According to Wikipedia, a mantra is a sound, syllable, word or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation." I use mantras when I teach my yoga classes. When the yogis bring their hands to prayer I ask them to pause and recite the silent mantra of the day. Whatever it is.
Sometimes I give it to them. For example, if the theme of the class is “inspiration,” I will maybe suggest to them: “I am inspired.” Or if the theme is “joy,” it will be: “I am joy.”
We literally pause for a few seconds with the hands there, right over the heart and rewire our thoughts. It’s like sending small rocket ships into our consciousness.
I joke with them saying that if they don’t like the “I am inspired” mantra, they can change it to “I am dead inside” or something else that suits them.
We always have the choice.
As far as I know, no one actively chooses the “I am dead inside” mantra.
I started teaching this way when I realized I was walking around with my own personal mantra of “I am tired” all the time. I let the vibration of those words carry me through my day and decide how I was feeling. Before I even knew if I was indeed tired or not, I would recite that. By rote. By habit. Not by choice or with any awareness.
It’s pretty spectacular to watch as my class takes on a theme.
This morning the theme of class was “awe and wonder.” Sometimes I ask them to carry a journal around and jot down all the things that cause them to feel awe and wonder. Or grace. Or inspiration. No matter how big or small or seemingly trite. What ends up in that journal are the things that make us come alive. The things that stop us in our tracks and make us say: “wow.”
So this morning’s mantra was: “wow.” The hands came to prayer, and I watched as mouths silently formed the word “wow” and subtle smiles played on lips.
How can you not smile when you are wowed?
I asked my class if they would rather spend time with people who are wowed by everything or wowed by nothing. We all agreed we wanted more “wow.”
My intention is that by using these mantras, or affirmations, that we are actively choosing where our thoughts are hanging out. We are actively choosing if we are indeed tired or bored or are simply reciting it because we have tattooed it in our brains long ago.
I certainly don’t dictate what the mantra should be. I simply suggest that we have the choice and the power of thought, and since that is the case - let’s choose big.
Let’s choose: awe and wonder and inspiration and love and humility and joy and fearlessness.
What’s your mantra? Share below.