Welcome to the official blog of Maumee Valley Romance Writers of America! We're a local writers' group in the Toledo, Ohio area. Most of us write romance, but we also have members who write other genres too. New members are always welcome to visit or join the group. See the meetings page for details. We post every Monday and Friday about all things book-related. Whether you're a writer, reader, or both, we hope you'll stop by often and get to know our dozen contributors.

Friday, January 13, 2012

What’s Your New Year’s Mantra?

photo from Kleio's

We’re two weeks into 2012. That means (according to one set of stats I found via Google) about 29% of people who made a resolution have now broken it. In another two weeks, that number will increase to about 36% and, after six months, to 54%.

I’m not one of them. Not because I keep my resolutions. Nope. It’s because I don’t make them in the first place. It’s been years—okay, more like decades!—since I made a new year’s resolution. Instead, over the past couple of years, I have chosen an inspirational phrase or a song lyric or a single word to be a guiding force throughout the coming twelve months. I call this practice “making a mantra.”

“Breathe in hope. Breathe out acceptance.” This is my mantra for 2012. I heard it in a recent yoga class and it resonated with me. I don’t know its origin. I don’t know whether it was invented by my teacher or by Buddha or by another mystic. I do know that when I heard it, I said “yes.”

This mantra—my mantra—invites me to stay positive and believe that my dreams, my goals, my wishes can all come true. It invites me not to give in to despair or bitterness or anger when disappointments and frustrations block my path. It invites me to accept whatever happens with grace and trust that the decision or action or event ultimately serves me and my life, even if I don’t want it or don’t understand how it can possibly be good for me.

It’s not always easy to live this mantra. In fact, to my surprise, I have found the “breathing in hope” part to be harder than the “breathing out acceptance.” I guess that’s because hope carries risk. The risk of crushing disappointment. The risk of humbling failure. The risk of falling down and not getting back up. But that’s when the breathing out part comes into play. When you breathe out fully—breathe out full acceptance—all that’s left to do is…breathe in.

Do you have a mantra for 2012? If so, please share!

Patrice Kavanaugh writes character-driven thrillers spiked with romance. Her novel, DIE RUN HIDE, placed first in two RWA chapter contests and finaled in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She blogs regularly for MVRWA.


Shay Lacy said...

Patrice: your post was beautiful, uplifting, and may I say hopeful. Nike made my mantra: "Just do it." Thanks so much for sharing.

Kristina Knight said...

love that mantra, Patrice...and it's so true.

I saw that figure and thought - how sad to give up so quickly. Not that I haven't given up on resolutions, too.

I like your mantra and Shay's, too...hmm..I'm going to make mine 'just believe' - because if you believe you can do something...more often than not you'll work hard to achieve it.

Patrice Kavanaugh said...

Thanks for stopping by ladies!

Shay: Agreed that Nike's "just do it" is a great mantra. It works on so many levels and in so many endeavors. Good luck with yours!

Kristina: I love your mantra. Belief is so powerful and a great motivator to DOING.

Jenna Rutland said...

What a great idea, Patrice. I hate making resolutions, but I think I'd like the mantra idea. Thanks for sharing!