Padam Padam Step by step: My mantra for 20 years

By October 31, 2022Uncategorized
Spring is springing forth in all it’s glory in the Southern Hemisphere and the blossom was beckoning in this glorious garden as we took a “pink” selfie.

I am sharing the above picture as it was taken a few days ago in Barrydale, a very small village on the Route 62 where I lived for over a year back in my early 30’s!
It was this same part of the Klein Karoo that gave me two of my most important “mantras and prayers” that still stay with me and strengthen my heart. 
My go-to self soothers
Reminders that all will be ok
There is a bigger plan for each of us
To this day, I will often wake up repeating these prayers / mantras/ powerful sayings. They have a way of connecting me directly into spirit and are a form of self-soothing when I feel anxious or a little out of kilter. They are my go-to when I need to talk myself down from the stress spiral, to boost my energy or more importantly to calm my heart and know that all in all …..everything really is truly going to be ok! 

Karoo Mantra #1
That powerful baby dropped into my heart when I was moving cross country. I was literally parked under a sign that said ‘Barrydale 10 km’ just after the Lemoenshoek turn off on the R62 that slices across from Mossel Bay to Robertson. I screeched my gun-metal silver convertible VW beetle to a halt to take stock of the magnitude of the moment. 
To pause. 
To honour the long journey. 
Why? I was 32, and had just packed up ALL my belongings, and driven cross-country from Durban KZN, to Barrydale in the Klein Karoo. That’s about 1500 kilometers as a young woman travelling solo. I pulled over to the dusty side of the road, and as I looked at myself in the review mirror and popped some lipstick on, I knew this was an important moment to acknowledge. This is what “dropped” into my heart…
Oh infinite spirit I am willing to experience the truth 
of my divine plan!YIkes that’s a goodie right?I was filled with a deep trust and curiosity, as this little village had literally pulled at my heart strings from the very first time I had heard its name uttered the year before. I had a measly 116 ZAR (about10 dollars) to my name, yet a heart filled with hope and trust in the process!

I had been invited to stay with my two dear friends, moving between their B’nB room and their bedroom floor when it was occupied with guests. As I looked at myself and took a deep, dusty Karoo breath, I knew I had to be right here, right now. Whether I landed up staying in this small village for a day, week, month or year, this was where I had needed to travel to. 

Hey presto …. 
Within a week I had three jobs! 
I lived there for over a year, and still return to visit when I can! Like this month.
It’s one of my soul homes. 

I helped those dear friends out a bit in the tea garden which means I got to meet local people FAST! I got offered a part time position in the local Cafe on the R62, I got the Saturday morning job at the local winery (major bonus points for giving me wine to take home at the end of my shift) and then my prayers were answered as I was offered a fabulous position to look after a retreat centre that was being built. Complete with a self contained cottage for the caretaker. Aka ME! I landed up finding a community of love and healing 22 years ago! 

This month, as I greet the village again, I had the opportunity of bumping into two folk I met back then that I haven’t seen since ….and had an instant energy exchange of love, compassion and connection. It felt like a full coming of circle, of revisiting important people that crossed my path. I also got to visit the property I had taken care of and witness it’s exciting transformation into an ultra modern 5 star retreat centre. 

So many of experiences for the past 30 years are framed and held together by that powerful mantra that dropped into my heart at the side of the road that day.
Oh infinite spirit I am willing to experience the truth of my divine plan! 
Feel free to use it if you love it 

Karoo Mantra #2After eventually leaving Barrydale I started a business as one of the very first professional life coaches in South Africa back in 2003, and set up life in Johannesburg. My soul sister (who now lives in Barrydale!) called me up one day and invited me on a walk. Of course I said yes, and only then discovered it was a ten day ‘pilgrimage’ across the Klein Karoo. Cutting across the back end of no-where along dusty farm roads, sleeping in rural farms stays and carrying all our luggage like snails traversing the land. Reading the land. Listening to the messages from the earth. 
Day after day. Huffing and puffing up hills and dancing in the streets. Yoga en route to stretch aching limbs. A lot like the camino pilgrimage in Spain. 

We had 2 guides – a physical guide to get us to our physical destination every day, and then our more “spiritual guide.” Every morning before we set off the latter guide gave us something written to ponder and ruminate on while we walked. It was a sacred heart pilgrimage taking shape for each of us.
On the fourth day this is the mantra that “landed” and leapt into my heart.
Padam Padam 
Prati Padam
Arharti Iti
Praati Padikam
Um….yes Sanskrit! So here is what it means in English…Step by step
At every Step
There lies Waiting
Quite still
That which is appropriate 
To that step!

I have used this mantra over and over again as a part of the Keynote talks I delivered globally in my career. There is something very lyrical and soothing about the Sanskrit version, even when not understanding its complete meaning. The cadence and energy of the rhythm invokes an immediate connection to the present moment. 

“Padam” shares its root with the English words ‘pedestrian’ and ‘pedal’ and so the essence of this mantra is simply ‘one step at a time’. The heart of mindfulness – present moment – in many of today’s teachings center around being here now. One of THE hardest things to master is simply to be on the step we are on. 

Not a moment wasted being stuck in the past, lugging what’s behind us into the now. And equally, not a moment dashing far ahead, prematurely anxious about the future and the possibility of what is or isn’t coming our way. Making peace with the past and feeling delight about the future is the point of power within us. Be
Here
Now

Step by Step!So Hatti I am wondering if YOU have a favourite prayer, quotes or mantras and how do you use them actively in your every day life? Please flood my inbox with what keeps YOU buoyed through tough times – perhaps I need yours to land in my heart today! How do you keep them alive in your heart?
I wake up gently whispering them, usually crossing my arms over my heart as I am lifting out of sleep and into the day. A few quiet repetitions of these ease my heart and get me started on the right footing before I bounce out of bed.

I love the ritual of this SACRED PAUSESending so much love to you today while staring out across the Klein Karoo in Barrydale)
Kate