Growth and learning doesn’t have to be all serious. Sometimes, the most delightful way to learn a powerful lesson is through children’s books and films. This short video excerpt, from Kung Fu Panda, is one such gem:
“You eat when you are upset,” says Master Oogway. Does that sound familiar to you? Comfort eating is one way to self-soothe when things aren’t going well, but as Master Oogway points out, being upset is a function of the mind being stuck in the past or in the future.
At times, everyone feels like they are “not enough.” Our thoughts go back to times when we weren’t good enough: all the times we failed, or we were rejected. And the past offers proof that we aren’t good enough… and so, we project that proof onto the future: “I will never be enough.”
Even though we are older, wiser and more experienced, we still hang on to that ancient feeling of not being enough. And the only reason we ever doubt our future, is because we hang on to that old “not enough-ness.”
How can you release your old “not enough-ness”? Through meditation. First, meditation brings you into the present moment. As you’re focusing on your breath, or a mantra, or your LifeFlow soundtrack, your thoughts are here and now.
Yesterday and tomorrow simply don’t exist, except in the mind… and when you focus your mind on something else, your thoughts can’t get stuck in the past and they can’t worry about what might happen in the future.
Second, meditation is a great time to use an affirming mantra that will imprint empowering ideas into your mind and give you the confidence to take on any challenge – no matter what your past looked like.
Examples of empowering mantras:
I am enough (when you feel “less than”)
I love myself (when you feel unlovable and you’re beating yourself up about the past)
I can figure it out (when you doubt yourself)
I have enough (when you are stuck in a lack mentality)
Thank you (anytime you feel a longing for something you don’t have)
These are just examples so feel free to make up your own: “I’ve got this,” “I am good,” etc. etc. Keep your mantra short, simple, and make sure it rolls off the tongue easily.
Using a mantra in meditation is simple. Sit comfortably, or you can do this as a walking meditation; and begin saying the mantra, either aloud or silently, as you prefer. The only rule is that you focus on the mantra just as if you were focusing on your breath. Whenever your thoughts wander, gently bring your attention back to your mantra. You may notice that saying a mantra like this also gets you even deeper into meditation.
Keep going for as long as you want – I suggest you do this for at least 5-7 minutes to start (don’t set a timer that would interrupt you…) just say the mantra until you don’t want to anymore. Gradually build up to where you’re saying your mantra for the duration of your meditation. If you do this consistently for 30-60 days, you will imprint this idea in your mind very easily and it will become part of your self-story!