These aren't mantras, you know, he says to me. They're not sounds that transform your state of awareness, expand your third eye and open doors into other levels of thinking and existence.
I know that, he replies, not peevish but reflective. These are words that I think about to help me find answers in myself, though. Isn't that the idea behind using a mantra? I'm thinking about myself and the world and trying to expand my awareness through thought.
I leave it, giving him today's mantra stick: believe in yourself. He begins his contemplation.
Believe in yourself. It's a simple mantra, an exhortation that's been spoken to him all of his life. He's even told himself that many times.
But the words are like an instrument being played. To say the words like a recipe, melt butter and stir into the dry mix of ingredients, is to undermine it.
This isn't a recipe and it's not a slogan. This is a hymn that can raise your eyes and lift your spirits - "Believe in yourself." Sing it with gusto and feel the determination welling up from a secret underground spring. "Believe in yourself." My problems are minor but everything can wear us down. These minor problems, issues and challenges are like water dripping on stone. With time's passage, the steady dripping wears down my determination and will. Believe in yourself helps stop and slow the erosion, and even rebuilds some that was lost.
Believe in yourself. It's a good mantra for a cold morning when your energy level is low. Look at that list of things to do, take a deep breath and a sip of coffee and tell yourself, "You can do this, believe in yourself."
Then get busy.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com