Has it ever hurt you to look into your own eyes in the mirror? Do you feel disappointment and shame when you look at the shape of your own body? When someone pays you a compliment, does it feel like a joke?
Low self-esteem is painful. Whether you are 13 or 30, the pain you carry around from not feeling good enough or pretty enough or smart enough holds you back from feeling the peace and happiness that is your birthright.
It doesn’t matter why you have low self-esteem. Maybe you were bullied in school and the words of your peers cut so deeply you’ve never quite stitched the wound. Maybe your mother was rough and unkind and told you in no uncertain terms you were worthless. Maybe a lover told you that you were ugly and no good. Maybe no one else had to tell you anything. Maybe your whole life you’ve thought you were pathetic and fat all on your own.
In this age where bullying can lead to suicide and countless lives have been lost to eating disorders, addictions, and other manifestations of low self-esteem, it’s imperative to have tools to lift ourselves up and out of despair. Low self-esteem is potentially lethal and must be pulled out at the roots.
There are many ways to battle self-esteem issues. Therapy is a wonderful way and talking with a therapist you trust can be essential. Exercise causes the body to release endorphins, which helps one feel happier naturally. Yoga is an especially powerful form of exercise for this issue because it unifies the mind with the body. In cases of low self-esteem, so often the mind is the enemy of the body. Merging the two may help them build a more harmonious relationship. Affirmations are also a powerful tool to trick the mind into thinking positively rather than negatively.
The Kundalini mantra for self-esteem, as given by Yogi Bhajan, packs a one-two punch using both affirmation and mantra. Called “Bountiful, Blissful, and Beautiful“, the Gurmukhi portion of this mantra is from Anand Sahib, the “Song of Bliss.” It transports the soul into a state of bliss and helps you connect with the flow of Spirit. From this place of oneness and magic, you know your true Self, which is perfect, whole, and complete. The true you has no business with low self-esteem. The real you is powerful beyond compare. This mantra helps you touch that place of faith and strength.
If you’re struggling with the hidden hurt of shame, self-loathing, or unkindness to yourself, sing this mantra to yourself. Sing it loud and proud. There is no such thing as a sound or a singer that is not good enough. Sing it like you mean it and someday, someday soon, you will.
And that is a beautiful thing, almost…almost…as beautiful as You.
The Complete Mantra:
I am bountiful, blissful, and beautiful.
Bountiful, blissful and beautiful I am.
Ek ong kar sat gur prasad
Anand bhayaa mayree maa-ay satiguroo mai paa-yaa
Satiguroo ta paa-yaa sehej saytee
Man vajeeaa vaadhaaeeaa
Raag ratan parvaar pareeaa shad gaavan aaeeaa
Shabdo taa gaavho haree kayraa man jinee vasaa-yaa
Kahai naanak anand hoaa satiguroo mai paa-yaa.
The Creator and the Creation are One.
I kow this by the Grace of the Guru.
Oh my mother, I am in Infinite bliss for I have obtained the
True Guru (the Word, the Shabad Guru)
I have met that True Guru easily, naturally
Divine music bursts in my heart.
The rhythmic beats are like cosmic jewels
and bring all powers through Divine Songs.
When God resides in you, the mind is filled by
and echoes with divine praise.
Nanak proclaimes I dwell in supreme bliss
for I have merged with the True Guru.
The following recordings of this mantra each have their own unique flavor. Some help with pronunciation, some sing the full mantra, and others only sing the English affirmation. Find what’s right for you!