There’s no question about it: mornings can be a magical start to the day, if only we treat them right.
For most people, the average morning goes something like this: hit snooze at least twice; get up at the last minute and take a two minute shower; tie your shoes or do your makeup in the car; grab a cup of coffee at the corner shop on the way into the office.
No breakfast, no reading, no exercise, no conversation, no prayer. In other words, no thoughtful start to the morning.
This year, I set no goals. Instead, I set a theme for the year (seek out joy) and I decided to focus on cornerstone habits. A morning routine was first amongst those habits.
After a challenging end to 2016 at work, I knew I had work to do on my mentality towards my work and relationships. And so I turned to an idea I have often avoided for fear of the “woo-woo.”
Mantras are a darling of the self-help world and I’ve always considered them to be a tool for the weak-minded or people who lack self-discipline. In other words, the idea that a mantra could help me live a better life terrified me.
Nonetheless, after Chase shared his morning mantras with me, I opened up to the possibility. I read a book about how our past transgressions and traumas can affect our present ability to cope with stress and adversity. I gave in.
It’s been one of the best moves I’ve made this year. Reading my list of mantras every morning fundamentally shifts the way I approach my day. It reminds me of the most important truths in my life that are all too easy to forget.
Mantras center me on the urgent and important work of caring for me so that I can care for others.
And so, I’ll share my mantras here with you in the hopes that they might encourage you to create your own. In order that you might just create an extra ten minutes every morning to remind yourself of the truths you too often forget.
We need you to lead. And every leader needs to be reminded of her worth. That’s what mantras have done for me. Maybe you too?
Here are mine:
- I deserve to enjoy life. I value joy and pleasure.
- I am safe. I am loved.
- I release the past. I forgive myself for all I have done.
- I am healthy and whole, just as I am.
- I lovingly care for myself first, others second.
- I lovingly release others to learn their own lessons.
- I choose to move through life with love and understanding.
- I do no good by giving more than I have to give.
- My work matters and I’m lucky to do it.
- I am grounded in my God-given power.
- I ask for what I want and I accept it with joy and pleasure.
- I am secure in my values, beliefs and self worth.
- I am a valuable human being.
Each day, after I read these mantras, I read the last line in my “Mantras” note on my iPhone: How will you seek out joy today?. One little reminder to live intentionally each day this year, just as I said I would.
If you want that little book that pushed me over the edge, here it is. What do you have to lose?
Become a more courageous and generous leader
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