Choosing mantras for my pranayama, as you do.

If you’ve been with me for a bit, you know that I’ve been a little floopy lately with nose hoops and yoga and meditation and breathing and cat adoptions and power greens. (A side effect of my migraine preventative is impulsivity. So far, my impulses have led me toward more good than evil (also more olive oil than canola), which I believe is a natural inclination for me. I haven’t had a dead guy in my trunk for nearly two decades. (At this moment in time, my trunk is filled with old magazines and hot sauce, so I don’t really have room for People Who Need To Hide/Be Hidden.))

Bob Dylan once said, “Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you’d like to act.” Several other people have said similar things. Hell, before I even read the Dylan quote I used to try to dress like Amélie with the hope that I would eventually BECOME Amélie. Just forget the Dylan quote. (Don’t really forget it. Unless you want to. I’m not your boss.)

In November of last year, a good friend of mine sent this to me and it resonated:


I’ve probably read that quote at least 50 times in the past two months and I love it because it seems to expand on something I read several months back that asked: How different would life be if we focused on all of our senses the same way we focus on the sense of taste? Also, if I protect my time and keep good sentences in my ears will I eventually become the natural fiber wearing drama free relaxed motivator that I want to be? (What I want to be is begging for some hyphens, but I’m okay without for now.) I WANT to be a good steward of my gifts after I determine what my gifts are. I NEED to avoid too much noise.

I feel like I’m all over the place right now. Let’s just slow down a little and hang out in Tuesday for a bit.

On Tuesday morning I met up with a friend for a yoga session at a church and it looked a little something like this:

It was peaceful and perfect and it was exactly where I needed to be on Tuesday morning. Afterwards, despite the below freezing temperatures, we walked a nearby labyrinth.


(My friend is a photographer. The friend who shared the Kenyon quote is also a photographer. Both are talented and authentic and I really love knowing the people I know. You’re one of those people, you know.)

While walking the labyrinth I thought about David Bowie (obviously) and I thought about a friend whose husband recently died and I thought about how I could see my breath and how much things have changed (for everyone) in the past three years.

After the labyrinth, we enjoyed lunch at The Hot Pot where my friend told me about her chosen word for 2016. Every year she (and every member of her family) chooses a word for guidance through the next 365 days. The word she chose for 2015 was what led to us hanging out and becoming friends nearly a year ago. I won’t share her words because they’re her words, but I will say that I went home that afternoon completely jazzed about choosing a word for myself (or two words, and the reason I say “or two words” is because I chose two words. There are no rules!).

My primary word for 2016?

My secondary word for 2016?

This year I’m going to focus on letting things go. Grudges. Toxic relationships. Guilt. Stress about things that aren’t under my control. Anything I might do that could harm someone or something. Anything I might do to harm myself.

I’m also going to focus on lifting others up and to control my tendency to sit back and watch.

The combination of releasing and inspiring also connotes exhalation and inhalation.

I own seven pairs of Birkenstocks and I’m trying really hard to not use the word Journey.

What will your 2016 word be? (My tertiary word is Burrito.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

10 thoughts on “Choosing mantras for my pranayama, as you do.”

  1. Love the idea of a word for guidance! Could help to focus a lot of things in my life and boy do I need that! Thanks for inspiring me and always holding my attention. Few people do that for me!

  2. This year I’m going to focus on letting things go. Grudges. Toxic relationships. Guilt. Stress about things that aren’t under my control. Anything I might do that could harm someone or something. Anything I might do to harm myself.

    The above will surely bring peace to your life, but don’t forget to be a good steward as that is what our Lord asks us to be. Don’t worry about what gifts you might have as they are there. And as you focus on becoming a good steward they will surface without you trying. Bless you youngun.

  3. Good thought to think! Thank you! You’ve INSPIRED me. I can tell that idea will be hanging around my brain til I come up with something.

  4. I don’t have a word, but you Inspired me to do yoga camp and I love it and I wrote about it in a post that I’m not publishing until Wednesday.

  5. My word for 2016 is Grace; the definition I like is “the exercise of love, kindness or goodwill.” I really like release….maybe two words is the way to go!

  6. I don’t have a word for this year, but I might borrow yours from time to time. To my surprise, I have found myself in the last year or two carrying grudges, and I’m fairly sure this practice is corrosive to the soul. So I’m trying to let them go. I have two mantras I’m trying to keep in mind. One is “You don’t know what you don’t know,” which is helpful in stemming my tendency to judge or make assumptions based on few or no facts. The other is “write back.” I’ve been hurt recently by two friends who never returned calls/texts/emails and seemingly don’t have much interest in our friendship any more (of course, I don’t know for sure what’s going on with them–“you don’t know what you don’t know” etc.). So it’s become important to me to promptly write back (call back/text back) friends who have reached out to me.

  7. My word(s) for 2016 are “Avoid confirmation bias” because I realize that I succumb to it frequently. Also, I long ago read something similar to the Dylan quote and it has stuck with me: “Be careful who you pretend to be, because that is who you will become.” It has worked for me: I have pretended to be a good and kind person and everyone thinks I am! (They don’t know about the bodies I have hidden in my car trunk ;-) )

  8. I’ve been choosing a word for the year for over 20 years now. Some I hold onto for the whole year. Others I forget ask most as soon as I’ve chosen them and only figure out how they impacted my year when I see them again on January 1st.
    This years word is DELIGHTFUL. Yes all in caps.

  9. My 2016 word / feeling is EXPANSIVE

    To me, it encompasses feeling comfortable with myself, generous with others, and a sense of abundance rather than scarcity.

  10. Love this! I’m currently participating in 4 week “My One Word” study by Mike Ashcroft with a women’s group at church. My word for 2016 is PAUSE. I tend to take on too much at work, and tend to have too short of a fuse with my 12 year old son who has ADHD. This year I will PAUSE before reacting too quickly to my son and will PAUSE and think to myself, “is this really something that is my responsibility, or should someone else be doing it?”.

    The word Selah is used 71 times in the book of Psalms, and it basically translates to “pause and reflect”. Perfect.

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