No such stirring has come over my soul and spirit like the shock of my upturned belongings strewn about the car into which a stranger had slipped and stolen goods. Cursing and sucking in quick breaths, the lump in my throat an impassable bubble of heat and anger – I had not known this feeling, and was unable to name the sinking darkness which has encapsulated the following weeks. I have wanted to curl into myself as the newfound coldness of the world sat like a weight on my shoulders. Silence has met me in my worldly interactions, and while I have resisted plunging deep below the surface of the earth, my mind has grown quiet and my heart still. This deafening wicked so far beyond the bounds of my understanding blindsided and stalled me. The sudden violation arrested my lightness, and cast a shadow about my being.
Though my senses had been aroused by the break-in, my response was the antithesis of awakening. I found a supreme desire to halt all existence; to cut and run, and escape from the cruel realities of the world. It’s been early to bed, easy dinners, unwashed laundry, and a growing Outlander addiction. I’ve let socks stay strewn, and have skipped my usual afterschool responsibilities, preferring to cuddle on the couch with books and blankets. I have seen this self before, and I’ve hovered above her as she stumbled through thick thoughts.
Once, in high school, she skipped school when a rumor took hold and spun around her with a fury. Hiding out in the comfort of quilts, she waited for the clamoring to quiet and her own steady voice to be heard. Several years later, guilt-laden hindsight blared over the whirring noise of a machine and the right, only choice so many women make. She blasted Baduizm to drown out the growls until her own song found its key. Two years ago, on a frigid January evening, she bundled her riotous mind into a packed car together with her child, with nothing but the jangle of a car-seat rattle to tune out her uproarious heart.
Tucked again beneath the covers with an amplified mind dulling all else, I considered all the girls I used to be. Embracing the metamorphosis from girl to woman to mother has meant walking the path from searching to whole, seeking being, and has been as numbing as it has been enlivening. In some ways, the comfort of solitude has obscured the realities. Perhaps, in this moment, the universe was provoking me, urging me to halt the escape, turning instead into the fears and owning the chaos. Or perhaps the mirror of motherhood has only now allowed my reflection to be examined. Perhaps I’ve chosen this before without knowing.
I am a believer of magic and serendipity. I seek beauty in the space between words and find peace in the flecks of dust which rest upon a beam of light. I am not a minimalist. I crave the ornate, the lavish, and the embellished. I bask in excess, obsessing over crowded shelves and decadent window displays. To be forced free of that which is yours is a supreme upheaval, to be sure, but I must own that I was uniquely unfit to let go. I wish for my child to take from me, above all else, an awareness of the true, ever-present, naturally occurring M A G I C which lives around each of us. I wish for her to recognize the beautiful light which glows and emanates from every being, and to deeply love herself in all moments, whatever emotion or circumstance they bring to her heart. And so I turned back to the light of the world, and chose to feel the warmth, so that she may know there is no ending, but rather a continuum to all things.
I am not my belongings. I belong. I am not my best or worst self, nor my most or least cherished possession. I am the sum of all my parts. Consciousness: awareness of the fluidity of thought, and perhaps of being as well.
Healing Mantras and Sound Affirmations
From Ancient Greece to sixteenth century England, indigenous peoples the world over, each place in between and ever after, humans seek to find peace and serenity in sounds. Be it song, mantra, prayer, music, or quiet breath, the healing nature of sounds can alleviate inner dissonance and nurture spiritual harmony.
Mantra is derived from the Sanskrit words manas, or “mind,” and trai, “to protect” or “to set free from.” Mantras are energy-based sounds that, when combined with intention, increase physical and spiritual benefits. Mantras help us to overcome what we may have accidentally picked up or unintentionally accumulated in this life or past life in our karma. We may heal various physical, emotional, and spiritual conditions of our karmic inheritance through the chanting of mantras. The process can clear blockages in our chakras, allowing them to function effectively, and attracting energy from dormant femininity. Chanting may also draw upon external energy in the air around our physical being. Ultimately, chanting mantras may allow our chakras to become engaged and function at a higher level, awakening our natural energy and power, and transforming our consciousness.
· When chanting your mantras, set a specific place and time to practice. I use the several minutes while my coffee brews, before my daughter awakens, while my mind is still foggy and I am stepping into myself. In this time, I expect to be undisturbed – no phone calls or outside noise – and I can focus on my own being.
· You may choose to hold a mala or special item. Many people may store the item away to be used only during the practice, but I choose to wear my item when I’m not practicing. It helps me focused during the day and balanced otherwise.
· Spiritual diaries can be extremely powerful, especially for those who see or hear things during your meditations to which you may want to refer to later on. I am terrible at journaling in a daily sense, and so my shelves are filled with books which span years and selves. I love this about me, and find it deeply satisfying to know I exist somewhere, though I do not always return to them.
· I do not speak aloud, nor do I speak Sanskrit. I repeat my mantras again and again in my mind, focusing on each ‘sound’ and element of the phrase. I move through sun saluations easily, as I try each letter and piece on for size, rolling the words around in my brain, allowing them to be my singular focus. When I am closing my practice, I repeat my mantra once in a whisper voice so that I may marry my internal self with the external world. This works for me. Do what works for you.
· The only true rule: be intentional about this healing act. Know you deserve it, and cultivate the healing within yourself.
Om Shanti Om
(ohm | shahn-tee | ohm)
“Om, Dynamic Peace, Om.”
Hung Vajra Peh
(hoong | vahj-rah | pay)
“By the power of will, through the spoken word, I invoke the thunderbolt of my mind.”
Hrim Shrim Klim
(hreem | shreem | kleem)
“Salutations to the Supreme Feminine.”
Shante Prashante Sarva Bhaya Upasha Mani Swaha
(shan-teh | prah-shan-teh | sahr-vah | bhah-yah | oo-pah-sha | mah-nee | swah-ha)
“Invoking supreme peace I offer [surrender] the quality of fear to its source in the higher and formless universal mind.”
As my mind has hushed in the recent days, I find these soft phrases repeating, breaking cracks in the frustrations of personal invasion, and allowing light to pour in. I am no expert, no teacher, or authority. I am merely a woman seeking healing in all steps, and soaking in the knowledge I have gained. May these words bless you in your time of need, and steady you against the noisy world.