I had coffee with a friend yesterday, who went on to tell me about his new mantra, on which he focuses while practising yoga. I asked him if he was actually able to clear his mind for long enough to do this, and it seems that men are far better at doing this than women are – no disrespect here, it’s a fact. I would love to be able to clear my mind for even five minutes. It’s constantly on the go, never stopping, not even for a second. Imagine this: thinking about… well, nothing. Nada. Diddly squat. Sounds like a treat, eh?
I must admit, unashamedly though (after all this is my safe space to do so) that I haven’t been on top of my game in the last little while. And I do accept that we’re all allowed to drop the ball from time to time. Have you ever had those periods in your life? When you’re just not “lus”? (for my non-South African readers, this means “you just don’t feel like it” – because some things are just better expressed in Afrikaans!)
This is a horrible place to be, I’ll add, and some of us handle it better than others. The human mind is a powerful thing, it has the ability to beat you into believing you’re no good at anything, if you allow it. We have a tough job as moms, serving as the emotional cornerstones of the family. Sometimes it’s not easy keeping up a positive attitude when you’re just not “lus“.
With that being said, I still believe that we write our own scripts, that no matter what curveballs life may throw at us we still have a choice as to how we will react. You know the old “when life gives you lemons” shpiel? And really, the most difficult part of getting out of a slump is simply tricking your own mind into doing so. It’s that easy.
Next time you’re in the ebb of life, consider these 5 tips:
- Realise that life is an ebb and flow. There will be tough times and there will be great times. Someone once told me “It’s ok to feel down in the dumps. Just don’t stay there.” Working through unwanted negative feelings is also necessary.
- Set yourself one goal. Don’t fill your diary with a to-do list as long as the queue at SARS at lunch time. Start small. Set yourself one easily achievable goal. It will do wonders for your confidence when you reach it.
- Tell someone about your goal. That way there is a little more inspiration to achieve it.
- Find inspiration. Talk to someone who will motivate you, someone in your field of interest who is successful at what they do. And do yourself a favour, cut out the negativity. Don’t waste your precious time on people who sap your energy.
- Focus on the pros and not the cons. Instead of thinking about how hard your task is, focus on the benefits you’ll reap when it’s done.
I searched for tons of inspiration yesterday when I went back to gym after a couple of months! And while I was sweating away on the treadmill, I decided in the few seconds I was able to quieten my mind, that my mantra would be “I am strong, and I am able”. I wasn’t referring only to physical strength, but mental and emotional strength too. And when I say I’m able, it means I realise how blessed I am that I have the support at my disposal to achieve my goals.
What is your mantra? And if you don’t have one, what better time than now to choose one – go on, inspire yourself!