Wednesday, August 26, 2020

My Mantras

A few years ago, when the phrase “YOU CAN DO IT” was used by Nike and repeated by lots of others, I decided to adopt it for my own. I know, a mantra is supposed to be “OHM” and to be chanted in the Lotus position. I cannot achieve that asana, haven’t been able to since my knee surgery several years ago. I still do it, but a modified version. However, my own personal Yoga session just involves deep breathing and an attempt at mind-clearing, no mantra.

A jade Buddha my husband brought home from Korea

So where did I use YOU CAN DO IT? At the end of each journal entry. I call them my Daily Pages, which I got from…somewhere. I do them M-F so I don’t feel like I have to write them every day. It’s my log book, part diary, part what I’ve accomplished in the last day (or weekend), and what I hope to get done that day. It’s the first thing I do in my work day, so the exhortation at the end of my writing serves to propel me into and through the day.

Laughing Buddha also from Korea (he squeaks when you push his belly)

This mantra served me well when I went through a period where I thought I might not be able to do it. During my husband’s decline and after his death, it helped to tell myself that every day.

Prayer stick my son and daughter-in-law left for my husband in Thailand

The temple in Thailand

Before that, I used things like PERSIST and ONWARD. I started YCDI in 2010, actually, and kept it for a long time. Intermittently I used DON’T QUIT NOW, YOU'RE ON THE WAY, GOING GOOD, LET'S GO! In 2014, I used OFF TO THE RACES, since that was the Year of the Horse. I used some others for the Chinese years, coming back to YCDI.

In 2019 I used these two:

Full moon in May

This year I’m using:

And this one from, which my friend Daryl Wood Gerber tells me a lot:

My tea in a cup from a trip to see my cousin in Seattle

I know, that’s not really what a mantra is, but it’s mine and I call it that.

What do you do to encourage yourself? To get you through the day?

All photos are mine.


  1. Whether we admit it or not, I think mantras (sayings, thoughts, whatever we want to call them) can help us all get through the bad times/things in life.

    My mantra is kind of long because it's a combination of two quotes I read years ago. It's been so long I don't even remember where I read them.

    Here it is: Dare to be bad. It takes more courage to try and fail, than not to try at all.

    1. I don't know why I never saw this last month, but I see it now. Very good thoughts!