While it’s no secret that most mothers consider their children to be the greatest gifts the universe ever gave them, it’s also no secret that being a mother is hard work. The hours are long, the job is often thankless, and your co-workers are usually messy and hypersensitive! With this relatively common knowledge, it stands to reason that moms should be incorporating a variety of self-care rituals into their daily routines – but the vast majority of us often don’t, and I was no exception. Meditation was the self-care ritual that, for a very long time, I knew I needed but hardly ever took the time to do. My errant thoughts took control of almost every session and left me feeling a lack of connection to my practice and to be quite honest, like a bit of a fraud. Then, at Wanderlust Yoga Festival several months ago, I met Ashley Wray of Mala Collective. I picked out a beautiful howlite and rudraksha mala (pictured as the featured image for this blog post – isn’t it stunning??), and was able to immediately take a meditation class with Ashley. For the first time ever, a regular and enjoyable meditation practice was made to seem attainable. She not only eased my insecurities regarding my “errant thoughts”, but she also explained to me the concept of using a mantra to take my practice into new territory.
So, what is a mantra? Well, the mantra definition as it stands in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary is, “a sound, word, or phrase that is repeated by someone who is praying or meditating”. In the most basic sense, the mantra gives your mind something to focus on to make it more difficult for it to wander off. Those errant thoughts I keep talking about? A mantra can be just what the doctor ordered to help with that. Many ancient and Sanskrit mantras are still in use and are an incredibly powerful way to connect to your higher consciousness. However, for the purposes of this blog, I’d like to focus on a more modern incarnation of the mantra called the affirmation. Okay, now what is an affirmation? Affirmations are short, powerful statements that, when you say them or think them, can create your reality. Life as a mother can often leave me feeling as though the control I think I need exists at all times just beyond my fingertips, so the idea of creating my own reality? Sign me up! Below are just a few of the mantras I use often to assist my travel down the road to my own reality.
I am Patient
I use this mantra more than any other. That howlite mala we discussed? It actually is the “I am Patient” mala from Mala Collective, so I suppose you could say that I was drawn to this mantra as I was drawn to the mala (which shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise since few people are as in need of patience as moms). This mantra reminds me not only to be patient with my family and my child, but also with myself. It reminds me to be present in the current moment, rather than becoming impatient for the next moment to arrive.
I am Divine
In a world of diapers and demands from tiny humans, it’s not difficult to forget that as women, we are goddesses. When was the last time you reminded yourself that you hold within you the power of the divine feminine? If we don’t take time to reconnect to our Shakti (feminine) energy, we forget ourselves and can be left feeling like pieces of us are getting lost under the mountain of mundane tasks that dominate our day-to-day. This mantra reminds me that I am connected to a higher purpose and am a creature of beauty, light, and strength – even if I do have half my toddler’s breakfast in my hair.
I am Grounded
This mantra is all about feeling rooted, safe, and secure. Other than brief bouts of situational anxiety, I was almost always able to manage my more apprehensive emotions… pre-children. After I had my son, it was like a chasm of previously contained emotions had been ripped open, leaving me with sometimes crippling anxiety for the safety of those I loved so much. My regular yoga practice helped, but it wasn’t until I learned the concept of grounding that I was finally able to start actually dealing with and easing my anxiety, rather than just becoming better at ignoring it.
I am Love
I’ve saved my personal favorite for last. To be a mother is to be the embodiment of pure love. It is to give of our bodies, souls, and minds freely and without consideration for the effect it may have on any of them. This mantra, more than any other, is motherhood in a metaphorical nutshell. It reminds me that I can and do embody love in all of its forms – for myself, my children, my husband, my friends, and any person that crosses my path. It reminds me that my heart chakra is open, and to be kinder to myself and others.
These mantras are extremely personal and dear to me. They’re not just empty words – they represent the person that I want to be, and the person that I truly already am. Who do you want to be? What reality do YOU want to create? Hey – there’s a mantra for that!
(If you’re interested in the mala pictured or another mala/meditation piece from Mala Collactive, you can find them online at Malacollective.com)