Every year I take on a “mantra.”
Instead of a long list of resolutions that are destined to fail (I’m gonna lose 10 pounds, eat healthier and stop stalking the cute guy on the bus), I focus on a slogan, a guiding principle — in short, a mantra. In years past, I had “Slow (the F) Down” or “Get It (G-ddamn) Done.” (The words in parentheses are just for my thoughts. There’s something fun yet firm about a well-placed expletive. I didn’t tell other people about those words. Until now, that is.)
Sometimes the mantra was silly: “Be Like a Duck and Let Things Slide Off Your Back.” (That was less successful — too long. I forgot most of it by March instead just remembering the “Be Like a Duck” part with not very pretty consequences.)
One year was a bit unseemly: “Get Rid of the Old (Crusty) Underwear.” Meaning, stop hanging on to shit you don’t need: crappy stuff goes in the garbage and crappy friends — show them the door! (Please recall: words in parens — here, “Crusty” — are for my thoughts only. I wouldn’t tell that to people. Well, like I said, until now.)
And the rule is: it needs to be an affirmative statement. It’s something you DO want to do. No negatives in the sentence — no “Don’t Be Mean” or “Quit Complaining.” Turn those into “Smile at Everyone” and “Appreciate the World.” The Lady in Pink makes this clear:
And the second rule is, I don’t think about the picking of The Mantra too much, I just sort of “discover” it. Let it come to me.
However, this year for Xmas/New Year’s, I was in my mom’s tiny home town in southern Italy — a place not known for keeping up with the times.
And so, I was overloaded on too many kissing-my-cheeks-twice relatives, bored by the constant hum of bad Italian television and screaming conversation (that’s just how they talk) and over-indulged in amazing food. It broke my brain. The mantra was not only undiscovered but completely forgotten.
Until…. I got a message from a friend I adore and haven’t seen in years. She wrote, “So what’s your Mantra for 2015? I LOVE that you do that!” I didn’t even know she knew about my quirky mantra thing. At the VERY moment that the message came, I’d been feeling bad about eating pasta for both lunch and dinner and it just came to me: “Take Care of Yourself” (I might need to adjust that to “Take Care of Yourself (Asshole).” )
Silliness aside, a mantra is more powerful rather than a list of resolutions that you HAVE TO do. Because those remind you of your failures, whereas, a Mantra reminds you of who you declare yourself to be. Who you are is who you SAY you are. Train your brain to be your best self.
Ok so… pick a mantra, from the list below and/or write in comments and then TAKE IT (THE F) ON!!!!!
with not very pretty consequences… haha 🙂
if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, talks like a duck…. IT’S A DUCK.
Excellent idea! I love your mantra suggestions.
thanks! which one ya gonna pick, brenda???? don’t think about it too much. pick one even arbitrarily and put it up on your bath mirror or your computer screen (with one of those tiny post-its). really. try it. thanks again for visiting and following.
Find the magic, most definitely 🙂
that’s a good one. there are so many moments when it would just slip by without notice. and keep your conception of “magic” large! let me know how it goes….
Less is more for me. I do too much. Need to slow down. How’s life in England Terianne?
“Less is more” is a truism for so many situations. Write it somewhere that you’ll see daily! Bathroom mirror, perhaps? I feel much more at home here than Italy. I need things to work and things just work here. Loved the photo of Nilu turning 10!
Good point about the power of mantras!
so which one’s it gonna be, frank? 😉