In late April I hosted a Meet-Up and shared another tool used for Lifecoaching, ie personal development, improvement and healing, which is affirmations. Here are some of my thoughts, experiences and examples of it.
I started using affirmations in 1995 when I read Louise Hay's book You can heal your life where there is a list in the back with examples of symptoms, how they correlate to our thoughts and what we could affirm instead to counter the illness and transform it into more care and self-love.
An affirmation is a positive statement expressed in presence (as if we already think and feel it) that we say to ourselves, for example: I am successful, often in order to raise our self-esteem and self-confidence.
Another great author on the subject is Wayne Dyer, whose book The Power of Intention was something I read in 2005, among others, when I listened to one of his lectures in Honolulu where he also introduced Ask and it is given by Esther and Abraham Hicks, which too have been proven helpful to me. He gave examples of how I allow myself to receive and It is my intention to feel good was working for him, so I used them too for a while. The best way though is to look into our own beliefs and create our own personal statements (which I also did on Facebook for Unity Church during spring 2011).
I realized that I often felt a resistance, or simply that I didn't feel the thought, or affirmation, that I was trying to say to myself, was congruent with what I was actually feeling. It simply increased the discomfort instead or even made me doubt from time to time. This enabled me to on one hand start to use mantras as prayers in my meditation practice instead, and on the other hand dissect and change the affirmations into something that would take me from one level to the next, step by step emotionally. One of today's meetup-participants also suggested that we can add "I choose to... or I am willing to..." to bridge that gap.
So, for example if the sentence "I am successful" doesn't feel true, we must ask ourselves why and define what succesful means, while we discover which thought patterns we have. If successful is to have a certain standard of living, to be famous, to have much money, to feel productive and creative, to be married and/or similar and we don't feel that we have that, we simply feel the opposite or a resistance to the affirmation and must create a new, which for me became: I have enough. This produces a sense of trust and gratitude which enable us to attract more of what is good, growing into I receive more.
Affirmations is often used to lessen worry or to focus ourselves towards performing a task. Emphasizing a positive statement enable us to feel centered and more prepared. This can also be done in meditation when we also become more aware of our thoughts. The book that made me possible to evolve in this fashion is Ten Zen Seconds by Eric Maisel, which I was recommended to read in 2011. He teaches that we must be aware of our breath while we say affirmations, by inhaling the first half of the sentence and exhale on the last, such as I feel (inhale) supported (exhale).
A mantra is a more religious statement that we often chant out loud in a language that we most often don't comprehend which makes it necessary to focus more on the pronounciation and melody which also are tools for centering. But what we believe also becomes our mantra...
The development the last ten years or so I feel has made many people more self-centered, more envious, isolated and grudging in a way the seems like a self-proclaimed entitlement with less consideration of the whole putting down others rather than lifting up (at least in the Swedish culture), a constant search for validation or putting blame on each individual where everything is to be "only lived here and now" confusing a sense of presence with the need to take responsibility also for our past and our future jointly together as a community. This is why I advocate that we should start creating affirmations with We in them too, such as We are successful. We have enough etc which, just like prayers, creates goodwill for many with compassion and a positive attitude to life.
What do you wish and desire for yourself? Can you wish that for someone else too?