If your New Year commitments need buttressing, mantras can help. So says fitness expert, coach and TV host Erin Stutland.
A former professional dancer and actress who appeared in “Sex and the City,” “Mad Men” and “The Sopranos,” Stutland is releasing her first book, “Mantras in Motion: Manifesting What You Want Through Mindful Movement,” just in time for the new year.
The book is the culmination of 15 years of study and teaching. Her online and live programs, “Soul Stroll” and “Shrink Sessions,” incorporate positive affirmations into workouts to not only help clients reach their goals, but they’ve also helped Stutland reach 100,000 people in more than 155 countries.
Jewish Journal: What is the magic of mantras? How do they work?
Erin Stutland: The Pauli Exclusion Principle states no two things can occupy the same thing at the same time. If you are moving while repeating positive statements aloud, there is no space for negative statements to exist. You can’t think, “Oh, this is so hard!” and also, “I am a magnet for success.” It’s either one or the other. The more you repeat mantras in conjunction with movement, the deeper these thoughts move into your subconscious. They become a part of you. You’ll walk around during the day and these mantras will just pop up into your mind when you least expect it. That is the magic.
JJ: How do you create an effective mantra?
ES: Write down what you are afraid of or what your negative beliefs may be. Then flip it. For example, “I am not talented enough” can flip to “I am connected to my innate talents. I have everything I need to create whatever I want.” You may not believe it right away, but this is where using movement with these words can help.
JJ: What is one of your favorite mantras?
ES: “I am a magnet for success. I attract the very best.”
JJ: Your book aims to help readers achieve their best selves by unearthing “desires, releasing resistance and taking inspired action.” What is inspired action and why is that important?
ES: Inspired action is action you feel called to take. Something inside of you says, “Yes, this is what I must do.” It doesn’t mean you won’t be afraid. And fear may try to stop you but when you are taking inspired action, you are in a state of flow and it feels exciting and good.
JJ: How do suggest transforming negative beliefs, releasing resistance and telling yourself a new story?
ES: We start by recognizing which of our current beliefs are not in alignment with what we want most. Once we uncover these conscious and subconscious beliefs, we can begin to transform them. Moving your body while saying positive mantras aloud helps us do this quickly so new beliefs infuse every single cell in your body. This is how you begin to create a new story.
JJ: How does telling yourself a new story create movement in your life?
ES: We all struggle with self doubt and insecurity. And we all strive to want more for ourselves and our families. If your old story is, “I’m not good enough to get that job” or “I don’t deserve happiness,” you may never take action. Or it may feel like pushing a boulder up a hill. If you create a new story about who you are and what you deserve, you will feel inspired to take action. And it will require less effort.
I love the inherent sense in Judaism that we question things, investigate them and not take anything at face value. We are a people of thinkers and philosophers. This is what manifesting is all about.
JJ: You grew up in a Conservative synagogue and attended Hebrew school outside of Chicago. How do you and your husband share Jewish traditions with your daughter? And how do Judaism and manifesting mash up?
ES: Jewish prayers are a part of my being, a way I slow down and connect to myself. We try to observe Shabbat in our own ways by sitting down for dinner as a family on Friday nights and being off our phones. Shabbat is a way to clear the slate and call my soul back to me. It’s the groundwork for a beautiful life.
I love the inherent sense in Judaism that we question things, investigate them and not take anything at face value. We are a people of thinkers and philosophers. This is what manifesting is all about. You have to question your beliefs about why you are where you are today. You have to do the introspective work.
JJ: How does flow feed into manifesting?
ES: To me, flow means you lose track of time and feel a sense of ease and forward movement. When I am doing my best work, I am in the flow. I talk about the importance of getting into flow as often as possible in “Mantras in Motion.” I usually feel most in flow writing or coaching.
JJ: How does celebrating milestones support further growth?
ES: We are so future oriented. We take little time to celebrate our accomplishments. We do one thing and we are already on to the next. But a series of things likely needed to happen in order for you to accomplish a goal. Perhaps you developed a new skill. Maybe you had to take some really hard actions.
The person you have become as a result of accomplishing something deserves to be celebrated. The good feelings generated from celebration are what propel you forward to accomplish even more.
For more about Erin Stutland visit her website.
Lisa Klug is a widely published freelance journalist and the author of Cool Jew and Hot Mamalah: The Ultimate Guides for Every Member of the Tribe.