Tag Archives: mindfulness

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)
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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.”
denys-argyriou-213104

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)

5 Ways to Incorporate Mantras in Your Daily Life

When we think about mantras it’s easy to imagine a pretzel-legged yogi, chanting in near-coma calm, a look of transcendence on their face. Maybe there’s a Tibetan singing bowl involved, maybe the lights are dimmed.

But what about those of us who need the power of positive thought so we don’t slam into a pedestrian in a fit of road rage on our commute? The folks who want to harness their affirmations so they nail an interview, not transcendence?

I think mantras have a place in OUR mouths, too!

Remember: A mantra has the power to drown out excess noise – like negative thoughts about traffic and bad interview results – to help you quell the accompanying emotions – such as rage and fear.

Often, the situations in which we experience the most excess noise are the very times we can’t commit to a 30-minute meditation practice. But we can still turn to a mantra to guide us through.

Here are a few ways to incorporate mantras in your daily life…

1. As you prepare for your day. Laying in bed after your alarm sounds is a great time to set an intention for your day. Then, you can repeat the intention throughout your morning routine to infuse the mantra in every step of your preparations, setting yourself up for greatness! As you brush your teeth, blow-dry your hair, prepare your coffee pot, and pull on your shoes–repeat your mantra. Try: Today, I will choose happiness. 

2. During your work out. Whether you’re rolling out your mat or lacing up your sneakers, there’s definitely an opportunity to infuse a little mindfulness in your fitness plan. Mantras can be a great motivator (even Nike uses “Just do it!”) but they can also serve as an opportunity to give thanks for the strength and power your body holds. Try: If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

3. In quiet moments of solitude. Sometimes your mind needs a quick reset in the midst of a hectic day. When you stumble into a second of peace – kids finally napping, you’re alone in your office for the first time all day, or hey! a bathroom stall (I’m not judging!) – use the time to focus your thoughts in a way that will serve you. Try: Taking a long, hard look in the mirror reminds me of who’s boss. 

4. When negative thoughts creep in. We all have our negative thought triggers. Whether yours comes from road rage and interview stress like the examples above or perhaps as a result of fear of public speaking, a toxic relationship holding you back, or just reading the news each day, mantras are a powerful solution. Instead of trying to silence these thoughts (impossible!), use new thoughts in order to transcend them. Try: I am filled with positive actions.

5. Before you fall asleep. After a long day it’s nice to reflect on what you’re grateful for. Instead of the thought spiral that can lead to sleeplessness, identify those things which truly served you in positive ways today. Did you know the happiest people do this daily? Jump on board! Try: I am thankful for [fill in the blank!].

Will you try these out? How do YOU incorporate mantras in your daily life? 


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)

Do you use mantras?

Do you use mantras? I find them wildly helpful for setting intentions, practicing mindfulness, and chilling the eff out. Haha! In fact, I named this very blog to honor one of my favorite mantras of all time. FIND DELIGHT.

As you go about the tasks of your day, your mind is constantly popping in with new thoughts and ideas. And there are emotions that go along with these brain intruders. Sometimes a thought will bring up self-doubt, an idea will instill fear. A mantra has the power to drown out the excess noise, and to quell the accompanying emotions, by repeating something neutral or even empowering!

So why does it work?

“Put simply, it’s because it employs the thinking mind instead of trying to ignore it, silence it or subdue it. It uses thoughts to transcend thoughts, which is an extremely skillful method.” 

As I mentioned before, FIND DELIGHT, is one of my faves but I’ve used many others to help me focus my thoughts in a direction of my choosing. If you’ve never given mantras a try, I encourage you to do so! Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting more about mantras so check back if this sorta thing tickles your fancy or you’d like to learn more. Until then choose a chant that suits ya…

I AM STRONG.
I AM ABUNDANT.
I AM CONFIDENT.
I AM HAPPY.
I AM ALL I NEED.

BE BRAVE.
FIND DELIGHT.


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)

I stopped paying women compliments on their appearance and here’s what happened.

see no evil

A few years ago, much like the rest of everyone ever on the Internet, I fell in love with this Huffington Post piece by Lisa Bloom, “How to Talk to Little Girls”. In it, Bloom recounts a recent interaction she had with a little girl named Maya in which she engaged the five-year-old about books instead of outfits. Arguing for readers to ask girls about their minds rather than comment on their appearance, she made a compelling case. Here’s an excerpt…

“Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What’s missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments.”

Hollering, “PREACH Lisa, preach!!!” the whole way, I ran to my nearest public library and plowed through Bloom’s book Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World. I was armed with all sorts of advice about using my mind for the betterment of the future. I devoured Bloom’s analysis and added all her favorite books to my reading list. But it was her initial advice about talking to girls that really impacted me. At this point in my life, I had recently made the career switch from a job that required constant brain-power and creativity and problem solving to one in retail, which…well, didn’t. However, I WAS constantly interacting with customers, meeting new people, and engaging with employees. I thought, what a perfect opportunity to challenge myself based on Bloom’s advice! But limiting her “conversation how-to” JUST to little girls didn’t seem like enough of a challenge. So I decided to go ALL in. I vowed that for the foreseeable future all small-talk with females, ANY females, would center around subjects OTHER than appearance; meaning no compliments or comments on their clothes, hair, face, body, shoes, makeup or anything I deemed appearance-oriented.

Here’s what happened…

Introverts beware! The biggest initial hurdle, you may have guessed by now, was finding things to talk about. I’m not the most outgoing person in the world, especially with strangers, so cutting out an easy conversation starter forced me to be a bit braver than normal and get creative. With little ones it was easy to ask things like, “Did you do anything fun in school today?” or “What’s that book about?” Real adult LADIES were another story. More often than not, if I was meeting them for the first time, I would panic and end up saying nothing at all. With acquaintances and friends I tried to lead by example. I would talk about books I was reading or local events I wanted to check out in the hopes they’d follow suit. Sometimes this tactic worked and sometimes it didn’t. When it didn’t, I ended up talking about myself a bit more than I was comfortable with. One sided convos about ME weren’t helping ANYONE…so I had to go back to the drawing board again and again to figure out new ways of talking to other women-folk.

little girl

Little girls LOVE a conversation outlet. So, it wasn’t just MY end of the conversation that proved especially easy with the young’uns…they were super about their side of things too! I quickly remembered how awesome I felt as a little kid when older people would REALLY talk to me. Giving others that feeling and opportunity was such an easy way to brighten even my most shitty days. Little girls will happily tell you about who they sat with at lunch, their favorite field trip, a ballet recital, the name of the horse they rode last week, a multitude of reasons why they hate broccoli, classroom pets like hamsters and snakes, why their baby brother is shy, what their imaginary friend is up to at this VERY moment, that they’ve already read THIS BOOK five times but they just love it so much they’re reading it again…and on and on and on. Parents were usually happy for the break or happy to join in. Little girls are awesome and they have a LOT to say. Even those little loves who were too shy to jump into conversation with me were easy to compliment on things other than appearance. Not ONCE did a parent have to chime in and thank me for a compliment that their kid had ignored. I find they often do when you tell a little girl something like, “Nice hair bow!”

Are compliments currency? Never have I found receiving a compliment so daunting as I did when I wasn’t paying them. Notice this turn of phrase. We call it “paying” someone a compliment. As I mentioned before, around the time I decided to go on a compliment fast, I was in a new job. New co-workers would serve up a “I love your shoes!” or “Your hair is so nice!” or “Those glasses are awesome!” and I would fill up with dread. How do I RECEIVE a compliment on my appearance if I can’t PAY one in return? Never too great at taking compliments in stride in the first place, I became even worse. I got caught up in the reciprocation aspect, or lack there of. Which is why I move that we give compliments instead of pay them! No matter what kind of compliment they are. Hand them out and expect nothing in return. And don’t worry about paying anyone back when you’re given one either! This was a hard lesson to learn but one I’m grateful for–ain’t nobody got time for calculating compliment exchange rates.

female friends

Female acquaintances vs. Female friends Because I was actively avoiding superficial conversations it was easy to steer clear of superficial friendships. I quickly developed camaraderie’s with ladies who shared similar interests to me…even if that was just talking shit about annoying co-workers or Netflix binges. If the conversation flowed easily without talk of appearance, she would move from acquaintance to friend. If it didn’t, I would still enjoy some small talk here and there but that was enough. I didn’t try and push anything. It became much easier than ever before to tell the difference. Initially, I felt terrible for making this distinction with one particular female acquaintance. She constantly complimented me, we had similar backgrounds and current positions, and everyone around me just LOVED HER. But something  didn’t click when we talked to each other. I think if I had tried each day to offer her mindless compliments, I wouldn’t have been able to admit that it was better for us to remain acquaintances than forced friends.

In which I give myself a caveat. Pretty early on in the challenge I decided to give ladies of a certain age (Think: Grandmas) a pass and lift my compliment fast for a few moments just for them. This gave me the opportunity to offer really genuine, thought-out praise. I think because the compliments felt so real to me, they felt that real to those I was complimenting too. I can only describe their responses as delighted. Reserving these little moments of appreciation for a beautifully tailored suit or a colorful brooch or a gorgeous pair of soft leather gloves was definitely worth their surprised and humbled replies. Usually their thanks was coupled with a beautiful (and sometimes beautifully sad) story, circling back to the type of conversation I was after in the first place.

So, you may be wondering, where do I stand on all of this now? In the end, I lifted my ban on complimenting women’s appearance. As long as they’re adults I figure it’s fair game, and even then I sometimes slip and tell a kid I like her shoes. Mostly the challenge taught me to be mindful with my compliments and not to toss them around as a conversation crutch. Girls don’t need to evaluate their self-worth based on looks just because I can’t think of anything clever to say. I also learned that for some of my sisters out there compliments are an important part of female communication. Choosing not to engage with them on that level can be damaging. The last thing I want is to shut out a fellow lady-friend! I realize now that some of the compliments I give (and some that I receive, too) are rocking this as their subtext…

Subtext: I know there’s more to what makes you awesome than your ability to select and wear that t-shirt but I haven’t quite put my finger on what it is so for now I’m gonna tell you “your shirt is soooo cute!” and maybe, through that banal quip, the lines of communication between us will open just a wee bit more and I’ll get to the bottom of why you’re so darn cool and I can compliment your mind and your heart and your soul without feeling shy and embarrassed and weird.” 

…and that’s ok. Sometimes, you just REALLY like the shirt. And that’s ok, too. But it doesn’t have to be ALL you talk about.

As for little girls, I’d still rather find out what they’re reading.

DIY: Mason Jar Bath Salts

bathsalts

Ok, I realize the concept of bath salts has been getting a bad rap as of late, ever since weirdos in Florida started smoking them and eating people’s faces off. But ACTUAL bath salts, the kind you soak in, are freaking awesome. Combine the benefits of essential oils with the benefits of salt in your bath water and you have a recipe for mindfulness, muscle recovery, stress relief, improved circulation, and a headache solution. This is a really simple DIY that you can adapt based on your favorite colors, scents, and containers to customize to your liking. Make a huge batch and you’ll have an arsenal of gifts you can break out at a moment’s notice. Not to mention, during the process, your house will smell amazing! I packaged this batch in mason jars because DUH! and I love mason jars (I also wanted to decoupage the tops for some added flair) but I think these, these or these would work well too. You could even be super thrifty and reuse cleaned out food jars.

What you’ll need:

For the salts–

-1 cup of epsom salt

-1 cup of sea salt

-essential oil (I used peppermint and lavender)

-food coloring (I used red and blue)

For the mason jar packaging–

-mason jars with this kind of lid

-magazine cutouts

-decoupaging supplies (I used glue, water and a paintbrush but use Mod Podge if you’re feeling fancy)

-pretty ribbon/s (twine would also look adorably shabby chic)

-a fun charm to tie around the top of the jar

and how it all comes together:

-Mix one cup of epsom salt and one cup of sea salt in a large mixing bowl.

-Add 3-6 drops of food coloring. Mix and add more until you reach your desired hue.

-Add 5-10 drops of your chosen essential oil(s). (You can do a little online research if you’re not familiar with oils and their various benefits.)

-Set the bowl aside and pretty up your mason jar tops by decoupaging a tiny collage on top.

-Spoon your salts into the jars and throw the top on.

-Tie a small charm or gift tag/label around the jar with your chosen ribbon/s.

Voila! You’re well on your way to giving someone the gift of stress relief and a proper pampering.