What do Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas have in common? Besides being in the United States.
Road, they have lots of road. Apparently, not everyone had the same idea as me this past couple days so I was basically on a free-and-clear highway until I ran into the macho truck idiots with nothing but the wind in my hair, the sweat on my back, and myself. And all that road.
So once the excitement of going off on my first road trip all by myself wore off, I needed something to distract myself from all the perfectly rational scary thoughts such as "Where am I sleeping tonight in the middle of nowhere?" and "Will I get abducted at this next rest stop?" and "Oh my god, this coffee shop is in the heart of the ghetto and I'm gonna get killed and they're going to interview my family and they'll say things like 'She just turned 25!' and 'She was on her way here to start a new life with yoga teacher training!'" I mean, seriously. My thoughts are sinister.
Reading was clearly out of the question. And I couldn't call anyone because all I'd do was babble about how I was going to get kidnapped and raped or gush about the 85 bazillion gorgeous trees I saw in Kentucky. No one wants to hear that.
Then, my thoughts travelled to a mantra I found to help my boyfriend on his 50 mile bike ride. Om Gum Ganapataye Namaha. A mouthful, right? I found it because I thought he'd appreciate having a mantra to focus on when his mind went on autopilot. And if it can help us spiritually, all the better. I found a couple other mantras to work over in my head as I drove. When I found myself getting all worked up whether it was because of traffic or sudden rain or my own spooky thoughts, I returned to one of these mantras to help calm my mind and bring myself back to the present. After all, I'm in a car speeding along at 70+ MPH and there were those stupid macho truck drivers to watch out for.
It's not just for driving. I found myself using a couple of these to help soothe my nerves with my first yoga class for my training program. They helped center me enough to relax and go with the flow. And all that with just a few words? Amazing.
Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha
(OM GAHM GAH-NAH-PAHT-AH-YEI NAM-AH-HA)
"Om and salutations to the remover of obstacles for which Gam is the seed." (Gam is the power sound of Ganesh.) This is a mantra for Ganesh, the elephant-headed god, who is known as the remover of obstacles. This mantra helps calm the chatter in your mind and grounds you.
Om Namah Shivaya
(OM NA-MA SHE-VAA-YA)
"I honor the divinity within myself." This is a mantra to help boost your self-esteem. We have divine energy inside us and remember that in how we treat ourselves. When you are feeling less than whole, this reminds you that you are indeed perfect in its very definition.
I adore this one. It is a mantra to do with your breath. Your inhale makes the sound of "SOOO" and your exhale makes the sound of "HUMMM." It means you are the universe. There is a belief that when a person is born, he or she cries out, koham-koham- "Who am I?" The universe replies, soham-"You are the same as I." The Sanskirt origin this word comes from means "Self-Pride."
When you are feeling overwhelmed or losing control, chanting any of these mantras will help bring you out of that clutter. Will it solve life's problems? I believe with the right state of mind, it can.
Do you have a mantra you like to use?