One of the greatest tools I've discovered along my path of healing is the power of creating routine and stability - regardless of whatever other chaos is going on around.
As someone with a very active mind, many ideas and thoughts are constantly flowing through my being. This sometimes translates into a difficulty focusing my energy and an overall spacey scattered feeling.
I know I'm not alone in the struggle to focus. We live in a world filled with distractions and options. With so much stimulus around, it's easy to get lost in the possibilities and not get much accomplished on days we have much to do. With so many options available, it can be difficult to make decisions on even the simplest of things.
As I'm learning through Ayurveda, difficulty focusing on one thing is also quite common among those high in Vata constitution.
Ayurveda suggests, both routine and Mantra as a potential remedy for this struggle and through experimentation, I have seen firsthand how powerful an impact a morning routine can have on the rest of the day.
Through establishing and sticking to a morning routine, I have been able to create more stability in my day and more clarity in my thoughts. While there are countless ways to create routine in your day, morning Mantra meditation has been my chosen route.
What is mantra? Mantra can be described as a word of sound repeated to aid in concentration in meditation. Traditionally in Sanskrit, Mantra is said to have psychological & spiritual power, helping induce an altered state of consciousness.
Ayurveda suggests Mantras are loaded with power and sounds capable of penetrating our body into deep levels of consciousness by the unique sounds and vibrations they create.
In the West, Mantra can also mean a intention, statement, or affirmation created to help keep you connected to a particular state of mind.
On my first trip to Bali, I was lucky to be given a mantra from a Vedic astrologer, based on my birth chart. At the time, Mantra was pretty foreign to me, but so much of what was shared with me that day resonated - and quite honestly, I was desperate to get a grasp on my overactive mind, so when I returned home, I decided to start practicing this mantra.
To begin, I found a You Tube video of my given Mantra and (quietly so my neighbors didn't hear) chanted along with it, at home, until I was comfortable enough to practice on my own. Mantra soon became the first meditation method I was able to commit to, and over time, began to have a profound impact along my journey of healing.
Over the months, my Mantra practice has evolved from a quiet home practice, to a powerful practice in the mountains and oceanside - with the addition of writing my own personal "western" Morning Mantra, post mediation, as a way to connect with my own divine purpose.
I now use this personal mantra as something to come back to anytime I notice my mind beginning to work overtime. And while at first, I felt silly doing this, it has been a simple, yet powerful tool in snapping me back into the present moment and in connecting with my truth.
While Mantra may not be for everyone, it's a great meditation method for those who have a hard time focusing. Because it's active, it's more difficult for your mind to wander - and when it does, it will show in your chant, helping you snap out of whatever escape route your mind is trying to take.
While I was fortunate to be given a Mantra, you can easily select one that resonates with you. Here is a list of some Sanskrit and English Mantras you can test out.
And if you've tried and/or you are sure Mantra is absolutely not for you, try playing around with different morning routines, until you find one you feel connected and committed to.
It doesn't have to be elaborate or time consuming. Even just sitting down and breathing for 5 minutes each morning has the potential to make a difference in your day. As you begin to create consistency in your actions, you create consistency in the mind. I will be sharing other methods I have experimented with in a future post.