For most of my life, I thought a mantra was either a sanskrit word or gibberish only to be uttered while meditating.
A word to help you quiet your mind, or at least distract it from all the other thoughts swirling around in your head. And I thought meditation was only to be done while seated in stillness.
I was wrong on both counts.
Meditation is far more than sitting in silence. We can meditate throughout our day, during any and all actions or non-actions.
And mantras? Although a mantra is defined primarily as a word or series of words to aid in concentration during meditation or prayer, the meaning has been extended. In addition to being used to focus and quiet the mind, mantras can be used like affirmations or personal life slogans—our own little soundtrack to help us feel our best.
That being said, I think it’s important to uphold the original meaning and usage of a mantra in terms of it being a “sacred utterance…believed to have psychological and spiritual powers.” A mantra is not just a tape loop to distract the monkeys in our mind, and it’s not just a theme song—when we truly believe in the power of a mantra, it will turbo boost not only meditation and prayer, but all of our endeavors.
Another way to look at it is that using a mantra, or a variety of mantras, throughout your day, can make our life a living prayer—a meditation in motion.
The best mantra is one that resonates. It has to be something we believe, something that won’t set off our inner bullsh*t meter. So although there are plenty of people advising us to just think positive thoughts and use affirmations that may not even ring true, I will not do that.
The following mantras of empowerment can help us live life to our fullest potential regardless of where we’re currently at.
For the best results, mantras should be repeated out loud or silently for at least five minutes. If that sounds like a long time, just start with a couple of minutes a few times a day. We can do this while washing the dishes, driving our car, when first waking up or going to sleep, or when we’re in the shower. We can use mantras anytime, anywhere.
Feel free to tinker with the words to make them feel right for you. This is about empowerment after all, so go ahead and take charge!
1. Today, I am doing my best.
Now, if you’re just lying on the couch eating potato chips and feeling sorry for yourself, this might not ring true at first. But think about it for a moment. Whatever you are doing, truly is your best in any given moment. And if you can do even better? Then you will. So it’s a win win.
Either you recognize, “Yes, I am doing my best today! And I’m gonna enjoy the heck out of my pity party,” or this mantra will help you get up and at least wash the dishes, go for a walk, or do whatever it is that really would feel like “Today, I am doing my best.”
2. I can do whatever I want. I have free will.
Remember this. If you’re feeling unsatisfied or disempowered, you do have the power to change. Finding acceptance and gratitude for where we’re at is important, but so is taking action towards our vision and evolution.
3. I know what’s best for me.
Sometimes I really struggle with decision fatigue, and so I reach out to get advice from others. And while it’s helpful to get feedback or direction, what’s most empowering is to stop saying, “I just don’t know,” and instead start saying, “I know what’s best for me.” If that doesn’t ring true, you can try this instead: “I am discovering what’s best for me,” or “I’m learning to know what is best for me.”
4. I am right where I need to be.
Take a deep breath and breathe in these words. Feel the peace of not only accepting where you are—whether physically, mentally, financially, or relationship-wise—but also realizing the perfection of it all. Perhaps change is around the corner, but right now? Right now, this moment, is right where you need to be. Otherwise? You wouldn’t be right here, right now.
5. In this moment, I have everything I need.
There may be more things you want—and even some needs that aren’t being met. But one of the most empowering things you can do is shift your mindset to one of abundance rather than lack. Try spending a few minutes a day reminding yourself you have everything you need and see how your thoughts shift.
Author: Rebecca Clio Gould
Image: Mislav Marohnic/Flickr
Editor: Nicole Cameron