The Story Behind the Mantra

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

I’ve thought a lot about mantras over the years but never in terms of what a chosen mantra reveals about the person, how there is a story behind those words chosen to do something very specific for that person, were chosen in response to something very personal. Take, “It’s manageable.” That got a person I know through a chronic blood cancer diagnosis and treatment plan.
Well, I say it got them through but in reality, I don’t know if this person used it as a mantra or not but when I heard them say it, I was so struck by the power in taking that position I turned it into a mantra for myself. Of course, the story behind “It’s manageable” for me is very different. Mine doesn’t involve blood cancer; mine is about a person not terribly inclined to view things as manageable but who does recognize good mantra material when she sees it. It’s helped me with perspective and breaking things down into manageable chunks.
What follows is the collection of powerful mantras that accomplish something very specific and mean something very significant to our Northern Light colleagues who sent them along. I see certain themes at play. Some are reminders of our own innate value and beauty. Others rally strength. Many speak to how to be in this world. All offer perspective. Just imagine all the stories in back of those chosen words. Which ones speak to you? Borrow liberally!
  • I will fly. (Whenever I doubt myself, I think of this quote: “What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?” and I tell myself “I will fly.”)
  • I will get through this.
  • My days are long and slow…and filled with precious moments where I find myself so grateful for all the blessings in my life. I shorten it to My days are long and slow when I need a quick reboot during the day.
  • In this moment things feel good and I am enjoying myself. In this moment. And in this one.  And in this one…
  • Someday, your life may flash before your eyes, make it worth watching.
  • I create my own path and walk it with joy.
  • Nobody died.
  • I tell myself all the time, “I love you.” Most times it is frantic but occasionally it is just loving, and I even take my hand and preciously cup my own chin when I say it. Yep. I am admitting that.
  • If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.  (African Proverb)
  • They come and they go. (Bad feelings, symptoms, problems, whatever.)
  • In this moment I am feeling Grateful. 
  • It’s not urgent.
  • I am open to what happens.
  • Run in screaming (the way to approach going into a cold ocean as well as everything you’re procrastinating on)
  • More to be revealed….
  • Fire in the belly.
  • Maintain integrity. Keep rolling.
  • It’s gonna be alright.
  • Mourn, a reminder to honor my journey in integrating the death of my mother.
  • Every day is a gift.
  • Stay right here, in your body.
  • It’s, fine, I’m fine, everything is fine.
  • Let things slide, which means relax for now, keep moving, things may improve.
  • My positive thoughts guide me to new heights.
  • “Sometimes it is necessary to re-teach a thing its loveliness.”
  • This, too, shall pass.
  • The Universe loves you. Remember to love it back.
  • It’s all good.
  • It’s better to be wrong than to be righteous.
  • Let your fears help make you brave, not define or give us a reason to not try something.
  • The Serenity Prayer…a little long, but it really helps.
  • Best day ever!
  • I survived C.H. at summer camp when I was 6 (the only person at age 63 I still carry feelings of hate for) so surely I can survive this person.
  • I am a human being.
  • You got this.
  • “Compassion is limitless” no matter how hard it gets
  • Get a cup of teaas in, “First get a cup of tea, then settle in to figuring out a solution for the overwhelming problem.
  • I’m already enough.
  • Don’t ask the mountain to move; just take a pebble each time you visit.
  • I can work with this.
  • Love the life I have.
  • I survived ________________ (whatever event I am remembering). If I survived that I can surely survive this (whatever event is about to happen).
  • It will get done.
  • Be happy with what you have.
  • I am free.
  • Inhale, exhale.
  • It will be alright in the end. If it is not alright, then it is not the end.
  • I will fly. (Whenever I doubt myself, I think of this quote: “What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?” and I tell myself “I will fly.”)
  • Choose your hard meaning it may be hard to exercise now but it will harder to be full of disease or be sick by not exercising and making good nourishing food decisions now. I made a card (3x4 inches) over a year ago that I keep on my desk. In the center it says “Choose your HARD” and around the card are little reminders of what I should be “choosing” to focus on: God, Family, Friends, brain health first, choose joy, be still!, self-care, mind over matter, body is a temple-treat it well, stand tall, build in fun, debt-free living, healthy choices versus convenience, make sleep hygiene a priority.

Courage, faith, grace and strength (another aspirational one of mine),