One of my favorite yoga teachers taught a simple but powerful mantra in one of the many wonderful classes I’ve taken from him:
Thank you (on the inhale)
Bless you (on the exhale)
Try it– Thank you…….. Bless you…….
I liked it in class–nice message. Easy to remember. Rhythmic. Good sentiment.
But it wasn’t until later that it became significant to me, that it became mine.
The first time I remember using the mantra outside of the studio was in a doctor’s office. I had completed my first mammogram (ouch!) and ultrasound and was waiting for the doctor to come in talk to me.
I waited and waited. I didn’t suspect that anything was wrong… lumpy boob syndrome was my self -diagnosis, but there was time to kill and I needed somewhere to direct my attention so I leaned back on the table, took deep breaths, thanked and blessed.
As it turns out, I got bad news that day and so I’ve had the opportunity to use my mantra in many a hospital bed, surgical prep room, and recovery ward as well as on airplanes, in line at the grocery store, at acupuncture and reflexology appointments and in the privacy of my own home. Thank you. Bless you. Thank you. Bless you. It makes me feel calm, it grounds me, it helps me slow down and smell the roses.
The first phrase is gratitude. It’s appreciation for the gifts I’ve received great and small and for the people who have offered them to me. The second phrase is spreading good vibes—giving. It is sending out prayers, white light, well-wishes, kindness.
Sometimes I’m specific—I’m acknowledging a specific person or practice, a broader people (thanks Billy, Jane, doctors, nurses, friends, family, etc.) or a segment (bless people in need, people who are helping, people who are trying), but most often it is completely general—as if just saying the words is enough to get the message to the appropriate people without me having to name or identify them in any way. Some crazy notion that just thinking the thoughts could make a difference to myself, to my dear friends or to people I’ve never met half way around the world… crazy, I know.
Or is it?
Does the thought that someone could be sending you good vibes at this very moment, thinking loving thoughts about you or appreciating the difference you have made in their life warm your heart? If every person on the planet sent a virtual “kindness care package” to someone else—anyone else on the planet every day, would it affect world peace? My answer is unequivocally YES to both!
So I offer to share my mantra with you… Thank you. Bless you. I hope it brings peace and joy to you, your family, your community, your nation, and your world!