We all have stories to tell of a time when we worked a job or lived somewhere that was completely wrong for us. We stayed for some far off in the future reason that we knew would be worth it. But what is the damage we do when continue down a path that does not make us happy? At first, not much, we simply aren't happy in that moment. Over time, we think that since we have done it once or twice before, we can do it again. We sacrifice our happiness repeatedly all in the name of that next big goal or step. We can become so fixated on reaching for something that we will do anything to get there and we no longer feel content with what we see around us. Things move too fast when we are always planning for where we want to be 6 months from now. Denying what brings you joy or passion can be the fastest way to watch life zip by in a flash.
So lets slow things down and check in. Try and do things that light you up (read: bring you joy right now) and if you must set goals, let them be focused on how you feel about your life right now. Practice gratitude and open your eyes to all the blessings around you. Notice how full and rich everything you already have already is! Sit still once a day and find a way to slow down your spinning thoughts and slowly but surely the light within you will shine down the path where your next steps need to taken. This practice takes trust and strength, and I still struggle to find that inner light sometimes. Repeating a mantra, like the one below, is another way to slow down, check in and find your light!
Introducing...the mother of all mantras! The Gayatri mantra is one of the oldest and most powerful out there by uniting the body, mind and soul as a prayer to the giver of life and light. The Gayatri is the mantra Mama because it brings together the benefits of praise, prayer and meditation to a higher power. Now choose any word that means something to you; God, nature, divine, Buddha, love, and let that be the 'thing' that brings you light. This mantra has been said to protect you from harm, illuminate your intellect and improve your power of speech. It brings about confidence in who you are and eventually the understanding that we are all connected to each other as well as this great 'thing'.
For me, this mantra has always been the one I fall back to time and time again. It immediately brightens what ever cloudy haze is lurking in my mind. When chanting this in a group, I am always shocked by how peaceful my body becomes and there is always some sort of connection to a colour or bright light. This makes sense as this mantra is also said to stimulate all the chakras or energy centers in the body (see below for a link to more on chakras)
Now don't take my word for this! Go, sit and try it. Don't get wrapped up in needing to get the words perfect every time, if you fumble just have a giggle and keep going. Once you have the phrasing down, focus on how the body feels as you continue to chant. Repeat how every many times you have time for (ideally 3,9,18,54 or 108) and notice any shift, inside or out.
AUM BHOOR BHUWAH SWAHA,
TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM
BHARGO DEVASAYA DHEEMAHI
DHIYO YO NAHA PRACHODAYAT
What does that mean:
We contemplate the glory of Light illuminating the three worlds: gross, subtle, and causal.
I am that vivifying power, love, radiant illumination, and divine grace of universal intelligence.
We pray for the divine light to illumine our minds and lead us down the righteous path.
Find out more below:
For information on seeing colours and the chakras check out:
This mantra is one to inspire universal compassion and joy for all beings everywhere. It serves as a reminder that what we do everyday, how we choose to live our lives has an effect on those around us and everyone on this planet. For me, this is the 'smarten the f**k up' mantra. We can no longer plead ignorance that how we speak or act has no impact on others. What we put out there is exactly what we get back. And this world can not continue down this destructive path much longer. We need a compassionate kick in the ass and it starts with looking inward to see what is really going on. If we harm others with words or actions, where are we hurting? If we ignore the truth, we are only hurting ourselves and moving further away from our true self. We all deserve a life full of joy, love and freedom! But we have to feel these things inside first and know that we are worthy of such splendor.
It starts with self compassion and self love. Practice positive inner dialogue with your own body everyday and notice what sets off a negative conversation with yourself. Watch when your mind starts to spin out of control and find a way to steady or slow down your thoughts. It may be sitting still and closing your eyes, it may be going for a run, it could be writing or singing or making art of any form. Find something that helps you to connect back with your heart...as that is the fastest way to calm down a wild mind.
The translation of this mantra is: May all being everywhere be happy and free. May the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to happiness and freedom for all.
Taking this mantra is a calling to action of your truest, most loving self to recognize how connected we are. To see that any act of compassion for another is powerful enough to make a difference. We have to believe that we can change this world for the better, otherwise we will never try. Every act of love, no matter how small can change someone's mood or day or even life!
Ready more about this mantra here:http://jivamuktiyoga.com/teachings/focus-of-the-month/p/lokah-samastah-sukhino-bhavantu
And as promised last week, here is a deeper look into the reason behind 108 repetitions:
This is my life through the yoga lens. Join me in my lessons, journeys across the ocean, dancing with a wild heart, eating with a happy belly and flowing down this blissful path.