Not too long ago I created a workshop called “The Peaceful Worrier”. It was a yoga workshop to teach moms practical ways to use yoga to decrease their stress and remain present with their children, families and work. The fact that I called it the Peaceful Worrier was a play on the fact that many moms worry A LOT and of course the workshop was to help them manage that. (Get the deets on this workshop if you’d like me to come present it at your local yoga studio here http://nourished-motherhood.com/yoga-mamas-workshop)
Fast forward to today, when I realized that I am also a peaceful worrier. On the outside I look really calm. But on the inside my body in often anxious. I literally can find something to worry about at every turn. When the kids have snow day (of which they have had many this year) I don’t celebrate like a normal mom who doesn’t work at home does. Instead I worry “OMG how is this going to effect their school schedule?” “OMG how am I going to get things I need done if they are home?”
But then I have to remind myself “Oh yeah, I don’t really have anything I HAVE to do so relax and enjoy mama.” I can clean if I want to. I can sleep if I want to. I can just do flat out nothing (or something) if I want to. Talk about a low stress life?!!
But as soon as I get over that little stressor, my mind finds something else to worry about. George has been sick. What if he’s really sick? We don’t have AFLAC. What if he gets the rest of us sick? I better clean the house with bleach! Which I totally did the other day.
At least when I was actively building my yoga business, teaching local classes, writing books (you can get the latest one, Secrets of an Energized Mama here http://nourished-motherhood.com/energizedmama/) and marketing, my brain had something to think about instead of the incessant worry.
And so, that’s why Swami Satchidananda recommends you say (in your head at least) your mantra ALL. THE. TIME. Because if I’m not directing my thoughts to something that is beneficial and supportive to my well-being, then my (and probably yours too) thoughts run around like wild untamed beast and keep us up half the night.
What kind of mantra?
Good question. Yoga teaches us that nothing is always one way. Sometimes one practice works and is perfectly appropriate. At other times that practice is completely ineffective. The same is true with mantras. I’ve had plenty of them over the years, and actually teach my students an easy way to create mantras that get at the root cause of their worry in my signature Mama’s Meditation Course (you can learn more about that here http://nourished-motherhood.thinkific.com/courses/Meditationcourse).
Recently though, this is the mantra that has been working for me.
“All my needs are met. Everything is just the way it should be. I am embracing the great Mystery. Surprise and delight me Spirit.”
Now, more than any other stage in my life, my world is a little topsy turby. I spend most of my days substitute teaching in my local school district, so that means I have no idea where I’m going to work (which school) from one day to the next OR if I will even have a job to go to tomorrow or the next day. When I do get to work, I have no idea exactly what I’ll be teaching, what kinds of students I’m dealing with OR what said students rituals and routines are!!!
Yeah talk about a lesson in surrender and allowing Source to lead me.
But isn’t this a part of yoga? Yes, there are postures and breathing and all of that is fun and feels good. But behind all of that, when all of that becomes second nature there is more. We learn to focus. We learn to mantra our way out of our own negative thought patterns. And then just when we think we have control over our life, Source acts to teach us a new lesson.
And right now that lesson for me is this: How can I still keep my peace when I have little control over my environment? How do I practice staying centered while I allow Source to lead me?
My mantra is helping me a lot with that practice these days.
What’s your favorite manta? Tell us one in the comments that’s working for you right now.