Creative Connections & Client Communications
Counseling Insights May 31, 2006Creating a Mantra
The word mantra keys the mind: how to think about something specific, usually in a helpful, remedial way. Complementary ideas like “I think, therefore I am,” “You are what you think”, and “the mind leads the way” come immediately … to mind.
Many of our essays in the Counseling department on this site deal with summarization, conclusions drawn and crystallized in the last five minutes or so of the consultation. Clients are able to take something with them that captures the development and fulfillment of the consultation. The idea may be very, very simple, but it is completely individualized and memorable in the light of the consultation just concluded.
One lady client grew up in a family atmosphere that was seriously mother-problematic. Deep self-worth problems were formed and anchored within development; there was anxiety about being lovable, and adult relationships suffered. Aloneness in adult life was certainly not helping to restore ego-strength.
An essential therapy would be to reaffirm identity somehow and give the Self recognition. I found corroboration through the lady’s peregrine Jupiter in Aries. In its unaspected condition, Jupiter—her need for reward-- needed to express itself, to rise up and scream in ego terms!
This lady’s reward needs would be best couched in terms of how important and fine she was in her work and in her person. No one had ever told her this enough; no one was telling her now; she was ‘the only person available’ to do the telling.
We talked about the power of self-persuasion; about the power of self-confirmation and mind reinforcement. We invented a mantra, a short statement she could repeat aloud every single day; speaking into a mirror; smiling, proud, that would state her importance and strength. This energy would stay with her and build back confidence and stature. –Recall Muhammad Ali’s famous mantra (though, in his case, probably more promotional than personal): “I am the greatest!”
Sure, there was humor about all this; devising such a mantra is really a self-conscious thing to do. But when I suggested she practice it with me, saying the mantra directly to me then and there, there was no problem whatsoever … it was naturally Jupiterian, and we secured the premise and promise within her consciousness.
Another lady was raised similarly with all-pervasive mother problems. She grew up knowing she was “not wanted.” She married a man with similar mother concerns; they lived initially with her mother. –Much more took place in the lady’s adult activity that inhibited her energies to take action in her life [Mars in Libra quindecile the Nodal axis, opposed by Saturn, and more]. The mother was always, always there.
We saw the necessity to break away from the debilitating routine. We invented a mantra that talked about new energy, without the mother having any part of it. –It’s exciting to me now, still, as I recall it. We can just think how highly probable it is that the mantra will help her change the course of her life!
To create a mantra: 1) Know what you want said and confirmed daily in your client’s mind. 2) Formulate that thought-directive strongly with the fewest possible words (and it is helpful if there is a rhyme involved). 3) Engage your client’s understanding, appreciation, and involvement with the mantra. There should be minimal editing (thanks to your preparation), but involving the client is important indeed; he or she takes possession of the mantra.
Ask the client (with a smile) to say it to you, with conviction. Do that two or three times, and you will already see delight and new strength in their face!
A young man was diffident about getting the right job for his conspicuous talents. He was reticent; self-deprecating. His speech and mannered presence showed it.
To prepare for interviews that would increase his energy and directness, I offered him the mantra, “I want this job; they can count on me!” --Imagine how that feels, showing the energy employers love to hear [It’s amazing how people applying for jobs so very often don’t ask for the job!]. The repetition each day, puts a different light in the eyes.
Another man in the same predicament –his job hunt hampered by a lack of confidence that he would be listened to: George had a great sense of humor; he used it artfully to cover over his private sorrows about himself. He understood this within the context of our consultation, and I then offered him a mantra, “Never fear! GEORGE is here. I CAN DO THIS JOB!” --Within his sensitivity to humor, he would be building a confidence that would shine better than ever before, without any doubt.
A man having tremendous difficulty with his wife: we discovered he was not listening to what she had to say, no matter how painful he anticipated what she would say would be. He interrupted her continuously. –We understood why. We created a mantra that would help him with his cool, and turn the relationship into sunnier communications: “I promise us both: I will listen and be fair.”
Try saying these mantras aloud yourself [in a strong voice; best, into a mirror]! Even though they belong to others, you will feel their effect. Share the power.
Next update: June 30, 2006