I’ve always loved singing… when I was a kid I would sing along to songs on the radio, even if I didn’t know them. I would listen to the words, and anticipate what was coming based on the line or even just the first sounds of the word. Okay, often it was a jumbly mess, but I loved it!
When I was in school and going to church regularly, I loved the singing of the worship. I loved to get lost in my voice. I always loved musicals and would come home from school and sing and dance around the house (with no one home, of course)!
Voice has resonance for me. I like to feel the vibration of sound in my throat, in my body. I like music and have worked with the muscles of my voice for a long time without knowing that I was refining them. Naturally, when I met mantras in my yoga training, we hit it off.
Well, actually, at first I thought the Sanskrit words were uncomfortable and strange and I didn’t know what I was saying. Meaning is important to me. But as I gained understanding, the unknown language with deep layers of meaning stuck with me. As I would chant/sing with my words on paper or with my eyes closed and feeling through my 108 bead mala, I found peace. Trust. A prayer in another form. One layer is the words and their meanings. Another the melody repeating over and over. Another in the vibration as it resonates in my body. Another is the history of the mantra and that I’m connection to unknown amounts of others who have said this prayer before. On great days, I feel unbelievably content and complete after reciting mantras (and who couldn’t use a little more of that?).
I’m working on practicing these types of formal Sanskrit mantras more in my life (check out this mantra for obstacles). AND, I also have mantras that are informal (and don’t require singing!). These are sayings or phrases that ring deeply true to me. Mottos. Inspiration. Soul stuff. I write them on my chalk board. I breathe in and out thinking or saying them to myself. I write them on cards to others and post them on my social media. They come from ancient mystics, favorite books, comedians, friends, anything! Here are a few that I’ve been chewing on lately. If one rings true for you, grab it and keep it somewhere great – on a mirror, on your phone background, or just tucked into your heart.
We’ve talked a little about finding your own motivation and mantra before! Have you seen our posts about beautiful message tucked in public places, inspirational quotes, a wonderfully uplifting song, motivational desktops, a great life manifesto, being darn tough, and picking your own mantra! Let the mantra’s truth, the vibration of juicy awesome love-joy-compassion, fill you up.
“Do that which best stirs you to love.” -Teresa of Avilia
“I am doing well.”
“We cannot attain what we don’t pursue.” -Gioconda Parker, yogi
“Breathe in. Breathe out.”
“Change is the only constant.”
“Rule your mind or it will rule you.” -Buddha
…and, more ideas are online here!
Bonus: I find mantra paves the way into a meditation – try it out!
Look around online or in your life for your inspiring mantra. We’d love to hear what you find on the blog or social media!