What’s Your New Year’s Mantra?

Most of us make New Years resolutions. Promises to make changes…lose weight, make more money, get organized, be happier. Many of us make the same resolutions every year. And for a couple of months, we are committed. And most of us fail to keep our resolutions.

Twelve years ago my husband and I decided to break tradition and choose a Mantra for the year. No more resolutions for us…only Mantras. A word or phrase that summed up the spirit of our intentions for the year.

You may be familiar with mantras as a repetitive prayer chanted to aid meditation. A Sanskrit word meaning “sacred counsel”, a New Year’s Mantra becomes divine guidance for twelve months.

On New Years Eve 2001, we chose our first Mantra–Ease. Everything we did that year was based on Ease. If we were struggling with a decision, we chose Ease and took the path of least resistance. That year was a year of change, big change. Our son graduated high school and went off to college, our daughter started high school, and we moved. We sold our home, a rental property, and gave up the lease on my health care clinic. With layers of real estate contingencies, our decision appeared convoluted, seemingly not one of Ease. It took a lot of faith to let go of everything and relax in the flow.

On a warm spring day in Ventura, I was waiting in my office when a new patient cancelled her two hour consultation. Frustrated without my computer to work on my book, and with two teenagers, there was lots to be done at home, yet I was stuck at my clinic…and then I had a brilliant idea. What if I could have it all? A house for our family, a barn for our horses, and room for my holistic health care practice, so healing and creating would be like eating and breathing? It was time to move.

Eight years before, I had dreamt of a little yellow house with white shutters in a forest. Twice before we tried to sell our old house yet we could not find the perfect place…until the year of Ease.

In 2002, California real estate was hot. Homes were selling in a matter of days at top price, yet not for us. Our real estate agent fussed, my husband worried, but I knew that nothing would sell until we found the perfect place that would fill all of our needs. And I insisted on Ease. I refused to struggle with anything. Only that which presented itself with Ease would do.

Then we found something, not quite perfect, but it would do. Before putting in a bid, we wanted to explore the neighborhood. So we walked our dogs through the beautiful park like Arbolada in Ojai and came across…a little yellow house with white shutters sheltered by trees. With a sale by owner sign right by the mailbox.

“This is it!” I cried, tied the dogs to an oak tree, and knocked on the door.

A woman opened the door, took one look at me, put her hand to her mouth and whispered, “You…you’re the one who’s supposed to live here!”

I nodded. She sadly shook her head, “But we already have a bid.”

“Don’t worry,” I reassured her and myself, “this is the house from my dreams. Everything will work out.”

And it did. Everything came together with an Ease that took our breath away. We have chosen mantras each New Years since.

For 2014, we chose the Mantra of Adventure. 2014 felt like Year One in this new energy. Year One was filled with change for us…so much so that by the end of it, I didn’t even record a holiday letter for family and friends…there was too much to tell…

For my husband, Adventure meant to experience life outside our comfort zone. Well, in that light, we took spur of the moment trips with people we hardly knew and had the time of our lives. We rode 1500 miles on our motorcycle through the Sierra Nevadas and swam with giant manta rays off the Big Island at night.

For me, Adventure meant to risk being the fullest expression of myself.

The first nine months of this year, we spent planning a big fat Greek-Italian wedding. As my daughter moved from her time as a maiden into marriage and eventually motherhood, I felt like I was transitioning into my sage years…once called the crone…it is a time in a woman’s life that she becomes a “Grand-Mother”, a wise woman. The Native Americans honor a woman with the title of “grandmother” when she is at least 52 years old and menopausal. Perhaps until we stop bleeding out our sacred wisdom, do we earn the right to be known as “Grand-Mother”.

After my nephew’s funeral in early November, we gathered at the home of a family friend. While the adults took comfort in each other’s company, I played with the little ones. My year old great-nephew and his two and three year old cousins colored at a kid’s table and I sat on the floor and joined them. I traced their little hands with crayons as we sang nursery rhymes. When the mother of the two little girls finally called them to dinner, the three year old stomped her foot and said, “No! We’re playing with Grand-Mother!”

Neither of my children have blessed me with grandchildren yet in that moment, I realized that I have arrived. I am now a “Grand-Mother”.

By the end of 2014, my Adventure Mantra brought me to the threshold of a new way of being.

Remember our little yellow house? Well, at the annual Arbolada block party, we met the couple who had put the bid on our house right before we found it. They told us that that day they felt like there was something better for them and found, just a quarter mile away, their perfect house. So they withdrew their bid. And we both got our dream homes in 2002- the Year of Ease.

So how do you choose a Mantra? Well, you can start by making resolutions or intentions for the New Year and then search for a theme in your resolutions. Underneath the surface of your list of resolutions, what do you truly desire? At the heart of your intentions, what does your soul need?

Are you resolving to make more money, get out of debt, spend more time with your loved ones? Perhaps your mantra is Freedom.

Or do you intend to lose weight, get your blood pressure down, eat better? Perhaps your mantra is Health.

Or perhaps life has been so crazy difficult lately, that Ease feels like the perfect Mantra for you.

Between Ease and Adventure, we have chosen Mantras of Joy, Being in the Moment, Love, Rejuvenation. The year we chose Rejuvenation, we got a jacuzzi and remodeled our kitchen, rejuvenating our bodies and our home.

This year, we choose Flow as our Mantra. To be in the Flow and especially not get in the way of the Flow. I see Flow like a river of consciousness. Rather than building a raft or hanging onto the banks, I imagine just relaxing into the Flow, letting the Flow take me with ease to the fulfillment of my greatest purpose. I can feel that this is truly the beginning of my time on earth as a wise woman. There is a strange sense of peace that has accompanied my transition into “Grand-Mother”. Perhaps it is the Flow.

May 2015 find you being your truth, loving your self, and living your Mantra to the fullest!

Blessings of Love and Light,


copyright 2015 DMaragopoulos

Please contact author at deborah@lovedance.com for permission to reprint this article.

Check out the The Secret to Optimal Health at: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HbrYB63oJgQ

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