If y’all are following #CSBookClub on Instagram, you know that I’m currently making my way through The Untethered Soul, a weighty read by Michael A. Singer that explores the questions of who we are, and how we can discover our true identities through consciousness. It’s giving me a lot to think about, and so far, the biggest lesson I’ve gained from it is the importance of using mindfulness to open ourselves up to all the joy that the people and experiences around us have to offer, if only we’d allow them to. I’ve noticed that many of the people in my life who are most mindful have one or more mantras that they meditate on daily and serve as a reflection on how they want to live their life, and it’s got me thinking about the idea of mantras and developing one of my own.

Do you have a mantra? As Gandhi said, “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” So yeah, our thoughts are pretty powerful, and a mantra can be a practical way to guide and center them in the chaos and busyness of life. Speaking of chaos, this current season of my life (a new baby and a preschooler, a job that I love but that demands a lot of my time, and the desire to continue feeding my marriage and my friendships) has resulted in a mantra of my own: Slow down and stay open. I’ve realized that life can be constantly stressful if I allow it to be, but if I remind myself to slow down and breathe, staying mindful of the present moment and what I’m doing, and opening my heart to the people and experiences around me, the result is energy and joy no matter how crazy my schedule may be. I’d love to hear in the comments: What’s your mantra?

*photo: Tec Petaj for West Elm blog

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