A Mantra

Recently with the start of my yoga teacher training I’ve been thinking about mantras, and more specifically thinking – should I have one???

A mantra (according to our good friends at Wikipedia) is “a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of “creating transformation”.  The word comes from Sanskrit and consists of the root man- “to think” and the suffix -tra, meaning tools or instruments, translating to “instrument of thought”.
In yoga teacher training we’re going to be starting to explore the practice of meditation and it can be helpful to have a personal mantra to focus on during meditation.  My initial thought was, “I’m not really a mantra type of person…” and then I thought back to a few months ago and a birthday present my husband Jason bought me…

Since I’ve started running and completed my first race a little over a year ago I’ve accumulated a few medals and it was clear I needed a place for them (rather than piling them on the mantle…).  So, Jason wanted to get me a medal rack to hang them on!  We looked through a lot of different options.  There were generic half & full marathon designs…

…there were motivational designs…

…and everything in between, but nothing seemed quite right.  Since there was an option to create a custom design we started trying to think of what really spoke to me and my running journey.  I initially thought maybe I’d have one made that says “BE POSITIVE” which was Kerry’s motto while she was battling cancer (you can read Kerry’s story here, she was a large part of why I started running), but that was Kerry’s, not mine.  I didn’t have my own mantra…or so I thought.

It was Jason who pointed out that I did have a something of my own. Something that was an instrument of thought and “created transformation” in my journey from 1 mile all the way through 26.2…

It’s perfect.  I hadn’t even realized it, but it’s what I repeated to everyone that asked me why I was training for a marathon, “I wanted to challenge myself”.

“Challenge Yourself”.  It’s my mantra.

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7 thoughts on “A Mantra

  1. Danielle….
    reading your blog is one of the most “moving” parts of my day….. I look forward to them and following you on your incredible journey…. and learning from you.
    love….dad

    • : ) Thanks, what a nice compliment!

      I really love writing it and documenting everything not only to share, but to have to look back on.

  2. Challenge yourself – what a great mantra! I like the idea of having my own mantra – I need to think about what mine would be.

    • It’s funny, when I tried to think of what my mantra would be myself I couldn’t come up with anything, but to my husband it was obvious…I guess I wasn’t really listening to what I was telling people! Now whenever I “challenge” myself to something I feel much more accountable to myself to push through it and make sure it gets done!

  3. I was always one of those kids who lied about what lap I was on in gym class. Then my friend asked me if I wanted to run in the Princess 1/2 with her this past February. As someone who never ran, I started laughing and then started thinking, well, if I was ever going to do something like this, Disney World would be the place for me. I began training almost a year out (just so I could run for 1/2 an hour straight). Not only did I manage to cross the finish line in February, but I’m about to do the Wine and Dine next month. I want to try and do the Goofy for it’s 10th anniversary in 2015 (I hope to be at a 9 min mile by then). The point is, I get down and discouraged about my ability, or inability rather and it was just really great and encouraging reading this. And “challenge yourself” is exactly why I did/I’m doing this 🙂

    sorry, you definitely didn’t need all that gibberish. The last sentence probably would have been sufficient lol

    • Congratulations on the Princess Half! And please, don’t apologize about the long comment, it’s so nice to know when others can identify with an experience I write about. I get discouraged sometimes too, I think we all have good and bad running days, but I try to remember how amazing crossing the finish line is and how far I’ve come! I’ll be at the Wine & Dine half this year too…please say hello if you happen to see me!

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