Word to Your Motherboard

By Michelle Schaefer

© November 2019

Words Without Action

Diet, exercise, mediate—we’ve heard it all. And we’ve been meaning to do it—honest. But we never seem to be able to because: Life. If only there were a way for us to feel happier, more patient, and more joyful without sitting in a circle with folks we don’t relate to chanting om, donning Lululemons and trying not to fart, or sucking down lemon and cayenne juice with a grimace.

Word As Action

Don’t get me wrong. I’m into an occasional shot of wheatgrass, I consider exercise therapy, and I can enjoy a meditation circle. But years ago, I found something that would forever change the way I relate to the world. This little trick has made my life exponentially better. It’s something I can do naked in bed, fully dressed at the office, or while strolling through the grocery store pretending to be normal. The best part is that this little trick is all in my head.

Not Your Mamma’s Mantra

I started out with a mantra I’d read: Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better. It was supposed to help, it put my stomach in knots. I discovered quickly that lying to myself didn’t make me feel good. (Imagine that!) Other pre-packaged mantras had a similar effect, with the beautiful exception of the Buddhist May I… mantras. (Something about May I be kind resonated more strongly than I am totally rocking this life thing all the time.)

Motherboard, May I

The Buddhist May I…mantras start with self and emanate out: May I…be kind, generous, patient, compassionate, joyful, forgiving… to May my best friend…all the way out to May Mr. trump (sic)(or whomever your ‘worst enemy’ is) be kind, generous, patient… You get the idea. The May I feels to some like asking permission, but to me it feels like setting the course.

I finally decided to write my own self-chatter script, blended with May I…mantras, that I kept tucked away in my journal, my pocket, and eventually, the motherboard: my brain.

These days, my mantra for life is Gratitude, Joy, and Blesssings. I say namaste about 1,000 times a day in my head. Healing, Health, & Wholeness plays on repeat when anyone is sick or injured, as does Peaceful transition when someone dies. Bless that baby for killed animals on the road. Reminders such as I am a Buddhist, a feminist, and a healer; may I integrate wisely and be mindful work well when I run into sexist aholes. Ahem. As I start the car engine: May I cause no harm; may I give and receive good mojo. My every morning starts with May I emanate and radiate lovingkindness and joy!


So do your gorgeous self a favor this year and write yourself a new brain with verbal staples to run through your head throughout the day. You won’t believe how much better life will get! You have my word.


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