Monday, June 26, 2006

Affirmations

Affirmations are tools that many people from many disciplines use to shift negative thought patterns and to create postive ones in their place. If you design them well, they make a great gremlin repellent. I haven't always been a strong proponent of affirmations. In fact, when I first came across them, I was rather critical. I didn't see how simply saying something to yourself would make it so.

The key, I've since learned, is that the truly effective affirmation is not simply positive words we say to ourselves. Rather, it is a budding belief that we have inside ourselves that we want to grow and flourish. By focusing energy and attention on that belief, we are reminding ourselves consistently of what we believe in, especially when circumstances and other voices make it hard for us to remember. We are fanning that little belief spark into a flame.

Some guidelines on how to make an affirmation effective:
  • Write the affirmation yourself. Now, if you read an affirmation that someone else has written and you feel yourself simply vibrating with resonance, it is for you. Use it. But generally, if you create an affirmation that stems from your own life and is in your own voice, it will have a stronger impact.
  • Affirmations should be stated in the positive. So, instead of "I am not going to eat chocolate," perhaps, "I make healthy food choices."
  • It's generally recommended that affirmations be short and sweet. Personally, I say go for what has power and impact for you. If "I am magnificent" doesn't have as much oomph as "I am a magnificent goddess of creation blessed by the universe with a plethora of talents," then go for the gusto!
  • In The Artist's Way at Work, they recommend creating affirmations in direct response to your inner critic's voice. For example, if your affirmations are in support of you auditioning for the lead in a play and your gremlin says, "Who the heck do you think you are?" Your affirmation might turn out to be "I am a talented woman who shines on stage." Every time that critic comes up with something, defend against it with an affirmation!

Today I worked with the third approach and came up with some affirmations that I'm going to experiment with over the next week. They are direct responses to my gremlin's persistent voice. In fact, he's kicking up a fuss because I'm about to post them outloud and share them with the world! Ah, well, he's sure not making me back down!

Jamie's Affirmations for the week of June 25

  • I thrive personally and financially doing work I love.
  • The arts are a part of me.
  • My clients, colleagues and loved ones believe in me, and I believe in myself.
  • I know what I want, and I go after it.
  • I trust my instincts and my judgment.
  • I am true to my talents. I develop them and share them.
  • I can make it anywhere.

11 comments:

Potato Print said...

Hi Jamie,
This is my first visit to your blog. I can't remember how I got here. What an interesting and stimulating site. Your cats are wonderful. I enjoyed your piece on affirmations. My favorite (the one that made me say "wrong!") is "I can make it anywhere." I am unhappily unemployed right now. Money and self-value are shrinking by the hour. I'm going to type your affirmation and put it on my steering wheel. Bravo to your for fighting Ugly Gremlin and posting them anyway. Thanks.

Sacred Suzie said...

This is interesting Jamie. So I guess the affirmation should kind of be something your secretly wish but are afraid to believe? I will contemplate this a lot! Thank you. What a great idea for a post, love YOUR affirmations and that's an amazing photograph.

Felicity said...

Hi Jamie, I just mentioned affirmations recently here:
http://felicityatheling.typepad.com/ujjayi/2006/06/saturday_baby.html
I've had them work really, really well for me--changing the inner landscape as well as manifesting in outward things. Affs, as I fondly nickname them, + visualization, are so powerful.

chest of drawers said...

I once attended a seminar on losing weight using affirmations. We had to say to ourselves "I am slim" and apparently our bodies would automatically do what slim people do like want to exercise and not crave the wrong foods. It didn´t work for me because while I was telling myself "I am slim" my gremlin was shouting"who are you kidding? Look in the mirror woman, you are FAT!!!!" I think it´s important to use affirmations that you really do believe in, like you do in yours.

melba said...

I believe in the power of thoughts and words together. There is energy and strength in intentions.
I wish for you what you wish for you.
Love and peace always...:) Melba

liz elayne said...

ahh...i needed this. yes, just what i needed today.
thank you my dear.

Ali la Loca said...

Hi Jamie,

I found you through a comment you left on Liz Elayne's blog, where I am a fairly new visitor.

I was reading that post of hers about dancing, and how dance must be a path to healing and finding one's self, and the entire time I was shouting in my mind, "Nia! Nia! Nia! She must try Nia."

I saw your comment on that post saying that you also love Nia and are thinking about becoming a teacher.

I just did the white belt intensive in Cape Town, South Africa this past February. It was, for lack of a better word, intense. I am still not teaching (or even taking classes) due to the fact that I live in Mozambique. There are no studios or aerobics places where I would find proper floor space to teach, and there is no "culture" or real following of things like yoga or Nia, so teaching would really mean a lot of effort on my part.

I think the time will come, but I'm taking very, very slow steps at this point towards being a Nia teacher.

Either way, the white belt intensive is a worthwhile investment in terms of personal growth. If I never teach a Nia class in my life, I still feel like it was money and time well spent.

Kelly L. Watson said...

this is such a nice summary of such a powerful tool.

I bought Louise Hay's You Can Heal Your Life on CD a few years ago, and listen to that once in awhile when I am feeling uninspired. Sometimes it's helpful to have someone else say the affirmations, too ;)

Frankie said...

This is GREAT Jamie! I love the inspiration to your affirmations and the importance you place on them. Thanks so much for the inspiration you've given me!

woman with list said...

I know that affirmations are helpful but for some reason I haven't done them (ever) though my sister does.

I came to your blog to look at your 101 things list. I'm learning new things by looking what other people have put. For example, I had to google what piragi are. I want to thank you for the idea I got from your list - #3, though I changed it a bit (from midnight to evening, from deck to balcony).

hundredandone said...

I love this! Just what I needed to read today. Thanks for the inspiration.