During this holiday season that includes both Easter and Passover I wanted to share an inspiring and uplifting blog that is written by one of our expert love mentors, Kristie Guthrie, LPC. In this piece she shows how a simple spiritual practice can dramatically alter your mood. For more on the value of meditation, prayer and other spiritual practices in helping your love life, pick up a copy of Sealing the Deal: The Love Mentor’s Guide to Lasting Love
When life becomes overwhelming for me, as it does at times for everybody, I use a very simple and effortless method to focus and get in touch with my core, my highest self. The method? An affirming mantra. My mantra makes the impossible seem more than possible—even likely. It allows me to focus on a positive thought and move quickly through my struggles. No matter how difficult they may seem at the time.The chaos of life can chip away at our core; distract us from our goals and deepest desires. I use an affirming mantra to re-center my life and to move forward with confidence and ease. I use it to stay on track, to put my best foot forward. In the past I have taken several different phrases as my mantra: “Stay present, stay focused”; “It is what it is”; and “I am worth it.” But the mantra that works best for me focuses on the present while reminding me that I control the future through my actions right here, right now: “The past is gone, the future is yet to be told, and today I am here to live.”Of course, what works for me might not work for you.
Mantra constitutes a voyage of self-discovery—a unique experience for each of us. It represents the ability to reach into your core—into your soul or gut—and find what means the most to you and generate positive energy. For me, mantra relieves anxiety, builds self-esteem, and helps develop a core value system. I hope you find my personal story of mantra helpful, but the mantra may serve a slightly different purpose for you. Again, I want to emphasize the individualized nature of mantra—it must work for you and get you past your particular difficulty, a broken heart, loss of employment, or the daily struggles of life. Mantra is about eliminating negative thoughts and replacing them with positive thoughts. When you feel you are losing control, stop, focus, put aside your fear, and concentrate on your mantra. Repeat it to yourself over and over, perhaps; “I deserve true love and happiness.” Often, you’ll find that the physical symptoms of stress-induced anxiety and worries will disappear completely.
For our purposes, you may, if you like, remove the term mantra from its roots in Hinduism and bring it into the twenty-first century. I don’t ask that you sit cross-legged on your bedroom floor, The Essential Ravi Shankar blaring from your iPod, as you repeat the syllable “Om”—unless you find that particular position and type of music comforting. Instead, I hope that you’ll find a word or phrase—a slogan, perhaps— that functions as a kind of emblem for your journey of self-discovery, finding love, and self-fulfillment. Make it simple and easy to remember. Recite it as often as you like and to whatever musical accompaniment you prefer, but your mantra should serve as a constant reminder of your goal. Repeat it during times of doubt or desperation. When you prepare to create your mantra, begin by asking yourself these questions: What is important to me? What is the consistent theme or goal of my life? How are my life’s problems and worries— undermining my morals and values? How are these issues standing in the way of my becoming the person I want to be?
When I’m coaching and mentoring my clients, I first ask them about the personal accomplishments that brought them pride and joy; I direct them towards the positives in their lives. However, while I focus on the clients’ achievements during this early part of the process, I then also have them talk about their fears, their failings. Since they will use their mantras to surmount these obstacles, I encourage them to examine their lives very carefully and, of course, very honestly.
For example, Ashley, is a love mentee who is a successful business women in her 40s. She exudes beauty in many ways, both physically and internally. Recently, she had been passed over for a promotion and told me that she experienced a deep fear of failure in her career. She believed that her success to-date was due to her appearance (she is quite attractive) and not her intelligence or skill sets. With only superficial beauty Ashley believed that her business upside was limited. In addition, Ashley was very demoralized about not having a life partner, someone she could love and cherish and who felt the same way about her. As I coached her, it became clear that she feared not failure but the power of great success. She felt that she did not deserve to be recognized at work or to be loved by a terrific guy. She showed what Dr. Diana Kirschner calls a relationship killer belief, specifically, feeling not worthwhile or loveable. Under the influence of this belief pattern Ashley was stuck both in her love life and professionally.
In our sessions (by skype) I worked on bringing out her Diamond Self and helped her develop a mantra to own her inner strength power. She came up with “I have the courage to be who I am intended to be in all of its greatness!” I asked her to sit quietly for a few minutes daily and repeat the mantra. Through this process, not only was Ashley awarded a promotion, but she found a fantastic guy whom she is dating exclusively. So when life becomes overwhelming, whether you are recovering from the heartbreak of a failed relationship, loss of a job, or simply searching for more inner peace, an affirming mantra will quiet the spirit and help you move on more quickly. So take a moment in your life to create a mantra or follow any spiritual practice that works for you. You’ll be glad you did!
Thank you, Kristie, for your wise words. You can have a free 40-minute love mentoring session with a seasoned dating coach like Kristie.
Wishing you love,