s post on Five (More) Firework-Worthy July Celebrations is number 2. That tells me that my readers enjoy life and want to celebrate.

To add to your joy, this year I’m giving you five happiness practices to incorporate into your July celebration!

1. Practice the Law of Allowing

When you practice allowing, you are doing two things worthy of celebration. You are lovingly accepting yourself, without judgement, just as you are. Secondly, you are accepting of others. When you practice the law of allowing you avoid resistance, disappointment, anger, jealously, and other negatively charged emotions. Through allowing, you feel acceptance, hopeful, happy, and love.

One way to practice allowing is by withholding judgement on yourself and others. You are where you are, and where you are is exactly where you need to be. End of story.

2. Practice Gratitude

Most coaches will tell you that practicing gratitude is the is the most powerful practice of all, and I’m one of them. It’s so important to recognize the aspects of your life that are going right. For starters, when you think about the good in your life you are not thinking about what you don’t feel good about. Thinking of the good stuff shifts your mind into a more open, positive, and mindful state. The feelings associated with gratitude are linked directly to love and we all know that love makes the world go around. In the famous Harvard Happiness Study, George Vaillant, who directed the study for more than three decades summed it up like this, “Happiness is love. Full stop.”

I recommend starting every day by thinking of all the aspects of your life for which you can be grateful. Repeat the process at night when you go to bed. An attitude of gratitude is an attitude of appreciation, love, and happiness.

3. Practice Detachment

Have you ever experienced a confrontation that you couldn’t get out of your head? Hours afterwards you were still replaying it in your head? That’s an example of when practicing detachment can help you regain a calm state of mind. It’s easy to say that detachment is about letting go of the negative emotion associated with an incident that has left you unhappy. It’s something else to actually do it!

Here’s a great tip: recite a mantra telling yourself to let go. I will let go of this replay and move on. I will let go of the replay and move on. By telling yourself that you will let the memory go, you are no longer victim to your emotions. Rather, you detach from the emotion, clear your mind, and reset. Save your energy for the good stuff in life by letting the bad stuff go. You’ll feel so much better when you do.

4. Practice Creative Visualization

There is a reason why Olympic athletes around the world use creative visualization; it is highly effective for enhancing performance and creating the desired outcome. Creative visualization is deliberately designing and manifesting what you want, whether it’s an opportunity to meet someone you have always admired or finally breaking your personal best in the swim meet you’ve been training for. When you allow your mind to experience the manifestation of your desire, it’s real in your mind’s eye. Your heart may race, you may break out in a big smile, all because your body experiences the associated emotions with the outcome.

You can practice creative visualization by closing your eyes and imagining exactly what you want, how you will feel when you get it, and how your life will be impacted afterwards. When you imagine living the life you desire, you clear away mental blockages that get in the way of your success. Experiencing the attainment of your intentions through creative visualization paves the way for the “real enchilada” and that’s a great feeling!

5. Practice Charity

It doesn’t matter if charity is in the form of thought, word, or deed, when giving selflessly to others how can you not feel good? Whatever your talents, consider sharing them with others. What do you do well and enjoy? If you enjoy reading, consider volunteering for a reading program at the local elementary school. If you enjoy gardening, consider creating or maintaining a raised garden bed at a senior center. VolunteerMatch.com is a great website that makes it easier to match volunteer opportunities with people.

Have more money than time? Consider anonymously donating to local charities, PTAs, or paying off someone’s store layaway. Do you like global causes? Kiva.org is one of the most reputable websites for empowering people around the world with micro loans as small as $25 US dollars.

Bonus Practice!

I recently came across a term coined by Michael Bernard Beckwith — blissipline! I’m so in love with this idea of combining discipline with bliss that I’m sharing it here as a bonus practice.

What is blissipline? It’s when you have the discipline to pursue your life goals while celebrating happiness in each moment along the way. How can it get any better than this?

Let the fireworks begin!