Since my birthday is so close to the new year, I have been writing birthday mantras (statements of “I am…”) for the last several years in replacement of New Year resolutions (which I’m not a fan of but I do like mantras). These mantras have helped me own my life as well as recognize and appreciate the growth from year to year. Lots of growth, lots of changes since I began this practice. To catch up, you can read last year’s.
This year I add three more:
I am content.
Resisting life brings suffering and who needs that? So being content is important to me. That means I am trying to be content even when I’m discontent–accepting each moment for what it is and not “shoulding” it away (resistance). For me, contentment comes by way of mindfulness and realigning myself with authenticity. For so long I was dissociated with myself and I suffered a lot as a result. But I am really coming to know and accept myself as I have never before. I am coming to accept my journey and seeing the beauty just in seeking to live true to myself. It’s a healing experience to simply accept the ride. Acceptance has the power to bring me contentment rather than resisting and trying to fight events outside of my control. (This does not mean I don’t effect change when change is needed but I seek to find contentment with whatever IS in the present moment while working toward solutions.)
I am the source.
I am the source of the stories I tell myself about myself and others. This may seem simple but think about the power of this. Because I am the source of my stories, I am also the source of my dissatisfaction and these are based on the stories I tell myself. One of the greatest sources of my dissatisfaction is the story I traditionally have told myself about how I should not be experiencing suffering in any given moment. My stories also have traditionally told me that if I am suffering, something is wrong. But the truth is that the very fact I am experiencing life means that I will also experience suffering and dissatisfaction from time to time. This is normal and 100% okay!!
I am also the source for understanding my own mind. In that, I am my greatest teacher. I am it. I am the source of my suffering. I am the source of my joy. It’s all me. I am my own best friend. I am my own worst enemy. I am the captive one in the jail of my own mind but I’m also the jailer who holds the key to unlock the prison cell.
I am human.
How impressive is that? But I find this pretty cool because this core statement reminds me that I am connected to everyone else. I don’t stand alone and neither do you. I find peace in the interconnectness of humanity. I feel a oneness knowing I’m part of one great whole—I’m human just like all of you. What being human means to me is that if there is honesty (a letting go), we can all relate to the experiences of living. Being human means we all belong. We all play a part. We all matter. We are more alike than we are different. We are united in our human experience, with no one really superior or inferior because when we reduce it to the least-common denominator, we are all just HUMAN—and I love knowing that!
So here’s to another great year of living!