Mantra: /ˈmantrə/ (noun) – a statement or slogan repeated frequently.
The origin of the word mantra is Sanskrit and its literal meaning is “a thought behind speech or action”.
Recently I read quite a few posts about having a personal mantra and then I
skimmed read through quite a bit more.
The concept is to have a 3-4 word mantra. As a business or personal brand, it is not your mission statement, but should sum up your core values. Many large companies have mantras as well. A quick google search will turn up many. The ones reiterated in almost every post I read mentioned Google, Apple, and FedEx amongst some of the big names.
I tried to think about how I might sum up these questions.
- Who am I at my core?
- What are my values?
- What is it that represents me staying true?
I knew that one of the things I try to promote is kindness. I knew that I find peace in nature. I knew that I am working to reframe negativity into a positive light.
And that’s when it occurred to me that I’ve had a mantra all along.
I’ve been using it since my very first post.
Let Your Light Shine.
That is my mantra.
It is the statement that sums up who I am, who I am striving to be, and who I will become.
It helps me reframe how I might react in a situation. Am I perfect at letting my light shine? My immediate family would say a definite “no”. Unfortunately, they are the ones who see me at my worst. I am a work in progress, but I won’t let that dim my light.
I share my hardships along with my joys because that is the reality of life. There are ups and downs along any journey and it is helpful to know that we don’t walk alone.
I hope that I will encourage others to be a shining light. There is a lot of sadness and injustice in the world and I am just beginning to discover how I might be able to do my part in lessening that.
When I was young, we used to sing this song:
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
Hide it under a bush? Oh no. I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine! Let it shine! Let it shine!
I’ve planned to write this post all week. I was so excited by my discovery that I already had a personal mantra.
As I sat down this morning to begin, I received a call from my mother that my Great-Aunt Frances has passed away. You may have read the post that I wrote when her sister, my Great-Aunt Wilma, passed away three months ago. I am still processing it and am sure I will have more to say once the feelings move from my soul into my mind and my mind processes it into thoughts and then I am able to process those thoughts into words that can be written down.
The reason I’m sharing it here is because not only is this my present reality, but because she was the last remaining sister of the Van Hoose four (they have half-siblings so this is not to disregard that). My three great-aunts and my grandmother were the pillars of strength on my mother’s side of the family. Even when life threw them curveballs, and it did, they never lost their joy. They embodied and were the ones who taught me the mantra that I now embrace. They let their lights shine brightly. They were beacons in a stormy world. Their laughter could light up a room and often did. Their zest for life was contagious. All who met them walked away with a smile on their face and joy in their soul.
I’m not sure yet how my mantra will continue to play out in my life. I am spending some time in self-reflection to be sure that I am still on the path that I think is meant for me. I am listening for the still, small voice that assures me that I am in the world for a purpose. Even if that purpose isn’t obvious to me.
I am tweaking little parts of my life to continue to reflect that. One way is through the decluttering I have been doing to achieve my desire to simplify and embrace minimalism a little more. Another is through educating myself more about how my consumer choices affect the world.
I am also learning how to bite my tongue and smile more when I encounter rudeness. This is where reframing is really teaching me lessons. I try to imagine that I don’t know what has happened in this person’s life to make them rude today. Perhaps they have a sick child at home that they would like to be with, but have to be there to make enough money to take them to the doctor. Does this mean that it’s okay that they are rude? No. But when I have lots of stress I don’t tend to be the nicest person either. And this reframing helps me offer kindness instead of hostility to their rudeness. Do I always manage this perfectly? Of course not. But even one time more than before can change the world.
I am learning that the choices of others do not get to determine who I am.
I am changing.
I am learning to live out my mantra.
I am learning how to let my light shine.
How about you? Do you have a mantra that you are choosing to live by?
Let your light shine!