The power of positive affirmations

Think positively baby! Yes. Turn your crap into happiness and lift up out of any negative space you might be in and see the awesomeness that is you.

I know. You read and hear people tell you all the time to think positively. There are inspirational posters and books and even company ads like Nike telling you to “Just do it!” everywhere. I just Googled “inspirational quotes” and got everything from “Every day is a second chance” to “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” to “don’t follow your dreams, chase them” etc. etc. Pick the most spectacular skyscape, waterfall, child chasing a butterfly image to go with it and you get the idea.

All of them are excellent sayings, but we start thinking they are cheesy, annoying or useless when we are inundated by them or we’re not open to hearing them, or they’re not the message we need right now.

However, let me challenge you to use positive affirmations deliberately to get at their full power.

This means you figure out a piece of your life you are uncomfortable with, feeling overall gross about and create a positive affirmation about it – customized to you. And then repeat it again and again and again.

For example, if you’re feeling stuck and like you’re not moving forward in your life at all, your affirmation might be “I am exactly where I need to be.”

If you’re struggling to find value in yourself, your affirmation might be “I love myself deeply.”

By being deliberate, the affirmation is all about you and you can discover new inner strength and self-belief.

6 tips to creating and getting the full power out of positive affirmations:

  1. Make them authentic and about you. Where are you blocked? Turn it around and use that.
  2. Phrase the words in a positive and visionary way – e.g., “I am not dumb” – is not a good positive affirmation. It contains negative words, so it can’t work. However, “I am smart and capable” is a great one.
  3. Remember you don’t have to believe them right now. If fact, it’s better that you don’t. It should feel uncomfortable at first. That just a sign you’re holding back. The most powerful affirmations start in the areas where you hold the most doubt about yourself.
  4. Allow them to evolve. You may use an affirmation for a few months that really felt right and strong, and then eventually you feel like its power is gone. Embrace that. It means you’ve grown and it’s time to stretch again! In fact, you might start with one and then within a day or so recognize that it’s not quite right. Listen to yourself and know when it’s time to change it up.
  5. Repeat. Repeat. “Repeat. I read the Healing Handbook by Tara Ward and she recommends that you say positive affirmations 10 times in a row twice a day (morning and night), and also when you are feeling low throughout any given day. Repetition helps it stick.
  6. Say them to yourself in a mirror. There is power in looking at your eyes and saying “I love everything about myself” over and over. You might you look away at first because you can’t quite believe it, but keep repeating it. Let it sink in. Soon you’ll start to feel a shift.

Positive affirmations are awesome, because when they are used well and regularly, not only do you put positive vibes out in the universe, you also put them into yourself. Your mental/emotional/spiritual states start moving. You start feeling more confident; start trusting yourself more; start having a clearer sense of your path.

It’s time to re-program your brain so the positive overpowers the negative every single day. It’s the positive stuff that’s true anyway. Hey! There’s an affirmation right there “The positive words I hear and say about myself are the truth!”

Just try it. It’s my simple desire for all of us.

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Must write or beware my inner wolf

Some days – OK, most days – OK, every day – all I want to do is write. It’s my simple desire. I yearn for it. My heart pumps faster just thinking about it. My brain swirls with thoughts, ideas, and possibilities for new composition. Just knowing a chance is coming to sit down and let my fingers begin their dance, my soul arouses as everything I look at, hear, smell, read, digest, becomes fodder for my next creation. I am titillated in anticipation of what will come. (Hee hee, I used ‘aroused’ and ‘titillated’ right after each other – even though I spelled the latter wrong the first time.)

The reason I’m reflecting on this right now is because I don’t always get the luxury to write to my heart’s content. I mean, it’s already been 10 days since my last post, which bugs me. The thing is, in order to write, I sometimes have to be stealthy and cunning, like a wolf stalking its prey. Because even though I am a writer, I also have two other important vocations: a wife and mother. Each of which come with their own supplementary job titles we’ve all heard before: lover, breadwinner, nurse, shopper, gardener, pool cleaner, taxi driver, social worker, chef, and more. Some of these jobs I do well, others with varying levels of success (hopefully the lover part isn’t a fail! – hmm, what’s with the sex talk today?!)

Gray wolf from www.all-about-wolves.comAnyway (I say as I give my head a shake) I would not be the writer nor the woman I am today without the gifts I gratefully receive from these two other parts of me. Being a wife teaches me commitment, loyalty, depth of friendship, forgiveness, and true connection. Being a mother reminds me to be present, nimble, responsive, loving and patient. The trick becomes finding time to be the wife, the mother, the writer and just Andrea at the “right” times, and that, my friends, becomes a delicate dance even the wolf must master so as not to scare away his next meal.

I’m not always that good at it. My attempt at stealth is sometimes too conspicuous and ill timed. Sometimes, I stupidly think it’s enough if I have my laptop on my lap (aptly named), my eyes clearly fixed on the screen before me, my wrists poised on the keyboard, my fingers tapping in rhythm, that those around me will glean I’m trying to write, and perhaps avoid approaching and head for safety. But, I’ve been a mother for over 10 years now and a wife for over 12, I should know not to be surprised by any “out-of-the-blue, suddenly-urgent, I-have-to-ask-you-this-right-now-or-the-world-will-crumble-and-we-will-all-die-a-horrible-suffering-death-because-you-aren’t-paying-attention-to-me” moments from either husband or children that conflict with what I’ve attempted to deem as writing time. I should know, but too easily I forget and leave myself out in the open and exposed.

Maybe you think I’m being dramatic using the wolf analogy, but I actually did growl at my husband on the weekend after his 5th question to me related to whether I was still planning on trimming the hedge, or if I could help him fix the gate, or if there would be time that day to go out and get some beer. I can’t even remember what it was about, and it doesn’t matter. What I do distinctly remember is the deep rumbling sound that started in my chest and was emitted in my throat as my lips snarled in the direction of my life partner: the wolf staking claim to her fresh kill as an intruder nears. I felt utter exasperation by yet another interruption, and it brimmed over. In my head I thought, “Are you kidding me with this? Can you not clearly see the brilliance oozing forth at this moment with every inspired fingertip touch to the keyboard?” I guess the profundity of the words I was so beautifully weaving together at the time were not transcendent enough to touch his soul – only mine. Ultimately it’s my fault for not pre-defining to my loved ones what “writing time” means: stay away or beware my inner canine.

Writing is my escape. It’s my discovery. I’m literally sitting here grinning as I type these words. I’m not kidding, and I don’t even know if this is a decent post. It might suck. The world may not be shifted in the least because of these reflections I’m sharing right now but I don’t care! At this moment, I simply don’t care because I am elated to be typing here with a goofy grin on my face, in an quiet sleepy house (aside from my sleeping dog who at any moment could destroy the quiet part of this description by jolting awake in a barking frenzy at some random sound that likely only took place in her head). Ah, the zen of it all.

So I know I have to hone my hunting skills because if writing gets tossed to the bottom of the Andrea pile, my wolf will begin to starve and who knows who will be her next prey.