When things get hard, what do you reach for to pull you through? To encourage you? To inspire, uplift, or motivate you? Well for me, I go to my personal mantra, over and over again. I tell myself, “I get to do this. I can do hard things.” Because there is strength and power in words and how you use them to speak to yourself. My mantra’s gotten me through 12 half marathons, 1 full marathon, 2 child births, launching my business, and so much more. So whether or not you have a mantra, this episode is for you. Because we find ourselves in unprecedented times, and I figure we could all probably use a little extra grace, strength, and motivation.
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Let’s Chat Mantras
So, what the heck is a mantra anyways? I personally like how mindworks.org defines them.
“A mantra is a syllable, word, or phrase that is repeated during meditation. Mantras can be spoken, chanted, whispered, or repeated in the mind. Most mantra meditation techniques have two essential components: mindfulness meditation and mantra chanting. While this age-old practice is known to have Buddhist and Hindu roots, forms of “sacred word” recitation exist within a great variety of spiritual traditions. Nowadays, mantra practice is also gaining popularity as part of non-secular mindfulness practice.”mindworks.org
I too use a mantra to tether myself to my meditation practice, the same way I cue you to use your breath to keep yourself in the moment and present for your meditation each week.
For our purposes this week though, when I’m speaking about a mantra I’m referring to a sentence or phrase that’s empowering to you. That encourages you, strengthens you, fires you up, or shows yourself grace. Whatever you need it to be. It’s something that’s steadfast, that you draw on when things are hard.
My personal mantra is and has been since 2014, “I get to do this. I can do hard things.”
A friend first introduced me to “I can do hard things,” And I added on, “I get to do this.” See, mantras can be specific to you or can be inspired by others too! I use my mantra in moments big and small. This week on the podcast I share a few examples of how I use them in my own life.
Using a Mantra, In Moments Big and Small
One momentous endeavour in my life was the 2015 Naperville Marathon. This was my first marathon and it was so much harder than I anticipated. In the episode I share how my husband, Dennis, rollerbladed next to me for 13 (yes, 13!) miles to encourage me to the finish line. And the entire time, we used my mantra to get me there. He’d say, “I get to do this.” And I would respond, “I can do hard things.” Honestly, I wouldn’t have made it without him and my mantra. There is strength in words, and in sharing them with others so they can use them to uplift you too!
I’ve also incorporated mantras into my health coaching practice. In our first few weeks together my clients decide on their mantra and then I have it engraved onto these beautiful bangle bracelets from an Etsy store called Scripted Splendor run by this sweet mama in Florida, Holly. It helps to keep your mantra somewhere you can see it regularly, so you can incorporate it into your daily life more easily. When you’re new to using a mantra, it helps to have these visual reminders! Want to grab your own bracelet? Use code KHouse15 for 15% off!
I believe strongly in the power of a mantra and even the power of a single word. So much so that I have the word “warrior” tattooed on my left forearm…it’s just like the mantra bracelets but taken to another level. It’s a daily reminder to myself that I’m strong. Resilient as all get out. A fighter. A leader. And when things get hard, and you know they will, it reminds me to dig deep and tap into my grit and gumption. That’s what my mantra is for me. When I waver. Or second-guess myself. Or let that little voice inside my head talk nonsense. Enter my mantra. It kicks those self-sabotaging thoughts to the side and reminds me that I get to do this, I can do hard things.
And finally, I even use mantras with our kids. Rachel Hollis shared this mantra, and it resonated with me so deeply that I want to imbibe it into our boys’ lives. She says, “I am smart. I am strong. I am brave. I can do anything. And I love myself.” To remember to use this with them, I’ve habit-stacked it into our day. So everytime we go up or down the stairs, we say it back to each other. I say the first half, “I am…” and then Dexter finishes the sentence. There’s nothing cooler than hearing your two-year-old say “And I love myself.”
Funnily enough, Jenna Meyers who designed the script for my “warrior” tattoo also has an Etsy store called Memories By Meyers and she sells stickers with this exact mantra on it. If this mantra speaks to you, or any of the others Jenna has in her store, then what better way to keep it front of mind than to put it on your phone case, laptop, bathroom mirror…anywhere! I just ordered some more for myself this week, and I’m so excited to put them on my computer and my Start Today Journal! Use code LIVEBYDESIGN for 10% off your order!
Challenge Corner: So What’s Your Mantra?
So friends, my challenge to you this week is to find your mantra. Or really, allow it to find you. And once you have, implement in your daily life through habit stacking. Then tag me on Instagram @livebydesignpodcast so we can all be inspired by one another’s mantras, and so I can share them with our community in a future podcast episode!
In this week’s joyful corner I shared how I spent a morning at the beach, social distance style, with our two boys. We had the best time building sand birdhouses (not to be confused with sand castles!) and smashing them down. It was a great reminder that some of the sweetest, best memories are free to create and just require you to be present and purposeful with the cultivation of joy in your own life.
And this week’s joyful corner listener voicemail is brought to you by Jenna Meyers, yes the same Jenna who designed my tattoo! She shared how she’s been writing down each and every day, “I am a calm and patient mom.” And then she had the best week with her three kiddos! Seriously friends, there is strength in your words! Thank you so much, Jenna, for sharing with us this week, and be sure to check her out on Instagram for daily doses of inspiration and artistic lettering beauty!
I’m so grateful to all of you who’ve taken the time to record a voice memo and share it with me for future a future Joyful Corner. If you feel led to share, then I’d love to hear from you too! Record a voice memo on your phone and email it over to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can continue to spread gratitude and joy together.
And if you’re excited to start using your mantra in your daily life and want a visual reminder to encourage its use while you’re still getting in the habit of it, and maybe you’re not quite ready to get it tattooed on your body like this kid, then check out Jenna and Holly’s Etsy stores. Both have been super generous and offered discount codes just for the Live by Design Community.
Check them out!
Coupon Codes are LIVEBYDESIGN for 10% off at Memories By Meyers and KHouse15 for 15% off at Scripted Splendor. And if you purchase from either of these incredible ladies, be sure to tag me on Instagram @livebydesignpodcast so I can see how you’re using your mantra in your day-to-day life!
And a quick note that this isn’t an ad. It’s really important to me to use the platform we’re creating here together to elevate and uplift people and businesses that I believe in, who have a heart for service and inspiring others. So this is just me, sharing from my heart and sharing what’s worked in my own personal life. There’s no financial incentive for me here, just lots of love and light to share with the world.
And if you enjoyed the episode, take a screenshot and share it on social! Tag me @livebydesignpodcast and let me know what you enjoyed most. And once you complete this week’s challenge send me an update so I can personally cheer you on and celebrate your goals!
Next Week on The Live by Design Podcast
See you later this week for our Mini Meditation episode, where we’ll be spending time focusing on our breath…and a mantra! Until then friends, spread some joy, make someone smile.
PSA: Voting Reminder
Hey friends! One final thought for you today. In light of the public health emergency we find ourselves in, many of you like myself might be planning to vote by mail in order to ensure your health and safety. Because of this, you’ll need to pay close attention to deadlines and when your vote needs to be postmarked by in order to be counted. Please, choose to live by design, not default, this fall and take just ten minutes today to decide on if you’re voting in person or via an absentee ballot. Visit vote.org to register to vote, request an absentee ballot, or find your polling place. Please, use your democratic voice this fall. This election is too important to miss. Be intentional with your vote and how and when you cast it. Make a plan, and execute it.