Pick a MantraInstead of making New Year’s resolutions and then not keeping them, what if we decided to pick a mantra?

The current issue of Future Crunch, my favorite good news publication, and source of much valuable and encouraging information, suggests just that: Pick a Mantra.  They suggest choosing one word that resonates for you, and making it your focus for the year: a guide, a touchstone, something to return to.  For a number of reasons the editors chose Optimism.  Not blind, or pollyanna optimism, but realistic, compassionate, courageous optimism.  It’s a good read.

When I thought about picking a mantra, what came to mind for me and for the year ahead,

was Simplify.  I love the ring of it, the flavor, the effect on my body when I feel into what that could mean for me, how it could manifest in my life.  And this is especially nice, even startling, because not that long ago Simplify meant give up, stop doing, slow down… it felt like a lot of “shoulds” being laid on me — and all the fun taken away!  That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but if I had been asked to Pick a Mantra five years ago, it would definitely not have been this one.

Pick a Mantra

Why Simplify?  What does it mean, where does it reside, how does it resonate?  First of all, I’d like to cull…in many areas of my life.  I love passing on, getting rid of, consolidating, organizing.  Not that it’s always easy.  For example, take the things I really like but never use.  Simplify would be a helpful, gentle guide when I get down to it: clothes, files, family pictures, stuff in general.

And then there’s my schedule, activities, use of time. Simplify would help me assess, with compassion and kindness, what really matters… day to day, and on through the year.

Activism, food, exercise, contribution, mind-body-spirit balance…


Simply less plastic

Plastic Pollution is the new focus of the Green Team in my building.  We are trying raise awareness, and encourage people to face this huge problem…to reduce the amount of plastic, especially single use, that we use.  (Have a look at this, A Plastic Voyage, a depressing/inspiring doc, made by the daughter of a resident in our building.) Simplify would help me, help us all, take a closer look at our consumer choices.  Little things done often by us all add up to a significant difference.

And then this biggie arrived today, Salient Facts and Actions regarding Climate Change.  In a nutshell, Fly less, Drive less, Eat less meat (especially beef), and we should add, Buy Less (new stuff in particular).

Pick a Mantra.  Mine is Simplify.  I feel light (a little heavy too, if I’m wholly honest, but mostly Pick a Mantralight) and heartened.  Like starting a new adventure.  I feel my shoulders relax, my breathing slow, space opening up. Right now. In the moment.

What might be a helpful mantra for you in 2018?

 Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, and growth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)

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