Two Ordinary Mantras That Can Change Your Life. ~ Caren Baginski

Via elephant journal
on Jun 27, 2012
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Photo credit: Sean & Lauren

Our minds are so boring.

Seriously, think for a moment about your last thought before you read that sentence. If you’re like me, it was: “I’m hungry. I’m stressed. When is my library book due?”

It’s not our brain’s fault. The problem is we put ourselves in routines. Our thoughts naturally follow our routines.

Some routines are beneficial, especially if you want to keep all your original teeth until you’re 90. Other routines are toxic, like showing up daily to a job you don’t enjoy or staying in a relationship with someone who doesn’t love you.

“Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you what you are.” ~ Jose Ortega & Gasset

By some estimates, we recycle 95 percent of the same thoughts all the time. When those thoughts are negative, boring turns into some serious sabotage to your happiness.

And I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to settle for being happy five percent of the time.

What to do if you can’t change your routine (at least not yet)?

Change your thoughts, of course.

In ancient India—we’re talking 1500 to 500 B.C.E.—gurus did this by bestowing mantras upon their truth-seeking students in order to elevate their students’ thought patterns from ordinary to extraordinary.

The 21st century isn’t exactly ancient India.

You can spend a long time waiting for a mindful master to give you the phrase that will change your life.

In fact, you may never meet a guru.

Be your own guru.

You don’t need someone else’s permission to smooth out your mind’s destructive patterns. Instead, be your own guru. After all, you know you best.

My life has transformed by using the following two simple mantras (they’re in English—ancient India, watch out) and yours can, too.

Repeat these whenever your mind is making a big deal out of life and say them as many times as necessary until you believe yourself.

Don’t use them if they don’t resonate.

But if they do—good things are ahead.

1. “Where you are right now is exactly where you need to be.”

The next time you feel the need to compare your life to your friends’ on Facebook or your body or talents to another’s body or talents, say this mantra.

We spend too much time wishing we were something else and not enough appreciating the goodness that we already are.

Again, it’s not our fault! Our brains are bored and vicariously living someone else’s life is thrilling—if only for a moment.

But while our brains fixate on goals, life is all about the process. None of us make it a goal to die, though we know we all will. Why do we set goals to be further along than we are, fully knowing that every step leads us to where we want to be?

We may want to be somewhere else, but we need to be here, right now, in order to get there. Say this mantra the next time you want to skip ahead. By making the process your goal, suddenly all those comparisons are unnecessary.

2. “Everything is going to be okay.”

In early 2011, I met a vipassana-trained monk. I’d been meditating off and on for a year, but here was someone who spent seven years in intense silent meditation practice in the East.

So I decided to ask him, “What’s the ultimate goal of meditation?” thinking I already knew the answer.

Enlightenment, of course, thought my matter-of-fact, I-learned-this-in-yoga-teacher-training mind.

He was sitting cross-legged in his chair right across from mine when he leaned forward.

“Now, I feel like I should whisper this… I’m not going to, but that’s how this should be treated,” he began.

And then he said: “Everything is going to be okay.”

I knew in that moment, my eyes welling with tears, that it was.

In my most incredible disarray, this is the mantra of all mantras. In fact, so much so that it has become synonymous with my life’s purpose. As someone who has battled deep depression and continues to win, this is what I tell others to help them pull through.

You’re right where you need to be.

Everything’s going to be okay.

Your mind has room for extraordinary.

Caren Baginski is a certified yoga teacher and writer on a mission to show you that everything is going to be okay. She’s partial to little dogs and people with big hearts and she writes about both on her blog, Happy Momentum. Follow her on Twitter here.



Editor: Jamie Morgan

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23 Responses to “Two Ordinary Mantras That Can Change Your Life. ~ Caren Baginski”

  1. Sitting Turtle says:

    Beautiful. And I can even understand them when I think them or say them to myself. I'm going to start using them immediately. Thank you for sharing!

  2. @cbaginski says:

    I'm so glad you find these helpful! Consistent use is key, for sure. There's just something so calming about these that I keep coming back to no matter the situation.

  3. Wow, these are very powerful mantras. I love them and they definitely resonate so am starting to use them regularly right now. Thanks for sharing them Caren.

  4. @cbaginski says:

    I think that's awesome! You are so welcome.

  5. Loran says:

    I think we all need to know that no matter what everything is going to be ok. Saint Teresa of Avila wrote, "All shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well." This has the same soothing quality.

    I have some favorite mantras too that help me get through rough spots.

  6. @cbaginski says:

    "All shall be well." Love it.

  7. Stefanie says:

    "Everything will be okay" made me tear up and my heart swell. Thank you. I will remember that.

  8. @cbaginski says:

    I know exactly how you feel. So glad I could share this with you.

  9. ValCarruthers says:

    Lovely article, Caryn. Many years ago, I gave my mother a bracelet from which dangled a gold, heart-shaped charm. Inscribed on it were the words she would often say to comfort herself in times of great anxiety: "There, there. Everything's going to be alright." She wore it almost until the day she died.

    Truly it seems that even more than success or wealth or the perfect mate, what we really seek is reassurance and comfort. Something to keep us from plunging into the morass of the past or the abyss of the future that anchors us directly in the present moment. We might even discover that things are actually okay right now.

    "Ancient India's" gift of mantra to the world was, in part, to empower us to make that discovery. A mantra certainly doesn't have to be in Sanskrit to perform its transformative job—remember Thomas the Train's "I think I can, I think I can"—and the idea here is for a fast-acting formula that can pacify most of us. Right on. Yet the deep and often ecstatic resonance of intoned Sanskrit has a particular mind-stilling, heart-opening vibratory energy that brings change at virtually a cellular level.

    And even without a mantra-bestowing guru on every corner in the 21 century, they're readily available on cd's by Krishna Das, Deva Premal, Jai Uttal and Wah! to name but a few.

    Valerie Carruthers
    Team Leader
    Elephant Spirituality

  10. @cbaginski says:

    Hi Valerie – thanks for sharing your story. That's so special, and I'm a big believer in discovering the okayness in right now. Love that phrase!

    I understand the value of Sanskrit and often speak and sing some of those mantras in the yoga classes I teach. Most of time, I find that my own self talk holds more power in my own long-term transformation than things such as kirtans. At least, that's my path right now — who knows what the future holds!

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  13. Amber says:

    Great post and great mantras. I'm partial to this one – “Where you are right now is exactly where you need to be.”

    I 100% believe that it is entirely true and probably tell myself this daily. Whether I'm going through something I view as good or bad, it is exactly what is needed at that point in time to move forward and continue the the journey to live a happier, mindful life.


  14. @cbaginski says:

    Amber, I'm glad you find it useful! I find that sentence in particular is awesome for breaking the habit of comparing yourself to someone else. I wrote more about that here:

  15. Jen says:

    Wonderful story about the monk Caryn.
    And those two mantras are very special.
    Thank you.

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  19. caren s says:

    Hi Caren
    I had to leave a comment just to say hello from one Caren to another. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing these…I am going through a very hard time right now and these words are just what I need!
    Caren S

  20. Abhishek says:

    Hi Caren,
    The above two lines make me to think differently.

  21. lisacollins says:

    Thank you. I needed to be reminded that everything really will be okay.