“Everyone has their own mantras.” – Russell Brand
The mantra has an odd reputation in the modern world. Although some people swear by them, it is fair to say that the majority of people have probably never spared them a thought. There will be those who think mantra’s are weird or hippy, others who may even think they are stupid. This is interesting because, although the traditional mantra is an old idea, pretty much everyone uses them. Everyone has their own mantra; their own guiding phrases and ideas.
What is A Mantra?
The mantra is simply this; a saying or idea that you can focus on in moments that require patience, compassion, love, restraint, insight… and a whole host of other virtues and emotions. Mantras are our cornerstones. They are values that we build our behaviours and personalities around; they remind us of who we are or help us to be mindful of who we are striving to be. You may have one guiding mantra that you come to regularly, or you may have many. Your mantras might come from traditional scriptures, TV shows, the sayings of friends and relatives or even a reminder of something that once came out of your own mouth. Indeed my own mantras vary from “Listen, don’t just hear”, an old saying about conscious interaction, to “Don’t miss it until it’s over”, something that came from my own mouth when a friend was lamenting that a part of their life was due to finish in the near future.
Mantras offer us a simple and inspirational way to live a more mindful and conscious life. Here are a few that are perfect for modern life…
1. “One Day At A Time”
This is perhaps, at the moment, one of the most important mantras in my life. The world is an overwhelming place right now. I have a life that is filled with moving parts, and it is all too easy to feel overwhelmed about the multitude of things coming up on the ‘to-do’ list of my life. However, “One Day At A Time” helps me to live in the moment; to focus on what is happening today. This not only prevents me from feeling overwhelmed, but also allows me to focus on the tasks and events of the day, making them more fruitful and enjoyable.
2. “Everything Ends”
In times of hurt or difficulty, it always good to remind yourself that everything ends eventually. It might be hard right now, but this time tomorrow, next week, or next year, it will be a distant memory and you will either be laughing about it or have forgotten it completely.
3. “Disagree Agreeably”
I think it is fair to say that most people don’t like conflict all that much. However, sometimes we have to hash things out with others, or to challenge choices and opinions. In times such as these, remember not to make differences of opinion personal. Just because you disagree with someone, it does not mean the end of your relationship. Indeed, no two people are the same. Be kind and mindful in conflict. Debate, don’t argue; disagree agreeably.
4. “Remember the Lesson, Not The Mistake”
Humans have a habit of getting hung up on the negative. Ninety-nine great things may happen today, but for some reason we are great at focusing on the one bad thing that happened. We do not learn by winning all the time, it is though our mistakes that we grow. So, when you mess up, be grateful and mindful of the lesson that came from it, and know that we all make mistakes.
5. “No Disclaimers, No Excuses”
This is about taking responsibility for yourself. We must have the power to own our shortcomings and mistakes as much as our triumphs and qualities. This doesn’t not mean ‘be down on yourself’, it just means, when you blunder, don’t make excuses. Take your power. Own your mistakes, and be confident that you will learn from them and move forward.
6. “Don’t Miss It Until It’s Over”
As I said earlier, a friend of mine was once sad that something was soon to end; but it had not ended yet. We must suck up joy whenever we find ourselves in armament with it. By being sad before the joy has passed, you rob yourself of the opportunity to revel in it to the fullest. Miss moments when they are gone and not before.
7. “I Am Enough”
We all beat ourselves up for our apparent shortcomings. They say that nobody is perfect, but I fancy that the opposite is true. Everyone is exactly who they are supposed to be, and everyone has beauty both inside and out. You are always enough and never let anyone tell you otherwise. Your uniqueness is just as important and beautiful as anybody else’s.
By Chris Thomson
Following on from “I Am Enough”, this great article from our archive teaches us how to be mindful about not comparing ourselves to others: How to Avoid Comparing Yourself to Others
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