Category Archives: Brainpower

Review: Kitty Genovese by Kevin Cook

Kitty Genovese: The Murder, The Bystanders, The Crime That Changed America
by Kevin Cook

The story of the murder of Kitty Genovese is well-known by many. However, more urban legend than police blotter, the details of the story shift and change with each telling. Facts becoming murkier and then new research rising to the surface to make the waters of truth clear again.

Even folks for whom Kitty’s name was simply an answer on a Psych 101 exam can recount the basics of her demise: in the 60’s, a murderer stabbed a young woman in her 20’s over and over again as she walked home from a late night bar-shift. 38 bystanders watched from the windows of their Queens-New York apartments and did nothing to help her.

While Kevin Cook isn’t the first writer or scholar to sort through the details of Kitty’s case and posit that much of what we think we know, the story that exists within our public memory, is mostly contrived; Cook’s uncovering is so comprehensive that for me it completely changed what this murder meant in the context of life, and crime, in America.

Before reading this book I knew about the Kitty Genovese murder and the Bystander Effect. I didn’t expect it to unfold in the suspenseful manner I love when reading true-crime books. But Cook surprised me and managed to do just that. He peels back layer after layer of the crime we think we know, the assumptions we made about the urban human condition, and reveals new details at just the right moment.

The detail most often treated as fact in Genovese’s case is that 38 spectators were present while she died. Not acting, simply assuming that someone else would intervene. In fact, 38 came from the number of police interviews conducted at the scene of the crime. Not actual witnesses. Only a few folks heard Kitty’s screams and even less laid eyes on her in her final 20 minutes. The first-hand accounts of these few are revealed slowly within the book–the final encounter so heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure. (It makes the whole book worth it so I won’t ruin it by revealing any details here.)

A few days after the tragic incident occurred, Winston Moseley confessed to the crime. But Moseley and Genovese aren’t the only key players Cook explores. Metro Editor of The New York Times, A.M. Rosenthal had a big part to play. After a meeting with the NYC police commissioner, Rosenthal took the 38 witness story and ran with it. And other media outlets around the world followed suit. Suddenly the crime became a viral sensation, inspiring a host of psychological and sociological studies. However, the most meaningful implication to all the publicity, in my opinion? The arrival of a 911 call system. Something that didn’t exist the night Kitty cried out for help.

Whether he knew the story would or not, Rosenthal struck a chord with Americans who were scared. Scared about the changing landscape of urban living, scared by new politics and ideas and neighbors so close who looked so different, scared because the assassination of their president was still so fresh in their minds. But he got his facts wrong. And, as a result, we all did too.

This book showed me that Kitty’s story isn’t about indifference or inaction on the part of bystanders. Quite the opposite. This true-crime tale is about our vulnerability towards stories that speak to our own preconceived notions. What each reader of Cook’s book does with this new information, is up to them.

Who should read this book – Anyone interested in true-crime, sociology, urban psychology, or how news media outlets and public consciousness interact.

Add to your list if you loved – Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker (which I talked about HERE.)

Other books by Kevin Cook – Electric October, Driven, and Titanic Thompson.

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Focus Your Mind For Improved Concentration

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

Do you find your attention span is faltering? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. In fact, some studies show that our minds have taken quite a hit thanks to the plugged-in, tech-focused society of today. We are so reliant on technology that we start to forget to tap into the hard-drive in our head. We lose focus, forever seeking out new stimuli on our screens.

Do you want to improve your focus and get your concentration back up to scratch? If this is something you want to work on, here are some great tips to help improve your memory and make mental tasks a whole let easier to handle…

Treat Your Mind Like A Muscle

When your workout is focused on a particular muscle, what do you do? You select a movement or lift a weight a certain number of reps, right? You use repetition. This is the same approach you can use with your mind–repetition. By repeating the same activity you will stimulate your synapses. Over time, you’ll act out these simulations quicker and more efficiently. So, for instance, if you want to try and improve your focus by carrying out sudoku puzzles, you need to do at least one a day. When you are quite capable of the easy ones, you can start doing ones that are medium-difficulty. Then move up to two a day, and so on.

You Need To Feed It Well

Your brain is part of your body, so it relies on the food that you eat on a daily basis. You are what you eat, and that means that your brain is what you eat as well! So, you need to make sure that your diet includes food your brain needs to function well. There are certain foods packed full of nutrients that can help your brain thrive and flourish. Blueberries, salmon, and avocados contain the vitamins and minerals that help to focus your brain and improve its function. You might also want to take daily supplements that can help as well. KetoMCT c8 oil helps focus the mind, and you can mix it right into your morning coffee. A daily supplement of omega 3 fatty acids, especially if you aren’t a fan of fish, can also give your brain a boost.

Work On It Gradually

You can’t start to work on your focus and expect things to click into place straight away. Remember that you need to treat your brain like a muscle, and the development of muscles can be slow and months may pass before things take effect. So, don’t get frustrated if you don’t notice any results after a couple of weeks. Remain proactive with your brain training. You should start to slowly feel an improvement in your focus, mental ability, and concentration after a couple of months. Keep working on it, and you will be able to improve your mind even further!

Try Out Mindfulness

If you find it quite difficult to manage negative emotions and feelings, you might find that these get in the way of focus and concentration. In these instances – try practicing mindfulness. This is a method of meditation that helps to put you back in control of your thoughts and feelings. As you continue to practice this thought technique, you will also discover that it can help improve your concentration. There are lots of apps  aimed at beginners, such as Headspace. All you need to do is pop your headphones in, turn on the app, close your eyes, and then follow the spoken instructions.

Keep It Interested

If your mind ever gets bored, you will find it can be very difficult to concentrate and focus on the tasks at hand. So, one of the easiest ways to give your mind’s focus a little boost is to do something interesting. It needs to be a compelling activity that interests you and will keep you engaged. If you enjoy reading, you might want to start reading more. If you are more artistic, than you could try writing stories or getting outside with a camera to capture some gorgeous photos

Focus On Physical Health

You should also remember to consider your physical health. A healthy body will help to keep your mind healthy. Have you ever noticed that when you’re feeling unfit or not as healthy as you’d like to be, you lack focus? So, if you think it’s time to get back to the gym or to start running longer distances, why not get started sooner rather than later? That way, you will find that you can get your mind back in shape, too! 

I want to hear from you! Do you have a specific way you keep your brain healthy? If you do – let’s hear it! Tell us in the comments so we can try it, too! 

Guest Post: Is Online Therapy for You?

I always seem to find out about the newest life-changing products and services through sponsored ads on podcasts. And my interest is inevitably piqued. (I guess they really know their demographics!) From clothing rental services to period panties to audio books, they’re always telling me about something I’ve gotta try. In my experience, they’re usually right! But lately, a new set of ads has been cropping up — for online therapy. Intrigued, I thought I’d ask Marie Miguel, a resource creator for Better Help, a few of my most pressing questions…

Is Online Therapy for You?

No matter who you are or what you do, chances are pretty good that you have experienced anxiety or depression at one time or another. Some of us more so than others. In fact, depression is the most common reason for disability in America and anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition in the United States. The worst part of this is that many people with a mental health disorder will not get treatment. In fact, almost 40% of people with mental health conditions do not reach out for help. That is most unfortunate because both depression and anxiety disorders are treatable with therapy and/or medication. One of the most common excuses is that they do not have time. Well, with online therapy you will have time because you can do it anytime. And that is only one of the benefits of online therapy. Here are some others:

Who Can Benefit from Online Therapy?

Anyone can benefit from online therapy. Whether you have some type of anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, a mood disorder, if you are having trouble with your relationship, or even if you just need some advice about a problem. There are thousands of online therapy sources on the internet such as BetterHelp.com, which has over 2,000 licensed professionals that can help you. However, if you are in need of immediate emergency care, need medication, or are having suicidal thoughts, you should call a hotline such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Is Online Therapy Effective?

Studies have shown that online therapy is just as effective as face to face therapy. In fact, in some cases it is better than regular therapy because people who need it are more likely to use it because it is easier for them to get. Those with mental health disorders usually tend to put things off or set appointments and not show up. This may be due to the anxiety of going somewhere, embarrassment of being seen at a psychiatrist’s office, or just because some people with depression or anxiety do not want to get out of bed some days. Therefore, online therapy can be much more effective.

What Makes Online Therapy Better than Traditional Therapy?

Online therapy is more convenient because you do not have to set an appointment, get transportation, find a babysitter, or take time off work or school. It is also less expensive because the therapists have less overhead such as rent, transportation, and paying employees to work in the office. It is also more private and easy to just log into the website or chat room to talk to your therapist from wherever you are. Even if you are stuck in traffic and want to get something off your mind, you can use your smartphone to email, chat, or even text your therapist. (Not while driving of course! You’re the passenger in this scenario.) Online therapy can also be a big benefit to those who are embarrassed or have trouble talking about their feelings face to face. You are in control of the conversation at all times. You also do not need an appointment so you can contact your therapist any time, 24 hours per day, seven days a week. So, what are you waiting for?

What do you think? Would you try online therapy? Or recommend it to someone who, for whatever reason, finds traditional therapy difficult? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of online mental health resources with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

Five Great Poetry Books!

Are you a fan of poetry books? They are my very favorite when I need to mix things up between lengthy novels and dense nonfiction! I love how the language bounces around the page each in their own unique way and they’re so much fun to read out loud.

Here are 5 of my favorites…

Babel by Barbara Hamby

Hamby’s poems drift across histories and continents, from early writing and culture in Mesopotamia through the motion-picture heaven that seems so much like Paris, to odes on such thoroughly American subjects as hardware stores, bubblegum, barbecue, and sharp-tongued cocktail waitresses giving mandatory pre-date quizzes to lawyers and “orangutans in the guise of men.”

Favorite poems: Vex Me, The Tawdry Masks of Women, and Ode on My Mother’s Handwriting.

 

Skid by Dean Young

 In Skid, Young’s fifth book of poems, social outrage vies with comic excess. He embraces the autobiographical urge with fury and musically lush exclamations. Whether through the dark facts of mortality or the celebratory surprises of the imagination, these poems proclaim vitality and alertness, wasting nothing. Young’s poems reveal his faith in the genius of calamity and the redemptive power of fun.

Favorite poems: Sources of the Delaware, Whale Watch, and Troy, Indiana.

 

Jane: A Murder by Maggie Nelson

Jane tells the spectral story of the life and death of Maggie Nelson’s aunt Jane, who was murdered in 1969 while a first-year law student at the University of Michigan. Though officially unsolved, Jane’s murder was apparently the third in a series of seven brutal rape-murders in the area between 1967 and 1969. Nelson was born a few years after Jane’s death, and the narrative is suffused with the long shadow her murder cast over both the family and her psyche.

Favorite poems: Phil’s Photos, Serials, and The Burn.

 

Head Off & Split by Nikky Finney

The poems in Nikky Finney’s Head Off & Split sustain a sensitive and intense dialogue with emblematic figures and events in African American life: from civil rights matriarch Rosa Parks to former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, from a brazen girl strung out on lightning to a terrified woman abandoned on a rooftop during Hurricane Katrina. 

Favorite poems: Red Velvet, Thunderbolt of Jove, and Segregation, Forever.

 

New Collected Poems by Wendell Berry

In New Collected Poems, Berry reprints the nearly two hundred pieces in Collected Poems, along with the poems from his most recent collections―Entries, Given, and Leavings―to create an expanded collection, showcasing the work of a man heralded by The Baltimore Sun as “a sophisticated, philosophical poet in the line descending from Emerson and Thoreau . . . a major poet of our time.”

Favorite poems: Planting Trees, The Dance, A Poem of Thanks and The Country of Marriage.

P.S. Bonus: Found Footage by Maggie Woodward is a newly found fave written by a dear friend. You should check it out, too!

Book Recommendation: Relish by Lucy Knisley

“Cookies are all about comfort. Sometimes something simple can comfort the most.”
– Lucy Knisley

Lucy Knisley’s book Relish: My Life in the Kitchen is such a treasure. Especially if you love graphic or foodie memoirs!

Lucy looks back at her life and realizes, thanks to a foodie father and a hippie-turned-chef mom, food has always played an integral role. She shares her memories, along with her experimental and ever-evolving palette, throughout the pages of the book. Each evoke laughter or a “been there, girl!”-feeling but more importantly–come with a corresponding recipe.

Any foodie, whether you’re culinary school trained or simply take comfort in a good chocolate chip cookie, will find something to love about this sweet memoir.

And speaking of cookies…

Lucy Knisley’s recipe for THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

You’ll Need:

Flour – 2 cups
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Butter (melted but not hot) – 1 cup
Chocolate chips – 12 oz
Sugar – 3/4 cup
Brown sugar – 3/4 cup (packed)
Eggs – 2
Vanilla – 1 Tbsp
Coconut flakes – 1 cup

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Mix brown sugar, butter, and sugar
  • Add vanilla and eggs, gradually while stirring
  • In a different bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt.
  • Gradually combine dry and wet
  • Mix in coconut and chocolate
  • Drop onto an ungreased baking pan
  • Secret weapon: add a tiny pinch of salt to the top of each cookie
  • Bake for about 10 min. until perfect
  • Eat with milk

What are you waiting for? Bake up a batch of cookies and grab a copy of Lucy’s book today! I promise you won’t regret EITHER. xoxo

P.S. Looking for more book recommendations? Here are some more graphic novels/memoirs I love and here’s a round-up of books I loved in 2016

A Planner Round-Up

I recently found my perfect planner. If you’re still on the hunt for yours, I have a few ideas…

Erin Condren Lifeplanner
$55

Classic never goes out of style. This bestseller is a coiled book and allows for a completely customizable look! Build your book just how you want it and find the style that fits your life. Choose between weekly planning layouts, embrace a color scheme, and customize your cover and the coil.

The Simple Elephant
$20

Use exclusive sections to craft positive affirmations, goals, and gratitude statements to renew your commitment, feel inspired, and live happier every calendar day, month, and year. Use the mindmap and vision board to drill in goals and fully engage with both sides of your mind.

Brit + Co Planner
$15

Use the Brit + Co Spiral Bound Planner to stay on schedule. It comes with monthly and weekly calendars, lined and grid paper, to-do lists, activity pages, and blank pages for doodling the day away.

Lemome Bullet Journal
$15

Timeless style and a simple versatile design make this a perfect choice for bullet journaling. The dotted grid pattern helps guide your writing, while staying out of the way of your drawings and doodles. The dots, spaced 5 mm apart, are light enough to blend in once the page is filled. 

$18
A hardcover notebook that’s small enough to go everywhere you go and big enough to work with all day long, whether at home, work, or in transit. The Confidant hardcover notebook comes in Light Gray & Charcoal. It’s available in 3 sizes: Pocket, Flagship, & Plus—AKA Small, Medium, & Large. But every version opens flat and features quality lasting paper.
 
$34
What’s on the agenda for 2018? This classic covered spiral planner, features gold foil and an elastic closure. The agenda holds 17-months of weekly and monthly calendar pages. There’s also a pocket folder with ruler, as well as sections for notes, celebrations, and contacts.
Which one suits your style best? Do you have a tried-and-true planner you love? Comment below and share! ❤ 

Current Podcast Subscription List

Last night, as I cleaned up the kitchen and loaded the dishwasher, I did what I always do during chores these days. Popped in my earbuds and played a podcast. Do you do this? Ever since starting this ritual, I find myself looking forward to doing the dishes. *gasp* It’s almost like the doldrums of domesticity masquerading as pleasant self-care. Highly recommend!

Anyways! Here’s my current line-up, in case you’re curious:

And I just started Britney’s Instagram and Embedded (after finishing Dirty John).

What’s on YOUR subscription list? There are so many good podcasts out right now, I might have to start doing more daily chores! 😉 

P.S. I asked 9 friends, “What’s your favorite podcast?” and here’s what they had to say.

Found: My Perfect Planner

I’ve finally found a planner that I’m totally obsessed with and can foresee using for months (maybe years!) to come. It’s the Bob’s Your Uncle 8 Days-A-Week Planner Journal.  Here’s what I love about it:

  • Features 52 week at-a-glance spreads.
  • Each week runs Monday-Sunday and includes a “Someday” column for other tasks you want to complete during the week that aren’t specific to a certain day.
  • Includes 30 minute interval time slots so you can map out your day super precisely.
  • Spiral-bounding allows it to lie flat and stay tucked in a drawer with the current day facing up.

This may sound a bit neurotic, but when I was contemplating the reasons why past planners just hadn’t cut it, it was the inability to create a detailed timeline for my day.

You see, my work schedule can be a bit of a puzzle. I do freelance work for a number of different clients, I work on this blog, and I side-hustle at a local wine store. The great thing about this set up is that I can create my own schedule by piecing together the three. The not so great thing? Doing so can be a little difficult to conceptualize. A traditional planner with a big empty box for each day almost felt over-whelming. Jotting down “work at 3pm” or “phone call w/ client at 10am” didn’t do my brain any favors when visualizing how I should schedule the rest of my To-do’s.

Then I had a *lightbulb* moment. What if I could find a planner that was more appointment book than daily calendar? I stumbled upon this 8 day-a-week version while searching on Amazon and the rest is history. It’s honestly one of the best things to happen to my productivity levels in YEARS.

 

Above you’ll see a little peek at my planner in action! Nothing too fancy. I throw in a few stickers here and there when I feel like it (like the devil emoji for a 7am meeting, LOL!) and use a few colors of highlighters to indicate different things. Sometimes I’ll mark off a certain time-frame for client work and then bullet point more specific to-do’s off to the side. And that’s about it. I love it!

What type of planner do YOU use? Tell me below! 

A 30 Day Mantra Challenge (+ FREE activity guide)

Now that you know how to incorporate mantras in your daily life and have read up on the mantras folks love and use, let’s get action oriented! The benefits of mantras are no joke and committing to a 30 day practice is a wonderful first step to start reaping the rewards. So, I’ve created a 30 Day Mantra Challenge!

There’s a new mantra for every day of the 30 day challenge. Each day, focus your thoughts on the words. Repeat them to yourself as you get ready in the morning and during your work-outs. Let them wash over you as you take breaks, feel over-whelmed, or sit in traffic. Consider their power as you turn in for the night. Let’s get started…

Day 1. Today I let go of all that does not serve me.
Day 2. I choose to nourish my heart and mind.
Day 3. I choose compassion and kindness.
Day 4. I am loved.
Day 5. I feel abundance all around me.
Day 6. I feel abundance within me.
Day 7. Everything is working in my favor.
Day 8. The Universe is powerful and I exist within it.
Day 9. I trust in the power of the Universe.
Day 10. I am strong.
Day 11. I am grounded.
Day 12. I am connected.
Day 13. I send healing light to those in need.
Day 14. I align myself with my highest truth.
Day 15. I communicate with love and understanding.
Day 16. I open myself to the fullness of my power.
Day 17. I am enough.
Day 18. My mind is clear.
Day 19. This is my path towards a higher purpose.
Day 20. I connect and ask for guidance.
Day 21. I am grateful for this day.
Day 22. I am grateful for my body.
Day 23. I am grateful for my mind.
Day 24. I feel gratitude for the abundance all around me.
Day 25. I am graceful.
Day 26. I have the tools to overcome any obstacle.
Day 27. Practice and all is coming.
Day 28. I love and honor where I’m at today.
Day 29. Be brave.
Day 30. Find delight!

If you want to take your journey one step further, I’ve also prepared a FREE activity guide to augment each day’s mantra. Every day includes 3 action items – 1 to promote positivity, 1 to help with productivity, and 1 for focusing on self-care. If you’d like to nab a PDF of your very own activity guide – CLICK HERE.


In this multi-week series, #MantraMania, I’m laying the ground work for you to make mantras a part of your life. Here’s what we’ve covered:

  1. Do you use mantras?
  2. How to Incorporate Mantras in Your Daily Life
  3. Revealed: People Share Favorite Mantras
  4. A 30 Day Mantra Challenge to Welcome Positivity, Productivity, and Self-Care (+ FREE activity guide)

Revealed: 9 People Share Their Favorite Mantras

Do you have a go-to mantra you find yourself using day in and day out? I used to focus on (and murmur to myself) the same 2 or 3 phrases to instill mindfulness, confidence, and gratitude. But lately I’ve been looking to switch it up! So, in search of some inspiration, I asked 9 folks to share their favorite mantras. Here’s what they said…

“The mantra I utilize most often is, ‘Be kinder than necessary.’  There is certainly a place in this world for strong words, but I believe you can be kind in your intent, even if the message you need to deliver or the actions you need to take are difficult.  I find that if I am mindful and make my intentions, actions, and words kinder than is strictly necessary I have fewer regrets and am less prone to the useless over thinking of past interactions – which I am very prone to as an anxious person.  The hardest part of applying this mantra is trying to be kinder with myself!”

-Rachel, Ecologist

“My favorite mantra is, ‘Keep your mind where your feet are.’ I think it’s important to not let what is ahead or behind you distract from what you’re currently doing. Every experience or challenge requires and deserves your entire presence. I say it a ton and I encourage my students to use it as well. Two of my students even got the word “Mind” tattooed on their feet!”

-Chad, University Instructor & Debate Coach 

“I actually have two favorite mantras. First, ‘I am exactly where I need to be today.’ It’s easy to get caught up in comparison mindset when you’re working towards goals. It seems someone is always prettier, smarter, more successful, more creative, further along, etc. This mantra really helps me put on blinders and breathe into just knowing I am exactly where I need to be. It allows me to have more peace and quiet, which is far more productive than those icky feelings of inadequacy which often result in burnout and pessimism.

Second,  If you’re not failing often, you’re not trying hard enough.’ In order to really scale and take it to the next level, I believe failure is a requirement. I’ve never met anyone who says they have only succeeded 100% of the time. Failing is a great thing because we’re able to learn and grow. I often try to set goals around failing and currently my goal is 3 times a month. This means I’m going to plan and tackle something I’ve never tried at least three times. I don’t look at failure as a setback, but rather a required action to move me forward.”

-Emily, expert career coach at CultiVitae

“I’ve actually started praying a Hail Mary anytime I need a mantra for a difficult endeavor. It worked wonders during a race I ran two weekends ago, as well as during my first backpacking trip this weekend! For self-affirmation, I tend to just say to myself, ‘You are enough.’ Too often I get stuck thinking friends, family, or even God, will only love me if I do certain things or become a certain way. But this statement reminds me that I am loved right now, just as I am.”

-Johnna, Community Organizer

“There are many mantras I use depending on the circumstance. ‘I am Human. What do humans do? Humans adapt and overcome.’ That helps me a lot when I am feeling tired or getting depressed. ‘Life is suffering.’ This isn’t said in a pessimistic tone. More of a tone that evokes the idea that suffering is an indication of an opportunity to grow. Working out? My legs hurt but pushing through it will make me stronger. The ping of loneliness? Connect with the divine and find an inner peace that doesn’t waver in the face of circumstance. ‘The only way to fail is to quit, setbacks are part of the process.’ Breaking new ground means sometimes I will get in over my head and maybe I will miss the mark. That’s life. That’s how it works. I say or do something stupid, then I know, ‘ok, that was stupid. Let’s reconsider and learn.’”

-Dylan, digital nomad & filmmaker

‘Everything is always working out for me,’ has been a mantra of mine for quite some time, perhaps close to 8 years, since I really started to believe that I create my own reality.

I love reminding myself of this regularly as a part of my daily gratitude. I also love, and find myself repeating this mantra, during times when things feel hard, or like something feels amiss. It feels so normal at this point to know that things are happening FOR me and not TO me. This simple shift alone has radically changed my life.

The mantra also helps remind me that whatever is happening right now must be an important part of the bigger picture, and that even if things feel challenging, they will not feel this way for long, because even in this difficult moment, things are working out for me. It helps me feel the universe supporting me, even in the moments that feel clouded. It helps me feel inspired to keep believing, and to know that everything I do matters and contributes to the journey that I’m on. When I remind myself that things are always working out for me, I stay in a positive, more love-filled space. I share that loving energy with myself and those around me, and feel like I am actively choosing to become the person I truly want to and can be.”

-Brittany, Simple Living and Travel expert and entrepreneur

“Hmm, choosing a favorite mantra is tough because I’ve been using mantras differently lately… I’m about to sound super hippie, okay? Are you sure you’re ready?! Lately I’ve been trying to embody my mantras instead of “think” them. So when I sit for meditation, I think of a word or feeling, and then I manifest that feeling inside my physical body. So if I want to be sensitive to inspiration and see it everywhere, I focus on “feeling” what it feels like to be inspired. I summon that buzzing productive energy and allow myself to truly feel it in the moment. I dive all the way in and simmer in whatever feeling I need to cultivate for the day. Not your traditional mantra, but it makes meditation more tactile and less theoretical. It’s really helpful!”

-Erin, Bad Yogi

“My two favorite mantras are There is always tomorrow’ and ‘You WILL get through this.’”  The first one is pretty self-explanatory – it keeps me from beating myself up about something that happened today – I’ll always get a second chance tomorrow to do better.  The second one sounds really simple, but it allows me to step outside myself and realize that I have been through tough and frustrating times before, and have thought I would never got through them, but that in the end I survived.  Nothing lasts forever, and sometimes I need to remind myself of that!”

-Megan, Book Coach

“I love this mantra: This, just this, I am comfortable not knowing.’ — Debbie Millman
I write it down at least once a week, and it’s such a good reminder in staying present and being okay with not knowing everything. I am someone who has always wanted to know how things are going to go in my life. I remember as a small child being shocked to learn we have no way of knowing when we are going to die. That we don’t receive that information on a piece of paper slipped under our door. As an adult, I still struggle with the unknown, which is to say, my entire future — any moment that is not right now. I’d like to know it all, because then I think I could relax a little. If only I knew who I’m going to marry, and how many kids I’ll have, and if my dreams will become a reality, and if I’ll finally eat pasta in Italy. Of course, life doesn’t work this way. I know this on an intellectual level. But being in your 20’s, I’ve realized, is an entire world of unknowns. On a bad day, I remind myself of the mantra, and I pick one thing to be okay with not knowing. It’s easier when it’s just one thing, and even if it’s small (what I’m going to have for dinner, for example), it’s good practice in staying present, in letting go.”
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Do any of these mantras resonate with you? What’s YOUR favorite mantra? 


In this multi-week series, #MantraMania, I’m going to lay the ground work for you to make mantras a part of your life. Here’s what you can expect from the series:

  1. Do you use mantras?
  2. How to Incorporate Mantras in Your Daily Life
  3. Revealed: People Share Favorite Mantras
  4. A 30 Day Mantra Challenge to Welcome Positivity, Productivity, and Self-Care (+ FREE activity guide)