Passwords as prayer

Among life’s modern conveniences, online shopping ranks right up there as useful, efficient and satisfying.

Isn’t it nice we no longer have to go to the bank to check our balance or wander the aisles in the supermarket to pick up tomorrow’s supper or drive all over creation checking the prices of competing brands of blender?

Of course it is. But with this convenience comes the irritating task of remembering passwords assigned to all these accounts. Password management is maddening! If you aren’t already using LastPass, my password management program of choice, do yourself a favor and check it out. But even if you are using a system, the bright bulbs in the IT departments of all these places insist you change your password periodically. O my god, I’m just now remembering the password I set six months ago—now I have to come up with a new one?

Yes, if you want any security at all in your online transactions, modern bank patrons/shoppers/social media consumers must exercise a little password hygiene. Among your worst password choices are 123456, password, qwerty and 11111 (unbelievably, some people are just asking for trouble with passwords like these in the Top 10 of most common passwords). Instead, try something that inspires. Bonus: It’s easier to remember if it has a point.

For years now, I’ve been setting passwords in a manner similar to setting an intention during a yoga practice. By setting an intention in yoga, a yogi is building a bridge between what’s happening on the mat and what’s happening in your mind and even what happens in the rest of the day. Yogic intentions can be anything, but typically they are qualities or virtues such as patience, gratitude, love, forgiveness, letting go or being open.

Similarly, every time you login into Facebook, you could remind yourself of your intention while there by coding it into your password. For a long time, I used the password !nt3ndG00d. (This is no longer my password, all you rascals looking to hack me.) See what I did there? I used numerals, letters, uppercase and lowercase, and a symbol to spell “intend good.” Inspiring and easy (or, at least, easier) to remember.

In the past, I’ve also used Nj0y@utumn (“enjoy autumn”) and Wr!t3W3ll (“write well”).

I will confess, I’ve also used various expletives on occasion. Apparently, “Iwant2k!ll” came up when I was particularly irritated with a site’s IT department. If that’s the sort of passwords you’re resorting to, you definitely need a better system.

To be clear, good password hygiene demands you use different passwords for every website. I’ve found that working the first or second letter of a website into a password helps differentiate without forcing me to remember a hundred different intentions. For example, add “a” and the last digit of the year to “!nt3ndG00da2” for your 2022 Facebook password. For Amazon, it would be “!nt3ndG00dm2.”

Fortunately for you and unfortunately for the hackers of the world, a million two-word intentions exist, multiplied exponentially when you add a detail like a letter of the website you’re logging into:

  • Save money: $aveM0ney (add “b2” at the end for your bank and you have an 10-digit password)
  • Be present: BPr3s3n+ (for remembering this one, consider 3s are backward E’s)
  • Behave myself: B4@v3Myself (4s are like upsidedown h’s)
  • Buy smart: Buy2mart (2s are like backward S’s)
  • Speak kindly: $p3akK!nd1y
  • Look for God: Loo&4God (an ampersand is kind of like a K)

You get my drift. Longer passwords are even better but shoot for at least eight digits plus two at the end to make them site-specific.

Think about your intention for 2022, and then adopt a mindset to implement that intention in your commonly visited websites. Every time you log in, it’s like saying a tiny prayer (while thwarting hackers).

Looking for another way to set a daily intention? Try Bell Tower Prayer’s subscription service. Every morning, I’ll email you a nondenominational prayer chosen specifically for the day or the season with you in mind. When you run across the prayer in your In Box, take a minute to draw a breath and connect with the divine. Only 2 cents a day for a whole year’s worth of prayers. If you’re not a PayPal user, I take checks; contact me, and send my snail mail address.


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