My first article ever for DYY was one entitled 3 Mantras for the Average Joe—a short series of personal tools to be applied to assist in navigating the terrain of life.
Simple and easily utilize-able—the mantra is a device you can use while you’re standing in line, driving to work, taking a shower, or whatever.
Nearly 2 years later, I’d like to offer a follow-up—a series of phrases you can repeat to yourself in any situation. Next time you’re in an argument with your partner, or something sucks at work, or you see your bank account balance is missing a few digits…try one of these.
I pull one (or all) of these into my frame of reference amidst most challenging situations, and I find them helpful. They give me perspective; they keep me grounded in the big “I”, and offer a sense of humility (and humor) at this thing we call life. Here are three useful mantras anyone can use, anytime anywhere.
1. There is No One to Blame
No one. First thing to consider—everyone is doing the best they can within their circumstances. Even if it feels like someone or something is out to get you, just remember: that entity, that maliciousness, that bad fortune—all of it fits into a larger picture that you simply cannot know or see—a picture that is perfect (more on that in a moment).
Second thing to consider, and I don’t want to get too metaphysical, but our experience as a conscious human being is really just an illusion of individuality. It is individuality, or separateness (the illusion thereof) that gives us the perspective to cast blame in the first place.
We are not an isolated consciousness mired in universal competition with one another. The reality is that…
We are only part of a larger tapestry of unity. We're all the same stardust. Or spirit. Or whatever you’d like to call it.~Brad Korpalski
The things that feel like burdens, or overwhelming challenges, are here for you. It’s all growth content—things that move us from one moment to the next—nothing more. Our sovereignty exists in the choice in whether or not we choose to take the opportunity given to us in each of these moments.
If you find yourself attached to a particular outcome that is being “prevented by some force,” (the thing we would like to blame for our demise) be it a person or set of circumstances…ask yourself this question.
Can I accept a different outcome—one that is potentially of more benefit to “me” and “others”—one that is more brilliant than I ever could imagine and represents the true nature of life?
2. Everything is Perfect…Even if I Don’t Know How or Why
So the universe is big. Really big. So big our advanced human brains can’t even get behind the numbers that represent the vastness of this thing we’re floating within.
There is something like 60 billion potentially inhabitable (!!!) planets in our galaxy alone. Then there are an equal number of galaxies with an equal number of planets in each of them. Don’t quote me on this as I might be jumbling some “facts” but you get the idea. It’s effing big.
Add-in to the mix other questions surrounding consciousness, subjectivity, and quantum physics and you can paint a pretty murky picture of the nature of things.
So…knowing the size and scale of what we’re a part of and the general “murkiness of reality,” how can we pretend to know anything, really? How can we pretend that any of the triviality in our lives matters?
We can’t. The thing that allows us to do so is our ego. It’s our ego that strives for understanding—that grasps for some view on reality that puts it as the center on which everything else revolves.
Let’s stop deluding ourselves. It’s all good. Even death. Which brings us to…
3. I am Going to Die so I Might as Well Get on With Living
Us in the modern west have a really shitty relationship with death. We don’t talk about it. We’re afraid of it beyond any shred of doubt. We hush death away into the corners of society, even isolating our dying into enclaves of morbidity, so that we can keep going on pretending the things we’ve decided matter actually matter.
All of this death avoidance—this fractured relationship with death—prevents us from truly living. Rather than approaching each of our days with an acute awareness that it can all end in any given instant—that we will die—we pretend we’re immortal. Strangely, this immortality delusion has an adverse effect on our lives—it keeps us enslaved to our own death, rather than liberating us from it.
It is the befriending of our own mortality that is actually the way out of our fear of death. Once we can accept we are going to die, only then can we truly live. When we know we’re going to die, it gives us “the near death phenomenon,” the experience of a brush with mortality that sparks a newfound appreciation of life.
Think about it. Conjure up something in your life you wish you could do. What is preventing you from doing so? (Money, work, family commitments, etc…) Now imagine you arm yourself with the knowledge you could die tomorrow.
Would you be more inclined to take a risk? To do something you wouldn’t otherwise do? Would you be more capable of handling (and enjoying) the moment that is before you?
I hope you try these mantras, and I hope they work for you. It’s all about us connecting more and more with life and truth, and if tools like these can help in that, then BAM!—my work is done.
If you feel up to it, drop a comment and let me know how this rolls for you. Namaste.