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Affirmation

Affirmation

 

Affirmative Action
by Paul Naras

Although the numbers are rising, if you were to ask the average person on the street about 'Affirmations', the majority would not know what you were referring to. Of those who did, a handful would mention Emile Coue, a French healer who in the early 1900's was teaching that people could help themselves through autosuggestion and repeating affirmations like - "Every day in every way, I am becoming better and better". Others would remember the television comedian Al Franken who became popular with his tongue-in-cheek iteration - "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!".

What about affirmations? Are they Western society's mantras enabling us to surmount the 110-meter high hurdles on our Olympic dash to personal transformation and self-actualization? Or is it all just the latest 'confidence' game - Norman Vincent Peale on the rocks with a New Age twist?

There is no outright consensus on the subject but it must be made crystal clear from the outset that the practice of affirmation does not involve reprogramming every facet of our personal and workaday existence. When a particular affirmation supplants a long-standing damaging inner message that has been beleaguering our subconscious then it becomes a powerful tool for behavioral transfiguration. If an affirmation only serves to smother and mask the 'demon' inside of ourselves then it becomes not only a steppingstone to further disorientation but perhaps even out-and-out internal pandemonium.

Since affirmations are injunctions given to the subconscious mind perhaps we should briefly review a few facts. The subconscious is totally undiscriminating. A colleague of mine once used a more popular adjective in describing it - 'promiscuous'. In other words, the subconscious welcomes every happenstance, every impression, every realization that rings its doorbell. The subconscious will not think over, think through or think twice - because it can't.

Needless to say (but let's say it anyway) a lot of information assimilated by the subconscious does not exactly engender positive conditions in our inner and outer existence. How many of the following messages (or similar ones) have you been sending yourself lately?

  • I hate my body.
  • Just my rotten luck.
  • Back to the old grind on Monday.
  • How come I only meet losers?
  • It's going to be one of those days.
  • Why bother.
  • I've always been shy / stubborn / jealous / cynical / lazy / bad at math /
    unorganized / passive etc.

All of the above can constrict or even checkmate personal growth. What is
your favorite self-putdown?

Your subconscious chronicles your thought habits regardless of whether they
are in your best interests or not. And it will attract concepts that are
compatible with your most ingrained convictions. Every time we reiterate an
experience, repeat the same sentiment, it transcribes as 'reality' yet once
again. And so we enact our paramount persuasions (My life is filled with
potential - or - I'm as dumb as a turnip and I'll never amount to anything).

Before we delineate the technique of affirmation (and working with our conscious and subconscious patterns) we should advance a fundamental and imperative caveat.

Even though our subconscious is open to our dictates we must be careful not to ignore what is physically manifest or psychologically dormant. It would be senseless to daily intone "My body is in a state of perfect health" when you were all the while being racked by a beastly toothache, and just as inane to affirm "I love and forgive my father" for sexually abusing you in childhood unless the issue had first been cognitively unmasked, explored and had already attained some measure of catharsis or resolution. Affirmation should never accommodate denial. We have to forsake old credos before reaffirming new-fashioned ones.

Just as there is no light without the darkness so the negative coexists with the positive. Affirmation is not about eradicating or even rejecting every vestige of opposition in our lives. Existence is unpredictable. It is only human to occasionally become frustrated, infuriated and even despondent. And there is no need to attempt to jettison every personality trait that you or others have labeled 'negative'. Anger, for example, has a place in our lives since we dwell amongst people/events that tend to provoke us and even make our blood boil. However, we have to take a hard look at ourselves if our rage causes us to hurt others, lose control or if it spawns violence. Then, as we consciously work on our anger those daily victories and defeats should be non-judgmentally recognized and accepted as complementary facets of our personal actuality - and we either pat ourselves on the back or resolve to do better next time.

As stated, our subconscious is guided by our conscious thoughts and images. It is within our power to provide the subconscious with purposeful and premeditated direction - or simply allow it unrestricted carte blanche to run amok as it pleases. The latter option is child's play. The former requires concerted application.

Methodology

There are countless books available today offering readymade generic affirmations. Peruse them, analyze them if you will, and then discard them and construct your own. A poetic and profound affirmation drafted by a stranger does not hold nearly as much power and energy as the most ill-constructed, ungrammatical passage flowing from your own pen - from your own heart and soul. Affirmation is like a prayer - very personal. Make it your own.

Affirmations must be carefully composed. D.S., who was blessed with better than average health but who nevertheless suffered through a number of very debilitating colds every year, started using an affirmation and was rather taken aback when he quickly became ill twice during a three week period. It turned out that he had written his affirmation thusly - "I'm never going to get sick again!". D.S.'s subconscious was heeding the affirmation all right, no doubt preoccupied by the constant repetition of the word "sick". Affirmations must be formulated in a positive sense. During recreational walks D.S. now takes long, deep breaths and mentally intones - "My body is radiating health, harmony and happiness". With each exhalation he releases any pent-up negativity he may be harboring. And this formula seems to be working for him.

Affirmations must be framed in the present tense ("All is well and good in my life" rather than "All will be well and good in my life"). Images and symbols have a momentum and energy of their own. Supply the subconscious with pictures of what you want to achieve, of what you want to attract, of what you want to experience. Write affirmations down and keep them with you. The physical action of putting pencil to paper predisposes the subconscious. And repeat them aloud if possible. Charge your affirmation with emotion! If your goal is to become a primary school teacher repeat your heartfelt affirmation to yourself as you visualize the classroom, as you smell the fragrance of flowers wafting in through the window, as you hear the recess bell ringing, as you feel the excitement of a new day filled with endless possibilities as the children brush past you on their way to their desks. Every thought you think/feel is fashioning your tomorrows.

Be assured that your resolve/self-discipline will be put to the test. Not one decathlete has ever made it to the podium practicing only once a week. Similarly five minutes of positive affirmations each day are pretty well worthless if the remaining twenty-three hours and fifty-five minutes are replete with cynical perspectives, pessimistic verbalizations and a cheerless attitude. Several affirmations cannot easily dissipate the mental garbage accumulated over the course of a lifetime. And the mind will initially rebel. It will not want to be reeducated. So perseverance is crucial. Simple desire is not enough. Are you really willing to let go of stale and valueless beliefs?

You have decided to lose fifty pounds. You have a clear mental picture of how you want to look. Affirmation (in conjunction with visualization) should be adhered to faithfully at least twice a day (in the morning after rising and just before retiring for the night are most propitious times). Temptations will surely abound. You will be torn between friends inviting you out for evenings of eating, drinking and merriment and an image of the well-being you will reap if you stick to your ulterior purpose. Any longed for objective (in affirmation form) has to be consistently and conscientiously reiterated so that the subconscious eventually adopts the new conviction and subsequently effects the resultant physical, emotional or spiritual transformation.

Heed subconscious impulses. If you decide to make a determined effort to amend the state of your health don't be surprised if intuitive whispers take the offensive (So, if you're really serious about your health, what's with the seven boxes of cookies in the cupboard? ... Do you really need to end every day with four highballs? ... Does walking from your television to the refrigerator really constitute an adequate exercise regimen?). Turning a deaf ear to subconscious promptings is a little like having a telephone but never answering it when it rings. Pretty soon it will stop ringing altogether.

Be selective. It is important to focus on one image / one affirmation during a particular time period. Spotlighting one goal regularly during the course of a month will effectuate change. Addressing thirty different aims during the same time frame will not.

The sky's the limit - but be reasonable. By way of illustration let us once again return to the issue of health. Using imagery, affirmations and, over time, altering certain harmful dietary and personal habits will have a beneficial effect on your life. It doesn't mean you'll never get sick again. There are people who significantly improve their overall health, then one day come down with the flu and disenchantedly exclaim - I failed; the affirmations did not work. No matter how advanced, how informed or how attuned some of us feel we are, we all occasionally burn the candle at both ends, overwork, and temporarily devitalize our immune systems. Getting the flu is not 'bad' and it doesn't mean we have failed. It is a natural physical course of action to restore balance in the body. Pain and sickness are opportunities for us to take stock, to contract some insight regarding the way we are living our lives and/or treating our bodies.

And so what happens when you make a conscientious (and even a Herculean) effort and your exertions bear no fruit? W.Y., a very positive and motivated professional woman, credited imagery and affirmations for contributing to many of the successes in her life, especially her dramatic rise up the corporate ladder. But she was forty years old and, all those affirmations notwithstanding, had not met that soul mate that she had been awaiting for the past decade.

If life is indeed a school can anyone of us ever have a complete overview of all the lessons we were meant to specialize in and master? Sometimes our egos have to be put in their place when we realize that we just can't materialize every whim with a snap of our fingers. And sometimes serious soul-searching is a prerequisite to a better understanding of ourselves, our true needs as opposed to our wants, and our especial roles in the cosmic drama.

It is true that our beliefs, our attitudes and what we think about all day long become our realities. If we identify with love/well-being we tend to gravitate towards it and invite it into our lives. It is also true that being positive does not mean that you will have absolute control over every aspect of your existence. But if unfulfilled expectations serve to connect us with who we really are inside, then this in and of itself also becomes a positive, invaluable and transformative exercise.

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The Power of Affirmations
by Remez Sasson

Imagine you are swimming with your friends in a swimming pool. They swim fifteen rounds, something you have never done before. As you desire the respect of your friends, you want to show them that you can make it too. You start swimming and all the way you tell yourself in your mind: "I can do it, I can do it..." In your mind you see yourself completing the fifteen rounds. What are you actually doing? You are using positive affirmations.

Positive affirmations are positive sentences repeated many times in order to impress the subconscious mind and trigger it into action. A positive sentence is constructed, about a state of affairs we desire to happen, and is repeated many times during the day. It has to be repeated with conviction, and attention and feelings.

We often repeat sentences about things we do not want to happen and consequently enter into undesirable situations. Affirmations work both ways, to build and to destroy. They are a kind of a neutral power. It is the way we use them that determines whether they are going to bring good or evil results.

Repeating affirmations positively some minutes during the day, and then thinking negatively, neutralizes the effects of the positive affirmations. Refuse to think negatively; otherwise your positive affirmations will be useless.

They work like creative visualization. The words repeated build a scene in the mind. It may not be clear-cut, but yet it is a picture held in mind. The words help to focus on the intention and the object or situation you want to create. These sentences repeated often, cause the subconscious mind to accept them, and then the subconscious influences your thoughts, behavior and reactions. The conscious mind, the mind you think with, can influence the subconscious mind by using repetitions, and that why affirmation can change your attitude and behavior.

Affirmations influence also the people around and circumstances and events. The often-repeated affirmations, by influencing the subconscious mind cause you to behave, think and act in accordance with the suggestions implanted in your mind. It is like giving instructions to the computer. As mentioned above, affirmations are similar to creative visualization. When a thought is projected into the atmosphere, it influences people, events and circumstances, connected with that specific thought.

We are using them all the time such as when we tell ourselves that we can't do something, or that we are too lazy, or that we are going to fail. The subconscious mind tries to find the way to materialize the failure expected. It is the same principle at work when we tell ourselves that we can do it, that we are going to succeed. It is the same power working both ways. Why not choose the better way?

Affirmations should not be too long; a short sentence is quite enough. They can to repeated often when your mind is not engaged in something in particular, such when traveling in a bus, a train, waiting in line, walking etc. Do not affirm when driving or crossing a street. You can also devote one, two or three sessions of about ten minutes each day to affirmation when you are alone.

There should be no tension during the affirmations; no physical, emotional or mental tension. The stronger the concentration, the more faith you have in what you are doing, the more feeling you put into the act, the stronger and faster will be the results.

It is very important to choose only positive affirmations. For example if you want to lose weight do not say. "I am not fat, I am losing weight." Saying this sentence, you see yourself in your mind as fat. The word "losing" also evokes negative images. On the other hand if you say: "My body has an athletic form and weighs the right and healthy weight", evokes only positive images, and also give you incentive to go on with the affirmation.

Affirmations should be affirmed in the present tense, not future tense. Saying: "I will be rich", means in the indefinite future, and each day you affirm, you affirm that you will be rich in the future, and it never becomes the present. Say: "I am rich", and the subconscious mind will work overtime to make it happen now in the present.

If the affirmation you use, is hard for you to accept, choose another, otherwise it is useless. If you love the affirmation it gains power. Remember, results may be fast or may take time. It depends how much time, energy and time you devote to them, on how great the desired change is, and on other factors.

Using affirmations, you affirm what you want as true. It may be completely alien to your present life. You may have doubts how it is going to happen. Nevertheless, affirm with faith, at least at the moments of the repetitions, even if you present situation is very far from the affirmation you are using.

Affirmations

  • I am healthy and happy.
  • Wealth is pouring into my life.
  • The river of wealth is flowing to me.
  • I am getting wealthier each day.
  • My body is healthy and functioning in a very good way.
  • I have a lot of energy.
  • I study and comprehend fast.
  • I am getting A's in my exams.
  • My mind is calm.
  • My thoughts are under my control.
  • I am surrounded by love.
  • I have the perfect job for me.
  • I am living in the house of my dreams.
  • I have good and loving relations with my wife/husband.
  • I have a wonderful satisfying job.
  • I have the means to travel abroad whenever I want to.
  • I am successful in whatever I do.
REMEZ SASSON is a prolific writer and lecturer focusing on the ways and techniques to succeed in life utilizing the powers of the mind and developing the inner abilities which can lead us to Spiritual Enlightenment.
Visit his website at www.successconsciousness.com or E-mail him at info@successconsciousness.com

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Types of Affirmations
by Jeanie Marshall

Five categories of affirmations support you in manifesting powerful change. You may work with affirmations in every category concurrently, or you may focus on a different category each day or each week. It is important that affirmations you select resonate with you, that is, that they feel natural and appropriate. In order to experience this resonance, you may need to change words in the ones listed here as examples, or let these inspire you to create ones you prefer, or develop your own from scratch.

Popular Affirmations

Many popular affirmations are beautiful, indeed, they are quite extraordinary! However, if you do not believe them, they are useless or even counterproductive. If you say an affirmation you do not believe, saying it repeatedly will not make you believe it. Actually, the repetition can build up greater resistance to believing it. Consider this example: Sam feels powerless. He has had many experiences that he can point to that justify his feelings and his belief in his own powerlessness and unworthiness. Saying "I am powerful" is less likely to erase his feelings of powerlessness than to prompt an emphatic reaction, such as, "Oh, no, I'm not!" If Sam does not deal with the resistance, he carries it with him as he lives his life.

An empowering process emerges by using these five categories of affirmations in a systematic way to assist you in embracing an affirmation that you desire to believe but do not. If you have an intention and a desire to say and believe "I am powerful," start by releasing powerlessness, open to the possibility of being powerful, affirm an intention and readiness to live in your power, claim your power, and let the idea of powerfulness integrate into your life.

Following are the five categories of affirmations described briefly with a few examples of each type.

Releasing/Cleansing Affirmations

The purpose of Releasing and/or Cleansing Affirmations is to let go of unwanted and unneeded stuff. They allow you to purify your system. These affirmations stimulate the release of toxins such as negative thought forms, repressed or suppressed emotions, old memories, negative bonds with others, karma, dark consensus reality, illusions of all types.

Examples:

  • I give myself permission to release toxicity from every level of my energy field.
  • I rescind outdated vows of poverty, celibacy, struggle, silence, and unworthiness.
  • I release.
  • I let go of old programs that keep me stuck in old patterns.
  • I let go of everything I do not want or need for my highest good.

Receiving/Accepting Affirmations

The purpose of Receiving and/or Accepting Affirmations is to open to allow something to be. They allow us to receive goodness from the Universe. They also can neutralize the misqualification of energy; that is, they can reverse illness or karma or other density. In addition, they help us shift the attention from disempowering actions such as, "getting" or "taking" to more freeing concepts such as, "receiving" and "allowing" and "accepting."

Examples:

  • I open to the gifts of the Universe.
  • I allow abundance to flow through me.
  • I accept support when I need it.
  • Dear God, please let me know what to do in a way that I can understand.
  • I accept peace and joy in all aspects of my life.

Being/Intending Affirmations

The purpose of Being and/or Intending Affirmations is to ground your purpose, especially your higher purpose. These affirmations enhance conscious awareness of your intention about something or about your mission in life. In addition, these affirmations can deepen your understanding of your reason for being and/or acting generally or in a specific situation. They can be used to enhance any and all actions.

Examples:

  • I know that this is for the highest good of all concerned.
  • I deepen my awareness of the consciousness from which actions spring.
  • I live my mission.
  • My intention is to live free from struggle, fear, and hopelessness.
  • I remember.

Acting/Claiming Affirmations

The purpose of Acting and/or Claiming Affirmations is to bring something into manifestation or to direct the energy of your intention to appropriate manifestation. These affirmations bring into the physical those ideas that you hold in your mind and/or heart. In addition, these affirmations help you to claim your power and establish boundaries in relationships.

Examples:

  • I act with high intention and purposeful awareness.
  • I step into the world to live my mission in every word and action.
  • I demand my good right now.
  • I make every act an act of love (or freedom or mastery or hope, etc.).
  • I am powerful. I am worthy. I am loveable. I am free.

Integrating/Embodying Affirmations

The purpose of Integrating and/or Embodying Affirmations is to allow the energy and meaning of the affirmations to merge with your consciousness. Affirmations and ideas that do not resonate, drop away. Integrating/Embodying Affirmations support us in knowing more deeply -- integrating -- what we have learned rather than introducing new information.

  • I integrate trust into every aspect of my life.
  • I breathe love into my job, my body, my relationships.
  • Yes to Life!
  • Today is an opportunity for peace.
  • I breathe in abundance, letting my whole body feel its energy.

Affirmations as Lifestyle

As you work more and more with intentional affirmations — written, spoken, read, chanted, meditated upon — you will make them part of your lifestyle. Affirmations are already working for (or against!) you. It is your job to select the ones you want to live by. Remember, you are already using affirmations every time you think or speak! If your current affirmations are disempowering, you can intentionally change them to ones that you choose to live by.

Jeanie Marshall has an M.S. in Human Resource Development. She is a mentor, coach, facilitator, personal development consultant, writer and actively involved in the human potential movement. Her website is at www.mhmail.com E-mail: Jeanie@mhmail.com

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Why Affirmations Create New Behaviors
by Jim Campbell

Humans have the unique ability to define their identity, choose their values and establish their beliefs. All three of these directly influence a person's behavior. Conscious use of effective affirmations can modify any and all of these three behavior controlling factors resulting different responses than would have occurred previously to a given situation.

A fundamental principle of psychology is: "People are internally compelled to respond to situations in ways that will support or be consistent with their beliefs." When a person reaches to turn-on a light switch or turns the key in a car's ignition, his action is motivated by the belief, based on past experience, that light will be produced or that motor of the car will begin to run. A person with no belief of light being produced by changing the mechanical position of a lever or that transportation by other than animals is possible would not be motivated to take these simple actions. People have been known to go to great lengths demonstrate the validity of their beliefs, including war and sacrificing their own life. Conversely, people are not motivated to support or validate the beliefs of another, when those beliefs are contrary to their own.

People also will act congruent with their personal values or what they deem to be important. One definition of values is: "A value is a principle that promotes well-being or prevents harm." Another definition of "values" is "They are our guidelines for our success-our paradigm about what is acceptable." One resource on values defines Personal Values as: "Emotional beliefs in principles regarded as particularly favorable or important for the individual." Our values associate emotions to our experiences to guide our choices, decisions and actions. The father of American psychology, William James, identified that "When the will and the emotions are in conflict, the emotions most often win." Consequently, a person's actions rarely conflict with their values and distress is felt when they do conflict.

A person's observations of their environment are filtered through his values to determine whether or not he should expend energy to do something about his experiences. A person that values gold and sees a large bag of gold (a positive value) in his path as he walks will be motivated to reach down and pick it up. A person that values his life and knows about venomous snakes will retreat from the sound of a rattlesnake (a negative value) nearby when he is walking in the desert. Said another way, "Values are the scales we use to weigh our choices for our actions, whether to move towards or away from something."

Not all values have the same weight or priority. Some are more important that others and must be satisfied before others can be addressed. Dr. Abraham Maslow illustrated this with his hierarchy of human needs. Survival has a higher priority than security, which has a higher priority than social acceptance. Self-esteem can only be addressed to the degree that social acceptance fulfilled. Similarly, self-actualization can only be pursued to the degree that self-esteem has been satisfied.

One of the things a person holds most important is her/his "identity." Dr. Maxwell Maltz, identified over 4 decades ago that people will behave in accordance with their definition of themselves or their self-image. A person that has an identity that is "I'm terrible at math." will avoid having to solve mathematical problems or will make more than the normal amount of errors when doing so. A person with the self-image of "I am an excellent public speaker." will eagerly speak before large audiences, while a person with the opposite self-image will do whatever is necessary to avoid speak- in to even small groups of people.

A person's beliefs, values and identity are usually acquired unconsciously based on his personal experience or observations of others' experiences as to what produces desirable or undesirable results in the environment. A baby's learning to walk and talk are clear examples of identifying with human adults, valuing the act of being able to have the mobility and communication ability of an adult and the belief, based on unconscious observation, that humans can and do walk and do talk with each other.

Physiologists have been able to identify the parts of the human brain that are involved in producing behavior in accordance with beliefs, values and identity. All information collected by human senses is passed through a net- like group of cells, known as the Reticular Activating System (RAS), located near the top of the brain stem. The RAS compares the data received with accepted values, positive and negative (threats), and beliefs stored in memory and determines whether or not immediate action is required. The results of the RAS's comparison are communicated to the amygdala near the mid-brain.

The amygdala produces neuro-chemicals that cause emotions consistent with the nature of and proportional to the match between environment and values and beliefs. The neuro-chemicals initiate the chemical processes needed for the action to be taken. If the emotions produced are strong enough, the perceived information is blocked from reaching the logical, rational and conscious executive center of the brain, the pre-frontal lobes. In which case, the resulting behavior will be automatic, not necessarily logical or rational, and completely in accordance with the person's strongest held beliefs, values and/or identity.

Put succinctly, a person's beliefs about his/her identity and what is important determines his or her response to the stimuli received from the environment. These beliefs are stored in the subconscious mind and are subject to change by the conscious mind. Before a child learns to count correctly, he only know the names of numbers not the sequential order for them. Once he makes a conscious decision to count correctly, he memorizes the correct order through repetition and positive reinforcement. Before a person learns their multiplication tables, he does not believe that 8 time 8 equals 64. He consciously develops the belief that this is true either by repetitiously memorizing the multiplication table or by an "ah-ha" response from laying out 8 groups of 8 objects each and then counting all the objects to see that the total is 64. Through these methods the belief is built that the "truth" is that counting means that numbers have a specific order and that "8 times 8" and "64" mean the same thing.

The same process of repetition using affirmations can modify or create new beliefs about a person's identity and/or what is important to him (his values). Simple verbal repetition of statements intended to become new beliefs, values or identity will result in these being stored for use by the RAS for comparison with the environment being experienced. The longer the period of time affirmations are repeated the higher the priority they are given in a person's value system and therefore the more they influence the person's behavior. Typically, consistent daily repetition over a mini- mum period of 3 to 5 weeks is necessary to create new behaviors. The greater the difference between the current beliefs, values and identity and the intended ones; the longer is the time needed for repetition to produce the new behaviors. Ultimately, the affirmation will dominate over the previous beliefs, values or identity trait in the person's subconscious and will automatically produce the corresponding behavior.

This process can be accelerated by affirmations that produce emotional responses and vivid images when they are verbalized. The more intense the emotion the quicker the realization of the affirmation. The clearer and more complete the image that is triggered by the affirmation, the more accurately and quickly the intention will be realized.

Jim Campbell is President of Performance Unlimited. His firm specializes in the achievement of peak personal, business and team performance through workshops, skills development and team-building programs. His website is at www.performance-unlimited.com

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Affirmations Revisited
by Connie Barrett

This article is intended to give you some ideas on how to create and refine your affirmations. The idea for it came to me last New Year's Eve as I began to think about my affirmations for the coming year.

Here is the essence of the methods I use.

1. Free-associate. Let your mind wander and think about your life.

  • What problems come first to mind?
  • What makes you most unhappy?
  • What do you think is the most uncontrolled aspect of your life?
  • Complete this statement: "Life would be perfect, if only . . ."

2. Meditate, asking yourself the same questions.

3. Daydream in writing, either by asking yourself the above questions, or by making a list of your complaints.

4. Pay attention to what bothers you for a week or so prior to writing out affirmations.

You now have raw material.

Composing Your Affirmations

The following checklist will help you to create more powerful affirmations.

1. Don't do negatives. Don't write, "I will no longer be 30 pounds overweight." If you repeat that your mind will focus on "30 pounds overweight" and hold that as the reality. Instead, write, "By (date, year) I weigh [the weight you want.].

2. Don't do future. It may look as if the above affirmation is set in the future, but its wording is in the present tense, not "I will be," but "I am." You are thus treating the future as if it is happening now, which helps to give you the power to create it now.

3. Is It Really You? Check your wording. Is it something you feel comfortable saying aloud? Even to yourself?

4. Is it What You Really Want?

5. Does It Feel Impossible? It shouldn't feel so easy that you think it'll happen next week; on the other, hand, it shouldn't feel so difficult that every time you think of it you feel like a failure. Give yourself something to reach for, but don't reach so far that you end up in traction.

First There's Saying, Then There's Doing

I used to think that saying an affirmation was enough, and it is true that the simple act of saying or thinking something which isn't part of your usual life has a vibration which can accelerate change. However, though I'm not going so far as to say that actions speak louder than words they do speak loudly, and the universe listens to them.

So, for example, if you have the affirmation, "I appreciate my life," (this was one of mine this year) what do you do to demonstrate and make firm your intention?

I decided that it wasn't enough to say that I appreciated my life. I decided to be consciously appreciative, to pay attention to a sunset or the sight of a deer, to deliberately savor each moment of joy and beauty, and to count my blessings. I felt that a daily regimen of gratitude would do no harm at all.

If you have an affirmation to change some specific part of your life it can be a very good idea to draw up a plan for the steps you will take to realize this change. If for example, you want a new career you will want to:

1. Decide what that career will be,

2. Have a conversation (often more than one) with the little voices which give you all the reasons why it's impossible,

3. Handle those little devils (steps 2 and 3 can occur more than once; you may find that as you accelerate your impetus to change that they have more and more to say to you)

4. Research the career: learn as much as you can about it; speak to people in the profession,

5. Figure out what needs to happen to make this possible. Do you need money, child care?

6. Figure out how to make it happen.

7. Make up a timetable. Commit to doing at least one thing a day.

If you are now thinking about everything you want to change, and deciding that it's impossible to do them all, take heart. The nice thing about you as a spiritual/human being is that you're interactive. The minute you begin to make significant changes in one aspect of your life you find that other aspects begin to spontaneously change as well.

I do not recommend that you simultaneous begin a career change, decide to look for a new relationship, and begin a major diet - but if you feel that this is your path, I don't think you should pay any attention to my non-recommendation.

Once you are in motion in your life, and buzzing with the energy of change you may be surprised to discover how attractive you are to other people, and you may feel so fulfilled by the positive action you're taking that food subsides in importance.

Also, if you're looking at your list of affirmations and saying, "No way," you can look them as a consecutive series of projects. When one is handled to your satisfaction go on to the next.

Roadside Stops

1. Review your goals often. Do you still want to be a marine biologist? Maybe you'd rather be a veterinarian or produce marine documentaries.

2. Ask yourself if the methods you've chosen to achieve your goals are working. If they're not try new methods.

3. Are you having fun? If you're not enjoying the journey find ways to do so.

4. Reward yourself for the achievement of subgoals within your goal.

Give Yourself a Break

Be committed to your goals. Be dedicated to them. Do whatever you need to do in order to achieve them - but do not beat yourself up if you don't - or don't entirely - achieve them.

You're still a wonderful person, an expression of spirit in flesh. Appreciate yourself exactly as you are right now. If you make that the number-one affirmation on your list you may find that all of the other ones will be that much easier to achieve.

Connie Barrett is the co-owner of Beyond The Rainbow, www.rainbowcrystal.com - a website with resources for well-being and gifts with spirit. Read articles about flower essences, power animals and spiritual growth. Also - free monthly E-mail newsletters and courses on the chakras, prosperity and love. E-mail: rainbow@rainbowcrystal.com Copyright 2002 by Constance Barrett.

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More About Affirmations
by Andy Lutts

Affirmations can be a key tool in bringing about change in one's life, whether it be in the form of personal change or bringing new people, things and situations into your life.

Affirmations are very powerful tools, so powerful in fact that they could seem to be magical. In fact, they are a kind of magic.

When one performs affirmations, he or she is in effect declaring out to the universe a statement or command. And although it may seem that only the person doing the affirmations is hearing the words, it is just the opposite. These words go out to the universe.

You see, affirmations work on many levels. Affirmations affect your own and other people's conscious and unconscious levels. If you affirm and it involves others, you are in a way communicating with another person's higher self. This is when things really start to happen, and results come quickly.

The power of affirmations is only limited by the person's personal conviction and belief that the affirmations are working. If the affirmations are only done half-heartedly, those are the results that will be received. But if a person believes completely in achieving the goal stated in the affirmation, then situation is almost sure to be achieved.

Favorite Topics for Affirmations

  • prosperity and abundance
  • new relationships
  • manifestation of physical things
  • help with certain karmic issues
  • forgiveness
  • attracting business, new employment, etc.
  • bringing positive people into your life

During a channeling session I attended I was fortunate to hear Merlin the magician speak briefly about affirmations. In his time with King Arthur he was an absolute master of affirmation. During that time affirmations were called spells or magic. His affirmations would typically end with the powerful statement...... and so shall it be!

The power behind his words going out into the universe was unforgettable. There was no doubt in his mind that the words he spoke would manifest into the desired outcome. And so it did, because he had no doubt in his mind. Your affirmations can be that powerful too.

A more modern-day example of a person successfully using affirmations is the heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali. Before he ever became heavyweight boxing champion he affirmed publicly "I AM THE GREATEST" loudly, clearly, and with conviction. He subsequently manifested that reality for himself. Furthermore, during his boxing career, he affirmed that he would knock a competitor out in a specific round. And he did! Ali used the power of affirmations with dramatic results.

Your own affirmations will change as your situations change. Keep old lists of affirmations to see how easily you were able to manifest change in your life. Keep a running list of your current affirmations on paper and update them as your situations change.

If possible, start you affirmations on a new moon. Do your affirmations for at least one month, to complete the cycle. This will bring best results.

Although the desired outcome of an affirmation may be specific, try to be a little open-minded about how the outcome is to be manifested. This gives the universe plenty of leeway to get you what you need. Once you affirm something and put your message out into the universe, let the universe respond to your affirmation in its own speed, time and manner. The universe may respond to your situation with a completely unexpected outcome to your affirmation. That's okay too.

Here are some suggestions for effective affirmations

  • do your affirmations daily, at the same time - morning is good
  • relax and meditate for just a couple minutes before the affirmations to connect with your higher self and spirit guides
  • speak the affirmations clearly and slowly
  • affirm with meaning and feeling
  • feel the power behind your words, proclamations and declarations
  • relax for a minute afterwards to complete the integration of the affirmations

One of my favorite books full of super-powerful affirmations is Open Your Mind To Prosperity by Catherine Ponder (DeVorss & Company, Publishers). Here are a few selected affirmations taken from her book:

Clearing out the old

I NOW LET GO OF WORN-OUT THINGS, WORN-OUT CONDITIONS, AND WORN-OUT RELATIONSHIPS. DIVINE ORDER IS NOW ESTABLISHED AND MAINTAINED IN ME AND MY WORLD

I LET GO AND TRUST

Forgiveness

I FORGIVE EVERYTHING AND EVERYBODY WHO CAN POSSIBLY NEED FORGIVENESS IN MY PAST AND PRESENT. I POSITIVELY FORGIVE EVERYONE. I AM FREE, AND ALL OTHERS ARE FREE TOO. ALL THINGS ARE CLEARED UP BETWEEN US, NOW AND FOREVER.

Prosperity

I AM A DIVINE IDEA IN THE MIND OF GOD, AND I AM NOW GUIDED INTO MY TRUE PLACE WITH THE TRUE PEOPLE AND WITH THE TRUE PROSPERITY

I AM SURROUNDED BY DIVINE SUBSTANCE AND THIS DIVINE SUBSTANCE NOW MANIFESTS FOR ME IN RICH APPROPRIATE FORM

I TRUST THE UNIVERSAL SPIRIT OF PROSPERITY TO PROVIDE RICHLY FOR ME NOW

Catherine Ponder's book is exceptional and highly recommended. It is full of powerful, useful affirmations that anyone can use and adopt for their own unique situation.

If you decide to make use of affirmations in your life, be prepared for change. Remember what they say, be careful what you ask for, because with affirmations it can manifest quickly.

Visit the Andy Lutts website at www.salemctr.com/newage.html He is the editor of the Salem New Age Centre's monthly newsletter. E-mail: Andy@salemctr.com

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