Tag Archive | Mantras

Beautify 2

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“As you may remember, we spoke a while ago [<link; short length] about the mantra-word Beautify, which means:


Notice Beauty.
Appreciate Beauty.
Create Beauty.

We can add a bit more nuance to it, to make it even more powerful.” 

“What do you have in mind?”

“I’m thinking of the concept of savoring

In the context of food and drink, it means taking your time to enjoy something to the fullest. Shifting perspective, we can think of the same experience in terms of beauty: taking your time to enjoy the beauty of a food- or drink-related experience.

Through metaphoric transfer however, we can expand its meaning outside its original context:

Savoring means taking your time to enjoy the beauty of ANY experience.

We can express it as a guideline as,

Savor Beauty.

To render it more explicit and actionable, we can express it thus:

Savor Beauty.
Notice Beauty.
– Appreciate Beauty.
Celebrate Beauty.”

“So the original mantra becomes:


Savor Beauty.
– Notice Beauty.
– Appreciate Beauty.
– Celebrate Beauty.
Create Beauty.


On Presence and Specificity 2

Whenever you start a practice always spend a moment connecting with yourself. (Aadil Palkhivala)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“We’ve talked before [<link; short read] about creating an actionable map for the practice. 

The next step is to simplify it and create an actionable step-by-step structure. This is an iterative process. The goal is to condense it as much as possible.

You can use questions to guide you in this process. Such as:

What’s the most powerful representation of the practice? (One Thing model)”


I see Presence as beautifying the Moment.

“What’s the essence of the practice? (One Thing)”


“What’s the step-by-step structure of the practice? I like to express them as verbs.”


On inhalation:

Center, focusing on your Heart.

Connect with yourself. 
Feel the Connection.
Feel your beautiful body.

I love you Danutzu.
I love you Dani-who-I-was.
I love you Dani-who-I-will-be.

On exhalation:



Send love to three people who have touched your life in some way, the first ones who come to mind. (Improv)

I love you x.
I love you y.
I love you z.

Thank you.

Feel the (Inter-)Connection.

Picture yourself as the Sun. Gradually expand with each exhalation, sending love to more and more people, until you reach all humanity.”

“It’s a good idea to also create a minified version of the practice for when time is limited.”


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is Resetting?”

“By Resetting I mean returning to a baseline, to a set reference-point. 

In practical terms, that can mean returning to a balanced, more resourceful / receptive state.

Resetting is a tool.”

“Can you give some examples of how you use the tool?”

“Here’s a few:

Centering (Proactive/Reactive)

This can mean reconnecting with your BodyMind.
It can mean reconnecting with your Center, however you define it for yourself.”

“How do you define it for yourself?”

“I think of my Heart as my Center, and through it I access my Meta-Values [<link; short read], Love, Gratitude, Beauty, and Play, which have a powerful priming effect.

Equanimity (Reactive)

Recovering mental balance once lost, ideally in the moment. This can be done in various ways, depending on the circumstances.

One way is by focusing on what you can control.
What happened a few moments ago is the past, hence outside your control. What you can control is what you do this moment.

I like to perform this reset with a mantra:

Every moment is a fresh beginning. (T. S. Eliot)

Or, with a slightly different nuance:

Every end is a new beginning.

Another way is by focusing on Dignity.
Remembering your inherent worthiness, and everyone else’s.

A powerful mantra I use is:


Humility (Proactive/Reactive)

Bringing to mind the limits of your knowledge and understanding, and the limits of understanding itself.

For this, I use two beautiful mantras:

I know one thing: that I know nothing. (Socrates)


I don’t know.

Emptying your cup (Proactive/Reactive)

Letting go…

Letting go of assumptions.
Letting go of evaluations / judgments.
Letting go of desires and expectations.

The Essence of Models Thinking

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is the essence of Models Thinking?”

Looking at an instance and extracting a general principle that has practical application.

Let’s take an example. What do all these have in common?

Every moment is a fresh beginning. (T. S. Eliot)

Empty your cup.

Beginner’s Mind

I don’t know.

“I don’t know.”

“The first one is something we’ve talked about before. As you may recall, I’m using this quote as a tool for recovering balance. What I called the ‘mental reset‘ [<link; medium length].

The quote is the instance. The general principle – the (metaphoric) model – is resetting, returning to a balanced, more resourceful / receptive state.

The model is an interpretative key, a filter.

On the surface, the four I listed have nothing in common. Viewed through the filter however, all of them become mantras, mental tools for recovering balance, each with their own subtle nuance.”

The Beautiful State

I’m going to live in a beautiful state and I’m going to find beauty in whatever life brings me because life is too short no to. (Tony Robbins)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What does your beautiful state look like?”

“I approach it as a Designer.

I ask myself:

What do you want your beautiful state to look like?

The most important thing to realize is that the beautiful state is a CHOICE.

I’ve turned Tony’s beautiful quote into an actual mantra:

I CHOOSE to live in a Beautiful State and to find Beauty in whatever life brings me.

and I connected it with one of my Soul Quests, The Quest for Imperturbability, which I also turned into a mantra:

My state is independent of external conditions.

In terms of the actual blueprint, I work on two levels: 
– the level of feelings
– the level of representations

On the level of feelings I ask myself:

How do you want to feel consistently?

I want to feel…

– Enthusiastic (In touch with my Entheos, The Child / God Within)

– Loving (In love with Life)

– Playful
– Curious
– Joyful

– Grateful

– Energized
– Tranquil / Peaceful

– Confident
– Positive
– Optimistic

On the level of representations, I work with representational-models [<link; medium read] – so metaphors – to enrich the mental representation of the beautiful state.

I want to feel…

– Fiery
– Burning
(Fire model)

– Flowing (Acceptance, Non-Resistance)
(Water model)

– Radiant (Radiantly Alive)
– Sunny (Sunny disposition)
(Light model)

– Powerful
– Unstoppable
(Power model)

– Boundless
– Limitless
(Obstacle model)

You can think of these as an amplifying-filter, which has an emotional-flooding [<link; short read] type effect.”

On comparing yourself to others

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“Don’t compare yourself to others.”

“Depends how and why you do it.

As concerns the how, it’s a matter of mindset and focus.

Do you compare yourself to others…
with a growth mindset or a fixed mindset?
with an abundance mindset or a scarcity mindset?

Do you believe that you can grow?

And if yes,

do you focus on who you can be or on who you are not?

A passage from Marcus Aurelius comes to mind:

Because a thing is difficult for you, do not therefore suppose it beyond mortal power. On the contrary, if anything is possible and proper for a man to do, assume that it must fall within your own capacity.

Say to yourself always:

If they can, I can.

As concerns the why, comparing yourself to others can be useful. An expression of Artful Living.

Comparison can serve as a memento, a reminder.

Let your betters remind you of who you can be and inspire you to be more.
Let your lessers remind you to appreciate how far you’ve come.

And I include in the latter category the memory of who you were in the past.”

“Do you think ‘lessers’ can be perceived as disparaging?”

“Depends what you compare. I’m comparing ability, not worth.”

Contrasting 2

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“Do you have something like a little mantra that connects you with the present moment?”

“I do. I say to myself:

I love you moment!

This is powerful because it also connects me with Love, which is my central value. And I make it even more powerful by saying it in Romanian, my native language:

Te iubesc clipa!

Then I bring to mind the thought of death, ‘Memento Mori‘, and say to myself:

I love you life! / Te iubesc viata!


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

This too shall pass.

“Must you spoil the moment?”

There’s no better way to appreciate the moment than on the backdrop of the impermanence of all things.”

The Art of Perception

SEE the Macro in the Micro.

This is a little mantra/directive I created for myself as a constant reminder. It has a double meaning.

One meaning is metaphysical.

It’s a reference to a beautiful quote by Rumi:

You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.

So you could think of the mantra as,

SEE the ocean in the drop.
SEE YOURSELF as the ocean in the drop.

Metaphoric model:
We could call this the ‘holographic perspective‘. Every part contains the whole.

Another meaning is pragmatic.

I love Brian Johnson’s idea of ‘Masterpiece Days‘* [<link; medium length], and I expanded it to one’s entire life: my ultimate goal is to create a ‘Masterpiece Life‘.

* I know the idea comes from John Wooden, but Brian is the meta-source – to use Leo Gura’s terminology – through which all these beautiful ideas have come to me, so I’m crediting him.

I also love (and am fascinated by) the idea of Compounding. The process by which tiny little changes add up, leading to very big changes.

We tend to regard only the big change as significant, not realizing it was the accumulation of tiny little changes that led to it. The mantra is meant to constantly remind me of this process.

Let’s take as an example the tiny little act of controlling an impulse.

One way to go about it is by exerting willpower. This takes a little effort, and you succeed… at first. The problem with impulses is that you don’t have to control just one impulse. The impulse will return again, and again, and again, and again…

This is another (hidden) instance of compounding. Each little impulse takes only a little effort do deal with, but compounded, they really add up in sapping your willpower. Moreover, when your energy reserves are close to depleted – say, at the end of a day –, the unreliability of willpower is plainly revealed.

Anything that takes effort is unsustainable.

The aim (and the best strategy) is EFFORTLESSNESS. One way to reach effortlessness is through MEANING.

When the impulse arises, if you SEE the effort of keeping it in check (Micro) as a fundamental piece in the larger-picture, in the grander tapestry of your Masterpiece Life (Macro), it not only becomes easier, but the compounding effect of the recurring impulse starts working in your favor, and each impulse becomes an opportunity, as you subtly reaffirm a new identity with each iteration.

Metaphoric model:
We could call this the ‘levels-of-magnification perspective‘. The Masterpiece Life is the macro perspective, the Masterpiece Day is an essential lower level of magnification, and the moment is the smallest, atomic level of magnification, the micro perspective. We could even call it, the Masterpiece Moment.

Masterpiece Life
Masterpiece Day
Masterpiece Moment

Live beautiful

Eat beautiful. (the slogan of the restaurant chain Itsu)

I really like this slogan. It beautifully conveys the message. Moreover, its structure can be used as a blueprint for creating similarly powerful messages.

Applied to the Art of (Playful) Living, it becomes:

Live beautiful.
Think beautiful.
Move beautiful.
Practice / Train beautiful.
Fail beautiful.