I’m half way plus a day through my 40-day mantra practice, and I’ve gotten way into it. It feels a lot less like a chore these days than it did at the beginning, which I suppose makes sense given that it takes about 21ish days for an [easy] change in your routine to become a habit.
Now, instead of feeling like it’s something I have to do (I forgot to mention in the first installment that if I miss a day at any point during the 40-day period, I have to START OVER FROM DAY 1), I see it as something I get to do (most days, anyway…occasionally I still feel like I’m doing it just to get it done). It’s actually been pretty nice to disappear into my bedroom for 15-20 minutes every night with no distractions—no phone, no TV, no cats, no background noise—and just be with myself, my mala, and my mantras. (I also use this time as an excuse to turn the heat on, which has been extra nice!)
The practice also definitely seems to be working. Whether or not it’s a psychosomatic thing is a question that’s been bouncing around in my head, but I honestly don’t care. I wanted to feel creative and enjoy writing for myself again—and now I am. I wanted to feel like I had more time to do all the things I like doing—and now I do, more often than not. So what does it matter if the mantras themselves are actually responsible for the changes, or if it’s all in my head? As long as the desired results are achieved, it’s a win in my book.
I won’t bore you with all of the entries in my practice journal from the past two weeks, but here are some of them—from my wordier days—if you’re interested:
Tuesday, 12.29.15–Day 9 54-108-54. Shouldn’t have had so much to drink after snowboarding; not sober enough to practice until late. BUT! Earlier at work, I started chanting the Ganesha mantra to myself when I wasn’t sure how I was going to get a project done…then one of the other girls involved in the project came over to tell me what actually needed to be done and it was WAY easier than we thought. Coincidence, or something more…?
Wednesday, 12.30.15–Day 10 108 repetitions each. I like that this practice gives me an excuse to turn on the heat in the bedroom, but I’d still like it a lot more if I had a true yoga space. (Come onnnn, house!) Also, haven’t really been feeling the Saturn mantra the last few days. I wonder if it’s like asana practice, where the poses you don’t like are the ones you “need”?
Friday, 01.01.16–Day 12 Whoa. After finishing this morning’s 10K under an hour (not fast, even by standards, but sub-1:00 was all I wanted today anyway), learning and chanting the long-form Gayatri mantra with everyone at Forever Yoga this afternoon, and finishing my mantra practice (108 repetitions each) tonight, I’m feeling reeeaaalllll zen. The new year is off to a pretty good start if you ask me.
Wednesday, 01.06.16–Day 17 54-108-54 + 1 Gayatri. I’ll have to start doing this in the morning (or shift something else to the morning) on days I go practice teach with Dad and Landra. Not enough time to do a full mala for each and do everything else in my nightly routine. (At least I had the foresight to do French and Spanish practice this morning!)
Thursday, 01.07.16–Day 18 108 repetitions each + 1 Gayatri. Tried to keep my eyes closed the whole time tonight. Still don’t love it and prefer using a drishti instead. But I guess it wasn’t totally horrible, and I’ll probably get over it by the end of the 40 days. Just gotta keep working at it.
Sunday, 01.10.16–Day 21 108 repetitions each + Gayatri. Suuuper unfocused tonight. Maybe because I was too busy concentrating on/being mad about STILL not being able to breathe like a normal human (seriously, is this stuffy nose situation ever going to go away??). Or maybe because I’m just really tired after a pretty busy weekend. Either way, the practice felt more like a chore than a privilege tonight 😦