You know, I’m not sure what I make of mantras. They are everywhere you turn in the world of spirituality, but so far, none of them have resonated with me. I’ve yelled ‘I love money and money loves me’ at my reflection in the mirror and I’ve cooed ‘I am not my emotions’ whenever anxiety has got a grip. It hasn’t worked.
Recently, my spiritual mentor Marion asked me to write down a mantra by Catherine Ponder. She’s a theologian who wrote about prosperity and abundance in the 1960s – she was doing The Secret before it caught on basically.
Ponder’s mantra is long and wordy. It’s also very Christian. After writing it down a dozen or so times, I complained to Marion that it wasn’t resonating with me – even after I had edited it down into something a little more vernacular. That didn’t go down well. Apparently the words are ‘sacred’ and lose their power if bits are chopped out. ‘Could you bear to write it out in full?’ she asked.
I did for a couple of days. I took time over it. I said the words over and over, but to be frank, I may has well have been jotting down Chinese Mandarin. It was meaningless. At the weekend, during my 48-hour silent retreat I had a eureka moment and decided that I didn’t believe a word of the New Age claptrap I’d been consuming for six months. I’d had enough and the first thing that got binned was Ponder’s mantra.
I am now mantraless and that feels okay. I do however realise that if you control your mind, you control your life. I also know that words are powerful and can influence your thoughts and they in turn create your reality etc etc. Thus I can see the sense in saying positive words to myself and really feeling them. I need words that touch me in the way that the musical Jesus Christ Superstar does. Or The Lady of Shalott. Or Monet’s Water Lilies. I believe that if I said a mantra that meant something to me, it might just do some good. I’ve just got to find one.
The right mantra for me won’t be clichéd. Or religious. Or overly sentimental. I think I’ll know it when I see it. If I don’t find one, I guess it wasn’t meant to be. So here I am, waiting for my mantra.