You lovely readers are no strangers to the fact that I'm a huge advocate of therapy. I just really believe everyone needs to see one from time to time! To me, it feels like washing my hair - it's cleansing for my soul.
One of the things my therapist always encourages me to do is to have a grounding statement for various seasons. Brené Brown calls them mantras. They are phrases you can repeat when you're in a challenging moment. I thought I'd share a few of the mantras I try to live by. I assure you I don't always achieve the goals they set, but they are nice reminders for when I'm in the thick of it.
1. Be the same person no matter who you're with.
I wish I could say I only struggled with gossip as a middle school girl, but it can be so tempting to talk about other people at times. I've noticed that if I talk about Jenny (fake name, of course!) with Katie, it creates a feeling of closeness with Katie. But, that closeness is at Jenny's expense. Also, it's an illusion. It's only temporary closeness as you share Jenny's secrets.
One of my goals is to be the same person in all situations. If I wouldn't discuss someone's business in front of them, I don't want to talk about it behind their backs. I want to be a consistent friend in any and all situations.
2. Approach life with open hands.
I have some anxious tendencies, so one of my mantras is to approach life with open hands. Having open hands means I'm willing to accept what it brings me, as opposed to white knuckling every situation. This has been tested as we begin to talk about a birth plan. While I have an idea of how I hope labor will go, my sisters and mom have encouraged me to remember that birth is unpredictable and, no matter how much you plan, beyond your control.
3. Don't make decisions in fear.
It can be so easy to make our decisions out of fear, as opposed to letting wisdom, experience or love direct us. Fear is a loud, powerful voice. One of my goals, when making a tough decision, is to ask myself why I'm making it. Is it my gut instinct? Is it the right choice? Or is it the gnarly voice of fear creeping in? Fear will not be my guiding light.
4. Engage with the world.
As we get older, time begins to feel more fleeting. I find myself wanting to be selfish with it - constantly yearning for more time alone with Chris, more time to relax, more, more me time. I am a huge advocate for self-care and absolutely believe in taking the time we need to be alone. But, I also think it's important to remember to engage with the world. Talk to the cashier at checkout. Call a friend on your commute home. Reply to text messages. Try to remain engaged with the world and the people you love. They matter very much.
5. Let it be enough.
If I let myself, I could always push for more. More accolades, more productivity, more exercise, more output. My greatest mantra of this current season is to let it be enough. As long as I did my best (or the best I could give in that moment), I want to take a deep breath and trust that it was enough. I am not defined by my output or productivity. Let the short workout be good enough. Let the presentation you gave be good enough. Let today's work be enough, trusting that each day brings a new opportunity.
What are the mantras that help you navigate life a little more easily? I'd love to learn from you!