As Petrea said recently on Richard Glover (ABC Midweek Conference), “Many of us have mantras that help us in times of stress.” Some of those might be:
This too will pass
One day at a time
You alone can do it, but you don’t have to do it alone
Time will tell
Would you rather be right or happy?
I am not my feelings, I have feelings
Some people have other less helpful ones that they gathered in childhood or through life experience which also impact in ways that can keep us trapped in our suffering:
What’s the point of trying; I’m bound to fail
This always happens to me
Whatever I do, it’s hopeless
You can’t trust life/people
I can’t change
So while some of us have mantras that help us move forward and get on with life, others have ones that keep them stuck.
We can blame our childhood, our situation, our relationship, our job, the economy, the government or climate change. It is often difficult to move forward. It often takes a real drama in our lives to make us stop and ask those deeper questions about our experience: Who am I? What am I doing with my life? Am I over it yet? And what do I need to do to move forward?
My favourite mantra has been with me since a fairly dramatic and colourful childhood, ‘I know I can be more than this’. At other times I hear myself say, ‘I’m over this, so stuff it!’ It often depends on the heat of the moment and the degree of my awareness around the situation which mantra I listen to!
What are your positive affirmations/mantras that you use in times of stress? We’d love to share them with the Quest community.
Wendie has co-facilitated residential programs with Petrea for more than sixteen years. Prior to that Wendie spent over 25 years as a teacher, school principal and was involved in educational leadership and facilitation of school executive groups.
Ten years of this time was spent in PNG where she taught and worked for the government. Wendie has been travelling since the early sixties and is especially attracted to Asian cultures. She holds degrees in Anthropology, Education, Sociology, Theology and Political Science. Her current passions are her grandchildren, travel biographies, exploring Asia, 4×4 driving, reading everything she can get her hands on, and watching movies on the big screen at home.