It all began in a Yoga class … (bet you didn’t see that coming!).
I was taking my first group Yoga class of 2014 (with the joyous Faye McGarry) + she began by offering up the idea of setting an intention, or a mantra, for the class – possibly choosing one you could keep for the whole year.
A yearly mantra? What a freakin’ great idea!
After years + years of setting New Year’s Resolutions (and quickly failing at them within the first month), I gave up trying to add pressure (+ nearly guaranteed disappointment) onto the excitement of starting a new year.
But a mantra is not a resolution … it is so much more!
So … what is a mantra, exactly?
A mantra is a word or short phrase that is repeated mentally, often used to aid in meditation.
While I totally groove on meditation (I practice 15-20 minutes every morning), I love finding ways to take Yoga’s awesomeness off the mat + out into your daily life.
A yearly mantra is a resolution, a goal, + a positive reminder – all in one! <- (click to Tweet + share inspiration!)
Your mantra should help you feel focused, confident, + inspired. Anytime things start to go whacky, repeating your mantra to yourself should help your heart rate come down, your breath become smooth, + give your mind the ability to think clearly again.
For example, the mantra I choose for 2014 is: “I am abundant.”
I began 2014 knowing that it was going to be revolutionary for me because 1) I began working for the major-kick-ass Marie Forleo full-time AND 2) Thanks to Marie Forleo’s B-School, my business (+ this website!) is undergoing some major changes!
I needed something to remind me that I love what I do, whether that is working as part of Team Forleo, teaching Yoga, or writing this blog to help improve your life. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I repeat, “I am abundant.” A smile washes over my face, I take a deep breath, + I continue rockin’ it.
In just 1 month, I’ve used this mantra almost daily (I even added it to the background image on my computer!). In just 1 month, I’ve gotten more done – personally + professionally – than I did during the last 6 months of 2013.
My mantra has helped me big time. I can only imagine what the next 11 months of 2014 will be like with this gem in my mental toolbox!
So … how do I choose my yearly mantra?
Choosing your mantra is so wonderfully simply – you’re gonna love it!
- Find a quiet place to sit by yourself for 5 minutes. (If that isn’t available to you, try doing this at the beginning of the next group Yoga class you attend.)
- Sit comfortably, ensuring that your knees are closer to the ground than your hips, and resting your hands in your lap or on your knees with palms up. (Whether you are sitting in a chair, on a cushion, or on the floor doesn’t matter.)
- Close your eyes + relax your shoulder-blades down your back.
- Press your hips actively toward the floor + feel your spine lengthen toward the sky, stacking 1 vertebrae on top of the other, letting gravity do most of the work.
- Focus on the feeling of your breath entering + leaving your body through your nostrils. There’s no need to change your breath – simply observe it as it flows, feeling slightly cool as it enters your nose + slightly warm as it exits your nose.
- After focusing on your breath for 1-2 minutes (no need to time yourself, just settle into the moment), think to yourself: “I am _________.” What’s the first QUALITY that comes into your mind? The first thing that comes to you is what you need more of in your life. It could be patience, compassion, understanding, confidence, love, abundance, trust, happiness, joy … the list is nearly infinite.
There you have it. Your “I am” statement; your mantra for the year. This is the quality you need more of and you WILL have more of it, simply by reminding yourself (via your mantra) how important it is to you during your most vulnerable moments.
I am abundant. I am patient. I am happy. I am trusting. I am confident. I am joyous. I am loving. I am compassionate.
Yes, yes you are 🙂
What is YOUR mantra for the year?
BONUS: What is ONE place you could post your mantra to remind you when you need it the most?
COMMENT below, let me know, + join the conversation!
Reminder: share this post with your friends 🙂