The Search for a Mantra…

As I sat down to reflect on what I wanted in 2022 and set a new mantra for the year, I struggled to find the right words. When I embarked on 2021, the mantra I’d chosen was “Failure over Fear”. I had committed to work on my perfectionism and the often self-sabotage I engaged in, whenever something didn’t go exactly the way I envisioned it or planned it. Needless to say, my breast cancer diagnosis threw that mantra straight out the window. I spent the year with a different mantra, one that came to me in a dark moment; “Have Faith. Trust God. All Joy”. I leaned hard into that mantra and it served me well while I was undergoing the rollercoaster of cancer treatment.

To be frank, that mantra will probably never leave me. 2021 brought me closer to God. It taught me to find joy in the most inconsequential and terrifying moments. It brought me into a daily gratitude practice that has literally changed my life and my mindset. So while many of us were ready to kick 2021 to the curb, it’s been a little bit of a tough act to follow mantra-wise. My original mantra for 2021 no longer resonates, so I was on this epic search for the right one for 2022.

Several months ago, I thought I had identified this year’s mantra. I scribbled it in the margins of some meeting notes when it popped into my head, sometime in mid-October. I didn’t revisit that mantra until everyone’s “Word of the Year” posts started popping up in my newsfeed. When I went back to it, it sort felt like a half-deflated balloon, slightly wrinkled floating mid-air on it’s descent to the ground. It just didn’t seem like a fit anymore. I started writing down phrases, questions, thoughts on the search for my new 2022 mantra. Each one of them felt true, but none of them felt right.

So I walked away from the mantra search for a little while – and honestly – I walked away from this blog for a bit. A couple days later, my morning bible study brought me a lesson on “battles and blessings”. The devotional shared that life is nothing but a series of battle and blessing, battle and blessing, battle and blessing…(you get the idea). Yet both can live simultaneously in our lives, not distinct nor separate. There are always blessings, but also battles to face. That lesson resonated with me after the 2021 I had. Yet I wasn’t sure that it was the mantra for 2022. So, I walked away from the search for a 2022 mantra again, knowing it would eventually come to me.

Fast-forward (over a week later) to today and “battles and blessings” is a message that keeps showing up in my life…daily. I think that’s the universe’s way of telling me to pick the dang mantra. So, with that, my 2022 Mantra is “Battles and Blessings”.

Battles and Blessings: “Battles” reminds me that challenges are inevitable in life. From seemingly minor things like dropping a trail of socks on your way to the laundry room to big ones like cancer – battles are a part of life. My job in those battles is to not give up, not light everything on fire, but walk through them, knowing that there are blessings on the other side. “Blessings” reminds me to see the blessings all around me, every day, even amidst the battles. It reminds me to practice gratitude for the blessings I do have. It helps me to understand that even when blessings end and battles begin, there are and will be more blessings to come.

I don’t know if my cancer journey is over, yet. I know there will be a lot of battles to face for my business this year as my team and I continue to grow the business. I know the pandemic will continue to challenge our family, our relationships, and our daily life. I see many battles ahead and I know there are more that will reveal themselves this year. Yet, even among all that, I see the blessings I have and I hope for the ones to come. I’ll keep walking.

To 2022: Battles and Blessings.

XOXO – Jess

What’s a Mantra and Why Do You Use It?

In Hinduism and Buddhism, a mantra is a word or sound repeated over and over during meditation to aid in concentration. Outside of those religions, it’s simply a word or phrase repeated regularly as a way to motivate, inspire, focus, or redirect oneself or a group of people.

Each year, I set a mantra. A lot of people use a single word in the same fashion, but I found a single word somewhat limiting. I use a phrase or a simple quote each year as my mantra to help focus me, redirect me, motivate me, and inspire me in my personal and professional life. I put that mantra on my computer, on my phone, on my desk, and I repeat it to myself regularly – I even use it in my prayer, yoga, and meditation practices.

While this might seem a little “crunchy granola”, I find it very useful when working through challenges and goal-setting at work, not just in my personal life. It helps focus me in whatever I am facing. You can use to help you make decisions, to help you set goals, to keep you focused on those goals, or to merely inspire you to be better at something.

The mantra should be something that comes naturally to you. Ask yourself, “What is the word, phrase, or quote that I want to use to center/focus me this year?” It shouldn’t require a lot of effort to find. If it’s difficult to think of something, walk away from the search for a bit. It will come to you. Once you find it, define what it means to you and grow your clarity around it. Then post it every where. Say it to yourself five times each morning, as you begin your day. Use it to focus you, inspire you, motivate you, and make your 2022 something you are proud of.

Good luck!

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