Why Study This Mantra...

You will establish for yourself an inner and outer calm. There is no greater gift we can bring to our lives than this!
“To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.” 
– Jiddu Krishnamurti


Having an inner calm is the foundation upon which we build an enlightened and full life. The opposite of calm – stress – is perhaps the most damaging thing we allow into our lives. It's hard to make progress elsewhere without tackling these two sides of the same coin.

Meditation is endlessly valuable for your mind, body, and soul for many reasons. One of those is stress management and achieving inner calm. This month you will explore inner calm by adopting a meditation practice if you haven't already, because calm and mindfulness walk together.

For this month's challenge, you'll focus on outer calm in the form of cleaning up your environment.

The Practices

Daily Practice

Introducing Meditation

Today's affirmation: "I am present."

Today, I will meditate. I will choose a time of day when I can easily find 1-10 minutes where I know I won't get interrupted or distracted. At that time each day, I'll eschew excuses, set a timer, and meditate.

If meditation is new to me, I'll start small, perhaps just 1 minute. I'll work my way up to 5 minutes. Then 10 minutes. The important thing is that I to do it every day.

There are many methods of meditation and ways to learn meditation, so I will leverage the many websites, apps, books, courses, and podcasts for finding and learning a method of meditation that works best for me.

Monthly Challenge

Outer Order Contributes to Inner Calm

How clean and organized is your home? Find a space that is messier than you'd like it. (Does at least one of those exist? ... We thought so.) It can be an entire room or an area of a room. Preferably this is a space that you're in a lot.

Then pick a weekend, carve out a few hours, and clean it out. Get that space to a state of calm and order. Get out the garbage bags for donation. If it requires picking up some new furniture, decor, or organizational tools, so be it. But ONLY if those tools are being purchased for the purposes of organization. Remember, the goal is LESS stuff, not more. 

Finally, step back and admire your work. Bask in your new orderliness. Think about what it's going to take to keep it this way going forward.

30-Day Declutter Challenge

Alternatively, you can join Matt Cutt's 30-day challenge: Adopt a daily decluttering habit by trying it for 30 days in a row.

Because this is your personal vow, you’re free to go as big or as small as you want. For example, you could decide you’ll purge one drawer, shelf, rack or equivalent space every day for a month. Or, you could simply promise to always return items to their original places – scissors to drawer; jeans to dresser – every day for the next 30 days.

This challenge is great if you don't have the time to carve out a few hours, and it helps build an ongoing habit that will benefit you for the rest of your life.

Guided Journaling

Out With the Bad and In With the Good

 As I remove my mantra tonight, I will take 1-2 minutes to write in my journal to induce calm. This can come in two forms. I will choose one or the other or both, whatever comes to mind.

  1. The Bad: I will write all of the negative thoughts I have. I will keep going until I can't think of anything else to write. Then I'll tear this page out, rip it up or crumple it up, and throw it away. As I send it away, I'm also sending away these thoughts.
  2. The Good: I will write about something that went particularly well today. Where did I have successes? What put me in a good mood? What bright moments did I experience today? I will then keep this page in my journal and dog ear it in case I want to be reminded of it later.

The Reasoning

Meditation and Mindfulness

 In scientific literature, mindfulness is thought of both as a trait as well as a skill that can be acquired through practice. As a skill, mindfulness involves the capacity to purposefully attend to one’s present experiences while taking a nonjudgmental stance (Kabat-Zinn, 2003).

There are a ton of advantages to being more mindful, including ones that improve your well-being and your happiness. In fact, mindfulness training and meditation specifically has made its way into the field of psychology as a method of therapy, and it’s picking up steam. 

Practicing mindfulness leads to an enhanced vividness, clarity, and appreciation of the present. Individuals who practice it learn to be an observer of their own lives. Mindfulness additionally improves your well-being by allowing for more intense pleasure through connection with present moment experiences (Brown & Ryan, 2003).

Meditation also increases your levels of empathy and spirituality (Carmody & Baer, 2008). Mindfulness increases positive feelings and the frequency of positive thoughts (Garland, Geschwind, Peeters, & Wichers, 2015), job-related affect (e.g., optimism and self-efficacy; Malinowski & Lim, 2015), and use of adaptive emotion regulation strategies (Hülsheger, Alberts, Feinholdt, & Lang, 2013; Teper, Segal, & Inzlicht, 2013).


  1. Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2003). The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 84, 822-848. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.84.4.822
  2. Carmody, J., & Baer, R. A. (2008). Relationships between mindfulness practice and levels of mindfulness, medical and psychological symptoms and well-being in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program. Journal of Behavioral Medicine , 31, 23-33. doi: 10.1007/s10865-007-9130-7
  3. Garland, E. L., Geschwind, N., Peeters, F., & Wichers, M. (2015). Mindfulness training promotes upward spirals of positive affect and cognition: Multilevel and autoregressive latent trajectory modeling analyses. Frontiers in Psychology, 6-15. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00015
  4. Hülsheger, U. R., Alberts, H. J., Feinholdt, A., & Lang, J. W. (2013). Benefits of mindfulness at work: The role of mindfulness in emotion regulation, emotional exhaustion, and job satisfaction. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98, 310-325. doi: 10.1037/a0031313
  5. Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10, 144-156. doi: 10.1093/clipsy.bpg016
  6. Malinowski, P., & Lim, H. J. (2015). Mindfulness at work: Positive affect, hope, and optimism mediate the relationship between dispositional mindfulness, work engagement, and well-being. Mindfulness, 6, 1250-1262. doi: 10.1007/s12671-015-0388-5
  7. Teper, R., Segal, Z. V., & Inzlicht, M. (2013). Inside the mindful mind: How mindfulness enhances emotion regulation through improvements in executive control. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22, 449-454. doi: 10.1177/0963721413495869