Before I get into today’s post, I want to extend a huge thank you to all of you. Last week I got more personal than usual here on IBC with my Sun-Dried Tomatoes post. The number of comments, messages, and emails I received in response to that post was beyond anything I ever expected. Before hitting “publish,” I had every intention of responding to all of the messages I received, but I was totally overwhelmed as they poured in. So while it’s impossible for me to reply to each of you (I hope you understand.), I do want you to know how much I appreciated your ideas, insights, and words of wisdom. Even if you offered no advice, just knowing that you cared enough to read my thoughts meant so much to me. My deepest thanks to all of you!

For those who may be wondering, I think I might have a plan (thanks in large part to all of your input)! What I’m thinking of doing seems like the perfect solution to all of my issues. It will give me the larger city life I crave, while still allowing me to keep my home in St. Marys. Plus, the ability to purchase my grandparents’ home will still be an option and things should work with my kitties, too. And, as a added bonus, it will open up new ideas to share here on IBC.

I’m still mulling things over and trying to figure out some of the logistics, but I will certainly pop back in and share more when the time is right.

Again, thank you all so much. Having a place like this to share is awesome in itself, but having a community that responds with so much love and support is beyond incredible.

Developing a Mantra | Inspired by Charm

As I mentioned in that post, I’ve consulted a professional in an attempt to get my head where it needs to be. While I’ve talked to my doctor in the past and have used medication to help, I never felt “good” about that. To me, it always felt like a temporary fix rather than a real solution.

So, I did a little research and found a therapist nearby who teaches Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Based on what I’ve read about it, this approach seemed like something that might work for me. I’ve only had a couple of appointments, so if you want more information on this type of therapy, feel free to do an online search. Also, I don’t pretend to be an expert on this (clearly I’m not); I’m just sharing my journey. Everyone has his/her own path to happiness, so there is no judgment if yours is different from mine.

Anyway, on my last appointment, I was given the homework of reciting a “thought to practice,” also known as a mantra. (For those who might not know, a mantra is a thought that one repeats silently during meditation.)

There is a deeper explanation, but in essence, the brain starts to believe what it is told over and over again. My issue is that for years, I’ve basically been telling my brain that I’m not good enough. (The “not good enough” encompasses a bunch of things.) And because of my job and social media, this message has gotten more intense in recent years.

After a deeper discussion, I was given the following thought to repeat to myself: “I am a fallible human being, and I make mistakes just like everyone else. Therefore, I’m worthy of love and respect just like everyone else.”

This thought is to be repeated 30 times a day for 30 days. The idea is that the more you say and think it, the more your brain starts to believe it.

This mantra can be repeated at any point throughout the day, but it has more of an impact when you incorporate as many senses as possible. For example, you could repeat it while on a walk, say it to yourself every time you look in a mirror, or opt to say it instead of snacking on that donut that only momentarily makes you feel better.

I’m sure this sounds like a bunch of bunk to some folks. However, it makes sense to me, and it’s totally worth a shot. At this point, I’ve got nothing to lose. Unlike in the past, I’m giving this all my effort in hopes of improving myself and adding a bit more happiness to my life.

The interesting thing about all of this is that it’s really not a new concept. Being a self-help book junkie, I’ve read about the benefits of this practice time and time again. In fact, Alison of The Alison Show, sort of touched on it in her recent podcast (Episode 8.) She has been using a similar concept (while also including gratitude) in her exercise and weight-loss journey. It’s totally working for her. (I haven’t listened to all of her episodes, but I do recommend that one if you have time for a quick listen.)

After using my assigned mantra for a few days, I decided to tweak it a bit. What I was given didn’t really roll off the tongue for me. So, I’ve changed it to: “I am a fallible human being worthy of love and respect. And I love myself.” It’s a bit shorter and easier for me to say while still communicating the same message to my brain. Because of this, I now find myself saying this mantra even more.

Not everyone struggles with the feeling of not being enough, so each person’s mantra will be different. If you want to give this a go, take some time to reflect on what’s a struggle for you and then create a mantra to suit. Googling “motivation mantras” might provide a jumping-off point.

Whether this will work for me is still to be determined, but I intend to give it a try. I’ll pop back in around 30 days and let you know what shakes out and maybe offer some more insight. Here’s hoping!

Do you use a mantra in your daily life? Or have you done so in the past? What effects have you seen?

 

*I’ll probably be sharing more personal posts here on IBC on Saturday and Sunday. (Yes, Behind the Charm is going away. It didn’t really “work,” so nothing’s lost.) If you’re just here for yummy recipes, creative DIYs, interior inspiration, and tips for entertaining, then just join me Monday through Friday. However, if you’d like a more personal look at my life, then join me on the weekend as well. Thanks!

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Comments

  • K at

    Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a life changer. Been at it myself for 10+ years. There are still hard periods and dark days, but I now know there’s nothing I can’t handle. I hope it’s just as successful for you Michael. Sending love!

  • Teri Giese at

    Everyone can benefit from the good old fashioned PMA,or Positive Mental Attitude.As a Mom to 4 daughters;and at 55 years young;it saddens me that as women,we just can not be supportive.My youngest is 19,and she has such a rough time with female friends.Many have no interpersonal skills and struggle at minimal functionalities.Love yourself first,be selfish;in a good way.Surround yourself with the best of people.Do what is fulfilling and utilize your natural talents,you have many!?Best Everything to You!!❤️

  • Patti at

    Michael I am so impressed by all of your posts. You are very, very talented in so many ways. And sharing your personal journeys here must not be easy. But I can promise you that you are very worthy of love and respect. Best of luck to you!!

  • Debra at

    Back in the day, the mantra was “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” Hugs to you, Michael!

  • Patricia at

    I missed the sun dried tomato post so clicked back and read it. I’m glad I did. You’re doing important work starting with yourself. I’ve just finished an interesting book by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, “Designing Your Life” which seems to cover exactly the points you’re mulling over (except career, you’ve got that covered).
    I’m retired so I’m pondering what the rest of my life will be like. How to fill it with events and projects I’ll find meaningful and emotionally satisfying.
    Let’s both dream big and create the lives we want to live.

  • Talia at

    I very much believe in seeking help when needed and am so glad you did! I went to therapy years ago and it was truly some of the best money I’ve ever spent. Thank you for sharing your story and journey with us. You are so incredibly talented and deserve only the very best life has to offer, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. You are so so worthy!! Sending a big hug!

  • Ronda at

    I have never tried repeating a mantra, but I see no reason why it would not work. I am pleased to hear that you are reaching out and trying something to help. I have had you on my mind and wish only the best for you.

  • Gabby O at

    Welcome to the world of yoga 🙂 We love mantras and setting intentions. I’m excited for what will be revealed while working with a professional as well as what will unfold as transformation begins. Lots of love to you <3

  • Fran at

    Your post reminds me of a book I recently shared with a friend…a REALLY old book-WHAT DO YOU SAY WHEN YOU TALK TO YOURSELF??????

    Similar concept of self talk…….I try to use it when I am doubting myself etc…..
    Hang in there…love your blog.

  • Jason at

    This seems like a good idea to me, interested to see how it works for you! Feel good in that you are doing something to address these things that are bothering you. We all have the chance each day to make a try for something better for ourselves, but sometimes it’s tough not to get bogged down. You are a real guy dealing with real life and we like reading about all aspects work or otherwise! I can relate to a lot of it as I had said in an email one time, so don’t feel it’s only you!

  • Heather at

    “I love and approve of myself.” I got that mantra/affirmation from Louise Hay’s book You can Heal your Life. For me it was a game-changer.

  • Mimi Matthews at

    I’m so happy for you that you are growing and embracing life-style changes to improve!! Good for you. I was 57 years old when I did, so you aren’t wasting years like I did.
    Mantras are a wonderful way to retrain your brain! I call them affirmations, too.

  • stacey at

    I love that you are finding ways to take care of yourself. The cages we build for ourselves are the strongest of all, and I believe it is a universal struggle to face the limits we put on ourselves, love ourselves, and learn how to be content and happy in our lives.Adventure ahead!

  • Vicky C. at

    I recommend a book called “the kind self-healing book” it’s great and has a lot of exercises that really make you realize just how great you are and helps continue your progress to self love, self-help is awesome and this book is a great tool.

  • Raquel at

    My mantra is to embrace each day for what it has in store, and enjoy the people that come with each day. I also start each day with reflection and gratitude. Wishing you the best as you decide which path to take for your next personal chapter in the book of Michael. You are worthy and I thank you for the creative inspiration you create on your blog, it is a beautiful space in a sometimes not so beautiful world.

  • Sandy at

    I say YES to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Over the years, I tried many things to sort things out in my life and two things stand out as most helpful:

    1. Group Therapy – whenever you’re in a group of people with a common issue you find support and solutions – sometimes just knowing you’re not alone is healing.

    2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – Some groups I attended used CBT and this is the most helpful thing I’ve found for me. I use it every day in my life to help change a mood I am feeling or thoughts that are not helpful to my well being. I wish I’d known about it long ago.

    Good luck with your attempts to find a better way.

  • Gwen, The Makerista at

    I’ve been meaning to comment, but life has gotten in the way. I’ve been praying for you this year, friend, and I’m so glad you’ve taken the leap to be more open with us. Hoping you find peace and balance as you search for happiness. Love you!

  • Debbie Lorson at

    You are very brave to spell it out in your blog. Life is hard and it is constantly changing the curve.
    Family is so important but so are you and your happiness. I enjoy your creativity and your blog is so awesome. HANG IN THERE MICHAEL…..the cards will play out. Privately email me your address….I will send sun dried tomatoes. : – ) I also have an available cousin!

  • Erin M at

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I understand it takes a lot of courage to open up like this. I wish you all the best in your new endeavors. I’ve bee a long time reader and love your blog. :0)

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you Erin!

      xo Michael

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