Empowering Mantras That Soothe The Soul

Empowering Mantras That Soothe The Soul

Learn and repeat these mantras to center yourself.

January is the month of change. We can decide to change at any time during the year, but the start of the new year pushes us to be our best self. If you have something you want to stop, or start doing, now is the time. As I sit in Spain far away from my family, friends, and peanut butter (which is shockingly impossible to find in Spain), I’m confronted with a new challenge and a new opportunity to grow. Although studying abroad is an incredible opportunity and I am more than grateful, I would be lying if I said there aren’t moments of crying in the shower and longing for my body pillow at home (his name is Maxwell and he is pink, and no, I’m not pregnant).

Whenever I get overwhelmed I find it extremely helpful to stop, take a deep breath (or sixty) and repeat calming mantras to myself until the feeling passes. Mantras can be words or sentences and phrases that you can repeat to yourself anytime, although traditionally they have been used during meditation. The goal is to help focus the mind internally and block out any external distractions. It helps to center you and mentally decongest. Scientifically, the benefits are incredible.

The repetition of mantras have been linked to a decrease in heart rate, brain waves and the ability to slow down breathing.

“I am enough”

Fake it till you make it. Believe it or not, say it over and over again. We are what we think, so think positive.

“This too shall pass”

Life goes on even when you think it can’t. We have to experience the peaks and valleys to live a full life. Remember that in a bad moment, it will pass and a new feeling will replace it. And treasure and revel in the good moments because you know what you have overcome and what you may face in the future.

“I am grateful”

Your nail breaks, you spill your coffee, you tumble down a flight of stairs. Plenty of things happen throughout our days that may cloud our overall perception. Challenge yourself in those negative moments to list three events or people you may have overlooked that made your day brighter. Gratitude literally alters the way our brains process our emotions and thoughts and the best part is that we are in control of making our thoughts positive.

“Let it Be”

Time and time again we learn this lesson. It is what it is, what will be will be. That’s not to say it’s always a graceful moment of acceptance, but there’s a certain freedom in knowing that so many things are out of our control.

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The University of Tennessee Unwillingly Hosts White Supremacy Group

The University of Tennessee is home sweet home to ALL because being a Vol includes ALL!

Imagine this, you're at home and someone knocks on your door. You answer the door and the person behind it tricks you into inviting them inside under this facade of meaning no harm. Once inside, the facade disappears and the once pleasant dialogue you hoped to engage in turns to one of hatred of everything about you because you are not like them.

This is the University of Tennessee in a nutshell.

Home to a plethora of diverse people, our campus was deceived and under the impression that a church had reserved a space in McClung Museum for a lecture. Not long after this, the name of the group reserving the space had changed to one which was connected to a white supremacy group known as the Traditional Workers Party. The change in organization turned what was believed to be an unharming lecture into one filled with hatred for a great majority of the university's population.

Before the news of the group coming to campus broke, the Rock, our school's free speech news board, was vandalized with hatred and symbols by the TWP. Some students were so upset by this act they took to Twitter to implore Chancellor Davenport to speak up against this and do something.

In the weeks leading up to this event being held on Saturday, Feb. 17, Chancellor Davenport has addressed the school in multiple emails in regards to racism and hate speech. The emails display a sense of intolerance of the hate speech displayed on the Rock and in general regarding the group's visit to the university.

On Friday, Feb. 9, the school showed their disdain for this group and everything they stand for by hosting "United at the Rock Against Racism." At the event, hundreds of students came together to demonstrate the love, unity, and acceptance that UT has to offer all of its students.

With the event happening this Saturday, the university has taken steps to prepare and protect its students. The TWP's meeting that was originally set in McClung Museum will now be held in Buehler Hall on the Hill. The event will have extreme safety measures in place for the protection of all involved.

When I first found out about this event, I was shocked and discouraged. Rocky Top is home to myself and so many other diverse people that I call my friends. I find free speech to be incredibly important, but when its point is to bring harm and dehumanize students at this university, my university, I find an issue with it.

The TWP goes against everything this university stands for and allowing them on campus in some way is a stain on the school's reputation. I hope that in the future incidents like this are resolved in a different way and that no student should feel as though their very being on this campus is being jeopardized by anyone.

The University of Tennessee is home sweet home to ALL because being a Vol includes ALL!

Cover Image Credit: WUTK on Instagram

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To My Childhood Home

Thank you for raising me.

You've been part of my entire existence; in fact, your construction was completed before I even entered the world. You welcomed me with open arms the day I was brought home from the hospital. You witnessed my first slumber, bath, and cries as a newborn. You coached me to say my first word, and take my first steps. You watched me live an amazing childhood and a wonderful adolescence.

Beyond your walls, you behold the secrets of my family. You've heard our laughs, seen our family traditions, and embraced our quirks. You've probably felt alarmed when we were going through rough times. You endured the physical weight of bringing a puppy into the picture.

Although you may have gone through cosmetic changes throughout the years, every time I walk in I still get the same feeling. You've made me feel like I have a safe haven - a place to clear my head. A place to protect me from the sorrows and bitterness that the outside world can put upon you. A place to inspire ambition, innovation, and creativity.

I can remember spending countless days curled up reading a book, writing stories in journals, or looking out the window watching the time pass by. I can remember sitting on the kitchen floor soaking up the warmth from the afternoon sun, or being surrounded by blankets keeping warm by the fireplace. I can remember being sick and watching movies all day on the couch. I can remember doing homework and other tasks at the kitchen table.

I cannot thank you enough for shaping how I grew up. I cannot thank you for raising me to become strong and healthy. I cannot thank you enough for supporting me in my rough times of my mental illness. I cannot thank you enough for keeping my family together and stronger than ever.

You let me play as a child. I kept all of my stuffed animals and imaginary friends in your hands. You protected me from the scary monsters in the closet and under the bed. You gave me peace knowing that I was able to come to a warm bed every night.

My room will always be my favorite. It's biased and cliche, yes, but it was a sacred space. It masked my tears and my panic attacks. It's known many dreams and nightmares. It's full of privacy, yet open at the same time.

When I left for college, I didn't realize how much I would miss you. It was a hard adjustment period, and I was left out in the real world. Unfortunately, if I had a problem or a bad day, I couldn't come back to you. Life had to go on. What kept me going was coming back for holidays.

When I did come back, I was so surprised by how different it felt. I felt like a hotel guest, rather than a permanent resident. I felt like I didn't belong anymore. I felt like I was messing up a beautiful canvas. It was haunting to see if there were changes, or lack of them.

Then I realized that you didn't change, I have. It was a scary, yet exhilarating realization. I couldn't wait to share the new person that I had become. It showed me that change is good, and it's okay to go to a stable environment. You've helped me spread my wings to fly on my own.

When I heard the news that my family was moving, I was devastated. My heart cracked into multiple pieces. It felt like part of me was missing. Moving is a part of life; I can't stay in the same place forever, no matter how much it hurts, I reminded myself. No matter how much reassurance I gave, all I saw was the life as I know it ending.

I began to envision mountains of cardboard boxes, moving trucks, and empty rooms. I began to see for sale signs, strangers from open houses, and garage sales. My childhood began to slip away. It was almost as if I was running, unable to catch up to it. I became breathless by this reality.

To be honest, I'm very selfish. I don't want to leave you. I'm afraid that the next residents will abuse you; take advantage of you. It's funny because I always have a huge craving for wanderlust but always have thought that you would be permanent. You've been the only constant in my life and I'm afraid of change.

I'm afraid that I won't like this new place. It's going to take some getting used to since you've been in my life for 20 years. I promise to remember every little detail of you and to keep your memory alive. I promise to never forget you. You're more than just a house; you're my home forever.

My heart will sink when you're sold. I'm going to bite my tongue when I see my parents selling old, but meaningful possessions. I'm going to have to prohibit myself from fighting with the people who are putting my old belongings into their cars. My stomach will be uneasy at your emptiness. I'm going to cry like a baby when I take one last glimpse of you before I get into the car. The tears will worsen when I look one more time in the rear-view mirror as we drive away.

I'm writing this to thank you for everything. You were my dream childhood house, and I couldn't imagine growing up somewhere else. You will always be part of me, and hold a special place in my heart. It's going to be difficult to let go, but I know that you're going to bring light and love to the next family that comes along.

To my childhood home, I love you so much.

Cover Image Credit: Bruce Mars

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