noun ˈmän-trə also ˈman- or ˈmən-
: a sound, word, or phrase that is repeated by someone who is praying or meditating
: a word or phrase that is repeated often or that expresses someone’s basic beliefs
(Merriam-Webster online dictionary)
I was working with someone recently who was feeling pretty awful. She’d move some emotions through, and then grimace and well up all over again. When I asked her what the thought was that she was pummeling herself with, it took her a bit to speak it out loud. When she did, I could see how she was running herself aground.
“I’m totally falling apart. And I’m all alone.”
Imagine telling that to a small child. “You’re falling apart, and you’re all alone.” What do you think would happen? For sure, she or he would grimace and cry. It seems unlikely that you (or my client) would actually tell a child such a mean thing.
And yet most of us use some version of this word repetition, especially when the chips are down. Almost like an incantation, we tend to focus on our particular familiar phrases.
I don’t know what I’m doing.
What was I thinking?!
This is never going to get better.
There’s really something wrong with me.
These words tend to lurk in the background of our consciousness even when we’re not having a hard time, like a vicious animal lying in wait for those vulnerable moments to leap out and grab us by the throat.
People are assholes.
The world is ending.
I’m not enough.
No one will ever love me.
I’ve used hypnosis in my practice over the years. What impresses me is how people are so talented at self-hypnosis, giving themselves suggestions over and over that seep into their very being.
This will never work out.
I can’t do it.
Life is just sorrow and woe.
God is not pleased with me.
I don’t deserve anything good in my life.
I believe that every word has its own vibration. As we chant words over and over, even if we’re speaking only to ourselves in our minds, we’re tuning our bodies to the particular vibration of the words we’re using.
Phew. Is that enough yet? How is your body feeling right now? (Mine feels contracted and slightly headachy, just from writing these words.)
I wonder if you would consider using a different mantra, one that might tune your body to a higher vibration? Instead of keeping your body in Reactive Brain (which is what the lists above will reinforce), how about giving it a break and using words, phrases, and sentences that will take it to Creative Brain?
See how it works? Let’s increase the power with actual sentences.
I live in a friendly universe.
Every person I meet is for me.
All is peace.
We’ll find a way.
I am love.
How is your body feeling now, just reading these words? Do you notice a difference? (I sure do.)
Religions use mantras (also called “prayers,” “meditations,” “contemplations,” and more) to support their message of connecting with spirit. Humans have known for thousands of years that chanting these phrases supports living in higher vibrations.
Here’s my invitation: Notice that lower vibration mantras that you’ve been hypnotizing yourself with. Find one or more new words or phrases, and train your brain to substitute those instead. Even, especially, when the chips are down.
Namaste. The spirit within me salutes the spirit in you.