Much of my life until the age of 39 was plagued by doubt, insecurity, fear, and worry. From an initial groundwork that was laid by my parents who suffered similar traits, I grew up demonstrating most of their same behaviors. Until last year, I believed there was no ability for me to ever change those characteristics that were so deeply imbedded within me. Our minds and bodies are like computers which can be programmed and reprogrammed. Through repeated work and fine tuning, I believe that all the “bugs” can be worked out of any computer programs that were written long ago within each of us. One of those tools that I have found to help immensely achieve this, is mantras.
By definition a “mantra” is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of creating a desired transformation within one’s own being through repetition. I was probably exposed to mantras long ago when I went into psychotherapy just after quitting drinking and drugs and finding my first year of sobriety passing me by. Therapists might not have used the word mantra back then, but I was told that when a thought arose which was not a desired one, to combat it by verbalizing the exact opposite or desired one. Unfortunately, as mentioned in a previous entry, I was always looking for quick fixes and after a few attempts to combat the thoughts, I resorted to taking medications that suppressed them instead. Over the years, the medications had to change as my body stopped responding to them and the unwanted thoughts returned.
Last year when the pain was so severe within me on every level, and I no longer was finding relief through medications, I made a pledge to myself to start practicing mantras every day with the belief that it was changing me inside. I knew I didn’t become the way I was overnight and I knew some of the programs written within me probably had to be completely redone. Because of this, I maintained the attitude that it was going to take time and patience. I wrote up a list in a word document of mantras that covered the areas of my life most troublesome throughout all of it. And I decided to add an element to my daily repetition of them that came to me as an idea one day. I know that repeated visual images can induce change as well so I bought a kaleidoscope and I began to use it while I recited each mantra. Three times in one eye. Three times in the other. Then three times back in the first eye. And finally three times back in the other.
My list today has grown to 24 different mantras. I spend somewhere between 35 and 45 minutes every morning saying them again and again and again. It’s been over 9 months now since I undertook this new addition to my spiritual journey. Have I seen changes to those old programs and tapes? Absolutely. It didn’t happen overnight just as I thought it wouldn’t. The changes were subtle and as time moved forward, I noticed I was having better thoughts, choosing more positive actions, and making better decisions in all areas of my life. I continually tweak this list making updates to it as my life evolves closer to God.
My main desire in all of this is to erase each of those old lines of code within me that were written in an inefficient language I no longer desire to use. I don’t assume there is an endpoint to this daily mantra routine. I just know there will be change to the list as I continue to heal and become a healthier servant of God.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson