What’s Your Mantra?
“Sometimes you learn through movement.”
This is what my one kid said to my other kid this morning. The sutra-spouting kid was waving his knees side to side like overcooked spaghetti, and he looked cool as a cat. Cool as a cat. Such a cliche, and it doesn’t even make sense. Because I have two cats: one looks like an asshole; the other one, always bewildered. My kid actually just looked like a really good dancer. Confident and skillfully carefree. Like Bruno Mars. Bruno is this kid’s new French club name, after all. And it’s because of the singer. More to the point, letting go and flowing comes easy to this guy. Not so much for his brother. Or for me.
With these words—the learning through movement bit, which sounded so big and fancy coming from a boy his size—he simply aimed to encourage his brother to just start trying. To feel his way to mastering something new, rather than relying so much on someone else’s precise instructions and repeated demos. And at that moment, it struck me how broadly applicable his advice was—and not just to physical activities. To work. To life. To relationships.
Go. Jump. Dive in. Spend less time talking, less time planning and get in there, right into the middle, to start sorting and sifting, slashing and shifting. Clarity will come. Confidence will emerge.
But all day, my kid’s wise advice served as a reminder. And in reaching goals, reminders are good.
Words are powerful.
Making a mantra, or making off with something wise someone has said, time an again has served me well in staying focused on goals. In my intention-setting/yoga workshops, I walk through a process—informed by behavior modification principles and my yoga training—of creating a meaningful, motivating mantra. Because I’m not teaching this workshop again until January and because I know that, every September, I like to set goals and focus on them, here are the handouts from my workshop in case they might be helpful to you, too. Enjoy!