This is a post I wrote on May 17th this year, to which I still relate whenever in a tricky situation. If you’re currently dating (or facing any other kind of challenges), think about creating your own mantras.
‘I’ve finally discovered something that really works for me! DIY personal mantras. Or so I like to call them.
Gretchen Ruben (the author of ‘The Happiness Project’) calls them resolutions and she has created her own personal resolutions chart, but I like ‘personal mantras’ more. You know, those simple words that mean something to you and which you can just call upon when you need them the most to bring you back to your centred, assured self. Gretchen also lists some in her ‘secrets of adulthood’, but it really doesn’t matter how you call them – what matters is that they work.
So after recently having been called on by nasty old fears and having decided that this year I was going to find new ways of dealing with my challenges, I decided to put together a list of personal mantras (following the Gretchen Ruben example):
1. Stop judging
2. Just because it happened in the past, it doesn’t mean it will happen in the future
3. It’s ok not to be ok
4. It’s ok to be afraid
5. Trust your instincts
6. Be indifferent to rejection
7. Whatever you do, be mindful
8. You are enough
9. Love more
10. Recognise your qualities
11. Always put friends and family first
12. Develop a thick skin
13. Stick to your standards
14. Be light! Always be light!
15. When in doubt, breathe
I highlighted the last two because I found them particularly useful in the last few days.
No. 14 ‘Be light!’ is probably the key mantra to my ‘Love project’ because I realised I am and always have been really serious. I am funny and a fun person to be around but guys can feel there is a certain weight I carry around with me. I’m the kind of girl who is going to tell them off because they failed to respond according to my standards and my expectations. And that’s because I have always been tough on myself so I would always treat men the same way I’d treat myself: perform or suffer!
But the good news is: NOT ANYMORE! Since I have discovered the joys of being kind to myself and accepting of myself completely, I’ve lightened up around guys too. And this is an energy I intend on channelling religiously from now on, therefore I need my mantra no 14. like the air that I breathe.
Which brings me to mantra no. 15 ‘When in doubt, breathe!’. You know what, I’ve rediscovered breathing and it’s such a lovely thing to focus on. I think It was Johnny Depp who said his favourite activity was breathing. I think he’s right. Breathing has the power to keep you in your body and focused on the present. When I feel my mind going crazy, I remember my personal mantra no. 15 and breathing brings me back to centre. Focused breathing casts a light over the clouds of judgement. When I find somebody annoying, instead of jumping to judgement, I call upon my mantra no 15 and I forget about what annoyed me in the first place. And let’s not forget, breathing helps me with being light and sticking with my mantra no. 14!
The truth is there’s a story behind all of these mantras. If I wasn’t in a hurry to get to Devon tonight for a week-end of fun (‘Be light! Always be light!’) I’d be happy to share all of them. Perhaps another time. Until then, ‘when in doubt, breathe!’