Our second car is a beater Ford with a ghetto stock radio. No cd player and the tape player (yes I still own a cassette tape or two, including Bel Biv DeVoe POIIIISONNNNN) no longer works. So radio it is for me, quite sadly. Unless you love to hear the same hip-hop and pop songs over and over again, the radio station selection in Spokane is less than desirable. There used to be one good indie type station but I guess Spokane decided they needed more than 20 pop stations because it was quickly taken over by Rihanna, Pitbull and Nicki Minaj. The months following were an absolute radio nightmare with annoying jingles for the Coeur d'Alene Casino and Banner Fuel.
Then one day by chance, I found PRX: Public Radio Remix. If you want to check it out you can listen to it right here. I was sucked in by a story they aired with a fabulous montage of "moon" songs and I haven't touched the dial since. This station is the artsy side of NPR...they air all sorts of informative stories including Ted Talks...it's 24/7 radio food for thought. I've heard stories about Pruitt Igoe, street performers in Washington D.C., poetry slams, etc. One story aired that I haven't been able to stop thinking about featured a woman who travels the country in a mantra-mobile...inviting those she meets to share their mantra, if they have one. I started wondering what I would share if the mantra-mobile ended up on the streets of Spokane?
My brother and I didn't grow up with anything that could remotely be considered "new-age". My dad strictly forbade me from reading my horoscope, yoga wasn't a word in my vocab until I was 17, and even vitamins were considered "hippy"...so the topic of mantras was never discussed. I guess my first memorable mantra experience was circa 1993 with SNL's Stuart Smalley...
The insecure teenager I was laughed at the idea of someone using words to build themselves up...sending words out to the universe? HA! I'm pretty sure I made a "W" shape on my forehead and scoffed, "what-ever" in my best valley girl accent!
Little did I know if we tell ourselves something long enough we will believe it; good or bad. We all know someone who has a poor self image because of negative statements made towards them, by themselves or others. I've known super-talented-uber-gorgeous-special-unique-beautiful people who have no idea how AMAZING they are because they don't believe in themselves. I know women who tell themselves repeatedly that they are "fat" when they have gorg bods. I know people who don't pursue their dreams because they think they are too old or not smart enough. It's really sad. People laugh at the thought of telling themselves how special, smart, beautiful they are...but they shouldn't...we shouldn't...those words have the power to create transformation which is what a mantra is all about.
One of the many things I want to teach my son is the power words have to hurt or heal, to build up or tear down, to console or torment. I want him to understand that what we say to ourselves is just as important as what we say to others. Our words can shape our attitudes and the way we see others and the way we treat others. SO my mantra and the one I want to share with my son is "All is Full of Love"...plucked from the lyrics of one of my all time favorite songs by Bjork, or by any artist for that matter.
Over the years I've become a bit of a cynic and I laugh when I find out people think of me as a "Suzy Sunshine"...which is why this mantra is so perfect for me because when I get a negative attitude towards others or even when I start picking on myself I say these kind and loving words and instead of brooding, I.STOP. Even if it's just for a minute...I.STOP. These words force me to attempt to empathize with others...it doesn't work all the time-probably not even half the time...still. Sometimes it allows me to forgive myself...sometimes it wakens the little inner voice that says, "quit being so hard on yourself...if you don't have something nice to say to yourself..."
All because of five little WORDS...aren't words amazing? What's your mantra?????