Parents have a lot going on. We are faced with challenges, daily. One way to keep our focus on what is truly important to us is through developing a mantra, or mantras – and bringing our attention to them.
A mantra is a a commonly repeated word or phrase; a sacred verbal formula repeated in prayer, meditation, or incantation.
Some people use mantras in formal meditation (or not-so-formal-in-the-midst-of-parenting-and-life practice). Mantras are also useful to redirect our attention to what we value most in life. Since various happenings in life can seemingly derail us, we can choose to get back on track through the direction of our mind. Through simple statements, or mantras, we help ourselves along.
Here are three steps to develop your own parenting mantras. Feel free to revisit this practice any time you are feeling challenged as a parent. You will notice a difference if you allow your mantra to guide you back to your truest self in moments of question.
First, find a quiet space to reflect a bit. You don’t have to be kid-free, just allow for 10-15 minutes of down time. Grab a piece of paper and list some challenges you are facing. (You can get more detailed with simple inquiry for parents if you’d like).
Second, consider how you want to be when you are faced with such challenges. Do you want to be more patient, kind, considerate? Do you want to listen, reflect, ask questions? Do you want to be more like your friend who is calm and caring? Do you want to be more like a family member or person you look up to? What qualities do you want to call forth from yourself when everything seems to be falling apart? List everything that comes to mind. (The sit down also works in absence of or in conjunction with a mantra).
Third, create a statement. Quietly reflect a bit more, taking all of this into meditation or prayer if you’d like. Maybe a quote comes to mind, a word, or a phrase. What keeps you focused or brings a sense of well being? One of the first ones that came to me was “Stop. Think of Love.” It was a reset when I felt angry and I still refer to it at times. The power of our thoughts cannot be underestimated.
Other possible parenting mantras may be… love heals all wounds, we are working through this together, I can choose how to respond, I am willing to start over, 5 (as a reminder to take 5 when stressed), all is well, so be it, joy is in front of me, peace is within, breathe in breathe out, my breath carries me, I can handle this, peace, compassion, kindness, silence.
Experiment and create new mantras when you feel inspired. Use what works for you. Call yourself forward through using your mind for the powerful tool that it is.
Are you struggling as a parent? If so, I’d like to share something with you: a story and some hope.