While regular meditation may already be part of your self-care, developing self-centering mantras and adding those to your lineup of chants can level up your practice. That’s what Siri Sat Nam, PhD—a licensed family therapist and author of The Pocket Guru—does, and he hasn’t missed a day of meditation since 1974. His favorite season for meditation? The end of the year: It’s the optimal time to process what has transpired, how he’s grown, and how he’d like to move forward. Start your own year-end practice with these steps.
The Discovery Phase
This phase helps you get clear on what you need and want, and what no longer serves you. Try journaling, meditating, or asking loved ones what they observe about you, Nam says. In a notebook, write responses to the following questions: What challenges did I not resolve this year? What am I taking into the new year? Read through your words and identify any themes. Are there ongoing conflicts or areas of stress? Categorize each challenge by naming it and assigning it a single word, such as creativity, money, or love.
The Reflection Phase
Next, reflect on one of those words, keeping a notebook and pen nearby. Simply sit still, Nam suggests, and wait for words, imagery, or feelings to infiltrate your space. Record everything that comes up. Repeat with each word on your list.
In the same session, transform your challenge word into a power statement, such as “I have boundless creativity” or “Money is freely given to me.” Then set a schedule to repeat your personal mantras for a definite period of time. (Nam repeats his 11 times daily for 90 or 108 days because, according to him, 11 represents consciousness, and 9 is spiritually important and symbolizes mastery, so multiples thereof maximize the mantras’ potential.)
Upon completion of your power-statement schedule, check in with yourself. Notice any changes around the challenge you identified. Evaluate if you want to continue your self-centering practice for additional days or adopt a new one.