Dear Willow: How Do I Write a Personal Mantra?

This week a reader asks Willow how to write a personal mantra to help her stay focused and positive following a relationship breakup.

Dear Willow,

I’m going through a bad breakup and feel like I need something to hold onto while I go through the changing emotions and times. It seems like they change so swift and fast and sometimes when I really cannot deal with them because I am at work or having a conversation with a client. What will help me steady while I still need to live my day to day life? I’ve also heard that mantras are helpful. Any suggestions of a personal mantra to use, or is that something I come up with on my own?


Movin’ On

Dear Movin’ On,

I appreciate your question and have very recently gone through a “break-free” from a long-term relationship and “break-in” with my spirit.

First, it is imperative you hold on to what is most important. What is most important for you during this new phase of your life? Who do you most want to be? Where do you want to live? What do you want to do? Take the creation of this new life to heart and remember that you can do whatever you want and remind yourself of what it might be like to sip from the fountain of youth. Where you once said “no” you might rethink and begin to say “yes” more often. This single word has led me out of pain and into beautiful new realms of experience I never would have imagined myself doing. I love saying “yes” as it is the doorway to walk through in learning and provides experiential knowledge.

Do not listen to the words “mid-life crisis,” there is negative connotation here and it feels like oppression to me. No matter what age we are, when there is a huge life change it is the opportunity to break free from constraining patterns, thoughts, actions, people, beliefs, rules, and values. This life change provides the freedom to do activities way outside the comfort zone. I named this my re-birthday.

There is a grand opportunity to rewrite and recondition yourself, free from the constraints that may have held you back before. Sometimes I ask myself the above questions and I get “I do not know” as an answer. At first, this can seem perilous, because in our culture we are rewarded the more we know. I rewrote my reaction to let go of thinking that I needed to know. I do not. Sometimes I get insight and visions that I call “seed thoughts,” that just are not ready to act on yet. These seeds need an incubation period and can take time to ripen. Write down all seed thoughts, even if they make you giggle because they seem so wild and out of your normal way of living.

Growth only happens outside the comfort zone and some people have hundreds of lessons happening simultaneously, while others have none. You do what is right for you. Lessen your listening of others and direct your listening skills inward to your heart and your body.

I repeat a personal mantra most of the time when the pendulum of emotions is fast and challenging to ease. This helps diffuse anger, fears, sadness, hurt, and guilt. It will change what you are thinking about.

How to Design a Mantra:

What is the outcome you want to remind yourself of over and over again? (For instance, remain friends, get bills paid, address children’s needs). By focusing on the end result, this helps carry you through the turbulence of your emotions and keep you grounded.

Soulful Tips While Breaking Free:

  • Do not use the term “Ex-.” This has a weird association and identity, keeping the two of you in the past relationship. Call the person by their name and describe the situation with honor of what you are learning.
  • Fighting is unnecessary, although assertiveness and even some times aggressiveness is necessary.
  • Conflict, conversation, negotiation, and remembering that we are all in need of love is necessary.
  • Always give yourself an out. When you need to get together with the person you have unwired from, have something planned to pull you out of the meeting. Meet in public places. Don’t face them head on, turn at a 45-degree angle every time you are around them. This helps for two reasons: First, your spirit/unconscious mind will ease in knowing you can flee when needed. Second, it disarms the warrior fight stance.

Remind yourself that all you are learning will progress your life forward. Focus on that; that one piece will dissuade shame and blame. Often people become time travelers backward, reviewing the past to attempt to make sense of where things could have gone differently. It can be a trap. Move forward and keep yourself on the surface. If you must review the past, don’t go deep with it, at least not yet. Be compassionate with yourself and continue to create thoughts of the present, future, and what you are looking forward to in living differently. Make a list of what you get excited to explore in this new life.

Be kind and gentle with your self as your body and brain are changing so rapidly and will adhere negativity into the new cells. You become your thoughts. Think great ones.



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