My daughter is in love with a penguin. It’s small and plastic and she lights up when she sees him. If she’s fussy, “pengi” can calm her down. Once we found out that Sandra Boynton wrote a book called My Personal Penguin, we added it to her library. The book’s theme resonates with me as the main character is the child’s number one cheer leader and wants to be with her always. I feel that we could all use a little of that. During my fertility journey, I know I certainly needed support. I’ve been the hopeful new patient at the fertility center, the desperate woman trying to conceive, the happy and anxious pregnant lady, and the elated and anxious new mom. Now, I’m an overextended working mom of two. I’ve utilized lots of coping skills along the way but the one that has been the most consistent are mantras. Mantras are meaningful phrases that you recite to yourself. They can center you as well as instill hope or confidence. They keep things in perspective, much like a good friend whispering affirmations in your ear.
We write more about mantras in our book. Here is an excerpt:
“Pick a mantra that speaks to you and try meditating five minutes a day on it. You can choose a short phrase from spiritual writings or poetry, or you could write your own short phrase. It is important that the mantra reflects your true feelings and also reflects acceptance of your situation. Below are some simple examples:
I whole-heartedly accept things as they are; I understand that they are temporary.
I am taking great care of myself, creating a safe place for my baby.
I will be a mother, I just don’t know how or when yet.
People get pregnant, so will I. It is just taking longer than I like.
Throughout your day, repeat the mantra to yourself, especially when you start to sense stress rising. You can say it, chant it, sing it out loud, whisper it, or you can repeat it silently in your mind. Experiment and find out what’s most effective for you.”
My personal favorite mantra is: “I’m doing the best I can with what I have. With grace and gratitude, I’m moving forward.”
I’m very intentional about the words because so often we blame ourselves for failures when it’s really an impossible situation. It’s important to remember what you are working with. It’s also important to stay thankful for what you have and what is going well. Lastly, we cannot change the past so there is no need to get stuck there.
Spend five minutes now thinking about a mantra that would work for you and write it on a post-it. Place the post-it on your bathroom mirror so you can start your day with it. Remember to refer back to it throughout the day.