The other day, I “overheard” a friend commenting online about how horrible the holidays are going to be for her. Her reason was she's at the start of what's likely to be a long recovery from a recent operation. And while I'm not a proponent of ignoring the realities of life, we all have our challenges, don't we?
I do believe that our experience of any situation is shaped by the mental, physical, and emotional tools we have with us as we move through it. Our words create our world. So tell me, what do you know about mantra?
Opening the Mental Toolbox
Deepak Chopra breaks down the Sanskrit word mantra into “man,” the root of the word for mind, and “tra,” the root of the word for instrument. He calls mantra an “instrument of the mind.” It's a sound or vibration that gives us access to deep states of meditation.
It's a word or phrase that refocuses and conditions the mind, shaping our experience of the present moment. In other words, mantras are tools for reminding us who and where we really are. If you had to declare YOUR mantra for living, what would it be? Who are you really?
Ayurveda says that our truest and most natural state is healthy, happy, whole, and balanced. That's who we are.
Living, in the simplest terms, is a series of thoughts, experiences, emotions, and objects that move into and out of our proximity and have the potential to disturb the balance. Mantra is one of the tools we have at our disposal to bring the balance back.
When the Weather Inside Is Frightful
The holidays can be challenging. They're a time colored with so much tradition and so many long-established patterns of being, thinking, and doing, that it can be really easy to forget or disconnect from who we are and how we want to be during this season. So it's great to have tools or reminders ready!
Here are a few of my favorite mantras to stay happy and balanced during the holidays—or every day!
1. I have enough, I am enough.
When to use it: This mantra is for those times when we feel the need to fill up or overindulge. Use it during holiday feasts, office parties, or when shopping, both online and in person.
These urges to indulge or fill up often come from a deep down belief that there's something we're missing that makes us not enough—not good enough, smart enough, thin enough, and so on—and that if we can fill the void in our being with more food, gadgets, stuff, etc., we can begin to feel whole.
These words are a simple reminder of our fundamental truth.
2. What's important to ME now is... (Fill in the blank)
My suggestions for completing the mantra: Love, connection, authenticity
When to use it: Use this when you start comparing yourself to others, or for when you begin doubting your choices based on something outside of you, such as what other people are doing or telling you to do. It's also great for those self-critical moments that can leave you feeling pretty powerless.
This is a powerful mantra that will help you refocus on what's true for you in the moment, bringing you back to a place of clarity, from which you can move forward.
3. I'm choosing wellness. I’m choosing sanity.
When to use it: This mantra is great for travelling, busy times, or situations that are likely to disrupt your self-care routines and tempt you to throw your wellness and sanity under the bus.
It’s also great for holiday parties or affairs when you're most likely to make unhealthy choices that lead you to feeling guilt and shame afterwards. Anytime you feel unnecessarily anxious, or when you’re faced with potentially self-damaging life choices, take your wellness and sanity back with this mantra!
4. I'm bringing the joy!
When to use it: Always. Consider that every breath is an opportunity and privilege to bring a little more joy into your heart and into the world, so why not bring it?
Having Your Way with Words
Don't like these mantras? No worries! These are here to inspire and maybe shake a little something loose. Remember, YOUR words create your world. So dig in and come up with a few of your own.
Mantras empower us to be our highest and best selves, and remind us of what that looks and feels like. They're a super simple and useful tool for accessing your calm, joyful, abundant, powerful, and sane self every day and when you need it most! Happy Holidays!