A mantra is a phrase or words, often given to you by a wise person or guru to chant in order to help achieve focus and clarity. It is actually even more powerful than that.
A mantra can help us face challenges and get us over the line. It powers us on to get up out of bed, make that speech, write that plan, do that extra 100 metre sprint.
'You are the expert in your own life.'
The best mantras are the ones that have been personally crafted, tailor-made for you and you only.
Don't think there is a guru in your life now?
The truth is there is.
This blog is about how you - wise person - can get to be your own guru. In the words of my colleague Andrea, 'You are the expert in your own life.'
That's a good place to start.
Think of a challenge that you have faced and overcome in the past. There will be many of course- start with one.
Get a real sense of it. Use your senses to reconnect to it. Time of day? Light? Temperature? Any feelings or sensations that accompanied it?
Write, record or say it.
That's it. That really is it.
I shared my example over on FB live but I'll tell you here too.
Driving into a new city. I make no secret of the fact that I don't like driving much. It is a useful skill and gets me places and allows freedom to come and go when I want, I know that. The thing I dislike most is driving to a new city even with a Sat Nav because sometimes they are just a few vital seconds behind and you can end up in the wrong lane or on a dual carriage way or motorway ... I'll stop there, you get the idea.
Last year I had to drive to Leeds city centre and was feeling quite anxious, until I got my mantra sorted!
In the past I have driven in Bangkok and Jakarta. Both crazy cities to drive in with, admittedly slower moving traffic, but with very strange lane discipline.
I drove in both cities prior to owing a mobile phone.
With no map
No Sat Nav
On my own
In downtown Bangkok.
Yes. it really does look this. Notice the signs too.
I drove in Bangkok and Jakarta with no map, Sat Nav or mobile.
I got there and back, intact.
I can handle Leeds city centre.
Please do share your mantra! They don't have to be overly serious, they can be fun and light and still be powerful.
Two things getting my attention this week and taking my head into a more pleasant space:
Grayson Perry's Art Club on Channel 4 link here
I particularly like the permission he gives us to have a go at something notoriously tricky like portraiture.
Rachel Summers @curiouswilds. A Forest School Teacher, she labels trees and plants in London in chalk with useful information. Makes you look at what is around you and inspires you to find out a bit more!