Meaningful Mantras

Choosing a sound or phrase to focus on during meditation helps provide the clarity you seek.

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Are you familiar with the term “mantra?” It’s derived from two Sanskrit words: manas (mind) and tra (tool). So a mantra is quite literally a tool for your mind. While some mantras are a single word or short phrase, others may be longer. It all really depends on what resonates with you.

One popular mantra you’ve probably heard if you’ve ever attended a yoga class is om (from the sacred Hindu syllable aum — it’s considered to be the sound of the creation of the universe). Sometimes just focusing on a simple sound, such as this one, will help unite your body and mind. But this certainly isn’t your only option!

Do you have a mantra you live by? Is there a phrase or question you say to yourself to start each day or remind yourself of when you’re feeling lost or stressed? If you have a mantra you swear by and love, that’s fantastic. Keep using it! But if you don’t yet have a mantra and are looking for one to connect with, perhaps you might like to try out mine?

One of my favorite mantras is, “If not that, then what?” I find this question particularly handy when I meditate, visualize and try to manifest expectations, goals or next moves. But what exactly does it mean?

I believe the universe knows exactly what we need — and one thing I’ve learned over the years is that sometimes what we need and what we want don’t completely align. The reality you’ve visualized — let’s say it’s a specific car, home, vacation, partner or job — may not appear exactly as you think it should. In that moment, you must trust the universe. In those times, I ask the universe, “If not that, then what?” This mantra keeps me optimistic and confident that what’s meant for me will come to me … and what’s not meant for me will fall away. It’s all too easy to become attached to things and people, and this mantra helps me practice non-attachment and letting go while still being open to receive in abundance.

If you’re trying to find a mantra that is most meaningful to you, ask yourself, “What do I need? What would make me feel supported, held and loved?” A mantra could be simply “I am deserving of peace” or “I am love” or “I am open to receive [insert word: love, guidance, patience, etc.].” No need to overthink it, but do be authentic in selecting a mantra that aligns with your true self.

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