Do you have a personal mantra? I didn’t have one before. It isn’t that I didn’t believe in mantras. Rather, I never felt compelled to adopt one personally. Until a few days ago.
Birth of a Mantra
I have a morning spiritual routine that consists of mediation, reading, contemplation and journaling. It grounds me, and sets the tone for my day. This year, I have two perennial calendars providing inspirational thoughts for my daily spiritual routine. One is on happiness and the other on success, both by Dr. Robert Holden, one of my favorite spiritual authors. The following was the message on January 4 from the happiness calendar, which I took into meditation:
To be happy, love must mean more to you than anything.
I remember feeling those words instantly stirring my soul deeply. They were especially meaningful to me because of my intention this year to open myself up more to be used by Love in how I show up and in what I do to embrace being a leader. As I closed my eyes and allow my 2013 intention to marinate in the above message, these words came to me:
Do it for Love.
Thus birthed my first personal mantra. Do it for Love. The idea that Love would be the reason for doing anything filled me up with an indescribable expansiveness. I went through the rest of my day repeating with excitement and glee this exquisite mantra. Do it for Love. Love is my “Why” after all, so this mantra powers my intention for this year, and makes who I want to be more of and what I want to do so much more crystal clear and on purpose. Do it for Love.
Mantra in Action
Just the other day, I had an opportunity to put my mantra into practice. It was cold and rainy in San Francisco. (Yes, I realize that cold in San Francisco is mild in many other places. But it felt cold to me. :-)) After enduring a very unpleasant drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic to get up there, I found myself walking the streets of Chinatown with my family—and not being particularly thrilled about the whole arrangement. After all, in the 12+ years I’ve lived in the Bay Area, I only drive up to the City when I absolutely, positively must do so. Especially after several severe mishaps on the freeway, including one that almost killed me, I have a serious allergy to driving long distances. And, I’ve never (yes, never!) felt inclined to roam Chinatown, even when I worked a block from it in the financial district.
So, why was I there? Because it was the last day of my Dad’s latest visit before he flew back to China, and my brother thought it’d be a nice thing to do with him. And, as I became aware of feeling annoyed, I remembered my mantra. Do it for Love. The only reason for doing what I truly didn’t want to do was because of my love for my Dad. As soon as I remembered my mantra, the warm feeling of love I felt that whole day my mantra came to me was instantly within me again. The reasons to feel put out faded away.
While this event was rather innocuous by any objective measure, I’m sharing it here because of the difference a few simple words of focused consciousness can make. That’s what a mantra does. As I look ahead to the plans I have for my business this year—and the inherent unknowns that exist in the world of entrepreneurship—my mantra serves as a quick, simple daily reminder for why I choose to do what I’m doing. Love. After all, as I’ve shared on speaking platforms before, it isn’t about making money, even if we all need to make a living. If making a living is the be all and end all, there are plenty of ways to do that. Doing what we choose to do in a way that serves our purpose for being is a different matter.
My purpose is Love. Therefore, my mantra “Do it for Love” provides an unequivocally clear anchor with which to start my day every day and to check in throughout each day. I get to carry that warm feeling of expansiveness into every client session, every workshop, every talk, every program—and every word I write, including what’s in this very article you’re reading. It really doesn’t get much better than this!
Mantra for You?
With all that said, let me end this article by inviting you to contemplate whether having a mantra may serve you. If so, what may it be? Here are some thoughts on coming up with your own personal mantra:
- Let a favorite quote inspire you. For instance, for years, this quote by Thoreau was in my email signature, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” Another quote in a different email signature was by Shakespeare, “To thy own self be true.”
- Adopt someone else’s mantra. If you’re inspired by it, why not?
- What would you like to be (more of)? Would you like to be more loving, patient, forgiving, etc.?
- What would you like to have (more of)? Would you like to have more ease in your life, flow, harmony, etc.?
- What would you like to do (more of)? Would you like to do more good, take inspired vs. busy action, play more, etc.?
Any other ideas? Let’s share in the comment box below. Also, if you have a mantra, would you share what it is and how it has served you?
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