Freeing the Mind

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, (Using Affirmations as Mantras), mantras are usually short Sanskrit sentences that translate often into some form of “I bow to God.” People łiving in religious communities that use mantras are encouraged to say their mantra all day every day. Saying a mantra quiets people’s minds and in so doing they are better able to focus on God.

Months ago, while I was living in a senior residential community, I faced a situation where that knowledge was useful.

I was beginning to have more trouble walking. One day, as I walked, my foot became caught in a paper bag. I was increasingly frustrated. No matter what I did, I couldn’t free my foot from the bag. Since then I’ve been told that that kind of experience and the accompanying frustration is typical in Parkinson’s patients.

About this same time, I started saying “I can’t do it” a lot. Eventually, I realized that I was immersed in negative thinking.

Whenever I heard myself say “I can’t do it. I changed it to “I can do it.” or “I will do it.” At times, I even used the line from ”The Little Engine that Could. “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can”. And once I achieved the challenging task, I said “I did do it.”

I decided if i was going to free my mind from negativity it could be done with a positive mantra. Tochange what I was saying to myself,I would change my mantra. While I knew that it’s best to say the mantra all day every day, I also knew that in therapy group we only expected clients to say it 1000 times a day. For this purpose I would say it anytime I was facing a challenging problem where I was tempted to say “I can’t do it” and if I still had problems I would bump the mantra repetition up to 1000 times a day.

I soon noticed that I was more successful in meeting my goals when I said the positive mantras, i.e. “I think I can” pretending I was the little engine chugging along the tracks or using ”I can do ït” or “I will do it” or “I did do it” as a positive mantra.

(Note: ”I will do it“ is the mantra that is most likely to be successful while “I can do it” and “ I think I can” tend to be less effective. Whatever the mantra is that brought you to success should be changed to “I did do it”once you’re successful. It is important that you reward yourself in this way.)

9 thoughts on “Freeing the Mind

      1. I was thinking that you were close to. Yes I have visitors they asked that they not be at meal time which is 11:30 to 12 430 to 5 and breakfast is as we wake up but visiting hours start at nine. I start getting ready for the night about 630.You will wear masks in the common areas but not in my room. You’ll park anywhere except in front of the front door that is reserved for emergency vehicles . I am excited that you’re going to visit sometime.

        Probably the best time is on the weekends because I have home health people coming during the week but give me the day that you want to come and I’ll let you know if it’s available. I often see people from my bed. Saturdays are the most free. Some of the home health people will only come a couple times. So pick the day that works for you and hopefully it’ll be free.

        I will send you the address later by email.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We’ll plan on visiting sometime later this fall and let you know when. Not having been further north than Tacoma, we’ve been staying close to our new home. I usually do retreats at the Great Vow Monastery in Clakskanie, OR this time of year. Looking forward to visiting.


  1. I love how you are using current examples to teach people that affirmations and/or mantras are always beneficial in every stage or situation in life. I support you to keep writing because you inspire your readers!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I really enjoyed this post, Karuna. I have not read posts for so so long. I was thinking of you today wondering if I still have the date of your birthday right and now I read in the comments you have moved. I love how you use current examples on how to turn negative self-talk to positive. You are such an inspiration, Karuna! As for mantras, I agree how it quiets the mind. Even when I do meditation, if my mind won’t “shut up” I chant my mantras first. Big hugs, Karuna. Cheryl-Lynn xx

    Liked by 1 person

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