Meditation, Mantras and Creating YOUR Life
I’m not sure how long I’ve been meditating consistently. I started being more consistent when my yoga teacher suggested that “it will change your life!” during my yoga teacher training. Before that, I’d experienced a change in my life when I’d meditated every night for almost three months.
There was a lot going on for me at this time. I was miserable in my middle management, salaried position. I was still beating myself up for not completing dental school. I’d left my husband. My body broke out in a rash. I was angry at life and the world. I kept Tums in my desk drawer at work because I needed them all the time. I was also drinking way too much alcohol! I was depressed.
Yet somehow, by the grace of God, I was still aware and had some meditation and yoga tools to reach for. I also reached for some friends and a therapist at some point. And sure enough, as my yoga teacher had said, after about three months of meditation something came over me. I decided to give up my corporate position. I woke up one morning calm and knowing what to do, without fear. And while I didn’t just go in and quit, I started exploring and making a plan.
I had read Deepak Chopra’s book Synchrodestiny a while back while on a trip. At the time it was way beyond my comprehension, but I had connected with the mantras and readings in the last section of the book. A mantra is a word or sound that you repeat, either out loud or silently to yourself, to help you concentrate when you meditate.
After many years of marinating in physical and emotional misery, I decided to start repeating these mantras silently every night before bedtime while working through my struggles, failures, and bad habits at this corporate job. I was very restless in my sleep, in my relationships, in my work, in life. But this few minutes of silent time (I started with just five minutes!), this breathing deeply combined with the repetition of words, helped me discover and cultivate what I truly value in life. This didn’t happen all at once, or even very quickly. My mind jumped all around. But that is why we’re cultivating this practice. I began to look deeper into myself for my answers.
But not at first….first, I just had to show up and practice.
“The more we practice something, the more we strengthen the pathway, and the easier the skill becomes. Our behavioral response can become almost automatic.” Joanna Holster, syndicated from letslivenice.com, dailygood.org
We can create new neuropathways!! These pathways are biological highways from our brain to our body parts, and when we change our behavior or how we speak to ourselves, they change as well!
How can you reword or rephrase what you say to yourself and begin to change your patterns or shift your perspective, habit, or behavior, creating what you want in your life?
Look deeper. Listen closer. Become aware.
1. Listen to your “inside speak.” What do you say to yourself when you when you make a mistake? When you aren't happy? Can you shift to gratitude?
2. Try to become aware without judgement.
3. What can you learn? How can you shift perspective? Reword the not-so-positive thing you may be saying to yourself.
4. Repeat the new wording or a mantra to create more of the positive perspective you want. Practice repeating your mantra or new wording when the emotion, thought, words, etc. you are trying to shift pop up. Don’t worry if it’s hard or if you mess up. It’s a practice!
If we can become aware of the times when we're saying something not positive to ourselves, then we can begin to shift it.
I’ve slowly changed my life this way. I’ve been a self-employed yoga teacher, personal trainer, and wellness coach for six years now. I even have time to volunteer my services every week now. I’m also spending way more time with family and sharing a practice that truly helps others. I’m slowly creating a more balanced, fulfilling life.
When we are learning something, anything, it has to be repeated to create the outcome, whether it’s a skill, a behavior, or an action we desire. It’s a process. I still have a hard time meditating when I’m away from my home routine. I still get angry and I still have bad habits. But I’m willing to become aware and acknowledge them so that I can explore how shifting perspective can help me continue creating a more balanced, joyful life.
What are you repeating to yourself with your internal voice? If it’s not what you want more of, find a mantra to focus on and begin to shift the way you speak to yourself and others. Your mantra could be a bible verse or a quote from your favorite author or something you create in words or visions to repeat in your mind. Your mantra will begin to plant seeds, new patterns in your mind and body to help cultivate more of what you want or need in your life. Give it a try! Create the life that will fill your heart with joy!
Peace, Love and Gratitude,