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The Building Blocks of Calm

Heal

Illustration Credit: Three Bowls by Geri Larkin

I remember my mother saying, “It’s a sin to worry.” When pressed to explain what she meant, she would often respond, “It’s all in God’s hands.” I think my mother used these sayings not only to help us deal with confusing or stressful situations, but as tools to help her maintain a sense of calm and equanimity in her own life.Today, I use my own sayings—or mantras—to guide my thinking and to deepen my spirituality.  I base my practice on something Swami Vivekananda once said: “You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.” I find that if I want to grow spiritually, I need to nourish my soul. One way I do this is through the mantras I’ve chosen to guide my way.  A mantra is generally defined as a sacred utterance that is repeated frequently, but its etymology describes it as an instrument of thought that may be used in either a religious or nonreligious context. Mantras are a form of self-talk—usually in very short utterances—which can have a powerful influence over our thinking.  For many of us, self-talk …

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