Guest Post on Writing and Living
December 6, 2018
More from the Tao
December 19, 2018

Good Things

Photo by Ivan Obolensky

A mantra is an utterance that is considered to have spiritual power. The word comes from Sanskrit, and literally means “instrument of thought”. A mantra is constructed from a sound, a word, or a phrase that is repeated aloud, or internally, over and over to aid in concentration, or express a strong belief.

Often a mantra has a numinous effect. By numinous is meant that it arouses spiritual or religious emotion. Although often associated with Eastern or Asian thought, it is likely mantras have a long Western tradition as well. As a focusing method, mantras are universal across cultures and ancient in origin. They can serve to reinforce necessary concepts and ideas.

As a person, I tend to be positive, but that was not always the case.

Pessimism was useful to me. I was never disappointed.

Someone would ask, “Would you like to do ______?” I would say, no. Simple. End of conversation. I rarely suffered. That was the good news.

The bad news, I came to discover, was that I had managed to negate myself out of a great deal of happiness. Why? Because real happiness is not passive. I created my own happiness when I actively participated in all life had to offer, and that was a decision that required a definitive yes, not a no.

Life’s lessons are often easier to see after the fact, but applying them while faced with an uncertain and precarious future is hard. As a former pessimist, I discovered that a mantra I made up helped to change my mind about embracing the positive. I would repeat to myself: “Good things are happening.” And they did. The phrase works for me and even rhymes; well almost.

Good things are happening!

For you, too.


  1. SILVIA says:

    Lovely post, very, very nice Ivan. Thank you!

  2. LB says:

    “Good things are happening!” What a mantra, Ivan. Truly lovely, yes! Our thoughts are powerful. They mold and shape our experience. And they create a ripple effect too like a stone dropped into a pond. The next thing we know, good things really are happening! And not just to us but to people around us too. A simple, powerful, truth. I love that! Thanks so much!

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