For our honeymoon in May 2018, my husband Matt and I decided to go to Nepal for an 18 day trek around gokyo lakes and Everest base camp. What an incredible experience it was. Magically jaw dropping and serene. There were a few really physically challenging days on the trek where my favourite mantra helped me every step of the way.
What is a Mantra and why use one?
A mantra is a word or a short phrase that you can repeat silently in your mind or out loud to “jam” or “put aside” any internal dialogue that is not useful or even destructive to the moment. You do not need to be seated in a perfect meditation position, or at yoga to use a mantra. I love making mindfulness and meditation a part of my daily life. For me it needs to be practical and help me in my everyday situations.
During our wondrous trek through the Himalayas, there were a couple of 12 hour trekking days where sure my legs were feeling it (I expected that) but my mind and thoughts were loud and not useful at all. Thoughts like, “I am not going to make it,” “I can’t do this,” “why did I think I could do this?” “I don’t want to disappoint the others but I don’t know if I can go on” etc etc Sound familiar? We’ve all had thoughts like these, right? Self doubt and fearful thoughts come up. Sometimes they are useful. Often they are not.
I knew I had to change my thoughts asap…..
They were not useful and distracting me from really taking in the beauty of the incredible surroundings. The mantra I used was Love…. Peace. Two powerful words in my opinion. As I took a step with my right foot I said, love, in my mind and as I took a step with my left foot, peace. It really helped my mind and body relax. I can feel those words in my body and the effect they have is incredible to me. The photo below was a 12 hour mantra day. We trekked for 3 hours to reach this point where the photo was taken. I thought for a few seconds we made it through ChoLa pass. Actually we were heading to that space between the two highest points in the back ground. That was ChoLa pass! My mind went crazy into self doubt and I found that the mantra put those thoughts to the side so I could breathe and enjoy my time. This day became one of my most memorable and exciting on the whole trip.
When to use a mantra
Use a mantra whenever you feel like your mind is busy, you feel stressed or tense and you want to relax. Maybe you are stuck in traffic or in a line and you feel emotions bubbling up which leads to that string of thoughts that continue to trigger negative emotions. Break that cycle with a mantra. On your inhale say love and on your exhale say peace. Maybe you use it as a meditation for sleep. Lay in bed, relax as much as you can and as you inhale say love and as you exhale say peace. When and if you become distracted in some way, realise it’s normal and just start again on your next inhale. You are not “doing it” wrong if you become distracted. In fact this is to be expected so just try again…. and again.
Share this one with the kids. Lay on your back, hands on your belly. As you belly lifts say love and as your belly falls say peace. Even 1 minute can really make a difference.
I’d love to hear how you end up using the Love… Peace mantra and how it helps you in your daily life. Leave a comment below and me know. If you think your family and friends will find it useful feel free to share.
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